She’s got bright emerald green eyes, a distinctive husky voice, and red hair. Although she’s known as a red-head, her natural hair color is blond. And she has played a love interest with Ryan Gosling three times. Okay – you guessed right – I’m describing Emma Stone. She quotes her co-star who said, “Picking roles is like listening to songs on the radio: there can be a lot of really great songs in a row, but then one comes on that just makes you want to dance.” Well, dance they did in the critically appraised musical film “La La Land.” And here’s an astonishing fact. Fresh-faced Damien Chazelle wrote and directed the movie and is all of thirty-one! “It is an important time to not be realistic and sometimes just dream and to value love and art and the act of dreaming whether or not the dream comes true.” Tra-la-la! “La La Land” serves up song-and-dance nostalgia and starry-eyed protagonists chasing Hollywood dreams. The talented Emma Stone credits her parents. “My parents always made me feel as though I could do anything – not in a cheer-leading ‘You’re the greatest’ kind of way. You’re going to have to work hard but we’ll support you whenever we can.” The multi-talented Ryan Gosling is well-suited for his role. He sings and can play the keyboard, guitar, and cello in addition to being a graceful dancer. He claims that performing bolstered his self-confidence as it was the only thing in his growing up that he received praise for. He starred in five movies in 2010 and 2011 and says he’s found a way to have fun making films. Well, as I watched “La La Land” I found myself enjoying Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling but, at the same time, thinking that as talented as the two are, I harken back to my longtime favorite dancing actors, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. And luckily, thanks to TCM, we can still enjoy them and applaud Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for giving us great musical entertainment too. As a not very important P.S., the twenty-nine-year-old actress admits that blonds do have more fun!
Years ago -- and I do mean years -- I was invited to attend a wedding at the home of Cokie Roberts. It was her brother’s wedding held at the home of their parents, Lindy and Hale Boggs, both members of Congress. What was I doing there? Well, their daughter, Cokie, was married to Bayonne’s Steven V. Roberts. He was a friend of Mel Sturz, my then husband. On the way to the affair in Maryland I was wondering what was I doing at a wedding where I personally didn’t know anyone! My apprehension was erased as soon as I heard the music. What I didn’t know was that Cokie Roberts was born in 1943 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and what I was hearing was the music she enjoyed, pure Dixieland jazz swinging away. I was doubly thrilled because at that time I was writing a monthly column, “The View from the Table,” about where to enjoy the music we love. Happily I was able to interview the band members for my magazine, “New Jersey Jazz.” As a result I felt as if I had new friends, many from New Orleans, who were thoroughly enjoying the happy event aided by the happy music. As for Cokie Roberts, the lady has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and TV as one of the fifty greatest in the history of broadcasting. She has won countless awards including three Emmys. Along with her husband, Steven V. Roberts (let’s hear it for the Bayonne boy!), she writes a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around the world. The Roberts also wrote an account of their more than forty year marriage and other marriages in American history. That book went onto the New York Times Best Seller list following Roberts’ number-one best-seller “We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters.” Her most recent book is “Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868" published in 2015. The Library of Congress named her “A Living Legend.” Cokie Roberts is the mother of two and grandmother of six. A song lyric expresses my feeling: “Happy to know you, happy to know all about you.”
While surfing Turner Classic Movies I came across a film starring, sigh, Warren Beatty. The movie was “Heaven Can Wait” (1978). Beatty, sigh, received awards for acting, directing, writing, and producing the film. Warren Beatty’s list of ex-girlfriends reads like a who’s who of Hollywood in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. That all changed when the actor met Annette Bening on the set of the 1991 film “Bugsy.” Now his wife of 25 years, and sharing four children together, the 79-year-old actor revealed that Bening cancelled a meeting with him but, when they finally met for lunch in preparing for “Bugsy,” Beatty knew his life was going to change forever. “It is the best thing that has ever happened to me.” It’s no secret that he was quite the ladies’ man before his 1992 marriage to Bening. But, for an actress who has prized and won many awards for her various characters’ contradictions, she’s not pleased that her public image might be reduced to the role of the lion-tamer who domesticated Mr. Beatty. In prime time, Barbara Walters started her introduction:”If all she did was to get Warren Beatty to settle down, that would be enough.” Ms Bening replied, “It all sounds so unappealing and is not at all what happened and it doesn’t reflect him or me.” In a quarter century of shoulder-shrugging, Ms Bening is back in the awards circuit scooping up lifetime achievement awards, critics’ laurels, and reviews calling her latest film, “Twentieth Century Women,” the work of a masterful actress who relentlessly pursues idiosyncratic parts rather than controversial roles. She has seemed to grow steadily in range, intensity, and truthfulness. Through Annette Bening’s twenty-five years of interviews she consistently artfully deflects questions about her life with her husband. And, what’s important to him isn’t that his four kids know his biggest roles but that he’s a great parent. When asked if he thinks he’s a good father, he replies without hesitation, “I know it.” On his life with Annette Bening and kids he is quoted saying “they’re the biggest thing that happened to me.” As for Bening she’s content to wait for the next good part. “When it does come it’s worth the wait.”
You can e-mail June Sturz at email@example.com.