Paul Rudd vs. Jon Hamm: For the Love of Bella Swan’s Mom

More on lost love between famous people.

Despite my efforts on the Armitage beat, my highest hit posts are the ones about Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow, Stephan Jenkins and Charlize Theron, and Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson/Helena Bonham-Carter. Apparently, there are other nostalgic people out there curious about the demise of these relationships.

Here is one love triangle that ended happily for all parties involved.

From an interview with Paul Rudd in September 2011 NYLON Guys written by Luke Crisell:

Only a very few times in his almost two-decade-long career has Paul Rudd doubted his decision to pursue acting. The first was when he was 18, and Jon Hamm schooled him in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Rudd was a freshman at the University of Kansas with a major crush on his roommate’s sister, who was still in high school in St. Louis. During a visit to the family’s home, Rudd found himself on a Trivial Pursuit team with the girl of his dreams. It was his chance to impress. But playing against them across the table was Hamm, a high school senior and friend of the family who was “super handsome, really smart, and very good at sports—all of these things that I most certainly was not,” says Rudd. Nevermind though, Rudd would seal the deal with his superior worldly knowledge. He was, after all, in college. Who did this upstart think he was? “But every question that came up, I had no idea what the f***ing answer was,” he recalls. “Jon, my arch nemesis, rolled the dice, and the question was, ‘What’s the biggest lake in Africa?’ and he just goes ‘Victoria.’ And I remember feeling so totally emasculated that the next year when I went away to acting school I thought back to that Trivial Pursuit moment and I just felt, Holy shit, now that I’m in acting school I’m never going to learn what the biggest lake in Africa is.”

According to internet sources, Hamm ended up dating that girl, Sarah Clarke, who would go on to become an actress and play Bella Swan’s mom Renée Dwyer in the Twilight franchise. Hamm and Rudd also developed a friendship that endures to this day. When Rudd hit it big with Clueless in 1995, Hamm decided to pursue his acting dreams and moved to Los Angeles. Despite his good looks, smarts, and jock appeal, success came late for Hamm; he acted in minor roles for over a decade before being cast as Don Draper in Mad Men, beating out over 80 candidates. Both men continue to attract fans for their onscreen performances and offscreen humility. You think Hollywood could change these guys? As if.

So in the end, all three actors found tremendous acting success and romantic partners. Rudd and Clarke are both married (to other people) and Hamm has a long-time girlfriend.

The Hunter Arrives: Florence + the Machine Tours America

Glorious Florence + the Machine is gracing the Bay area with her presence this Sunday.

Last week, she kicked off her latest US tour at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. She will play at the Greek Theater at UC Berkeley, my alma mater and site of my first ever concert (Third Eye Blind!).

Back in 2009, Florence was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize for her debut album Lungs, but she blew up stateside last year after her song “Dog Days Are Over” ran in the Eat Pray Love trailer. The film was directed by Glee’s creator Ryan Murphy and the song was later covered on Glee.

Since then, she’s been on a media blitz, doing the did the grand rounds of awards shows: she was a highlight at the MTV Video Music Awards, the Grammys, and the Oscars (where she replaced Dido in performing the song from 127 Hours). As mentioned previously on dd blog, she also contributed a track on the Twilight Saga: Eclipse film soundtrack.

Known for her flaming red hair and gypsy bohemian glamour, she has been featured in Vogue twice and this month she is on the cover of Bust and Nylon. Her tour costumes are currently designed by Gucci, as she is the new face of the brand.

Florence has lungs that stretch over any type of song, from the early Sarah McLachlan-esque “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” to the soul cover “You’ve Got The Love” to the scorching call of “Howl” which is a genre all its own.

Her range and passion astonishes me and I am thrilled to see her in concert! Now I just need to find some jewels and feathers. . .

“Rabbit Heart” on KEXP acoustic


“Howl” at Glastonbury Festival 2009


A BBC Radio 4 “Rhyme and Reason” interview with Florence on how poetry inspires her.

“Eclipse” Soundtrack Revealed: I’m Always In This TWILIGHT

Kristen and Rob show off their moves. Shot by Peggy Sirota.

Despite the cheesiness of it all, the “Twilight” saga continues to attract top-shelf indie rock artists for its soundtracks. What’s more, these artists contribute new songs to be background noise to a vampire/human/werewolf love triangle soap opera, in order to gain the notice (and dollars) of millions of breathless females worldwide — while enraging loyalists who cry “Sell out!”

