*When I spoke to Michael Douglas earlier this year for his “Solitary Man,” he was in good spirits and with high hopes for his son who, as he said, “had gone off the deep end.”
In a recent interview for “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” he was still in a good mood and had high hopes to defeat the cancer he had just been diagnosed to have. In fact, I did not expect him to show up to do interviews. “This is unfortunate timing,” Douglas declared, “but I’m doing fine.
“I’m very proud of the picture. My doctors are optimistic. I’m optimistic and obviously a combination of radiation everyday and chemo limits a full day but everybody did a fantastic job and life goes on. This is just another chapter. I’ve had a pretty good run of it and this was a pretty bad year. It’s going to be topped off with a really good movie.” It’s actually a great film that is the epitome of the greed that put this country in a tailspin the current administration is trying to bring us out.
Douglas plays the iconic character Gordon Gekko who went to jail in the 1987 “Wall Street” film for securities fraud. Gekko’s mantra back then, “Greed is Good,” not only toppled this country’s economy, but is the concern of many in all walks of life.
Greed was the subject of Rev. Calvin O. Butts, III (Abyssinian Baptist Church) a weeks ago and he also referred to the book, “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream.” If advice is to be given out to young people branching out during this iffy financial period, is it, “Keep your day job,” Douglas chuckled.
The first time The Film Strip spoke to Ryan Reynolds, it was long before the highly anticipated “Green Lantern” and the hugely successful “Proposal” with Sandra Bullock. He starred with Wesley Snipes in “Blade: Trinity” as the vampire slayer Hannibal King. Now, instead of killing coffin dwellers, Reynolds spends 90 minutes of “Buried” in a coffin.
Although confined in a small space, the movie runs the gamut of issues. So I asked him if there was any one issues he wanted the audience to walk away with? “Gosh. Well, there are a lot of issues. For me the movie speaks more about communication and how we feel so safe with that.
“We feel like we’re connected a hundred percent of the time, all the time and we are. We have Blackerrys, mobile phones, all sorts of things. There’s a hidden enemy and that hidden enemy in this case is not a terrorist. It’s not a limited oxygen supply. It’s not a coffin. It’s bureaucracy. That can kill a person. It’s killing Paul Conroy in this film and that to me spoke volumes about the world that we live in. Press 1 for help in Spanish. Press 2 for help in English. You can’t get a human being on a phone anymore even in an emergency.”
Raven Symone joins Anika Noni Rose as the other Black character in a Disney animated film. Raven has been the voice of the fairy Iridessa since 2008. Her latest fairy experience can be seen in “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue,” released this week on DVD. It goes without saying that Raven is enthused holding this position as a Disney character. “I was ecstatic when I first learned about the project,” recalled. “They sent the most beautiful illustrated pop up book to just grasp my attention and a very beautiful picture of Iridessa. I had to say yes. I was going to play the first African American fairy in Disney history. So I jumped at the chance.”
With so many young actresses children of celebrities going buck wild, how has Raven Symone maintained her dignity? “People are always like, ‘How do you stay out of trouble?’ and I say, ‘Obviously you haven’t met my mom.’ I’d rather the police find me before my mom finds me. So that being said, everyone has their own path and I respect everyone if they’re getting their work done and they are professional. So I really can’t judge anyone.”
Intrigued by her answer, I pushed on to find out what is her mother’s style of parenting? “l’ll say it in one sentence. I lied about being on the phone too late and something else and they put me on punishment for a year. They called me Cinderella in elementary school and middles school. During the day after school I had to clean the house, do my homework and not watch TV. Then on the weekends I’d be on tour with ‘N Sync and that’s the way it was. So I will never forget my year of punishment. I still bring it up and always will. Until this day, like I said, I would call the police before I would call my parents if I did something bad.”