Val Kilmer – At First Sight – Interview with Mr. Showbiz

The actor formerly known as Batman and The Saint talks about playing more down-to-earth roles, how he found love At First Sight, why he’s on the outs with Kevin Spacey, and much more.

VAL KILMER

By Kevin Maynard

VAL Kilmer wants you to like him. Having come off a string of high-profile action duds (The Saint, The Ghost and the Darkness), a major sci-fi fiasco (The Island of Dr. Moreau, after which director John Frankenheimer swore he’d never work with the actor again), and a bitter divorce from actress Joanne Whalley, the notoriously difficult actor seems eager to show his kinder, gentler side.

Kilmer can currently be heard as the voice of Moses in DreamWorks’ animated family epic The Prince of Egypt. It’s his latest shot at slipping into the shoes of a cultural icon, something the actor does with surprising ease. After all, his best (and most flamboyant) performances—Jim Morrison in The Doors, Doc Holliday in Tombstoneare startling impersonations of real-life historical figures.

But Kilmer’s latest role is infinitely more tricky. At First Sight is an intimate love story with a twist. “What if you fall in love at first sight and you can’t see?” the actor says. In the film, he plays Virgil Adamson, a blind masseur who is convinced by his architect girlfriend (Mira Sorvino) to undergo experimental surgery to regain his sight. Based on a true story documented by Dr. Oliver Sacks, At First Sight sometimes succumbs to sentimentality but Kilmer’s sensitive, nuanced acting manages to skirt the goo.

Clad in a Hugo Boss leather jacket and purple-tinted John Lennon shades, the actor chatted openly about playing blind, playing Batman, and playing with his kids.

Was playing a blind person a big challenge?

It’s probably the hardest role I’ve ever played. The premise couldn’t be more simple and yet more complex: What if you fall in love at first sight and you can’t see? The fact that it’s a true story doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that Titanic‘s a true story. It’s a love story. Take the love story out and you’d have nothing. And I think it’s really Mira’s character’s love and belief that inspires Virgil to see. The way that we tell the story is that she made him something he was not.

Mira Sorvino said you made her role easier because when you were playing the character blind, even though you would react to her, there was nothing in your eyes. Can you talk about how you achieved that?

It was a lot of work. There are things that seem effortless to us that for Virgil take a lot of effort. Just keeping his clothes neat, making sure his shirt’s tucked in. These are things that even when we can see, we still mess up. I’m always doing that. But for Virgil it takes a lot of practice. I went to New York really early on to rehearse for the role. I spent quite a bit of time with my eyes closed in my room or with contact lenses on where I couldn’t see. And then I went out on the street and in the subway.

Did you go out by yourself?

Yeah. By myself and with friends. It was actually harder with friends. It was very frustrating. They’d say, “Watch out!” But they didn’t say “Watch out for what?” If a dog was loose, they wouldn’t tell me what direction he was coming from.

Did people on the street try to help you?

Some did and some didn’t. It’s a very deep experience to stand on the street and ask for directions, knowing someone’s standing next to you but they won’t answer. They don’t want to bother. It’s an awful kind of pity. It’s as though there’s something wrong with you because you’re blind. And for a lot of blind people I talked to, it’s a question of pride. It’s hard to admit that you’re lost. Children don’t like to get lost, but imagine being in that condition as an adult. It’s very tough.

Did you use any blind people as inspiration for your character?

My friend Michael. He’s a sculptor in Santa Fe [N.M.] who lost his sight in Vietnam from a hand grenade. I’ve known him for years, so it was easy to work with him. He has a miraculous spirit and a great sense of humor. He says, “My first date. It was a blind date.” He can tell jokes for hours.

Another inspiration were Shirl and Barbara Jennings, the real-life couple the film is based on. They’re so in love and so attentive to each other. It was wonderful to watch. I also became friends with a blind masseur in White Plains.

What did you learn from him?

A lot, because Virgil has the same job in the film, so it was my good luck. He read the script and was very soulful and insightful. He had a lot of interesting ideas. For instance, he was very attached to his seeing-eye dog, so he was always lobbying for more dog scenes. It’s a very important relationship for a blind person. There was a line toward the end of the film where I say that my dog has been put out to pasture, and some of the focus groups that saw the film were very upset. Irwin [Winkler] almost re-shot the scene because people were upset that it sounded like the dog was dead. Also, in another example of just strange good luck, he had met a woman who didn’t know he was blind, and they had their first conversation on the phone. And we talked about the oddness of when you tell someone you’d like to date that you’re blind. Sometimes he’ll wait until he gets a feeling about them because he feels like they might cancel.

You said it was especially hard to play Virgil after he regained his sight. Why do you think that was?

It’s hard to describe. If Virgil closes his eyes and feels a table, he knows what it is but it’s very different when he sees it. It was hard to accurately capture that physical state. Because the absolute reality is that it takes much longer to regain sight than we could dramatize on-screen. What we filmed is as realistic as we could make it, but Virgil just couldn’t have learned that quickly what a door looks like. I’d tell Irwin, “I can’t do that.” He’d say, “Why?” and I’d say, “Because I can’t see it.” He’d say, ‘Well, OK, can’t you just do the scene anyway?” We have that scene where Virgil first comes back to Amy’s apartment and is surprised to see the balloons she put up. But the reality is that he would have found the sight of the bed equally bizarre. It would be a much longer process for him to understand what he sees. But it would have been distracting from the love story.

