The Official Peter Coyote Web Site

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Update - 8/21/07:

RESURRECTING THE CHAMP opened last weekend grossing about $1.8 million. Of course, it had tough competition with "The Bourne Ultimatum" (great film!) and "Superbad". On Wednesday night Peter, along with his wife Stefanie, joined many celebrities in Los Angeles for the film's premiere. Click here for several photos from that evening and check out this link for video coverage of the event. Peter comments on his role as Ike Epstein, "He's a 75-year-old Jewish fight promoter and my Dad was a boxer and grew up in that world of gyms... Old fight guys. And I knew them. I know them in my bone marrow." His role was minimal, but it made an impression on some critics:

"The cast member who gave me the biggest surprise and delight, however, was Peter Coyote, whose turn as an old, crusty, insistently methodical preserver of the historical archive of boxing, could have stolen the entire show had he been given a chance to do it. Watch for him but don't be surprised if he fools you."  ..Cinema Signals

"Peter Coyote, as seedy boxing manager Epstein, turns a cameo into a showstopper."  ...John Mulderig, Catholic News Service

"In the supporting cast, the stand out is Peter Coyote as a cigar-chomping gym owner who knows all about the past. It's a fine acting moment."   ...Mal Vincent, The Virginian-Pilot

"Peter Coyote is marvelous and unrecognizable in a Miami beach tan and Lew Wasserman maxi-frame glasses as a fight manager from the champ's past."   ...Bruce Bennett, The New York Sun

"Your eyes, hearts and minds gravitate to the older, more seasoned characters, like Alan Alda... and Peter Coyote as Ike Epstein, an old-time fight-ring manager with a fetid, uproarious air of authority."  ...Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun

"Combined with some stellar supporting characters - namely Peter Coyote as a former fight promoter with big square glasses, and Kathryn Morris as Erik's ex-wife - director Rod Lurie creates some wonderful small moments for his cast to sink their teeth into."  ...Katherine Monk, Montreal Gazette

"There’s also a great cameo by an almost unrecognizable Peter Coyote as an elderly boxing promoter named Epstein"  ...Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion

"Well-grounded in manly realms - Peter Coyote's cameo as an old-school gym owner is so sharp you can smell his rancid cigar."    ...Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The character actors, particularly Peter Coyote as an ancient trainer, luxuriate in Lurie’s seemingly insignificant details."  ...Dan Moore, Movie Columnist

Update - 8/13/07:

Peter recently directed his first film! Yes, a 20-minute drama called RACE, written and produced by Hira Ambrosino, one of his co-stars on "Commander in Chief". The short film, starring Jason George, Hira Ambrosino and Nicolas Coster, is about a firm where two VP's are set against one another by an unscrupulous boss, who promises each of them a promotion for which they're competing. It was shot in LA over four days and later this month Peter will go back to edit the film. He says, "It was a completely wonderful experience." His assistant was Danielle Shamash, writer/director of THE SUNDAY MAN, a 15-minute documentary he recently narrated.

Right now Peter is filming ADOPT A SAILOR over the course of two six-day weeks. Peter explains, "It's very much like a play with pages and pages of dialogue. The entire budget is $200,000. It's a juicy, wonderful part with two great co-stars." Here are some photos taken at the UC Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center where the cast and crew met with the public on August 2nd.

Peter has also had the good fortune to be picked up by a great literary agent named Gayla Nethercott at Buchwald and Associates in Los Angeles. Having loved the screenplay he wrote based on his book, SLEEPING WHERE I FALL, Gayla asked to see everything else he's written. She's now moving his other scripts around and has sent him out on several meetings to "pitch" pilots for TV that he and his partner, Silvia Peto, would write. Great news!

You'll have the chance to hear Peter's voice in Kamala Lopez-Dawson's new film, A SINGLE WOMAN, based on the play by Jeanmarie Simpson. The film is a distinct, lively portrait of Jeannette Rankin (the first American woman elected to Congress) that takes us from her childhood in 1880's Montana, to her last television interview in 1972. Deliciously political, occasionally chilling, ironic and idiosyncratic, the film illuminates the role of the individual in the American legislative process with a whimsical amalgamation of storytelling, high-powered discourse and communion. Produced by the Nevada Shakespeare Company in association with Heroica Films and Peace Path Pictures, the film also features the voices of Patricia Arquette, Karen Black, Elizabeth Peña, Margot Kidder and Cindy Sheehan.

This fall Peter will be back in France doing a film called NO PASARAN, directed by Emanuel Causee and Eric Martin. The story takes place near the Spanish French border with Peter playing an old and drunk American record producer who helps a young farmer block a super-highway from coming through his farm. Peter says, "It's a charming, funny, very French story."

