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Jennifer Lopez - Hotter than Ever!

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STRIPLVINTERVIEWS

J-LO
Jennifer Lopez
Hotter than Ever!

Jennifer Lopez is ready to take charge of her life again. After suffering the slings of self-doubt following her divorce from Marc Anthony, and then the realization that her romance with Casper Smart wasn’t the answer, J-Lo is beginning the New Year with a fresh outlook on life.

“ I’m already thinking of myself in a different way. When I meet someone that I’m attracted to or have chemistry with, I’m going to take my time and make sure that it’s the right person—that they’re whole, too. I’m making sure I’m whole first. Then together we can add to each other’s happiness.”

Apart from romance, J-Lo’s career is taking off on all fronts. Jennifer released her A.K.A. album last June and then was seen performing in a highly steamy “Booty” video with Iggy Azalea. J-Lo then resumed her duties as a judge on American Idol and created waves this fall by doing a slow dance with one of the contestant hopefuls while fellow judges Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban provided musical accompaniment. Then, in October, Lopez released her book, “True Love”, which offers considerable insight into the emotional roller coaster she’s been on since her divorce from Marc Anthony. 

As if that were not enough, Lopez, 45, is returning to the big screen with her appearance in the film, The Boy Next Door, an erotic thriller in which she plays the character of Claire, a high school teacher coping with her husband’s infidelity. Vulnerable and confused, she succumbs to the charms of her hunk-ish new neighbor, Noah (Ryan Guzman), an 18-year-old teenager who lavishes her with attention. He calls her beautiful and then quickly apologizes. “It’s okay,” she says. “It’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long time.” They share a passionate night together after which Claire, realizing that it’s a mistake, decides to end their relationship. Noah refuses to accept that and begins to stalk Claire in an increasingly menacing fashion reminiscent of Glenn Close’s character in the film, Fatal Attraction. Complicating matters is the fact that Noah is a student at the high school where she teaches. Directed by Rob Cohen, the film also stars Kristin Chenoweth, John Corbett, and Ian Nelson.

With respect to his high-octane sex scene with his co-star, Ryan Guzman was clearly enamored with the sensationally beautiful Lopez: “Obviously I was excited, because there’s a love scene with Jennifer, but I was more excited to play a character that was so different and so crazy and so out there… Jen is an amazing person to do those scenes with.”

STRIPLV: Jennifer, you never seem to stop working these days…
LOPEZ: (Laughs) I know, I know. But I love it. I’ve had some rough times, and sometimes the best thing you can do is throw yourself into your work, be a good mother to your children, and not worry about things so much.
STRIPLV: Have you enjoyed working on American Idol –now in its 14th season?
LOPEZ: I have so much fun on the show. I love doing it because I love music and I love being able to listen to so many young artists trying to make their mark and giving all they have. It’s also interesting for me to be able to talk with fellow judges (Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.) about music and spend time together away from our regular lives and be in that situation together.
STRIPLV: You really seem to enjoy the interaction with the contestants.
LOPEZ: It’s so wonderful to be able to discover great new talents and share their enthusiasm and dreams. That’s why it’s hard for me sometimes to say no or criticize (contestants), because I hate breaking their hearts, because I know how much it means to them. But still I find it a thrill to come across some incredible young artists and find a potential new superstar. That’s what it’s really all about.
STRIPLV: Tell us about your new book about your life, “True Love”, which is very open about how you struggled after your divorce.
LOPEZ: It was a very cathartic experience. When you sit down and write about your own life, it forces you to think very hard about everything. It’s not like you can run and hide. But it turned out to be a very positive thing, because I saw how I had been able to find strength inside myself and get my life back together. I learned a lot about myself and that I was tougher than I thought when I went on tour with my kids and had such a good experience.
STRIPLV: Your children are such a huge part of your world. How do you see your role as a mother and the kinds of things you would like to teach them about life?
LOPEZ: I want them to grow up to be loving and kind, and generous people. I come from a very hardworking family, and all through my life I’ve had the strength of will to believe in myself, and knowing that hard work goes a long way to getting you to where you want to be in life. I think my children will learn from my example that being charitable, that being good to people, taking care of your loved ones, and working hard for your goals are the keys to leading a good life.
STRIPLV: You’re someone who has achieved so much in life, but you’ve also had some ups and downs. How do you get through the tough times?
LOPEZ: There are going to be some wonderful high moments in life and then you’re going to experience difficult moments. Life is a journey like that. The important thing is to find happiness in yourself and then you have a better perspective to deal with everything that life throws at you. You also have to learn to find a good balance between your career and your home life, your life with your children. It’s always a challenge.
STRIPLV: What does your book ultimately say about true love?
LOPEZ: I’ve realized that love starts inside you. You’ve got to love yourself first until you really figure out that piece and really understand what that means, which I did not, and then it can go better for you.
STRIPLV: What about finding a new true love?
LOPEZ: I’m not going to rush into anything—I’m very happy as I am. I’m making good choices in my life and I feel I’ve become a much stronger and wiser person. For me, I’ve figured out that you have to feel good on your own, before you should get involved with anyone. That’s the basis of everything.
STRIPLV: What was it like making your new movie, The Boy Next Door?
LOPEZ: I love acting and it was much easier making this film, (even though there are some terrifying scenes for me to play), than it was for me to make Parker (her previous film) when I was dealing with my breakup and I was not in a good place.
STRIPLV: Is acting important to you?
LOPEZ: I still don’t think I’ve achieved as much as I wanted. My acting career got sidetracked a bit when I got married, but now I’m interested in working more often and trying to find as many great roles as I can. I feel that I have a lot left to accomplish.
STRIPLV: When you were a little kid, who inspired you to believe in yourself and make you believe that you were going to become a successful actress and singer?
LOPEZ: I think my mom was a very integral part of my life, because she made us believe that we could do anything. I was a Puerto Rican girl from New York. It seems so far-fetched, but when people make you believe that, you’re less afraid to try things. She always was very big on us being independent, not having to depend on any man, not having to depend on anybody, just being able to kind of survive on your own no matter what. And one of the things that went along with that was working hard. And my parents were great examples. My dad worked nights most of my life. My mom worked at the school and had a Tupperware job.
STRIPLV: How did your family see your showbiz ambitions?
LOPEZ: When I was starting out, my mother told me: “I’m going to support you in everything you’re doing, but I don’t want to ever hear you crying if things aren’t working out for you!” I remember getting my first big job where we were doing a show about the history of Broadway musicals. We went on a tour of Europe and I was very upset, because I was the only member of the dance troupe who didn’t have a solo number. So I called my mother crying on the phone. She told me: “You were the one who wanted to be in show business, so don’t call me and sob on the phone. Goodbye, and I’ll see you soon.” It’s what I call my family’s brand of tough love and it works!
STRIPLV: Is that the kind of moment that made you who you are today?
LOPEZ: It strengthens you. It gives you a lot of inner motivation, which you can draw upon when things aren’t going well. But I’ve always had a lot of ambition and drive. I was inspired by watching my mom and dad work very hard to take care of their family. You never forget that. I was raised by my mom and grandmother, who were very tough Puerto Rican women, and they’re my role models in life. It becomes a part of you and you know that hard work will help you accomplish just about anything!
STRIPLV: You’ve always been known as an exceptionally beautiful woman, but people are saying that they’ve never seen you look hotter than you do now.
LOPEZ: Oh, wow! (Laughs) Thanks for saying that... I went on a vegan 22-day (diet) plan and that really did the trick for me. I’ve never felt healthier or fitter than I do now. I decided to get more serious about what I was eating and there really are amazing benefits to the way you feel, as well as how your body looks when you do eat well.
STRIPLV: What about new romance? Anything you can tell us?
LOPEZ: I am totally single...It’s not going to be forever. Someone great will come along!

