September 14th, 2009
10:36 PM ET

Charlize Theron loves being a "real woman"

I'm all ready to interview Charlize Theron for "The Burning Plain" Junket at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills when the first thing I notice is that it's hot inside the hotel suite where the interview is going to take place:  no AC and around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  There is apparently an AC problem, but you wouldn't have known it by looking at Miss Theron. Her blond, shoulder-length hair was styled perfectly, her make-up was flawless and her dress was conservative yet classic.

Charlize Theron

After talking about why she took on the role of a mother with a mysterious past who ultimately seeks to bond with her young estranged daughter, it's apparent there's so much more to Theron than her beauty.  In the film, she is plain and very unassuming. She wears little if any make-up on screen and comes across as "every woman".

Theron is known for playing complex women who have dark sides or have been victimized. Think "Monster" and "North Country" and now Sylvia in "The Burning Plain." What's fascinating is that a woman who many people might consider to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, a woman who was the face of Dior Perfume, a woman who graced the cover of VOGUE Magazine would rather be without make-up!! Theron says she's drawn to roles that are unglamorous because they are much closer to what she really looks like.

I believe Theron, but she's still one of the most beautiful people in the world SANS make-up. So I don't consider it hard for her to go around without it.  But what I admire from this talented Oscar winner is the fact that her beauty doesn't define her or control her and she takes chances that push her farther in her chosen craft. Every time Theron's on screen she becomes the character and that in itself makes her beautiful.

September 14th, 2009
09:42 PM ET

Stars remember Swayze

Patrick Swayze has passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 57.  His friends in the entertainment industry are speaking out about their friend and sharing their thoughts about his life.

"Patrick was a really good man, a funny man and one to whom I owe much that I can't ever repay. I believe in 'Ghost's' message, so he'll always be near."- Whoopi Goldberg

"I have always had a special place in my heart for Patrick.  While I was fortunate enough to work with him in three films, it was our passion for horses that forged a friendship between us that I treasure to this day.  Not only did we lose a fine actor today, I lost my older "Outsiders" brother.  My heart goes out to not only his entire family, but all his fans as well." – C. Thomas Howell

“Patrick Swayze was a talented and passionate artist who struck a memorable chord with audiences throughout the world. He played a wide range of characters both on stage and in movies and his celebrated performances made the hard work of acting look effortless – which I know from experience is not easy. As a fan and as an actor, I admired Patrick and I know that he will be dearly missed. On behalf of all Californians, Maria and I send our deepest condolences to Patrick’s family, friends and fans.”- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

"We are saddened by the loss of one of our generation's greatest talents and a member of the A&E family. Patrick's work on 'The Beast' was an inspiration to us all. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his wife Lisa and his entire family during this difficult time."- A&E

“Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace. Gorgeous and strong, he was a real cowboy with a tender heart. He was fearless and insisted on always doing his own stunts, so it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified. When I think of him, I think of being in his arms when we were kids, dancing, practicing the lift in the freezing lake, having a blast doing this tiny little movie we thought no one would ever see. My heart goes out to his wife and childhood sweetheart, Lisa Niemi, to his mom, Patsy, and to the rest of their family.”- Jennifer Grey

"Patrick you are loved by so many and your light will forever shine in all of our lives. In the words of Sam to Molly. "It's amazing Molly. The love inside, you take it with you."I will miss you."- Demi Moore

As we receive more statements we will post them.

September 14th, 2009
06:49 PM ET

Toronto Film Festival: Drew Barrymore speechless about new movie, literally

She's an actress, producer and Cover Girl, but it wasn't until recently that Drew Barrymore could say that she was a movie director.  That is no longer the case.  The 34-year-old star celebrated her directorial debut, "Whip It" at this year's Toronto Film Festival.  The coming-of-age story set against the fast-paced world of all-female roller derby was met with a roar of applause and laughter at last night's red carpet premiere.  The sounds must have been music to the ears of the 34-year-old star who called the project a three-year labor of love.   
Just before the film began Barrymore took a few minutes to address the crowd and introduce her cast. She was clearly proud of them, the mix included Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden, Juliette Lewis, Kristen Wiig, Eve and the film's protagonist, Canadian Ellen Page. 
Barrymore, Page and several others, including myself, then went on to Tattoo Rock Parlor, a Toronto nightclub.  The party there featured girls dressed in green "Hurl Scout" uniforms from the film as well as airbrushed tattoos, greasy finger foods and an open bar.  It must have been a talkative night for Barrymore – who spent much of the evening sitting next to her on-again, off-again, currently on-again boyfriend, Justin Long, because she ended up having to cancel our sit-down interview scheduled for today due to laryngitis.

