Category Archives: Entertainment Industry Stories

Where is Kyra? Michelle Pfeiffer stars in this social commentary about those disregarded by humanity

Where is Kyra?

Society overlooks the people that move about through the streets near the brink of ultimate poverty and despair. These are the older people who have been unable to find work for years. They’re ignored on the sidewalk and invisible to the rest of the world. Michelle Pfeiffer plays such a character dominating nearly every scene as Kyra in the dark, moody, and tragic, “Where is Kyra?”, which opens this week.

“It’s just hard out there. I’m no spring chicken.” Kyra (Michelle Pfeiffer) explains to Doug (Kiefer Sutherland), the equally demoralized gentleman she meets in a bar and develops a friendship with. Kyra is a divorced older woman caring for her ailing mother Ruth. She’s been unable to find a job since she was let go from the company she worked at as an accountant a couple of years prior. Full of definitive rejection, anguish, and despondence she tells him, “Ever since I lost my job, I have been looking for work every day. I don’t even know how many resumes I’ve dropped off. I have tried everything, and am reduced to handing out flyers on parked cars and praying every day that I even have that.”

Kyra’s luck grows from bad to worse when her mother passes away. Still unable to find work, she dresses younger and hipper in an attempt to shave years off her age so that someone will hire her. This doesn’t work either and she soon ends up on the verge of being evicted from her apartment, leaving the next pit stop to include potentially panhandling and living on the streets.
One uncomfortable saving grace is that her mother’s death was never properly recorded, so the government continues to send the social security payments to Kyra’s apartment. Kyra dresses up as her mother for bank visits in order to fraudulently cash her mother’s disability checks. This isn’t about her committing a crime, but what people do when it comes down to basic survival. It’s a dilemma that the struggling aging individual hopes they’ll never be faced with, but one that so many people end up fighting through and enduring alone.

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago in my “Roseanne” post, I tend to have enormous compassion and interest for those I see fighting to survive and stay afloat. They’re the people that are in the background just trying to get their bills paid. This is the overall basic premise in one of my upcoming book releases later this year called, “Living for the Weekend”.

“Where is Kyra?” tells the unheard stories of the people that others snub on the street because they may not look like a hot young charming model. They’ve committed that Earthly crime of aging, while simultaneously dissolving into the background where they are discarded and dead to their surroundings. No one looks at them or talks to them as they evaporate from view.
This film is an essential social commentary to the sad state that currently exists among so many people. Hundreds of millions of people grow older and struggle to find any kind of work with no luck at all. I’ve listened to some of their stories, I see them on the streets and sense their pain, while everyone else turns a blind eye disinterested. The older they get, the harder it gets, and this films sheds some beautiful magnificent light on that. No one mobilizes to create marches and protests over something that affects millions of people over anything else. If they did, that’s something I’d gladly participate in.

Michelle has been receiving rave reviews, as she usually does, for her exceptional performance in this deep dark character study that pays candid homage to the people that no one notices. It may be hard for some to believe that anyone wouldn’t notice Michelle’s beauty, but in this film she painfully disappears into this character. As the development guy at her former production company, one of her favorite characters she once told me she likes to play are the ones that vanish into the background as everyday people. She’s done this in films like Frankie and Johnny, Love Field, A Thousand Acres, to New Year’s Eve.

This was always against the repetitive advice of her former agent of decades, Ed Limato, before he passed away. During the height of her box office reign in the late 90’s, I used to listen to Ed and Michelle disagree about her film choices. He always wanted her to wear a tight revealing sexy dress playing a stunning hot bombshell role that would showcase how hot she is in some box office blockbuster. Her argument is that she’s never been interested in all that. She’s always wanted to play real people with real problems that she could disappear into. This new one is no different.