Ewan McGregor - Wild at Heart

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EWAN McGREGOR
WILD AT HEART

Sex star, movie star, family man, Scot. These are the basic elements of the Ewan McGregor legend.

While the “sex star” reputation merely derives from having enjoyed some full frontal exposure during his illustrious career, and he admits to being a “lousy” movie star, McGregor is defined by his absolute commitment to his wife Eve and their children. Next July will mark their 20th wedding anniversary and Ewan has no hesitation in saying that meeting his wife made him give up an admittedly “wild and raging” lifestyle that followed his early success in films like Shallow Grave and, of course, Trainspotting.

Over the years, the handsome, ever-smiling McGregor has worked in over 50 films, including working with noted directors Peter Greenaway (The Pillow Book) to Woody Allen (Cassandra’s Dream) to Ron Howard (Angels and Demons) and Roman Polanski (The Ghost). Although he earned healthy paychecks for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in three Star Wars films, some of his best work has come in smaller productions like Beginners (with Christopher Plummer) and Perfect Sense (with Eva Green).

His new film, Mortdecai, an action-comedy co-starring Johnny Depp and Goop girl Gwyneth Paltrow, is a tribute to McGregor’s chameleonic ability to shift into virtually any role. Ewan plays the determined and dapper Inspector Martland, who has been assigned to track down Depp’s oddball “international man of leisure,” Charles “Charlie” Mortdecai, who himself is hunting down a stolen painting linked to a bank vault containing stolen Nazi treasures.

McGregor and his French wife, Eve (pronounced “ev”) Mavrakis, a former set decorator, make their home in Los Angeles, having moved to the sun and surf of California six years ago. They have four daughters: teenagers Clara (18), who has just begun her university studies in New York, and Esther (13), and adopted girls Jamiyan (12) and Anouk (3). He still admits to a fondness for motorcycles, following his fabled cross-continental motorcycle journeys of years gone by, and spends much of his spare time tinkering and building motorbikes in his garage.

In October, McGregor made his Broadway debut in “The Real Thing”, co-starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, in a revival of the Tom Stoppard play that was previously performed by Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close in 1984.

STRIPLV: Ewan, Mortdecai is another very different kind of film for you. Do you like to keep mixing things up with bigger projects like this, as well as indie movies like Beginners?
McGREGOR: I’ve never been drawn to playing the typical Hollywood leading man or the guy who gets to deliver snappy lines at the end of a scene. I’m not that type of man and I’m proud that I’ve never played the macho guy who carries himself with that kind of swagger. I like to keep finding different kinds of characters and explore different personalities. I choose my roles on the basis of instinct, rather than trying to plot out a career strategy.
STRIPLV: You’ve gone back to the stage recently in the Broadway production of “The Real Thing”. What drew you to that?
McGREGOR: I was very drawn to the character of Henry and his observations on life and love. Tom Stoppard is a brilliant writer and I feel very lucky to have been offered the chance to play on Broadway. I also wanted to work with Sam Gold, the director, who had spent time discussing different projects with me. But when he sent me “The Real Thing”, I knew immediately that this was something I felt had to do. I had never really had the possibility to work on Broadway until now and it’s very exciting.
STRIPLV: You’ve worked on stage before, notably with your uncle, Denis Lawson. Is performing on stage something that makes you nervous?
McGREGOR: I’ve had a year to prepare for it and so I’m pretty comfortable with the text. Everybody’s nervous to go onstage. I can’t imagine it would be quite as exciting if you weren’t. I think it’s part of the process for me. I never walked onstage totally without some sort of nerves or adrenaline running. And I wouldn’t want it any other way, really.
STRIPLV: You’ve worked with some great actors during your career, but you had a particularly memorable experience working with Christopher Plummer on Beginners...
McGREGOR: He’s a fantastic man and a great actor. He’d tell me stories about some of the people he used to work with. He was in Hollywood in the ‘50s and ‘60s. He worked with some incredible people. But he’s a very modern actor, a very contemporary actor. When we were playing the scenes, I didn’t feel like I was playing the scenes with an older actor. He really gives a great performance in the film. Absolutely fantastic. I felt like I was working with my dad in those scenes.
STRIPLV: You have said in the past about how acting came quite naturally to you. Was that because of your Uncle Denis’ influence?
McGREGOR: It’s hard to say exactly why... I grew up watching old black and white movies and just fell in love with the whole process and creating that kind of fantasy world. I think when I was around 8 or 9, I was already pretty set on becoming an actor, because I knew instinctively that it was something I wanted to do with my life. Obviously my Uncle Denis was a pretty famous actor and that gave me some encouragement and inspiration, because we both came from small towns in Scotland. I always knew that I would find my way into the business somehow.
STRIPLV: You were anxious to leave school to pursue acting studies, weren’t you?
McGREGOR: Yes. I was dealing with a situation where I was unhappy because I was fed up at school. It was difficult for any creative or artistic-minded people at my school (Morrison’s Academy) to develop, because it was geared to feeding people into business and commerce. I wasn’t that way—I wanted to do music and art and my school didn’t allow me to do the things I wanted to do. They told me I had to choose one way or another, but of course, I didn’t have that choice at that school, so I left to study at the Perth Repertory Theatre.
STRIPLV: How did your parents feel about your wanting to become an actor?
McGREGOR: My parents supported me, they believed in me, and that made it much easier for me. They knew I loved performing, and so rather than try to convince me to go in some other direction and find a proper job with more stability, which most parents would probably do, they just stood behind me. They told me that they wanted me to be happy and that I could quit school and study acting. And it all worked out in the end, so I guess they knew what they were doing!
STRIPLV: Your parents had originally thought you would follow your brother’s academic path?
McGREGOR: There was a void of expectation when my brother left home at 17, because he was very good at school. He was the head boy and the teachers all loved him. When he left, there was this expectation that I would take his place, but I wasn’t like that.
STRIPLV: Did you grow up with the sense of rebelliousness that you sometimes get to show in your work and life?
McGREGOR: I grew up in a very conservative setting. But it was also a very beautiful childhood, simply because of the setting. The open spaces and the nature really gave me a love for life that you just don’t get, I imagine, if you grow up in a big city surrounded by concrete. So I think that helped feed my fantasy life and gave me some sense of adventure. I don’t know. I think I always had some natural sense of fun and mayhem. I would never want to curb that. It’s who I am.
STRIPLV: You became a star in your early twenties. How did that impact your life?
McGREGOR: It was fantastic in a way. I was living out my dream of being an actor and I was doing a lot of wild partying. The success and recognition were also a lot for me to deal with and it was a very chaotic time for me.
STRIPLV: It was at that point that you met Eve Makrakis, who became your wife...
McGREGOR: I was 23 when I met my wife, and she has been with me through all of that. It took me a while longer to realize what makes you happy and what doesn’t make you happy at the time when you’re riding a wave of success and you’re drinking and partying and you think you’re happy. But then I saw that those things weren’t making me happy—it was my wife and my child at the time, the things that were right in front of my eyes, which were making me happy. It’s not a unique story, but I was lucky in that I understood that about myself early on and didn’t waste more time indulging myself. I had done enough! (laughs)
STRIPLV: Your marriage is a great success story, going on for nearly two decades now. But you prefer not to think of it in those terms, as if it were an accomplishment?
McGREGOR: Our marriage has been a wonderful journey and I’m very lucky that we found each other. I don’t like to think of it as an achievement or accomplishment, because there’s an implication that it’s required some great effort or something. I’m in love with my wife. We have a beautiful time together and I love being a father.
STRIPLV: You’re a very devoted father. Did that come naturally?
McGREGOR: Some of it is natural, but you also have to take your responsibility as a father seriously. You have to make time to get to know your children, spend afternoons shopping with them and just trying to build that closeness with them, instead of just being a parental figure. I’ve tried to make sure that my daughters felt that they were each very special to me and that I would always make time for them.
STRIPLV: How is it dealing with your two teenage daughters?
McGREGOR: Teenagers are quite strange. They’re odd people. And they don’t know why they’re so strange, and of course, they always think that they’re right. I like my relationship with my eldest daughter, Clara. Though I have to say that she wasn’t that happy when I told her that I was coming to New York (to do “The Real Thing”) and that I would be phoning her every night after the play was over. That didn’t go down too well with her. (laughs)