Update - 7/27/07:

I have some film news to report. Peter has been cast in ADOPT A SAILOR, written and directed by noted playwright, Charles Evered, who premiered it in short-play form in 2002 at New York City's Town Hall. The cast also includes Bebe Neuwirth and Ethan Peck, the 21-year-old grandson of Gregory Peck. Peter and Bebe will play a dysfunctional Upper West Side couple who inadvertently takes in Peck for a day during the U.S. Navy's celebration of Fleet Week. Their interaction ultimately transforms the lives of the couple and the young sailor. Segments of the film have already been shot in sectors of Manhattan and on board the USS Wasp during Fleet Week in May. The remaining scenes will be shot in a Coachella Valley home decorated to resemble a posh New York apartment.

Peter told Evered that the script hit home. He said it was the first time he'd laughed out loud while reading a script in a long time and he planned on doing everything in his power to make the film work.

Evered, an assistant professor in the theater department at the University of California, Riverside and Palm Desert campuses, has written screenplays for Dreamworks, Universal and Paramount Pictures. Expanding the play, he has shifted the focus to a more universal theme about the sacrifices of men and women in the armed forces. “This is about three very different people who on paper should not get along,” Evered said. “When they find themselves in the same apartment for dinner, politics becomes less important, war becomes less important. It’s about how they find a commonality. We’re living in a very divisive time. This film, in its own little way, could be a tonic for that.”

The public is invited to meet the cast and crew from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2, in the theater at the UC Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center. Evered, producer Kim Waltrip of WonderStar Productions, and the cast members will speak. The low-budget film will appear first at international film festivals before it is released for general distribution.

ALL ROADS LEAD HOME (aka Shadows of Atticus) now has a release date of March 10, 2008. After several test screenings between February and May, the film was re-edited and the final cut should be finished over the next month. Though the feedback from the screenings was positive, director Dennis Fallon chose to dis-assemble the film in order to improve the final version.

Update - 6/26/07:

Last month "The Jukebox: From Edison to iPod" was an official selection of the Cannes Festival where it was screened in the Short Film Corner. It was also shown at the Swansea Bay Film Festival in Wales, where it was nominated for the "Tinny" award for "Best American Documentary." The 47-minute film, narrated by Peter, fondly recalls the nostalgic past and neglected history of one of America's most treasured forms of entertainment - the jukebox. The trailer is available at this link.

Among the films to hit theatres this summer will be RESURRECTING THE CHAMP, directed by Rod Lurie. The boxing drama, which premieres on August 24th, stars Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett. Peter plays a fight manager named Epstein. Alan Alda, David Paymer, Teri Hatcher and Rachel Nichols also co-star. When up-and-coming sports writer Erik Kernan (Hartnett) saves a homeless man from a scrape with a group of rowdy college kids, he unwittingly finds himself face to face with no ordinary bum, but Champ, the one-time boxing great Bob Satterfield (Jackson). What begins as a story resurrecting a once-great man turns into an incredible journey, and an opportunity for Erik to reexamine his own life, his relationship with his young son and his recently separated wife.

Here's one of my favorite photos of Peter strumming on his guitar.

Update - 6/4/07:

A 15-minute short, narrated by Peter, called THE SUNDAY MAN will be shown at the Jackson Hole Film Festival this weekend. The film, written and directed by Danielle Shamash, is about the misadventures of a remarkably peculiar man who has some very unusual ideas about who he is. Shot in Gower Studios in Hollywood and on the Universal Studios back lot in the spring and summer of 2006 as part of American Film Institute’s directing workshop for women, it stars Annie Potts and Ted Ronney with Peter providing the role of "The Voice." It was previously shown in March in LA and at the AFI Showcase Festival and a month later at the Worldfest International Film Festival. The misadventures of a remarkably peculiar man, who has some very unusual ideas about who he is.

Markos Kounalakis has directed and produced a video rendition of Mark Twain's war protest poem, "The War Prayer". In 1904, disgusted by the aftermath of the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine-American War, Twain wrote a short anti-war prose poem. Kounalakis, publisher of the Washington Monthly, says he discovered a copy of the poem inside the library of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow when he was a correspondent in the early 1990s. The video interpretation is recited by Peter and scored by Polish composer Wieslaw Pogorzelski. You can view the 14-minute video at this link.

National pundits and actors talked politics in Manchester on Monday morning, about 13 hours after Democratic Presidential candidates concluded their first New Hampshire debate. The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan arm of the entertainment and arts industry hosted a panel discussion as part of "Talking the Talk: The Creative Coalition's 21st Century Debate Dialogue.'' The above photo taken at the Radisson Hotel shows some of the participants, which included Peter, Tim Daly, Wendy Malick, Tim Daly and Joe Pantoliano.