When you’re in every shot and working non-stop on a movie set, you could easily say you don’t want to do press. You could also be a bit of a diva. But the times I’ve been fortunate enough to watch Steve Carell work up close on a movie, he’s always beyond friendly and extremely giving with his time. He’s absolutely one of the nicest actors I’ve ever had the fortune to talk to. In his upcoming comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Carell stars as a Vegas magician whose relationship with his partner (Steve Buscemi) becomes strained as the two start getting upstaged by a hipper illusionist (Jim Carrey).
During a break in filming, I was able to participate in a group interview with Carell. We talked about sexy costumes, working with Carrey and Buscemi, how much magic he learned for the role, how his job as a producer related to the casting, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
While Olivia Wilde has done many movies in all sorts of genres, she really wanted to be a part of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. She explains:
I read the script a while ago and really loved it. Not only because of the cast, which is obviously extraordinary, and contains many of my idols, and not only because Don Scardino was involved – I’m a huge 30 Rock fan. I thought it was a great role for me. It was something I hadn’t done before. There was a certain challenge to it for me as well. I went after it, I auditioned, I was up against some real heavy hitters and I was totally shocked when I got the role, because it’s a comedic role and I was going up against some real comedians.”
In the film, Wilde plays a magician’s assistant who takes what work she can get. Like the rest of the cast, she wears some outrageous costumes. During a group interview on set last year, Wilde talked about making the film, the incredible cast, the costumes, set photos, her love of Jim Carrey, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what she had to say.
Steve Buscemi is one of my favorite actors. And it’s not just because he’s great in every role. The main reason I love his work is the way he jumps back and forth between genres in both movies and TV, and he always makes his character believable and authentic. In director Don Scardino’s upcoming comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Buscemi plays a Vegas magician whose relationship with his partner (Steve Carell) becomes strained as the two start getting upstaged by a hipper illusionist (Jim Carrey).
During a break in filming last year on the Los Angeles set, I got to participate in a group interview with Buscemi. He talked about making the film, how he got involved in the project, his character, working with the rest of the cast, improvising, magic, preparing for a drama versus a comedy, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
Over the past two decades, director Don Scardino has built up an incredible resume directing a wide variety of TV shows. And while you might have seen his name on such shows as Sports Night, Law & Order, and Ed, more than likely it’s been on 30 Rock, where he directed 38 episodes. Now, Scardino is taking on a new challenge, and it’s directing his first feature, the great-looking comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone which stars Steve Carell as a Vegas magician whose relationship with his partner (Steve Buscemi) becomes strained as the two start getting upstaged by a hipper illusionist (Jim Carrey).
A little over a year ago, I got to visit the set with a few other online reporters when the production was filming at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles. During a break in filming, we did a group interview with Scardino where he talked about working with the great cast, the difference between directing television and feature films, film versus digital and why, the biggest surprise about making a feature, and lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
If you really want to learn about a movie, you want to talk to the producer. That’s because they’re the ones that know all the behind-the-scenes stories and they’re the ones that have been battling to get the film made. Last year, on the set of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, I was able to participate in a group interview with producer Chris Bender. He talked about the challenges of getting Burt Wonderstone made, what it’s about, real magician cameos, “the magic bar,” the development process, Jim Carrey’s character, working with director Don Scardino, and so much more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
While Lily Collins has been involved in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones for over two years, almost everything else has changed along the way. Whether it be the director, the script, or the studio, Mortal Instruments has been a challenge to get made. However, when I visited the set last year with a few other reporters, Collins made it seem like all the script changes were for the best. She described the film and the changes:
“It’s a full-blown action/adventure fantasy film that is based in reality that has this romance in it. I think from the first draft to now, it’s definitely got a lot more of that, kind of propelling-you-forward, less of a romantic kind of teen flick. It also has a lot more humor than the first draft because Cassandra’s writing. That’s the beauty of the writing, is that you end up giggling when you’re reading it because of something Simon said or Jace is so cocky, you’re like, “Did he really just say that?” They’ve added some of those lines back in, so there is a comedic tone to these dark moments that kind of makes the audience relax for a second. And they are witty, so we have a lot more of Cassie’s voice back into it.”
In addition to describing script changes, Collins talked about how she was first cast, her reaction to the practical sets, her chemistry test with Jamie Campbell Bower, the differences between The Mortal Instruments and Twilight or The Hunger Games, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what she had to say.
When casting was underway on The Mortal Instruments, fans were very vocal about who should play Jace Wayland, and they weren’t happy about Jamie Campbell Bower. Looking over the comments on our casting article, you’d have thought the world was ending. But when I was on the set last year during production, everything I saw made me believe Campbell Bower was a great casting choice and the fans that were negative would eventually come around. During a group interview on set, Bower talked about his casting and the negative reaction:
“I think at the beginning I was very much aware of what was being said, whether it be positive or negative; predominately negative. I have to appreciate the fact that this is a series of books that people have already encountered and people will already have preconceived notions about who the characters are. Did it affect me? Fuck yeah, of course it affected me. I’d be a cold, heartless and self-absorbed person to have it not, but it made me want to prove to these people that say I can’t do this that I really can. If I can win over 50% of the people who said that I couldn’t do this or didn’t want me to do this, then I feel like I’ve done my job.”
He went on to talk about how he prepared to play the role, the tattoos, the audition process, how he made the character his own, and so much more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what he had to say.
