An upcoming film about Christian singer Jeremy Camp will break new ground by becoming the first faith-based movie to play nationally on IMAX screens.
I Still Believe (PG) will open March 13 in traditional and IMAX theaters but will have early showings on March 11 only on IMAX screens. The faith-based romance tells the story of Camp’s relationship with his first wife, Melissa, who died of ovarian cancer. Camp penned his well-known song, I Still Believe, after her death.
Kanye’s Jesus Is King, a 38-minute film, showed in IMAX theaters last year. But I Still Believe will become the first full-length faith-based feature movie to show on the giant format.
Jon Erwin, who co-directed I Still Believe with his brother, Andrew, called it a significant step forward for the faith-based genre. Their previous film was the 2018 hit I Can Only Imagine.
“After the success of I Can Only Imagine, our dream has been to expand the possibilities of what faith-based films can become,” Erwin told Christian Headlines. “It’s so exciting to partner with IMAX to immerse the audience in faith and music in a whole new way. It’s a first for a faith film, and we can’t wait for the audience to experience I Still Believe in IMAX.”
I Still Believe stars several well-known actors, including K.J. Apa (Riverdale, The Hate U Give) as Camp and Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland, The Space Between Us) as Melissa. Gary Sinise (Apollo 13), singer Shania Twain, Melissa Roxburgh (Manifest) and Cameron Arnett (Overcomer) have supporting roles.
The film was named No. 1 on Seventeen Magazine’s list of “7 Most Romantic Movies Premiering in 2020.”
I Still Believe producer Kevin Downes said he hopes the film reaches a younger generation.
“And I believe that this film is going to do that – mainly because the cast is gonna really allow an opportunity for that younger audience to want to come in and experience an emotional true love story,” Downes told Christian Headlines. “But what's great is our foundation, our basis, is the Bible.”
Visit imax.com/movies/i-still-believe to find an IMAX theater showing I Still Believe.
BOMBSHELL won at the Academy Awards:
Best Hair and Makeup: Kazu Hiro, Vivian Baker, Anne Morgan
Citing strong performance from “Knives Out,” Lionsgate has posted revenues and operating income above Wall Street projections for its third fiscal quarter that ended on Dec. 31.
Revenue were $998.5 million, 8% above Wall Street forecasts, and adjusted operating income of $124.5 million beat estimates by 11%. Subscribers from Starz, Starzplay Arabia and Pantaya reached 28.5 million in the quarter and global OTT subscribers reached 8.6 million for am 8% gain in global subscribers. Adjusted earnings per share were 14 cents, well below forecasts for 18 cents.
“Knives Out” has grossed $155 million in North America and $294 million worldwide. Rian Johnson received an Oscar nomination in the Best Original Screenplay category for the murder mystery, which stars Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas.
“Our Motion Picture Group turned in a strong performance in the quarter, led by the worldwide box office success of ‘Knives Out’ while our Television Group secured a number of important scripted series and pilot commitments and Starz continued to grow its over-the-top platform worldwide,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “Our Starzplay international rollout remains on track to achieve financial and subscriber targets that we expect to translate into meaningful incremental value creation.”
Lionsgate’s film operation saw revenue rise 30% to $473.9 million with segment profit of $49 million with the studio crediting the strong performance of “Knives Out” along with the ancillary results for “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.” Earlier this week, it released the first trailer for “Spiral,” its reboot of the “Saw” franchise with Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson starring. “Spiral” will be released on May 15.
Feltheimer said during the conference call that the studio is planning production starts for both “John Wick 4” and a “Knives Out” sequel. Joe Drake, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said the studio will announce a release date for “Chaos Walking” within the next few days. Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley are starring in the sci-fi movie, directed by Doug Liman, which was originally set to be released last year.
“We’ve two of our biggest stars on the planet today leading that,” Drake added.
The media networks segment, driven by Starz, reported a 4.3% gain in revenues to $382.4 million while networks profit declined 24% to $102.1 million. Lionsgate said the drop in profit was due to the company’s investment in Starzplay International, which is expected to see subscriber growth to between 15 and 25 million over the next five years.
Lionsgate announced shortly after the earnings announcement that the Starzplay international streaming service will split first pay streaming rights in the UK to Lionsgate’s recently released and upcoming feature films.
The TV production segment reported a loss of $5.7 million, which Lionsgate said was due to the timing of production schedules and episodic deliveries. Revenue for TV production was $189.4 million. New series launches included “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” at NBC, “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” at Apple, and “Manhunt: Deadly Games” at Spectrum. New series ordered included “First Ladies” at Showtime and “Run The World” for Starz.
The upcoming Christian movie “I Still Believe” has topped Seventeen magazine’s list of the most romantic movies to watch in 2020.
The secular magazine, which has been in circulation for 74 years, reaches millions of young adults and teens each year. For the first time in the magazine’s history, a Christian movie has ranked No.1, selected for its list of the “7 Most Romantic Movies Premiering in 2020.”
A new film poster and trailer have also been released.
“I Still Believe,” chronicles the story of Award-winning Christian singer Jeremy Camp and his first marriage to Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp who died in 2001, less than a year after they were wed.
“Riverdale’s K.J. Apa stars in this romantic movie about singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp. The movie follows Jeremy’s life, including his marriage to his first wife, Melissa. Melissa was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just before they were married, but the pair continued on with their relationship through Melissa’s illness,” author Jasmine Gomez writes for Seventeen.com.
The new trailer shows some of the film’s romantic scenes between Camp and Melissa played by actress Britt Robertson.
Also featured in the film, is country singer Shania Twain who plays the role of Camp's mother opposite actor Gary Sinise who portrays Camp's father.
The trailer highlights Camp's journey to finding love, fame and his enduring faith in the midst of an unexpected tragedy.
Named after Camp’s popular song of the same name, the movie is an Erwin Brothers production, the same producers behind the blockbuster hit “I Can Only Imagine.” Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin and producing partner Kevin Downes are hoping to follow the commercial success of their first biopic made about the life of Christian musician Bart Millard, although they never initially intended to do another film about a musician.
“I Still Believe” was produced under the Erwin brothers’ newly-formed studio Kingdom, in association with Lionsgate, and is scheduled for release on March 13.
Camp remarried 16 years ago to his wife, Adrienne, and the couple have three children together. Camp has lauded his wife for being his biggest supporter throughout the years and for supporting him in telling Melissa’s story.
Superstar Charlize Theron, as the saying goes, contains multitudes. She’s played every kind of role, from a blue-collar wife hell-bent on getting justice to an evil queen in a modern rendition of the Snow White story. She’s also been a latex-clad warrior in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi world, as well as America’s first female serial killer. Theron is a chameleon of sorts, a powerhouse who has proven that she can master anything writers and directors throw her way, with a unique grace and ease.
And thanks to this year's Oscars®, Charlize Theron is once more a nominee for Best Actress, thanks to her work as Megyn Kelly in the film BOMBSHELL. To celebrate her nomination, we're going to run down the nine best performances that Theron has given throughout her career, including the one that's landed her yet another golden opportunity.9. The Yards (2000)
This semi-autobiographical crime thriller is campy, melancholy, and co-stars an almost unrecognizable Theron as the young cousin of ex-con Leo Handler (Mark Wahlberg). Though the film focuses on the trials and tribulations of the male leads, Theron’s Erica Soltz proves herself to be tougher and stronger than all of them combined. She’s the only light in this bleak film.8. The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
In one of her earliest roles, a 22-year-old Theron plays Mary Ann Lomax, the traumatized wife of a dirty lawyer (Keanu Reeves) who quite literally makes a deal with the devil. Throughout the film, Mary Ann is repeatedly abused and terrorized — and Theron’s incredibly emotional performance makes it extremely hard to watch. It’s worth noting that the actress had already mastered the art of evoking empathy from an audience, and that’s enough to recommend this movie.7. Bombshell (2019)
Dramatizing the events of the scandal that shook Fox News to its core, BOMBSHELL tells the story of three women and their roles during the moments that changed the course of the cable news network. With her transformative performance as anchor Megyn Kelly in director Jay Roach's dramedy, Charlize Theron is completely unrecognizable. Much like her Academy Award®-winning role in MONSTER, Theron disappears into Kelly's character and not only impresses in this awards contender, but also stands a good chance of upsetting front-runner Renée Zellweger's chances of winning the Best Actress trophy for her role in JUDY.
6. Long Shot (2019)
A romantic comedy mixed with a political satire, LONG SHOT pairs Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen as a presidential candidate and a journalist, respectively, in an election-year romance that plays like a charm. The chemistry between Theron and Rogen sparkles, with Theron getting to play her character both as a super serious head of state and a free spirit during specific sequences in the film, allowing her full range of talent to truly shine in this underrated comedy.
5. North Country (2005)
Inspired by real-life events, NORTH COUNTRY is the heartbreaking story of a female iron miner who takes matters into her own hands after enduring relentless sexual abuse from her male co-workers. Theron received a well-deserved Oscar® nomination for her raw performance as Josey Aimes, a fictionalized version of Lois Jenson, who changed the way sexual harassment is handled in the workplace.4. Young Adult (2011)
Mavis Gary might be the most unlovable character Theron has ever played. Even so, it’s hard not to root for her as she embarks on a journey back to her hometown to win over her now-married high school boyfriend. Mavis is vicious, relentless and cynical, but Theron approaches the role from a comedic perspective. Doing so gives Mavis real depth and humanity.3. Atomic Blonde (2017)
Theron’s Lorraine Broughton is the closest Hollywood has come to a female James Bond, and she’s way more of a badass than Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig could ever hope to be. Lorraine is sultry, seductive and violent. She takes down enemy spies in over-the-top fight scenes that were filmed with every intention of giving audiences whiplash. It worked.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
In the fourth installment of the MAD MAX franchise, Theron solidifies her status as the perfect action hero. Tom Hardy plays the title role, but is completely upstaged by Imperator Furiosa, a warrior who escapes the clutches of the evil Immortan Joe and liberates women who were forced to breed with him. Theron’s Furiosa is more than just a warrior. She’s a woman on a quest for redemption, and all she wants is to be enough — to be worthy and valued for who she is. "Empowering" is the word most commonly associated with Theron’s portrayal.
1. Monster (2003)
Theron succeeds in humanizing serial killer Aileen Wuornos, and it has little to do with the extensive eyebrow-less makeover the actress endured to play the part. The film has no interest in being sentimental, but Theron’s masterful performance invokes a particular kind of compassion. The audience isn’t meant to pity Aileen, but rather understand the root cause of her darkness. Theron won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2004, as well as a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Movie award and a SAG Award.
BOMBSHELL is currently in theatres. Get your tickets now.
The nominees for this year’s Academy Awards gathered Monday for the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon and class photo.
Bong Joon Ho, Greta Gerwig, Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt were among those who received the loudest applause and cheers when their names were called for the photo. The annual event kicked off with a cocktail party, complete with music by DJ Kiss, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood.
Charlize Theron’s date was her mom, Gerda Jacoba Aletta Maritz. “It’s her birthday!” Theron told Variety. “How do you like the party I’m throwing for her?”
Leonardo DiCaprio brought his dad, George. “Hey, Quentin,” Paramount’s Jim Gianopulos said to Quentin Tarantino. “I’m really proud of you!” The “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” director also explained that he was wearing a “Dolby” bowling shirt in homage to the venue.
Brad Pitt was mobbed by people asking for selfies. The supporting actor nominee also chatted with Roger Deakins and Sandy Powell. Netflix boss Ted Sarandos stopped by Al Pacino’s table to talk to the “Irishman” star.
The official program began with remarks by Academy president David Rubin, who asked for a moment of silence for Oscar winner Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven others who died in Sunday’s helicopter crash.
First-time Oscar producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain took to the stage to offer guidelines for acceptance speeches for winners on the big night. Winners have just one minute from their name being called to getting on stage and completing their remarks.
“We don’t want to play you off,” Taylor said.
“But we will,” Allain warned.
Taylor implored all the nominees to write their speeches beforehand. “Be prepared,” she said. “You will not jinx yourself by doing so.”
What followed was the customary roll call to bring the nominees to the riser to assemble for the class photo. But before she got started, Illeana Douglas took a shot at the plant-based menu, a first for the annual event.
“I didn’t know it was going to be an actual plant,” she said, referencing the maitake mushroom entree with black rice, winter squash and cauliflowers. “At least it looked appetizing.”
Like the Golden Globes decision to go plant-based, Joaquin Phoenix pushed for the Academy to do the same. The Governors Ball after the Oscars will be 70 percent plant-based.
One noticeable difference this year were the number of nominated actors who couldn’t make it to the affair, including Phoenix, Margot Robbie, Antonio Banderas, Saoirse Ronan and Scarlett Johansson.
The 92nd Oscars will be held on Feb. 9. The ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PM/8 p.m. ET.
We already have a lot of great horror movies to look forward to in 2020, and now we have yet another movie to add to the list. Little is known about Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz's forthcoming thriller Antebellum but we do know that Get Out, Us, and BlacKkKlansman producer Sean McKittrick is also involved in the film, so it's got to be good. From what we can glean from the trailer, Antebellum revolves around a successful author who finds herself trapped in the Antebellum South — a period which persisted from the late 18th century until the start of the American Civil War — and it looks pretty damn terrifying. Here's who you can expect to see when the film debuts on April 24.
NEW YORK — Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding breaks into a laugh as he tries to explain his meteoric career trajectory that has seen him go from being a travel host to rom-com leading man to foul-mouthed villain in Guy Ritchie’s gangster romp, The Gentlemen — out this Friday.
“It’s crazy isn’t it?” Golding muses as a wedge of sunlight pushes its way into a suite of a midtown Manhattan hotel.
The 32-year-old British-Malaysian actor, who just a few years ago was working in New Zealand for the BBC and Discovery Channel Asia, was plucked out of obscurity to play Nick Young in 2018’s crowd-pleaser Crazy Rich Asians. He then played Blake Lively’s husband in the thriller A Simple Favor. Just a few months ago, Golding starred opposite Emilia Clarke in the frothy holiday rom-com Last Christmas.
This week, he’s back onscreen as the Chinese gangster, Dry Eye, opposite an ensemble cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell and Michelle Dockery.
McConaughey plays Mickey Pearson, an American heavily invested in the London drug trade who is looking for a way out. Golding’s Dry Eye is one of several villains angling to take over his business.
“I’ve played fairly similar characters to who I am as a person,” Golding says. “Nick Young (Crazy Rich Asians) and Tom Webster (Last Christmas) are very happy-go-lucky guys who won’t let much put them down. But then this character in The Gentlemen, he has a big chip on his shoulder … He thinks he can muscle in on something. So playing Dry Eye was a licence to let go.”
After his success behind the camera for Disney’s live-action Aladdin last year, The Gentlemen marks Ritchie’s return to the fast-paced crime comedies he became famous for at the beginning of his career, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
“He dipped his toe back in with (2008’s) RocknRolla, but I don’t think that film hit the same patina Lock, Stock and Snatch had. The Gentlemen is definitely in the vein of those two earlier pictures … This throws it back to those classic Guy movies.”
After a whirlwind weekend in New York, Golding is heading back to Japan where he’s in the midst of filming the lead role in Paramount’s G.I. Joe spinoff Snake Eyes.
Golding says the variety of projects and the diverse directors he’s worked with has made him want to be more than just a rom-com star, but so far being in front of the camera has been a dream come true.
“It’s crazy, because I used to stay up with my friends, after a house party and we’d stick in Snatch and we’d all just watch and crack up all the way through. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched that film, but it’s countless … now I’m working with Guy Ritchie,” he says, grinning.
On an unseasonably warm January morning, Golding traced his arc from hairdresser to box office star, mused on the politically incorrect barbs he and his castmates hurl in The Gentlemen and told us why critics were wrong about Last Christmas.
You’ve been having a great couple of months. First Last Christmas, which my wife and I had a fun time watching, and now The Gentlemen.
Last Christmas was definitely a crowd-pleaser. Not much of a critic-pleaser (laughs). But I’ve had much more of a response off of the backend of Last Christmas than Crazy Rich Asians. It really meant so much to people … It was lovely. Moviegoers understood what it was. It’s just that bubbly sort of Christmas movie that’s like eating a pile of chocolate. You just can’t help but love it.
So you were nice guy Tom Webster in Last Christmas and now you’re the baddie Dry Eye in The Gentlemen. What was that transition like?
I was filming both of them in London during the same time. One day I was Tom Webster and I woke up the next day and I had to play Dry Eye. But it was less challenging than people would think. It was a lot of fun to play someone so far from my own reality.
Henry Golding as the villainous Dry Eye in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen. (VVS Films)
What was the best part of playing the villain?
In this case, the barrage of swear words (laughs). Just being able to reel off as many profanities as you can possibly think of in the most creative ways was immense fun. That’s what Guy’s films are about. They’re about trying to insult the other person in funny ways. It’s what we grew up with watching Snatch and Lock, Stock … they’ve got so many classic one-liners that we can quote to this day. So working in that environment, especially alongside Matthew and Michelle, was phenomenal. It was one of my favourite experiences I’ve had.
Why do you think those early Guy Ritchie gangster movies still resonate?
Some of the scenes in Lock, Stock and Snatch had never been done in British cinema. So when it came to heist movies, he was definitely a trendsetter in that sense. The only other British director from that time that was creating groundbreaking movies in a similar vein was Danny Boyle with 28 Days Later.
Some of the early reviews for The Gentlemen have talked a lot about the film’s political incorrectness. But that’s the world Guy Ritchie is playing in. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that some people could take offense.
You know what these films are about. Back in the early days, no one would have complained about the political incorrectness. But now, people are a lot more sensitive, and while they are entitled to their opinion, this is a world which is exaggerated and it’s full of the bottom of the barrel characters, who aren’t going to be nice to you. If you met any of the people in this movie, they’d insult you in the most demeaning manner.
Sometimes that’s casual racism or sexism or things like that. You’d be fooling people to pretend that doesn’t happen. But you have to take it with a pinch of salt. It’s entertainment. It’s not meant to be seen as a racist film. Everyone in this movie is giving as good as they get. All these characters are, in my words, c—- trying to kill each other. Of course they’re going to be nasty … Look, we can talk about it ’til we’re blue in the face, but it’s not for everyone (laughs). That’s all I can say. But if you’re not too sensitive, you’re going to have the time of your life. It’s a hoot. It’s just a lot of fun.
