John Turturro Talks FADING GIGOLO, Teaming up with Woody Allen, Complementing the Story with Jazz, EXODUS, RIO, I LOVE YOU, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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John Turturro writes, directs and stars opposite Woody Allen in Fading Gigolo, a charmingly offbeat indie comedy with an unusual premise about two cash-strapped best friends who devise a lucrative scheme involving the world’s oldest profession.  A partnership is born when Fioravante (Turturro) embarks on his new career as an upscale New York gigolo with Murray (Allen) acting as his pimp.  Turturro’s tale of people’s never ending quest to find happiness through sex and love is as moving as it is funny.  Opening April 18th, the film also stars Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis and Liev Schreiber.

In an exclusive interview, Turturro talked about teaming up creatively with Allen in the lead roles, finding the right supporting cast, the decision to shoot on film rather than digitally, setting the comedic action in the Hasidic community, basing the look of the film on Saul Leiter photographs, and complementing the story with music by jazz great Gene Ammons and New Orleans’ Trumbone Shorty and songs performed by Dalida and Paradis.  He also discussed his upcoming projects including Exodus:  Gods and Kings, God’s Pocket, Mia Madre, a short for the Rio, I Love You anthology, and a Big Lebowski spin-off.  Check out the interview after the jump. 

Kevin Costner Talks DRAFT DAY, His Career, What We Can Learn from the Movies, How GIANT Influenced His Outlook on Life, and More

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Kevin Costner brings gravitas and believability to his role in Draft Day as Sonny Weaver Jr., the hard-pressed general manager of the Cleveland Browns who finds himself in what seems like a no-win position on the most important day of his life.  Facing pressure from all sides, he must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to stay in the game as the lines between his personal and professional life begin to blur.  Opening April 11th, the film directed by Ivan Reitman also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary and Ellen Burstyn.

At the film’s recent press day, Costner turned introspective as he looked back on his career, the films he’s made, and the movies like Giant that have inspired him.  He spoke about his conviction that Draft Day can become a new sports movie classic, how he lives off his intuition and passion, how his roots have developed him personally and defined him as an actor, why he feels we can learn a lot from movies, what he finds creatively exciting and satisfying about storytelling within the sports framework, how The Big Chill was his personal Draft Day moment, his favorite sports movie The Pride of the Yankees with Gary Cooper, and his new movie Black and White which tackles notions of racism.

Composer Henry Jackman Talks CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, His Influences, WRECK-IT RALPH 2, THE INTERVIEW, and More

by     Posted 16 days ago

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British composer Henry Jackman is one of Hollywood’s hottest composers.  He recently created the exciting score for the Marvel thriller, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which continues the adventures of Steve Rogers aka Captain America who’s now finding his place in the modern world.  Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the film brings the timeless character into the present day and is a much more contemporary and grounded superhero story this time around.  Jackman received a BAFTA nomination this year for his critically acclaimed score for Captain Phillips, and his past credits include X-Men: First Class, Wreck-It Ralph, G.I. Joe Retaliation, and This Is the End.

In an exclusive interview, Jackman talked about his collaborative process with the Russo brothers, how he crafted the sound for the main themes for Cap, Winter Soldier and Hydra, the single note he received from Marvel CEO Kevin Feige, what it’s been like working with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg on their upcoming comedy The Interview, what he’s heard recently about the Wreck-It Ralph sequel, how his process changes from live-action to animation, how his roots helped develop him artistically, his musical inspirations, his invaluable apprenticeship with Hans Zimmer, and the art of scoring music to picture and telling a story that images alone cannot.  Check out the full interview after the jump.

Wes Anderson and Adam Stockhausen Talk THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, Collaborating on the Film, Creating a Lush Cinematic World, and Varying Aspect Ratios

by     Posted 22 days ago

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The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s eighth feature film and one of his best, chronicles the bittersweet adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel in a fictional country between wars, and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), the lobby boy who became his loyal and devoted friend.  A timeless tale of friendship and honor as well as a kinetic caper in constant motion, the film features an impressive ensemble cast that includes F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson and Owen Wilson.

