Amir Simyar's "The Magical Story of a Clean Sewer"

Page 1


The author of “The Magical Story of a Clean Sewer” PAGE 18

Trish Cook

Producer, Actress, Writer... AND PATRIOT! PAGE 28

Merv Griffin

La Quinta Estate PAGE 32

® Celebrating Diversity In The Entertainment Industry

Letter From The Editor


to another issue of Hollywood Monthly!

For this month’s issue, we have Amir Simyar! He is a private dentist with a creative side, using what he knows about dentistry to create animated shows and films for kids. He wanted to use his knowledge, and creative genius, to entertain and educate children on the importance of oral hygiene. He also has a film called “On Foot,” which gives light to the current events of what is happening in Iran. Read all about this in his article.

We also would like to welcome back Trish Cook! She is appearing in our magazine once again, to talk about her journey of self and success. After a chaotic start, she finally finds herself in Los Angeles, ready to live out her Hollywood dreams. Read all about her journey and how her patriotic spirit helped her make it big.

Want a sneak peek that will have you excited? This month’s ROUNDUP will do just that! We’ve put together some of our thoughts about the newest releases. Don’t worry; there’s something there for everyone!

Need something new to watch? We’ve got you covered! We’ve highlighted some new movies and TV shows coming out in the next month; you can find these in theaters or on some of your favorite streaming platforms.

We also feature some other incredible people: Hope Lauren, Kim Quinn and Merv Griffin.

Thank you, readers, for once again supporting Hollywood Weekly Magazine. We are nothing without you.

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AMIR SIMYAR The author of “The Magical Story of a Clean Sewer” PAGE 18 Merv Griffin La Quinta Estate PAGE 32 Trish Cook Producer, Actress, Writer... AND PATRIOT! PAGE 28 ® Celebrating Diversity In The Entertainment Industry Hollywood MONTHLY is a publication wholly owned by Prather Jackson HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY MAGAZINE LLC. © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any content without written permisssion of the publisher is expressly prohibited. Letters to the editor may be sent to: HOLLYWOODPUBLISHER@GMAIL.COM. 8345 Reseda Blvd #117, Northridge, CA 91324. For advertising inquiries call: (424) 371-9900 TRISH COOK Journey of Self and Success 28 16 AMIR SIMYAR Dentistry and Animation MERV GRIFFIN La Quinta Estate 32 04 ROUNDUP Entertainment HERE’S WHAT WE’VE GOT! ...and more! PUBLISHER/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
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IN EVERY BLOCKBUSTER HIT, THERE'S ALWAYS A STUNTMAN, and in the case of Colt Seavers, he is even doing stunts when cameras aren't rolling. While you may find yourself immersed with the characters in most films, this one gives viewers a feel for what stuntmen go through normally when making movies. However, what this particular stuntman must go through is far from normal.

In this action-packed comedy, Ryan Gosling plays Colt Seavers, an action choreographer who doubles for a famous actor playing in a film that just so happens to be directed by his ex-girlfriend. When Tom Ryder, the famous actor in question, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, suddenly goes missing, the film is found in danger of being shut down. Colt then volunteers to help his ex-girlfriend and first-time director, Jody Moreno, played by Emily Blunt, in order to prevent the film and her

golden opportunity from slipping away, unaware of the real stunts that he must go through in order to save him.

Directed by David Leitch and written by Drew Pearce, this film is loosely based on the 80's TV series with the same name by Glen A. Larson. In that series, Colt Seavers uses his physical skills to combat and capture fugitives and criminals alike. With that in mind, we can see where the inspiration for this modern adaptation comes into play as this film manages to recapture what made the original so good. Taking a classic series and giving it a modern twist into a film is an interesting move, and for those who are familiar with the 80's classic, this 2024 film will prove to be an intriguing experience.

With Ryan Gosling at the helm of this film's modern revisit to the classic series, Fall Guy has a fundamental feel of action from the past and present. Not only

has it been getting postitive reception from reviewers and critics alike, the film has also managed to break a Guinness World Record for the most cannon rolls performed in a car. So far, this film has already begun to make a name for itself in terms of not just recognition, but even the achievements that are behind it.

With the benefits of being based on a classic 80's TV series, Fall Guy has a backbone that aims to appease old fans and newcomers alike. The established precedent that this film follows has a concurrent value that is just shown through an film format with different people behind the characters. The kind of action this film brings to the table will prove to be an interesting sight, especially with the capabilities of what modern technology can do for special effects. With the film that is pure action incarnate, viewers are in for a dynamic ride.



FROM VIDEO GAMES TO AN AMERICAN TV SERIES, Fallout has been a hallmark for many who look for a charming story set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. While many of us remember the games that gave us the classic action roleplaying stories, this series is a new spin on what we remember. This familiar story now shines in another medium in entertainment, and fans are already showing a bright energy to this fresh, new take on the series.

When the first trailer of this series was launched into the world last year in December, fans of Fallout were fairly skeptical when they saw this adaptation of the games. It wasn't until the first episode dropped this year in April that fans began to see what this series was aiming to achieve. Now with a fresh coat of paint, the Fallout series has another media

avenue to share a story full of beloved characters surviving against impossible odds in this wasteland.

This action series takes place in a future, post-apocalyptic Los Angeles brought about by nuclear decimation from the Great War of 2077. In order to save themselves from the destruction, citizens must live in underground bunkers called Vaults to protect themselves from radiation, mutants and bandits. However, 200 years later after the war, the aftermath of said war is where our heroes, villains and other survivors do their best to survive the radioactive world.

