Tuesday 20 March 2018

'Girls' star Dunham would love a little scandal of her own

US Diary

Actress and director Lena Dunham
Actress and director Lena Dunham

Orla Healy

Acting hasn't always been an easy gig for multi-hyphenate Lena Dunham. In a wide-ranging online interview with sports writer Bill Simmons, the Girls star names her worst experience as a small part she had on HBO's 2011 mini-series Mildred Pierce.

"They told me it was a three-day shoot and halfway through the first day they were like, 'We got what we needed!'" Dunham told Simmons. She was compensated with a smaller part, which was as a nurse in attendance while Kate Winslet's child dies.

Unfortunately, her delivery of her one line of dialogue – "Her fever spiked around eight. We don't know if she's going to make it" – was so awful that the production called in an accent coach for her.

"I know I didn't do well because the producer of Mildred Pierce, Ilene Landress, now produces Girls and she said to me that she was auditioning extras in the basement to replace me," she added.

Dunham also confessed that she still harbours small-screen dreams far from the edgy set of her current hit show. "My life's great passion is being a guest star on Scandal," she says. "I want to be, like, a senator who did something wrong." Olivia Pope must be able to fix that.

Woody puts on brave face

WOODY Allen is putting on a good show of weathering the renewed child molestation accusations – which he has always denied – issued by his estranged daughter Dylan Farrow. In a recent open letter to the New York Times, in which he pointed out that a panel of psychologists, appointed by US prosecutors, concluded that Dylan had not been molested, Mr Allen also wrote that he had passed a lie-detector test over the matter.

Allen's wife, however, 43-year-old Soon-Yi Previn, isn't as thick-skinned. Last weekend, as the couple and their teen daughters were exiting a Broadway matinee, a woman in the audience brought the lobby of the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to a standstill when she loudly exclaimed: "I think he did it!" Allen seemed not to notice the heckle, while Soon-Yi reacted by shooting the woman a filthy look.

But it's going to take a lot more than attitude for the Allen brood to get through the next two weeks, as even longtime Woody loyalists appear intimidated by the increasingly negative public opinion brewing against him. Cate Blanchett, who glaringly failed to mention the director's name when she accepted her Bafta for Blue Jasmine last weekend, is expected to take a similar pass next Sunday if, as is predicted, she takes the Oscar for Best Actress.

The producers behind the $15m production Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical, which goes into previews on March 11, are said to be bracing themselves to take a bath at the box office.

Advance sales were reportedly coming in at a healthy pace until Dylan, 28, published her vivid accusations of harrowing sex abuse at the hands of her adoptive father in the New York Times on February 1, leading one trade publication to note: "Any hopes that the show would open April 10 with $10m in the bank have been dashed."

And while Allen's next movie Magic in the Moonlight has a July 26 premiere, it is only scheduled to open in Japan. Sony Pictures apparently wants to watch the other shoe drop before announcing plans for a US/European release date.

Karan feeds rumour mill

Rumours that Donna Karan may soon be stepping down as the creative director at DKNY aren't getting good reviews from the fashion press.

Considered an intrinsic part of the fabric of the NY rag trade, the 65-year-old designer turned the volume up on whispers circulating through the industry when she took an emotional bow following her recent DKNY presentation at New York Fashion Week with a collection "dedicated to NYC".

Although the brand, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, was quick to deny any such move ("Donna is the chief designer of the company," says a DKNY spokesperson. "Anything else should be considered a rumour."), word along Seventh Avenue is that parent company LVMH is considering options for the future.

Devotees will be relieved to hear that Karan will continue to design her eponymous label.

Sunday Independent

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