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Last Updated: 30 July 2002



RBFC Charity Raffle in honor of Richard Burgi's birthday a success

Richard attended the 42nd Monte Carlo Television Festival July 1-6

Watch Richard's "Judging Amy" episodes in summer reruns

SciFi to air "I Married a Monster" in August

Still watching for Richard on upcoming episode of "Inside Edition"

"Johnny on the Spot" ends critically-acclaimed Los Angeles run on July 20th

"Wheelmen" still presumed scheduled for August premiere

First season of "24"now available on DVD; "24" to premiere across Europe next season

"The Sentinel" returns to French and German television -- Kabel1 and Premiere SciFi in Germany

Write to Richard through the RBFC

** To refer back to earlier News pages, visit our Archive Page and select the appropriate quarterly listing **


RB in 4PS; Jerseys to be raffled

[30 Jul 02] *** RBFC Charity Raffle in honor of Richard Burgi's birthday ***-- The RBFC Birthday Charity Raffle is now closed.  After a slow start, the Raffle gained considerable ground with proceeds totaling $1,105.00 by the July 15th cutoff date. Though raffle entries had to be in by July 15th to qualify, donations in honor of Richard's birthday will be accepted until the end of the month.  The total amount raised by the raffle and related donations will be announced at month's end and turned over to the Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center  (FSLMMC) in Richard's name.

The RBFC offered a replica of the "Four Point Shot" Cascade PD basketball jersey (pictured above) and an 8x10 photo of Richard, both signed by Richard Burgi, in a raffle open to all Sentinel and Burgi fans. Raffle chances cost US$5 each.

The winning RBFC Charity Raffle contestants are:

  • "Ellison's" basketball jersey, signed by Richard Burgi -- P. Hurd of Brooklyn, New York
  • Autographed 8x10 photo of Richard Burgi -- Pat Charleville of Federal Way, Washington
Special thanks go to Richard and Lori Burgi and Kathleen Cole for their invaluable help in in donating and signing   the jersey and photo offered in the Summer 2002 RBFC Charity Raffle. Without their generosity, this fund-raiser would not be taking place.

(Thanks to Laura Trout and Kat Cole for the images of Richard Burgi and the Jersey)


RB at Festival events - images courtesy of HappyMonaco.com [30 Jul 02] *** Richard a guest of the 42nd Monte Carlo Television Festival ***  Richard and his family attended the Monte Carlo Television Festival earlier this month in world-famous Monaco. The Television Festival, Monaco's answer to France's prestigious Cannes Film Festival, was held during the first week of July (1-6) this year in an effort to make it more accessible to actors and producers. Anita Chabria, writing for the March 18th issue of PR Week, said of the Festival:

"For years, the city of Monte Carlo has hosted a television market every February, where buyers have purchased rights to shows. However, US distributors have eschewed the event recently, instead attending larger, business-oriented conferences, such as MIPCOM in France. Faced with that decline, Monaco reached out to its honorary ambassador - Law & Order creator and executive producer Dick Wolf - for ideas on how to reinvigorate the event with a focus on glamour rather than deal-making.

The new festival - rescheduled for July, when television actors are on hiatus - seeks to draw Hollywood's creative community, and raise the profile of The Golden Nymph (an international television award similar to the Emmy, which is handed out by the Festival)."



TOP LEFT: Richard took pictures with several Monte Carlo policemen on the way to the Special Evening featuring  "TV Detective Series." 
CENTER LEFT: Richard stops for a moment on the red carpet at the Festival's closing ceremony,
BOTTOM LEFT: Richard joined Tori Spelling to present Jurgen Tarrach with the Best Male Performance  Golden Nymph award.


The festivities began on Monday, July 1st. As guests of the Festival, Richard and his wife Lori were present at the Opening Ceremony, an invitation-only, black-tie event held at the Grimaldi Forum. On Wednesday, July 3rd, Richard joined a number of actors being honored at a Special Evening presentation dedicated to "TV Detective Series," and on Thursday, July 4th, Richard and his family joined other Festival guests at the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel for an Independence Day Party hosted by HSH Prince Albert of Monaco. Richard also took part in the Saturday, July 6th black-tie, invitation-only Gold Nymph Awards Ceremony, joining actor Tori Spelling for the presentation of the award for Best Male Performance, won by German actor Jurgen Tarrach. Richard was also present for the Closing Ceremony, which took place later that same evening.