This television series tells the story of a young woman named Lucy, who leaves behind her shelter of Vault 33 after her father, overseer of said vault, is kidnapped. As she journeys in what feels like a foreign world, she meets a

Brotherhood of Steel squire and a ghoul bounty hunter, each with their own mysterious pasts and agendas to settle. As Lucy learns the new ways of the world she once knew and how to survive in the harshest of climates, the journey to find her father becomes a lot more hopeful.

This series has the heart and soul of the classic video game series by Bethesda, with Bethesda producer Todd Howard, who directed various games in the series, signing on as executive producer. Given that there is an already established fanbase for this series, creators Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner aim to make this series not just appealing, but accurate to the original source material. Though there is a lot riding on this series, both in terms of success and in positive reception, Fallout fans are eager to see what this adaptation shows.



TIME TO MOVE OVER, BLUE HEDGEHOG, because this time, the spotlight is going to shine on another story that doesn't have the blue blur as the main hero. Coming off the heels of 2022's Sonic The Hedgehog 2, we return to see the red echidna have his own focus on this televised mini-series. Being the first live-action television series in the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise, fans have been showing positivity in this new addition to the live-action world brought by both Sega and Paramount.

In this mini-series, we witness the triumphent return of our favorite guardian of the master emerald, Knuckles the Echidna, who is slowly adjusting to life in a world foreign to his own. While he is slowly but surely getting used to the world around him, he finds himself dealing with a new responsibility of his own: training a warrior. A human warrior,

to be exact, as Knuckles teaches deputy Wade Whipple, played by Adam Pally, the techniques of the Echidna warrior. However, every warrior's path has an enemy, as Rory McCann steps in as The Buyer, the show's main antagonist and a former agent of Doctor Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik.” After he's taken hold of all of Eggman's equipment, Knuckles must use his strength and his new human trainee to stop this opposing threat.

This show has a lot of heart behind the story, and while it may seem like a departure to what happened in Sonic The Hedgehog 2, that couldn't be further from the truth. With the return of Ben Schwartz and Colleen O'Shaughnessey for their roles as Sonic and Tails, the continuous sense of character still holds true in this mini-series. Fans have shown their intrigue and excitement behind this

new entry to the series, especially with the release of Sonic The Hedgehog 3 right around the corner this year. Having made its debut this April, the series has already gained great appeal from viewers.

With director Tom Howe taking the helm of this series, and Idris Elba returning to voice the red powerhouse, this is not your average run-of-the-mill show. This mini-series aims to expand the horizons the previous films have slowly but surely developed over the past few years. From the first film back in 2020, people have seen that there is a lot of potential in this series as a whole. Not only has the movie adaptation of the series drawn in fans from the video games, but has even drawn in new fans that enjoy this new form of storytelling more. It is easy to see that with how things are going, this show has a lot of heart attached to it.



AS A MAN WHO IS LIVING ON A PRAYER, this singer from New Jersey has made his mark in the music industry. Since his band's tremendous start back in 1983, Bon Jovi made his dream come true and made a name for himself, along with his band. Through this documentary, Bon Jovi tells the full story of how he became the legend that made his name known to the world.

In this story that starts from the very beginning, we see how this man had a big dream that showed his commitment in going hard into music. Starting from taking whatever opportunity they could get in order to have their music out there in the world, the journey to reach where they are today was astounding. Upon realizing the undeniable potential with these kids from New Jersey, people began to see just how much heart and soul they had in their music.

This four-part documentary covers the whole story, from the upbringing, to the rise in fame, to even covering the trails and tribulations the band faced together. Hearing the story from Bon Jovi, along with the other band members, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald. It even features stories about the original bassist Alec John Such and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora, and why they left the band for their own reasons.

Being the most iconic band that got their start from New Jersey, Bon Jovi expresses how much he and his band went through to get to this point in time. While there are some stories that made headlines and aspects that could be brought to question, the multiple perspectives shown in this documentary

leaves no stone unturned. The full story, along with just how much had gone on throughout the years, gives a sense of impact for fans and music lovers alike.

Given how much music has changed over the course of decades, spanning from the 80's to the present day, this is a story that shows just how much of a driving force it had back in the day. Given the amount of love that each of Bon Jovi's songs brought to many fans as the years went on goes to show just how much love is expressed in the messages within them. While you may not consider yourself a fan of the band or the type of music they play, this documentary series does show a lot in terms of how much of an impact music had overall. People will still sing true to this day that Bon Jovi is a legend in the world of music, and this documentary will easily make you see why that is true.



EVEN IN WAR, A GENTLEMAN HAS TO BE AT HIS FINEST, as even in World War II, the most brilliant forces have their methods to see victory. Based on a true story, this film shows that strength isn't enough to seize victory, as long as you manage to have plenty of wit and clever tactics. Then again, with this band of characters, sometimes wit and cleverness is all you need, even if it does tend to be a bit much at times.

In this film, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a group of military officials hatch a daring plan to neutralize Hitler's fleet of German U-boats during World War II. Made up of a motley crew of rogues and mavericks, the topsecret combat unit uses unconventional techniques to battle the Nazis and change the course of the war. However, even with a lot riding on the success of this mission,

it doesn't stop this unique cast from going about victory in their own way, using methods that aren't something you see everyday in war.

Directed by Guy Richie, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare has a brilliant take on World War II, taking a direction that you don't see a lot in films that take place in a war setting. With Henry Cavil playing as Gus March-Phillips, the leader of this team, great expectations are held by those who are excited to see what unfolds in this story. With the amount of tremendous excitement for what this film does, compared to other films in a World War II setting, the film is definitely going to be one to look forward to.

