Book Review: “From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars” by Virginia Hanlon Grohl

“From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars”
Author: Virginia Hanlon Grohl
Da Capo Press
Hardcover 204 pages

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When Virginia Hanlon Grohl first saw her son perform in front of thousands of screaming fans she knew that rock stardom was meant to be for her son. And as Virginia watched her son’s star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children’s fame? Did they worry about their children’s livelihood and wellbeing in an industry fraught with drugs and other dangers? Did they encourage their children’s passions despite the odds against success, or attempt to dissuade them from their grandiose dreams? Do they remind their kids to pack a warm coat when they go on tour?

All those answers and more are contained in “From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars”. Over the course of the books 204 pages you get a unique behind the scenes look like never before. However not from the stars themselves but from their mothers! Yes that’s right their mothers. Along with author Hanlon Grohl own story of motherhood we hear from other moms including Verna Griffin (Dr. Dre), Janis Winehouse (Amy Winehouse), Hester Diamond (Mike D of the Beastie Boys) and Bettye Moses and Harriette Brown (mother & step mother of Zac Brown) as they recount the years before, during and after their sons and daughters became house hold names. I don’t recall a book like this ever being released which adds to the appeal because who is better to ask about those earlier childhood years than one’s own mom.

The candid firsthand accounts are what really kept me turning page after page. “From Cradle to Stage” is a fun, fast read unlike any biography I have come across before. While the book does a great job showcasing several mothers’ journeys its underlying story about the bond between parents and children is its greatest attribute. Not only is this a great read for parents but also for anyone looking for a different look at some of music’s biggest artists and the moms who impacted their lives.

 

Related Content

Director John Maclean and Stars Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelsohn talk about “Slow West”

Slow West held its New York premiere on April 19th at the SVA Theater during the 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival. Writer and director John Maclean joined stars Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelsohn in speaking with me about the Michael-Fassbender-lead western on the red carpet.

Ben Mendelsohn is a renowned Australian actor who in Slow West takes on the larger-than-life role of Payne. Payne, in his oversized furry coat, is the leader of a vicious gang that Fassbender’s character Silas used to run with, and like his character, Mendelsohn seemed a bit bitter at the abandonedment of his gang-mate…

Lauren Damon: Can you discuss the relationship of Silas and Payne
Ben Mendelsohn: Okay, so Silas and Payne rode together back in the day and Silas essentially decided he was gonna go his own way–you know, he’d had enough, like ‘Yeah yeah, I’ve got what I wanted, I’m off doing my own thing’ Which, when you think about it is sort of a really punk move, you know? Because essentially Payne you know, gave this guy A LOT. Now, I’m not saying Silas isn’t a talented man, he is. But basically, he packed up and he got his tail between his legs and off he ran. And you know, time’s come now where our paths  have crossed again and [Silas]’s got this fine little bounty he’s traveling around with and really I just wanna know what’s up with that? Are we gonna share this spoil? Or are you gonna TRY and take it all for yourself? Or are you gonna try and be “a good boy”? So that’s a lot of what that’s about.

 

LD: And how did you all develop the look of Payne?
Ben: Oh the coat is genius. The very talented wardrobe lady [Kirsty Cameron] had it made and showed me all the pictures of trappers and what not from that period with these massive coats on. So once you put that coat on and that hat and you’ve got the tattoos, the rest of it’s a cake walk.

 

LD: How was it to shoot in NZ and with that wardrobe?
Ben: It was…yeah, it’s really crazy open wide spaces. It’s very desolate, it’s harsh. It’s a harsh sort of enviroment but very beautiful too. New Zealand’s a great place to shoot, it’s really got an extraordinary array of you know, locations and looks and feels…it’s all there. It’s a beautiful place to shoot.

 

LD: What attracted you to the film? I mean for a western it had a sense of humor about it too that I didn’t expect at all.
Ben: Yeah, I wasn’t sure how that would go. Michael Fassbender had started with John Maclean and they’d done a couple of short films and essentially the fact that you know that Michael Fassbender had sort of backed this to the degree he did was a very good sign. I’d seen his short films that John Maclean had done and they had something. You know, you could feel there was something there, western, it felt pretty cool. It felt like a good bit of fun with a decent chance of it working.

 

Director John Maclean had previously worked with Michael Fassbender on the short film Pitch Black Heist, which was shown at the 2012 Tribeca Film Fest.
LD: Can you talk about how you initially came to work with Michael Fassbender, what drew you to him or him to your work?
John Maclean: I think it was around the time that he was shooting with Tarantino [on Inglourious Basterds], I knew his agent. And his agent had given Michael some of my early short films I was making on my own. Michael saw something in them, came to me and said you know, if you want to do something, I’ll give up a day. So we started working together there.

 

LD: And when you approached this script, there’s a lot of dark humor in it—did you primarily come at it as a comedy or a western first?
John: I think, like my favorite films—I mean you look at a film like Fargo and it’s not a comedy, it’s not a thriller—I think some of the films I’m interested in, I think you just have to try and be truthful. And like life, comedy comes in to sad moments and sadness comes in to comedy moments.

 

LD: And it’s unconventional that your young romantic lead, his love interest doesn’t actually like him like that back!
John: I think “spoilers” here!

LD: I know, I’m sorry, my review says he’s been friend zoned
John: I just I mean, maybe that was from personal experience (laughs) when I was younger. But that’s what happens with young boys, I think. I guess it was for personal experience actually but um, I think he was never right for her. I think she was always more practical and he always too much of a dreamer. So from the beginning, I guess it’s doomed.

 

LD: How do you describe the back story between Payne and Silas?
John: Yeah, I think that’s the hard thing with wanting to make a shorter film—you can’t branch out into too many of the backstories but…I just imagined that the wild west, there wasn’t that many people at that time. So people sort of crossed paths much more often than you’d expect. I imagine they travelled together and [Silas] was part of Payne’s gang and then didn’t like the senselessness of some of the violence and left and went to go alone and Payne’s trying to draw him back into it.

 

Kodi Smit-McPhee was recently cast as Nightcrawler in next year’s X-men: Apocalypse, seeing as his previous film co-starred Nicholas Hoult (“Beast”) and this one he shared the screen with Fassbender (“Magneto”) I had to ask about joining them as mutants.

Lauren Damon: Have you contacted your past coworkers here for advice on joining the X-Men?
Kodi Smit McPhee: I haven’t contacted them yet. So we got Nicholas Hoult, Ty Sheridan and Michael Fassbender whom I know well. And I really can’t wait to get on set and work with them. And I haven’t said a word to them.

 

LD: What’re you most looking forward to about playing Nightcrawler?
Kodi: I really love the warmth that comes with the passion behind his character. And the novelty within just the tradition of him. I don’t necessarily have a desire to bring new things to it, but just show the world that they love.

 

LD: And are you familiar with Alan Cumming’s take on it from X2?
Kodi: Yes, absolutely. Usually, I mean if I don’t need to–like for Let Me In, I didn’t look at Let the Right One In–but for something like this, I thought it  was right to just find all the roots, you know, see how Nightcrawler evolved into who he is now.

 

LD: If you could choose your own X-power what would it be?
Kodi: I would love to physically, and within my own body, be able to travel back and forth and time. See how the history and the future plays out.

 

LD: Back onto Slow West, I was rewatching The Road recently and I saw your character there sort of as the young optimist to an older guide, like Jay in this film, did you feel that connection there?
Kodi: Absolutely and maybe in fact this whole story itself and the concept of a western story, it was very much like that. Like desolate and moving towards something hopeful. So yeah I really loved that idea and that was never intentional, but I guess it’s something that I’m just great at expressing and hopefully with Nightcrawler, I can move onto other things.

Next week: A more in-depth discussion with John and Kodi, meanwhile, you can check out my review of Slow West here.

A Conversation with the Creator and Stars of New Film “5 to 7”

Victor Levin is a four time Emmy nominee whose work includes writing for such shows as “The Larry Sanders Show” and writing and producing the very popular “Mad About You” and “Mad Men.” This week his latest project, the romantic comedy “5-7,” which he both wrote and directed, opens. He was joined in our conversation with the two stars of the film, Anton Yelchin (“Star Trek”) and French actress Berenice Marlohe (“Skyfall”). They made a pretty formidable trio!

Mike Smith: Victor, what was your inspiration, if any, to write the film?
Victor Levin: I love to write about love, Michael. I think it’s the most interesting subject and one of the best things we have going as human beings. I can’t imagine life without it and I think it’s most inspiring wherever it goes. In this particular case, I was traveling in Paris in the late 1980s with my girlfriend at the time. We stayed at the home of some friends of hers who were older and married and they lived…they had…this kind of marriage. We went to a party and I saw the husband, I saw the wife. And I saw the girlfriend and I saw the boyfriend. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who to talk to. My girlfriend to just keep my mouth shut and my eyes open and I might learn something new. And she was right. It was all very elegantly done. It was all very elegantly choreographed. Like the film says, there are rules and obligations. No one is ever embarrassed. And it was the way these people chose to solve what was, to them, the problem of monogamy. And I had to accept the fact, as a middle-American suburban kid, that there were other philosophy’s of life in the world. There were many, many ways to look at how we go about arranging our lives. It may not be for me, except for as a story, but it was a fascinating obstacle. It was a fascinating starting-off point for the story. And a real eye opener for me personally.