Unlike some authors that sign away the film rights and then are left out of the movie making process, author Cassandra Clare is an active participant in bringing The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones to life on movie screens. She explains that it started during casting:
“I called Constantin (the production company) and asked if I could talk to the casting director. They gave me her number and we got really close, so we would talk about casting and then we would talk with Harold the director about it, and then [producer] Robert (Kulzer) would weigh in so that everything became a group decision.”
During a group interview on set last year, Clare also talked about how the book originally got optioned, making sure key moments from the book made it on screen, her reaction seeing Jaime Campbell Bower and Lily Collins at the auditions, her relationship with the fans, and so much more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what she had to say.
Anytime you cast Jared Harris, you’ve made the right choice. That’s because over the past two decades, and especially the last few years on Mad Men, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and Lincoln, Harris has played every type of role and always makes it look easy. In director Harald Zwart’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Harris is taking on a new challenge: playing a Shadowhunter named Hodge Starkweather. In the universe of The Mortal Instruments, the shadowhunters are a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons.
During a group interview on set last year in Toronto, Harris talked about how he got the role, the differences between the book and movie, his preparation process, Sherlock Holmes, what it’s been like filming the action scenes, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what he had to say.
Getting a movie made is never easy. And in the case of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, it was especially difficult. Originally set up at Warner Bros. and then at Sony, it was stuck in development hell until producers Don Carmody and Robert Kulzer decided to take a gamble on the property. Following the model they created with the first Resident Evil movie (they produced it independently and then made a deal with a studio), they had the script rewritten, got a director, and started casting. After a crazy few months, they were in pre-production and then in front of cameras.
On set last year, I got to participate in a group interview with Carmody and Kulzer. They talked about the challenges of getting The Mortal Instruments made, casting Lily Collins, the differences between Mortal Instruments and Twilight and Harry Potter, the success of The Hunger Games and how it had a female lead, deciding where to spend the money when you’ve got a limited budget, altering the tone of the story, and so much more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what they had to say.
After the success of The Karate Kid remake, director Harald Zwart was in the enviable position of having his pick of projects. However, while he might have been offered a number of things, what he really wanted to do was an action-fantasy with a female lead. Enter The Mortal Instruments. According to producer Robert Kulzer, when Zwart walked into his office he had a pole of storyboards and said:
“This is the color palate, and this is what Clary looks like, and this is what The Institute is going to look like, and the wardrobe.”
After putting his name in for The Mortal Instruments, he quickly got the job and started working non-stop to bring it to the screen. Last year on the Toronto set, I participated in a group interview with Zwart during a break in filming. He talked about why he wanted to make this story, how filmmaking is a collaborative process, what he did to distinguish it from the other young adult fantasy properties, the soundtrack, 3D, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what he had to say.
Over the past seventeen years, Bryan Singer been able to jump from genre to genre with great results. And while he’s previously made superhero movies (X-Men, Superman Returns), thrillers (The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil), and a film about trying to assassinate Hitler during WWII (Valkyrie), in his upcoming Warner Bros. movie Jack the Giant Slayer, he’s tackling the classic children’s fairy tale with a modern twist.
Back in the summer of 2011, when Singer and his team were filming outside London, I got to visit the set with a few other online reporters. While Singer was busy trying to shoot an important scene involving a giant, during a break in filming he let us come over to his director’s area to talk about the film. During our extended interview we talked about the challenge of making the film, how pre-viz was a very important part of the production, the look and design of the giants, the 3D, the casting, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
As the leader of the Guardians, the group in charge of security and safety for the royal family, Ewan McGregor has his hands full in Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer. After all, not only does he have a princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) fighting for her independence, he also has to deal with giants invading his homeland. But when you live inside a fairy tale, I guess that’s to be expected.
During a break in filming on the set, I was able to participate in a group interview with McGregor. He talked about why he wanted to do the role, his relationships with the other characters, working with the 3D cameras, the CGI, the pre-viz, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
While some may remember Nicholas Hoult as the kid in About a Boy, over the past few years he’s proven that he’s definitely capable of playing adult roles in such films as A Single Man, X-Men: First Class, and Clash of the Titans. However, while he might have been playing more mature roles, he hasn’t been the lead in any of these films.
That all changes in 2013.
With leading roles in Warm Bodies and Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, Hoult is starting a new chapter in his career, and based on what I saw while visiting the set of Jack back in 2011, I think he’s going to easily make the jump. During a group interview on the set, Hoult talked about bringing the fairy tale to life, the 3D, what his version of Jack is like, and so much more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
While you may have seen Eleanor Tomlinson in such films as Alice in Wonderland or The Illusionist, in director Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, she’s landed her first big studio leading role as Princess Isabelle. When the production was filming outside London back in the summer of 2011, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters and Tomlinson told us more about her character:
“She didn’t want to be a princess. She was just born into this life. As amazing as it is, it’s not necessarily what she wants. She feels a bit trapped. Her relationship with her father, after her mother died, is coming under a lot of pressure, because he’s the king and he doesn’t understand her. She just wants to be a normal girl. She wants to fall in love for love, not for the kingdom. She’s got that temper, that spark about her, which is different from other fairy tales, I think.”
In addition, Tomlinson talked about what it’s been like working on her first big studio movie, the costumes, collaborating with the other actors, the 3D, and so much more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.