While there have been a lot of interpretations of what happened during the war, being fact or fiction, Guy Richie's take on this story does provde something

new to this genre. Some could say that this could just be the English version of Inglorious Bastards, but others could say that this is a true story that does paint the war efforts in a different light. No matter how you look at this film, the amount of heart that goes into displaying a wittier side of fighting the enemy has promise.

When we consider the actions that both sides took in the war, the six years of what led to different alliances fighting for power was a trepedatious time in history. The driving force behind this film gives levity through this cast of characters, which does give it more personality to where it stands out on its own. Amongst one of the most important eras in the history of our time, we can see that despite that, there are a few laughs that can be brought in this story, so with this team, we can expect a great deal of action.



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The Creative Universe of Amir Simyar

A few artists navigate the diverse realms of storytelling with as much finesse as Amir Simyar. With a multifaceted skill set encompassing writing, directing, producing, and dentistry, Simyar’s work transcends boundaries, captivating audiences across various mediums.

At the heart of Simyar’s creative endeavors lies a passion for crafting immersive narratives that entertain and educate simultaneously. His latest venture, “The Magical Clean Sewer,” exemplifies this ethos. This unique children’s book introduces readers to the whimsical world of Kex and Kola, two hamster morphs who embark on a magical journey through a clean sewer. Through vibrant storytelling and captivating illustrations, Simyar seamlessly integrates essential lessons in dental hygiene, making learning an enjoyable adventure for young readers.

While Simyar’s literary prowess shines in “The Magical Clean Sewer,” his storytelling prowess extends to the silver screen. His upcoming Feature Film for cinema release, “On Foot,” delves into the gripping tale of an Iranian refugee’s arduous journey to freedom. Drawing inspiration from a true story, Simyar masterfully navigates themes of resilience, survival, and the human spirit. Through compelling visuals and nuanced storytelling, he brings to life the harrowing experiences of the protagonist, offering audiences a poignant reflection on the plight of refugees.

Central to Simyar’s creative philosophy is the seamless integration of entertainment and education. Whether through whimsical children’s books or thought-provoking films, he leverages storytelling as a powerful tool for imparting knowledge and sparking curiosity. In “The Magical Clean Sewer,” he ingeniously incorporates a toothpaste and fluoride song, transforming essential dental hygiene practices into a melodic adventure for young readers. Similarly, in “On Foot,” he sheds light on pressing social issues while captivating audiences with a riveting narrative.

As Simyar’s projects continue to garner attention and acclaim, his vision for the future remains bold and ambitious. With “The Magical Clean Sewer” captivating young minds and “On Foot” poised to captivate audiences on the silver screen, he stands at the forefront of innovative storytelling. With a commitment to

excellence and a passion for pushing boundaries, Simyar’s creative journey is one to watch, promising captivating narratives that inspire, entertain, and educate audiences around the world.

Amir Simyar emerges as a visionary craftsman, seamlessly blending creativity with purpose across diverse mediums. From the enchanting pages of “The Magical Clean Sewer” to the compelling narrative of “On Foot,” his work transcends mere entertainment, offering audiences a gateway to imagination, insight, and empathy. With each project, Simyar’s dedication to excellence and innovation shines through, promising captivating narratives that resonate on both emotional and intellectual levels. As he continues to push the boundaries of conventional storytelling, his vision for the future remains bright and boundless.

Amidst a landscape ripe with stories waiting to be told, Amir Simyar stands as a beacon of inspiration, reminding us of the transformative power of art and the enduring impact of a well-crafted tale. As audiences eagerly await his next chapter, one thing is certain: the journey ahead promises to be nothing short of extraordinary.


Your background is quite interesting. What inspired you to pursue such varied interests?

Amir: For there to be a film or a TV project, you need a skillful storyteller. I used writing as my strength to get to where I am today. You have to understand that I put a lot of energy into writing which is the reason why my stories are so unique. One of them is Kex & Kola the magical story of a clean sewer. What makes this story stand out, is the fact that it has never been created by anyone in the world. Just the story itself is one of a kind. The only thing that separates a good story from a great one, is attention to detail and how much time and effort the screen writer is willing to spend writing it. My projects are written in way so that I can compete with what Hollywood produces, which in the world of Film & Tv is the same as making it to major league baseball or even the NFL.

The Magical Clean Sewer sounds like a unique and creative children’s book. What inspired you to write this story, and how do you blend entertainment with education in your writing?

Amir: The magical story of a clean sewer came about from Kex & Kola in the Big City which is my animated tv show written for kids. The show was produced in 10 Episodes X 2 minutes initially and distributed by Pops TV which is a division of Turner Broadcasting in Vietnam. The show went on to receive over 5 million views only in the country of Vietnam. I based my children’s book on the same concept as the animation. My stories weather it’s written for TV/Film or if it’s for a book is always going to be 99% for entertainment purposes because I want my audience to enjoy the story. Then on top of that, and blended into the mix, there will always be a slight touch of education.

Could you tell us more about the journey of Kex & Kola in your book, and how you use their adventures to teach children about dental hygiene?

Amir: I created a world down below a metal lid that looks like a tropical paradise. You will be surprised to see how their city down below a pipeline will be designed

through my artistic vision, once the second book under the same franchise is released. It’s an original idea of mine that has never been created by anyone in the world. As my magical vision plays out weather it’s in the form of a book or a TV show, the educational purpose melts into the picture like a movie is shot through a camera lens and displayed on a director’s monitor. Just the concept of the fact that you open up a sewer lid and climb down into this magical world is enough to catch the attention of an audience. Once you caught their attention you blend that entertainment aspect of it with a slight touch of education. If you overdue the educational aspect the story becomes boring, but if it’s just enough, it will melt into the story like peanut butter and toast.

