Andrew Garfield on the Ignatian journey that led him through ‘Silence’ and into the love of Christ

“What was really easy was falling in love with this person, was falling in love with Jesus Christ. That was the most surprising thing.” -Andrew Garfield

The experience of falling in love with Jesus was most surprising, perhaps, because Garfield, like many people, came to the Exercises asking for something else…

Read the complete article in America

David Oyelowo on Why Christians Can’t Abandon Hollywood, by Tyler Huckabee in Relevant

The blockbuster Selma actor with unflinching faith has a fresh vision for Christianity in film

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t disappointing [not to be nominated for an Academy Award for his work in Selma.] Not least because it’s Dr. King, and I personally just want to see him celebrated in every way possible, and, of course, the film is an extension of that.” -David Oyelowo

by Tyler Huckabee in Relevant

selma_ver3A lot of what you need to know about David Oyelowo can be gleaned from a brief, viral, almost instantly GIF-able clip from the 2015 Academy Awards.

On the heels of John Legend and Common’s rousing, staggering performance of Selma’s “Glory,” the cameras panned the Oscar crowd, who had leapt to their feet as one in spontaneous, rapturous applause.

The adulation was richly deserved,but one man stuck out in particular: Oyelowo, who starred in Selma as Martin Luther King Jr. He was seated near the front, suited in a smartly tailored, Cabernet-red tuxedo (which would land him at the top of Esquire’s list of best-dressed men of the Oscars the following morning), applauding while tears ran freely down his cheeks.

Even in our age of 24/7 celebrity coverage, in which a Google image search can turn up photos of Gwyneth Paltrow expressing every candid emotion known to man, the moment seemed purely human and vulnerable. The Oscars almost didn’t deserve it.

The reason the moment was so indicative of Oyelowo (pronunciation: O-yellow-wo), is that,in person, it is exactly how he comes across. He is put together, but authentic—impeccably collected and utterly personable.

Oyelowo is becoming well-known for his ability to play other people, but it’s almost as astonishing just how easily he inhabits his own skin.

Parting the Red Carpet

Oyelowo’s presence at the Oscars was notable for another reason. For most of the awards season, his blistering Selma performance was widely expected to net him the Oscar for Best Actor, so it was a bit of a scandal when he wasn’t even nominated (Neil Patrick Harris even mocked the Academy for the snub during his hosting gig).

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t disappointing,” Oyelowo says, with refreshing candor. “Not least because it’s Dr. King, and I personally just want to see him celebrated in every way possible, and, of course, the film is an extension of that…”

Continue reading

How Hollywood Keeps Out Women, by Jessica P. Ogilvie

And the beat-down goes on 

The numbers for women in Hollywood trail far behind the percentage of females in executive positions in other heavily male-dominated endeavors, including the military, tech, finance, government, science and engineering

(Illustration by Darrick Rainey)
(Illustration by Darrick Rainey)

In 2005, Diana Ossana was in the green room at the Venice Film Festival, elated. Brokeback Mountain, the film she’d shepherded into being after reading Annie Proulx’s short story in The New Yorker eight years earlier, had just won the Golden Lion, top prize at the festival.

Ossana, who optioned the story from Proulx, then co-wrote and produced the film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, was standing next to its director, Ang Lee, basking in their success when, she says, George Clooney walked in. Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck also had been in the running for the Golden Lion.

“He walked right up to Ang, shook his hand and congratulated him,” Ossana says from her home in Tucson. After heartily congratulating Lee, Clooney looked right past Ossana, then moved on.

“I really was startled,” she says. “It was as if I wasn’t even in the room. Ang even commented on it afterward; it was that obvious.” Clooney did not respond to a request for comment.

Ossana had been fielding that kind of treatment since before the film’s inception. Without her writing partner, Larry McMurtry, she wasn’t taken seriously. During meetings with studio execs, at which she was often the only woman, men turned in surprise when she spoke.

“They would look at me as if, ‘Oh, she speaks!'” Ossana says. “These were very prominent, very well-known men. If I was any more specific, everyone would know exactly who I was talking about.”

Ossana later had to demand that studio executives recognize her with a producing credit on Brokeback, which she and McMurtry had to push through the system. And “when we set about to make the deal with the studio, I’m not certain why, but they said they would have preferred Larry to be a producer.” (He got an executive producer credit, she a producer credit.)

Women are not tapped for power jobs in Hollywood. Their numbers trail far behind the percentage of females in executive positions in other heavily male-dominated endeavors, including the military, tech, finance, government, science and engineering. In 2013, 1.9 percent of the directors of Hollywood’s 100 top-grossing films were female, according to a study conducted by USC researcher Stacy L. Smith. In 2011, women held 7.1 percent of U.S. military general and admiral posts, 20 percent of U.S. Senate seats and more than 20 percent of leadership roles at Twitter and Facebook — and both companies now face gender-discrimination lawsuits.

In the wake of the Sony email-hacking scandal, and following Patricia Arquette’s rallying cry at the Oscars, some well-known Hollywood figures are openly saying that an ugly bias grips the liberal, charitable, Democrat-dominated movie industry…

continue reading

See also:

Shia LaBeouf’s Journey through Fury to Faith?

How a war movie, Brad Pitt, and writer/director David Ayer helped one of Hollywood’s most talented (and troubled) stars find peace.  
LaBeouf's Battlefield Prayer: There are no atheists in foxholes...but what about Hollywood?
LaBeouf’s Battlefield Prayer: There are no atheists in foxholes.

“I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a f***ing bullsh*t way—in a very real way.” -Shia LaBeouf

 • Interview Magazine

c70ed6e50776f4c525c4db106723e885You may know 28-year-old Shia LaBeouf from his series of light-on-their-feet, live-wire, wise-mouth characters beginning with his first big role as Louis Stevens in the Disney Channel series Even Stevens, for which he won a Daytime Emmy in 2003… LaBeouf, a Los Angeles native, has been working steadily as an actor [ever] since… And even as he fled the Transformers series and the avalanche of money that would have continued to come with it, opting instead for a series of more character-driven films that included Lawless (2012) and Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, LaBeouf’s wiliness and ability continued to shine…

When I sat down with him this past September in New York, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d been more interested in feeding his mystique than answering my questions—for instance, that working with Lars von Trier furthered the assumption that anyone out to make sense of LaBeouf was best to view him through a lens of ironic detachment. Instead, the actor’s eagerness to explain himself was a source of continual surprise. Rather than pretentiously discursive, he was intent and thoughtful. His focus was evident and translated into an impressive sense of impact, with the same kind of raw emotion he brings to his newest film, writer-director David Ayer’s World War II action melodrama Fury, in which LaBeouf wrestles with remorse while serving as part of a tank squadron under the command of Brad Pitt’s character, Don “Wardaddy” Collier.

Continue reading

For summaries of and comment on the interview see:

Shia LaBeouf: “I found God doing Fury”

by Laura Turner Religion News Service

Shia LaBeouf at the premiere of Fury | Photo by DoDNewsFeatures via Flickr
Shia LaBeouf at the premiere of Fury | Photo by DoDNewsFeatures via Flickr

Shia LaBeouf had a lot to say about, well, a lot of different things in a recent conversation with Interview Magazine. He talked about his troubled relationship with his dad, about stalking Alec Baldwin after being cut from a play they were both in, and shared his philosophy on online community (he’s not a big fan). But the part that’s got people talking has to do with his recent conversion of sorts…

I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a f***ing bullshit way—in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me. And you can’t identify unless you’re really going through it. It’s a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control. And while there’s beauty to that, acting is all about control. So that was a wild thing to navigate.

LaBeouf claims this decision was deeply influenced by Fury costar Brad Pitt and director David Ayer. Pitt, who famously comes from an evangelical family, is firmly in the spiritual-but-not-religious camp, while Ayer “is a full subscriber to Christianity…these two diametrically opposed positions both lead to the same spot, and I really looked up to both men.”

Continue reading


Shia LaBeouf’s profession of faith: Did the actor find Christ while filming Fury, or was he just acting?

