Steve, have you turned political?
The Boston Herald
July 29, 2004 Thursday
NEWS; Pg. C22
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION;
BEANTOWN BLOWOUT; Cheers! Follow our guide to notable nightspots
Kerry Purcell, Aiden Fitzgerald and Tenley Woodman
Sure, you're making the rounds of DNC parties and soaking up the sights of Boston. But if your idea of drinking in local color includes raising a glass, then a guide to prime Hub watering holes is just what you need. We've organized a couple of visitor-friendly pub crawls well worth a night (or several) on the town.
Here's cheers, delegates:
Sonsie, 327 Newbury St., Boston; 617-351-2500.
- Celeb sightings: Affleck, Matt Damon, Billy Joel, Mark Wahlberg, George Clooney, Steve Martin, Danny DeVito, Isabella Rossellini, Oliver Stone and Renee Zellweger.
- What to order: an espresso martini, the Democrat (vodka infused with blueberries, watermelon and starfruit), the pork tenderloin with grilled peaches arugula and blue cheese or the charcoal duck breast with pineapple coulis.
Pink Panther finished shooting
The bit of interest in this article is the news that they are through shooting the Pink Panther (R.I.P.). When did they finish plugging the poor puddy? No answer. Which raises the question, where in the world is Steve?
July 29, 2004, Thursday
NEWS; Pg. 5
LION'S 'PANTHER' PAL
Robert Simonds, who is producing "The Pink Panther" remake, has parted ways with the Walt Disney Co. and landed a first-look production deal at MGM.
First pic that Simonds will produce for the Lion under the deal will be a redo of the family laffer "Yours, Mine & Ours." Original starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda.
Tracey Trench, who exec produces all of Simonds' pics, will continue to serve as prexy of the Robert Simonds Co.
Simonds recently wrapped "The Pink Panther," starring Steve Martin and directed by Shawn Levy. It bows next year.
Simonds moves to MGM as the studio is in the midst of a potential selloff of assets. But execs continue to move forward with plans to produce pics and fill the upcoming slate, having sat at the negotiation table with bidders before and not ending up with a deal.
"Having just finished principal photography on 'The Pink Panther,' I'm really pleased with my experience working with MGM," Simonds said. "The studio gave us the freedom and support to make the movie we wanted to make, providing a protected, nurturing environment in which to work."
Simonds also recently produced the Fox hit "Cheaper by the Dozen," also starring Martin and helmed by Levy. It earned $ 139 million at the domestic B.O. A sequel's in the works.
Pennies from Heaven DVD finally out
Just a note: this week the long awaited dvd of Steve's Pennies from Heaven is coming out. So is the original BBC series version.
Hiking by Steve
The New York Times
July 23, 2004 Friday
Late Edition - Final
Section F; Column 1; Escapes; JOURNEYS; Pg. 7
Canyon Hikes In the City of Stars
SIGHTS -- Valley yuppies and Italian landscapes.
DISTANCE -- 2.5 miles
On weekend mornings, the parking lot at Wilacre Park on the San Fernando Valley side of the Hollywood Hills teems with S.U.V.'s and Volvos, as parents unload babies into backpacks or jogging strollers. The hike, known locally as Fryman Canyon, affords hilltop views that resemble an Italian countryside. Unlike Runyon, it has shady stretches and water fountains for people and dogs at the summit, which is the headquarters for Tree People, a local conservation group.
Among the crowd on a recent day were Linda Stimpson and her husband, Curt, both in their 50's, who have been making the hilly hike for a decade. Among the wildlife they've spotted, Mr. Stimpson said, have been a llama, a coyote and Steve Martin.''
On the way down, you exit at a gate onto Iredell Lane, where you descend into more typical Los Angeles sounds: the thwack of tennis balls, gardeners revving weed trimmers, driveway gates swinging shut. (The large, forbiddingly fenced residence on the right belongs to George Clooney.) Return to your car, or re-enter the trail 50 yards ahead and opt for the longer, six-mile hike up to Fryman Overlook.
(Take Laurel Canyon Boulevard to Fryman and park in the lot; on a recent weekend, a petition was posted protesting a proposed $3 fee. There is plenty of street parking nearby.)
Another obscure pic
periodically i'll put up a different pic from a source i found recently. give you a thrill :)
Tina Brown does Steve
Topic A with Tina Brown (8:00 PM ET)
May 2, 2004 Sunday
Steve Martin discusses his career as a comedian and author
ANCHORS: TINA BROWN
(Excerpt from "Saturday Night Live")
TINA BROWN, host:
Mr. STEVE MARTIN: Thank you.
BROWN: I love having you here.
Mr. MARTIN: What a way to start.
BROWN: I know. What a way to start. I mean, those were some of the most iconic moments in American comedy. If you were starting your act now at this moment, would you do that kind of comedy?
Mr. MARTIN: I don't think so. I think I--I get a lot of enjoyment now, like last weekend they gave a tribute to Michael Caine and, you know, they asked me to do three minutes to tribute Michael Caine. So I do enjoy that. It's much more straightforward and sort of--sort of lines. And it's--it's not as active as this. But I--I--it's more suited to me now.
BROWN: Do you think that some of that wild, crazy comedy that you used to do in the very beginning, was it almost a reaction to the family that you grew up in, do you think? Was it a response to this very static kind of almost homogenized suburban existence?
Mr. MARTIN: No, no. It was much more a reaction to the kind of show business that I grew up with, which by the way this is not a criticism of it because we always have to rebel against our forebearers. It was kind of old--it had become old-fashioned. And also another thing that was happening--this would be the late '60s--e--everybody was--you know, there was the war and there was a lot of earnestness and anger. And al--almost--I would say all com--comedians were political. And--and I decided we've had it, and that was part of the influence that made me do what I did, which was just sort of, you know, zany...
BROWN: Breaking out.
Mr. MARTIN: Yeah, yeah. Zanier, non-relevant, just about having fun.
BROWN: So what makes you laugh now?
Mr. MARTIN: Well, let's see. That's a good question, because I was laughing. We--but mostly, you know, it's friends.
