Legendary Actor Paul Sorvino Discusses Acting Career and Art at Florida Film Festival By Sandra Carr

Director Martin Scorsese’s classic film Goodfellas, about New York City mobster Henry Hill and fellow gangsters stealing, selling drugs and whacking people off, is one of Italian-American actor Paul Sorvino’s most memorable roles in his portrayal of mob patriarch Paul Cicero.

Goodfellas

Goodfellas

Moviegoers watched Goodfellas during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival before a question-and-answer session with Sorvino. He said “he wanted to play in a Scorsese film more than he wanted to breathe his next breath.” Scorsese wanted Sorvino for the Paul Cicero role but Sorvino had a hard time connecting with the character originally.

He wore a black cashmere coat and his father’s pinky ring and tried to look like a gangster during his reading with Scorsese who he won over for the part. He was still trying to find his character and his inner sense for the role. Adjusting his tie in the hallway mirror, he jumped back and frightened himself because he found Paul Cisero. He said, “he knew exactly what to do for the part and it was one of the easiest roles to play.”

Photo by Sandra Carr

Photo by Sandra Carr

Sorvino also portrayed former mobster Joe Scoleri  who served time in prison and returns home in the movie Last I Heard, which was one of the narrative feature films during this year’s Florida Film Festival. Sorvino received praise from fan Anthony Castelluci, who led the audience in saying “Hell yeah” during the Q&A that followed Goodfellas on Saturday, April 12.

Last I Heard Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Last I Heard
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

At age 75, he has played more than 160 roles during his career and has never done the same character twice. He studied with famous acting teacher Sanford Meisner and made his film debut in Where’s Poppa? in 1970. Meisner taught him the ropes.

“I learned that you think before and after when you’re playing a role,” said Sorvino. “My first acting teacher Sanford Meisner said a thinking actor is a stinking actor. The more intelligent you are, then the more difficult it is to be a really good actor because your  intelligence gets in the way. You have to make sure your intelligence stays out and doesn’t take over.”

Paul Sorvino during his Q&A at the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival.                                                  Photo by Sandra Carr

Paul Sorvino during his Q&A at the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival.
Photo by Sandra Carr

One of his best performances was his portrayal of deaf attorney Lowell Myers in Dummy.  Sorvino said, “I created five different phases of deaf speech for my character. It was a challenge and my favorite role to play.”

Dummy

Dummy

Paul Sorvino portrays deaf attorney Lowell Myers in Dummy.

Paul Sorvino portrays deaf attorney Lowell Myers in Dummy.

He also played the Italian leader of the communist party Louis Fraina in Reds, and based the role on his grandfather.

Reds

Reds

Besides acting, Sorvino is an opera singer and professional bronze sculptor and painter. He created two lion sculptures  above designer Gianni Versace’s door in South Beach and a bronze sculpture of his granddaughter Mattea Angel, releasing a dove for the Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s heart wing.

I had an opportunity to ask Sorvino about his attraction to authoritative roles. “Those roles always come towards me,” he said. “I have always been a wise ass and somebody that knew more than he was supposed to know. When I was a kid, I would say that I knew enough just to piss everyone off! Whatever the role may be, I give it all I got!”

My husband Dan and I attended An Afternoon with Paul Sorvino, featuring Goodfellas during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival.

My husband Dan and I attended an afternoon with Paul Sorvino, featuring Goodfellas during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival.

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Giancarlo Esposito Discusses Notorious TV Villain Character and Career at Florida Film Festival By Sandra Carr

From a man behind the badge to bad guys, actor and director Giancarlo Esposito has played them all for more than 45 years. His acting career began on Broadway when he was 8 years old and he hasn’t looked back.

Esposito’s first film was Taps but his breakout role was his portrayal of Buggin’ Out in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. The movie brought racial barriers in Brooklyn, N.Y. to the forefront on the big screen. His Buggin’ Out character is all about the black man and doesn’t understand why Sal’s Famous Pizzeria doesn’t have African-American pictures hanging next to famous Italian celebs on the restaurant’s walls. He decides to boycott the restaurant with two of his friends and causes chaotic upheaval.

