‘Sister Act’ cast, music supervisor reunite on ‘The View’ for 25th anniversary
This Sunday, the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place in Los Angeles, as millions of viewers across the country tune in to see if their favorite shows and actors-well, other than Game of Thrones, which aired outside the consideration period, and its cast-come away with trophies.
Hosted by current Emmy nominee, ninetime Emmy winner and late-night host Stephen Colbert, the event will honor the best of comedy and drama that appeared on television and the various streaming services over the past year.
Reflecting what is sure to be a night full of political statements and speeches, many of the nominees touched on current politics both literally-on Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer were two of the year’s most popular characters, and Atlanta portrays one of TV’s most astute commentaries on race. Others did so more abstractly-the misogynistic dictatorship of The Handmaid’s Tale makes for an easy metaphor. Other shows, like Westworld and Stranger Things, allowed viewers to enter fantastical worlds that transcend time and place.
This dichotomy evidenced itself in the two most nominated shows: the aforementioned Saturday Night Live and Westworld, which each tallied up 22 nominations.
To get you ready for Sunday night, here are the facts and figures behind this year’s Emmys and its nominees.
The number of trophies taken home by host Stephen Colbert, who has won for his work on both The Colbert Report and Stephen Colbert. This year he’s up for two more at the primetime ceremony-Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series and Outstanding Variety Series for Late Night with Stephen Colbert. The show, which just wrapped its second year, faced growing pains both in terms of ratings and critically, and was not nominated for any awards last year. His Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going to Clean Up This Sh*t? already lost the race for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys.
The most any one show received at this year’s awards, with both Saturday Night Live and Westworld achieving the honor. Both of those shows, along with Stranger Whoopi Goldberg, Marc Shaiman and more discuss their favorite memories and reveal secrets from the memorable film.
In honor of Sister Act’s 25th anniversary, the movie’s cast reunited Thursday on The View to discuss their favorite memories of the film and revealed fun insights into the production.
“I don’t know that we’ve had a reunion at all,” admitted Goldberg alongside her co-stars Kathy Najimy, Wendy Makkena and the film’s music supervisor Marc Shaiman.
Najimy and Makkena say the film had a big impact on future career opportunities.
“He’s responsible for my whole career,” Najimy said of Shaiman. The actress and musical director also worked together on Hocus Pocus.
Describing her audition process, Najimy recalls the key advice Shaiman offered her. After singing her audition song, Shaiman requested Najimy sing something else, where she surprised him with an opera song. “He said, ‘Do that! Don’t do anything else,” laughed Najimy.
Meanwhile, Makkena’s singing audition didn’t go as smoothly, “When I first read, I just read without singing. … [Producer] Scott Rudin came out the elevators when I finished and he said, ‘That was terrific. Do you sing?’ and I went ‘Sure!’” In her next audition, it was requested that she sing a girl group song. Terrified, Makkena admitted she hired three back-up singers, only to have it fail. “They burst through the door and they drowned me out,” she said.
Meanwhile Goldberg wanted to avoid singing in the film. “I had no intention of singing,” she revealed. Shaiman worked to rectify the situation by pairing Goldberg with Things, are in the lead going into Sunday night’s ceremony, as each won five awards at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend. Those honors included trophies for Melissa McCarthy and Dave Chappelle as guest hosts on SNL, as well as visual effects and sound editing wins for Westworld.
The number of nominations received by HBO this year and the highest number of nominations received by any one network. The cable network raked in the most honors for Westworld, Veep and Big Little Lies. Netflix and NBC followed, with 91 and 64 nominations, respectively.
The number of actors honored for their on-screen appearances in more than one show. These include Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live and Match Game), Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale and The Leftovers), Matthew Rhys (The Americans and Girls) and Riz Jennifer Lewis and Charlotte Crossley to sing alongside her.
“I knew that these two ladies had the perfect sense of humor, besides musicality, to make Whoopi just feel comfortable,” said Shaiman.
On his role for the film’s music Shaiman joked, “It’s show business, so they called the Jew and I got the job done.”
With the film being shot in Reno, the cast explained they had some wild times.
