Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Friday, September 30, 2005


I think the Santa Ana winds are my personal kryptonite. Not only can I not write as well for work, but I can't write as well for me ole blog, either. Sorry, folks. But is anyone else atop Mulholland with a valley view watching the fire above Burbank?

Because it's friggin' sweet.

Actually, it's horrible and my heart goes out to the poor firefighters protecting the fancy homes that they'll never even think of living in.

Watching a fire from a distance, though, is pretty cool. It keeps changing colors-- going from superheated lava red to bright yellow and back again. It spreads and flares, but in a kind of slow motion, filling the Los Angeles skies with smoke. Right now, the fire's shape is a kind of upside-down V and pushing up the ridge and to the west.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Nip/Tuck, Best Show on Television: 3.29

LOST is pretty awesome. And JJ is still brilliant. But. . .

Series creator Ryan Murphy deserves even more praise than he's getting for Nip/Tuck, a show whose third season has just begun on cabler F/X. The series, which I'm sure you've heard of by now, features Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh as Christian Troy and Sean McNamara, Miami plastic surgeons. I recommend buying the DVDs immediately-- you can probably find Season 1 of Nip/Tuck and Season 2 of Nip/Tuck in my GoogleAds. That's , available on DVD. Love it.
Nice promo, guys.
And thanks, Dark Horizons.
Real quick-- While I was writing this post, I was checking to see if Lost was on at 8 or 9, Pat Sajak announced that Vanna White is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Pat Sajak is such as ass, he asked if there was a date for it, and then he asked if it was a joke phone call or if she was sure it was happening. If Vanna does get a star, I will support her by temporarily offering my Ryan Seacrest prize, which has never been claimed, to pooping on Pat Sajak's star. I'm sure that smug bastard's already got his. Anyway, on to the main reason why I enjoy Murphy's show so much.

Right from the start, Murphy's show was highly 'adult'. It dealt with serious themes-- the lure of sex, the destructive power of beauty, alienation within your own skin--in a serious, [dare I say it?] 'enlightened' manner. So Nip/Tuck is a deadly serious show.

Yet, it has the shiny sheen of Miami plastic surgery and soap opera to give it that popular appeal. For God's sake, in last week's episode, Dr. Troy operated on a famous gorilla's scars [in the hopes she'd breed and pass on her amazing language skills] and Dr. McNamara . Meanwhile, their son [yeah, 'their'-- it's complicated] Matt, played by John Hensley, finds out that the older woman he dated [Famke Janssen as Ava] was a post-operative transsexual on whom his fathers performed the final surgery that completed Ava's transformation from boy to woman that had begun sixteen years earlier with Alec Baldwin. Oh yeah, and he found the dead body of Ava's gay son, who hit on Matt constantly and went to his high school. Plus, Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson smoke pot together-- and Vanessa smokes like a pro! I mean seriously, in soap opera terms, the OC simply pales in comparison. Marissa throws a chair in a pool because she, um, made out with a hot chick and her's mom a serious biyotch. What? Everything pales in comparison, really, even network tv's darlings.

Because while American tv has grown remarkably better in the past few years, there are still no shows that are truly edgy in terms of subject matter, presentation, and characters. The aforementioned episode not only kept me riveted [though Matt making out with the transgendered dude was uncomfortable to the point of cringing] but actually opened my mind. After the episode, I thought about the struggles of the transgendered, of the class tensions between Miami's plastic surgeons and its gangbangers, about a myriad of issues. Lost and Desperate Housewives will keep you entertained, but Nip/Tuck will challenge you.

And that's why Nip/Tuck is the best show on television-- it goes where other shows fear to tread. And the real key is that it not only goes there, but it does in realistic, heartfelt, non-exploitative, character-driven ways. Congrats, Nip/Tuck, and keep it up. . . I'll be watching.

You can catch new episodes of Nip/Tuck on Tuesdays at 10:00 on F/X.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

How To Make PR People Your B*tch: 3.28

But first: If you're an assistant and you'd like to tell Atlas about a time that you "Made the Call" that you'd like to be featured on the increasingly-popular "You Make the Call Game"-- please email me at Or, even better, if you're in the planning stages and you'd like to get up-to-the-minute feedback from one of the sassiest, yet classiest, readerships in the blogosphere, I'll keep you anonymous. And that's an Assistant/Atlas promise.

Now, let's turn to today's subject and see how we can turn the wonderful PR people into our b*tches.

God bless people who work in , that glorious field known as PR. The lot of them are either desperately cynical bastards [some] or uncontrollably personable, shiny, happy people [most].

Alternate titles for PR people: Corporate Communications, Media Relations, Media Affairs, Spokesperson, Information Officer, Director of Communications, Assistant Director of Communications, and probably more.

They are responsible for full-time spinning and grinning, for promoting and pimping, for inviting and enticing. And frankly, I don't know how they do it. It may sound easy, but all that relentless promotion and happiness would drive me, and perhaps most people, completely insane after awhile.

And no matter what you do in 'the industry', or even in many other lines of work, you're likely to run into PR people at some point. You may even need them, like we Ho'wood assistants often can. Whether they work for major companies, nightclubs, vodka providers, anything-- friggin' local chambers of commerce. PR people can be fonts of information, if you work 'em right. It's fairly easy, considering that a PR person's job is essentially to spread information.

On , Debi Mazar is a publicist to the stars. She's more glam than most PR people.

Here are some rules to help you make PR people work for you:

1) You are extremely important. If you aren't, fake it. Or say your boss is. But don't give in to them on the importance issue. As soon as your PR person thinks they're more important than you, it's over-- you've lost the PR game, and they'll mentally move on to someone/something else.

2) Speak as fast as you possibly can without sounding like you're on drugs--okay, maybe Paxil or something. The point is, your need is very urgent. As a general rule, PR people have the attention span of fruit flies. You must get to the top of their mental and/or physical list.

3) If possible, be happy back to them, as they like it when you do that. Happy can work for me, but if it doesn't work for you [you can either fake it or actually be happy when you call] then you could just try being authoritative, as that usually works just as well.

4) Don't let them run the conversation-- if they're bored they'll talk your ear off in the name of work. If they're busy, you probably won't get what you want.

That's it really. It's not tough to sweet-talk or bludgeon-talk PR people. Their job is to do all kinds of talking, whatever kind it takes to get the job done. Even if it means writing things down.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Chad Michael Splits, Atlas Still Going Strong

Breaking news for the celeb-obsessed: and wife of five months, Michael Murray [oh, that name change looks unfortunate now], have split up! At least, that's what People magazine and Perez Hilton report. I don't read People but you can read Perez's informative post here.