MS: You have quite a few writing credits but haven’t been behind the camera that much. Was this project something you felt you HAD to direct to preserve your vision?
VL: Yes. The film is, as you know, a little bit of romance and a little bit of comedy mixed together. And that is a very fragile mixture…it’s something that has to be done just so. The movie has to make you laugh but it also has to make you cry. You have to balance it just right. If it makes you laugh TOO much, it will not make you cry. There has to be a balance in very scene, with every joke. I knew what I wanted and I was not going to give it away to anybody else to direct. This was something that was either not going to be made or it was going to be made by me.

MS: Thank you. Anton, first off, a belated happy birthday (the actor turned 26 on March 11).
ANTON YELCHIN: Thank you.

MS: What attracted you to the project?
AY: The screenplay. I read it and thought it was really, really…wonderful. It was funny and also very moving. When you read a script and walk away from it having really enjoyed it and been moved by it…that’s the reason I did the film.

MS: Brian is a very change-of-pace role. Was that something you were trying branch into?
AY: I’m not consciously trying to branch out into any certain role. I just really loved this character a lot. His journey was entirely relatable. I think one of the things that all human beings have to learn is how to deal with things that end. What, if anything, do we try to hold on to? And how that decision constructs meaning in our lives. I found it both very moving and very relatable.

MS: Thank you. Ms. Marlohe, same question.
BERENICE MARLOHE: I loved the script. I loved the dialogue. I loved that the script was about relationships…about real human beings. I love that it was a love story. About relationships. And I loved that it made you question things in general. Here, the plot of “5-7” may seem unconventional but I think it shows relationships in another point of view. It deals with love and, as Victor said, there are many different ways of loving. Love can last. Even if it doesn’t LAST, it can be eternal. It’s an emotion that is pure and beautiful.

MS: Victor mentioned that he had come across this type of relationship while in France. Do you know anyone that has this type of relationship?
BM: (laughing) Everyone thinks this only happens in France. I’m sure it happens all around the world!

MS: What are you each working on next?
VL: I’ve written another romance that I hope will also have some good laughs in it. I’m also working on the STARZ comedy “Survivor’s Remorse,” which is a half-hour comedy on the STARZ network, loosely inspired by the life of Lebron James. He’s an executive producer on the show. It’s the only time that my office will be next to Lebron James’ office (laughs). I plan to enjoy that as much as possible. I’ll do some writing and directing for them, as well as producing.
AY: I have a couple films coming out. “Broken Horses” actually comes out the week after “5-7.” And I’m going to start “Star Trek 3” soon…ish. I also have a couple other films I just finished.

VL: He’s very busy, Michael. He’s actually shooting a film now, during this interview! (laughs)
BM: I just finished a comedy produced by Will Ferrell, starring Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. And then I have a sci-fi movie coming out called “Revolt.” And I also have the next Terrence Malick film (“Weightless”) with Michael Fassbender and Christian Bale.

MS: Final question. Anton, I’m sure you’ve been sworn to secrecy so Victor, if you or Ms. Marlohe have any clues about what “Star Trek 3” is going to be about I’d love to hear them.
VL: (laughing) All I can tell you, Michael, is that I’ll be the first one in line.
MS: I’ll be standing right next to you!

Kellan Lutz Stars in The New Animated Adventure “Tarzan” Available Digital HD Available July 15

Experience The Legend When The Action-Packed Family Film Arrives On Blu-ray, DVD and Video On Demand August 5 From Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Digital HD Available July 15

SANTA MONICA, CA, June 2, 2014 – Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga franchise) headlines the newest incarnation of the iconic tale Tarzan®, available on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) exclusively at Walmart August 5 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The film will be available on Video on Demand and Pay-Per-View everywhere the same day. Tarzan will be available three weeks earlier on Digital HD July 15. Based on the ‘Tarzan’ stories created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, one of the most classic coming of age stories of all time is now completely re-imagined for a new generation in stunning CGI-animation. In its initial theatrical release the film has grossed over $35 million globally. Directed by Reinhard Klooss (Animals United) from a screen story and screenplay by him as well, Tarzan also features the voice talents of Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife) and Jaime Ray Newman (TV’s “Mind Games”).

During an expedition to a remote African jungle, the Greystoke family’s helicopter crashes, leaving one survivor: the young boy J.J., nicknamed Tarzan. Raised by gorillas, Tarzan lives by the laws of the jungle — until he encounters another human being, the courageous and beautiful Jane Porter. For Tarzan and Jane, it’s love at first sight — and the beginning of a thrilling adventure — as Tarzan uses his instincts and intellect to protect his jungle home and the woman he loves.

With bonus material including three behind-the-scenes featurettes, Tarzan will be available on Blu-ray and DVD exclusively at Walmart for the suggested retail price of $19.99 and $19.98, respectively.

BLU-RAY/DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*
• “Behind the Scenes with Kellan Lutz and Spencer Locke” featurette
• “Becoming Gorillas” featurette
• “The Making of Tarzan” featurette

Film Review “The Fault in Our Stars”

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Laura Dern
Directed By: Josh Boone
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 125 minutes
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Cancer is still one of the touchiest subjects in pop culture. One has to slowly tiptoe around it or find a way to perfectly skate along the razor wire topic and avoid many offensive pitfalls. “The Fault in Our Stars” hits the right chords perfectly with this topic. At times it’s our source of laughter, in multiple instances it’s our plot motivator, and most obviously, it’s the one thing that ready to viciously rip out our hearts and stomp on it.

Woodley dazzles once again, this time as the sardonic teenager, Hazel Grace Lancaster. She’s a terminally sick girl who continues to stave off the cancer that crippled her lungs, with an experimental treatment and an oxygen tank from a bag she pulls behind her. She’s in denial of her own growing depression and is heavily pushed by her ‘smile through the tears’ parents into a cancer support group run by a complacent dweeb with an acoustic guitar. She catches the fleeting glances of an astute and charming boy by the name of Augustus Waters (Elgort), but Gus for short. He has defeated his cancerous foe, but at the cost of his right leg. Rarely do I remember people’s names without writing them down, but these two constantly say each other’s full names with such affection it wasn’t too hard to remember this time around.

Hazel is repeatedly laying down some unspoken life truths that are a mix of harsh realities and sarcastic quips, which is sometimes the best way to come to terms with such a terminal predicament. Woodley once again proves she has some superior acting chops; everything from wordless facial expressions to the emotional complexities of such a strenuous situation. Her near perfect performance is so fantastic, the cracks in Elgort’s acting sometimes show when he has to provide an array of reactionary emotions. Hazel and Gus will obviously fall in love, but their story is a grand one for the current generation of young adults and teens that smile from flirtatious text messages and have a live in the moment motto.

Despite Hazel’s power to blatantly accept her untimely end, she’s unable to bear the notion of affection from others, referring to herself as an emotional grenade waiting to go off. That’s where Gus comes in, to counteract that inclination and channel her gloomy acceptance of death into wanting to live before death comes knocking and accept that the inevitable heartbreak will happen, but they need to enjoy what time is left. Of course nothing is that simple. A wrench isn’t simply thrown into the young love life of these two, but an entire damn toolbox.

The two writers, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, have had some success portraying imperfect romances with “The Spectacular Now” and “(500) Days of Summer”. They have a knack of creating equilibrium between the sappy moments we’ve come to expect from romantic movies with that authentic sorrow that comes from the flaws of everyday people. The plot and characters are so heartwarming, yet despondent; I’m willing to forgive a lot of the typical tropes it employs.

Don’t be fooled though. Between every cutesy smile and lighthearted joke lies some thought provoking philosophies about our personal experiences and demise. Hazel and Gus represent a multitude of attitudes in their over two hour runtime. The last 30 minutes is a cascade of some of the most depressing, yet uplifting scenes I’ve seen all year. If this movie doesn’t remotely pluck at your heartstrings, you definitely have no soul.

Peta Murgatroyd talks about this season of “Dancing with the Stars”

Peta Murgatroyd is a New Zealand born dancer who has been performing since the early age of 4. Peta has danced and competed all over the world and in 2004 she joined the cast of “Burn the Floor” on Broadway.  Peta is probably best known as part of the cast of the popular television show “Dancing with the Stars” where she has been partnered up with everyone from Metta World Peace to Donald Driver. She currently is dancing with Big Time Rush singer James Maslow on season 18 of the series. Media Mikes had the chance recently to speak with Peta about the show and her dancing career.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what first sparked you interest in dancing?
Peta Murgatroyd: I started ballet when I was 4 years old. I think that is something every mother starts out wanting their daughter to do. They want them to learn to be pretty and beautiful. I ended up absolutely falling in love with it and by 10 I knew that’s what I wanted to do as a career. I auditioned for the top ballet company in Perth, Australia and was accepted. During this time I changed schools and started attending a performing arts school. I had to make a lot of changes at this stage in my life. By the time I was 17 I was competing around the world and from there I started learning ball room dancing. I landed a spot in a show on Broadway which ended in 2009. After doing that for 6 years I felt I was at my peak and that it would be a good time/place to stop. I ended up turning to television and here I am.

