A Hollywood executive who gave up his million-dollar salary to move to Cambodia and establish a charity, clinic and school is telling his story in a new book.
“Unselfish,” a collection of inspirational stories compiled by author and filmmaker Paul Parkinson, finds former 20th Century Fox International President Scott Neeson more fulfilled in his humble new surroundings than he ever was back in wealthy Brentwood.
“I believe that every individual has the power to bring about significant change. Whether we choose to use that power defines our legacy,” said Neeson, who once oversaw movies such as “Titanic” and “X-Men.”
His Cambodian Children’s Fund charity has helped house, educate and provide health care for more than 1,500 children in the 10 years since a movie star’s complaint that the corporate jet wasn’t stocked with his favorite snacks prompted Neeson to quit Tinseltown and help the genuinely deprived.
“I have found where I am meant to be,” said Scott, who is just one of dozens of philanthropists sharing inspirational tales in “Unselfish,” a not-so-subtle swipe at Kim Kardashian and her coffee-table book of selfies, “Selfish.” Both books were released May 5.
“I’m not anti-Kim Kardashian,” said Parkinson, “just opposed to the growing culture of selfishness and Scott’s story shows that focusing on others can make a difference in the world.”
A star-studded upcoming TV series dramatizing the O.J. Simpson trial, FX’s “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” is doing part of its shooting on soundstages at Torrance’s Hollywood Riviera Studios, a facility in the South Bay offering the kind of full production services more commonly found in Hollywood and Burbank.
Among the big names in the cast are Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro and David Schwimmer as the late Robert Kardashian. There are familiar names behind the scenes, too, as the drama is executive produced by the makers of “American Horror Story” and “Glee,” Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
Meanwhile one of the most intriguing new network TV shows set to launch in the fall is “Wicked City,” an ABC crime drama set in Los Angeles that will follow detectives investigating a fictional 1982 murder case centered on the rock n’ roll- and cocaine-infused revelry of the Sunset Strip.
“Mad Men” might have ended its acclaimed TV run but fans can now relive favorite moments from the series and enjoy a treasure trove of additional content thanks to interactive website the Mad Men Experience.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. has partnered with Google Play to create an immersive digital destination at g.co/MadMen for devotees who still want more from the Emmy-winning series.
The move was prompted by the show having maintained massive online fan engagement throughout its seven-season run on AMC, with Don Draper, played by John Hamm, the show’s most searched character. Of course, just like Draper, the site has a product to push: It points out that every episode of “Mad Men” is available for download on Google Play. Episodes cost $1.99 each in standard definition, $2.99 for high-def.
The Hollywood Reporter has struck a deal with Sundance TV for its own series.
“Close Up With the Hollywood Reporter,” a 14-week series of interviews with TV and movie stars, writers, producers and directors, will launch Aug. 2.
Screen icon Robert Redford, creative director of Sundance TV, said, “It makes good sense for us to give a platform to some of the most dynamic and talented storytellers as Sundance has always been about connecting audiences to new creative work.”
Forthcoming film “Straight Outta Compton,” an L.A.-shot biopic of gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A, stars former group member Ice Cube’s son, O’ Shea Jackson Jr. as his dad. … Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Academy Museum, to be built within the May Co. building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, received unanimous approval from the city of L.A.’s Planning Commission on May 14 after business and property owners, residents, academy members and other interested parties spoke in favor of the proposal. … Hitchcock movie star-turned-animal rescuer Tippi Hedren will host a special premiere screening of a documentary about the dwindling elephant population, “Earth Focus: Illicit Ivory,” on May 26 at the Los Angeles Zoo ahead of its screening on KCET the following night. ... Bar and nightlife consultant Jon Taffer, who revamps failing bars on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue,” has released both a DVD of the hit series and an app full of better management tools for bar bosses. … The genesis of new George Clooney movie “Tomorrowland” came over casual conversation at a lunch between Sean Bailey, Walt Disney Pictures’ president of production, and screenwriter-producer Damon Lindelof. “I said, ‘If there was a Disney movie called Tomorrowland, I would go to see that,’ ” said Lindelof, who was immediately commissioned by Bailey to develop the film.
Staff reporter Sandro Monetti can be reached at email@example.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 226.
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