Monday, July 14, 2008

Male On Monday:: Edward Burns

This Week at The Pink Heart Society our editor Trish Wylie puts forward another potential for hero inspiration in our Male On Monday slot... Edward Burns...

Edward J. Burns Jr. was born in Queens, New York on 29th January 1968 into an Irish American family. Parents Molly, a federal agency manager and Edward Sr., a public relations spokesperson and police officer welcomed him as the second of what would be three children.

"I suffer from Irish-Catholic guilt. Guilt is a good reality check. It keeps that 'do what makes you happy' thing in check."

Probably known the majority of us for his acting skills, Edward is one of a number of American independent filmmakers launched in the nineties by virtue of success at the Sundance Film Festival. In fact he’s a writer, director, producer AND actor. A man of many talents!

After attending Oneonta College and S.U.N.Y.-Albany, he transferred to Hunter College in Manhattan to study motion pictures - putting together a number of short films along the way. He got his start in the film industry right after college as a production assistant on Oliver Stone’s film; The Doors. Then thanks to his father's connections, he secured a job at Entertainment Tonight. It was while working there he began putting together an idea for what would become his first full length film; The Brothers McMullen. A comedy focusing on the romantic troubles facing three Irish-Catholic siblings, it was shot primarily in his parents' Long Island home, with a cast of unknowns including Edward himself. Filmed over eight months with the aid of a crew comprised largely of fellow ET staff it was rejected by a series of distributors but took a major bow at The Sundance Film Festival when it won the festival's Grand Jury Prize - becoming one of the most successful independent efforts of the year. Having beaten the odds Edward then sold the film to 20th Century Fox's Searchlight Pictures. Just goes to prove the old adage of never say never really, doesn’t it?

For his follow-up movie, She’s The One, he kept on most of the cast and crew from his previous success and thanks to his newfound fame was able to cast up-and-coming stars such as Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz in some of the pivotal roles. He even went out and got a soundtrack from one of my favs; Tom Petty. The romantic comedy premiered during the summer of 1996 and Edward soon began work on his third film, No Looking Back – a romantic drama set in a coastal town's working-class community. (Now is it just me or has he earned his Male On Monday slot just as much for the fact there was romance involved in all those early works???) The film was released in 1998 and that same year Edward co-starred in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Saving Private Ryan.

On-screen roles include the likes of Confidence, Life Or Something Like, Will & Grace, The Holiday, Purple Violets, One Missed Call, Entourage and 27 Dresses to name but a few. Writing wise he has worked on and Sidewalks Of New York, Ash Wednesday, Flight Of The Phoenix, The Groomsmen and Purple Violets – again to name but a few. And there are countless ones he has written, directed, produced AND acted in. One of them; Looking For Kitty - shot with a hand held digital camera. without standard permits and with a tiny crew! He even discussed this unusual film-making process in the director's commentary on the DVD and wrote in the Director's Letter:

"If you are an aspiring filmmaker, in this day of inflating budgets and runaway production, the truth is you can make a movie for no money in New York...and have a blast".

From what I can glean having researched this guy, he’s not afraid to take chances. And you kinda gotta respect that. He also looks to the future of where film distribution might be going; his film Purple Violets released exclusively on iTunes in 2007. Innovative chap. But then the fast pace of changing technology is something even we romance authors are paying attention to these days, right?

In 2007 he announced plans to partner with Virgin Comics to create a series, using the comics as a springboard to a film (again innovation my friends!) And along with younger brother Brian, a TV producer, he runs a production company called 'Irish Twins'. Busy, isn’t he? And yet 6ft 1, brown haired Edward still managed to find time for romance in his life. He married supermodel Christy Turlington in June 2003 and the couple have a daughter called Grace and a son called Finn…

In one of the articles I found online about him he talked about his father the police officer. Their dad seems to have been pretty bloody minded about keeping his kids on the straight and narrow. And Edward Jnr. recalled him saying;

‘Be responsible for your own actions. Don’t tell me about what you’re gonna do, show me what you’re gonna do.’

I think his son has done that, don’t you?

The Random commenter from last Tuesday's post and receiving the pleasure of postcards from each of my USA destinations this summer and books from the RWA Conference is RUTH!!! So don't forget to email me through my Website Ruth with your snail mail addy so I can send you out your goodies! CONGRATULATIONS!

H's & K's

Trish’s current release is in Australia and New Zealand where GABE is making a bid for world wide recognition in Claimed By The Billionaire Bad Boy… The book is available from eharlequin Australia RIGHT NOW

To find out more about Trish and her books you can visit her Website or Her Blog


  1. Edward Burns!! I love him. The Brothers McMullen is one of my all-time favorite movies. His voice kills me. I have the idea he must be hilarious to hang out with. My maiden name is Burns--too bad we're not related!

    Good call for the spotlight guy!

  2. Hmmm, I'm a Brothers McMullen groupie too. Love Ed, especially in his own movies. But I still haven't seen 27 Dresses, so I may be revising that.

  3. I definitely like Ed, I just think that maybe he's a little too 'nice'. Love his voice, it gives me goosebumps all over just hearing him.
    Brothers McMullen was perhaps one of the best movies ever and I love how he portrayed the whole Irish Catholic set up, it was scarily near perfection.
    He's fab in 27 dresses, but I'd love to see him in a 'mean' role. Hope that doesn't sound too depraved.
    Anyway, congrats to Ruth, fabulous prize to have won.

    All the best,

  4. Glad to see Eddie made the Male on Monday team. I feel a certain proprietary interest as he used to play softball on a team with a friend of mine in Central Park. Definitely a team to watch!