Two years ago, people hadn’t been introduced to you yet. Tell me about your crazy rise?
I don’t know how to explain it. It feels earned, for sure. I can safely say that I have worked so hard at doing the best I can and adapting as quickly as possible to this. People often don’t realize how much work goes into making a movie, not only the production part, but this part. Coming out, flying 12 hours, getting zero sleep, to promote a movie for three days, non-stop. They see the clips and the interviews, and maybe they think it looks easy.
You not only have to be able to do your job in front of the camera, you have to be able to function inside a marketing machine. But, in terms of the movies, I’ve been able to work with some amazing filmmakers. Paul (Feig) twice, John (M. Chu), Guy (Ritchie), Hong Khaou, Robert Schwentke. After this, I’m just excited to get myself involved in more eventful movies and Snake Eyes is going to be huge.
Speaking of Snake Eyes, what can fans expect of that movie?
This is an origin story. It’s interesting because you have the long-time fans and they have a vision of Snake Eyes in their head, and that’s a character that they’ve loved for years and years. So, of course, we want to be able to do justice to them. But, at the same time, we want to bring something fresh to it as well. I think we’ve been able to create a balance within Robert Schwentke’s script that pays homage, but at the same time creates our own identity.
You became famous at 30 years old after being a hairdresser and a TV presenter. What was the best part of finding fame as an older person?
I think it helped that I had been able to live a regular existence. You often hear of young stars who get a little taken away by it all. I know that if it all ends tomorrow, I’d be pretty f—ing happy. It wouldn’t be as fun, but I’d still be going to the cinema to watch movies.
Of course I’d be longing to be back in this industry, but I’ve had many careers. I was a hairdresser, I was a journalist, and I was a television presenter. Now I’m a movie star. Where it goes from here? I don’t know. I’m just along for the ride.
But I give 110% to it. That’s why I think I can be successful at it. The dedication is real. I think a lot of people, if you just throw yourself into whatever it is you want to do and do the best job and expend the most energy you possibly can, you can succeed at most things. Or at least that’s what I hope.
Matthew McConaughey is a busy man these days. The 50-year-old actor recently wrapped a stint as a professor at his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, teaching film production. He’s also serving as a creative director for Wild Turkey, helping to develop the company’s Longbranch bourbon. In the midst of the recent Southern California wildfires, he helped prepare and deliver more than 1,600 barbecued dinners to first responders and displaced families. And, oh yes, he’s still finding time to act.
While he once seemed destined for rom-com typecasting, the deceptively dynamic leading man has spent the past half decade collecting Oscar glory and Emmy nominations. Now he stars as a weed kingpin in the new Guy Ritchie flick, The Gentlemen, in theaters January 24. Here he talks about his journey to and through Hollywood.
When did you first move to Los Angeles?
I drove out here on August 12, 1993. I had my U-Haul; I had 2,000 bucks, and I was packed to the gills coming out to Hollywood—here we go. I had Dazed and Confused out—nothing else. I had finished making [that movie] in summer of ’92. So I’m driving out here, and I had it all teed up. It’s about a 25-hour drive, but after about 22 hours you’re getting tired, and you’re thinking I might have made really good time—I might be getting there soon. Especially when you’re out by Indio on the I-10 West and you see an exit for Sunset Drive.
Not Sunset Boulevard?
I didn’t know this yet! I’ve been waiting with my Doors album to play “L.A. Woman” on approach to L.A. I put that disc in there and just start jamming to [it] because there’s Sunset Drive, baby! It’s gotta be right over the next hill—I’m going to see the bright lights. Well, I played “L.A. Woman” about 47 times because it was another two hours. I took the 10 all the way to PCH, till it turned north, pulled up to [Dazed and Confused casting director] Don Phillips’s house on a Saturday night at about 10:36 p.m. Slept on his couch. That was my arrival.
Which bars did you like to go to at that time?
Well, I had my [Dazed and Confused] buddies Rory Cochrane and Cole Hauser here, and we would hit up the Formosa Cafe and Chez Jay in Santa Monica—classic little bar right there on Ocean Avenue.
Who are some of your drinking buddies when you come into town these days?
I still like to go have a drink with Cochrane and Hauser.
Any crazy drinking experiences?
Oh, yeah. … (Laughs) Yeah. Quite a few. I’ll leave it at that.McConaughey (right) in ‘Dazed and Confused’ with Rory Cochrane
Which neighborhood here most resonates with you these days?
L.A.’s got so many diverse little experience pods in it. I’ve got friends in Silver Lake—that’s a different sort of walking, hipster experience. Culver City’s a great area to walk around in. But I’ve always really enjoyed Sunset Boulevard [he bangs on the table between the “Sun” and “set” syllables for emphasis]. I moved into the Chateau [Marmont] for a couple of years. Yes, sir. And I met my wife [model Camila Alves] in Hyde on Sunset. When I saw this turquoise vision moving across the room, I didn’t say, “Who is that?” I said, “What was that?” Fifteen years later … that’s that.
You don’t seem to be a fan of sequels. But out of all the characters you’ve portrayed, whose story do you think remains somewhat incomplete—whose story would you consider extending?
I didn’t get on board with Magic Mike XXL for an extension of Dallas [the character he played in the first movie]. I thought he lived where he lived. But Mick Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer—there could be a lot more to tell about him. And we’ve talked about it, if we could get the script right. That could be a revisit.
[Dazed and Confused writer-director Richard] Linklater and I have continuously chatted about what Wooderson’s up to today. I think he’s probably had that conversation with a lot of characters from Dazed. But until an idea—if ever—came up for a follow-up on what all those people are doing … probably just leave that one where it lies ’cause it’s a classic. It’s fun to imagine [what’s happened to] all of the characters I’ve played. I bet Wooderson’s got triplets—red-haired triplets.
You famously formed a friendship with Snoop Dogg on the set of The Beach Bum. Do you two still stay in touch?
Yeah, absolutely. He’ll check in. He loves FaceTime. (Laughs) It’ll just be a quick pop. Brrropp, “What’s up? See ya later.” But he’s a saint of a man. He’s really found his frequency. He’s always looking on the upside of any situation; [he] cares and is conscientious. He’s got a great story of how he got to where he was, and he knows the exact times he was taking a risk, but he made them for the right [reason] to preserve himself and his family. Great man.McConaughey with wife, Camila Alves
ROY ROCHLIN/GETTY IMAGES
You’re also friends with another celebrated stoner, Woody Harrelson. Who could outsmoke the other?
Oh, geez. It’s funny. I don’t think they’ve ever hung out—which is odd—I need to bring them together in some way. Wood’s not smoking right now, I don’t think. With Snoop it’s just like drinking water. It’s just an extension of the arm.
Did you ever think you’d live long enough to see legalized cannabis?
Not in Texas. And it ain’t legal there yet.
You might not live long enough to see that.
I might not. (Laughs)
In The Gentlemen, you play a cannabis kingpin. What was it that attracted you to the role?
Guy Ritchie’s script. Like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, it’s a gangsterish comedy with size and scope. Ritchie has a real identity with that type of film, and it’s that type of script.
Out of all the wild and crazy characters you’ve played in your life, which matches most authentically with who you are as a human being?
Oh, man. I mean, look—all of ’em are some part of me. Like an old lady’s equalizer, I just raise the EQ on certain parts of me and lower the other parts and find the balance that’s in me for that character. Turn up the volume a little on some, bring down the kilohertz on a little of the others.
And keep “L.A. Woman” on repeat?
Come on. Even if you gotta do it 47 times, baby. You show up, keep driving west—go until you get wet.
Exactly two weeks before “Bombshell” was set to begin shooting, Annapurna backed out of the $35 million production. Producer Charlize Theron, who also stars in the film, was on a location scout with production department heads when she heard the bad news.
“We had [cast] Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie — two of the busiest people in the whole wide world, as well as John Lithgow, who weirdly is almost busier,” Theron says. “So we knew that if we couldn’t stay on our originally scheduled start date that we would not be able to make the movie. Their schedules just wouldn’t permit it.”
With the film’s shutdown imminent, Theron immediately went into power producing mode. By the end of day, with help from her fellow producers and director Jay Roach, Theron had secured Bron Studios as the pic’s new financier. Two days later, Lionsgate was signed on to distribute.
The movie, which is being honored with the Stanley Kramer Award at the PGA Awards, tells the story of former Fox News female anchors who brought down Roger Ailes (Lithgow), and stars Theron as Megyn Kelly, Kidman as Gretchen Carlson and Robbie as a fictional Fox up-and-comer. Securing last-minute financing and a new distributor wasn’t welcome news, but Theron didn’t exactly mind taking a break from her acting duties.
“You can only work on becoming Megyn Kelly for a certain amount of hours every day,” Theron admits. “At a certain point you have to switch off. Being a producer is good for me because sometimes I have OCD about things [as an actor]. So I think I’m better when I can actually switch my brain off. Producing forces me to do that.”
BOMBSHELL nominated for Best Makeup and Haistyling at the Academy Awards
Margot Robbie nominated for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role in BOMBSHELL
Charlize Theron nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role in BOMBSHELL
It’s no wonder that, for Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron, the fandom is mutual. Both left their continents of origin to become Hollywood royalty, and recently starred together in Bombshell as anchorwomen battling sexist double standards (or worse) in the workplace. Once typecast as the “gold-digging girlfriend,” a pre-fame Robbie might’ve empathized with her fictional character, Fox News producer Kayla Pospisil. But of course, Robbie’s career quickly outgrew anyone’s expectations (including her own), as the Aussie’s ever-lengthening actor-producer credits continue to prove. Her next-up Batman spin-off, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn will be her company LuckyChap’s highest-budget endeavor to date.
Margot Robbie Charlize, thank you for doing this! Do you want to share a pickle? I’m not normally a big pickle eater, but I’ve been really liking them…
Charlize Theron Yes, I want to share a pickle with you! How could I say no?
MR I just learned, like a few years ago, that pickles are actually cucumbers.
CT [Laughter] That is amazing to me. My daughter thinks cucumbers are pickles. She calls cucumbers “pickles.” I’m like, that’s not a pickle…[On that note], let’s talk about your childhood. I’m picturing you spearfishing off the Gold Coast and catching your dinner as a 12-year-old.
MR Literally, yeah [laughs]. So, I actually very much had that rural Australian experience. [When I was young] we moved out to the hinterland, which is part of the Gold Coast. We lived on acreage, so it was definitely [in line with a certain image of Australia]. People in America are like, were there kangaroos and koalas outside your bedroom window? And I’m like, well yes there were, but that’s not a normal thing in Australia, necessarily! I feel like I really got all the best of Australia.
CT So, when did you discover movies?
MR We had a limited and eclectic collection of VHS tapes, which I watched a thousand times over. I’d be rattling off lines in the kitchen, and my mom was like, “How do you remember all this? Are you making this up?” [Even] so, I never said, “I’m going to be an actor.” I think it was probably a similar thing as when you were growing up in South Africa...
CT Yeah, no. It’s like talking about a unicorn. It doesn’t exist.
MR Yeah, it’s not an actual job. And even after I was working full-time at 17 on Neighbours, my family was like, “So… what’s your plan? What are you going to do for a job and career?”
CT Did you have to really convince your parents? What did they want you to do?
MR I don’t know! I think the best-case scenario would have been going to university.
CT Boy, were they wrong [laughs].
MR I never did go to university! But I went with my friends to all university initiation-week parties.
CT Smart! The best part! So what was the next step, after [working on Neighbours]?
MR To begin with, I was just stoked to not get fired. But after that, there seemed to be two options available: One, stay on Neighbours; many of my castmates on that show had worked there for 30 years, and I could have had a very comfortable, nice life [by doing that]. But I knew I didn’t want that. [The other option] was taking a chance on America. And I’d seen some costars try their luck in L.A. So I spent the next three years saving up and working on dialects, because I couldn’t do an [American] accent to save my life, and I went for door number two.
CT Wow…So when you started, did you have any fear of being typecast?
MR It wasn’t until after Wolf of Wall Street that a lot of similar roles started coming in. I realized, gosh, I’m going to have to do something very different, to kind of let people know I’m not going to keep playing the gold-digging wife forever. And it’s not that I don’t want to [ever play] a gold-digging wife—I had the best time playing [Naomi]. But I had exercised that muscle. I had come to understand her. I wanted to read a character, and think, “I have no idea how to do that.” I always want to feel a little bit scared when I take on a role. And to be pushing myself in some way. But before that, I just wanted to get any job. [My first real role] was on a TV show called Pan Am, and I shot that for a year, in New York. I was playing a very sweet, naive young woman experiencing the world for the first time, and having a blast. And I was maybe not as innocent as her, but I was definitely having the same sort of thing; like, wow, the world is so big and amazing, and I’m in New York City, it’s so crazy…My first time on a set, I wanted to know what everyone was doing, and why. I kept asking the DP, “What lens are you on, and why that?” Eventually he just brought me a book and was like, “Read that, it’s got all the answers!” It was so kind, and I still have the book. It was an interesting read, and answered a lot of my questions, so I’d stop bothering him...
CT Maybe that was it, but at what point did you feel that you wanted to produce your own films?
MR It’s a funny thing…I’ve spoken about this with some other actresses. Fame is such a weird thing. It has this way of coming on very quickly. And I felt very untethered by it. I was searching for different ways of taking control of my life, to get where I wanted to be. As a producer, you get to be a part of everything. And not just on set, but in the years it takes up to that point. I like exercising that business-savvy part of my brain—even doing the tax-incentive shit.
CT How long was it before I, Tonya came around?
MR That was the second film [we produced at LuckyChap]; we gave ourselves a manifest to begin with, and that was to tell female-driven stories and to work with as many first- and second-time directors as we could.
CT And what about that project made you say, “I have to do this”? Did you know about her [Tonya Harding]?
MR No, I had never heard her name. And I actually thought it was fictional. Like, okay, this gets a bit absurd in some places, people are going to think we’re taking the piss now. But the most absurd parts were absolutely all factual.
CT That’s so interesting that you knew nothing about her. To me, she feels like Elvis. And I imagine, if [the role] came to me, that’s how I would look at it. I think that’s maybe the key to why you tapped into an aspect of [the character] that didn’t feel sensational. You tapped into the emotional story of this woman who was struggling with a lot of shit. And she did terrible things, but her circumstances were also not great.
MR Yeah! It was perfect that I didn’t know about it. Because I had no preconceived notions. As an actor, the first thing is trying to understand her point of view. I’m reading lines that say, “Nancy gets hit one time and the whole world shits. For me it’s an everyday occurrence.” I read that and think, yeah, I agree! Why is everyone so hard on you? I don’t get it! So I’m really glad I didn’t know anything. It made it so much easier to understand her.
CT Do you remember the first time we met?
MR Yes! On a shoot, [a couple years back]. You were practically naked.
CT I had a lot [going on]. “She’s wearing a sheet, she’s got a toddler screaming and she’s gushing to an actress she wants to work with…” How strange is that three years later, I called you up about [Bombshell]?
MR Since we’re on that topic…Why did you think of me for this role? I never got to ask…
CT First of all, oh my god, are you insane? [It was] a no-brainer, Margot Robbie. But second of all, this is an ensemble cast; there’s not a lot of time for you to flesh out [your character]. We needed an actor who could really tap into all the emotions, economically and effectively. And you have done that in spades. [And from the moment you agreed to it] you were so committed to the project. You were doing it with us. What was it that made it so clear to you?
MR I mean, I could literally [repeat] everything you just said, because it was a no-brainer. The opportunity to work with you…I secretly just wanted to watch you produce. Like, I don’t know if I’m doing this right—handling the producing the acting, and life. It would be really nice to [watch someone else do it]. But more than anything, I wanted to be a part of this story, and I wanted people to experience Kayla’s experience. Which, as you see in [one] scene, is so hard to define. He assaults her without getting up from his chair. I thought that was something that people needed to see.
CT Margot. I love you.
MR I love you, too. You’re a great reporter.
CT How much do I get paid for this?
MR You get one jar of pickles.
Margot Robbie has excelled at playing real people on screen.
In 2019, she played Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and the year before, she took on Queen Elizabeth I in “Mary Queen of Scots.” In a career-making performance — for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar — Robbie portrayed disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in 2017’s “I, Tonya.”
Tackling the role of Kayla Pospisil — an ambitious young Fox News producer who falls prey to Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) — in “Bombshell” presented a much different challenge. Unlike Charlize Theron’s Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman’s Gretchen Carlson, Robbie’s character is fictional, a composite created by screenwriter Charles Randolph to illustrate Ailes’ late-stage sexual harassment and abuse — just before his Shakespearean downfall in the summer of 2016.
“I didn’t understand her to begin with,” Robbie says. “But my process is to do a ton of research, consider every single option, know every single situation, scenario, thought and motivation inside and out, so I can step onto set and then let it all go.”
She set about figuring Kayla out, using a methodology “Bombshell” director Jay Roach calls “a nerdy desire to get it all down.” She watched the Fox News shows Kayla would have liked, and created a fake Twitter account so she could observe the performative opinionating of “young millennial conservative girls.” (Robbie wouldn’t specify whom she followed, but picture the Tomi Lahrens of the world.)
And she perfected Kayla’s speaking voice, twisting her Australian drawl into a perky Floridian lilt. Roach urged Robbie to watch footage of Katherine Harris, Florida’s former secretary of state, who became famous during the aftermath of the Bush v. Gore presidential election of 2000 and was played by Laura Dern in Roach’s 2008 HBO movie “Recount.” Harris grew up privileged and evangelical in Florida, as did Kayla. “I just love the sounds of her vowels — they’re incredible,” Robbie says. But Harris wasn’t her sole touchpoint: “Every day, I’d do the monologue from ‘Legally Blonde,’” she says, citing Reese Witherspoon’s Elle Woods as the type of character who is “incredibly smart” but “underestimated because of their looks.”
Robbie’s hard work in “Bombshell,” which was released by Lionsgate, has paid off. She will compete in the supporting actress category this week at the Golden Globes, as well as for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 19. She is a front-runner for an Oscar nomination.
The awards recognition capped off a year in which Robbie created a stir with her affectionate portrayal of Tate in “Once Upon a Time” and filmed “Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn,” a spinoff from the 2016 film “Suicide Squad” that she conceived more than four years ago. The movie, which Robbie stars in and produced, hits theaters on Feb. 7. She is currently shooting James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad,” a sequel to the original film, in Atlanta. It’s slated for release Aug. 6, 2021.
