Gregory Peck, how two time Academy Awards winner made me double fault – Tennis in 90210

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In my  room at the very first Virgin Hotel in Chicago late at night I went between the film on Turner Classic Movie channel  ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, ( my first high school play I was cast in) and the Australian Open.  Here was Gregory Peck, tennis and television, oh what a story I could tell Richard Branson.  While testing out the in room system at Virgin hotel a filmmaker friend posted this on my Facebook related to another post, “…There are no accidents!”.  No kidding I thought, and began writing this post, about the convergence of Gregory Peck, tennis and television into my life.

One of my ‘BFF’s’ is Danny Sarnoff, he is as Hollywood as you get.  Danny and his grandfather David Sarnoff share something in common with Richard Branson the gift of vision to bring innovation into our lives.  It was Danny’s grandfather that brought us sound into our homes with the RCA radio, and later had the vision to bring moving images into everyone’s living room and he spent a lot of money to make it happen and the RCA television was born, to broadcast the voice and moving images Danny’s grandfather created, NBC ( National Broadcasting Corporation ). To learn more about this just go to this link (David Sarnoff) .

Naturally having grown up in Hollywood with a family fully entrenched in the business of entertainment my friend Danny knew a lot of people, most of them I had met  including Anthony Peck  who I really liked the son of two-time Academy Award winner actor Gregory Peck.  Anthony who would occasionally drive me to the airport in his red Porsche a gift from his supermodel wife Cheryl Tiegs.  Everything to Anthony was a contest, women, tennis, anything you wanted to do it was always game on.

One  day I get a call that I have to come along to play a game of doubles tennis, it was imperative that we win and defeat Tony, I was told.  I asked Danny who was playing with Tony? and he told me it would be Cheryl.  Well that should be easy I am pretty sure we could outplay Cheryl and Tony.  I put on my tennis whites got my tennis racquets and soon Danny was at my door and off we went.  The black Mercedes-Benz with blacked out windows with the interior blaring ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles and the smoke of weed made its way to the home of Gregory Peck.  As we started to go up the road to Gregory Peck’s home the road narrowed a stretch limousine approached, Danny slowed the car, and pulled off the road a little to allow some room for the stretch.  As both cars where side by side the window of the limousine came down and Danny lowered his window.  The girl looking at us was one who could hold your gaze for a long time in a mini skirt, “Hi boy’s” , she said “Babe” was the response. We both smiled and kept driving , ” man she was hot,” I said, “LA” Danny said without missing a beat.  Hey, we where in the land of milk and honey.

The Mercedes Benz still blaring ‘Eagles’ came to a stop outside the gate of Gregory Peck’s home and Danny announced himself to the security, and the gate opened.  Cheryl Tiegs and Tony where already there, Cheryl’s Mercedes-Benz 280SL was parked in the driveway.  Game on, let’s get straight to the tennis court through the meandering rose garden. Gregory Peck’s garden was not just a garden it was a park.

As we got to the tennis court, Tony reminded Danny where they stood in the betting and this was for double or nothing.  Soon we were into the game, it was no Australian Open, but the intensity was the same. The battle was on. The games were close and let me tell you Cheryl is no pushover and it was my serve.  I got a few good serves in and the score was 30-30 first set when Danny said;

Don’t look now Khan-man, Tony’s dad is coming down to watch.

Naturally I looked up, and my stomach went in a knot, there was Gregory Peck in a white robe making his way to the pool and tennis court.  Now I could not give a crap about who anyone is, but this was not just anyone, it was fucking Gregory Peck. This to me was The Guns of Navarone, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Roman Holiday, this was Ahab of Moby Dick. Everything would have been cool, if Mr. Peck had just gone to the pool, but no that was not happening, he had to come sit down to watch the game. The pressure was on, all of a sudden the tennis match felt like a five set match of Nadal. I was serving to Cheryl, my first serve caught the tape and landed on our side of the court, (please Mr. Peck go away to the pool please I prayed).  I trew the ball up, arched my back keeping my grip loose throwing my arm towards the ball at its peak, it all felt good and then that sound, ball hitting the tape. I had just double faulted, suicide in tennis, and in front of Gregory Peck.

Danny and I won the match we would later learn that Tony arranged for his dad to come down and watch in order to play mind games with us. The good old friendly, tennis matches.

Enjoy this clip of a tour of the house where this tennis match a Grand Slam if you will was played below.


Best Actor

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Honda Indy Toronto and The two Sarah Fisher’s rock it at Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing

2014-07-19 12.04.43 I left Germany for Toronto fairly confident that Nico Roseberg would win the German Grand Prix, and he did it in a German car Mercedes-Benz this afternoon.

Arriving in Toronto I found Sarah Fisher owner of the Indy team Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing with Toronto’s own singer songwriter, actress Sarah Fisher who you see in the television series Degrassi rocking the Bowie Jarrell guitar. The sure know how to have fun at Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and they rock.

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Jennifer Lawrence steals the show in ‘American Hustle’


Underscoring deeply conflicted characters, who are on a mission to reconceive their unsatisfying circumstances, has become director David O. Russell’s sweet spot. From his raw 1996 film, “Flirting with Disaster,” to last year’s acclaimed “Silver Linings Playbook,” he effectively unravels the disarray.

