Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lady Gaga launches 'BTW' foundation at Harvard

Pop icon Lady Gaga teamed up with talk-show legend Oprah to unleash her youth empowerment campaign--Born This Way Foundation--at a star-studded event 4 p.m. Wednesday, February 29 at Harvard's Sanders Theatre located at 45 Quincy St. in Cambridge.

"My mother and I have initiated a passion project," she says in a press release. "We call it the Born This Way Foundation. Together, we hope to establish a standard of bravery and kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment."

At the event with Oprah, Gaga says the foundation will give youth the tools to "develop the skills needed to be a loving, accepting and tolerant person" and to inject those qualities into the community. "This is a new empowerment foundation. This is about changing the climate," Gaga continues, adding that it's not a anti-bullying campaign, but a youth-empowerment movement. "It's about the bubble effect."

"The culture of love is not going to change overnight but youth are the answer to creating a braver, kinder world," she gushes. "This might be one of the best days of my life."

At the Harvard event, Gaga announced plans for the "Born Brave Bus" which will travel across the country following her tour bus and serve as a place where youth can go to feel connected.

Cynthia Germonatta, Gaga's mother, will serve as president of the foundation. The mother-daughter team is working with Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society as well as the MacAuthur Foundation and the California Endowment To Empower Youth to carry out the initiative.

Germonatta sent out emails one hour before the event was streamed, albeit with a few technical glitches, at 4 p.m. "I'm here at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre with my daughter, Lady Gaga, and Oprah," Germonatta writes. "We're getting ready to take the stage to officially unveil the Born This Way Foundation."

Meanwhile, a small group of Harvard students and faculty (see photos) called "Their Day in the Yard" protested outside of the event demanding that the seven students from the 1920s who were expelled from the ivy league on suspicion of being gay should get their degrees posthumously.

Click here for the lowdown on Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.--Photos courtesy Ryan Miner, Beantown Photo

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Upcoming Tom Hanks film casting real salty dogs

Argh, matey? Casting scouts with the soon-to-be shot Tom Hanks flick tentatively called “Captain Phillips” are on the hunt for real-life salty dogs for an upcoming sequence slotted to film beginning March 12.

Based on the memoir, "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea," the film centers around the dramatic rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips who was held captive for five days by Somali pirates.

Hanks is slotted to star in the bio-pic and Kevin Spacey, who spearheaded the fact-based movie about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting called “21” in 2008, will produce with a four-man team that includes Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti from "The Social Network."

Actress Catherine Keener has signed on to play Hanks' wife. Apparently, location scouts have already scoped out homes in Framingham for the upcoming shoot in March.

According to the casting call, CP Casting is looking for four male merchant marines in roles that range in age from 25 to 70 years old.

Here's the lowdown:

Current OR former MERCHANT MARINES, 25-70, all ethnicities for work in a movie in the Boston area in MARCH.

You would need to be available to come to Boston and be put on tape and also available for the shoot for a few days in March.

Please EMAIL: Include your Merchant Marine experience, age, and your availability from now until April.

Click here for the latest on “Captain Phillips.”

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Street renamed to honor Ben Affleck's 'The Town'

Actor Titus Welliver, who played Jon Hamm's FBI partner in Ben Affleck's blue-collar heist flick "The Town," attended a small ceremony outside of AMC Loews Boston Common on Monday, Feb. 6 where city officials temporarily renamed the corner of Tremont and Avery "The Town Take 2 Place."

Affleck's mom, Chris, was also at the 8 p.m. one-day, exclusive screening of "The Town: Ultimate Collector's Edition" to promote the release of the "Take 2" version hitting shelves on March 6.

According to one source who attended the screening, the "alternate ending of this movie was great," he says. Apparently, a slew of extras from the made-in-Boston movie were in the audience and Affleck gave a pre-recorded two-and-a-half minute introduction.

Affleck, who is expecting his third child at any moment with his wife, actress Jennifer Garner, was unable to appear in person but apparently his onscreen message was good enough.

In the taped message, Affleck said the "Take 2" version has a substantially different alternate ending and is the heart and soul of the movie. Affleck added that if the movie didn't come out on DVD and it didn't have all the available extra features, that the alternate ending is the one he would have chosen for the original.

At the ceremony on Monday, Welliver was joined by Jeff Baker (center in pic below) and Sal LaMattina (right). Baker is an executive at Warner Bros and LaMattina is a Boston City Councilor who represents The North End, East Boston and Charlestown which, as many Loaded Gun Boston readers know, is where most of the filming of "The Town" took place.

Click here for the backstory on Affleck's "The Town."
--Copyrighted photos for Loaded Gun Boston by Ryan Miner, Beantown Photo

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Revisit Ben Affleck's'The Town' at 'Take 2' screening

Didn't get enough made-in-Boston shoot 'em action in 2010 when Ben Affleck's blue-collar heist flick "The Town" hit the big screen? You're in luck.

