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Lively vs. Johansson for Cuaron's Gravity; Aniston vs. O'Reilly on Parenthood; Hendricks Talks

by Sophia Savage
August 11, 2010 5:29 AM
8 Comments
  • |
Thompson on Hollywood

-Two young actresses are pitted against each other for the lead role in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity as the lone survivor of a failed space telescope repair mission who is trying to get home. Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively are vying for the part in the project, reports THR's Heat Vision blog, which was originally set up at Universal as an Angelina Jolie vehicle. The Cast Away-esque film is now set to push either Johansson or Lively out of a sidekick role and into the spotlight; Robert Downey Jr.'s character in the film takes a back seat to the astronaut trying to get home to her daughter.

In Hollywood, actresses who can carry a movie like this are in short supply: it's essentially Jolie, who comes with a $20-million price tag. Both Johansson and Lively are working on establishing their action film cred (and beefing up their workout regimes) with Iron Man 2 and The Green Lantern (in which Blake co-stars with Johansson's husband Ryan Reynolds). Johansson's last four films--Iron Man 2, He's Just Not That Into You, The Spirit and Vicky Cristina Barcelona--have capitalized on her sex appeal and little else. Lively makes an attractive mannequin in her bread-and-butter series Gossip Girl, but her role in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee suggests potential that could break out in Ben Affleck's upcoming The Town. Whoever wins the Gravity role will have a key opportunity to prove themselves.

Thompson on Hollywood


- Team Aniston got some unwelcome PR when Bill O'Reilly felt the need, earlier this week, to call her promotion of The Switch "destructive to our society." Aniston plays a woman who decides to become artificially inseminated, and she has been heralding to the press the idea that this is not only acceptable, but that times have changed - women don't need men to bear children and be good parents. O'Reilly calls it "glamorizing single parenthood," (which is worse than glamorizing picture-perfect nuclear families that don't exist?). He fears Aniston is "diminishing" under-appreciated fathers (who don't abandon their families, he clarifies) and that the message 12 and 13 year old girls will take from her and this film is that "you don't need a guy." Agreed. Since she is not heralding (or to blame for) teenage pregnancy, and since there are millions of functioning single mothers out there, what's the problem? But rest assured, O'Reilly, if Hollywood follows its usual pattern, The Switch will throw Aniston's comments out the window and give her a partner and her baby a father by the end of the movie.

Thompson on Hollywood


- Deadline interviews Mad Men's Christina Hendricks (nominated for a best supporting actress Emmy). She discusses striving for longevity in her career (Mad Men is the fifth, and most noteworthy, series she's appeared on), her status as a sex symbol; "the good part about that is maybe I’ve contributed to helping women appreciate themselves the way they are, that we don’t all have to be a Size 2 to be beautiful"; the film she is working on alongside Blythe Danner and James Caan called Detachment (a heavy drama about the American public school system), on why she'd be happy for Mad Men to go on forever, and her search for material that excites her - "I'd love to do a musical!"

8 Comments

  • jl | August 13, 2010 12:53 PMReply

    @Okay, so I'm no Gossip Girl fan (never seen it, can't tell you what network it's on) but I did see Blake Lively on SNL (last year). I was completely stunned.

    She may not be an Oscar nom actor, but her performance and level of comfort for SNL was better than Megan Fox, Barrymore, Taylor Swift, January Jones [completely overrated], Taylor Lautner [vomit], even Jon Hamm.

    She's a decent actor - I bet with the right role she'd actually do really well. I mean, Gabourey Sidibe can't act worth shit except for the same role (just wait until the Big C starts and I bet it's the same characters as Precious).

  • Okay | August 13, 2010 6:45 AMReply

    Okay, Blake Lively's agent needs to stop posting now. lol

    What's with this continuing fascination with white bread bland blondes with no charisma or personality? I mean seriously - the world is getting more diverse, not less - yet this is Hollywood's forward thinking casting? The only people that would pay money to look at Blake Lively for 2 hrs , are Blake Lively's friends and family.

  • JB Early | August 12, 2010 8:10 AMReply

    These are both likable actors. But are they only two who can carry a lead? How old is her daughter 3? Kid won't even remember her dead mom. This seems better suited for a Swank or Theron, same age range as Jolie. What are they blue hairs? Or they can't open a movie now. There are at least 10 UK women who could do this role, but they're only good for quality TV in US productions. Anybody know a young Jodie Foster type? Hmmmm how about Ev Wood.

  • mary | August 12, 2010 4:11 AMReply

    Warner Bros has a very good relationship with Blake Lively (WB co-financed and release her breakthrough film "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants", then let her to do the TV series "Gossip Girl" and blockbuster "Green Lantern").

    My bet is that Blake Lively will finally get the role.

  • Koto | August 12, 2010 2:22 AMReply

    I think Blake Lively has a lot of potential.From what I read and heard,she seems like talented and nice girl.I also heard she was great in "The Town" alongside Jeremy Renner.Time will tell if it’s true or not,but I have a feeling she is a potential movie star.I hope she gets the role.

  • JeezLouise | August 11, 2010 9:29 AMReply

    I'm still baffled at how you go from Angelina Jolie, to Blake Lively. ScarJo isn't exactly equatable either, but it's not as insane as Lively. Why don't the powers that be, call up Anna Wintour and asked how sales went when she nixed Kristen Stewart for her July issue, and put Blake Lively on the cover. Then you can call the 3 people who bought it, so they can weigh in. What about Marion Cotilliard, Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchette , Kate Winslet or Kiera Knightly. Somebody give Winon Ryder a break - she just didn't lose her talent with her emotional issues a few years back, how about Sandra Bullock - better yet, after the success of SALT, stop trying to cut deals and get bargain basement prices on actresses and go back to Jolie and BEG, if the project was constructed with her in mind. Bottomline two hrs alone with Blake Dead-ly (and not in the dangerous hot way, but the boring insipid bland white bread YAWN way) - would be the stupidest casting ever. Why not burn your money now.

  • AliciaKeeee | August 11, 2010 7:35 AMReply

    The only actress I would want to see alone in a space capsule for two hours would be Angelina Jolie. Warner made a mistake by replacing her with the likes of Johansson/Lively.

  • Brian | August 11, 2010 6:24 AMReply

    Which actress do I want to see alone in a space capsule for two hours? Certainly not Johansson or Ms. Lively (who strikes me as anything but lively). If there's clever dialogue, give it to Ellen Page. If she's silent for much of the two hours, give it to Megan Fox.

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