Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ryan Kwanten's Red Hill is a gem!

Article by Lynn Powell Dougherty featured at trueblood-online.com

Ryan Kwanten and Lynnpd
Last night, I went with my friend, Pinky to the Australian's in Film, LA Premiere to see the screening of Patrick Hughe's Red Hill starring True Blood's Ryan Kwanten at the Harmony Gold Theater on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CA.

I had called earlier in the week to request tickets and was lucky enough to get them even though the event was already filled to capacity.We arrived early because we wanted to be sure to get good seats and to hopefully meet Ryan when he arrived. We did just that.

As he arrived, there was a group of autograph seekers awaiting him and he was immediately surrounded by them. Pinky was able to get a photo autographed by him and Ryan was kind enough to pose with us for photos.

Fans crowd around Ryan for autographs in front of the theater.

There I am, talking to Ryan as he generously signs autographs for his fans.
Ryan then was whisked to the carpet to do the requisite interviews and then, Rutina Wesley arrived and was kind enough to also pose for a picture. She also had her picture taken on the red carpet with Ryan.
Ryan on the Red Carpet
Rutina Wesley and "Pinky" at the red carpet of Red Hill

The Red Carpet photos of Ryan with Patrick Hughes and Clare Van Der Boom and one of Rutina:
There were other True Blood stars who attended the event last night in addition to Ryan and Rutina. Both Jim Parrack and Lindsay Pulsipher were there and on the Red Carpet.
Jim Parrack and Lynnpd
Jim is a friend whom I have met several times before. I recently saw his play Terra Haute and it was good to say hello again.
Seeing the film.
We then went into the theater to view the film. I had heard really good things about Red Hill after reading many of the reviews and therefore, I expected it to be good, but I had no idea how good.
What did I think of the film?
Patrick Hughes, who wrote, directed, produced and finally edited the film, did a phenomenal job on almost no money and Ryan's performance as Shane Cooper is astounding. In fact, the whole cast was excellent. The cinematography was unbelievable and the landscapes in that part of Australia are quite striking. It's hard to believe that they shot this film in just four weeks. This is truly a testament to excellent planning and a stellar cast and crew.The story revolves around Shane Cooper, played by Ryan Kwanten, who has moved to this small town because his wife is pregnant and needs peace and quiet. Well, Shane couldn't have picked a worse time to arrive in town because a man has just escaped from the local prison and is on his way back to get revenge on the police force of Red Hill who have put him in jail.While Red Hill may be somewhat predictable at times, there is enough surprise to satisfy the most critical viewer. And, the writing, directing, cinematography and acting are so good that you don't mind and are happy to go along for the ride.
Patrick Hughes, Clare Van Der Boom and Ryan Kwanten on stage for the Q&A

Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 Scream Awards - A Press Experience

On Saturday night, October 16, 2010, I had the wonderful experience of attending the 2010 Scream Awards.The Vault was given two Press Passes that included the Red Carpet for me to attend as Co-Admin and a fellow Billsbabe BittenByBill (BBB) to share the experience with me. BBB had been to the event last year, so she was a great help in explaining the ins and outs of the event to me.It was a chilly and drizzly evening when I got to The Greek Theater in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA. BBB had already arrived and when we met up it was great to finally meet each other. We both have been Billsbabes since 2008 and have corresponded but never met, so it was a real treat to do so.Let me start off by saying how much we appreciated the opportunity to have a pass and be part of the Press at the event. Thank you to the Scream Awards for including us! However, our position was not the best and didn't allow us much media coverage, so while it was appreciated, it also was somewhat disappointing. Of course, we were mostly interested in True Blood, and were hoping at least that some of the cast members who knew we would be there would find us and stop by.We knew that many of the cast were expected to attend including, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Kristin Bauer, Alexander SkarsgÄrd and Alan Ball. Unfortunately, most of them either didn't even walk the carpet or just stayed in the front area where the main stream press was. We were stationed outside that area and stood behind gates with very little front end space as shown below. We had no covering and very poor lighting, so we just made do with what we were given, still hoping for some attention from the True Blood cast.