Fresh off the success of, The Wizard of Lies, Mother! and Murder on the Orient Express this past year, she returns in a haunting bold performance in Where is Kyra?. The movie was technically filmed before the other three films, but was recently picked up for distribution. Honest, dark, small, real films are a harder sell for distributors to take on, because let’s face it these great little art house films may be critically raved about, but are not typically box office smashes. For every What Lies Beneath, Hairspray, Batman Returns, Dangerous Minds, or Murder on the Orient Express, she squeezes in the occasional small character film.

The Wizard of Lies (top left), Mother! (top right), Murder on the Orient Express (bottom left), Where is Kyra? (bottom right)
Where is Kyra?


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Carolina with Julia Stiles, Shirley MacLaine, Alessandro Nivola and the dance with Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein

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I knew Harvey Weinstein professionally, as Miramax agreed to purchase the little indie Julia Stiles film I associate produced back in 2002 called, “Carolina“. They basically saved us after we lost financing from the financers in the U.K. We were then able to move forward and start filming after we had previously shut down.

On one occasion, I remember Harvey was outside of the theater where he had just finished viewing a private final cut of the movie. One of the things he said was, “You guys have got yourself a hit movie. We’re going to blast it all over MTV during Super Bowl Weekend.” That never happened. Miramax ended up not distributing the film in the U.S. and released it straight to DVD.

At an event months later, Julia was walking past a reporter that shouted, “What happened to ‘Carolina‘!?” She glared leaning into the mic and abruptly with a chill in her voice said, “You’ll have to ask Harvey Weinstein.” And then walked off.

I know you were probably hoping for some private salacious titillating gossip about Harvey, but I’m not going to go there.  Normally I never join in with any current top trending scandalous media story, but in this case the subject is someone I knew in the professional sphere. Most anyone who is anyone in the industry knows or knew him at some point. Aside from business, personality wise on a deeper level he and I didn’t mix, so it was strictly small talk or stuff related to the movie.

There are a great many good hardworking people in the industry who are nothing like the predator like behavior being reported.   I’ve been lucky enough to work with and become close to the good people, while moving on from the less than desirable ones.

There’s a lot of bullying in Hollywood even though I was never personally victim to it, but there’s a lot of bullying around the world period and in general.   Those that claim to care, hopefully this isn’t just some story you’re jumping on the bandwagon for two days, and then onto other things.  Whatever happen to Vegas, gun control, the fires, hurricanes, and on and on?  Bouncing from one media trend to another pretending to care for a day and then onto other things.  If it’s something you truly care about, then stay focused on it indefinitely making your fight to do what you can to produce positive change.

Julia gave up another semester of school as she really wanted to make this movie after Reese Witherspoon and Kate Hudson dropped out to do other projects. We had also cast Shirley MacLaine (who replaced Kathy Bates), Alessandro Nivola, and Jennifer Coolidge.

We had done a pre-screening of Jurassic Park 3 to watch Alessandro back then, and he smiles a lot in that which makes him charming.  Because his personality in person is on the serious no smiles side, but he is super nice,  so we asked if he would smile more in “Carolina“, which he did.

The higher producer on the film was Kate Guinzburg (Michelle Pfeiffer’s former producing partner) and Martin Bregman (Al Pacino’s former partner), so we had a bunch of Veterans banding together to make this little romantic film about finding true love in the person that’s been standing in front of you all along…..your best friend. 


Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter
are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.

Michelle Pfeiffer Heals me with an Eagle’s Feather.

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In the Summer of 2009, I picked up my phone and noticed a slew of missed calls, some of them from Michelle. I couldn’t talk to her. I couldn’t talk to anybody. I was so miserable. So distraught.

Another half hour passed and Michelle’s number was blinking on my screen as she relentlessly called again, so I picked it up this time. We spoke about the intimate romantic split that left me in pieces when she then convinced me to pack my bags and let her pilot fly me up to her abode for the weekend.

She had lost her father years before that due to Cancer and I remember being amazed at how strong she was and how she just took over for the family. It was the same way I would be when my father would pass away a year later.

