"Over the Hedge"
BRUCE WILLIS (RJ) has demonstrated remarkable versatility in a career that has included such diverse roles as the prizefighter in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”; the philandering contractor in Robert Benton’s “Nobody’s Fool”; the heroic time traveler in Terry Gilliam’s “Twelve Monkeys”; his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of the traumatized Vietnam veteran in Norman Jewison’s “In Country”; the compassionate child psychologist in M. Night Shyamalan’s Oscar®-nominated “The Sixth Sense,” for which Willis won the People’s Choice Award; and, what could be considered his signature role, detective John McClane in the blockbuster “Die Hard” trilogy. Willis will soon bring John McClane back to the screen in the much-anticipated fourth installment of the franchise, “Die Hard 4.0."
Willis most recently starred in “Lucky Number Slevin,” Richard Donner’s “16 Blocks,” and Nick Cassavetes’ “Alpha Dog,” which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. He next stars in James Foley’s “Perfect Stranger,” opposite Halle Berry.
His wide array of film credits also includes “Sin City,” directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez; Antoine Fuqua’s “Tears of the Sun”; Barry Levinson’s “Bandits”; “Unbreakable,” which reunited him with director M. Night Shyamalan; Jon Turteltaub’s “The Kid”; Jonathan Lyn’s “The Whole Nine Yards”; Rob Reiner’s “The Story of Us”; “Breakfast of Champions” and “Mortal Thoughts,” both for director Alan Rudolph; Edward Zwick’s “The Siege”; Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element”; Walter Hill’s “Last Man Standing”; Robert Zemeckis’ “Death Becomes Her”; and Blake Edwards’ “Blind Date,” which marked Willis’ feature film debut. In addition, he provided the voice of the wise-cracking baby, Mikey, in “Look Who’s Talking” and “Look Who’s Talking Too,” and more recently lent his voice to the character of Spike in the animated film “Rugrats Go Wild!”
Willis first achieved international stardom when he won the starring role of irreverent private eye David Addison on the groundbreaking hit television series “Moonlighting.” His work on the show brought him several acting honors, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award. In 2000, Willis won another Emmy Award for his guest appearance on “Friends.”
A native of New Jersey, Willis studied with Montclair State College’s prestigious theatre program and began his career on the stage. His first major leading role came in the 1984 off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love,” which ran for 100 performances. Still maintaining a hand in the theatre, Willis co-founded A Company of Fools, a non-profit theatre troupe committed to developing and sustaining stage work in the Wood River Valley of Idaho and throughout the U.S. He also starred in and directed a staging of Sam Shepard’s dark comedy “True West” at the Liberty Theater in Hailey, Idaho. The play, which depicts the troubled relationship between two brothers, was aired on Showtime and is dedicated to Willis’ late brother, Robert.
An accomplished musician, Willis recorded the 1986 Motown album The Return of Bruno, which went platinum and contained the #5 Billboard hit “Respect Yourself.” Three years later, he recorded a second album, titled If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. In 2004, he launched a U.S. club tour with his music group, The Accelerators.
Shandling began his career in 1977 as a writer for the series “Sanford and Son” and “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Within a short time, he decided to try his hand at stand-up comedy. In 1981, he made his first of many appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” which changed the focus of his career. Shandling also went on to guest host “The Tonight Show” a number of times in the mid-1980s.
In 1992, Shandling enjoyed even greater success when he created and starred in the HBO series “The Larry Sanders Show.” During the show’s six-year run, Shandling received five Emmy nominations and won two American Comedy Awards for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He also earned six consecutive Emmy nominations for Best Comedy Series, and eight Emmy nods for Best Writing for a Comedy Series, winning the Emmy for Best Writing in the series’ final season.
Shandling is currently putting the finishing touches on a Special Edition DVD retrospective of “The Larry Sanders Show,” which will include raw and unedited footage of Garry reminiscing with former guests from the show in a unique manner. These special features capture the essence of what made “The Larry Sanders Show” groundbreaking, while taking it further in a celebration of this award-winning program. “The Larry Sanders Show DVD Retrospective” is due for release in 2006.
In addition to starring in his own comedy specials, Shandling has been a frequent and sought-after guest on numerous talk and comedy shows, including a hosting stint on “Saturday Night Live.” He has also served twice as the host of the Emmy Awards and three times as the host of the Grammy Awards.
