Back on November 14th, I went to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to speak to actor Paul Walker at the press day for his upcoming film Hours, an indie drama about a father who struggles to keep his newborn daughter alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. What most struck me about the nearly 45 minutes I spent chatting with him for our interview was that he was a reluctant movie star who placed importance on following his heart and doing things with merit and significance, fully appreciating the opportunities that he clearly felt like he really just fell into. It was one of the best interview experiences I’ve ever had, and he was one of the most gracious and honest people I’ve ever spoken to.
After sharing stories about what it was like to have been born and raised in the San Fernando Valley (he even asked me what hospital I was born in), the conversation got even more personal, with him telling me that being a good father was the most important thing to him, now that his 15-year-old daughter was living full-time with him, and how hard it was to find a good school that she could go to where she could make good friends. And he also told me about all of the physical injuries that he’s gotten, over the years, and all of the physical therapy that he’s had to do, as a result. It’s a really introspective, insightful interview that I think is worth checking out, if you want a glimpse into the kind of guy he was. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The first trailer for writer/director Eric Heisserer’s (The Thing) Hurricane Katrina drama Hours has been released online. The film stars Paul Walker as a man grieving with the recent passing of his wife while attempting to keep his premature newborn daughter alive after they are abandoned in a New Orleans hospital during landfall of Hurricane Katrina. Power failures, looters, and rising flood waters complicate matters for Walker’s character, as he struggles to survive. The film looks like an intense Hallmark movie or a very special episode of ER, but I guess it’s nice to see Walker stretching with more dramatic material.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Genesis Rodriguez and is currently awaiting a release date.
Earlier this month, we reported on the first wave of SXSW 2013 films, which includes The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Evil Dead. Today, the full line-up has been announced, and it feels like Sundance all over again when it comes to plenty of unknown films. The chance of discovering a gem is high, and I look forward to hearing the buzz that arises from some these movies. There’s also a second chance at festival films I missed like The Act of Killing (from TIFF) and Pit Stop (from Sundance). I thought Toy’s House would make it in to SXSW, but I’ll see it eventually since it picked up distribution.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. The 2013 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 8 – 17th.
Paul Walker is in New Orleans fighting to keep his newborn daughter alive in the wake of a devastating hurricane. That’s the premise of Walker’s new suspense drama, Hours, which the The Fast and the Furious actor is currently filming in The Big Easy. Walker stars as Nolan, a man grieving with the recent passing of his wife while attempting to keep his premature newborn daughter alive after they are abandoned in a New Orleans hospital during landfall of Hurricane Katrina. Complicating matters are the rising floodwaters and frequent power outages that threaten to shut down his daughter’s incubator. The project is one that hits close to Walker’s heart; he’s a father to a 13-year-old daughter. Subject matter aside, the reportedly long hours in front of the camera make this film one of Walker’s toughest films yet. Hours also stars Genesis Rodriguez (Casa de mi Padre) and was written and directed by Eric Heisserer (The Thing). Hit the jump for much more on the project.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you today. First up, director Fede Alvarez continues to fill out the cast for his reboot of The Evil Dead. Suburgatory star Jane Levy and Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood) are set as the leads, and now Heat Vision reports that Melrose Place actress Jessica Lucas and relative newcomer Elizabeth Blackmore are joining the cast. Lucas is in talks to play the best friend of Levy’s character, who is going through drug withdrawal. Lucas’ character happens to be a nurse, so her expertise comes in handy (convenient!). Blackmore will play the fiancée of Fernandez’s character and a newcomer to the group of five friends who hole up in a cabin in the woods. Given that Fernandez and Levy are the leads, I’m going to bet sight-unseen that Blackmore the first to die. Lou Taylor Pucci is also set to star, with production due to get underway next month in New Zealand.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning the indie thriller Hours.
We’ve got a few casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Aubrey Plaza (who regularly kills it on NBC’s Parks and Recreation) has joined the cast of Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III. The indie stars Charlie Sheen (essentially playing himself) as a successful graphic designer whose fame and fortune have made him irresistible to women. His life goes south quickly when his girlfriend breaks up with him, and he starts having delirious fantasies about his long list of exes. Variety reports that Plaza will play a producer who works with Sheen at his design company. The cast also includes Jason Schwartzman, who shared some screen time with Plaza in Judd Apatow’s Funny People.
Hit the jump for the casting news of the Hurricane Katrina thriller Hours and the Julianne Moore indie comedy The English Teacher.