J.J. Abrams offers blind items about Rey’s parents & a ‘rude’ Alias guest-star

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This doesn’t have anything to do with the story we’re about to discuss, but did you know that JJ Abrams is 49 years old? I just looked it up because I was made a bet with myself that he was barely 40 but looked 33. But he actually turns 50 years old this year. I no longer want aging advice from Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz: if JJ Abrams wants to discuss his baby-faced aging secrets, I will be there.

Anyway, JJ did a panel discussion at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend, and several of his comments have gotten widespread coverage. I’ll get to his comments about Rey in a moment, but first, enjoy JJ’s blind item about a “rude” actress he worked with on Alias:

“There was one time on ‘Alias’ an actress who will remain unnamed who came in and she was … very rude to people and literally a couple people on the crew cried… A couple weeks later after she was done, I got a call about her. Some producer wanted her maybe for this other project and I said, ‘You cannot hire this person. She was a disaster. She was horrible.’ He said, ‘Thank you very much.’ Didn’t hire her.”

Unfortunately, Abrams got an angry call from the actress a week later.

“She’s like, ‘I’ve heard that you said don’t hire me to this producer’ and I said, ‘You were a disaster! What are you talking about?’” adding, “It was one of the only times I hired someone even though I knew that was going to happen and it happened.”

[From Page Six]

Alright, Alias fans, give me your best guesses. He’s obviously not talking about Jennifer Garner, because she was the star and he’s saying it was someone who only worked on the series for a few weeks. Page Six listed some contenders: Faye Dunaway, Angela Bassett and Vivica A. Fox. Other notable women who guest-starred: Isabella Rossellini, Lena Olin, Mia Maestro, Sarah Shahi, Amy Irving and many others. So, who is he talking about? My guess is… Vivica A. Fox. Doesn’t she have a reputation as an agent of chaos and drama?

As for the other part of JJ’s discussion which got a lot of attention… he seemed to say that Rey’s parents were NOT in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. O RLY? This is the exact quote:

“Rey’s parents are not in Episode VII. So I can’t possibly say in this moment who they are. But I will say it is something that Rey thinks about, too.”

[From EW]

Then, just a few hours later, he had to take it back. He told EW, “What I meant was that she doesn’t discover them in Episode VII. Not that they may not already be in her world.” Actually, that doesn’t sound like anything he originally said. I mean, we already know that Rey didn’t discover her parentage in The Force Awakens. So it sounds like JJ offered a (sad) clue initially, then tried to take it back. Basically, Rey is not a Solo or a Skywalker? But is she a Kenobi?

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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58 Responses to “J.J. Abrams offers blind items about Rey’s parents & a ‘rude’ Alias guest-star”

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  1. mkyarwood says:

    They’re going to wait and read all the fan speculation, before they even write it. Personally, I don’t think they should show up. I bet they just left her behind for the first free passage ship out of there. Leave it at that, and her story will resonate with far more people than ‘My mom and dad are so special, they can’t tell me who they are.’

    • sauvage says:

      ” I bet they just left her behind for the first free passage ship out of there. Leave it at that, and her story will resonate with far more people than ‘My mom and dad are so special, they can’t tell me who they are.’ ”

      I am officially in love with your comment. I would love to take it out for drinks.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      Wait, no! Rooster shows up with half of a broken locket and he and his wife try to claim Rey.

      • mia girl says:

        This made me laugh and picture Tim Curry in the Star Wars equivalent of a zoot suit running off with Rey!

    • ladyE says:

      “before they even write it?” It’s basically wrapped filming.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Just because principal photography is done doesn’t mean they won’t write/film it during pick-ups/reshots.

  2. perplexed says:

    Was the lady who played Vartan’s wife on the show considered a guest-star? I kind of got a rude and annoying vibe from her.

    • SusanneToo says:

      She was a regular for a couple of seasons. I was thinking FD for some reason.

      • SusanneToo says:

        To add: IIRC, Dunaway gave a very diva-ish performance that didn’t gel with the great work done by V. Garber and R. Rifkin. That was the only time I thought casting failed.
        On the other hand, Olin, Rossellini, and Braga were fantastic as the devious, deadly Derevko sisters. Great casting there.