On the big screen, Shandling wrote the sci-fi comedy “What Planet Are You From?,” in which he also starred with Annette Bening under the direction of Mike Nichols. His other film credits include “Hurlyburly,” with Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey, and “Love Affair,” with Warren Beatty, Annette Bening and Katharine Hepburn. He will next be seen in Bart Freundlich’s “Trust the Man,” with David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film made its debut at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and is due for release in summer 2006.
In summer 2005, Carell starred in his first title role in the feature “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which he also co-wrote with director Judd Apatow. The film opened at number one at the box office and held the top spot for two straight weekends on its way to grossing more than $175 million worldwide. It has since generated more than $100 million in DVD sales in North America. On the awards front, Carell and Apatow were honored by their peers with a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” also won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy Movie and was named one of 2005’s “Top Ten Films” by the AFI.
On television, Carell currently stars in the Americanized adaptation of the acclaimed British television series “The Office.” Earlier this year, Carell won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of Michael Scott, the pompous and deluded boss of a Pennsylvania paper company. Now in its second season, “The Office” continues to flourish in the ratings and received an early renewal for a third season.
Later this summer, Carell stars with Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette in the dark comedy feature “Little Miss Sunshine,” which received glowing reviews when it screened at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. He is currently in production on “Evan Almighty,” the sequel to the comedy hit “Bruce Almighty,” being directed by Tom Shadyac. As the title suggests, this time it is Carell’s character, Evan Baxter, who is the one “annointed” by God, played again by Morgan Freeman. Carell’s previous film credits include “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” with Will Ferrell; “Bruce Almighty,” with Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston; Nora Ephron’s “Bewitched,” with Nicole Kidman and Ferrell; and Woody Allen’s “Melinda and Melinda.”
Carell is an alumnus of the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, where he also performed with several noted theatre groups at The Goodman Theatre and Wisdom Bridge Theater. He made his film debut in 1991 in the John Hughes comedy “Curly Sue” before segueing to television as a writer and actor.
Sykes previously created, produced and starred in the Fox Network series “Wanda at Large,” and executive produced the Comedy Central reality series “Wanda Does It,” in which she tried her hand at different non-show business jobs. She also starred in her own Comedy Central special called “Wanda Sykes: Tongue unTied,” and was heard as the voice of Gladys Murphy on the Comedy Central series “Crank Yankers.” In addition, she has guest starred on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” CBS’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and NBC’s “Will & Grace.”
Sykes recently co-starred with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in the comedy “Monster-in-Law,” for which she won a BET Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Feature. She includes among her other film credits “Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps,” “Pootie Tang” and “Down to Earth.”
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and raised in Maryland, Sykes graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University. Her stand-up career began at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington, DC, where she performed for the first time in front of a live audience.
Sykes spent five years as a writer and performer on HBO’s critically acclaimed “The Chris Rock Show.” As part of the writing team, she won an Emmy Award in 1999, and shared in three additional Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special. In 2001, she won an American Comedy Award for Outstanding Female Stand-Up Comic. Two years later, Sykes earned a Comedy Central Commie Award for Funniest TV Actress. She also won two more Emmy Awards, in 2003 and 2004, for her work on “Inside the NFL.”
In September 2004, Simon and Schuster published Sykes’ first book, titled Yeah, I Said It, a hilarious collection of essays touching on life, family and current events. Her additional writing credits include “The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show,” “The MTV 1999 Music Video Awards,” “The MTV Movie Awards” and “The 74th Annual Academy Awards.”
Recently, Shatner won back-to-back Emmy Awards for his portrayal of eccentric lawyer Denny Crane, first on the ABC series “The Practice” and then as one of the stars of the hit series “Boston Legal.” In addition, Shatner won a Golden Globe Award for his creation of the character on “The Practice.” Earlier this year, he received two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his performance as Denny Crane on “Boston Legal,” one for Best Actor in a Comedy Series and another as part of the ensemble cast. In 1999, he garnered his first Emmy nomination for his guest turn on the sci-fi comedy series “3rd Rock From the Sun.”
