THE IMITATION GAME Producers and More Talk the Long Road to Getting the Film Made, Finding Their Director, Historical Accuracy, and More

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As we move into awards season, 2014 is proving to be an exciting year for films and no doubt there will be some year-end surprise contenders.  One of my personal favorites is The Imitation Game, directed by Norwegian filmmaker Morten Tyldum, about British mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) who is credited with cracking the unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine.  Opening November 28th, the film’s intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man offers a fresh take on the biopic genre and features an impressive cast that includes Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, and Mark Strong.

At the Below The Line press day, we sat down with Producers Teddy Schwarzman, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Production Designer Maria Djukovic, Costume Designer Sammy Sheldon Differ, and Music Supervisor Lindsay Fellows who discussed the development process with screenwriter Graham Moore, the challenge of bringing Turing’s story to the screen, the decision to have Tyldum direct, the vision he brought, what drew the designers to the project, how their research helped them design a period piece with historical accuracy, the actors’ input into their costumes, the musical choices, composer Alexandre Desplat’s score, their commitment to honoring Turing’s legacy, and his family’s positive reaction.  Check out our interview after the jump.

Matt Lauria Talks KINGDOM, Fighting for His Role, His Character’s Duality, The Show’s Exhausting Physical Element, and More

by     Posted 6 hours ago

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The highly compelling, 10-episode DirecTV drama series Kingdom is a visceral family saga that takes place in Venice, California against the backdrop of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) subculture.  Former MMA legend and gym owner Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo) is so focused on turning his youngest son, Nate (Nick Jonas), into the prized fighter that his oldest son, Jay (Jonathan Tucker), was too unfocused and unpredictable to become.  On top of that, add in former fighting superstar Ryan Wheeler (Matt Lauria), who happens to be the ex of Alvey’s current girlfriend Lisa Prince (Kiele Sanchez), and things are sure to get heated.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Matt Lauria talked about why he fought so hard for this role, how exhausting the physical aspect of the show is, the duality of the character, that all the characters have twists and turns, the high stakes of the situation they’re all in, and how this is a role that he’d love to play for years.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Jason Bateman Talks HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, THE FAMILY FANG, What He Learned Directing BAD WORDS, IPO MAN, and More

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Sean AndersHorrible Bosses 2 opens tomorrow with Jason BatemanCharlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis reprising their roles from the first film.  This time around they decide to be their own bosses by setting out on their own entrepreneurial venture.  When a slick investor (Christoph Waltz) steals their idea, they decide to kidnap his son (Chris Pine) and hold him for ransom.  Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx all return for the sequel.  While Horrible Bosses 2 isn’t going to win any awards, I’ll admit that I laughed a lot mostly from the great chemistry between Bateman, Day and Sudeikis.  For more on the film, watch some clips, the trailer, or here’s all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive interview with Jason Bateman.  He talked about not wanting to make a “stinky sequel,” what it was like on set working with Sudeikis and Day, if he likes to check out the movie while it’s in the editing room, how it’s going on his second feature, The Family Fang, his hope it will premiere at Telluride, working with Shawn Levy on This is Where I Leave You, the status of IPO Man, what he learned directing Bad Words that he wants to apply on future projects, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Director Gabe Polsky Talks RED ARMY, How the Cold War Influenced Hockey, the Russian Five, and Werner Herzog’s Role as Executive Producer

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Gabe Polsky’s new film Red Army (check out Matt’s review) is an exhilarating documentary about the Cold War on ice and how an incredibly oppressive system produced one of the greatest teams in sports history:  the Red Army Hockey Team of the late 70’s and 80’s.  The story is told from the perspective of its former captain and star defenseman, Slava Fetisov, who was at the center of an extraordinarily talented group of players – Sergei Marakov, Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov and Alexei Kasatonov – known as the Russian Five.  Fetisov’s impressive career took him from national hero to political enemy to Russian Minister of Sport under Vladimir Putin.

In an exclusive interview, Polsky spoke about using hockey as a window into a larger personal and political story, what inspired him to structure his documentary around the legendary Red Army Hockey Team and one of its greatest players, why Fetisov was an interesting interview subject, the challenge of finding the right archival clips to give people a sense of the place and setting, the visionary Anatoli Tarasov and what distinguished the Soviet style of play from that of North America, Werner Herzog’s role as executive producer, the impact of hockey on Polsky’s life and its influence on him as a filmmaker, and his upcoming projects.  Check out our interview after the jump.