By  • World Magazine

fury_ver6_xxlgAlong with news this week that Brad Pitt’s World War II drama Fury claimed the top spot at the box office, we heard reports that one of the movie’s other stars, Shia LaBeouf, became a Christian during the filming process.

In a rather esoteric, profanity-laced response to a question from the Andy Warhol–founded magazine Interview, LaBeouf (Transformers, Indiana Jones) said, “I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a [expletives deleted] way—in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me. And you can’t identify unless you’re really going through it. It’s a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control.”

Mainstream media outlets like Entertainment Weekly, Extra, and E! Online subsequently picked up on LaBeouf’s assumed profession of faith, as did The Blaze and various Christian news websites.

But in reading the entirety of LaBeouf’s comments in context, it becomes clear that there is another way to interpret them that isn’t quite so headline worthy. Rather than making a personal declaration of his devotion to Christ, the actor could have been merely commenting on his immersive style of acting.

Continue reading.

Fury (2014)

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

How to Discourage Artists in the Church, by Philip G. Ryken

As Managing editor Tim Basselin transitions his work and family to Dallas and his new role in Dallas Seminary’s Department of Media Arts and Worship and Senior Editor Gary David Stratton continues in his summer writing projects we thought we’d invest the summer in passing along some of the best things we’ve read over the past few months. Enjoy!

Artists already know that as Christians they’ll never be fully at home in the world of art, so why should we add the crushing burden of not allowing them to be ever feel fully at home in the church as well?

by Philip G. Ryken • President, Wheaton College

Many Christian artists live between two strange worlds. Their faith in Christ seems odd to many of their friends in the artistic community—almost as odd as their calling as artists seems to some of their friends at church. Yet Christians called to draw, paint, sculpt, sing, act, dance, and play music have extraordinary opportunities to honor God in their daily work and to bear witness to the grace, beauty, and truth of the gospel. How can pastors (and churches) encourage Christians with artistic gifts in their dual calling as Christian artists?

As a pastor and college president, I have made a sad discovery: the arts are not always affirmed in the life of the local church. We need a general rediscovery of the arts in the context of the church. This is badly needed because the arts are the leading edge of culture.

A recovery of the arts is also needed because the arts are a vital sign for the church. Francis Schaeffer once said:

For a Christian, redeemed by the work of Christ and living within the norms of Scripture and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the lordship of Christ should include an interest in the arts. A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God—not just as tracts, but as things of beauty to the praise of God.

In this article, I am taking a fresh and somewhat contrarian approach by seeking to answer the question, “How do you discourage artists in the church?” In preparation, I asked some friends for their answers to my question: an actor, a sculptor, a jazz singer, a photographer. They are not whiners, but they gave me an earful (and said that it was kind of fun).

Here is my non-exhaustive list of ways that churches can discourage their artists (and some quotes from my friends)…

Continue reading

Oh Crap! The Theater’s Full! by McKenna Elise

Part 1 in Series, “The Future of Faith in Film and Television.”  We asked observers in and around the entertainment industry to share their perspective on where faith is (or should be) headed in film and TV. Here’s what they said:

Many of my same industry friends who won’t watch or rent a movie that describes itself  as “Christian” are more than willing to sit down and watch a cheesy Hallmark special of similar quality. Why?

by McKenna Elise • Actor
Not again! (Bob Canada:

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh crap. She’s up.”


That’s one of the few Facebook status updates that actually caught my attention this month.  However, after more than a decade in the entertainment industry it didn’t hit me with the lightheartedness my friend probably intended. I now know the subtle power of evil the devil often exerts in my own life and among my friends and the films they make with such excellence.

It reminded me that every morning when I wake up, the devil should sigh loudly, shrug his shoulders, and think to himself yet again, “I hoped today would be easy, but looks who’s back at it…”  He should be scared of me. Or more fitting of his character, excited to plot and scheme and worm his way into my work in an attempt to destroy it. Every day I should be equally as excited to derail his plans as he is to detonate mine.