BROWN: You laugh with friends.
Mr. MARTIN: Friends, yeah. I--I love funny people. I've been hanging--I hang out with Marty Short, who's very funny, and now I'm working with Kevin Kline on "The Pink Panther" movie, and he's very funny. And I like that sort of banter that goes on.
BROWN: You're working now on this Clouseau movie. You're going to actually re-create "The Pink Panther" character.
Mr. MARTIN: Right.
BROWN: Right. And, I mean, how--is it--is it--h--what has led you to kind of want to go back into this kind of mythic kind of comedy role that's already been created by Peter Sellers?
Mr. MARTIN: I knew that Peter Sellers--and I've watched, and I've loved him my whole life--that he knew--he was inside that character. He could be funny in a second. In an ad-lib, he could be--anything could be thrown at him; he would be Inspector Clouseau. And I knew that that--that's what had to happen, that I couldn't imitate Peter Sellers, I had to like, 'OK, I can be funny. Let's see--let's see if I can figure out a way to feel funny in the role,' because if you feel funny, g--generally you are. And so I started working with it and working with it and finally...
BROWN: And what hap--did it start to happen with the moustache?
Mr. MARTIN: No--well, that helps to see yourself. It does--it does help.
BROWN: It's also quite a good time to be satirizing the French--Right?--because there's so much anti-French feeling in the world.
Mr. MARTIN: I'm staying away from the obvious, though.
BROWN: I think what I find very interesting is the way you've managed to compartmentalize so much of your creative life into these different areas with such success. I mean, you do now--really most of the movies you do now, I would say, don't really tax your intelligence.
Mr. MARTIN: Yeah. Yeah.
BROWN: I mean, they're very mainstream, commercial comedies.
Mr. MARTIN: Right.
BROWN: And then you have your very sort of witty and sophisticated New Yorker pieces, and then of course you have your novel writing, which has really become, you know, very much part of your life...
Mr. MARTIN: Right.
BROWN: ...which is again literary writing of a--of a very kind of in a way refined kind. How do you keep all these things separate?
Mr. MARTIN: Well, I--I--I--I don't know. I don't think about it, but I--I do know that I--I would say that the books, like "Shop Girl" and "Pleasure of My Company," sort of represent what I will humbly call a more lyrical type of writing. And--and now that I'm working on "The Pink Panther" script, it was really just jokes and physical gags and--and I realized how far those two are apart because there's absolutely no--there's timing in a joke, but there's no sentence structure, you know. It's whatever--whatever works. Whatever...
BROWN: It's almost like there's a disjunct in a sense between the kind of material you're writing and sort of spending a lot of your--your sort of heart on, I feel. And, I mean, do you think that the--are movies now really a business chore? I mean, do you decide that you are going to deliberately pick...
Mr. MARTIN: No.
BROWN: ...the more mainstream comedies because--and just separate it out in terms of passion?
Mr. MARTIN: No. I'll--I'll tell you, I--first I--I just did a movie of "Shop Girl" which I was very, very pleased to do, and it's a very poignant story, as you know. But I also--I like these movies. For example, "Cheaper by the Dozen."
(Excerpt from "Cheaper by the Dozen")
Mr. MARTIN: It's a--I--as I watch movies that are violent, which I enjoy, you know, I also realize, you know, there's got to be some up--uplifting in a way material for people. And I--and I want to be--I--I don't want to go to my grave going, 'Just look at those ugly films I made.'
BROWN: So in a way, I mean...
Mr. MARTIN: 'Look how many people I killed. Look how many stomachs I eviscerated,' you know?
BROWN: But in a way your--then your comedy's taken you right back to the kind of comedies that you were growing up with, that you kind of rebelled with--with the wild and crazy guy.
Mr. MARTIN: Right. Well, actually the--"The Jerk," my first movie, was--looking now was quite soft. This really is about jokes.
(Excerpt from "The Jerk")
Mr. MARTIN: You know, it's all physical gags and jokes and happiness, but also I don't get offered complicated material, you know--meaning, you know, great mysteries or psychological thrillers, which I--I really enjoy.
BROWN: Steve, it was great to have you with us today.
Mr. MARTIN: That's it?
BROWN: Thank you so much.
Mr. MARTIN: Oh, my God. I had so much to say.
BROWN: I know.
Mr. MARTIN: So much to reveal.
BROWN: I know.
Mr. MARTIN: OK. Thank you very much.
BROWN: Up next, selling out your family, your lovers, your boss. Will cashing in ever be out?
Steve Talks about PP
SHOW: GOOD MORNING AMERICA (07:00 AM ET)
June 4, 2004 Friday
BEYONCE AND STEVE MARTIN ON THE SET OF NEW "PINK PANTHER"
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS
(Off Camera) It's always been the top cat of movie comedies, the classic "Pink Panther" first made famous by Peter Sellers 40 years ago. But now there is a brand-new version with Beyonce herself heating up the silver screen, and the wildly inventive Steve Martin, who is also a writer on the film, by the way, stepping into the shoes of the bumbling inspector Jacques Clouseau, who thinks he's terribly seductive. So, we were happy to get an invitation to hang out with the superstars on the set.
(Voice Over) That kind of cool cat is back.
STEVE MARTIN, "THE PINK PANTHER"
What is going on here? There is some sort of interview thing going on or what? Please. This is disgusting.
SHAWN LEVY, DIRECTOR
(Voice Over) This time, Steve Martin, the king of character acting, morphs once again into the distinctively French, decidedly mustached Inspector Clouseau on the hunt for an infamous Pink Panther diamond. And his partner, steaming up the screen, Beyonce, goddess of all things. Her character's mission, capture Clouseau's heart. She's got the dress to do it.
(Off Camera) Did you get a say in all of the costume stuff?
BEYONCE, "THE PINK PANTHER"
Yeah, I, I try to be involved.
She gets to say no if she doesn't like it.
(Off Camera) Yeah?
But they did a great job.
(Off Camera) Right.
