Published February 27, 2009
LOS ANGELES – First Lady of San Francisco Bares All in Raunchy Sex Scene | Indie Spirit: Ellen Page's Sudden Slim Down Stirs Whispers, Mickey Rourke Leaves Wood Out Of Acceptance Speech and What Did Mariah Refuse to Talk About? | Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes Bickered Over Sex Scene Plus Why She Slammed The British Press
Jennifer Siebel Newsom is the first lady of San Francisco — but she also stars in a very racy romantic comedy. Before Jennifer even met her husband (Mayor Gavin Newsom) she made the indie flick The Trouble With Love which has now wound up in the hands of Warner Bros. for an "on demand" and limited theater release this Friday.
"It is going to cause quite a stir as people aren’t used to seeing a political figure like this," director Gene Rhee told Tarts. "But I just hope people judge her (Jennifer) for her amazing performance not for her political associations."
The heartfelt film presents a quartet of vignettes on a disparate group of young adults exploring the trials and tribulations that come with falling and staying in love. According to Rhee, Newsom’s explicit role involves an "eye-popping and racy" sex scene that involves hallucinations and a surprising twist. (Settle down though, we have to keep some things a surprise for you to see on-screen. …)
"It’s always a little awkward (filming intimate scenes) but I’m a dancer and an athlete so I have a more tomboy figure so I just went for it," Newsom admitted. "The film was a challenge, but fun."
However, her hubby has his sights set on becoming much more than a mayor — he has formed an exploratory committee for the purpose of raising money for a possible run for the governorship of California when Arnold Swarzenegger's term is up in 2010. So Gavin Newsom may very well end up in the State House and one day the White House, but is he concerned his wife’s raunchy role could hurt his chances?
"Gavin jokes about and teases me and says he’ll have to approve all scripts from now on," Newsom said. "His Grandmother was actually an actress so he has a very strong affinity to the arts."
But after the heat of this very heated flick has simmered down, Newsom (who is pregnant with their first child and was battling the dreaded morning sickness as we spoke) plans to put "acting on the back-burner."
"I didn’t want news of my pregnancy to get out so soon but it has, and casting directors won’t see me even though I’m not even showing yet," she said. "So I’m working on producing a documentary on the misrepresentation of women in film, and just supporting my husband in his career."
The Independent Spirit Awards are kind of like the anti-Oscars, it's casual dress by the Santa Monica beach in tents during the day before the Big Day. Profanities are encouraged (infact, we lost count how many "F" bombs were dropped during the live telecast) and the champagne and beer is following by 11:30 a.m.
This time last year Ellen Page was in Oscar limelight with a Best Actress nomination for the indie flick Juno, but this year had the honors of presenting at the Spirit soiree instead. But since her escape from the forefront it seems Page has fallen victim to the most infamous of Tinseltown trends as she looked ultra itty-bitty at the affair, causing quite a few whispers.
On another weighty issue, Michelle Williams also looked particularly petite, but Pop Tarts caught the starlet chatting to industry peeps (coincidentally) by the Australian Tourism tent and was overheard saying she is "doing well."
Mariah Carey arrived (fashionably late, of course) to show her support for independent filmmaking stemming from her Sundance hit Push. But since becoming Mrs. Nick Cannon it seems the songstress has ditched those trademark diva traits.
Previously, Carey almost always had a professional director of photography by her side whenever cameras were around, laying down the ground rules like only shooting Mariah from the waist up and only at certain angles. So it was quite a pleasant surprise seeing the starlet pretty much makeup free and happy to talk to anyone and everyone without hesitation (although Carey wasn't ready to weigh in on the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga, telling us that it was too touchy to talk about.)
Mickey Rourke was also on his best behavior, telling Tarts before the show that he was here in honor of his beloved Chihuahua, Loki who died just six days earlier (he even wore his late pooch's picture around his neck). At this awards ceremony, Rourke beat his buddy Sean Penn to take home Best Actor and stole the show with a nonsensical, uncensored acceptance speech. The comeback star thanked everyone from director Darren Aronofsky to co-stars Marisa Tomei and Eric Roberts and even the Santa Monica Police Department for "giving him a pillow to sleep on in the streets ten years ago" but notably left out - his reel-life daughter Evan Rachel Wood who he was recently linked too as a real-life love interest. ...
Despite all the success Rourke has garnered from his acting resurgence, the film almost wasn't made because of Rourke's attachment.
"I didn't want anyone else for the role, I grew up watching Mickey and I knew he could do it," the director told us during our chat backstage. "But the film almost didn't get made, it was so hard convincing anyone to do something with Mickey given his history and nobody wanted to be part of it. Then the biggest challenge became making sure he was awake and ready to work everyday."
We also ran into the now 18-year-old New Zealand actress Keisha Castle-Hughes (who was the youngest ever nominee for a Best Actress Academy Award in 2004). Last year she gave birth to a baby girl and wants to prove you can still succeed in Hollywood after a teen pregnancy.
"I’m back in L.A to reintroduce myself to all the casting directors as a woman instead of a young girl," Keisha told Tarts.
Most of the big-name nominees and presenters such as Rourke, Robin Wright-Penn, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway and Ben Stiller skipped out on the notoriously loud, neon-lighted (but always fun) late afternoon Official IFC Indie Film Celebration at Shutters By the Beach Hotel, but Mary-Kate Olsen actually attended and even smiled the entire time. The happy and healthy looking twin sipped sugar-free Red Bull and hung out with some guy pals right in the middle of the dance floor which is quite a departure from her usual routine of hiding in the back corner.
After five unsuccessful nominations over the years, Kate Winslet finally lived out her wildest dream and took home Best Actress on Sunday evening. In that typical overexcited (and rightfully so) Winslet fashion, she was blabbing animatedly backstage after the big win — a trait she has been slammed for in the U.K press throughout Awards Season.
"I really don't care and quite honestly, it makes me very sad that my own country can't be pleased for the successes of their own kind in the way that America really seems to be able to be," Winslet said.
But let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the 33-year-old actress doesn’t fall victim to the female Oscars curse, where the winners soon split from their beloved (Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Hilary Swank …) But we think that after Kate’s racy romp with Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road (which was directed by her hubby Sam Mendes), they have probably already overcome the toughest hurdle.
"He's seen me naked before we met, for God’s sake. So honestly he's used to it and the person who was the most professional getting through the intimate moments in Revolutionary Road was Sam," Kate explained. "I was pathetic and he was absolutely brilliant, and just kept saying to me, 'You've done this so many times before,' and I would turn to him and say, 'Yes, darling but you’re standing right there, so isn't it allowed to be a little bit weird?' And he was … 'Just get on with it.' He was just completely professional, he's just very accepting of it."
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