California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Side Piece

One evening I was just hanging in my front yard in Santa Monica when I noticed a girl pull up and park. She sat there for a few minutes too long and looked quite frazzled. I was half-tempted to go see if she was alright, but sat back and let her be until she got out of her car and approached my front gate.

In disarray, she was trying to meet up with someone nearby but couldn’t remember the exact address and asked if she could use the phone inside my place. (Years before the first cell phone!)

Now normally I wouldn’t let just anyone into my house without knowing them, but let’s just say she was without a doubt attractive, not to mention had a pretty revealing top on, and I figured what’s the worst that could happen? So I let her in and we both engaged in conversation on my couch. She makes her phone call and whoever was on the other end says they’ll have to call her right back. I give her my number and she relays it to the party on the other end of the line.

She seemed alright, but I kept getting the vibe she had something more she wanted to say, which is when she eventually let me in on the fact that she was sorta seeing someone. She went on, ‘Yeah, but he’s kinda famous, and it’s not suppose to be known that we’re hanging out because he sorta has a girlfriend.’ I said alright and wasn’t even going to press who it was, but she finally revealed that the “kinda famous person” was lo and behold Rob Lowe and that she was reluctant to meet up with him at this party she was headed to.

The phone rang and she answered it. She abruptly grabbed her things, and awkwardly stood there. I must have been making inappropriate eye contact at one point or another, because she then went ahead and goes, ‘You could touch ‘em if you want, for letting me use your  phone and all… ’ Yep, she was talking about her boobs. However, I got the feeling she was crazy, plus they clearly were fake, so I sent her on her way.

 

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Celebrity Sightings: Vanessa Hudgens – Part 6

I absolutely adore Vanessa Hudgens. She is a great actress who has stupendous legs.

 

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Thirteen Noel
2004 Thunderbirds Tin-Tin Kyrano
2008 High School Musical 3: Senior Year Gabriella Montez
2009 Bandslam Sa5m
2009 The Ultimate Idol[135] Herself Documentary
2011 Beastly Lindy Taylor
2011 Sucker Punch Blondie
2012 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Kailani Laguatan
2012 Spring Breakers Candy
2013 Choose You[136] Ex-girlfriend Short film
2013 The Frozen Ground Cindy Paulson
2013 Machete Kills Cereza Desdemona
2013 Gimme Shelter Agnes “Apple” Bailey
2015 Freaks of Nature Lorelei
2018 Dog Days Tara
2018 The Princess Switch Margaret Delacourt, Duchess of Montenaro
Stacy De Novo
2018 Second Act Zoe
2019 Polar Camille In production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Still Standing Tiffany Episode: “Still Rocking”
2002 Robbery Homicide Division Nicole Episode: “Had”
2003 The Brothers García Lindsay Episode: “New Tunes”
2005 Quintuplets Carmen Episode: “The Coconut Kapow”
2006 Drake & Josh Rebecca Episode: “Little Sibling”
2006 High School Musical Gabriella Montez Television film
2006 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Corrie 4 episodes (season 2)
2007 High School Musical 2 Gabriella Montez Television film
2009 Robot Chicken Lara Lor-Van / Butterbear /
Erin Esurance (voice)
Episode: “Especially the Animal Keith Crofford”
2012 Punk’d Herself Episode: “Lucy Hale”
2013 Inner Circle Herself Documentary
2016 High School Musical: 10th Anniversary Herself Special
2016 Grease: Live Betty Rizzo Special
2017 Powerless Emily Locke Lead role
2017 Running Wild with Bear Grylls Herself Episode: “Vanessa Hudgens”
2017 Drop the Mic Herself Episode: “Vanessa Hudgens vs. Michael Bennett”
2017–present So You Think You Can Dance Judge Since season 14
2018 Drunk History Joan of Arc Episode: “The Middle Ages”
2019 Rent: Live Maureen Johnson Special

Producer

Year Title Notes
2015 #15SecondScare[137] Executive producer; Web-series

Stage

Year Title Role Venue(s)
1998 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical Cindy-Lou Who Various locations[138][139][140][141]
1998 The King and I Unknown
1999 Damn Yankees
1999 The Wizard of Oz Dorothy Gale
2000 Cinderella Cinderella
2000 The Little Mermaid Ariel
2001 Charlotte’s Web Fern Arable
2001 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Unknown
2002 A Christmas Carol
2002 Carousel
2003 Evita
2003 The Music Man
2010 Rent Mimi Marquez Hollywood Bowl[142]
2012 The 24 Hour Plays Vanessa Broadway[143]
2015 Gigi Gigi Kennedy Center / Broadway
2018 In the Heights Vanessa Kennedy Center[144]

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Celebrity Sightings: Vanessa Hudgens – Part 4

I absolutely adore Vanessa Hudgens. She is a great actress who has stupendous legs.