At the film’s recent press day in Los Angeles, Anderson and production designer Adam Stockhausen spoke about how the project first emerged, their collaboration on the vision for the film, how they created a lush cinematic world to invite the audience into, Viennese writer Stefan Zweig’s influence on the film’s multi-layered storytelling style, the selection of memorable books and films Anderson offered the cast during production and the sense of community he fostered on set, using different aspect ratios to tell each story within the larger tale, and one of their favorite scenes directing mobile haystacks.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Tony Revolori Talks THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, Physicality and Pace on Set, Bowling with F. Murray Abrahams, and More

by     Posted 26 days ago

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Tony Revolori, the young star of Wes Anderson’s latest work, The Grand Budapest Hotel, turns in an engaging and memorable performance as Zero Moustafa, the resourceful lobby boy and trusted confident of Monsieur Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), the fastidious concierge at the center of the story.  Revolori shares a wonderful on-screen chemistry with Fiennes and holds his own with a strong ensemble cast that includes F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson and Owen Wilson.

At the film’s recent L.A. press day, Revolori spoke about what it was like to be a part of the Wes Anderson universe, his preparation, working with the amazing cast, the communal family atmosphere Anderson created on set, the specific style of acting, physicality and pace required for the film’s adventure set pieces, the advice Fiennes gave him for his kissing scene with Ronan, the face abuse he endured at the hands of Harvey Keitel in sub-zero weather, bowling with F. Murray Abrahams, and his upcoming Bollywood film, Umrika, directed by Prashant Nair , in which he plays Lalu, a character whose name means smart ass in Hindi.  Check out the interview after the jump:

Jeff Goldblum Talks THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, Being Part of Wes Anderson’s Universe, Preparing for His Role and Its Challenges, MORTDECAI, and More

by     Posted 28 days ago

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Jeff Goldblum, who first worked with Wes Anderson on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, was thrilled to reunite with the director again on his new comedy-drama caper, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Goldblum plays Deputy Vilmos Kovacs, the attorney representing the estate of the late Madame D (Tilda Swinton) whose sudden and mysterious death kicks off the main action of the story and sets in motion a scramble to lay claim to her vast fortune.  The charge is led by her son Dmitri (Adrien Brody), the film’s ruthless and darkly comic main villain.  The impressive cast also includes Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Ed Norton, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Tony Revolori.

At the film’s recent press day, Goldblum spoke about being a part of the Wes Anderson universe, why he considered it a fantastic privilege and found the collaborative experience creatively inspiring, what the rehearsal process was like, his preparation for the role, what he brought to the character, and why he liked the challenge.  He also discussed his recent internet fame, his upcoming film Mortdecai with Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany and Gwyneth Paltrow, and plans to perform with his jazz band at Rockwell in Los Feliz.  Hit the jump to check out the interview.

Andy Garcia, Ray Romano, Raymond De Felitta, Jonathan Fernandez, and Stephen Endelman Talk ROB THE MOB, How the Project Came Together, and More

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Opening March 21st, Rob the Mob is a heartbreaking crime-thriller inspired by the true story of Tommy (Michael Pitt) and Rosie (Nina Arianda) Uva, two small-time crooks from Queens whose crazy-passionate love for one another fueled their audacious heists of Mafia social clubs in the 1990s and led to a startling discovery.  The film directed by Raymond De Felitta from a screenplay by Jonathan Fernandez boasts an impressive cast that also includes Andy Garcia (who also produces), Ray Romano, Griffin Dunne, Cathy Moriarty, Michael Rispoli, Val Vazquez, Frank Whaley and Burt Young.

At the film’s recent press day, Garcia, De Felitta, Romano, Fernandez and composer Stephen Endelman spoke about how the project emerged, why Fernandez’s well written script and De Felitta’s directing style helped attract an incredible cast, how the actors approached their characters and brought the fascinating story to life, De Felitta’s unique collaboration with Endelman on the film’s score during post production, and how Garcia created genuine moments on screen with Luke Fava, the young actor who played his grandson.  Romano also discussed his Italian heritage and his pride in its traditions and values.  Check out the interview after the jump. 