(Images courtesy of the HappyMonaco website. Thanks to the many people who forwarded information to us on the Festival and Richard's part in it).


RB in Judging Amy episodes[30 Jul 02] *** Catch Richard's "Judging Amy" episodes in summer reruns *** -- "The Justice League of America" to repeat Tuesday, August 13th at 10pm Eastern on CBS. (Look for "Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition" on or around September 17th, unless the new season starts before that date). Richard appears in two of the current season's episodes of the hit CBS drama,  playing the part of Judge Amy Gray's (Amy Brenneman) ex-husband, Michael Cassidy.

Richard's episodes so far:

  • "The Justice League of America" (episode 3.18) aired 26 Mar 02
  • "Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition" (episode 3.23) aired 14 May 02
Richard's first appearance in the popular CBS series was in the episode "The Justice League of America," (March 26th) which reintroduced viewers to Michael Cassidy. (The role has been played in previous seasons by John Slattery, who was apparently unavailable due to his current commitment to the series "Ed"). Filmed in early April, the May 14th episode brings Richard's recurring "Judging Amy" appearances to two, with additional appearances as Judge Amy (Amy Brenneman) Gray's ex-husband Michael Cassidy likely in the Fall 2002 season.

"Judging Amy" is currently airing on Tuesday nights at 10:00pm ET/PT.

According to the CBS website,  "'Judging Amy' is a drama starring Amy Brenneman ('NYPD Blue') as a single mother who has left New York behind and become a family court judge in Hartford, Connecticut. Recently divorced and raising her young daughter Lauren (Karle Warren), Judge Amy Gray has moved in with her very opinionated mother, Maxine (Tyne Daly); re-established a friendship with her free-spirited brother, Vincent (Dan Futterman); her older brother, Peter (Marcus Giamatti), and his wife, Gillian (Jessica Tuck), and is continuing to make her fresh start work. Assisting Amy in the courtroom are her court services officer, Bruce Van Exel (Richard T. Jones) and her overeager court clerk, Donna Kozlowski-Pant (Jillian Armenante). 'Judging Amy,' based on the real-life story of Brenneman's mother, is about three generations of women living together as they confront the personal and professional dilemmas in their changing challenging lives."

To learn more about "Judging Amy," visit the show's homepage at the CBS website: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/judging_amy/

Don't forget to use the CBS site's feedback option to tell them how much you enjoyed seeing Richard on "Judging Amy."

(Thanks to Kat for the info, and to Erin for the screen-grabs)



[30 Jul 02] *** No sign yet of the long-awaited celebrity yoga feature on "Inside Edition" *** -- Filmed on April 19th, Richard is featured as one of the celebrities who practice yoga. The piece focuses on Brenda Strom (we apologise for any misspelling). "Inside Edition" is a half-hour news show "now in its 14th season as television's longest-running, top-rated and most-honored syndicated newsmagazine series." Hosted by Deborah Norville, the King World syndicated show airs across the United States in a variety of timeslots.

Check local listings for air times and channels. (A list of affiliates can be found at the Inside Edition website -- www.insideedition.com )

(Thanks to Richard and Kat for the info)



Susan Walters and Richard Burgi in IMAM[30 Jul 02] *** SciFi Channel due to run Richard's "I Married a Monster" in August  -- Tune in to the SciFi Channel Sunday, August 11th at 2:00pm Eastern to catch Richard behaving Monster-ously. *** (Description from a late 1998 "Ultimate TV" website review titled "I Married a Monster Debuts on UPN").

"Richard Burgi (The Sentinel) and Susan Walters (Melrose Place) star in I Married a Monster, based on the 1958 cult classic, 'I Married a Monster from Outer Space.'

As I Married a Monster opens in the small town of Blue Falls, longtime sweethearts Nick Farrell and Kelly Drummond are about to marry when, without warning, the groom becomes possessed by a monstrous being that's intent on procreating its dying race through humans. After the wedding, Kelly realizes there's something otherworldly about her new husband and,
when other men in the town begin behaving as oddly as Nick, she knows it's up to her to fight the beasts that are taking over Blue Falls.

