a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Michael Place’

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Image

Michael Place talks Lupita at Yale

Michael Place talks Lupita at Yale

Michael Place is a wonderful, talented, inspiring young actor just like his classmate from Yale Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o. He just went on NPR radio and talked about her soooo eloquently that I just felt I had to share what he had to say about his best friend and her ASTOUNDING Oscar journey.

I met Michael the night I met Lupita in May 2012, and his description of her school days and the naming of their class as “The Wilsons” is goofy and historical at the same time.

His heartfelt description of her beauty and her talent and just how she made the transition from her native Nairobi to where she is now with so much grace, poise and intelligence and yes, ease, is just wonderful, and wonderfully insightful and detailed. And take it from me, his acting is just as good as his interview(s).

You have to wade through the NPR show about geneologies and Google glass before you get to Michael on Lupita at about 25:00, but it’s worth the wade.

Michael says and I quote:

“When your friend wins an Oscar people ask you questions about them on the radio: http://wnpr.org/post/scramble-are-aj-jacobs-lupita-nyongo-and-john-rowland-related starts at 25:00 #teamlupita #TheWilsons

Video

One of Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o’s “Wilsons” William DeMerrit

Lupita with Oscar

In her history making Oscar acceptance speech when she won Best Supporting Actress for “12 Years a Slave” last night, Lupita Nyong’o thanked “the Wilsons” her “adopted family” which is the nick name the Yale School of Drama Class of 2012 called themselves, and here’s my interview with one of them, William DeMerritt. Shot last May 2013 at the Drama Desk Reception, William talks about his class.

And let me tell you, they are all just as talented as Lupita! And I’ll mention a few of them by name, Michael Place, Seamus Mulcahy and Fisher Neal among many others.

Michael Place helped hook me up with William for this great shoot at the Essex House last May. He was helping me along with my former co-host T.J.Craig, who were helping be my “Celebrity Pullers” or the distinguished gentlemen who were helping bring the newly named Drama Desk nominees over to be interviewed by me that May morning. Enjoy!

Notice that William names Lupita first when he starts listing other classmates that I didn’t mention.

Image

She’s Everywhere! Lupita and I

She's Everywhere! Lupita and I

I sat down to have a coffee in a favorite, unprepossessing coffee shop thinking about the Oscar Race this year. When am I ever thinking about anything else as Oscar Day grows closer and closer? Next Sunday, March 2 is the Awards themselves. Tuesday at 5pm the AMPAS voting closes. FINALLY! Has this been the longest Oscar year ever or what?

Well, it’s still the same two movies battling it out til the end, “12 Years a Slave” vs. “Gravity”. It’s been like this since TIFF’13.

Exactly like this, with a little “American Hustle” thrown in.

And as I sat there sipping my excellent cup of non-starbucks coffee, I glanced up, and there she was again! Lupita Nyong’o!!!! On ANOTHER cover! This time the theatrical newspaper Backstage! She’s everywhere!

She’s on the cover this week of EW, also New York Magazine, also Vanity Fair. I can’t keep up with it all.

She is extraordinarily photogenic. The camera loves her.

In reality, she’s tiny. So she’s always looking up at you with those big, dark soulful eyes.

I’ve met her twice. Once when she finished doing her “Leagues” or actor’s “Scene Night” or “The Actor’s Presentations” with her graduating class of the Yale School of Drama less than two years ago this past May.

She had an incredibly talented class, BTW. Michael Place being the actor who jumped out at me, but there were QUITE a few others, Fisher Neal, William DeMerritt. And of course Lupita herself.

We spoke briefly after it was over and she’s was polite and poised and I asked her to send me a picture and resume and she did, with a charming hand-written note, thanking me, which I still have. Her penmanship BTW was perfect. She charmed me instantly.

Then again we met at the Toronto Film Festival this past September, where “12 Years a Slave” was making a tumulutous debut, after she held what was to be the first of many, many press conferences that were to come her way this Awards Season.

She seemed overwhelmed. And most of her castmates and director Steve McQueen did all of the talking. I asked him about Lupita’s audition. And I believe he said, “It was like a dream walking into the room” or “My dream walked into the room” or something like that. “And there she was. I knew immediately, it was her.”

After the press conference was over, I got to talk to her again VERY briefly and I’m sure she remembered me from the post-Yale audition, and I complimented her profusely.
Telling her performance was “beyond words” and “Lupita,I’m known as the Oscar Messenger and I’m here to tell you that you are going to the win the Oscar and beat Oprah” Well, it’s true so far. Oprah wasn’t even nominated.

And Lupita’s response? She just giggled!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: