Wachowski Brother's Personal Life May Be Exposed
Brace yourselves. On its way this St. Patrick's Day is "V for Vendetta," a new movie starring Natalie Portman and written by Larry and Andy Wachowski, of "The Matrix" fame.
Officially, the Wachowskis didn't direct "Vendetta." The name on the credits is James McTeigue, a longtime assistant director for George Lucas on "Star Wars" and for the Ws on all the "Matrix" movies.
But I'm told that execs at Warner Bros. — a very hot studio right now — are concerned that this time out, Larry Wachowski's personal life is going to get big-time exposure.
The reclusive Ws, who hail from Chicago, do not give interviews. One reason is that Larry, according to some reports, is rumored to have changed genders in recent years.
Even if he hasn't gone the complete "Transamerica" route — I hope he's caught Felicity Huffman's amazing performance — Larry has lots of other issues.
One reason he may not be walking the red carpet at a premiere any time soon is that he traded in his wife for a famous dominatrix named Ilsa Stix, aka Karin Winslow. Larry apparently isn't satisfied with the abuse Hollywood can heap on him.
To compound the problem, lots of media organizations are said to be gunning for Wachowski and Madame Ilsa.
First up may be Rolling Stone, which is said to be planning a big investigation into this unusual couple. West Coast investigator Paul Barresi and a famed torture-meister named Tom Moore are said to have led Jann Wenner's rockin' journos into the belly of the beast.
As we get closer to the opening of "Vendetta," there should be a lot of questions. One of them will be: Who is this guy McTeigue and why didn't the Ws direct the movie?
One answer could be that the studio needed someone who could actually go out and do promotional stuff, since the Ws refuse to. Another just might be that he's talented and has been waiting for a chance to make his own film.
One thing is certain: McTeigue, to dispel rumors, is real and not just a pseudonym for the Ws. Even they wouldn't be able to whip up such a story.
Everything old is new again. In the middle of the controversy about writers JT LeRoy and James Frey being unmasked as fakes, let me remind you about a similar story from a decade ago.
This was the saga of sometime People magazine writer Lorenzo Carcaterra, who published a memoir called "Sleepers" and insisted it was based on his experiences growing up in Hell's Kitchen. The book went on to become a Barry Levinson movie starring Brad Pitt.
But no one from Hell's Kitchen remembered Carcaterra. He was called a fraud. Finally, I reported in New York magazine the real story of how Carcaterra had carried out his hoax.
Yesterday, I spoke to Bobby Moresco, now an accomplished screenwriter, who had told me back then that Carcaterra had obviously appropriated the story of Moresco's dead brother and made it into "Sleepers."
"I remember all of it. I stand by everything I said 10 years ago. He lied," Moresco said.
Carcaterra, at the time, hid behind the reputation of his wife, Susan Toepfer, then the top editor at People. Since then, he has worked on "Law & Order." On his Web site he claims to have movies in development with different studios.
But here's the basic breakdown of what happened, condensed from my original New York story published on Sept. 18, 1995:
The hit man in "Sleepers" was named Tommy "Butter" Marcano. He was most likely based on Moresco's brother, Tommy, whose nickname was also "Butter." He was killed in Hell's Kitchen in 1983.
The other big character from "Sleepers," a hit man named John O'Reilly, was modeled on Moresco's friend, Richie Ryan. They both belonged to the notorious neighborhood gang, the Westies.
"Do I resent it? Yeah. Tell him the next time I see him I'll smack him in the face. Better yet, ask him why no one from the neighborhood remembers him?" Bobby Moresco said when I wrote the story.
Carcaterra, like most embellishers, may have left a lot of clues for his critics. The new bloodhounds checking out Frey and LeRoy have no doubt come across blueprints for these fresh deceptions.
For Carcaterra, his plan was laid out in a 1981 New York Daily News article called "Romanticizing Real Life Stories."
"When it comes to portraying lives of real people on the big screen, the movies have never been what would be called accurate ... so what if the facts are embellished?" he wrote.
Never mind that the Globes are a suspicious endeavor plagued by financial questions and matters of relevancy. The most important thing is that big parties accompany them, and everyone at the Beverly Hilton Hotel likes that part of it.
Following the show, HBO, the Weinstein Company, NBC Universal and In Style magazine will all try to outdo each other with shindigs designed to wow and woo. The best thing about these parties is that they're all in one place, so alcohol consumption is high.
But new to the party program will be Sunday night's Vanity Fair party at the Sunset Towers. Vanity Fair is famous for its Oscar party, but I guess it couldn't wait this year. It also gets to take advantage of the extra day, since the Globes moved to Monday night in order to dodge "Desperate Housewives." Something tells me this VF gala will be the hottest ticket ever.
The Globes are on NBC, by the way, which has been a little beat-up lately. But it looks like it has a great show in "The Book of Daniel." I loved the premiere episode.
You can't beat the acting of Aidan Quinn and legendary Ellen Burstyn, for starters. I've had a crush on Susanna Thompson since she played the abandoned wife on "Once and Again." And the show has a breakout star in Ivan Shaw, who was plucked from the soap "All My Children."
"Daniel" wraps together bits from "The Sopranos," "Weeds," "Six Feet Under" and "Desperate Housewives" and tweaks "7th Heaven." Everything but the kitchen sink.
I am happy to tell you that Robert Altman will finally get his long overdue Academy Award this year.
As I predicted on Monday, the Academy voted to give it to him on Tuesday. There's some satisfaction here, since we wrote back in August that Altman's not having one was getting downright embarrassing already!
The director of everything from "MASH" to "Gosford Park" will have to jet to Los Angeles from London on March 3. The play he's directing there, "Resurrection Blues," the last by Arthur Miller, opens on March 2. Who says octogenarians aren't hip, huh?