Recently she said, “You’re the strongest most calm person I know. I’ve never seen you crumble…..except when you split from {name removed}.” I added, “Oh God, remember that?” She said, “Yeah! That was narly man.”

Michelle and David (husband) live in this massive $25 million dollar ranch estate in what is considered one of the richest areas in America in Northern California. Being around them is like being dropped into the epicenter of unwavering love and serenity that swallows you up whole.

I boarded the small private plane that entailed myself and the pilot for about an hour. It would take me longer just to drive out of L.A.! Gazing out my window of the awesome scenery below while my body bled from the inside out. It was an implacable stinging pain as if a thousand knives were lunging in and out of every part of my body, but on the outside I was composed like the Rock of Gibraltar. No one could detect that anything was wrong. Usually no one can as they periodically say, “You always seem so strong and together even when you’re not.”

The weekend in Northern Cali ended up being a bigger defining moment that snapped me out of the pain or at least alleviated the pressure. I would never allow it to get that bad again. And it never did. It’s just not allowed anymore.

It felt good leaving the city I was living in if even for a long weekend. I needed to get away, run away, hide away. I had enormous trepidation before making the trip, but once I was on my way, this feeling of relief overcame me that I hadn’t felt since the split happened.

When the plane landed, Michelle was already there waiting to pick me up in her dark jet black Land Rover, since she’s never late to anything. She climbed out and her presence at the airport created a bit of a buzz since she is pretty well known in Hollywood films.

In the car she said something that stuck, “Whoever you end up with will have to be realllly nice to you.” I said, “Yeah, but being nice to anyone in general should be a given, don’t you think?”

Later, I wandered the estate clearing my mind or not being able to get out of my mind I should say. That was until Michelle came out to find me and boldly insisted, “Come with me, there’s someone I want you to meet.”

I grumbled, “I feel like a zombie and not really in the mood to meet anybody.”

She added assurance, “Trust me, you’ll like this. This Shaman is very spiritual.”

I perked up slightly, “Shaman?” Like me, she’s always been into all sorts of spiritual type things.

She brought me into one of the rooms in the house to meet this man who was a Native American Indian there with his wife. He had the most gentlest profound eyes I’d ever seen. It gave me a glimpse into this incredible doorway that led to many lives past.

As he opened this huge bag he had with him, I asked, “What is he going to do?”

“Do a healing prayer I think.” Michelle replied. The guy smiled nodding in agreement.

He had me lay down and then proceeded to walk around me while touching me with the most beautiful Eagles feather my eyes had ever gazed upon.

“It’s very spiritual.” Michelle chimed in.

I’m being healed by a feather, I thought. This is kind of like Reiki.
At this point nothing seemed real and this was beginning to actually feel normal and calming to me. The guy and his wife started letting out Native American Indian chants when all of a sudden I felt this enormous powerful lift from inside my body as if some darker presence was being yanked out of it. It was like there was a demon stuck in there. I couldn’t help but wonder that he really did something to help. We took a break before he would work on my back next.

Out in the hall I asked Michelle, “So what just happened back there? Did you notice it?”

She leaned in and said, “Oh, well, you see, he is very powerful.”

After that weekend, I morphed into a cocoon only to emerge a year and a half later at the end of 2010 more powerful than anyone had ever imagined. I decided to come out of the spiritual closet in a big way and begin talking about the “light” and the “others” in my work regularly. I gradually realized that it was also helping others. No one would ever be able to get me to shut up about it from that point on.


Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter
are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.

Entertainment stories to distract you from obsessing over gossip and drama

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Entertainment story snippets. Be a voyeur for a minute of one of the many versions of my life. You need a fun lighthearted distraction to pull you away from negatively obsessing over ridiculous pointless drama again. Some of you need to be slapped away from that space.

