Daniel Stamm Talks 13 SINS, Finding Himself at the Helm, Challenges of Directing a Remake, Adapting the Original, and Using Improv during Rehearsals

by     Posted 2 hours ago

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Available now on VOD and in theaters this week is 13 Sins, a sinister thriller about a good natured, down on his luck everyman who must decide how far he’s willing to go to provide for his family.  Elliot (Mark Webber) is expecting a child with his fiancé (Rutina Wesley), caring for his mentally ill brother (Devon Graye), and about to take in his deadbeat father (Tom Bower), so when he’s unexpectedly fired his entire life is thrown into a tailspin.  That’s when he receives a mysterious phone call explaining that he has been chosen to participate in a secret game show – thirteen tasks, if he can complete them all he walks away a millionaire, but as each task proves more perverse than the last, he discovers he may not be as in control of the gameplay as he thought.  13 Sins also stars Ron Perlman and Pruitt Taylor Vince.

I recently had the opportunity to jump on the phone for an interview with director Daniel Stamm.  He talked about how he ended up at the helm of 13 Sins, the challenges of directing a remake, adapting the original film, using improv in the rehearsal process, BBC America’s Intruders, plans for the future, and more.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Jamie Bell Talks TURN, Coming to Television, Physical Challenges, Researching the Historical Setting, and More

by     Posted Yesterday

jamie bell turn

From showrunner Craig Silverstein (Nikita) and based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, the new AMC drama series Turn tells the untold story of America’s first spy ring.  A historical thriller set during the Revolutionary War, the show follows Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island who bands together with his childhood friends to form the Culper Ring, which is an unlikely team of secret agents who not only went on to help George Washington turn the tide of the war, but also gave birth to modern spycraft.

During this recent interview to promote the new show, actor Jamie Bell talked about what attracted him to this project, why he was drawn to television, the responsibility in playing someone who existed and who did something quite incredible, in terms of the history of this country, that spies were hated during that time period, what most surprised him when he did his research, the complexity of the relationships with the women in Abe Woodhull’s life, how being a new father influences his performance, why Abe Woodhull is appealing to audiences, even with all of his flaws, and the challenges of the physical side of the role.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Morgan Freeman Talks TRANSCENDENCE, Working with Wally Pfister on His Directorial Debut, the Success of THE LEGO MOVIE, LUCY, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted Yesterday

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Now playing in theaters is Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany play two of Will’s fellow researchers, and as we’ve seen from the trailer, they have conflicting viewpoints on turning their co-worker into a computer.  The film also stars Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.  For more on Transcendence, click here to watch some clips and here’s all our previous coverage.

Last week at the Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Freeman.  He talked about how he got involved in the project, working with Pfister, if he thinks great directors share some common traits, if directors get intimidated working with him, if he thought The LEGO movie would be such a huge hit, Luc Besson’s Lucy, how he won’t be in London Has Fallen (the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen), how he might be doing a remake of Going in Style, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say. 

Christopher Meloni and Writer/Director Joel Surnow Talk SMALL TIME, Returning to a Script from 1976, Casting Process, SIN CITY 2, and SURVIVING JACK

by     Posted Yesterday

christopher meloni small time dean norris

Inspired by a true story, the indie drama Small Time tells the story of Al Klein (Christopher Meloni) and his longtime friend, Ash Martini (Dean Norris), who own a used car lot together.  While Martini is a happy bachelor, Klein still pines for his ex-wife (Bridget Moynahan) and struggles to find common ground with their son (Devon Bostick), who has decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.