Composer JUNKIE XL Talks 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, DIVERGENT, Possibly Collaborating with Hans Zimmer on INTERSTELLAR, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, and More

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Grammy nominated, multi-platinum producer and composer Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, is a skilled multi-instrumentalist whose versatility and mastery of studio technology put him on the cutting edge of contemporary music.  His ability to combine electronic, pop, and classical influences has made him a highly sought after Hollywood composer.  Most recently, he drew from his extensive knowledge of classical forms combined with his work in contemporary music to create the cool, exciting scores for the action thriller 300:  Rise of an Empire and the futuristic action-adventure Divergent opening in theaters March 21st.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Junkie XL who spoke about how he created a score for 300 that combined the film’s intense action and character themes with a thematic tone influenced by the sea, the challenge of capturing the world of Divergent from the first person perspective of its heroine, how he works with directors and draws on his eclectic background as an artist to craft the right sound, his Dutch roots and their influence on his music, his musical inspirations that include Pink Floyd and Nirvana, his collaborative relationship with Hans Zimmer and the possibility of working with him on Interstellar, and his upcoming projects:  Mad Max: Fury Road and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Writer/Director Arie Posin Talks THE FACE OF LOVE, Challenges of Financing, Shooting in Los Angeles, DUCHESS, and More

by     Posted 35 days ago

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Writer-director Arie Posin explores coping with loss, living in the moment, and ultimately finding the courage to move forward in his new romance mystery, The Face of Love, starring Ed Harris and Annette Bening.  Five years after the death of her beloved Garrett, Nikki (Bening) meets Tom, a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to her late husband (both played by Harris) and also shares his kindness, humor, and passion for art.  As they slowly fall in love, Nikki can’t bring herself to tell Tom the truth about what attracted her to him.

Recently I landed an exclusive interview with Posin who talked about how the project first came together, the personal experience that inspired the story, the challenges he encountered financing the film, why he insisted on shooting the film in Los Angeles, his thoughts on the California lottery system and its impact on runaway production, why he initially resisted shooting digitally, his collaboration with Panavision and an award-winning creative team to capture a romantic look that bucked the trend and was emotionally right for the movie, the directors and films that have inspired him as a filmmaker, and his next project, Duchess, a comedy-drama starring Glenn Close.  Hit the jump to read the interview:

Mike Epps Talks REPENTANCE, the Appeal of the Film’s Spiritual Undertone, Working Opposite Anthony Mackie, and More

by     Posted 50 days ago

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Mike Epps is a comedian at heart and one of the funniest comic actors to emerge into the Hollywood scene, but in his latest film, Repentance, he undertakes a serious role as Ben, the loyal brother of Tommy Carter (Anthony Mackie), a spiritual therapist whose successful book attracts the attention of a profoundly disturbed man (Forest Whitaker).  Opening in select theaters on February 28th, the horror-thriller directed by Philippe Caland also stars Sanaa Lathan, Nicole Ari Parker, and Ariana Neal.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Epps who talked about how the project came together, what drew him to the role, why the spiritual undertone of the film appealed to him, the easy directing process with Caland, how he stepped up his acting game opposite Mackie, what it was like shooting on location in New Orleans, and how he escapes boredom by pursuing a multi-faceted career.  He also discussed his upcoming live comedy show, Mike Epps:  After Dark Tour, which hits the road in March, and playing Richard Pryor in the Nina Simone biopic, Nina, starring Zoe Saldana.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Forest Whitaker Talks REPENTANCE, Acting Opposite Anthony Mackie, Staying True to His Acting Roots, and the Evolution of African American Films

by     Posted 51 days ago

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Forest Whitaker plays a profoundly troubled man struggling to hold onto his sanity and do the right thing in director Philippe Caland’s intriguing horror-thriller, Repentance.  Years after a drunken car crash that almost took his life, Tommy Carter (Anthony Mackie) has reinvented himself as a therapist and spiritual advisor.  His successful book release draws the attention of Angel Sanchez (Whitaker) who convinces Carter to take him on as a personal client.  Opening February 28th, the film also stars Mike Epps, Sanaa Lathan, Nicole Ari Parker and Ariana Neal.

We recently landed an exclusive interview with Whitaker who revealed how the project grew out of a small film Caland had previously made, what it was like acting opposite Mackie in some very intense scenes, why he loves shooting on location in New Orleans, what he looks for in a project, how he stays true to his acting roots, why it’s important to find a connection with the characters he plays, his thoughts on the evolution of African American films and why content is increasingly reflecting the diversity in material that’s being produced, and his upcoming projects:  the lead role in Two Men in Town and plans to direct The Shack.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Director Jehane Noujaim and Producer Karim Amer Talk THE SQUARE, How the Film Came Together, and Documenting the Heroic Acts of Ordinary People

by     Posted 63 days ago

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The Square, directed by Jehane Noujaim and produced by Karim Amer, is a riveting documentary that immerses the audience in the intense emotional drama and inspiring story of revolution behind the headlines.  From the 2011 overthrow of a 30-year dictator, through military rule, and culminating with the forced military removal of the Muslim Brotherhood president in the summer of 2013, we follow a group of Egyptian activists armed with nothing more than cameras, social media, videos posted to YouTube, and a resolute determination to liberate their nation.  They battle leaders and regimes and risk their lives to build a brighter future.