LOVES

ETHIOPIA
“There’s a little village in Ethiopia, where we stopped (with friend/actor Charly Boorman during one of their fabled motorcycle adventures), and these people took us into their little hut. This woman had one small root of ginger. And she made us this ginger tea that I’ll never forget—it was a fantastic tea—in her little hut. And I’m pretty sure that was her only piece of ginger. They also gave us bread and were extraordinarily good people who fed us and sent us on our way. You come back very inspired by that act of human kindness—it’s something that you have to go out there and discover, because we can’t be like that with each other in cities, even though it’s in our nature.”

MOTORCYCLES
“I’ve got some lovely, lovely old motorcycles that date back to 1929. There’s about 15 of them, and I’d be quite happy to just stand and look at them all day. I have a very basic mechanical knowledge, and I like tinkering with them. And then I love to ride them, of course. It’s like meditation for me.”

CHINESE FOOD
“I enjoy going to Chinese restaurants and ordering the most extreme thing you can find. Chicken feet are pretty strange to chew on—fat and cartilage, lovely!”

COSMO, THE DOG
“There was this lovely little dog called Cosmo, who worked on Beginners with us. I got very attached to him and it was so hard for me to leave him when the film was over. Then when I was doing these packaged EPK (electronic press kit) interviews at the end of the shoot, I started to cry when I was talking about saying goodbye to Cosmo. It was really embarrassing. I was saying, ‘It’s been lovely to work with (co-stars) Melanie (Laurent) and Christopher (Plummer), and next week I’ve got to say goodbye to Cosmo,’ and I started crying.”

EALING COMEDIES
“I love those films. When I was a kid, I was much happier watching old movies than kids’ TV, and I ended up watching all the old Ealing comedies. I would marvel at how great Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers were. Sadly, I never got to meet Alec Guinness, even though I watched all his films, preparing for Star Wars.”


HATES

SCHOOL
“I was terrible, academically. I was also expected to live up to my (older) brother’s legacy. He was the captain of the rugby and cricket teams and he had the most beautiful and spectacular girlfriends. So I resented school and started behaving badly. I didn’t burn anything down, but I wanted to.” (laughs)

STAR WARS FANS
“I’ve never been to one of the conventions. The people I meet are the fuckers who want me to sign Star Wars photos so they can sell them on the Internet, or the people at premieres who are crushing children against barriers to get me to sign their fucking picture of Obi-Wan Kenobi. They’re not fans—they’re parasitical lowlifes and fucking wankers! For them, I’m the naked, nondrinking guy, from a galaxy far, far away: That’s me.”

VELVET GOLDMINE SEX SCENES
“I did have a sex scene with Christian Bale, which I did to the best of my ability. I was playing an Iggy Pop-type rock star and we have a shag on top of a rooftop. We heard, ‘Action!’ so we started to slowly (simulate sex). Then it went on and on. Then I thought: ‘I would have come by now,’ so I went round to Christian’s ear and went, ‘I think I would have come by now. I’m going to have a look.’ I looked over and they were packing up the cameras! They must have said ‘cut’ really quietly. I think they thought it was a sensitive thing, and they should just leave it to us. There (would have been) nothing wrong with screaming, ‘Cut,’ (though)!”

THE TIME HIS PARENTS WENT TO SEE THE PILLOW BOOK
“I remember my parents sending me a fax, saying: ‘We’re going to go and see The Pillow Book tonight in Edinburgh, son. We’re going with the farmer and his wife.’ They live in the middle of nowhere, next to a farm, and they wanted to take the farmer. And I suddenly thought: ‘God, do they have any idea what’s in the film?’ (McGregor is naked for much of the film and has sex with men and women). I tried warning them and told them that it was quite racy, but they still went and saw it. The next day my father sent me a fax: ‘I’m glad you inherited one of my major attributes.’”

YOU WANT WHAT??? Unbelievable Stories from a Vegas Concierge

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BY MARLA SANTOS

A young girl bounced up to me out at the pool and said:  “Hi, I’m Vanessa, and I’m in trouble.”  Without hesitation or reservation at all—she yanks down her top, revealing both breasts.  “My piercing came out,” Vanessa added.  “I think the ball fell off and it won’t stay in.”  Then she suddenly pulls the piercing out of her nipple.  40 minutes later I returned with a brand new nipple ring and saw the crowd of people surrounding us.  When she wanted me to put it back in, I had to refuse for legal reasons.

Vegas Concierge and now author Mariann Mohos reveals some of the totally crazy requests made of a Vegas Concierge in this funny and illuminating interview.

People have an unending fascination with life on the Las Vegas Strip.  Just like the movie, The Hangover, a guest wanted a real, live white tiger placed in the bathroom, to scare her husband.  She had to be satisfied with a huge stuffed one instead.  Stories like this and many more are on the pages of Mariann Mohos’ book, You Want What???  Hungarian born Mohos spent four years working as a concierge at one of the major Strip resorts.  She learned that the requests covered all spectrums, ranging from planning weddings to the most intimate of requests, and on to jokes that the guests wanted to play.  After interviewing many of her colleagues, she decided to write this book and give us a chance to hear about the daily life of a concierge in Vegas.  It’s a fun read and a great souvenir, endorsed by ex-mayor Oscar Goodman, who wrote:  “In Las Vegas we make dreams come true.” 

A bunch of guys had come to Vegas for a bachelor party and wanted to prank the husband-to-be.  They wanted a blow-up doll under the sheets in his room when he arrived.  I ran to the adult store and bought one.  Realizing I wouldn’t be able to blow the thing up by myself, I grabbed a helium tank and blew the doll up in the room and tucked it under the sheets.  Later, I got a call from my manager saying that a maid had fainted upstairs.  She walked into the room and saw a dead body up on the ceiling.  I realized the doll had gotten free of the sheets and floated to the ceiling!

STRIPLV:  How many concierges are there in one hotel in Vegas?
MOHOS:  Depending on the size of the property, the Paris hotel is a medium size property with about 25 people and 3 different workstations.  The Venetian is a larger property and has about 75-80 people.   
STRIPLV:  What advice would you give a person applying for a concierge job?
MOHOS:  The main thing they’re looking for is attitude.  You need to like people, be helpful and smile a lot.  Here in Vegas you apply online, so if you can meet someone and they like you, it will expedite things.  Try to keep a personal contact.  There are also schools that teach you to become a concierge.  Any customer service experience is also helpful.   

A famous rock band was staying with us, and a staffer found the lead singer passed out beside the elevators.  We rushed to his side and began CPR when we couldn’t find a pulse.  When the paramedics arrived, they whipped out a huge syringe full of adrenaline, and without warning, they jabbed the needle straight into the rock star’s chest, just like that scene in “Pulp Fiction”.  Eight hours later he was on stage in front of thousands of concertgoers, bellowing out hit songs.

STRIPLV:  Is speaking foreign languages required?
MOHOS:  It’s always helpful, but it’s not a requirement.  I speak Hungarian, Russian, English and Spanish.  
STRIPLV:  What is the job life expectancy and is there burnout? 
MOHOS:  There is the true concierge who has a deep passion for this profession, and then those to whom it is just a job.  You have to be creative to make sure you don’t lose this passion.  It is very rewarding, and at the same time, a demanding job.  You can definitely get burned out.  Some of the people who have stayed in the job for a long time are fantastic people.  

A familiar request is:  “I want the very best, and money is no object,” –like the guest who ended up with 98 suitcases of purchases to take home, or the guest who had me traipsing to a famous department store every single day to purchase new underwear, because this man never wore the same underwear twice.  Then there was the oil magnate who has his bodyguard carry around a leather bag stuffed full of $100 bills used for tipping.  Then there was the guest who booked a $40,000-a-night suite and asked for extras, like a drum set, an electric guitar, a bass guitar, and we had a Cuban staff member hand-roll him a humidor filled with Cuban cigars. 

A Japanese couple came to me asking for “bull testicles.”  They explained that testicles are a delicacy in Japan and they wanted to ship some back to friends. I remembered there was a large ranch in California and they did, in fact, have the testicles we needed. The couple paid about $8,000 for the testicles and $3,000 for shipping, but they were thrilled.       

STRIPLV:  Where do you draw the line with requests, besides something illegal?
MOHOS:  Basically, you are supposed to leave your personal beliefs behind and there should be no judgment.  We cannot cross the line of the law, but there are some situations that we can bend the rules a little bit.    

Mariann’s book, “You Want What???” is available at Amazon.com & Barnes and Noble.  You can also order it at www.LasVegasConciergeStories.com

The Quiet General - Gary Nemeth of "Girls Girls Girls"

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BY EDDIE RIVKIN

Chances are, you have never heard the name Gary Nemeth.  But if you are a fan of strip clubs in Las Vegas, you have more than likely visited one of the three clubs in town of which he is the General Manager:  Little Darlings, Déjà Vu Showgirls and the brand new Vince Neil’s Girls Girls Girls.  Having been in the industry for over 20 years, with the last 14 in Las Vegas working for “strip club king” Harry Mohney, Gary has lots of tales to tell.  I sat down with him at Girls Girls Girls, to find out what it’s really like being the boss of Las Vegas strip clubs.

ER: You’ve run strips clubs for 20+ years – how has the industry changed?