There's an exclusive screening of "The Town: Ultimate Collector's Edition" hitting AMC Loews Boston Common on Monday, Feb. 6 to promote the "Take 2" version's release on March 6. Actor Titus Welliver, who played Jon Hamm's FBI partner in the flick, is slotted to attend the 8 p.m. screening and Affleck's mom, Chris, will be at a street-renaming ceremony outside of the cinema at 3 p.m. where city officials will temporarily rename the corner of Tremont and Avery "The Town Take 2 Place."

Expect some previously unseen footage in the DVD version, including a crowd scene outside of Trinity Church in Copley Square.

In honor of its DVD release in March, we offer you inspiration from the movie's locations.

Looking for food options inspired by "The Town"? Don't fret. Affleck and crew were regulars in the North End and were known to order a dozen or so pies from Ernesto’s Pizza located at 69 Salem St. Scenes in the North End include shots at Pizzeria Regina on Thacher Street and Neptune Oyster located at 63 Salem Street. Also, Affleck returned to his Cambridge roots by setting up shop at Grendel's Den located at 89 Winthrop St. in Harvard Square.

Affleck, who effectively captured Boston’s grittier side with his directorial debut "Gone Baby Gone," aimed for authenticity with "The Town" and filmed a scene at the old-school watering hole known as Old Sully's located at on Union Street near the Community College Station Orange Line T stop. Known for its wood-paneled backroom, the nondescript pub is a colorful haunt from Charlestown's past with roots going back to the speakeasy days of Prohibition. He also shot scenes at The Warren Tavern, located at 2 Pleasant St., in Charlestown. They also filmed some strip club scenes at the infamous Centerfolds/The Glass Slipper located at 22 LaGrange Street.

During filming, crews rented out the Howard Johnson Hotel Boston located at 1271 Boylston St. specifically for the Fenway climax to house out-of-state production crews as well as an exterior filming location. Set designers transformed the Fenway Park hotel into the fictional Van Ness Motor Inn. Affleck, noticeably dressed down after wearing a variety of costumes last week including a Boston police officer uniform as well as an EMS paramedic shirt, rolled up his sleeves during filming at the revamped HoJo's. The hotel‘s transformation into the Van Ness Motor Inn was apparently so convincing, several bystanders thought the motel was the real deal.

Crews literally shut down the Charlestown Bridge in October 2009 to orchestrate an elaborate cops-and-robbers chase scene involving stunt doubles wearing masks and nun outfits. Armed with a helicopter filming aerial shots, the sequence showcases the bridge in all of its glory .

Boston’s Fenway Park and home to Affleck’s beloved Red Sox is a major player in "The Town." In fact, a handful of locals expressed concern after hearing gunshots in the Fenway’s growing residential neighborhood. The Boston Police Department received a call from a citizen hearing "shots fired" near Fenway Park while Affleck filmed the climactic cat-and-mouse scene with Hamm and Titus Welliver from "Gone Baby Gone." One Loaded Gun Boston readers says the barrage of bullets on Yawkey Way kept him up. "Yeah, it's a bit frustrating having to hear machine guns while trying to sleep," he says.

Click here for the backstory on Affleck's "The Town."
--Copyrighted photos for Loaded Gun Boston by Ryan Miner, Beantown Photo

Friday, February 03, 2012

Jason Segel 'marshalls' Harvard Hasty Pudding pot

Actor Jason Segel, known for his film work in "The Muppets," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Knocked Up" as well as his TV stint as Marshall Eriksen in the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," was honored as the 2012 Hasty Pudding Man of the Year at Harvard’s New College Theatre on Friday, Feb. 3.

When he got to the roast he had to go on stage and do three things to receive his pudding pot:

!. Give a pregnant Katherine Heigl (well, it was a man in drag pretending to be his "Knocked Up" co-star) a bowl of BBQ sauce. Then he had to drink some of it, making a nod to one of his infamous tweets.

2. Marry Russell Brand and Doogie Howser impersonators. Then, a Katy Perry lookalike showed up on stage and left with Brand. Apparently, Segel is a Justice of the Peace off-screen.

3. Wear a Miss Piggy wig and an over-sized bra with muppets stuffed in it and sing Kermit's "The Rainbow Connection," in a frog's voice.

During the pre-roast interview, Segel was asked what he plans to do with his pot. He replied: "Stuff it in my sock or put in in my checked luggage, that's usually how I get it past airport security."

Julianne Moore and Jay Leno were roasted last year. Anne Hathaway and Justin Timberlake were honored in 2010. Renee Zellweger and James Franco were honored in 2009. Christopher Walken and Charlize Theron were tapped as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Man and Woman of the Year in 2008.

Click here for photos from Jay Leno's Harvard visit from 2011.

--Copyrighted photos for Loaded Gun Boston by Ryan Miner, Beantown Photo
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