586 posts categorized "ME"

Sep 10 2014
Nick Of Time: Moments With A Jonas Brother Comments (0)

Nick JonasNick tonight at BPM...he's 22 in a week.

This post is gonna be like the movie Boyhood, except without an Arquette.

I have lots of memories of working with the Jonas Brothers (you'll have to read my memoir in the spring—Starf*cker from Lethe Press), but alas—because we all love a good, catty story—they're all nice. I met them when they were kids and was the first teen-mag editor to feature and do a dedicated photo shoot with them, something they never forgot, unlike a lot of other kids with full agendas, arenas and dance cards.

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Sep 06 2014
My Safe Word Is HARDER: A Pop-Up Dungeon Party For CUBBY Comments (0)
  DSC06957 Christian Patrick DSC06930 Mark Blane DSC06959 Christian Patrick Mark Blane DSC06953 kinky DSC06937 Mark Blane
DSC06931 Mark Blane DSC06932 Mark Blane DSC06946 Nick Sterling

Last night, my pal Jason and I trekked out to Brooklyn (we didn't even have to deal with any border agents!), winding up at One Last Shag, the bar where my buddy Mark Blane was hosting a pop-up dungeon party to help light a fire under Kickstarter donors to his film Cubby.

DSC06960 Matthew Rettenmund Christian PatrickI'm not red because Christian sat on my face, I'm red knowing that he could have.

Co-starring legendary Dom Christian Patrick, Cubby is the story of a down-on-his-luck babysitter who befriends a little boy and a fetish pornstar. Hilarity and poignancy ensue. Check out the movie here.

DSC06942 Nick Sterling Mark BlaneMark with shy dick-magnet Nick Sterling

At the pop-up dungeon party, attendees bid on things like gay pornstar Nick Sterling's dirty underwear and a chance to be publicly tied up by Christian. We were also treated to a harrowing demo of domination, as a rather sexy, bald, solid dude mercilessly tormented, hog-tied and smacked around a redheaded girl who did have the wherewithal to ask that her glasses be set aside, and who when I asked permission to photograph her chirped that she had no problem with it. (Saying no does not seem to be her forte.)

DSC06962 kinkyChristian had to intervene, otherwise this girl was heading for a public butt-plugging.

It was quite funny seeing this disturbing display as a bunch of youthful hipsters sat around watching, unmoved—scratch that, too afraid to move.

Christian is charming and fun to talk to. We chatted about his appearance in Interior. Leather Bar. (2013), for which he says Franco never asked him not to be himself, and for which he says the script he was given wasn't even used.

Blane was the host with the most, and probably had sex with someone afterward, because his Kickstarter did tick up a bit and I know he's not above it. (This is a joke in case his mom has a fit of the Googles.)

DSC06971 Mark Blane DJMark with DJ Don Christian

All in all, quite an adventure. And trekking out to Brooklyn reminded me I should re-watch Do the Right Thing.

 
Sep 04 2014
It Was Like They Took All Of The Good And None Of The Bad Comments (0)

Matthew-Rettenmund-Mindy-Cohn

Had a blast at my friend Guy Olivieri's premiere of his sitcom pilot FreakMe tonight in TriBeCa.

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Aug 30 2014
The Night Jann Carl Kissed Me Comments (0)

Jann-CarlOkay, no kissing, but she did say my name!

Back in 1998, just before I launched the teen magazine that would take up 14 years of my life, I was editing one-shot issues on celebrities, everyone from Madonna to Princess Diana (one million sold of an updated version that we published a few days after her death) to Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Leo magazine was made up of about $10,000 worth of never-seen images shot of a teen Leo. The shooter was nice to deal with, and seemed to have had great access to an array of young stars. After we published, I received an irate phone call from a girl demanding to know how I'd gotten the photos. When I explained we'd bought them from the photographer and named him, she simmered down. 

That irate caller was Soleil Moon Frye.

For that Leo issue, I was asked to appear on E.T.

They never quite understood the idea of a one-shot magazine, thinking instead we were launching a regular magazine that would be about Leo every month. I gave up trying to explain and let them have their way.

It was a thrill, even though I was mortified to be seen at my peak weight of [mumbles digits]. I remember being in a room, not even a real studio, and being asked a few questions, then that was it. The night it was aired, I was excited that Jann Carl actually said my name (not just IDing me as the editor). I worried about how I looked, so I asked José if I looked fat.

Infamously, he replied: “...Bloated.”

He wasn't lying!

Video after the jump...

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Aug 13 2014
Golden Age Screen Legend Lauren Bacall Dies @ 89 Comments (0)

BacallSeptember 16, 1924—August 12, 2014

Bacall-lookThe look...the voice...Lauren “Betty” Bacall, one of the last remaining bona fide stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood and one half of its most famous film team with the late Humphrey Bogart (December 25, 1899—January 14, 1957), died today of a stroke.

She was just over a month shy of her ninetieth birthday.

