Friday, 28 October 2011

Tim DeZarn, an actor on K-11, talks about the film set being haunted

Filming was well under way when news of the ghost began to circulate. They were shooting the final scenes of the movie K-11, a prison thriller, at the abandoned Sybil Brand Institute women's correctional facility in City Terrace east of downtown.

One of the crew members, who declines to be named, was upstairs in the solitary-confinement area fussing with the ventilation system. It was a hot day, and the abundance of lights and wires was only making it hotter. Talk about a creepy place. Pigeons had flown in through broken windows, died of thirst and been eaten by rats. Their skeletons littered the floors, heaped upon years of accumulated filth.

As he worked -- alone -- the crew member got the distinct and eerie impression that he was being watched.

Suddenly, despite the ambient heat, he felt a "cold sensation" crawling up his leg. Fingertips ruffled his hair, gently, as a lover might. He ran. Feeling sheepish, he forced himself to turn around. That's when he saw her: a lady in white. Or, rather, a girl in a hospital gown. She was thin, with pale skin, intense blue eyes and chopped-off black hair. Her feet were bare. She stared at him for a minute, then walked away.

He told the on-premises sheriffs about the girl. "Oh, yeah, that's Sally," they said.

"What do you mean, 'Oh yeah that's Sally'?" asked the crew member. "What's that?"

The sheriffs told him about a prison inmate whose parents were on their way to visit. They were killed en route in a traffic accident on the 405 freeway. Distraught at learning of her parents' death, Sally hanged herself in the shower.

Like a child's game of telephone, word of Sally's latest manifestation spread. It got around to actor Tim DeZarn, who was at the prison filming, too. In the movie, he plays one of the guards. DeZarn decided he would see about the ghost. He would free Sally's spirit.

Sitting in his Culver City home a few weeks later, wearing a frown and a shirt that says "I'm Bringing Grumpy Back," he recalls the experience. Because he's the kind of guy who thinks better when he draws, he reaches for a pencil and sketches the scene.

"The hallway goes around like this, and down here it's all dark," DeZarn says. "And in here are all these cells" -- he sketches the cells -- "and here it's dark, dark, dark and a little brighter at the end."

He remembers that he sat at the top of the stairs near the entrance to eat some peanuts. Courage gathered, he walked the hallway, opening each of the cell doors. "OK," he called out into the darkness, "I'm coming in." Silence. "You don't belong here anymore." More silence. "You're not part of this world anymore. Your parents are probably somewhere out there waiting for you." Silence, still.

He sighs now, rubs his hand across his face. "I don't even know if I believe this shit." He fiddles with the slip of paper. "I told Sally, 'One of the reasons I want you to go is so you can find my son and tell him I need to see him.' "

DeZarn's teenage son, Travis, was killed four years ago in a car accident. It was a foggy Saturday night, and the boy was driving along winding, mountainous Palisades Drive coming home from visiting his girlfriend when he was hit broadside by another vehicle. His car was ripped in half. He died instantly.

No one thus far -- not the police, the coroner or Travis' parents or friends -- can figure out what caused the crash. Drugs and alcohol ruled out, DeZarn suspects his son might have swerved to avoid hitting a deer. But the chaos of old skid marks at the scene makes it impossible to tell. It is a notoriously dangerous spot.

"Maybe because I'm so angry, that's why I haven't seen Travis yet," DeZarn says. "But I just wanted to hear from my son and feel his presence."

He does not consider the idea so far-fetched. He's had experience with ghosts before. When he was 12 he saw one. It was his Uncle Howard. DeZarn was out in the woods on his family's property when he saw a light by the barn.

He pulls another scrap of paper now from the little tray on the table. He sketches the barn. The woods. The darkness. The light. Uncle Howard's ghost was the light. The specter spoke: "Timmy, I need you to take care of your adoptive brother." Message conveyed, Uncle Howard disappeared.

"It was like someone closed their hand on him," DeZarn recalls. He cups his hands together as if extinguishing a flame. DeZarn was much nicer to his brother after that.

In four years he's had no extrasensory perceptions of his son. Not a single icy tingle down the spine, or rattling doorknob or wisp of vapory mist. He has, however, had dreams of Travis diving deep into the earth. These dreams are always unsettling and sad. In DeZarn's darkest moments -- moments to which he can scarcely admit for fear of scaring his wife and daughter -- he wants to die, too.

Instead, he runs. Up and up and up stairs. Eighty-one flights total, one for each year of his and his son's ages combined. DeZarn is 59. Travis was 18 when he died. This year he'd have been 22.