As Virgil, you captured the way a blind person might physically hold himself. Did you find that these physical characteristics were common in all blind people?

The two extremes are you’re either very rigid—which the masseuse was. He’d talk about it. It was a problem for him because it made people very nervous. There’s also this rocking thing that blind children do. But kids just don’t care what you think. We had Virgil go to both extremes so Irwin could pick and choose what he wanted in the film. I even rock a lot now. It feels good. [Laughs.]

You had a few scenes working with blind children. What was that like?

Some of them handle it better than others. There was this one black boy who was just angry. It was tough to watch him because you could tell. Some see better than others so they don’t want to be treated like they can’t see. In some ways it was really exposing, because we’re really not that different than they are. If you take the physical blindness aspect away from the film, it would be the exact same film. Just a story about a guy from out of town who’s never seen New York before. When I moved to the city, I was 17, and it took me an hour to get from 64th Street to 72nd. I felt like one of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Your character Virgil is more comfortable living a quiet life in the country than he is at living in New York City. Are you similiar off-screen?

Yeah. I’ve been living in Santa Fe, N.M., since 1983. I’ve been going back and forth between there and New York.

Are you still a celebrity in Santa Fe, or are you able to be a more anonymous type of guy?

They don’t care about actors there. It’s an artistic, multicultural community. There’re a lot of eccentric characters out there and people who make enormous contributions to their community. If you’ve been to Santa Fe, you’re kind of stuck with the tourist aspects of it, but there’s a feeling underneath and a soul to it. It comes from the quality of the lives of the community. I’m grateful to expose that to my children, because I think it’s vanishing out of our culture everywhere. Even New York. Since I was there in the 1970s things have changed.

In the new Guiliani-family-friendly city?

The Hungarian section of the East Village has vanished. Even in Greenpoint, where most of the signs are written in Polish, it’s now gentrified.

What are you working on next?

I have a film that will be at Sundance called Joe the King. Frank Whaley wrote it and directed it. He’s a great actor and comedian. He asked me to play his dysfunctional alcoholic janitor father. This is Frank’s real-life story of his childhood. The kids in the film are fantastic. It’s reminiscent of The 400 Blows. It’s terrific.

You went to Chatsworth High School with Mare Winningham and Kevin Spacey. Do you still keep in touch with them?

No, I have no idea what Mare’s up to except I just saw the other day that she has a new record out. And Kevin stole money from my dad, so I don’t talk to Kevin.

In high school?

No. College. We went to Juilliard, and he knew my dad well from high school, and he hustled him. He told him that the school was going to kick him out because he used up his student loans so my dad wrote him a check. Even though Kevin knew he was gonna quit. So he hustled my dad for the money.

Was it like, a thousand bucks?

No, it was tuition. It was like, $18,000. My dad thought we were best friends so he wrote him a check. I ran into Kevin years later, and he had made some movies and probably won a Tony by then. I said, “Congratulations. You’re doing great, but you ought to pay my dad back. I don’t have much to say to you till you do that.” He sent my dad a thousand dollars and some sad-song letter that was all lies. And my dad died, [about] 1992 or ’93, right before I started Tombstone. So I’m gonna have to [have Spacey] pay for the college education of my children.

[Kevin Spacey’s publicist responds: “Ten years ago Mr. Spacey repaid in full an $800 loan, with interest, made by Eugene Kilmer in 1979 to help towards his first year’s college expenses. He has always been grateful for the opportunity this afforded him and feels strongly that without the generous support of Mr. Kilmer, and many like him, he would never have achieved the success he has today. He is particularly grateful to Val for having suggested he apply to Juilliard in the first place.”]

What was it like working on The Prince of Egypt?

Oh, it just gave me quivers. It was just an amazing group of artists. I don’t know if Jeffrey [Katzenberg] really got credit for [having] the courage to make such an unusual breakthrough animated film. I can’t say enough about it. It’s a classic.

Any trepidation about playing the character of Moses?

No, because the three directors on that film and Jeffrey really created a warm feeling of collaboration. They were so thorough about everything. I didn’t really have concerns because they had talked to so many religious scholars. [That’s] the kind of thing that an actor usually has to do himself. [Pauses.] That’s the most bacon I’ve ever had in my whole life.

Did you see ever see Batman and Robin?

Half of it. The same half everybody else saw, but I had to turn it off. Especially when I saw a picture of that silver bat suit. Wow. It was hard enough wearing the black one.

Do you see yourself doing more independent, small-scale films in the future?

I would love to do a movie just like this every year. I’ve really been fortunate in that nothing I’ve done has ever prevented me from doing anything else. That happens all the time, unfortunately. It depends on who you are and the kind of rhythm in which you work. Bruce Willis comes to mind. If [he’d taken] two and a half years off after he did Hudson Hawk, he probably would’ve been in trouble. But he just loves to work, and that’s his rhythm. I’d like to work more on projects that don’t take so long to do. Even Heat. I didn’t play the lead in that [movie], but it took forever. I started it the day after Batman Forever, and it just took [nearly] as long—about four and a half months. It took about 14 days total to do the shootout scene. Every Sunday, forever. Go down to L.A. and blow it up. It must’ve been really weird for the people working in the area. Thousands of rounds of bullets. He [director Michael Mann] had 11 cameras on that [scene].