Do the Right Thing Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Do the Right Thing
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

 

This prolific movie is celebrating its 25-year anniversary and was watched by a sold-out crowd during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival, followed by a question-and-answer session with Esposito.

An evening with Giancarlo Esposito. Photo by: Sandra Carr

An evening with Giancarlo Esposito during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival.
Photo by: Sandra Carr

Esposito said, “it has been 25 years since Do the Right Thing was made and I feel so honored to be talking about it. I learned a lot from Spike Lee. He really opened a lot of doors for so many black, white and Asian artists and showed us self expression.”

Do the Right Thing is celebrating its 25-year anniversary.

Do the Right Thing is celebrating its 25-year anniversary.

He shared that Do the Right Thing was filmed on a block in Brooklyn that was completely a mess and burned out with crack houses. The block was transformed into a Hollywood set and the cast were really into it but knew that the area was very violent and recalled hearing gun fire when they filmed at night.

Esposito provided the audience with his insights about film and acting. “There was magic happening and a number of us moved to Brooklyn because we were committed. If you’re in it, then you can’t really judge because you’re serving up and honoring the word and other actors. It doesn’t matter if it’s a flop. You have done your best to make it a great experience for all involved and yourself.”

Giancarlo participates in a question-and-answer session during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival. Photo by: Sandra Carr

Giancarlo Esposito participates in a question-and-answer session during the 23rd Annual Florida Film Festival.
Photo by: Sandra Carr

He shared some humorous moments with Lee, including how he caught the diehard New York Mets fan wearing New York Yankees gear at a Yankee game. He said Lee got tired of the Mets losing and switched to the Yankees because they’re winners.

Spike Lee wearing New York Yankees gear.

Spike Lee wearing New York Yankees gear.

Esposito’s iconic role was portraying evil meth lord Gustavo “Gus” Fring on Breaking Bad. He said the meth lab was real and cost a half-million dollars. He revealed that “Gus was a very complicated guy that cultivated and cared about people. He had the laundry, chicken places and the meth stuff going on and was outstanding and respected and supported humanity.”

Giancarlo Esposito portrayed Gus Fring on AMC's Breaking Bad. Photo credit: Photo by Ursula Coyote/AMC

Giancarlo Esposito portrayed Gus Fring on AMC’s Breaking Bad.
Photo by: Ursula Coyote/AMC

Esposito’s acting career is being recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 29, 2014. His longtime friend Timothy Hutton will be speaking at the ceremony. For more information, visit walkoffame.com.

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Movies Make their Mark on the Big Screen at Florida Film Festival By Sandra Carr

Cinema takes center stage April 4-13, 2014 during the 23rd annual Florida Film Festival at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Fla. and the Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village Stadium 20 Movie Theater in Winter Park, Fla. The film fete features 170 movies, including animated shorts, documentaries, spotlights, narrative features and shorts and special screenings.

Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

This year’s opening-night film was The Trip to Italy, a movie featuring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon portraying hilarious variations of themselves during a Romantic poets’ grand tour of Italy.

The Trip to Italy  Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Trip to Italy
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The party continued after the movie with savory flavors by Cask & Larder, Coppola Fine Wines, The Courtesy, Ethos Vegan Kitchen, Enzian & Eden Bar, Hyatt Grand Regency, K Restaurant, The Matador, Olea Grill, Sushi Pop, The Smiling Bison, Tito’s Vodka, Troy & Sons and Whole Foods.

Photo by Michael Liesch

Photo by Michael Liesch

This year the FFF had the Locally Fresh! Farmers Market on Eden Bar’s lawn on Saturday, April 5. Folks had an opportunity to purchase produce from area farmers and vendors.

Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Celebrity appearances include actor Giancarlo Esposito during the 25-year anniversary showing of Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing on Sunday, April 6. The actor has also played the notorious meth-lab operator Gustavo “Gus” Fring in Breaking Bad and FBI agent Jack Baer in the Usual Suspects.

