Danny ‘A-List’ Abeckaser

Danny A. has been a fixture in New York nightlife since the mid 90’s. He is known as a promoter/owner and certainly a player. His “friends” are often the young Hollywood set and all the models, actresses and bright beauties that are part of their entourage. After a dabble here and there in film Danny has now produced and stared in Holy Rollers, a buzz film about Hasids from that “un-gentrified” part of Brooklyn that smuggle drugs from Amsterdam. At Sundance he received support from his pals Gerard Butler, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Connolly, Adrien Brody, Adrian Grenier, Wilmer Valderrama and Guy Oseary. He even got a favorable notice from Harvey Weinstein, who called Danny’s performance “awesome.” His New York premier the other night was all that it should’ve been. Everyone who is anyone in the scene was delighted by Danny A., the movie star. He even has a new— or I guess an old—name now. The Danny A. we all love is now the equally loveable Danny A. Abeckaser. I will just assume that the middle “A” stands for awesome or amazing or “A” list. I caught up with my old friend and asked him about what it all means.

First congrats! As an A-list promoter/owner who has been know to travel with celebrity friends, how do you perceive how a successful film career will change your relationship with the club people and the celebrities? I hope nothing changes. The fact that I’m friends with actors that became movies stars as our relationship evolved has nothing to do with why I consider them really good friends. I’ll also be in the club business for the rest of my life, no matter how my film career takes off.

How long have you been acting and where do you want to go with this? I’ve been acting all my life and I want to go straight to the top.

Who or what helped you create the character you play in Holy Rollers? Being in the club business, I’ve been around a lot of shady characters. It was not a far-fetched thing for me.

Is this the end of Danny A and the beginning of Danny A Abeckaser? Or has Abeckaser always been here? It’s always been there, buddy. It just needed time to evolve and to wait for the right moment to strike

Of the other players in club land who else do you see as an actor? DJ Juske.

What else are you working on in film and is acting your goal or do you see yourself directing or writing or doing something else? Well, I was both a producer and an actor in Holy Rollers, so I think my main focus will stay with those two things, but you never know.

Tell me about working with my dear friend Jen Gatien. Jen is awesome, she’s a dear friend of mine, too. She brought a lot to the table and did so much for the film. She was awesome to work with.

Can I have your autograph? Why in the world would you want that?

When does the movie come out and where? It comes out May 21st in New York and LA. In New York it’s playing at the Landmark Sunshine on East Houston and the AMC Loews 84th Street. In LA it’s playing at the Landmark. Other cities will open in the weeks to follow, so check out holyrollersfilm.com for the full schedule.

Movie Reviews: ‘Splice’, ‘I Am Love’, ‘Solitary Man’

I Am Love – In the mannered melodrama I Am Love, director Luca Guadagnino invites us into the lives of the moneyed Recchi family through its kitchen. With painstaking, extended close-ups, he focuses on the Recchi servants as they place, with trained precision, flatware on whiteclothed dining tables. All of this structured pomp is a metaphor for the traditions that stifle the spirit of the clan’s gracious matriarch, Emma (Tilda Swinton). But when Emma meets her son’s friend, a chef named Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), she breaks out of her routine and the focus on cutlery disappears. Their initial spark explodes into a full-blown, all-consuming, gorgeous Italian affair, which climaxes when Emma is forced to choose between the stability of her past and her risky, lustful reawakening. As a caged bird desperate to escape, Swinton has never been better. —Nick Haramis

Solitary Man – At 65, Michael Douglas can still walk the walk. Over the opening credits of Solitary Man, he strides through the streets of Manhattan, cutting a trim, handsome figure—and his character, Ben Kalmen, knows it. That’s his problem. Ben is well into his midlife crisis: he has already left his wife (Susan Sarandon), already destroyed his high-powered career and already bedded scores of pretty young things. Broke and unfocused, he is charming to the point of smarminess, a good time to the point of being unethical (he believably and creepily seduces the 18-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, Jordan, played by an icy Mary-Louise Parker). He’s also a liability as a father, grandfather and friend. Needless to say, he’s fun to watch. —Willa Paskin

Looking for Eric – On paper, English director Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric overflows with indie-movie clichés: troubled, middle-aged postman Eric Bishop’s life is falling apart; his sons don’t listen to him—and one of them is mixed up with a gangster; he’s still in love with the woman he left when he was in his twenties; and he’s having conversations with a figment of his imagination (the great Manchester United soccer player, Eric Cantona, who plays himself in the film). The hallucinated life coach even convinces Bishop (Steve Evets) to seize the day and take control of his circumstances. But credit goes to Loach for bringing his characteristic low-key realism to bear on the project, extracting the twee and leaving the sweetness. If the movie’s culmination feels a bit stagey, the naturalistic conversations and good cheer between friends balance it out. —W.P.

Splice – Director Vincenzo Natali’s (Cube) latest film is a cautionary tale, but it’s never clear against what, exactly, we’re being cautioned: Post-millennial parenting? Science as big business? The lust for power? Geneticists Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrien Brody), a young married couple who work for a pharmaceutical company, combine animal DNA to make throbbing slime-blobs. After Elsa throws her own genes into the spin-cycle, she and Clive welcome into the world an ersatz daughter—one with gills and wings—named Dren (Delphine Chanéac). There are moments of sci-fi beauty in the film, which is shot through with all kinds of creature-making tricks, but they’re too infrequent to make up for the story’s icky subplot, in which Clive puts the “orgasm” back in “organism” by bedding his pubescent progeny. —N.H.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money – For a certain kind of scumbag, the life of“über-lobbyist” Jack Abramoff might make for a heartwarming bildungsroman: a college Republican grows up and gets rich shilling for crooked countries, bribing congressmen and screwing over Native American tribes. For everyone else, it’s a sobering look at the sad, corrupt circle-jerk that constitutes modern life in Washington. Oscar winner Alex Gibney’s documentary is far less ham-fisted than the works of his liberal peer Michael Moore, and his use of source material—an email exchange between Abramoff and his co-conspirator Michael Scanlon that includes hilarious frat-boy hip-hop slang like “You da man”—is impeccable. Footage of a dapper, teenage Karl Rove is, on its own, worth the price of admission. —Scott Indrisek

Links: Denise Richards’ Bags of Fun, Evan Rachel Wood Sucks (Blood)

● What happened to Billy Corgan? He was once an icon of alternative rock … but now? He’s using former lyrics to promote PPV wrestling matches. [Youtube] ● Pharrell Williams has decided to laser all the tattoos off his arms off. [Twitter] ● Denise Richards has filmed a segment for Funny or Die about what’s she’s known for: her “funbags.” [FunnyorDie]

The Brothers Bloom has been delayed for almost a year, but director Rian Johnson is previewing the opening sequence of the Mark Ruffalo & Adrien Brody film on Hulu. [Hulu] ● Is there a Clueless sequel on its way? Evidently Alicia Silverstone and director Amy Heckerling have nothing better to do, as they were seen talking about the script while shopping. [Star] ● Evan Rachel Wood will be doing a two-episode stint on HBO vampire show True Blood. She’ll be playing Sophie-Anne, the 500-year-old vampire Queen of Louisiana. [EW]
Blood Brothers Tickets Phoenix Theatre Tickets London Tickets