‘Love’ Shooting Begins

Natalie PortmanFilming for the adaptation of Ayelet Waldman’s “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits” is now in full swing in New York, various blogs report.

Photos of Natalie Portman on set made it online today, courtesy of the Hollywood blog The Bad & Ugly.

Meanwhile, filming is expected tomorrow to take place at the midtown Manhattan offices of the law firm of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, reports the legal gossip blog Above the Law. Last week, the blog obtained an internal memo from the firm alerting lawyers and staff to the filming. (The firm also said Lisa Kudrow apparently is in the film too, which so far has been unreported.)

“Filming will take place primarily on Wednesday and Thursday of next week but there will be some activity as early as tomorrow,” Kramer Levin executive director Nicholas Tortorella said in the Nov. 5 memo. “They chose our space because it conveyed the image of a big, powerful, successful NYC law firm (in spite of our recent plumbing issues). The film will be released next year and the firm will be mentioned in the credits.”

The main characters in Waldman’s novel are lawyers who meet and fall in love at a Manhattan law firm.

New York City’s mayor’s office lists “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits” as one of several movies in production on its weekly “Reel Jobs” newsletter. The newsletter says shooting began Nov. 5 and will run up through Dec. 19.

Interestingly, the film apparently has its own production company established just for the movie called Impossible Pursuits, Inc. State records show it registered as a business in New York in September, and Delaware records show it incorporated in May. (What’s that all mean for the movie? Beats me.)

Portman Replaces Lopez in ‘Love’

Natalie PortmanFollowing the abrupt departure of Jennifer Lopez from the adaptation of Ayelet Waldman’s “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits,” Variety reports that producers on the film cast Natalie Portman for the lead.

Other stars include Scott Cohen and Charlie Tahan. The film is written and directed by Don Roos and produced by Marc Platt. Shooting is set to begin Nov. 10.

The film’s budget, Variety suggests, is less than $15 million.

Portman, who at one time was linked to star in the adaptation of Michael Chabon’s “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” will get an executive producer credit under her Handsome Charlie Films banner. David Molner, chairman of Incentive Filmed Entertainment, says Portman’s casting saved the film.

“We were left in the lurch by one actress and rescued by another,” Molner said. “It goes to show that, particularlywith independent features, nothing is more important than the talent. It’s a blessing that Natalie loved the script and now we’ve got a strong film that we can sell at [the American Film Market].”

Ayelet Returns to Blogging

She’s back.

More than three years after abandoning blogging, Ayelet Waldman unveiled a retooled blog on Friday.

“Well, after years of not blogging, I find myself suddenly with something to say,” Waldman says in her first blog post. After months of campaigning for Barack Obama, Waldman’s new blog in its first two days seems to be focusing largely on that experience.

A bit of news: Waldman says she’s going to the National Women’s Leadership conference in Chicago on Oct. 10-11, where both Barack and Michelle Obama will be in attendance, along with an assortment of politcal experts. “If you don’t know what the Bush Doctrine is, say, and you want to know, it’s a great opportunity,” Waldman says.

Ayelet Overwhelmed By Books for Obama

A funny thing happened to Ayelet Waldman. About a week ago, she e-mailed five friends asking for some books for a fundraiser for Barack Obama. The e-mail went viral, though, and now boxes upon boxes of novels by the likes of Stephen King, Tobias Wolff, Lisa See, Jodi Picoult, Jonathan Lethem, and Dave Eggers, among others, have arrived.

The books were intended to be auctioned at a private fundraiser in San Francisco, but because Waldman has received so many, she now expects to auction them at other Obama fundraisers too. Details are not yet available, the LA Times reports.

(Side note: The article notes that Waldman’s next book will be a memoir entitled “Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace.”)

Chabon’s Take on the Conventions

I apologize in advance, but I simply did not realize until today that Michael Chabon was podcasting the Democratic National Convention for The New York Review of Books. The first podcast, on Aug. 27, covers “Hillary Clinton, the new face of the Democratic party, and the mood in Denver.” The second, from Wednesday, is a review of Obama’s performance and Chabon’s take on Sarah Palin.

“The increasing diversity of America, which has always been a fundamental part of America, is so clearly reflected in this party, and I think it really makes you see what a perfect candidate to lead the party Barack Obama is,” Chabon says in one podcast. (Props to the UK’s Telegraph for transcribing the quote.)

A written account is coming soon, according to the Telegraph.

While we’re going through Chabon-related political news that I was oblivious to this week, Ayelet Waldman spoke with Forward about the convention experience. “It was like a Grateful Dead concert in the ’70s,” Waldman said. “Wherever you were you had instant best friends.”

Oh, and I also neglected to inform you that Waldman was blogging about the convention for New York Magazine. They’re still worth reading today, though. (Or at least that’s what I’ll tell myself today to make up for not telling you two weeks ago.)