Starring are Richard Burgi as Nick Farrell; Susan Walters as Kelly Drummond Farrell; Barbara Niven as Linda Harris; Tim Ryan as Steve Talbot; Richard Herd as Uncle Paul Drummond; Tim deZarn as Bud Riley; Dick O'Neill as Pop; Jason Van as the deputy; and Vaughn Armstrong as Sheriff Collins. Nancy Malone and Duane Poole are the executive producers. Nancy Malone is the director. Academy Award-winning composer David Shire (Norma Rae, All the President's Men, Saturday Night Fever, The World According to Garp) is the composer. I Married a Monster, based on the 1958 classic Paramount movie, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, is a Stu Segall production and is distributed by Paramount Network Television. It was filmed on location in San Diego, California."

(Thanks to Deborah for the scheduling information)



RB at the Matrix; JOTS post-card[30 Jul 02] *** The cast of "Johnny on the Spot" performed its Los Angeles finale on Saturday, Juy 20th, ending an eight-week run at the Matrix Theatre  *** -- Richard played two credited roles -- Fred and Sy -- and one uncredited (the doctor) in the Neil Landau-written "comedy-drama about the fear of responsibility and missed opportunities as a young man journeys through the past, present and future."

Directed by Jules Aaron, the play was staged at the Matrix Theatre, located at 7657 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. "Johnny on the Spot" (JOTS) ran from Saturday, May 25th through Saturday, July 20th, with four shows per week -- Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. During its eight-week run, JOTS garnered its fair share of critical acclaim, including Los Angeles Times Critics' Choice, where the Theater Beat review titled  "Johnny Takes a Seriocomic Journey to Maturity,"  (by David C. Nichols) included the words "inspired," "superb," and "immensely satisfying," with the cast described as "wonderful."

Review by David C. Nichols -- "Johnny Takes a Seriocomic Journey to Maturity," Los Angeles Times, Theater Beat, dated May 31, 2002.  URL: (The article no longer appears to be accessible online at http://www.latimes.com/ )

"The opening image of  'Johnny on the Spot,' now at the Matrix, is a glowing joint, followed by the toker's radio-announcer intonations. Thus the title character of Neil Landau's new play about a Peter Pan-syndrome poster boy's journey to maturity is introduced.

Johnny (Jason Brooks) fears conformity, as he directly informs us, but the box is closing in. Neither his long-suffering, pregnant girlfriend (Helen Cates) nor his pill-packing mother (Miriam Flynn) think Johnny is ready for fatherhood. Having just lost his insurance job, he quite agrees.

Enter three dead policyholders (Flynn, Richard Burgi and Cort McCown) who have arrived from limbo to send Johnny on a surreal excursion through past, present and future. Taking in, among others, his dead father (Hugh O'Gorman) and unborn scion (Shane Hunter, alternating with Travis Mannon), Johnny's cosmic sojourn leads to catharsis.

Director Jules Aaron stages this post-Durang parable with sleek expertise. The design scheme is superb, with John Iacovelli's set, J. Kent Inasy's lighting, John Zalewski's sound and Shon LeBlanc's costumes all spot-on.

The cast is wonderful. Brooks, balancing priceless stoner moments with inner anguish, is marvelously attuned to the affecting Cates. Burgi, McCown and O'Gorman effortlessly negotiate their seriocomic shifts. Hunter is charming, and Flynn's locomotive delivery hijacks the house.

Landau's quirky, assured script carries post-larval incongruities, the ghosts erratically integrated and Johnny's narration evaporating midstream. But merely the emotional tug of the inspired denouement disarms criticism, as does the immensely satisfying trip it concludes."

Excerpt from review by Don Grigware -- NoHoLa, Theatre section, dated June 6, 2002, Vol 4/ Issue 19
URL: http://www.nohola.com/

"Jason Brooks makes an affable Johnny, but the production's true joy comes out of the supporting cast. Miriam Flynn has that rare ability -- like Maggie Smith or Harriet Harris -- of walking onstage, uttering one word and getting huge laughs. As Mom/Mrs. Tollins, she joins the ranks of the comedic diva. Stunning Richard Burgi could play the menacing Sy in his sleep, but it is with Fred, the slow-moving, cigar chewing deadman, reminiscent of George Burns, that Burgi treads new ground as a fine character actor. Hugh O'Gorman as Joe plays the pivotal role of father, straightforward and unsentimental. Robert Young and Fred MacMurray would be proud. Cort McCown and Shane Hunter/Travis Mannon round out the splendid ensemble. Jules Aaron's direction is impeccable, as is the attractive set by John Iacovelli. Should be the sleeper hit of the season!"