Now that your divorce is over, are you more comfortable talking about it?

The last couple of years have been pretty difficult because of my divorce and custody issues. That’s something I never talked about in the press because I didn’t think it was the right thing to do. Now that the trial’s over, I don’t feel so bad about telling the truth of it. I never lied. I just didn’t think it was appropriate to talk about. That was really a damaging time; to say that I can’t co-parent my children is pretty vicious stuff. But, unfortunately, that’s what happens with divorce.

Your ex-wife, Joanne Whalley, is British. So does that mean half of the year the kids are raised in England?

They live here. That was one of the dramas going on. But there were certain periods of time when it would have been legal for her to just take the children, which was really terrifying.

So they have to stay in this country even though you have joint custody?

Yeah. She could move. But the kids have dual passports. All children in the United States who have a foreign parent do until they turn 18. [Pauses.] I can’t remember the question. Did we answer it?

Are you a real hands-on dad off-screen?

Yeah, I am. My kids really deepen my sense of gratitude for having what I have. They also really energize me. Just over Christmas my 7-year-old daughter took up skiing. My 3-year-old son is fearless, so I thought he would really jump on it too, but he didn’t. He’ll usually do anything she does, but he was very happy just staying in. But [when] I was a kid, I really appreciated that my parents didn’t push things on us. And the mountains aren’t going anywhere.

Q&A with The Real Housewives of Miami’s Joanna Krupa

Joanna Krupa

Q: What are your favorite skincare tips and products for clear, glowing skin? I like Kiehls Panthenol Protein Moisturizer Face Cream but recently I’ve also started using a European cream called SVR Lysalpha Active Cream. Since I don’t tan my face, I love the La Prairie Cellular Self Tan for Face and Body SPF 15. On my body, I use Palmers Cocoa Butter and also Nivea Essentially Enriched Daily Lotion for when my skin feels extra dry.

Q: In the lead up to a big magazine photo shoot, what does a typical day’s diet consist of? I never really had to diet but I just don’t overeat, meaning when I feel like I’m getting full I just stop eating otherwise it’ll lead to me wanting even more. I also try to eat less carbs and sugar before an important photoshoot.

Q: What is your typical workout routine? I typically like to do a whole body workout. I do pilates training once a week with a private trainer in L.A. But mainly I love doing classes –kickboxing, kettlebells; & this cardio ‘pound’ class with drumsticks at the Equinox gym in West Hollywood, which is so much fun and you really feel the burn. I change up my routine so my body doesn’t get used to the same workout. It all depends on my schedule but I try to workout at least twice a week but on weeks where I have more time and energy, I’ll up that to 3-4 times.

Q: Probably the most envied body part of a swimsuit model are those long, slim legs! Do you have any tips for toning the thigh area? Inner thighs is the hardest part to workout and honestly I still haven’t figured out a secret routine for them!

Q: What are your model tips for making your stomach look as flat as possible? Honestly, I wish I found the secret because I never had a perfectly flat belly! [laughs]

Q: Do you use any supplements to maximise your results? Sometimes I’ll use Slimfuel because it doesn’t make me feel jittery.

Q: Do you still taking dance classes after your time on Dancing With the Stars? Did training for the show transform your body? To be honest, I haven’t. I would need a teacher like Derek [Hough] in order to continue and it would take hours a day to learn new dances. The show definitely made my body leaner but didn’t lose any weight on the scale.

Q: What tips do you have for looking your best in a revealing photo shoot? Stay away from carbs a few days before and drink lots of water to flush out any water retention and get rid of that bloated look. I’ll also have a girl come by my house and spray tan me because a bronzed body looks a lot sexier and it makes a huge difference on a shoot.

Q: It takes tremendous discipline – and good genetics! – to be a top model: what advice would you give women who feel that they could never have the physique of a pro model, but want to make the best out of what they have? No one is perfect and we all have to accept what God gave us. My advice is to eat healthily with lots of fruits and veggies, low carbs and workout regularly to look and feel your best.

Val Kilmer Articles – Film Review Magazine” – March, 1994

 

 

Going West

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David Aldridge meets Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer – riding into town to promote TOMBSTONE …

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Film Review Magazine, March 1994


 

Going WestKURT RUSSELL and Val Kilmer have just watched their careers go West. And they’re over the moon about it. Kurt and Val play frontier Marshall Wyatt Earp and gunslinger-sidekick Doc Holliday in “Tombstone”.

Val, 34, rising star of “Top Gun”, “Willow” and “The Doors”, is Wild about the Old West, anyway. Part Cherokee, and a lover of the wide open spaces, he perceives it as a time of purity – a period he feels spiritually in tune with. “Imagine it,” he says, in town to tout Tombstone: “being able to ride a thousand miles, and all you experience are those thousand miles. There’s nothing man-created to move through. It’s just the land; I find that extremely moving. I live in the US’s fifth largest state (New Mexico), yet there are less people there than in Central London. There’s still quite a bit of space. And it just does something for you. It creates a spirit that I find quite noble.