What drew you to the theme of dental hygiene as a subject for a children’s book, and how do you believe storytelling can effectively convey important lessons to young readers?

Amir: I work as a private only dentist in London, and based on the questions that parents ask me when they visit my clinic, I have come to understand that there is a lack of general knowledge when it comes to oral hygiene. I thought I use my story telling skills to teach parents who probably will be reading this book to their children about oral hygiene and at the same time get their children interested in the proper way of tooth brushing from an early age. By using my song writing skills, I developed a song called the toothpaste and fluoride song. This song will teach children the proper way of tooth brushing in a melodic way. I’m one of the best executive A&R’s in the world, I’m right scouting for an artist who can sing the Toothpaste and Fluoride song so that I can release it as a single. What I’m looking for is a theatrical singer who can really deliver a hit. If I can just find the right singer, I can coach them in the studio to make the song into an international hit. Part of the song is in my book Kex & Kola the magical story of a clean sewer. The song is basically about the proper way of brushing your teeth, it’s got a very catchy hook.

What do you hope your audience, young readers of The Magical Clean

Sewer and viewers of On Foot, will take away from experiencing your work?

Amir: Well, anyone that ever comes in contact with any of my work weather it’s a film/TV project or a book will like the entertainment aspect of it, which Is what I strive for. I got asked by a Hollywood producer what my projects are about. I told him that all of my projects were entertainment only. He told me that it was the first time that somebody had answered his question the way I did. Then he asked me if he could read one of the scripts. After reading the first one he said that there is no way that I could write 12 episodes in the same quality by myself. He then asked to read the second episode, so I gave him a second one to read. As he read the 2nd script he gave me a call and told me that he had never read a script that was that well written, not only that, he said that my content was interesting, fun to read and very entertaining. He told me that he goes through scripts on a daily, and that I probably was one of the best writers that he had ever come across. As mentioned previously, my whole purpose is to entertain. Just to give you an example, take On Foot, which is based on a true story about a refugee who walked from Iran to Sweden. It’s based on a true story, yes, but in order for me to turn into a box office hit I added my magical touch to the script. It will stand out in the world of film because it will not be like any other story that you have seen before. Once the film is released, go and see the premiere, only then will come to understand what I’m talking about, because I do not want to give too much of it away during an interview.

What drives your creative process when developing characters and storylines for your projects? Are there any particular sources of inspiration you frequently draw upon?

Amir: My storylines and characters are developed from my own extreme imagination. These ideas are based on my creativity as a writer/producer. I want to give my audiencequality. I think that a lot of people in the film/TV industry are inspired by my project, yes. Me personally I get my inspiration from the ideas that I have, like creating a magical sewer. Sometimes it gets very


exhausting as there is a lot of thinking that goes into writing a page. The amount of energy that I put into writing a script is tremendous, which is the reason for such great quality. I’m sure that Kex & Kola eventually will win an Emmy for best, screenplay, directing as a well as production. The show will also probably be nominated for an Oscar.

HW: Moving on to your feature film

On Foot, the story of an Iranian refugee’s journey sounds incredibly compelling. What drew you to this story, and how do you plan to portray the refugee experience on screen?

Amir: I can’t go into detail of how I came in contact with the person that gave me this story. He was very clear with me that he wants to stay anonymous, and I respect that. The details that he went into while telling me his story is what caught my attention, especially the way that he depicted Evin. I think that I owe it to the Iranian people to draw attention to what’s going on in our country right now. Small clips of it can be seen on the news daily, but it does not give the audience the actual blended colors in order to be able to view the complete painting. I can’t really go into too much detail because it will spoil the movie.

What drives your creative process when developing characters and storylines for your projects? Are there any particular sources of inspiration you frequently draw upon?

Amir: My storylines are based on my own imagination and creativity. I have a book in the works for children called A Bird’s Quest, it’s for entertainment purposes only but once you see what the story is about you will come to realize how original my ideas and concepts are. A bird’s quest is also one of a kind. All of my projects are original ideas and creations that has never been created by anyone in the world, and that’s how I want it to be. The projects that I work on come about from my own creativity and storytelling skills as I spend long hours developing them.

What advice would you offer to aspiring writers, filmmakers, or individuals looking to pursue their

passions across multiple disciplines?

Amir: “Always try to be a perfectionist. Nothing is perfect in this world, I know, but you can always try to come as close to perfect as possible. Sometimes it can be exhausting to focus on every little detail of a page in a script, but if you put your energy and emphasis on the attention to detail factor, and this does not just apply to film and TV but in other fields as well, you will see that you will reach the level of success that you’re looking for. How far you go in life depends on how creative you are. I believe that any field works like that, not just TV and film.

Looking ahead, what are your hopes and aspirations for the future of your creative endeavors, both in dentistry and in storytelling?

Amir: For the larger episodes of Kex & Kola In The Big City, I have A-list Hollywood actors attached to the project, Iconic names that you see in major box office hits on a daily. I also have an Oscar winning director/producer connected to the project. I’m just negotiating the business aspect of the show now, then it’s ready for production. For Kex & Kola I also have a veteran animator, that has animated for major box office hits and classics. My team attached to the project are all well-known faces in the Film/TV industry. My goals in dentistry have already been achieved, I don’t think I can climb any higher in that field, unless I go and become an implant surgeon. I don’t have enough time right now because writing takes up the majority of my time, but if

I ever get some more time on my hands, I want to open up my own Dental offices in the Los Angeles and the Beverly Hills area by the name of 11D Dental Aesthetics.

The scene where the protagonist encounters dolphins while stranded at sea is quite poignant. What significance does this moment hold within the broader themes of survival and resilience depicted in the film?