 

2016–present: Television and films

On January 31, 2016, Hudgens starred in the role of Rizzo in Grease: LiveFox’s live broadcast based on the original Broadway musical.[83] Hudgens dedicated her performance to her father, Greg, who died from cancer one day before the special aired.[6] In 2017, Hudgens played Emily Locke on NBC‘s comedy series Powerless, which was based on DC Comics characters.[84] It was cancelled after one season. That same year, Hudgens was featured on Shawn Hook‘s single “Reminding Me” and also starred in the music video.[85] Hudgens will star in the upcoming romantic comedy film Second Act, directed by Peter Segal.[86] She was also cast in the romantic comedy film Dog Days, alongside Finn Wolfhard and Nina Dobrev, which began filming in late 2017.[87]

Personal life

Hudgens and Josh Hutcherson in January 2012

Hudgens began a relationship with High School Musical co-star Zac Efron in 2005. The couple became a frequent target for the media, and in turn the BBC predicted that Hudgens would be a “household name” in the US.[88] They ended their relationship after five years in December 2010.[89][90] Hudgens is a close friend of actress Ashley Tisdale, whom she met when they both appeared in the film High School Musical;[91] Hudgens was a bridesmaid at Tisdale’s wedding on September 8, 2014.[92]

Hudgens has been in a relationship with Austin Butler since 2011.[93]

In May 2016, Hudgens paid $1,000 in restitution for damage of U.S. Forest Service property by carving initials within a heart on a rock in the Coconino National Forest and displaying it on her personal Instagram feed.[94]

Hudgens was raised Catholic, but since has grown away from that branch of Christianity and now identifies as a non-denominational Christian. She attends the Los Angeles affiliate church of Hillsong Church.[95][96][97]

 

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Celebrity Sightings: Vanessa Hudgens – Part 3

I absolutely adore Vanessa Hudgens. She is a great actress who has stupendous legs.

 

2009–2015: Focus on acting

Hudgens at the MyHabit launch at Skylight West Studios in May 2011

Following the completion of the High School Musical series, Hudgens confirmed that she was taking a break from her music career to focus more on acting.[38] She played a supporting role in a musical comedy Bandslam, which was released theatrically on August 14, 2009.[39][40] Hudgens plays “Sa5m”, a 15-year-old awkward freshman with untapped talents.[41] Although Bandslam was commercially unsuccessful, Hudgens’ performance received praise from critics.[42] David Waddington of the North Wales Pioneernoted that Hudgens “outshines the rest of the cast, failing to fit in with the outcast narrative and making the inevitable climactic ending all the more expected”,[43] and Philip French of The Guardian compared her acting to Thandie Newton and Dorothy Parker.[44] Hudgens made a return to theater productions and starred in the musical Rent as Mimi. The stage production ran from August 6–8, 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl.[45] Her involvement in the production drew negative comments, but director Neil Patrick Harris defended his decision with casting Hudgens by saying, “Vanessa [Hudgens] is awesome. She’s a friend. I asked her to come in and sing to make sure she had the chops for it. And she was very committed and seemed great.”[46]

Hudgens’ involvement in Beastly, a film based on Alex Flinn‘s novel of the same name, was announced in early 2009.[47] She played one of the main characters in the film, Linda Taylor. Hudgens described her as, “…the “beauty” of the story but not the stereotypical beauty everyone thinks of.”[48] Along with Beastly co-star, Alex Pettyfer, Hudgens was recognized as ShoWest stars of Tomorrow.[49] Beastly, which also starred Mary-Kate Olsen, was released on March 4, 2011. Beastly received mostly negative reviews, earning a 20% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes from 89 reviews, with an average rating of 3.7/10. It was ranked No. 45 in The Times predicted “50 Biggest Movies of 2010”.[50] The film was screened at ShoWest and it drew enthusiastic reactions from the luncheon crowd of exhibition officials.[51][52] The film went on to make $28 million worldwide as of 2012. Hudgens was also cast as one of the five female leads in the action film Sucker Punch, directed by Zack Snyder.[53] She played Blondie, an institutionalized girl in an asylum. The film was released in March 2011,[54] and grossed $19 million in its first weekend at the North American box office, opening at number two.[55] By the end of its run, Sucker Punch totaled $89 million worldwide.[56] Though the film’s content was derided, it received some recognition for the visual effects of the fantasy sequences. Sucker Punchreceived a nomination at the 2011 Scream Awards for Best F/X, and its stunt work was nominated for a Taurus Award.[57]