DeZarn doesn't believe in an interventionist God to whom you pray and "he does shit for you." But he believes in a collective energy shared by everyone. Maybe Travis can't contact him through the interference. Travis was his first thought, DeZarn admits, when he heard of Sally's ghost. "Maybe she can help get a message to my kid."

He flicks his pencil back and forth as he talks. "Even though I've had these experiences," he says, "I'm a real doubting Thomas."

Moet & Chandon & Kate del Castillo toast the holiday season together (PRnewswire)

The Film and Television Luminary will Meet and Toast with Fans in Houston and Los Angeles

Moet & Chandon is proud to invite fans in Houston and Los Angeles to toast the holidays with acclaimed film and television luminary Kate del Castillo and its flagship champagne, Moet Imperial.  Two Estrella de Moet tours will take Ms. del Castillo to Houston and Los Angeles starting in mid-November.  Ms. del Castillo said, "I'm honored to be working with Moet and excited to toast with my fans in celebration of the holiday season."

Dubbed "Estrella de Moet" (Moet's Star) in a nod to Ms. del Castillo's popularity, this is the first time that Moet has worked with Latina talent in the United States.  Ms. del Castillo will make her first appearance on behalf of Moet in Houston on November 11 and 12, 2011 when she will appear in a yet-to-be-announced retail location to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.  Consumers will also have the opportunity to create bespoke sparkling holiday gifts by adding special messages of their choice to the face of the iconic Imperial bottle in crystal letters.  Customized messages include !Felicidades! (Congratulations!), Te Amo (I Love You), and Felices Fiestas (Happy Holidays).  Estrella de Moet will continue in Houston with 16 separate events at clubs and retailers until the end of the year and will continue on to Los Angeles in early December with details forthcoming.

Del Castillo, a leading Mexican film, theater and television actress, most recently appeared in the highly successful series La Reina del Sur (Telemundo/NBC Universal), has appeared in CSI Miami (CBS), was a recurring guest star in Weeds (Showtime), and is well-known for starring in the most successful Spanish-language theatrical release in the Untied States to date, Bajo la Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon).

This year, People en Espanol named her one of the "25 Most Influential Women" and one of the "50 Most Beautiful People."

With Kate del Castillo and Moet & Chandon, Estrella de Moet is certain to be the toast of the holiday season.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

CONFIRMED: Jules Stewart does NOT have Facebook

We have been aware of a Facebook page claiming to be Jules Stewart's.


 We have checked and have confirmation from her representatives that Jules Stewart DOES NOT have a Facebook page.

The ONLY official site for Jules and her art-work is

Monday, 24 October 2011

'Today’s TV Addict' Top 5: Questions with Pan Am Super-Spy Goran Visnjic

Dabbling a bit with political intrigue in his latest role as Niko Lonza, a Yugoslavian diplomat who catches the eye of one of the flight attendants in PAN AM, Goran Visnjic previewed his guest starring role in an exclusive interview with

1.Can you describe who Niko Lonza is and what part he has to play in the upcoming episodes?

GORAN:  I play a Yugoslavian diplomat who works in the United Nations and he meets one of the stewardesses on the flight from New York to Monte Carlo.  Basically, Kate (played by Kelli Garner) needs to get close to him because he is her only way into the fancy casino in Monte Carlo and she has a CIA assignment inside there.  But when Kate is done with her assignment, they have this connection and they start dating, and over the course of a couple of episodes, it turns into a love story.  But then towards the end of the 4-episode arc, you will have figured out that things are not as simple as that: the CIA has their agenda, as does the Yugoslavian Secret Police.

2. Sounds a little bit like a cat-and-mouse game.  Sounds fun!  As you probably did not actually film in Monte Carlo, where did you actually film and how much fun was that?

GORAN:  It was actually quite impressive.  We filmed in New York.  The city, the architecture is so beautiful.  There are so many different locations in the city and around the city.  S we were on Long Island at one of the old mansions.  It really looked like an early 19th Century hotel from Monte Carlo and was really beautiful.  There were these great cars, like old vintage cars, and it was really fun.  It was actually quite spectacular.  The interiors of the casinos were done in the same place and some artwork and interior design was just amazing.  I thought it was really beautiful.  Unfortunately, we did not go to Monte Carlo, but we did the second best thing.

3.Was it a bit surreal as an actor to actually step into the shoes of a character in that era, when the world was on the cusp of the race to the moon and political ambitions were kind of pushing people towards covert wars and social tensions?  Since we currently live in a world where that doesn’t exist for us anymore.  So how does it feel stepping into that era for awhile?