The best costumes. One of the things that attracted me to this, they brought some of the sketches. I'm like, oh, my God.
(Voice Over) Does the dorky Clouseau get his girl?
(Off Camera) Your director asked me to ask you how it is you get the almost animal, sexual tension between the two of you in this film. That he doesn't even know that there's a rating for it that they can put ...
Well, I think she's nuts about me.
Yes. He's, he's very, very sexy in the film.
(Off Camera) So you play international ...
(Off Camera) ... diva, pop superstar, possible murder suspect ...
Yes. Yes. Exactly.
(Off Camera) Xania, right?
And she's very sexy, very fashionable, very well-traveled. And she has a huge crush on Clouseau.
(Off Camera) Have you ever had a dorky guy that you really did have a crush on?
Everyone has. Yes. Yes, absolutely.
(Voice Over) So, what's the secret of Clouseau's charm? The French accent?
He is not dead. He is pushing up daisies.
(Voice Over) The unique sense of style? The grace on the dance floor?
(Voice Over) Beyonce gives me a lesson in diva does walking.
There you go.
(Voice Over) Never too late to learn from the girl who lives the part, the girl always in the cross-hairs of the camera.
(Off Camera) Where do you go to be just you? Where do you go and feel entirely free and like yourself?
Wow. I guess when I write songs it's kind of like therapy, and it's kind of like, you know, I'm telling my heart. And probably when I'm at home with no make-up on, with slippers on, and watching television, and eating chocolate ice cream. That's when I'm ...
(Off Camera) And tell me you eat the whole tub sometimes.
Oh, yes. Absolutely.
(Off Camera) Oh, great. 'Cause I read in this magazine, I read that you said that you didn't think your legs were right, and then you were worried that your waist wasn't right and ...
No, that was me.
(Off Camera) It's impossible, though. It's impossible if you think that when you look in the mirror.
No. I, I mean, we all have our imperfections. But, I'm human. And, you know, it's important to, to concentrate on the other qualities besides outer beauty.
(Off Camera) All right. So, tell me the most interesting thing he does as an actor.
He clicks into this character, and it's amazing to watch that before your eyes. During rehearsals, we would do certain things and he would change it just on the spot and pull out his computer. And that's amazing, 'cause I love writers, and I would love to do that one day.
(Off Camera) And what do you see when you watch her?
Well, I see incredible freshness. And I don't mean freshness, forwardness. I mean freshness like a flower. And a great spontaneity, and a great youth energy and charm.
(Off Camera) And do we assume ...
Wait. I was talking about myself. Sorry.
(Off Camera) So confusing. As Clouseau would say, coming up, Lonestar, performing live in Bryant Park. Stay with us.
Christmas fun in Hollywood
The Oprah Winfrey Show (4:00 PM ET)
June 18, 2004 Friday
Kurt Russell, Billy Crystal: cool dads; Russell and Crystal discuss being first-time grandfathers, their careers and their families
HOST: Oprah Winfrey
KURT RUSSELL, BILLY CRYSTAL: COOL DADS
Mr. CRYSTAL: Do Elvis. He does a great...
Mr. RUSSELL: If you're--if you're--yeah.
WINFREY: Just a little bit.
Mr. CRYSTAL: Come on. Do it.
Mr. RUSSELL: It's--unfortunately, I'm not--I--I can--you can just slip in, slip out. I'm not--I'm not that good.
Mr. CRYSTAL: Yeah, but--but you can, too. Yes, you can.
Mr. RUSSELL: No. No.
Mr. CRYSTAL: He does a great Elvis. Actually, we've been at--there's a great Christmas party that we have attended every year.
Mr. RUSSELL: Marty Short's house.
Mr. CRYSTAL: At Marty Short's house.
Mr. RUSSELL: Yeah.
Mr. CRYSTAL: And it's--it's--if--it is a--if--if they would televise this, you can't believe who Marty gets up to perform.
Mr. RUSSELL: And how he gets them to perform. It's--it's a pre--it's a pressure night.
Mr. CRYSTAL: And, I mean--and how he get--and--big pressure night. I mean, you talk about the Oscars being pressure. No, I go to Marty's house, I'm nervous for two weeks if I have to prepare. And he shames you into performing.
Mr. RUSSELL: You have to.
Mr. CRYSTAL: And he's hilarious. And if you don't get up, he'll chase you out of the neighborhood.
Mr. RUSSELL: Yeah.
Mr. CRYSTAL: And I--Kurt got up, and I don't think anybody knew that you could sing.
Mr. RUSSELL: And I had prepared. I was like ready. I mean, I had--I went out and got a tape and I--you know, I...
Mr. CRYSTAL: I mean, I have--I have seen Tom Hanks quiver in his boots getting up there. I've seen Dennis Miller run out of the house. I've been nervous. Steve Martin plays banjo and--and--and everyone just gets up. I've seen Steven Spielberg play the clarinet, playing "Oh, Hanukkah, oh, Hanukkah" on--I swear to God, for equal time.
Mr. RUSSELL: Yeah.
Mr. CRYSTAL: Yeah, but Kurt got it--he sings really well.
Mr. RUSSELL: Well, I--it wasn't--it wasn't--it wasn't easy.
Mr. CRYSTAL: I know. ...(Unintelligible).
Mr. RUSSELL: And I--you know, it was a rough room, and I did my best.
WINFREY: And so how many people are at this party?
Mr. CRYSTAL: Oh, 50, 60.
Mr. RUSSELL: Yeah.
WINFREY: That's it?
Mr. RUSSELL: Yeah. But it's just...
Mr. CRYSTAL: It's jammed.
Mr. RUSSELL: Yeah.
WINFREY: But it's jammed. And wait a minute. And you know when you go to Marty Short's Christmas party...
Mr. CRYSTAL: You're going to be called on.
Mr. RUSSELL: You don't have to. You don't have to. And Marty goes to great lengths to say, 'This is ridiculous. There's no pressure here. Just come have fun.' Yeah, Marty.
Mr. CRYSTAL: Yeah. No.