Plenty of female actors — Theron, Witherspoon, Viola Davis — start companies to produce their own movies. What’s unusual is that Robbie was just 24 when she founded hers.
Only seven years earlier she had moved from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia — where she’d grown up as the third of four children raised by their mother — to Melbourne in hopes of acting professionally. Despite having no money and knowing no one, she was quickly cast in “Neighbours,” the iconic soap opera that also launched the careers of Liam Hemsworth and Kylie Minogue. “I didn’t think there was higher than that for me,” she recalls. When her contract was up, she moved to Los Angeles, and was again cast right away: this time playing a stewardess on ABC’s stylish but short-lived “Pan Am.” From there, she worked steadily, but broke out definitively in 2013 in the attention-getting role of Naomi in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” in which she had Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort wrapped around her finger.
Now 29, Robbie runs LuckyChap Entertainment, which she founded in 2014 with now-husband Tom Ackerley and their friends Josey McNamara and Sophia Kerr, out of an airy, farmhouse-style office in Los Angeles.
She had met Ackerley and McNamara when they were assistant directors on the romantic drama “Suite Française” the year before, and after getting drunk together after the London premiere of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” they all decided to share a house in the Clapham neighborhood of London. (Kerr, Robbie’s childhood friend, was a fourth roommate.) The company was born at their kitchen table out of Robbie’s desire to create her own work. She would read scripts and say, “I want to play that character, but it’s a guy — how do I self-generate?” McNamara says. “But also, she was at a place in her career where she had the ability to set up a company, and wanted to support other female creatives and give them the platform she was getting herself.
Robbie is intensely involved, sometimes too involved. “She reads every script — we tell her not to watch every single daily,” Ackerley says. “Ultimately, she does probably far too much.”
Notes producer and co-star Theron, “Margot just impresses the bloody weasels out of me.” She laughs at the turn of phrase. “At this age taking control of her career, and just being so proactive in what she wants to make, what she wants to put out there — I’m a little intimidated by her.”
The events of “Bombshell” take place before the post-Harvey Weinstein #MeToo movement, but its lessons infuse every frame. #MeToo, which resulted in seismic changes in how women’s stories are told on screen, and who gets to tell them — specifically, the battle cry for more women writers and directors — caused Robbie and LuckyChap to look inward. The company had done its first three films with male directors. “At the start of 2018, we made a conscious decision to shift to try to find more women behind the camera,” Ackerley says.
“We were looking at our own work in a different way,” Robbie says. “Some of our projects felt extremely relevant and more urgent to tell. And other ones felt irrelevant.”
“Birds of Prey” felt urgent. It features Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. It’s written by a woman (Christina Hodson), directed by a woman (Cathy Yan) and has women producers (Robbie and Sue Kroll). The movie is an ambitious leap forward for LuckyChap — a $75 million, R-rated, Warner Bros./DC Entertainment production.
“Margot just impresses the bloody weasels out of me. At this age taking control of her career, and just being so proactive in what she wants to make — I’m a little intimidated by her.”
During “Suicide Squad,” Robbie says she “fell in love with” Harley Quinn, though she didn’t understand why the wildly brilliant, unstable character would stay in a relationship with the Joker (played by Jared Leto), who “wants to kill her most of the time.”
She dove into research: She read the Sam Shepard play “Fool for Love,” about a destructive relationship, and listened to TED Talks by women with schizophrenia who were also accomplished professionals. She immersed herself in the world of DC Comics, which she adores. “Harley has this unpredictable nature that means she could react in any way to any situation, which as an actor is just a gift,” Robbie says.
A year before “Suicide Squad” came out, with the go-ahead from Warner Bros. and DC to explore a Harley spinoff, Robbie met with British screenwriter Hodson, with whom she shares an agent. Over brunch, which turned into pizza and mimosas, they bonded.
“An hour and a half later, we were drunk on a Wednesday morning, and we’ve been friends ever since,” Robbie says. “The ideas started flowing.” In person at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Robbie exudes enthusiasm, speaking effusively about subjects such as the “Harry Potter” novels (“I read them on repeat”), Kayla’s Sapphic chemistry with Kate McKinnon’s “Bombshell” character, Jess Carr (“I secretly want a spinoff movie where Kayla and Jess go on a road trip with their opposing political views and blossoming romance”) and LuckyChap’s office (“It just feels like a nice house!”) — it’s easy to picture that drunken, brainstorming meal.
Upon its August 2016 release, “Suicide Squad” was greeted by some of the worst reviews for a comic book movie ever, though critics and fans agreed that Robbie was the best thing in it. The film made $746 million worldwide, a sequel was greenlit — critics be damned — and LuckyChap signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros.
As for Robbie’s vision for “Birds of Prey,” Hodson says: “She really wanted to see Harley with girlfriends, Harley in a girl gang. Harley is such a naturally sociable character. And I think there was just a general longing to see girls together on screen — women being friends.”
Ackerley agrees about Robbie’s motivations. “She has a group of friends in the U.K.; she has a group of friends in Australia; she has a group of girlfriends here,” he says. “They live fun and vivacious lives. And she was like, ‘I don’t see that on screen.’” She also wanted the film to be rated R, for which, since “Deadpool” hadn’t yet come out, there was no precedent — and “it took a bit of convincing,” Robbie says.
Robbie and Hodson would meet to watch movies, and to discuss “comics that we love, different movies we love,” Robbie says. They would look at something like “Trainspotting”: “How did they achieve this feeling of beautiful chaos, but within it, everything feels satisfying?” she wonders. One of their sessions lasted 13 hours, Hodson recalls. “I was at the keyboard; she was doing story cards. She is remarkable in that sense. I certainly don’t know of any other actors like her who would do that.”
The two got along so well that when Hodson had an idea for improving the dismal numbers for women screenwriters, they decided to create the Lucky Exports Pitch Program, a four-week writers’ room for six writers; four of the selected were women of color. (Hodson herself is half-Taiwanese.) Each came in with kernels of ideas, and now, with the program having just wrapped, all have solid pitches — and Hodson and LuckyChap attached as producers. “We are going to go out and pitch to all the studios and hopefully get them sold, and get them made,” Robbie says.
When it came to finding a director for “Birds of Prey,” Robbie and the other producers — who by that point included Kroll, the longtime Warner Bros. marketing chief executive who now runs Kroll & Co. Entertainment, and “I, Tonya” producer Bryan Unkeless — were committed to trying to hire a woman. But as with “I, Tonya,” directed by Craig Gillespie, they wanted to choose the best person for the job. In the end, Yan, a Chinese American director whose sole movie credit was the 2018 indie feature “Dead Pigs,” sold them. “She spoke to the aesthetic color palette, how she wanted to shoot action, how she wanted costume design to be reflective of the characters’ personalities,” Robbie says. “It was perfect.”
The movie, as its subtitle implies, starts after Harley’s breakup with the Joker. Robbie confirms that Leto’s incarnation of the character doesn’t appear, not even as a cameo. As far as that other “Joker” goes, Robbie thinks Joaquin Phoenix “did a phenomenal job.” But “Birds of Prey,” she says, isn’t at all like the Todd Phillips film: “I feel like the ‘Joker’ film was much more grounded. Ours is different. It’s heightened.”
“Birds of Prey” will be the first of five tentpole movies released in 2020 directed by women: Niki Caro’s “Mulan,” Cate Shortland’s “Black Widow,” Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman 1984” and Chloé Zhao’s “The Eternals” are the others. It’s reflective of Hollywood’s glacial move toward progress, Kroll says, in which “women are part of every conversation now.” Kroll loves how “Birds of Prey” turned out, calling its characters “nuanced” and saying the film has “a beautiful sense of place.”
“But at the end of the day,” she adds, “it’s a really fun, badass group of women getting together. It’s a ride. It’s a crazy ride.”
On the experience of working with Robbie as a producer, Kroll says: “If she were not such a gifted actor, and if she decided she didn’t want to do that anymore, she could be a full-time producer. She’s really good at it.”
Kroll is one of many colleagues who speak admiringly about Robbie. Roach raves about her “Bombshell” performance. “She’s very precise, and she’s worked out the craft of it all. But then once that’s worked out, an amazing sort of heart and spirit and soulfulness all kick in on top of the craft,” he says. “It’s really a wonder to experience it. I felt very, very fortunate to be on set.”
Toward the end of “Bombshell,” Theron’s Megyn Kelly, seeking out other possible Ailes victims, approaches Kayla. “You should report Roger,” she says. “You’ll be protected.” The scene takes a turn when Kayla, whom Megyn thinks will express gratitude, instead accuses her of complicity. “Did you think what your silence would mean for us? The rest of us?” Kayla asks, choking on her anger and sorrow.
Robbie gave a lot of thought to how Kayla would feel in that moment, balancing how much she “idolizes” Megyn against her sense of betrayal. “I wanted it to have heat behind it. I wanted to have real accusation behind it,” she says. Roach was surprised by how the scene played out. “She had a very emotional reaction to it, and apologized after: ‘I just got caught up in it.’ And I said, ‘That was amazing.’ We tried some less emotional takes, but it just was never as powerful.”
“I think that was just her emotions coming out in an unexpected way. And it was really fun to play that with Charlize,” Robbie says.
Kayla — who says things like “Fox is how we do church!” — could have been cartoonish. But not in Robbie’s hands.
“I think her performance in this movie is a very rare performance,” Theron says. “I’ve seen this movie 50 times now, if not more, and every single time she gets me. It’s just ridiculous — and I’m dead inside! And she gets me every f—ing time.”
“Knives Out,” the acclaimed whodunit from director Rian Johnson, hit a notable box office milestone this weekend, crossing $100 million in the U.S. and $200 million worldwide. It’s another triumph for original content — a form of entertainment once thought to be imperiled by the ubiquity of franchise fare.
“Knives Out” became the de facto choice for families without young kids over the holiday season. Lionsgate’s motion picture co-chairman Joe Drake said the film had a broader appeal than the studio initially expected. Media Rights Capital and T-Street co-produced and co-financed “Knives Out,” which cost $40 million.
“On paper, you could say that [‘Knives Out’] could live on a streaming service,” Drake told Variety. “But when you take the screenplay Rian Johnson wrote and the cast he put together, you deliver the kind of experience which is dramatic, thrilling, really funny and really suspenseful. It hits all those beats that make for the theatrical ride.”
To compete with superhero tentpoles and big-budget blockbusters, Drake says it takes a mix of “the science and the art of our business.”
“We’re focusing on theatrical audiences, looking at genres and concepts for a combination of what we believe can create urgency to see on a Friday night,” he said. “There’s data and art to making creative decisions.”
Over the Christmas frame, “Knives Out” generated another $16 million at the domestic box office, pushing its North American tally to $110 million. Since opening on Thanksgiving, the film has made $214.6 million at the global box office. China propelled international receipts ($27.9 million), followed by the United Kingdom ($13.7 million), Australia ($7.4 million), France ($6.2 million) and Russia ($5.1 million). “Knives Out” opens in its final markets, Germany and Japan, in January.
“Knives Out” boasts a star-studded cast including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Toni Collette and Ana de Armas. The crowd-pleasing murder mystery is a different kind of family film, centering on a gathering that goes wrong after renowned author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) dies on the evening of his 85th birthday.
“We really believe in the audience,” Drake said. “For ‘Knives Out,’ it really captured the imagination of the audience. They have been selective, but they clearly have a big appetite.”
The Hitman's Bodyguard 2 has landed an Aug. 27, 2020, release in theaters, Lionsgate and Millennium announced Thursday.
Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek are reprising their starring roles from the 2017 original, while Patrick Hughes returns to direct from a script by Tom O'Connor.
The lead actors of "Bombshell" are already cleaning up during the initial awards season nominations spree.
In the Jay Roach-directed film chronicling the takedown of sexual predator and chairman and CEO of Fox News Roger Ailes, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman nearly disappear into the roles of Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, respectively, the former anchors of 45's go-to "news" network. Co-star Margot Robbie, meanwhile, goes through the wringer as a fictional newbie staffer and Ailes target named Kayla. All three actors have received 2020 Screen Actors Guild award nominations; Theron and Robbie nabbed individual 2020 Golden Globe and Critic's Choice award nominations, too.
Behind-the-scenes, the costume, hair and makeup pros played integral roles in helping the leading ladies immerse into their characters. There's four-time Oscar-winning (and overall 12-time nominated) costume designer Colleen Atwood, Emmy-nominated Hair Department Head Anne Morgan and Emmy-winning Makeup Department Head Vivian Baker, who worked closely with special effects makeup artist Kazu Hiro, who won the Academy Award for "Darkest Hour." And their work in the film is getting industry attention as well, earning 2020 Critic's Choice and Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Award nominations.
Below, Atwood, Morgan and Baker talk us through the leads' stunning transformations, which support their character stories and bring down Ailes.MEGYN KELLY (CHARLIZE THERON)
Theron's near-complete transformation for the film is so spot-on, it even confused Kelly's six-year-old son in real life, the former anchor told Deadline. That was party thanks to facial prosthetics — Hiro designed heavier eyelids, contact lenses, a nose tip and jaw pieces for Theron. He also created delicate hi-tech 3-D printed nose plugs by taking and scanning casts of the inside of the actor's nose. "This took awhile to settle because we wanted to keep it as comfortable as possible and we didn't want it to affect her voice," he said in a video. "So it ended up really small, but still effective because Megyn Kelly has bigger nostrils and Charlize has really tiny nostrils."
Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Courtesy of Lionsgate
Baker worked closely with Hiro to create concoctions of bases and foundations to seamlessly blend makeup with the expertly-designed prosthetics. (Apparently, flawless skin, like Theron's, actually makes the job even more challenging.) Baker relied on Lashify eyelash extensions of varying lengths to also help "force" and "change" the eye shapes — not just for Theron, but also for fellow cast members also playing real-life figures. Of course, maintenance in between shoots were essential, so Baker credits an "arsenal of serums" by La Mer and Dr. Barbara Stürm in healing and protecting the lead's porcelain skin.
For the opening and imagined narration sequence, Theron, as Kelly, wears a custom-designed red, white and blue color-blocked body-con dress (above), which Atwood describes as "the most Fox News thing we see her in." Her coif — very 'early Megyn' — is one of four wigs with a smattering of long, weft extensions that mimic the "thin," fine and color-treated hair Morgan observed from viewing old footage of Kelly.
Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Courtesy of Lionsgate
Atwood worked closely with Theron (who is also a producer on the film) to meticulously recreate the outfits Kelly wore during famous — and infamously offensive — on-air moments, like the hot pink dress worn to insist that Santa Claus (and Jesus Christ) can only be caucasian and the neckline- and shoulder-baring Ralph Lauren dress that scandalized viewers during the 2016 Republican National Convention. "I had a multi-layered process with getting the spaghetti straps to hit [at the exact location] on the dress, and Charlize really wanted to be as accurate as possible," she explains. The character's bold colors evolve to more muted neutrals — similar to what the real Kelly wears — in an effort to "separate her from the environment a little bit," as the anchor decides to join the suit against Ailes.
The wigs worn by Theron in the film also mimic Kelly's real-life hair journey. After she's attacked on Twitter by then-primary candidate Donald Trump and before the second Republican primary debate in 2016, she cut her long, bleached-blond waves into a more naturally highlighted crop. That's when Theron, as Kelly, transitions into a third wig with softer waves, as the character makes her climactic decision. But Morgan had to adjust it to a slightly longer length than in the real timeline because the effect ended up more Theron than Kelly — even with the prosthetics. "Is this possible that Megyn Kelly took a photo of Charlize into the hairdresser and was like, 'I want my hair to look like this?'" Morgan jokes.GRETCHEN CARLSON (NICOLE KIDMAN)
Kidman as Carlson serves as a striking centerpiece in the wordless elevator scene (top), which almost broke Twitter as a teaser. Atwood based the design of the fuchsia v-neck dress, complete with pleated cuffs, on the on-air aesthetic of the former "Fox & Friends" co-host. The costume designer — who also created the body padding for John Lithgow's metamorphosis into Ailes — also padded Kidman's silhouette to mimic Carlson's "voluptuous" and "curvy" shape.
Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Courtesy of Lionsgate
Atwood didn't design each individual character's look with the other two in mind — or as a "composition," in costume designer speak. She did, however, focus on the individual character stories, taking inspiration from Fox News women's dress code, which allegedly actually existed. And Atwood wanted Kidman as Carlson to wear that specifically-vibrant shade of pink: "[The dress] had a little bit of character with the ruffles," explains Atwood. "[Carson] wasn't quite as refined tastefully as Megyn Kelly."
Morgan worked with director Roach to reimagine and recreate Carlson's hair on Kidman. But the actor brought her longtime hairstylist Kim Santantonio on board to design and "morph" just one wig to transform her into the more "golden blonde" style of the Fox News old guard.
Her hair look subtly evolves from sprayed on-air "helmet head" — as compared to Kelly's sleeker waves — to softer layers when she's at home waiting out the results of her lawsuit. She also wears more vulnerable neutral cashmere knits and high-collar pussy bow blouses, which Atwood says she based on interviews Carlson did while at home.
Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Courtesy of Lionsgate
According to Hiro, Roach wanted to keep Kidman as Carlson "very simple" — plus, the Oscar-winning actor wasn't too keen on long hours in the makeup chair. So, he kept the prosthetics to a "minimum" (nose and chin), even though Carlson's face has a rounder shape than Kidman's. To create the "mad scientist" foundation mixtures to properly blend real skin — especially complexions as flawless as the lead actresses' — with prosthetics, Baker even experimented with pancake bases from brands including Armani, Clé de Peau, By Terry and "all the Kryolan" ones. She also relied on Sonia Rosselli's cleansing and skincare products: "It's like a drink of water," she says.KAYLA POSPISIL (MARGOT ROBBIE)
Unlike her co-leads, Robbie's newbie staffer Kayla is fictional character representing a composite of career-focused young women who were victimized by the unequal power dynamics and deep-seated cycle of sexual harassment and abuse at the network.
Photo: Hilary Brownwyn Gale/Courtesy of Lionsgate
"I went and hung outside of Fox News in New York a little bit watching people — just the worker bees — come and go and I took it from there and made it up to be honest," says Atwood about her inspiration-gathering process for Kayla's costumes. To represent the character's Florida "weather girl" roots, Baker similarly looked to "small market" newscasters and weather forecasters for beauty inspiration.