Giving the Devil his Due
For at least the first fifty years of movie-making Hollywood's audience was made up largely of people of faith.
For at least the first fifty years of movie-making Hollywood’s audience was made up largely of people of faith.

That’s true of my work as an actor, but shouldn’t that be the point of films made by Christians as well?  Show business is tricky… I cannot think of a profession with a better platform for spreading the good news of life in Christ. But unfortunately for everyone in our culture, it’s also often the last place the church has looked.

For at least the first fifty years of movie-making Hollywood’s audience was made up largely of people of faith. Church’s often served as the movie house for their town and many denominations actually funded and even made movies. Films were largely artful representations of life, or the way people wanted life to be. They had morals, integrity, heart and… wait for it… solid story lines!

I’m not saying all old movies are idyllic, nor am I saying that all modern movies are terrible and tasteless. What I am saying is that through the years as Christians have removed themselves from the filmmaking community, movies have developed a little less heart and lot more…well, skin.

Have Some Sympathy (Bob Canada)While there are certainly many great artists and actors in the industry, the overall impact of a Hollywood devoid of believers serving as “salt and light” has been a growing litany of films of which the devil would be quite proud. In fact, many church-goers seem to believe that the Hollywood is little more than the devil’s playground. They are terrified of the devil’s influence upon the next generation, and believe that nothing good could ever come out of Hollywood.

Turning the Tables

I happen to believe the opposite. I think it is our job as writers, actors, and creators of faith is to find a way to make movies that are so good they scare the heebie-jeebies out of the devil. Movies that parlay a message of hope, love, forgiveness, family, charity, etc… In one simple thought, it’s our job to create movies that share the message. And here in lies the rub; to create a quality movie with positive reinforcement that keeps peoples attention and doesn’t alienate those who may not be familiar with the Gospel.

I’m not talking about more “Christian” movies. They certainly have their plane, but what on earth qualifies something as a ‘Christian’ movie? Having a conversion scene? Setting it in a church? Multiple prayer scenes? Saying Jesus at least 13 times in the first 12 minutes?

Why can’t we make movies that provide a touching but realistic message of love to an audience without preaching at them?
Why can’t we make movies that provide a touching but realistic message of love to an audience without preaching at them?

No one knows, and frankly, none of my friends really care. If it has even the label of ‘Christian’ they’re not going near it. And I don’t believe the problem is merely production or acting quality. I think it goes much deeper.

Many of my same industry friends who won’t watch or rent a movie that describes itself “Christian” are more than willing to sit down and watch a cheesy Hallmark special with a very similar quality. Why? I think it’s because they don’t want to be preached at!  They want the family friendly stories without their own preconceived and often negative notions of the church rising to the surface.

The movie ‘The Blindside’ is a perfect example of this. It didn’t pitch itself as a Christian movie but undoubtedly shared very Christian themes of compassion, dedication and ultimately of love.  And people flocked to it in droves. It made the studio’s ecstatic with its success and audiences thankful for it’s sentiment. It touched their hearts without shoving the gospel down their throats to get there.

Shrewd as a Serpent, Innocent as a Dove
I think it is our job as writers, actors, and creators of faith is to find a way to make movies that are so good they scare the heebie-jeebies out of the devil.
I think it is our job as writers, actors, and creators of faith is to find a way to make movies that are so good they scare the heebie-jeebies out of the devil.

So here’s my point, the devil is sneaky; he masks his evil works as fun, adventurous and worst of all, harmless. He doesn’t make ‘message’ movies. He seeks to weave his message into every movie.   Why can’t we do the same?

Why can’t we make movies that provide a touching but realistic message of love to an audience without preaching at them? I’m not saying we should hide our intent, but maybe we shouldn’t stamp our work with a huge cross either. We need to create Christian movies in a smart, interesting, professional and non-threatening way so that people watch it and think, “Wow… that was great. I want to see more movies like that.”

In short, movies that make the devil  get up in the morning and say, “Oh crap! The theater’s full!”


McKenna Elise is an actress with fifteen years experience in film and television. She writes for THW under a pseudonym.