Topic A with Tina Brown (8:00 PM ET)
July 4, 2004 Sunday
Simon Doonan, Ed Hayes, Jessi Klein and Toure discuss Americans' shopping and reading habits, then discuss their vacation picks
Mr. STEVE MARTIN: (From videotape) A book I buy extra copies of to give people is "Out of Sheer Rage" by Geoff Dyer. He's talking about his dilemma between writing his thesis on D.H. Lawrence or his novel. He's a hilarious writer.
Just a tidbit
The San Francisco Chronicle
JULY 5, 2004, MONDAY, FINAL EDITION
DAILY DATEBOOK; Pg. D10;
Postcards: At Il Cantinori in New York, The Chronicle's Carolyne Zinko spotted Steve Martin with a date, extraordinary only because Martin had a pencil-thin black mustache (penciled in to disguise him?).
Video -- the Making of the Pink Panther
M. Clouseau has kindly shared this link for a video of the making of the Pink Panther. It is long on Beyonce and short on Steve, but you can hear his accent and see smoke come out of his crotch. Apparently the Singing Balls have taken to smoking Gauloises. And for the first time, I noticed that Shawn Levy looks, sounds and moves like Martin Short.
Click here to view
Merci, M. Clouseau
Box Office Prophets on Shopgirl
Release Date: November TBA, 2004
Movie of the Day for Monday, June 28, 2004
She was just a small town girl living in a lonely world. She did not, however, take the midnight train going anywhere like that girl Steve Perry knew. Instead, she moved to L.A. and took a job behind the accessories counter at Saks. Well, she originally took a job at Neiman Marcus in the book, but in Hollywood, there exists a thing called product placement, and Saks ponied up more dough for their spot in the movie.
Anyway, the point here is that Mirabelle, our heroine, is living a half-life. She tries to sell gloves in a city of perennial 70 degree weather, then she goes home to an empty apartment. There, she is even shunned by one of her two cats. Her dream of becoming a successful painter leads her to fill canvas after canvas with vivid imagery, but these works of art have received no attention outside the confines of the apartment.
Mirabelle is technically in a relationship with a kind-hearted but deadly dull boy-man named Jeremy. Since their chance meeting in a laundromat, the two have become lovers, but Jeremy's inexperience and general ineptitude prevent Mirabelle from attaining any sort of comfort in his fumbling, twitchy hands.
Then one day, a handsome, older man enters Mirabelle's life. This rich and successful stranger, Ray Porter, romances her in his fashion. He offers her the finer things in life but the best gift he gives this shrinking violet is dutiful attention. Like many lecherous men of his ilk, Porter wants to possess the beauty of Mirabelle but in a safe, controlling manner. His impact on the woman is profound, and it eventually leads her to question if his cold but loving touch is enough to satisfy her life's longings.
Shopgirl is a classic tale of a woman blossoming from timorous waif into mindful woman well aware of her needs. Paralleling her journey is the background arc of Jeremy, who is similarly growing into something of a more appropriate mate for our heroine. In the end, she will be left with the same choice all such characters have: to accept financial security in exchange for the sacrifice of her heart or to take a shot on a late bloomer recently showing some unexpected potential.
The Steve Martin story was universally hailed as a literary treasure upon its publication, so filming the script was simply a matter of time. The lone surprise is that Martin chose to take no chances with the character of Ray Porter by accepting the part for himself. Rushmore's Jason Schwartzman is a most appropriate choice for the romantic competitor of Jeremy, and the presence of such exceptional actresses as Frances Conroy, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras and Rebecca Pidgeon (in her first non-Mamet project in 15 years) confirms the pedigree of the project.
It's the casting of the shopgirl herself that clearly draws the line on this being more than your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy/drama. Claire Danes, one of the most gifted actresses of the current generation, takes on the title role here in a casting viewed by the staff of BOP as something of a masterstroke. Having watched her evolve from the tortured teen in My So-Called Life through a recent evolution into an action hero in Terminator 3, we are convinced there was no better choice available for this role.
As with L.A. Story, Steve Martin has again created a universe filled with archetypal characters in Shopgirl. The insecure beauty, the body-obsessed Model/Actress/Whatever wannabe, the aimless slacker with a pure heart, and the rich, dirty old man are L.A. society mainstays, and Martin takes a sledgehammer to all of them in the novella. After a streak of shameless moneymaker projects like Bringing Down the House and Cheaper by the Dozen, the cerebral but tortured Steve Martin best demonstrated in Grand Canyon and The Spanish Prisoner is back in play with this, his most personal film project. BOP is not even going to bother acting unbiased on this one, as we as a group have been counting down the days for the movie's release ever since the day of the novella's publication. (David Mumpower/BOP)
A translation of an article about the French Press Conference
THE ROSE PANTHER: First images and meeting with the team!
Interview by Aurélie Maulard - Paris, July 6, 2004.
(Translated from the French by me, Babel Fish, and a pretty good French-English dictionary.)
Whereas the return of the PINK PANTHER, brought to life by Shawn Levy with Jean Reno, Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles and Emily Mortimer, has just been completed in Paris, the whole team came together on July 6  in the Sorbonne, principal shooting location of the film, where they gave a press conference.
Looking wise sitting in their speakers' seats in the Sorbonne amphitheatre, Kevin Kline with a French accent, Beyonce Knowles dressed in a yellow suit, amustachioed Steve Martin, a badly shaven Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer in a summer dress and Shawn Levy with the slicked-down hair are like professors of humour for the audience. Jokes instead of anecdotes of shooting of the film? Quite simply because the film is still far from being finished... To meet the team at this crucial time where the story is still secret was only a pretext to show the good relationship between the actors... and to keep us licking our chops while waiting for at the end of 2005...
