It’s a big month for Tony Danza. For starters, the paperback edition of his best-selling book, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had, was just released. Then there’s his new role as a crass Italian father in the romantic comedy Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut about love in the age of porn addiction, out this week. And to top it off, Mr. Danza takes the lead in the musical adaptation of the 1992 movie Honeymoon in Vegas, which premieres this week at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J. In a recent conversation with the Transom, the Brooklyn-born former boxer, TV star and talk show host told us all about his late-career renaissance.
A benign little time-waster called Don Jon marks the writer-director debut of momentary dweeb flavor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also stars as a pornography-addicted student named Jon Martello, Jr., a bartender with a reputation for bedding a different girl every weekend, which does not explain why he doesn’t seem to know any. Still, he’s the envy of his college buddies, even though they all seem more like high school sophomores. They don’t know he spends most of his time pleasuring himself while watching X-rated websites on his laptop. Even the film’s title is a takeoff on the libidinous legend of Don Juan—get it? There’s a lot of pressure to live up to the porn star image he has created for himself that young Mr. Gordon-Levitt cannot achieve. Most of the time he doesn’t even try. For a vanity showcase most wannabe actor-writer-director hyphenates would kill for, he appears to be coasting on cruise control.
Here’s the thing that people don’t understand about red carpet events: They imagine this glamorous lifestyle where Will Smith or the members of N’Sync will come and chit-chat with you about what they’re wearing or how excited they are to be there, and you’ll all laugh like you’re old friends while someone films the entire thing. (So that is why you should get super dressed up, ladies!)
The reality, most of the time, is a lot more like manual labor camps. You and hundreds of other people are assigned a place based on numerical order and how important the staff deems you to be. For example, print media is just before online websites, but after the radio and everyone else. (Sorry, really disillusioned lady from Elle.com!) You are sent to mingle in a holding pen, crammed in with hundreds of other hungry, crazy-eyed journos and magazine freelancers, some of whom will take up inordinate amounts of space with their equipment and some of whom will be openly agitated and/or weeping. When someone sneezes inside these close quarters, you think, this is how epidemics are started.”
You are not allowed to leave your little cattle pen, until someone with a clipboard and eight burly bodyguards starts barking out numbers, of which you are one, because that is all you are to them—a number. You scramble to get up and enter the arena, where you are escorted past the salivating fans straight out of The Hunger Games and marched all the way to some previously unknown area of the perimeter, right next to the dumpsters. There is a gate separating you from the red carpet. You cannot cross that gate; that is verboten. But if you’re lucky, like at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) there will be a little place card on the floor with your publication on it, making it harder for poachers to snatch your spot.
Then you wait for two hours while deafening screams reach your little annex in Siberia. What is going on? No one can say. The fans have a better view than you do.
i want my mtv
The wit of starlets, teen idols and tabloid punching bags at the Video Music Awards is never left to chance.
A small team of comedians and writers has been punching in to Barclay’s Center for the week to pitch and refine jokes for the likes of presenters such as Selena Gomez, Kevin Hart and Joseph Read More
Saturday Night Live has announced its bookings for the first three episodes of the new season, and it’s a gentlemen’s club of sorts. First up is Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane with musical guest Frank Ocean on September 15; following that are Premium Rush actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and nu-folk band Mumford & Sons on September 22, and James Bond Read More
Welcome to New York Observer‘s Golden Globe coverage of the 2012, where you’ll be able to read (and participate!) in real time as Drew Grant and Dan D’Addario take bets on which acclaimed actor will be the first to slap that lopsided grin right off Ricky Gervais‘ face. Let the fun begin!
In the pantheon of tastelessness designed to make you laugh at diarrhea, menstruation, masturbation, yeast infections, fellatio and worse, you can now add a stupid horror called 50/50. Artificial, irresponsible, filthy and forgettable, it knocks itself cross-eyed trying to make you roar with laughter at chemotherapy, with the nauseating Seth Rogen milking most of the yuks. But a stoner comedy about cancer? I don’t think so.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has two expressions — sleepy and catatonic — and he wears them ragged as Adam Lerner, a 27-year-old reporter for National Public Radio stationed in Seattle who sinks into an understandable depression when malignant tumors are diagnosed on his spine and he is given only a 50/50 chance of survival.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s crowdsourced art co-op website, HitRecord, has recorded a book deal with Harper-Collins imprint It Books. The site takes user-generated content in individual units referred to as “records” which can then be “remixed” by other users, or just saved from the internet by Mr. Gordon-Levitt himself.
“When I see something that I Read More
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has come a long way from his blank-eyed zombie look in lifeless early flops like Brick and Halloween H-20. But he remains unpredictable. One minute, he’s an appealing, fresh-faced romantic lead in 500 Days of Summer. Turn around and he’s covered with tattoos, wearing filthy rags, sporting long greasy hair and blabbing obscenities Read More
At the movies, incomprehensible gibberish has become a way of life, but it usually takes time before it’s clear that a movie really stinks. Inception, Christopher Nolan’s latest assault on rational coherence, wastes no time. It cuts straight to the chase that leads to the junkpile without passing go, although before it drags Read More