The only thing this really means is trouble for . Their publicity-prodded wedding move to boost is either backfiring or going according to plan. At any rate, I'm betting one of the two could easily depart at the end of this, its third season. Working together will grow increasingly difficult, so I'd bet that by the end of the fourth, at the very latest, we'll see the departure of at least one of them. Chad probably has the starmuscle to push Sophia off, but he may just use this as his excuse to leave one of the WB's only relatively-young [season-wise] hits to jump full-time into film. And that would totally screw the WB.

Which means that I'm officially all for it. Go, Chad, go into film. I could get you $3 mil/picture and you wouldn't even have to act with Paris Hilton. And no more either. Muah-hahahahaha! Take that, WB!

I'm not normally a celeb-humping gossip site, but I can't resist when it's my avatar.
My avatar.
Chad represents all that I can visually be in the blogosphere.

Mena Suvari: Official Abbot-Kinney Celebrity Mascot: 3.27

This Sunday, the roomie and I attended our local neighborhood fair, the Abbot Kinney Festival.

If you didn't know, Abbot-Kinney is the hip main drag of Venice, California.

For the festival, the po-po's closed off Blvd. on either side of Venice Blvd., Venice's other main drag-- and by drag, I do mean literal drag races are held on this street, usually at 3:00 am. The festival was a lovely cross-section of the inhabitants of Venice, including Chad Michael Murray's white-trash doppelganger [um, not me] and .

Every time I'm anywhere on Abbot-Kinney, I see Mena Suvari.
That is one of the reasons why I've declared that Mena Suvari is the Official Celebrity Mascot of Abbot Kinney. Seriously, I now think Mena Suvari actually died sometime after the filming of American Beauty and her ghost haunts the increasingly-gentrified boulevard. Random, yes, but so is seeing Mena Suvari everywhere.

So as the roomie and I left the festival we had our customary Suvari sighting. Before that, we wandered among the booths [ugly cowboy hats were big this year] and saw the glorious cross-section of young families, interracial couples, underemployed actors, neo-hippies, and a smattering of nearly every racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual background.

And as for the Chad Michael Murray doppelganger, did anybody else see him? He was wearing big sunglasses, had near-buzz hair, tank top. Both the roomie and I followed him for perhaps 5 minutes trying to ascertain if it was indeed my avatar, the real Chad Michael Murray until we discovered it wasn't. Comment if you did and if you attended-- Just curious.

And finally, Mena Suvari, remember that you are the celebrity embodiment of this diversity. Act accordingly.

Friday, September 23, 2005

You Make the Call Game: Romantic Comedy

You should know the game by now. If not, take the chance to review. This is for a movie that's set to start production [the actual filming part, anyway] in late 2006. Therefore, there's some choice in your stars. But remember, too, that this is a long-term role: you're also betting, in part, on the careers of your stars, since it won't make it into theatres until at least late 2007.

The movie is a romantic comedy that tries to emphasize the comedy aspect in an attempt to court a male audience to a genre that skews heavily female-- thus establishing a profitable 'date movie' scenario. Therefore, the guy should get top billing while the girl will get a chance to steal the America's Princess Crown from Rachel McAdams or Jennifer Garner or Anne Hathaway or whoever will have it then. So who's your leading couple? And keep in mind-- who might have chemistry? There's also a fun grandma supporting role that I'll let you pick, too. Whee!

*Sorry about the lack of pics, but the site's been loading really slow for me, from several computers, and slow-loading sites are the bane of my existence. I may add some later, and they will be present in later posts.*


Ryan did his time in television, in mediocre movies, and now he's on the verge of superstardom. Or is he?

Cillian Murphy, after a spate of bad-guy roles, could use the image rehab of a romantic comedy to make him a true star.

Will we remember who Wentworth Miller is in two or three years? I guess that's partly up to you.

Topher wants movie respectability-- and with that comes the ritual debasing of oneself with periodic, hopefully profitable romantic comedies.


You might know Anna as the star of the Scary Movie series [she just signed up for #4]. She's in the upcoming gay cowboy flick with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllehalaal, plus I thought she was perfect in "Lost in Translation".

This week, Alexis ranks #2 on IMDB's StarMeter as Sin City saturates the DVD market and Gilmore Girls kicks off another season. Alexis has some movie cred with her past roles, but will she disappear once Gilmore ends in a season or two?

Mandy Moore bumbled her singer-to-actress transition only recently, when she couldn't successfully play herself on Entourage. And she was a cold fish with her Adrian Grenier chemistry. But she's sweet and cute and pretty hot-- could she be ready to be a grown-up rom/com star.

BETTY WHITE Vs. BEA ARTHUR Vs. CLORIS LEACHMANN Vs. Whoever Else Won't Be Dead in late 2006.

Please, to these three stars-- don't die soon. Because I will feel absolutely terrible for making that joke. And you're all great-- remember, it's a testament to your stardom that a fresh generation of assistant recommends you over all older actresses in the game. With that, I give you the latest installment of the Assistant/Atlas You Make the Call Game.
Comment lines are now open.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Meanwhile, More Drama at the Ranch: 3.26

Sorry about the lack of post earlier today. It was totally Blogger's fault. Actually, it really wasn't, but I'm going to blame 'em anyway. I am working on a longer, funner sort of post, probably for this weekend, in case you're wondering. Hopefully this weekend. But tune in tomorrow for the always-fun "You Make the Call Game", in which you get to play studio mini-mogul and mess with celebrities. Yeah!

Anyway, today's post. . .

Maybe you remember when there was some drama back at the ranch. If not, just click this to read Episode 3.12: Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch.

So I was listening to NPR's All Things Considered on KCRW on the way home from work and they did a story on stem cell debates in Missouri. So today, the 'ranch' is Missouri, and instead of evolution debates we have stem cell research debates.

"Pro-life" groups, who strongly supported Governor Matt Blunt in his campaign, are calling for the banning of certain types of potentially-life-saving stem cell research [irony, anyone?]. But when Illinois Gov. Rod Bladjavegovischsykydy [sp?] sent a letter to several Missouri life sciences institutes pointing out the available funding for stem cell research in Illinois, Gov. Blunt was all: "Nuh-uh, biyatches. I will veto any legislation that bans scientific procedures and any of that shizzit here in Missouri. And anyway, Illinois sucks." And he put it in writing. . . well, something to that effect, anyway.

But scientists, apparently worried about the major 'tude of these groups--and their relative power in Missouri--are considering offers. Kansas City's Stowers Institute delayed a major renovation, and is said to be shopping around for a possible new home. Missouri has a strong and growing biotech industry, easily one of the best in the Midwest, which the Governor, who is, thankfully [in this case], a Republican corporate puppet/fiscal conservative, wants to keep in-state.