AL: Was there ever a time early on in your career where you felt that maybe dancing wasn’t the right path for you?
PM: Absolutely! There were many times where I questioned not only myself but also my family as well. All of these things cost a lot of money. We were not poor but classes and everything were very expensive. I often had a job waitressing to help pay for some of my dresses and such. I often thought about if what I was doing was the right thing and if dancing was something I could make a career of. I always made sure that I did well with my schooling because I was just unsure as what was going to happen. I actually tried to give up my schooling at one point but my parents wouldn’t let me. I was traveling all over the world dancing while also studying for all of my classes and exams. In the end I put everything into dancing as I realized how much I did love it.

Photo Credit: ABC

AL: How did you first get involved with “Dancing with the Stars”?
PM: The show was actually on in Australia and they had asked me to be on it however I wasn’t sure If I wanted to give up what I was doing at that time to be on a reality television show. That was just a lot to take on at a young age. When I was on Broadway the producers of “Dancing with the Stars” came to one of the performances and afterwards immediately handed me a contract to be on the show. That was pretty awesome! I didn’t have to audition or anything which was really cool. I let the first season go by as I wanted to watch how the show worked here in the U.S. My boyfriend at the time was actually on the show so I was able to watch him and really get a good idea of how things worked before I started on the next season.

AL:  What do you feel is the biggest challenge when getting paired up with your partner for the first time?
PM: There are lots of little challenges along the way but probably the biggest thing is just getting to know your partner and how they work with a woman in a room for six hours a day. (Laughs) Sometimes I might not know a lot about my partner beforehand so I look them up on Google. It’s really great to see how far you can push your partner and help them become a better dancer and progress through the contest week after week.

AL: Can you give us a little bit of an idea as to what goes on behind the scenes during the show?
PM: I wish they showed more of the rehearsal time. A lot of what they show is just a minute or two from a week’s worth of rehearsal. The producers choose those scenes and a lot of times they are trying to follow a story line. There is just so much more that goes on and there are a lot of funny moments that happen. They often tend to follow just one emotion. With me they tend to follow more of my serious side. That’s just one piece of my personality. I am always goofing and like to have a lot of fun. I wish the viewers could see all the different emotions and fun we have leading up to each performance.

AL: Are you working on any other projects after this season of the show wraps up?
PM: I am going to be performing for a week in Canada as part of a theater show there. I have a number of appearances and little shows booked here and there but my main focus after this season ends is to continue on with my acting. When I’m not working on the show that’s my time to go through scripts and go on auditions. When I am working on “Dancing with the Stars” I really have no time for anything else.

AL: Were you always interested in perusing acting alongside dancing?
PM: Acting was something that I always wanted to do and explore. I have found that I really enjoy character dances. I found I really know how to get into a character and I love the acting side of things.  Acting is certainly still new to me and I have been taking classes and working with a private coach to help me get stronger. Acting is something I would love to be able to crossover in to.

DVD Review “Space Stars: The Complete Series”

Created by: Hanna-Barbera
Distributed: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
DVD Release Date: October 8, 2013
Running Time: 615 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Growing up in the 80’s, I was raised quite a bit by the work of Hanna-Barbera. I watched their cartoons for my entire childhood. It didn’t matter which ones they were, if it branded the stamp of Hanna-Barbera, I was interested. Now as an adult these characters are still very relevant, thanks to Cartoon Network and Adult Swim’s animated programming like “Harvey Birdman” and “Space Ghost: Coast to Coast”. “Space Stars” was a short lived series from 1980-1981 but it holds a special place for any fan of 80’s cartoons and finally it is available for the first time on DVD as a complete series, thanks to Warner Archive.

Official Premise: As the entire world went “space action” crazy at the end of the Seventies, Hanna-Barbera reconvened its Sci-Fi superstars Space Ghost and the Herculoids for another round of adventures. Joining the sixties sci-fi faves in their interstellar battle against evil were newcomers Teen Force and Astro and the Space Mutts (yes, that Astro!). But there’s more to the story to know before you blastoff on adventures as big as the cosmos itself! Get ready to enjoy Space Stars complete with the recently-uncovered, never-before-seen “Space Science” segments restored in all their educational glory. Race! – to learn Space Magic tricks with Blip! Streak to learn Space Facts from Space Ace! Rock out to the synth wonder of the Space Mix! Solve Space Mysteries deep in space with Teen Force and join the Herculoids to crack the Space Code. They’re back – for the first time ever!

“Space Stars” consists of four cartoon segments: “Space Ghost”, “The Herculoids”, “Teen Force”, and “Astro and the Space Mutts”. “Space Ghost” and “The Herculoids” were well-known from their shows back in the 60’s but “Teen Force” and “Astro and the Space Mutts” (which features the dog from “The Jetsons”) were new shows. There were 22 episodes of “Space Ghost”, while the others all had 11 episodes. There were also 11 cross-over episodes with each of the segments combined. If you grew up watching this show then this release is a must own.

This series has been newly remastered and released on DVD together for the first time ever. TV networks like Boomerang and Cartoon has shown a few segments here and there over the years but never fully and there was never a complete DVD released either. The episodes are crisp and look great for a show over 30 years old. Besides the 66 episodes included, there are no special features included but if you are a fan of this series, I am sure that you will just be happy enough to finally have these episodes to watch and re-watch at your leisure. Warner Archive, please keep releasing great lost shows like this!

Jonny Kaplan talks about new album “Sparkle and Shine” with the Lazy Stars

Jonny Kaplan is a singer/songwriter who together with his band the Lazy Stars have released a brand new full length album titled “Sparkle and Shine”. The group which has had their music featured on television series such as “House M.D.” and “Grimm” are releasing a new video in the coming weeks and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Jonny recently about his work on the video and his long time collaboration with Wallflower/Foo Fighter keyboardist Rami Jaffie

Adam Lawton: What was it that made you decide to start performing music?
Jonny Kaplan: I was a huge rock and roll fan when I was growing up so it was something was my fantasy. I grew up in Philadelphia listen to FM rock radio. I was all about bands like Kiss, Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones. My first concert ever was the Rolling Stones on the “Tattoo You” tour.

AL: What can you tell us about your new album “Sparkle and Shine”?
JK: This is my forth album and there has been a lot of time between this record and the last because everything has been pretty much independently. For this new one there was definitely some divine inspiration as a lot of things have happened the last few years. I was in a motorcycle accident along with a bunch of other stuff. Fortunately or unfortunately it’s sort of the bain of existence for songs writers as shitty things make great songs. When I was writing this batch of songs there was a certain amount of vindication as they are pretty deep. After putting out three records prior to this one and touring Europe for the last 7 or 8 years as there were opportunities to play there I decided to shift my focus back to home and get this album out properly an set the playing field for myself here in the States.

AL: How much of an effect did your motorcycle accident have on the creation of this record?
JK: As far as the songwriting goes I was pretty much hold up in a hospital bed for two weeks with 20 broken bones. I have healed up remarkably but at the time I was a mess. I had a lot of time to sit around and I was in a bit of a dark place because I couldn’t do anything. That sort of forced me to write these songs. I think because of the shock of what was happening and not knowing what the future would hold that sort of opened up the flood gates. When it comes to songwriting you can sit down and try and write a song but the good songs sort of write themselves.

AL: Where do you generally start when writing a song, Lyrics or music first?
JK: It all depends. Sometimes there might be a guitar riff that I have been playing with for awhile that turns in to something but for the most part it’s almost like you hear something in your head and that eventually spills out. Some of songs are written in three minutes. Those tend to be the best ones and are always my favorites. You just hear something in your head, you grab a guitar and figure out the chords and there it is. It’s something that I never force.

AL: How do you first get connected with Rami Jaffie?
JK: Years ago I had a country rock band called Hummingbird. We used to play with the Wallflowers all the time so he and I became friends. He and I are like brothers. Rami has played on all of my records and was someone that was very instrumental in getting me to start this new record. He gave me the shove I needed to get going again. Even though he is always busy with the Wallflowers and the Foo Fighters we are roommates so we still have a lot of time to work on songs.

AL: Can you tell us about the video you shot for “When You’re Down” and what made you choose that song?
JK: At the time we were working on a video for Darryl Hannah. A lot of people don’t recognize her as a singer because of her career in acting. While we were getting ready to start work on her video for she had listened to some of the new material I had been working on. The night before we were set to shoot Daryl’s video she called me and said that she wanted to shoot a video for me as well. We ended up out on this crazy horse with our faces painted and we made this video which will be out in the next month or so. The video is low budget and indie to the core but it really turned out great. As for how this song was chosen Daryl actually picked it. It was by accident that this all happened. She really liked that song and I think it is definitely one of the strongest off the album. The vibe was great and things just worked well.

