CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) — Nothing is more important than family.
That's what the stoic Hollywood fixer played by Liev Schreiber tells his wife in the second season premiere of "Ray Donovan." While it's unclear whether his character believes his own words, Schreiber says that principle has shaped his career in recent years.
The actor has made it a priority to spend time with his two sons with longtime partner Naomi Watts — 6-year-old Sasha and 5-year-old Samuel. He set aside plans to direct again after 2005's "Everything Is Illuminated." He let others guide him into roles in theatre and on screen.
"It's amazing how insignificant everything else becomes," Schreiber said of his fatherhood. "It sounds romantic. But the reality is that you go brain dead for 2 1/2, 3 years and slowly return to the world. ... You kind of lose all ambition."
"That's part of the thing about acting. It's so easy to follow the career path that's defined by the options presented to you," he said. "Where with directing or producing or writing, there is a lot more self-motivation at play there."
The 46-year-old actor looked as if he had mostly emerged from that haze during a recent shoot on the set of "Ray Donovan" in a gated neighborhood in Calabasas, the hilly Los Angeles suburb where the Kardashians and many other celebrities live.
Schreiber was directing the episode, his first gig outside of commercials in nine years. Sitting in a high folding chair, he reviewed a script on a MacBook Air, glancing up to watch cameras move into position on a monitor.
"We're good. We're good. We're good," he announced over a wireless microphone to the production crew. There was a pause. One actor was missing. "Oh right, that's me," he said with a tight smile, hopping up swiftly to take his mark for a scene in which Donovan confronts a music mogul and yells at his teenage daughter.
Schreiber says later he underestimated the difficulty of "pulling double duty" on the much-praised series, which weaves together stories of clergy sex abuse, unconventional family ties, violence, celebrity and Hollywood powerbrokers. The second season starts Sunday on Showtime.
"In order to do it correctly, you have to watch playback after every take. I just hated stopping ... to see my own performance," he said. "The hard part is directing without vision, without being able to see."
It's unclear what the future holds for "Ray Donovan," which also stars Jon Voight, Eddie Marsan and Paula Malcomson. (Voight was nominated for an Emmy this past week for his unhinged performance as Donovan's father, Mickey. He also won a Golden Globe for the role earlier this year.)
Schreiber and Watts have been splitting time between New York and Los Angeles in order to accommodate the shooting schedule. Schreiber says that's been tough on his family. He yearns to return to New York full-time.
"It's really demanding even when I'm not directing," he said. "I should be so lucky to have this opportunity, and to be leading a company like this is pretty special." However, he said, "to be honest, I would like to go home. I'm homesick. ... If we don't get picked up next year, is it a huge tragedy for me and my family? Absolutely not."
Schreiber hasn't had conversations with series creator Ann Biderman about his character's long-term story arc, and often gets scripts for episodes three days before shooting them.
"I live literally minute to minute. It is so hard to imagine doing it again and again for me," he said. Still, he's found time to star as Russian chess champion Boris Spassky opposite Tobey Maguire in Edward Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" and has other potential projects in development.
Back on set, Schreiber directs camera operators and fellow actors efficiently with a grim, concentrated look, sweating through temperatures over 100 degrees. After a successful sixth take, he claps his hands once — "We got it" — and returns to review the footage.
Schreiber's face lights up when he overhears a visitor to set mention that she recently had a baby. "Have you been Ferberizing?" Schreiber asks excitedly, referring to a method of sleep training that he and Watts used for their sons. For a couple minutes, the set fades away. Schreiber is talking about his favorite role.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson at www.twitter.com/ryanwrd
Comedian Tracy Morgan, who was seriously hurt last month when his limousine was hit by a Wal-Mart truck going 20 mph over the speed limit, is suing the retail giant for negligence.
The complaint, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, says that Wal-Mart should have known that the driver of the truck had been awake 24 hours and alleges that he fell asleep at the wheel.
The Associated Press says:
"'As a result of Wal-Mart's gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages,' according to the complaint."
"Morgan's lawsuit seeks a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages.
"In a statement issued Saturday, Wal-Mart reiterated that it was 'cooperating fully' in the ongoing investigation.
"'We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident, but we're committed to doing the right thing for all involved,' Wal-Mart said."
The wreck on the New Jersey Turnpike killed fellow comedian James McNair, 62 and seriously injured 45-year-old Morgan, a former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" star and two others in the car, comedians Ardley Fuqua and Jeffrey Millea. Fuqua and Millea are also named as plaintiffs in the
Laura Secorun Palet
Stash gold in a Swiss bank? It's old hat. Try something really valuable: data.
Swiss vaults have held treasures ranging from Nazi gold to Wall Street fortunes. Now they might become the guardians of the 21st century's most precious asset. Think thick steel doors, timed locks, biometric sensors — all virtual, of course.
Data storage is booming in Switzerland. Attracted by the country's political neutrality and ironclad privacy laws, a growing number of people and companies are choosing to keep their sensitive information in the nation's servers.
Behind the rush: Edward Snowden. Since he first blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's surveillance activities last year, demand has surged for the services of Swiss data-storage companies.
"We had 15,000 new customers per month before the NSA affair. We now have 36,000, a 140-percent growth," says Gianluca Pirrera of Wuala, which provides Swiss-made, encrypted cloud storage.
Mateo Meier, CEO of Artmotion, a Swiss host service, says his company witnessed a 45-percent growth in revenue following the first leaks.
While Snowden might have been a catalyst, the NSA is just one in a long list of information-age worries. Data is the lifeblood of business and the economy. Like anything of value, it's the target of thieves: hackers after money, companies trying to undermine a competitor's merger or rival nations eager to acquire military intelligence.