I’ve lived in three major US cities and I don’t like it at all. It’s just the desert I love. I live there, and my mother lives there – just a couple of hours away from Tombstone, in fact I spend most of my free time in deserts, either in the US or someplace.”

JUSTICE:

Kurt, 42, veteran star of “Tango and Cash”, “Backdraft” and “Unlawful Entry” claims to feel in touch with bygone times, too. A self-confessed man’s man who hunts for sport, he says of the days when men were men, and women were glad of it: “They were a fair time, with a simpler notion of justice. They were unencumbered by years of lawyers inventing language that only they pretend to understand. We’ve now got laws about everything. Too many laws!”

Kurt plays his Wyatt the way he was – as a self-doubting dark revenger, out to avenge the murder of one brother and the crippling of another. “I like Wyatt Earp a lot,” he says. “I see eye to eye with a lot of him. I enjoy playing him. His attitude was: ‘You killed my brother – I’ll kill you!’ That’s what he believed. And that’s what I believe.”

But when I pull Kurt up on this, and ask him whether he’s really saying that he’d take the law into his own hands if someone threatened him or his family, he tumbles to the implications of what he’s just said, and switches to more defensive mode. “I wouldn’t say that to you personally”, he says, “because I’d be held responsible.”

Val Kilmer grew up steeped in Old West ways. His grandfather was a gold miner on the New Mexico border with Tombstone’s Arizona. And he recalls the tales told to him. “I grew up more interested in the real stories of the West than in the films about it. The films never seemed logical to me, I could never understand why the Apaches wore Cherokee headbands. Inaccuracies like that really bugged me.” But he grew to love the movies later.

Kurt Russell unquestionably wouldn’t want to be in a terrible Western. For he says the appeal of making TOMBSTONE wasn’t “throwing on a six-shooter, and galloping up and down Main Street”. It was the movie’s unparalleled historical accuracy.

“I’ve been an actor for 33 years; I’ve done the fun, I’ve done the playing at cowboys. Tombstone’s appeal was in trying to do something that had never been done before. Because there’s never, to my knowledge, been a Western so authentic.”

He instances the town of Tombstone itself. “Never before has it been depicted the way it really was,” he says, “It was Las Vegas, it was Beirut. It was a colorful, evolving, constantly changing place, with millions of dollars streaming in and out of it. The townsfolk could have the best of what there was to be found anywhere in the world because Tombstone was a boomtown, and they could afford it. They dressed in the latest fashions. They could have oysters in the middle of the desert if they were prepared to pay to have them shipped in. They could have fresh strawberries brought in by fast horse from Denver. Anything you wanted was available in Tombstone.”

And the movie’s authentic beauty also extends to the lead characters themselves in extensive research to make an accurate portrayal. Of the consumptive Doc Holliday, a killer Southerner, with charisma, a borderline psycho who didn’t give a damn because Death already had his number anyway, Val says: “He was actually a dentist. So he had a mean streak even before he started killing people. But he was also an aristocrat, the son of a Georgia mayor – apparently a very witty man, extremely well mannered, and rather shy unless you insulted him. He knew Latin. And he played classical piano. He’s never been portrayed as three-dimensionally before. Kevin Jarre [the writer] did a great job. The character was already there, ready for me to more or less step into.”

PIANO MAN:

But not without learning to tinkle the old ivories first. “I’m musical,” says the man who did his own singing in the concert scenes of The Doors, “but I’m no pianist. Learning a nocturne for TOMBSTONE was a real Bitch! It took four months. I can now play one minute of Chopin – and Chopsticks. That’s my entire piano repertoire.”

Kurt Russell went to even greater lengths to research his Wyatt. He not only read all he could, he also sought out people with remembrances of the real McCoy, including Glen Wyatt Earp III, a descendant of one of Wyatt’s cousins. “Glenn actually appears in Tombstone, ironically playing a member of the gang that his ancestor came up against in the famous gunfight at the OK Corral.”

Kurt acknowledges what he describes as the current Hollywood ‘feeding frenzy’ for Westerns, with Geronimo already out Stateside, and Kevin Costner’s alternative take on Wyatt Earp, with Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday, currently in production. But he’s pessimistic about long-term genre prospects. “it’s like any other genre,” says the actor, “good initial movies translate into good box-office taking. Then crap gets made to capitalize on that initial success. People make Westerns, not good Westerns, and then the genre disappears again. No genre stays alive without good movies being made to support it.”

Says Val Kilmer of the Costner ‘rival’: “Our’s came out first and is doing well (more than six million dollars during the opening US weekend), so I’m sure they’re worried. I’m curious about the Costner because they’ve been filming it only about 50 miles from where I live, in New Mexico. But our script is so good – why are the bothering? But then films always come in clusters. A couple of years back it was two Valmont’s [Dangerous Liasisons and Valmont], then it was three Robin Hoods.”

But why the current Western comeback kicked off by Dances with Wolves, given added momentum by Unforgiven, and now positively ploughing along?

