'don jon' cast

“Don Jon” cast at Opening Night NYC Premiere: (Left to right) Tony Danza, Scarlett Johansson. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Julianne Moore, Rob Brown, Jeremy Luke

*Finding Forrester’s phenom Rob Brown escorted his lovely wife to the New York Premiere of Don Jon on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at the trendy SVA Theater in tony Chelsea, New York City, in which he stars along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza, Julianne Moore, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson and Jeremy Luke.

Following the celebrated screening, Relativity’s Chief Executive Officer Ryan Kavanaugh, President Tucker Tooley and Co-Chief Operating Officer Happy Walters hosted a fabulous after party at Top of the Standard Hotel.

The R-Rated movie — marking Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut — received standing orections when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the SXSW Film Festival and at a special presentation at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Don Jon — which is distributed by Relativity Media Distribution Group — is a comedic drama about a New Jersey guy who is dedicated to his family, friends, and church, but develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love.  To make a long story short, this flick is about a dick who is addicted to pornography; and this movie will surely cause a “rise” in “porn” stock!

Don Jon tells the story of Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a strong, handsome, good old-fashioned guy whose buddies Bobby (Rob Brown) and Danny (Jeremy Luke) call him Don Jon due to his ability to “pull” a different woman every weekend, but even the finest fling doesn’t compare to the bliss he finds alone in front of the computer watching pornography.

Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) is a bright, beautiful, good old-fashioned girl.  Raised on romantic Hollywood movies, she’s determined to find her Prince Charming and ride off into the sunset.  Wrestling with good old fashioned expectations of the opposite sex, Jon and Barbara struggle against a media culture full of false fantasies to try and find true intimacy in this unexpected comedy written, directed and starring Gordon-Levitt.

Jon’s complex lifestyle is further exaggerated by his dysfunctional family: dad Jon Martello, Sr. (Tony Danza), mom Angela Martello (Glenne Headly), and sister Monica Martello (Brie Larson); and his older love interest Esther (Julianne Moore).

Don Jon is set for nationwide release on September 27, 2013 so you’ll have to hold your “piece” until then.  The creative team behind the movie consists of Ram Bergman (producer), Nicolas Chartier (executive producer), Lauren Zuckerman (film editor), Meghan C. Rogers (production designer), Nathan Johnson (composer/music score), Thomas Kloss (cinematographer) and Leah Katznelson (costume designer).

About Rob Brown
Rob Brown was born in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  A natural who never studied acting and who had no professional acting experience, made his acting and motion picture debut as Jamal Wallace, a young African American basketball player with more than a passing flair for writing who develops a surprising friendship with a crusty, agoraphobic novelist (Sean Connery) in Gus Van Sant’s gentle coming-of-age drama Finding Forrester, which marked an auspicious beginning to a promising career, and an unpredictable one.  With absolutely no formal acting experience, Brown attended the audition with plans to try out as an extra hoping to make enough to pay his cell phone bill and scored the lead.  In the process, the neophyte thespian beat out thousands of young hopefuls and prompted Van Sant to later reflect, “[Brown] handled himself so beautifully that I’m not sure how he did it with no previous acting experience — not even a lesson. We were all amazed.”  Brown celebrated his 16th birthday just before the start of production.  He was a talented athlete in high school playing both basketball and football.  At the time of filming for Finding Forrester, he attended Poly Prep High School in Brooklyn, NY, and played on their basketball team.  He also attended Amherst College in Amherst, MA, where he played varsity football and majored in psychology graduating in the class of 2006.  Brown is also known for his roles in the films Coach Carter (2005), Take the Lead (2006), and The Express (2008).  In 2008, Brown also appeared in Kimberly Peirce‘s Iraq War drama Stop-Loss in the supporting role of Isaac “Eyeball” Butler.  Brown just wrapped the final season of his critically acclaimed HBO series “Treme,” created by David Simon.

jennifer hudson - winnie compilation

Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard starring in “Winnie Mandela” are pictured with the real life Winnie Mandela and the Honorable Nelson Mandela

*The long-awaited biopic drama Winnie Mandela, about the controversial second former wife of renowned activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela, is a story that chronicles the life of Winnie Mandela from her childhood through her marriage and her husband’s incarceration and is based on the biography “Winnie Mandela: A Life by Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob.”  The film is presented by T. D. Jakes and produced by Andre Pieterse and Michael Mosca.

Starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) and Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard (“Hustle & Flow”), Winnie Mandela is an epic story of love, sacrifice and courage.  Moving from a remote tribal village to the sprawling metropolis of Johannesburg, South Africa, a proud young Winnie (Hudson) soon found love with a rising political star, Nelson Mandela (Howard).

When Nelson was imprisoned for protesting the brutal Apartheid government, Winnie worked tirelessly to win his freedom and to carry on his message of peace and equality.  Her struggle to keep the Mandela dream alive was rewarded by years of persecution and imprisonment, including 18 months of solitary confinement.  Throughout, her resolve to fight for her freedom, her family and her country never wavered.  Her leadership and unconquerable spirit caught the attention of the world and earned her the name “the mother of the nation.

The film tells the compelling story of one woman’s journey as she fights for the freedom of the man she loves and for the freedom of her people during the Apartheid era.  Winnie Mandela depicts the struggle to keep the Mandela dream alive amidst her husband’s life imprisonment, her own time in solitary confinement, and her battle to overcome controversies that followed her through the years.

In a recent interview, Hudson spoke candidly of her feelings about playing the role.  “It was intimidating to play Winnie after seeing how much she means to the people there.  To some she’s an angel and to some she’s Satan, but either way, woo!  The strength that woman possesses is amazing.  We put so much into the story, and it took a lot out of us,” she admitted.

However, the powerful film did not get a positive endorsement from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.  In an interview with CNN, the 74 year-old former First Lady called the filmed biopic disrespectful and an insult.  “I have absolutely nothing against Jennifer, but I have everything against the movie itself.  I was not consulted.  I am still alive.  I think that it is total disrespect to come to South Africa, make a movie about my struggle and call that movie some translation of a romantic life of Winnie Mandela.  I think it is an insult.  I don’t know what would be romantic in our struggle.  There is no way someone can just know the emotions and thoughts of what she experienced during the time of civil and social inequality.”

Poignantly directed by Darrell James Roodt (“Zimbabwe,” “Meisie”), and adapted from the Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob-penned biography “Winnie Mandela: A Life by Anna Marie du Preez Bezdrob” with screenwriters Andre Pieterse, and Darrell James Roodt, the early buzz is as incendiary as the film itself.

Winnie Mandela stars Jennifer Hudson, Terrence Howard, Elias Koteas, Wendy Crewson, Aubrey Poo, Unathi Kapela, Fezeka Ndlazilwana, Talitha Ndima, Professor Mavuso, Nomsa Xaba, and Bongi Mbongwe.  The film which is produced by T.D. Jakes, Michael Mosca, Andre Pieterse, Philo Pieterse, Ellen S. Wander and Rocky Bester, opened in theaters on Friday, September 6, 2013.
New York based award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel for the Electronic Urban Report and other outlets.  Contact her via: [email protected]

audrey j. bernard

Audrey J. Bernard