In an exclusive interview, the Egyptian-American filmmakers spoke about the organic way the project came together, the decision to tell this story through the eyes of young activists, why it was important to document the heroic acts of ordinary people, how the events that transpired in Tahrir Square represent a magical moment in their country’s history and an opportunity to bring change to Egypt for generations to come, the powerful role of social media in telling their story, why this isn’t just a local problem but a global issue, their thoughts on the future of Egypt’s political landscape, and plans to work together again.  Check out the interview after the jump. 

Screenwriter Grant Heslov Talks THE MONUMENTS MEN, Evolution of the Story from Book to Screen, Balancing Humor with Serious Moments, and More

by     Posted 70 days ago

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Grant Heslov and his writing and producing partner, George Clooney, saw The Monuments Men as an opportunity to tell a true story with high stakes on an epic scale.  Their movie about an unlikely WWII platoon that went to the front lines to rescue some of the world’s greatest art from the Nazis is not only entertaining and accessible but offers audiences a uniquely different perspective on the Second World War.  Opening February 7th, the action-thriller based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter also stars Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Heslov who talked about the evolution of the story from book to script to screen, the reason for moving the film’s release to 2014, finding the right tone and balancing the humor with the more serious moments, what he learned by watching the film with a test audience, his collaborative process with Clooney, how writing Good Night, and Good Luck compared to this, the logistical challenges he encountered producing the film, the deleted scenes we can expect on the DVD, and his upcoming projects including what’s in active development.  Hit the jump to read the interview. 

John Goodman Talks THE MONUMENTS MEN, Honoring the World War II Generation, THE GAMBLER, Looking Back on THE BIG LEBOWSKI, SPEED RACER, and More

by     Posted 72 days ago

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John Goodman turns in a moving performance in The Monuments Men as Walter Garfield, a role inspired by real-life Monuments Man Walker Hancock who was an acclaimed artist and St. Louis sculptor.  Goodman’s character is part of a motley crew of art historians and museum curators who rush to the front lines of WWII in a race against time to save priceless works of art from Nazi thieves.  Opening February 7th, the buddy action thriller directed by and starring George Clooney boasts an impressive cast that also includes Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Bob Balazar, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Goodman who spoke about what attracted him to the role, why he said yes to the project before reading the script and had the same reaction when the Coen Brothers offered him Inside Llewyn Davis, why honoring the generation that sacrificed so much to win the war was a big hook for him, how his acting process has changed over the years, his upcoming role in The Gambler and his reaction to William Monahan’s script, working with the Wachowskis on Speed Racer, hosting SNL and his favorite sketch, the possibility of a Monsters University sequel, and looking back on making The Big Lebowski.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Andy Garcia Talks AT MIDDLETON, the Beautiful Script, His “Chopsticks” Duet with Vera Farmiga, and Future Projects

by     Posted 73 days ago

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Academy Award nominee Andy Garcia flexes his comedic chops with Vera Farmiga in At Middleton, a light-hearted romance directed by Adam Rodgers about two people who fall in love while taking a college tour with their kids.  When straight-laced George (Garcia) meets free-spirited Edith (Farmiga) at the idyllic Middleton College, the two unexpectedly hit it off and decide to ditch the official tour for a carefree adventure of their own.  What begins as an afternoon of fun soon becomes a revealing and enlightening experience for both of them.  Now in theaters, the film also stars Taissa Farmiga, Spencer Lofranco, Peter Riegert and Tom Skerritt.

In an exclusive interview backstage at the Queen Latifah Show where Garcia was promoting his new film, he talked about how he fell in love with the beautifully written script, his producing partnership with Glenn German, the film’s financing, being directed by Rodgers, working with Farmiga and their “Chopsticks” duet together, and why good writing is key to any new project he considers.  He also discussed his upcoming movies What About Love, Rob the Mob, Rio 2 and Kill the Messenger and his plans to direct and act in Hemingway & Fuentes which he co-wrote with Hilary Hemingway.  Check out the interview after the jump:

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