Storyline and casting details

"Johnny is in trouble. His girlfriend is pregnant with his baby, but he's far from 'father material,' and terrified to step up to the plate. To make matters worse, he was abruptly fired today from his job as a life insurance adjustor; actually, he was blacklisted from the entire insurance industry for playing Robin Hood and committing fraud. When his girlfriend offers him an ultimatum and walks, Johnny hits rock bottom. Tonight, with the help of some of his dearly departed life insurance clients, he must go on an odyssey into his painful past, chaotic present, and uncertain future to unscramble the static that is part of the omnipresent radio broadcast inside his head. Tomorrow morning, he will make the biggest decision of his life..."
 

RB and JOTS castmates
  • Richard Burgi as Fred/Sy/the doctor
  • Jason Brooks as Johnny
  • Miriam Flynn as Mom/Bridge/Mrs. Tollins
  • Hugh O'Gorman as Joe

[JOHNNY]  CAST -- ACTOR JASON BROOKS. 38. A life insurance adjustor. A boyishly good-looking, charismatic pothead. Anxious to find his place in the world and to understand humanity -- but doesn't have a clue. Loves Drea truly, madly, deeply...

[DREA/DOT/FANTASY MOM] CAST -- ACTOR HELEN CATES. 38. Johnny's girlfriend. A nursery school teacher. Pretty in a gamine, off-beat way. Effortlessly sexy, confident, tolerant to a point -- but don't push her. Lives for structure...

[MOM/BRIDGE/MRS. TOLLINS] CAST -- ACTOR MIRIAM FLYNN. 50ish. Bridge: a tough, hard-living broad who always says what's on her mind. Mom: overmedicated and lives in denial...

[FRED/SY] CAST -- ACTOR RICHARD BURGI. 50ish. Fred: morose and disappointed by love. Sy: his charm and bravado mask his true psychosis...

[RAY/DEAN] CAST -- CORT MCCOWN. 40. Ray: flamboyant, whimsical, naughty, flaky, utterly self-absorbed. Dean: angry, macho, materialistic, always horny -- all covers for his wounds...

[JOE] CAST -- ACTOR HUGH O'GORMAN. 39. Johnny's late father. A man's man. Laconic, paternal. Slight Brooklyn accent...

[JOEY] CAST -- ACTORS SHANE HUNTER & TRAVIS MANNON. 12. On the verge of 13. Athletic, rebellious, but wants and needs his dad's approval...

(Thanks to Richard, JOTS Productions, Kat, MJ, and the many people who helped us find information on JOTS)


RB's Kevin smells -- and sees -- a rat[30 Jul 02]*** Catch Richard on DVD! First season of "24" to be released on DVD this coming September; available for pre-order at Amazon.com *** -- According to a promotional announcement, "FOX has just announced  a 9/17 street date for 24:1, a box set of the entire first season. Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 surround, extras include commentary on select episodes, 2 featurettes, episode details, hidden surprises, and more to be announced. Retail is $59.95."

Amazon.com is offering the "24:1" box set at a pre-order price of $44 or thereabouts for Region 1 (North American) customers. European viewers using Region 2 encoding will be able to order the "24:1" box set from both amazon.com.uk and www.play.com. The expected Region 2 release date is August 19th.

** "24" to premiere across Europe when new season launches ** -- The first season of "24" will premiere across Europe when the new season launches, airing in France on Canal + and in Germany on RTL. UK viewers were given a bit of a head start on the rest of Europe, with "24" launching on BBC2 in early March 2002 (airing at 10pm Saturdays or Sundays).

Series lead Kiefer Sutherland plays the part of CIA Counter Terrorism Unit agent Jack Bauer, who has 24 hours to stop an assassination attempt on Presidential nominee David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), while Richard's Alan York (later revealed to be Kevin Carroll) -- aided by Bauer's wife Teri (Leslie Hope) -- searches for their two missing daughters, Janet (Jacqui Maxwell) and Kim (Elisha Cuthbert).  (The girls, best friends, have been abducted). The series builds to its climactic finale in episode 24 -- "zero hour," so to speak.

(Thanks to Deborah and Danny  for the DVD info, and to Sheila, Andi, Sylvette, Christine, and Ingrid for the European schedule info)

For synopses of Richard's eleven episodes, visit our "24" guide page.