AL: Are there any plans in the works for a tour to support the release?
JK: Well as we speak Rami Jaffie has just informed me that we will be playing South By South West this year. That is amazing! Essentially there has been just so much going on with getting the album released that we haven’t been able to focus on getting a tour rolling just yet. We do have some shows booked like we will be in New York for the CBGB Festival and from there I will be heading to Buenos Aries with Brad Smith from Blind Melon to play for the first time. Things will be starting to unfold here very soon. Myself and the band are chomping at the bit to be out there playing as that is something we want to be doing every night.

The Stars of Cabaret Reunite to Celebrate the Film’s 40th Anniversary

Its been forty years since Bob Fosse’s classic musical Cabaret walked away with eight Academy Awards. Warner Brothers is celebrating the film’s anniversary with its release of a fully remastered Blu-Ray book set on February 5th.

The stars of the film, Joel Grey, Michael York, Marisa Berenson and Louise Quick, along with Bob Fosse’s daughter, Nicole, and Warner Brothers’ Vice President of Mastering Ned Price, gathered in Manhattan, where the film originally premiered to discuss their memories of the movie as well as this new release.

Ned Price, the Vice President of Mastering at Warner Brothers Technical Operations oversaw the actual restoration process of the film.

Media Mikes: What was the biggest challenge about this remaster?
Ned Price: The technical challenge on this particular film was that one of the film reels was literally scratched right through the emulsion. I can tell you basically how. It happened back in the late eighties and I know that it was on a film cleaner…and it’s meant for newer negatives but somebody put it up with an older negative. And on older negatives, dirt becomes embedded into the emulsion, so what it did was it picked up a piece of dirt that was in the emulsion and it rolled as it went through the cleaner all the way down. And it wasn’t a fine scratch to the point where you could just paint it out with a wet gate and it wasn’t fine enough where you could just say ‘okay kind of meld the image a little bit’ it was large enough where you would have to paint…by eye frame by frame. We tried to create a digital process, new software where it could identify information in between the scratch and replicate the material, but all we really succeeded in doing was warping things and it wasn’t good enough. So ultimately we ended up painting.

MM: Seeing the restored version was there anything you noticed that struck you and you didn’t see before your work?
Price: Color design. My experience had been seeing the film with rather poor prints commercially before I was with the studio…When we started to pull in prints that were technicolor made which means that they didn’t fade, we started weening through those and found about three or four which really looked accurate and good for color. I saw amazing color design. You know, you’ve got green nails against purple and just beautiful color design that were not necessarily apparent in the poor prints. Which were more blue, more green, just kind of muted and polluted in terms of their color values.
Also, the Kit Kat girls! Man…We were going shot by shot and you see these women in these impossible poses and you think ‘oh god, how many takes did they take?’

One such dancer was Louise Quick, who talked about her experience of being a Kit Kit dancer.

Louise Quick: I never thought of it as tough because it was…exciting is kind of a plain word–there was so much electricity, the air was so alive and the work is hard but you don’t think about that. That’s not important.

In one of the film’s most iconic musical numbers, “If You Could See Her”, Quick, dressed in a gorilla suit, dances with Joel Grey’s Master of Ceremonies.

Media Mikes: How did you wind up being in the gorilla suit?
Louise Quick: I don’t know! I didn’t know until right before we started doing it. It wasn’t decided before hand.
Nicole Fosse: I’m going to take a guess and say it was there were only two Kit Kat dancers that spoke English and it was Kathryn Doby and Louise Quick. And Kathryn was much taller–[laughs] not that it would have been Kathryn had she been shorter! But you have two who speak English, how do you communicate? So, Louise, get in the suit!
Quick: Her mother, Gwen Verdon, brought that mask back from New York to Munich on a plane with it on her lap I heard, she would not part with it because it’s a beautiful mask.

Joel Grey won an Academy Award for best supporting actor in his role as the Kit Kat Klub’s MC, a devilish character we never see outside of the club environment. When asked about his favorite scenes from the film, he discussed “If You Could See Her”:

Joel Grey: I like the Gorilla number of course. It’s so mean, seductive, beautiful melody and it’s just a big idea. I wanted to make him as vile as I possibly could and that gave me that opportunity late in the film. To not be charming but to be evil.

Media Mikes: Did you have a backstory for the MC?
Joel Grey: Of course!
MM: What is it?
Grey: You can’t know! It’s reeeeally gross. I made a whole life for myself since there was no text and no really description about who he was. I was terrified because I thought it was gonna be a musical comedy–four, five numbers– and I wanted it to be horrifying and important and capable of saying many things. Not just a song and dance number. So I dug and dug and dug and looked at German expressionists paintings and listened to music…and he came. One day, he came.

Michael York played Brian Roberts, a British language teacher who enters the world of the Kit Kat Club when he meets Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) in their German boarding house. His character isn’t in any of the musical numbers and fittingly, York selected a quieter scene as his favorite:

Michael York: It’s easy for me, it’s a scene that was unscripted. We’re at the Baron’s castle…and Maximilian von Heune [Helmut Griem] has invited us to stay in this threesome. There was no scene written, you just turn up at 8 o’clock in the morning trying to be awake. And there was this beautiful room where they lit fires on each end. And we started to improvise. And it ended up where there’s a shot in the movie where they start dancing around each other and the heads go in and out. They’re looking at each other and it’s this sort of, I don’ t know, it’s a microcosm of all that’s been going on, that is going on, that will go on.

Grey: I thought you looked like you were enjoying that a little too much.
York: It was exciting. You’re right it was exciting.

Grey: Tell the truth!
York: Yes, it was one of those rare days you don’t know what you have. But what they did cutting it together, David Bretherton and Bob between them, edited this film in such a brilliant way that you never see too much. You’re always left wanting more. And so that was a good day.

Finally, actress Marisa Berenson who took on the role of Natalia Landauer discussed what it was like working with the other actors on what was only her second role.

Media Mikes: You were a newcomer when you did Cabaret, were the other actors welcoming to you?
Marisa Berenson: Immediately. Because they’re all the most generous, wonderful people…they made me feel instantly comfortable…which is rare because not everybody makes you feel like that. It’s a rare thing and it’s a wonderful thing.

MM: What was it like doing scenes with Liza Minnelli?
Berenson: We became close friends very early on and the minute we met we became–you know how you immediately meet someone and you connect with them? And Liza and I have that connection all our lives now…I learned so much from Liza just watching her as an actor. Seeing the way she worked. I have such respect for her as an actor, her talent, and she was so funny. She was so intelligent too. She’s such an intelligent person.

Cabaret 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray is available to own on February 5th

Click here for our review

 

Related Content

Jaleel White reflects on “Dancing with the Stars” & Syfy’s “Total Blackout”

Jaleel White recently competed on season 14 “Dancing with the Stars”. He also hosted Syfy’s new reality game show “Total Blackout”. Media Mikes had a chance to catch up with Jaleel again in order to reflect on his experiences with “Dancing with the Stars” & Syfy’s “Total Blackout”.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you reflect back on your work on “Dancing with the Stars”?
Jaleel White: The last eleven weeks have been unlike anything I have ever experienced in my career. It’s been hard on the body and very chaotic. People also ask me “Was it fun?” and I tell them “If you ran two marathon’s back-to-back, would you consider that fun” [laughs]. That is how I feel about “Dancing with the Stars”, I have survived some pretty awesome shit. I didn’t fall on my ass out there. Everywhere I go people said they were happy to see my dances and that makes me proud. The training was a lot but it was all necessary. My highlight was the cha-cha week, I knew it wasn’t going to get much better than that.

MG: Do you think that the judges where too hard on you throughout the show?
JW: Look, I am so proud of what I survived. I don’t want to be negative, especially because of how proud I am. Also nobody has ever met the five secret men that handle the fans votes. Since no one has ever met them I will not let it get to me [laughs]. After about week three, I stopped caring about the score to be honest.

MG: Any chance of you coming back for season 15 this Fall for the All-Stars season?
JW: I haven’t been approached or anything. I know the competition was tough enough. I do not know how being elimated in the seventh week makes me an all-star but I learned never to say never.

MG: Are you excited with the success of “Total Blackout”?
JW: I am very happy with that way that “Total Blackout” came out. It is very rare that I can say that about something I had so little to do with in the post-production phases. We have been able to build on the ratings week-to-week, so its been great for us.

MG: I got to tell you my sister ordered Syfy just so that she could watch your show.
JW: [laughs]. You gotta write that in your article. I can’t say anything as cool as that.