Brought a friend with me to the Troubadour nightclub because he is a big fan of the singer Tori Amos. I intended to introduce them since I know her and she said she was going to the club to support one of her indie bands she was promoting. In the VIP room near the bar, I was talking to my friend when his eyes suddenly widened at the same time I felt someone come up close behind me and gently squeeze the sides of my hips with their hands and then plant a kiss on my shoulder, “Hi sweetie.” It was Tori Amos. I turned and gave her a hug hello and then said to my friend, “Here you go.”

Director Christopher Columbus walks into his offices on the Warner Brothers lot to find no one there except me sitting on the couch alone with rock singer/composer Danny Elfman discussing our gadgets. No not that. Technical gadgets. Danny was going to be meeting with Chris again as he was set to compose the score for Harry Potter, but he popped by earlier so he and I could have lunch and hang out.

I was sitting Indian style facing him when Chris walks in as if we’re up to no good, “Well, well, well.” I smirked, “Uh-oh”, then I looked back at Danny, “Now it looks like we’re having an affair.” Just another day at the office. Chris has Directed many popular Hollywood films and Danny was the lead singer for the band Oingo Boingo in the 80’s before becoming an award nominated film composer for endless movies including many of Tim Burton’s films.

During my Michelle (Pfeiffer) working days, a realtor stopped by her production company to give me the keys to a beautiful Beverly Hills Mansion that we were renting for actress Jessica Lange while she stayed in L.A. during our film shoot for “A Thousand Acres”. I went to the mansion to do a quick walk thru with Pfeiffer’s producing partner, the location manager, two location assistants, and the transportation coordinator. I opened the door flanked by these guys with camera’s around their necks. We walked into the foyer and there stood Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley in their bathrobes like deer in headlights.

I said, “I’m sorry we didn’t think anyone would be here.” They seemed to be panicked for a second. I had forgot they are well known and thought we were paparazzi. I put them at ease, “We’re not press. If I want to get on a movie set, then I’m going to get on a movie set.” I explained who we were and they relaxed and apologized. I said, “We just need a few quick minutes. You don’t have to leave and then we’ll be out of here.” Elizabeth explained they were dragging it on getting out of there. I said they can stay the day, there’s no rush, Jessica isn’t flying into L.A. for a few more days.

It is odd that my entire life has strangely been surrounded by well known talent, even though other than that aspect there is nothing Hollywood about me at all. I don’t care for premieres, screenings, parties, or any of that even on the rare occasion I do go. I prefer to be on the beach or in nature somewhere making love, connecting, or writing.

I do however love creative offbeat types and many popular talent fit that description. Since I’m super unusual to begin with as it is, many of them gravitate to me as well, and also because I treat everyone exactly the same whether you’re the garbage man or a movie star. It shows and they all know it.

When you’ve spent 43 years constantly bumping into them, working with them, meeting them, hanging out with them, you don’t see them the way the world does, but just regular people who just happen to be well known and good at their jobs. It is true I often forget who I’m talking to when you’ve known them awhile or it’s a regular occurrence.


Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter
are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.

Working with Debra Hill of famed “Halloween” series

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Another entertainment story. One of my all time favorite films of the season is “Halloween”! It was directed, produced, and co-written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill spawning a huge franchise that kicked off the slasher flick after “Psycho”. I knew Debra up until she passed away with Cancer suddenly in 2005.

I worked with Debra on a film for Antonio Banderas called, “Crazy in Alabama” in 1998. And you know I peppered her with endless Halloween questions. When I wrapped, “Crazy in Alabama”, I went back to work with Michelle (pfeiffer) again on a re-shoot she wanted for “The Deep End of the Ocean”. It was while doing the re-shoot that people were approaching me to say, “Debra Hill has been talking about you. She wants to hire you.” That’s usually how it went in those days. I hear it through the rumor-ville first, then the source contacts me.