Next: The Future of Film and Film? Youth and Evangelicals Outstrip All Other Movie-going Audiences, by David Kinnaman

‘Grace’ on Broadway: Faith, Doubt, Murder… and Redemption!

Former MN seminary student, Craig Wright, darkly explores a theology of grace, not in the pulpit, but on the stage. Four murder-suicide victims rise from the dead to explain the paradox of how a ‘Christian’ businessman with a vision for Gospel-based hotels sporting the slogan ‘Where would Jesus Stay,’ loses his faith while everybody around him is finding theirs.  Three reviews. (Spoiler alert: The Times review gives away more than the others.)


Faith explored with ‘Grace’ on Broadway

by Elysa Gardner, in USA TODAY

An expert cast illuminates Craig Wright’s darkly beautiful play.

Paul Rudd and Ed Asner in ‘Grace’

The word “faith” gets thrown around so loosely and cynically in public discourse — particularly at this stage in our election cycle — that it can be shocking when someone pauses to actually ask what it means, and why it has such power to inspire and incite.

These are questions at the pounding, probing heart of Grace (* * * 1/2 out of four), Craig Wright’s beautiful, vexing study of two very different but both profoundly damaged men and and a woman who is drawn to both of them.

In the play’s first Broadway production, which opened Thursday at the Cort Theatre, Paul Rudd is cast as Steve, who brings his wife to Florida on, literally, a prayer. The couple, who met in a Bible study group, have traveled from Minnesota to fulfill Steve’s vision of launching a chain of gospel hotels. Never mind that they’re flat broke, and their mysterious sole investor hasn’t paid them a cent in nearly a month.

“I’m not a knower, I’m a believer,” Steve tells Sam, their next-door neighbor, who has troubles of his own, having recently lost his fiancee in a car wreck that also left his face disfigured. A NASA scientist with an acerbic sense of humor, played by Michael Shannon, Steve appears to be Sam’s polar opposite; but they have a few things in common, including an affection for Sara, Steve’s sweet, sexy wife.

In fact, none of the characters in Grace — who also include a grizzled exterminator named Karl, drolly played by Ed Asner — are as different, or as simple, as they seem on paper. Wright, known to TV fans for his work on shows such as Six Feet Under and Lost, imbues them with a longing, both hilarious and tragic, to make sense of the world — that is, to know things that neither religion nor quantum physics can ever tell them conclusively…

Continue reading


Craig Wright’s thoughtful ‘Grace’ makes an auspicious debut on Broadway

The Associated Press in The Washington Post

Michael Shannon with Kate Arrington, “we trust in his mistrust so deeply that it hurts.”

NEW YORK — The play “Grace” opens at the end, which is to say a final, terrible scene that leaves no loose ends. Someone is holding a gun. There are bodies on the stage.

How things ever got to this awful place is the subject of Craig Wright’s deeply thoughtful black comedy, which has a crackerjack cast under the impressive direction of Dexter Bullard. Somehow, as the cast builds back up to the already seen final scene during the course of the play’s life, the suspense builds.

Wright has bitten off quite a lot with just four actors and a script that runs a little over 90 minutes. What’s it about? Well, the nature of faith, forgiveness and human frailty. But it’s not nearly as preachy and heavy-handed as that sounds…

Continue reading


‘Grace,’ With Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon, at Cort Theater

By  in The New York Times

Kate Arrington and Paul Rudd as wife and husband, and new Floridians, in Craig Wright’s “Grace.”

Even standing stock still, this guy vibrates with discomfort. It’s as if he’s paralyzed by cramps, not so much in his body but in his mind. Sam, who’s been scarred all over by life, has come to mistrust the world. And because Sam is played by Michael Shannon, we trust in his mistrust so deeply that it hurts. By the way, his instincts aren’t wrong.