MG: Any word about a second season for “Total Blackout”?
JW: No word just yet. I have not been in the game show business for too long but I pick up on things quickly. My only concern about the show is that I know contestants get smarter. Even though the lights are off, we will have contestants that will have seen the show and once they know what game they are playing will go back to a mental picture. So they are really going to have to work hard to stay away from contestants looking to outsmart the show and also to keep the show fresh and moving forward.

Meet Stars of Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich’s “The Devil Carnival” When Tour Comes to Your City!

Do you want to meet the stars and minds behind the new musical movie sensation, THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL, face-to-face? Now is your chance! THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL team recently confirmed the list of cast and crew appearing on each date of this exclusive road tour and are now revealing this list to the world!

The creators of the film, director Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich (Lucifer), are scheduled to appear at each tour stop and will be joined at several exclusive showings by numerous stars of the film. The stars will participate in meet & greets, Q&A forums, sing-a-longs, and more! See below for a list of the cast and crew currently confirmed to appear on the tour and stay tuned for more appearance confirmations for the remainder of the tour coming soon.

***Stars CONFIRMED to join THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL creators Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich on the tour are:

TUCSON, AZ
Marc Senter

EL PASO, TX
Hannah Minx

HOUSTON, TX
Hannah Minx

AUSTIN, TX
Hannah Minx

DALLAS, TX
Hannah Minx

NASHVILLE, TN
J LaRose

ATLANTA, GA
J LaRose

ORLANDO, FL
J LaRose

TAMPA, FL
Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch

CHARLOTTE, NC
Ivan Moody

RICHMOND, VA
Ivan Moody
J LaRose

PITTSBURGH, PA
Briana Evigan

BALTIMORE, MD
Briana Evigan

NEW YORK CITY, NY
Briana Evigan

CHICAGO, IL
Emilie Autumn

DES MOINES, IA
Emilie Autumn
M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan

KANSAS CITY, KS
Emilie Autumn

MORE BEING ADDED SOON!

***All celebrity special guests are confirmed on tour but are subject to cancellation due to professional commitments outside of THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL’S control. Please visit our official Facebook page for tour news and updates: www.facebook.com/devilscarnival.

Buy your tickets NOW to experience the devilish insanity in person with your favorite actors and musicians. Keep in mind, THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL can only be seen on this exclusive tour, so you must attend a showing to witness the madness!

See below for all CONFIRMED cities and theaters showing THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL and buy your tickets here: http://thedevilscarnivaltour.eventbrite.com/

4/9 – Tucson, AZ @ Tucson Loft Cinema

4/11 – El Paso, TX @ El Paso Starplex

4/12 – Austin, TX @ Alamo South Lamar

4/13 – Houston, TX @ Alamo Drafthouse

4/14 – Dallas, TX @ Lakewood Theater

4/17 – Nashville, TN @ The Nashville Limelight

4/18 – Atlanta, GA @ The Plaza Theater

4/19 – Orlando, FL @ The Premiere Cinema 14 (at Fashion Square Mall)

4/20 – Tampa, FL @ The Tampa Pitcher Show

4/21 – Charlotte, NC @ The Neighborhood Theater

4/22 – Richmond, VA @ The Byrd

4/24 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Hollywood Theater

4/25 – Baltimore, MD @ The Charles Theatre

4/26 – New York, NY @ Times Scare NYC

4/27 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Painted Bride

4/28 – South Hadley, MA @ The Tower Theater

4/29 – Boston, MA @ The Foxboro Theater

5/1 – Toronto, ON, Canada @ Toronto Underground Theater

5/2 – Toledo, OH @ Collingwood Arts Center

5/3 – Chicago, IL @ The Music Box Theater

5/4 – Des Moines, IA @ The Fluer Cinema Cafe

5/5 – Kansas City, KS @ Leawood Cinema Theater

5/6 – Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theater

5/7 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Tower Theater

5/9 – Seattle, WA @ The Admiral Theater

5/10 – Portland, OR @ The Clinton St. Theater

5/11 – Sacramento, CA @ The Colonial Theater

For more information and to view the official trailer, visit http://www.TheDevilsCarnival.com.

Purchase the sinister THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL soundtrack at www.TheDevilsCarnival.com, iTunes, or Amazon.com!

THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL is produced by EMPIRE FILM AND ENTERTAINMENT GROUP. Executive producer credit goes to Stephen Ruff and Thomas M Kastelz.

Jaleel White talks about “Dancing with the Stars” & Syfy’s “Total Blackout”

Jaleel White known best for his role of Steve Urkel on “Family Matters” though 2012 is shaping up to be one spotlight year for him.  He is one of the contestants on season 14 of “Dancing with The Stars”, dancing with Kym Johnson. He is also the host of the upcoming SyFy’s reality show “Total Blackout”, which premieres April 25th.  Jaleel took out some time to chat with Media Mikes again about his work on “Dancing with the Stars” and to encourage his fans to vote for him at 1-800-VOTE4-12.

Mike Gencarelli: So tell us how you got involved with “Dancing with the Stars”?
Jaleel White: They never formally asked me before until this past year.  ABC’s casting department got in contact with my manager properly and asked for a meeting. [laughs] I didn’t want to take the meeting but my manager let me know it was the right thing to do. So I did the meeting and everyone was very nice. After that it was just a the process of working on me. I am not going to lie, there was tremendous trepidation since it is one thing to learn how to dance, that was daunting enough, I had to commit to practice four hours a day and put my ambitions of being a writer to the side. My mom though just keep working on me and here we are today.

MG: Any fun behind the scenes stories so far?
JW: Oh yeah! I got a good one with Tony (Dovolani), one of the pro-dancers, who is dancing with Martina (Navratilova) this season. The couples got gathered together with the producers and they told us the rules and things they expect on show night. Tony raises his hand and said “I got one thing I want to share with all of you, ok?!, no matter how you dance is going you don’t leave your pro out there on the stage. You don’t walk off on them. If you get lost in your dance, you look into your dancers eyes and we will guide you through it.” I love Tony, he is a great guy. I guess he had some problems in the past with people freezing up on him. I thought that was particular funny. I come from a performers background and I know you never run off the stage.

MG: First week of the show you tie for the top spot, does that create and pressure going forward?
JW: Actually I really don’t. I tell everybody, I still see life in five day sitcom blocks. So if you give me five days to learn something, I should be proficient enough to shoot it. That is just the way I see preparation in general. The first episode for me was just such a validating experience. You put in the work and you can deliver the performance based on your work. Kym and I ran that dance into to the ground, as we must have done it at least 523 times. We weren’t just in there chit-chatting. We worked until we had to change our shirts and take two showers.

MG: You seemed to really feel natural on the dance floor, Any prior dance experience?
JW: I have zero dancing experience. Other than dancing as a kid during parties, school dances, church and camp. I just listed all my dance experiences there.

MG: What do you like or fear most about being out on the dance floor?
JW: At this point, my fears are slowly starting to go away. My biggest fear though is injury. I want to keep my body in good shape. I can feel certain areas getting tighter and I can feel my body adjusting. Every dance has it own personality and hopefully you can gel with that personality of the dance. Some people try to fight against that but I just go with it. Luckily for me, when I dance I smile naturally. Some people just have this perpetual panic on their face while they are dancing. I am exactly the opposite. As soon as I start moving I am smiling away [laughs]. The more I get into the dance the more I start enjoying it and that’s when the rehearsal process kicks in.

MG: How does it feel to be compared to a young Gregory Hines by one of the judges?
JW: I mean that is huge man, really. It is a long stretch from being compared to Steve Urkel [laughs]. It is nice to be able to show people that I can do different things. Growing up I never understood the importance of being different. I thought I would just excel at whatever job I was given. I didn’t know at the time that if people only thought of you in one way they will only give you one job. Everything about this experience with “Dancing with the Stars” has been so positive for me, so far.

MG: Do you and Kym Johnson have any special dances planned for the show?
JW: I definitely have a dance that means a lot to me. I obviously need to survive the eliminations to get to it. I told you though I obey the dance, I do not force anything. As much as I love music, you have to understand that not every song works for the dance. I think though the dance I have in mind could make some real noise…if I can nail it. But you have to vote for me though if you want to see the dance. It’s 1-800-VOTE4-12. We are team #12.

MG: Besides “Dancing with the Stars”, you are also hosting “Total Blackout” on Syfy this April, what can you tell us about that experience?
JW: It was a great experience. They are actually still tinkering with the show right now. I have been going in and doing some last minute tweaks and changes. The SyFy people have been over the moon about me participating with “Dancing with the Stars” also. People are really going to love this show. I am calling it ‘guinea pig TV’, it is that thing that you are flipping through and you find yourself watching two episodes back to back without even realizing it. I also think it would be a really fun show to do on the road.

MG: What do did you enjoy most about hosting a show?
JW: The best thing I like about hosting is that this stuff is not happening to me in the dark [laughs]. I am serious. I have test contestants in foam rubber suits, I give my instructions and then go back to my dressing room, watch the live feed and eat some Doritos [laughs]. They can have the tarantulas crawling up their hands. I am all set.

