July 15, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Psychodrama “Side Effects†Shows Hollywood’s Versatility

“Side Effects† stars Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Vanessa Shaw (left to right) showed that spontaneous humor can be the best medicine.  Photo: Max DonnerCan Hollywood stars be health care commentators, diplomats, concerned parents and restauranteurs, too? Apparently they can, as the cast and creators of the new film “Side Effects†showed at a press conference January 26, 2013 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, “Side Effects†stars Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum and Vanessa Shaw and tackles the very serious topic of financial fraud schemes made possible by controversial practices in psychiatry and pharmacology.

Meeting in person, the cast and creative team showed that a good sense of humor can be more effective than medication. Channing Tatum praised directChanning Tatum (left) enjoys life off the set, too.  He opened a new restaurant called “Saints and Sinners†  on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.  Photo: Max Donneror Steven Soderbergh for giving massages on the set. Zeta-Jones even thanked Soderbergh for relaxing foot massages while she was pregnant and working on their previous project, “Traffic.â€

Screenwriter Scott Burns added a humorous anecdote that reinforced the message. While Burns usually sees well enough with eyeglasses, he accidentally took the tranquilizer Ambien instead of an anti-histamine the same color to relieve an allergy to cats. He explained that he managed to somehow drive his own car from Manhattan to JFK Airport and get on a plane, but genuinely cannot remember what happened that day. The incident is one more good reason to prefer a massage to a pill.

The cast alThe film’s medical expert, Dr. Sascha Barday, (far left) demonstrates the careful listening skills he used in on site research.  Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and actor Channing Tatum listen as actress Rooney Mara comments.  Photo: Max Donnerso discussed their life off-screen as an important reminder to residents of the Beverly Hills area that our neighbors in the film industry have real lives too. Channing Tatum started a new restaurant in New Orleans, The Bourbon Street culinary attraction opened last fall and is called “Saints and Sinners.†Catherine Zeta-Jones talked about the challenges of managing a film career that makes out-of-town travel unavoidable while she strives to spend more time with her children during their critical years.

The cast also made clear that the medical field offers all of us a lot of good too. Jude Law, who plays a financially strapped medical researcher in the film, explained that “the film raises the issue of relying on medicine for all the wrong reasons.” He was also quick to point out that he has great respect for the medical profession. His viewpoint was echoed by co-star Rooney Mara who remarked “I’ve always had respect for psychiatry as a profession.â€

While the film is presented as a suspenseful drama, it is based on rigorous research conducted by the team’s medical expert, Dr. Sascha Barday, at large public hospitals.

This psychodrama “Side Effects†was screened at the AMC 8 Theater Complex in Century City and will open at local theaters February 8, 2013.

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