Mrs. Sting, a k a producer Trudie Styler, on her new film “Skin”:
“It’s a boy running on the streets. Difficult childhood. Father’s abused him. Gets into shelters. Hates everyone. Becomes radicalized. Ends up in the grasp of a white supremacist gang. When an African-American befriends him, he then wants to pay back the goodness.
“Inspired by a true happening, it’s a powerful drama of personal redemption.
“The story’s from an Israeli award-winning director [Guy Nattiv]. It’s his first American movie, but nobody wanted to make it. He said 80 producers turned him down. I said that since hatred’s too prevalent in this world, I want to make this.
“Our star’s Jamie Bell, who’s now in ‘Rocketman.’ I’ve worked with him before. And I know him and I know he has no bad bone in his body. He’s into decency. And we have Vera Farmiga playing the evil mother.
“We had no budget. Only $2 million. So we filmed upstate. Kingston. In the briefest period — only 23 days. No trailers for anybody. Huddled in our own vehicles. Down and dirty in the trenches. Freezing our butts off because we had to save money.
“There are scenes copying how this real man actually had his tattoos removed. Even from his face. Along the nerves. So painful you can’t believe it. This real man did it without anaesthesia because he believed he needed pain to return to humanity.”
The film opens Friday.
Bits & pieces
After two years as phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” Chris Mann now comes out full-face. Aug. 9 he’ll sing at Feinstein’s in LA . . . Letting you know what I know: The Daily Beast is a real beast. It should be read after taking milk of magnesia. For no reason, it hurt and vilified Mariano Rivera, a very good decent man — and on the very day he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. It hurt him.
What I’m hearing
Goo pouring out about Jeffrey Epstein includes stories of the lunches on his private island. Fancy types in fancy boats pulled in. Also pulling in on a helicopter was — whispers seem to recall — that Maxwell female arriving with her main dishes. The cover story being these were ballerinas going to rehearse in some ballet studio Epstein supposedly had.
More goo is about money he might owe. I hear that a couple of not such good deals are getting written off. Some of those owed are now stuck. Better to lose whatever rather than let it be known they knew him.
Saving face after tragedy
In 2018, helicopter FlyNYON’s five passengers — buckled into seat belts — were killed when it crashed in the East River. Despite the feds probing their operation, this outfit’s now offering summertime discounts on their scary doors-off flights where you can hang out the side and photograph your pedicure.
Here’s what you absolutely don’t know. To juice up their lousy image, they just hired a publicity outfit. And if you’re really nice to me, I’ll tell you the name of the p.r. crew they hired.
Please try to pay attention
Ava DuVernay on how she protects her actors when they’re playing painful historical roles: “I keep counselors on the set”. . . Sept. 23 is the Diamond Gala of Patsy’s Italian Restaurant. It’s now been on West 56th Street 75 years . . . Aug. 12 comes a special New York screening. Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup in the film “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.”
Coming up is a historic date. It was Aug. 3, 1492, that Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World.
Had he seen the conga line of applicants looking to be president, he’d have taken a cab home.
Said only in New York, kids, only in New York — by me.
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