Debra Hill called and said she’d like me to join her company. I turned her down which she was bummed out about and it showed everytime I saw her. I didn’t have a choice because at that time I was being offered everything under the sun and turning it all down. After Michelle’s gig, I was contracted out another year for Warner Bros. to coordinate “The Perfect Storm”.

Sadly, Debra passed away five years after that. She was diagnosed with Cancer a year before and kept it a big secret. She was a Scorpio known for holding a secret tightly. The day she passed away my phone was blowing up. I was asked to turn on the news where it was the top story. Seeing a photo of someone you know personally splattered all over the news about their death is a devastating feeling.

In person, Debra was super short in height and always upbeat and outgoing to talk to about anything let alone questions you had about her work. Some may have found her to be a pushy personality, selfish, narcissistic, and arrogant at times. This never bothered me because it takes one to know one. 😀 Those types of personalities never rub me the wrong way as I usually dominate them anyway as evident with my successful history with having become close with so many in ‘show biz’.

I first saw “Halloween” when I was about eight years old and it became a lifelong yearly classic ever since. I was already watching inappropriate material long before this. My mother took me to see the highly sexed Porky’s when I was eight. :/

—————

Image may contain: candlesWhen challenges arise, blessings are born. This is the case even if it’s not witnessed or understood as the challenges are taking place. There is always a light at the end of a dark tunnel. Believe that anything is possible and that what you desire is on its way.

 

 

~  Kevin Hunter
www.kevin-hunter.com


Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.

Entertainment Industry Story: Tim Burton

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Director Tim Burton was one of the guys I wanted to work with as I’m a huge lifelong fan. The opportunity presented itself twice during my Film Production days. Actor, Mark Wahlberg had recommended me to the Tim Burton people for “Planet of the Apes”. I had spent the previous year working 12 hour days with Mark on “The Perfect Storm” for Warner Bros.

I received a call from the Tim Burton people about the glowing recommendation and that they wanted to hire me. It was a Saturday and I was in Las Vegas and not in work mode. I said I would let them know Monday.

Come to find out they hired someone else before then. I more or less said, “Your loss.” I didn’t mean it unkindly. It’s your movie, but who you hired is a mistake. Cocky? Maybe. I don’t care.

Two weeks later I get another call from the Tim Burton people saying the person they hired was fired. Film Productions move way too fast and many can’t pull through. The producers more or less begged me this time and offered more money and whatever it would take to get me.

At this point I was prepping for “Original Sin” with Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas, a film that Michelle Pfeiffer produced and had originally been attached to star in, but opted out of starring in at the time as she was in temporary semi-retirement due to wanting to spend more time with her family.

The other movie the Tim Burton people offered me was “Big Fish” with Ewan McGregor and Jessica Lange, who I had also worked with years before on “A Thousand Acres”. The shoot was going to be six day weeks in Alabama, which means an obscene amount of money.

I never did movies for the money and would get offered quite a bit whenever I’d turn something down. They’d keep coming back and giving me a figure, “How’s this?” I’d explain, “Well it’s not about the money.” Of course I am aware of having the luxury of not having to take a job just for the money.

During that time one of my love relationships had ended tragically and I wasn’t in a position to do anything. I declined the offer to do “Big Fish” as I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I need to be 110% present or I’m not doing it.

Over the course of several weeks, the Tim Burton people came back around two additional times asking me repeatedly if I would please consider. They offered me even more money to say yes. My answer was the same each time. “No, I’m sorry.”

Just goes to show you that no matter how much of a fan I might be, I know what I’m getting myself into. If I’m not mentally or emotionally prepared to give something my all, then I’m not going to do it. I need to feel whatever I’m doing in my life passionately, or it’s not going to happen.


Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter
are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.

Acting, Writing, and Creative Self-Expression.

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Sometimes I reenact acting scenes for friends, but I always sometimes pick the most dramatic scenes possible to do. Whenever I’d do a scene, I’d take a minute to fall into the character as if it’s happening real time. A few friends are sitting there next to one another all eyes on me for fifteen minutes of raw intensity.

