A Day in the Life of Jerry Penacoli

Hey there,

So if you've ever wondered what a 'day in the life of' an entertainment reporter guy is REALLY like, read on... We have busy days and eventful days, but yesterday (Wed. April 16) was chock full of both 'busy' and 'eventful'.

7:30 AM: The day started by battling an hour and a half of LA traffic to get to the set of "Boston Legal" -- now, the show rarely shoots on-location, and this day their location was north of Los Angeles in horse country: the beautiful Ventura Farms -- a gorgeous location where (and the more mature will remember this show) "The Big Valley" was shot... the newbies will be interested in knowing it's where "Heroes" shoots alot. But, I digress...

9:00 AM Shooting on the set... There's an upcoming storyline between William Shatner's character and a horse farmer (played by Broadway star Christine Ebersol), and it was a cool opportunity to capture Shatner on horseback, and interview him -- and, trust me, he's always in rare form.

10:00 AM: Got a great interview with Shatner, where he reveals alot about this particular episode (second to the last one for this season - airing in May), but also talks about life at 77 -- he can't believe he's that old -- and his recent hip replacement surgery, which he really hasn't talked about... The writer's strike enabled him to make the time to get it done. He's become 'hip' again, but it was his HIP that had been a recurring problem. Happy to report, he's all better...

11:00 AM We learn that "Boston Legal" -- (by the way, I'm biased, it's one of my favorite shows) has not learned if it's being picked up yet by ABC for another season... c'mon!!! It's one of the best-written shows... with one of the best, most prestigious group of actors... It never disappoints, in my estimation. (Again, I digress...)

12:00 Noon Grab a cold, dry turkey sandwich from craft services ( that's lunch on a good day sometimes ) and jump in my producer's car, so he could take me to my car... only problem is I can't remember where my car is on the location... Picture it: sprawling property, with dirt roads everywhere, and Reed and I can't find my car... after a few minutes of panic, I remember I parked it at the barn up yet another dirt road.

12:15PM Now going slightly over the speed limit trying to make it to my next location: VEGAS, BABY... no, I didn't have to drive, but I had to drive to the Burbank Airport to make a 1:45 pm flight.

1:10 PM I make it, sweating bullets and then some, go through security and I'm one of the last ones to board the flight. Thank goodness it's only an hour flight from LA to Vegas.

1:45 PM De-stressing as much as possible on the short, but VERY turbulent flight to Vegas... Sheesh!

2:45 PM Land in Vegas and taxi it to Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino, Extra's home in Vegas. If any of you have been, you know Extra has it's own "Lounge" there, very visible, where we interview stars and have events. It's a kick, and we even have our own Extra-branded slot machines you can play.

6:00 PM OK, it's going to be an exciting night. AL frikkin' PACINO is premiering his new movie "88 Minutes" at Planet Hollywood!! Other stars: The OC's Ben McKenzie --- great guy... I was the first person to ever interview him before that show even debuted, and he remembers... we laughed about it. LeeLee Sobieski, a tall and beautiful LeeLee -- WowWow -- eyes a bracelet that a good friend made for me, and compliments me during the interview. So, I give it to her! Why not... it made her happy, and my friend is thrilled one of his creations is on the wrist of Ms. Sobieski... she wore it on the red carpet, and everything!

7:15 PM So, the "88 Minutes" publicists from Sony, and the owner of Planet Hollywood, Robert Earl (who is really amping up the excitement at his hotel/casino with movie premiere after movie premiere -- the hit "21" was filmed there and premiered there last month, too) were all waiting in the VIP lounge for Big Al to meet and greet host of guests, and then he was going to be interviewed on the red carpet, with Extra being in the number one position. We assume Pacino or Pacino's publicist, Pat Kingsley, decided to skip the VIP meet and greet and go straight to the red carpet.... Well, NO ONE WAS MADE AWARE OF IT!!! RED CARPET ALERT!!! We just happened to be headed back to the carpet area (about a 5 minute walk) when we see PACINO ON THE CARPET... we could have totally missed him. My camera crew and I literally had to hurdle not one, but two 4 foot barricades, and part a sea of people in order to make it in our position.... In the knick of time, I catch Pacino's eye, and in the middle of a print reporter's interview, he looks over to me, and shakes my hand and says "hey how's it going, I'll be right over..." GRACIOUS beyond words. When you listen to the other actors in the film, Ben McKenzie, Alicia Witt, LeeLee Sobieski... they tell you they were all PETRIFIED to work with the great Pacino... makes alot of sense... but when you are in his presence, yes, you are in rarified air, yes he's intimidating at first, but then all of that goes away because he is so down to earth, and unassuming, the great Pacino only wants to make YOU feel great. He disarms you. What a guy, what a pleasure, what a night...

9:00 PM I'm finished a rather long day, wrote all my notes in email form, sent them off to the producers of Extra, so they know what we got on tape, and what to put in the show. Now it's time to unwind, and not that I'm a huge gambler, I've been known to hit a few quarter Wheel of Fortune slots from time to time. And this night, as much as Pacino was nearly 'lost'... I did NOT want to lose in any other way.

6:00AM next day -- Leaving Las Vegas -- I'm up by 20 bucks... woo hoo!