Amir: It’s emotional because there are several real-life cases when dolphins have actually helped people that are in danger at sea. Most people would give up in a situation like this or even panic, but he kept swimming until a herd of dolphins heard his silent cry for help. It’s a very emotional scene that has to be animated. Some scenes in this Film will have some sort of realistic animation to it as well as visual effects.

Research must have played a crucial role in developing the story for “On Foot”. Can you share insights into the research process and any real-life stories or experiences that influenced the narrative?

Amir: I did not do any research for this film, because I wrote the story exactly and according to the route that he told me that he travelled while looking at a map. It’s hard to believe that someone walked from Iran to Sweden, it’s really an unbelievable story. He told me that once he hit the Italian shoreline, that it gave him some hope because he never thought that he would make it that far. Realizing soon that travelling within the European Union would be easy if he could get a hold of a fake passport.



On the powerful new drama Pure O

A versatile actor, who recently starred in CBS/CW’s drama series, The Republic of Sarah, Hope Lauren fans have come to know her as Corrine, a young high school teacher entangled in the complexities of nation-building, family dynamics, and matters of the heart. She can also be seen in IFC’s comedy feature, Bar Fight! written and directed by Jim Mahoney, in which she plays a hopeful starlet caught in the middle of a romantic feud.

Her other credits include Universal/ Blumhouse sequel The Forever Purge; CW’s Supergirl; FOX’s Fantasy Island; ABC’s Fresh off the Boat, Agent Carter, and Last Man Standing; HBO’s Togetherness; and Morgan Dameron’s directorial debut Different Flowers, which premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. She has also taken on memorable roles in MTV's Faking It and Awkward. Lauren has adroitly transitioned to the stage in her play BABY FOOT, a theatrical triumph highly acclaimed in New York and Los Angeles.

In the drama Pure O, written and directed by Dillon Tucker, Lauren is Emily, a musician struggling to support Cooper (Daniel Dorr), her fiancé, after he is diagnosed with a rare form of OCD. Based on the filmmaker’s own story, Pure O was nominated for the Grand Jury Award at the 2023 SXSW (South by Southwest Conference). Pure O is available digitally in the US, Canada, and UK.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview. What drew you to the role of Emily and this film?

Hope Lauren: When I first read the script, I was so moved by Cooper, first by his journey and diagnosis, then seeking help. And I thought it was really beautiful how writer/director Dillon captured her side of the story, her part in this partnership, and how she’s trying her best to help him. Yet at the same time, her plate is incredibly full and her life isn’t paused while this thing is happening to Cooper. I loved that he dealt with her in a generous and three-dimensional way. A lot of times, when I read a script, where I’m to play the girlfriend of the lead, it’s usually just that. Here, Emily was so fleshed out.

How did you prepare for the role?

Have you seen or experienced OCD in friends or family?

Lauren: I do have family and friends dealing with OCD. What’s really interesting about this film is that whenever I talked to friends or just chatted with someone at

the dog park, they would open up with someone they knew who had struggled with OCD. It’s interesting how the world opens up and you start gathering these little tidbits. And so when I started working on the film, I'd talk to friends and family and discover how prevalent OCD is, and how so many people suffer from all kinds of OCD. At the same time, Dillon and I talked about my preparation and he told me that I didn't need to do a ton of research about OCD. Emily doesn't really know that much about it and she's learning as she goes through this with Cooper.

What did you find most challenging about this film and playing Emily?

Lauren: Good question. I think that Emily is sort of disconnected from herself. She has to find herself, to look for something beautiful. She’s a character who is in her life but not necessarily connected to it. She doesn’t know herself completely. It’s always an interesting challenge to play a character that's floating through life. And at the end, we see her taking control and making a choice.

What went through your mind when Daniel placed that big knife on your throat as part of Cooper’s therapy?

Lauren: (laughs) It was a bit scary. We rehearsed that scene so much with a fake knife. I always felt that I could say stop if

Hope Lauren

I felt uncomfortable. But we did have one insert with a real knife that was incredibly blunted. It really spoke to the idea that Emily does trust Cooper.

Do you have a favorite scene? Why do you like it?

Lauren: When Emily is getting ready for the engagement party where she’s having these cute moments showing off her dress and we see her relationship with Cooper in a very playful state. I also really love whenever they’re in the bathroom, or crying about finding out she’s pregnant. Cooper wipes my tears away with his shirt and I blow my nose in it (laughs). I just love those tiny intimate details that reveal how connected they really are.

Nice duet you performed with Daniel. Are you a singer/songwriter too?

Lauren: Yes. In the very beginning when I’m in the shower and Cooper comes in, the song playing in the background is one that I wrote. But most of the songs are Dillon’s. I don’t have an album out. I usually just perform at small venues, coffee shops, etc.

What do you see as the core message of this film?

Lauren: It's about being brave and asking for help. That none of us can do this alone, that the only wrong way to do recover is alone. I sometimes have trouble asking for help. When I read the script, I was so moved by not only Cooper’s story but all the subplots within the rehab. Watching all

these people having grace with each other, holding space, and helping each other was a moving experience.

You’ve worked every side of this business from film and TV to plays and MTV. What have you learned about show business that really surprised you?

Lauren: Oh, that’s such a good question. From the outside, it appears that this business has just one pathway forward. You go out, you audition, you book things, then bigger things, and all of a sudden, you’re winning an Oscar. But then you come out here and you realize that you book things, there’s a break and book bigger things, then there’s a long break, then you’re a waitress. Then you’re booking things and you’re a waitress again. And then slowly, you just start finding little roles that speak to you. And there’s really no linear way to move through this work. So I just discovered that every day you're finding ways to be creative. You're self-generating and making things happen with friends and people you love and you just keep moving forward. And sometimes, you end up working with the same people and it becomes like a family.