GN: The girls have gotten so much better looking.  There were NO girls that looked like that when I was in high school!  It’s amazing!

ER: Even with that being the case, wouldn’t you say that now, especially in Vegas, the best looking girls aren’t dancers?

GN: For sure.  One of the biggest changes is all the new huge mega clubs in the hotels.  Before they opened, all the 8, 9, & 10’s worked in strip clubs.  Now if you are an 8, 9, or 10 in Vegas, you work as a bottle service waitress.  It really isn’t that much different than a strip club – they all have poles, and the outfits they wear are so barely there – they are practically naked anyway.  I’ll tell you this, the girls in the nightclubs probably do more and get away with more there, than they ever would dancing in a strip club.  I know every time I have been in a nightclub in Vegas, the waitress has been at least a 9. 

ER: As GM of an all-nude club, a topless club, and now the first-of-its-kind strip club, owned by one of the biggest rock stars on the planet:  Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, how different is your marketing approach for each of the clubs?

GN: At Little Darlings, we really push hard to get the younger 18+ crowd who are looking for a night out.  Being all-nude with no alcohol, we strive to have our girls be performers, not just dancers.  What I mean, is they don’t just pull off all their clothes and walk around on stage.  Our girls at Little Darlings put on great shows, pole dancing, and theme shows – you name it.  If it’s fun and entertaining, we will do it at Little Darlings.  We also do a ton of different promotions, things no other club in town would even dare to try.  We have done MILF nights, BBW nights, Grandma on the pole nights, just to name a few.  We are really a promotion driven club there, always trying new things and new ways to make the strip club experience anything but run-of-the-mill.  At Déjà Vu Showgirls, we also cater to a younger crowd, but being 21 and over with alcohol, our focus is getting the local crowd.  We positioned the club to be a great value with lots of drink and dance specials all throughout the night.  A lot of people want to go to a strip club, but don’t want the huge overcrowded and way overpriced product that our competitors offer.  You can come down any night to Déjà Vu Showgirls and have a great time with beautiful dancers, have a few drinks, and still be able to pay your bills every month!  And with Vince Neil’s Girls Girls Girls, we are in the process of figuring out exactly how best to use the niche of an all rock ‘n’ roll format. 

ER: What are your expectations for Girls Girls Girls?

GN: I am sure that with a lot of hard work by our management team, Girls Girls Girls will be one of the better clubs in town, for sure.

ER: Do you think the rock music format is going to be enough to get the quality customer base you need to make it successful?

GN: Yes, the motto of Girls Girls Girls is:  “Come for the Music, Stay for the Girls!”  There is a huge demographic of people, both locals and tourists, who grew up listening to rock ‘n’ roll, who have nowhere to go in Vegas.  Girls will fill that void, along with having beautiful dancers, and, will be the only strip club in the United States that will have live music every week, too.

ER: Are the girls going to be dancing to the live music, or is it going to be a concert venue that transforms into a strip club?

GN: The girls are always going to be there and be dancing.  We are going to be both at the same time.

ER: Tell me about the evolution of the club.  How does a strip club legend like Harry Mohney end up partnering with a rock ‘n’ roll legend like Vince Neil?

GN: I was sitting with a good friend of mine who does a lot of deals in town, Michael Politz, and we were just bullshitting about the business and what we could do to really change the game here in Vegas.  We were just bouncing around ideas and he said to me, “What if I could bring Vince Neil onboard?”  That sounded like a great idea to me!  We continued talking through it and I was confident it would be a game changer.  I went to my boss (Harry Mohney) and pitched him the idea.  He thought it was a great idea.  Michael talked to Vince, set up a meeting for them, and after a fairly quick conversation, they shook hands, and here we are.

ER: By all accounts, Vince is really, really happy to have his own club.  How is it working with him?  Is he a hands-on guy, or just hanging out?

GN: In the beginning I thought he would be a handful to work with, but I have to say, he’s really not.  We have great communication.  When I call, he answers, he replies to my emails, he is really into turning this club into something great – something really special that fits the whole Vince Neil persona.  I know he was really happy the first time he came to the club and saw his name on the building!

ER: Is this going to be a one-off or do you see more Girls Girls Girls clubs opening around the country?

GN: Like I said before, if my management team does this the way I expect that they will, I have no doubt that there will be other Girls clubs across the country.  I have really given them a lot of the responsibility to make sure this club is a huge success.  They are working long hours and lots of days to see it through.  I have all the confidence in them that the club will be successful and the first of many.

ER: Any plans for Vince to play live, either with Mötley or with his solo band?

GN: I know, I have thought about it, and it would be great.  Honestly, I haven’t spoken to Vince about yet, but I assure you, I will.  If he does play, it will be amazing, that’s for sure! 

ER: You must employ 500 to 600 girls between the 3 clubs.  How do you resist the temptation and stay professional?

GN: I admit that there have been times I have been tempted, for sure – speaking as a straight man, there is no way you couldn’t be.  But like someone who works at McDonald’s, after awhile, you don’t want to eat McDonald’s.  I am not saying I am jaded, I am just saying that after 20 years, I am used to my environment and comfortable. 