Shatner first rocketed to fame in 1966 when he originated the now-iconic role of Captain James T. Kirk in the seminal series “Star Trek.” Cancelled after three seasons, the series only grew in popularity in syndication, eventually spawning a blockbuster feature film franchise. Shatner reprised the role of Captain Kirk in seven “Star Trek” movies. He also made his feature film directorial debut on “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” for which he also helped conceive the story.
Born in Montreal, Canada, Shatner started working professionally at the Canadian Broadcasting Company even before he reached his teens. Joining the Stratford Shakespeare Festival under Sir Tyrone Guthrie, he appeared in the play “Tamburlaine,” which eventually moved to Broadway, taking the young actor with it. In 1958, he returned to Broadway with a starring role in “The World of Suzie Wong.”
Moving to New York, Shatner was part of television’s Golden Age, working on such programs as “Playhouse 90” and “Studio One.” He went on to appear in more than 100 guest roles, including his two classic episodes of “The Twilight Zone.”
Shatner made his film debut in 1958’s “The Brothers Karamazov,” followed by a co-starring role in Stanley Kramer’s “Judgment at Nuremburg,” and a starring role in “The Intruder.” His later film credits include the comedies “Airplane II: The Sequel” and “Loaded Weapon 1,” as well as both “Miss Congeniality” films. In addition to his role in “Over the Hedge,” Shatner can be heard as the voice of Kazar in “The Wild,” a film that was animated by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures in Toronto, a company in which Shatner is a partner.
Shatner starred in several series between “Star Trek” and “Boston Legal.” He played the title role in the cop show “T.J. Hooker,” before hosting the CBS series “Rescue 911” for six seasons. In 2004, Shatner traveled to Riverside, Iowa (which boasts of being the “Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk”), to film “Invasion Iowa,” a reality series in which the entire town was duped into believing that it was the location set of a new sci-fi movie. Shatner is also the spokesman for Priceline.com on television and radio, and hosted the History Channel special “How William Shatner Changed the World,” which showcases how the futuristic marvels of “Star Trek” inspired real-life advancements in science and technology.
In addition, Shatner has authored more than 20 best-selling books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His novel series TekWar was turned into a television series for The Sci-Fi Network, which he starred in and directed. Some of his other popular books include the novels Man O’ War, Star Trek Avenger and Ashes of Eden, and the autobiographical Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories.
Shatner has also enjoyed success as a recording artist. His latest CD, Has Been, is a compilation of songs he recorded with such artists as Ben Folds, Brad Paisley, Joe Jackson, Aimee Mann and Henry Rollins.
Apart from performing, Shatner is a longtime dedicated breeder of champion American quarter horses. His passion for horses led to his involvement with AHEAD With Horses, which gives physically and mentally challenged children the thrill of riding a horse to boost their confidence and self-esteem. For the past 15 years, he has hosted the Hollywood Charity Horse Show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. More on WIlliam Shatner.
NICK NOLTE (Vincent), a two-time Academy Award® nominee in the category of Best Actor, earned his first Oscar ® nod for his role in the 1991 drama “The Prince of Tides,” in which he starred opposite Barbra Streisand, who also directed the film. In addition, Nolte won a Golden Globe and the Los Angeles and Boston Film Critics Awards for his portrayal of a man trying to help his suicidal sister while uncovering his own haunting childhood memories. He received his second Oscar® nomination for his work in 1997’s “Affliction,” directed by Paul Schrader, on which Nolte also served as an executive producer. For his performance as a man battling the cycle of addiction, Nolte also won Best Actor Awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics, and garnered Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Award and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations.
In 2005, Nolte gained another SAG Award nomination as part of the ensemble cast of the searing true-life drama “Hotel Rwanda,” in which he starred with Don Cheadle. His recent film credits also include Neil Jordan’s “The Good Thief,” Ang Lee’s “Hulk,” and the independent features “Neverwas,” “Clean” and the Polish brothers’ “Northfork.”
Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, Nolte began his professional acting career on the stage at the Pasadena Playhouse and in regional theatres. In 1976, he landed his breakthrough role in the groundbreaking television miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man,” which catapulted Nolte to fame and brought him Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations.