Bacall first became a star in 1944 with her silver-screen debut, To Have and Have Not, delivering one of the most famous lines (at 2:53) in film history to the man who was 25 years her senior but who would become the great love of her life, the father of two of her children and whom she would outlive by nearly 50 years:

Bacall-big-sleep-slinky-black-evening-gownIn a series of indelible classics—The Big Sleep (1946), Key Largo (1948), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Written on the Wind (1956), Designing Woman (1957)—Bacall became an icon of cool sensuality and sophistication, one with a razor-sharp tongue. She worked steadily but never to excess, preferring to do films and, later, TV and theater, that drew her in. She was only nominated once and never won a competitive Oscar [and indeed was the victim of perhaps the worst-ever case of bait-and-switch when she seemed destined to finally win for The Mirror Has Two Faces in 1996, only to lose unexpectedly to The English Patient's Juliette Binoche (b. March 9, 1964)], but was awarded one for life achievement in 2009 and won two Tonys, for Applause (1970) and Woman of the Year (1981).

Birth-2004-05-gBacall's last work appears to have been a voice on The Family Guy (2014) this year. Her last on-screen appearance was the teen drama The Forger (2012), starring Josh Hutcherson (b. October 12, 1992) and Hayden Panettiere (b. August 21, 1989).

Some of her more interesting later works would include Paul Schrader's (b. July 22, 1946) The Walker (2007) with Woody Harrelson (b. July 23, 1961), and a pair of films with Nicole Kidman (b. June 20, 1967): Dogville (2003) and Birth (2004).

Bacall iii

For sheer fun, check out Bacall in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). For unpleasant camp, it's gotta be The Fan (1981).

Lauren-Bacall-liberal-quote

Bacall was an outspoken personality, not known for suffering fools, gladly or otherwise. She denounced the House Un-American Activities Committee during its Communist witch hunt at great personal risk to her career.

After Bogart's death, she was married to fellow actor Jason Robards (July 26, 1922—December 26, 2000) for several years in the 1960s, and had a son with him, actor Sam Robards (b. December 16, 1961).

Lauren-Bacall-Matthew-RettenmundMy shot of Bacall in 2012

I was lucky enough to have seen Gore Vidal's The Best Man (2012) the same evening as Ms. Bacall, and was ballsy enough to approach her for a photo. I did not in a zillion years expect her to acquiesce, so my interaction with her was not disappointing!

Lauren_Bacall1Still out and about, at an event in 2013

...and finally, since I have so many Madonna fans on this site, the passing of Bacall means there are now no living stars name-checked in “Vogue” (released March 20, 1990).

The 16 stars are (listed in order they were mentioned, numbered from first to last to pass away):

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Aug 06 2014
Penn Pals: 25 Years Of Madonna, Music & Men Comments (0)

Matthew-Rettenmund Matthew-Rettenmund-Mauro-BramatiTop: Mauro (L) & me (R) today. Bottom: Me (L) & Mauro (R) “yesterday.”

Madonna-ModaHad such a lovely experience this week—after 25+ years, I met in person for the first time a guy who was my equally Madonna-obsessed pen pal in college. I think I first found Mauro Bramati via Madonna's fan club. In those days, it was essential to find pen pals in other countries if you wanted to collect rare foreign items, and Mauro was a goldmine—he would not only send me all the latest Italian magazines with Madonna covers in exchange for all the American ones I could dig up, he would also run around Milano tearing promo posters off of walls to send me. Some of my favorite posters I own came neatly folded in envelopes from Mauro.

I write a lot about this rag-tag operation in my upcoming memoir Starf*cker (May or June 2015).

Italian-mix-tape-1980s

While we traded Madonna loot, we also schooled each other on our burgeoning gay-sex lives and ranted and raved about all the latest, greatest dance music. He sent me countless Italodisco audio cassettes with music from artists who were not common in the U.S., like:

This was back in the day, when receiving free music meant something! It saved me tons of money at the import store.

His cassettes (and mine back) were lovingly titled, decorated with glue-sticked images from magazines and contained expressions of affection from abroad. Well, from a guy, but from abroad.

This week, Mauro brought his lovely young partner on their first trip to the U.S., and we made a point of meeting for the first time. It took forever, but thanks to the postal service and, later, to e-mail and Facebook, two kindred spirits finally met face to face.

And what do you suppose Mauro handed me? A CD with his fave '70s, '80s and '90s tracks, like this:

Lucky that we bonded over an artist who's still so topical. Would we have kept in touch had we started out as the Pointer Sisters' biggest fanboys???

 
Jul 30 2014
Hilary Duff Is Only 26, Already Launching A Comeback! Comments (0)

Hilary-Duff

Hilary Duff's comeback single “Chasing the Sun” is a pleasant summer song. It sounds a lot like Sheryl Crow, but big fans of Hilary's kid-pop might recognize, as I did, that the background melody is very reminiscent of her single “I Can't Wait”'s infectious bum-bum-bum refrain (1:00):

When Hilary was a kid and I first started working with her, I remember telling her and her mom she was a dead ringer for Kylie Minogue. I think she only looks more and more like her over time.