Hudgens at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards

In October 2010, Hudgens joined the cast of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), the sequel to the 2008 film Journey to the Center of the Earth, alongside Dwayne Johnsonand Josh Hutcherson, playing Hutcherson’s love interest.[58] The film earned $325 million worldwide during its theatrical run,[59] which outperformed its predecessor.[60][61] It received generally mixed to negative reviews from critics.[62][63] The consensus from Rotten Tomatoes is: “Aggressively unambitious, Journey 2 might thrill teen viewers, but most others will find it too intense for young audiences and too cartoonishly dull for adults”.[62]

In November 2011, Hudgens announced on her official website that she would be starring with Selena Gomez and James Franco in Spring Breakers.[64] The film followed four college-aged girls who decide to rob a fast food restaurant in order to pay for their spring break.[65] It was released theatrically in March 2013,[66] receiving generally positive reviews.[67][68] The film featured mature themes such as drug use, sexual escapades, and violence.[69][70][71] To coincide with the film, Hudgens later released the dubstep-influenced song “$$$ex”,[72] with a music video featuring clips from the film.[73] The song features guest vocals from YLA, and was produced by Rock Mafia.[74] Vanessa later expressed her discomfort with a sex scene in a interview with Glow Magazine stating: “It was very nerve-racking for me. I told my agent that I never want to do it ever again.”[75][76]

In April 2011, it was reported that she would star in Gimme Shelter with Brendan Fraser, a film written and directed by Ron Krauss.[77][78] Hudgens also plays Cindy Paulson in The Frozen Ground (2013), a film based on the Robert Hansen case wherein she plays as his only victim who escaped. She co-stars with John Cusack and Nicolas Cage.[79] In 2015, Hudgens took on the title role in the new production of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe‘s Gigi, which opened at the Kennedy Center from January 16 to February 12,[80] before transferring to Broadway on April 8.[81] The production closed on June 21.[82]

 

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Celebrity Sightings: Vanessa Hudgens – Part 2

Spectacular legs…

I absolutely adore Vanessa Hudgens.

 

2005–2008: High School Musical and music

Hudgens performing at the High School Musical: The Concert in 2007

In 2005, Hudgens was cast as Gabriella Montez, one of the lead roles in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical. The film saw Hudgens portraying the new girl at high school who falls for the captain of the basketball team. The two later reveal a passion for singing, and audition for the school play together. Hudgens starred alongside Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale in the film,[19] the former of which she was partnered up with during the auditioning process due to their “chemistry”.[20]The film, released on January 20, 2006, was both a critical and commercial success. High School Musical was Disney Channel‘s most watched film that year with 7.7 million viewers in its premiere broadcast in the US, until August’s premiere of The Cheetah Girls 2, which achieved 8.1 million viewers.[21] In the UK, it received 789,000 viewers for its premiere (and 1.2 million viewers overall during the first week), making it the second most watched program for the Disney Channel (UK) of 2006. On December 29, 2006, it became the first Disney Channel Original Movie to be broadcast on the BBC.[22] For the film, Hudgens recorded numerous songs which had commercial success. The song “Breaking Free“, a duet with Zac Efron, went on to become Hudgens’ only Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 to date, when it peaked at number 4 on the chart. The song also reached number 9 in the UK, her highest chart entry in the country. Following the success of the film, Hudgens began work on her debut album. The project, later revealed to be titled V, was released on September 26, 2006. The album sold 34,000 copies in its first week of release, and debuted at number 24 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States.[23] In February 2007, the album was certified gold by the RIAA.[24] As of August 2009, the album has sold 570,000 copies in the U.S.[25] It was preceded by two singles, “Come Back to Me” and “Say OK“, both of which were slightly successful in numerous countries. Both singles received heavy promotion on Disney Channel, with the music videos for both premiering on the channel.