So Gov. Blunt has turned his back on the pro-lifers, and thrown into sharp relief an important point in the cultural battles of the Midwest. The point is: when you turn your back on science[ahem, ], those sweet, sweet high-paying research scientist jobs go to South Korea. And if there's one thing that red-meat conservatives get red-faced over, it's jobs being shipped abroad. So Gov. Blunt has become something of an unlikely, and highly-questionable, hero to researchers.

You see, ever since, oh say, Galileo, scientists have been made uneasy by authority, especially when it's religious. If an intolerant climate prevails in the Midwest, the researchers worry that their experiments will be declared immoral and a torch-wielding group of peasants will burn down their laboratories. Scientists like places where they'll be respected, tolerated and left to research in peace.

So is it any wonder, then, that gay people, bohemians and immigrants in your city are a good indicator of the prevalence of the high-tech industry. Seriously, check out the linked article. Personally, I believe it. In our knowledge economy, the smart young people have an ever-greater choice in where they want to live and work, and it's no surprise that cosmopolitain cities are more attractive to them. Midwestern cities can't compete if the schools suck and the government shutters research facilities.

So good luck, Missouri. It's probably too late for Kansas, but it may not be too late for you. You don't have to be a shameful laughingstock.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster Soars Over the Midwest!

He Touches All with His Noodly Appendage!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Season Premiere Season: 3.25

It's that most lovely of times for the television-watcher: the season when everything old is new again, and when tv development executives surrender to us, the viewers, their precious, precious babies.

Prison Break. Brett Ratner. 'Nuf said. Next.

Reunion=crap. Next.

Fox's new series Bones has amazing production values, thanks in no small part to this woman, but I think the overall premise is just a little weak. David Boreanaz is still pretty cool, but I was kinda undecided on the lead actress. The writing is leaden in places, but very crisp in others. I'm ending up kinda ambivalent on this one. If you want a CSI-knockoff that has cool holographs and stronger characters than a CSI knockoff, then is a good show for you. But it's not a must-see.

Not Angel, Bones.

The WB's Supernatural won't be a hit* for several reasons:
1) Downlowlita said: "For the first three minutes, I was like 'This sh*t is cool'. After six minutes, I was like 'I hate teen audiences.' And I stopped watching after ten minutes."
2) A girl at work said: "Is that Dean from Gilmore Girls?" After a reply in the affirmative, she said: "Eck, Dean. I hated Dean."
3) The roomie said: "How can you have a sci-fi show without at least one hot chick? Lost's got like, four. I'm not watching a show about a family of vapid pretty boys battling 'the supernatural'." [ed note- on that last part, the roomie emphasized his sarcasm with air quotes accompanying 'the supernatural']

*It better not be, because I've been being very good lately and karma better not bring up some old sh*t I've done and punish me by rewarding the Global Frequency's denier with hit status.

Also failing on the WB should be "Just Legal", which has most of the premise of "Doogie Howser, MD", and none of the charm. And it has Don Johnson-- not in a pastel-colored suit. Big mistake.

will either be the best show on television or it will jump the shark. Either way, I'm watching the entire season. Premieres tonight on F/X. Check your local listings.

Desperate Housewives has good at least another year of good water-cooler buzz behind it. Plus, Marc Cherry's got some tricks up his sleeves. Trust me on .

Survivor is still going strong, and they kicked off with the most intense opener I've ever seen-- a gruelling eleven-mile trek over two days in the jungle. And they get to live in Mayan ruins! How sweet is that? [although, personally, um, Guatemala, are we sure that letting a tv show film all over precious historical artifacts is a good idea? yeah, I know you need the tourist revenue, but seriously, ?]

will continue to make you go: "Oh my God, that was crazy! Wait, what just happened?" And it will make you watch every week for your JJ Abrams crack. Because Sydney Bristow can no longer smoke crack thanks to her pregnancy.

Who needs Martha Stewart's Apprentice when the catfighting on Desperate Housewives will probably be much funnier?

I forgot how hot the cast of Grey's Anatomy is. Other than that, I'm surprisingly ambivalent about what happens to them.

Censorship-free HBO and Showtime chip in with the fascinating drama-with-a-capital-D "Rome" and the buzzworthy "Weeds" featuring MILFylicious Mary-Louise Parker. Both deserve renewal: Rome already has it, for sure. I hope "Weeds" gets picked up because really, it's Showtime's best/only show not mostly about gay and lesbian people.

Despite its noxious overadvertisement, I think I might just like "My Name Is Earl". But probably not, just to f*ck with NBC. I wanna see Jeff Zucker publicly castrated by a blunt-machete-wielding Les Moonves. Sorry, Jason.

UPN may have renewed Veronica Mars, but they put it up against Lost. Argh. Looks like the roomie is going to be doing a lot of downloading. But if you're not into Lost and want a cool detective-noir-does-high-school with an awesomely hot Kristen Bell, then you should check it out.

Does Commander-in-Chief seem like a silly premise to anyone else? I mean, okay, Geena Davis is President. So? The West Wing already has a lock on good modern political drama so what do we need this show for? Maybe Hollywood is trying to pave the way for Hillary 2008?

Shows that seem too boring for me to even make fun of: E-Ring, Related, Criminal Minds, Sex, Love & Secrets and. . .I'm already yawning. Are the commercials over yet?

Monday, September 19, 2005

How To Not Screw Up Marvel Franchises: 3.24

As an increasingly avid comic book/graphic novel fan [the roomie is wearing off on me] I would like to present the Marvel company with some fun, easy ways to avoid wasting the potential of their material.
Just in case you didn't hear: Marvel recently launched an independent, well-funded production entity.

I know the temptation will be to launch a dozen potential tentpoles, but if you do that, Mr. Arad, you're likely to see the whole tent of the Marvel company come crashing down. Some of them, sure, some are practically begging to be made into movies [Captain America, Nick Fury, maybe Hawkeye], but be careful as you re-launch the careers of some of the lesser-known superheroes. Because, frankly, a lot of these characters aren't ready for the big screen: they don't have the type of cachet that makes the kiddies run for the multiplex to stare at their favorite superheroes doing what superheroes do for two hours. Now, "Fantastic Four" might've made it seem like all you gotta do for a successful superhero movie is put a hot chick in some skin-tight garments and have things explode for hours, but movie-goers are interested in a little something more-- in cases of movies over than the Fantastic Four.

So the important thing to remember is: don't make all of the franchises into movies. Try a tv series or two, maybe a totally unconventional Adult Swim-like show for one of them [my vote's for Ant Man or Black Panther]. Then perhaps straight-up kids cartoons for maybe two more [Power Pack, Cloak & Dagger, Shang-Chi]. Tentpoles are fine, but just make sure you've got some good, easy-money canvas or otherwise you may find the big-top of crashing down around your ears.