    • Tiffany says:

      That is Melissa George, but I am not sure because she was recurring at one point.

      My guess is Dunaway. She had a rep after her stint on CSI. They just did not want her back.
      That phone call matches her to a tee.

      • perplexed says:

        Oh yeah, Faye Dunaway has always seemed like a pill who nobody really likes. Maybe that’s why Abrams had no fear or guilt in mentioning this “blind item.”

      • ManchurianGlobal says:

        Faye Dunaway all the way. I know several people who have dealt with her or interacted with her on movie sets (as crew). According to them, she is a total nightmare.

      • Goodnight says:

        Yeah, I doubt it was Melissa George because she was on there on and off for a couple of seasons. I agree Vivica is pretty likely, she’s pretty well-known for being a problem behind the scenes. I used to think of her in terms of her roles in some projects I really liked (Batman & Robin, Alias, Kill Bill) but now I just think of her sitting next to Eric Estrada while he drunkenly slurs his lines in Cool Cat Saves The Kids.

        Faye is also a likely candidate but she wasn’t in Cool Cat so I have nothing to say about her.

    • Bridget says:

      As folks have pointed out, Melissa George was on Alias for quite a while. Interesting fact: Katherine Heigl REALLY wanted that role and apparently came close-ish to getting it.

      • perplexed says:

        Interesting. I think Heigl might have done a better job.

      • Bridget says:

        It was kind of a crappy character (and storyline in general) anyhow, so who knows. And to me, Alias is the prime example of how JJ Abrams can’t seem to create shows that work long term. Season 1 was fantastic. 2 was fine. But once they went on that whole memory loss/Rambaldi rabbit hole, it all went to hell.

    • M.A.F. says:

      She was there for all of the 3rd season but I do recall hearing rumors of bad behavior. Frankly, I loved her character.
      Edit: maybe the rumors were about Faye Dunaway.

    • Jess says:

      Same here, she was on for at least an entire season though if I remember correctly.

  3. Mia4s says:

    She’s a Skywalker.

    The Solo thing is out I’d say or otherwise it is TERRIBLE writing.

    Remember Cumberbatch was not playing Kahn?

    He’s knows what he’s doing. It’s annoying…but he knows what he’s doing.

    Kenobi? Meh, I guess. But why make her parents such a mystery? We wouldn’t know them anyway.

    • Betti says:

      Supreme Emperor Snoke could be her father :) LOL

      But I think she’s a Skywalker, the daughter Luke doesn’t know about.

    • Murphy says:

      Yep, he always denied Cumby was Kahn.
      That’s how I know she is a Skywalker.

      • MichLynn says:

        Yeah I think she’s a SKywalker. I remember an interview Daisy did way back when where she said she knew who Rey’s parents are and that questions will be answered in the movie about who Rey is and by the end you’d know. I took that to mean, she is Luke’s since that is who she is with at the end. Course now in interviews she says she doesn’t know who her parents are. Plus Kathleen Kennedy said it’s a Skywalker family saga, can’t have Kylo be only remaining Skywalker legacy. There has to be balance in the force haha! Rey is light Skywalker and Ren is dark Skywalker!

  4. Original Kay says:

    In the books Han and Leia have twins- boy and girl.
    Could be, the ages seem right for Kylo and Rey to be siblings. And the history of separating twins fits as well. Leia may not know she had twins, but I think she knew who Rey was.

    • Mia4s says:

      There’s a ten year age gap, more if you’re talking about the actors. That doesn’t work at all.

      • Original Kay says:

        Well no, I didn’t mean the actors were actually long lost twins, of course. I meant in the movie, to me, they looked of the same ages. Rey and Kylo looked to be of a similar age. See?

      • Mia4s says:

        I understand but the books and film writers have established the characters themselves are about 10 years apart in age. That’s why I mean twins doesn’t work at all.

    • sauvage says:

      I thought there was a look Leia gave Rey in “The Force Awakens” that gave her away as Rey’s mother. Of course, I could be wrong. Nobody knows.