Anyone doubting that Mr. Shannon is our reigning champion in embodying uneasy American manhood (well, him and Joaquin Phoenix) need only check out his portrait of the doomed Sam in Craig Wright’s “Grace,” which opened on Thursday night at the Cort Theater. This cool, strangulated little essay of a play, which also stars the very able Paul Rudd, deals with really big subjects seldom addressed onstage these days. (Its title refers not to a woman’s name but the theological concept…

Continue Reading

Funnyman Tim Allen: Serious About God, by Alice Gomstyn & Elizabeth Vargas

Elizabeth Vargas’ Interview Reveals the Surprising Role of Faith in Tim’s Journey  “Whoever built me, this is too much, too weird that it happened by accident.” -Tim Allen

Tim Allen, circa 1998 (left) and 2011 (right) (Michael Grecco/Getty Images; Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)

Tim Allen’s wildly successful run on “Home Improvement” set up the former prison inmate for superstar status in the industry.  Tim leveraged his lead in one the highest rated shows of the 1990′s into a successful movie career, starring in lucrative “The Santa Clause” series (see Tis the Movie Season to be Jolly), and one of our all-time favorites, “Galaxy Quest.”

However, in a surprisingly moving interview Tim reveals to 20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas that it was his faith that guided him to and through a life of stardom “built by God.”

Tim’s new man-of-the-house comedy, “Last Man Standing,” continues his successful run. (Tuesdays at 8PM on ABC) “The idea was to really test how smart you can be, and be funny, rather than the t-shirt, beer-swilling guy,” he said of his character. (ABC News.) While in no way a “faith-based” project, the show is lightly peppered with religious themes and church attendance.

Watch "Last Man Standing" TONIGHT at 8PM on ABC.

So far that formula is proving smart with viewers as well.  TVbytheNumbers reports that ratings for “Last Man Standing” have been “surging. ” The ABC rookie show now registers as the most-watched Tuesday night comedy, besting Fox’s former Tuesday night superpower “Glee” by 2.6 million viewers.

Clearly God is a recurring character, not only in “Last Man Standing,” but in Tim’s life as well.


Funnyman Tim Allen: Serious About God

By Alice Gomstyn@AliceGomstyn

Sitcom star Tim Allen became famous for his oaf-like antics and handyman hobbies, but some of the comedian’s real-life interests don’t just stop at his garage door. He is fascinated with religion and has a long history with Christianity, something he hints at while joking about his childhood sweet tooth in his stand-up act.

“I like Pixie Sticks. Yeah, screw the middle man. Just a tube of sugar…I’d pour two of those in a big 12 ounce coke. And I’d go out to catechism class and try to concentrate on the priest,” he recently told a Las Vegas audience. “I saw Jesus several times. I swear I did.”

PHOTOS: Home Improvement: Where Are They Now?

Allen told “20/20″ anchor Elizabeth Vargas that he’s had “a curious relationship with God” since his father died.

gty tim allen nt 111118 wblog Funnyman Tim Allen: Serious About God

Tim Allen (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Allen’s father died when he was hit by a drunk driver when Allen was just 11. The comedian says that after that, he questioned whether if he had prayed harder or had been with his father that fatal day, he could have prevented his death.

“For years, I just did not like this idea of God, church,” he said. “(I was) still a churchgoer, but constantly a cynic.”

But the cynicism didn’t last…

Click to Watch Elizabeth Varga’s interview with Tim 



FYI: Did you know that “Home Improvement” was co-created by Act One faculty member David MacFadzean?








Actress Jenn Gotzon Skyrockets to Number Two on IMDB STARmeter


Frequent film festival award winner and now feature film star Jenn Gotzon.

Actress JENN GOTZON (IMDb) hit No. 2 on IMDb’s volatile STARmeter hot list this week. (Available online thru IMDb Pro or on IMDB’s Iphone or Android app).





The #2 STARmeter ranking is a popularity measure based solely upon who had the most IMDb profile views in a given week. Movie openings, DVD releases, news stories, trade magazine attention, and gossip columns can dramatically shift rankings from week to week. While not a measure of enduring “star power” or name recognition, it does give an idea of who is in the public eye each week.[1]

For the week of 5/15 Jenn came in #2 just behind actor Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and just ahead of 2011 Academy Award-winner Natalie Postman.

Jenn’s husband Chris woke her with the news on the morning of her birthday:

My first reaction was WHATTTT?!!… you gotta be kidding me, this is insane!  We were both super stunned and shocked. I’m still shocked.”