Richard's episodes

  • "Midnight - 1:00 AM" (episode 1.01)  aired 6 Nov 01
  • "1:00 AM - 2:00 AM" (episode 1.02) -- aired 13 Nov 01
  • "2:00 AM - 3:00 AM" (episode 1.03) -- aired 20 Nov 01
  • "3:00 AM - 4:00 AM" (episode 1.04) -- aired 27 Nov 01
  • "4:00 AM - 5:00 AM" (episode 1.05) -- aired 11 Dec 01
  • "5:00 AM - 6:00 AM" (episode 1.06) -- aired 18 Dec 01
  • "6:00 AM - 7:00 AM" (episode 1.07) -- aired 8 Jan 02
  • "10:00 AM - 11:00 AM" (episode 1.11) -- aired 12 Feb 02
  • "11:00 AM - 12 Noon" (episode 1.12) -- aired 19 Feb 02
  • "12 Noon - 1:00 PM" (episode 1.13) -- aired 26 Feb 02
  • "1:00 PM - 2:00 PM" (episode 1.14) -- aired 5 Mar 02  (Richard's last episode)
To visit the FOX website and learn more about the current season, go to www.fox.com; for more detailed information on "Twenty Four," visit FOX's page at www.fox.com/24/

(Thanks to Becky for the "24" images)



RB as Jim Ellison[30 Jul 02] *** "The Sentinel" now airing on Germany's Kabel1*** "The Sentinel" is airing on Tuesdays at 22:15 (10:15pm). As Kabel1 is not "pay tv," viewers throughout Europe and Northern Africa with access to the Astra satellite system can catch all 65 episodes of "The Sentinel." Note: "The Sentinel" is dubbed into German for the Kabel1 broadcast.

There is also the possibility that Germany's PRO7 network will add "The Sentinel" to its schedule once more.

[15 Jun 02] ***UPDATE*** Kabel1 added "The Sentinel" to its Premiere SciFi Channel (commercial-free pay TV) starting on May 1st. Check your local listings for time and dates!

[11 Jan 02] *** "The Sentinel" returns to French television  -- Monday to Friday (or Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) at 18:55 (6:55pm) on France's M6.*** French viewers will be able to catch Richard as Detective Jim Ellison now that "The Sentinel" has returned to French television.

Check your local listings for schedule information and episode names, or visit the M6 website's schedule search page at http://programmestv.m6net.fr/soc3/partners/m6net/searchresults.jsp?searchtext=Burgi&startdate=allWeek

(Thanks to Christine and Steffi for the European "Sentinel" information)


[30 Jul 02] *** "Wheelmen" official website is now online *** -- The official website for Richard's new movie, "Wheelmen," is now open for business at  http://www.wheelmenthemovie.com/. The site is informative, interesting, and loaded with information on the film, the characters, the actors, and the production staff.

**UPDATE: "Wheelmen" now expected to premiere in late July or early August ** -- According to Director Dirk Hagen, post-production work on "Wheelmen" is in the final stages and on schedule for the Summer release mentioned above. At present, we are expecting "Wheelmen" to premiere on the big screen.

Must see items include the gallery of photos (by photographer Jennifer B. Copp) and Quicktime movie clips -- Richard appears several times in both galleries.

The "Wheelmen" site also includes a detailed press release (excerpted below), which provides a comprehensive guide to the film, characters, actors, and production staff.

WHEELMEN
Production Information

RB driving limoNick Torino (RICHARD BURGI) is an ambulance driver at the top of his game. Thirty, tall and firmly built, Nick takes the business of saving lives seriously as he races his unit through the busy streets of Los Angeles. Forced to choose between being a responsible driver or saving the life of a pregnant mother, Nick does what he has to do to deliver his passengers to the hospital. Once there, Nick discovers the mother has died moments after giving birth to a baby boy. The moment is a bittersweet one for Nick and he returns to work a minor media celebrity. Unfortunately, he is now labeled a liability by his ambulance company and is unceremoniously fired.

We rediscover Nick six years later as the acting manager of a floundering Los Angeles limousine service. Nick does his best to both run and drive for Venture Limousines with little help from Tony Cavalcante (JACK McGEE), the golf loving, absentee owner. In Nick´s care are five other "wheelmen": Paul (MICHAEL FAIRMAN), a distinguished gentleman and twenty-year veteran of the limo world; Vladimir (ELYA BASKIN), a Russian ex-bodyguard who´s traded in his two-pack-a-day cigarette habit  for the icy goodness of Slurpees; Kristen (LISA ARTURO), a sexy knockout who is nonetheless "just one of the guys"; Ralph (ADAM BIESK), a potted plant with a Class C license; and Andy Cooper (WILLIAM GREGORY LEE). Andy is a likeable, happy-go-lucky twentysomething who lives every night  like a Saturday night. His cavalier work attitude is a constant source of frustration for the controlling Nick. Andy is openly gliding through life waiting for what he calls "The Great Benefactor" - that one special client whose generosity will set Andy up for life.

