The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types care about. Today: Meryl and Julia are teaming up on a big movie, Jennifer Aniston is making another switch, and a new show sounds very exciting.
Long rumored, now confirmed: Actresses Meryl Streep (She-Devil) and Julia Roberts (Mary Reilly) will make their first film appearance together in an adaptation of Tracy Letts' big, beautiful, bruising barnstormer of a play August: Osage County, for which he won the Pulitzer and a whole raft of other awards. It's an Oklahoma-set tale of family strife and secrets and it is fantastic. So we should be excited, right? Except... Eh. Meryl Streep is great and all, but for this role she's a little too... Meryl Streepy. This character is a decaying Oklahoma pill-addict who hard-scrabbled her way out of squalor and into a fairly decent kind of life. Streep can do most any voice and intonation and all that, but in recent years she's had a hard time not seeming, well, patrician. (The one exception being her stage work in Mother Courage back in 2006, which we hope she draws on for this.) But Streep is way less of a problem than Roberts. Roberts is too young for this role, this big meaty role (oh, sorry, she'll play one of Streep's three daughters), and as evidenced by her.. let's say quaint work in Closer, she's not the most adept actress at turning stage words into believable movie words. She just doesn't seem world-weary enough for the role and, frankly, just can't act it. Nope. Just can't. If they needed a celebrity for this part (rather than Amy Morton, who played it on stage), they should have gone with Sandra Bullock. (She's not perfect either, far from it, but she'd be better than Roberts.) Anyway! Nobody cares. Only a few theater dorks care. Meryl and Julia. Together. Pulitzer-winning play. Oscar buzz abounds. OK. [Entertainment Weekly]
The Switch star Jennifer Aniston is considering dropping the "The" and joining the cast of Switch, the upcoming adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, which is actually called The Switch. Switch switch is which! Oh just think of all the jokes. But anyway, Dennis Quaid is also considering a role and John Hawkes, Ty Burrell, and Mos Def, excuse me, Yasiin Bey, are already cast. Aniston would play Quaid's wife, who is kidnapped by two idiots who then team up with the wife after it's apparent that her husband doesn't want her back. It's a fun, light Elmore Leonard story and it could, unless they Bounty Hunter it up, pose a good indie acting opportunity for Aniston. Which she desperately needs. The Good Girl was a longggg time ago. So we say do this, Aniston. But make sure they don't Derailed it up. Just make sure they don't do that. [Deadline]
Aha! Just yesterday we told you that Jenny McCarthy is back, and boy is she really back! The anti-medicine advocate has been tapped to host the second season of NBC's weird wilderness dating show Love in the Wild. Basically a bunch of couples get shipped to the Dominican jungle and have to do challenges to prove they're really in love. Or something. The big question though: Will Jenny allow anyone to get malaria vaccines?? Maybe that's the prize at the end, Jenny McCarthy begrudgingly giving the winners malaria vaccines. We would watch that! [The Hollywood Reporter]
Anyone who's ever seen Ali Larter's famous dual-personality jail scene from Heroes (can't find on YouTube, sorry) will be happy to learn that this exciting and dynamic young actress has landed another role! She will play the lead in the Fox pilot The Asset, as a renowned photographer (riiiight) who's not actually a renowned photographer (oh ok) but secretly a "Human Intel Specialist" for the CIA (riiiiiight). So, that should be good! Not as good as Tara Reid: Scientist, but pretty good. In other casting news, Chris Carmack has landed the role of a philosopher-poet who inspires young minds at a fancy prep school. [Deadline]
Eeek! It's recently come to Chloë Sevigny's attention that she likes Law & Order. Yes, Chloë Sevigny has landed a guest role on Law & Order: SVU as a stay-at-home mom, which sounds both great and terrible all at the same time. Chloë Sevigny, who is great, on Law & Order: SVU, which is great. And yet, they are great for very different reasons, so it's almost terrible! Ah, who are we kidding. One of the odd joys of SVU is that it gives a lot of guest actors the chance to play against-type, so this isn't any different. Although Sevigny was basically a stay-at-home mom on Big Love. A stay-at-home mom whose dad was the leader of a murderous polygamous cult, sure, but a stay-at-home mom nonetheless. So, what do you think? Did she murder her kid (oh, her kid goes missing while she's video chatting with her husband)? Yeah, she totally murdered her kid. [TV Guide]
Smallville's Kristin Kreuk who looks like this has been cast in The CW's Beauty and the Beast pilot as a "tough-minded NYPD homicide detective." Hm. Just to refresh your memory, Kristin Kreuk looks like this. Seems pretty tough-minded homicide detective to me! The other weird thing about this pilot is that it's loosely based on the old Linda Hamilton/Ron Perlman show, which... Guys, just bring back that show. What was remotely flawed about that show? Oh the bizarre medieval underground world and the fact that Ron Perlman looked like a plush toy from F.A.O. Schwarz? OK. But other than that?? There was nothing wrong with it. So forget this new idea, forget Krissy Kreuk as a hardboiled detective. Just call up Perlman and Hamilton, tell 'em what's up, and I'm sure they'll come back. Sure Hamilton doesn't have to work, what with all that Cameron money, but maybe she wants to. Ever think of that? Yeah, that is a far better idea. Sorry, Kreuk. But it's just way better. [Deadline]