News Nuggets: ‘J. Edgar’ premieres at the AFI Fest

Tony Awards Administration Committee makes eligibility decisions about “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” as well as two other shows: “The Committee announced the following: Reeve Carney will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in ‘Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark’ … Jennifer Damiano will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her performance in ‘Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark’ … Julie Taymor will be considered eligible in the Best Direction of a Musical category for ‘Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark.'” TONY AWARDS

Sasha Stone pays tribute to Gil Cates: “I went to work part time for the Dean’s office at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. My boss was Gil Cates … I worked under him as a regular assistant/secretary.  I spent most of my time talking on the phone and messing around online at that job.  I was never focused enough to do a good job and I’d end up quitting after about six months. But I’ll never forget saying hi to Gil Cates when he’d come into the office, how friendly he was, how he never skipped over you when he walked by you. One time he stopped and looked at me and said ‘don’t I know you from somewhere?’ I looked at him back and said ‘yeah, I attended school here and you gave me my diploma.'” AWARDS DAILY

Take Shelter” star Michael Shannon discusses Oscar buzz: “There’s obviously a lot of big-time, A-list actors doing great work this year … So me, I would definitely be bringing up the rear in that situation. Whatever, you know. I like a party. If they want to throw a party, I’ll show up. The pressure, then, I guess, would be to drink! Or not drink too much. [Laughs.] I don’t know. There’s more high-pressure situations in my life — my family, my work, my acting — so this doesn’t feel as much pressure.” VULTURE

Scott Feinberg asses “J. Edgar” at the AFI Fest: “When [the lights] came back up, my gut feeling was that I had just seen a very good film — but not one that is a slam-dunk for a best picture nomination or anything else (though I would be pretty surprised if, at the very least, DiCaprio doesn’t make it into the best actor field and the film’s showy makeup work isn’t recognized) … these sorts of films provide meaty material for writers and actors, who tend to get nominated and sometimes even win for them, but they fail to inspire in voters the passion that is necessary for a best picture nomination, especially under the current voting system.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Fox will wage an Oscar campaign for Andy Serkis in the wake of his signing for a “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” sequel: “The studio just closed what I’m told is a healthy seven-figure deal for Andy Serkis to reprise his role as lead ape Caesar. Serkis had only signed on for one movie, so his reps had leverage in ensuring that he come back to continue leading the ape takeover in multiple future installments of the series … Academy voters haven’t yet paid much attention to actors behind CG performance capture creations, though. Serkis could have been nominated for his groundbreaking work in ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ and was ignored.” DEADLINE

Could Kristin Scott Thomas contend for Best Actress for “Sarah’s Key”? “I actually hadn’t taken note of the film’s admittedly impressive $7 million haul since its July 22 release. That is an accomplishment. Can the film register as an awards player? Maybe. It certainly has the trappings, and it certainly has its champions … Lord knows the Academy loves it some Holocaust dramas. But will they spark to this one? It’s an interesting season with a lot of question marks and a lot of holes waiting to be filled, so maybe it’s a shrewd move to strike.” IN CONTENTION

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