Do the Right Thing Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Do the Right Thing
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon will be attending the FFF  at the Enzian Theater on Friday, April 11. Watch her Oscar-winning performance in Dead Man Walking followed by a Q&A with the legendary actress herself. This event is currently on standby. Arrive one hour before the movie for a possible chance of attending this event.

Dead Man Walking  Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Dead Man Walking
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Actor Paul Sorvino portrays a gangster that served time in prison and returns home in the Last I Heard. He will be discussing his career following the screening of Goodfellas on Saturday, April 12.

Last I Heard Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Last I Heard
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Other films include Jude Law’s gritty, cocky and spectacular performance in Dom Hemingway, a film about a thief and safe cracker that serves 12 years in prison and tries to have a new life and re-establish his relationship with his daughter Evelyn.

Dom Hemingway Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Dom Hemingway
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The documentary For No Good Reason looks at cartoonist and illustrator Ralph Steadman’s career and work with GONZO writer Hunter S. Thompson. Actor Johnny Depp interviews Steadman throughout the documentary at his home and studio in England.

For No Good Reason Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

For No Good Reason
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Double , based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic novella, starring Jesse Eisenberg as the shy Simon James and his doppelgänger, the reckless and assertive James Simon.

The Double Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Double
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage plays the lead role in Joe, a story based on author Larry Brown’s novel about a hard-living and angry ex-con who is trying to lead a life under the radar until he meets a boy that needs a father figure in his life.

Joe Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Joe
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Animator Bill Plympton returns to the festival with Cheatin’,  a story about a guy and gal  in love that are torn apart by jealousy and lies.

Cheatin' Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Cheatin’
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

A couple goes on a car-ride journey to get married in Forev.

Forev Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Forev
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

People are searching for God and the right religion in American Jesus. From snake handlers to mega-church preachers, there’s a religion type for everyone.

American Jesus Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

American Jesus
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Rock stars dream about making it in the music business but what if it never happens? The Front Man documents New Jersey band the Loaded Poets’ lead vocalist Jim Wood still wanting a record deal after more than 25 years of being a local rock ‘n’ roll star and trying to have a normal life with his wife.

The Front Man Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Front Man
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Experience comedies, dramas, panel discussions, parties and more during this year’s Florida Film Festival. The more you watch, the more you see! Individual film tickets are $9 and $11 and passes and packages are $99-$800 per person. For more information, including the Florida Film Festival schedule and purchasing tickets, visit http://www.floridafilmfestival.com.

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Dark Side Sees the Rockin’ Light in ‘Key of E’

Taking things for granted can have harsh consequences and for some, like Dark Side of Saturn’s musical Key of E’s lead character Ethan (Corey Volence), it takes a rockin’ apocalypse to realize what he has in life.

Key of E - Image courtesy of Dark Side of Saturn

Key of E – Image courtesy of Dark Side of Saturn

Ethan has his demons. He loves to drink, get rowdy and sing about the end times and what makes his punk-rock temper boil while making his girlfriend Joslyn (Marisa Quijano) upset when she’s ready to leave a bar.

Ethan (Corey Volence) presents a rockin' performance during Key of E.  Photo by Emily Gilbert

Ethan (Corey Volence) presents a rockin’ performance during Key of E.
Photo by Emily Gilbert

A huge flood causes havoc after one of Ethan’s drunken escapades and changes his life forever. The props during the flood scenes were wonderful, vivid visualizations. The car with the headlights on and swerving out of control during the flood in the darkness was believable and had you experience what it may have been like behind the wheel.  Underwear and bras hanging from a sheet, which had a clothes-line feel as well as garbage moving as if it was underwater was a nice touch. The debris that washed up on the shore as part of the set dressing was a junk collector and survivor’s dream come true.