Hudgens in concert in January 2007

In 2007, work on the second film in the High School Musical series began, and Hudgens was confirmed to be returning for the sequel. High School Musical 2 was released on August 17, 2007. The premiere was seen by a total of over 17.2 million viewers in the U.S., which is almost 10 million more than its predecessor, making it the highest-rated Disney Channel Movie of all time.[26] Disney Channel aired a weekly program called Road to High School Musical 2, beginning on June 8, 2007, and leading up to the premiere of High School Musical 2 in August. The show offered viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the production of the movie. The world premiere of the opening number “What Time Is It” was on Radio Disney May 25, 2007,[27] and similarly “You Are The Music In Me” premiered on July 13, 2007.[28] The film was generally well received by critics, gaining a score of 77/100 at Metacritic,[29] while it received a generally mixed response of 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.[30] USA Todays Robert Bianco awarded the film three stars out of four, saying High School Musical 2 was “sweet, smart, bursting with talent and energy, and awash in innocence”.[31] While critics enjoyed the film, they noted that the timing of the movie’s premiere seemed odd, premiering just when school was about to start up again, while the movie’s plot involved the gang going on summer vacation.[32] High School Musical 2 won the “So Hot Right Now” award at the Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Awards 2007, in which High School Musical castmate Zac Efron hosted with The Veronicas.

In 2007, Hudgens began work on her second studio album, partly due to the success of the High School Musical franchise. Her second studio album, Identified, was released on July 1, 2008. It sold 22,000 copies in its first week of release, 12,000 less than that of her previous effort.[33] Despite the drop in sales, the album debuted at number 23, one spot higher than V.[34] The album was preceded by one single, “Sneakernight“, which was her lowest performing single in the US to date. It was a success on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart in the US, where it peaked at number 8.[35] Following the commercial failure of the album, it was announced that Hudgens had parted ways with Hollywood Records. Hudgens went on to reprise her role as Gabriella in the 2008 sequel High School Musical 3: Senior Year, the first film from the franchise to be released theatrically. It opened at number one at the North American box office in October 2008, earning $42 million in its first weekend, which broke the record previously held by Mamma Mia! for the biggest opening by a musical.[36] The film finished with $252 million worldwide, which exceeded Disney’s expectations.[37]

 

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Valentine’s Day – My Favorite Victoria’s Secret Super Model

I’ve decided to write about all of the celebrities I’ve met in my life. It’ll probably only be once a month, and I’ll crank them out until I run out of famous people.

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my phicklephilly readers! I hope you’re in love or at least love something! If you’re not happy today, and if anyone starts talking about love, romance, hearts, cards, or chocolate, just slap them and say ‘it’s Wednesday!

It’s a coincidence and fitting that I release this piece on Valentine’s Day. Because this lady is and always will hold a special place in my heart.

This one happened about 11 years ago when I was working in Manhattan. The year was 2007.

I was sitting in a dive bar in Journal Square in Jersey City one evening after work. My buddy Howard was with me. I’m drinking a beer and reading the Daily News. On the Entertainment page was a little blurb at the bottom about how Alessandra Ambrosio was going to be making an appearance at the new Armani Exchange in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.

I think every guy has an “It” girl in life. Some movie star, athlete, or model that they just adore. In the 70’s and 80’s for me it was Farrah Fawcett. I LOVED Farrah. I owned all of her posters starting with the famous red swimsuit. I was even a card carrying member of her fan club. Always watched Charlie’s Angels and all of her movies.

But sometime in the 90’s I noticed this one model in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue that really struck me. I didn’t know her name for several years. But once you have a woman in your life and order something from their catalogue, they never stop coming. They must send them out every couple of weeks because I had loads of them coming to the house.

I eventually found out the identity of this exquisite woman. Alessandra Ambrosio. I was in love. Her perfectly symmetrical face, with her feline eyes and lovely tawny hair is a combination that drove me nuts. I absolutely have adored Alessandra for years. I know I love beautiful women, it’s hard not to. But Alessandra to me is one of the most beautiful women on the planet.

Alessandra Ambrosio was born in Erechim, Brazil on April 11, 1981. Her parents are Brazilians of Italian, Portuguese and Polish ancestry and own a petrol station. She enrolled at a modelling class at the age of 12, and at the age of 14, she was one of 20 finalists for the 1995 Elite Model Look national competition for Brazil. Ambrosio was always insecure about her large ears, and at the age of 11, she had cosmetic surgery to have her ears pinned back, though two years later she suffered complications. In 2006, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, and said that the surgery was a bad experience and has discouraged her from ever getting plastic surgery again.

I would love Alessandra the same even if her ears stuck straight out like open car doors!

