Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Stop-Lossed" at the DGA with Ryan Phillippe

An interesting thing happened to me on the red carpet last night. I was given a lesson on the U.S. Military's stop-loss policy. As one of the publicists was explaining to me and another photog what the upcoming movie, "Stop Loss" was about, we were surprised at what the policy was about. Imagine, doing your duty and serving out your contract for the military. All of a sudden either the week that you were to finally get out of the military or years later, the military can call you back into action through their stop-loss policy.

According to web sources, stop loss is defined in the United States military term as the involuntary extension of a service member's enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond the normal end term of service (ETS) or the ceasing of a permanent change of station (PCS) move for a member still in military service. It was first significantly used just before and during the first Persian Gulf War. Since then, it has been used during American military deployments to Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s and extensively after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the subsequent War on Terror.
Federal courts have consistently found that military service members contractually agree that their term of service may be involuntarily extended, however the issue is still being debated in the public and political arena."

As I digressed for a moment, the premise of "Stop-Loss" is decorated Iraq war hero Sgt. Brandon King(Ryan Phillippe) makes a celebrated return to his small Texas hometown following his tour of duty. He tries to resurrect the life he left behind with the help and support of his family and his best friend, Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum), who served with him in Iraq. Alongside their war-time buddies, Brandon and Steve try to make peace with civilian life. All of sudden out of no where, the Army orders him back to duty in Iraq. Brandon's world is turned upside down and must deal with the reality of the military's "Stop-Loss" policy.

Last night, Ryan Phillippe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Victor Rasuk, Channing Tatum, Rob Brown and Director Kimberly Peirce took the stroll down the carpet sans military uniform. Along for the military movie ride were guests Steven Strait of the hit movie "10,000 B.C." and his wife Lynn Collins, Mr. MMA film star of "Never Back Down" Sean Faris, the lovely Jenna Dewan, Joy Bryant and Missi Pyle. Also Brad Rowe took that stroll as he celebrated good news his new indie gay wedding comedy film "For Better or For Worse" has secured its primary cast and production date.

Lynn Collins and Steven Strait take all the red carpet shenanigans in stride.

Brad Rowe's days will get busy with his new film project "For Better or For Worse."

Ryan Phillippe was a great carpet walker who also humored his fans by signing practically everyone's memorabilia who waited patiently across the carpet.

For some odd reason Channing Tatum was in a rush to get out of the limelight. Must be the flashes as one photographers asked him to open his eyes and he quiped back that he can't. But his former lovely co-star from "Step Up" Jenna Dewan was a gorgeous ham for us dress in her lovely yellow printed outfit, Dewan took steps to ensure we got our shots. However, Jenna and Channing did not take any time to do a two shot with each other.

Channing Tatum actually has his eyes open in this one.

Jenna Dewan on the steps to "Stop-Loss"

Victor Rasuk was a cool dude. After reviewing my photos, at least half of my pics had Mr. Rasuk licking his lips. Did he forget some lip balm earlier?

Wilson Cruz walked past the carpet and directly into the Directors Guild as we shouted for him to take a stroll on the carpet. Must be that New York Broadway mentality he may have developed as "I am an actor of the theater and I do not do red carpet!" Just joking with you Mr. Cruz. If I was an actor I'd probably stay away once in a while. The flash gives me migraines.

Upcoming film actor Sean Faris came over to make his red carpet rounds. For a movie that wasn't promoted as much, Faris' "Never Back Down" did an expected $8million for its first opening weekend. I chided Sean about his haircut as he previously mentioned during the "Never Back Down" junket that he was running late for either the junket or an event and thinking he can make it to his hair cutting place in time but didn't because of traffic so he u-turned back home and shaved it all off himself. At first he gave me this quizzical look like, "What the hell" then he must of remembered me from the junket and started laughing and said, "Yeah! I've been cutting it myself."

Sean Faris cuts his own hair.

Missi Pyle is so craazyy....

Joy Bryant looking all cute and warm with her beanie.

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