Mahershala Ali listens to his instincts when acting
Earning big green, “Green Book” has made some green with envy and others red-faced. Like one race unhappy about another race. Like the Academy Award competition. There’s also the family of concert pianist Dr. Shirley, who complained about not being consulted about Mahershala Ali’s portrayal.
Now from his Oscar-nominated role as a goodie, Ali has switched into a movie baddie. His newie “Alita: Battle Angel” takes place in far-off future forever. The man has osmosed from piano concertos to cyber punk.
This one has Christoph Waltz, who often wins awards as a no-goodnik villain, producer James Cameron who co-wrote it, and director Robert Rodriguez of the immortal “Sin City.” It’s wham-o, slam-o sci-fi action.
Ali: I always wanted to work with Robert Rodriguez. And James Cameron working on it for quite some time was even more attractive because you’d have to be out of your mind not to work with him.”
Beloved in “Moonlight” (for which he won an Oscar) and “Green Book,” he’s now a heavy in epic adventure?
“I let my instincts take me where they take me. If he’s a bad guy, it’s got to be because people think he’s a bad guy. I can never go into it thinking of these characters as a bad guy.”
Hell and battles and deadly and violent forces, it’s out this week.
Speaking of hell, enough already with Fashion Weak. Models gorging on half a crouton. The clothing line Just Drew — Tiffany Trump wears it — partied at Upper East Side boutique Le Board. Actress Bella Thorne was there. Not modeling. Selling makeup.
Chow’s wedding notes
Mr. Chow is a Chinese restaurant that’s everywhere. Mr. Chow himself has been everywhere. Celebrating the Year of the Pig he has just married Wife No. 4, Vanessa Rano. He’s 80, and she’s in her 30s. He now moves slowly. She does not.
Mr. Chow restaurant in Beverly Hills closed Saturday, the day before the Grammys. It was 800 friends and customers who went to his downtown LA art studio for another of his intimate weddings. The menu? Chicken satay, shrimp fried rice and duck pancakes. Wyclef Jean serenaded the crowd.
Tears for fears
More hell. The third in some sort of tyrannosaurus trilogy thing. Comes now “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” with America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett and a creature infestation. We’re talking dragon overload. Craig Ferguson, who’s been on this dragon wagon three times already, says this one’s “a tearjerker. It has a legacy about it. They’ll become part of movie history and movie lore.”
Yeah, OK. Your friendly velociraptor clumps into theaters Feb. 21.
Makeup-less Sandra Bernhard trudged along near the corner of 19th and Sixth carrying a mop . . . Besides #MeToo, there’s also She, Too. Like females trading up for a larger wallet. I’m not asserting. Not saying. Only asking the Vegas odds on Jeff Amazon Bozo’s married mistress with children and a handsome husband falling desperately madly wildly insanely crazily in love with a poor guy?
The congestion pricing blitz just began. Sunday’s six-figure TV ads, paid for by Regional Plan Association director and developer Scott Rechler, who’s on the MTA board, got 160,000 positive Twitter responses. Realty people, as well as Uber and Lyft, contributed through umbrella group Fix Our Transit.
Future subway ads, nearly $1 million worth, will start. Our Gov. wants congestion pricing in his couple-of-months-away executive budget. Great. Getting this done will take less time than it took me to get crosstown.
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
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