Michael Reventar Talks THE FLASH, Being Blackout, Having Fun Playing the Villain, and the Biggest Challenges In Bringing the Role to Life

by     Posted Yesterday

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In Episode 7 of The CW drama series The Flash, entitled “Power Outage,” The Flash (Grant Gustin) goes up against Farooq, aka Blackout (Michael Reventar), a meta-human who can harness electricity.  After zapping The Flash’s powers and siphoning all of his electricity, leaving him without his speed, Farooq then heads to S.T.A.R. Labs in search of Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh), who he blames for the accident that turned him into who he is now.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Michael Reventar talked about what it took to get this role, the duality of Farooq and who he is as Blackout, why it’s more fun to play the villain than the hero, the make-up and one-of–a-kind contacts that he got to wear, and the biggest challenges in bringing this role to life.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, and Jennifer Aniston Talk HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, Building Chemistry, Ad-Libbing, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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If you thought the first film was crazy, Horrible Bosses 2 is wilder and crazier, upping the ante on every level.  After what happened with the bosses from hell, the first time around, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) have decided to become their own bosses by launching their own business.  But when they’re outplayed by an investor (Christoph Waltz), the three best friends hatch another misguided plan, this time to kidnap the investor’s adult son (Chris Pine) and ransom him to get their company back.

During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis were joined by Jennifer Aniston (who plays Dr. Julia Harris, the hot dentist with an overactive libido that she’s trying to get a handle on) to talk about building their chemistry, how much ad-libbing there was, saying such raunchy dialogue, upping the ante, getting Christoph Waltz to laugh, adding Chris Pine to the mix, making sure they got this film right, after the success of the first one, and whether they’d consider a third movie.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Robin Lord Taylor Talks GOTHAM, The Positive Fan Response To His Performance, Penguin’s Genius and Insanity, Working with Carol Kane, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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One of the biggest break-out performances of the current Fall TV season is that of Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, on the Fox drama series Gotham.  He’s made the most of every moment that he’s been given, and he’s turned the character into someone unpredictable, dangerous, funny, sad and sympathetic.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Robin Lord Taylor talked about how this entire experience is so big that it’s hard to wrap his brain around it, finding the perfect balance of evil genius and batshit crazy, how long all of The Penguin’s manipulations can continue before it all blows up in his face, where things are at between The Penguin and Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), having the amazing Carol Kane play his mother, and how Oswald Cobblepot is embracing the slur and fully becoming The Penguin.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Steve Martin, Rihanna and Jim Parsons Talk HOME; Plus Our Thoughts on the First Footage From the New DreamWorks Animation Film

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Even though it’s based on a novel, called The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, the animated feature Home (due out in theaters on March 27, 2015) creates a world that feels wholly original, beautifully inventive and fun.  After checking out select scenes from the film, it’s also clearly a story of family and friendship that will tug at your heartstrings.

Collider was invited over to the DreamWorks Animation campus for a presentation from director Tim Johnson (Over the Hedge, Antz) that previewed a handful of scenes that gave a glimpse into the world that the film is creating, along with its rather unique inhabitants.  Hit the jump to find out what we thought about the footage, what you should know about the film, and a Q&A with voice actors Rihanna, Jim Parsons and Steve Martin.

Bennett Miller Talks FOXCATCHER, His 4 Hour and 15 Minute First Cut, Collaborating with Megan Ellison, Shooting on Film, His Editing Process, and More

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Now playing in limited release is one of my favorite films of 2014: director Bennett Miller’s (Moneyball, Capote) Foxcatcher.  With career best performances and phenomenal direction, the film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their troubled relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell).  The film also stars Sienna MillerVanessa Redgrave, and Anthony Michael Hall.  For more on Foxcatcher, watch the trailer, read Matt’s review, or click here for all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive interview with Bennett Miller.  He talked about the long editing process, how his first cut was over four hours, shooting on film, producer Megan Ellison (who deserves a huge thank you from all of us for supporting films like this) and the way she likes to collaborate, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to what he had to say.

Composer Alexandre Desplat Talks THE IMITATION GAME, Coming to the Project Late, Finding Continuity in His Scores, His Love of Conducting, and More

by     Posted 6 days ago

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Six-time Academy Award Nominee Alexandre Desplat is a remarkably versatile composer with a distinct voice who has collaborated with some of the world’s top filmmakers.  His films this year range from Wes Anderson’s The Grand Hotel Budapest, to George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, the blockbuster action thriller Godzilla, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game.  Desplat’s compelling score for the Alan Turing biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch features lots of keyboards, clarinets, and fast arpeggios which support the pacing of the film and capture the story’s thrilling intensity and the humanity of characters who are racing against time to crack the Nazi’s Enigma code during WWII.