Ready for his close-up.

Friday, September 16, 2005

What NOT To Do On Your First Day: 3.23

So I'm still loath to talk about the new gig, seeing as I like it and don't want to lose it and such. But I think we've all had some of these experiences, right. The hiring-of-someone-new in the workplace.
Recently, we hired someone new. This person lasted exactly one day. That's all I'm going to say about it, other than this post, which is entitled, "What NOT To Do On Your First Day". Helpfully, I've compiled a list of both do's and don'ts, in no particular order. All are pretty much equally bad in my mind.

1) Don't show up drunk and/or stoned. I will notice. And if you're in the entertainment biz, don't show up coked out of your head-- everyone will notice.

2) Upon meeting them, don't make up nicknames for your new co-workers. You are not the President and that is beyond annoying. Next.

3) Don't come back from lunch a good 30 minutes late and announce that you got caught in traffic. Where were you lunching-- the Valley?

4) Don't screw everything up that you should know how to do. At least have the decency to alert when you screw things up, or preferably, before. And its corollary:

5) Do, at some point in the course of the day, work. Anything, anything at all. And you see, newbie, babysitting you means it's just that much less that's actually accomplished. Since, again, I'm the only one of us who actually works a significant portion of the workday.

6) Don't spill liquids of any kind on my stuff, or the stuff of the workplace, if at all possible. I could understand if we were professional liquid movers-- I would assume some spillage might be part of that job-- but despite what people say about the industry, it is much more than just professional coffee-fetching, the job that we assistants do. It involves many other tasks, and coffee-fetching should be a gimme.

7) Respect my personal bubble by not polluting it with any of the following things: extreme body odor [or for the non-Americans, odour], extreme over-perfuming/over-cologne-ing, just-vomited smell, drugs/alcohol smell [see #1]. Hey man, I don't do it to you. Thanks.

8) Don't talk back to the big boss. He won't think it's bold and daring, or charming or funny, I'll tell you that right now. And ultimately, it's what got our most recent new-hire fired. Looks like someone shouldn't have been reading Hollywood Momentum.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Do I Have the Power to Affect IMDB?: 3.22

Sorry I didn't post this earlier today, but for some reason every time I tried to login to blogger, my Safari window just disappeared. Stupid technology. Anyhoo. . .

I was checking IMDB yesterday and who should show up on the StarMeter [at #8 no less] but . Weird, because just last week, JTT was in the Whisper Price Game. There hasn't been any real JTT news that would cause his ranking to spike so precipitously [he's up from #591]. The StarMeter, for those not in the know, ranks every person on IMDB [for those really not in the know, IMDB is the Internet Movie DataBase at] based on what people on IMDB are searching for and clicking on.

I even did some checking on the Internets, and it doesn't appear that there has been any significant JTT news, aside from his recent 24th birthday, in the past several months. So I started thinking-- does my blog have the power to affect IMDB? Or at least, their StarMeter rankings? Probably not, right? I mean, his upsurge had to be a result of his b-day stuff, right? Maybe.

The more I thought about it, the more I reasoned that I might, in fact, be able to influence IMDB. After all, who are the people doing most of the serious searching on IMDB? The assistants. And who makes up the biggest part of my audience? Again, the assistants. Coincidence? Perhaps. But there's more evidence. IMDB weights those people doing searches who have IMDB Pro accounts much more than those who don't. And again, the people using IMDB Pro are most likely to be assistants.

So what's the point? The point is that assistants have more power than you might think. I may not be able to affect IMDB alone, but if my hundreds of assistant readers all collectively wonder what the heck ole Jonathan Taylor Thomas is up to, well, then, he rockets to #8 on the StarMeter, for no other reason than us.

So maybe it's time for a new slogan: Assistant/Atlas-- resurrecting failed careers, one child actor at a time. Nah. I think I'll keep my current slogan: Assistant/Atlas-- tearing Tinsel Town a new one. Wait, that's taken? Dammit. By the way, did anyone else notice David Spade mocking Ryan Seacrest's star on his promos for his new show? And he didn't even give me a shout-out. Well, I guess I can take comfort in the fact that David Spade's career died with Chris Farley. And lest there be confusion, that joke was aimed at David Spade. I would never malign the memory of a funnyman as distinguished as Chris Farley, may he rest in peace.

You're welcome, JTT. You can thank me after you get some work.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Whisper Price Game: Superheroes!

This week's Whisper Price Game involves actors/actresses who have played superheroes. As our agent friends would tell us, playing a superhero in a big, blockbuster hit is one of the quickest, surest ways to raise your Whisper Price. So, how has being a superhero worked out for these [ahem] fine actors? Remember, kids, try to guess how much it would cost to get these people to topline your movie. And while you're at it, hate on those that you're sick of seeing.

brought Spiderman, one of America's most beloved superheroes to life, in two spectacularly successful movies. Reportedly, though, Tobey was nearly dropped in favor of Jake Gyllenhaal for Spidey 2 when he held out for more cash. Eventually they reached a compromise that has significantly boosted the star's net worth [according to IMDB, Maguire got $4 mil for Spiderman and $17 mil for the sequel]. But what do you think this former member of Leonardo DiCaprio's "Pussy Posse" actually worth?

After The Fast and the Furious made him a bankable star, had a choice of franchises: The Fast and the Furious, Pitch Black/Riddick, XXX. Diesel ended up going with Riddick to the tune of $11.5 mil. Oops. The movie flopped while the other franchises scored solid, if not particularly impressive, hits with their sequels. Fortunately for Diesel, one flop does not a career destroy, and thanks to the surprising success of Kindergarten Cop, I mean, um, The Pacifier, Diesel's still got a fairly hot career. But how hot is it?

Everyone's favorite Invisible Girl, , continues to defy expectations. Not only did Fantastic Four not bomb, despite its critical drubbing, but Sin City has shown incredible DVD/homevid strength, thanks to her sizeable, uh, acting talents. She's got an undeniable following [I'd follow that body just about anywhere, myself, except perhaps Into the Blue] but does she really bring much more than high-quality T&A to a film? And how much, exactly, is that worth?

