October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Steven Weber talks about his role on “Happy Town”

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

With ABC’s new “Happy Town” wreaking its own brand of havoc on Minnesota’s friendly image, Steven Weber makes it clear he knows that the real Land of 10,000 Lakes is “a lovely place. I don’t think they’ll take the show personally,” he adds, smiling. “Certainly people could ascribe all sorts of meaning to it as a metaphor – as the dark underbelly of the United States, for instance.”

Actually, more people are likening the moody mystery series to “Twin Peaks.” The show turns on a series of unsolved kidnappings in an outwardly serene Minnesota hamlet. “I’ve worked on several Steven King projects and I’ve had, I guess, a taste for this kind of stuff since I was a kid — spooky stuff,” says Weber, who starred in the TV miniseries version of “The Shining,” and did a turn on “Nightmares and Dreamscapes.” That is, of course, in addition to his eclectic collection of Broadway, film and TV credits ranging from “The Producers” to “Wings.”

The 48-year-old actor notes, “I was looking for a role that interested me rather than a show. At my advanced age I want things that I can sink my teeth into. Not the affable womanizing guy, I’ve done that. I’ve done a lot of pricks in suits as I call them. I think I think the fact that this guy has a genuinely tragic core — even though the show has a kind of a supernatural cast to it — there’s something very basic and terrifying in a real sense about him. He’s suffering through the loss of a child. He’s obsessed by the vacuum created by the child’s disappearance. Especially being a father myself, it’s a terrifying thought for me.”


About Beck / Smith

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are among America’s leading columnists. They’ve covered the Hollywood beat for decades — Elvis and “Easy Rider” through the Jonas Bros. and “Avatar” and all the stars and their triumphs and scandals in-between. Their Creators Syndicate column, Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive, is a source of top celebrity interviews and entertainment news in newspapers across the country as well as online. To read more about Marylin and Stacy go to BeckSmithHollywood.com

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