In the 1970s-set con artist tale “American Hustle,” Russell’s ability to depict an audacious take on a bedlam breakdown peaks, making this his most entertaining jaunt yet.Loosely chronicling the FBI investigation designed to implicate government officials by way of bribery known as the Abscam scandal, Russell inserts this disclaimer at the start: “Some of this actually happened.” The note sets the facetious tone for the corruption smear — six congressmen and a senator really went down — that riddled New York in the late ’70s and early 1980s.

Russell, who co-wrote the script with Eric Singer (“The International”), could have devised an austere new-age noir. But he avoided the melodrama, instead heightening the ludicrous true-crime thread to an outrageously savage, comical and rapid degree. The result is a sleek revival of the ’70s, complete with oversized glasses, plaid suit jackets, plunging come-hither necklines and a rapturous soundtrack.

Just about all of his characters are painstakingly obsessed with getting ahead. As a result, they cast morality and logic to the side at the expense of love, stability and a clean criminal record.

Some of the names from the real operation have been changed here, as Irving Rosenfeld, played by Christian Bale, is based on actual con artist Mel Weinberg, who was forced to conspire with the FBI to evade doing time.

The constantly effective Bale, as the bearded Irving, is a clever swindler who owns a slew of dry cleaners, sells both poached and fake art and hooks people into pseudo loan deals. But he’s not exclusively heartless. His conscience ensures he ideally wants a person to feel satisfied, which makes him quite lovable.

Sacrificing his usual sex appeal, Bale committed to packing on an extra 40 pounds and hiding a fake balding head with a hairpiece and a comb-over for this role. Still, his Irving is able to charm the smart and sassy former stripper Sydney Prosser (a memorably bold and genius Amy Adams) at a winter indoor-pool party by identifying their mutual love for Duke Ellington. Sydney, who is tired of slumming, pitches in on Irving’s crooking and assumes the perfect British blue blood persona for luring clientele into the loan scam. Before long, the two, who take turns narrating the story, fall madly in love.

But we soon find out Irving is married and stashes his lady Roselyn and her son on Long Island. His sultry and blunt companion, fiercely pronounced by Jennifer Lawrence, ensures she’s far from forgotten as she threatens to unmask Irving’s scheming if he utters the word divorce. The 23-year-old actress is the most irresistible part of this film, as she shifts between fiery and needy in an instant.

As Irving and Sydney’s plotting gains steam, they attract the interest of FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), who is thirsty for recognition and threatens a bust unless the couple goes in on a plan to nail politicians. But Richie, who lives with his mother and packs his head with rollers for that sexy curly look, falls victim to Sydney’s deceitful advances, as he certainly isn’t as clever as he thinks he is.

However, with themes of duality and skepticism running throughout, Sydney’s attraction toward Richie (who Cooper cleverly punches up in each scene), inevitably becomes real.

When the scheme to take down questionable pompadour-donning New Jersey mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) goes wrong, things begin to unravel.

The film may lack grit but the stellar cast adds to its allure, helping to round out this dynamic account where reinvention offers the means to endure.

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David Bowie & Arizona Muse Would Rather Be High With Louis Vuitton!

David Bowie & Arizona MuseIf you are going to make a film called “David Bowie Is Around The World‘ , then Louis Vuitton would be a good place to start to get the luggage, a watch perhaps for your travels and all the other luxury items you can pick up not to mention why not a hot air balloon.  Then again why not include one in the film.  Now I just might have to do that in the film I am directing about Bowie, considering Arizona Muse supermodel already did it last year over Paris and now with Bowie.  After all it all fits with L’Invitation au voyage film set in Venice Italy by Louis Vuitton.

Here below is the 8mm look, and the final cut look at what Bowie and Muse do in that very luxurious manner to Bowie’s song, from his album The Next Day , I’d Rather Be High.

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‘L’invitation du Voyage’ David Bowie and Arizona Muse – Louis Vuitton in Venice!

Hotel Danieli, Venice
Hotel Danieli, Venice

A Gucci executive once told me in London, “Tim I want to own Venice”. Well coming November 7, 2013 you will see a hot air ballon with Arizona Muse descending smack in the middle of Piazza di San Marco. Look out Gucci, the battle for Venice has begun with David Bowie and Arizona Muse. The project has been kept top secret and no one including Arizona Muse knew that Bowie would be in it till she arrived for filming on the set.

If you have traveled to Venice then you know what it is all about, as you can see my friends and I played it up in Venice at the famed Hotel Danieli prior to a lavish New Years party at Harrys Bar. Vuittion kept in the spirit of things as well as you can see in these behind-the-scenes photos released by Vuitton showing the lush scenes in Venice, with hot air balloons, opulent ballrooms and masked dancers. This is just a taste of what is yet to come, giving you a hint at a lavish short three-minute film set to one of the Bowie’s latest tracks, I’d Rather Be High.

The full advert, which features Vuitton’s new Tambour watch and Vivienne bag will premiere on the label’s app on November 7, YouTube November 8 and during Homeland on Channel 4 on November 10. Here are the photos, and a short clip of Arizona Muse doing what she does best, and the Bowie table that was set up at the Ritz Carlton Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival a city that is currently hosting the Bowie exhibit and where I am currently filming the David Bowie Is Around The World film documentary.

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