Jack O’Connell Talks UNBROKEN, Angelina Jolie’s Directing Style, What The Last Year Has Been Like, Sundance, Yann Demange’s ’71, and More

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Opening on Christmas Day is director Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken.  The film tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.  While Unbroken could have ended up a movie of the week on Lifetime, Jolie has crafted a film worthy of your time and money.  For more on Unbroken, check out six clips, the trailer, and all our previous coverage.

At the New York City press day I landed an exclusive interview with Jack O’Connell (who’s name you better get familiar with because he’s the real deal).  During the interview he talked about what the past year has been like, working with Angelina Jolie, what it was like making Unbroken, how he prepared for the role, future projects, if he’ll go to Sundance for director Yann Demange’s ’71 (which is one of my favorite movies of 2014), and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, James Corden, James Lapine and Rob Marshall Talk INTO THE WOODS, Casting, the Rehearsal Process, “Tinderella” and More

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Twenty-seven years after Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical Into the Woods premiered on Broadway, the piece is making its was to the big screen.  The story centers on the Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) who so desperately want to have a child, but come to realize that they can’t unless they reverse The Witch’s (Meryl Streep) curse.  Meanwhile, elsewhere in the kingdom, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) is busy slaving away for her wicked stepmother (Christine Baranski) while dreaming of attending the King’s festival and dancing before The Prince (Chris Pine).

With Into the Woods making its way into theaters on Christmas Day, Corden, Blunt, Pine, Kendrick, Lapine and director Rob Marshall all came to New York City to participate in a press conference.  The group discussed the unique layers of the characters, the challenges of making a movie musical, the extensive rehearsal process and loads more.  Hit the jump to check it all out.

Creator John Rogers Talks THE LIBRARIANS, Filling the Genre Gaps on TV, Expanding the Movies to a TV Series, and More

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Based on TNT’s hit movie franchise, the delightfully fun adventure series The Librarians centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around.  Jake Stone (Christian Kane), Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth) and Ezekiel Jones (John Kim) are the newest protectors of the world’s mystical treasures, helping out Librarian Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), his Guardian, Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn), and a reluctant caretaker (John Larroquette).

During this phone interview with Collider, show creator/executive producer/writer John Rogers talked about filling the genre gaps on TV, why people are so intrigued by libraries, finding the key to expanding this as a series, always being aware of their budget, keeping Noah Wyle on the show in a limited capacity, due to his schedule, putting this ensemble of actors together, getting Bruce Campbell to guest star as Santa Claus, and what he’s most proud of accomplishing with this season.  He also talked about the shows that he’s currently got in development, and how he hopes to develop projects with new talent while he focuses on one primary show.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Exclusive: Composer Howard Shore Talks THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, ROSEWATER, MAPS TO THE STARS, SILENCE, and More

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Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore is among today’s most respected composers and conductors.  He’s been a frequent collaborator with David Cronenberg for 35 years and has scored nearly all his films since 1979 including 2014’s Maps to the Stars.  He’s also had a long-standing collaboration with director Martin Scorsese on films that include Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Aviator, and Hugo.  However, he is probably best known for his work with Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, including this year’s The Battle of the Five Armies.  Recently, he also composed the original music for director Jon Stewart’s biopic, Rosewater.

In an exclusive interview, Shore spoke about his creative partnerships with Cronenberg, Jackson, Scorsese and Stewart, his unique approach to composition and orchestration, the challenges of scoring an edgy drama compared to a large scale action movie set in a complex fantasy world, why he loves doing big epic films, his Canadian roots and early development as an artist, bringing Middle Earth to a worldwide audience by doing The Lord of the Rings scores live to projection with a symphony orchestra and chorus, and his upcoming projects:  Scorsese’s Silence and a concerto with classical guitarist Miloš.  Check out our interview after the jump:

Timothy Spall Talks MR. TURNER, Preparation for the Role, Painting Lessons, His Brush with Leukemia, and More

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Timothy Spall paints a fascinating portrait of J.M.W. Turner in the new biopic, Mr. Turner, written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Mike Leigh and beautifully lensed by cinematographer Dick Pope.  The actor fully immerses himself in the role of the eccentric but brilliant English painter, water colorist and printmaker who elevated the art form of landscape painting in the 18th century.  Mr. Turner premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival where Spall took the award for Best Actor and marks the seventh time in his career that he has collaborated with Leigh.  Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, and Paul Jesson also star.