Erin Daniels, RB, and Alexander GouldAs if putting up with Andy wasn´t enough, Nick comes to work one day and discovers a little boy  named Arthur (ALEXANDER GOULD) patiently waiting for him in his office. Nick is stunned to learn that Arthur is the little boy from his last day as an ambulance driver. After noticing several bruises on Arthur´s neck, Nick drops the boy off at Social Services.

It is there Nick meets Gwen (ERIN DANIELS), a loving social worker previously assigned to Arthur´s case. It seems Arthur´s father has been abusive in the past, which triggered Arthur´s search for Nick to become his surrogate father. Things get complicated as Nick falls for Gwen, and little Arthur feels the rush of jealously as he too has a crush on her.

Back at Venture Limousines Andy has found what he believes to be his ultimate client, and convinces Nick to join him as he picks up Bernard "Barny" Albert Tomlinson (RAINN WILSON). The enigmatic Barny tosses hundred dollar bills at Nick and Andy as if they were confetti. Meanwhile, having been given the "prestige gig" assignment to drive for the Vice President of the United States (JAMES AVERY) motorcade, the other Venture limo drivers are put through rigorous training under the scrutiny of the Secret Service.

Out in the desert, Barny turns out to be more than a handful for Nick and Andy. The man is paranoid, speaks in riddles, prefers being naked and really wants to see the Grand Canyon. In addition, unbeknownst to the trio, two mysterious men are pursuing them. Partway through the trip Nick discovers Arthur has stowed away in the limo. The little boy has been beaten again and Nick makes the decision to let Arthur join in their adventure rather than return the kid immediately to his father.

William Gregory Lee, RB, and Rainn WIlsonIt is not until Barny has seized control of Nick and Andy´s limo, crashing it and stranding them in the desert, that Barny reveals he is in fact an ex-Secret Service agent. According to Barny, the Vice President holds the deciding swing vote in a controversial matter and that there is a plot to kidnap and hypnotize him. Nick and Andy are not convinced by Barny´s story and it is not until they have a run-in with the goons that have been following them that they decide to help. The four of them must now find a way back to Los Angeles in time to thwart the kidnapping attempt of the Vice President as well as warn the other Venture Limousine drivers.

Directed by Dirk Hagen from an original screenplay by William Arance and Mitch Wilson, Wheelmen is a production of Stretch Pix. John Orland is the producer. Lexi Alexander and Robert Ulrich are the co-producers. Gary Lowe is the line producer. The director of photography is Don Fauntleroy, production designer Robert Hummel, costume designer Emmy Taylor, and the editor is Sherril Schlesinger.

About the production...

According to an ancient proverb, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." For Wheelmen, that step was taken seven years ago when producer John Orland (The Bad Pack) gave a script by William L. Arance to his colleague, freelance producer and cinematographer Dirk Hagen. He was instantly intrigued because the world of limousines was new to him. "It introduced a group of eclectic and quirky soul searchers who come together and bond," Hagen says. He was attracted to the tragic yet comedic tone and a storyline that examines human nature and friendship. Hagen´s main challenge, besides the fact that Wheelmen would be his first feature film as a director, was to incorporate a romantic element in a "non-cliched way."

Co-producer Lexi Alexander (Foolproof), whose friendship with Hagen spans nearly the same time as the script´s incubation period, also recognized the story´s assets and the needs of the production. She brought in veteran casting director Robert Ulrich ("Dark Angel," "Melrose Place") to serve as co-producer and create an ensemble of young and old Hollywood. Praising Hagen as a first-time director, Alexander calls him "an actor´s director because he approaches talent like a big brother," guiding the actors but letting them bring their own character back stories, gestures, dialogue and other improvisation to the set.