At the film’s press day, writer/director Joel Surnow talked about how the first draft of Small Time was written in 1976, why he kept going back to the story, how different the finished film is now, the casting process, why he wanted the story to have a little edge to it, that he’s hoping to go into production on his next film this year, and why he thinks it’s fantastic that 24 (for which he was the co-creator/executive producer) is returning to television, while actor Christopher Meloni talked about why this story and character appealed to him, not wanting to fall into any cliches, working with co-star Dean Norris, his experience making Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and why he wanted to sign on for the comedy series Surviving Jack.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

GAME OF THRONES Director Alex Graves Talks Shooting the “Purple Wedding,” the Show’s Massive Production Schedule, JOURNEYMAN, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Like the rest of the planet, I’m completely smitten with HBO’s Game of Thrones.  Over the course of the first three seasons, the show has broken every conventional rule about what a TV show can do, and has grown in popularity every year.  While we’re only half way through the seven seasons that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are aiming for, if they keep the quality at the current level, Game of Thrones will go down as one of the best shows of all time.  I know it’s rising up my list of favorite TV shows and it shows no signs of slowing down, especially after watching the first three episodes of season four.

With some big events happening last Sunday night, I recently landed an exclusive interview with Game of Thrones director Alex Graves.  Not only did he direct last week’s episode, The Lion and the Rose, which included the “Purple Wedding,” he’s directing this weeks, as well as two more episodes this season, including the finale.  Graves talked about how he got involved in the show, shooting the wedding and the moment fans have been waiting for, how GOT production schedule is different than other shows, what kinds of cameras they use (including how he used a GoPro for a few shots), how they’re always working on the VFX until the last minute, how the fourth season finale has a massive battle, why he won’t be back for season 5, and so much more.  In addition, since Graves worked on NBC’s short lived series, Journeyman (which is also worth watching), we talked about that show and what else he’s developing.  If you’re a Game of Thrones fan you’ll learn a lot about how the show is made without spoilers.

Show Creator Michael Hirst Talks VIKINGS, Compelling Stories, Finding the Hero, Writing Every Episode, and the Outcome of the Episode “Blood Eagle”

by     Posted 2 days ago

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From show creator Michael Hirst, the History series Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), an actual historical figure and the greatest hero of his age, who leads his band of Viking brothers and his family on his rise as King of the Viking tribes.  As well as being a fearless warrior, Ragnar embodies the Norse traditions of devotion to the gods, both on the battlefield and off.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, executive producer Michael Hirst, who has also written every episode of the series, talked about what compelled him to tackle Vikings, how he found his story’s hero, how challenging it can be to write every episode and have multiple scripts in various stages of production, why the “Blood Eagle” episode stands out in television history, whether he’d ever considered another outcome for that character, where things will go from there, how far along he is in the writing of Season 3, and that they will be branching out to Paris next season.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers

Johnny Depp, Director Wally Pfister and Writer Jack Paglen Talk TRANSCENDENCE, Artificial Intelligence, the Frankenstein Archetype, BLACK MASS, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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In the directorial debut of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister, Transcendence tells the story of Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the most prominent researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, whose controversial work has made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists.  When tragedy strikes, Will’s wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), takes drastic measures that have unimaginable consequences.

During a conference at the film’s press day, actor Johnny Depp, director Wally Pfister and screenwriter Jack Paglen talked about Artificial Intelligence and technology, the presence of the Frankenstein archetype, making this film with a first-time director with a script from a first-time screenwriter, whether Will Caster is a bad guy, whether there’s a line you shouldn’t cross, even if it’s for love, and the poetic imagery of the film.  Depp also talked about why he wanted to take on James “Whitey” Bulger for the upcoming feature film Black Mass.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Cinematographer Michael Seresin Talks Filming in 3D, the Look of the Film, GRAVITY, and More on the Set of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 3 days ago

Michael-Seresin-dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-interview

While I love getting to talk to the actors and director on a film set, one of the people I always want to talk to, and rarely get the chance to do so, is the cinematographer.  The reason interviews with cinematographer is so rare is time.  While actors take a break in between shot set ups, the director of photography is constantly working.  The second the director gets the shot, the DP is moving his team to the next location, trying to figure out how to make it perfect.  Because of time constraints, I’ve rarely talked to a DP on a movie set.  But on the New Orleans set of Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last summer, I was able to participate in a group interview with cinematographer Michael Seresin.