When I’m done and come to I’m standing up in front of them gliding my eyes across them like a camera from left to right. They are all visibly shaken some with tears streaming down their cheeks looking from side to side at one another, then one would say, “I need a cigarette.” And another upset with head shaking, “I need a drink.” It would take a half hour for them to gain composure. All throughout my life, others around me would say, “You should be an actor.” or “You should be a comedian.”

It’s writing that has always interested me since I need to control what is on the page and what others see, but I love all forms of self expression.

Sometime during the first year I was working with Michelle (actress Pfeiffer), I was still a young ingenue at twenty-three, we were hanging out in her office just being friendly during some down time. We hadn’t officially become close or friends yet as both of us are not easy to penetrate so it was a gradual process. She sat back in her chair looking extremely cold, dark, serious, and matter of fact, “You can do what I do.” I shook my head from side to side with a thin smile and a strong NO. She emphasized even firmer with that stoic conceited Southern Californian chilliness, “You could.” I took a deep breath and said, “You have to really want this. You have to be willing to eat dog food and I don’t want it that bad. I’m a writer. I need to write.”

The world needs more creativity, sensitivity, and understanding what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes. I wrote about the creative gene in my book, “Awaken Your Creative Spirit“.


Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter
are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.

My life on the set of Eddie Murphy’s Dr. Dolittle 2

During my Film Production days, I was contracted to work on back to back films to the point that I didn’t have any time off. I’d finish one film and then immediately start another one. I agreed to do an Eddie Murphy film called, Dr. Dolittle 2, for 20th Century Fox. That particular studio was close to home and I wanted a short commute.
Many of the crew started a week before I got there because I was backed up on another film. I wrapped The Perfect Storm for Warner Bros. and quickly started Harry Potter for the same studio immediately afterwards. I was detained a week longer than expected, so I couldn’t transfer to Fox for the Dr. Dolittle 2 production.
When I started Dr. Dolittle 2, without delay I carried out endless changes and orders the minute I marched in. By the second half of the first day I had a construction crew already hammering and erecting barriers all over the studio spaces because I was not happy with the layout. One of my P.A.’s who was becoming comfortable around me said, “When we first got here the Producers said, “Don’t bother starting anything because once Kevin gets here he’s going to change everything and you’re not going to get away with anything.” I made a snarling face when I heard that, “Who said that? Where are they?” I’m also a notorious germophobe. One of the Producers arrived to set and noticed crew de-sanitizing everything. The Producer said curiously with a smile, “What’s going on?” A crew member answered, “Kevin is having us wipe everything down because people keep getting the flu.” The Producer said, “Oh, that’s a good idea, do my area too.” I’m a pill and that wasn’t all I did.
When everyone kept getting the flu during the winter season, I ordered a Doctor to the set and had the Doctor give every single cast and crew member a Vitamin B shot in the ass. There was no way out of that. Everyone had to do it. That week they were flying on energy and worked so hard since Vitamin B shots have that effect.
Whenever I took a film gig, I refused to work more than 12 hours during filming days. This was made known before I was hired, so it’s not like it was a surprise. I give 110% and my all during that time, but once the clock strikes a certain hour, I go on strike and refuse to do anything. I remember one day during Pre-Production, the clock struck that final hour and I put my sunglasses on and held my keys facing forward like a rock not impressed. The Producer slightly afraid of me calmly said, “Okay, let’s go home.” I hopped up, “Bye.”
Before I started work on Dr. Dolittle 2, I was warned that the Producers were notorious screamers, and that they filter through crew like water, and that the lead actor Eddie Murphy was extremely difficult and not terribly nice. I said, “If it’s that bad I’ll just quit.” I tend to get along with those that other people hate or are afraid of. It’s always been like that, but I’m also known to be supremely difficult and I don’t tolerate any form of disrespect. I’m invited to parties by people saying, “I really want you there. You have to come.” Then there is a pause, “But don’t bring…” Don’t bring one of the worst people on the planet that I have no problem hanging around?
