Monday, August 22, 2016

She Did it For A Million Dollars

I'm currently listening to an audio book that details the love affair of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. I'm learning quite a bit, but as I'm listening, I'm comparing the facts with what I can remember about the 1963 film version starring Elizabeth Taylor. 

Cleopatra used to be shown on television periodically when I was a kid. I don't actually remember that much, but being into movie trivia, I do remember reading that Liz Taylor was paid one million dollars to play the role. That's nothing nowadays, but back then it was big deal. Liz cleaned up in more ways than one. Check out the facts below from Moviefone.com:

Joan Collins, Audrey Hepburn, and Susan Hayward were at first considered to play Cleopatra. After various issues, producer Walter Wanger called Taylor on the set of her latest film, "Suddenly, Last Summer" to offer her the role through her then husband Eddie Fisher. Joking, Taylor replied "Sure, tell him I'll do it for a million dollars." While such an offer was unheard of at the time, it was accepted, and in 1959 Taylor became the first Hollywood actor to receive $1 million for a single movie.

Taylor's contract stipulated that her $1 million salary be paid out as follows: $125,000 for 16 weeks work plus $50,000 a week afterwards plus 10 percent of the gross (with no break-even point). By the time production was restarted in Rome in 1961 she had earned over $2 million. After a lengthy $50 million lawsuit brought against Taylor and Burton by the studio in 1963 and a countersuit filed by Taylor, the studio finally settled with the actress in 1966. Her ultimate take for the film was $7 million.

Is any of this news to you? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Love Those Villains!

"O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!"  William Shakespeare (Hamlet, I, v, 106)

There's never a dull moment with a bad guy--or a bad girl.  Let's face it, creating fictional villains is just downright fun!  I, personally, hate confrontation, and the last thing I'd ever want to do is hurt some one's feelings.  Perhaps writing about a mean person is cathartic for me.  I've been told I do it well.  Not quite sure how to take that.  But whatever the case, it's rather exciting to write dialogue I'd actually never say, and write about nasty, villainous deeds I could never imagine being done in real life--until I see them reenacted on America's Most Wanted.      

Villains break all the rules of decency and morality and don't care.  Lying/cheating/stealing is their MO, and political correctness doesn't exist in their world.  Heroes don't make derogatory comments regarding race or sex, but with a villain, why not?  Our heroes don't smoke, and if they drink, they're merely social drinkers.  Villainous women can be portrayed promiscuous to the point of nymphomania.  And a bad man isn't into real relationships, because he's too busy using and discarding women.
  
Our heroes can be flawed individuals who have overcome some of the same demons our villains don't see as demons.  Perhaps a hero is a recovering alcoholic, recently quit smoking and still struggles, or maybe was a womanizer at one time, but no more--since finding "the one."

As the hero is flawed, the villain must to be humanized.  Through back story, he or she must be seen as a person first, not a monster.  Otherwise, that character will just come off looking like a cartoon bad guy.  Reading bios of notorious criminals can help develop a believable villain.

Depending on the circumstances that molded this individual's psyche, the reading audience might feel a little sympathy (because his mother died when he was an infant, he lacked a mother's love), or make them hate him even more (because he was bitten by a dog as a child, one of his hobbies as an adult is running over dogs with his car).

How will you have fun creating your next villain, or making your current one even scarier?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally posted 8/31/10

Monday, August 8, 2016

Off For My Birthday!



I'll be back August 15, but today is my birthday so I'm taking a break! Have a great day and see you next week!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Crock Pot Curry Chicken

I've come to realize that people either love Indian food, or they hate it, because of all the exotic spices not normally found in plain old American fare. 

Then there are those who enjoy it, but their bodies can't tolerate all those wonderful spices. 

I fall into the category that absolutely loves Indian food! And it doesn't cause me any digestive issues.

The recipe I'm sharing today is from Rebecca MacLary over at Paleohacks. It's the first Indian dish I've ever tried for the crock pot and it's extraordinarily delicious!  In addition, it's easy to prep, and tastes just as good as the chicken curry you can get in an Indian restaurant. Hope this is something you'll enjoy!

Crockpot Curry Chicken 

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger, minced
  • 2-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium fresh green chilli, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Take your crockpot and give it a big sloppy kiss because, believe me, it’s about to provide you with a life-changing gastronomic experience!
  2. Optional: Heat the coconut oil in your crockpot and add the Garam Masala and cumin seeds, gently heating them until they begin crackle. The idea here is to infuse the oil and gently roast the spices, so have the rest of your ingredients ready to throw in right away.
  3. Add the tomato paste, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, chilli, salt, and pepper, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Give your spicy, coconutty mixture a hearty sniff and then throw in the onions, peppers, chicken, and broth.
  5. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed together and then cover, ready to cook.
  6. Now for the most difficult part, time to play the waiting game! Depending on your level of patience you can cook on a high heat for around 4 hours, or if you’re feeling particularly disciplined (yeah, right!) you can place your curry on a low heat and cook for 7 or 8 hours.
  7. Remove the lid and savor that wondrous, magical smell of the spice-infused coconut goodness! Serve up and you’re good to tuck right in!
Do you like Indian food? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Best of Mae West

Last week I posted an article about dialogue, so this week I thought I'd share some funny lines of dialogue from the one and only Mae West.  In case you've never heard of her, Wikipedia says:
Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades.
Known for her lighthearted bawdy double entendres, and breezy sexual independence, West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress, and writer in the motion picture industry, as well as on radio and television. For her contributions to American cinema, thevAmerican Film Institute named West 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema.
One of the more controversial movie stars of her day, West encountered many problems, especially censorship. She bucked the system, making comedy out of prudish conventional mores, and the Depression Era audience admired her for it. 

When her cinematic career ended, she wrote books, plays, and continued to perform in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, and on radio and television, and to record rock and roll albums. Asked about the various efforts to impede her career, West replied: "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."  


Most of Mae's quotes are rather provocative, but quite funny, nonetheless. For a more complete list, check out Quotilicious. Now, time for a good laugh!

"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
"Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly."
"He’s the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of."
"I believe that it’s better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked."
"One and one is two, and two and two is four, and five will get you ten if you know how to work it."
"Don’t keep a man guessing too long – he’s sure to find the answer somewhere else."
"Opportunity knocks for every man, but you have to give a woman a ring."
"A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up."
"Give a man a free hand and he’ll run it all over you."
"A woman in love can’t be reasonable – or she probably wouldn’t be in love."
"A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that’s subtraction."
"When women go wrong, men go right after them."
Do you have a favorite Mae West quote that I didn't include? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!