“Because we’re currently a nation with an identity crisis,” avers Val, “and because, during an identity crisis, we always seem to go back to the genre that features our culture’s only true heroes. And I think we’re exhausted of the other extreme – where actors who can’t even properly speak English make offensively expensive movies with dubious messages.” Can’t imagine who he means, can you?

“We just set out to make something that was both entertaining and informative”, says Kurt Russell simply.

Craving Longer, Fuller, Sexier Hair? Everything You Need To Know About Hair Extensions

Craving Longer, Fuller, Sexier Hair

From Kim Kardashian’s glamorous raven locks to the sexy tousled waves on the Victoria’s Secret runway, these girls sure know how to inspire serious hair envy. The secret behind this supermodel hair? Hair guru Orlando Pita rolled up to this year’s VS fashion show with an entire suitcase packed with extensions and wigs. Proof that with the right extensions, those longer, fuller, oh-so sexy locks are yours! We asked hair stylist and extensions expert Sherri Belanger from the Román Salon in West Hollywood to create an essential guide:

Want Something For The Weekend? Consider Clip-Ins

If you are considering adding length to your hair, but aren’t ready for the commitment of hair extensions, clip- in’s may be the perfect solution. Pieces can be purchased at most wig stores, and some beauty supply stores and are perfect for someone who only wants to add volume and length occasionally, like on the weekends, or for an event.

Clip-In With Caution!

You can’t sleep or swim with them, so save yourself the embarrassment and don’t wear them when trying to do either. I’ve seen clip-in pieces on the floor at a club, in the bathroom at a restaurant, in the pool in Las Vegas.. yup. And be sure that your pieces match your hair, ladies. I see it all the time – girls with light brown hair and golden highlights – and bleach blonde extensions! If you have different tones of color in your hair, then your clip-ins must have different tones too otherwise it screams fake. They make so many options these days and offer many sets with low lights and highlights throughout which makes them look much more natural.

Are You Ready For A More Long-Term Relationship

Are You Ready For A More Long-Term Relationship?

If you find yourself becoming addicted to your clip-ins and wearing them almost every day, it’s probably time to start shopping around for a more permanent method. I encourage you to do some homework and shop around to find a method and a stylist that seems best for you. There are many different types of extensions with varying price ranges and qualities.

So How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost?

I get emails daily with this same question over and over. Though I understand this is important, it’s not as simple as that. Price varies depending on many things and you need to learn all about them to better understand where your money is going. If the hair is really cheap, then it probably won’t last very long, and you will have to replace it frequently. The better the quality, the longer it will last. If a stylist is charging you $2500 for extensions, and says you have to replace the hair every few months, then she is ripping you off. Hair that is that price should last you up to a year.

Extensions Are An Investment – and Need To Be Maintained

Once you have hair extensions installed in your hair, you will need a “blending” haircut to finish (and make sure to ask if it’s included in your service charge) You will need them to have your extensions “maintenanced” every few months. This means as your own hair grows, so do the extensions, and after about 2 months it’s time to move the extensions back up to your scalp. This is an additional service so it’s important to consider this when investing in hair extensions.

Important Questions To Ask Your Stylist

Firstly, you need to be sure that your hair can even handle hair extensions. Bad candidates include someone losing their hair, someone whose hair is too short for installation, or someone with severely damaged hair. If your hair is damaged, it’s so important to cut back on the things creating the damage like flatironing. Be sure to check the temperature dial on your hot tool – someone with fine hair shouldn’t have their iron turned up to the max. These tools get hot and can literally burn your hair off, so keep that in mind. Once you burn your hair you can’t “unburn” it. Try to always use a heat protectant product before styling to coat your hair and act as a protective shield. My favorite is Ciment Thermique by Kerastase, but all product lines have their own version of heat protectant products, so shop around if you’d like. The good news is the hair growing back from your roots is virgin hair and has a chance at a new beginning of healthy hair, but if you keep over processing it you’re never going to recover from the damage, and over time it will get worse.

If your hair is damaged from lots of bleaching or changing your hair color often, you may want to chat with your hair stylist about other ways to achieve the color you like without having to create extra damage. If they still are damaging your hair excessively it might be time to find someone new. Natural looking color is so in style right now, and this is huge for us! It means less visits to the salon, which saves damage, time, and money. By taking a more natural approach to your color you are saving yourself all around.

Can Extensions Be Dyed To Match Your Hair

Can Extensions Be Dyed To Match Your Hair?

Coloring hair extensions can be tricky since it’s hair that has been through some processes that we don’t know about. I would never attempt coloring your own extensions at home… ever. Consult your stylist and see if they are able to help you out. It is true that when you have roots throughout your hair, especially when it comes to hair extensions, it blends them and makes them look so natural. Bumble and Bumble makes hair powder in a few different colors which would work great and be a temporary option too.

The Bottom Line

My belief is if you trust your hairstylist, have seen their portfolio of hair extension work, and feel confident in them, then go for it! Everyone has their own personal preference, and whatever works best for you works best for you. I encourage clients to ALWAYS schedule a consultation before getting hair extensions. While extensions are not permanent, they aren’t cheap, and you need to feel good about your new hair awaiting you!

