Film & TV

Incisive criticism, features, and news related to Texans on the screen—and behind the camera
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Film & TV|
November 1, 1997

Patricia Richardson

I thought that moving to Texas would be the worst thing that ever happened to me, but it saved my life. It happened during my junior year in high school, which was really traumatic. All my life I had never been at the same school for more than two years,

Film & TV|
September 30, 1997

Reneé O’Connor

Their mission is to save the world, not conquer it, but the stars of Xena: Warrior Princess are winning television-ratings battles from San Angelo to Slovakia. The two-year-old syndicated show airs in more than eighty countries, making Lucy Lawless, who plays Xena, the first leather-clad TV lead since the Fonz—and

Film & TV|
August 31, 1997

No Show

Cash-poor PBS stations can’t seem to come up with innovative new ideas, so they ought to resurrect an innovative old one: Newsroom, the best local public- affairs program in Texas history.

Film & TV|
August 31, 1997

Elka

Like sadistic teenagers who introduce fire ants into an otherwise docile ant farm, the producers of MTV’s voyeuristic soap opera The Real World make casting decisions based not on avoiding conflict but on encouraging it. This season’s stereotypes are a jock, a poet, a comely lesbian, a city girl, a

Film & TV|
August 31, 1997

Barbara Barrie

I enrolled at the University of Texas in 1950 during a post-war period that produced many talented individuals. Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones, Liz Smith, Robert Benton, Pat Hingle, Word Baker, Kathryn Grant (later Mrs. Bing Crosby), and I all graduated with degrees in drama. We did lots of dance concerts

Film & TV|
July 31, 1997

Heeeeeere’s Gary!

After years of laboring in virtual anonymity as Mr. Amy Grant, Texan Gary Chapman has his own talk show on The Nashville Network and is known by a vastly more flattering moniker: the David Letterman of country.

Film & TV|
June 30, 1997

Stick a Rourke in It—It’s Done.

Most nights it’s an ordinary shopping center, but during the months of May and June, Fort Worth’s Town Center Mall became a war zone. That was the principal location where Mickey Rourke, the brawl-prone star of 9 1/2 Weeks and Diner, knocked out the indie feature Recoil. Rourke plays a

Film & TV|
June 30, 1997

F. Murray Abraham

I arrived in El Paso as a small child and grew up within sight of the Rio Grande. Juárez was part of our lives, and it was comfortable and easy to cross the border. My friends and I were part of rat packs: We had jackets, and zip guns were

Film & TV|
May 31, 1997

Jack Valenti

When I got out of high school at three o’clock each day, I went to work giving away movie passes and hanging up posters in barbershops and drugstores for coming attractions at the Iris or the Texan or the Ritz theaters in downtown Houston. Unfortunately, when I graduated I didn’t

Film & TV|
March 1, 1997

Sundance Across Texas

Breezeway, Suburbia, and Words of Our Ancients may have been our only pure-pedigree entries in Park City, but other films boasted Lone Star connections. Most notable was director-screenwriter Morgan J. Freeman’s sweet but hard-hitting teenage street drama Hurricane, which won three awards. As they did for Bottle Rocket, fellow Dallas

Film & TV|
March 1, 1997

Pair of Aces

Last January, when senior editor Gary Cartwright flew to the Hawaiian island of Maui to see Kris Kristofferson, it wasn’t just to interview a movie star and hit songwriter—it was also to visit an old acquaintance (see “A Star Is Reborn”). The two met in 1984 through author Bud

Film & TV|
March 1, 1997

Jennifer Love Hewitt

She only turned eighteen on February 21, but Jennifer Love Hewitt’s résumé is beginning to read like that of a show biz veteran: At the moment, she has a starring role on a hit TV series, Fox’s Party of Five, and a self-titled pop album in record stores, and her

Film & TV|
February 1, 1997

Ink Big

Drawn by the success of The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head, three of Texas’ top cartoonists are going Hollywood. Houston’s Michael Fry, for instance, has sold the television rights to two of his comic strips—Committed and When I Was Short—to production companies in Toronto and Los Angeles, respectively, and both

Film & TV|
January 1, 1997

Stephen Herek

I went to the University of Texas at Austin to play baseball. In high school I wanted to be a pro baseball player, and I never really thought about movies outside of taking dates to them and stuff like that. And when I tried to walk on to the UT

Film & TV|
December 1, 1996

Viz Kids

Texas A&M is churning out a new crop of students who aren't farmers or vets. They're the computer aces of the Visualization Lab, and they're Hollywood's new masters of special effects.

Film & TV|
September 30, 1996

Next of Kinski

When she works in Texas, Berlin-born Nastassja Kinski brings a link to her native Europe. When she made Paris, Texas in 1984, her comrade was German director Wim Wenders; this time, it was Italian director Antonio Tibaldi. In August and September Kinski was in Austin shooting Little Boy Blue, the

Film & TV|
September 30, 1996

Peri, Trouper

Waco, Houston, Dallas, Austin, London, New York, Hollywood: Peri Gilpin was all over the map before finding stardom on NBC�s hit sitcom Frasier.

Film & TV|
July 31, 1996

His Time to Kill

He shone in Lone Star; now he’s thrilling ’em in A Time to Kill. How talent and timing made native Texan Matthew McConaughey Hollywood’s hottest leading man.

Film & TV|
July 31, 1996

Shooting on the Border

THERE IS AN OBLIGATORY SCENE in every movie about the border between Texas and Mexico: A man draws a line in the dirt with his boot. The line means something different in each movie, and yet, there it is, a narrow little rut in the ground that the characters gesture

Film & TV|
June 30, 1996

Her Little Secret

Those whispers about Melissa Etheridge are true: She will play Port Arthur–born Janis Joplin in a forthcoming feature film. Director Mark Rocco (Murder in the First) has secured the rights to Myra Friedman’s 1973 Joplin bio, Buried Alive, and the rights to Joplin’s songs, and he’s talking to Etheridge’s label,

Film & TV|
May 31, 1996

Marcia Gay Harden

I REMEMBER ONE SUMMER when there were snakes galore on Lake LBJ near Kingsland. We have five kids in our family, and we’d all go swimming in the lake, but when we’d see something in the water—and couldn’t tell if it was a turtle or a water moccasin—we’d jump out.

Film & TV|
April 30, 1996

To B or Not to B?

Cesar Alejandro’s low-budget action movies aren’t exactly number one with a bullet, but the El Paso director is sure he’ll be hot in Hollywood—some day.

Film & TV|
April 30, 1996

Mitch Pileggi

In 1980 I was doing defense contract work overseas for the government, but I was getting kind of tired of it, so I decided to move back to Austin and begin acting again. To pay the bills I did temp work and drove a cab for Roy’s Taxi, but then

Film & TV|
April 1, 1996

Cool Hand Lukas

Austinite Lukas Haas is back on the big screen alongside Winona Ryder, Julia Roberts, and Jack Nicholson. For now, though, he isn’t letting Hollywood go to his head.

Film & TV|
April 1, 1996

Renée Zellweger

Renée Zellweger’s acting résumé to date is a mixed bag of (mostly) generational posturing. The 26-year-old graduate of the University of Texas at Austin had a nonspeaking role in Dazed and Confused, then took on heftier parts in films like Love and a .45 and Empire Records. But Zellweger, who

Film & TV|
March 1, 1996

Cyd Charisse

I had my first dancing lesson in Amarillo with Constance Ferguson. Constance had been out in California studying ballet with Theodore Kosloff, one of Pavlova’s partners, but she came back to Amarillo and wanted to open a dancing school. Up on the very top floor of a great old hotel

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