September 14th, 2009
05:43 PM ET

Making the rounds in Toronto

Celebrities and filmmakers continue to pound the pavement at the 34th Annual Toronto Film Festival, and CNN's JD Cargill is in the middle of the action talking to everyone from Mariah Carey to Michael Moore.

Check back here on the Marquee Blog to get frequent updates and follow Cargill on Twitter @jdcargillcnn.

September 14th, 2009
03:28 PM ET

Kanye West, how dare you ruin Taylor Swift's moment to shine!

Do you remember when you were a kid? Do you remember what your wildest dream was? Were you an athlete, a singer, a dancer, an actor? There was some sort of award that went with it I am sure- something that signified the pinnacle of success, whether it be a Heisman trophy, the Stanley Cup, a Grammy, an Oscar, or even an MTV Video Music Award.

Taylor Swift

I vividly remember being a little girl and standing in my room practicing my speech- it was for a different award every time, sometimes for a Grammy (which trust me, I was never going to win), an Emmy or an Oscar. First, let me set the scene: I would pull back my hair, put on way too much makeup, and drape a sheet over me pretending it was a gown and stand in front of my mirror. The speech always went something like this; “This is a dream come true for me! I am trying to keep it together and not cry (meanwhile I would try to work up a tear). I want to thank my family for their constant support. I never would have thought that I would have so much success at such a young age. Thank you to all my fans.” I will spare you the rest, but keep in mind, I was young so be kind with your comments on my lack of originality.

I am pretty sure that even though many of you may not admit it, you did the same. Well imagine that against all odds- absolutely impossible odds, you achieved immense success. Say you became a huge country star by the age of 16 and crossed over to pop music, becoming a superstar by 19. You are not only nominated, but invited to perform at the “cool kids” party of the year- the MTV VMA’s. Everyone knows that while other awards equal prestige, the “Moonmen” that MTV gives out at the VMA’s are an artists ticket into another level of the fame stratosphere.

Last night Taylor Swift should have been able to live out that moment that I know I dreamed of when I was a little girl. She stood on the stage at Radio City Music Hall with her hair pulled back, wearing just the right amount of makeup, draped in a gorgeous, perfect dress and stood poised to make what I am sure would have been a touching speech from a deserving teenager. Then, Kanye West, after sauntering down the red carpet swigging Hennessy, stormed the stage and ruined this poor young girl’s shining moment.

Shame on you Kanye, shame on you.

For more on Kanye's shocking behavior at the MTV VMA's, tune in to Showbiz Tonight at 11pm ET/PT on HLN- Don't miss it!

September 14th, 2009
12:14 PM ET

'True Blood' leaves unanswered questions

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, Sept. 13 episode of HBO’s “True Blood.”

And just like that, it was over.

Another season in Bon Temps has come and gone – with, thankfully, at least one more season on the way. It started with a dead body in the parking lot of Merlotte’s and ended with … well … a dead body in the parking lot of Merlotte’s.

In between, we met the hilarious true-believers of the Fellowship of the Sun, the noble vampire Godric, the doe-eyed and short-lived Daphne and, in Maryann, someone who sort of took the whole Bridezilla thing a bit far (and who, for the briefest of moments Sunday night, actually seemed somewhat sympathetic).

We saw newly-turned vamp Jessica become both a star-crossed teen lover and a merciless killer, saw life turn dark for the perpetually fabulous Lafayette and watched the Bill-Sookie-Eric love triangle get curiouser and curiouser.

Oh yeah … and there was a lot of blood and a bunch of people got naked. Not that anybody watches the show for that sort of thing. Ahem.

In the end, Maryann got her just desserts, Sookie got her house back and the residents of Bon Temps got un-zombified – plus or minus a finger or two. But in great “True Blood” fashion, the season ended with plenty of questions left. Among them:

1. Who got Bill? Clearly this is the big one. The obvious answer would be Eric – acting on his promise to the queen to make sure Bill doesn’t gum up the works of their secret blood-dealing operation. But the show’s writers have a way of avoiding the obvious. Lorena? The Fellowship? All possibilities. Hard to imagine Eric’s not involved, though. The queen’s cover-up order dovetails way too nicely with his hankering for Sookie.

2. What’s up with Sam’s parents? Fresh from finishing off Maryann (please note the lack of “bull by the horns” puns here) everyone’s favorite shape-shifter starts barking up the family tree. “Bad people?” According to the parents that abandoned him? This one promises to be interesting.

3. What of Jason and Andy? Once accused of being a mass murderer, Jason has now actually killed a man. Andy had earned his badge back, but does he have enough credibility to cover up the killing? And how will Tara react to her beloved Eggs living through the Maryann craziness only to take a bullet in the head from a friend?

Good news … there’s a Season 3 to answer all those questions. Bad news … it doesn’t start until June of next year.

See you then.

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