What a thrill to see this week's cover! After the first five minutes of American Horror Story, I knew I'd be hooked. Nip/Tuck was wildly addictive, and this show has proved to be even more so, if that's possible. The fall season has been a total snoozefest; new shows are not what they used to be, and old shows are just tired. Thank you, FX, for finally giving us something interesting to watch!
So a program about a dysfunctional family a philandering husband, a self-destructive daughter, and a depressed wife possibly impregnated by an S&M fetishist/ghost is heralded as a new milestone in entertainment, but lighting a cigarette in a movie gets people up in arms? Forget Kansas, Toto; I'm not even sure what planet we're on anymore!
Paul R. Gellott
Mayfield Heights, Ohio
Meet Horror's Rubber Man!
Actor Riley Schmidt, 35, is the body behind the show's breakout character. While a different actor will portray the unmasked Rubber Man, Schmidt tells EW what it takes to inhabit the suit (hint: It involves a lot of lube).
Schmidt, who has done guest stints on series like ER and Cold Case, jumped at the chance to audition for Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's supersecret FX project, even though it wasn't fully clear what the part entailed. ''I don't think the casting office even knew that much either,'' says Schmidt. ''They were like, 'Maybe walk around like you're in a rubber suit.' The next day they called and said, 'They wanna book you on the role.''' The actor then had to visit Syren fetish shop in L.A. to be fitted for his now-famous bondage gear. ''They measure everything from your kneecaps to the size of, uh, everything,'' says the actor, whose entire body is lubed up so he can slide into the costume. ''I've had suits tailored before, but this is a totally different thing.'' Tim Stack
The Price of Fame
Why was it such a surprise that celebrities like Hilary Swank and Beyoncé were trying to augment their income by appearing at questionable events (News and Notes)? John Q. Public should remember one thing: Stars have bills to pay just like you do, and if they do so in a legal manner, then they shouldn't be held any more accountable for their actions than the rest of the world.
Santa Ana, Calif.
I enjoyed your review of Melancholia (DVD). After waiting months to see it, I caught it via on demand and was amazed. Lars von Trier, controversial though he may be, can really make a breathtaking film. Furthermore, Kirsten Dunst's performance as Justine was magnetic. I've been following her ever since I saw her in Marie Antoinette, and I was very pleased to find out she had won a prize for her work at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Enter the Fists
Your favorite film fights (EW Looks Back) were fine. But I'd add the one between Roddy Piper and Keith David in They Live. Now, that is the best fight scene from any movie, hands down.
No bare-knuckle film fights could be more authentic than the martial-arts brawls in the Hong Kong movies directed by Sammo Hung during the '80s. The actor-director became the maestro of fight epics that also propelled the early careers of his frequent costars Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, and Andy Lau.
Last Man Laughing
Last Man Standing was one of the least favorite new shows in your poll? My household begs to differ. We are big fans of Tim Allen and are glad to see him back on TV.
Palm Desert, Calif.