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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News

August 23, 2017 Edition
(C) 2017 Portland Ice Skating Society

We are pleased to present, for your reading pleasure, another 
edition of "The Portlandian", bringing you more news about our 
favorite figure skater. But there's an extra reason to celebrate 
this time - it's happy birthday to that other sexy blonde ice 
queen of the 1990's, Nicole Bobek, who turns forty today!


We have now learned more information about Margot Robbie's film 
"I, Tonya". Since our last edition, it has been announced that 
the film will be screening at the Toronto International Film 
Festival next month. The festival runs from the 7th to 17th of 
September, though screening times for "I, Tonya" itself have not 
yet been announced:

Another piece of news is that Miramax is now no longer involved 
in the U.S. distribution of the picture. This is nothing to do 
with the "I, Tonya" movie itself - it's just that Miramax have 
decided to shut down their entire film production and 
distribution division as part of a strategic restructuring of the 
company and will now concentrate on milking their back catalog 
(which totals around 700 films) instead of new movies. Our 
sources tell us that there are several other major distibutors 
who are interested in coming in, however, and the producers are 
quite confident of finding a replacement, so hopefully this will 
just be a minor bump on the road rather than anything serious.

The screening in Toronto is therefore for these potential new
distributors only, and not open to critics, media or the public. 
So it's not really a "premiere" in the normal sense of the word. 
The actual release date will be determined by production company 
Luckychap and the new distributor, but it's likely that the 
widespread release will occur early in the new year around when 
the Winter Olympics take place in South Korea - assuming, of 
course that South Korea will still exist in early 2018, which is 
an open question the way things are going in that part of the 
world at the moment.

The second piece of news is that as we suspected, it does appear 
that there is a move to push Margot and Allison Janney for Oscar
nominations. In order to qualify for nomination, the film has to
screen at a cinema in Los Angeles for at least a week before the 
end of the year, so if you live near that area you may not have 
to wait until February to rock up to a box-office and buy a 

And to separate the true hard-core Tonyaphile from the wannabe,
without Googling or otherwise cheating, can you tell us whether 
it's Tonya or Margot in the picture in the link above, and if so, 
your reasoning as to how you reached your decision?

Although the U.S. distribution rights are still up for grabs, the 
film has landed distribution deals in several overseas countries 
(including, most importantly, New Zealand):

   "Entertainment One (which holds a stake in Sierra/Affinity) 
    has acquired the title for the UK and Spain, while Roadshow 
    Films has taken Australia and New Zealand rights.

    Further deals have been done for: Canada (VVS), Benelux (The
    Searchers), Iceland (Myndform), Italy (Lucky Red), Portugal 
    (NOS Lusomundo Audiovisuals), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), 
    Latin American (California Filmes), Hong Kong (UA Films), 
    India (Gakhal Entertainment), South Africa (Ster Kinekor), 
    Taiwan (Lots Home Entertainment), Thailand (M Pictures), 
    Middle East (Eagle Pictures), Turkey (Fabula Films), Eastern 
    Europe, Russia and Greece (Miramax)."

It's not known whether the U.S. pullout by Miramax affects those 
latter territories.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reported that a reshoot of 
a boxing scene took place in Duluth, GA. back in May:

A couple of interviews with two members of the cast have also 
surfaced. Firstly, Caitlin Carver, on playing Nancy:

   But Carver, a 24-year-old Monrovia native, was fascinated with 
   the story of jealousy and obsession even before reading the 
   script for "I, Tonya."

   "It was one of the best scripts I ever read," she said in a 
   recent interview. "Honestly, I kind of obsessed over it. I had 
   to be a part of it.

   "It really takes you through Tonya's life and career as a 
   figure skater, from the beginning. It tells her story; all 
   done in a very interesting, clever way. I think people are 
   really going to love it."

   "Yes, I will be doing a little bit of skating. I swear, dance 
   helps with everything in my life. Dance is how I found my 
   confidence, dedication and strength. It taught me to always 
   work my hardest, take direction, and so on. I was able 
   to use all of that when working on the ice."

And also 10-year-old Mckenna Grace, who played young Tonya:

Mckenna found the role demanding: "Physically, it was the most 
challenging role Iíve ever done before because I had to learn 
to ice skate, and Iíve never done ice skating before," she 
said. "Iíd fall and I was all beaten up but I had to get up and 
keep trying."

She also believes that the film will make people feel sympathy 
for Tonya: "Itís a really great script. It shows Tonyaís 
childhood and sometimes it makes you feel really bad for her," 
she said. Referring to the portrayal of Tonya's mother, she says 
"Allison Janney is so wonderful. She plays this horrid, mean role 
but in real life she was the kindest person."


The New York-based THNK1994 museum has now completed the move to 
its new premises at 1436 Atlantic Ave. in Crown Heights.

This extra space has allowed curators Matt & Viviana to expand 
the museum into a general pop culture museum, where exhibits will 
be rotated every few months in addition to the permanent 
Tonya/Nancy collection. To celebrate the re-opening, their first 
exhibition in the new location was devoted to Kim Cattrall of 
"Sex and the City" back in early May:

As an aside, there is at least a tangential connection between Ms 
Cattrall and Tonya - in 2005 she played a skating coach in the 
film "Ice Princess", about a young physics student who becomes a 
champion figure skater.