Atwood, Morgan and Baker worked in tandem to first establish Kayla's wide-eyed enthusiasm, first as she leaves Carlson's team to advance into what she sees as a more opportune role on Bill O'Reilly's. For her first pitch meeting, she tries to impress in an intentionally Chanel-esque pink and black sweater set (above). "I liked the idea that it was fake Chanel," says Atwood. "That was her idea of being sophisticated and part of that world, but still having a little bit of youth-like, young femininity to it, as opposed to being like a really tailored — man-tailored suit."
Atwood evolved Kayla's look into a more New York City-influenced and possibly-employer-mandated body-con dress and leg-elongating heels: "Suddenly she was Megyn junior."
Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gale/Courtesy of Lionsgate
While Robbie didn't undergo prosthetic makeup application to play Kayla, her character's beauty evolution, charting her journey through the Fox News machine, is just as radical. She goes from "sweet" fresh-faced makeup, which intentionally looked self-applied, to "that Fox thing: lashes and eye makeup and lips and glossy lips and the hair," says Baker, adding: "It becomes a mask. It becomes that Fox kind of look, but I also wanted it to be the mask that she's hiding behind."
Baker also kept an arsenal of high-end mascaras, "from Dior to Armani," on hand for all her leading ladies, selecting the formula based on the scene. Plus, to highlight the gross Ailes-encouraged emphasis on (a figure-hugging and short) wardrobe, body makeup was also in order. "These dresses were tight and many of them were white," Baker points out. Westmore Beauty's body makeup line provided thorough coverage and that bronze-y effect, without risking transfer onto the body-skimming sheaths.
For Kayla's specific "head-turner white blonde" shade of long waves, Morgan also looked to a real-life inspiration that is both high-profile and incendiary: Tomi Lahren, whom the "evangelical millennial" (as Kayla describes herself) would probably aspire to be. "When she arrives [with a] sweet look, she's doing her own hair and then you see her get blow-outs when she moves onto Bill O'Reilly's department to try to get noticed more," Morgan says. To create the voluminous and barrel-curled waves, the hair stylist added "two entire packs of extensions, like 24 of them [into her wig]. It's insane, no one puts that many in her hair."
As Kayla gets pulled into the toxic and destructive cycle, then finds her way out, her costume, makeup and hair come full circle. "Then she definitely ends in a place that's just more natural and true to herself," says Morgan.
With three blond superstars leading the cast, you could be excused for thinking that a movie called Bombshell might mean something other than a fascinating, pertinent, timely and explosive look at the sexual harassment scandal that took down Fox News guru Roger Ailes. The fact is, in this instance, the term “bombshell” is journalistically appropriate in telling the story of how a group of women working at Fox News, on camera and off, bucked the odds and revealed the dirty little secret behind closed doors that rocked the network.
It was a courageous thing to do, even if it took just one person, on-air talent Gretchen Carlson, to be the first whistleblower in the case — an act, however lonely it was at times, that kicked open the doors to game-changing events and the demise of their boss. And this was all even before the Harvey Weinstein scandal really blew those doors off in the workplace. However the fact that this happened at Fox News, of all places, a shrine to Donald Trump who regularly praised Ailes and behaved as well as the ultimate misogynist, is really remarkable.
But this film written by Oscar winner Charles Randolph (The Big Short) and directed with great style by Jay Roach — who knows his way around this kind of ripped-from-the-headlines topical tale, having helmed the Emmy-winning HBO films Game Change and Recount — is not a partisan call to action but, excuse the term, a fair and balanced account of what happened.
Charlize Theron is remarkable as star anchor and Ailes discovery Megyn Kelly, so immersing herself in the role that when she comes onscreen for the first time, you would swear it was real footage of Kelly herself. Although Kelly was key in moving the company-wide revelations about Ailes and his sexual harassment forward to a bigger canvas when she told of her own sordid experience with Ailes, it was Carlson, played exquisitely by Nicole Kidman, who really took the big risk. To this day, due to her multimillion-dollar settlement, Carlson still is forbidden to discuss the case, but hopefully once the movie opens Fox will loosen up, just like NBC recently did in lifting its NDAs. Add in a third wheel here with Kayla Pospisil, an amalgamation of a number of Fox News staffers forced into sexual situations by Ailes who later signed NDAs in order to settle their cases.
‘Bombshell’ Trailer: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie Are Fed Up And Targeting The Fox News Boys Club
This fictionalized character, heartbreakingly played by Margot Robbie, becomes their voice in the movie. Robbie is at the center of the film’s most disturbing scene when, excited to be ushered into Ailes’ office by his chillingly complicit assistant (nicely played by Holland Taylor) for what she thinks could be a promotion to on-air talent, instead finds herself in the middle of a horror show as Ailes asks her to keep raising her dress in such a debasing fashion that you cringe watching it all play out. To Roach’s credit he doesn’t let the camera wander but keeps it focused on the moment that, to put it politely, is beyond frightening to experience. Robbie is unforgettable, and she already has received Supporting Actress nominations from the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globes for her superb work here, as has Theron, and the acclaim is well-deserved. John Lithgow has one of his best film roles ever s Ailes, giving three dimensions to a monster but making it totally believable that he would have his supporters and could be a brilliant television producer, albeit one with a fatal human flaw.Lionsgate
The rest of the cast is expert right down the line, including Allison Janney as Ailes’ crafty lawyer Susan Estrich, Kate McKinnon (never better), Malcolm McDowell nailing Rupert Murdoch and Connie Britton as Ailes’ wife and partner in grime. Randolph’s script is airtight and complex, giving substance and dimension to a story that has great relevance today as it appears it was just the first in a series of earth-shattering events that have changed the workplace forever and led to the #MeToo movement.
Roach incorporates real footage, marrying it with actors in seamless fashion to the point where the film sometimes feels like a documentary, like we are right there as it all happened. A re-creation of the infamous GOP debate where Kelly challenged Trump on his own past issues with women is brilliantly presented as Trump plays himself and Theron perfectly re-creates the moment, and there is much more than that. This is a remarkable film for our times, as entertaining as it is enlightening and important.
Producers are Theron, Roach, Randolph, A.J. Dix, Aaron L. Gilbert, Robert Graf, Beth Kono, Michelle Graham, and Margaret Riley. Lionsgate opens it in limited play Friday, followed by a wide break later in December. Check out my video review with scenes from the film by clicking the link above.
BOMBSHELL has received 18 award nominations including 2 Golden Globe Awards and has won 1 International Star Award by Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival
Jamie Lee Curtis is Hollywood royalty: her parents were Janet Leigh, the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” and Tony Curtis, the matinée idol from “Sweet Smell of Success.” She belongs to a specific class of actors who use their easy entrée into the world of celebrity as an opportunity for scorched-earth storytelling from behind the curtain—think Anjelica Huston in her memoir, “Watch Me,” or Carrie Fisher in her autobiographical novel “Postcards from the Edge.” Curtis was as frank and outspoken as ever when she spoke with me recently, to promote her new film, the murder mystery “Knives Out,” from the writer and director Rian Johnson. Curtis plays Linda Drysdale, the wealthy daughter of a slain mystery novelist who gathers with her family in her father’s Gothic manse to try to get to the bottom of his demise. Was it suicide? Was it foul play? Was it Jamie Lee Curtis? I’ll never tell. And it turns out Curtis is also good at keeping secrets: she’s currently working on a project about her parents, but won’t yet disclose any details. She did speak with me about opiate addiction, Hollywood beauty standards, her foray into writing books for children, and her long-ago stint as Bette Davis’s condo-board president, among other things. Our conversation has been condensed and edited.
Do you have any history with whodunnit movies?
No! I am the anti-mystery girl. I don’t like horror films.
Wait. How can that be?
I scare easily—I have since I was a child. Loud noises scare me, suspense music scares me. There’s not a movie that my friends haven’t all said, “Oh, I’m going to go see this movie,” and then they look at me and they say, “But you can’t go.” Including “Parasite,” which all of my friends were telling me is this fantastic movie.
There’s a whole trend of people who read the Wikipedia entry for a scary movie before they see it—they spoil it for themselves.
Well, I’m going to tell you a secret. I was making “My Girl” in Florida, and the makeup man had done “Silence of the Lambs” and it was out in theatres. He wrote me a crib sheet, which I took with me into the theatre with a little flashlight, and I sat in the back row by myself. It read, “When Jodie goes to the storage locker, close your eyes and ears and wait for the second scream,” and I would cover my ears, close my eyes, curl up in a little ball, and sing “Au Clair de la Lune” in my head.
That might be a million-dollar idea for an app—like, you start it at the beginning of a movie and then it will tell you, “Look away now.”
There’s an entire industry built on the fact that people like to be frightened, and I understand it. They pay money—good, after-tax money—to go and buy expensive bad popcorn and sugar drinks just to sit there to be tortured by a filmmaker.
I want to talk a little bit about your costuming in “Knives Out,” because it was beyond. You spend most of the movie in tailored, jewel-toned pantsuits.
I called Jenny Eagan, the costume designer, and I sent her a picture of my friend Patti Röckenwagner. She was wearing this head-to-toe raspberry-sorbet blouse and trouser, and I said, “That’s Linda Drysdale.” She’s a Realtor. She has to dress every day. She’s from money. She’s earned her own money. They live in a poshy apartment in Boston. So elegant, swellegant, with some edge. The pop of color, which I thought would be sensational, knowing that it was a Gothic house.
I lived a little of it. I gave a book to Rian and his wife, Karina, when I first was signed on to “Knives Out,” as a way to sort of say hi. It’s a book that I buy off of eBay all the time, by a man named John Kobal, called “People Will Talk.” Gloria Swanson, Mae West—they’re long interviews, and they go into weird places.
I miss those talk shows where it’s Bette Davis in the nineteen-sixties—
Bette Davis! So, I lived in a building in Los Angeles called the Colonial House, and it was referred to as the Dakota West. Bette Davis lived in the building, along with other filmmakers. At twenty-seven, I became the president of the board. Nobody wanted the job, and I was, like, “I’ll do it.” I’m very organized.
And so, two things. One, Miss Davis would call me in July and August, saying, “I want the heat.” I’d be, like, “I’m so sorry, Miss Davis, it’s not possible, because it’s July, and it’s a hundred and five degrees, and we’re all dying, and I can’t turn on the boilers.” She goes, “I want the heat.” She would lay by the pool in a big black hat and a black maillot bathing suit with high heels, black sunglasses.
Then I was in a TV movie with her, set in Valdosta, Georgia. I played her spunky niece, and she was the Southern matriarch of a family where her brother died and left his estate, his plantation, to his African-American housekeeper. She had a sister in the show, played by Penny Fuller. It was called “As Summers Die.” The dénouement was when Bette Davis was going to testify, and we’re in one of those old Southern courtrooms with the mahogany, and it’s in the nineteen-fifties, and she’s in one of those Victorian wheelchairs. We’re coming in from the back of the courtroom. You can imagine: big, wide shot, full courtroom, people fanning, hot summer day. Halfway down the aisle, Miss Davis reaches up and grabs my hand, which is pushing the wheelchair, and says, “Take me back.” The camera people are going, “What are you doing?” Because we stopped. And I turned her around. I’m looking at everybody, like, “What? I don’t know.” I took her into her little dressing room. The director, the producers, everybody’s running in, like, “What did you do?” I was, like, “I didn’t do anything!” So they go in there for twenty minutes. Finally, the director walks out. He walks up to the front row, where Penny Fuller was sitting, and he whispers in her ear, and Penny Fuller says, “Oh, give me a break. Are you kidding me?” And there’s a flurry of people, and the wardrobe woman comes in with a selection of hats. Penny Fuller had to take off her hat because it was red. Miss Davis felt that it would draw attention away from the fact that it was Bette Davis’s scene.
Your family comes from New York?
Oh, yes—Tony [Curtis]. He grew up in the streets of Manhattan. He was a Jewish boy, and he lived in the Jewish neighborhood. He said in order to go uptown you would start running at full speed because, by the time you crossed into the Italian neighborhood, the Irish neighborhood, the Polish neighborhood, you had to be running, because you’d get the shit beaten out of you if they caught you. That told me so much about the hardship of his life. And my mother’s life, in Merced, California—just both of them very poor, economically insecure.
It’s important for me, given that I’m this bougie princess from Los Angeles—even if I claim I worked hard, I’ve never really worked hard a day in my life. I wrote a short story once that was semi-autobiographical, which I’ll never publish, a novella actually—the child in the story was raised in New York with famous parents. The father in that story wrote an autobiography, titled “Access of Kings.” It was that idea that, when you’re famous, you get this incredible access, you get opportunities to see things that other people don’t get to see, you get ease of access everywhere you go. All of that is a great, lovely benefit to the part that you give up, which is your privacy. So it’s a balance.
Let’s talk about your beginnings as an actor. Did you resist it at any point? I know you had a year of college, then started acting and never went back.
You have to remember, I had gray teeth, because my mother took tetracycline when she was pregnant with me. My teeth were gray. I was not pretty. I was cute. I had a lot of personality. My lack of any school success I made up for in personality. I was a jokester from a very young age. And I was surrounded by a lot of people in show business. I never thought I’d be an actor, ever, ever, ever, ever. I was going to be a police officer, because I thought I would be good and you didn’t need a lot of schooling for it. I went to a college [the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California] where my mother was the most famous person to have ever graduated. It was the only school that took me with my D average plus 840 combined SAT.
Why were you so bad at school?
Today I’d be diagnosed with some learning disability or learning difference. I am a great reader, but I don’t retain that much. I moved to three high schools in four years.
Were you popular?
I was a cheerleader. I had no discernible skills. I was popular because I was fun. I was insecure. We could do an entire twelve-hour miniseries on high school. It was a nightmare.
And was the one year of college also a nightmare?
What happened is I went to college and became a little sister at a frat. At Christmastime, I came home. A friend of mine from Beverly Hills had a tennis court behind her house. A man named Chuck Bender [was there], and he said, “I’m managing actresses, and they’re looking for Nancy Drew at Universal; you should go up for it.” And I went up and auditioned, and didn’t get the job. But, he said, “You should stick around. You could get work.” I called my college and I said, “Can I get credit for drama if I go to acting class for a month?” And they said yes. So, during that month, I ended up auditioning a hundred times for things and not getting much. Then I auditioned for a program which is no longer in existence, which was a contract system.
When I read about that, I thought, God, she must have been the last person put under contract at Universal.
I was virtually one of the last people. And they had probably twenty men and twenty women, they paid them weekly. And then they started filtering them into TV shows with the goal that, at one point, you would land a big job, but they would be paying you two hundred dollars a week, and they wouldn’t have to pay you ten thousand dollars a week.
You took acting classes. Did you have a sense of the craft that goes all the way back to the beginning? Or is it something that’s ad hoc, that has developed over the years?
Totally just what I’ve picked up. I have learned that, whatever it is, there is no formula for anyone—there is no one way to do it. There have been times where I have felt less than, because other people seemed more articulate.
I did a wonderful movie with John Boorman called “The Tailor of Panama,” from a John le Carré novel, with Pierce Brosnan, myself, and Geoffrey Rush. Geoffrey and John are both intellectuals. They’re both deeply into character. I cut my teeth in horror movies, where you don’t have any time—you just show up as the person, and you do the work, and you get a take or two, and then they have to move on. I remember a day where Pierce and I were sitting in this room with John and Geoffrey, where they were deep-diving into things, and, at one point, Pierce looked at me and I looked at him, because Pierce cut his teeth on “Remington Steele.” [Afterward] we were in an elevator, and I looked at him and said, “Pierce, I feel like such a bad actor, because I’m not deep-diving like that.” And he goes, “Yeah, me, too.” But, the truth is, there is no depth.
How did “Halloween” come about?
I'd been on a TV series called “Operation Petticoat,” a remake of the Tony Curtis–Cary Grant comedy set on a pink submarine in World War II, where five Army nurses get picked up on an island. Hilarity ensues when you have five Army nurses on a Navy submarine in the middle of war.
So it’s like a pajama romp, but a war movie?
I was cast in the part that was opposite the part that my father had played in the movie. It’s almost incest, but not. It’s generational incest. While we were shooting the movie, it got picked up as a TV series. All of a sudden I became a regular on a half-hour comedy. Every week I would have one line. If I had two, that was a miracle.
Do you remember any of the lines?
No. The show did not do well. And I was fired, along with eleven of the thirteen actors. I was devastated. I thought my life was over. I thought my career was over. I thought I would lose my contract. And two weeks later the audition for “Halloween” came up. . . . It’s one of those good stories for people who’ve just been let go from their job.
Did you have a feeling when making “Halloween” that it was the thing it would become?
Nothing. All I can tell you is that my [character’s] name was on every page of the script, and that it was thrilling to actually create something as a character.
Do you know why you got the job?
I auditioned many, many, many times. And then it was between me and one other woman, whose name I know but I will never say publicly. I’m sure the fact that I was Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis’s daughter, and that my mother had been in “Psycho”—if you’re going to choose between this one and this one, choose the one whose mother was in “Psycho,” because it will get some press for you. I’m never going to pretend that I just got that on my own, like I’m just a little girl from nowhere getting it. Clearly, I had a leg up.
Were you hesitant to do a “Halloween” update, forty years later?
No, because when David Gordon Green and Danny McBride sent me the script, I saw exactly that they were honoring the fact that, when something that traumatic happens to you when you’re seventeen, eighteen years old, it carries with it a tremendous effect.
Was it important to you that they also explore addiction?
Well, it is a by-product of trauma, by the way. Painkillers, alcohol—it is the balm that heals people when they are so traumatized. There’s no accident that people coming back from war fall prey to drugs and alcohol as the relief from the trauma. It’s natural. Hurt people hurt people, hurt people seek relief. It was clearly going to play a part in that movie.
It’s been twenty years for you in recovery—
I am twenty-one years sober coming up in February.
Has that been fairly unexpected for you, to be a public representative for treatment and recovery?
I’m a public representative for a private issue. I was so terrified when I got sober from a ten-year run on Vicodin and alcohol. I was terrified about being outed. I was terrified of the tabloids. I felt like that weakness was going to be exposed and then exploited. I would feel so embarrassed by that exposure of a secret, of a flaw of human frailty.