What advice do you have for young talent struggling to make it in this business?

Lauren: Just don't quit. There have been so many times where I had no calls coming in and dealing with rejection after rejection.

And no money in my bank account. I've had those moments where you say to yourself, I don't know if I can do this anymore. But you just don't quit. You wake up and you just keep putting yourself out there. But with every job, you get to meet new people and hopefully, work with them and inspire each other. If you really love it, just don’t quit. And try to just make things with your friends. Even if it’s just getting together on a weekend.

What were you like in high school?

The girl most likely to…?

Lauren: (laughs) If you can believe it, I was head of the drama club and the girl most likely to go to Hollywood. I went to theater camp every year and begged my parents to move to New York or L.A. But I have six siblings so we didn't have the means to do that. So I found an agent myself when I was sixteen and started going out for things.

Was there a film or star that inspired you?

Lauren: I saw Titanic when I was really young. And watching Kate Winslet and Leo, I was so moved by both of them. Then when I got older, I watched Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine. They were all so emotionally raw and vulnerable. Almost emotionally naked on screen. And I thought, how brave that is. I wanted to be them one day.

Daniel Dorr and Hope Lauren Courtesy of Good Deed Entertainment

Trish Cook: Producer, Actress, Writer... AND PATRIOT !

Here at Hollywood Weekly, we were treated to an in-depth conversation with the lovely, Trish Cook, an individual whose life story embodies the essence of perseverance and spiritual growth amidst the pursuit of Hollywood dreams. Born a patriot, as she described, near the 4th of July, Cook’s journey was anything but conventional.

From her early beginnings in Ohio, where she worked in a factory at the age of 15, her military family caused multiple relocations, 16 to be exact, and living on military bases in remote places. However, a surprising relocation to New Jersey, opened a door that led Cook to study and work in New York City. She was finally living in a place where she could pursue her secret dreams and career goal… to work in the entertainment industry.

Cook’s narrative is one of tenacity and hard work, values she learned early on. Her acting ambitions were often met with skepticism back home, with peers questioning the plausibility of her dreams. Yet, undeterred, she pressed on, navigating the highly competitive and often cutthroat world of acting auditions and the modeling industry. In one instance, she recounted an extraordinary gig as a Leg and Shoe Model for Ferragamo Shoes. Their Fashion Showroom was located in the beautiful Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. It was an exciting and a wonderful experience. She hoped Ferragamo would... maybe give her a pair of those beautiful and expensive shoes… but no on that one… ha.

Our conversation delved into Cook’s rich experiences, which included her foray into Christian Dior on Madison Avenue, her time on soap operas, and her patriotic spirit, which has been a part of her identity since birth. It also touched on the moments that shaped her career, such as her appearance on a talent show at the age of seven and her work as a florist, interior designer, and dance teacher.

We were also given a glimpse into Cook’s more recent endeavors, such as her involvement in the “God and I” documentary, a project that explores testimonials of extraordinary experiences and neardeath encounters This documentary holds a special place in Cook’s heart, as it challenges Western society’s hesitance to discuss spirituality and life’s profound questions. Cook shared a particulary moving moment from her acting journey, where she was cast in lead role, after auditioning for small part on a Feature Film Comedy. This film was directed by Frank Sinatra Jr., who was very kind and sometimes a tad playful onset to break the tension of the tight schedule of the shoot. However, the feature did not reach final edit stages because of the untimely passing of Lead Actor, Creator and Writer, Sid Milton. The film was never distributed.

Despite the setbacks and the emotional rollercoaster that comes with an acting career, Cook’s advice to aspiring actors is poignant: Embrace the spectrum of human emotions, be prepared for hard work, and stay committed to your passion, even in the face of rejection and disappointment. Her stories serve as a testament to the resilience required to make it in the industry, a resilience she


Unveiling the Divine in Our Journey of Self and Success

continues to display in her ongoing projects. Trish Kook offers a candid look at her life, a montage of stories about morality, faith, and the unpredictable road to success. It’s a narrative that not only highlights the importance of image and equality in society but also emphasizes the power of human perseverance and the transformative nature of personal experiences in shaping an individual’s journey.


Can you tell us more about the “God and I” documentary and what inspired its creation?

Trish: The ‘God & I’ documentary creation began because of an amazing and profound chance encounter with a person that I did not know at all. As an Independent Producer, I was attending the enormous and loud AFM (the American Film Market @ The Lowe’s Hotel in Santa Monica ). Because of the thousands that attend this huge Event (filmmakers worldwide), it was so loud for so many hours. So, I decided to slip over to the adjacent hotel for a quiet and quick bowl of soup before my next meeting. Actually, I was kind of hiding at a small table in the back, wanting a little quiet time… alone. To my surprise, a lovely lady and tall gentleman asked me if they could eat lunch with me. There were many empty tables… but they looked so kind and nice, so I said ‘yes, absolutely, please join me’. They were explaining to me their concept about a project with working title of “God & I”. Years later, they are my very best friends! Our “God & I” documentary will share with the world, testimonials of extraordinary experiences, similar to miracles that have happened to real people, in the real world. And, near-death experiences will be included as well.

You mention personal narratives that have impacted your guests’ lives. Could you share a particular story that resonated with you?

