10 Moms That Will Make You Even More Grateful For Yours This Mother’s Day

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we’re all feeling grateful for our beloved moms. But just in case you weren’t, we decided to round up 10 of Hollywood’s most horrible mothers to make you extra happy about yours. Afterwards, we think you might want to reconsider being stingy on your gift this year.

 

Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest

 

 

Who can forget Hollywood’s most iconic bad mom? Starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest is supposedly the real life depiction of growing up with Joan. All I know is, never use wire hangers — or else.

 

Mrs. Bates in Psycho

 

 

Oh, mother. Norman Bates’ mom in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller, Psycho, kind of gets an unfair rap. Sure, the lady raised a serial killer with a serious Oedipus complex, but she’s not the real murderer in the film. Spoiler alert: Norman is — he just has a split personality and kills to please “Mother.” In reality, she was his first victim.

 

Margaret White in Carrie

 

 

Margaret White is the hyper-religious, seriously abusive and totally disturbed mother in Carrie. Not only does she eventually try to kill her daughter, but she also kept her locked in a tiny closet for most of her life. But don’t worry kiddos, ol’ Maggie gets hers in the end, when Carrie telekinetically kills her.

 

Kate McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

 

 

Kate McCallister from the Home Alone franchise left for vacation and forgot her son not once, but twice. Luckily, Kevin was practically an evil mastermind, and really good at forging weapons from household items.

 

Mrs. Vorhees in Friday the 13th

 

 

Mrs. Vorhees from the Friday the 13th movies could actually be considered a good mom, depending how you look at it. Yeah, she’s a mass murderer, but only because she wants vengeance for her son Jason.

 

Other Mother in Coraline

 

 

Talk about the grass being greener. When Coraline get sick of her mother’s incessant nagging and busy schedule, she ends up finding comfort in an alternate universe version of her mom called her “Other Mother.” Of course, Other Mother is actually a monster who lures kids to her world by being a perfect mom. Then she steals their souls.

 

Gladys Leeman in Drop Dead Gorgeous

 

 

Gladys Leeman will do anything for her daughter Becky in the 1999 dramedy Drop Dead Gorgeous — even kill her fellow beauty pageant contestants. But aside from being a ruthless killer, I imagine she was also a really awful stage mom.

 

Zinnia Wormwood in Matilda

 

 

Poor Matilda. She’s stuck with The Trunchbull at school and at home, she’s got Zinnia Wormwood for a mother. The self-centered (and generally shady) mom doesn’t let Matilda do anything. Her one redeeming moment is when she gives the kid up for adoption. But that’s only because her and her husband were trying to evade the FBI by moving to Guam, and didn’t really want to take her.

 

Mrs. Loomis in Scream 2

 

 

Like Mrs. Voorhees, Mrs. Loomis could also be seen as a good mother. Well, not really. But no one can say she wasn’t dedicated. Yes, she did leave Billy while he was in high school, but eventually returned to seek revenge on Sid after his death. “Was that a negative, disparaging remark about my Billy?”

 

Max Conners in Heartbreakers

 

 

Heartbreakers is about a mother-daughter con artist duo who marry old men to inherit their money. So, yeah, probably not the best mom to begin with. But when her daughter Page actually falls in love, Max decides to seduce him. Why? To prove no one loves Page but her. Because yeah, that makes sense.

 

So, even if you’re not totally crazy about your mom, be happy that she’s not just totally crazy. Or, you know, a serial killer. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

There Are No White, Cisgender Men Nominated For TCA Awards This Year

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Lesbian separatists and Hillary Clinton may not have a lot in common, but both have famously said that the future is female. While that’s certainly true in some sense, the phrase could take some notes from the wonderful world of TV, which is proving that the future is more diverse than just male or female.

This year’s most acclaimed shows have become a showcase for the diversity of gender, sexuality, and race and critics are taking notice. At this year’s Television Critics Association Awards, every nominee for an acting award is either a female or a minority. Yes, that means none of the white, cisgendered men who usually dominate awards shows like the Oscars are up for awards at the TCA’s. The awards show has always maintained non-gendered nominations and this year, the 200 critics and journalists who get paid to binge watch all of your favs came to the same conclusion: women and minorities are at the forefront of groundbreaking television.

As groundbreaking as these nominations are, there’s still a long way to go towards full representation. Women and minorities are still underrepresented in Hollywood while non-black people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community are still struggling to find any representation at all.