During the interview Seresin talked about why they used the Alexa camera over the Sony F65 and the Red Epic, the decision to shoot in 3D instead of post-converting, what shooting in 3D adds to the schedule, how many rigs were they using, why he wanted to use new Leica lenses, if they were trying to match the look of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, working with the motion-capture actors, his work on Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (he did additional photography on the film), and more.  It’s a great interview so check it out after the jump.

Mark Webber Talks 13 SINS, the Unique Rehearsal Process, Working with Real-Life Wife Teresa Palmer on THE EVER AFTER, and More

by     Posted 3 days ago

mark-webber-13-sins-interview

Available now on VOD and in theaters this week is 13 Sins, a sinister thriller about a good natured, down on his luck everyman who must decide how far he’s willing to go to provide for his family.  Elliot (Mark Webber) is expecting a child with his fiancé (Rutina Wesley), caring for his mentally ill brother (Devon Graye), and about to take in his deadbeat father (Tom Bower), so when he’s unexpectedly fired his entire life is thrown into a tailspin.  That’s when he receives a mysterious phone call explaining that he has been chosen to participate in a secret game show – 13 tasks, if he can complete them all he walks away a millionaire, but as each task proves more perverse than the last, he discovers he may not be as in control of the gameplay as he thought.  13 Sins also stars Ron Perlman and Pruitt Taylor Vince.

At a recent L.A.  press day I sat down for an exclusive interview with Mark Webber.  He talked about director Daniel Stamm‘s unique rehearsal process, plans for the DVD, his favorite scene to film, portraying a character who undergoes such a big transformation, his passion for directing, working with real-life wife Teresa Palmer on The Ever After and more.  Check out what he had to say after the jump and please be aware there are some spoilers.

ARROW Executive Producer/Writer Andrew Kreisberg Talks the Season’s Final Episodes, Bringing in Characters from THE FLASH, and More

by     Posted 3 days ago

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With only a few episodes left, The CW series Arrow is pulling out all the stops, with character relationships, action, big reveals and heartache.  There is so much contained in each of the remaining episodes that the finale is sure to keep everyone on the edge of their seats.  In Episode 19, “The Man Under the Hood,” Deathstroke brings the battle to Team Arrow’s secret lair, sending one member to the hospital, and Oliver Queen must choose between his battle with Slade Wilson or his family.

During this recent interview to discuss the remaining episodes this season, executive producer/writer Andrew Kreisberg talked about how Laurel Lance will be taking Slade Wilson’s news about Oliver Queen, why she reacts differently from what’s expected, where Oliver and Laurel are at romantically, how long-running the ramifications of the Queens’ financial problems are, why this was the right episode to bring two of the characters from The Flash into the story, that Felicity plays a major part in the season finale, just how insane the finale fill be, and how the show will be changing and evolving in Season 3.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Sylvester Stallone Talks Topping THE AVENGERS, the Cast, Using Actors’ “Baggage” as an Advantage, and More on the Set of THE EXPENDABLES 3

by     Posted 3 days ago

the-expendables-3-Sylvester Stallone

You might think after decades of making kick-ass movies, Sylvester Stallone might want to slow down.  You’d be wrong.  While some actors are lucky to have one franchise during their career, Stallone has again and again played roles that fans around the world have loved.  In his latest successful franchise, The Expendables, Stallone leads some of the biggest action stars on the planet and shows no signs of slowing down.

Last year when The Expendables 3 was filming in Bulgaria, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  During a break in filming, we were able to sit down with Stallone for an awesome interview.  He talked about the great additions to the cast, why he chose these particular actors, how he sees the actors’ “baggage” from their previous films as an advantage, why the script changed during production, the younger Expendables joining the film, why he wanted Mel Gibson for the villain, how he tried to get Jack Nicholson for a role, how happy he was to land Dan Bradley as his second unit director, why he wanted Patrick Hughes to direct the film, and so much more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Director Patrick Hughes Talks THE EXPENDABLES 3, How He Landed the Job, the Action Sequences, Putting the Cast Together, THE RAID Remake, and More

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Last year, when The Expendables 3 was filming in Bulgaria, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.   As most of you know, The Expendables 3 has Sylvester Stallone’s Barney Ross and his Expendables crew squaring off against Ross’ old partner Conrad Stonebanks, played by Mel Gibson.  Returning for the sequel are Jason StathamJet LiDolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger, with Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer and Harrison Ford joining the cast along with Kellan LutzGlen PowellRobert Davi, MMA star Ronda Rousey, and welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz.