Nolte made his feature film debut in “The Deep,” starring opposite Jacqueline Bisset. He followed with a wide range of starring roles in such films as Karel Reisz’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain”; the football comedy “North Dallas Forty”; “Heart Beat,” opposite Sissy Spacek; Walter Hill’s action comedy smash “48 Hrs.,” in which he partnered with Eddie Murphy; Roger Spottiswoode’s “Under Fire”; Paul Mazursky’s “Down and Out in Beverly Hills”; Walter Hill’s “Extreme Prejudice”; and the drama “Weeds,” for which Nolte earned another Golden Globe nomination.
Continuing to take on challenging and diverse characters, Nolte subsequently starred in the comedy “Three Fugitives,” with Martin Short; Sidney Lumet’s “Q & A”; Martin Scorsese’s segment of “New York Stories”; John Milius’ “Farewell to the King”; Karel Reisz’s “Everybody Wins”; the sequel “Another 48 Hrs.,” which reunited him with Eddie Murphy and director Walter Hill; Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed remake of the thriller “Cape Fear”; George Miller’s “Lorenzo’s Oil,” with Susan Sarandon; James L. Brooks’ “I’ll Do Anything”; “I Love Trouble,” opposite Julia Roberts; the title role in James Ivory’s “Jefferson in Paris”; Oliver Stone’s “U Turn,” with Sean Penn; Alan Rudolph’s “Afterglow” and “Investigating Sex”; and Terrence Malik’s “The Thin Red Line.”
Recently returning to the stage, Nolte starred with Sean Penn in a production of Sam Shepard’s play “The Late Henry Moss.”
His previous feature film credits include “3000 Miles to Graceland,” with Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner; the hit comedy “George of the Jungle,” starring Brendan Fraser in the title role; the cable movie “Free Money,” with the legendary Marlon Brando, Donald Sutherland and Martin Sheen; and the acclaimed Western “Tombstone,” in which Church made his feature film debut.
Church first became best known to television audiences when he landed the series regular role of Lowell Mather, the dim-witted airplane mechanic, on the long-running NBC comedy series “Wings.” He went on to play the title role of the self-righteous Ned Dorsey on the Fox comedy series “Ned and Stacey,” in which he starred opposite Debra Messing.
In addition to his acting work, Church is also the co-screenwriter and director of the film “Rolling Kansas,” which premiered as an official selection at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
Janney has also been recognized for her work in films. In 2000, she won her first SAG Award as part of the cast of Sam Mendes’ Academy Award®-winning drama “American Beauty.” Janney also joined Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman in the ensemble cast of the acclaimed drama “The Hours,” for which she shared in a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture. Most recently, she earned a 2006 Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in “Our Very Own,” which debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Janney next stars with Matt Damon and Anna Paquin in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret.” Her recent film credits also include the independent features “The Chumscrubber,” which premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival; “Piccadilly Jim,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival; and the critically acclaimed “Winter Solstice,” which was an official selection at a number of film festivals.
An accomplished stage actress, Janney was nominated for a 1998 Tony Award and won an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance on Broadway in Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge.” The year before, she won an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Theatre World Award for her work on Broadway in “Present Laughter.” Her theatre repertoire also includes the New York Public Theater’s production of “Taming of the Shrew,” which was part of the Shakespeare in the Park series.
Levy honed his comedy skills as a part of the renowned Second City comedy troupe in his native Canada. In the mid-1970s, he and fellow troupe members John Candy and Joe Flaherty made the move from Toronto to California to try their luck in the U.S. Their idea for a television series about a low-budget television station blossomed into “Second City TV.” The show became a solid hit in Canada and developed a loyal cult following in the States. After “SCTV’s” initial run ended in 1981, NBC brought the show back in an extended version called “SCTV Network 90,” which ran until 1983. In addition to being one of the program’s favorite players, Levy won two Emmy Awards and earned six additional Emmy nominations as a member of the show’s writing staff.
Following “SCTV,” Levy continued to act and write for television and also segued to the big screen, appearing in such feature films as “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and “Father of the Bride.” In 1992, he made his feature film directorial debut with the comedy “Once Upon a Crime,” starring John Candy and Jim Belushi. In 1996, Levy and Christopher Guest teamed to write a screenplay for a mockumentary about a small-town theatre troupe, called “Waiting for Guffman.” Guest directed the film in which Levy starred as the stage-struck dentist, Allan Pearl. The film was a hit and Levy and Guest shared an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
In 1999, Levy became a star to a new generation when he appeared in the smash hit comedy “American Pie.” Levy earned an American Comedy Award nomination for his performance as the understanding but terminally unhip father of a hormonally charged teenager. He went on to reprise his role in the 2001 sequel, “American Pie 2,” and in 2003’s “American Wedding.”
