The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Care Center’s gala at the Westin Waterfront hotel was held last night, and special guest Matt Damon was on hand to helm the festivities. Though the event featured a bevy of important people raising money for the Track at The One Hundred charity, Damon made a point of bringing up the fact that he was missing the Celtics game at the TD Garden.
Damon reportedly wore a Celtics jersey on the plane ride from New York City, and acknowledged his desire to get updates on the score for game 6 of the eastern conference NBA finals game between the Celtics and the Miami Heat, throughout the evening. The game was being played at the same time as the gala, not all that far from the hotel.
The gala is the ifth annual fundraiser honoring individuals and groups “whose diligence and discoveries, philanthropy and passion have helped advance the fight against cancer.”
Other attendees included actor Chris Cooper and Teresa Heinz and Senator John Kerry. Damon’s father, Kent, who was also in attendance, was treated by Mass General doctors in 2009 for multiple myeloma.
Damon just finished a project with Newton native John Krasinski called Promised Land. The film follows the story of a natural gas salesman who experiences life-changing events after moving to the small town location of his company’s next business endeavor.
Damon also expressed his fondness for the recently released Funny or Die video starring Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. In it, a clueless Dick’s Sporting Goods customer mistakes the Brady for the actor Cambridge bred Oscar winner.
It’s not unusual for celebrities to get involved in politics. Being a famous face can put you in a unique position to garner attention for important causes, shedding light on difficult issues, or perhaps using your platform to campaign for a candidate you believe. This happens to be the case for a number of Massachusetts celebrities campaigning on behalf of Elizabeth Warren, who just won the democratic nomination for this fall’s senatorial race against incumbent Scott Brown (R). Massachusetts natives like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and John Krasinski have been holding fundraisers for the Harvard professor, including a recent one held in California.
The event was held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production studio in Santa Monica on Monday, May 21st, and helped raise over $250,000 for the consumer advocate. J.J. Abrams is no stranger to strong women, or Massachusetts—he created the television shows “Alias” which starred Ben Affleck’s wife, Jennifer Garner, and “Fringe” which is set in Boston.
Attendees of the event included Garner, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Braff, Dana Delany, Tobey Maguire, Alan Horn, and Writers Guild president Chris Keyser. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, both Damon and Krasinski were filming on location and couldn’t attend the fundraiser. Other top contributors included the likes of directors Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, actress Sally Field, Harvey Weinstein and Alan Ladd Jr.
Massachusetts stars will be coming to the big screen in a big way for the next few weeks. Hitting theaters nationwide today is the romantic comedy, The Fiver-Year Engagement, starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt. The film follows the story of a couple who must delay their wedding repeatedly after various life and family struggles get in their way. The film was also co-written by Segel, who created Blunt’s role specifically for her. Blunt and Segel are longtime friends.
The movie also costars Cambridge’s own Mindy Kaling, most known for her work on “The Office,” where she costars with John Krasinski, who also happens to be married to Emily Blunt, Krasinski himself is a Newton native.
Opening on May 4th, the much anticipated super hero adventure, The Avengers, will hit the big screen, costarring Robert Downey Jr., as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo, as the Hulk, Chris Hemsworth, as Thor, Scarlett Johansson, as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner, as Hawkeye, and Boston’s own Chris Evans as Captain America. The handsome hunk was last seen sharing screen time with Anna Faris in the romantic comedy, What’s Your Number?, which was filmed entirely in Boston and surrounding areas in the summer of 2010. We’ll see him next in a couple of rather chilly films; The Iceman, and Snowpiercer, both thrillers set to be released sometime in 2013.
Cambridge native Mindy Kaling, who is most well-known for playing Kelly Kapoor on “The Office” (along with fellow Massachusetts natives John Krasinski, James Spader, and formerly, Steve Carell), is already having a busy start to 2012. The talented actress and writer, who was born Vera Chokalingam, has been popping up on numerous talk shows lately, directing a new web series, and appearing in commercials for Healthy Choice foods.
Kaling’s work on “The Office” has proven valuable to the successful sitcom, with her contract renewed in September 2011, and a promotion to Executive Producer status. Her directorial work on the show’s web series, “The Third Floor,” also allowed her to make her television directorial debut in season 6.
Now in post-production, she will be appearing in a movie entitled The Five-Year Engagement, which costars Jason Segel, Chris Parnell (“SNL”) and Emily Blunt, who also happens to be the wife of Kaling’s “The Office” costar, Krasinski. The comedy, which follows the trials and tribulations of an engaged couple’s relationship roller coaster, is being produced by the same team that did last year’s wildly successful Bridesmaids, and will be released in late April.
Currently in pre-production, Kaling is also currently working on an untitled TV movie project with Fox. According to IMDB, the movie is about “A young Ob/Gyn doctor balancing her personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small office.” Kaling will be starring in the show, as well as writing and producing it. No word yet on when the project will be completed.
Two Boston powerhouses are teaming up for a new film and no, its not Matt and Ben. Those two old pals have already committed to joining forces for a movie about Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. More recently, Matt has seemingly found a new local boy to work with, Newton’s John Krasinski. Its been announced Damon and “The Office” actor wrote, and will star in a new legal drama, which Damon is slotted to direct.
Kransinski apparently came up with the film’s concept and developed it with Boston-born novelist and screenwriter Dave Eggers. When Kransinski approached Damon, the actor who has worked with directing greats Spielberg and Scorcese, jumped at the idea to join the project and direct.
The plot is being kept mostly under wraps, but its been revealed Damon will portray a salesman whose life is turned around after arriving in a small town. There is no word on whether that small town will be in New England either.