We’ll have to wait until August 5th to find out who wins big at the TCA’s, but we hope that this landmark moment in Hollywood will help inspire a new wave of diversity for all minority groups.

Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer Slam Hollywood’s Sexism Problem, and It Gets Pretty Nasty

Lena Dunham
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Photo via The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter gathered this year’s crop of Emmy-contending comedic actresses for a roundtable discussion and, sad to say, the conversation highlighted how sexism still permeates the industry.

“The way women are spoken to in social media is truly shocking. It’s how you imagine people screaming at prisoners in Guantanamo.” Lena Dunham said as she and Amy Schumer, Gina Rodriguez and more talked about the amount of rape threats and death threats they receive on Twitter.

Someone even wished Amy Schumer would get ovarian cancer.

Moving beyond the terror of internet trolls, the women touched upon the institutionalized discrimination faced in the industry. Dunham recalled how one man who worked on Girls made fun of her weight and said he hated his job because a man was not in charge. Tracee Ellis Ross, star of Black-ish, said working on a show run by four women (Girlfriends) set up false expectations of the industry.

There are hardly substantial roles for women in Hollywood, let alone roles for women of color. Michelle Rodriguez echoed this, and explained why she would never play a role to reinforce negative stereotypes. “When you compromise, you don’t do your best work.”

Feminism has emerged as a strong force in the entertainment industry as of late. Shonda Rhimes has created an incredibly successful television empire where straight, white, and male is not the default. But that doesn’t mean the struggle’s over by any means.

As comedic actors, lots of these women weaponize irony and humor in the fight (Schumer wrote a whole sketch of men arguing whether she was attractive enough to be on TV), but there are still long strides to be made with women in Hollywood.

Schumer ended with a sound resolution: “Let’s never apologize for anything.”

Check out the full interview at  The Hollywood Reporter.

This Week’s L.A. Happenings: Stella Barra Opens, George Clooney’s Tequila, & The Coen Brothers

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WEDNESDAY: Jeff Mahin’s Stella Barra Opens In Hollywood 
ABC’s The Taste may have been disappointing, but contestant Jeff Mahin’s new pizza joint Stella Barra in Hollywood is redemptive. Expect a bigger menu and plates than his Stella Rossa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica, in addition to handmade pastas. The 120-seat restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While you won’t find a wood-fire grill, Chef Mahin is all about perfecting his popular dish: burrata with wood-grilled grapes. That’s good enough for us.

Stella Barra (6372 West Sunset Blvd., Hollywood) opens on Wednesday the 8th. To make a reservation, visit the listing at BlackBook Guides.

MONDAY: George Clooney, Tequila, & Four Seasons
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, The Spa at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills has partnered with ultra-premium Casamigos Tequila, owned by longtime friends George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman. Until May 12th, guests can choose from two exclusive Punta Mita treatments and enjoy the Casamigos Reposado Tequila either topically in the treatments or served in a margarita afterward. We say go for both.

The Punta Mita Casamigos Tequila promotion is available May 5th to 12th and based on availability at The Spa at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills (300 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills). To make a reservation, visit the Four Seasons listing at BlackBook Guides.

MONDAY: The Coen Brothers (Sorta) At Rockwell LA
It’s not often you make it out to Los Feliz, but we’ll give you two good reasons: Coen. Brothers. For The Record—a fusion of theater, community and supper club—Rockwell L.A. brings the directors’ movies to life in a 360-degree live, theatrical concert experience, featuring O Brother, Where Art ThoughFargoHudsucker Proxy and The Big Lebowski.

For the Record at Rockwell L.A. (1714 Vermont Ave., Los Feliz) runs until May 19. To book tickets, visit their web site. For more information on Rockwell, visit the listing at BlackBook Guides.

Know every inch of this city by visiting BlackBook’s L.A. City Guides

Rachel Shukert’s Blissful ‘Starstruck’ Brings Back the Golden Age of Hollywood

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I don’t read a lot of young adult fiction, but when I found out my friend Rachel Shukert was penning a trilogy of novels about young Hollywood starlets in the 1930s, I knew it was right up my alley. Known for her two hilarious memoirs, Have You No Shame and Everything Is Going to Be Great, as well as the fantastic recaps of the ill-fated Smash on Vulture, Shukert brings an astounding voice to her writing, one that is both irreverently raucous and sweetly endearing. Starstruck, Shukert’s first foray into fiction, embodies all of her traits, and it’s a fantastic look at the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Focusing on a trio of young women (Margo Sterling, Amanda Farraday, and Gabby Preston), Starstruck brings alive those now-mythical years of movie-making with a campy behind-the-scenes look at the stars that caught the attention of the average American as well as the studio heads who capitalized on them. Think of it as Valley of the Dolls starring Shirley Temple—it mixes the seediness of showbiz drama with the melodiousness chase of stardom.