And then I was doing an interview for Redbook about a book for children that I had written. My teen-age daughter was sitting with me. We were at the table with the author, a really good journalist. I was talking about how great my life was, how happy I was, and how much better, I kept saying the word “better.” At one point, she said, “Well, what do you attribute to that?” Not fishing, not twirling her mustache. I looked out the window, and I turned back and said, “I think it’s because I’ve been sober for over two years.” I could see that she was, like, “Whoa, O.K., I now have a whole new angle on this story.” I knew I was giving that to her. I felt like it was important to talk about opiates.
The culture is catching up to you.
I recently did a cover story for Variety. They said, “We are going to do an annual recovery issue, and we’d like you to be the cover story for our first issue.” I said, “Absolutely.” When I got sober, twenty years ago, there was a magazine article in Esquire, written by Tom Chiarella, where he outed himself to his editor and family that he was a Vicodin addict. It was in January of 1999, and I got sober February 3, 1999, because I read that article. For the first time, I understood that I wasn’t alone. He talked about where [the pills] were hidden in his house, and I thought, Oh, I hide mine in my cowboy boot, too. So I figured if I did that in Variety, maybe somebody who is at home, secretly dealing with an opiate addiction—maybe they would seek help.
Over the years, the stories you’ve been telling about your past with opiates and addiction have dovetailed with your thoughts on the exacting beauty standards in Hollywood.
I knew I was going to do the cover of More. I said, here’s the deal: I will take a picture in my underwear, with no makeup, no hair, no fancy lights, with my body the way it is, if you promise you will print that, head to toe, on a separate page, and then print the picture of me fully glammed-out on the next page. That was my deal with them, in order to talk about the reality of self-esteem, and about the fact that I had undergone plastic surgery, which is where I first found Vicodin. I underwent an eye job when I was thirty-five years old because, one day, I was on the movie “Perfect,” and Gordon Willis, the great cameraman, looked at me and said, “Yeah, I’m not shooting her today.” I was puffy that day, for whatever reason. I was mortified. Right after that movie I went and had an eye job. That’s when I found Vicodin, and the cycle of addiction began with that.
I want to talk about your career as a children’s-book author. You’re such a lovely writer of children’s books. And you’ve done so many!
All by accident. The last thing I ever thought I’d do, besides being an actor, would be to be a writer, because I didn’t feel I had the acumen.
Did someone approach you?
No, no. My four-year-old daughter, Annie, was in her room. I was in my office down the hall. She marched into my room and stomped her feet and put her hands on her hips and looked at me and went, “When I was little I wore a diaper, but now I use a big-girl potty.” I thought, Oh, she was talking about the good old days. She was talking about her past. All of a sudden, I understood she had a past. I wrote down on a yellow pad, “When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth.” I wrote a list of things that she used to not be able to do; now she could. And at the end of it I wrote three things, and I started to cry: “When I was little, I didn’t know what a family was. When I was little, I didn’t know what dreams were. When I was little, I didn’t know who I was. But now I do.” I realized, Oh, this is a book for children.
I sent it to my mother-in-law’s best friend, a literary agent in New York City named Phyllis Wender. I remember sending it when faxes were new. She sold it that day, to HarperCollins, which was called Harper & Row at the time.
How did you come up with the idea for your last one, “Me, Myselfie & I”?
It was originally titled “Mommy Got a Selfie Stick.” When I was selling it, they thought it meant a vibrator! So we changed it. But it was a cautionary tale about this obsession with ourselves and narcissism and how we are teaching children that it’s all about them and what they look like. And the constant, constant need of self-photography. Like, what are we doing? This is insane.
You’ve been married to Christopher Guest for decades now.
Well, thirty-five [years] and about a month.
How did you meet?
It’s a good story. It was 1984. I was just cast in the movie “Perfect.” I was in L.A. I was doing a lot of aerobics. My friend Debra Hill, who wrote “Halloween,” was sitting on my couch in my apartment in West Hollywood, where I lived with Bette Davis.
It’s all coming full circle.
We opened Rolling Stone, the issue with Cyndi Lauper on the cover. There’s a picture of three guys in plaid shirts, sleeves rolled up, regular-looking dudes. I said to Debra, “Oh, I’m going to marry that guy.” She said, “I tried to put him in a movie. His name is Chris Guest.” I turned the page, and it was them as their Spinal Tap characters. She said, “He’s with your agency.” The next day, I called the agency. They said, “I know all about it. Chris Guest.”
Debra had called already?
I said, “Oh, I’m mortified. Here’s my number. I think he’s cute. I’m single.” Done. Never heard from him! Ever. He didn’t call me. Time went on.
Melanie Griffith and Steven Bauer were living in West Hollywood at the time—we had become friends on a TV movie. We went to Hugo’s restaurant, in West Hollywood. We sat down at a table, and when I looked up, two tables away was Christopher, facing me. He raised his hand to gesture, like, Hi, you called me. And I gestured silently, with my hand, Hi, I called you.
Five minutes later, Chris got up to leave, shrugged his shoulders, and put his hand up again to say goodbye, and I shrugged my shoulders and waved goodbye—didn’t say a word to each other. He laughed. And he called me the next day. That was June 28th. We went out July 2nd for our first date, and he was leaving to go do “Saturday Night Live” for one year on August 8th. He did try to get out of his contract. I didn’t know that then, but he did. They did not let him out of his contract. He went to New York. I was in L.A., and we went back and forth every weekend. We got engaged in September, and we got married in December of that year.
Did you ever have any inclination to do his style of comedy?
I can’t make up anything. The only line I’ve ever made up in my life ended up in “Freaky Friday,” where I told Lindsay [Lohan] to make good choices. I could never improvise comedically. I’m jaw-dropped by what they are able to do. So, no, I don’t think we’ll ever work together.
Are there any roles that you’ve done that you think are unsung, that no one asks you about?
Please. You know what? I get so much effing attention, which is just obscene, really. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, and I’ve been successful at it since I was nineteen. There’s not a day I don’t walk down the street and somebody goes, “Hey, I love you. You’re fantastic.” And I appreciate it. I get it. It’s been my gig. I don’t need any more attention.
If you're an Agatha Christie fan, a fan of whodunnits, or simply just a fan of great movies then head for your local cinema next week. Knives Out is coming.
On first introductions, the Thrombey dynasty seems a plausibly amiable bunch reeling from the very sudden passing of their patriarch Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer).
Trumping all their grief however is Marta (Ana de Armas), Harlan Thrombey's loyal nurse.
Marta knows far more of the family's secrets and lies than they could ever imagine - but is she guarding a secret bigger than all of them?
The one man who may have the skills and intuition to unravel it all is Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). The mysterious and very famous investigator turns up on the doorstep, paid by who knows who to find out who did what and why to Harlan Thrombey.
It's here I must resort to wild and sweeping generalisations and perhaps even the odd red herring, so determined am I to avoid even the slightest and most delicate of hints to the narrative. It's imperative you enjoy this film knowing nothing more than the barest of facts and fiction.
The brilliant thing about this gem of a whodunnit is how pleasing the reach of this crowdpleaser is.
This is not your average A.B.C Murder She Wrote on the Orient Express kind of rehash, the audience for this is an all-ages all strokes and folks kind of affair, honouring the classics by simply becoming one itself.
The cast, their script, the wild and wonderful twists and turns of this finely-tuned and expertly executed plot, it's just all such an enormous ingenious unguessable giggle and I simply cannot wait to watch it again.
Five big fat stars.
Count Lionsgate/MRC’s Knives Out among the strong wave of paid previews of late at the box office. The Rian Johnson-directed ensemble pic grossed $2M from 936 major and regional theaters over Friday and Saturday 7PM shows. These early paid previews indicate, seriously, early interest in a movie more than when a studio screens a pic for free and feasibly fills up seats in advance of its opening.
Knives Out starts previews again on Tuesday and opens Wednesday in 3,300 theaters with an anticipated $20M+ start over the 5-day stretch. Rivals anticipate even more off the pic’s 96% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. Who doesn’t star in this movie? Who does star is Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell. Pic revolves around Plummer’s character who is found dead after his 85th birthday. As his heirs swirls his estate, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) tries to find out who killed him.
"Across the US this Friday and Saturday, movie-going friends and families packed AMC Theatres for early screenings of Knives Out,” said Elizabeth Frank, executive VP of Worldwide Programming and Chief Content Officer for AMC Theatres. “Social media buzz makes it clear this will be a holiday hit.”
AMC was just one of the exhibition partners participating in the early access sneak program.
Other wide recent paid previews of late include Warner Bros.’ Fandango preview screening back in March at 1,200, which made $3.3M, DreamWorks Animation-Fandango preview of How to Train Your Dragon 3 ($2.6M) earlier this year, Atom & Amazon’s WB preview of Aquaman ($2.9M), Atom/Amazon’s previews of Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($1.8M) and Hotel Transylvania 3 ($1.3M) and Warner Bros. 100 Dolby+500 premium Tuesday-Wednesday previews of A Star Is Born, which made $1.35M before its start. Some studios also do these paid previews in a limited amount of theaters, i.e. Rocketman grossed $580K before its official Thursday previews.
اجتمع المنتج جمال سنان - Eagle Films بالنجم العالمي ميل غيبسون والنجم العالمي فرانك غريللو والمخرج جو كارناهان، في لوس أنجلوس الأسبوع الماضي، حيث اتفق سنان مع غيبسون على الانطلاق بالتحضيرات لتصوير فيلم Leo From Toledo، حيث ستشارك شركة Eagle Films بإنتاجه كما توزيعه حصرياً في الشرق الأوسط.
الفيلم يحكي قصة قاتل هارب يلتجئ لحماية أحد الشهود على جريمته ويواجه مصاعب كثيرة، يتشارك فيه غيبسون البطولة مع فرانك غريللو تحت إدارة كارناهان وتأليف دان كاسي، وسيتم تصويره قريباً، على أن يبصر النور في الـ2020
When Scarlett Johansson
first sees Chris Evans at our
photo shoot, she lets out a
shriek of joy. It’s as if she’s
spotted a long-lost relative,
and, in a way, she has —
Johansson and Evans first
met in their late teens on the
comedy “The Perfect Score,”
played a romantic duet in
“The Nanny Diaries” and went
on to land lead roles in the
Marvel Cinematic Universe,
which reached a crescendo
this past spring with “Avengers:
Endgame.” This winter, both
successfully pivot away from
superheroics: Johansson plays
an actor suffering through
a difficult divorce in Noah
Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,”
and a mother in Holocaust
Germany in Taika Waititi’s
satirical “Jojo Rabbit.” Evans,
far from the virtuous Captain
America, is the snobbish
grandson of a famous novelist
in Rian Johnson’s tantalizing
murder mystery “Knives Out.”
CHRIS EVANS: I just did see “Marriage
Story,” and it’s phenomenal.
I’ll be shocked if you’re not showered
with awards, but what made
you want to tell that story? It’s
heavy. It’s dark.
Probably 10 years ago, Noah and
I tried to work on something else
together. We kind of developed for
a little bit, and then it didn’t end
up being right, and by the time it
was ready to shoot, I was kind of
past it. It wasn’t the right fit.
I’m sure you’ve probably had
that experience before, where you
feel like maybe something didn’t
work out professionally and
you’re like: “Well, there goes that
relationship.” That’s never happened
JOHANSSON: Yeah, right. I was so
surprised when he called me years
later to meet and talk about something.
It totally came out of the
blue. I met with him in New York,
and it was like no time had passed
at all. We kind of shifted right into
this moment where he pitched me
this story a little bit, and I myself
was actually in the middle of going
through a divorce. It was such a
EVANS: How much of the script
was on the page already prior to
JOHANSSON: It was nothing. It
was just a concept.
EVANS: Wow! Did you have input?
Because one of the things that is
so tragic about it is that, when you
think of a divorce story, you imagine
much more about contentious,
prickly, almost enemies. But a lot
of the movie, there’s two people
trying to make it work.
JOHANSSON: When I received
the script, we’d spoken so much
about our relationships — and
what it was like to be single parents,
and our families — and all of
that stuff kind of made it in there.
It’s complicated, right?
EVANS: It’s heartbreaking.
JOHANSSON: I know even when
we were doing all of the “Endgame”
and “Infinity War” stuff, you were
prepping for “Knives Out” already.
EVANS: Yeah. We were doing the
reshoots for those last couple of
bits. I don’t know if you were there.
You were so in and out, because
you died. If you haven’t seen it —
JOHANSSON: Maybe too bad! I
was talking to Noah while we were
doing “Infinity War” and “Endgame”
stuff. It was something for
me to hold on to during those
often tedious days of whatever. All
that action storytelling that we
have to do where you have to be in
it for these little segments of time.
EVANS: There’s a lot of things
about those movies where it’s not
just the actual filmmaking process.
It’s very start, stop, start, stop with
little bits and pieces of the action.
Plus, it’s roles that we’ve played for
a really long time, really familiar.
No disrespect to those movies — I
love those movies — but to come
off of them and have a completely
different approach to find a character,
to collaborating with other
artists, it’s just unchartered waters
coming off a Marvel movie. It’s just
exciting to get a change of pace.
JOHANSSON: How does it work
EVANS: He’s wonderful. He knows
what he wants. I love the idea of
writer-director combos, because
when a bunch of people read one
piece of material, we all have a
subjective opinion on what to interpret.
When you have a writer-director,
they can say: “No, this is exactly
what I meant.” Rian is very task
attuned. Two takes and you’re done.
EVANS: Which, as an actor, you’re
terrified, because if you give me 50
takes, I’ll take them.
JOHANSSON: How come you
don’t ask for more?
EVANS: It takes me a couple of
days to get comfortable on set
to do that. Because if you ask for
more, and they don’t get better, it’s
going to be harder to ask for more
in the future.
JOHANSSON: That’s a funny way
of looking at it.
EVANS: Yeah. It’s a really insecure,
egoic way of looking at it.
JOHANSSON: I feel if you have
an idea for something, and this is
probably good advice for actors
that are kind of coming up or
starting out in film, you should
ask for another take. Or you feel
maybe you have something else
in you that you’re curious about,
you should ask for another take
because it will haunt you forever.
JOHANSSON: Noah is in stark
contrast to Rian. He’s relentless,
and you can do 50 takes. He only
uses one camera, and he’s very
specific about the words are the
words. Every hesitation, every
unfinished sentence, everyone
talking over one another is all
EVANS: Nothing is improvised in
JOHANSSON: Not a single word.
EVANS: You guys both need
Oscars, because I was like, “Oh, this
is improvised.” It’s like theater.
JOHANSSON: It totally was like
theater. I wanted to ask you about
your experience in theater too,
because you’re so good.
EVANS: It’s like you’re my only
actor friend that actually came
to see the play [2018’s Broadway
revival of “Lobby Hero”].
JOHANSSON: They paid me.
JOHANSSON: Were you nervous
before you did it?
EVANS: Terrified. After a while,
the process of filmmaking does get
stale. You just want to try and find
a new way into what has become
very familiar. I think what I was
hunting for was that prolonged
period of time within a scene,
thinking it would allow this liberation.
It couldn’t have been more to
the contrary. When you’re onstage
it’s just like, “Man!” — because you
have so much to remember.
JOHANSSON: I didn’t feel that
way watching you though.
EVANS: Original content, it’s not
there very often. That is one of the
best things about “Knives Out.” It
was something that I read that felt
fresh and new. I think this weird
chicken-and-the-egg thing, who
started it? Did audiences only start
going to lowbrow stuff, so that’s
what we started making? Or is
it that we made it first, and now
that’s all we’re offered?
JOHANSSON: Hey, speak for yourself.
It’s interesting, because a couple
of people in the past couple of
days have mentioned to me that
a couple of extremely esteemed
directors have been really vocal
When Scarlett Johansson
first sees Chris Evans at our
photo shoot, she lets out a
shriek of joy. It’s as if she’s
spotted a long-lost relative,
and, in a way, she has —
Johansson and Evans first
met in their late teens on the
comedy “The Perfect Score,”
played a romantic duet in
“The Nanny Diaries” and went
on to land lead roles in the
Marvel Cinematic Universe,
which reached a crescendo
this past spring with “Avengers:
Endgame.” This winter, both
successfully pivot away from
superheroics: Johansson plays
an actor suffering through
a difficult divorce in Noah
Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,”
and a mother in Holocaust
Germany in Taika Waititi’s
satirical “Jojo Rabbit.” Evans,
far from the virtuous Captain
America, is the snobbish
grandson of a famous novelist
in Rian Johnson’s tantalizing
murder mystery “Knives Out.”
Actors on Actors 71
72 Actors on Actors
Actors on Actors 73
about how the whole Marvel universe
and big blockbusters are
really, like, “despicable” and “the
death of cinema.” At first I thought
that seems kind of old-fashioned,
and somebody had to explain to
me, because it seemed so disappointing
and sad in a way. They
said, “I think what these people are
saying is that at the actual theater,
there’s not a lot of room for different
kinds of movies, or smaller
movies, because the theater is
taken up by huge blockbusters.”
It made me think about how
people consume content now,
and how there’s been this huge
sea change with their viewing
EVANS: I think original content
inspires creative content. I think
new stuff is what keeps the creative
wheel rolling. I just believe
there’s room at the table for all of
it. It’s like saying a certain type of
music isn’t music. Who are you to
JOHANSSON: What are you looking
EVANS: Every couple of months,
I decide I’m done acting. This has
been my thing for decades now.
I’m always looking for a way out,
but I do love it. I think TV right
now, those creative minds are
given a bit more freedom. It feels
like movies sometimes get inundated
with studio notes, and all of
a sudden, what was once an original
idea becomes boiled down to
the lowest common denominator,
and then you have no one’s favorite
movie but everyone’s lukewarm
movie. I think that’s why people
may be turning away, and looking
to things like streaming service
shows that actually are innovative.
JOHANSSON: When I read the
script for “Jojo Rabbit,” I had never
seen anything like it before. But
that film found its way through
Fox Searchlight. That studio
doesn’t shy away from stuff that’s
subversive, and they’re happy to
give it a theatrical release. There’s
room for independent film for
sure. I think people want diversity.
They want to see different things.
What I’m actually curious
about: You’re kind of looking at it
as a director, if there’s something
that continues to interest you?
Where is your head with that stuff?
EVANS: I’m trying to direct, but
I don’t have the courage or focus
to write. The hardest thing is finding
material. The good material
isn’t just sitting there untouched.
