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Names

East meets Western Mass.

Medford’s Maria Menounos and Pittsfield-bred Elizabeth Banks. Medford’s Maria Menounos and Pittsfield-bred Elizabeth Banks. (John Shearer/Wireimage)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / September 19, 2009

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Medford’s Maria Menounos and Pittsfield-bred Elizabeth Banks bumped into each other at the Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film pre-Emmy party in West Hollywood the other night. Banks has been tweeting a ton lately about the made-in-Massachusetts sci-fi film “Surrogates,’’ which she produced. “SURROGATES is coming, SURROGATES is coming 9/25,’’ she wrote this week. “If I wanted to b really annoying, this entire tweet cld b UPPERCASE. Like Kanye’s rant.’’

Thurman’s got the role of a lifetime

If there’s one role that has satisfied actress Uma Thurman more than all the others, it’s as a mother. “There are moments that seem important - the awards ceremonies, the headline-grabbing events - and those are great and exciting,’’ said Thurman, whose new film, “Motherhood,’’ opened the Boston Film Festival last night. “But being a parent, a steward of a child, is the most meaningful and richest period of my life.’’ The Boston-born “Kill Bill’’ star has done a little bit of everything over the course of her career - she earned an Oscar nod as a comely cokehead in “Pulp Fiction’’ - but she says well-written parts for moms are hard to find in Hollywood. “They’re all either deified or demonized, heartless ne’er-do-wells or overly simplified and perfect,’’ said Thurman, 39, who has two children with her ex, Ethan Hawke. “What appealed to me about this character is that she’s so strong and fresh, not some Izod-wearing fantasy.’’ The comedy, written and directed by Arlington native Katherine Dieckmann, is a day in the life of one New York mother. (A director of a few REM music videos, Dieckmann uses her musical sensibility to great effect in the film.) Thurman, who grew up in Amherst, feels fortunate to have missed the “obsession-with-high-school’’ brand of films. “I was younger than the Brat Pack, and now there’s the whole wave with the Disney Channel movies,’’ she says. “I guess I’ve always seen myself as an apprentice adult actor.’’ Following last night’s screening, Thurman received the Boston Film Festival’s 2009 Film Excellence Award at Stella.

Local comedian finds a home with Fallon

It was a dream come true for Boston comedian Jon Rineman: Last week he walked into 30 Rockefeller Plaza, took the elevator to the seventh floor, and started work as a writer on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.’’ “It’s the Boston Garden of comedy,’’ Rineman says, referring to the landmark building occupied by “Saturday Night Live.’’ “Everything happened there.’’ The 26-year-old Emerson alum got his start in showbiz in ’05 when, thanks to a family friend who knew Jay Leno, he was invited to submit jokes to “The Tonight Show’’ monologue. Two or three of Rineman’s jokes were used a week. But when Leno left the show in May, Rineman needed work and signed on with Fallon. He’s now living in a hotel while adjusting to his dream job. “It’s tough,’’ he says, “but it’s all stuff that I always wanted to do.’’

Vegas doesn’t Luv Kaling

Cambridge-bred funny girl Mindy Kaling has ticked off some vocal locals in Las Vegas. When “The Office’’ star appeared on “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’’ the other night, she made the mistake of calling the Vegas neighborhood around Luv-It Frozen Custard on East Oakley Boulevard “sketchy.’’ (Ferguson is a big fan of Luv-It, and often recommends it to Vegas visitors, including Kaling.) Not surprisingly, citizens of Sin City weren’t so pleased with Kaling’s review of their ’hood. As of yesterday, there were 211 members of a Facebook group called “Las Vegas Downtown Neighbors & Luv-It Fans against Mindy Kaling.’’

Cruise control

Suffolk student Mike Giannattasio has struck again, this time snapping a picture of himself with Hollywood heavy Tom Cruise. (The actor, who’s in town making a movie with director James Mangold, was outside Abe & Louie’s.) It’s a wonder Giannattasio gets any school work done with all the time he spends staking out visiting celebs. In recent weeks, he’s mugged with Mark Wahlberg, Adam Sandler, Amy Smart, Rob Schneider, and Drew Barrymore. . . . Cast and crew of “The Town,’’ including director and star Ben Affleck, were shooting yesterday outside the Cask ’n Flagon on Lansdowne Street.

Toe to toe with new looks

Boston Ballet and Karmaloop combined to put on a lively night of fashion, music, and dance at the Liberty Hotel the other night. Called “Fashionably Late,’’ it featured new looks from Karmaloop, costumes from the ballet’s wardrobe department, and a performance by Andrew “D.A.’’ Wallach and Maxwell Drummey, better known as Chester French. Guests included Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen, dancer Melissa Hough, Anna Cheshire, Denise Korn of Korn Design, Karmaloop’s Greg Selkoe, Liberty owner Dick Friedman, Boldfacers’ Lisa Pierpont, and designer Sam Mendoza.

Scene around the town

MFA director Malcolm Rogers joined State Street’s Hannah Grove yesterday to read “Babar’s Museum of Art’’ to kindergartners at the Maurice J. Tobin School in Roxbury. The pair were promoing the museum’s free community day, which is tomorrow. . . . Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston held a fund-raising reception at the Cartier boutique on Newbury Street, and some serious bling was on display. Perusing the precious stones were Pats owners Robert and Myra Kraft, whose son Josh is the president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Cartier’s Cedric Tonello, Bruin Marco Sturm and wife Astrid, Doris Yaffe, and Marlo Fogelman.

Honored for being on board

Actor David Chokachi is in good company. Along with the members of Incubus and Pearl Jam, the Plymouth product is being honored by the Surfrider Foundation with the organization’s Keeper of the Coast Award. The award is given every five years to celebrities who have helped the foundation protect the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches.

Read the Names blog at www.boston.com/namesblog. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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