The Red Carpet area for the main press and our assigned area
Throughout most of the carpet period, we saw some stars that included, Mickey Rourke, Marilyn Manson, Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, actors from the TV show Lost and many more, that I'm afraid most of us didn't know. I expected, at least, that Sam Trammell would come to us because his publicist had stopped by earlier to find us and said he would stop by.I had recently attended a charity event that was important to Stephen Moyer for the fund to help the Darnell Family and we had discussed the Scream awards at that event, so I was hopeful he and Anna would attend. When it got close to 7pm, we were all starting to get pretty concerned thinking that many wouldn't even bother to come to us. Just then, as I looked up, I saw Stephen Moyer.After taking some photos in the press area, he had come to our area and sought me out, saying: I'm here to see "Lynn from the Vault" and then said to all around me, "It's the only one I"m doing." I had told him I would be on the red carpet, but never expected him to "single me out" in such a way. The very brief and extremely amateur video below represents the moment he arrived to see me on the red carpet Thanks Steve, you are the best.
You can imagine how excited I was to be singled out in such a way. The next video below represents most of the 5 minute interview that Stephen gave to me, although there were many around me catching it and they also started asking him questions.While I wished we could have asked all the questions that the fans posted here on the site, sorry, but there just wasn't time and for most, no opportunity. We got Stephen to answer three questions in the video below:
  1. What would you wear if you were going to dress up for the Scream Awards?
  2. What are you doing during the hiatus of True Blood?
  3. What is your favorite horror film?
When we discussed what he's doing right now he indicated that he will be hopefully starting The Big Valley on October 25 and he talked about True Blood not starting now until November 30. They had originally thought they would film two episodes before the new year, but now only one is scheduled.
Also, I brought him a gift. While at the Darnell fundraiser, he told me that he and Anna hadn't even seen Anna's brother, Andrew Paquin's film, "Open House". I just happened to have an extra Blu-ray lying around and I brought it and gave it to him. He was very appreciative. I hope they enjoy it, I did.Below are some photos of Stephen:
Sam also stopped by. He spoke to us all and I told him that I plan to attend his event this coming Saturday, "Actors for Oceans". He replied that he was very nervous because he was scheduled to play an acoustic guitar and he admitted that he needed to do a lot of practicing. The cause is a good one and I like that he cares about the oceans of the world enough to get his guitar out and let us hear him. I can't wait.Below are some photos of Sam:
After all the stars left the carpet, our job as reporters was done and it was now time for us to party! There was a special "lounge" for the Press where you could get something to drink and eat, watch the show on closed circuit TV and hook up your laptop. BBB and I opted to experience the show by sitting with the audience. Wow, was it fun! It is unlike any other award show you have ever seen.
The audience is all dressed in Gothic horror outfits, sort of a 2010 version of Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Greek theater is an open air theater, so the drizzle continued to shower down on us during the event, but no one seemed to care. Drinks were being served to the audience during the event (specifically Fangbangers made with True Blood drink). With each commercial break, handlers moved people to different seats as seat fillers for the stars when they went on stage to present. True Blood won big on this night and BBB and I were just thrilled and screaming our lungs out. When the show won Best TV Show, I was up in the front screaming and waving my arms. We had a blast! While it was wonderful to see the show in person, it is something I can't wait to see also on TV. It's a fabulous time that you all should watch this Tuesday, October 19 on Spike TV.
More images can be seen in the Vault Photo Gallery.
Thanks to demuredemented and ThelLou for helping out with the videos.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer and more attend Darnell fundraiser