      • Original Kay says:

        Yes. And that hug at the end, Leia seemed to lean into Rey in a way that I do when I hold my daughter. That’s it! It wasn’t as much a hug as a hold, and a lean into just to have her that close.
        Could be I’m projecting 😂😂

      • Malificent says:

        Leia definitely greeted Rey for the first time as if she already knew her or knew of her. But what would be the reason for not saying, “Hey, I’m your aunt” or “Welcome Ben Kenobi’s granddaughter!”? There is some matter of safety for Rey to not know her history at this point.

      • Mia4s says:

        It’s true no one knows, but as I said in my comment above it is terrible writing if she’s a Solo. We saw Leia and Han have a private, heartbreaking conversation about the loss of their son but zero hint there was more to the story? Not a spare thought for Whatsherface the daughter we lost? Terrible writing and would be a sadly cheap reveal.

        Skywalker would still work for me with their reactions if the backstory is they didn’t know. Leia has the force sense about her. Han in this movie spirits a ridiculously good-natured teenager away from a rough desert planet and gets attached to them in spite of himself? She reminded him of someone. Remind you of anyone? ;-)

    • Erica_V says:

      YES 100% Han and Leia are her parents. I’ve said it before ont he previous story, the “I know your eyes” trailer gave it away. It goes from Rey to Leia to Han. The bad guy Ren is her brother.

  5. ell says:

    i think it still makes sense. rey’s parents are not in tfa as in, she doesn’t know about it. especially given that if speculation is correct, it won’t be ‘parents’, but the one parent who’s in the film for like 30 seconds (luke).

    that said, jja is well known for blatantly lying to create more talk, so i wouldn’t take anything he says about this very seriously.

  6. drnotknowitall says:

    It can’t be Lena Olin, she was on for several seasons. The lady who played Vartan’s wife was on for a whole season. So not her. Isabella was on the show several times and in different seasons. Not her. Not Angela. She had two scenes.

    So it is either Fay or Fox. He is saying several weeks, that rules out Fox, because she was in one episode. But Faye was in three or four if I remember correctly. He is talking about Fay.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree with your assessment. I don’t even remember Faye being on there, but that’s probably the best guess.

  7. Don't kill me I'm French says:

    I think that the ” rude actress” in Alias was Faye Dunaway.She has/had the worst reputation on set

    • perplexed says:

      I agree. Does anyone ever have anything nice to say about Faye Dunaway?

    • manta says:

      But at this point, does any producer in Hollywood need to make a phone call to another one to know how she is on set? She’s been known to be a diva for decades.
      Anybody wanting to hire her doesn’t exactly Abrams input on the matter.
      I think of a newcomer or lesser known actress, someone whose reputation isn’t that established and that a producer would want to check.

      • Tiffany says:

        No, I can totally see this happening. Once you build that kind of rep, people will make calls to see if the environment changed.

  8. Miss M says:

    Faye Dunaway…

  9. anne_000 says:

    I haven’t seen the latest movie yet, but since there are clones in the Star Wars universe, I wonder if there’s a chance she’s a female version of a clone of Luke? Wouldn’t that explain how she’s got a high level of force ability in her without any training? How she’s able to do the psychic force stuff and not get killed by Kylo in the fight? So technically, Luke wouldn’t be her father, but his clone.

    I wonder why there weren’t clones of Jedis in this universe, or were there?

  10. Goo says:

    Vivica Fox is known to be a “racist pig”….. It is a known fact all over Hollywood.

  11. dana says:

    I’m also going to go with Faye, based on her reputation.

    Though in fairness to Faye, she has sometimes used her powers for good – for example, the time she threw a cup full of urine in Roman Polanski’s face during the filming of Chinatown.

    • Naya says:

      This urine in pedophiles face story fascinates me, do you have a link?

      • dana says:

        Peter Biskind wrote about it in his book about 1970s Hollywood filmmaking, “Easy Riders Raging Bulls”.