Other exhibits include the current one focusing on Nicole 
Richie's 2007 Memorial Day BBQ - it seems that even the 2000's 
are now fair game for nostalgia - and an upcoming one entitled 
"Real Housewives Pointing Fingers" in fall.

Their fame has spread far and wide in the two-and-a-half years 
since they opened the museum in the hallway of their apartment, 
even featuring recently in the UK Daily Mail and also guesting on 
Jezebel's Dirtcast back in March. The Tonya/Nancy stuff in the 
latter starts around 18:55:

In another article, Viviana describes it as "Disneyland, only 
very niche".

Of more importance to us is that the permanent collection - the 
Tonya & Nancy wing that started it all off, has now also reopened 
with a gala reception on the 28th of July. Photos of this event 
can be found on their Twitter feed:

If you want to visit, normal business hours are 12-7pm, Wednesday 
to Sunday. It might be a very niche Disneyland, but unlike 
the real one, nobody would ever describe it as "dumb" or "corny".


A few months ago Chicago played host to a run of "Tonya and 
Nancy: the Rock Opera". Now Dan Aibel's Tonya-themed play "T" 
that we mentioned a few issues ago has also opened in that city, 
with actress Leah Raidt playing the lead role, a skater called 
only "T", though obviously modeled on Tonya. The play is being 
produced by the American Theater Company, whose plays focus on 
the question, "What does it mean to be an American?". These 
articles give some background to the production:

"The play is really preoccupied with class ó if you start three 
steps behind, what's it going to take to catch up to someone like 
Nancy?" says Will Davis, the company's artistic director. "I 
actually think Tonya's having a zeitgeist moment... She was a 
poor American. To be a poor woman trying to win a gold medal, 
there's thematic fodder about the sham of the American Dream," he 

Davis also hopes "T" will provoke discussion of gender 
stereotypes as well. Tonya was "was so muscular and strong". "In 
a man, it would have been lauded."

Unfortunately, unlike the rock opera, this play has regrettably 
received less positive reviews, despite its pro-Tonya intentions, 
with critics seeing it as more resembling a broken shoelace than 
a triple axel. Tony Adler in the Chicago Reader criticizes its 
"relentlessly cartoonish treatment of the characters" and 
"misshapen structure that lets Tonya's dumb-as-rocks pals talk on 
and on while Tonya herself remains a cipher":

while as Chris Jones in the Trib laments its lack of a Nancy and 
what he sees as inauthentic-sounding dialog:

Jonathan Abarbanel says the play "provides little exposition and 
takes no time to establish relationships":

Mary Houlihan in the Sun-Times is more forgiving, saying "Raidt 
is good with Hardingís imagined contemplative side, but she 
doesnít quite capture the skaterís edgy toughness":

One a related note, the New York Times recently published one of 
the few articles that explores the pop culture legacy of the 
scandal, dealing with not only the Aibel play, but also the film, 
the museum, and a musical:


We recently came across this blog post in which a fan by the name 
of Brad describes a meeting with Tonya at the Hollywood 
Collectors Show ten years ago:

Brad says that "of all of the celebrities I met that Saturday, 
February 16, 2007, figure-skating champion Tonya Harding was one 
of the nicest." He then goes on to say:

   "she was more than cordial and extremely down-to-earth. So 
    much so in fact that it was nearly on the tip of my tongue to 
    ask her out to dinner Ė just for the sheer novelty! Obviously 
    she was kind enough to let us pose for pictures with her as 
    well. Donít believe everything your read Ė not all stars are 
    difficult and rude snobs."

We find that this response is often typical of people's reaction 
when they meet Tonya in person. So many people just take at face 
value what they read in the media and assume she's some sort of 
nasty, calculating psychopath who will break their knees as soon 
as bat an eyelid. Those who have met her in real life routinely 
say they are blown away by how polite and personable she is and 
how completely different she is to what they expected.

Incidentally, Brad notes in another post on his blog that he has 
also met Heather Langenkamp, who did an excellent impersonation 
of Nancy Kerrigan in the TV movie "Tonya & Nancy: The Inside 
Story". So I guess he can say he's met both Tonya and "Nancy" 
(even if only the first one was the real one).


Finally, it seems that the Trashional Enquirer is up to its old 
tricks again, making up falsehoods about our Tonya. This time 
it was claiming that she'd been invited to sit in the front row 
of the audience on "Dancing With The Stars" in order to rattle 
Nancy Kerrigan:

It shouldn't even need to be said that this is total bollocks. 
But fortunately the Gossipcop site did a thorough debunking for 

It's a good thing that our "Jayson" Awards aren't real physical
statues like the Oscars. There's so much Fake News about Tonya 
around these days that at this rate, we'd run out.

And the answer to the question that we posed earlier about the 
photo in the link above - "is it Tonya or Margot?" is: Margot. 
The real Tonya had much more muscular legs and thighs than those 
in the picture. Margot's are far too skinny. But only a hard-core 
Tonyaphile would notice that, so it's probably good enough for 
most moviegoers.


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