After ditching his Kevin Smith/indie roots, Ben "Hey, Look at My Genitals" Affleck starred in a number of spectacular bombs, including the much-maligned Gigli and the somewhat-less-maligned Daredevil. Along the way, though, his price surged while the grosses of his films dropped. After a string of flops, though, his price must have come back down-- but how far and how fast for ?

kicked her way into my consciousness as superspy Sydney Bristow on Alias, but Sydney is technically only a mere mortal. Jen is on this list for her turn as Elektra, the underperforming Daredevil spin-off superhero. Jen's shown some range, with her hit comedy, 13 Going on 30, and doesn't have to rely solely on her action following. But thanks to her marriage to Ben "Career Killer" Affleck, Jen's not flying so high in my opinion. What's she worth in yours?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Note to Cameron Diaz: Your Agents Hate You: 3.21

When you're a hot star, your agents are fielding offers for you on a fairly regular basis. They set the whisper prices and give the offer advice to the companies with the cash to bid for big stars. But if your agency's assistants don't like you, it's pretty easy for them to get your offers diverted to another, perhaps better and/or more appropriate, star within the agency.
Don't they, Cam?
I'm calling it the 'bait-and-switch', but if anyone knows if there is an actual term for this procedure, by all means, let me know. That's what comments are for people, to speak your mind. And hello, you can be anonymous. Just sayin'. Anyway. . .

This 'bait-and-switch' happens when agencies discover solid, lucrative, high-profile projects that they want to be involved in. Usually this happens when you make an offer for someone [or start dancing in on it with the assistants]. The assistants will often find out who else might be available if your offer isn't exactly right for the person you're offering it to or they think the actor or actress might not do it-- because they want to make sure one of their clients will get the gig. So, if they want to, your agents could divert most of a certain star's offers, as they've apparently been doing a lot lately to . The agency in question here is those sharkiest of sharks, , aka- the .

First, they diverted a hot indie offer from you, Cam, to Angelina. It was a nice, short four weeks of work on location in Vancouver for which you would've been paid, well, a lot. More than one million/week, let's just say that. And for an indie! It was a good gig and your agents sent it to Angelina.
My agents like me.

Next, I heard that they were peddling Christina Applegate as the 'cheap' version of you and Jessica Biel as the 'young' version of you.
I'm cheaper than Cam.
I'm young AND cheap.

Though I wouldn't be too worried about incipient threats to your stardom from Christina Applegate or Jessica Biel, considering their rather marginal talents [read: boobs]. But they're not the only hot blonde stars at CAA. Cameron's also got to compete with. And really, aren't Uma and Cameron like the SAME actress, except that Uma has versatility and talent? Seriously.

Even hawking watches, you're hot.

So what can poor Cameron do? Probably agency-jumping is her best bet, as that attracts the attention of the agency and gets them to scouring for offers for you. But frankly, she's got to contend with her always-rising age [already 33, and not aging well] and her reputation for being a Grade-A bitchface on set and off. Trust me when I say that while the dumbbell part of her nature may be true, the sweet girl-next-door-nature is mostly thanks to her publicists.

Which just goes to show you, that even if you're a big star, it still pays [literally] to treat the assistants like actual human beings.

Monday, September 12, 2005

So It Was Just a Power Guy and Not Al-Qaeda?

So the power outage was just some guy who cut a cable? Phew. Glad the media's spinning us that one. I for one, thought it was just a little bizarro that right after that tape on the evening news with Al Qaeda threatening Los Angeles and Melbourne that the lights went out around town. A happy coincidence, then? I doubt we'll ever really know.

Frankly, it ended up being cool for me. I got to go home early, instead of late like I thought I might have to. So, way to go, power guy. Way to mistakenly cut ONE SINGLE POWER CORD, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!

Dude, nobody tell the terrorists that we're this vulnerable or they WLL come gunning for our power grid! Jesus! One single line is cut and the power's out for like three million people. Dang. What if they had, I dunno, blown up the line or something? [which I'm guessing would be harder to fix] Would we have been without power for longer? I mean, sweet Jesus, if you think Bush doesn't care about black people, imagine FEMA's response time for the godless heathens of Los Angeles who contribute their massive wealth and influence almost solely to the Democrats?

File Under: We are so f*cked.

New Mission Statement: 3.20

A small but growing number of you have been making rumblings-- either to me privately via email [I love rumblings, btw, that's] or in my comments [yes, that's you, rabbikubota]-- that I seem a bit listless without an evil overlord like Sloane to act as my foil and personify all that is wrong with Ho'wood. Perhaps I am. Perhaps now that I'm in a work situation that is significantly improved from my last position [further proof there is a God, even for assistants] I'm going soft on you.

Well, that's where my new mission statement comes in. I know, I know, mission statements are for corporate drones. But I'm taking the mission statement back from them. Because really, a mission statement is just that. A statement of purpose, a goal. So here now, is mine.

I, Assistant/Atlas, will say what your assistant SHOULD say. I will tell you what we could say-- if in the real world, we were allowed to talk back. I am what your assistant is thinking when he rolls his eyes. I'm the advice you're not listening to, the ideas you're passing on, and the beauty you're destroying.

I won't pretend to be the conscience you're ignoring because I know you don't have a conscience anymore.

I am the written mind of the Hollywood assistant, laid bare for all to see.

So to the system that causes us to bite our tongues, I say stuff it. Stuff it, system. I am SO done with you. You can be defeated and I'm going to do it-- or at least have fun trying. And if this sounds whiny to you, farkle your misinterpretations. Because I am so angry I could break beautiful things.

At the same time, I feel the urge to build, to nuture, to create traditions that are worthwhile, to cherish what is worth saving. I will do my best to do my duty to screw with the system and re-make it my own image.

So this, then, is my mission: to be the superhero assistant of the blogosphere.

And f*ck off if you don't accept it.

You gave me a sense of purpose. And often, a migraine.

Side note to the mission: Heckle "Hollywood Momentum" as much as possible. Why? Because, apparently, they think they're funny. If you were the least bit funny, you'd realize the ill-advisedness of having a section entitled "Tool Box". Seriously, you guys just make it too easy.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Trendspotting: Hollywood Living: 3.19

I've noticed an interesting trend among the twenty-somethings in the city: they're moving to Hollywood. Time was, most of the people my age were split pretty evenly between Venice/Mar Vista and Glendale/Echo Park. In the past three months, though, not one or two, but fully SEVEN different people the roomie and I know have moved into Hollywood-area apartments. What I can't figure out is. . . why? Why on earth would you move to Hollywood?

Quick info for my non-Angeleno readers: Hollywood, in addition to being an idea and a description of the studio system, is a neighborhood of Los Angeles. And right now, it's getting a facelift. The past few years, Hollywood has undergone a transformation, turning from seedy tourist trap into shiny, happy tourist trap. Despite some gentrification and Disneyfication, Hollywood is still kinda shady, which means that is has the cheap [but usually new or recently-renovated] apartments that are attracting the kids.

But there are cheap apartments scattered throughout the city--why Hollywood? And why now? There are still a ton of downsides to living in Hollywood.