This week, Rachel Shukert and I corresponded via email to talk about her obsession with old Hollywood, her ideal audience, and how the nature of celebrity has changed over the last century.

What about this time period inspired you to write about it?
Well, look, since I was a startlingly small child, I’ve been moderately to massively obsessed with old movies and the idea of Golden Age Hollywood, the stars, all of that stuff–the glamor of it, the secrets, and the incredible confluence of insanely talented people working in Hollywood at the time. I love stories about show biz back when it was show biz, you know, and people lived out these huge larger than life stories, and all this seamy stuff happened behind the scenes. It was something I always wanted to be a part of. 

But in a more general sense, I think the ’30s are my favorite era. You can kind of see most of the 20th century as series of reactions to various disasters. The frivolity and the decadence of the ’20s was a direct reaction to World War I and the Spanish flu and all this death and destruction; it was like, honey badgers no longer gave a shit. And then you can also look at the kind of proscribed suburbanism and conformity of the ’50s and early ’60s as this direct response to the horrors of World War II, where the world looked straight into the heart of darkness and responded by regressing into this weird, repressed, idealized kind of childhood where nothing bad could ever happen again as long as you had the right vacuum cleaner and Mother didn’t work and everybody forgot that sexual intercourse of any sort existed (or at least never acknowledged so verbally.) But in the ’30s, everyone was dealing with the Depression, and just didn’t have the time for self-delusion, so everything was very self-consciously sophisticated and witty and cynical and hard-boiled. There was a frankness in the culture that appeals to me. Unless, of course, you were one of the increasing number of people seeking refuge in one of the ascendant ‘isms’—you know, like fascism. Which is also one of my favorite things about this period, as you know, and as I’ve written about. I never get tired of Nazi stuff. Hollywood and Hitler were my two favorite things to read about/think about when I was a kid. They remain so to this day. I don’t think the fact that they were both ascendant at the same time is exactly incidental to my interest in either. 

Who were some of the real-life starlets you used as inspiration for your cast of characters? 
Well, the obvious one is Judy Garland, who is almost entirely the basis for Gabby Preston, and who is my favorite actress of all time. Margo Sterling has a little bit of Lana Turner in her, particularly in the way she is discovered [at Schwab’s Pharmacy in Hollywood], but she also has some of that classic society girl thing, like a Gene Tierney or a Dina Merrill. Amanda Farraday is a little bit Rita Hayworth, a little Hedy Lamarr, mixed with a lot of shadowy rumors that there were about a lot of stars at this time, that they had these kind of scandalous pasts the studios would try to cover up. But except for Gabby, none of them are really based on any one person, it’s sort of lots of little bits of things. And no matter how you try to base a character on someone, they take on a life of their own, and that life is almost always reflective of you in some way. So they’re all loosely based on the real-life starlet Rachel Shukert. 

I know you started acting in Omaha as a girl—did any of those experiences make their way into the novel? Did you base any of your characters on your young adult self?
Ha, see above! I mean, yes, of course they did. Not in a hugely literal way, but that feeling of desperately wanting more, of being sure you’re destined for great things, that has a lot to do with me as a young (or younger!) adult. And Margo’s fantasy life, the way she is constantly referencing these movies in her head, and how they inform her behavior, that has a lot to do with me as well. And obviously, I know the feeling of auditioning, of that incredible anxiety that I think actors—especially younger actors—have that they’re falling behind, that it’s not happening for them, that it’s never going to happen, that everybody else has what they want (and should rightfully be theirs): that’s all very personal. But for me, the most painful realization in my acting was getting out of drama school and realizing that I had zero interest in being an actual actress in New York in the 2000s, that all I had ever really wanted was to be a movie star in Hollywood in the 1930s. So the book was therapeutic in that way.  

