Julia Roberts. Big star. “Ben Is Back.” Small indie. She plays the mother of a druggie. He’s It boy Lucas Hedges. She liked him. She liked the script.
Roberts: “Almost everyone knows someone who’s addicted to something. Addiction is today’s epidemic. That’s why I wanted to do this movie.
“It takes place over one day. You see the microcosm of the whole problem of this disease through the actions of one son who will do anything to get what he needs. There’s his desperation to try and go straight, and my character, as a mom, to help him get there.”
Indie movies don’t have fake sets. This is real upstate New York. When everyone looks cold, they’re not acting.
“Making this, we were freezing. I mean, really cold. You didn’t want to be outside more than a few minutes at a time. I thought I was used to the cold, having lived here before. But we all turned to stone making this thing.”
A warm reception for this will shut everyone up.
Lyricist drops his own lines
Lin-Manuel Miranda is back in “Hamilton.” Taking it to Puerto Rico to help raise money for its artists and arts organizations.
One problem. He can’t remember the words.
Miranda: “Feels like, in my brain, the files are on my desk, but they’re a little messy. I don’t have all the lines back yet. It’s a lot of lines. Even though I wrote it, I haven’t done it in 2 ¹/₂ years. I definitely need rehearsal.”
And then what?
“Three musical projects are in my head. I keep checking the temperature on them, like which gets written next, which is raw, which one’s cooking.”
20th Century Fox’s “Deadpool 2” with Ryan Reynolds is raunchy ribald. Wednesday through Dec. 24, one dollar of every US ticket sold gets donated to “F Cancer.” (To be politically correct and more PG-13 friendly like the new cut of the film, etc., etc., blah blah, they changed that “F” to “Fudge.”) So it’s now named “Fudge Cancer,” for just those 12 days of the “Once Upon a Deadpool” release.
Bits & pieces
Biden. Weakest and creakiest of the dim Dem lineup, plus he’s already lost the shot before. But the anti-Trump stump’s saying forget about bidin’ your time — Biden’s our No. 1 choice. The only one with name value . . . Paris friends called to say Saturday’s yellow-vest violence was terrifying. Being a repeat of weeks before, people fled the streets and locked themselves home behind closed shades, drapes and blinds. Gay Paree — a war zone . . .
Another war zone’s maybe brewing for the film “Green Book,” which pros say could be an Oscar nominee. It starts with Copacabana scenes. But a source tells me Copa never granted permission. I only know some people are unhappy. What that all means, who knows?
Sunday, my 10th annual 60th and Park’s Christ Church Blessing of the Animals drew about 1,000 crowded jammed people with their equivalent pets, which included fish in a bowl, a rabbit and a friendly hamster.
Speaking of blessings, a post-Hanukkah blessing from Chabad of Mineola’s Rabbi Anchelle Perl: Healing — we are all one. Prayer in your little corner pays off all over/Fire up whatever He gives you/Perform some unexpected kindness/Not gift-getting but make this time gift-giving/Take one step to change a difficult relationship/Know a single word, deed, thought powers redemption/However dark it seems, light is a single action away.
“My son’s school Christmas pageant wasn’t so good. All those smart-ass fifth-graders wanted was to play one of the Three Wise Guys.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
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