Video to come...

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Jul 23 2014
Buona Sera, Ms. Grant: Attending Lee Grant's I SAID YES TO EVERYTHING Book Signing Comments (0)

Lee-GrantGrant's story of freezing on a Broadway stage in 1972 was gut-wrenching!

Lee-Grant-bookI spent a nice evening at the 82nd Street Barnes & Noble, attending the booksigning for the memoir I Said Yes to Everything (Blue Rider, $28.95) by Lee Grant (b. October 31, 1925)...though it did have some ups and downs.

First, getting there 20 minutes before the start time, I was nonplused to find the entire seating area filled. The crowd was older, and the event free, which made for an interesting time when it came to the things one overheard:

“Who exactly is this person?”

“She was in everything in the '60s and '70s.”

“How old is she? Eighty-eight? That's a very flattering photo on the cover.”

“What's she going to talk about? A book? What book?”

Joy Behar (b. October 7, 1942) had a ringside seat [later asking a loaded question about Grant's Broadway co-star Peter Falk (September 16, 1927—June 23, 2011)], while the rest of us just stood around like groupies. Grant was there early, off to the side, eyeballing the attendees and excusing herself silently to find a bathroom. It was cute that she looked so pleased by the big crowd.

Lee-Grant-audienceThey said yes to Lee Grant.

Grant was engaged in a conversation by well-known biographer Tom Santopietro, who repeatedly joked about Grant being the star. Grant was very comfortable doing the same, cracking jokes, cursing and openly reflecting about her early career, her experience being blacklisted for a dozen years and her transition to directing mostly documentaries.

Of her experience on the blacklist, she recalled stumbling into it after doing a Broadway play with J. Edward Bromberg (December 25, 1903—December 6, 1951) and many others who'd fled the House Un-American Activities. She was asked how she felt about his death of a heart attack and said she felt he'd been hounded to his death...and that quote wound up in Red Channels.

One highlight was when she reminisced about walking down the aisle to receive her Oscar and thinking it was a big fuck you to the McCarthyites who'd tried to keep her down.

For an 88-year-old woman, she looks and acts far younger, and has not only her wits but also her wit about her.

The questions were—shocker!—really great. These things usually have at least one or two embarrassing queries, but this time, Grant fielded thoughtful questions about stage fright, making diverse projects like her Columbo episode (March 1, 1971) and the '90s gay-themed movie It's My Party (1996) and how she felt when her sitcom Fay (1975) was axed after eight episodes.

Barbara-Cook-Barbara-BarrieCook (L) and Barrie (R) catch up. Barrie was going into The Prisoner of Second Avenue in 1972 when Grant was leaving.

After, we lined up. I spotted the fabulous actress Barbara Barrie (b. May 23, 1931) off to the side, chatting, but she gave off a vibe of, “Don't.” So I hesitated. After I saw her sign an autograph and then receive an intro by Grant, who'd begun signing in earnest, I knew I would go for a photo. By pure luck, Barrie was with the legendary singer Barbara Cook (b. October 25, 1927) when I got over to them. I asked politely for a photo with them both. “With? Yes,” Barrie said, implicitly saying no to a posed shot of just the two of them.

Barbara-Cook-Barbara-Barrie-2The room was filled with talented ladies.

“Oh, is it your birthday?” Cook asked, why I had no idea. Turns out she'd misheard something I said, but I didn't want to correct her. Barrie was amazed that Cook had guessed that just from seeing me. I felt guilty taking advantage of birthday positivity, but it was just an oops. The pic is cute.

Barbara-Cook-Barbara-Barrie-Matthew-Rettenmund-starsWith a great singer and a great actress. Hopefully, I'm a...great writer?

When I got up to Grant, I told her it was nice to be able to admire her both as an actress and as a person, because so many major stars are—and then the guy behind me was snapping our photo, so I smiled. “What? So many are what?” Grant wanted to know, ignoring the camera. Click. So that's why the photo is less than ideal. But oh, well, we look engaged in conversation.

Lee-Grant-Matthew-RettenmundAre we deep in conversation about Warren Beatty's sexual prowess?

“Sorry, so many are right-wingers,” I finished. She pooh-poohed that until I clarified, delicately, that I meant so many who were making movies in the '40s and, like she was, the '50s. With that proviso, she agreed.

I was able to get her people/the store's rep to approve my getting a posed shot of Ms. Grant—and I do mean one—posed shot in-between the umpteen fans who were queued up to buy her book.

Lee-Grant-2Ms. Grannnnnt!

It wasn't ideal, photo-wise (though my shots of Grant and of the Barbaras turned out great!), but it was still a thrill to be able to meet an Oscar-winning, one-of-a-kind actress and director whom I truly thought I'd never get to see.

I can't wait to read her book. If you've never seen The Landlord (1970), recommended to me by my pal Gordon not so very long ago, seek it out.