Meg Ryan Just Landed A Role In The ‘HIMYM’ Spinoff

Move over Bob Saget!

Meg Ryan has been cast as the narrator for the “How I Met Your Mother” spinoff, “How I Met Your Dad.” CBS announced plans last year for a spinoff that would follow a woman, Sally, on the journey of how she found her husband in New York City after her plans were wrecked by divorce. After finding its leading lady in Greta Gerwig — who made an appearance in the final episode of “HIMYM” — the show has finally supplied Sally’s voice-over talent.

In the same way Saget was the voice for future Ted in “HIMYM”, Ryan will now be filling the role of storyteller for the spinoff show. Like Saget, her character will never be seen. The role seems pretty perfect for Ryan, who earned the title of “America’s Sweetheart” back in the ’90s for her rom-com fare including “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and our all-time favorite “You’ve Got Mail.” While the actress did have recurring role on Showtime’s “Web Therapy,” the “HIMYD” gig marks her first role as a regular on a major TV series.

Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’ Is A Return To Indie Filmmaking

NEW YORK (AP) — On “Chef,” Jon Favreau got to cook with his own ingredients and set his own menu.

The parallels for Favreau and the film are unmistakable. In the movie, which he wrote and directed, he plays a creativity-stifled restaurant chef who’s fired for going off-menu, but is reborn when he opens his own food truck. After years directing big summer blockbusters (“Iron Man,” ”Iron Man 2,” ”Cowboys & Aliens”), “Chef” is a return to Favreau’s indie roots. (He wrote and starred in 1996′s “Swingers.”)

“Chef” is Favreau’s own personal food truck.

“After doing a lot of big movies with a lot of concerns revolving around the studios and the politics of marketing and release schedules, it was nice to do something very small where I didn’t have to answer to anybody but myself,” says Favreau.

The 47-year-old filmmaker says it was a relief not having to justify a story point, a joke or a piece of casting to studio executives. He says “Chef,” which opens May 9, is “like singing right from your heart.”

“When you’re hung up on marketing, tracking, budgets and box office, it can steal the satisfaction from doing for a living what you’ve always dreamed of doing,” says Favreau.

Favreau, though, has returned to tentpole making. He’s currently on pre-production for Disney’s live-action remake of “The Jungle Book.”

But making “Chef” has clearly altered Favreau, rejuvenating him as a filmmaker and inspiring him as an aspiring cook. In the film, his truck makes stops at foodie destinations like Franklin’s Barbeque in Austin, Texas.

“It’s a quest,” he says. “When I get off the phone with you and go home, I will once again be trying to recreate Franklin’s smoked brisket.”


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Courteney Cox Makes Directorial Debut At Tribeca Festival With ‘Just Before I Go’

NEW YORK (AP) — Courteney Cox’s directorial debut is uniquely personal. It features a cameo from her daughter, Coco, songs by her boyfriend, Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid, and a scene with her ex-husband, David Arquette.

The film opens with 9-year-old Coco singing a song of McDaid’s. Later, she briefly appears to spray her father, Arquette, with a hose. As a proud mother, it’s Cox’s favorite scene. “I couldn’t have cut that out,” said Cox, who acknowledges their family dynamics are unusually friendly. “If I needed four seconds, that would be the last four seconds to go.”

Cox will premiere the film, “Just Before I Go,” on Thursday at the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s the first stab at feature-film directing for the 49-year-old TV star, who readied herself for the opportunity by directing a short, a Lifetime movie and 10 episodes of her TBS sitcom “Cougar Town.”

“Just Before I Go” stars Seann William Scott as a depressive who plans to commit suicide but first returns to his hometown to get “my house in order.” He visits an old crush, a school bully from his youth and others to unload his pain in a strange kind of bucket-list mission.

It may sound like a serious drama, but “Just Before I Go” (written by David Flebotte) has an offbeat humor that clashes comically with its heavy outline. Certainly, few movies have an emotional spectrum that incorporates both suicide and a “sleep masturbator” (a twist on sleep walking).

“It’s hard to get those subject matters to gel and for people to feel it’s OK to laugh here and it’s OK to cry there,” Cox said in a recent interview. “If I can laugh really hard and then cry, it’s perfect for me.”

“The more offensive the humor, the funnier it is to me,” she added. “For whatever reason, if someone’s not getting hurt, it’s probably not funny to me.”

Of course, Cox’s comic timing has long been on display in “Friends,” ”Family Ties,” ”Dirt” (on which she met Flebotte) and “Cougar Town,” which recently wrapped its fifth and possibly final season. (Its future is uncertain.)

But Cox didn’t want to act in “Just Before I Go,” but rather concentrated on directing — a role she says feels natural.

“I’m obsessed with design and I really feel like I suffer from acute awareness,” said Cox. “I’m always so aware of my surroundings. I’m so interested in the way people live. Whenever I walk in someplace, I can almost tell you what the rooms looked like before I could tell you a person’s name.”

Shot in a speedy 23 days in between seasons of “Cougar Town,” ”Just Before I Go” was made for less than $2 million, which Cox initially financed herself. She’s hoping to land distribution at Tribeca.

“Not having the pressure of the studio, just doing it for myself,” said Cox, “it was the perfect way in for me.”


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‘Orange Is The New Black’: Watch The First Scene From Season 2

Look who’s gone crazy.

“Orange Is The New Black” is set to premiere in June and by the look of the first scene from Season 2, our favorite female inmates might be slowly losing their minds. After last year’s finale ended with Piper’s bloody beat down of Pennsatucky during the Christmas pageant, it’s clear that our main convict is serving out her punishment in a decidedly solitary way. And all that alone time has helped Piper unearth her artistic side.