The 8th Annual Napa Valley Film Festival saluted three accomplished actors during their Annual Celebrity Tribute, November 8, 2018 held at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville, Ca. Sponsored by three Napa Valley Vintners, the honorees included Charles Krug Legendary Actor Laurence Fishburne, Caldwell Vineyard Maverick Billy Bob Thornton, and Raymond Vineyards Trailblazer Alice Eve.
Access’ Scott Evans hosted an intimate on-stage individual conversation that included highlight reels for all honorees.
British Actress Alice Eve was the first to take to the stage. She comes from an acting family and she said she tried to avoid the “family business,” but when she found out it would take seven years to become veterinarian, she pursued the acting path. She is best known for her role as Dr. Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness. Her career spans from 2004 to present in theater, TV and film. Other noted roles include She’s Out of My League, Men in Black, Before We Go, Netflict’s Iron Fist, and soon to be announced Fair and Balanced.
Eve said she excited about adding “Producer” to list of her accomplishments. Though she is not interested in directing or becoming a screenwriter. George Clooney’s transition from TV to film to serious roles is an inspiration for Eve as she moves forward in her career.
Actor Billy Bob Thornton entertained the audiences with his quick wit and storytelling skills. He claims he wanted to become a baseball player. He joked he took an acting class in school because he thought that would guarantee him at least a “C.” His teacher asked him to prepare a reading. A friend had introduced him to Shakespeare so he thought he would take the complete works of Shakespeare and turn it into a comedy using his own voice. An audition usually lasts three to five minutes, but after 45-minutes, the teacher stopped Thornton and told him that there were others who needed to do their reading, but invited him back the next week to finish his performance. So, begun Thornton’s acting career.
He got his big break in 1992 when he co-wrote and starred in One False Move followed up with his international attention drama Sling Blade in 1996. He has since had numerous acclaimed roles as American actor, director, writer, producer, and singer-songwriter. His eclectic personal life includes six wives, including actress Angelina Jolie, where the couple were known for wearing vials of their blood around their neck. He has four kids. He’s currently married to makeup artist, Connie Angland.
Award-winning American film, theatre, and television actor, film director, film producer, and playwright, Laurence Fishburne said he has a connection to the Napa Valley and long friendship with vintner and director, Francis Ford Coppola. Fishburne is most recognized as Morpheus in the Matrix film, Trilogy. Though he has been acting since the age of 14. He then lied about his age to win the part of Clean, a gunner on a swift boat in Coppola’s Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now (1979). He worked again with Coppola in Rumble Fish (1983). Other noted films include; Cotton Club, The Color of Purple, School Daze. In 1993, he earned an Academy nod for his role as Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It.
Fishburne’s career also included numerous theater and televisions roles. In 1995, he became the first African American to play Shakespear’s Othello in a film.
After the Q & A on stage with Evans, the three recipients received their awards and a bottle of wine from their perspective sponsors. Also in attendance was Rising Star recipients, actress Camillia Mendez and Rosa Salazar along with actor Ty Sheridan, all whom will be honored on Saturday.
Article & Photos by Kari Ruel, Napa Valley Life Magazine