*Dwayne Johnson has graduated from WWE Superstar to Hollywood’s most bankable star.
*Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays a desperate father who goes undercover in a Mexican drug cartel to save his son from a lengthy prison sentence in the action flick, “Snitch.”
His nemesis is none other than Benjamin Bratt, the 49-year-old actor best known for playing two notable characters who sit on either side of the law: NYPD detective Rey Curtis of “Law & Order” and Mexican drug kingpin Juan Obregón of Steven Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning film “Traffic.”
“Snitch” finds Bratt back in the narcotics game as Juan Carlos “El Topo” Pintera — yet another kingpin of yet another Mexican drug cartel. But Bratt insists his character has layers of humanity – not to mention a closet full of designer clothing – that should leave a distinct impression on the audience.
“The character I play, he could easily be conceived as a one-dimensional individual, but he’s not,” Bratt told us during interviews for the film, currently in theaters. “He’s a human being that has a job to do, he runs an enterprise, albeit a criminal one that has billions of dollars at stake. He’s not the guy who has the five o’clock shadow and the gold chains and the silk shirts. He’s actually a very sophisticated person who has a paramilitary background, training in Special Forces, reads the New York Times, he’s invested in the stock market, and he’s label conscious – right down to his Ralph Lauren coat, his Burberry shirt and his Oakley glasses.”
Pintera’s rule is threatened by Johnson’s character, who is making power moves while working undercover in Pintera’s operation.
Below, Bratt explains how he and director Ric Roman Waugh went about making Pintera a believable archenemy, able to take on all 6 foot 5, 240 pounds of The Rock.
“Snitch” also stars Susan Sarandon, Barry Pepper, Melina Kanakaredes and Michael K. Williams (of HBO’s “The Wire”). Watch the trailer below.
The ROC risks it all for his son in SNITCH, arrives in theaters February 22, 2013
*“The core dilemma at the heart of the film, at what length do you go to save your child,” said Benjamin Bratt (“Law & Order”) about the theme of the Summit film SNITCH, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson is also producer on the “based on a true story” Exclusive Media production – which arrives in theaters February 22, 2013. Bratt plays Juan Carlos the “end of the drug chain” Mexican Drug Cartel Lord that ROC’s character John Matthews has to take down to save his son from a 10 year federal prison sentence.
Oscar winning Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) plays the U.S. Attorney Joanne Keeghan with the power to make it happen. Also starring in the dramatic action film are Michael Kenneth Williams (“The Wire”), the ruthless drug leader Malik that Matthews befriend first – which led them to Carlos; Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan), Jon Bernthal (The Ghost Writer) an employee Matthews compromises for the ‘hook up” with the drug dealer;- Nadine Valazquez (Flight), Rafi Gavron (Breaking and Entering), Melina Kenakaredes (“CSI: NY”), and David Harbour (End of Watch).
Ric Roman Waugh (Felon) directed the Participant Media presentation in association with Imagination Abu Dhabi and Front Street Productions. Sharing production credits with Dwayne are Nigel Sinclair, Matt Jackson, Jonathan King, Dany Garcia, Alex Brunner and Tobin Armbrust.
“He elevates the material to make it compelling to a film ‘goer ‘beyond people who simply love action,” Benjamin Bratt said about the director Ric Roman Waugh – who cast him in the role of the Mexican drug dealer.
SNITCH, inspired by the “Frontline” documentary “Snitch,” is Rated PG and arrives in theater February 22, 2013.
WEtv’s ‘Braxton Family Values’ airs its third season March 14, 2013
*Has life become a reality show, there are so many, but the Braxton’s reality show must be a good one because WEtv is about to air its third season March 14, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. “Braxton Family Values” is based on the lives of Toni, Trina Towanda and Traci Braxton. I spoke briefly with Traci about her experiences this far on the show and what resonated was that they want to show their family is no different from our own.
“I expected the show was to reach out to our fans and show them that this is a normal family…we love as hard as we fight,” Traci Braxton said about what she wanted the audience/fans to get from the show.
The third season WEtv has the girls bringing the “Braxton Family Values” ‘drama’ to Italy.