Only ‘Thor’ star Chris Hemsworth had more IMDB profile views than Jenn the week of 5/15








After minor roles in ‘Frost/Nixon,’ ‘The Hulk,’ and ‘Role Models,’ Jenn landed the lead in the feature film ‘Doonby‘ currently making the rounds at the Cannes Film Festival. The controversial film features real life Roe v. Wade plaintiff Norma McCorvey in a pro-life role, and highlights the depth of Jenn’s acting talent.

Jenn pointed to the blessing of being in ‘Doonby’ and the buzz it is generating:

“What a birthday gift to have my breakout feature film role garner so much attention at Cannes. I truly hope this story really continues to impact viewers across the world.”

According the Jenn’s manager Scotty Dugan Jenn’s increased notoriety began with a full-page article on ‘Doonby’ in The Hollywood Reporter’s Cannes issue. The Hollywood Reporter’s additional article on the marketing of Doonby, and a new trailer for Jenn’s mystery drama helped create a ‘perfect storm’ of interest in the bright new talent. So has the fact that Jenn has four films in which she stars due out this fall and winter.

Jenn was prepared for ‘Doonby’s’ Cannes buzz to give her ratings somewhat of a bump, but nothing like this!

“We were just excited to see ‘Doonby’ develop huge buzz, raising last week’s Starmeter rating all the way to #196! (Laugh). Neither of us would have ever imagined that this week’s result would be #2.”

Jenn with “Doonby’ co-star John Schneider.

Acting careers are notoriously meteoric–‘hot’ one week to ‘not’ the next–but for now, Jenn Gotzon’s star is up. Way up. Still, Jenn confided: “I’m a bit about nervous next week’s rankings, because I have no idea what to expect. I know I should anticipate a few zeros behind this weeks #2. (Laughter)”

Scotty Dugan acknowledges that Jenn’s #2 rating won’t last forever, but is confident that it is the first step in launching her career to a new level:

“Jenn may be knocked off by ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ lead Penélope Cruz. But STARmeter or no STARmeter, Jenn Gotzon’s ship has the wind in its sail.”

Please pray for Jenn and her husband Chris Armstrong as they navigate the turbulent waters of Hollywood.


See also

Jenn’s Two Handed Warriors report on the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) and Faith ‘n Film Summit.


[1] IMDb’s description: “STARmeter rankings provide a snapshot of who’s popular based on the searches of millions of IMDb users. Updated weekly, these rankings also graph the popularity of people over time and determine which events affect public awareness.”

Actress Jenn Gotzon on NAB and the Faith ‘n Film Summit


Actress Jenn Gotzon’s unique take on the NAB Show and a chance to view conference content for free

Producer Brian Grazer with Jenn Gotzon at London's World Premiere of 'Frost/Nixon.' Watch for Jenn in 'Doonby' this Fall.

Rising star Jenn Gotzon (Frost/NixonDoonby, Hulk) provided Two Handed Warriors with a unique take on the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) and pre-show ‘Faith ‘n Film Summit.’ (Las Vegas, NV, April 10-14.)

Jenn and her husband producer/director husband Chris Armstrong (Crossroads, and ‘Crash the Superbowl’ Doritos finalist The Chase) have actually served as the “face” of NAB on billboards, magazines, and print items. (Photo below.)

The opportunity grew out the new power couple’s commitment to the value of NAB. This year marked the 5th year Chris and Jenn have joined the more than 90,000 registrants in attendance.

Jenn related how “I started attending NAB with Chris in order to support him as a filmmaker. Now, after five years, I’ve learned so much about the world of production, post and technology, that it’s been extremely helpful for my acting adventures.”

Faith ‘n Film Summit

This year the pre-NAB Show ‘Faith ‘n Film Summit’ provided Jenn and Chris with an even more intense experience. NAB partnered with the 168 Film Project–a Hollywood incubator for filmmakers of faith–to create a unique opportunity for Christian filmmakers, artists, pastors, youth leaders attending NAV seeking to grow in their filmmaking and social media expertise.

