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21
Aug 12

“Ben and Kate” creator Dana Fox didn’t have to look far for inspiration for her show, one of the best new comedies of the fall season.

The titular character Ben Fox is based on Dana’s actual older brother, Ben Fox, a character in every sense of the word.

“He was sort of this Ferris Bueller-type guy,” she said, remembering the time Ben visited her at Stanford University. “He showed up and within one night had convinced me to move out of my single so that he could stay there. He lived there for two months … because he didn’t have a job.”

He clawed out of the ranks of the unemployed by showing up at Stanford’s career center and worming his way into whatever job interviews the college kids blew off.

“That’s the kind of stuff my brother did all the time,” said Dana, whose writing credits include the films “What Happens in Vegas,” “The Wedding Date” and “Couples Retreat.” “I figured I could write 100 episodes about him because I never, ever run out of stories.”

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16
Jul 12

This Fall, Fox is adding a couple of new comedies to its slate. In addition to The Mindy Project, there’s Ben and Kate, which is about a pair of siblings (Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson) who rely on each other as adults as much as they did when they were kids dealing with their parents’ messy divorce. Find out whether the sitcom is one you’ll want to be watching when it premieres.

What it’s about: Ben (Faxon) is the lovable screwup older brother of Kate (Johnson), a single mom to a young daughter, Maddie. He makes a habit of showing up to crash on their couch and then disappearing, but this time, Ben decides he wants to stick around and help Kate raise Maddie.

Where it works: The humor is silly but fun, and Faxon and Johnson are very cute and funny as brother and sister, whether they’re clashing or bonding. And they’re not the only good parts of the cast; little Maggie Elizabeth Jones (you may remember her from We Bought a Zoo), who plays Kate’s daughter, is adorable, while British comedienne Lucy Punch adds a bit of edgy humor as Kate’s sassy friend.

Where it doesn’t: There’s not much of a story to get invested in; the pilot introduces romantic plot lines for both Ben and Kate and then quickly disposes of them, so I’m not sure what an entire season would be about.

When it’s on: Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on Fox

You might like this show if: You like the goofiness of Happy Endings and the warmth of Modern Family.

Source: BuzzSugar


22
Jun 12

Los Angeles hasn’t produced many homegrown stars as of late, but that’s about to change. Remember Justin Timberlake-as-Sean Parker in a morning-after repartee with a witty Stanford undergrad in The Social Network? That was Dakota Johnson’s breakout film, which she explains in a soft voice, “Could be one of the most amazing experiences I ever have in my life.”

Indeed, it was a strong beginning, but the 22-year-old (who moved from Aspen to L.A. when she was 12) didn’t stop there. She has since appeared in 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement, the Sundance hit Goats, and is the current face of Japanese retailer Uniqlo and L.A.-based Oliver Peoples. This past spring, Johnson landed the lead role on FOX’s pilot “Ben and Kate,” a comedy about a single mother who works at a bar. She replaced Abby Elliott of “Saturday Night Live” for the part, which was written for a 26-year-old—a gig not even her parents (Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) could have engineered for her.

On her very public upbringing, Johnson says, “I didn’t choose them [my parents]. It can be really difficult. I’ve managed to find some people who treat me like a normal person and give me a shot.” This summer, she’s looking for a new house in either Laurel Canyon or Silverlake and plans to retreat to Griffith and Antonio Banderas’ Aspen ranch to read, hike and watch movies…“You know, normal summer stuff.”

Source: California Style


17
May 12

Ben is based on the life of writer/executive producer Dana Fox’s brother, Ben. It stars Dakota Johnson as a single mother who gets an assist from her brother (The Descendants scribe Nat Faxon) who moves in with her to help raise her baby. Lucy Punch, Maggie Jones and Echo Kellum co-star in the 20th project in association with Chernin Entertainment. Fox penned the pilot and will exec produce alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope. New Girl’s Jake Kasdan directed the pilot.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


29
Apr 12

The Five-Year Engagement is the latest offering from the ever-expanding Jason Segel-NBC comedy crew. Segel himself co-wrote the script with director Nicholas Stoller and stars alongside Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart, and Chris Parnell—a promising line-up of familiar faces. A lesser known face, however, is that of Dakota Johnson, who plays the energetic, aggressive, and generally absurd Audrey. We’re enjoying tracing Dakota’s steady career-rise; in spite of her famous family*, Dakota is moving up the acting ladder the old fashioned way; myriad small (and often unflattering) roles in increasingly bigger films. So far, Johnson’s played Justin Timberlake’s Stanford bed-buddy in The Social Network, a catty cop in 21 Jump Street, and has dipped her toes into the indie-film pool with 2012 Sundance film For Ellen with Paul Dano and Jena Malone. We called Dakota to talk about martial arts, vigorous on-screen sex, her new TV pilot, and Christopher Walken.

*Dakota’s parents are Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. Her grandmother is Hitchcock favorite Tippi Hedren.

EMMA BROWN: I saw The Five-Year Engagement last night. You seem to be popping up in a lot of films recently, how did you get involved in that one?

DAKOTA JOHNSON: The casting director called me in to read with Jason [Segel], and then a week later I got the part.