“I was in a different career before the show. I was on my way to becoming a housewife, but before that I worked at a mental institution…as a counselor for 15 years,” Traci pointed out. “…And on the side I was singing. In season three…I talk to youth.”
Learn more about the reality series, “Braxton Family Values, by visiting www.WEtv.com.
Actor Sharif Atkins gives the gift of smile in new venture with Operation Smile
*“Independently, on my own, I’ve been giving small amounts over three years,” said actor Sharif Atkins about how his venture into becoming the official Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile began. “What I seen on television…pulled me in and I decided to start giving. I am doing what I can…”
The organization’s global efforts are to provide free surgeries for children born with facial deformities. The money raised by the organization, with Atkins help, will provide life-changing surgery for children around the world who are suffering from clefts.
As the Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile Sharif made a trip to experience this free life-changing operation for himself. He said the operations are no longer than four hours.
“I came away feeling Operation Smile was an extension of the hand of God,” he said sincerely. “I was able to witness three of the four surgeries (during the trip).”
Atkins is currently seen in “White Collar” which airs on USA Network and began its fourth season last month. It airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c. Sharif began his career in Chicago theatre and landed a five year run as Michael Gallant on “ER.” He had many appears on projects such as “The Good Wife,” “CSI: Miami,” “Criminal Minds,” “Cold case,” “Raising the Bar,” and “Num3ers.”
(Columnist: Eunice Moseley is a PR/media & promotions consultant, and as well as a syndicated entertainment columnist for over 20 years – www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.)
*ICM Partners has signed Michael Kenneth Williams, currently starring as Chalky White in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”
He just wrapped production on Steve McQueen’s upcoming film “12 Years A Slave,” as well as Ric Roman Waugh’s “Snitch” opposite Dwayne Johnson. And he was considered for the title role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” until Jamie Foxx ultimately landed the part.
Williams burst onto the scene in HBO’s “The Wire” as Omar, robber of drug dealers. He’s currently shooting the MGM feature “Robocop,” playing the title character’s partner in the Jose Padilha-directed remake.
*Life’s tough for criminal rappers like B.G. The former Cash Money artist and founding member of Hot Boys who is going to jail for 14 years for crimes including felony gun possession and witness tampering.
“At the end of the day, I possessed a firearm and I was a convicted felon,” he said in his last public interview with DJ Slab 1 of New Orleans Q93 radio. “I shouldn’t have had a firearm. I had a firearm. I can’t take that back. I gotta do my bid. It is what it is.”
He was actually given the opportunity to get a lesser sentence, but it would have required the classic snitch. B.G. said that’s not his style.
“At the end of the day, you gotta live with the decisions you make as a man. I made my bed, I gotta lay in it,” he said. “You know how the Feds operate. If you don’t want to give them nothin’ then they be extra harsh on you. So, I don’t regret being real. I don’t regret not taking nobody with me. I’m cool and comfortable in my situation.”
In the meantime, while away on ‘vacation’ (as they tell the kids), he’s going to keep releasing new music. How is that possible? Unless it’s tracks already in the can, we don’t know.
*Earlier today, there were reports that actor Michael Kenneth Williams was again being considered to join the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” which stars Jamie Foxx in the title role.
But Deadline.com is reporting that talks with Williams just won’t work out because of his schedule on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” So they are scrapping that role completely.
Williams, best known as the drug dealer/robber Omar in “The Wire” and bootlegger Chalky White in “Boardwalk Empire,” was under consideration by Tarantino to play the title role, but Jamie Foxx got that job.
Williams’ reps were trying to work out dates with the third season of “Boardwalk Empire”’ so that Williams can play another role in “Django” that Tarantino is working out creatively, likely muscle for ranch owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), reports Deadline.com. But HBO’s shooting schedule wouldn’t allow time for that role either.
Meanwhile, Williams is tapped to star in the Ric Roman Waugh-directed “Snitch,” where he’ll play a narcotics kingpin with a short temper who becomes involved with a man (Dwayne Johnson) who is turning DEA snitch to get his son a reduced prison stretch. The film shoots early next month.