Wounded castaway Ethan is faced with being stranded on a deserted island. His mind plays tricks on him but tries to help him realize that he’s a jerk and how he can be a better boyfriend and person overall. He also confronts his psyche, The Id, which is a huge monster with red eyes during the performance.

Ethan (Corey Volence) attempts to survive on a deserted island in Key of E. Photo by Emily Gilbert

Ethan (Corey Volence) attempts to survive on a deserted island in Key of E.
Photo by Emily Gilbert

Director and in-person narrator Andy Matchett was a humorous interlude. He rocked out in the beginning of the performance and kept the story’s humorous pace flowing. Volence and Quijano sang their hearts out with excellent vocal delivery and the musical’s band was tight with perfect tempo.

Ethan (Corey Volence) and Joslyn (Marisa Quijano) sing their hearts out during Key of E. Photo by Emily Gilbert

Ethan (Corey Volence) and Joslyn (Marisa Quijano) sing a duet during Key of E.
Photo by Emily Gilbert

The script was also brilliant and hilarious, and included funny, armageddon references to The Walking Dead and Waterworld.

Narrator Andy Matchett rocks out during Key of E. Photo by Emily Gilbert

Narrator Andy Matchett rocks out during Key of E.
Photo by Emily Gilbert

Kudos to Matchett for the story and rockin’ tunes and Volence for writing the script. These two collaborators accomplished an amazing feat as well performed in their own musical. This duo should mind meld more often, and who knows what other musical masterpieces will transpire when their creative juices are flowing.

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God is a Laughing Matter

Who knew God was a hilarious, Scottish drag queen wearing a ladies’ pastel-colored, flower-power suit complete with shoulder pads from the 1980s? That’s what I found out during Canadian comedian Mike Delamont’s sold-out God is a Scottish Drag Queen performance during the 22nd Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival.

God is a Scottish Drag Queen - Image courtesy of Mike Delamont

God is a Scottish Drag Queen – Image courtesy of Mike Delamont

Delamont’s comedic timing was dead-on and covered topics such as music from centuries past to present, including Justin Bieber, which was one of his proudest creations. I’m sure my 6-year-old niece Keira thinks so, too!

I enjoyed discovering that my Scottish heritage was worth celebrating even more during the show! Being a Scot definitely has its privileges, that’s for sure!

Fellow Orlandoans were also teased when the City Beautiful’s ambiance and weather were hot topics. Delamont also made cracks about the locals and different Central Florida areas, which were a real hoot.

God is a Scottish Drag Queen - Image courtesy of Mike Delamont

God is a Scottish Drag Queen – Image courtesy of Mike Delamont

He pokes fun at happenings in the Bible and Popes and expresses how Easter is a hard time for God for obvious reasons and can’t understand why people celebrate with candy.

The show also features visual projections and music that enhances the performance by tech-angel Charles Martin, which God calls for assistance from time to time, including when he gets his groove on during the show.

God is eminent and everywhere and has proven that he works in mysterious ways, and even as a humorous, Scottish drag queen overflowing with moxie. You don’t get better than that.

God is a Scottish Drag Queen - Image courtesy of Mike Delamont

God is a Scottish Drag Queen – Image courtesy of Mike Delamont

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‘Death Proof’ Star Zoë Bell Talks Acting and Stunts at Florida Film Festival

New Zealand stuntwoman Zoë Bell has been kicking butt since playing Lucy Lawless’ (Xena) stunt double on the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess. Her background includes gymnastics, martial arts and sports. Her career took off after playing actress Uma Thurman’s stunt double in both of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films.

Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Zoe Bell  Image courtesy: ZoeBell.com

Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Zoe Bell
Image courtesy: ZoeBell.com

Tarantino cast Bell as herself in the action-thriller Death Proof  (2007), which was shown during the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival. Seeing the movie on the big screen and feeling the adrenaline rush and anticipation was worth every penny I spent at the Enzian Theater. My husband Dan and I rented the movie years ago but watching it in the theater put us in the driver’s seat instead of the couch.