1) Try NOT to be woken up as the bars/clubs empty at 2AM.
2) Worst parking situation outside of Westwood.
3) The shady factor-- women walking alone WILL be harassed. Even small groups can be harassed, especially at night.
4) Tourists, tourists everywhere. Seriously, it seems like the entire state of Nebraska comes to Hollywood at the same time.
5) Undeserved stars clutter the sidewalk.
6) It's hotter/stickier inland in Hollywood, usually about 5-10 degrees than oceanside communities.

Of course, a lot of those downsides can be turned into positives.

1) If you're out drinking until the bars close, you can stumble home.
2) If you live there, you probably have a parking space at your apartment building, mitigating the crappy parking situation.
3) Shady factor: um. . . maybe you like the attention?
4) Screwing with the tourists is a lot of fun, I must admit.
5) Lots of pooping opportunities.
6) Hot and sticky can be fun.

But in all honesty, I think the perception is that Hollywood has turned the corner, at least, enough that you'd jump at the opportunity for a dirt-cheap apartment there. As for me, I'll be staying in Venice, at least for now, but I thought you guys should know where everyone was going.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Shut Your Eyes, It's Hollywood Momentum: 3.18

Oh Hollywood Momentum, it's on. Now you're just trying to piss me off, aren't you? What was up with that "For example, one [letter] attacked us for glamorizing the life of an assistant". I don't know if that referred to recent attacks on your idiocy by myself or the good folks at Overeducated and Underemployed, but know this: you couldn't glamorize sh*t if I gave you glitter.

I know some of you assistants out there have been drawn in by the shiny format of Hollywood Momentum, with its cleverly-labeled sections and its 'editors'. But be warned, assistants, the people behind Hollywood Momentum are deeply, deeply stupid--in addition to making me sleepy. Well, perhaps stupid is the wrong word. "Naive" is much better.

Take, for example, this advice from Editor Lisa McDivitt on "How to Learn Good Habits from an Incompetent Boss". Or don't--I'll quote the relevant parts here.

LISA SEZ: Pick up his pieces. I know you will want to slack off as much as your boss does (why should you work hard if he doesn’t?), but resist the temptation. Wherever you see your boss falling down, follow and pick up the pieces. What if he doesn’t notice and commend you? It doesn’t matter, because you’ve used his failings to your advantage. Lots of assistants to incredibly talented and self-sufficient bosses never learn anything, because they aren’t allowed the opportunity to do significant work.

ATLAS SEZ: Yeah, I picked up pieces for a long while. And all that hard work did was make my evil boss a nice chunk of change and keep him in the game when he should've been forcibly retired. Take MY advice: sabotage your incompetent whenever possible. Do it covertly, of course, until you're ready to depart. Make it known to as many of his clients, colleagues, etc. that he's an idiot whose business is only held together by your efforts. That way, when you leave, you can steal his best clients and his former partners will come running to you--now that they can work with you without him getting in the way. It's not easy to do, of course, but no one ever said being an assistant was easy, not even Hollywood Momentum. Oh, and for the record, having had both super-evil and rather-good bosses, it's a lot easier to learn when there's less screaming.

LISA SEZ: Learn from his mistakes. Listen in on all his phone calls and watch when he interacts with his colleagues, not for what your boss says as much as how the people he is talking to react. Do the executives he talks to sound like they are trying to get off the phone? Take note. Do the actors sound more aggravated than acquiesced? Learn what not to say. How do people react to your bosses notes and ideas? It can be a great lesson in what not to do, and in reading people in different positions in the business.

ATLAS RESPONDS: Um, shouldn't this one go without saying-- that you should be paying attention to what's happening at your job? Well, I guess it's appropriate for the piece, but my intellect still can't help being a little insulted. Of course, it already has pretty low self-esteem thanks to the daily beatings it takes in Ho'wood, so I guess we'll just move on.

LISA SEZ: Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to admit that you know more than your boss. Sure, you may not have as many connections, as much time on the job, or as many projects under your belt, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have ten times the qualities of your boss. So take whatever he must do right (there has to be something), and figure out for yourself how you can expand not only on your talents, but whatever moves your boss made to get where he is.

ATLAS RESPONDS: Are you insane, Lisa? Seriously, have you taken complete leave of your senses? Have you ever actually worked as an assistant for insane/incompetent boss? If you admit you know more than your boss, your a$$ will be shown the door faster than you can say "Les Moonves." With most bosses, a healthy amount of fear is not only warranted, but a necessary trait for survival. Also, if your boss is truly incompetent, it's probably best NOT to ape anything he does, even what he supposedly 'must do right'. There are alternative methods to doing just about everything, one just has to look for them. Well, guess where I won't be looking from now on? That's right, Hollywood Momentum. You guys are so smart.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Whisper Price Game: Former Child Stars Edition

Today's Whisper Price Game will let you let loose on your favorite, and not-so-favorite actors who made it big before they could vote. Remember, the object of the Whisper Price Game is to guess how much it would cost to get these stars into your movie. After all, you don't want to over-offer. The other object is to see what hilarious scorn you can heap onto those on the list you don't like.

is first because she's had [thus far] the career to which all child actors aspire. According to her IMDB profile, she began acting at the tender age of 2, and earned an Oscar nomination for Taxi Driver, when she was all of [Jesus is that right?]fourteen. She went on to win Oscars for "The Accused" and "Silence of the Lambs". So we know she's a great actress, and that's got to count for something. The question is how much.

was probably my first tv crush back in her "Who's the Boss?" days. Her career veered off course into crappy TV movies and straight-to-video crap when that show ended, and she very nearly became a has-been. But then, inexplicably, Charmed became a hit and Milano was employed again. And when Shannon Doherty left the show, she leveraged her stardom into a producer credit [and a larger slice of the cash the show generated]. She's obviously learned her 'Who's the Boss' lessons and has a sense of humor about it [she her guest spot on 'Family Guy' for that] but is she a box office draw?

Once upon a time, was a teen heartthrob known as 'JTT'. He left "Home Improvement" to pursue other opportunities and believe it or not, went to Harvard--which theoretically explains the fact that he hasn't done much of note since then. Okay, technically, he did 'Speedway Junky' and guest spots on 'Veronica Mars', 'Smallville' and '8 Simple Rules', but he seems to be saving his real comeback for the mediocre-ly titled 'Invasion' with Nicole Kidman. Will it work? Is the world still interested in JTT? And would you pay to see him?

actually lives up to the publicity hack bio on IMDB that proclaims him the 'most famous and richest child star there ever was' [with the possible exception of Shirley Temple]. While he had a huge string of hits, beginning with 'Uncle Buck', his career petered out once he hit fifteen and lost forever his cute factor. His comeback, with roles in 'Party Monster', 'Saved' and the Michael Jackson trial, has been something of a non-starter, but he's still a recognizeable name/face. The question is, is that worth anything?