Since 1964, the PINK PANTHER has appeared on the list of the 100 funniest films of all times. Liked by critics and the general public, this most famous feline, celebrating its 40th year, is always popular! Since 2001, we've been waiting to hear of a new version, first by Ivan Reitman (EVOLUTION), then replaced Shawn Levy (CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN). Actorwise, the famous trenchcoat of Inspector Clouseau, which still carries the marks of Peter Sellers, had landed on the shoulders of Chris Tucker, Robin Williams, Mike Myers and Kevin Spacey before stopping on those of Steve Martin. From his prior movies,(FATHER Of THE BRIDE, LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN...), one can expect a hilarious comedy, which bring back the to the big screen the earlier versions: a famous soccer player is assassinated and a ring, decorated with the famous diamond "the Pink Panther" had been hidden. Soccer player, pop Star (Beyonce), Chinese Mafia, everyone is suspect! Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin), accompanied by his sidekick Ponton (Jean Reno) hunts for the panther and must take care that Chief Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) does not collect all the laurels...
Usually, a press conference is held when the film is finished! Which are your impressions?
Shawn Levy : I believe that the film is finished!
Steve Martin : Moreover we were told it would be on the screen next week!
Emily Mortimer : It is wonderful to turn to Paris. I am very happy to be part of the team... Very happy, joyous... nervous too! It's hard to talk about a film while making it.
Jean Reno : To come back to the American cinema at the sides of Steve, Kevin and Shawn is an honor and a great adventure for me. Lots of fun, work... a vacation too!
Steve Martin : I wanted to salute the work and the perseverance of Jean who learned how to speak French for film. Your accent is really very good.
Jean Reno (in approximate French): Thank you, I worked at it a lot.
Kevin Kline : What was the question? It is hot here. I wonder how the students who have come here since 1639 could learn something with this temperature. I am very glad there to be! This reminds me of my years at the university, Pascal, Descartes, Racine!
And I can only say that it will be easier to to have a press conference when the film is finished...! I'm joking. I adore Paris, I adore the French and I LOVE YOU ALL.
Shawn Levy : On all turnings, the team tells you at which point it is formidable, at which point it has fun, at which point everyone is appreciated... And it is ensured you that it is true. In fact, they is often false. But there one wonders what does not go, because all is well, all is almost too easy! The film found its rate/rhythm, its harmony, we has same humour, laughs with the same jokes... And I think that it is the best way of making a comedy.
Steve Martin : Of course, all that is false...
Were you under a lot of pressure about remaking the Pink Panther?
Steve Martin : At the beginning there was a lot, yes! Until I spoke with Shawn Levy. We discussed the film which we wanted to really make, and starting from the existing script, we invented rather insane ideas! Now, I feel good.
Why return to the legendary myth of the Rose Panther after so many years?
Kevin Kline : Emily, do you want to answer?
Emily Mortimer : ... And well... A whole generation never knew the adventures of the Pink Panther. I find that it is a chance to revisit these characters, these stories... It is perhaps also a way of making this generation want to discover the films with Peter Sellers.
Is Steve, difficult to embody Inspector Clouseau after Peter Sellers ?
Steve Martin : I tried to adapt the character from the original. Each actor has his own interpretation... In this film, there are scenes which must to Peter Sellers much, others at all.
Shawn Levy : Of course, there was Peter Sellers, but we did not want to in no case to imitate him. Steve plays a character, not a person. He wrote it, it is his style of comedy... It is a new Clouseau!
Jean, Kevin, what your characters think of Clouseau?
Jean Reno : At the beginning of film, he... I will not tell you the story.
Steve Martin : Let us say that you play my sidekick, my escort, my assistant.
Jean Reno : Yes... but.
Kevin Kline : The same answer! Dreyfus hates Clouseau, he exasperates him, He amuses him. He could even fall in love with him! Clouseau is a classic character, a prototype, like those of Commedia dell' arte.
Jean Reno : Yes... but.
Kevin Kline : You know Commedia dell' Arte? You know, I speak Italian. Lo parlo italiano, the commedia dell' arte... heu... These characters come from a traditional reference. But the beauty of the classic is that it can be rewritten, transformed. And Steve Martin added his personal touch, it is no longer Blake Edwards' Clouseau. But it is difficult to talk about the characters...
Jean Reno: ... without revealing the story.
Steve Martin : It's really hard to stop yourself!
Jean Reno : The answer, ultimately, is that it is quite difficult not to like Clouseau.
Where did Kaito, Clouseau's assistant in the original episodes go?
Shawn Levy : He was victim of political correctness! Actually, I do not know what happened to him. Before I met with Steve on this project, he had already disappeared from the scenario to the benefit of Ponton. But we took care to keep the more amusing aspects of their [Clouseau and Kato's] relationship, like their spontaneous and delirious attacks.
Kaito was Asian. Pontoon is French. In these times of bad Franco-American relations, one can expect a little irony...
Shawn Levy : In film, Ponton is never endangered, it is always Clouseau who gets hit in the head...
Jean Reno : Yes... but.
Kevin Kline : In fact you're getting close to the secret political message of film.
Jean Reno : Yes... but.
Beyonce, is this role important in your career?
Beyonce Knowles : Of course! It is wonderful to work with Steve! (laughter) Seriously, playing comedy is a new love for me. It is a challenge, and this film was something to seize. With preparing my new album, normally I would not have had time to do it. But when I was told who I was going to work with, it was impossible for me to say no. This film is very close to my heart.
Why locate this conference at the Sorbonne?
Shawn Levy : Because this place has an important role in film; it is in fact the Law courts where Clouseau and Dreyfus officiate.
Which are your cinematographic or musical projects?
Steve Martin : I'm going to make a film entitled the PINK PANTHER. In fact, I'm going to make a full length feature film of a book I wrote... It will not be a comedy.
Beyonce Knowles : The new album of Destiny's Child comes out in November! Thus when this is over, I will be locked up in a studio to compose the pieces, and to write some of the musical themes of the PINK PANTHER.
Kevin Kline : My last film, DE-LOVELY, was presented at the end of the Cannes festival and will come to France this fall. I can give you a conference on that one if you want. It tells a "kind of biography" of the composer Cole Porter.
Jean Reno : I will play in Roberto Benigni's next film, THE TIGER AND SNOW.
Emily Mortimer : I'm going to London with Scarlett Johanson to play in the new Woody Allen.