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25
Apr 12

The Oliver Peoples boutique eyewear brand debuted the Lisa Eisner-directed short film at the center of its spring/summer 2012 advertising campaign during a celeb-studded cocktail party at the Chateau Marmont penthouse on April 20.

The party — a collaborative effort with Vanity Fair, Eisner and Jacqui Getty — marked the debut of Eisner’s short film “Float,” starring Dakota Johnson and Thomas McDonnell (2011’s “Prom” and the upcoming “Fun Size”) spending a good deal of time plunging into, frolicking around — and yes, floating in — a pool.

It also marked a reboot of the Oliver Peoples website, which went live Monday and where the video can currently be watched in its entirety.

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19
Mar 12

On paper, “21 Jump Street” was not an enticing proposition. A reboot of a 1980s TV series with a ludicrous premise — fresh-faced cops go undercover as high school students. Produced by Neal Moritz, a man whose last attempt at an action-comedy reboot of a famous property was the dreadful “The Green Hornet.” Directed by two first-time live-action feature directors. Written by the man behind “Project X.” And starring Jonah Hill, coming off a terrible R-rated comedy flop, in “The Sitter,” and Channing Tatum, a man whose previous turns weren’t so much performed as whittled out of wood.

And yet, “21 Jump Street” was a success, opening to a hugely impressive $35 million over the weekend. And more importantly, it was also really, really good, arguably the best studio movie of this young year to date, and one of the funniest comedies in years. So what happened? What separated the film, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and written by Michael Bacall, from the dozens of other R-rated comedies in the last few years? The film’s certainly got problems (a drawn-out ending, a weak villain), but for the most part, it works like gangbusters, and we’ve gone in depth, to examine why the film is such an unlikely triumph. Spoilers ahead.

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15
Mar 12

Actress Dakota Johnson stars as another undercover cop alongside Jonah and Channing and we got the scoop on what it was like working with the hilarious pair, and which of the two lovely men she would take to prom!

Tell me about your character.
I play Fugazy, and she also goes undercover into a high school, and she’s pretty competitive with Jonah and Channing’s characters.

What was it like working with them?
It was amazing they are so cool, and so talented. They made it easy to jump into a scene and make it work.

So, there’s a prom scene, if you went who would you take — Jonah or Channing?
I would take both of them. It would be like a party. I want to have a party.

Source: Celebuzz


10
Feb 12

Image Entertainment has acquired North American rights including theatrical, home entertainment, digital and broadcast, to Goats, starring David Duchovny and Vera Farmiga.

Kerri Russell, Ty Burrell, Justin Kirk, Graham Phillips and Dakota Johnson also star in the film about a new age family, which is the directorial debut of Christopher Neil.

Written by Mary Poirie, the film was executive produced by Richard Arlook, Daniel Crown, Peter Fruchtman, Eva Maria Daniels, Juan Carlos Segura G, River Marker, Michael Scott Saunders, Jai Stefan, Peter Touche and Todd Traina.

It is being slated for a spring theatrical release.

“Goats is a humorous and heartfelt comedy featuring a great cast,” said Image Entertainment’s chief acquisitions officer Bill Bromiley. “I am sure that audiences will really enjoy David Duchonvy’s performance as the Goat Man.”

Source: ScreenDaily


10
Aug 11

Dakota Johnson has been keeping busy since playing a Stanford student who sleeps with Justin Timberlake’s character in “The Social Network,” most recently booking the female lead in Lionsgate’s “Gay Dude.”

Chris Nelson is directing with Nicholas Braun, Hunter Cope and Dreama Walker also set to star.

Story follows two guys who pact to lose their virginity before prom, only to have one of them come out of the closet. Alan Yang is penning the script.

Lionsgate had no comment on the casting.

Laurence Mark and David Blackman are producing for Laurence Mark Prods., while Jai Stefan is also producing.

Besides “Gay Dude,” Johnson has recently lensed Sony’s “21 Jump Street,” Universal’s “Five-Year Engagement” and the indie “Goats.”

Source: Variety


03
May 11

Dakota Johnson is about to have a busy year ahead — the “Social Network” thesp just booked three roles.

Johnson, the 22-year-old daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, has signed on to “Goats” starring David Duchonvy and Vera Farmiga; Universal’s “Five Year Engagement”; and Sony’s “21 Jump Street.”

She is currently shooting “Goats,” will jump right into “Five Year Engagement” when she’s through, and will follow that up with “21 Jump Street” this summer.

Christopher Neil will helm “Goats,” which tells the story of a 15-year-old leaving his home in the foothills of Tuscon for his freshman year at an East Coast prep school.

“Five Year Engagement” stars Jason Segel and follows the ups and downs of a recently engaged couple. Nicholas Stoller is directing with Judd Apatow and Rodney Rothman producing.

“21 Jump Street” stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill and is a remake of the 1987 Fox series that starred Johnny Depp. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing.

Johnson was most recently seen in CBS Films “Beastly” and Sony’s “The Social Network” as the Stanford girl who sleeps with Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) without realizing who he is.

Source: Variety