Around 7:00 p.m., John, whom she calls “Johnny,” enters the theater first to wait for his wife, who minutes later does a little sashay-style dance behind the press line saying, “I’m really not here,” on her way into the theater to get him.
The couple emerges together, arm-in-arm, striking cutesy poses. Kelly greets Australian director James Wan (the guy who directed Saw) with a kiss on the cheek. “He’s fantastic,” she coos to photographers, including one wearing a shirt emblazoned “Smile For The Camera, Baby.”
When it’s time for interviews, I’m delighted to find that John, who has patiently waited for Kelly, is more than happy to chat with me. Although he’s seeing the film for the first time that evening, he’s excited to talk about working with Kelly and their daughter Ella in Old Dogs. “Ella’s doing a terrific job, as is Kelly,” he tells me. “We’re having a good time on the set; we love it. It’s been a dream since we’ve all been together.” So…does he have any reservations about making his daughter a child star? Nah. “I would’ve done anything to start that early,” he says to me.
Kelly steps up for a joint interview and the couple begins preaching a bit about how their controversial religion actually helps their marriage. “We’re both Scientologists and we have similar beliefs in how to raise our kids,” Kelly says. “It keeps us constantly growing spiritually, happy and grounded. We know how to survive in life a whole lot better. It helps you on a daily basis. We apply religious philosophy everywhere that it’s applicable.” John pipes up. “We use the techniques all the time at work, home, with the kids,” he says. “It’s all tools for better survival – tools you need for every day life.”
Aside from e-meters and Dianetics, what also helps their family life is a, well… a Slip ‘n Slide. Kelly confesses she keeps in shape by playing with her kids. “Slip ‘n slide was this weekend, swimming, walks, bikes, roller skates, tennis, you name it. That’s my exercise.”
Psst … On his way into the theater, partygoers tell John it’s Kelly’s best performance ever.
Kevin Bacon sneaks off to the restroom between photos and interviews. Ah! Reporters were worried we weren’t going to get him, but Whew!, he returned. About the movie, he says, “It’s the story of a guy who’s protecting his family. The feelings I have for my kids are stronger than anything. It’s a lot of physical stuff. Running, jumping, scars, but it’s also a very deep emotional part.” When asked about the secret to a happy marriage, the man who has been married to Kyra Sedgwick for 19 years tears up. “I don’t know; I really don’t know,” he confesses to me. “All I know is the key to my marriage is the fact we like spending time together and we enjoy each other’s company.”
Kevin really is a family guy, according to co-star Hector Atreyu Ruiz. After the film wrapped, Kevin invited cast members over to his home for salad and sandwiches to watch a rough cut of movie. “We all know he’s a great actor,” Hector said. “What was more impressive to me is that he’s such a simple, honest, father and friend. He’s a simple man with a great heart.”
Death Sentence opens Friday (August 31).
I was going to attend the CMA press conference featuring Sara Evans and Sugarland later this week, but now the publicist is telling me it’s live on Good Morning America, and I’ll have to fly to Nashville if I want to cover the “real” press conference featuring Taylor Swift and Montgomery Gentry. Do they think my middle name is JetBlue? (Actually, I don’t have a middle name, so it’s always been up for grabs…) There was great excitement in the office when an e-mail went around about OK! reporter Joyce Eng interviewing Lark Voorhies, AKA Lisa Turtle from Saved By The Bell. Our PR maestro pitched away. “Ask if Tori Spelling‘s short-lived role as Violet Bickerstaff on Saved by the Bell was more or less important to ‘90s television than her days on 90210?” he wrote. Somebody’s a huge fan…Love the ‘80s? I got a phone call from a publicist pitching me The Stray Cats, The Alarm, The Sixx and Squeeze. Anyway, Mike Peters from The Alarm is a cancer survivor, and he along with a bunch of ‘80s band members (“old guys” she called them) will begin a 14-day trek climbing Mount Everest beginning October 13. They’ll be performing acoustically each day, and fans will be able to download the tracks on iTunes. Proceeds go to cancer research, and you can go to http://www.lovehopestrength.com to find out more.
I capped off the evening with a screening of The Jane Austen Book Club (in theaters Sept. 21). Who knew reading Jane Austen novels could greatly improve your relationships?