So there you are, some of the biggest former child stars in the galaxy. Come on, whisper some prices at me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How Jennifer Garner Killed Michael Vaughn: 3.17

In this post, I'll be going behind the scenes of everyone's favorite spy show, Alias. If you're one of those people who doesn't want to know the inside scoop on what's happening on the next season of the show, please don't read anything below the picture of Jennifer Garner. Which is to say, SPOILER ALERT!
Hi Jen.

I know you can't believe everything you read on the internets, and I don't blame you. With that in mind, this inside scoop is from the same source that fingered Rachel Nichols as the new go-to action gal on Alias. Since that rumor turned out to be true, I'm going to pass on what is highly speculative gossip at this point. That said, it's totally true.

First, some background. When Alias was in its infancy, and became an item. The ridiculously good-looking couple had chemistry to spare [and it shows on those first seasons of Alias] until Garner inexplicably dumped Vartan for Ben Affleck, whom she met on the set of Daredevil. Vartan, though, perhaps more inexplicably, maintained his affection for Garner, although his love now went unrequited. Want outside proof of that? Check out this interview Vartan did with People magazine. [via]

Take note of several interesting things. First, an ex who's 'very excited' about Garner being knocked up by is one of two things:
1) The most gracious man on the entire planet.
2) Still in love with her.
[or, I guess, both would be possible]

Next, why is Vartan even weighing in? Frankly, it's really none of his business. Of course, he wouldn't realize that if he was still in love with her. And finally, isn't the timing of this awfully coincidental if one considers that Vartan's last day on the set was in late August? [btw, this means Vaughn will be killed off in the first few episodes] If he can't be monitoring her activity personally, the best he can do is take his concerns public. The point is, Vartan's still in love with Garner. Why else would he be so excited about her pregnancy?

So on the set of Alias, we've got a hard-working, hormonal Jen with a still-lovestruck Vartan. Have you ever worked with an ex? It's not the funnest thing in the world, especially if you've moved on and they haven't. Of course, since you're not the star of your own tv show, you probably can't get them fired. Jen, on the other hand, is, and, apparently, can get people canned. All it took was a little conference with the writers, and boom, Michael Vaughn is dead.

At this point, even a campaign like this one stands little [read: no] chance of bringing him back. Of course on Alias, death isn't necessarily permanent. But since Mrs. Garner-Affleck is too uncomfortable to work with Vartan, he probably won't be rising from the grave like so many Alias characters have done.

The worst thing, though, is that they're killing off Vaughn just when he was getting really interesting. [after all, it was his 'My name isn't Michael Vaughn' line that redeemed the entire kinda-mediocre-to-that-point season for me] As a committed Alias fan, I'm pretty disappointed that Garner couldn't just suck it up for one more season. After all, odds are that she'll be leaving the show once this season [Alias's fifth] ends. While the anti-Garner hate mail will do little to dampen her still-rising star, it will tarnish both her America's Sweetheart Crown and her reputation for being a non-diva and someone who's easy to work with.

In conclusion, way to go, Jen. Looks like Ben's already bringing you down. I now like Michael Vartan more than I like you.

He's not the only one scratching his head over how Jen ended up with Affleck.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Cocaine and Ketamine- NOT to Be Confused: 3.16

Famke, myself and a few [of her] friends went out for some happy fun times last night because neither of us had to work on Labor Day. After several beers and getting nice and loosened up, one of her friends' friends, who I'll call Maryjane, asked if I wanted a bump of coke. Normally, I try to avoid coke, thanks to my near-addiction to it during my wild days at USC, but I was feeling saucy [read: sauced] so I was like, "Sure, why not?"
So Maryjane gives me her bullet [pictured below next to the K, but used for any drug you might want to snort] and I head to the bathroom of the second-trendiest hotel bar in the city.

This is K.
This is coke.

Ensconed in a stall, I take a nice, fat snort. But as soon as I sniff, I know something's wrong. It doesn't quite smell like coke. It doesn't drip-tickle nicely. It hurts my nostril a bit more than good coke should. And it doesn't set my heart immediately aflutter. Increasingly perturbed, I look close at the bullet. It looks like white powder, but white powder could be anything from cocaine to ketamine to meth. I rule out meth-- meth hurts like hell when snorted [which I've only done twice and will never, ever do again]. Praying that it's just mediocre cocaine or that I'm out of practice when it comes to cocaine detection, I head out of the bathroom and rejoin Famke and Maryjane at the bar. I slip the bullet back to Maryjane while she smiles at me.

MARYJANE: "It's good stuff, isn't it?"
ATLAS: "Um, well." [how to put this delicately?] "It was a bit harsh on the nostrils, I guess. Maybe I'm just out of practice."
MARYJANE: "Are you kidding, this is the smoothest sh*t I've ever had."
ATLAS: "Are you sure, because seriously, it didn't really feel like coke?"

Suddenly Maryjane looks worried.


Seeing this exchange, Famke now looks worried.

FAMKE: "What do you mean, 'oops'?"
MARYJANE: "I, uh, I have two bullets. I think I gave you the one with the K in it."
ATLAS: "Oh sh*t. I think it's starting to kick in."

For those not in the know, Ketamine, or simply "K" is a tranquilizer originally designed for use in animals. Essentially, the sensation is comparable to feeling like you're swimming as you walk around, plus it makes you move/think slower and generally not be able to function very well. Take too much and you fall into a 'K hole' which I've heard is only slightly preferable to death by thousands of paper cuts. Alcohol heightens these effects and you shouldn't, I repeat, SHOULD NOT, drink and take K. Cocaine, on the other hand, is a stimulant and generally just makes you feel happy, energetic and chatty and I highly recommend drinking if you're going to do the yayo.

Anyway, long story short, I puked a bit later, Famke had to drive home, I was really messed up and the whole experience just sucked. The lesson kids, is that you shouldn't ingest strange drugs. And while you're at it, don't take candy from strangers.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Buy Art, Help Katrina Victims

Hey, since the government ain't doin' it, I guess it's up to us. [sigh] Again.

Anyway, one of the cooler, more creative ideas I've seen is over at Enrique Garcia Online.

Buy his sketch and he'll make one of your choice as well. You can see a lot of the art he's done there on the site-- and most of it is just mind-bogglingly amazing. So if you like art and you like commissioned art, head on over and place a bid in his comments section.

