Elle Fanning on LOW DOWN, Jazz Music, Kissing Peter Dinklage, Ben Affleck’s LIVE BY NIGHT, TRUMBO, and More

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Based on Amy-Jo Albany’s memoir about growing up in the care of her gifted but frequently absent musician father, Low Down focuses on what it was like for Amy (Elle Fanning) to turn to the love of her aging grandmother (Glenn Close) while Joe (John Hawkes) struggled as much with his heroin addiction as he did finding gigs.  In the years between 1974 and 1976, surrounded by a ragtag bunch of Hollywood outcasts and eccentrics, Amy was witness to heartbreak and tragedy, but still hung onto the love she had for her family.  Directed by Jeff Preiss, the film also stars Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage and Flea.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Elle Fanning talked about why she wanted to do this project, using her imagination to put herself in Amy’s shoes, learning about the jazz music that’s showcased in the film, having to kiss Peter Dinklage, and what most touched her about what she learned of Amy and Joe Albany.  She also talked about getting ready to shoot Live By Night (written, directed and starring Ben Affleck) next year, having just finished her work on Trumbo, in which she plays the daughter of Bryan Cranston and Diane Lane, and growing up at the same time that her roles are getting older and more complex.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Exclusive LOW DOWN Clip Featuring Elle Fanning and Peter Dinklage

by     Posted One week ago

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We have an exclusive Low Down clip to premiere.  Based on the memoir by Amy-Jo Albany, Low Down examines the complex relationship between jazz pianist Joe Albany (John Hawkes) and his daughter Amy-Jo (Elle Fanning): “Set against a sensuously textured 1970s Hollywood, the film beautifully evokes a colorful, seedy world of struggling musicians, artists, and vagabonds.”  Peter Dinklage plays one of those vagabonds, offering Amy-Jo a tour of his hole-in-the-wall in the clip.

Lena Headey, Flea, Caleb Landry Jones, and Glenn Close also star.  Low Down opens in New York October 24 and reaches Los Angeles October 31.  Watch the clip after the jump.

John Hawkes Talks LOW DOWN, Working With Elle Fanning, Not Glorifying Heroin, and His Next Film THE DRIFTLESS AREA

by     Posted 9 days ago

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John Hawkes delivers a superb performance in Low Down as noted jazz pianist Joe Albany who played with musical greats Charlie Parker and Miles Davis but was torn between his musical ambition, his devotion to his teenage daughter (Elle Fanning), and a debilitating heroin addiction.  The bio-pic opening October 24th is directed by experimental filmmaker Jeff Preiss in his feature debut and based on the memoirs of Albany’s daughter Amy-Jo Albany who co-wrote the screenplay with Topper Lilien.  Set in the colorful, seedy world of struggling musicians and artists in 1970’s Hollywood, the film boasts a first-rate cast that also includes Glenn Close, Lena Heady, and Peter Dinklage.

In an exclusive interview, the Oscar nominated actor spoke about how he first heard about the project after meeting with producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, the appeal of the character, his preparation, not wanting to glorify heroin, working with Fanning and Close, his collaboration with Preiss, what he looks for in the roles he chooses, his experiences growing up in a small rural town, when he first knew he wanted to be an actor, his wild ride with a guy who had just robbed a convenience store, and his upcoming projects including the Off Broadway play Lost Lake and film roles in The Driftless Area, Too Late, and Everest.  Check out our interview with John Hawkes after the jump. 

Elle Fanning Talks THE BOXTROLLS, Her Inspirations for the Voice, the Appeal of Fantasy, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 39 days ago

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Elle Fanning is superb voicing the feisty, upper-crust 11-year-old Winnifred Portley-Rind in LAIKA’s beautiful 3D stop-motion animated fantasy-adventure, The Boxtrolls, opening September 26th.  When scheming social climber Archibald Snatcher (Sir Ben Kingsley) attempts to exterminate the kind creatures that raised the orphan boy Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright), Winnie helps her new friend devise a daring plan to save his adopted family.  Not only was Fanning drawn to playing the sassy character with a big heart and a dark imagination, but she liked what the unique story had to say about love and courage.