Shawn Levy : Me, I will finish the PINK PANTHER! I will spend the next 6 months in an editing room. I'll lose my beautiful tan... and make a very pretty film. Anyway, that's what I hope.
LA PANTHERE ROSE : Premières images et rencontre avec l’équipe !
Alors que le tournage de LA PANTHERE ROSE, réalisé par Shawn Levy avec Jean Reno, Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyoncé Knowles et Emily Mortimer, vient de s’achever à Paris, toute l’équipe était réunie le 6 juillet à La Sorbonne, principal décor du film, où elle a donné une conférence de presse.
Assis bien sagement sur leurs sièges d'orateurs dans l'amphithéâtre de la Sorbonne, Kevin Kline à l'accent français, Beyoncé Knowles en tailleur jaune, Steve Martin moustachu, Jean Reno mal rasé, Emily Mortimer en robe d'été et Shawn Levy aux cheveux gominés sont comme des professeurs d'humour pour toute l'assemblée. Des blagues au lieu d'anecdotes de tournage ? Tout simplement parce que le film est encore loin d'être terminé… Rencontrer l'équipe à ce moment crucial où l'histoire est encore secret défense n'était que prétexte à montrer la bonne ambiance entre les acteurs… et nous lécher les babines en attendant fin 2005…
Depuis 1964, LA PANTHERE ROSE figure dans la liste des 100 films les plus drôles de tous les temps. Plaisant autant à la critique qu'au grand public, la plus célèbre des félines, qui fête cette année ses 40 ans, a toujours la côte ! Depuis 2001, on attend parler d'un nouvel opus, au départ par Ivan Reitman (EVOLUTION), remplacé au pied levé par Shawn Levy (TREIZE à LA DOUZAINE). Côté acteurs, le fameux imperméable de l'inspecteur Clouseau, qui porte encore les marques de Peter Sellers, avait atterri sur les épaules de Chris Tucker, Robin Williams, Mike Myers et Kevin Spacey avant de s'arrêter sur celles de Steve Martin. En vue du passé cinématographique de l'acteur (LE PERE DE LA MARIEE, LES LOONEY TUNES PASSENT à L'ACTION, TREIZE à LA DOUZAINE…), on peut s'attendre à une comédie délirante, qui devrait reprendre les grandes trames des épisodes précédents : un célèbre entraîneur de foot est assassiné et une bague, ornée du fameux diamant "la Panthère rose" lui a été dérobée. Joueur de foot, pop Star (Beyoncé), mafia chinoise, tout le monde est suspect ! L'inspecteur Clouseau (Steve Martin), accompagné de son accolyte Ponton (Jean Reno) part à la chasse à la panthère et doit veiller que son chef Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) ne récoltent pas tous les lauriers…
D'habitude, on fait une conférence quand le film est terminé ! Quelles sont vos impressions ?
Shawn Levy : On croit que le film est terminé !
Steve Martin : D'ailleurs on nous a dit qu'il sortait la semaine prochaine sur les écrans !
Emily Mortimer : C'est formidable de tourner à Paris. Je suis très heureuse de faire partie de l'équipe… Beaucoup de bonheur, de joie… de nervosité aussi ! Difficile de parler d'un film que l'on est en train de faire.
Jean Reno : Retrouver le cinéma américain aux côtés de Steve, Kevin et Shawn est un honneur et une grande aventure pour moi. Beaucoup de joie, de travail… des vacances aussi !
Steve Martin : Je voulais saluer le travail et la persévérance de Jean qui a appris à parler français pour le film. Ton accent est vraiment très bon.
Jean Reno (en français approximatif) : Merci, j'ai beaucoup travaillé.
Kevin Kline : C'était quoi la question ? Il fait chaud ici. Je me demande comment les étudiants qui viennent ici depuis 1639 ont pu apprendre quelque chose avec cette température. Je suis très content d'être là ! Cela me rappelle mes années à l'université, Pascal, Descartes, Racine !
Et je n'ai qu'une chose à dire ce sera plus facile de faire une conférence de presse quand le film sera fini… ! Je plaisante. J'adore Paris, j'adore les Français et JE VOUS AIME TOUS.
Shawn Levy : Sur tous les tournages, l'équipe vous raconte à quel point c'est formidable, à quel point elle s'amuse, à quel point tout le monde s'apprécie… Et l’on vous assure que c'est vrai. En fait, c'est souvent faux. Mais là on se demande ce qui ne va pas, car tout va bien, tout est presque trop facile ! Le film a trouvé son rythme, son harmonie, nous avons le même humour, rions aux mêmes blagues… Et je pense que c'est la meilleure façon de faire une comédie.
Steve Martin : Bien sûr, tout cela est faux…
Y a-il énormément de pression à reprendre LA PANTHERE ROSE ?
Steve Martin : Au début il y en avait beaucoup, oui ! Jusqu'à ce que j'en parle avec Shawn Levy. On a discuté du film que l'on voulait vraiment faire, et à partir du script qui existait, on a inventé des idées assez folles ! Alors maintenant, je me sens plutôt bien.
Pourquoi revenir au mythe légendaire de la Panthère Rose après tant d'années ?
Kevin Kline : Emily, tu veux répondre ?
Emily Mortimer : … Et bien… Toute une génération n'a jamais connu les aventures de la Panthère Rose. Je trouve que c'est une chance de revisiter ces personnages, ces histoires… C'est peut-être également une façon de donner envie à cette génération de découvrir les films avec Peter Sellers.
Steve, est-il difficile d'incarner l'inspecteur Clouseau après Peter Sellers ?
Steve Martin : A partir de l'original, j'ai essayé de refaire un personnage que je puisse m'approprier. Chaque acteur a sa propre interprétation... Dans ce film, il y a des scènes qui doivent beaucoup à Peter Sellers, d'autres pas du tout.
Shawn Levy : Bien sûr, il y a eu Peter Selles, mais nous ne voulions en aucun cas l'imiter. Steve joue un personnage, pas une personne. C'est lui qui l'a écrit, c'est son style de comédie... C'est un nouveau Clouseau !