Starstruck is the first part of a series—how far have you written, and can you give us any details for where these characters are headed?
I’ve finished the second book, and am working on the third now. I don’t know how much I can tell you without totally giving away the ending of Starstruck, but I will say, the overarching theme of the whole series is really about finding yourself as an artist. So all of the characters are going to go through a kind of a period of refining, of figuring out that what they’re good at isn’t necessarily what they thought they wanted—and that goes for love as well. Margo has had this dizzying rise—now what? Can she sustain it? And more importantly, does she want to? Gabby is going to push more boundaries, trying to prove to everyone that she’s a grown-up, and we’ll see how that conflicts with her talent and potential. Amanda is trying to pick up the pieces of her life and move forward with some dignity, but it’s not working that well. I’ll tell you this, it’s all very juicy. We’ve only peeled back the first few layers of the onion–there are still a lot of secrets to be revealed. There’s more sex, more drugs, more jazz. Things are about to get very "Hollywood Babylon" up in this shit. Minus the Black Dahlia murders and speculation about lesbian incest between the Gish sisters. You know what I mean. 

What was it like to write a novel, since your first two books were memoirs? Was it a challenge to write for a younger audience? 
Honestly, the biggest thing was having to continually remind myself that I could make stuff up. That sounds stupid, but when you’re writing a memoir, the challenge is that all the pieces are there, and it’s your job to figure out the most pleasing, most effective way to arrange them. If something doesn’t fit, you can leave it out, but you can’t change it, you know? And with this, sometimes I would get to a point in the story where I’d be like, this isn’t working, and I would actually have to say out loud: "Fine, so make them do something else!" The other thing, which I didn’t expect, is how protective I would become of these characters, in a way that I never was about myself when I was the main character. It’s weird, it’s very maternal, sort of helicopter-mom like. Are they getting enough attention? Do people love them enough? DON’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT MY BABIES! If someone doesn’t like the book—and this, thankfully, hasn’t really happened much—I am furious on their behalf, not mine. It’s insane. 

As for a young audience, I mean yes. There are many fewer dick jokes in this book than there have been in my past works. There are, however, a lot more super-queeny Joan Crawford jokes, which I know are VERY relevant to this generation. Let’s just be honest: I wrote this book for members of the drama club and middle-aged gay men. Fin. 

Back to the Old Hollywood setting of Starstruck: do you see a lot of similarities in the way stars were manufactured in the past as they are now?
I think it’s totally different, actually, which is part of what I like about the old studio system. You would go into this sparkle-factory, and come out an entirely different person—new name, new look, whatever they needed you to be, that’s what they’d make you. There’s this inherent unreality to that culture, with these larger-than-life stars, that feels so foreign now to what the fame-industrial complex has become. Now, it’s all about "authenticity." We want stars to be "just like us." They have to be relatable, and if they’re not, they have to be punished. In a certain way (and a very tacky way) I actually think reality stars have become more like what old Hollywood stars were—these personalities that people gossip about, who are basically actors playing some bigger, more dramatic version of themselves. The whole Bravolebrity concept, where we obsess about these characters like they’re real, their relationships with each other–that has really replaced the daytime soap world, which I think was the closest corollary to the old Hollywood star system. But each iteration becomes somehow less than—it’s like Xeroxing a Xerox. You go from real stars to soap opera characters to like, Kyle Richards, and it’s all because of our obsession with the "real," which I think is really a kind of cultural sickness. We’ve become so unimaginative. 

If you were to cast actors to play these roles in a movie version of Starstruck, who would you pick?
Oooh, my favorite question!!! Who would you pick? 

Clever, lady! I could see a Taylor Swift-type (begrudgingly) as Margo, and part of me wanted to imagine Kirsten Dunst as Amanda Farraday (and a little bit with Diana Chesterfield). I could totally see Chloe Grace-Moretz as Gabby, too. 
I LOVE Chloe Grace Moretz for Gabby! She’s adorable and just very slightly evil, which is perfect. Can she sing? I demand to know if she can sing. I also like the idea of Kirsten Dunst as Diana Chesterfield, because she needs to be a bit older, and a little bit like, I’ve seen it, oh the things that I have seen. That’s perfect. For Margo, you know, you want this kind of lovely ingénue who can have a little bit of an edge and not be boring. I think Elle Fanning looks really right, but she’s still a few years too young. But by the time anyone makes this, she’ll be perfect. Or Saoirse Ronan, who has a kind of gawkiness that I like, and always seems smart. For Amanda, you need someone who is tough, but also vulnerable, sort of hard and soft at the same time. I like Emilia Clarke, Mother of Dragons. She’d be good, if she dyed her hair red. Or Juno Temple, who actually has red hair already! Budget saver!

