“During our many shoots with Guest Programmers this year, we encountered a lot of celebrities who impressed us with their knowledge and love of classic film,” said Tom Brown, vice president of original programming for TCM. “But Rose really stood out, because she was so passionate and insightful. We thought it would be great for her to share her passion with the audience by co-hosting THE ESSENTIALS in 2008.”
McGowan’s first film as co-host of THE ESSENTIALS will be Billy Wilder’s serious-yet-comic classic The Apartment, which earned the Oscar® for Best Picture of 1960. McGowan notes that Wilder is “the master of humorous loneliness.” Other featured films will include Rebecca (“a great, atmospheric gothic-horror-romance,” McGowan said); Paths of Glory (“not a war film, but a horror film about a man’s ego”); Modern Times (“Chaplin is great at intertwining social commentary with physicality”); A Face in the Crowd (which stars Andy Griffith and is “a great example of why actors shouldn’t be typecast”); Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (“a masculine film with great, subversive feminism”); and Woman of the Year (“proves you can be a feminist and still be a man”). A complete schedule of THE ESSENTIALS, co-hosted by McGowan and Osborne, is attached.
McGowan, who was born in Florence, Italy, is well-known to television audiences as Paige Matthews on the WB TV series Charmed, which original aired from 1998 to 2006. Her extensive credits include Grindhouse, a film by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez in which she did double-duty as the star of the two parts of Grindhouse, Deathproof and Planet Terror. She appeared in Brian De Palma’s The Black Dahlia; the television movie Elvis, in which she played Ann-Margret; Jawbreaker, which earned her an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Villain; the mega-hit movie Scream; and Greg Araki’s acclaimed film The Doom Generation, for which she earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination. McGowan’s other works include Encino Man, Phantoms and Monkeybone. She is currently in production on Stephan Elliott’s Black Oasis, the true story of actress Susan Cabot, who was murdered by her son in 1986.
McGowan became a movie fan at a young age, when she was growing up in an Italian commune. “It was a bunch of hippies and no money,” McGowan told Robert Osborne during her 2007 stint as a TCM Guest Programmer. The commune didn’t have a TV and, instead, relied on a cheap theater for entertainment. “I’m sure we went to one that would show three in a row for 25 cents, probably. They tended to be all old films.”
THE ESSENTIALS is entering its eighth year as TCM’s signature movie showcase. Past hosts have included Rob Reiner, Peter Bogdanovich and Sidney Pollack. Robert Osborne took over hosting duties in 2005, pairing with film critic and author Molly Haskell. In 2007, Carrie Fisher joined Osborne as co-host.