Tag Archives: John Lithgow

The Trinity Killer & My Unborn Child

6 Dec

How did this happen?

Thank you smart aleck, I get how Adi got knocked up (with a little help from me), but how did movie/TV obsessed Boaz react when his wife suddenly showed him an 11 second video of John freaking Lithgow announcing that she was pregnant?!

Our story starts the previous day, October 14th, 2017. ‘Twas the night before Adi’s sold-out Friends of Sheba gala, and she wasn’t quite feeling right. Our friend Farnaz just a few days earlier INSISTED that she was probably pregnant (“You’re totally pregnant….I’m SURE of it…trust me, you’ll see I’m right, just you wait, you’ll seeeeee…”), but both of us laughed it off because she wasn’t even “late” yet, and besides, with Adi’s Ulcerative Colitis, feeling “off” is often par for the course.

So here she was, Saturday night, 48 hours later, trying on her gown for the next day, worried like so many wives out there that it “won’t fit”, and unbeknownst to me, also peeing on a stick. I was in the next room entertaining friends, “Boaz, can you come in here a minute?” She showed me a PLUS (+) sign and I needed no further catch-up…the second came soon after, and had a solid line through it, and the 3rd and final idiot-proof test said the word PREGNANT in big letters. For the time being, my boot-camp going wife’s “not fitting the same” into a dress would be the cause of smiles instead of frustrations.

Cautious micro-celebrations ensued, we discussed it, and my EXTREMELY cautious nature kicked into overdrive…between friends and siblings just about everywhere we looked, someone had suffered a miscarriage (or two). Our friend Chari had even written a short but powerful graphic novel about her traumatic experience which went viral 5 months earlier (I strongly recommend you check it out here).

We were not going to assume anything, this was a first-time experience for each of us, and we didn’t want to tell ANYONE for a bit, not even our parents. But Adi definitely had some extra pep in her step going into the gala, replacing some of the usual jangled nerves she has each year as her organization’s big night unfolds.

Then I spotted John Lithgow. This guy is huge. Not just 6 foot 4 inches, but everyone from every age group knows and loves him. For cinephiles he’s the wonderful early Transgender character from The World According To Garp, for kids he’s the memorably evil voice of Shrek‘s Lord Farquaad, for action junkies he’s the bad guy hamming it up in Cliffhanger, for Netflix binge-watchers he’s a perfect Winston Churchill in The Crown, and for everybody and their mother he’s the zany alien patriarch in 3rd Rock From The Sun; but for me he’ll always be the Trinity Killer, the very best part of Dexter, and right up there with Hannibal Lecter as one of the best/creepiest depictions of a serial killer ever. What an acting legend!

I asked Adi to PLEASE tell me if there’s a good time to get a photo-op with him. I told her that my dream idea was to get one photo with him trying to murder me à la Dexter, and another with him looking totally goofy, reminiscent of not only 3rd Rock From The Sun, but also his hilarious new show Trial & ErrorNever heard of that one? It just happens to be created by our talented friend Jeff Astrof, who also wrote a key part of Lithgow’s presentation at the gala, and between getting rave reviews and my own opinion, it’s hilarious! Adi told me she’d see if there was time for me to meet him later, I was left hoping.

Here’s where people and events started to collide. Another highly talented actor was present, by the name of Stuart Pankin. My favorite roles of his range from being the star of Dinosaurs, to the best friend in Fatal Attraction. I had worked with and befriended him years earlier, and enjoyed introducing him to Jeff Astrof who was a huge fan of his from watching Not Necessarily The News ; Pankin in turn asked me to reconnect him with Lithgow who he’d worked with ages ago. Are you with me so far?

So here I was, as you can see below, having just reconnected these great actors, and this is where the story comes together…

closeup

Boaz – Mr. Pankin, Mr. Lithgow, they’d like to take some photographs of you two please.

(Both of them are laughing and crying and truly enjoying seeing one another after many years.)

Pankin – Happy to, Boaz. (Walks to the camera backdrop.)

Boaz – Mr. Lithgow, I just want to tell you what an honor and pleasure it is to meet you after all these years, I’m a HUGE fan.

Lithgow – That’s very kind.

Boaz – By the way, my wife is Adi Hepner, she’s told me how great you’ve been to work with.

Lithgow – OH! Adi’s your wife? CONGRATULATIONS on the great news!!!

