NICOLES BUSY YEAR
Nicole Kidman is already staring down a full plate for 2023. The Oscar winner will soon executive produce and star in the new CIA drama, Lioness, for Paramount+, and also stars in the upcoming drama series, Expats.
Via Instagram, she wrote: “That’s a wrap on #Expats! So lucky to work with such a darling and inspired director [Lulu Wang] and alongside a brilliant cast & crew, including my on-screen husband [Brian Tee]. Thank you, everyone! Excited for you to see what we have created.”
An active philanthropist, Kidman also hosts the Gold Meets Golden Olympic charity event, which raises funding for Angel City Sports, a Los Angeles organization that provides young disabled athletes with the resources, coaching, and equipment they need to train as future Paralympic hopefuls. “Nicole is a huge fan of the Olympics and Paralympics and even once dreamt of being an Olympic swimmer in her home country of Australia,” said organizer Charley Cullen Walters.
Rita Moreno, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin delighted attendees with their quick-witted banter at the world premiere of 80 for Brady. During the Q&A, the cast joked about the choreography and how impressed they were with Moreno’s ageless versatility. “Whenever I would think, ‘I can’t do it,’ well, Rita could do it!” enthused Fonda, telling her, “You’re just amazing!”
Moreno, who won the Academy Award for the epic musical West Side Story, joked, “Oh God, what a burden! I’m 92!”
She then broke out into a quick, impromptu dance on stage.
Brady went into all of their trailers to visit them, Fonda added. “And when he walked into my trailer at the end, my knees gave way. I had to hold onto something. I mean, he is gorgeous. He is so gorgeous.”
Field said that when the athletes arrived on set, “I was the one out there welcoming everybody….’Hi, guys! I’m so glad you’re here! I wanted them to feel comfortable. I was a fan.”
CBS’ latest breakout hit series, Fire Country, has already been renewed for a second season. The series stars Max Thieriot (Seal Team) as Bode Donovan, a young convict seeking redemption and a shortened prison sentence by joining a prison release firefighting program in northern California. Donovan and the inmates team up with elite firefighters, taking viewers on a fascinating journey as we watch the unlikely partners work together to extinguish unpredictable fires across the area.
“It’s pretty remarkable to see a new series resonate like this with both broadcast and streaming audiences right out of the gate,” said Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment. “Fire Country has so many appealing entry points for the audience. It combines high stakes action with small town charm, mystery, romance, and a family franchise at its core. We’re blessed to have an incredible team in front of and behind the camera led by amazing producers and writers and an exceptionally talented cast.”
MALICK GETS PHYSICAL
With season three of Apple’s Physical right around the corner, actress Wendie Malick is excited her character receives more time bantering with Rose Byrne, who plays her daughter. “Rose is so talented, and she’s really fun to play with,” she told INDUSTRY. “I’ve had the honor of playing the mother of some very interesting people out there. It’s kind of a wonderful world to ease into, as I am in my third act. I love looking at life from a different place.”
Malick said she’s fascinated by the period piece, which takes place in the early ‘80s. “I think there’s just so much loaded stuff…that show is really interesting in that there is all the comedy, but it is one of the darkest shows on television. Rose’s character goes to such an intense place with her eating disorder. I think that so many people can relate to the mother-daughter struggle of trying to find closure but not have to be too caught up in the past.”
THE ENVELOPE PLEASE…
After three years, the 34th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards returned in person in early January. The star-studded gala, traditionally known as the event that kicks o awards season, honored numerous celebrities like Austin Butler (Elvis), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), and Steven Spielberg, along with the cast of his biopic The Fabelmans.
Elvis director Baz Luhrmann was thrilled to present Butler with the Breakthrough Performance Award. “I thought…I’m never going to find someone who can play Elvis, that is never going to happen because that character is almost impossible to realize.’ Then the miracle of Austin Butler happened.”
Another notable moment came when Viola Davis accepted the Chairman’s Award for The Woman King. She reflected on her experience breaking glass ceilings in Hollywood. “Sometimes the journey for Black actors is having that little hammer and chisel and chipping away at that block, which is an industry that says, ‘You can’t lead a global box office’… We chiseled away…because the hammer and the chisel is all we’ve got,” Davis said.