*The hair Sherri uses has been sought after by many stylists but she won’t divulge her secret to anyone. “I’ve spent many years searching for the best quality hair, and now that I have found it, I’m not letting it go! Stylists contact me all the time curious about where I purchase my hair from, but unfortunately I have to keep it to myself!”

G Girls | Anna De Nicola

Swiss-born model and actress Anna De Nicola was destined to be in the spotlight. It was practically written in her DNA. The daughter of a jet-setting top model, Anna made her grand debut as the spokesmodel for glam European swimwear label, TA-BOU. She has since starred in commercials, danced in a David Guetta video, graced the runway for luxe French corsetière, Titelle Couture, and has made a successful transition into the realm of acting. Now based in L.A, Anna can be seen in the feature films, “A Fate Tale”, “Noobz” and “Rouse” with many more in the works.

Anna De Nicola

Is being a professional model as glamorous as it sounds? What are the best ‘perks’ and not-so-fun parts about the business?

It can truly be one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. Not only do you get to fly to the best holiday destinations across the world, but you also get to know different cultures. Modeling itself never looks as easy as the resulting pictures itself; sometimes you’re shooting in such a hot climate that your feet are blistering, your make-up melts, you’re sweating all over from the heat, but our job is to make it look effortless.

You have been the face of the international swimwear company, TA-BOU – what was it like seeing yourself on posters and billboards?

I remember seeing myself the first time. I was walking on the street and as soon as I saw it I froze, it made me laugh so much because I worked so hard to get there and then finally I could enjoy it. It is always a great honor to be the face of a brand. As to seeing myself plastered around the city, it can make you feel a little awkward the first couple of times, you barely believe it’s you, but you have to get used to it.

Your Mom was a top model. What advice did she give you about the business?

My mom taught me to be professional, show respect, know what I want, sleep well, be on time and enjoy every minute of every job, but most importantly to always be myself.

How did you prepare to make the transition from modelling to acting?

After years of modelling, I knew it was time for a change and since I was 4 years old, I knew I wanted to become a storyteller. When I model, I imagine a story behind every picture we capture. Now I was ready for these stories to be heard, so I packed up all my things and moved to Los Angeles. I’ve frequented a couple of different schools to be able to get the most out of it, and started auditioning the 3rd week I was in town. There’s just so many things a teacher can teach you, until you have to get up and live the lessons yourself. Most of the things I’ve learned have come from the mistakes I made on set.

You speak several languages, including Italian, Spanish, French and German. Is there a particular language you enjoy performing in more?

I enjoy speaking different languages; I believe every single one has it’s perks. The first language I was ever taught was Italian, so of course it’s the closest to home but whenever I get the opportunity to perform in another language, I enjoy it just as much.

You worked on the silent film, Rouse. How did you find the challenge of a non-speaking role?

Surprisingly enough, I thought it was easier than many scripted roles I’ve had. More often than none, you’ll get a character whose way of speaking is far from your own, which makes it very difficult to connect to, especially in period pieces, where the language still wasn’t as defined as it is today. Of course shooting a silent film also brought difficulties with it, all you have is your range of emotions and you have to express a message with every look, every movement so clearly that the audience understands what you’re trying to say.

On your first audition, you booked the role of “Laura” in the romantic-dramatic feature film, “A Fate Tale,” which screened to sold-out audiences. What was it like being received to such acclaim starting out?

It was great! I had no idea what to expect, so from the first call sheet to the premiere invitation it has been such an incredible adventure! When I turned up for the screening, several months after the film was shot, I was overwhelmed in seeing this big theater completely packed. It sure makes your heart beat fast.

What’s up next for Anna De Nicola?

Enjoy everyday I’m given, keep bringing happiness to my family and loved ones, and strive everyday to achieve greater things.

Gore Vidal’s Billy The Kid Review

Billy The KidGore Vidal’s Billy the Kid (Turner Home Entertainment) is what some might refer to as a romanticized version of Billy’s tale. I, for one, believe that Vidal did some fantasizing, too. After all, Billy the Kid/William Bonney is known for being a really miserable punk, who shot people in the back, rustled cattle and stole horses. Historically speaking, even criminals like Jesse James, had no good word for this Billy the Kid character. Nineteen or not, he was unspeakably bad!

However, if you enjoy Westerns, you’ll more than likely like this one. The cinematography was outstanding and the story-line is okay, if you can swallow Billy the Kid (Val Kilmer) as a caring and nice guy. Gore Vidal would like us to believe that poor Billy was “so” misunderstood in history prior to this film. There have been many questions to Kilmer’s voice in movies being electronically enhanced — I’m tempted to ask if his voice as Bonney wasn’t electronically ‘de’-hanced. Where is Val’s voice in this role? This, no doubt, is another of his Chameleon type characteristics. This man, Val Kilmer, is without a doubt capable of portraying such diverse characters and this role made me think he was doing a poor Kilmer imitation. He spoke through those wonderful teeth of his and walked as though he has a corn that was very bothersome. Story or none, Val still carries this movie — as he does most any he’s in. Any Kilmer fan should seek this out, if only to giggle. The only other memorable character has to be Rene Auberjonois’ role as Billy’s Judas! He is pitiful, as he should be, and quite the perfect betrayer.