Incidentally, the Producers and Eddie were nothing like the horrible depiction I was previously given. I found the Producers to be incredibly warm, fun, and wonderful with me. I never heard them scream or do or say anything that I found personally out of line. They did seem to filter through a few assistants though, so I came to the conclusion that it must be the personal assistants that have a difficult time with them. The Producers ended up forever recommending me on numerous gigs, and offering me films to work with them on, and other gigs after that. They were amazing and respectful, and we are still in touch today.
As for Eddie Murphy, he couldn’t be more awesome, pleasant, and giving. He’s very shy, guarded, and keeps to himself, yet very friendly when you communicate with him. Eddie had the largest entourage of all of the stars I’ve worked with. He employs his family and close friends. For example, his cousin is his costumer, another cousin is his driver who is married to Eddie’s assistant. On the last week of the shoot, I was walking onto set to find one gift a day being handed to me from Eddie. He was as giving as Antonio Banderas was a few years before that.
Antonio had flowers sent to me on the last day of wrap on Crazy in Alabama. He also gave me all of his flowers in his office. These aren’t just any flowers, these are massive arrangements that cost hundreds to thousands of dollars for each of them. With both Eddie and Antonio, it’s not so much that they can easily charge this stuff on their gold card, but that it would even occur to them to do so to begin with was what struck me.
Eddie Murphy doesn’t work with animals. One would immediately say, “Why agree to a $20 million dollar pay or play deal in a film where many of your co-stars are animals then?” Animals are not always predictable including the trained ones. Eddie has to worry about his own performance and being on the mark and can’t get concerned that the raccoon is not in the mood to film.
All of the animals in the film were real. They were shot separately from Eddie. Eddie’s scenes were on one sound stage, while an animal was shot on another. Then the filmmakers would merge the two so that it would look like Eddie was in the same room with them.
There were two extremely huge bears on set. One of them is called Tank. On those days, crew couldn’t be wearing strong perfume or cologne scents. Deodorant couldn’t have a scent either. And if a woman was menstruating, she wouldn’t be able to be on that particular sound stage if Tank was being filmed. He was the largest animal I had seen that close. There was a gate on the sound stage where I walked in. The trainer just happened to be walking Tank in front of me with a gate between us. He was about four times the size of me. Lynn, one of the trainers, came to hang with me one day and said, “Tanky sick. He’s been throwing up all day. He got into the ice cream.”
We primarily shot Dr. Dolittle 2 on the sound stages at 20th Century Fox, but we also spent a week up at Big Bear, California which was the best time. Gorgeous mountain-esque scenery. http://www.bigbear.com/
Big Bear had an awesome brewery up there that I would hit up with a few of my colleague friends after filming. It was the best beer I’ve ever tasted in my life. You have one sip and fall over.
Neil Machlis was one of the Producers who also Produced, Grease. I remember he was going to the MTV studios to be one of the many guests for some anniversary thing for Grease. I was hanging in his office as he was all dolled up and camera ready. I asked, “So did you know at the time that what you were making was going to be one of the most remembered film classics of all time?” He exclaimed he had no idea. They knew they were making a good film, but didn’t know it would be so widely loved. He remembered when they were shooting a scene at Venice High School where Olivia Newton-John was walking around set in the leather costume for the climatic scene. He said she was hanging around in the crowd waiting for camera roll and no one recognized that it was her.


Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter
are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.

Entertainment Industry Story: Warner Bros. Superman

Kevin Hunter's photo.

I was 30 years old and intent on continuing on with my transition from my tenure in the film business to becoming an author. Sharyn, a Sony Pictures executive, called me out of the blue. She was her usual calm with pauses between her punch words. “Hi Kevin. I received an interesting call today from the folks over at Warner Bros. for Superman.” As I listened, I chimed in with the occasional, “Uh-huhhh.”