Death Proof

Death Proof

The movie features a psychopathic stuntman Mike who kills women with his death-proof stunt car. He meets his match when he comes across stuntwomen Bell and Kim and makeup artist Abernathy driving a muscle car during a movie-making break on the back roads of Lebanon, Tenn. Bell’s gripping performance while playing ships mast, a game where you ride on the hood of a car, during a car chase with stuntman Mike, keeps you on the edge of your seat. Bell is natural, funny and a badass throughout the movie.

A Q&A with the darling daredevil followed the film presentation, with Bell sharing that Tarantino provided her with acting training during the filming of the Kill Bill movies. He had also seen her in Double Dare (2004), a movie about stuntwomen, and felt she was a character that people enjoyed watching and wrote a role for her in Death Proof

Photo by: Sandra Carr

Photo by: Sandra Carr

Bell’s role in Death Proof was such an honor from Tarantino. I asked Bell what it was like to play herself. Bell thought “Tarantino was complimentary but smart because I wasn’t a trained actor and didn’t know the difference or had any point of reference for acting myself or somebody else. The reality was he wrote the character based on me—it was my name, acting and career. But the words were his. Quentin writes dialog and that’s what he does. Quentin wouldn’t allow me to take acting classes and just wanted me to know my script. For the record, I have never rode on a hood of a car or killed a man before [Laughs].”

Zoe Bell during her Q&A at the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival Photo by Sandra Carr

Zoe Bell during her Q&A at the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival.
Photo by: Sandra Carr

She also portrayed Eve, an assassin getting revenge on her former employers in the web series Angel of Death (2009) with former Xena star Lucy Lawless. TV show appearances include Lost, CSI: Miami, Gossip Girl and Hawaii Five-O.

Zoe Bell and Sandra Carr at the Florida Film Festival on April 12, 2013 Photo by: Dan Carr

Zoe Bell and Sandra Carr at the Florida Film Festival on April 12, 2013.
Photo by: Dan Carr

Besides Death Proof, her big-screen films include Django Unchained, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and Oblivion. She produces and plays the lead character Sabrina in Raze, a horror, female-fighting flick about abducted women that are forced to fight to the death with their bare hands. The movie premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival and will be out in theaters real soon.

Raze Image courtesy: Upcoming-movies.com

Raze
Image courtesy: Upcoming-movies.com

Bell says Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was the most challenging role during her career. She plays a Tall Witch in the movie and had to undergo three hours of prosthetic makeup glued into her orifices, contacts, fake teeth and heavy clothing with a corset, hood,  gloves tucked into her costume, horns on her shoulders and heeled boots.

Zoe Bell and Tanya Hanson Photo by: Sandra Carr

Zoe Bell and Tanya Hanson
Photo by: Sandra Carr

Zoe Bell and fans at the Florida Film Festival. Photo by: Tanya Hanson

Zoe Bell and fans at the Florida Film Festival.
Photo by: Tanya Hanson

Being a stuntwoman isn’t easy and Bell provided one person with some valuable advice. “You should be in peak, physical condition and keep training, so that you’re capable of whatever people are asking of you. It’s important to know what your limits are. If you push yourself too far and commit to jobs that are past your limit, then that’s when you disappoint people. Just work very hard to be the best.”

Tanya Hanson, Zoe Bell and Sandra Carr striking a pose on the red carpet during the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Fla. Photo by: Samantha Laine

Tanya Hanson, Zoe Bell and Sandra Carr striking a pose on the red carpet during the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Fla.
Photo by: Samantha Laine

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Tippi Hedren Discusses ‘The Birds’ and Acting Career at Florida Film Festival

The Birds, an Alfred Hitchcock classic about birds attacking people in Bodega Bay, Calif., launched Tippi Hedren’s acting career in 1963. Hitchcock discovered Hedren after seeing her in a Sego diet-drink commercial and knew she was the one that should portray wealthy, San Francisco socialite Melanie Daniels in The Birds. She won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female for her debut performance.