Upcoming. . . if you like the show "Alias", tune in Tuesday morning for some great dirt. Until then, I leave you with this, a reminder that Labor Day wasn't originally about hot dogs and potato salad.

Labor Day, because 364 days of corporate slavery a year are more than enough.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The New Bond: 3.15

Who will it be? Who can fill Pierce Brosnan's tux? Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter ran a story on the difficulties facing the uber-picky b*tches who control the franchise, siblings Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Mostly their difficulties result from their uber-picky nature. Frankly, they've should've already chosen a Bond, , by now, but according to unnamed talent agents in the article, they can't seem to agree. Nice.

Now, way back in April, when the word was that Daniel Craig was going to be the next Bond [and I believed everything I read on the Internets], I wrote about how important the Bond franchise is to Hollywood. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. This is still true. What's not true is that Craig is the choice, or even the front-runner [or probably even in contention anymore].

So the question is-- who should be the next Bond?

Well, first let's eliminate some candidates. Clive Owen, who was once considered the front-runner, has openly declined the role-- after, of course, scoring some free publicity as his name was bandied about. But after reading some of the reasons why certain actors were rejected, I'm beginning to wonder if the producers haven't taken complete leave of their senses. Colin Farrell being too much of a bad boy-- that one I get. Eric Bana isn't attractive enough? I guess I'll buy that--people weren't going to "Troy" to see him in gladiator gear. But some of the other rationales defy logic.

Openly-musical Hugh Jackman is considered 'not masculine enough'. Okay, maybe in person, but he was masculine enough to play Van Helsing, not to mention Wolverine. But the most ludicrous reason offered was that Ewan McGregor was 'too short'. I'm sorry, but are f*cking kidding me? I looked it up, and he's 5'10". For an actor, that is not short. Tom Cruise is 5'7". That's short. But has Tom Cruise really ever seemed short on film? No. You know why? Because they're f*cking movies, you idiot producers. Jesus. At least reject Ewan McGregor for a good reason, like, I dunno, he has weird teeth or he's not charming enough or something.

Another rejection for a Bond candidate that really frosted my cake was that of Julian McMahon. The story is that after Julian did some campaigning for the role [including during his press junkets for "The Fantastic Four"], the producers were quite peeved that an actor would have the audacity to attempt to promote himself for a role. WTF? Have these producers even worked in Hollywood before? Of course, the Hollywood Reporter posits that some CAA scheming led to some bad blood between him and the Bond people, but still, everyone in the know practically EXPECTS CAA to be scheming sharks. Again, WTF producers?

So who else can we eliminate for a stupid reason? How about Colin Salmon, who I loved on "Keen Eddie", and who was already in three Bond movies? You probably remember him from Alien Vs. Predator. Or not. I didn't really remember that there were actually people in that movie. Anyway, Colin's not going to get the role because he's black. Sorry, but don't shoot the messenger. If they're rejecting Ewan McGregor because he's 'too short', they're obviously scaredy-cat producers afraid of any serious deviation from Bond's image.
I still like you, Colin.
Well, now that we've eliminated some candidates let's look at who's left.

The roomie insists that Jude Law was born to play . While I agree that he probably would make a better Bond than anyone mentioned above, there's a problem with Law. No, I'm not talking about his recent nanny-boffing adventures. I'm talking about his price tag. At this point, Law's in the $20 million-dollar club. And since the producers are tight-fisted [although they were right to call $30 mil 'usurious'] and will refuse to give the sort of back-end points that A-listers usually receive, I'm betting Jude's not on the radar. However, if his recent affair has dried up his pool of offers, a big franchise might be just what the career doctor ordered.

But what about the other candidates?
RALPH FIENNES-- He likes the indie flicks and he's already signed up for the big-budget 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'. Plus, at 42, he's not exactly a 'young Bond' that would fit for Casino Royale.
HUGH GRANT-- I don't know why he's on the list, but the HR mentioned him. He would probably make the worst Bond ever. Yes, worse than George Lazenby.
ORLANDO BLOOM-- He's young, he's hot, and he doesn't need the Bond franchise to secure his career.
RUFUS SEWELL-- There's a reason he usually plays bad guys. He doesn't have the looks or the charisma for Bond.
IOAN GRUFFUDD-- If Hugh Jackman gets rejected for not being masculine enough, then why would a guy who 'shares a flat' in London with fellow actor Matthew Rhys get picked?
ROBBIE WILLIAMS-- I'm pretty sure they're going to go with someone who's biggest claim to fame isn't a music video where roller-skating chicks literally eat his flesh.
GERARD BUTLER-- Do you know who he is? Yeah, me neither. Oh, he's the guy from "Phantom of the Opera"? Nope, still haven't heard of him. Yet, inexplicably, Disney's VP of Casting would pick him for '. Which I guess partially explains why Disney movies have flopped so spectacularly lately.
JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS-- Thanks to 'Bend It Like Beckham', he's got some international appeal. Plus, thanks to his long career in indie flicks, we know he has a good screen presence. But according to the HR article, he hasn't been approached for the role? Hmmm. Someone may need a new publicist. [btw, according to IMDB Pro, Meyers is repped by both UTA and ICM-- anyone know what's up with that?]
JOSEPH FIENNES-- Why anyone would pick Ralph over Joseph for the role of Bond is beyond me. Joseph proved his acting chops with "Shakespeare in Love" and is a cheeky, rather than a stuffy, Brit, unlike his brother. He wouldn't be a bad Bond and his career could use a boost. Whether he'd ruin his indie cred with the Bond franchise is questionable.

Frankly, I'm curious as to who you think would make the best Bond. Feel free to comment away. As for me, here are my top 3 picks:
1) Jonathan Rhys Meyers-- You want a 'young Bond', and you've got him. Oddly, Meyers is the exact same age as the character he'd theoretically play [28]. Plus, Meyers is a daring actor, has that quirky, cheeky sort of charm that could really refresh Bond.
A young Bond?
2) Joseph Fiennes-- I thought he was phenomenal in "Shakespeare in Love" and think he could bring a great mix of gravitas and fun to the role.
3) Julian McMahon-- Even though I technically eliminated him, he's still my favorite dark horse candidate.

And in case you were wondering what the roomie thinks, here are his choices:
1) Jude Law-- He'd could play the sh*t out of the role if he wanted. The question is whether the price is right.
Too unobscure perhaps.
2) Clive Owen-- While he was previously leery about Owen, 'Sin City' has changed the roomie's mind when it comes to Clive Owen, and is curious to see what he'd bring to the part.
3) Jonathan Rhys Meyers-- The roomie likes him for his wild/crazy/dangerous streak. And frankly, a little danger and a little edge might be just what the Bond franchise needs.

Any other thoughts, kids?