In an exclusive interview, Desplat discussed his collaboration with Tyldum, the tight schedule he was under to deliver the film, how he created themes that resonated with the storyline of a film that has an extremely complex structure consisting of many flashbacks and flashforwards, his themes for Alan Turing and his friend Christopher, how he strives to find a sense of continuity when he scores a film, why the chronology of music is important, why he finds each collaboration with a director a new adventure even when they’ve worked together before, and his upcoming projects including Suffragette.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Nicole Beharie Talks SLEEPY HOLLOW, Abbie’s Backstory, Whether or Not She’ll Find Love, Abbie vs. Katrina, Returning to Biblical Storytelling and More

by     Posted 6 days ago

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In Season 2 of the Fox series Sleepy Hollow, the heroic duo of Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is still fending off the forces of evil to save not only their town, but the world.  With Henry Parish (John Noble) manipulating the wheels of a mysterious plan and everybody a bit more worse for wear, Sleepy Hollow has never been so close to destruction.

During this recent interview with press to discuss where things are headed with the show, actress Nicole Beharie talked about learning more of her character’s backstory, shifting back to the biblical storytelling, that she thinks Abbie would take Henry out even without Ichabod’s support, that she would like to see Abbie and Katrina unite, whether Abbie might ever find love, and how she feels about ‘shippers.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Katey Sagal Talks SONS OF ANARCHY, The Show’s Satisfying Conclusion, The Challenges of Playing Gemma, THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER, and More

by     Posted 6 days ago

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After seven seasons, the hit FX drama series Sons of Anarchy will have finished its run, bloodier, more intense and more heart-breaking than ever.  Until then, fans of the show will be on the edge of their seats, wondering just who will make it out alive.

During this recent interview to discuss the end of the popular TV show, actress Katey Sagal (who plays Gemma Teller) talked about the biggest challenges in playing this character, what she’ll miss most about the show, what she’s most excited for fans to see from the final episodes, that she thinks fans will find the series’ conclusion very satisfying, what she kept from the set, the legacy that Sons of Anarchy has left on the world of television, already moving on to other work, and that she will definitely be involved with The Bastard Executioner, which her husband (and Sons of Anarchy creator) Kurt Sutter is developing for FX.  Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Natalie Dormer Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1, the Audition Process, Her Haircut, Comic-Con, GAME OF THRONES, and More

by     Posted One week ago

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Opening this weekend is director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  In the next installment, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Unlike the last two films which focused on surviving the games, Mockingjay – Part 1 is about the rebellion spreading throughout Panem and the way both sides play the media to gain the upper hand.  It’s an extremely well done movie and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.  Joining the cast are Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham) alongside Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour Hoffman,Elizabeth BanksSam Claflin, and Donald Sutherland.

A few days ago in New York City I landed an exclusive interview with Natalie Dormer.  The actress plays the character of Cressida, a rebel who uses her camera as a weapon in the propaganda fight against the Capitol.  During our interview, Dormer talked about landing the role, her audition process, the haircut and tattoo, if she was a fan of the series before she signed on, the way she prepares for a role, going to Comic-Con for the first time, if she’s interested in doing a Marvel or DC superhero movie, Game of Thrones, how she stopped reading the parts of the script that weren’t hers so she could watch season 5 as a fan, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.

Amy Gumenick Talks ARROW Season 3, Cupid’s Motivations, the Show’s Knack for Creating Bad-Ass Women, and More

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In Episode 307 of The CW drama series Arrow, entitled “Draw Back Your Bow,” we get a deeper exploration of the Arrow-obsessed serial killer that we have only just gotten a glimpse of.  Carrie Cutter (Amy Gumenick), aka Cupid, is convinced that The Arrow (Stephen Amell) is her one true love and will stop at nothing, no matter how deadly, to get his attention.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Amy Gumenick talked about having no idea which character she was actually up for when she auditioned, what an honor it is to bring to life a character that was created for the comics by executive producer Andrew Kreisberg (the writer of the Green Arrow/Black Canary comic book series, at the time), who Cupid is and what her motives are, what it is about The Arrow that attracted her attention, why The Arrow is caught off guard by Cupid, how bad-ass it feels to put on the costume and pick up the bow and arrows, and that her character will go to any and every extreme possible to prove her love and have her happy ending.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Finn Wittrock Talks AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW, Dandy’s Motivations, Returning for More Seasons, UNBROKEN, and More

by     Posted One week ago

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The FX series American Horror Story: Freak Show follows a troupe of the strange and unusual in 1952, who are looking to survive as performers amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.  From the twisted minds of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the show stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Michael Chiklis, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Emma Roberts, Denis O’Hare and Finn Wittrock.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Finn Wittrock (who quite brilliantly plays Dandy Mott, a petulant rich kid with a dark side) talked about how he came to be a part of Season 4, what he thinks of his character, why Twisty the clown sparked his interest, working with John Carroll Lynch, whether the viewers might ever feel sympathy for Dandy, putting on the clown mask, and what he’d like to do in Season 5.  He also talked about working on Unbroken (which he’s seen and says is epic), directed by Angelina Jolie, and writing his own feature film, called The Submarine Kid.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

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