The film is described as being in the early stages and Damon and Krasinski are proving to be busy men in the meantime. Damon, whose film Contagion hit theaters just last month, is currently filming Elysium with Jodie Foster and recently signed on to play Liberace in an upcoming Steven Soderbergh biopic. Krasinski, who continues to star in NBC’s “The Office,” just completed shooting two films to be released in 2012.
Sunday night, the 63rd Emmy Awards were presented by first time host Jane Lynch of Fox’s “Glee.” While New England was well-represented throughout the show, the big winners of the evening was ABC’s “Modern Family,” winning a total of five awards, including the first four awards of the evening.
Massachusetts men, Steve Carrell and John Krasinski were both spotted on the red carpet, speaking individually to E’s Ryan Seacrest. Krasinski remarked on how he had not seen Carrell since he left, and how he was enjoying working with James Spader, a new addition to “The Office” family. Carrell likewise said how he was looking forward to catching up with his former cast.
Boston’s own Leonard Nimoy helped open the show, appearing as the ‘President of Television’ in the opening gag/musical number with Jane Lynch about the world of TV. The skit featured Lynch making her way through an apartment building where all of the current TV shows “live.” At one point, Lynch happened upon the “Mad Men” set, and sang to the characters about how women “in the future” can marry other women. Lynch married her partner in Sunderland, Massachusetts, in 2010. Many television stars made appearances throughout the skit; even the “Can you hear me now?” guy from the infamous Verizon commercials, Paul Marcarelli, a native of North Haven, Connecticut, made a brief cameo.
As for the awards, Matt LeBlanc, a Newton native, lost to Jim Parsons from “Big Bang Theory” for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy and “Downton Abby (Masterpiece)” beat “The Kennedys” for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie. Barry Pepper, who played Robert F. Kennedy in the controversial miniseries “The Kennedys,” won the best supporting actor award.
Burlington’s Amy Poehler, along with winner Melissa McCarthy helped present the award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. Poehler was up against McCarty earlier in the evening for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy. The funny lady nominees each scrambled to the stage as their names were called and assembled in a row, pageant-like, and stood holding hands, before McCarthy was announced as the winner, and presented with her trophy, along with a tiara and bouquet of roses.
Mark Wahlberg was spotted in the audience when Lynch introduced the cast of “Entourage,” who presented the award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special. Actor Jeremy Piven even joked about his former boss, remarking about how “HBO, also known as the Mark Wahlberg Channel.” Wahlberg served as executive producer of the show up until its last season earlier this year.
Also appearing during the telecast, Connecticut’s Michael Bolton reprised his role as Captain Jack Sparrow from his wildly popular viral digital video with the SNL guys who make up the Lonely Island music group.
Actress Jill Clayburgh, who died in early November of last year, appeared in the annual “In Memoriam” reel; she was a native of Connecticut.
Newton’s own John Krasinski has got lots to talk about lately, with new projects on the horizon, and a major change at “The Office.”
He’s currently gearing up for the release of his new film, Something Borrowed, co-starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Colin Egglesfield. The film is based on the book of the same title by Emily Giffin. It follows the story of two female best friends who end up at odds when one of them sleeps with the other’s fiancé. Krasinski plays Ethan, the “long-time trusted friend” of the girls, who also bears a secret. The film will be in theaters on May 6.
Keeping busy hasn’t been a problem for the 31 year old, who married British actress Emily Blunt in Italy on July 10th of last year. Currently on tap to be released later this year, Krasinski will be appearing with his wife in a new Muppets movie. In 2012, we’ll also see the 6’3” hunk pop up in Everybody Loves Whales, co-starring Kristen Bell and Drew Barrymore, which is currently in post-production. He’ll also be in Nobody Walks, co-starring Rosemarie DeWitt, which is currently in pre-production.
Another busy actor and fellow Massachusetts native Steve Carrell departs “The Office” today, and former “SNL” funnyman Will Ferrell steps in to take his place–if only temporarily. When asked whether or not the temporary addition to the cast will become permanent, Krasinski remains mum, saying only that business will continue as usual on the hit show, no matter who ends up being the boss.
★ Leno leads in ratings once again, but no one looks for him on the ‘net.
★ Check out the yearbook photos of some New England stars Ellen Pompeo, John Mayer, and “Bachelorette” Ali Fedotowsky.
★ Boston Common Magazine talks to twice Emmy-nominated Samantha Harris.
★ Kings Back Bay hosts an Oscar viewing party on February 27th.
★ Newton’s John Krasinski stars in a new movie with Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin.
★ Connecticut’s John Mayer sports a new goatee at the Grammys.
In its opening weekend, the romantic comedy No Strings Attached topped the box office, bringing in $20.3 million, and making it the number 1 movie in the country. The film stars Ashton Kutcher and current Hollywood “Its Girl” and Harvard graduate, Natalie Portman. The supporting cast also includes a Cambridge, Massachusetts native, Mindy Kaling.
Kaling would probably be most recognizable to audiences for her role as Kelly Kapoor in the television series “The Office,” costarring fellow Massachusetts natives, Steve Carell (Concord) and John Krasinski (Newton). The talented actress, who was born Vera Mindy Chokalingam, attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and portrayed Ben Affleck in a play entitled “Matt & Ben”, which she co-wrote with Brenda Withers in 2003. In addition to starring in “The Office” she also has written more than 18 episodes, and is currently in talks with NBC to develop a new comedy show in which she would also star. Kaling also recently lent her voice to the animated feature, Despicable Me, and will release her first book later this year, entitled The Contents of My Purse, which will be published by Random House’s Crown imprint.
Kaling’s middle name, which she uses as her first, comes from the TV show “Mork and Mindy.” When her mother was pregnant with her in Nigeria, that was the only American TV show they were able to get there.
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