Q&A with model Ashley Mattingly

Ashley Mattingly

The Texan beauty and Playboy cover girl tells us what makes her feel glamorous, her beauty essentials, and how she gets photoshoot ready.

Q: What makes you feel glamorous? I feel the most glamourous when I’m on a shoot and I’m with a stylist getting my hair and makeup done. It makes me feel beautiful even if I’m not feeling great that day because it makes me think, “Wow, I’m so blessed to get to live every girls dream.”

Q: What is your favorite part of your body? MY BOOBS! I did get them enhanced, I was an A-cup and now I’m a small C. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of getting it done before but they look very natural and people ask me everyday if they’re real or not. Everyone is usually in shock and I’m glad that I did it because now I feel more confident.

Q: What do you think makes a woman sexy? You have to be impecably classy and non-judgemental, just give people chances.

Q: What is your favorite self-tanner? I go to Portofino in Beverly Hills. I get the body scrub first, then I get the personalized spray tan where they airbrush you from head to toe.

Q: Do you go to a facialist or dermatologist for extra treatments? I’ve learned that without getting facials, your skin begins to get rough and hard. Once I started getting facials, which I recommend at least once a month, my skin became less irritated and I noticed I was having less outbreaks.

Q: What is your daily skincare routine like? I use a Cle’ de peau cleanser, it’s a must with oily or dry skin. You have to use a moisturizer even if you have both skin types. I swear by it! I follow it up by using Epicuren facial cream. I love it; it does not make your face feel oily but still makes your skin feel fresh and clean.

Q: Have you had any cosmetic surgery? I’ve had botox for some things on my face that I was concerned about and it did get rid of some lines but don’t be pressured to rush out and do it. Remember girls – beauty comes from the inside and that is the ultimate truth!

Q: Have you picked up any great makeup or hair tips from stylists on shoots? Absolutely! I get most if not all of my tips from my stylists. Shout outs to Marilyn Cole. She works for Alterna and gave me CAVIAR blonde shampoo and conditioner. It actually has real caviar in it and my hair has never felt so soft and smooth before. I always listen to the pros.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career so far? What would be your dream modeling job? It’s hard because I’m torn between being Playboy’s Miss March 2011 and also being the spokesmodel for Femme Noir Swimgerie. It’s such an honor to have graced the pages of Playboy and to have a swimwear line that wants you to be their spokesmodel as well. It’s been an amazing ride for a small town girl so I would say I’m already living my dream.

Q: Do you diet year round to always be photoshoot-ready? I’m not one of those diet freaks where you eat celery all day long, but I don’t go overboard and eat a tub of ice cream when I know I have photoshoot. So it’s a balance, just like life, don’t go overboard without being cautious.

Q: How do you prepare for a big shoot? It’s more about knowing who and what I’m shooting for so that I can get in a state to be confident! [laughs] Before any shoot I HAVE to have my body scrub before my spray tan, eyelashes and I’ll do my own makeup if I have to. Otherwise I always use my girl Sarah Creninm.

Q: What are your tips for getting a flattering photo? I don’t have a signature pose because I have always believed that when I step in front of a camera I have to be myself, otherwise the picture that’s captured won’t be who I truly am…and that at the end of the day is all it’s about!

Get The Look: Kim Kardashian’s Glamorous Purple Smokey Eyes

Kim Kardashian’s Glamorous Purple Smokey Eyes

Kim’s makeup maestro Mario Dedivanovic created this sexy, purple-hued smokey eye and glowing skin for the curvaceous star. Celebrity makeup artist Victoria Penrose shows you how you too can get the look.

“Kim favours ompletely matte and flawless skin. Prep with a mattifying primer such as Veil Mineral Primer by Hourglass. This creates a silky smooth texture and leaves skin matte once absorbed,” says Penrose. “To take away any extra shine use Matte by MAC which will obliterate any shine from excess oil. For foundation, you will need a full coverage product to create a completely even base. Try Illamasqua Skin Base foundation.”

“After the foundation the skin will appear flat so you need to then add highlight and shadow to contour the face. A bronzer such a Casino by NARS applied on the hairline, temples and in the cheek hollow and blended well will look fantastic. Kim is wearing a coral blush which is particularly great for olive skin. Peachykeen Powder Blush by MAC has a light gold shimmer when applied to the apples of the cheeks. Now you have created contour, make areas of the face pop by using a highlighter on the cupids bow, brow arches, cheekbone and temples. Bronze Shimmer Brick by Bobbi Brown is a classic.”

“For Kim’s smokey eye, the purple will need a base to fix onto. Urban Decay make Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion, which will need to go under the purple as a base. Kim actually has quite a light and shimmery violet on her eyes: try Mac frost shadow called Creme De Violet on the lids and then define the socket and wing out the edges with Shock A Holic, also by MAC.