The Birds Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

The Birds
Image courtesy: Florida Film Festival

Moviegoers watched The Birds during the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival before a question-and-answer session with Tippi Hedren. My husband Dan and I have seen The Birds on TV,  so watching the movie on the big screen was a real treat!

The Birds Image courtesy of Movie Poster Shop

The Birds
Image courtesy: Movie Poster Shop

Hedren shared memories of making The Birds during her Q&A. She said that Hitchcock assured her that there would only be mechanical birds during the filming of the movie but that wasn’t the case. There were live birds in the movie and one bird pecked Hedren underneath her left eye during the filming of the  birds attacking her  in the upstairs bedroom scene.

Photo by Sandra Carr

Photo by: Sandra Carr

Hedren informed the audience that she wore six light-green suits during the filming, which was her main outfit during the bird scenes. She also didn’t know how to operate a motor boat but got it right on the first try after watching men operating motor boats beforehand. Hedren  loved driving the silver Aston Martin in the film. The crew was worried when she drove near a cliff. The car was going in reverse after she put the clutch into drive and it was a close call!

Tippi Hedren during her Q&A at the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival Photo by Sandra Carr

Tippi Hedren during her Q&A at the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival.
Photo by: Sandra Carr

I had an opportunity to ask Hedren what was the one thing she learned from Hitchcock that she used throughout her career. “All of the information about acting, including the aids and thought processes,” she says. “I have used all of those techniques and they have been absolutely invaluable.”

Hitchcock was Hedren’s acting coach and transformed her into a star. He cast his new leading lady, who he was obsessed with, as Marnie Edgar in the 1964 film Marnie. The story is about a woman who is a habitual thief with serious psychological problems that’s married to her boss Mark Rutland, portrayed by Sean Connery.

Image courtesy of Movie Poster Shop

Marnie                                                         Image courtesy: Movie Poster Shop

During the filming of Marnie, Hedren could  no longer tolerate Hitchcock’s sexual advances and ended her contract after the movie was finished. She knew the repercussions of ending her contract with Hitchcock could possibly be the end of her movie career but Hedren didn’t care and just wanted to be free. The HBO movie The Girl,  starring Sienna Miller as Hedren, brings Hitchcock’s obsession and the actress and director’s turbulent relationship to the forefront.

The Girl Image courtesy of IMDB.com

The Girl
Image courtesy: IMDB.com

After Hitchcock’s contract expired, she was cast by actor, writer and director Charlie Chaplin as Martha in A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). Hedren has starred in more than 50 films during her career and portrayed Betty in Free Samples (2012), a movie about a Stanford law-school dropout named Jillian who escapes to Los Angeles to figure out what she wants to do with her life and ends up running an ice-cream truck. The movie was featured during the 22nd Annual Florida Film Festival.

Hedren became passionate about protecting big cats after filming Satan’s Harvest (1970) in South Africa.  She produced and starred in  Roar (1981), an 11-year project that cost $17 million and made $2 million at the box office. The flick featured African lions invading a home and chasing people up and down stairs and into rooms. The film led to establishing the nonprofit Roar Foundation in 1983 and later the Shambala Preserve (http://www.shambala.org/) in Acton, Calif, which is the home of 47 big cats, including African lions, Siberian and Bengal tigers, leopards, servals, mountain lions and bobcats.  Hedren lives on the Shambala Preserve and conducts monthly tours to the general public.

Roar Image courtesy of IMDB.com

Roar
Image courtesy: IMDB.com

Hedren was successful in getting a federal bill passed by Congress to stop the interstate traffic of lions and tigers that was signed by President George W. Bush in 2003.  She’s working on another federal bill to stop the breeding of exotic felines in the U.S. that’s called the Big Cats Public Safety Protection Act, which may get passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama sometime in April.

Hedren says, “she wants to put a stop to big cats being born into captivity and children and adults being killed or maimed for life by these magnificent animals who are literally serial killers. There’s not one thing we can give a wild animal in captivity that they need. What they need is to be born and live free forever.”

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