ER: But McDonald’s hasn’t changed the menu in 20 years, and your menu changes almost every night!

GN: (laughing) Good point.  But I am here to run the clubs and I do as best as I can to stay professional.  Women are women, pretty much all the same.  Guys will come into a club, see a woman topless or nude who he thinks is beautiful, and get totally caught up.  After all these years, and after seeing SO many women, I just don’t get caught up in that. 

ER: Do you remember the last time you walked out of the office, saw a girl on stage, and said, “WOW!”?

GN: Yes, for sure! The last time I saw a girl on stage and said, “WOW!” I dated her for a year and a half!

ER: How about the top 3 you ever seen?

GN: That’s a tough question (long pause).  You know, I think the top 3 I have ever seen all ended up as my girlfriends at some point, and now all share the title of being my ex’s (laughing loudly).  I guess I only date dancers…

ER: The addition of a big name celebrity (Vince Neil) to the topless industry seems like the last “new thing” that can be done to reinvent the strip club industry.  Can you look into your crystal ball and tell me what, if anything else, could revolutionize the industry? 

GN: I definitely have a couple more ideas up my sleeve for future projects, but no way am I telling you so all my competitors can get a chance to beat me to them!

ER: What are you most proud of professionally?

GN: Well, I received the “General Manager of the Year” award last year from Exotic Dancer Magazine, which was pretty great.

ER: Okay, that’s an award – I mean, what you have done professionally, that you hang your hat on and say to yourself, “That is a great achievement.”?

GN: I would have to say the turnaround of Little Darlings, the first club I was the GM of here in Vegas.  When I took over, it was doing okay, maybe a couple of hundred people a night on the weekend and 40 or 50 girls.  Now, on the weekends we are completely full, have over 800 guests a night, over a hundred girls a night, and a line out the door to get in.  All that with no alcohol!  As I said earlier, we came up with all the promotions and theme nights that really make coming to Little Darlings way more fun than going to a regular strip club.

ER: What’s the biggest challenge you face running the 3 clubs?

GN: At first, it was turning around Little Darlings.  Now that it’s going really well, I reorganized the management at Déjà Vu Showgirls and they are really working hard to get the numbers up.  I think the turnaround will be fast, just a few months, but we are well on our way.  With Girls Girls Girls, there are quite a few unique challenges.  We are starting at absolute zero, no employees, no dancers, no anything, and a bit of a stigma from what the club was and what happened before we changed the name and the brand.  We are creating everything brand new for Girls and it’s going to be a process, for sure, to make it into the club I know it can be.

ER: When are you going to know you’ve made it?  When will you be satisfied with what you are doing, that you can say to yourself:  “It’s done.  I am ready for a new challenge.”?

GN: I think I will know I have done my job the best when, on a Saturday night, all 3 of my clubs are filled to capacity with guests and dancers and the people leaving the clubs say they had a great time and they can’t wait to come back to see what else we have for them.

ER: Thanks for taking the time to chat, Gary.  Congratulations on all your successes and on the Grand Opening of Vince Neil’s Girls Girls Girls.

GN: My pleasure.  Make sure to tell all the readers of STRIP LAS VEGAS to be on the lookout for some very special offers in upcoming issues!

Ben Affleck - The Interview

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BEN AFFLECK
The Interview

Ben Affleck, 42, stars as the iconic Batman in the upcoming movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he clearly has been working hard in the gym, completely cut and looking great, when we had a chance to sit down with him and discuss the upcoming film and the success of his mystery thriller, Gone Girl, based on the best-selling book of the same name by Gillian Flynn.

Affleck stars opposite Rosamund Pike, who plays his very complicated wife in this thrill-ride of a film. Affleck is an acclaimed actor, writer, director and activist, and has garnered some of the best reviews of his career for his role in Gone Girl, and is expected to be called upon, to make numerous acceptance speeches again during the upcoming award season.

In real life, he’s been married to wife, Jennifer Garner, since 2005, and together they are raising their three beloved children: Violet, born December 2005, Seraphina, born January 2009, and Samuel, born February 2012. They live between a ranch-style home in Los Angeles, an apartment in Manhattan, and a holiday home on the secluded Hampton Island near Savannah, Georgia, on an 83-acre estate. He was in previous relationships with Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow before settling down with Jennifer Garner.