For the third film of the five-part series (“Breaking Dawn” will be two films), the soundtrack lineup includes two of my favorite Brits — Bat for Lashes and Florence + the Machine. These ladies definitely know what’s up when it comes to fantasy (see BFL “Horse and I”) and overwhelming passion (see BFL “Daniel”).

Florence always struck me as a “Twilight” fan given the bombastic chorus of “Cosmic Love” (“I’m always in this TWILIGHT”) and the lovesick wolf-hunter narrative of “Howl.”

I am pleasantly surprised to see a contribution from Australian singer Sia. This YouTube fan video of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s “Vanity Fair” shoot featuring Sia’s song “Breathe Me” was sexier than the entire “Twilight” movie. It’s no coincidence, I’m sure, that “Breathe Me” was featured as the trailer for Rob’s recent movie “Remember Me” or that Sia is now on the “Eclipse” soundtrack.

It’s quite an international indie lineup, actually. Canadians (Metric), a Scientologist (Beck), and some Ivy League Americans (Vampire Weekend):

1. Metric – “Eclipse (All Yours)”

2. Muse – “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)”

3. The Bravery – “Ours”

4. Florence + The Machine – “Heavy In Your Arms”

5. Sia – “My Love”

6. Fanfarlo – “Atlas”

7. The Black Keys – “Chop And Change”

8. The Dead Weather – “Rolling In On A Burning Tire”

9. Beck and Bat For Lashes – “Let’s Get Lost”

10. Vampire Weekend – “Jonathan Low”

11. UNKLE – “With You In My Head (featuring The Black Angels)”

12. Eastern Conference Champions – “A Million Miles An Hour”

13. Band Of Horses – “Life On Earth”

14. Cee-Lo Green – “What Part Of Forever”

15. Howard Shore – “Jacob’s Theme”

Kobe and His L.A. Times Photoshoot: His Italian Side

The softer side of Kobe

Kobe manages to look like a Middle Eastern woman or a monastic Spanish toreador in the now no-tor-ious LA Times fashion spread. He must have been charmed by the Italian stylist James Valeri (who discusses the wardrobe and shoot here) – Kobe grew up in Italy and speaks Italian fluently – his daughters are named Natalia and Gianna.

Watch Kobe speak Italian.

But back to the photoshoot – the styling suffers from the costumey white hat and the effeminate scarf – other than that it was just a Hamptons-style lounge fest. For a laugh, check out his teammates reaction here.

Kobe’s recent GQ photoshoots have been full of energy and attitude – shot by hipster photographer Terry Richardson. . .

I'm about to be unstoppable - Kobe shot by Terry Richardson, GQ

. . .and Peggy Sirota.

Kobe shows off his moves - shot by Peggy Sirota, GQ

Sirota captures breathless action and joy in her photos and there is a refreshing candor about her work that makes it stand apart from the retouching and artificiality of other celebrity photography. I dig her Entertainment Weekly “Lost” shoot with Jack and Kate and the Vanity Fair shoot for “Twilight.”

The March GQ interview which accompanies the Terry Richardson shoot is a fun read – I love that Kobe’s competitive drive crosses over into his Cranium games with his wife. The article also hints at Kobe’s close friendship with reserve Josh Powell, which I wasn’t aware of until reading this article.

Let’s go, Lakers!!

Update: Buffy Continues to Kick Ass But There’s A Big Bad Alert (Kuzui Enterprises)

"Chosen": after the war has been won - what's next for Buffy?

"Chosen": after the war has been won - what's next for Buffy?

Prologue: It was Fran Rubel Kuzui who discovered Joss Whedon’s script which became the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer film. Kuzui was the director of the original Buffy film and holds the rights to Buffy – she and her husband were listed as executive producers of the Buffy and Angel TV spin-offs.

Kuzui is now interested in producing a new Buffy movie in an attempt to create a cash cow franchise, like the recent re-boot of Star Trek. The movie will not have any of the TV supporting cast characters and Joss Whedon will not be involved in this film – and without Joss – so goes the Buffy Nation!

Buffy Season Eight – the comic book series – is still going on. It’s currently in issue 25 and will go to issue 40. The series features different arcs written by former Buffy writers – including Joss himself.

A well-done mash-up of Buffy vs. Edward from Twilight has hit the Internet. But Buffy has better comebacks that were overlooked.

In 2008, the BtVS cast reunited at the Paley Center in Los Angeles (sans Alyson Hannigan and Eliza Dushku). Due to what I’m sure was fervid fan demand, the full and uncut reunion is available on DVD on the Paley Center’s website.