Jean, Kevin, qu'est-ce que vos personnages pensent de Clouseau ?
Jean Reno : Au début du film, il… Je ne vais pas vous raconter l'histoire.
Steve Martin : Disons que tu joues mon acolyte, mon escorte, mon assistant.
Jean Reno : Oui… mais.
Kevin Kline : La même réponse ! Dreyfus hait Clouseau, il l'exaspère, il l'amuse… Il pourrait même tomber amoureux de lui ! Clouseau est un personnage classique, un archétype, comme ceux de la Commedia dell'arte.
Jean Reno : Oui… mais.
Kevin Kline : Vous connaissez la Commedia dell'Arte ? Vous savez, je parle italien. Lo parlo italiano, la commedia dell'arte… heu… Ces personnages sont issus d'une référence classique. Mais la beauté d'un classique, c'est que l'on peut le réécrire, le transformer. Et là Steve Martin y a ajouté sa touche perso, ce n'est plus vraiment le Clouseau de Blake Edwards. Mais il est difficile de parler des personnages…
Jean Reno: … sans dévoiler l'histoire.
Steve Martin : On voit surtout que c'est dur pour toi de t'arrêter !
Jean Reno : La réponse, en définitive, est qu'il est bien difficile de ne pas aimer Clouseau.
Où est passé Kaito, l'acolyte de Clouseau des épisodes originaux ?
Shawn Levy : Il a été victime du politiquement correct ! En réalité, je ne sais pas ce qu'il est advenu de lui. Avant que l'on se réunisse avec Steve sur ce projet, il avait déjà disparu du scénario au profit de Ponton. Mais nous avons veillé à garder les aspects les plus amusants de leur relation, comme leurs attaques spontanées et délirantes.
Kaito était asiatique. Ponton est français. En ces temps de mauvaises relations franco-américaines, on peut s'attendre à un peu d'ironie…
Shawn Levy : Dans le film, Ponton n'est jamais mis en danger, c'est toujours Clouseau qui s'en prend plein la tête…
Jean Reno : Oui… mais.
Kevin Kline : En fait vous venez d'aborder le message politique secret du film.
Jean Reno : Oui… mais.
Beyoncé, ce rôle est-il important dans votre carrière ?
Beyoncé Knowles : Bien sûr ! C'est formidable de travailler avec Steve ! (rires) Plus sérieusement, jouer la comédie est un nouvel amour pour moi. C'est un challenge, et ce film était une occasion à saisir. Avec la préparation de mon nouvel album, normalement je n'aurais pas eu le temps de le tourner. Mais lorsque l'on m'a dit avec qui j'allais travailler, il m'était impossible de dire non à une équipe pareille. Ce film me tient énormément à cœur.
Pourquoi situer cette conférence à la Sorbonne ?
Shawn Levy : Parce que ce lieu tient un rôle important dans le film ; c'est en fait le Palais de Justice, là où Clouseau et Dreyfus officient.
Quels sont vos projets cinématographiques ou musicaux ?
Steve Martin : Je vais faire un film intitulé LA PANTHERE ROSE. En fait, je vais réaliser un long-métrage à partir d'un livre que j'ai écrit… Ce ne sera pas une comédie.
Beyoncé Knowles : Le nouvel album des Destiny 's Child sort en novembre ! Donc dès la fin du tournage, je vais m'enfermer dans un studio pour composer les morceaux, et écrire certains des thèmes musicaux de LA PANTHERE ROSE.
Kevin Kline : Mon dernier film, DE-LOVELY, a été présenté en clôture du festival de Cannes et sortira en France en à l’automne. Je peux vous faire une conférence sur celui-là si vous voulez. Il conte une "sorte de vie" du compositeur Call Porter.
Jean Reno : Je vais jouer dans le prochain film de Roberto Benigni, LE TIGRE ET LA NEIGE.
Emily Mortimer : Je file à Londres avec Scarlett Johanson tourner dans le nouveau Woody Allen.
Shawn Levy : Moi, je vais terminer LA PANTHERE ROSE ! Je vais passer les 6 mois à venir dans une salle de montage. De quoi perdre mon beau bronzage… et faire un très joli film. En tout cas je l'espère.
Propos recueillis par Aurélie Maulard – Paris, le 6 juillet 2004.
In The Pink In Paris
The Panther is unveiled
08 July 2004
Ah, it's a glamorous life here at Empire. When we're not hanging out with the rich and famous, we're jetting off to la belle France to chat to the cast of The Pink Panther remake. Yes, that's right – a cracking press conference was held this week in the gorgeous surroundings of the Sorbonne University in Paris, where Steve Martin and company were filming the comedy remake, and we've got all the gossip.
"We’re sort of re-creating it, re-energising it and doing a lot of new jokes, and it has a very good feel to us," said star Steve Martin of the remake. "I’m either brave or stupid and I guess time will tell," said director Shawn Levy.
We also got to see some promising B-roll footage from the film, featuring Clouseau in a (literally) smoking jacket and taking a pratfall when he attempts to show off his football skills. Steve Martin also showcases 'is Fraaunch ax-sawn (sorry, it's quite difficult to spell "his French accent" in a French accent).
Other leading cast members Beyonce, Kevin Kline, Emily Mortimer and Jean Reno also attended to offer their take on the film, but you can read all their comments in more depth on our transcript of the highlights of the press conference.
The Pink Panther Press Conference
Empire speaks to the cast
So… France's favourite son, Inspector Jacques Clouseau - the only cop who could give Frank Drebin a run for his money in the bumbling boob stakes - is back. Filming started on the Paris section of Shawn Levy's reimagining of the Blake Edwards comedy series, The Pink Panther, earlier in the week. (The LA segments have already been shot) A press conference was held to commemorate the occasion, with stars Steve Martin - the brave soul stepping into Peter Sellers' shoes - Kevin Kline, Beyonce, Emily Mortimer, Jean Reno and the director himself. And as ever, Empire was there to lend an ear or two.
So Steve, could you introduce your character and the concept to us?