STRIPLV: Let’s start off with some questions about your film, Gone Girl. What does this movie say about marriage? Is it a cautionary tale?
AFFLECK: I think this movie says really provocative things about marriage. If you look at them together, it says that marriage is fraudulent in some ways, and it’s based on lies in some ways. And I think in this story a real marriage means you have to go through this crucible of hurting each other and loving each other and hating each other and lying to each other and telling each other the truth. And then after you’ve done everything possible to each other, you can truly be married. Now, I don’t believe that, but that’s some of the more provocative things that the movie says.
STRIPLV: Your character deals with sudden fame and notoriety. You know something about that yourself, other than the fact you haven’t been accused of murder. But did you relate to that?
AFFLECK: No, I’ve never been accused of murder, which is about the only thing (laughs) but yeah, notoriety, as you say, and it is the American version of fame. You have people going out and committing crimes just so they can be famous and hoping that happens, because we treat criminals like celebrities, and because we cover them so much in the media and we focus on them so much, and in America everyone can reel off everyone from OJ Simpson to Amanda Knox to Scott Peterson, and the whole gamut in between. They’re famous killers and the way we obsess over them is interesting. And it goes back to John Dillinger and Al Capone. I don’t know why we want to make people like Jesse James a hero, people that murdered other people, but it is what we focus on. I don’t know. We watch these things on TV and I can identify with the tabloid media fame part of it, but I think it’s a whole other thing when you get into this cable killer twenty-four hour news cycle.
STRIPLV: Your wife in the movie is a very complicated woman. Have you met anyone like that in your life?
AFFLECK: No, not really. I think it’s put together from different pieces, but I’ve been really lucky in my personal relationships. I look back and think the major relationships I’ve had were all with really good people, who I like quite a bit still to this day. So I’ve ducked that landmine of romantic encounter in this way, but the movie paints with this big brush a story of murder and so on, but at the end of the day, this movie does talk about how we as men and women see things differently. We have different expectations and we act like different people when we’re getting to know people than who we really are, and you eventually find out who the real person is.
STRIPLV: You’re currently working on the epic Batman v Superman film. That must be a childhood dream for any guy!
AFFLECK: Yeah. It’s definitely a dream. I’m excited to do it and it’s a real challenge. The thing I’m most excited about is the script and the director.
STRIPLV: How have you dealt with the teasing, that no one escapes from when they put on the Batman suit?
AFFLECK: Yeah, again, it’s this thing where these huge projects like Star Wars or Batman or even 50 Shades of Grey, anything where fans have really intense feelings about it and they want to vent them and get them out there, and that’s part of the give and take. And they’re entitled to voice their opinions. I’ve never done a movie where I’ve had more people come up to me. In fact, with all the movies combined, I’ve never had more people come up to me with more enthusiasm, so it’s a movie that gets a lot of attention. But the truth is, it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s how you make the movie and that’s what I’ve discovered about anything I’ve done is that if you do the movie well, people will like it. And if you don’t, people will appropriately let you know.
STRIPLV: In Gone Girl, how did you find your way to being an authentic couple?
AFFLECK: Well, Rose is so good that it was easy to play opposite her. It’s not that difficult and what was really interesting was that the book asked really hard questions about marriage and relationships and it didn’t sort of want to gloss over the things that we don’t like to look at – whether it be at others or ourselves – and sometimes you find out ugly things when you ask hard questions and that’s why they were hard. And so Rose definitely had the courage to go toward that and we wanted to sort of give truth to a really dark look at marriage and David’s (Fincher) subversive take on that dark look at marriage. (laughs)
STRIPLV: As a director, what did you discover through working with David Fincher? And also for playing Nick, did you see him going from a transition from being kind of a stupid guy at the start to somebody who wises up at the end?
AFFLECK: Well for the first part of the question, I definitely kind of at this point in my career as an actor decided that it’s all about the director really. So when David called me, I thought, ‘I would have done the phone book with David,’ so you could imagine my relief when I read Gone Girl, that it wasn’t an alphabetical list of names, (laughter), but to get a chance to work with a guy you admire a great deal. Before all my movies that I directed, I watched Seven, and I feel like it’s the most perfectly meticulously Swiss Watch made thing, and I thought, ‘What kind of person makes a movie like this?’ And it was great to work with David and l learned a great deal from him. It was a pleasure to be around him and it was a true learning experience and I loved it and I would do it again and again and again a million times. It was a joy! And David is also, in spite of his reputation, a very funny and nice guy, not just a demon. (laughter) Smart and sweet. And as far as Nick being a dick or a jerk or whatever and becoming smarter later, it’s interesting. I have seen different reactions to the Nick character and I think that it’s complicated. He does change, but a lot of it has to do with the audience perception of him changing as they learn more about him. I don’t think you can play anybody that you think is a dick, because then you are not going to do a very good job. So my job was to empathize with him, and really what I found is that women and men have a very different reaction to this character. Like, most of the women journalists go like: “What was it like playing a dick? (Laughs)
STRIPLV: Was there one particular benefit that will stay with you about working with David Fincher?
AFFLECK: For me, there were two benefits: one as a performer – and I was really learning a lot as a director and sort of standing next to David and watching what he did and why he did it and being really interested in learning why he did it, because I truly do, without jerking him off, I think he’s one of the greats working today. And what’s interesting is that there’s this bifurcation with directors, they are sort of like technical, shooter, music video commercial guy and girl directors who sort of come from that world and speak that vocabulary and have that expertise and the other side of that line: your performance directors, your writer/directors, your actor/directors, and they tend to be too camped. And David is the only guy that who straddles both camps. He is genuinely an actor’s director. And he’s got one of the deepest and proficient understandings of the technical aspect of filmmaking of anyone I have ever worked with. So, he’s got this engineer’s mind and yet this taste of an artist. And I didn’t think there was that filmmaker out there, so I was really impressed by that duality. And that’s the last time I say anything nice about David. (Laughter)

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