Trish: I recently filmed an amazing lady that was suddenly diagnosed with a muscle

disease that quickly attacked all the muscles in her entire body, including her heart. Shortly thereafter, she went into a coma, and was hospitalized. Although she was a candidate for heart transplant, her family abandoned her, including her husband and sister. She died while in that hospital. She shared with me everything that happened to her, before she was revived, and received a new heart. Her story too long to explain here, but an incredible and very very emotional for me hearing and recording it. A book was written about her experience, entitled “Shark Heart”. There are many true stories that will be onscreen for the world to see and hear the journey and transformation of so many.

Success and resilience seem to be a recurring theme in your discussions. Can you share an insight from the podcast on how these experiences shape individuals?

Trish: Life is a journey…dynamic, unknown, complicated and everchanging. But I have learned, grown and changed through the amazing people that have shaped me. Some I know, most I read about. And, I met a person that was very very poor as a child, in extreme dyfunctional situation that was abandoned at age 15, with nowhere to go, or money or relatives. Today, he is a world known teacher, philanthropist, and has had enormous impact on millions through his teachings. He says ’success leaves clues’… meaning, a person can be self-taught, well read and learn from methods of success of others. I agree. I have many many goals and mountains to keep climbing.

You touched on the significance of image and equality in the entertainment industry. What are your thoughts on this?

Trish: In this Industry, I have personally observed and believe EVERY individual is important, unique, with qualities and talents. We need each other. And, I believe all of us are more the same, than different. I, personally, have learned from people that I never expected to meet ever. The honor and priviledge to stand beside them on a project,

with people that were sooo different on the outside, from places from all over the world has certainly affected me. And what I have learned…kindness, listening and learning, but most of all LOVE. We need it, everyone needs it. On every set, we need people on both sides of the camera, creating, working, for the same goal of making something awesome. I believe in that… good stories, with positive messages.

Lastly, for those dreaming of a career in Hollywood, what advice would you give?

Trish: My advice is to follow your heart and be prepared for the hard work ahead. You have to embrace life experiences and use them to inform your art. Be aware that it’s not an easy path, but if you’re dedicated and can navigate through the ups and downs with tenacity, you’ll find your way. And remember, it’s not about instant success; it’s a journey of self-discovery and perseverance.




Actress, writer, producer, and director, Kim Quinn has appeared as Ruth in the Oscar Nominated film, Hidden Figures; as Nurse Ana in the Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominated film, Saint Vincent; and as Jewels in the Western comedy El Camino Christmas. In television, she starred as Gretchen in the cult classic, Terriers; and as Holly in the thriller Gypsy. Currently producing The Goat for Netflix, she was cast as Regina in the Humanitas Award Winning film, The Starling also on Netflix, which she also produced. Quinn produces all her films through her production company Goldenlight Films alongside her husband, writer/director Ted Melfi.

In the upcoming film American Dreamer, Quinn is Maggie, the complicated and concerned daughter of Astrid, played by Shirley MacLaine. When a stranger, played by Peter Dinklage, moves into her mother's spare room, suspicions arise.

Based on a true story from Chicago Public Radio’s The American Life, American Dreamer follows Phil Loder (Dinklage), a twice-divorced, frustrated, underpaid professor of economics, whose grand dream of home ownership is tragically out of reach. When an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes his way, Phil strikes a deal with Astrid Finnelli (MacLaine), a lonely, childless, near-death widow who offers her sprawling estate for pennies on the dollar. But Phil quickly learns the deal is too good to be true. American Dreamer debuts in theaters this Spring nationwide.



Thank you for taking the time for this interview. What drew you to this film and the role of Maggie?

Kim Quinn: I was honored to get my name in the hat. Maggie is so wild and unpredictable. I loved that about her. Every daughter needs to protect her mother when Phil comes snooping around. She gets a little suspicious. It was a role that was filled with many emotions and Maggie wasn’t shy to show them all.

Did you audition for the role? If so, what was that like?

Quinn: I did behind the scenes. I didn’t have a specific audition. It was more of a meeting than an audition.

How did you prepare for the role? Did you know someone who has a cantankerous but kind, loving mother?

Quinn: I think everyone has a mother that has things that they can pull from.

You must have a favorite scene. Why do you like it?

Quinn: It was the car scene where I was crying. It was the most fun because Peter made me laugh the whole time. I'd been really lovingly annoyed with him. I would try to cry and whenever I looked at him, he would crack a smile. He would rib me and that was fun. Peter is so charismatic and giving. He's so compassionate and such a pure actor. He cares about every detail. That was the great thing about this movie— you're working with a legend. Before a scene, he's in character and working out the things he needs to do. There was such a respect that went along with all the actors. And it was comforting to know that your fellow actors are all on the same page.

What did you find most challenging about this film and playing Maggie?

Quinn: I don’t know, I have to say, I just loved every minute of it. If there was a challenge it was a fun challenge.

The large house featured in the film was quite interesting. Where was it?

Quinn: That was in Victoria, Canada. It was during Covid, so no one was around. We were on this island and it was just us. We just had a great time because you got to be on set with this little film family at a time when no one was seeing anyone.

You’ve worked every side of this business in film and TV. What have you learned about show business that really surprised you?

Quinn: I wish I could say I learned this and put it in cement but it takes so many years to learn little pieces at a time. And after you learn all these little pieces, there’s freedom on the other side. It’s where you can enjoy the process instead of not being able to breathe and grueling through it. Being on both sides of the camera is invaluable because you get to watch the scenes come to life. You get to watch the story being told. It’s all about storytelling and servicing the story.

What do you like better the writing or directing?

Quinn: I love to direct. I haven't directed in a long time but I'm working on a film right now—The Goat for Netflix— which I'm excited about. It stars Melissa McCarthy and Kevin Hart. We're also working on Ranger’s Apprentice for Skydance (based on the novel by John Flanagan). I love producing because I get to watch the film and story come to life before my eyes. And acting, the same. And when you’re writing, you get to disappear into the minds of the characters. So they all service one another.