It’s tough to find. When I directed,
one of the tricky things was, I
found some little broken-bird
script, and I thought, “Oh, I can
nurse this thing back to health.” In
retrospect, I do think even the best
version of the movie I directed,
there may have been a ceiling
based on the material. If it’s not
on the page, I may have been —
I don’t want to say naive — hopeful
that we could elevate it beyond
what the potential seemed to be.
You know what I’m curious
about? Scarlett, what was it like
meeting for the first time? What’s it
been like working with me? Be nice.
JOHANSSON: I’m trying to
remember. It must have been on
the set of “The Perfect Score” at
some point in our rehearsal. We
had a very at the time in-the-moment
teen comedy, that actually
now is somehow maybe relevant
— about an SAT scandal.
EVANS: It was almost 20 years ago.
JOHANSSON: Yeah, it feels like a
long time ago. We were just children
EVANS: I think we all went out
one night, and you couldn’t get in
JOHANSSON: Because I was 17.
Yup, those were the days. You’ve
always been such a great actor. You
were great then, and so incredibly
photogenic, and you just came
alive on screen in a way that’s
very uncommon. It was so nice to
work with you, because I felt we
had great chemistry as actors, and
there was a naturalistic approach
that I felt. Then we also got to work
together on “The Nanny Diaries.”
EVANS: Having “Avengers” be the
biggest movie of all time —
JOHANSSON: Is it the biggest
movie of all time? Wow. We really
do need to go on vacation.
EVANS: We’ve been trying to organize
this “Avengers” vacation. We
deserve a little victory lap. It’s not
just wonderful because you get to
be a part of a pop culture phenomenon,
the same way “Star Wars”
impacted me. But I think what
really will stay with me is the fact
that the people we got to work
with, truly there is not a bad apple
in the bunch.
JOHANSSON: It’s funny, because
I remember back in “Iron Man 2”
days, I think you had just finished
filming the first “Cap.” It was so
interesting that you and I were
coming together again. We had
no idea what we were making. It
was just impossible to know what
a phenomenon the Marvel Cinematic
Universe or “The Avengers”
would be. You jump at the chance,
but having been through it myself
with a partner that I was with,
who also had another big iconic
superhero thing he was working
on, it’s the pressure. You don’t
know how it’s going to go, right? It
seems ridiculous now, but it could
EVANS: Yeah. I feel unbelievably
lucky to have been a part of something
like that. It will be one of my
treasured memories of life. Even
when we went on to do “Avengers,”
the first one, I think everybody
was feeling very uneasy about the
concept. It was just so absurd. It
was a big endeavor. If this doesn’t
work, the pipe dream that we’ve
been hearing about could derail
JOHANSSON: Were you shocked
by how well the first “Avengers” did?
EVANS: After that, I knew there
was a chance this could be something
JOHANSSON: Would you come
EVANS: To Marvel? Wow. Everything
clicks when I get up. Recovery
is not the same. You never say never.
I love the character. I don’t know.
JOHANSSON: Not a hard no.
EVANS: It’s not a hard no, but it’s
not an eager yes either. There
are other things that I’m working
on right now. I think Cap
had such a tricky act to stick the
landing, and I think they did a
really nice job letting him complete
his journey. If you’re going
to revisit it, it can’t be a cash grab.
It can’t be just because the audience
wants to be excited. What are
we revealing? What are we adding
to the story? A lot of things would
have to come together.
JOHANSSON: It’s not obvious.
EVANS: It doesn’t feel, at this
time, that would be a thing.
JOHANSSON: I wasn’t there for
the last third of the film or whatever.
I actually had no idea what
was going to happen. I don’t know
how it worked, exactly, if it was
scripted. It was such a beautiful
cathartic ending, and I loved that
for Steve. I think he deserved that.
It was all his happiness.
EVANS: It’d be a shame to sour
that. I’m very protective of it. It
was such a precious time, and
jumping onto the movie was a
terrifying prospect to me. I said
no a bunch of times, and there’s
a million and one ways it could
have gone wrong. It almost feels
like maybe we should let this
“ M O V I E S G E T I N U N D AT E D
W I T H S T U D I O N O T E S ,
A N D W H AT WA S A N
O R I G I N A L I D E A
B E C O M E S B O I L E D D O W N
T O T H E L O W E S T C O M M O N
D E N O M I N AT O R .”
Charlize Theron enters this year’s Oscar race with “Bombshell,” a docudrama
about the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News. Theron plays a morally complicated
Megyn Kelly, suffering the personal consequences of becoming the news. Adam Driver
has as complex a claim to our loyalties in “Marriage Story,” in which his character,
Charlie, is forced to negotiate a divorce with an actor (Scarlett Johansson) whose
viewpoint audience members will sometimes support and sometimes oppose.
CHARLIZE THERON: I don’t
know Noah Baumbach’s writing
process, but I feel like he has ideas
in his head, and they’re there kind
of permeating for a long period.
Did he bring up the idea of “Marriage
Story” to you?
ADAM DRIVER: We’d been
talking about “What are we going
to do next?” for a while. But he
had already been taking notes on
this. And we talked about making
a “Company” movie — would
that work? Because it is kind of an
abstract musical, maybe you could
make it very cinematic. And the
more we’d just start talking about
it, the more I’m like, “We should do
that.” And then he started meeting
with me. It turned into a very
organic thing. I think the good
thing about working with friends is
you get things out of the way faster.
THERON: It’s like an unspoken
DRIVER: There’s no worry about
“Does this person like me? Am
I giving them what they want?”
I know — not exactly what he’s
going for — but I know what the
THERON: This is a very personal
story for Noah, right?
DRIVER: It is, but it’s kind of a
personal thing for everybody.
Everybody brought their history
to it. I think that’s where it kind of
started, and evolved into this thing
where it was easy for everyone to
make it as personal as possible.
THERON: Is your process always
the same? Is the material informing
you, or do you just rely fully on
your director? What was that process
like to find this character?
DRIVER: Well, for this, it’s so much
in the script. And because we had
been talking about it for so long —
I always feel like sometimes you
start a movie, and it’s not until you
put on a costume, or you’re a week
into shooting already, and you’re
like, “OK, now I know what I want
to do.” But because we had been
working on it for so long, day one I
felt everyone had a sense of what it
was that we wanted to do. I already
know with Noah: It is very much
like theater, that the script isn’t
changing. But he has designed the
schedule to give us a lot of takes
and a lot of different ways, because
I know there’s no right way to do
THERON: So you do a lot of takes?
He loves to do a lot of takes?
DRIVER: Yeah, as do I. I love it
because it’s like a whole theater
run condensed into a day.
THERON: Do you feel like every
take, just a part of it changes?
DRIVER: It’s hard to say. I’m not
always the best judge of that,
because I think I would have
changed something and it’s been
like tectonic shifts. But it’s in
degrees. Sometimes we just do one
because we know this is not right,
but maybe it’ll open something
else up that we hadn’t thought
about. And I think you can only
really do that with good writing,
too, because good writing is so rich
and it does open your imagination.
If it’s bad writing, it’s that way.
THERON: Somebody said the
other day, “That’s when actors act.”
When the writing is bad, that’s
when actors act. But good writing
can also inspire other things
to kind of come out. Does that
happen? Is that allowed?
DRIVER: We’re militant with
what the lines are, but intention is
THERON: Because there were
these amazing moments where
I felt like you and Scarlett were
finding thoughts and arguments.
And I could see you guys finding
it, which is crazy to think, because
I’m like, “They’ve had this material.
They’ve studied it; they’ve
worked with this.” And yet you
guys are doing it in a way where
it feels like I can see you coming
to the conclusion, or the argument,
or the point, which is so
DRIVER: I lucked out on a scene
partner. And Noah is giving us
a note, or he’ll give her a note
that he doesn’t tell me — or the
Actors on Actors 91
opposite — that we get to do, that
when you really trust the people
that you are working with, and
the day is organized to help you,
because as you know, nothing is
really set to help you on a film set.
Nothing is in place to help you do
THERON: You have a moment
with Scarlett — it’s gut-wrenching.
You say that you’ve imagined
her getting an illness, and then she
dies. And in that moment, which
is so raw, because it’s completely
relatable — we can all relate to
that, right? And the shame after
we say that. But in that moment,
I literally in seconds experienced
hating you, loathing you. And by
the time you’re down on your
knees crying, so connected to you.
Is there a part of you as an actor
that worries sometimes, where you
go, “Is this a moment where somebody’s
going to emotionally tap
out if I say this?” Or do you look at
that as a moment of challenge?
DRIVER: Loyalty and switching
allegiance as an audience is something
that Noah and I had talked
about, that he had brought up: “I
really always wanted to make a
movie where your loyalty really
switches, where you’re with Scarlett
for the first half and you hate
that character, and then suddenly
you actually start to meet Charlie
and have it different.” It’s either
truthful, which is not for me to say,
and if it’s not, then it was unsuccessful.
But being liked is something
I don’t think about, or I
try not to. Do you put characters
away while you’re making them
or immediately after it’s over? Or
does it still live in you for a while?
THERON: It was hard. It definitely
took discipline for me to get to
that place. But I feel like now I’ve
kind of perfected it. And I do it for
many reasons. I do it because if
I stay in it for too long, I become
incredibly exhausted — emotionally
exhausted. That process is
very hard for me. … I’m not walking
around being Megyn Kelly, or
Aileen Wuornos, or any of the characters
that I’ve played before. I can
switch that off. And I can do it in
between too. I don’t speak in the
voice the whole time. I know I’m
emotionally much braver when I
don’t overthink it and I come from
a place that’s a little bit more raw.
DRIVER: Yeah. And speaking of
likability, did that come into your
thoughts at all?
THERON: I mean, I’ve built a
career on playing people that you
DRIVER: It’s not even an idea that
makes sense to me.
THERON: For me, it’s a very personal
connection that I have to
find with the person that I’m playing,
that has to make sense. I have
to get to a place where I can actually
say to myself, “This makes
sense to me. I relate. I understand.”
Megyn Kelly can be incredibly
polarizing. There are things about
her that live in the extreme. People
either love her or they hate her.
And she makes no excuses for that.
And so, those are the rules that are
handed to me. I have to obey those
rules. I have to listen to what she’s
saying. There’s a part of her that is
so amplified — she comes across
really abrasive sometimes, and
somewhat aggressive and cold. All
of these things that are not necessarily
qualities that make you
want to hug a person.
But I would be lying if I didn’t
say that I can relate to being a
woman on a different degree,
experiencing those same thoughts
about me. I have heard people
describe me as cold, or hard, or
a bitch. You know what I mean?
I can always find that thing that
might not be so attractive and
bring it back to just human circumstance.
That’s a human that I
know. The perfect stuff is hard for
me to relate to.
DRIVER: That’s one of my favorite
things about other actors, or
being an actor, is it forces you to be
empathetic. It forces you to exercise
that muscle in a way that I
think most jobs don’t ask you to.
THERON: Completely. And just
when you think you have it down,
the universe will kind of remind
you that you need to work harder
at that. And so this was definitely
a reminder for me, at this part of
my career, of just going like, “That
muscle needs to be worked a little
harder.” Megyn Kelly made it really
challenging for me.
The Costume Designers Guild announced Wednesday that Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron will be honored with the spotlight award.
The Spotlight Award honors an actor whose talent and career personify an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design. “Charlize Theron is a costume designer’s dream, bringing integrity and style to every character she embodies, including her roles in ‘Long Shot’ and ‘Bombshell’ this year,” said the Guild in a statement.
Also at this year’s ceremony, Adam McKay will be the recipient of the collaborator award, while former owner of Bill Hargate Costumes, Mary Ellen Fields, will receive the service award.
McKay joins Ryan Murphy, Meryl Streep and Quentin Tarantino as recipients of the collaborator award. The award honors individuals who demonstrate unwavering support of costume design and creative partnerships with costume designers.
Mary Ellen Fields began her career constructing costumes for a local college. She eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she met Bill Hargate, assuming the role of manager at Bill Hargate Costumes. Over the years, they built a team of cutters and stitchers, building a loyal group of designers from both the world of TV and film.
Fields will receive the 2020 distinguished service award which honors individuals whose specialties and talents contribute to the craft and art of costume design.
Theron, McKay and Fields will join Michael Kaplan, who as previously announced, will receive this year’s career achievement award from J.J. Abrams. The nominees for the 22nd CDGA will be announced on Dec. 10.
The 22nd Annual Costume Designer Guild Awards will be held on Jan. 28 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The James Bond actor on his new comedy Knives Out, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the problem with social media, and why he’s not grumpy
Daniel Craig is happy to break out of his 007 straitjacket
Watching the detective: Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out
Daniel Craig is in an ebullient mood, despite being frantic with the making of the heavily scrutinised next James Bond film. The latest global romp will be called No Time to Die. “Oh, that’s the title, yes,” he laughs, brain frazzled, when reminded. He’s a blast of conversation from the start. It will be released in April. So what is the most interesting thing the actor can say, right now, about his fifth and final outing as the world’s randiest spy?
“Well, I’d like to give you a breakdown of my week, but people would just think I was complaining,” he explains, his voice gruff and loud, a man you could understand perfectly in a packed bar. “But every day has an intensity to it. We’re trying to make the best f****** Bond movie we can. Pulling out all the stops. If we aim for the stars, we might hit the treetops.” He pauses, briefly. “The most interesting thing? Yesterday I was up to my neck in water for 12 hours.”
He talks quickly. This is his first big interview in years, and there is a lot to cover. Honest and funny, he is a man so confident in his own skin that he never does what most of his peers do, which is to think before answering a question. It is a thrill: thoughts burst out that lead to a random unpacking of his brain. He isn’t meant to be like this. In person he scowls, he has played history’s most furious Bond for more than a decade and more than once has been snapped by paps sticking up his middle finger. Such are the reasons Craig has a reputation for putting up barriers in front of barriers, for being a bit of a grump.
Is that fair? “Probably,” he replies. “But then I don’t do much to dispel it, because I’d just be chasing my tail to prove that I’m not the person people think I am. You know, I probably don’t have a particularly good public persona. Some do. Some can go on talk shows and tell stories, but I’m just not wired that way. I don’t know what to say. I can try, but people would go, ‘What’s he doing?’ They’d go, ‘Where is the grumpy f*****?’”
“But I’m not grumpy,” he continues, with a booming laugh. “Genuinely, I’m not. I hope you can tell. I love what I do. I love this business, and I don’t mind talking to journalists. I mean, I don’t love it. Yet I don’t mind talking about stuff I love. That’s easy. But I just grew up in an era when, if you were trying to be an artist, you didn’t look for approval. You didn’t look for likes. You just did your thing. And this? This is what I do. Who am I personally? It has nothing to do with anybody, except for the people in my life.”
So what changed? When did people start to care what others thought? “It’s social media,” he says, spitting the words out. “There is a constant looking, in life, for approval, and it really jars with me. But I’m a 51-year-old man. Nobody listens to me. Or they will stop listening to me sooner rather than later, so it doesn’t really matter what I think. But I grew up when punk rock was on the scene. You want approval? That’s anathema to me. It doesn’t make any sense to me — in art. It’s anti-art. It’s anti-creativity.”
In Craig’s new brainy ride of a film, Knives Out, his character, a suave and tweedy detective from Louisiana called Benoit Blanc, gets lines such as “Nazi child masturbating in the bathroom”. He just doesn’t get to say that as Bond, and this is him letting off steam after the relative creative straitjacket of that role. It is a liberation. Knives Out takes place in a mansion where the patriarch of a ghastly family has been murdered, and Craig must figure out whodunnit. Think a star-studded Miss Marple with Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer and Toni Collette, masterfully plotted and directed with cool pizzazz by Rian Johnson. It is as much fun as you will have in the cinema this year.
Why, then, has it taken Craig so long to do something funny? “Well, nobody offers me parts like this,” he roars. It is a claim that his CV supports. Steven Soderbergh’s absurd 2017 crime caper Logan Lucky aside, this is his first big comedic role. “Believe me, if I’d been offered parts like this in the past 15 years, I would have done them.” (He says all this while cackling.) “I’ve been begging for people to offer me roles like this, but nobody seems to think I can do shit like this. I’ve been playing James Bond for 15 years and people go, ‘Oh, he’s that guy.’ But I’m not that guy. I’m lots of people.”
In fairness, during the first six years of Craig being Bond, he made eight films outside the franchise, whereas in the next nine he made only three, Knives Out included. Maybe directors thought he had lost interest.
“No,” says Craig. “Rather, by the time I’m finished with [a Bond film], I just need a break, and I’m very much about being at home.” His wife, Rachel Weisz, gave birth to their first child last year; the family are based in New York. “This may be hard to believe,” Craig continues, “but I love the fact I’m Bond. We’re in rare air, making Bond movies. It is one of the most intense, fulfilling things I’ve ever done, but it takes a lot of energy and I’m getting old. I’m getting creaky. And so what I do outside of that has got to be really good.”
Also in Knives Out, and stepping away from another iconic role, is Captain America, Chris Evans. “He brought his shield in,” Craig says. Of course he did. “No, he didn’t. I brought my Walther in. No, I didn’t.” I read that when Craig puts on an accent, as in Knives Out, he keeps it when off set. “I don’t know where you heard that,” he scoffs. So it isn’t a weird tic of his? “Weird tic? I’ve got loads of those, but that’s not one of them.”
I tell him I laughed at the big chair in the film that looks like the Iron Throne. “What?” As in Game of Thrones? It was a great pop culture moment; Bond in Westeros. Has he seen the show? “Not an episode, mate. No idea. Wild f****** horses couldn’t drag me [to that].”
Johnson says he and Craig had a “total blast”, and I totally believe him. “One of my favourite things is to give an actor something I haven’t seen them do before,” says the director over email. “Daniel has a great sense of humour, and I knew he would have fun letting loose. We’d laugh our asses off. It felt like we were two kids playing, seeing how far we could push it.”
Despite the frivolity, Knives Out also has a political edge. Weighty themes kick in during a second half in which the white American family Benoit is investigating fear they are going to lose their inheritance money to an immigrant nurse — “Allegories!” Craig barks enthusiastically — and so they gang up to make her a scapegoat.