"It needs to be well-protected," says Stinne Maria Petersen, from online storage provider SecureSafe.
That makes Switzerland the place du jour because of its laws. The Swiss Banking Act of 1934 gave the country its celebrity, but financial secrecy might soon be a thing of the past, as Switzerland has agreed to share tax information with the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, or OECD, and more than 300 of its private banks to help the U.S. crack down on tax evaders.
But the right to data privacy is so deeply rooted that it's written in the Swiss constitution: "Every person has the right to privacy in their private and family life and in their home, and in relation to their mail and telecommunications."
Information stored on Swiss soil is also protected by the strict Swiss Federal Data Protection Act and Ordinance to the Swiss FDPA, which require a judge's order to access private data based on substantial evidence of a possible crime. Under the American Patriot Act, by contrast, subpoenas require only a claimed link to "a terror threat."
"As the country is outside of the [European Union], it is not bound by pan-European agreements to share data with other member states, or worse, the U.S.," says Meier of Artmotion.
Switzerland's long tradition of neutrality also makes it a less likely target of cyberwarfare. Energy self-sufficiency reduces the chances of power outages. It also has a low risk of environmental disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes or floods.
"Separately, all these factors would not make much of a difference," says Evelyne Pintado of the digital security consultancy Navixia, "but together they make Switzerland a safe bet."
Of course, nothing's 100 percent safe. Nobody in Switzerland knew what the NSA was up to before the entire world found out. Dishonest employees are a risk. The Swiss will need a continuous effort to stay on top of constantly evolving and often invisible threats.
"The tools for stealing data are becoming more and more sophisticated, so data protection requires constant innovation and work to succeed over the long term," says Andy Yen, co-founder of ProtonMail, an encrypted mail service.
Switzerland's Data Protection and Information Commissioner Hanspeter Thür is calling for an update on the Swiss Data Protection Act. "We need to pay greater attention to monitoring tools and consider possible strategies against them," he says.
Thür is concerned about a new legislative proposal on digital surveillance that he thinks could undermine the country's established right to privacy. The law, currently under debate in the Swiss Parliament, would expand the state's right to collect private information in the name of national security.
For now, however, Switzerland's data storage companies continue to thrive. The services vary from basic data hosting to automatic backups, password management and encrypted corporate communications. Prices start at around $7 a month for 2GB of data storage and can go up to thousands of dollars for corporations backing up hundreds of terabytes.
Such products require constant software updates together with some top-notch offline security for the servers, including 24-hour surveillance, biometric identification systems and even armed guards. Visiting one is out of the question, aside from incredibly wealthy clients or background-checked employees.
Some companies keep server locations a secret. The Swiss Fort Knox brags it could survive a nuclear war because its servers are in an ex-military bunker, inside a mountain.
Over the top? Maybe. But customers keep coming, including the United Nations, Yahoo and Samsung, plus small businesses and even individuals wanting to keep treasured family pics safe.
Tech companies like Blackphone, a spy-resistant smartphone company, and ProtonMail have recently chosen Swiss servers. "Switzerland has some of the world's strictest data privacy laws, which offer additional protection for our users," says Yen.
To accommodate the growing demand, construction has begun on what will be Switzerland's biggest server farm yet — 59,000 square feet — near Geneva, by the Swiss company Safe Host.
Call it big data, if you like. Now it's big business.
Once a year Felix and I head to the Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York to check out great new bands and revisit true legends. We've been doing this for four years now, and it gets better every time. But the festival also had an important anniversary this year: 15 years of bringing new Latin music to New York.
This year, as always, we got to meet fantastic up-and-comers and chill with pillars of Latin music. But we also spoke to key decision-makers in the business. That's because we were asked to host a panel Thursday about how the Latin music industry and its audiences have changed over the past decade and a half.
As a result we got fascinating and very different perspectives this week from Gabriel Abaroa, president and CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; Tomas Cookman, president and owner of Cookman International, a company that specializes in Latin artists and produces the festival; Jordi Puig, director of the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City; and iconic Argentine artist Dante Spinetta, of the duo Illya Kuryaki and The Valderramas.
Join us for good conversation and songs — and please tell us in the comments section where you think the music we all love is headed.
Citing an anthrax scare and other safety concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has temporarily shut down two of its laboratories.
The announcement on Friday follows incidents in the past month that involved the possible exposure of dozens of lab workers to anthrax at facilities in Atlanta.
In the second such incident, NPR's Richard Harris reports that "In the course of trying to understand a laboratory accident involving anthrax, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stumbled upon another major blunder — involving a deadly flu virus."
The Associated Press reports:
"The CDC also released a report that detailed three other incidents in the past decade in which mistakes or other problems caused potentially dangerous germs to be sent out. No lab worker or member of the public was sickened in any of the incidents, the CDC said.
"The federal agency operates some of the world's most advanced and most secure laboratories for the handling of deadly germs, and has enjoyed a reputation as a role model for that kind of work. During a press conference Friday, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said he was upset by the carelessness.
"'I'm just astonished that this could have happened here,' he said.
"Frieden said internal and outside panels will investigate both recent problems and review safety procedures for handling dangerous germs."
"Federal government laboratories in Atlanta improperly sent potentially deadly pathogens, including anthrax, botulism bacteria and a virulent bird flu virus, to other laboratories in five separate incidents over the past decade, officials said Friday.
"The incidents, which raise troubling questions about the government's ability to safely store and transport dangerous microbes, prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halt operations at its bioterrorism rapid-response lab and an influenza lab and impose a moratorium on any biological material leaving numerous other CDC labs."