While on set, one of the people I really wanted to talk to was director Patrick Hughes.  But as you might imagine, he was incredibly busy trying to make his day, so we were never able to get any time with him.  Thankfully, last week Lionsgate set up an exclusive phone interview with him, so after the jump you can read what he had to say about landing the job, his approach to capturing the action, the experience of directing the incredible cast, what it was like working with Stallone, his take on The Raid remake and how it differs from the original, and so much more.

Thomas McDonell Talks THE 100, How the Show Enticed Him to Doing TV, the Story’s Unpredictability, Fan Reactions, Romance, and Game-Changing Events

by     Posted 3 days ago

thomas-mcdonell-the-100-interview

On the new CW drama series The 100, a nuclear Armageddon decimated planet Earth and destroyed civilization, and the only survivors were the 400 inhabitants of 12 international space stations that were in orbit, at the time.  Ninety seven years later, the survivors now number 4,000 and resources are running out on their dying Ark.  To protect the survival of the human race, the leaders take ruthless steps to ensure their future, including secretly sending a group of 100 juvenile prisoners to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable again.  The series stars Paige Turco, Isaiah Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Bob Morley, Eli Goree, Marie Avgeropoulos, Christopher Larkin and Devon Bostick.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Thomas McDonell talked about why this show enticed him to doing TV, his interest in the unpredictability of the story, embracing the fact that any character could go at any time, checking out the fan reaction on Twitter, that there are more big game-changing plot pieces coming up, Finn’s love drama, how his character ends up being extremely close to one of the last people you expect he would, and that things will just keep ramping up.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Tatiana Maslany Talks ORPHAN BLACK, Getting Through Season 2 on Adrenaline, Developing the Different Clones and Their Backstory, and More

by     Posted 4 days ago

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Season 2 of the BBC America dramatic conspiracy thriller Orphan Black sees Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) in a desperate race to find her missing daughter.  The wild pursuit brings her head-to-head with ruthless clone Rachel (Maslany), and Sarah, along with her clone sisters Alison (Maslany) and Cosima (Maslany), struggle to pick up the pieces of their broken lives while dealing with the harsh reality that no one around them can be trusted.

During this interview to promote the return of the show, the ridiculously talented Tatiana Maslany, who expertly pulls off playing every clone, talked about running on adrenaline to get through the season, developing the different clones, doing a backstory for each clone, how she gets into each character, the process for shooting more than one clone in the same scene, how this project has changed her, what it’s like to be in the public eye, mastering all of the different accents, taking everything to the next level for Season 2, how much fun she had guesting on Parks and Recreation, and how she’d love to work with Gena Rowlands.  Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers

Ice Cube Talks the Success of RIDE ALONG, RIDE ALONG 2, 22 JUMP STREET, and More; Says STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Starts Filming in July

by     Posted 4 days ago

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With director Tim Story’s comedy Ride Along hitting DVD/Blu-ray this week, I recently landed an exclusive interview with Ice Cube to help promote the release.  As most of you know, the film stars Kevin Hart as a fast-talking aspiring police officer who must team up with his girlfriend’s (Tika Sumpter) brother, a hot-tempered cop (Cube), to prove that he’s worthy of being her husband.   While Universal was obviously hoping for a hit, I don’t think anyone expected the film to make $150 million at the worldwide box office.  But it definitely explains why the studio is quickly moving forward with a sequel, which is already slated for a January 15, 2016 release.

During the interview, Cube talked about the success of the film, why he wanted to make the project, the sequel, if it’s weird that he’s played so many police officers, what he recommends people do when they visit L.A., Straight Outta Compton (which he says is casting now and will start shooting this July), 22 Jump Street, doing a voice for the Guillermo del Toro-produced The Book of Life, the status of the Friday and xXx franchises, and more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

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