Lifetime’s new movie, “Who is Clark Rockefeller?” is based on the real-life story called “the longest-running con in FBI history.” Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (Eric McCormack of “Will and Grace”), pretended to be numerous people, ranging from a talk show host to a Pentagon adviser, before ultimately claiming to be an heir to the famous Rockefeller family. As the fictitious “Clark Rockefeller,” he married Sandra Boss (Sherry Stringfield of “E.R.”), a millionaire with a Harvard MBA and a partner at the prestigious management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and they had a daughter, Reigh (Emily Alyn Lind). They were married for 12 tumultuous years. After their divorce, Sandra was awarded custody and “Clark” abducted her. With the help of FBI agent Megan Norton (Regina Taylor), Sandra’s search for her daughter exposed her husband’s lifelong con game.
The real Gerhartsreiter was convicted in June of last year of kidnapping his daughter during a supervised custody visit, despite his attempt to plead insanity. Fox News reported that the investigation revealed in addition to the “Rockefeller” alias
he told a variety of stories: he was a physicist, a financial adviser who renegotiated debt for small countries, a collector who owned $1 billion worth of modern art, a cardiovascular surgeon from Las Vegas, a ship’s captain based in Chile and a member of the Trilateral Commission, a group established to foster cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan.
Boss, a Harvard-educated management consulting firm executive, testified that she believed her husband’s stories for much of their 12-year marriage. It was only when she hired a private investigator during their 2007 divorce that she realized he “was not the person he’d said he was,” she said.
Thank you Linda Holmes of NPR, for this heart-felt column about NOT TALKING IN MOVIE THEATERS. I think it is because people are used to watching movies at home or listening to director commentaries or checking their Blackberries in the middle of a conversation, but for goodness’ sakes, please, as they say in the movies, do not add your own soundtrack. I once sat next to a man who not only ate very noisily, he repeated every punchline (drowning out the next one). Holmes says:
I don’t want to be a bad sport. I’ve talked back to the screen at Honey. You’re not a bad person for wanting to goof around with your friends. But please, seriously: choose your moments. Because when you pick the wrong one, you take something away from everybody else in the room. This isn’t a stodgy etiquette rule run amok; it’s got a purpose.
It’s impossible to meet the gloriously beautiful, smart, and funny Alice Eve and Krysten Ritter without feeling that they are completely out of the league of any mere mortals. In “She’s out of My League,” Eve very believably plays a woman of such beauty and accomplishment that the main character, played by Jay Baruchel (“Knocked Up,” “Tropic Thunder”) is too insecure to handle the relationship. Ritter plays her cynical best friend. But they are also gloriously nice and made the interview a real pleasure.
Have you ever dated anyone you thought was out of your league?
Ritter: I’ve dated someone that other people thought was out of my league. But if you’re with somebody, you think they’re a 10.
Eve: I’m stealing that line. It’s true, if you’re with somebody you think they’re a 10. I always think that if I’m with somebody, they’re better than me. That’s why I love them. They’re amazing.
Do you think that men and women rate each other differently?
Eve: Women are less aesthetic than men.
Ritter: Men are more visual creatures and rate women based on looks. We like to laugh and be shown a good time. I’ve never rated anyone on looks.
You seem like real friends on screen. Did you know each other before?
Ritter: We are real friends now but didn’t know each other before. Alice was cast in the movie and I came in to chemistry read. It just worked.
The wisecracking best friend is always a great role, isn’t it?
Ritter: It is always a lot of fun. It’s a good time. You don’t feel like you’re under any pressure except to be funny. I think there was even more outrageous language in the original script but then the studio didn’t want quote unquote pretty girls saying awful things. But we got them in there. The “plane doctor” joke was cut from the script. The script had the character as unattractive, plain, frumpy best friend. But then I read and got the part and then they started to change it and get away from the really foul-mouthed and sarcastic lines. But then when we were shooting we decided to try it and it made it into the movie and the trailer.
You wear some beautiful clothes in the movie.
Ritter: You had standard, conventional fabulous, stuff. I had cooler, edgier, weirder stuff. The costume designer didn’t have the right sizes for me so we literally got in the car and went to all these boutiques in Pittsburgh and got all these great pieces. I wanted to keep everything especially the green one from the Andy Warhol party scene.
Eve: We had a lot of fittings I had to go back to New York for and the producers at Dreamworks were really involved in the look and what was right. I put a lot of work, sweat, and tears in those fittings and it has been so rewarding to have it pay off because we’ve had such great responses to the costumes. They clothes show that she is very successful, she’s got taste, she’s got money. It’s an inch by inch process, do you like this, maybe we’ll try this one for now, it can be a very long process.
Tell me about working with Jay.
Eve: He’s so great! The dramatic stuff, the comedic stuff, a lot of intimate stuff, we put work into it. it’s about building the right kind of relationship together and knowing that the energy you have together keeps that alive for the duration of the film.
You’re playing a character who is supposed to be just about perfect. And a lot of what you are doing is reacting in the middle of some outrageous behavior. How do you make that work?
Eve: I felt like she was an honest, straight, calm, nice, person. So you have a whole plethora of choices, and it was incredibly refreshing to me because you don’t have to be the bitch or the slut or the clumsy one. It was a lovely thing to have that role. At the time I was outraged when they cut out all the swearing in the original script but in retrospect I think it was the right choice.
In “Lucas,” Corey Haim played a smart, sensitive boy who has bravado but struggles to find confidence, ultimately finding the hope of love and a place to be himself. I wish his real life had as happy an ending. For decades, this talented actor and his friend Corey Feldman were better known for failures off-camera, and then on-camera in their can-they-make-a reality show, “The Two Coreys.” And now he is dead of an apparent drug overdose. He is probably best remembered for a vampire film, “The Lost Boys.” Today, that title feels sadly apt. “Lucas” is an outstanding family film, and I am glad we have that to remember him by.
The People and Movies That Inspired "Hail, Caesar!" The Coen brothers love old movies, and we see evidence of that in many of their films, including "Barton Fink," about a hapless playwright who come to Hollywood to write movies in the 1940's, and with their remakes of the heist films "The ...
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