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August 29, 2014

Mark September 14th on your calendar for the new Ken Burns PBS series narrated by Peter called "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History". The seven-part, 14-hour documentary weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. The series marks the first time their individual stories have been woven into a single narrative. Meryl Streep will do the voice-over for Eleanor with Paul Giamatti as the voice of Theodore and Edward Herrmann as the voice of Franklin. Rounding out the cast are Patricia Clarkson, Adam Arkin, Philip Bosco, Keith Carradine, Kevin Conway, Ed Harris, John Lithgow, Josh Lucas, Carl Lumbly, Amy Madigan, Carolyn McCormick, Pamela Reed, Billy Bob Thornton and Eli Wallach.

On Thursday evening, LA RANÇON DE LA GLOIRE (The Price of Fame) premiered in competition at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. Boyd van Hoeij of The Hollywood Reporter writes, "French actor-director Xavier Beauvois ("Of God and Men") unearths a rather unusual story that happened to Charlie Chaplin. Though the true story about two marginalized immigrants in 1970s Switzerland who decide to dig up Chaplin's coffin for ransom money, is quite small, Beauvois manages to turn it into something big, brash and even quite moving through sheer mastery of the filmmaking tools at his disposal. This should do solid numbers when it'll be released in France, and will be more of a specialty item abroad, though the material offers enough marketing hooks for savvy arthouse distributors everywhere to get their money's worth." Hoeij gives praise with "the most impressive supporting turn comes without a doubt from Peter Coyote, who plays the extremely dedicated Chaplin family butler."

The film synopsis reads: On the shores of Lake Geneva lies the small Swiss town of Vevey. It’s the end of the seventies. On his release from prison Eddy—a 40-year-old Belgian small time crook— is met by his friend, Osman. They have made a deal: Osman will let Eddy stay in his shed and in exchange, Eddy will take care of his 7-year-old daughter Samira while her mother is in the hospital. It’s the Christmas season, but their shared, grinding poverty has made Eddy quite bitter. Then Charlie Chaplin’s death is announced on the television, as well as the true extent of his fabulous wealth. Eddy starts daydreaming... and comes up with a crazy idea: what if he stole the actor’s corpse and demanded a ransom from the family?

And the director's statement reads: The idea here is not to retrace truthfully the sad epic of the two comrades, or to make a documentary film about an event that, in the end, doesn’t really deserve such attention... but rather to slide, little by little, towards a bittersweet comedy of sorts, a movie that is both funny and moving... What could be called a comedy à l’italienne, in which a humble and sincere homage would be paid to the man who, in Einstein’s words, “was understood by everyone while no one on Earth understands me.”

At the end of filming, the cast was feted by a celebration on May 3, 2013 at the Hotel Des Trois Couronnes in Vevey. In the photo below, Peter poses with Trustee Laurent Ballif and Municipal Elina Leimgruber. Peter said he was completely won over by the town and its surroundings.

July 28, 2014

This week Peter will be putting in a personal appearance at the San Antonio Film Festival. Celebrating its 20th year, the festival will feature producers, directors and actors at various screenings. At 7 pm on Friday evening, "E.T." will be screened with Peter in attendance.

"E.T." premiered at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival closing gala and opened the following month in the USA on June 11. This wonderful children's story was directed by Steven Spielberg and remained the highest grossing film of all time for 11 years until another Spielberg effort called "Jurassic Park" took the mantle.  Peter plays the mysterious government agent known only as “Keys” due to the jingling of keys hanging from his belt. He sums up the film by saying, "Any movie which has touched millions and millions of people must have something going for it and 'E.T.' does. The performances are wonderful. The story will make you laugh and cry. It's wonderfully conceived and shot and it's a touching story carefully told."

Good news! Peter's second book will be coming out in the spring of 2015. Called "The Rainman's Third Cure", the spiritual memoir will be published by Counterpoint Press. The title refers to a Bob Dylan song called "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again" in which Dylan wrote, "Now the rainman gave me two cures..." Peter says his book chronicles his journey in finding a place of wisdom.

July 3, 2014

Our Coyote man is working in Paris where he has a role in a new film called EVA ET LEON. I'm waiting for French agent Lizzie Sebban to give me some information on this project. In the meantime, I can tell you that the director is Emilie Cherpitel and that Clotilde Hesme and Clotilde Courau will star.

June 24, 2014

The third season of the TNT crime drama series, PERCEPTION, premiered on June 17th. With Peter now part of the cast, star Eric McCormack was asked what it was like to have Peter play his father. He responded, "I've gotta say, that’s just been awesome. It’s an ongoing storyline through the whole season. The idea is that Pierce has a father that he hasn’t spoken to in 20 years, who has just as much hubris and is just as arrogant as Pierce is, but who also now has a mental condition. He has Alzheimer’s. So, to have this man with paranoid schizophrenia trying to be a father to his father, who’s living with a serious condition, has been very touching and also very funny. Peter is acerbic and so intelligent. It was a real battle of minds and battle of wits. It’s a story that I think the audience will love."

As previously reported, Peter did a movie earlier this year called THE SECRET PLACE, directed by Jay Silverman. The film tells the powerful true story of a troubled teenage girl who finds healing in the most unlikely of places, and who must choose to either invest in her own recovery or succumb to the trauma of her past. Here are a few more on-location photos.

France has just released a poster for the new comedy by Olivier Baroux called ON A MARCHÉ SUR BANGKOK. Filmed in Thailand last spring, the movie stars Kad Merad and Alice Taglioni as journalists in search of the best kept secret in modern history. Peter describes his role - "It's a very silly comedy in which I play the head of the CIA trying to prevent two French reporters from tracking down the last living person who has proof that during the Apollo Moon landing, the American astronauts were beaten to the punch by Aliens." The film will premiere in France on October 22. Other cast members include Chawanrut Janjittranon "Nutcha" Claude Perron, Etienne Chicot, Michel Aumont, Claire Nadeau, Sebastian Marx and Kate Moran.

As many of you know, Peter was ordained as a Buddhist priest in the layman lineage and is part of Mill Valley's strong Zen Buddhist community. Here is a wonderful portrait of him by photographer Marco Guerra.

In recent weeks the Coyote man has hit the highways across the country meeting up with family and old friends. And what he is driving? Well, his old Power Wagon has been transformed into this magnificent new transport!