Steve Martin: I am playing Inspector Clouseau, in The Pink Panther made famous by Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards, and we’re sort of re-creating it, re-energising it and doing a lot of new jokes, and it has a very good feel to us. We feel very good.
Have you been able to find anything new about Clouseau?
Martin: Well I think what’s great about him is his utter confidence, and his inability, his blindness, to see the damage he’s causing. And he’s quite vulnerable - that’s the new attribute of Inspector Clouseau.
Stepping into Peter Sellers' shoes must take some nerve. Did you ever think, 'I don't want to do this?'
Martin: Well the reservations are obvious. They’re all the things you can immediately think of. 'Why do it?', and 'he was great' and blah blah blah. But I thought about it and I said no a couple of times, but then the thing that turned the corner for me was two things. One, I secretly started writing some ideas down to see if I could come up with material, because I knew that’s what Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards had; they had insight into the character and the situations. And so I wrote a couple of things and the studio liked it but it still wasn’t ready. And then I ran into Shawn Levy, in a parking lot and he said 'I heard you’ve been offered the Pink Panther' and I said, 'yeah but I dunno' and I told him some of the ideas, and he said 'that sounds really funny' and I said so are you interested in directing it and he said yep. And then we’re off.
It's the second time you've worked with Shawn Levy, after Cheaper By The Dozen…Martin: He is a fabulous director, great comedy director, understands timing and shorthand and knows how to keep a scene moving and it’s just great.
And how's your Clouseau accent holding up?
Martin: (adopts accent that recalls Rene in 'Allo 'Allo) Nyooo, I werked on eet varry hard and now I em feeling varry comfortable.
And Kevin, what can you tell us about your character?
"He’s having fun, I’m having fun, it’s only the audience that suffers."
Kevin Kline: I am playing Dreyfus, the superior officer - not only superior in rank but also superior in his self-delusions - who brings Clouseau in to help with the case with the full knowledge that he will fail miserably while I take all the glory. So I’m the sort of wannabe nemesis for Clouseau.
And how is it working with Steve?
Kline: It's a delight. I’ve known Steve for twenty years, and there’s a wonderful buoyancy and indefatigable joie de vivre that sort of carries him through the day, because it’s fun for him, he’s having fun, and it’s infectious. He’s having fun, I’m having fun, it’s only the audience that suffers.
Beyonce, what can you tell us about your character?
Beyonce Knowles: I play Xania and she is an international superstar and you’re really not sure if she has a crush on Inspector Clouseau, or if she is using her sexuality as a weapon.
So she's a femme fatale?
Beyonce: Well the whole thing is finding the Pink Panther, finding the diamond thief, and I’m actually one of the suspects. So it’s really exciting to watch this whole thing come together from the rehearsals when I was terrified and nervous and now that we’re having a great time and I’m really more comfortable and now trying to just stay in character and stop laughing at Steve 'cause he’s hilarious.
You're making quite a stab at being an actress, then!
Beyonce: Roles keep coming my way. I haven’t really gone after anything it just happens so I feel like it’s meant to be. And I feel like I’m getting better and I’m trying to surround myself with people like this, who are great actors.
Steve gets his hair fixed -- ah, life on the set
In Paris, Steve has a manly hairdresser.
Look closely and it seems he never really touches his hair. Perhaps it's magic.
Inspector Clouseau back on the "Pink Panther" trail in Paris
Sun Jul 11, 6:51 PM ET
PARIS (AFP) - Inspector Clouseau, the bumbling French detective famous for his mauling of the English language and disastrous gaffes, has been spotted prowling Paris on the set of a new "Pink Panther" movie.
This time though, the flat shoes iconically played by late comedy legend Peter Sellers are being filled by Steve Martin, who is supported by Kevin Kline, singer/actress Beyonce and French actor Jean Reno.
The cast began filming "The Pink Panther" last week in the Sorbonne University in the centre of the capital, which is made to look like an ornate law court in the film and which served as the setting of a media conference to announce some details about the production.
Fans of Sellers' Clouseau will notice some big differences when the film comes out in the middle of next year, most noticeably how white-haired Martin contrasts with the image built up by Sellers over most of the Pink Panther series which started in 1963, despite the homage of a thin moustache.
Movie trade magazines said Martin, the 58-year-old star of "Father of the Bride", "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Jerk", had initially hesitated signing on to a role effectively "owned" by Sellers, but in the end relented.
Shawn Levy, who directed Martin in this year's so-so comedy "Cheaper by the Dozen", is at the helm of film.
The story revolves starts with a famous soccer coach being murdered and his ring sporting the Pink Panther diamond stolen, with a pop star (Beyonce), a player and a Chinese assassin all suspects.
The French government calls in Clouseau, who is aided by a chauffeur (Reno) who is really an undercover cop called in to keep him out of trouble.
Kline, who plays Clouseau's ego-tripping boss, showed more than a passing acquaintance with his role when he broke out into French.
"It's really great to be here. It reminds me of my student years," he said, gesturing at the centuries-old university around them.
See a Swedish News Report on Pink Panther in Paris
Try this for a Swedish report on Steve's news conference in Paris yesterday. This is a large quicktime movie so if you want to see it as a windows media movie or lower bandwidth version, you will need to go to http://www.aftonbladet.se/ettor/webb/29_normal.html , look for the pic of Beyonce and click on the link below, hold your face in just the right place, cross your fingers, and click your heels three times.
Pics of Steve in the Pink Panther
A big merci to Inspector Jacques Clouseau who has kindly pointed me to a French site showing pics of Steve making the Pink Panther. There is also an article in French (duh).
Steve through in NYC on June 15
Age is just a state of mind.(Backlot Buzz)
Back Stage; 6/25/2004; Wood, Mark Dundas
Films Recently Wrapped
Adieu, Clouseau.... The Pink Panther finished the New York portion of its calendar on June 15. Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen) directed a cast headed by Steve Martin and including Jean Reno, Beyonce Knowles, Kevin Kline, Emily Mortimer, and Kristin Chenoweth.