        The excerpt:

        “Dunaway was puzzled about her character’s motivation, and by all accounts, got little guidance from Polanski. He would shout, ‘Say the f—ing words. Your salary is your motivation.’ Things came to a head two weeks into shooting. According to Polanski, ‘There was one hair that would stick out from her hairdo and catch the light and I was trying to get rid of it, trying to flatten it and it would not stay.’ Polanski walked around behind her and plucked the hair. Dunaway screamed, ‘That motherf—-er plucked my hair!’ and stormed off the set. Polanski did the same.

        Evans arranged a truce between the director and his leading lady, but it didn’t last long. ‘There was a scene where she gets in the car after seeing her daughter, and Jack is in the car waiting for her and scares the shit out of her,’ recalls John Alonzo, the DP. ‘She kept saying to Roman, ‘Roman, I have to pee. I have to pee.’ ‘No. No. You stay there. You stay there. We shoot, we shoot.’ And then he said, ‘Roll the window down. I got to talk to you. You’re turning too far right. Don’t look at Jack, look ahead.’

        Then she threw a coffee-cup full of liquid in Roman’s face. He said, ‘You c—t, that’s piss!’ And she said, ‘Yes, you little putz,’ and rolled the window up. We were all speculating that maybe Jack peed in the cup for her. [Or maybe] she had a small bladder or something.”

  12. Melody says:

    So, he gets Remini put into the LRon Cupboard at the Cruise wedding and brags about denying another woman work. I suspect this guy likes kick-ass chicks only in theory…

    • Veronica says:

      I don’t know if I feel bad about him answering honestly about an actress being an asshole to the crew. Most of us are required to provide references for new jobs for exactly the same reasons. The reputation you make at any job tends to follow you.

  13. Amelie says:

    It’s not Lena Olin, Mia Maestro or Melissa George, they were all recurring at one point. It’s been awhile since I’ve watched any episodes so I vaguely remember Vivica A. Fox, Angela Bassett, and Faye Dunaway. I would say Faye based on all the guesses here but I can’t remember what role she played.

  14. partoftheproblem says:

    Excuse you. Vivica is awesome.

  15. LadyAlbert says:

    I think Rey is Leia & han’s daughter, but maybe Han didn’t know about her. When Leia and Han are talking, she mentions that she shouldn’t have sent Ben away, and that that was when she lost the, both. How old do we think Ben was when he went away to study? About 9 or 10? Say Ben and Han both left her, then she discovered she was pregnant again. After Ben turned to the dark side Luke may have helped her hide her daughter for her own safety, then disappeared on his own.

  16. Veronica says:

    I was very surprised to learn he was 50, too. Either amazing genes or great surgery is at work there. (Maybe both?)

    I go back and forth on Rey’s parentage. I could see her being a Skywalker, but I would actually find it more interesting if she wasn’t. The daughter of one of Luke’s students, maybe?

  17. Sara says:

    I guess I am the only one who didn’t love the new Star Wars. It was loads better than the ones of the Late 90s early 2000s and it had some really great things abou it but I felt it was lacking in warmth and content. Something was missing for me…

    • Dave says:

      Funny, the thing I responded to most about it was that it felt warmer than most mega-budget blockbusters that I’ve seen recently. The characters felt like actual human beings, unlike the current crop of Marvel heroes, and the excitement and enthusiasm and passion they exuded was much more appealing to me than the blank slates of the George Lucas-directed prequels or the joyless protagonists of apocalyptic YA stuff like Hunger Games and the later Harry Potter movies.

  18. Kath says:

    I’m going to go with Melissa (“I walk my French bulldog in New York City”) George. She’s a pill. She was also a guest ‘star’ on Grey’s Anatomy, but didn’t last too long.

  19. Noelita says:

    I don’t think it was Vivica because she returned a couple of times during the run of the show. I doubt JJ would have bothered with her if she had been such a diva, especially because her character on the show wasn’t very important.
    And I know that he loved Isabella Rosselini, they even gave a couple of interviews together.
    Lena Olin was one of the main characters and in all 5 seasons IIRC.
    I’m not sure Melissa George qualifies as a guest star because she was pretty important in season 3.