‘Sis­ter Act’ cast, mu­sic su­per­vi­sor re­unite on ‘The View’ for 25th an­niver­sary

Weekly Trust - - Weekend Magazine - 9 Em­mys: 22 Nom­i­na­tions: 111 Nom­i­na­tions: 4 Nom­i­nees: 11 Nom­i­nees: 9 Em­mys: $60 Mil­lion: 13: 11%: 27: forbes.com THR.com

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’

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