Yesterday, Sunday October 10, I attended The Darnell Family fundraiser and silent auction event that was held in Venice, California at the Canal Club for the Darnell Family. As we previously reported tragedy has stuck this family leaving the four remaining children alone with no home or income. Their loved ones and neighbors and lots of people in the city of Venice came together to insure that the fund set up for the children will help to provide sufficiently for their care. Click on each photo to see a larger view. More photos can be found in the Photo Gallery for this event. The fundraiser was brought together with the help of many from Venice and the entertainment industry. In two weeks they managed to arrange this event and get lots of items for their silent auction. The Canal Club donated the space and Shaina Rosenblum helped to organize it. Many others helped out from the community as well, including Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer who have donated items that are currently being offered for sale on EBay. Also scheduled in Venice was a music event fundraiser that was held later in the day.
Shaina Rosenblum, event organizer
When I arrived at the Canal Club, I was early and things were still being set up. I was greeted by Shaina who helped me to display our donation.  Many of the items were laid out on the tables in a room set aside for the silent auction. I had told her, the day before that The Vault would donate a 2010 Comic Con Swag Bag and she put it on the same table as a True Blood Script signed by Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alan Ball.
Table where the True Blood Script and Swag bag were displayed andclose up of the swag bag donated by The Vault
There were many items from celebrities. Just to name a fiew, there was a Blu-ray of Clockwork Orange signed by Malcolm MacDowell, a hard bound copy of a Full Metal Jacket script signed by Matthew Modine. There were also the traditional, bottles of wine, facials, floral arrangements, art work, jewelry, etc., but other than the True Blood articles, the one that interested me the most was Stuart Copeland’s drum lid that was signed by him.
Owner Paul Pondella with Dakota the Wolf
Once the items were set up, we waited for the event to begin. As they slowly arrived, the room began to fill up. Then, I noticed that there was a large, what I at first thought was a dog, in the room, but it was a wolf. Of course, I immediately assumed it was from True Blood since Stephen Moyer would be attending this event, however, it turned out that it was an Alaskan Timberland Wolf named, Dakota which was raised by Paul and Colette of Shadowland Foundation. They are trying to save this particular species of wolf and he certainly was beautiful. Paul and Colette are friends of the family. Then after a short while, there were words said about the Darnell family and then we looked at a slide presentation depicting photos of the family. This was for everyone, but especially the family members who attended, the most difficult part of the afternoon. Shortly after the end of the slide show, I noticed some more people arriving. I was surprised when one of them turned out to be True Blood’s Theo Alexander who had just walked in with a friend. He strolled around and started looking at the items up for auction. I went up to him asking if I could take his photo and his friend suggested that we could take one together.  I told him how much we loved his portrayal of Talbot and hope to see him back in "flashbacks" on True Blood.
Lynnpd with Theo Alexander
At this point everyone was eating and silently bidding on the auction items when I noticed that in the bar side of the club there was Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. They had just arrived and were greeting everyone and saying hello to the Darnell children. When I walked into that part of the club, Stephen looked up and immediately noticed me. I had told him I would be attending and had asked if he and Anna would sign our donated “swag bag” when they came. Before Stephen had a chance to come over to me,  Theo Alexander went up to him and Stephen gave him a big hug. Anna and Stephen spoke to him for a short time.

Anna and Stephen greet True Blood's Theo Alexander (Talbot)
After several minutes of greeting and speaking to the hosts and others in the room, Stephen came up to me. He gave me his usual hug and kiss on the cheek, always appreciated and started making some suggestions for photos that could help. He and Anna posed for photos with two of the Darnell children, Rachel and Olivia and with the Wolf, as seen in the photos below.

Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin pose with Rachel and Olivia Darnell,
two of the four surviving children of the Darnell family.
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Owner Paula Pondella of the Shadowland Foundation 
pose with the Alaskan Timberland Wolf, Dakota who was a guest at the event.
After taking photos he and Anna came over to the auction area with me to see what was on display, sign the swag bag and to look at the script they had donated.  The script was later taken off the table and was to be put on EBay hoping to get a greater yield to help the family.

Script of Season 3, Episode 12 signed by Anna, Stephen
and Alan Ball (look for it on EBay)
They chatted with me for quite awhile. We discussed the recent fundraiser “The Battle of the Fang” and our fundraiser, “The Stephen Moyer Kids Theater Fundraiser". Stephen is very pleased with the fund raisers. We discussed lots of things like the fake Anna Paquin’s out there and Stephen's upcoming movie roles. He said that he is waiting to hear about when the filming of The Big Valley will begin, which has been postponed several times due to lack of funding. He hopes The Caller and The Double will be out soon. He said he has heard good things about The Double. He doesn’t know about Ice, either. I said, "we need to see you in a new film!"  He agreed. It certainly isn't because he hasn't tried. Believe it or not, he and Anna haven’t yet seen Andrew Paquin's film in which they appeared, Open House. I couldn’t believe it, but they said it’s true. They want to see it though and will soon, I’m sure. I'd be glad to share my Blu-Ray with them.  I asked if they would be attending the Scream Awards, but they weren't sure about it. After almost an hour, but what seemed like seconds to me, I said goodbye to Anna and Stephen.
More photos can be found in the Photo Gallery for this event.
All the money that was raised today, the money from the EBay auctions and at the concert  will go to help the remaining four Darnell children who very much need financial support. Truly this is a worthy cause that I was glad to support. Please donate to help this lovely family!
For more information and PayPal donations visit the Darnell Memorial Fund Facebook page. This page is also accessible for non-Facebook members.
Donations by check can be sent to: Darnell Memorial Fund Acct. 3130266046 Antelope Valley Bank, Acton branch 31924 Crown Valley Road Acton, CA 93510

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jim Parrack in “Terre Haute” at The Blank Theater