At a recent roundtable interview, Spall talked about the challenge of playing the artist, his preparation for the role, the directing process with Leigh, their organic approach to building up the characters through improvisation, his painting lessons with British portraitist Tim Wright that helped him portray Turner convincingly, how he captured the extraordinary physicality of the character and used his voice to convey Turner’s implosive nature as well as his explosive expression when it came to his art, how his close brush with leukemia altered his outlook on life, and his upcoming TV mini-series, The Enfield Haunting.  Check out our interview after the jump:

Katherine Waterston Talks INHERENT VICE, Working With Paul Thomas Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix, Referring to Pynchon’s Book During Shooting, More

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If Joaquin Phoenix‘s character Doc Sportello bears witness to the end of the 60′s in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new film Inherent Vice, then Katherine Waterston‘s Shasta Fay Hepworth is what he bears witness to.  Aside from being the engine that sets the story in motion, she utterly embodies the change that occurred in the culture as free love gave way to greed and paranoia (Shasta herself being a victim of these things, not an avatar for them).  Along with a handful of other journalists, I recently had a chance to sit down with Waterston to discuss her role, and what it’s like working with such a singular director.

Hit the jump for our interview with Katherine Waterston.  Inherent Vice is now playing in limited release before going wide on January 9th.  It also stars Josh BrolinOwen WilsonReese WitherspoonBenicio Del ToroEric RobertsMartin ShortSasha Pieterse, Joanna Newsom, and more.

Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay Talk WHITE COLLAR Series Finale, What This Show Meant to Them, What They Took Home from the Set, and More

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Created by Jeff Eastin, the USA Network series White Collar is coming to an end, after six seasons.  In the explosive series finale, “Au Revoir,” FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) gets involved in a dangerous con against the Pink Panthers, in order to help Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) pull off a risky heist.  Meanwhile, Neal has designed a new plan that will serve the interest of the Pink Panthers and himself, with his goal being to permanently rid himself of an ankle bracelet and free himself of his ties to the FBI.  And whether it’s all resolved in the end or not, it’s been a great ride, watching two very different men form a very unlikely friendship.

During this recent interview with press to talk about the series finale and what being a part of the show has meant to them, co-stars Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay talked about watching until the final second of the episode, whether they’re personally satisfied with the show’s ending, what it was like to do the last scenes of the last episode, what they took home from the set, why their characters had such a successful partnership, their favorite moments, what they’ll miss most, what they’ve learned from each other, whether there might ever be a movie, and what they’re looking to do, in the future.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Denis O’Hare Talks AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW, Pushing the Envelope, Where He Wants the Show to Go Next, and More

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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 interview with press to discuss his work on the popular series, actor Denis O’Hare (who plays a con artist named Stanley) talked about whether they can actually push the envelope of disturbing even further than they already have, the show’s portrayal of the gay community, coming up with his own backstory, what he’d like to see the show explore next, what his American Horror Story characters have in common and how they’re most different, and what scares people today.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Joss Whedon Talks Hesitation to Return, New Additions to the Team, Collaborating with Marvel, and More on the Set of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

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When Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron was filming in London last summer, I got to visit the set along with a few other reporters.   Like most Marvel set visits, they let us talk to the entire cast and watch filming.  While the production was guarded about what they were willing to tell us, we learned a ton of cool secrets behind what’s bound to be one of the biggest films of 2015.  In The Avengers sequel, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) reunite to stop Ultron (James Spader) from carrying out his sinister plan.  The film also stars  Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-JohnsonPaul BettanyDon Cheadle,Andy Serkis, and Samuel L. Jackson.

While on set, I participated in a great group interview with Joss Whedon.  He talked about how making The Avengers sequel was different from the first film, the look of the Vision, when he first started coming up with ideas for the sequel, the success of the Hulk in the first film, Ultron, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, James Spader, and so much more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay Talk SELMA, Bringing Martin Luther King Jr. To Life On Screen, Their Most Memorable Scene, and More

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Selma is a beautifully designed film that not only hits you emotionally in the gut, but also makes you feel for the humanity that the Civil Rights movement was fighting for.  While Martin Luther King Jr. was just a man, he spoke for and to people willing to defy intimidation, face economic retaliation, and endure arrests and beatings, all in hopes of provoking a transformative confrontation that would give African Americans the basic rights that they so desperately wanted and deserved.  Expertly directed by Ava DuVernay, the film stars David Oyelowo (in an award-worthy performance as Dr. King), Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey, Andre Holland, Common, Giovanni Ribisi, Tessa Thompson, Dylan Baker, Alessandro Nivola and Omar Dorsey.

During a roundtable interview at the film’s press day, actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay talked about taking on someone so very well known, never hesitating in showing the violence and aggression that took place, the challenges of making Martin Luther King Jr. human, casting actors who best fit around David Oyelowo, making the dream to play Dr. King a reality, the most memorable scene they experienced together, what the prep work was like, having some of the real people around, and the flavor that being in the real locations added to the film.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Lorenzo Richelmy and Benedict Wong Talk MARCO POLO, the Ambitious Production, Most Memorable Moments, and More

