HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HILARY SWANK!

Two-time Academy Award winning actress Hilary Swank turns 46 today and I for one wish her a most happiest of birthdays! She’s an extremely talented actress, and I was lucky enough to write about her back in 2007. Matter of fact, although it was written for the Young Adult market, it remains to this day the only biography in existence on Hilary Swank and for that, I take extreme pride. 

From 2007, the cover of my Young Adult bio on actress Hilary Swank.

When I was contracted to write about her, it was done as a successful pitch as most of the titles I was given were assigned. In between I’d submit a laundry list of possible subjects and much to my surprise, Hilary Swank was green-lighted. All this was being done while I was still attempting to get Lee Marvin Point Blank to see the light of day, which would be another several years. Good thing it did as researching and writing about the likes of Hilary Swank, among others, helped me immensely when it came to working on Lee Marvin. As stated previously in this blog, Swank’s career had allowed me to discuss such sensitive subjects as transgender issues, and more for the young adult market as well as the effect it had on writing career
All that said, I celebrate the life and work of Hilary Swank on the day of her birth. Her career may not have remained the same since I wrote about her way back when, but she remains extremely active by still not taking the traditional path of such contemporaries as Charlize Theron or Angelina Jolie. Those Oscar-winning actresses have yet to return to the kind of roles that earned them their Oscars, while Swank continues to avoid being typecast as either ass-kicking comic book superheroes or voluptuous arm candy. By staying true to her dream, she may yet return to the Oscar stage for an amazing third win. Why am I so optimistic about her chances? Well, as I wrote in the intro to my book, she has and remains true to her dreams. There’s a lesson there somewhere….
– Dwayne Epstein

Table of Contents to my Hilary Swank bio.

Introduction HILARY SWANK.

Conclusion of intro.

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INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS: ADAM SANDLER’S BACK!

Independent Spirit Awards announced this year’s nominations and apparently one of the top contenders for Best Actor is none other than…..Adam Sandler! You can read the list of nominees here, as well as some background info on the award itself and the prerequisite for nominations.

Apparently, Sandler’s performance in the film Uncut Gems is impressing and surprising all who witness it. Truth be told, I haven’t seen it (yet) and didn’t even know of it’s existence until I read the article. I read about the film some more online and found the premise quite intriguing and look forward to seeing it. Sandler plays a desperate jeweler who has to figure out how to pay off his massive gambling debt before it’s too late. Check out the trailer as it’s pretty impressive:

Why does an indie film starring Adam Sandler rate mention in this blog dedicate mostly to the life, work and legacy of Lee Marvin? via my book, Lee Marvin Point Blank? I’ll give you a hint….

The cover of my first young adult biography for the People in The News Series.

Sandler’s nomination in the Independent Spirit Awards derby allows me an opportunity to do something I rarely get to do and we all wish that we could. That would be being able to be proven right about something several years down the road as I wrote the book in 2004.
Okay, maybe that’s a little strong but when the rest of pop culture and modern film community called Sandler an annoying untalented hack who’s career would be short-lived, I was able to champion his cause, especially after viewing his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love.

Sidebars were required for the series so here’s one I thought fit the subject.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Sandler cheerleader. In fact his extremely popular comedies of the 1990s had me asking the managing editor for hazard pay after viewing all those films. Her response to my request, by the way, was to tell me I should feel lucky, as they we’re going to ask me to write about Jackass! 
Anyway, here’s the section I wrote about Punch Drunk Love. Read, enjoy, dislike, whatever. It just maybe challenge you to rethink your dislike of Sandler one more time….
– Dwayne Epstein

Opening section in the chapter dealing with Punch Drunk Love.

Punch Drunk Love continued.

 

Punch Drunk Love section with photo (!)

….And in conclusion.

 

 

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PELOSI VERSUS TRUMP

“PELOSI VERSUS TRUMP” is not a headline seen lately (at least I haven’t seen it) but with the way things are going in the news these days, it’s bound to happen sooner rather than later. I would add that if I were a betting man, and a real headline of PELOSI VERSUS TRUMP came up,  I would bet everything on Pelosi. My reasons have nothing to do with political agenda. It has to do with my knowledge of Pelosi’s history, life and work. How do I know? I wrote the book on Pelosi…literally!

Cover of my 2009 young adult biography for Lucent’s People in the News Seres.

Okay, maybe not ‘the’ book on Nancy Pelosi. More like ‘a’ book on Nancy Pelosi. While I was researching Lee Marvin Point Blank (for almost 18 years!), I was fortunate enough to occasionally land a gig writing for Lucent Books’ People In The News series. Some were assigned, others were pitched, by yours truly. Naturally, the few I successfully pitched were the personal favorites and Nancy Pelosi was pitched, as retold on this blog previously.
However, with the recent events in the news these days, I’ve chosen to write about her again. Why? Well, as the subject line suggests, when PELOSI VERSUS TRUMP becomes a thing, as it eventually will, don’t think Trump’s slippery ways, manic base, or Republican allies will help him win the day. Oh no, not by a longshot. Here’s a few reasons why.
For all of his bluster and bullying, Trump is basically a political novice with a business degree.
Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, has a decades long history of successfully taking on both corruption and the ire of the GOP, oftentimes in the same battle. How? Her father was the long time mayor of Baltimore (Tommy D’Alesandro), her mother was his trusted advisor (Anunciata Lombardi D’Alesandro), and the political savvy Nancy learned at their knee stood her in good stead since she entered Congress….way back in 1987!

(L-R) A partially hidden Nancy Pelosi, Presidet John F. Kennedy, mother Anunciata Lombardi D’Alesandro and father Tommy D’Alesandro at the 1961 swearing-in of Tommy as a member of the White House’s Renegotiation Board.

She also had other political mentors, such as fellow Catholic Democrats, John F. Kennedy and Tip O’Neill. She got her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from D.C.’s Trinity College, raised five kids while being political active the entire time and then entered the political arena as a deathbed promise to good friend Sala Burton….

A page from my book in which I describe how Pelosi entered politics as a middle-aged Democratic activist.

Pelosi is shown being sworn-in by then Speaker Jim Wright in the presence of her aged father, daughter and Calif. Senator Alan Cranston. Her father would pass away a few months later.

Once in Congress, she quickly learned the ropes and became a rising star of the Party, climbing through the ranks to eventually become the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. History. She successfully fought President George W. Bush from privatizing both Medicare and Social Security. Earlier, she spearheaded the challenge of cleaning house of Republican corruption that found then GOP House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (among others) guilty of money laundering.
There are of course many other great accomplishments in her resume but the ones mentioned were pointed out for a reason. She rarely if ever took on a fight or lost cause unless she knew she could ultimately win, and win for the right reasons.
Some Democrats complained when she didn’t pursue impeachment charges against Trump until now. They didn’t know what she knew, that the evidence was not yet there and now that it is, she’s ready for Pelosi vs. Trump. Pity is all that’s left for Trump and the Republicans.
Oh, and according to the U.S. Constitution, now that Vice-President Mike Pence has been implicated in the Ukranian phone call scandal which is on track to unseat both him and Trump, next in line for the presidency?
As the Master-at-Arms would say, “Ladies and gentlemen, I present Madame President……”


–  Dwayne Epstein

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