"Maps to the Stars" with Julianne Moore, Rob Pattinson, John Cusack

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .



cronenbergjuliannerobpattinsonblog909Julianne Moore was wearing the color of the red carpet – orange – at a press conference this morning for “Maps to the Stars” where most of the questions were asked of her and director David Cronenberg while Robert Pattinson was able to blend into the table of 10 and stay quiet for most of the session. Fans were waiting outside, though, smart phones and cameras in hand and he smiled more than this photo might indicate.

Novelist Bruce Wagner, a onetime limo driver in LA, wrote the satirical story which features the “Twilight” heartthrob as a driver, struggling actor and aspiring screenwriter. Moore plays Havana Segrand, a desperate and insecure actress scheming to land the lead in a remake of a film once featuring her mother.

“In terms of driving a limousine, I’ve said that I drove an ambulance as well when I was younger and there was something quite similar between driving an ambulance with people in the car that were either dying or thought they were and with driving those who were either famous or thought they were,” Wagner said.

As for how true “Maps” is, “there’s a tremendous amount of truth and yet there’s no truth at all about it.”

Cronenberg, for his part, said the movie isn’t just about celebrity.

“There are no scenes of paparazzi, there are no red carpet scenes. A lot of it is family drama and although it’s set in Hollywood, yes, and, yes, the desperation for identity and recognition is there and it’s highlighted because it’s moviemaking and so on, it could have been a story about Silicon Valley or Wall Street or any other really intense business that encourages desperation and ambition and fantasy and deception and all of that stuff.

Moore also called the family dynamics the core of the film.

“There are all these people who are desperately seeking some kind of validation in an external way. They’re looking to the world at large to validate who they are as human beings and they don’t have any intimate relationships with others. The saddest thing to me about Havana Segrand is that she doesn’t have any friends. She doesn’t have a partner. There’s no one in her life she doesn’t pay.”

The real validation she wants is from her mother and she doesn’t have that.

mapsgroup Illinois native John Cusack, a self-help guru in the movie, recalled his first trip to LA for looping or redoing dialogue. He was a teenager in a Who T-shirt staying at the Chateau Marmont not long after John Belushi died.

“I walked into the Chateau Marmont and Belushi had just died there some weeks ago and there  was Andre the Giant in a satin jacket with the word ‘Hell’ written on the back. I sort of thought, all right, this is what this is going to be. You have no [expletive] idea what you’re getting into when you get into this thing.”

Hollywood might be like Silicon Valley or Washington, D.C., or any power center, Cusack added, “but it can be a really kind of toxic place where people lie and it’s so predatory and people are so afraid, it can be comical but it can be quite vicious.”

Moore, a four-time Oscar nominee won the best actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival for “Maps” was asked what it might mean to win the Academy Award.  “I don’t think I have an answer for that.” 




Top photo:  Director David Cronenberg and Julianne Moore, cast of "Maps to the Stars" and, immediately above, Olivia Wilde, Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson. WireImage/Getty for TIFF photos.



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Ralph Lauren makes models 'walk on water' at Polo preview

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .


NEW YORK -- Models sashaying down the catwalk sporting pieces from a designer’s latest collection -- that’s so cliche.

This season at New York Fashion Week designers are getting creative with fresh ways to show off their latest fashions. On Monday, designer Ralph Lauren attracted a mix of celebrities and fashion elite (Vogue editor Anna Wintour, supermodel Karlie Kloss, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, blogger Bryanboy and singer Ciara, to name a few) to the 72nd Street and Central Park West entrance to the park. Golf carts ushered guests to the park’s Cherry Hill lawn a few minutes away, where champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a string quartet greeted them.

Then: showtime! A fountain erupted in the lake, and the steady spray of water served as the screen upon which footage of models wearing the new Polo collection was projected. The “4D” effect, as the designer dubbed it, made them look like they were walking on water. Projections incorporated street scenes from across New York City as backdrops that kept the footage engaging and dynamic. When it all was done, a larger-than-life holograph of Ralph Lauren waved to the crowd, and guests were sent on their way with parting gifts of caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts.

The event also was a celebration of the grand opening of the first Polo flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Photos: Holographs of models and designer Ralph Lauren (above) are projected onto a lake in Central Park. Courtesy of


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Dispatches from Italy: A contessa opens her home to us in Venice

Written by Doug Oster on .

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Tour guide Franca Zanchi ushered 32 Pittsburgh gardeners through a maze of stone walkways through Venice finally reaching Palazzo Malipiero Barnabo after a 20 minute walk. It is thought to be built in the 11th or 12th century century and was bought by the Barnabo family in the 19th century.

The gardens were created sometime in the 18th century and the palace was renovated in 1951 to bring it back to its former grandeur.

