Mick Jagger’s giant face was among the disturbing images from my first day at the winter 2016 TCA press tour. I timed my arrival at the Langham in Pasadena to coincide with the afternoon HBO sessions. Among them was a panel for Vinyl, HBO’s big-name rock ‘n’ roll drama coming in April.
The panelists sitting in front of critics in the big ballroom were impressive enough–executive producer Terry Winter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire), Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde and Ray Romano.
Flanking them on either side of the stage on giant screens were Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese. Jagger, on the left, was dressed in a simple, open shirt. “Marty,” as everyone calls him, was in his usual suit and tie, looking very Lorne Michaels.
A veteran TCA scribe asked how these two work together given that they are from such different worlds. The lady seemed unaware that Scorseses directed The Last Waltz, worked on the Woodstock film or once made a concert documentary on the Stones. The two men are also almost the same age, with Marty, at 73, a year older than Jagger.
Given the satellite delay and other technical issues, this question seemed to take 45 minutes to answer. Scorseses appeared to be nodding off during the session. It didn’t help that he couldn’t hear Jagger and waited for him to go first. Jagger–busy drinking virgin blood to gear up for another world tour with The Rolling Stones–giggled and mopped his mouth with a hankie. His face has looked like an old boot for years but blown up that big he looks even more like an old foldie.
The show is called Vinyl and it explores the punk rock era of the mid-’70s. Jagger admitted he never plays vinyl personally, “but all my children love it.” His look-a-like son, James Jagger, plays a young punk rocker in the series.
Jagger says the first vinyl record he bought was “Teenager in Love” by Frankie Lyman. “I still feel it,” he quipped.
The Stones’ frontman clearly has the swagger and confidence to put his aging mug up on the big screen. Most of us would say gimmie shelter before being projected on a 10′ by 15′ wall. Jagger could easily have had yards of skin lopped off like Gloria Vanferbilt, on stage at an earlier HBO session Thursday. Vanderbilt, 92, has clearly indulged in all the cosmetic surgeries she can afford.
Her son, Anderson Cooper, was the one via satellite at HBO’s session for the mother-son documentary, “Nothing Left Unsaid” (Premiering April 9).
Cooper creeped out reporters by blabbing about his mom’s old boyfriends (Errol Flynn, Howard Hughes, Socrates…). He said mom dated Howard Hughes, “back when he was hot Howard Hughes.” He’s certainly a lot colder today.
He also said his mom is the youngest person he knows and that she still feels, “her next great love is right around the corner.” Maybe from the Langham; this hood is pretty blue blood.
TCA favourite Bryan Cranston was also in the house Thursday. He was promoting “All The Way,” a study of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency during the passing of landmark civil rights legislation. With a nation still mourning the death of John Kennedy, LBJ won a landslide in the ’64 election.
Cranston joked that he had the “beady eyes and thin lips” to play Johnson but the resemblance to the ex-president is astonishing in “All The Way.” I asked later if he found parallels in LBJ and Walter White; Cranston says you can find good and bad in everyone, but agreed both men had tremendous focus.
There was an HBO after party at the Langham with a ballroom tricked out with photo booths as well as a Muppet stage. HBO produces a Sesame Street series which looks a little richer than the 46-year-old PBS version. Sesame Street on HBO must be brought to you by the letter F.
Always looking for blog gold, I ducked into a Vinyl photo booth with CTV PR VP Scott Henderson. Call our band “Vinyl Tap.”
Hopped on a bus next as critics were shuttled to a downtown Pasadena cinema to see the pilot episode of AMC’s Preacher. The upcoming series is based on the comic book series created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon and is produced by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg and is about as far removed from stoner comedies as you can get. Rogan and Goldberg, who also directed the pilot, came to the cinema and said a few words of introduction before ditching the after-bash at Bistro 45 (try the yummy meatballs on spoons) . The series looks dark and creepy with tons of comic book violence–and that’s about all AMC’s embargo will allow.