Friday, April 19, 2024

My Other Life in Hollywood: Jackie Bisset, Robert Forster, Et Al.


Every so often I have to zip out to the West Coast to my least favorite place in the world. I actually lived in Los Angeles for a year, many moons ago. It was a nightmare. The people there do not know how to drive, or how to get to the places they want to go in an efficient manner. The populace cannot sustain much theater, which is a shock to a New Yorker. On Saturday night I saw the excellent national touring company of “Anything Goes” at the Ahmanson Theater. There were empty seats all around us! On a Saturday night ! Good lord. And they’ve got an all star cast including Jeannie Berlin in “Other Desert Cities” around the corner. It’s about their own people! Jeesh.

Anyway I digress. Going to Los Angeles now is like being in a dream. I see people there who I only see on these visits. My family and friends in the real world, New York, don’t even know I know these people. But it’s always a pleasure to hang out with Robert Forster, one of the great veteran actors in Hollywood. After a pretty successful career in the 60s and 70s, Bob was rediscovered by Quentin Tarantino for 1997’s “Jackie Brown.” He is one of the great guys. Last year he was in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants.” He just shot an indie film here in New York. It’s just great to see him on screen.

I am in love with Jacqueline Bisset. Who isn’t? She is beautiful and smart, a class act. She is one of Hollywood’s treasures. Jackie has never capitulated to Hollywood– no facelifts or scandals. She’s been played Sasha Alexander’s mother on “Rizzoli and Isles”– another favorite of mine, Lorraine Bracco, has been playing the other mom. (Were moms always this hot?) Jackie’s set for a biopic of “Vivaldi,” but I’m waiting for some clever young director to realize Bisset is a still vital player and cast her in something unique and befitting the great star of “Bullitt” and “Under the Volcano” as well as “Airport,” “Rich and Famous,” and of course “The Deep.” She’s quite brilliant.

Who else do I see this time of year, during Oscar season? The effervescent Colleen Camp (who just threw a cool party for “Silver Linings Playbook”), the great and always plotting something sensational Sally Kirkland, Robert Morse who can’t say a word about “Mad Men,” and so on. Plus over this past weekend I ran into Carrie Fisher, Rosanna Arquette, and even the great cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Too many talented people in Tinseltown, all with great stories!

photos c2012 showbiz411



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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