Did the actor talk to Johnson about what his film was trying to say? “It’s very obvious to me,” he says, even blunter than usual. “I didn’t need a lot of discussion, but it was another reason to do the film. I mean, I love big popcorn movies, nothing gets me more. But there has to be a touch of reality. I want the audience to be plugged into something. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fun watch, but there is a heartbeat and a message, and that makes it richer.”
It is clearly pro-immigration. There are lines about children in cages. Is he worried certain viewers on the political spectrum will feel lectured to? “I’m not responsible for their reaction. I can’t go through life worrying what everybody thinks because I’d get nowhere,” he says. “The message is one of humanity. That’s all. I’m not planting a political flag by doing a film about nasty people and lovely people. It’s just storytelling. I know where you’re going, but do we have to ask that question about every movie we make now? Really?” OK, but ... “Do I believe in the politics of the movie? Yes. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it.”
I ask if he is happy to talk about the notoriously secret new Bond. “Yeah, yeah,” he replies. First, forget that daft misreading of an interview Craig did in 2015, in which he apparently said he would rather slash his wrists than make another 007 film. What he actually said was: “Now? I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment.” He was always contracted to make No Time to Die, and all he meant was that he wanted a break. Now he has had one, and so, after Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre, we get to see him put on the DJ again.
The big news this time is that Phoebe Waller-Bridge has a writing credit. Was it his idea to get her in? “Yeah.” What will she bring to Bond? “You’ll have to wait and see!” he shouts, before laughing. “But she’s just brilliant. I had my eye on her ever since the first Fleabag [TV series], and then I saw Killing Eve and what she did with that and just wanted her voice. It is so unique — we are very privileged to have her on board.”
When I met Craig in 2014, for Spectre, we talked about misogyny in Bond, and the actor said he was pleased that, by casting Monica Bellucci as 007’s similarly aged lover in the film, a dialogue had been started about sexism, wage disparities and similar issues. Waller-Bridge is only the second woman to have a writing credit during the franchise’s 57-year history, after Johanna Harwood on Dr No and From Russia with Love. A cynic might suggest the new recruit has been chosen to help the film look more representative.
“Well, I think Phoebe coming on...” Craig begins. “She has been asked many times about what she is going to do, and her answer is that we’re not really going to change anything. He’s James Bond. But, of course, it’s a different angle to come at ...”
He stops and draws breath.
“Look, we’re having a conversation about Phoebe’s gender here, which is f****** ridiculous. She’s a great writer. Why shouldn’t we get Phoebe onto Bond? That’s the answer to that. I know where you’re going, but I don’t actually want to have that conversation. I know what you’re trying to do, but it’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. She’s a f****** great writer. One of the best English writers around. I said, ‘Can we get her on the film?’ That’s where I came from.”
It was then that I realised the more Craig shouts at you, the better things are going. He enjoys this sort of debate and, by virtue of the energetic rate he punches out words, nothing comes across as rude as it seems on the page. He is, instead, brusque and open. Just a really big fan of ironing things out and, like a friend in a pub during a fourth pint argument, any bad blood will be forgotten by the journey home.
He is, in other words, extremely content. A man at the stratospheric stage of his career. He knows he is privileged. When he was at drama school, someone from the Inland Revenue came to talk to the young, optimistic actors about PAYE and self-employment. “He looked at me and said, ‘You do realise 90% of you are not going to work?’” the millionaire remembers, decades on.
“That was the deal but, because of that threat, you do anything, because you’re desperate — and I still feel like that. I feel I’ve only scratched the surface with acting. I want to be better. I’ll never conquer it, because I don’t think anyone ever does, but I definitely want to try and keep on getting better at it.”
It’s easy to forget what a versatile and, indeed, subtle actor Craig has been on both stage and screen. In 1993, he made his theatre debut as the conflicted legal cleric Joe in Angels in America at the National Theatre, while 1996 saw his hugely popular role as Geordie in the television series Our Friends in the North. On the big screen, he has been even more diverse, taking on challenging work such as playing the younger lover of ageing May in The Mother, and a man being stalked in Enduring Love.
Now Craig is letting loose. In Logan Lucky, he dyed his hair blond and put on a weird American accent as the crook Joe Bang. In Knives Out, he based Blanc on the eccentric historian Shelby Foote, just because he could.
Is this the oddness he wants for the rest of his career? “I hope so,” he says, still loud, still laughing. I can barely remember speaking to anyone who sounded happier. “Who knows? Maybe nobody will employ me again. I’ve got no serious plans.” Will he return to theatre? “No hard and fast plans, but definitely. The great thing about a play in New York is that I’m at home.”
And, finally, before he heads back to work, what will he miss most about Bond? “I’ll miss my friends,” he says, as quiet as he has been all chat. “I’ve worked with many of these people for 15 years now, and that will be a real jar. I’ll see them again, but this is a special atmosphere, on a Bond set.”
Knives Out is out on November 28
Multiple women broke their non-disclosure agreements with Fox News to tell their stories of sexual harassment (and worse) at the network, and now some of them are coming forward to shed light on that decision.
Breaking the NDAs exposed the women to potential litigation from the company, but ultimately they felt it was more important to expose the toxic atmosphere that filled Fox’s workplace, according to a new report in The Hollywood Reporter.
The women spoke to various people involved with the movie “Bombshell,” which details Fox’s workplace under network head Roger Ailes, a workplace allegedly filled with sexual harassment and worse. The upcoming film stars Charlize Theron (as Megyn Kelly) and Nicole Kidman and documents the series of events at Fox News that led to Gretchen Carlson filing a lawsuit that resulted in the axing of Ailes.
Rudi Bakhtiar was terminated as a correspondent by Fox in 2007. She says that happened after she complained about sexual harassment. “The movie has been very cathartic,” Bakhtiar told The Hollywood Reporter about why she broke her NDA, “I didn’t want to admit to myself how angry I am about what happened. The movie meant that I had to face this.”
Juliette Huddy, a former Fox News anchor who leveled sexual harassment claims and signed an NDA, said she had nothing to lose by talking to filmmakers. Even though she received six figures when leaving the company she says: “I lost my house. My television career combusted, and I couldn’t get a job for over a year. So come after me. I don’t have anything.”
NBCUniversal recently announced that it would release employees who signed nondisclosure agreements relating to sexual harassment. It’s unclear if women who have already broken the NDAs will be legally pursued by the company.
Filmmakers spoke to dozens of people connected to the Carlson incident, including several women bound by NDAs, to gain information on the events leading up to and following Ailes' firing.
Julie Roginsky, who claimed she was overlooked for a co-hosting job after turning down Ailes' sexual advances, is of many former Fox News employees frustrated by her binding agreement. She was not contacted by "Bombshell" filmmakers and felt they had acted unfairly in doing so.
"Nobody reached out to me about this movie, but if they had, I would not have been able to talk to them because I have an NDA," she said. "That allows the moviemakers to take license with our stories. It is frustrating that other people have taken advantage of my silence by creating a character."
Fox says it has cleaned up its act since the mess Ailes and pals left behind, claiming: "Since the 2016 departure of Roger Ailes, Fox News has worked tirelessly to completely change the company culture.”
We are pleased to announce that Samuel L. Jackson and Maggie Q have joined the cast of THE ASSET!
Director: Martin Campbell (The Foreigner, Casino Royale)
Producer: Arthur Sarkissian (Rush Hour franchise)
Writer: Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2, The Equalizer franchise)
Cast: Maggie Q (“Anna”), Michael Keaton (“Rembrandt”), Samuel L. Jackson (“Moody”)
Logline: When her mentor is murdered, a young assassin must track down the killer. In the process she’ll discover the secrets he hid from her concerning her past.
Start Date: January 8, 2020
The film stars Nicole Kidman alongside Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie as women who claim they were sexually harassed by former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes
When Meryl Streep talks, Nicole Kidman listens.
Kidman was honored at the 2019 British GQ Men of the Year Awards in London on Tuesday, where she told Entertainment Tonight how she ended up playing Gretchen Carlson in the upcoming Fox News movie Bombshell.
“I remember Meryl Streep saying to me, when I said, ‘Oh, should I play Gretchen Carlson?’ She was like, ‘Yes, you should.’ So when Meryl says, ‘Yes, you should,’ you do what she says,” Kidman, 52, said.
The film stars Kidman alongside Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie as women who claim they were sexually harassed by former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, played by John Lithgow. Theron plays Megyn Kelly, a former anchor for the network who, along with Carlson, claimed sexual harassment from Ailes during their careers.
RELATED: See Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson in Bombshell Trailer
Carlson and Kelly’s allegations, along with other women at the network, led to Ailes’ resignation from the company in July 2016. He died almost a year later in May 2017.
Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes was one of the first building steps towards the #MeToo movement that would later become prevalent in the fall of 2017.
“For Margo, Charlize and I, we wanted to be a part of a movement, and that film is a part of a movement,” Kidman told the outlet.
Rounding out the A-list cast of the movie is Allison Janney, Alice Eve, Mark Duplass, Malcolm McDowell, Connie Britton, and Kate McKinnon.
The first teaser trailer for the movie dropped last month, with fans quickly raving over how much Theron transformed into Kelly. Even Kidman was taken aback by Theron’s transformation when she first saw her on set.
RELATED: Twitter Can’t Believe How Much Charlize Theron Looks Like Megyn Kelly in Bombshell: ‘I’m Shook’
“I walked on the set with Charlize and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?'” Kidman recalled. “I was like, shocked. And that was in person, up close. I couldn’t believe it was her.”
The forthcoming film marks the latest of Theron’s transformations for a role. The actress, 44, won an Oscar for her unrecognizable performance as a serial killer in 2003’s Monster, shaved her head in 2012 for Mad Max: Fury Road and gained 50 pounds for 2018’s Tully, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Lionsgate's I Still Believe, also starring Britt Robertson, opens March 20, 2020
By Nigel Smith
KJ Apa movies from Riverdale‘s high school to concert arenas as Christian music mega star Jeremy Camp in his upcoming film I Still Believe — and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look.
The drama comes from the makers of the hit Christian film I Can Only Imagine, based on the story behind the group MercyMe’s song of the same name. Like that film, I Still Believe is a music-based film, telling the true life story of Camp, who lost his wife, Melissa, to ovarian cancer in 2001. The tragedy led him on a spiritual journey, which resulted in four emotional albums. He’s since been nominated for a Grammy Award and multiple American Music Awards.
Apa, 22, says he was drawn to the love story between Camp and Melissa (played by Britt Robertson in the film).
“Their love is seriously put to the test in this movie,” he tells PEOPLE. “I hope after seeing the love between Jeremy and Melissa the audience can sit there and think, ‘Wow, I hope that I can one day be in love like that.’ I mean that’s what I Still Believe is about: it’s about journeying through your biggest fears and disappointments and coming out still believing. I believe that anyone, everyone can relate to this film because it’s a story about love, loss, and hope.”
For the film, Apa, who says he hails from a “really musical household,” does all of his own singing. As he tells PEOPLE, he was “terrified” about that aspect of making the drama, despite occasionally crooning as Archie in Riverdale.
“I’m super uncomfortable when I sing,” he admits. “I went into the studio in Nashville — I did that first before we shot anything — and I think that really gave me perspective on the film. Having that sound and knowing what all that music is going to sound like before you go in is super important. It’s either going to boost your confidence and boost your morale or it’s going to be like, ‘Oh, man, that didn’t go so well, so what are we going to work with?’ Luckily, it couldn’t have gone better. I think people are going to love it.”
The film also stars Shania Twain and Gary Sinise and was directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin.
Lionsgate’s I Still Believe opens March 20, 2020.
“Knives Out,” starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis and Toni Colette, has been unveiled as the London Film Festival’s Gala movie. Rian Johnson’s whodunit, which also stars Ana De Armas, Katherine Langford and Christopher Plummer, will screen as the fest’s centerpiece American Express Gala film on Oct. 8.
The prestigious slot was taken by “The Favourite” last year. Johnson (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) and cast are expected to be in London for “Knives Out’s” European premiere.
The movie comes from Lionsgate and MRC, and pays tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie. Everyone is a suspect after crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) is found dead. Debonair detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) is enlisted to investigate, sifting through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth.
“I’m thrilled to be screening ‘Knives Out’ at the BFI London Film Festival,” Johnson said. “This film was an attempt to capture the twisty fun of an Agatha Christie whodunit. It’s a great pleasure to be showing it in the country responsible for the genre’s Golden Age.”
“With ‘Knives Out,’ Rian Johnson has crafted a devilishly clever and wickedly entertaining new crime caper,” said LFF director Tricia Tuttle. “As with his previous work, Johnson brings immense erudition and passion for the conventions of the genre he’s working in, but always makes something entirely his own. This is impeccably designed, with writing that keeps you guessing to the final moments, and his extraordinary cast are at their arch and compelling best.”
“Knives Out” is a T-Street production. Lionsgate is releasing it in the U.K. on Nov. 27.
The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place Oct. 2-13.
While John Krasinski is busy at work with the sequel to A Quiet Place, his screenwriting partners on the 2018 horror hit are taking on directorial duties for their next movie, Haunt. Scott Beck and Bryan Woods write and direct the haunted house horror movie, which follows a group of teens as they enter an “extreme” haunted house, only to find out the scares are real. Watch the Haunt trailer below.
Haunted houses are a Halloween ritual for any teen who loves a good scare, but sometimes “there happen to be psychopaths inside,” Beck said to Entertainment Weekly about his and Woods’ upcoming horror flick. Haunt follows a group of teens who find an “extreme” haunted house off the beaten path, and slowly discover that they’re being picked off one by one. Katie Stevens (The Bold Type, Faking It) stars as Haunt’s main protagonist, and presumable final girl, who notices early on that something is up.
“Our main girl is Harper…. is this young woman who’s in this horrifyingly abusive relationship,” Wood told EW. “It all comes to a head on the week leading up to Halloween. The whole idea is, like, Can I just let go, and have a good night, and move past this? All the while, we think that her ex- is following her, stalking her. We’re trying to merge this character story with kind of slasher tropes.”
Produced by Eli Roth, Haunt is a brutal and gory slasher in the vein of recent movies like Hell Fest and Blood Fest, which imagines haunted horror attractions taking a fatal turn. It’s not my cup of tea, but if this very specific genre is up your alley, then Haunt looks like it’s for you.
Here is the synopsis for Haunt:
On Halloween, a group of friends encounter an “extreme” haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some monsters are real.
Haunt is released in theaters, on demand, and digital on September 12, 2019.
Lana Del Rey honored Guillermo del Toro during his Walk of Fame induction with a speech on Tuesday (Aug. 6).
“In a culture of sameness, he’s completely himself. And that’s the greatest lesson I get from his tales," Del Rey said. Del Toro is known for a number of well known films, including Pan's Labyrinth, The Shape of Water and Hellboy, among many others. Shape of Water earned the filmaker two Academy Awards for best picture and best director.
"On this day that we're honoring you, I would like to say that it's a beautiful thing to be reminded that being different is a thing to be celebrated, and it's a beatiful thing that we have you to always remind us of that each time we go back to your instantly classic films."
"I'm very happy to be celebrating with you on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard. Congratulations," she says at the end before going in for a hug.
Del Rey recently recorded a new version of Donovan's 1966 hit "Season of the Witch" for the renowned filmmaker's upcoming flick, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, which arrives in theaters this Friday (Aug. 9).
“I have admired Lana’s music for a while now and felt in my gut that she would run with ‘Season of the Witch’ -- that she would use her alchemy to transform it,” del Toro recently said in a statement. “She is a great artist and has been an amazing partner with us in this adventure. It is an honor for me to have met her.”
Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro will be honored with the 2,669th star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
Fellow moviemaker J.J. Abrams and singer Lana Del Rey will salute The Shape of Water director when he unveils his star on 6 August (19).
“Guillermo del Toro is a director with one of the most creative and vivid imaginations,” Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez tells WENN. “He has his pulse on a realm of fantasy that has captivated and astounded audiences.
“The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to honour him for his historic film work.”
"Cash Only" director Malik Bader is quickly making a name for himself in the world of crime thrillers, with his original script throwbacks to nitty and gritty tales of bad guys and even worse deals. His latest, “Killerman” (which had its world premiere at Fantasia last night), is a full immersion into the world of drug dealing, and throws in a unique existential angle to make excellent drama out of how money and product pass between bloodied hands. It’s the kind of movie that builds not just with its story but its ambition, and makes for an exhilarating, audacious crime thriller, provided you go along with the ride.
The mechanics of that process can make for a dry start to the story, initially: the opening scenes of "Killerman" take viewers from point A to point B to point Y when it comes to a money laundering deal. It's a lot of footage of cars pulling up, of scowling men speaking in code so they aren't caught by the cops. Soon into the story, though, Bader's interest becomes our own with its two main characters: Moe (Hemsworth) has a partner in Skunk (Emory Cohen), and the two attempt to make a deal with the money of their boss Perico (Zlatko Buric) that could help them make it big.
But then “Killerman” slams into its inspired plot hook—Moe gets a concussion during a gruesome car accident with Skunk when the deal goes way wrong, and leads to a car chase through narrow NYC streets pursued by dirty cops. With a massive case of amnesia, Moe doesn’t know who he is, or what life he has made for himself. But instead of getting to rest, the drug deal has left too many loose ends, and Skunk puts him back in the clubs and in front of the people they know. While trying to fix the deal, Moe essentially has to take a tour through his life, seeing the people that he’s interacted with, and learning about his capacity for violence. The script builds itself out of this conceit, like how Guy Ritchie’s bold “Revolver” risked a crime story on a lead character's schizophrenia, and Bader’s script is so committed and fast-paced with this psychological element that it only makes the intricate course of events even more fascinating.
“Killerman” proves itself to be as gritty as you want it to be, starting with the gorgeous dark colors of its 16mm Kodak stock, and the pulsing synth score that heightens the stakes of Moe’s actions. And that car chase—the editing is so sharp in this scene and others that you practically feel Moe getting that concussion as his vehicle slams into a parked car.
When it comes to violence, "Killerman" is always raw and unflinching, with men screaming for their lives after a bullet tears through them and blood spurts everywhere, or dogs ripping up human flesh in torture scenes that are nightmarish. The dirty cops hunting Moe and Skunk too (especially the one played by Nickola Shreli) are especially vicious, at the center of some of the story’s most ruthless scenes. From its initial framing as a movie that’s all about criminals—and virtually about wanting drug dealers to win—“Killerman” thrives in the darkness it establishes for itself, and that amorality becomes a fascinating component here like in the best of crime stories.