MG: Just recently you also appeared on “Psych” again, is Tony going to be seen again soon?
JW: Who knows man. I always have such a blast with the “Psych” boys.  It is one of my favorite shows that I have ever guested on. James (Roday) and Dulé (Hillare) are excellent actors and we get in some good trouble. I have been on two episodes…so hey, why not make it three.

MG: So after you win “Dancing with the Stars”, what you got planned next?
JW: Right now, I need some votes for team #12 on Dancing with the Stars, it’s 1-800-VOTE4-12. Supposedly you can’t text votes in unless you have AT&T, so a lot of people don’t know that. There is also the option to vote online at http://vote.abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/vote.  This is going to be a fantastic season for sure.

DVD Review “Looney Tunes Super Stars: Pepe Le Pew”

Created by: Chuck Jones
Voiced by: Mel Blanc
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Episodes: 17
Run Time: 119 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Well Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and why not celebrate it with the old school French Skunk, Pepe Le Pew! He has looking for love since 1945 and it still is fun to watch his adventures.  Looney Tunes has really created some of the most memorable characters and he is one of my favorites.  This collection from Warner Bros features, for the first time, some of Pepe’s greatest shorts, which deserve to be showcased.

Here are the list of episodes included: Odor-Able Kitty, Scent-imental Over You, Odor of the Day, For Scent-imental Reasons, Scent-imental Romeo, Little Beau Pepé, Wild Over You, Dog Pounded, The Cats Bah, Past Perfumance, Two Scent’s Worth, Heaven Scent, Touché and Go, Really Scent, Who Scent You?, A Scent of the Matterhorn, Louvre Come Back to Me!

This collection is labeled “Zee Best of Zee Best” and it is exactly that. Easily one of my favorites is the “Wild Over You” where Pepe falls in love with a wildcat from the zoo.  The cartoons still look amazing especially since some of them are almost 70 years old.  Some of the episodes are presented in widescreen, while most though are shown in full screen ratio.  Truly a great tribute to one of Looney Tunes most romantic characters.  This is a must purchase for all fans.

Synopsis:
A new compilation featuring 17 iconic shorts of the loveable French Skunk, Pepe Le Pew! Pepe is always strolling around Paris in the springtime, where everyone’s thoughts are of “love”. While he is constantly seeking “l’amour” of his own, his huge turnoff to any prospective mate is his malodorous scent. Together for the first time are some of Pepe’s most beloved and comical shorts.

The Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection Available on DVD 12/27 at http://bit.ly/rTf1wm!
Like us on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/WBEntFB
Follow us on Twitter at http://bit.ly/WBHETW

EA Teams up with Football Stars for Battlefield 3: Operation Gridiron

EA Teams up with Football Stars for Battlefield 3: Operation Gridiron

Drew Brees, Clay Matthews, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jared Allen Team Up to Experience the Ultimate Special Operations Training Inspired by Battlefield 3 Videogame

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– From the football field to the battlefield, the Battlefield 3™ experience comes alive this fall! Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced that it has teamed up with some of football’s biggest stars for an exclusive reality show titled GTTV Presents Battlefield 3: Operation Gridiron. Airing on Spike TV this fall, the show takes quarterback Drew Brees, linebacker Clay Matthews, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and defensive end Jared Allen into real-life combat scenarios inspired by the award—winning videogame, Battlefield 3. Filmed at a top secret location, these all-star athletes are provided the ultimate in combat training by some of the world’s most elite Special Operations Warriors. Following their advanced training, they must work together as a team to accomplish a live simulated operation, pulled straight from the gritty war scenarios players will face in the game. Starting today, weekly Tuesday webisodes will be posted at 9:00am PDT on the Battlefield Facebook page. The finale will air on Spike TV on October 24 at 12:00am EST/PDT and at 11:00pm CST. Gamers can “LIKE” Battlefield 3 on www.facebook.com/battlefield to view the Battlefield 3: Operation Gridiron webseries.

“Taking to the battlefield in these real life war settings was really exciting and eye-opening,” said All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees. “Every day men and women face challenges similar to what we tackled in this show but with potential dire consequences. Filming this show once again reinforced my respect for the soldiers who fight every day for our freedom.”

Battlefield 3, developed by DICE in Stockholm Sweden, is one of the most anticipated games of 2011, having already earned more than 50 awards including ‘Best Action Game’ and ‘Best Online Multiplayer Game.’ Critics praise the game for its intense gameplay experience, powered by the Frostbite™ 2 state-of-the-art game engine that delivers superior performance in character animation, visual rendering, audio and physical destruction. To accompany the game, Orion Publishing will release a novel called Battlefield 3: The Russian written by the highly decorated ex-SAS operator and best-selling author of Bravo Two Zero, Andy McNab, with co-author Peter Grimsdale. McNab is working with the creative team at DICE to ensure the authenticity and grittiness of today’s warfare is experienced in the single player, co-op and multiplayer campaigns.

Battlefield 3 will be available October 25, 2011 in North America for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360® videogame entertainment system and the PC. For the latest news on Battlefield please visit www.facebook.com/battlefield or follow us on Twitter a www.twitter.com/battlefield.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Battlefield 3 and Frostbite are trademarks of EA Digital Illusions CE AB. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) LTD. Xbox and Xbox 360 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. John Madden, NFL and FIFA are the property of their respective owners. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

“Dancing With The Stars” Announced Cast For New Season

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
ABC Television Network
PRESS RELEASE – PRESS RELEASE – ENTERTAINMENT –
ABC ANNOUNCES CELEBRITY CAST FOR NEW SEASON OF DANCING WITH THE STARS

A DAZZLING NEW CAST OF STARS IS SET TO SHINE, AS “DANCING WITH THE STARS” RETURNS, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 ON ABC

“Dancing with the Stars the Results Show” Premieres in Week One With the First Elimination, Tuesday, September 20

Macy’s “Stars of Dance” Returns; and New This Season, “AT&T Spotlight Performance”
A dynamic lineup of stars – including a U.S. veteran, an NBA champion, a film and TV star, a TV host and journalist, a Grammy-nominated singer, a supermodel, a reality TV star, a showbiz legacy and activist, and a World Cup star — will take the stage for the two-hour season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

All 12 couples will dance for the first time on live national television on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, either performing the Cha Cha Cha or The Viennese Waltz. Airing on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET.), a live, one-hour special, “Dancing with the Stars: Meet the Cast,” will feature the most exciting moments from Monday night’s performances, with commentary from the judges and never-before-seen footage from the teams’ first weeks of training. Then, on the season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show,” TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER, 20 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET), the couple with the lowest combined judges’ scores and public votes for their performance will be sent home in the season’s first elimination.

The 12 celebrities heading to the dance floor this season, as announced tonight on ABC’s “Bachelor Pad” by “Dancing with the Stars” hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke in a live press conference sponsored by the September 16 film release, “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” are:

DAVID ARQUETTE — David Arquette is an actor, writer, director, producer and soon to be dancer. In 1997 Arquette was discovered at Sundance for his role in “Johns.” Since that time, he has acted in dozens of feature films, including the “Scream” films, “Hamlet 2,” “The Grey Zone,” “Dream with the Fishes,” “Never Die Alone” and “The Darwin Awards.” This year he reprised his role as Deputy “Dewey” Riley in the much anticipated fourth installment of the “Scream” films. He has also joined the cast of the Disney Television interactive series, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” where he lends his voice as Scully, a lookout pirate parrot who helps Jake and his crew of kid pirates. In January 2003, Arquette formed a production company, Coquette Productions, with Courteney Cox. Through their company, he wrote and produced his directorial debut, “The Tripper,” as well as “The Butler’s in Love,” which he executive-produced and directed. Also under the Coquette banner he produced the F/X drama “Dirt” and ABC’s “Cougar Town,” with Bill Lawrence, which Arquette executive produces along with Cox, who stars. Up next, he will direct the 3D psychological thriller “Glutton” for Remember Dreaming Productions, executive-producing through Coquette.