When Ambrosio was 12 years old, she partook in modeling classes, and then began modeling for Dilson Stein at age 15. Competing in Brazil’s Elite Model Look competition started her modeling career in earnest. Her first notable modeling job was shooting the cover of Brazilian Elle magazine. Elite passed along some of her Polaroids to Guess which led her booking the Millennium GUESS? campaign. She has since appeared in advertising campaigns for Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Escada, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Guess, Emporio Armani, Moschino, Gap, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Revlon, and the Pirelli Calendar. She has walked the catwalks for designers such as Prada, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Bottega Veneta, Escada, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Ralph Lauren, Halston, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, and Oscar de la Renta. She has appeared in numerous international magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Ocean Drive, Vogue and was the only model to appear on the cover of Glamour in the United States in 2006.

“I HAVE to go to A/X Armani Exchange on Saturday and try to see her! Do you want to go with me?”

“Why the hell would I want to go meet some supermodel? I’m gay!”

“Well she’s a fashion model and I figured you guys like stuff that’s fashionable.”

“I’m gay!”

So Saturday comes and I go to the local Rite Aid and buy a disposable camera. (Yea. I had a little cell phone back then before there were any iPhones or androids and that little phone didn’t have a camera in it. That thing was probably made by Fisher Price for all I know. A lot has happened in the world of technology in the last 15 years!)

So I’ve got my little cheapo plastic throw away camera and I hop on the PATH train into Manhattan. I get off at 32nd Street and walk East over to Fifth Avenue, The store is up around 56th Street so I need to walk north about 25 blocks. That’s a little bit of a hike. But it’s Saturday in the Summer and Manhattan is quiet on the weekends.

After awhile I finally reach the store. There’s a line of people to get in. I get in line behind this Asian girl and I go, “Is this the line to see Alessandra?”

“Oh, I have no idea. I just saw a lot of people here and I wanted to see what was going on.”

What a moron. How can she not know who Alessandra Ambrosio is?

The line is moving and I get inside.

The minute I lay eyes on the super queen I involuntarily gasp. I literally sucked air sharply into my lungs like I never have before.

I can’t believe I am standing in the same room with her. I can’t believe that I’m not seeing just a photograph of my queen. I am looking upon one of the most beautiful women in the world and the only thing that’s separating she and I is space.

I’m starstruck.

She sits down and starts signing things. I’m snapping pics and my heart is pounding. I’m getting closer!

Ohh…my love. My Queen! She is stunning! They take my name and write it on a little Post It. I assume this is because they don’t want any misspellings on the pictures she’s signing.

I finally reach Alessandra!!!

 

My arm around my queen!

I introduce myself and I can’t believe I am meeting her for real. She says my name and I swoon. My name coming from Alessandra’s lovely lips.

There she is! It’s really her! I’m shaking hands with my favorite woman on Earth. I’m looking into the eyes of the object of my desire for the last 10 years. She signs the photo, and I ask if they will take a photo of me with my camera. She agrees and I hand it to her handlers. I tell them to take a few just in case.

I put my arm around her, and lean in. My hand is on her shoulder! I’m touching Alessandra! My love!

I’m so close to Alessandra, I can smell her.

This is framed in my livingroom.

I will never be the same. I leave with my little camera full of photos, and the above autographed picture.

To Charles, Love, Alessandra. (Heart. Star.)

I love her even more now. I’ve met Alessandra Ambrosio! This day has been a dream come true. I’m holding the picture and I don’t want anything to happen to it, so I run across the street into of all things, a Victoria’s Secret. (Fitting!) I approach one of the sales girls and ask if I can have a bag.

“What do you need it for?”

I hold up the photo. “To protect this autographed picture of Victoria’s Secret model, Alessandra Ambrosio.”

The chick looks like she doesn’t know who Alessandra is and hands me a bag. I gently slide my treasure inside it. (puns abound) I thank the girl and nearly skip to the PATH station.

I’ve added these delicious little videos to close out this piece. I can’t watch the first one without getting worked up. I love her so much.

I met my super queen. I never met Farrah Fawcett. I loved her so much, but I met my new queen Alessandra. It was glorious day in my short life. She’ll never know how much I love her but I met her, We got a picture together, I touched her, and smelled her.

My lovely Alessandra…

 

 

 

 

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Celebrity Sightings: Joséphine Jobert on What it’s like Filming Death in Paradise

Apparently my global audience is as much in love with Josephine as I am. So I’ll keep posting during my free time.

And on Saturday nights… I like to publish whatever I want!

 

https://www.radiotimes.com/travel/2018-01-18/josephine-jobert-on-what-its-like-filming-death-in-paradise/

 

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