The garden is filled with surprises, the first one greets you as you walk out of the house. It's is a small statue of a woman laying on a bench. Right next to the beautiful statue were yellow-throated mandevilla vines blooming under the watchful eye of another sculpture.

The statues are everywhere and they offer classic beauty at every turn, a fountain runs in the center. Old fashion roses release their intoxicating fragrance in every corner of the garden. A white rose hangs over the edge of a wall which leads an out to a scenic view of the Grand Canal. Standing at the edge, with the flowers in the foreground and historic estates across the canal, transports visitors to another time, and although much has changed in so many centuries, these gardens and homes have stood the test of time.

While the sun sank low in the sky, white anemones danced in the soft breeze the canal provides.

This is a place to sit and watch the boats diligently circumnavigating the canal. Nothing would be better than a glass of good Italian wine with friends and the good company of these beautiful plants which have shared a storied history with the palace.

While visiting the third floor drawing room, filled with 18th century antiques, Contessa Anna Barnabo appeared to say hello. Although she was not feeling her best, she could not contain her smile as the visitors gushed about the chance to explore her garden and home.


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A yellow-throated mandevilla blooms under the watchful eye of a sculpture.

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A look at the garden towards the Grand Canal.

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Statues and anemones are back lit by the setting sun.

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This white rose hangs over the wall looking over the Grand Canal.

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Old fashioned roses fill the garden with fragrance.

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You'll have to look closely when walking out of the house toward the entrance to the garden to see this beautiful statue hidden at the side.

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The setting sun lights up these anemone as they dance in the breeze.

(Top image: An overall of the entrance to the garden. Doug Oster photos/Post-Gazette)

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Empty Netter Assists - 09-09-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Sidney Crosby's (above) injured wrist and his non-arrest record are doing just fine.

-Kasperi Kapanen will miss the Penguins' upcoming rookie tournament in London, Ontario due to a finger injury.

-"That's where I score my goals." - Patric Hornqvist on being a net-front presence.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins unveiled their new third jersey (as modeled by Anton Zlobin):

-EN Says: This is basically a re-purposed version of what the NHL Penguins wore in the late 1960s and early 1970s as well as earlier this century. While not overly original, it's still a sharp look even with a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton logo.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins all-star defenseman Kevin Hatcher (right). Acquired in the 1996 offseason in a deal which sent Sergei Zubov to the Stars, Hatcher spent three seasons with the Penguins. In 1996-97, Hatcher he appeared in 80 games, led the team's defensemen with 54 points and was selected to the fifth all-star game of his career. In that spring's postseason,  Hatcher appeared in five games and contributed two points. Hatcher played in 74 games in 1997-98 and once again led the team's blueliners with 48 points. He also tied a team record for power-play goals by a defenseman with 13. He saw action in six postseason games that season and scored one goal. His final season with the Penguins was 1998-99. He played in 66 games and scored again led the team's defensemen with 38 points. In the playoffs, Hatcher appeared in 13 games and netted five points. In the 1999 offseason, Hatcher was traded to the Rangers in exchange for Peter Popovic. In 220 regular season games with the Penguins, Hatcher scored 140 points, 61st-most in franchise history. In 24 postseason contest, Hatcher recorded eight points.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-“Obviously last year was not the way I wanted it to go, especially at the end. So I’m looking for an opportunity to show what type of person I am on and off the ice." - Former Penguins forward Ryan Malone on attending informal workouts with the Rangers in hopes of being offered a professional tryout contract. Malone, a native of Upper St. Clair, had the final year of his contract bought out by the Lightning this offseason after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and cocaine possession in Tampa April 12.

-Former Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur is still looking for work.

Atlantic Division

-Maple Leafs defenseman Stephane Robidas is still recovering from a lingering knee injury.

-“Money wasn’t really the issue. I wanted to play where I can win.” - Bruins forward David Krejci on recently signing a six-year contract extension worth $43.5 million.

-Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop is still recovering from offseason wrist surgery.

-Red Wings forward Stephen Weiss is trying to rebound from a sports hernia which limited him to 26 games last season.

Central Division

-The Wild is still trying to re-sign restricted free agent goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes hired former Penguins forward Steve Sullivan (right) as a development coach.

-Sharks forward Raffi Torres is still dealing with a lingering knee ailment.

Adams Division

-The NHL named Stephane Quintal as senior vice-president of player safety. The former Bruins/Blues/Jets/Canadiens defenseman had served in the role on an interim basis since April.

(Photos: Leon Halip/Getty Images, Jamie Sabau/Getty Images and Ken White/Allsport/Getty Images)

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Written by Rob Rogers on .

The world seems to be coming apart ... and ISIS isn't the only threat.

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