Boaz – (Wondering what the heck he could be referring to, it couldn’t be what I’m thinking of, right?) Thank you but I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Lithgow – I don’t understand, I thought I just filmed a video with her about it…

Boaz – I think you’re mixing us up, Adi is also known as Adina, she…

(Nina Lieberman, Adi’s Executive Director hearing our rather loud conversation, leans in and interjects, “The cat’s out of the bag Boaz, Adi told us, congratulations on the baby”)

Lithgow – (Smiling broadly) See?!

Boaz – (In the loudest whisper of all time) OH MY GOD SHUT THE FUCK UP, MY PARENTS DON’T EVEN KNOW YET, AND ARE RIGHT OVER THERE – WE JUST FOUND OUT YESTERDAY, BE QUIET!

To be fair, considering I had just cursed out an A-list actor in a state of utter panic, his reaction was adorable… he simply smiled, and pantomimed someone zipping his mouth sealed.

I then walked him to Stuart Pankin where a series of awesome photos were taken including this one below, a moment after the “incident”.

10-15-17 - Sheba Gala (57)

I was praying nobody else heard that very loud conversation, and it appeared to have been kept under wraps thanks to the many other loud conversations all around us. Later that night I cornered Adi and said, “Is there something you want to tell me? Is there a reason John Lithgow knows you’re pregnant?!”

And to that she simply smiled, and said, “He told you? Damn, I was really hoping to show you this as a surprise in a few months when we tell people, but here’s a gift for you”. And she had an ear-to-ear grin as I watched the following:

Well played wife, well played…

Baby GIRL Hepner due June 21st, 2018, already having caused quite the splash.

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Best. Trilogy. Ever?

23 Jul

apesposter

Synopsis: “After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.” (Rated PG-13; 2 hours, 20 minutes)
The Planet of the Apes trilogy that just concluded was one of the absolute BEST trilogies I’ve EVER seen…and in case it’s not evident, I’ve seen quite a few movies.
Beginning, middle and end, it was just so damn powerful. Yes, for anyone who assumes a big budget movie about simians has to be stupid, don’t judge it by its poster, nor the cheesy fun Charlton Heston films, nor the really mediocre remake by Tim Burton (who I generally love).
No, this trilogy by Matt Reeves is fantastic. The heartbreaking first one Rise of the Planet of the Apes with a tragically wonderful performance by John lithgow (whom I get to meet in a few months thanks to Adi!!!), the great second one Dawn of the Planet of the Apes which shows a hell of an internal conflict among the apes, and now the final chapter War for the Planet of the Apes, which has Woody Harrelson doing a hell of a Martin Sheen circa Apocalypse Now impression.
Throughout the trilogy, the perennially Oscar-snubbed Andy Serkis is PERFECTION as the Caesar. The visuals are flawless, the drama is taut, and other than Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, I honestly can’t think of another trilogy that goes so wonderfully together. (Sorry, I love all of Back to the Future but the third is a huge loss in quality, the drop-off between the first two Godfather movies and the third is astounding, and many others including Harry Potter and James Bond have more than three great movies but they aren’t actually 3-story arcs, they simply have good and weaker chapters.)
Most people I know get annoyed when sequels are made to good movies, and I get that; they don’t want to see something great degrade in quality, so leave well enough alone. And I get that mentality, I do, I just happen to be a movie-LOVER and not a movie-SNOB (as evidenced by this blog), so I’m ALWAYS excited by the prospect of sequels (if I like the original), continuing stories and characters that I have loved and am excited to see continue. Sure, more often than not it disappoints (Zoolander 2, Independence Day: Resurgence, and countless other examples) but sometimes it exceeds expectations (each subsequent Captain America movie, Terminator 2) and sometimes it’s just bonkers and insanely different from the first one (Gremlins 2 was basically a Looney Tunes cartoon!), but I’m Boaz, and I proudly enjoy seeing what they do with it, and in most examples I enjoy the experience of seeing it play out. A disappointing sequel does not detract from my opinion of a great original. But this Apes trilogy was a different animal. It’s not just an excuse for a sequel, it was designed to have a start, middle and end. Not one part of any of it felt like an excuse to find more material to work with. And man oh man did it fire on all cylinders.
Anyway, see them. In order. Preferably on a big screen with good sound.
Oh, and the way this latest one started with a recap was so simple in design that it amazed me it’s never been done before. Sometimes it’s the little things that go unnoticed…

It was much better than any previous Planet of the Apes incarnation, and just as good as the previous two in the trilogy, which is a high bar.

Quality Rating: A+ (What did you expect from a post about putting it up there with Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings as the best trilogy I’ve ever seen?)

Boaz Rating: A+ (I was gripped from the first to the last minute, it had me laughing the few rare times of humor, and crying at the somber moments.)