Hollywood's Power Players

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By Bruce Edwin

There was a time not so long ago, when Hollywood used to be an all boys club, where the men wore top hats, smoked cigars with their feet up on their desks, and told the dames- busy chewing gum and typing frantically- what to do. Not any more. Sure, some women still are working their way up the ranks of the ladder of success one steady rung at a time, and true, there is still a lot of room for progress to be made for greater equality for women. However, great strides have been made for women throughout the decades in American society as a whole. And in no place other than Hollywood, is that changing shift more evident throughout the world, as the originator and mirror of societal progress. Today, not only are women superstars of the silver screen, Academy Award winning directors, editors, costume designers, writers, and more, they are also now media, movie, and studio moguls, who control empires, and will leave a lasting legacy fitting of their intelligence, talent, and vision for ages to follow. Two such power players of Hollywood are pictured here; President of the Disney-ABC Television Group Anne Sweeney, who arrives with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science CEO Dawn Hudson. The two great entertainment leaders, who are strong role models for girls and women of all ages, arrived for the live ABC Telecast of The 86th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre, that was held on March 2nd, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

An Interview With Cate Blanchett

Sophisticated, sexy, and outspoken, the talented actress Cate Blanchett arrives pictured here for the live ABC Telecast of The 86th Oscars® held at the Dolby® Theatre on March 2nd, 2014 in Hollywood, California. The media had the opportunity to ask Cate some questions backstage at The Oscars this year, and the following is an excerpt of that interview, after her win for Best Lead Actress, for her performance in the film "Blue Jasmine."

Question: Tonight is in a way an Aussie landslide, because you and Catherine Martin are sharing the spotlight. Can you just talk about that great win for her and now?

Cate Blanchett: Oh, look, the creative industries in Australia are phenomenally wealthy with talent. And CM is an incredible talent. I suppose the only thing is that you don't want to constantly export the talent. You want it to continue to be able to return home and work. And the powerful thing about the creative industries in Australia is that they go overseas and it's wonderful acts of self diplomacy, of self power, but it's also a huge economic driver domestically. And I think, you know, you have to remember that at moments like this, that this is, you know, something that happens internationally, but that talents like CM, like Baz, they return home to continue to do what they do and it enriches what happens both in Australia and internationally and, you know, me, too.

Question: I want to ask you, what are your hopes in continuing to challenge yourself in acting?

Cate Blanchett: Maybe it's time to stop. Look...(...) roles like this don't come along very often, and as I think I said, or I hope I said, or I imagined I said, that it was a real synthesis for me of the long, deep connection I've had with the theatre. And the kind of often sort of intangible connection I've had to film. And I think Woody Allen and the script that he wrote provided me that forum to kind of make that synthesis happen. You know, someone who (...) had a very fragmented sense of self. I mean, I don't think I could have approached that in as bold a way as perhaps I did risking for a year as I did without having worked with the folks at the Sydney Theatre Company as intensively as I have.

Question: (Regarding being nominated for an Oscar) What kind of pressure does it put on you?

Cate Blanchett: What kind of pressure? An intense, unbearable pressure which I'm so glad is over. I mean, look, it has been every year. And having been in theatre primarily for the last six years, I can say this objectively. Every year I watch this thing remotely, and every year there are 5, 6, 10, 12, 20 performances by women that I am gobsmacked by and inspired by. And you know, it gets whittled down to five, is it five of us? And I mean, to be in conversation with those women, you know, by proxy, because we are all crammed together into one category, I mean, that's the privilege. And the rest is just chocolate.

Oscars 2015: The Producers

Motion picture, television and theater producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars for a third consecutive year, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced this month. The 87th Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network on Oscar® Sunday, February 22nd, 2015.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Craig and Neil back to produce the Oscars again in 2015,” stated Academy President Ms. Boone Isaacs. “Their showmanship has elevated the show to new heights and we are excited to keep the momentum going with this creative partnership.”

“This year’s show reached viewers of all ages and set social media records, proving that Craig and Neil are masters at tapping into the zeitgeist and capturing the hearts of movie fans around the world,” stated Academy CEO Dawn Hudson (pictured above).

“We are delighted to work with Cheryl, Dawn and the Academy to produce the Oscars for a third time,” stated Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. They continue, “We’re proud of the show’s success over the last two years and are eager to embark on another entertaining show to honor this year’s motion pictures.”

The 86th Oscars on March 2nd, marked the return of host Ellen DeGeneres, and featured memorable musical performances by artists including Pharrell Williams and U2, a tribute to “The Wizard of Oz” by Pink, and a star-studded, record-breaking 'selfie' started by comedian Ellen DeGeneres, seen around the world. The show drew an average audience of 45.4 million total viewers. The Oscars were TV’s most-watched entertainment telecast in ten years and attracted the biggest viewership in fourteen years. Social media activity for The Oscars was particularly large this year, with more than one billion impressions generated on Twitter and 25 million interactions happening on Facebook on Oscar® Sunday. Additionally, Ellen DeGeneres’s selfie became the most retweeted photo of all time with 32.8 million views.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s feature film, television and theater productions have earned a total of six Oscars, 11 Emmy® Awards, two Tony® Awards, a Grammy® Award, five Golden Globes®, two Peabody Awards, five GLAAD Awards and two NAACP Image Awards. For film, they executive produced the magnificent 2002 Best Picture winner “Chicago,” which won Oscars in six of the 13 categories in which it was nominated. Their credits also include the feature films “Footloose” (2011), “Hairspray” (2007) and “The Bucket List” (2007). Craig Zadan also produced the original, iconic film “Footloose” (1984).

For television, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron executive produced last year’s groundbreaking “The Sound of Music Live!” which drew a record-breaking 21.3 million viewers. Their other critically acclaimed credits include last year’s miniseries “Bonnie and Clyde,” the TV series “Smash” and “Drop Dead Diva.” The duo has also produced such Emmy-nominated television movies as “Steel Magnolias,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” as well as “Annie,” “Serving in Silence,” “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and “Gypsy.” On Broadway, Craig and Neil recently produced the revivals of the Tony-winning “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette, and the Tony-winning “Promises, Promises” starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s upcoming projects include executive producing the television musical “Peter Pan Live!” Their new MTV comedy series, “Happyland,” premieres this summer. For the silver screen, the power duo are producing “Pippin” for the Weinstein Company, a musical based on the extensive Beach Boys song catalog for Fox 2000 Pictures, and “Monster High” based on the Mattel franchise for Universal Pictures.

The Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood, California, the entertainment capitol of the world, on Sunday, February 22nd, 2015. It will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

The following is a funny moment of interview clips of Jennifer Lawrence backstage at the Oscars this year in 2014. Jennifer Lawrence video is copyright, 2014, The Telegraph (UK), all rights reserved.

Hollywood's Power Players article is ©2014, The Hollywood Sentinel / Bruce Edwin. The Cate Blanchett interview, and the Oscars 2015 article is ©A.M.P.A.S. all right reserved. "Oscar®," "Oscars®," "Academy Awards®," "Academy Award®," "A.M.P.A.S.®" and "Oscar Night®" are the trademarks, and the Oscar® statuette is the registered design mark and copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The abbreviation for Catherine Martin to CM in the interview above was not done by The Hollywood Sentinel, and is how Cate Blanchett actually referred to the other actress.