At a recent roundtable interview, Fanning talked about finding the right frame of mind to play her character, her inspirations for Winnie’s voice, how her voice-over experience compared to regular acting, what it was like using a posh English accent, how she created the right environment in the recording booth, the appeal of fantasy and how it provides a fun escape, her interest in ballet, her plans to attend college after high school, what she’s learned from traveling around the world, her desire to one day write and direct, and her upcoming projects: Young Ones, Low Down, Trumbo and A Storm in the Stars.  Check out what she had to say after the jump:

Sundance 2014: First Images from LIFE AFTER BETH, LOW DOWN, THE SKELETON TWINS, and THE SLEEPWALKER

by     Posted 331 days ago

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The lineup for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival competition films was announced today, and we’ve got some first-look images and synopses from a selection of said films to share:

  • Life After Beth – Written and directed by Jeff Baena; starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, and Paul Reiser.
  • Low Down – Directed by Jeff Preiss; starring John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, and Flea.
  • The Skeleton Twins – Directed by Craig Johnson; starring Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, and Joanna Gleason.
  • The Sleepwalker – Directed by Mona Fastvold; starring Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, and Stephanie Ellis.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.

Sundance 2014 Competition Lineup Includes SKELETON TWINS with Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, CAMP X-RAY with Kristen Stewart, and More

by     Posted 331 days ago

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It’s tough to believe that Sundance 2014 is just around the corner, but the today the fest announced the films that will be screening in the U.S. Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition, and NEXT categories.  Notable entires include the Bill Hader/Kristen Wiig drama The Skeleton Twins, Mad Men star John Slattery’s feature directorial debut God’s Pocket, the Kristen Stewart film Camp X-Ray, writer/director Joe Swanberg’s Happy Christmas, the Joe Albany biopic Low Down, the Anne Hathaway-starrer Song One, and many more.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full lineup and look for our full coverage from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, which runs January 16 – 26th.

Oscar Isaac Is Pablo Escobar; Glenn Close and More Join LOW DOWN; Nicolas Cage to Star in Horror Flick HOTEL 33; Timothy Olyphant Set for CARRION ROAD

by     Posted 1 year, 172 days ago

Some weekend casting news for you:

  • Oscar Isaac (Drive) has landed the lead in Lincoln Lawyer director Brad Furman’s Pablo Escobar biopic.
  • Glenn Close, Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow) and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been confirmed to join Low Down, a 1960s-set drama about a jazz musician (John Hawkes) struggling with addiction.
  • Nicolas Cage will star in horror-thriller Hotel 33, based on a “real-life” mass-vanishing that took place at a Pennsylvania hotel.
  • Timothy Olyphant looks set for the role of a border-town sheriff dealing with the aftermath of a cartel deal gone bad in Gonzalo López-Gallego’s crime thriller The Man on Carrion Road.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

John Hawkes Replaces Mark Ruffalo in Joe Albany Biopic LOW DOWN

by     Posted 1 year, 352 days ago

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Fresh off some much-deserved awards buzz for his work in this year’s The Sessions, character actor John Hawkes is looking to tackle another real-life role.  Variety reports that Hawkes is set to replace Mark Ruffalo as jazz pianist Joe Albany in the indie drama Low Down.  Commercials director Jeff Priess is set to make his feature film debut on the project, which tells the story of Albany’s life from the perspective of his 11-year-old daughter, Amy.  The musician found success early in his career playing with the likes of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus, but later struggled with heroin addiction.

The film will apparently tell the story of Amy’s unconventional childhood “with a talented but strung-out father in the shadowy world of cocktail bars and transient hotels.”  Ruffalo had been set to play Albany but was forced to drop out when the production was pushed and caused scheduling issues.  Filming will begin in March 2013.

Mark Ruffalo Set to Play Jazz Pianist Joe Albany in Indie Drama LOW DOWN

by     Posted 3 years, 234 days ago

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Following his Oscar nominated stint in The Kids Are All Right, Mark Ruffalo has signed on to portray legendary jazz pianist Joe Albany in the indie drama Low Down. Epoch Films partner Jeff Preiss is set to make his feature film debut on the project which will tell the story of Albany’s life from the perspective of his 11-year-old daughter. While in the 40’s and 50’s Alabany was playing with the likes of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, he struggled with a heroin addiction throughout the later years of his life.

Variety reports that the film will focus mainly on Albany’s life during the 60’s and 70’s, with his daughter watching her “charismatic but strung-out father interact with other eccentric characters in cocktail bars and transient hotels.” Topper Lilien and Amy Albany wrote the script, based on Alabany’s memoir focusing on her father. Ruffalo will also serve as an executive producer on the project. The actor is currently prepping for his turn as Bruce Banner/the Hulk in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.

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