In 2000, Levy and Guest reunited to write the hit comedy “Best in Show,” which lampooned the world of dog shows and brought them a Best Screenplay nomination from the Writers Guild of America. Levy also starred in the film under Guest’s direction. He and Guest more recently co-wrote and starred in the 2003 mockumentary “A Mighty Wind,” a parody about 1960s folk musicians who reunite for a tribute concert decades after their heyday. For that film, Levy and Guest earned another Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Screenplay, and Levy won a New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. In addition, Levy shared in a Grammy Award and a Critics’ Choice Award for co-writing the film’s title song. His latest writing and acting collaboration with Guest is the comedy “For Your Consideration,” due out this fall.
Levy’s additional film credits include “Bringing Down the House,” with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah; “The Man,” starring Samuel L. Jackson; and “Cheaper by the Dozen 2,” with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. He also lent his voice to the animated film “Curious George.”
O’Hara first got into acting, writing, improvising and directing with Toronto’s Second City Theatre, then, with fellow alumni, created the comedy show “SCTV,” which recently enjoyed a successful DVD release. O’Hara won an Emmy Award and earned four additional Emmy nominations for her writing on the show.
One of O’Hara’s earliest film roles was the outlandishly artistic mother in Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice.” She also played the mother in the comedy smash “Home Alone,” as well as in the hit sequel “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” Her other film credits include “Game 6,” “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “After Hours,” “Heartburn,” “Home Fries” and “Orange County.” In addition, she provided the voices of Sally and Shock in the animated fantasy film “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” She will next be heard in “Monster House,” and will be seen in “Penelope.”
Among her television credits, she joined the cast of HBO’s “Six Feet Under” for several episodes of the 2003 season.
Born in the small town of Napanee, Ontario, Canada, Lavigne stood out from the crowd at an early age. Her musical talents were noticeable by the age of two and, by the time she was in her early teens, she was already writing songs and playing guitar. Singing in the church choir and at local festivals allowed Lavigne to get her voice heard.
On a trip to New York at age 16, Lavigne was signed to Arista Records when she impressed Arista head Antonio “LA” Reid. Not long after, Lavigne moved to Los Angeles to work on her first record. By summer 2002, her debut CD, Let Go, was released and began soaring up the charts. With 15 million albums sold and three #1 singles”Sk8ter Boi,” “Complicated” and “I’m With You”Lavigne gave young women a defiant voice.
In May 2004, Lavigne again scored a hit with her follow-up CD, Under My Skin. This time the Canadian chanteuse took charge of her creative direction, and the album reflected a more introspective Avril. Debuting at #1 on charts worldwide, the CD delivered her fourth #1 single, “My Happy Ending.”
Twenty-five million albums later, and following multiple world tours and myriad magazine covers and television appearances, Lavigne is now finding time to concentrate on her other passions, including acting and fashion. She is also continuing to work on her third album, which will likely be released in 2007.
On television, Djalili was a series regular on the comedy series “Whoopi,” starring Whoopi Goldberg, and he provided the voice of Zipeau in the fantasy series “Dinotopia.” He was also seen in the telefilms “Jason and the Argonauts” and “Cleopatra,” and has starred in several television projects in his native England, most recently including “Chopratown” and “My Family and Other Animals.”
Djalili’s breakthrough success came as a stand-up comedian. He won the Spirit of the Fringe Award for his show “A Strange Bit of History” at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994 and has since been a festival favorite. He won another Spirit of the Fringe Award in 1999 for “The Iranian Ceilidh,” and his popularity continued to grow with 2002’s “Behind Enemy Lines,” for which he received a Perrier Award nomination.
In early 2005, he shot an HBO special, which aired to great critical acclaim. Also that year, his show “No Agenda” became the top-selling comedy show in the history of the Edinburgh Festival. Djalili took the show on a tour of the UK, where his performance at the famous London Palladium was filmed for release on DVD in March 2006. Djalili has also proven to have tremendous international appeal, with performances in Australia, Austria, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. He recently performed in Qatar, where the audience included former President Bill Clinton.
Film Entertainment Magazine