RON ARTEST — Born in Queensbridge, New York, Ron Artest is currently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and a father to four children. He was signed to a five-year contract by the L.A. Lakers as a free agent in 2009 and has been playing professional basketball in the NBA since 1999. He was selected to the 2005-06 NBA’s All-Defensive Team, was voted by the media as 2003-04 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and was the only man with 271 steals in his first two seasons in the NBA– breaking Michael Jordan’s record. Artest won his first World Championship ring in June 2010 after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals, and received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award – the NBA’s highest citizenship and community service honor – in April 2011. In his career, he has played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and now the Los Angeles Lakers. He has remained an active contributor in his hometown and in the home cities of the organizations for which he has played, as well as in regions globally that require urgent humanitarian aid. In August 2007, Artest formed the non-profit Xcel University to officially organize and streamline his charitable contributions and community endeavors under one umbrella. He joined a contingent of representatives from the NBA Players Association working with Feed the Children, as well as Project Contact Africa, and became a spokesman in PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) A.B.C. (Animal Birth Control) campaign in 2007. In the fall of 2008, Artest launched The Artest Math Masters program at Felix Cook Jr. Elementary School in partnership with the Houston Independent School District, which rewarded students who maintained high grades in Mathematics during the 2008-2009 school year. In fall 2010, he decided to raffle off his 2010 NBA World Championship Ring, with the proceeds going to Xcel University. Funds raised through the ring raffle were earmarked for non-profits that provide mental health therapists and mental health services to those who wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford them. Artest has visited dozens of community centers, schools and libraries in low income areas of numerous cities throughout his career, speaking to kids about the virtues of education and a life devoid of violence and drugs, and on the importance of getting a college education. He sponsors summer basketball tournaments in the Queensbridge Projects in New York City, sends kids from Queensbridge to summer camps, and pays tuition for kids from Queensbridge who show academic promise to attend private schools. In June 2011, he filed a petition to legally change his name to Metta World Peace.

CHAZ BONO — Chaz Bono is an LGBT rights advocate, three time author, speaker and the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher. His decision to come out as a Lesbian in 1995 prompted his public work in support of LGBT rights and social justice. Chaz has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and, in 1996, became the Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Day spokesperson. He also served as Entertainment Media Director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and has spoken at dozens of universities and LGBT events. An acclaimed author, he has written three books, including Transition, which was released by Dutton on May 10th. Transition is his groundbreaking and candid account of a 40-year struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body. He has most recently shared his life and experiences in the three-time Emmy nominated documentary, “Becoming Chaz.” Premiering to standing ovations at this year’s Sundance, “Becoming Chaz” had its world television premiere on May 10, 2011 on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Chaz continues to create visibility, raise awareness and effect change for LGBT issues. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his fiancé, Jennifer Elia.

ELISABETTA CANALIS – Known for her gorgeous figure and striking expressions, Elisabetta Canalis became an instantly recognizable figure in the world of high fashion and advertising. She has worked with some of the greatest fashion icons, including Roberto Cavalli, and has graced such magazine covers as Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Cosmopolitan. Born in Sassari, Sardinia, Italy, Canalis’ father, Cesare and mother, Bruna enrolled Elisabetta in the elite school Liceo Azuni, where she studied throughout her high school years. After graduating, she moved to Milan to study foreign languages at the prestigious Universita Statale. It was there that she made the bold career decision to pursue acting rather than foreign languages, and her enthusiasm for her craft soon landed her a series regular role on the infamous Italian television drama, “Striscia la Notizia,” for three years. The exposure and critical acclaim she received presented Canalis the opportunity to work in American & Italian film and TV. She has since appeared in the comedies “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” and “Virgin Territory.” In Italy she appeared in the films “La Seconda Volta Non Si Scorda Mai,” “La fidanzata di papa,” “A Natale mi Sposo,” as well as “Christmas in NY.” Television credits include the Italian series “Carabinieri” and the sitcom “Love Bugs.” Canalis has also demonstrated her impressive dramatic capabilities in America with a recurring role on TNT’s smash hit, “Leverage.” Her entertainment career continued to blossom after her big screen debut. Her drive for success and passion for music were united when she hosted the Italian version of “Total Request Live,” as well as Italy’s annual music festival, Festivalbar 2007. Recently she co-hosted the 61st edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, which is considered to be the most prestigious television event in Italy. Canalis is also known for her great philanthropic endeavors. Combining her deep love of animals and her passion for modeling, she participated in an upcoming anti-fur campaign with PETA. An avid equestrian for the past 10 years, she says that her opposition to animal cruelty began as a young girl. Her work with PETA solidifies her determination to end all forms of animal abuse and neglect. Canalis currently resides in Los Angeles, California and Milan, Italy but she loves coming back to Sardinia, the island where she was born and where part of her family lives.

KRISTIN CAVALLARI — Born in Denver, Colorado, Kristin Cavallari moved to California with her brother and father as a high school junior when the first season of “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County” began production for MTV. She was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in 2006 for Choice Reality Star. After completing two successful years on the hit show, Cavallari switched gears to focus on a career in acting. From 2006-2009 she starred in such films as “Van Wilder: Freshman Year,” “Green Flash,” “Spring Breakdown” and “Wild Cherry,” alongside Rumer Willis and Rob Schneider. Next she played a guest role on “CSI: NY,” and most recently on ABC’s “The Middle.” Other credits include “Veronica Mars,” the lead role in Teddy Geiger’s “For You I Will (Confidence)” music video and Gavin Degraw’s video for his single, “In Love with a Girl.” In May 2009, Cavallari confirmed that she would be joining the cast of MTV’s reality series “The Hills.” Currently serving as ambassador of children’s charity One Kid One World, Cavallari joins the fight to aid underprivileged children around the globe. In 2010 she traveled to El Salvador, where she spent time rebuilding schools in local communities. Continuing her humanitarian efforts, she made her way to Kenya in early 2011 for another project for One Kid One World. Most recently Cavallari combined her passion for fashion and love for charity by teaming up with Shoe Dazzle to design a spring shoe, with proceeds benefiting the charity. Her new spring shoe, named Bardot, will be available in summer of 2011.

NANCY GRACE — An outspoken, tireless advocate for victims’ rights and one of TV’s most respected legal analysts, Nancy Grace is the powerful force behind HLN’s top-rated “Nancy Grace.” A former prosecutor with an unparalleled record of success, Grace’s life changed forever in 1979 when her fiancé, Keith Griffin, was shot and killed. She abandoned plans to become an English professor and turned to criminal justice. Her first book, Objection!, became an instant New York Times bestseller, as did her two subsequent novels, The Eleventh Victim and Death on the D-List. A television movie adaptation of The Eleventh Victim is currently in development. Grace initially came to TV from the Atlanta Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, where she served for over a decade as a felony prosecutor of violent crimes. Known for her authentic sensibility and her firebrand take on the justice system, she was tapped to co-host Court TV’s “Cochran and Grace,” and later, the live daily trial coverage program, “Closing Arguments.” Grace, her husband and her twins reside in Atlanta and New York City.

ROB KARDASHIAN — Born in Los Angeles, California, Rob Kardashian is the fourth child and only son of the late attorney Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner; he has five sisters, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Rob graduated from the prestigious Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California with a degree in Business Entrepreneurship. He stars in the No. 1 hit reality television show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” and also stars in the hit series for E!, “Khloe & Lamar.” True to the entrepreneurial attitude he developed during college, Rob is involved in several business ventures. He is co-manager of the pop music, female super-group BG5, alongside renowned manager Kenneth Crear. He also enjoys a successful modeling career as the face of the popular brand Ocean Pacific. Rob travels across the country making personal appearances for club venues and charity events. In his spare time, he maintains an active lifestyle. He runs and plays basketball with his NBA Laker Champion brother-in-law, Lamar Odom, loves to play golf, and is an avid skier. Rob currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with his sister, Khloe, and Lamar.

CARSON KRESSLEY — Emmy-winning television star, celebrity stylist, author and fashion designer Carson Kressley is currently starring in “Carson-Nation,” a one-hour reality show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, in which he travels to small towns throughout the U.S., transforming lives one person at a time. Previously, Kressley helmed Lifetime’s critically-acclaimed “How to Look Good Naked,” and earned a primetime Emmy for his role on Bravo’s breakout hit series, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” He hosted ABC’s “True Beauty” from executive producers Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher, the WB series “Crowned,” as well as “Your Own Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star” on OWN. He was a frequent style contributor on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Kressley co-starred in Universal’s “The Perfect Man” and opposite John Goodman in NBC’s “The Year Without a Santa Claus.” Host of the 2008 True Colors tour with Cyndi Lauper and the B52’s, which raised awareness and promoted equality for the LGBT community, Kressley is also a New York Times best-selling author with three books to his credit, including the children’s book You’re Different and That’s Super, a children’s book promoting diversity and tolerance. A strong supporter of many philanthropic causes, he has worked with The Trevor Project, The Human Rights Campaign, The Empire State Pride Agenda, LIGALY, GLSEN, AIDS WALK, and the Al D. Rodriguez Liver Foundation. Kressley is the founder of Manhattan’s Ali Forney Center’s “Styled For Success” program, which provides career wardrobes for formerly homeless youth, and was the founding donor of the first scholarship program for LGBT youth in his hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania. When he is not working, he can be found on one of his American Saddlebred show horses, with which he has achieved World Champion status.