GORAN:  I have to say, it was very interesting for me coming from Croatia, which was at that time — 1963, it was part of Yugoslavia and we had our own political problems.  That is why I guess the interesting thing for the writers was to use Yugoslavia, and not use another country from the Communist Bloc. Because Yugoslavia was never part of the Iron Curtain.  It was actually a neutral country — never Communist.  So to introduce a character who is a diplomat from that country, it kind of open up possibilities for interesting political stories, spy stories and emotional stories.  You have this guy who is able to travel around the world first-class and go to Monte Carlo casinos because he’s not coming from a Communist country.  As far as Kate’s character, Niko’s government would never allow him to date an American girl.  So it’s kind of very different.  It’s interesting that we kind of forgot how things were barely 40 years ago.
4. How did you find out about this role and what drew you to it?

GORAN:  Jack Orman and Lydia Woodward actually worked on ER.  They were on ER when I started with the show, so we’ve known each other a long time.  They wrote some really cool stuff.  Actually I think Lydia wrote my first episode on ER.  I’ll never be able to forget that one!  And I knew definitely then coming aboard that the writers would be cool and when we were discussing the character, they were really open to suggestions and ideas and talked about conflicts at the time that happened nearly half a century ago in Yugoslavia. Plus, I had seen the pilot episode, which was really awesome and it was an easy decision.  I really didn’t have to think much about it.

5. Was there one specific thing that made you go, “Oh, I have to play that character!”?

GORAN:  It was that side that I wanted people to see — how Yugoslavia functioned in the early ’60′s.  People from the East, from the Iron Curtain, viewed Yugoslavia as a westernized country completely.  They were kind of like envying us; and then people in the West were seeing Yugoslavia almost the same as the rest of the Communist countries, which it wasn’t.  It was a Communist society, but much more relaxed than the Soviet Union.  So it was kind of interesting to portray someone coming from this country and who was still able to travel around and this and that, but then you still feel that he does come from this oppressed system where nothing unauthorized is said or done.  It was really interesting and important to me to portray that character.  I’m actually grateful to Jack and Lydia, that they put in as much into this part and still kept it really interesting and not politically boring.  It was just the situation he was coming from.  They made it really interesting — a love story and a spy story.

To see how the blossoming romance and love story between Niko and Kate plays out, be sure to tune in for PAN AM on Sunday, October 23.

'Pan Am' Guest Star Goran Visnjic Reveals the Show's 'ER' Ties and Previews a Heartbreaking Romance (THR)

Television watchers will most likely recognize Goran Visnjic as Dr. Luka Kovac on the long-running medical staple ER. Now, the actor is taking a trip to the past and stepping into the jet-set world of Pan Am.

[Warning: Some spoilers up ahead.]

In the 1960s-set ABC drama, Visnjic plays Niko, a Yugoslavian diplomat from the United Nations who meets Pan Am stewardess/CIA spy Kate (Kelli Garner) on a flight from New York. The actor, who has appeared on Leverage and the indie Beginners since hanging up the doctor's coat in 2008, told The Hollywood Reporter that the four-episode stint on Pan Am was an easy decision to make -- partially because the people behind it worked on ER.

"[Creator] Jack Orman, Lydia Woodward used to write for ER," he said. "Lydia Woodward actually wrote my first episode of ER, so I knew they were awesome writers." (Woodward wrote Sunday's "One Coin in the Fountain," which marks Visnjic's first appearance on the show.)

Visnjic added, "They've actually been very open about creating this character. We've been discussing a lot about politics of the '60s. The most attractive thing about it for me is that they didn't make him black and white."

The Yugoslavian-born actor relished in the idea of playing someone who wasn't so easy to pin down -- and who didn't know the whole picture.

"In the beginning, Niko is part of Kate's CIA assignment, but once she's done with that, she continues to have a romance with this guy and they end up involved," Visnjic said. "Through the course of a couple episodes, we figure out that it wasn't so simple as she thought, that he might be part of the bigger assignment wasn't aware of in the beginning. Things really get complicated and it's a sad ending."

What's most intriguing about Niko is the fact that he has no knowledge of Kate's double life, but during that time, it made sense for the government to employ traveled stewardesses. "You really figure out that they're both played by much bigger forces in the global politics of that time," he said.

Though Visnjic never flew on Pan Am, it was his introduction to the jet age. "I believe my first 747 I ever saw was with the Pan Am logo on it, so it's a big part of the 20th century history," he recalled.

Pan Am airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.