La vida local

‘True Blood’ star Stephen Moyer takes on producing duties for ‘Free Ride’

 
 
Stephen Moyer & Lea Thompson at FLIFF gala Friday night 10/18/13
Stephen Moyer & Lea Thompson at FLIFF gala Friday night 10/18/13
John Eaton / John eaton

Stephen Moyer was on a rare night out solo Friday to help launch the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Wife and True Blood co-star Anna Paquin was at home in L.A. tending to their twins.

Moyer attended the screening of the first film from their production company, CASM, at Cinema Paradiso. Free Ride is a true story about young mother Shana Betz (Paquin) who turned to drug running to support her kids.

Set in 1978 Fort Lauderdale, Free Ride was actually filmed in Sarasota. The low-budget shoot didn’t look it. “We were working with a very little amount of money,” Moyer reported later at the 1920s-themed FLIFF gala, held at a private home nearby. “We had one of those situations where even members of the crew were extras at some point. It was nuts!”

They made do.

“We had something like 29 period cars and four boats for four weeks, and it cost us only $5,000,” said the Brit, 44. “Anyone thinking they were going to make a fortune out of their fancy cars were sadly mistaken.”

Moyer isn’t a true-crime buff but felt the Betz-written screenplay was interesting enough for the big screen.

“My M.O. is looking at extraordinary things happening to ordinary people and how they cope,” he said of the Betz-directed movie, which should hit theaters in early 2014. “I love stories that have reality in them.” But as far as watching reality shows? Nope.

“I can’t remember the last time I turned on the TV except to watch the finale of Breaking Bad.”

Four kids can do that (he also has a daughter and son from two previous relationships). The one-time Starter Wife star doesn’t even have time to watch himself on his own HBO vampire drama.

“Sometimes I watch the first couple of episodes to see how everything is going with the script and then say, ‘OK, we’re good.’ ”

Also at the premiere for their divorce romance The Trouble With the Truth were co-stars Lea Thompson and John Shea. Thompson was mobbed by fans and photobombed a few times at the afterparty. No big thing. “I’m used to this because of Back to the Future,” she said.

Night job

Miami Herald reporter Howard Cohen scored a cameo in Actors’ Playhouse’s spoof, Ruthless! The Musical on Sunday at The Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables. The role in director David Arisco’s production, which skewers such classic film and theater properties as The Bad Seed and Gypsy, aims for a socko punch line in the final scene.

A Broadway future? Doubtful. Though “the audience laughed,” Cohen said.

Former Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick played the part on opening night Oct. 11. Ruthless! runs through Nov. 3.

Birthday girl

Azucar! If you searched Google on Monday (how could you not have?) an image of Celia Cruz in a billowy blue dress popped up. The late salsa legend was the Google Doodle of the day, on what would have been her 88th birthday. Click on the doodle and all sorts of info pops up about Cruz, who died of brain cancer on July 16, 2003, in her Fort Lee, N.J., home. The singer never lived in Miami, but she treated it like a second home and was honored throughout the city after her death.

Madeleine Marr

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