John Goodman turns in a moving performance in The Monuments Men as Walter Garfield, a role inspired by real-life Monuments Man Walker Hancock who was an acclaimed artist and St. Louis sculptor. Goodman’s character is part of a motley crew of art historians and museum curators who rush to the front lines of WWII in a race against time to save priceless works of art from Nazi thieves. Opening February 7th, the buddy action thriller directed by and starring George Clooney boasts an impressive cast that also includes Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Bob Balazar, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.
I recently landed an exclusive interview with Goodman who spoke about what attracted him to the role, why he said yes to the project before reading the script and had the same reaction when the Coen Brothers offered him Inside Llewyn Davis, why honoring the generation that sacrificed so much to win the war was a big hook for him, how his acting process has changed over the years, his upcoming role in The Gambler and his reaction to William Monahan’s script, working with the Wachowskis on Speed Racer, hosting SNL and his favorite sketch, the possibility of a Monsters University sequel, and looking back on making The Big Lebowski. Check out the interview after the jump.
I absolutely loved Cloud Atlas. I loved the way directors Andy & Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer broke the conventional rules of storytelling. I love the way all the actors played multiple roles. I love the combination of genres. Finally, I loved that even though the film plays out over hundreds of years and it features a variety of characters and races, Cloud Atlas reminds us that everything is connected. While everyone loves to complain that Hollywood is only about remakes, reboots and telling the same stories again and again, Cloud Atlas is a shining light showing us what’s possible in cinema and I implore all of you to see it as soon as possible.
Last week I did an exclusive phone interview with the Wachowskis and Tykwer. Since they’ve done a number of interviews to promote the film, I tried my best to ask all new questions. We talked about their favorite movies, how long was the first cut, if they believe in test screenings or friends and family screenings, deleted scenes, what will be on the Blu-ray, how many takes do they like to do, how much changed during pre-production due to budget, how the finished film compares to what they thought they were making, and more. In addition, one of my favorite movies from 2008 was Speed Racer. At the end of the interview I asked if they had plans for a sequel (had the film been a hit at the box office) and why it didn’t connect with moviegoers. Hit the jump to listen or read the transcript.
One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was Peter Webber’s (Girl with a Pearl Earring) historical drama Emperor. The film takes place during the days following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II and stars Tommy Lee Jones as General Douglas MacArthur, the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces. Matthew Fox plays a leading Japanese expert on the staff of MacArthur who is tasked with deciding whether or not Emperor Hirohito should be tried as a war criminal. Fox’s mission becomes more complicated as he searches for a school teacher (Eriko Hatsune) who first drew him to Japan years before the war. For more on the film, here’s a clip and some images.
Shortly before the world premiere, I sat down with Matthew Fox for an exclusive interview. We talked about why he wanted to do Emperor, how the finished film compares to the original script, how he prepares for a role, if he prefers a few takes or a lot, and more. In addition, we also talked about Speed Racer (a film I love), his physical transformation for Alex Cross, World War Z, the reshoots, Lost, would he ever do a comic book movie, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
Premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Sergio Castellitto‘s Twice Born. Based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Mazzantini, the film stars Penelope Cruz as a single mother who returns with her teen son to present-day Sarajevo where her son’s father (Emile Hirsch) died during the Bosnian conflict of the 1990s. As she tries to repair the relationship with her son, new revelations force her to rethink everything. The film also stars Mira Fulran and Jane Birkin and you can watch the first trailer here.
Before the world premiere, I landed an extended video interview with Hirsch. We talked about premiering at TIFF, why he signed on for the role, how the finished film compares to the script, his research, and more. In addition, with Hirsch about to start filming Peter Berg‘s Lone Survivor (which films in Mexico for three months), he discussed how he’s getting ready for the role, David Gordon Green‘s Prince Avalanche, and Speed Racer. Hit the jump to watch.
One of my favorite composers is Michael Giacchino. That’s because in the last decade, Giacchino has written some amazing scores including The Incredibles, Speed Racer, Ratatouille, Up, Star Trek (2009), Super 8, Lost, Alias, Fringe, and so many more. With Giacchino writing the score for Cars 2, the other day I got to talk to him about his latest soundtrack. Of course we also talked about other subjects including what the last few years have been like, his writing process, collaborating with directors, the challenge of scoring Star Trek, if he’s coming back for the sequel, working with the Wachowskis on Speed Racer, if he’s started work on Mission Impossible 4, and I also asked what do we have to do to get Brad Bird to make a sequel to The Incredibles. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
The Wachowski’s have a lot to prove to a lot of people in their filmmaking. The last two Matrix installments, while not bad, didn’t gain any of the positive buzz that came out of their first movie, and while some loved Speed Racer, I thought it was a disappointment. Now according to Deadline, the duo is back with a movie not unlike their 1996 film Bound.
The new film they’re working on is said to revolve around an incredibly graphic homosexual relationship between a U.S. Soldier and an Iraqi, with the movie charting their relationship, starting with the future and then moving backwards to the past. It’s reported that the film’s script is done and the Wachowski’s are said to be looking to direct it, with financiers currently being looked for. Honestly, I think it sounds like it could be pretty good. It’s something a little different from 2 of the most interesting directors working in the business.
For more on the project, you may want to check this article from December where Arianna Huffington tweeted and also released pictures from a secret Wachowski test shoot that was about the Iraq War. It’s pretty clear they were shooting test footage for this project. More as we hear it.
Anytime you sit down with producer Joel Silver you’re going to learn about a lot of upcoming films. That’s because as the producer of over 90 movies, the guys is always making them and he has his hand in many projects fandom cares about. So when I got the chance to speak with him at yesterday’s “Orphan” junket, towards the end of the interview I asked about many of his upcoming projects.
After the jump you can either read or watch Joel talk about what’s up with Shane Black, The Wachowski Brothers, “Sgt. Rock”, “The Dirty Dozen” and “Greyskull”.
Over the last few days I’ve been posting a ton of red carpet and backstage interviews from this year’s Saturn Awards. And up now…Scott Porter.
As Jason Street on “Friday Night Lights” and Rex Racer in the Wachowski Brother’s “Speed Racer”, Scott’s been busy these last few years. And as he told me on the red carpet, he just filmed a pilot called “Masterwork” and he explains what it’s about after the jump. He also joked around about his part in “Prom Night”. Take a look: