Update - 5/29/02:
For the past two nights The History Channel aired "Founding Brothers,"
which was a follow-up to "Founding Fathers," the cable channel's top-rated
miniseries in 2000. As he did in "Founding Fathers," Peter Coyote provided
Jefferson's voice. "His voice is calm, smooth, soothing, very placating," says
MPH documentarian Melissa Jo Peltier. In an e-mail from a film location in Montana, Coyote
said that although Jefferson is "not a personal favorite," he was delighted by
the assignment both as a history buff and fan of the History Channel. "I played
around with what today is a 'soft' Virginia accent," the actor wrote. "Who's to
say I'm wrong, anyway?"
Written in Blood was among the films screened in the Cannes
market at the 55th Cannes Film Festival this month. Director John Telersky is looking for
Update - 5/15/02:
As reported last fall, Coyote has a role in Jean-Paul Rappeneau's film, Bon
Voyage, and will share the screen with two of France's beloved stars -
Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Adjani. Rappeneau is known best for his 1990 Cyrano de
Bergerac also with Depardieu. Now, after several years of preparation with a change
in producer and several versions of the script, he is about to finally realize his dream.
This WWII romantic drama, set in a luxury hotel in Bordeaux, takes place in June of 1940
during the brief period when the French government fled there from Paris before the
establishment of the collaborationist Vichy regime. The cast also includes Virginie
Ledoyen, Gregori Derangere and Yvan Attal. Peter will play a British spy named Winckler
("very David Niven" according to Coyote). The release date has been set for
Update - 5/8/02:
If you've been watching the basketball playoffs, you've probably seen the NBA's
Read to Achieve national campaign. Its mission is to promote the value of reading
and online literacy and encourage families and adults to read regularly with young
children. Yes, the voiceover is done by Coyote. And if you've recognized his voice
elsewhere these days, it's most likely the Clarinex ads for their allergy
Update - 5/6/02:
will do the voice of Thomas Jefferson in a four-hour program on the History Channel,
airing on May 27 and May 28 at 9 pm (EST). Founding Brothers (based
on the book by Joseph J. Ellis) tells the story of how these great men - George
Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander
Hamilton and Aaron Burr - grappled with the task of actually making a theoretical
democratic government work. During the 1790s, which author and historian Joseph Ellis
calls the most decisive decade in our nation's history, these great statesmen came
together, defined the new republic and directed its course for the coming centuries.
Coyote previously did the voice of Thomas Jefferson for another History Channel production
called Founding Fathers, which premiered in November of 2000.
LIFETIME'S "THE DIVISION"
Lisa Vidal, Nancy McKeon, Bonnie Bedelia, Taraji Henson & Tracey Needham
In March Peter was in LA making a guest appearance on
two episodes of The Division, a Lifetime Cable series, which
explores the personal and professional lives of a group of female police officers in San
Francisco. Peter takes on the role of boyfriend to Capt. Kate McCafferty, played by Bonnie
Bedelia. These episodes will air on Lifetime on June 2 and June 9 at 9 pm (EST). You might
remember that Peter also played a boyfriend of Cybill Shepherd's on her show Cybill
back in September of 1997.
The DVD/video release dates of Suddenly
Naked are April 24, 2002 in Europe and December 31, 2002 in the US. This
romantic comedy, directed by Anne Wheeler, starring Wendy Crewson, Joe Cobden and Coyote,
has been making the film festival circuit. Following its Canadian screening in Toronto and
Vancouver, it was featured at the Berlin International Film Festival in February and at
the 9th International Women Film Festival in Teatro Nuovo, Italy, in March. Here are some
excerpts from the German review by Hans F. Domrich - "The effect of Suddenly
Naked on myself and the rest of the audience was uniform: within minutes I began
laughing myself off the seat. Anne Wheeler's sense of humour is one that I love: direct,
hard and merciless... It was a low-budget production, shot in just 23 days. That's a lot
of angles within each day. My compliments to the director for a work well done under
breakneck conditions and having produced a work that easily matches up with any
large-scale Hollywood production - it's so full of life and convinced me of its
You'll be able to purchase the DVD and video of A Walk to Remember
on July 9, 2002. Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, the film takes place
in a small Southern community during the 1950s. Landon, the teenage son (Shane West) of a
wealthy family finds himself strangely attracted to an unpopular classmate, Jamie (Mandy
Moore), the shy daughter of the town's Baptist minister (Coyote). When the two finally
come together, they realize the ignorance of the preconceived notions about each other.
Coyote talks with Mandy as
the cast takes a break
Update - 5/1/02:
Coyote is presently working on a film called Northfork.
This is the third film of a trilogy penned by identical twin brothers, Mark and Michael
Polish and directed by Michael. Their first two films were Twin Falls Idaho and Jackpot.
The cast also includes Nick Nolte, James Wood, Daryl Hannah, Claire Forlani, Graham
Beckel, Jon Gries and Josh Barker. Northfork is a 1950s-set story about a dam
being built in Montana and the repercussions of what happens when they decide to flood the
valley. Coyote calls it "extremely dry and funny." Mark points out that the
trilogy is centered on a quest for identity and individuality, and Northfork will
provide a clearer link to all three of the stories.
Coyote has two more movies scheduled in the months ahead. The first is
called The Hebrew Hammer, a silly comedy about a Jewish
super-hero played by Adam Goldberg. Peter plays the head of the Jewish Justice League, a
kind of crime-busters outfit, trying to save Hanukkah from an evil Santa, who has killed
his father (the good Santa) and is trying to wipe out all holidays but Christmas. Peter
comments, "this must be my year for comedies." The second film is a
movie-of-the-week production called Phenomenon, based on the
movie with John Travolta. It's actually a pilot for a TV series. Coyote plays a Berkeley
professor, a friend of the lead character, still uncast. If all goes well, this could be
the first series for him, so keep your fingers crossed!
Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale opened April 30 in Paris. Starring
Antonio Banderas, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Coyote, the film has some French critics
using the term "Machiavellian" to describe the way the film works on the
audience. More than one compares the film favorably to the work of David Lynch. Variety
calls it "an extravagant suspense cocktail of wacky and lascivious ingredients that
goes down fine" and goes on to say that Rebecca Romijn-Stamos has been given a chance
to shine in the role. The Variety review also gives positive mention to Antonio
Banderas and Peter Coyote. To De Palma's disappointment, the film will not be screened at
the Cannes Film Festival this month.
Update - 4/17/02:
Young San Francisco students will benefit from a jazz fund-raiser hosted
by Peter on April 22. Jazz guitar legends Bruce Forman, Mundell Lowe, Stanley Jordan and
friends will headline at the benefit for the nonprofit JazzMasters Workshop Mentoring
Program at Yoshi's jazz club, 510 Embarcadero W., in Oakland, CA. Tickets are available
for the April 22 benefit for $25 at www.yoshis.com or by calling (510) 238-9200. Peter
will give a short live interview about this event on KRON-TV (San Francisco's NBC
affiliate) on Friday morning, April 19 at 8:30 or 8:45 AM.
Update - 3/24/02:
On Monday evening, March 25, San Francisco's City Arts & Lectures
will feature writer and explorer Peter Mathiessen and poet Gary Snyder in conversation
with Coyote. The event will take place at 8 pm at the Herbst Theater.
Update - 3/22/02:
Coyote has fond memories about the birth of E.T. - Actor from Marin
got his big break. (San Francisco Chronicle) Taking a cue from his
mentor Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg wouldn't let the E.T. script out of his
hands for more than a few hours. When Peter Coyote was cast as a government scientist
tracking a wayward extra-terrestrial, he had to read the screenplay at home under the
watchful eye of Spielberg's assistant. The 20th anniversary edition of E.T.
has made the Marin County actor nostalgic about his first break in the business. "I
had easy access to Steven's office, and he gave me fabulous billing. I thought, 'Wow this
movie stuff is fun.' Coyote spent a lot of time with child stars Drew Barrymore and Henry
Thomas because Spielberg wanted everybody on the set whether they were working or not.
"I had not so many years earlier been on a commune surrounded by kids. This was much
the same easy familial atmosphere."
Update - 3/17/02:
Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment unveiled the 20th anniversary version of
Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial at a special
premiere yesterday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. This event, a benefit
for Special Olympics, featured John Williams conducting a 100-piece orchestra in a
live score-to-film performance. Peter introduced both Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of
the Special Olympics, and composer John Williams. These photos show our man arriving for
the premiere. He played scientist Keys in the film, which was originally released June 11,
1982, and holds Universal Pictures' record as highest-grossing domestic film ever. To
date, E.T. has earned more than $702 million in worldwide box office, making it
the studio's third-highest grossing film overseas. After the screening, a gala reception
followed at the Shrine Exhibition Hall.
Tomorrow evening Peter will be the guest speaker at San Francisco's first
"Conversations" sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild.
"Conversations" is a national member-to-member speaker series designed to
educate and motivate SAG members on how to sustain their passion for acting, the value of
training, education and self-sufficiency. The series features high profile members sharing
their experience and knowledge of the industry with their SAG colleagues. Previous guest
speakers include Sam Waterson, Chazz Palminteri, Ron Howard and Jennifer Connelly.
Update - 3/7/02:
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Steven Spielberg's timeless and beloved classic,
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is being re-released in theaters on
March 22 in a new version, which includes never-before-seen footage, state-of-the-art
computer-generated visual enhancements and a digitally-remixed soundtrack. From its
wordless, poetic and suspenseful introductory sequence to an exhilarating, poignant
finale, E.T. has become an indelible part of American film history. Directed by
Spielberg from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison, E.T. stars Drew Barrymore, Henry
Thomas, Dee Wallace Stone, Peter Coyote and Robert MacNaughton.
Spielberg with his cast 20 years later
On Saturday, March 2, Peter attended the 17th Santa
Barbara International Film Festival, where he shared in the celebration honoring
his friend, Sean Penn, who received the Modern Master Award for his work as an actor,
screenwriter and director. Below are some photos from that evening.
With Eileen Ryan Penn, Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey
With Robert Graham
With Festival artistic director Renee Missel
Supporting Art - (from the SF
Chronicle, 3/03/02): "There are only two murals remaining on thick
concrete walls once painted by abstract artist Christopher Lane and a group of juvenile
delinquents. The internationally recognized painter never thought he would have to worry
about the works being bulldozed after he left San Francisco's Youth Guidance Center, but
the city's arts commission says there's nothing they can do -- the walls must come down to
make room for a new 150-bed juvenile hall... 'He has shown at museums around the world,'
said Peter Coyote, actor, author and former California Arts Council president who collects
Lane's work. 'You would think they would be proud to have an artist of this caliber. You
can see murals in San Francisco that are third-rate, but nobody wants to take them down
because it's politically incorrect. He's a museum-quality artist, and people want to take
them down. Besides, you want to spend money to remove art to build a prison? Doesn't it
tell you something's wrong with the priorities?' Coyote and other artists have argued that
at a minimum, Lane should be compensated. 'He's a gifted man with resources that we want
to keep in San Francisco. What's always distinguished San Francisco is the quality of
cultural life here. It's not the Gold Rush kitsch, it's not strip shows. It's the edgy,
artistic, bohemian life.'"