Article by Lynn Powell Dougherty featured at trueblood-online.com

41067 473425797651 667052651 6454460 5042821 n My experience seeing Jim Parrack in Terre Haute at The Blank TheaterLast night I was happy to be Jim Parrack’s guest at his new play, Terra Haute. Jim is co-starring in this two man play with Mike Farrell of “Mash” fame.
I arrived at the prescribed time to pick up my tickets at The Blank Theater in Los Angeles and was happy to notice that also attending this performance was the lovely Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica). I had met Deborah before when I attended her boyfriend EJ’s Improv event at the iOWest in June. That was also where I met Jim Parrack for the first time.
deborah ann woll1 225x300 My experience seeing Jim Parrack in Terre Haute at The Blank TheaterWhen I noticed Deborah I went up to her and reminded her of our last meeting. She immediately remembered me and asked if I was sitting with anyone. Since we were both alone, she asked if I would mind if she sat with me. Would I mind? It was a thrill for me. Deborah is a lovely and charming woman who is fun to be with.
We entered the tiny theater and sat very close to the stage. While waiting for the play to begin we chatted about True Blood, what she’s been doing since the show’s hiatus and that she is looking forward to the vacation she will be taking with EJ very soon. However, before she can start her vacation she will see EJ run the Chicago marathon blindfolded. Imagine that!
When we entered the theater, I immediately noticed the very stark set. It represented a visitor’s area in a prison and was designed by Matt Turner. The costume design is by Bethany Jane Bohatila, the lighting design is by Cameron Zetty, and sound design is by Warren Davis. The production stage manager is Christopher Harrison, and the producers are Noah Wyle, Daniel Henning, and Stacy Reed Payton.
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Then, the play began. Mike Farrell in the writer’s role was first on stage. After a brief monolog from Farrell, Jim walked out. He plays the Timothy McVeigh role and was dressed in an orange prison jump suit.
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The play revolves around the possible meeting of Timothy McVeigh and Gore Vidal. The two men corresponded in real life and the famed fiction writer Edmund White, who wrote the play, imagines what their conversations would have been like if they had ever met in person. The play consists of four prison house conversations between the nation’s deadliest domestic terrorist and one of the world’s most famous and opinionated gadflies. And, while the names have been changed, the ideas have not.
The two actors played well against and with each other and kept me fascinated until the end. It seems to me that to being in a two person play is a very demanding part; staying in character all that time. I said to Deborah when it was over, “how did Jim learn all those lines?” She said, that learning the script is the easy part; it’s getting your “soul” into it that’s hard. Well, in my opinion both actors did that well.
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While I’ve seen lots of live theater in the past, it is a rare experience for me now a days which mad this even more of a treat. And, in this intimate theater, the audience has the ability to see every nuance of the actor’s performance, and I can only imagine what performing in front of a live audience must bring to the actor’s experience. The only other example I have of Jim Parrack’s acting has been his role playing True Blood’s Hoyt Fortenberry. Thinking about Jim now playing a deadly terrorist seemed to me that it would be difficult for him, but I was wrong, he did it well. I was riveted by his performance and late in the play, when his character becomes angry at his co-star, I was genuinely startled; Jim really seemed to have become the man he was portraying.
After the play, Jim talked about acting with Mike Farrell and said that he was learning a lot from him. It was apparent that he is impressed by not only Mike’s acting abilities, but with him as a man. I was impressed with both actors and glad to see Jim getting this great part and being able to work with such an experienced actor.
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I enjoyed the end, when the two attempted to touch through the clear plastic barrier and showed a true and emotional bond with each other; a mutual respect, as it were as they said goodbye for the last time.
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When the play ended, Deborah and I waited outside for Jim to come out. When he did, he came up and hugged us both. It was really sweet. We both praised him for his performance and started discussing the play. Immediately a young man came up to Jim saying, “I know you, you’re from that show…” and Jim responded, comically, “Vampire Diaries?” And the young man replied, “Yes!” We laughed. Jim introduced Deborah and me to him and the young man immediately recognized Deborah, but he looked confused by me. I revealed to him that he didn’t have to worry, I wasn’t on the show. That was cute and when he walked away, I said to Deborah and Jim, “Gee, it’s so much fun to hang out with True Blood stars”.
It was a wonderful experience and evening. I am so glad to be able to have seen the play and to get to know both of these two lovely people better. As I said before, I think Jim was great in his part and I wish him the best of luck with his acting career.
Thanks Jim and Deb for a lovely time!
Terra Haute continues through Sunday, November 14 and you can buy tickets here.
Photo Credit: Rick Baumgartner