RICKI LAKE — Poised to return to daytime television with the all-new “The Ricki Lake Show” in the fall of 2012, Ricki Lake is a pop culture icon who has built a career on her candid, “straight talk” sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature. She has maintained a worldwide fan base that is a true cross-section of age and ethnicity, and her approachable appeal has charmed international movie and television audiences for more than two decades. As Tracy Turnblad, the zaftig heroine of the original John Waters’ film “Hairspray,” Lake made an acting debut that positioned her as an “entertainer to watch” in Hollywood. Later, with a surprise turn as a talk show host, she met with unprecedented success and earned her place as a beloved media personality across the globe. Lake has recently completed work on a memoir due on shelves in the spring 2012. In addition, she executive-produced the critically acclaimed documentary, “The Business of Being Born,” which debuted at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and examines natural childbirth in the United States. That project has generated a grassroots movement and led to the publication of her first book, Your Best Birth. On November 8, 2011, Lake and her filmmaking partner, Abby Epstein, will release a four-part follow-up DVD series, “More Business of Being Born,” offering invaluable information and featuring birth stories from some of Hollywood’s most notable celebrities. Lake starred in John Waters’ “Cry Baby,” opposite Johnny Depp, and “Serial Mom,” alongside Kathleen Turner. Other notable appearances include the contemporary classic “Working Girl,” the acclaimed drama “Last Exit to Brooklyn,” the romantic comedy “Mrs. Winterbourne,” opposite Shirley MacLaine and Brendan Fraser, and “Where the Day Takes You,” opposite Dermot Mulroney. She also starred in the CBS film “Babycakes” and the popular television series “China Beach” and “The King of Queens.”

J.R. MARTINEZ –– J.R. Martinez is an Iraq War veteran, motivational speaker and actor on ABC’s “All My Children.” In April 2003, at 19 years of age, Martinez was serving as a humvee driver for the United States Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine. He suffered smoke inhalation and burns to more than 40 percent of his body. He was immediately evacuated and sent to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, TX, where he spent 34 months in recovery. Since his injury, Martinez has undergone 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. While in recovery, he started speaking to other burn patients within the hospital, sharing his experiences and listening to theirs. News of his story and efforts to help others quickly spread, first on a local level and then to national circuits, leading to appearances on “Oprah,” “60 Minutes,” CNN and more. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Martinez has traveled the country since 2004, spreading his message of resilience and optimism. Today he is a sought-after motivational speaker and has shared the stage with many notable individuals. In October 2008, he joined the cast of ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama, “All My Children,” as combat veteran Brot Monroe. He continues to balance his motivational speaking engagements and charity work with his acting. He is also busy working on his memoir. Born in Shreveport, LA, Martinez moved to Hope, AZ, where he and his mother lived until he was 17. They moved to Dalton, GA, just prior to his senior year, the place he proudly calls his hometown.

CHYNNA PHILLIPS — Wife, mother, singer/songwriter, actress, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Chynna Phillips has been surrounded by Hollywood since she first entered this world. Born to musicians John and Michelle Phillips of famed 60’s group The Mamas and The Papas, Chynna began her acting career appearing in John Hughes’ 1982 teen-sensation, “Some Kind of Wonderful.” She followed up with roles in 1988’s “Caddyshack II,” 1989’s “Say Anything,” and played the character Roxanne Pulitzer in the 1989 TV biopic, “Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer.” Next Phillips, along with childhood friends Carnie & Wendy Wilson, formed the trio Wilson Phillips. In 1990 the group released their self-titled debut album which would go on to sell ten million copies worldwide, go 5x multi-platinum, with three No. 1 singles. Billboard declared them the best selling female group of all time, breaking the record previously set by Motown’s The Supremes. Wilson Phillips was nominated for five Grammy Awards, an American Music Award and won a Billboard Music Award (for “Hold On” and “Release Me,” written by Phillips). Taking a break from the group, Phillips released a successful solo album entitled “Naked & Sacred,” while also filming and starring in the lead role of the television remake of famed Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie.” That same year she also married husband and fellow actor William Baldwin. She then took time off to focus on family, and had three children, while also reclaiming herself and becoming a Christian. In 2004 she reunited with Wilson Phillips and they released their 3rd album, “California,” which paid homage to west coast musicians from the 1960s and 1970s. In 2009 Phillips teamed up with singer/songwriter Vaughan Penn to form the Christian pop duo Chynna & Vaughan, and put out an album entitled “One Reason.” Shortly thereafter, Wilson Phillips also released their 1st Christmas album, “Wilson Phillips Christmas in Harmony.” Earlier this year, it was announced that Wilson Phillips would be reuniting again for an album of original music to celebrate their 20 years together as a musical group. The group was also featured in this year’s blockbuster comedy film, “Bridesmaids.” Phillips works with the charity Los Angelitos Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, which is devoted to helping the children who are displaced by the constant violence in the city and to creating a warm and loving environment for the kids.

HOPE SOLO — Hope Solo is widely considered the best goalkeeper in the world and has been the starter for the United States women’s national team since 2005. She scored 109 goals as a high school forward before moving to goal at the University of Washington near her hometown of Richland, Washington. At the 2011 World Cup, Solo recorded two shutouts in group play, and then, in what is considered one of the greatest soccer games in history, made a save in a penalty shootout against Brazil in the quarterfinal, helping the Americans advance to the semis. The U.S. reached the final, falling to Japan in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw. Solo was awarded the Adidas Golden Glove by FIFA as the tournament’s top goalkeeper. She was also the starting goalkeeper for the United States in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where the U.S. women’s team won the gold medal by defeating Brazil 1-0 in extra time, in no small measure due to Solo’s performance as she stopped an energetic Brazilian attack, making save after save. Solo started her Women’s Professional Soccer career playing for Saint Louis Athletica, and was named Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009. Since then she has played for the Atlanta Beat and currently plays for magicJack as the starting goalkeeper, and is a two-time WPS All Star. When not playing soccer, Solo enjoys reading, basketball, beach volleyball and other outdoor activities. She loves traveling the world and gives back through community service projects.

“Dancing with the Stars” returns with a few huge new surprises, plus all the elements viewers have come to know and love. “Macy’s Stars of Dance,” which features some of the best choreographers and performers from different styles of dance and offers viewers performances that represent the peak of achievement in their genres, will return on “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show.” One of the “Macy’s Stars of Dance” performances will be the popular “Design-a-Dance,” where fans have the chance to select their favorite professional dancers, dance styles, songs and costumes at www.abc.com. New this season will be “AT&T’s Spotlight Performance,” which features and celebrates people whose lives have been changed forever by dance.

Below are key dates for Season 13 (dates and times subject to change):

* “Dancing with the Stars'” two-hour season premiere, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET)
* “Dancing with Stars: Meet the Cast” one-hour special, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET)
* “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show” one-hour season premiere, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET)
* “Dancing with the Stars'” season finale, NOVEMBER 2011 (date TBA).

Hosted by Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Brooke Burke (“Dancing with the Stars” Season Seven Champion), the celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned Ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday night during and up to 30 minutes after the “Dancing with the Stars” performance shows. AT&T customers may also text message their votes by texting the word “VOTE” and entering the number that corresponds to the team they want to support (message and data rates may apply). Viewers may also vote online at www.abc.com starting from the opening of each episode on the East Coast with voting closing at 8:00 a.m., PT/11:00 a.m., ET on Tuesday mornings.

Just in time for the big casting news, ABC.com is launching its new “Discuss” pages, www.abc.tv/DWTSDiscuss. In addition to featuring the show’s official Twitter and Facebook feeds, the pages are designed to make it easier to find, follow and dive into conversations that are happening around the show. Site producers will be actively pulling and highlighting conversations that are really resonating with fans, trending on Twitter or are simply fun or different. Throughout the season the ABC.com team will use the page to share exclusive content, host talent chats and, ultimately, highlight the uber fans that participate the most.

“Dancing with the Stars” is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, “Strictly Come Dancing.” This version is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Conrad Green serves as executive producer and Ashley Edens-Shaffer and Joe Sungkur are co-executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs. “Dancing with the Stars” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

Tonight’s live “DWTS” cast announcement was sponsored by the upcoming feature film, “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker and produced by The Weinstein Company.

About BBC Worldwide Productions:
BBC Worldwide Productions, led by Jane Tranter, is based in Los Angeles and develops and produces scripted and non-scripted projects for U.S. cable and broadcast networks, as well as digital platforms. The production company is responsible for the smash hit “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC), “Top Gear” (HISTORY), “What Not to Wear” (TLC) and “Torchwood: Miracle Day” (Starz). BBC Worldwide Productions sits within one of six core businesses that form BBC Worldwide, the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

About The Weinstein Company:
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as “Scream,” “Spy Kids” and “Scary Movie.” Together TWC and Dimension Films released Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech,” winner of four 2011 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. Upcoming releases include “Our Idiot Brother,” “Apollo 18,” “Dirty Girl,” “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” “My Week with Marilyn” and “The Artist.” Recently wrapped is “Cogan’s Trade.” TWC’s television credits include the Emmy® Award-winning hit reality series “Project Runway,” the new VH1 reality series “Mob Wives” and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” The company is producing three “Project Runway” spinoffs, “Project Runway All Stars,” “Project Runway: Masters” and “Project Runway: Accessories.” The company currently has 17 series in development, including: “Marco Polo,” “The Nanny Diaries” and “The Mad Ones.”