Rare Birds Of Hollywood: Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara at the 2016 Oscar Luncheon

RARE BIRDS OF HOLLYWOOD: Rooney Mara, a nominee for “Carol,” told me about Awards Season with a lovely smile: “There’s two hands to it. It’s a huge honor and it’s such a great way to celebrate all of our films, but then, it can be very overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like we’ve been celebrating the same person’s birthday for months on end and it’s just never gonna stop. Sometimes it can feel like a little bit much, like I want the birthday party to end. But then there is this other wonderful side to it where you get to meet all these people that you’re inspired by and want to work with. It’s really nice to be able to celebrate film with other people who also wanna celebrate film.”

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Leo is Magnetic on the SAG Red Carpet


Leo-LEO- LEEEEE-OOOOOH! The hysteria generated by DiCaprio’s arrival on the red carpet at the SAG Awards on Saturday was like feeling The Big One. Fans in the bleachers had been pretty subdued until his appearance. Here’s the funny part. As he joined the crowded-together line up of celebs waiting to be barraged by the flashes of the camera-brigade they didn’t scream but you could you see his magnetism affecting them too. Stars openly stared at him or even tried to maneuver closer to where he was standing. There are only a few personalities that can noticeably change the whole direction of an event – the entire attention of hundreds of famous and non-famous faces. Leo once told me that the only way to cope with people calling your name while you can’t stop is “to look straight ahead and keep walking and smiling.” He did just that, with an occasional pause to wave at the fans in the bleachers.
Leonardo was the biggest part of the event. His win for Best Actor was applauded and, of course, the buzz is that he’s all but landed the Best Actor Oscar. He speaks with knowledge and passion about climate change and he’s also a good sport about the sillier questions in the pressroom. When I think about how many years he’s been at the center of the screams and chants of his name – since he was a teen – you’ve got to give him props for his dedication, his attitude, and his growing star power.

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My Time at Critics Choice 2016 – with Bryce Dallas Howard!


I was at a front and center table at the Critics’ Choice Awards with members of Universal’s film marketing team. I love them but, no offense guys, what made it even better was having Bryce Dallas Howard sit down next to me. Bryce, of course, stars in Universal’s “Jurassic World,” a monster of a film that was the biggest around the globe in 2015 until Disney unleashed you know what. A table away was J.J. Abrams whose “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” knocked Bryce’s pic from the number one spot.

Bryce was gorgeous in a super low-cut cleavage revealing black dress. Even getting deluged with enthusiasm – hugs and handshakes from the people who came to meet her – there was never a wardrobe malfunction. OK, I did notice a few guys taking a naughty peek. Bryce’s double-stick tape has to be better than any I’ve ever tried. She sparkled more than her necklace.

Now Director Howard (not her Dad, Ron, but Bryce herself) will take her short film “Solemates” to Sundance. She says it’s a couple’s journey through life revealed through shoes. Think she was inspired by those high heels she famously ran in throughout “Jurassic?”

You can’t sit still during the commercial breaks at the awards. There’s a frenzy of table hopping and I admit to giving congrats to Sly Stallone who is so emotional about all the attention to “Creed”. When I went up to Leslie Mann and Helen Mirren, they were giving each other confidence about an upcoming project. Amy Schumer was a delight. She was fixing host, T.J. Miller’s make up while he warned her, ”Don’t be funnier than me, please.”

It was quite a night and there were a lot of gasps when “Spotlight” took Best Picture. After the Oscar noms it was all “Revenant.” Now all bets are off again. Who says awards season can’t be fun and perplexing?

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Jeanne Wolf’s Golden Globe Reaction on ITV

The Golden Globes was watched around the world. I talked to ITV’s This Morning in London.

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Listening well will save you time.

Listening gives you a direct line to what’s really going on.
Listening keeps you in touch with people in your life and your work.
Listening joins other #ProductivityHacks as a way to optimize time.

—-Jane Fonda accepted the American Film Institute’s honor by pronouncing, “It’s more important to be interested than interesting.”

—-Pope Francis speaks to all of us when he cautions that we must learn before we teach. “Today’s world stands in great need of witnesses, not so much of teachers but rather of witnesses.”

The first step is learning how to become a better listener. This means avoiding what I call the “Bite Your Lip” mentality. Observe yourself when you just shut-up and let the other guy “have his say.” You nod your head and make listening motions and noises but you’re really just biding your time until the other person stops talking. You’re waiting to jump in with your own two cents worth –that’s not real listening.
Perhaps you consider yourself a good listener because you stifle your emotions and stay silent. Wrong! The usual pattern for that kind of listening is that you’ll be quiet until you can’t take it anymore, and then you’ll unload with a torrent of words. Or you’ll walk away with no more connection or comprehension than when you started. Sound familiar? Too close to home?
You may be surprised as you begin to pay attention to your own listening style. Don’t be dismayed if you discover how out-of-the-habit you are of really zoning in. Consider how often you don’t take into account the body-language and inflection of the person who’s doing the talking. Think about what a face reveals—yours and theirs.
We all complain about the lack of time. The substitute for that is “Quality Time.” If you want to escalate the impression of time with quality see what happens when you focus on the other person you haven’t had enough time for and truly listen. In an intense personal conversation or a crucial conference listening is as important as your prepared agenda.

—-Talk about paying attention, I’ve often quoted Maya Angelou who said, “When people tell you about themselves believe them.”

If you let your intuition pick up “tells” it may force you to stop and consider before you partner-up or take action. Think of the time you could save by really having a grasp of what someone is trying to tell you the first time around. There are so many misunderstandings that can be avoided if you are listening with concentration and interjecting questions that clear up the other person’s position . Truly listening will dictate a more precise and appropriate response.

There is an evergreen belief that men and women don’t really listen to each other. We all might pay more attention if we realized that listening is sexy.

—- Christina Hendrix from Mad Men gave me romantic advice: “I think communication is really hearing the other person. Sometimes our first inclination is to say “no,” and protect our own ideas or opinions. It’s important to say “yes” more often and to really listen to why someone wants to do something or really, really hear each other.”

“This executive really listens!” is a compliment often given with a note of surprise. Individuals so often feel that they don’t have access to the people “at the top” or the people they really need access to. In an organization or a family, deliberate times of attentive listening can go a long way to relieve that frustration. You can set the atmosphere that encourages feedback. You need to create the feeling of safety, extreme interest and even fun. You will find that “lending your ears” pays off.
Don’t worry, you won’t spend all of your day in irrelevant chatter because you’ve learned to be a good listener. You can cut a phone call short more effectively if the caller knows you’ve truly paid attention to the brief encounter. You can hasten meetings when the participants get the idea that their comments are being regarded and there will follow up.

—-George Clooney greets press and fans like long-time buddies. He says, “Hey, how are you?” He holds eye contact while he gets bits of news, often from people he doesn’t even know. Then he graciously—memorably, speedily—goes on to the next person!”

If you work on becoming an involved, curious and motivated listener, you will be astounded at the response you get. Simply paying active attention, to ideas, motives, arguments, protestations of affection, and declarations of feelings will put you way ahead of the efficiency game.

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