Faith ‘n Film panel, “Market Forces in Faith and Family Content,” moderated by 168 Founder John David Ware and featuring Ken Wales (Amazing Grace), Brian Bird (Touched by an Angel), Paul Crouch (TBN), and Ted Baehr (Movieguide).

Panel discussions with Christian industry insiders, specialized workshops, an inter-denominational worship service, and special screenings made for a powerful day. There was a near universal sense that the time had come for Christian filmmakers to go to the next level so that the quality of productions matches the quality of the ideas presented.

Jenn reported: “Chris and I learned so much from the extraordinarily talented panel of pro’s in Hollywood. Their wisdom, expertise, and insight helped us grow in both our understanding of story and in the next stages in innovative distribution outlets.”

Today’s NAB Virtual View: A FREE Chance to See What You Missed in Las Vegas!

Jenn and Chris posing with a larger than life photo of, well, Jenn and Chris at the NAB show

Filmmakers who couldn’t make it to Las Vegas, can take part in a special NAB online event premiering todayNAB Virtual View.

The FREE online event features all the Original Keynote Speakers, as well as a Live Q&A with key THOUGHT LEADERS, and special ON DEMAND SESSIONS.

Virtual View is part of NAB’s commitment to capture the “most desired content from the show”–the exhibitor demonstrations–and surround them with live sessions, live expert chats, and real-time buyer-seller interaction:

“While nothing replaces the face to face interaction of the show, we believe digital media professionals will garner a lot from these online demonstrations coupled with the availability of company representatives for online Q&A.”

Plus, organizers are also confident that the 90,000 professionals who DID make it to Las Vegas, will find Virtual View “a great way to revisit and reconsider products and services of interest.”

Sessions start a 10am EDT TODAY and will be available on-demand for the next 90 days.

Register here to join the day’s proceedings. It’s FREE!



One-on-One with Creator and Executive Producer of the “CSI” Franchise, Anthony E. Zuiker
Interviewed by Stuart Levine, Assistant Managing Editor of Features at Variety

Anthony E. Zuiker Anthony E. Zuiker You’ll just have to tune in for this one to find out what it is about. We’ll hear Anthony will talk about one of his latest ventures in digital distribution of great content, and how he is taking advantage of technology’s capabilities to deliver some classic content via new mediums.
Anthony E. Zuiker
“CSI” Franchise
Stuart Levine

Variety‘s David Cohen interviews Chris Cookson, President, Sony Technologies, and Alec Shapiro, SVP, Sony Broadcast and Production

David Cohen Chris Cookson Alec Shapiro 3D production, its influence on the 3D experience, and the adoption of 3D are the primary topics of this dynamic exchange with leading experts from Sony. This group discusses 4K, 24 frames, and the impact of them on the value proposition for 3D. Their thoughts around 3D in the home and broadcast 3D, as well as lowering 3D production costs, future proofing 3D content, motion flow, how new technologies should not take away from the art of production, and Sony’s goals to create digital products that can do everything a 35mm can do.
David Cohen
Chris Cookson
Sony Pictures
Alec Shapiro
Sony Broadcast and Production

Creative Cow – Steve Schklair, CEO/Founder, 3ality Digital

Steve Schklair Join Creative Cow’s Debra Kaufman as she checks in with 3ALITY on their NAB Show and what trail they will be blazing moving forward.
Steve Schklair
3ality Digital

One-on-One with John Welch, VP & General Manager, Making Fun

John Welch Game industry veteran John Welch, General Manager of Making Fun, which was recently acquired by News Corp., chats with DMW CEO Ned Sherman about opportunities in the fast-growing social gaming market, including where he sees the areas for growth, how to compete with Zynga and the future of gaming for Facebook and other social networks as well as smart phones and tablet computers. According to Welch: “It’s pretty clear that Zynga won the first inning of the ball game and has a healthy lead going into the second and third innings…I think that the hallmark of the next few years in social gaming is that we are all making better games now and competing to innovate and better engage users for a long time.”
John Welch
Making Fun, a
News Corp. division

Click here for FREE registration