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Based on the famed explorer’s adventures in Kublai Khan’s ornate court in 13th century China, the 10-episode Netflix original series Marco Polo is set in a world filled with greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry.  Marco Polo (Lorenzo Richelmy) is a young Italian merchant who arrives in China with a father he barely knows, who then offers him to the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong) as a servant.  Captivated by the traveler’s way with words, Kublai Khan and Marco Polo develop a deep trust and bond that leads to many tales of adventure and legend.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, co-stars Lorenzo Richelmy and Benedict Wong talked about getting involved with this show, how beautiful and ambitious the production was, shooting an adventure while they were on their own adventure, taking on the title role of a show of this size and scope, their most memorable moments, and how the story really has no heroes or villains, only human beings facing each other.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Scott Speedman Talks THE CAPTIVE, His Complicated Character, the Backstory He Created, Upcoming Projects, and More

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Scott Speedman enjoys portraying flawed men who are pushed to the limit, make mistakes, and then have to recover, and his character in Atom Egoyan’s new psychological thriller, The Captive, definitely fits the bill.  Speedman plays Detective Jeffrey Cornwall, an edgy cop who makes a living hooking predators and searching for missing children online.  He’s immediately skeptical of Matthew Lane’s (Ryan Reynolds) story about his missing daughter (Alexia Fast), and his suspicions that the father is somehow complicit in the abduction lead him to push way beyond the ethical boundaries of his work.  Mireille Enos, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Durand and Bruce Greenwood also co-star.

At the film’s recent press day, Speedman spoke about his creative collaboration with Egoyan with whom he worked previously on Adoration, how Egoyan wrote the role specifically with him in mind, why he was drawn to the complicated character and enjoyed the challenge of an enigmatic story, the backstory he created for his character, his research with the Kitchener-Waterloo detectives, working with Reynolds and Dawson, how they had fun while doing serious work on a dark movie, and his upcoming films:  October Gale, a romantic thriller with Patricia Clarkson, and Out of the Dark, a horror-thriller with Julia Stiles.  Check out our interview after the jump:

Steven Moffat Talks DOCTOR WHO: LAST CHRISTMAS, Casting Nick Frost as Santa Claus, His Fondness for Writing Christmas Specials, and More

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Airing both in the US and UK on Christmas Day, in Doctor Who: Last Christmas, it’s Christmas in the North Pole and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) are joined by Santa Claus (Nick Frost) and some grumpy elves for an all-new adventure.  It is the tenth Christmas special since the show’s revival in 2005, and the first full Christmas special to feature the Twelfth Doctor.

During this interview with press to promote the upcoming special, showrunner Steven Moffat talked about why Doctor Who and Christmas have a special relationship, the challenges of plotting and planning a Christmas special, why it took so long to use Santa Claus as a plot point, how Nick Frost came to be cast in the role, the Doctor’s view on Santa Claus versus Robin Hood, getting more clarity on where the relationship between the Doctor and Clara stands now, why companions typically end up being contemporary characters, his fondest memories of writing his five Christmas specials, and the best Doctor Who merchandise he’s received.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Josh Brolin Talks INHERENT VICE, Working With Paul Thomas Anderson, How His Character Resists Change, and Playing Thanos In AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

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Josh Brolin plays Detective “Bigfoot” Bjornsen in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s newest film, Inherent Vice.  More than just an odd couple pairing for Joaquin Phoenix‘s Doc Sportello, Bigfoot is a wonderfully rich character that represents just about everyone from the 1950′s that resisted the social changes of the 1960′s.  I recently sat down with Brolin, along with a few other journalists, to talk about the role.  We also discussed what it was like for him to work with Anderson and touched briefly on the plans for Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.

Inherent Vice is now playing in limited release before going wide on January 9th.  It also stars Katherine WaterstonOwen WilsonReese WitherspoonBenicio Del ToroEric RobertsMartin ShortSasha Pieterse, Joanna Newsom, and more.  I heartily (and respectfully) disagree with Matt’s review and urge you to see it ASAP.  Hit the jump for the interview.  A few mild spoilers await.

Ben Barnes Talks BY THE GUN, How He Prepared to Play an American Mobster, Why He’s Excited for SONS OF LIBERTY, and More

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Now available in select theaters and on VOD is By the Gun, director James Mottern‘s spin on the mafia crime drama. The film follows Nick Tortano (Ben Barnes) on his ambitious climb to the upper rungs of the North End’s organized crime syndicate, despite his best friend and right-hand man (Slaine) constantly warning him against it. When Nick finally becomes a made man he finds it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and realizes the lives his friends, family, and the woman he loves (Leighton Meester) are in jeopardy. By the Gun also stars Harvey KeitelToby JonesPaul Ben-Victor, and Ritchie Coster.

I recently jumped on the phone with Barnes for an exclusive interview about By the Gun. He talked about why the story and character appealed to him, his research process for keying into the character, the closeness of the Boston community, and how this film is aware of the legacy of crime dramas. He also talked about his upcoming History Channel mini series, Sons of Liberty, and why he’s so excited for it. Check out what he had to say after the jump.

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