This Week’s L.A. Happenings: Circa, Unlimited Wine, Nick Cave

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WEDNESDAY: Circa Opens In Manhattan Beach
Expect trips to Manhattan Beach now on the regular. An all-star team is behind a new restaurant project opening Wednesday: Circa. Michael Zislis (The Strand) has Octavio Becerra (Palate Food & Wine) in the kitchen, Josh Goldman (ink.) curating the wine list and Julian Cox (Playa, Riviera, Sotto, Bestia) crafting cocktails behind the bar. You likely don’t visit Manhattan Beach as much as you should and Circa is just two blocks from the shore, so make that two birds, one stone thing happen. Expect small plates of global flavors, casual, vintage-industrial design and perhaps a cigarette break to watch the sunset.

Circa (903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan beach) opens and is now accepting reservations. For more information on the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

THURSDAY: Unlimited Wine at Mondrian
Tonight kicks off the inaugural, bi-weekly “Uncorked” wine tasting in Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian. It’s a happy hour with an outdoor pool. Seriously… why the hell not?  A nice selection of wines (unlimited pouring FYI) and bites at sunset are a crowd pleaser.

“Uncorked” is happening every second Thursday (starting 2/21) from 6pm to 9pm at Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian (8440 Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood). For more information on the restaurant, visit the listing at BlackBook Guides.

THURSDAY:  Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
If you haven’t listened to the new album we recently streamed, you need to understand who we’re dealing with here. Nick Cave is a singer, novelist, actor, screenwriter, film composer, and all-around legend. We think he’ll be the next Pope. For now, see him live at The Fonda Theatre and scratch it off your bucket list.

Listen to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ new album here. To learn more about The Fonda Theatre (6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood ), visit the listing at BlackBook Guides.

Find out first about the latest openings and events in NYC by signing up for BlackBook Happenings, the email brought right to your inbox every Monday. And download the BlackBook City Guides app for iPhone and Android.

L.A. Openings: Eat Where Fatty Arbuckle Once Lived, Devour Berlin Street Sausages

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Fatty’s Public House, on the edge of West Hollywood is named after silent-film actor Fatty Arbuckle, who once lived at this exact address. Now, the home is an airy pub with a big old-school "Hollywoodland" mural overhead, and they’re dishing out short-rib pizzas, Guinness bratwurst, burgers, and chicken and waffles. At brunch there’s a DIY Bloody Mary cart rolling around, and after a couple of those – if you squint hard enough up and down the street from the outdoor patio – you can still see old Hollywood just as it once was. But that’s just because you’ve accidentally internalized Instagram filters.

Just opened Downtown, Coco Laurent is a breezy, sun-lit French bistro serving beef Bourgogne, sandwiches, and an impressive by-the-glass red wine list. And Berlin Currywurst also just debuted in Hollywood with a beautiful beer garden and lots of sausages and beers.

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Los Angeles Opening: Sassafras Saloon

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Having so successfully transported LA hipsters to the Great Northwest with their Bigfoot Lodge (before it was all trendy to be old-timey), 1933 Group have taken a turn to Southern days of yore with their new Sassafras Saloon.

The glories of the old south are in full effect (minus all the bad stuff, of course), with a 19th-Century townhouse literally trucked over from Savannah and reassembled. Think antique fireplaces, an old "courting couch" (gentlemanly behavior is expected, fellas), an actual wraparound porch fitted to the interior, and a big, stuffed grizzly bear. With drinks like the rye-and-sarsaparilla Sassafras Royal, the Toasted Pecan Julep, and barrel-aged cocktails, this is as Rhett-and-Scarlett as Hollywood has been since Gable and Leigh took to an MGM soundstage in 1938. Frankly, my dear…

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Kim Kardashian Fails In Scheme For Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

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Kim Kardashian may have the "fame" part of the Hollywood Walk Of Fame down. But the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce still says Kimmycakes lacks sufficient gravitas for a star. (For a little context, even Big Bird has one.)

Kim recently told V magazine that she wants to "break the mold" for reality TV stars and join 2,400 other celebs with a star on Hollywood Boulevard, People magazine reports. But a rep for the Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce told The Hollywood Reporter says it’s not gonna happen: celebs honored with stars must have some sort of achievement in the entertainment industry — such as an Emmy, SAG, or Oscar. 

I guess Keeping Up With The Kardashians doesn’t cut it?

Perhaps Kim would have a better chance on the Las Vegas Strip than Hollywood and Vine? Or start her very own Walk of Infamy for reality stars somewhere in Silicone Valley?