Mailbag: Stella sisters, unrelated actors, documentary found

By Rich Heldenfels Beacon Journal popular culture writer

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A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after it was hit by two airplanes September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Peter C. Brandt/Getty Images)

You have questions. I try to have answers.

Q: About a year after 9/11, I saw a documentary on CBS done by two brothers who were in the World Trade Center when it was hit. The name was “In God’s Name,” I believe. Is there somewhere I can purchase that?

A: Jules and Gedeon Naudet did indeed do a documentary in 2007 called In God’s Name, in which spiritual leaders talked about big issues. It has been released on DVD; if your local retailer does not have it, I have seen it for sale on Amazon.com and Moviesunlimited.com, among other sides.

The Naudet brothers were working on a documentary about a New York City firefighter on 9/11 and captured the only known footage of the first aircraft hitting the World Trade Center; Jules then entered the center with firefighters and remained there through the early attempts to rescue survivors. That effort resulted in another documentary, called 9/11, which aired on CBS in 2002. That documentary has also been released on DVD, as well as being on Amazon Instant Video.

Q: Can you tell me if “Rectify” is going to be continued on Sundance?

A: It is. Look for new episodes this summer.

Q: Just watched the splendid “The Legend of 1900” and cannot place the familiar face of Max. He was played by Pruitt Taylor Vince. Where might we have seen him?

A: A lot of places. On TV alone, he has had recurring roles on The Mentalist, Deadwood and True Blood as well as guest spots on The Walking Dead, Justified and other series.

Q: The actor on “Chicago P.D.” who sports a scrungy beard looks like he could be a double for Chris Meloni of “Law & Order: SVU.” I think his name is Elias Koteas. Are they related?

A: Koteas, who plays detective Alvin Olinsky on the NBC drama, has a long and prestige-laden resume in movies and TV. But his only connection to Meloni is through TV bloodlines. Chicago P.D. comes from producer Dick Wolf, who is also the maestro of the many Law & Order series.

Q: On “Nashville,” the two girls playing Rayna’s daughters look familiar. Did they appear on “America’s Got Talent”?

A: Lennon and Maisy Stella of Nashville are real-life sisters as well as playing them on TV; they are also the daughters of Marylynne and Brad Stella, who perform as the Stellas. According to the Tennessean newspaper, Marylynne wanted to raise the girls’ profile before Nashville premiered, and so made a video of them performing Robyn’s song Call Your Girifriend with hand-claps and container-taps. It drew 2 million views in two days, the paper reported, and made the sisters a viral sensation. The video has now passed 22 million views. America’s Got Talent, which invites submissions via YouTube videos, did use a clip from the girls’ video — but has not had them singing onstage. Still, the ABC show has given them and their music plenty of attention.

Q: Do you know if a DVD is available of “Bridget Goes Hawaiian?”

A: Having searched that title without success, I am guessing you mean Gidget Goes Hawaiian, starring Deborah Walley. (Other Gidgets have included Sandra Dee, Sally Field, Cindy Carol, Monie Ellis and Caryn Richman.) Gidget Goes Hawaiian is on DVD, both as a single disc and in a misleadingly titled “Complete Gidget Collection” with the movies Gidget (with Dee) and Gidget Goes to Rome (with Carol).

Do you have a question or comment for the mailbag? Write to the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com. Please mark the email or envelope with “mailbag.” Letters may be edited for publication. Please do not phone in questions. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter.


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