“We shot in Reno, and we didn’t have enough room in the trailers, so we were put in hotel rooms. Cathy and I would get a little bored,” Ahmed (The Night Of and Girls).
The number of stars nominated for more than one award, inclusive of front-of-camera and-back-of-camera work. These nominees are Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Donald Glover (Atlanta), Samantha Bee (Full Frontal and Not the White House Correspondent’s Dinner), Louis C.K. (Louis C.K. 2017), Stephen Colbert (Late Show), James Corden (Late Late Show and Carpool Karaoke), Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Oscars), Ewan McGregor (Fargo and Wild Scotland), John Oliver (Last Week Tonight), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, Muhammad Ali: Only One and UConn: The March to Madness) and Sarah Silverman (Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust).
The highest number of trophies any one acting nominee has under his or her belt. The honor goes to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, said Makkena. She and Najimy would gamble and walk around in their character costumes, to avoid anyone recognizing them.
The castmates also enjoyed playing pranks on room service, placing porn on the television screen when room service came into their room. “He came and I said to him ‘No come in a little further. Roll it in,’” laughed Najimy. ‘She said she’d pay me a hundred dollars if I didn’t laugh and I failed,” added Makkena.
Harvey Keitel made a surprise appearance, stating, “When Whoopi calls, I come.”
To honor the film, Keitel surprised Goldberg who earned the awards for her work on Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine and Veep.
The most earned by any nominee-Gordon Ramsay-over the past year. The multi-series host and restaurateur Ramsay, who was the 26th highest-paid entertainer in the world between June 2016 and June 2017, was nominated for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for MasterChef Junior, but lost out at the Creative Arts Emmy to RuPaul Charles, the host of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The age of the youngest Emmy nominee, Millie Bobby Brown, who is up for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role of Eleven in Stranger Things. If she wins, she will become the youngest Emmy winner of all time, a title currently held by Something About Amelia’s Roxana Zal who won the award in 1984 at age 14.
The percentage of nominated writers and directors who are women, or, in other words, of the 36 nominated writers, only four are women. Lena Waithe, who is nominated for an episode of Master of None, is the first black woman to be nominated in the Comedy Writing category. This reflects the fact that only 28% of all creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and photography directors are women, according to a recent study by San Diego State University. These writers are, understandably, more likely to write about their own experiences. Thus, on screen, the problem of equal gender representation has longpersisted-only 42% of all speaking characters on scripted shows are women or girls. Only 11% of all programs feature casts with more female than male characters, while 68% consist of casts have more male than female characters.
The number of people of color nominated for work across the acting categories, including comedy, drama, limited series or movie, guest roles and shorts. This reflects an area in which television continues to improve, as last year, this number was only 21. Still, there is a heavy imbalance in on-screen and off-screen representation. According to USC’s Annenberg School, in 2016, the only 29.4% of speaking characters were non-white, while about 38% of the U.S. population is made up of people of color.
Source: with a present. “There’s a scene in the movie where I give Whoopi a present of a fur coat. But he forgot to take his wife’s name out of the coat … but here’s a coat for you,” Harvey says to Goldberg. The coat included an embroidered message reading, “Whoopi, Love Harvey.”
Although not present at the reunion, Sister’s Superior Maggie Smith recorded a special message to her former castmates, also quipping about her age. “I feel as if I’m the oldest nun left,” joked Smith.
“I can’t believe she wanted to do the movie! I said, ‘You’re Maggie Smith, what are you doing here?’ and she said, ‘Darling, I have to eat,’ and she also said, ‘I have to act, and I want to be here,’ “reflected Goldberg.
During the reunion, Goldberg also admitted that the film was originally intended for Bette Midler, but she turned the role down. “Bette couldn’t do it, so she turned it down and they kinda went through a hundred million people, then got to me,” jokes Goldberg.
Makkena and Najimy are now guest-starring on various shows including Veep, Younger and NCIS. Shaiman is working on the upcoming Mary Poppins revamp.
At the end, the cast performed the film’s version of “I Will Follow Him.”
2017 Emmy Awards host, Stephen Colbert
A scene from ‘Sister Act’