Let's take a look at three celebrities in the news this week: a former film heartthrob now on a personal and career upswing, the wife and muse of one of Hollywood's most beloved writer-directors, and a former comedy superstar who wants to get the old gang back together one last time. How are their career choices going?
Okay, while no one can claim that Dennis Quaid has been having as rough a time of it as his troubled brother Randy Quaid, whose been a tabloid fixture in recent years, he's definitely been through a rough patch. Though he's appeared in some solid films, his last major blockbuster was 2004's The Day After Tomorrow, and he's had personal issues as well: five years ago, a hospital mistake following the birth of his twin children led to a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer and Quaid's testimony before a congressional oversight committee on the topic of corporate negligence. More recently, Quaid has split with his third wife, real estate agent Kimberly Buffington, who filed for a legal separation last month. However, both reviews and ratings for Quaid's new television drama Vegas, a 1960s period piece in which he stars opposite Michael Chiklis as the no-nonsense sheriff of a burgeoning but increasingly crime-infested Las Vegas, have been steadily improving, and CBS has announced a full-season order for the series. He's such a natural on the small screen, it's surprising that it's taken this long for Quaid to make the jump to television.
Comic actress Leslie Mann has been garnering rave reviews for her starring role opposite Paul Rudd in Judd Apatow's new film This Is 40. And justifiably so; Apatow acknowledges that the film is based on his and Mann's own marriage (As they were in Apatow's Knocked Up, to which the new film is a self-described "sort of sequel," Rudd and Mann's children are played by Mann's own daughters Iris and Maude Apatow). Mann has appeared regularly in Apatow's films ever since his breakthrough The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but next year, she's got a major role away from the family business, playing opposite Emma Watson in The Bling Ring, a film by Sofia Coppola inspired by a real-life series of incidents in 2008 and 2009 where a group of Hollywood teenagers burgled the homes of minor celebrities like Paris Hilton. Mann should think about keeping it in the family, though: 14-year-old Maude Apatow in particular is growing into a gifted young comedian, and a smart single-camera sitcom starring the sardonic mother and daughter pair would be a gold mine.
When former Saturday Night Live standout turned blockbuster film star Dan Aykroyd scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination for 1989's Driving Miss Daisy, it seemed like he might follow his frequent co-star Bill Murray into a credible acting career. Things have not exactly turned out that way for the Canadian comedian in the ensuing decades; he's spent more time as the face of the House of Blues chain of nightclubs than he has in front of the cameras. But for years, he's been trying to get Ghostbusters III off the ground, despite -- or maybe because of -- the fact that everyone hated 1989's Ghostbusters II. In a surprisingly unguarded interview in the new issue of Esquire, Akyroyd talks at some length about the rebooted project's troubled script, reluctance on the part of Sony, the studio with the rights to the sequel, and most openly, the mercurial Murray's unwillingness to sign on to the project. It's a fascinating read, but honestly, isn't there a Wes Anderson-like young auteur who will give Aykroyd a career-rebooting role like Murray's seriocomic reinvention in Anderson's Rushmore?