American Dreamer is at times funny, sad, and uplifting. What do you see as the core message of this film?

Quinn: I think it’s the dream in general. It’s something that many people still think exists. I think American Dreamer shows that with tenacity, not giving up, fighting for what you want in life, and going through

all the ups and downs with it; if you hold on to hope long enough, it will show up for you. It might not be on your timing but on God's timing.

What advice do you have for young talent struggling to make it in this business—particularly acting and writing?

Quinn: Just dive into any aspect of the craft because there are many different sides to it. And don't put yourself in one area because you're going to learn to be a better actor if you get behind the camera. And if you're behind the camera, you'll learn how to be a better writer. They all service each other and you really cannot lose.

What were you like in high school?

The girl most likely to…?

Quinn: Oh Lord, I was the laughing girl. I got kicked out of classes because I laughed. I wasn’t the class clown but I did beat my own drum. I wasn’t in drama. I didn’t start acting until I was in my 20s. I was a dance teacher after I left high school. I had a lot of different jobs growing up. At nine years old, I was a paper girl. We were poor and I was taught that if you wanted anything you had to buy it yourself. So I grew up with an appreciation for hard work. My mother made me weed this long wall every summer. And now, guess what, I love weeding.


As a man of many accomplishments, as well as the creator of America's greatest game shows, "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune", Merv Griffin was a multi-talented entertainer whose career has spanned over six tremendous decades. Creating these shows in 1983, Griffin's influence in the entertainment industry has shined a light on game shows that were created so forth, which has continued to last to this day. While he unfortunately passed away back in 2007, his grand estate in La Quinta has lived on and has been on the market for any buyers who are open to it.

With the tremendous reputation behind his name, the legendary show creator had a legendary estate tied to his name, which has a lot of people curious to what it was like to live like Merv Griffin. With how this man lived his life in the heights of La Quinta, a desert resort city in California's Coachella Valley, he definitely lived in style. One look at the estate is enough to show that when it came to living a lavish, yet comfortable lifestyle, you could agree that someone like Merv Griffin had it all.

This estate listing has been managed by Mauricio Umansky and Zach Goldsmith of The Agency, and has been brought up for sale at a whopping $36 million. A price that steep would leave you reconsidering, that is until you step through the doors and see what make this estate worth every dollar and cent. As the crown jewel of the La Quinta area, this unique estate holds a lot of heart and a lot of land, with 40 acres of land which includes seven seperate residences to boot.

With a creative fusion of California's modern and Morrocan influences in the architecture, this luxury home was inspired by Yves St. Laurent’s Marrakesh and designed by Waldo Fernandez, a very influential Los Angeles interior designer. This fusion compliments the grace of Coachella Valley with the property's extensive grounds, with many palm trees and an expansive orchard with fruits, including the iconic King Fig Tree, one of the largest in the local area. Also, if you fancy yourself a fan of equestrian activities, there are stables and a full-on racetrack to gallop on. Afterwards, you

can enjoy a nice, refreshing break in the pool and take a load off with the dramatic views of the surrounding mountains and nearby Lake Merveilleux as a sweet cherry on top to the experience.

Going inside this estate, you will see the graceful living space that spans a solid 5,409 square feet has a surprising amount of character attached to it. With stunning white walls and wooden accents, this home has a good feel that retains the Morrocan influences, supported by the colorful lamps that add to the overall aesthetic and theming. With entertainment areas and living spaces that shine with character, the thirteen bedrooms and twelve bathrooms in this home provide a lot of comfort to residents and guests alike.

This estate has a lot of notoriety with the many famous figures who had come to Griffin's home, as he hosted many events and parties where many celebrities gathered. Many names such as Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Robert Loggia, Eva Gabor and Zsa Zsa Gabor being good


friends with the late Merv Griffin, he had been considered to be an excellent host with many accommodations to his guests. This place even has two additional homes next to the main building, the West Building (1,568 square feet) and the Gate Building (1,708 square feet ), which provide additional housing for any number of guests or staff. While many could see this as the perfect party house for many special occasions, this living space can also be seen as a nice, comfortable vacation home for friends and family alike.

About Merv Griffin

Now if you thought the $36 million property was interesting, the man himself who once lived in it has a lot more notoriety. Merv Griffin's name may ring familiar with the classic television show from the 60's to the 80's, "The Merv Griffin Show", but his presence in the entertainment world holds much more water than just that. Being the creator of both "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune", Griffin's name holds a true influence to how game shows are to this very day.

Merv Griffin got his start in entertainment in the music industry, as a big-band singer that toured and even managed to start his own record label. In 1950, Griffin scored big with the release of his #1 box office hit “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”. After many performances, Griffin was discovered by Doris Day and appeared in several movies in 1954, giving him a big break that shifted from music into television.

After working with Warner Bros. for a period of time, Griffin began to develop and host game shows. This included "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy", and even another show called "Play Your Hutch" that lasted from 1958 to 1963. It wasn't until 1965 when he began "The Merv Griffin Show", which ran for 21 years and garnered 11 Emmys, featuring guests such as Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Salvador Dalí.

In 1986, Merv Griffin retired and sold his production company, Merv Griffin Productions, to Colombia Pictures Television for $250 million. Being declared Hollywood’s richest performer, Griffin died in 2007 at the age of 82, leaving behind a powerful influence that carries on today.

This is one of the many bedrooms that this estate has to offer, with views all around to wake up to. The games room features a unique wallpaper that fits nicely with the home's overall aesthetic. The racetrack, where Merv Griffin once rode around on with champion racehorse, Stevie Wonderboy.


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