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Paying the Rent

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 10, 2005 6:20PM

While the CTA’s budget woes are well-known, the cries of poverty that occasionally emanate from its suburban counterpart often go unheard by those in the city limits. So Metra 2005_11_10_metra.jpghas to find creative ways to make ends meet like picking up some acting work. Various Metra trains and stations appear in the Jennifer Aniston/Clive Owen film Derailed, which comes out this weekend.

With an actual Metra derailment fresh in some people’s minds, the AP speculates the CTA’s cleaner, better-mannered cousin might be wishing they hadn’t accepted the $30,000 in consulting and appearance fees for its work in the film. Chicagoist thinks they’re also not too thrilled with the implication that Metra’s a good place for married ad execs from Wilmette to pick up hot financial analysts who are willing to ride the rails. *ahem*

2005_11_10_rent.jpgIn other Chicago-related movie news, two Rent-related interviews were posted yesterday on the internets. Though the movie’s set in New York, actor Anthony Rapp and director Chris Columbus have strong Chicago connections: Rapp originally hails from Joliet while Columbus lives out in River Forest.

Rapp’s interview discusses how a coming-of-age experience at camp (not THAT kind) got him started in theater and the differences between working on the stage and screen versions of Rent, which hits theaters on November 23rd. His memoir on his life so far, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent, is scheduled to ship to bookstores in February of next year.

Columbus discusses how the rock and roll aspects of the film appealed to him, working with the original Broadway cast, and how a version with Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Usher was bandied about for a while until it was decided that making people throw up might not engender good PR.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Columbus and Rapp have worked together. Fans of Elizabeth Shue’s oeuvre will remember that Rapp played Daryl Coopersmith in Columbus’s set-in-Chicago-but-not-really-shot-here film Adventures in Babysitting.