Welcome to OffBeat, the rumor-free celebrity blog dedicated to the careers of those celebrities who rarely make headlines. Here, we embrace the independent film, the overlooked gem, and the significant performances that go unnoticed.

We pride ourselves on being straight news and opinion. You won't find gossip here. No who's-dating-who; no paparazzi photos. We're here to discuss the actors and their work. No spin, no lies.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Should Kristen Stewart kiss serious acting goodbye?

The Safety of Objects. The Cake-Eaters. Undertow. Fierce People.

Recognize these film titles? These four and several other films represent Kristen Stewart’s early, pre-Twilight career. And honestly, her performances in these films are unmatched by 90 percent of actors and actresses her age.

Stewart held her own with renowned performers like Dermot Mulroney, Glenn Close, and Patricia Clarkson. She took on a variety of roles that demanded her to become emotionally naked.

Now, it’s almost as if that impressive beginning of a career has been swept away. Why? The Twilight saga.

I tried to be objective when Twilight was originally released back in 2008. I attempted to read the book (and didn’t get very far) and gave the movie a real, honest chance. It didn’t impress me. It wasn’t terrible as far as blockbusters went, but as a Kristen Stewart fan, I was disappointed.

Stewart’s work as Bella Swan represents what are arguably the worst performances of her career. She seems out of her element – lost in the sea of false emotions and obscene writing. That spark that was present in Into the Wild and even the recent Runaways film is absent in the vampire epic. Stewart doesn’t seem present. She appears to be simply reciting lines from a page and, in that way, she mimics her cold co-star Robert Pattinson (who has also churned out some good performances – see Water for Elephants and Remember Me for examples).

Kristen Stewart doesn’t seem like your typical Hilary Duff-esque preteen star. When she’s at her best, she’s starring in independent films. She’s gritty, raw. In Twilight, none of that seems to exist.

So that begs the question: which route will Stewart choose? Can she swiftly balance the independent world while still thriving in the blockbuster one? Will she be forced to choose – cut and dry – what type of roles she takes on? Will she be typecast in this helpless heroine role that represents her most popular role to date?

It is this writer’s opinion that Stewart should take the piles of money she makes from the Twilight saga and run. She needs to re-discover her independent film roots. That’s not to say she’s completely lost them. I recently had the pleasure of viewing Welcome to the Rileys, which co-stars James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, in which Stewart plays a vulgarity-spewing young stripper. Once more, the young actress wowed me with her consistent delivery.

I’m interested in Stewart’s upcoming portrayal of Marylou in the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, but nothing more in her upcoming filmography impresses me. I fear that Stewart will take the Kirsten Dunst route and end up portraying a cheerleader or the girlfriend to a superhero in poorly directed, horrendously written summer blockbusters.

What do you think? Are Kristen Stewart’s established acting chops enough to keep her career afloat? Will she take the mainstream road? And better yet, is the mainstream road good for her? Give me your opinions! Also, what do you think Stewart's best role/movie to date is?

Dailies: Emma Stone's success, Jesse Eisenberg's new film

Emma Stone’s ELLE Cover

Young actress Emma Stone has been grabbing headlines left and right since her breakthrough performances in 2009’s Zombieland and 2010’s Easy A put the 22-year-old on the map. Stone boasts an impressive resume which includes more than five upcoming releases. Her upcoming performance in The Help, set to be released in August, is already generating buzz.

Stone landed the cover story on July’s issue of ELLE, a popular women’s magazine. In her interview, Stone admits to sucking her thumb until age 11 and admits her distaste for Hollywood’s focus on perfection in certain movie roles. This actress would rather look believable than like a runway model.

I like to look like a person. It drives me crazy when you see women in movies playing teachers, and they have biceps. It totally takes me out of the movie. I start thinking, Wow, that actress playing this part really looks great!”

Stone realizes how lucky she’s been with her success over the past few years.

I’ll kick my ass later on if I don’t enjoy it right now. But it does make you realize that so much of the joy of it is the journey. The struggle is such a lovely part of it.”

Read the rest of the interview at ELLE’s website.

Mark Wahlberg: Fighter sequel?

Hollywood tough guy Mark Wahlberg admitted intentions of doing a sequel to The Fighter, last year’s surprised hit. The film, which scored the cast two Oscars, revolved around boxer Micky Ward’s early years in the ring.

Wahlberg made this announcement in accepting the Spike TV Award for ‘Guy Movie of the Year.”

We’re not going to do Fighter 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, but we’re going to do 2,” Wahlberg said.

Lisa Kudrow to host Webby Awards

Look out for some biting humor on Facebook June 13th. And no, I’m not talking about your friend’s statuses.

Funnywoman and former Friend Lisa Kudrow is set to host the Webby Awards, which will air live on Facebook next Monday. Entertainment Weekly posted an exclusive promo and, if this clip is any indication, it seems like a riot.

Kudrow’s Web Therapy show will begin playing on Showtime in the near future.

Check out EW’s clip and log in to Facebook June 13th for more Kudrow humor.

Jesse Eisenberg: Magician?

The Social Network and Adventureland star Jesse Eisenberg is said to be in talks of landing a role in Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) new film Now You See Me, a film about magician bank robbers.