She continues, “They informed me that they had a meeting with you the other day. They loved you. They want you for this. But they said that you expressed some doubts. They have been calling around asking some of us if we could talk to you and convince you to accept.” I said dead panned serious, “Right.”

She adds, “I told them, ‘Listen. This is what he does. Leave him alone. Give him his space. In a week he will come back with his answer and you will never hear about it again.”

Her response to them always stuck as I was impressed that she understood me better than others around me, but this is why she is one of the top executives there. I go around in circles creating a stir before I give someone a response, but once I commit, I give 110% without complaint.

I had met Sharyn the years before when she was offering me a Sony Picture gig. Days later I called her offices and they patched me through to her. I was peppering her with questions. She was quiet and then said confused but inquisitive, “Kevin. Are you interested?” I said, “Well, maybe.” She hadn’t grown to know me personally yet and only knew me to walk into these meetings distant and aloof with tons of concern at first.

An older producer colleague had taught me something important when he said, “Never turn down the meeting. You can turn down the job, but never the meeting.” This is one of the many things I learned in my twenties that was vital and that I still use today.

 

 

Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter
are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.

Shania Twain and Her Brush with a Clairvoyant Palm Reader

Kevin Hunter's photo.

Singer/Entertainer Shania Twain has admitted, “I’m always soul searching on a spiritual level.” Her parents were both killed in a car accident on November 1, 1987. In this story, she talks about her mother admitting to knowing about this accident months before through a clairvoyant.

“After my parents funeral, I thought back to something my mother had told me only months before, when she was living near me in Toronto after having left my father yet again. We were having one of our woman-to-woman talks, which I’d found so heartwarming, because it was as if our relationship was entering a new, richer dimension. 

We were laughing about something when suddenly my mom turned quiet. “I have to tell you something,” she said hesitantly. I wasn’t at all prepared for what she was about to reveal. Apparently, my mother had visited a fortune-teller/palm reader recently. “While reading my palm, the woman said that my husband would die this November, then suddenly told me that she could not finish my reading and closed my hand,” said my mother.

Neither she nor I read anything too deep into this at the time, although we both thought it was peculiar and a bit creepy. My mother believed in fortune-tellers enough to go to one in the first place and she was uncomfortable that the woman had so abruptly stopped the reading, as though alarmed. I brushed it off for both our sakes, in an attempt to dampen any worry by saying, “Ah, superstition, that’s all this stuff is about. It’s really nothing to take seriously, Mom.”

You can imagine my feelings when I reflected back on this after the car accident that killed both my parents, as exactly what the palm reader had foreseen had happened. My father did die that November, on the first. What the fortune-teller could not bring herself to say out loud was that my mother was fated to die along with my father.

It was incredible to me that this palm reader could be right, that she must have been for real. I was impressed by the reality that the phenomenon of clairvoyance really existed. This lady did see something that freaked her out, causing her to not finish reading my mother’s palm.

Today, rather than being impressed with this skill, I’m more wary of its reality, and personally prefer not to know my future, the future of the ones I love, or even of the world I live in or of mankind. That doesn’t mean I’m passive regarding the welfare of others or my role as a citizen of the world, but I believe that ultimately our Creator has it all planned out perfectly, whether I agree with the plan or not.

Regardless whether I’m aware of what that plan is, it is not for me to alter it in any way, and I would therefore not want to experience unnecessary suffering and anxiety over potentially devastating information I cannot change. Why do that to yourself if you genuinely have faith in God’s ability to manage what He created? is my thinking.”  ~ Shania Twain

~  Kevin Hunter
www.kevin-hunter.com

Empowerment, inspirational and self-help books by Kevin Hunter
are available in paperback and kindle wherever books are sold.


  

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