Create the  smokey evening look using a liquid liner, such as Long Wear Gel eyeliner by Bobbi Brown. Use an eyeliner brush on the top lash line and wing it out to create a feline eye. The waterline on the top and bottom rim is lined with a black eye pencil: try Kohl Shape for Eyes by Clinique. Kim takes it right into the inner corner to accentuate the almond shape of her eyes. A little of the lightest shade of The Bobbi Brown shimmer brick can be used as an eyeshadow on the brow bone and a touch in the inner eye. Curl the lashes and use a thick mascara like Plush Lash by MAC. Kim will always use false lashes: I recommend Eyelure but whichever you pick always trim each one with nail scissors as they are usually too long for each eye and can look really unnatural.”

“For Kim’s smokey eye, the purple will need a base to fix onto. Urban Decay make Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion, which will need to go under the purple as a base. Kim actually has quite a light and shimmery violet on her eyes: try Mac frost shadow called Creme De Violet on the lids and then define the socket and wing out the edges with Shock A Holic, also by MAC. Create the  smokey evening look using a liquid liner, such as Long Wear Gel eyeliner by Bobbi Brown. Use an eyeliner brush on the top lash line and wing it out to create a feline eye. The waterline on the top and bottom rim is lined with a black eye pencil: try Kohl Shape for Eyes by Clinique. Kim takes it right into the inner corner to accentuate the almond shape of her eyes. A little of the lightest shade of The Bobbi Brown shimmer brick can be used as an eyeshadow on the brow bone and a touch in the inner eye. Curl the lashes and use a thick mascara like Plush Lash by MAC. Kim will always use false lashes: I recommend Eyelure but whichever you pick always trim each one with nail scissors as they are usually too long for each eye and can look really unnatural.”

“Brows should be brushed and defined to thicken the shape with Superfine Liner For Brows by Clinique in soft gentle strokes. Fix with a clear mascara by MAC.”

“Lips are lined with a nude pencil like Sugared Fig by Clinique. Fill in the colour with MAC lipstick in Myth. A coral gloss to emulate the cheeks can be done with Giza by NARS.”

“Fix the whole face for the day – or night – with a mist of Fix+ by MAC.”

Ashley Tisdale’s trainer spills her bikini body diet & workout routine

Ashley Tisdale

YOU WORK WITH CELEBRITY CLIENTS WHO OFTEN NEED TO GET IN SHAPE, FAST, FOR AN EVENT OR ROLE. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND DOING TO QUICKLY DROP SOME WEIGHT? If you need to drop weight fast, the first thing you need to do is look at what you are eating. People tend to consume extra calories throughout the day and not even know it. That latte from your favorite coffee house has 180 calories and that little ranch dressing you just added to your salad is another 150. Cutting out liquid calories will accelerate your weight loss. Another emphasis should be placed on eating a green and leafy vegetable during every meal, even breakfast. Some examples include: broccoli, collard greens, kale, and spinach. These veggies are low in calories, low in fat, and high in dietary fiber which make them ideal for weight loss. They are also loaded with vitamins and minerals to maximize the efficiency of your metabolism.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES YOU SEE GIRLS MAKING DURING THEIR WORKOUTS? The most common mistake I see girls make is that they don’t lift weights! It’s the same women on the cardio equipment, day in and day out, whose body does not change. Don’t be afraid to get out there and use a little extra resistance. Women have this notion that weights will make them bulky, but that is totally a myth. You can use weights to tone and tighten, streamlining and sculpting your body the way you want. By adding 2 lbs of muscle, your body can burn up to 100 extra calories a day! That’s 700 calories a week! That’s over 36,000 calories a year!  Keep the weight low and do more repetitions to tone up.

HOW DO I SLIM DOWN WITHOUT GETTING TOO MUCH MUSCLE DEFINITION? Find a good balance between cardio training and weight training. If you go to the gym 4 days per week, spend 2 days weight training and 2 days doing only cardio. The weight training will make your muscles strong while the cardio will prevent any unwanted weight gain.

TAKE US THROUGH A TYPICAL WORKOUT YOU DO WITH ONE OF YOUR FEMALE CELEBRITY CLIENTS? I want to burn as many calories as possible during our sessions and work on those troubling areas for girls (thighs, butt, arms, & abs).  The key is to get as much of the body moving as possible during every exercise. Take an exercise like a squat. You incorporate all of the large muscles in the lower body (quads, hamstrings, and glutes), but adding an overhead shoulder press after you complete each squat will bring the upper body into play. Now you have hit all of those problem areas and burned more calories to sculpt your body quicker. Isolation exercises, or exercises for one muscle group should be done toward the end of your workout.

WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR GETTING A FLATTER, TIGHTER STOMACH? You cannot reduce fat around just one part of your body. Get every muscle moving. The more calories you burn the slimmer in the waist you will get. To strengthen up the entire core, exercises like planks and side planks will effectively work those abs, but also the lower back and those saddle bag areas.

WHAT IS THE BEST FAT-BURNING CARDIO A GIRL CAN DO? Definitely interval training cardio! This will burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Interval training involves alternating between higher and lower intensities of exercise to raise your heart rate and provide enough rest to push a little further.

WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND DOING FOR LEANER, SLIMMER LEGS? Multi directional lunges are the key: Lunge forward, out on diagonals, sideways, and backward to effectively work the entire upper thigh.  You do not need to hold any weights while doing these exercises.  Gravity will provide all of the resistance you need.