Eisenberg is currently only in negotiations for the lead role. Other rumored actors for the film include Jake Gyllenhaal and French actress Melanie Laurent.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thanks to the Academy: The Duck Finally Gets His Day

The 61st annual Emmy Awards took place this past Sunday evening. I sat down for what I figured would be a typical broadcast. The host (this time the hilarious Neil Patrick Harris) would produce the typical witty banter, 30 Rock would win most of the major awards, Mad Men would win everything else, The Daily Show would win variety, my personal pick for Supporting Actor in a Comedy would once again be snubbed, and I would fall asleep by the end of the evening.

I was right about all of that except for one thing.

That's right, everyone. Jon Cryer of the Two and a Half Men fame finally claimed victory after four years of nominations and four years of defeat.

I know what you're thinking.

Is that the same Jon Cryer that was once a budding young star? Isn't he the charismatic nerd who lost the girl in Pretty in Pink? Isn't he the guy who, in the mid-nineties, starred in a string of failed sitcoms?

Yes, folks. The guy had a rough road, but has been steadily perfecting his comedic timing and general awesomeness since 2003, when he was cast to play opposite Charlie Sheen in the raunchy CBS comedy Two and a Half Men.

And so here we are. He's been nominated for four years and he's finally scored the gold. So what does our favorite Duck have to say about this?

"I used to think that awards were just shallow tokens of momentary popularity, but now, I realize they are the only true measure of a person's worth as a human being."

Self depricating, hilarious, and absolutely charming, Jon Cryer's acceptance speech was arguably among the best of the evening. The man was obviously very gracious and shocked by his own win.

And so were the naysayers.

I really was shocked and appalled (ok, not so much) by the amount of backlash against Cryer's win. The majority of the trash talk seems to have come from fans of Cryer's competitor, How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris. Surely, the masses assumed, now that Jeremy Piven (Entourage) has left the category, it will be Neil's year to claim gold. In fact, even I figured that was exactly how it was going to play out.

Over the past few days, I have heard Mr. Cryer referred to as many things, including but not limited to:

1. Talentless hack
2. Annoying
3. Whiny
4. Not inclined to good fashion

I only agree with number four, and I will explain exactly why Mr. Cryer deserves his award and why all of the rest of you are, in my oh-so-humble opinion, mistaken:

1. Jon Cryer plays a sometimes unlikable character. That character is prone to being annoying and whiny. The reason that many people find him annoying and whiny is because he's doing such a good job in that role. It's called acting, people. Isn't that what he won for? If his character was a carbon copy of himself, he wouldn't be heralded with such a prestigious honor.

2. The man is 44-years-old. That is not old by any stretch of the imagination, but in show business, if you haven't made a name for yourself by the time you're in your mid-forties, it's unlikely that it's going to happen. Jon Cryer is talented and deserves his moment of glory just as much as anyone else. Neil Patrick Harris is an excellent actor. How I Met Your Mother would not be what it is without him. But the dude is just starting to blow up. He has a long and prosperous career in front of him. Jon Cryer might not have that (though I wish only good things for him). Therefore, Jon Cryer probably has less overall chances of being nominated for awards in the future than Neil.

3. He's really the only thing that keeps Two and a Half Men going. It's a funny show, don't get me wrong, but its best days are behind it. Seven seasons in comedy years is like 87 in human years. Charlie Sheen is a good "straight man," but he couldn't balance the show and maintain it's demographic if he had anyone other than Jon Cryer to play off of.

4. He's adorable. Look at him in that cute little sweater vest. He's such a cute nerd. And all cute nerds, even ducks, deserve their day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Welcome to the Revolution

If you are here, it is likely that you're in one of the following boats:

a) You're bored and surfing various blogs, hoping for something to kill time
b) You're sick and tired of seeing the same old things on celebrity websites
c) You clicked onto this blog from another website in order to see what the hell it's all about

For whatever reason you've stumbled upon this humble little blog, you're here. So you might as well hear me out.

I gotta say, I was inspired by Julie & Julia. For years, I've been trying to maintain a blog. It just occurred to me recently that I was going about it the wrong way. I'd been writing about myself, my annoyances, and all the little eccentricities of my life. I'd get bored a few weeks later and the blog, which was never really read by anyone anyway, would become a wasteland of failed ambition. I'm thinking that the reason it didn't work out was pretty simple: I'm simply not that interesting. I'm so uninteresting that even I get bored with me.

So I was going to give up. I may be a[n aspiring] writer, but blogging was simply not my medium.

Or is it?

I went to see Julie & Julia, the new movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, recently and realized where I had gone wrong. I needed to blog about something. Something that I personally am interested in. Something that a significant number of people may also be interested in.

Who doesn't like reading about celebrities? They sure as hell are more interesting than I am. But the whole "celebrity rumor" blog has been done to death. Perez Hilton made a career of it for crying out loud.

So what could I do that's in that same vein, yet is completely unlike the ordinary?

And then the epiphany struck: I would blog about my favorite celebrities, the ones that rarely get the recognition they deserve. I would blog about Laura Linney, Campbell Scott, Robin Tunney, Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, James Spader, Zooey Deschanel, Steve Buscemi, etc. And, instead of posting rumors in bad taste, I would respect their personal space and keep it relative to their careers. No rumors. Just the news as it should be. On the celebrities that need a little light to shine on them for a change.

So have I got you yet? If the answer is yes, I hope you bookmark me, follow me, comment, or whatever you have to do. If not.. well, this isn't going to be for everybody. But I'm going to try to stick with it. And I'm going to need the help of some other TV/movie nerds.

So come on. Let's start the celebrity blogging revolution.