Fredonia native Christina Calph will grace the big screen for the second time in "Tower Heist," opening in theaters Friday. Calph portrays a Victoria's Secret saleswoman and appears alongside star Ben Stiller. "Tower Heist" is about a group of guys who seek revenge after they discover they are the victims of a Ponzi scheme, concocting an elaborate plan to rob the wealthy businessman responsible and take back what's rightfully theirs. The impressive ensemble cast includes Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe and Alan Alda, among others.
Calph, a 2004 graduate of Fredonia High School now residing in New York City, made her major motion picture debut earlier this year in Arthur. I asked her a few questions about "Tower Heist" and what she's working on now:
What was it like to work with Ben Stiller?
Christina Calph appears alongside Ben Stiller in “Tower Heist,” opening in theaters on Friday.
CC: It was mind-blowing. He is a really nice, talented, easy-going guy who, lucky for me, thought I was funny and extended our scene a bit longer. I was insanely nervous, and when I'm nervous, I tend to shout obscenities when I mess up. He would reassure me by smiling and saying, "Remember this is PG-13!"
Any other dish you can give me about the making of "Tower Heist?"
CC: This was by far my best filming experience. Everyone involved was incredibly welcoming and helpful. Also, working with such a high-caliber director like Brett Ratner was such a treat. This film has a star-studded cast; it was exciting working with and being around such well-known actors.
You attended the film's premiere last week - what did you think about your appearance and the final product?
CC: (My scene) was quicker than I was hoping but I was pleased to see I did make the final cut of the film. It's actually a really funny piece, I am so thankful to be a part of such a great film!
Is there any gossip you can share about the premiere? You posted online about an Olsen twin giving you a dirty look at the event ... details, please!
CC: Oh boy, if anyone remembers me in this town, they know there's gossip wherever I go! The celebrities who attended the premiere were through the roof what I loved about the experience was I felt like I was among my peers, I was one of them. They may not know me yet, but they will! As far as the Olsen twin, here's my theory I'm the new kid on the block, fresh meat so to speak. Artists will come around once they get to know my work.
What new projects do you have in the works?
CC: Now, I'm just continuing work on my web series, "XXX: A Bad Girl's Ball" and doing day player work on various TV shows and internet sketches. I currently study with actor/director Austin Pendleton and am a member of the Sanctuary Theatre Company. I've actually been doing a lot of choreographing and back-up dancing for music artists lately but mainly waiting for my next film! Now that I started working on the mainstream films, I just want more and more!
Check out Calph's web series, "XXX: A Bad Girl's Ball" on YouTube. "Tower Heist" will be showing at the Dunkirk Movieplex starting tomorrow.
A Celebration of Native American Traditions will be held at the Clarion Hotel from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be delicious, authentic Native American food, such as corn soup and fry-bread; performances by the Allegany River Indian Dancers (and an opportunity to do some dancing yourself), storytelling, traditional games, crafts and plenty of history.
Gifts of Love and Hope, and Delta Phi epsilon of SUNY fredonia are holding a charity event to raise funds to get Christmas presents for the childhood cancer patients of Carly's Club. The event will be held at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. There will be raffles, silent auctions, basket raffles and 50/50s, to be drawn at 5 p.m. The main raffle will feature a first prize of a 40" Sony TV and soundbar from Dick Golden TV, and second prize of charbroil grill and patio swing from Wal-mart. The excellent Mary's Deli will provide pizza and wings for the event. Entertainment will be provided by Widowmaker acoustic band 2 to 5 p.m., and the entire Widowmaker band will perform from 9 to 11 p.m., with more raffles held at that time.
41 West will have live music by Groove on Friday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Rinky Dink from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. For the Sunday football game, there is free food and drink specials starting at 12:30 p.m. 41 West is also planning a disco for Nov. 26 - there's still plenty of time to get ready to squeeze into those hot pants.
The Lakeshore Hu-mane Society's annual "Picture Your Pet With Santa" fundraiser will be held on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tractor Supply Co. on Vineyard Drive in Dunkirk. Pet owners can bring their pets to the store and have their pets' pictures taken with Santa Claus. Photos can then be purchased to benefit the work of the LHS to help orphaned animals. LHS asks that no exotic pets be brought to see Mr. Claus (Christmas would likely be ruined if Santa was eaten by someone's python). Prices for the photographs are $7 for a 4 x 6 print, $9 for a 5 x 7 print; or both for $14. Additional reprints and photo Christmas cards will be available for delivery with a one week delivery. Multiple pets and children are always welcome. For more details, visit www.lakeshorehumanesociety.org or call 672-1991.
"Freedonia Marxonia," SUNY Fredonia's Marx Brothers Film Festival and Symposium, returns Saturday, held from 1 to 4 p.m. in the lobby of the University Commons on campus. The event will feature a presentation by Marx Brothers aficionado Matthew Hahn, an exhibition of memorabilia from previous Marxonia festivals, and a screening of "Duck Soup," the classic film set in a mythical country of "Freedonia." The event, first held in 1987, is free and open to the public. All are invited to join in the group photo at 1:30 p.m. with all wearing "Groucho" glasses. After-ward, judging for the Marx-Brothers look-alike contest and art contest will be held, with cash prizes awarded.
WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS
I have no sympathy for the fans shocked and dismayed by Kim Kardash-ian's divorce just 72 short days after her grandiloquent wedding to 26-year-old NBA player Kris Hum-phries. Anyone who did not already realize that the marriage was a total sham a union based solely on the power of the all-mighty dollar and desperation for short-lived fame needs to engage in some serious reevaluation of their critical thinking skills. Dollar sign plus dollar sign does not equal true love forever.
When AMC isn't showing so-called "American Movie Classics," the network is produces some killer TV shows. "Mad Men," "The Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad," anyone? That's why I am pretty amped for AMC's newest series, "Hell on?Wheels," premiering this Sunday at 8 p.m. Set during the Civil War, the show is about the greed, corruption and mendacity permeating the westward expansion of the Union Pacific Railroad, focusing on one man's quest for justice. Those sound like themes that could resonate today, huh?
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Send comments and events to firstname.lastname@example.org