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The diverse career of Amber Tamblyn’s became even more varied with the release of “Paint It Black,” a movie based on the Janet Fitch novel. Originally the 34 year-old actress was set to star in the film – instead she decided to make her directorial debut with it.

“I initially read the book in 2006. I was in my early 20’s,” Tamblyn explained to me of what led to her decision to move behind the camera. “It would have been very different to have the character, who is very naïve and gets put in a really bad position with this woman who’s much older than her, who sort of takes advantage of her and almost puts her under a spell… it would tell a different story if you had someone in her early 30’s doing that, if it was happening to them as opposed to someone in their early 20’s.”

So Tamblyn found Alia Shawkat to plays Josie, a hard partier whose boyfriend commits suicide. The movie follows Josie struggling to not only cope with the loss of her lover but also the wrath of the boyfriend’s mother, played by Janet McTeer.

“I really wanted the film to be less about someone taking their life, less about suicide and more about what happens after the fact,” the director explained. “(The boyfriend) is really not in the film very much on purpose because I wanted to make a movie that was sort of devoid of answers.”

Thus “Paint It Black” focuses on two women who are trying to fill in the blanks of the boy’s death. In the process, the audience is brought in to a plot that can twist, turn or flash back to an earlier time at any second.

The movie received generally positive reviews, especially for a first-time director.

“I hope so. I love directing,” Tamblyn responded when I asked if this was the start of a new career. “I certainly know the type of voice that I have and the type of movie that I like which are films that err on the side of a little more arch.”

Tamblyn was 12 years old when she had her first brush with a storyline: her breakout role as Emily Quartermaine on the ABC soap opera, “General Hospital.” In hindsight, Tamblyn feels that starting out in daytime television was instrumental in her development as an actress.

“People will always ask me, ‘How do I get in to acting?’ or ‘How do I get my kid in to acting?’ she said. “I’m always like, ‘Don’t do it! It’s awful; terrible business!’ But, I do suggest over getting acting classes, over getting most types of jobs – get on a soap opera.

“You shoot 70 pages of dialogue if you’re on an hour-long, a day. That’s crazy. Nobody does that. It’s like doing a one-act play, every single day.”

Speaking of which, Tamblyn is still in an off-Broadway show, the comedy “Can You Forgive Her? at Union Square’s Vineyard Theater. It runs through June 11. “Paint It Black” is in theaters now.

I appeared on CNN Headline News with anchor Virginia Cha to talk about the cancellation of the ABC soap operas, “One Life to Live” and “All My Children.”

Big thanks to HLN and Mark Goldman of Goldman & McCormick PR.

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Jesse McCartney chatted in his dressing room about All My Children, touring w/ NKOTB, & Departure: Recharged.


You know him as pop superstar Jesse McCartney, the platinum-selling, world-touring artist that sings some of your favorite songs like “Leavin’” and “Beautiful Soul.” But my Mom will always identify him as “Adam Chamdler Jr.” from the ABC soap opera All My Children.

“I was nominated in ’99 and 2000,” McCartney recalled, as he received a nod in both years for a Daytime Emmy Award. “I can’t even believe how long ago that was.”

Certainly much changed for McCartney since. While he still acts, his current full-time job is singer/songwriter/performer. McCartney’s latest LP, Departure, sold over a quarter of a million copies. This past April, Hollywood Records re-released the record as Departure: Recharged, featuring four new songs, including the remix of “How Do You Sleep?” featuring Ludacris.

“It’s part two of the album, or just an extended version,” Jesse explained. “One of the songs is actually the next single, its called ‘Body Language’ and I just got official word today that we’re releasing it in a couple weeks with T-Pain.”

First he collaborated with producer Tricky Stewart, then Ludacris, and now T-Pain. McCartney certainly aimed for and achieved a much more rhythmic sound, similar to what New Kids On The Block went for with The Block. In addition to extending the run of Departure, McCartney extended his summer schedule at the last second, accepting an invitation from NKOTB to join them on tour.

“They called literally two weeks before the tour,” he revealed. “It’s gonna be another month and a half of touring.”

McCartney maintains such a busy schedule that he didn’t even meet the entire headlining act until about 4 dates in to the trek. Jesse’s mad dashing from the stage to prior commitments even prompted tour-mate Danny Wood of NKOTB to wonder what was up. But when I spoke with McCartney last Wednesday, he noted that during the upcoming off day, he looked forward to “kicking it” with the guys.

The former Dream Street singer will finish out the “Full Service” tour, then begin work on The Gonzo Files, which begins filming at the end of this month in Brooklyn. Bryan Goluboff, who wrote The Basketball Diaries, wrote and will direct the movie.

“I’m gonna do a lot more film stuff at the end of the album, at the end of this run,” McCartney noted – although with the release of another single imminent, the end may not arrive until the end of the year.

Regardless of whether he’s on camera or on stage, McCartney will be making money doing what he loves. He might even find sometime to live like the average 22 year old. While chatting in his dress room, McCartney recalled a time he partied at my alma mater, Syracuse University.

“I did go to a frat party in Syracuse at one point, like four years ago,” McCartney admitted. “It was fun.”

Adam Chandler Jr. has come a long way.

Obviously you can’t see a contraceptive in a sex scene, but now the dialogue in some soap operas suggests a more overt attempt to relay a safe-sex message to women.

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