Venture Limousine crewProduction began in Culver City, on October 10, 2001, shooting for nineteen days. Locations ranged from downtown Los Angeles to Lancaster in the desert. Veteran director of photography Don FauntLeRoy (Jeepers Creepers) was very clear on the look of the film but had to find ways to make shooting inside a limousine interesting, fresh and not claustrophobic. Production designer Robert Hummel (Paper Bullets) enjoyed the challenge of creating quality sets in multiple locations on a modest budget, embracing the mantra of "repaint, reuse and recycle." Costume designer Emmy Taylor (Blue Ridge Fall), outfitting most of the cast in traditionally black limo uniforms, reflected the diverse personalities of the "wheelmen" through their shirts and ties.

The entire cast loved the director´s enthusiasm and welcomed the opportunity to improvise. Rainn Wilson (Almost Famous) was attracted to the script because of the ensemble cast of insane but real people thrown together. Michael Fairman (Mulholland Drive) met with Hagen and Alexander and instantly liked them: "They are good people who allow you to be creative - the mood and tone of the production was positive, there were no egos and everyone had a good time." Greg Lee ("Xena: Warrior Princess") respected the talented crew but found it hard to keep a straight face with all of the comedians in the cast. Richard Burgi ("The Sentinel") sums up the feeling on the set by adding, "Dirk is the glue keeping everyone together and he has a good heart."

**NOTE** -- To read the complete press release, visit the "Wheelmen" website at www.wheelmenthemovie.com/ and go to the Publicity section

(Press Release and images courtesy of the "Wheelmen" website -- photographer: Jennifer B. Copp)



RB and castmates
Wheelmen cast

Richard Burgi 

top row
  • Lisa Arturo
  • Desmond Askew
  • James Avery
  • Elya Baskin
  • Adam Biesk
  • Erin Daniels
  • Dwight Ewell
bottom row
  • Michael Fairman
  • Alexander Gould
  • Eileen Grubba
  • Jason Kravits
  • William Gregory Lee
  • Rainn Wilson


Pics from SFX article[18 Jan 02] *** "Wheelmen" update *** --  Richard's work on "Wheelmen" was finished in time for the holidays, leaving only the post-production work to be completed. According to an article in the February issue (# 87) of the magazine SFX, "Wheelmen" is due to open late Spring 2002.

According to the article, Richard and costar William Gregory Lee play drivers for an LA-based limo service. Rainn Wilson's character -- a former Secret Service agent -- tells them of a plot to assassinate the Vice President to keep him from casting a critical vote. Burgi, Lee, et al have to evade the bad guys and get back to save the day.

PICTURE, TOP LEFT: One of two pictures in the SFX article. Richard is to the left of the car and costar William Gregory Lee is to the right. BOTTOM LEFT: Waiting to film a scene are, L to R, William Gregory Lee, (we assume) Rainn Wilson, and Richard Burgi (leaning in doorway).

Interested in ordering the issue? The distributor for SFX is Futurenet, which has both a website and an email address. The website URL is http://www.futurenet.com/futureonline/magazine.asp and the email address is backissues@futurenet.com

NOTE: There is some question as to the correct issue number for the February edition; either #81 or #87.

(Thanks to Tamy for the information on the SFX article and the picture scans)

To learn more about "Wheelmen" from the viewpoint of Richard's stand-in, Eric Prescott, visit the suite101 website to read "Standing In," an online article by Prescott dated October 17th.

The article URL (which may no longer be functional) is: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/10148/82721

(Thanks to MJ for the Prescott article URL)


[30 Jul 02]*** Write to Richard care of the RBFC! *** -- Richard has asked us to encourage anyone interested in sending cards or letters to him to use the RBFC mailing address, which is listed below.  This allows Richard to better handle his incoming mail, which he certainly enjoys receiving, provided it comes through appropriate channels.

Mr. Richard Burgi
RBFC
10153 1/2 Riverside Drive, #494
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
USA

We cannot emphasize strongly enough that mail should not be sent to Richard's home address!  Receiving fan mail through his home address is a disquieting experience and cause for concern, especially from the standpoint of privacy and safety.  If you have come across what you believe may be his home address, please, do NOT use it!  We -- and Richard -- would greatly appreciate it if you would let us know where you came across the address by using this e-mail link to the RBFC.

While postcards, letters, and cards will be promptly forwarded to Richard, we cannot forward packages; he has asked that no gifts be sent to him.  Though Richard appreciates the goodwill and generosity those gifts represent, he finds them a little overwhelming.  Richard would be honored if, instead, wellwishers made a donation in his name to a local children's shelter or literacy program, or to the Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center.

 

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