You’re probably used to the Jason Statham that you would normally watch in movies like “The Expendables,” “The Fast and The Furious,” and “Transporter.” Ahead of Statham’s new movie, “Redemption,” perhaps you should be forewarned that he isn’t exactly kicking butt and taking names. Not to say that there aren’t any action scenes, but those select points of the film are driven by a dramatic storyline.
“The Ralphie Show” caught up with Statham at the movie’s junket and talked about the role-departure with this film. “Redemption” hits theaters Friday.
LIFE AND STYLE WEEKLY’S ANDREW NODELL: Kelly Rowland Speaks, Bieber’s Awkward Request, Kim and Kanye’s Daughter
Life & Style Weekly reports that Kim Kardashian and baby North West are living with Kris Jenner until the new pad is finished, but are healthy and doing fine. Senior Reporter Andrew Nodell also chatted about Justin Bieber’s interesting hotel requests and In Touch Weekly’s interview with Kelly Rowland on “The Ralphie Show.”
On screen, Phil Leotardo and Tony Soprano were foes; the heads of the New York and New Jersey crime families respectively on the hit HBO series “The Sopranos.” Off screen, Frank Vincent and James Gandolfini comprised a cast that for the past 24 hours, has consistently described itself as a big family.
“Probably one of the finest actors I’ve ever worked with; a very professional guy,” Vincent said via telephone about his on-screen enemy, following the news that Gandolfini died in Italy at the age of 51. “He never let his talent get in the way of his friendship. He was a sweetheart of a man and it’s very tragic that this happened.”
Reports Tuesday night suggested that Gandolfini may have passed away from a heart attack. An autopsy has yet to be performed. Vincent said he did not know of any health issues with the star.
“Jimmy was always a big, healthy, hearty guy,” he said. “Who knows? 51 years old… they say when you’re young and you get a heart attack, it’s not the best thing in the world. It’s a shock to everybody.”
Vincent filmed for years with Gandolfini, and looks back fondly on the times they spent together.
“All the stuff in the Bada Bing that we did and all the stuff in the houses… I mean, it’s just a sad thing. I feel bad for his family.”
Andy Grammer is staying busy. The “Keep Your Head Up” singer is playing one-off dates across the globe following the release of an EP, Crazy Beautiful, and an appearance on the ABC reality competition, “The Bachelorette.”
“It was like any first date. It feels like a little bit forced but they were sweet people,” recalled Grammer when I sat down with him last weekend before he played one of those aforementioned dates: a performance on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City for Resorts Casino. “I was their first date, so they came to me on a bridge that was all blocked off and we played just for them. It was cool.”
Grammer married singer-songwriter Aijia Lise Guttman last year. Yet there is one particular first date memory that still haunts him, no pun intended, to this day.
“I love to scare people. It’s a big issue of mine. I’m working on it currently,” prefaced Grammer before diving in to the plot. “This girl, we hadn’t been dating yet, but she flew in. I thought it would be awesome to hide in the trunk for like, a half hour, and then have the guy pull over and tell her to get a CD out of the back of the car. In the middle of Louisiana.”
The singer followed through with his plan. His mark didn’t find it awesome, and that is probably a big understatement.
“She got so scared,” he told me. “We were not friends after I did it. She opened the trunk, and I screamed at her. She lost it for 10 minutes, and it wasn’t cool. We got back in the car, and it was super awkward.”
Don’t expect to hear about it on Grammer’s next single. He confesses that while he enjoys scaring people, he understands it’s relatively mean-spirited.
But, the “Fine By Me” artist is currently working on a full-length album. Grammer divulged that he’s currently “experimenting” with different sounds, and is looking forward to his schedule calming down so that he can get some “quality studio time.” He estimates that his fans could hear a song from the album sometime early next year.
It isn’t all high life and cat fights this season on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” The fifth season of the reality show has already featured a scene with cast member Kathy Wakile encouraging her sister Rosie Pierri to get out and meet more people. Pierri is gay and Wakile may help to breakdown some of the stereotypes associated with Italian-Americans and the gay community.
“I think people need to open their eyes and see what’s really inside instead of what’s the shell,” she explained to me over the weekend following an appearance at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. “We’re good people, it’s just we take everything to the extreme.”
Wakile was carefully not to suggest the same stereotypes apply to all Italian-Americans, or even all those that live in New Jersey. But, she also pointed out that not all of the stereotypes are necessarily negative.
“I think we’re all passionate,” she said. “We love hard, we play hard, and we get angry hard.”
Of course, Italian-Americans love to “mangia” as well. Wakile is now in the desert business with her frozen cannoli kits that she sells through her website. The “Real Housewife” broke down the key ingredients for the treat.
“First of all, you gotta make it with a lot of love,” she explained. “Then you have your Ricotta, and confectionary sugar, and then you have your shell. And that’s pretty much it.”
Wakile told me that her favorite place to grab a cannoli in Manhattan is Ferrara’s.
“Real Housewives of New Jersey” Star Kathy Wakile offered “The Ralphie Show” a quick preview of the “RHONJ” episode that will air on Bravo Sunday June 16 at 8 PM. The series is currently in Season 5.
Kathy spoke after a cannoli-demo inside Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. The reality TV star sells her own pastry kits online.
Olivia Culpo won the Miss USA crown last year, en route to also claiming the Miss Universe title. Her advice to the contestants at this year’s USA pageant is to “work your hardest,” and I’m certain she meant “work” and not “werk.”
“There tends to be a pecking order with the girls behind the stage that nobody really sees,” Culpo explained on “The Ralphie Show.” “You know who the frontrunners are because you know who’s working the hardest.”
Culpo cited examples of what some of the state qualifiers do to catch the judges’ attention, such as never removing their heels, sitting down, or nodding off during rehearsals.
“I never wanted to think of it as that, but I did want to think of it in terms of how hard I was working and I did know that I was working my hardest,” she responded when I asked whether she considered herself a lead candidate last year. “I wanted to work as hard as I could.”
These are big shoes for 19 year-old Brittany Stenovitch to fill. The Cranston, RI-native is from the same town as Culpo and will represent the Ocean State in this year’s competition. The reigning Miss Universe made no bones about the fact that she’s pulling for the contestant that she crowned.
“I gotta keep it real with my ‘Rhody’ peeps!” Culpo insisted.
The Miss USA pageant airs Sunday night at 9 on NBC. The event will be co-hosted by Giuliana Rancic and Nick Jonas. Internet sensation Katherine Webb, who competed last year as Miss Alabama USA, will not judge but will be in attendance. Webb found instant fame earlier this year when ESPN play-by-play man Brent Musburger commented about her attractiveness during the BCS National Championship Game.
“That’s an incredible story,” remarked Culpo. “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer girl.”
LIFE AND STYLE’S ANDREW NODELL: Lea Michele’s Album, Shakira’s a Genius, Rob Pattinson in the Friend-Zone
Life & Style Weekly reports that Lea Michele is dropping a solo album soon. Senior Reporter Andrew Nodell also talked Shakira’s IQ score and Rob Pattinson on “The Ralphie Show.”