This relentless movie is unabashedly pulpy, in ways that do and don’t work within its desired genre charms. The dialogue sounds too stock, for example, and might make you wonder whether leather jacket thugs with slick haircuts only speak in cliches, or if the movies have just made them that way. (The performances are all around sturdy, even if you want Hemsworth to get a little crazier.) The same goes for the purpose that women have for the story, as mere stock love interests on the fringes of Moe and Skunk’s macho behavior, written to only that extent in a way that feels too lazy.
But on the other hand, “Killerman” creates an unexpected mythology with its more radical story choices; Bader displays a true recklessness in the best way and makes the story feel grandiose and intense. Even the reveal of the title’s meaning is a bold, polarizing choice—it may not work for some viewers, but it sure as hell left a smile on my face.
Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro revealed new details about his Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark adaptation on Saturday evening at the Horton Grand Theater in Downtown San Diego.
Del Toro, who produced the new film, joined director Andre Ovredal onstage in the cramped theater space to debut new footage from the upcoming horror film and discuss the process of adapting the beloved spooky children's books.
If her performance is any indication, and there’s any justice in the world (iffy), the Irish singer-actress is going to be a big, big star.
Remember the name Jessie Buckley.
If her performance in “Wild Rose” is any indication, and there’s any justice in the world (iffy), the Irish singer-actress is going to be a big, big star.
She plays Rose-Lynn Harlan, a single mother from Glasgow who’s just out of prison and dreams of becoming a country star in Nashville.
She’s a wild child. She had her two kids before her 18th birthday, then went to jail on a drug-related charge (long story; she blames the judge for an unfair sentence). Now in her 20s and back home, decked out in cowboy boots and other Western attire, she starts to resume her partying ways. This includes trips to Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry, a country-music bar where she’s well-known as a local performer.
Her mom (Julie Walters), who took care of the kids while she was gone, has other ideas. Mom wants her to take responsibility for her children and for her own life. She wants Rose-Lynn to settle down, to get a steady job, to spend time with her kids.
But Rose-Lynn loves, loves, country music, and she loves to sing it. Patsy Cline and “Walking After Midnight.” New songs. You name it. She even has a tattoo on her arm with the saying “Three chords and the truth,” which expresses the simplicity and honesty she finds in the music.
It’s not just a phase. She wants to go to Nashville; she knows in her heart she’s meant to pursue her passion. And she could be right: She can sing. Boy, can she sing.
With the Fourth of July being celebrated this week, what better time than to think about the American Dream? The idea of pursuing life, liberty and happiness enshrined in the Declaration of Independence itself, along with the idea that you can make any dream happen if you just work hard enough.
In the new movie “Wild Rose,” a young and wild single mother of two named Rose-Lynn dreams of being a country singer. But she’s got a few obstacles in the way, including the fact that she lives in Glasgow, Scotland, and is fresh out of a year-long prison stint for distributing heroin. Now wearing an electronic ankle bracelet, she is required to be home every night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Rose-Lynn is the kind of free-wheeling gal who yells the F word at the top of her lungs the second she’s free from her jail cell and heads to her boy toy for a shag before bothering to make it home to her young son and daughter. Add a stop at the pub where she gets buzzed on whiskey on the way home, and it’s no wonder her mom isn’t too happy to see her return after a year of raising her kids.
With her children distant from her and a seemingly dead-end job as a housemaid to a wealthy family that pays her just about $12 an hour, Rose-Lynn feels like she’ll never pull together the money to escape to Nashville and take a real swing at success. But when the children of her employer Susannah come home early and catch her belting out a song while vacuuming, Susannah asks her if she’s tried to make it professionally.
Rose-Lynn responds by immediately asking for $5,000 to make a fresh start in Nashville, but Susannah tells her to instead tape a video demo of herself singing and send it to the top country music deejay on the BBC radio airwaves. When Rose-Lynn knocks his socks off with a beautifully heartfelt ballad, she gets an invitation to come meet him in London and her dreams seem suddenly tangible.
Yet questions remain: Is she really talented enough to make it, or is she jeopardizing her family by seeking to spend time away from them? How will she resolve things with her mother, who thinks she’s delusional? And can she really ever put her wild past behind her?
“Wild Rose” is a quiet film, in spite of its occasionally rousing tunes sung by lead actress Jessie Buckley, an Irishwoman who broke out on a British talent competition series and has been a rising star ever since. Rose-Lynn is a fascinating character, a real hell raiser in the early scenes of the film, but eventually revealing a profound loneliness and desire to finally do better as a mother, a daughter and for herself.
Buckley has incredible vocals, but in keeping with the movie’s intimate and quiet tone, her most powerful moments are in the songs where she sings almost in a whisper. It’s a magical effect that will make those who see this movie fall in love with her immediately.
As her mother, veteran actress Julie Walters (who was Oscar-nominated in the 1980s for “Educating Rita”) looks and acts like Emma Thompson. It’s a solid performance of a woman who has been ground down and exasperated by her daughter’s poor behavior and incredibly bad choices for so long, she wonders if she’ll ever truly turn it around.
Those aspects — of redemption and family, trust and the desire to change — are universally relatable issues. They make this movie very affecting, but the occasionally too-slow pace keeps this from being a perfect movie. If you love good music or character-based drama, however, “Wild Rose” should smell quite sweet.
Lionsgate dropped its trailer for its new murder mystery Knives Out on Tuesday, and the cast is to die for.
The film attempts to uncover the truth behind the untimely death of the famous crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), who is killed just after his 85th birthday. Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is called in to help crack the case, and he questions everyone from Thrombey's "dysfunctional" family members to his loyal staff.
"I suspect foul play, and I've eliminated no suspects," Craig says in the preview.
Craig and Plummer aren't the only famous faces in the trailer. The "whodunit" also features Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Noah Segan, Edi Patterson, Riki Lindhome and Jaeden Martell.
In addition, it's written and directed by Rian Johnson, who also did Looper, Brick and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
To get a sneak peek at the film, check out the trailer.
Jamie Dornan is joining comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar from Bridesmaids duo Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo.
Wiig and Mumolo star as best friends Barb and Star, who leave their small Midwestern town for the first time to go on vacation in Vista Del Mar, Florida, where they soon find themselves tangled up in a villain's plot to kill everyone in town.
Dornan will play Edgar, a lovelorn spy who gets caught between the forces of good and evil.
Wiig and Mumolo co-wrote the script for the Lionsgate pic, which will be directed by Josh Greenbaum and is slated for a 2020 release.
Gloria Sanchez Productions — the female-focused production banner founded and led by Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay — will produce, along with Wiig and Mumolo.
Dornan, who is repped by UTA, the U.K.'s Troika and Sloane Offer, will next be seen in Drake Doremus' new movie, starring opposite Shailene Woodley and Sebastian Stan. He will then star opposite Anthony Mackie in Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's Synchronic, and will begin production on John Patrick Shanley's Wild Mountain Thyme.
Truth-based fiction films that cover salient aspects of important news stories that have skewed or squelched by print and broadcast news media can have a powerful impact on public perception about historic events and how they’ve impacted the present and are influencing our future civilization.
If well made, compelling and popular, these truth-based narratives may stand as ‘of record,’ ostensibly revealing to public scrutiny facts that are to be found only in documents that have been designated as top secret and sealed for a specific duration because of their ‘sensitive’ or imflammatory nature.
Truth-based narratives ‘of record’ are not new in concept. A decade ago, Roger Donaldson’s well-researched, utterly compelling and admittedly somewhat speculative The Bank Job (2008) enlightened audiences about a London bank vault robbery that unleashed secret and salacious photos of Princess Margaret and a number of British MPs that actually brought down the British government. The actual images and most documents pertaining to the actual events are still under seal, so all that the public knows about this scandal-clad 1971 London heist known as the “Walkie Talkie Robbery” is Roger Donaldson’s fictionalized movie. In the public eye, The Bank Job is ‘of record.’
In 2010, Doug Liman’s Fair Game brought unreported aspects of the Valerie Plame spy scandal and the questionable legitimacy of the US invasion of Iraq to light. More recently, Adam McKaye’s Vice (2018) gave viewers an admittedly somewhat speculative and avowedly uncomplimentary look at the persona and doings of former VP Dick Chaney, indicating that he wielded unprecedented power in determining both foreign and domestic policy during the George W. Bush presidency and was unconscionable in his use of it, including his role in the US invasion of Iraq.
Dick Cheney is not a character in this year’s Official Secrets, but his name comes up in the truth-based narrative about Katherine Gun (Keira Knightly), a British intelligence officer who turned whistleblower, leaking information about the illegal NSA spy operation that was designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the invasion of Iraq. Journalist Martin Brightn (Matt Smith), then working for The Observer, broke the story — which caused Katherine Gun to be charged with treason, or more specifically, with violating Britain’s Official Secrets Act of 1989.
The film is a contemplative spy thriller and courtroom drama that is completely engaging although it has a known denouement. So, no spoilers are risked with mention that ultimately the British government dropped the charges against Gun because — as suggested in the Official Secrets script — the case would bring to light evidence that would embarrass the British administration, including then Prime Minister Tony Blair, and perhaps lead to members of the government being charged with war crimes.
Director Gavin Hood, whose previous political thrillers include Tsotsi, A Reasonable Man and Eye in the Sky, paces the film to reveal story and Katherine’s character in such a way that the viewer has time to think about what ‘good citizenship’ means, and to ponder Kathrine’s reasons for taking a stand and the impact her decisions made on her personal life and on human history. Hoods use of actual archival footage of Tony Blair, George Bush, Colin Powell and of news events — including the bombing of Iraq — sets the drama into its real life historical context, and targets the way in which elected government heads of state and their administrations manipulate media in order to push policies that support their own interests rather than those of the people whom they are supposed to serve.
If you like spy scenarios and courtroom dramas, and are interested in sorting out truthful reporting from fake news, this film will satisfy. It’s entertaining and informative, and its release is quite timely.
Title: Official Secrets
Directors: Gavin Hood
Release Date: August 30, 2019
Running Time: 112 mins.
Locations: London, with archival footage from USA, Iraq
Production Country: USA
Distribution Company: EAGLE FILMS
There is something bodaciously brash about Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley). The centerpiece of Wild Rose is fresh out of prison and fresh full of ideas about how she’s going to go from her native Glasgow, Scotland to Nashville, Tennessee and make it as a country star. Only problem is, well … there are a slew of them and how Rose tackles them lies at the heart of this hauntingly heartwarming film.
Director Tom Harper has crafted a touching and yes, melodic, story that will resonate with audiences across spectrums. After all, this is a tale with country music at its heart and those who utterly adore it with every ounce of their soul will find something utterly compelling about it. To quote Rose, when asked why she adores the musical genre that is uniquely American, she simply replies, “it’s three chords and the truth.” It’s that sentiment that has made the music milieu transcendent across geographical lines.
Also, one does not have to enjoy that kind of music to embrace and be enamored of Wild Rose.
When Rose-Lynn arrives at her mother Marion’s (Julie Walters) house, fresh from prison, she is not given a hero’s welcome. Her two children, a little boy and slightly older girl, barely know their mother. Sure, she was only gone for a year. Marion didn’t bring the kiddos by the prison, because she didn’t want them to see their mother in such a place. Immediately, Rose’s son warms up to her. Her daughter … not so much and it will take a whole lot of work for mom to earn the love of her only little girl.
Marion is tough on her child and it’s a relationship that is as central to the dynamics of Wild Rose as Rose’s budding familial bond with her kin. It appears that Marion had high hopes for her child, but a few terrible decisions (such as getting pregnant at 16 or that whole thing that got her sent away for a year in prison) and—worse still—the immature manner in which she is known to respond to those who have challenged her decision making, will not win any points with her mum.
In the opening act of Wild Rose, Nicole Taylor’s screenplay astoundingly gives us a mountain of regret and missed opportunities coupled with a pretty bad attitude. It’s hard to root for Rose. As much as she has to win over her mother, children, the parole judge (she has a tracker around her ankle and has to be home by 7 p.m. every evening—something that makes pursuing a country music singing career a tad impossible), the wild woman-child has to sweep us off of our feet. Rose-Lynn is the most fascinating of protagonists. It’s never a given, even through the second act, that this soul will be one that warrants our inspiration instead of our ire. As Taylor’s script, whose spirit is stunningly captured by Harper, provides little morsels of hope for the title character, we too see the signs of greatness that could arise from the single mum whose voice is like a lightning bolt of brilliance.
Among the first people onscreen to see potential where the system, society and even her mother and own daughter see a grab bag of disappointment, is her boss, Susannah (Sophie Okonedo). This wealthy Glasgow resident took a chance on her when she hired an ex-con to clean her house (what with two small children herself). Rose never tells her about her kids, but Susannah’s kiddos cannot stop talking about her. They heard her belting out tracks one day while working and inform their mum that the cleaning lady has priceless pipes. Upon hearing her first-hand, she could not be more supportive and even orchestrates a way for her to meet the King of Country Music in London at BBC Radio. That relationship, and what it promises for Rose, does not play out as one would expect it would—as dozens of movies have wandered down that worn road.
Upon reflection, it makes perfect sense that country music would find an audience in Scotland (and the greater United Kingdom, all over the globe, really). As Rose states to Susannah, when asked why she likes country music, all you need is “three chords and the truth.” She even has that quote tattooed on her arm. The lyrics of country music encompass many elements that easily find kindred spirits, specifically here with Rose. These subjects range from troubles or triumph with love, the complexity of the inner challenges of the working man and woman, issues with the law and the feeling that all of society is against you, to the bond of family and how it can be everything from an asset to a hindrance. When the camera gives us an establishing shot of the music club that Rose played and plays at, we see “Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry” in big neon lights. After taking all this in, it all makes perfect sense.
Walters is sensational. Her role is demanding on so many levels. She has to be a mother to her daughter’s kids while she’s in prison and then suddenly shift role to grandma when mom gets out of the slammer. Once Rose is free, Marion must straddle a line between wholehearted support and keeping her daughter’s feet to the fire. She lets her know, in no uncertain terms, when she makes one of those bad decisions. Mom calls her on it. There is even one moment that found me covering my eyes because I just couldn’t watch Marion lecture Rose. Don’t get me wrong, she deserved it. Still … see, the titular character has to earn her adoration—from everyone onscreen and each one of us witnessing her cinematic journey.
Buckley’s vocal presence is sonically seismic. It’s completely unique and befits a rocking country girl whose influences run the gamut from Bonnie Raitt to Reba McEntire, with a smattering of Janis Joplin and Nancy Wilson tossed in for good measure. I could listen to her belt out songs all day long—from guitar-wailing country rock to the best romance-centric tracks that will ring your heart out like a wet washcloth.
Wild Rose is a movie moment expertly crafted for dreamers and for anyone who has loved someone who dreams. Infinitely inspiring, the film also grounds itself in a reality that works wonders for enrapturing its audience in that first act and a half where we didn’t know if Rose would ever pull it all together. By its conclusion, you have been on a journey that is rocky, littered with stumbles and a soul who has worked her tail off to ensure that her children are proud of her. In the end, that is the only approval that matters. As such, Wild Rose rivets and had this writer reaching for that tissue box—all while smiling profusely.
We are excited to announce that FIVE FEET APART received three nominations at the 2019 Teen Choice Awards in the following categories:
Choice Drama Movie Choice Drama Movie Actor Choice Drama Movie Actress
It could turn out to be be the indie sleeper of the year. As Rose-Lynn, a brazen young ne’er-do-well from Glasgow who’s fixated on going to Nashville to become a country singer, Jessie Buckley proves a tremendous actress, and maybe a born star. When Rose-Lynn gets up on stage at a local pub and lets loose, time melts away (we’re in the zone of incandescent tradition that is country), and so does every trace of her Scottishness. She becomes country, and her gift is transporting. Yet Rose-Lynn is also a spectacular screw-up, with two kids she all but ignores. The director, Tom Harper, and screenwriter, Nicole Taylor, play a bait-and-switch game. For a solid hour, they seduce you into thinking that “Wild Rose” is going to be the sort of cheeky inspirational Miramax-in-the-’90s fairy tale it turns out not to be. It’s not just that the movie gets better as it goes along — it actually knows it’s toying with you. The film seems to grow up before your eyes and find its glimmer of soul right along with its eager, talented, messed-up heroine. — OG
Cheerleading is a sport that commands attention. It whips the crowd into a controlled fervor, getting people off their feet and cheering with excitement. Unfortunately, director Zara Hayes’ “Poms” barely manages to do the same with its story about a group of retired women who reclaim their vitality and challenge societal norms by forming a cheerleading squad. Though it aims to be more than just a mashup of “Bring It On” and “Book Club,” the inherently uplifting and endearing facets of its heartfelt sentiments are overtaken by artificial packaging and stale execution.
As a pessimistic New York City transplant, Martha (Diane Keaton) faces her greatest challenge yet: living in the impossibly peppy retirement community of Sun Springs, Ga. The lavish, well-maintained property fosters cheery dispositions and relaxed lifestyles — things a cynical curmudgeon like Martha despises. But her former life in the city was unbearably lonely, so she seeks a drastically different atmosphere. Her advancing age and, more importantly, aggressive terminal cancer has made her surprisingly sentimental about her youth and paths not taken.
Martha is at first reticent to make friends, preferring to cocoon herself in her pre-fab, personality-free home instead of trying to fit in at group exercise and neighborhood get-togethers. But her world begins to change for the better once she meets next-door neighbor Sheryl (Jacki Weaver). Sheryl is Martha’s opposite with her colorful, tight-fitting wardrobe and vivacious free spirit, yet her vigor inspires Martha to rediscover her own.
The pair set out to form a cheerleading club, which is unheard of to their enclave’s small-minded residents, who include the ironically unfriendly president of the welcoming committee, Vicki (Celia Weston). Not only must the newly assembled squad find more members, which they incorrectly assume will be difficult, they must also get competition-ready in a short amount of time. The team is forced to battle their own physical limitations and a few other serious setbacks.
Heartening themes about redefining the notion of family are what give the movie its luster, as well as the idea that self-empowerment has no expiration date. It’s encouraging that screenwriter Shane Atkinson and Hayes, who shares a story by credit, focus primarily on female friendship, though they undermine and underestimate the empathy capacity of another group of women: teen girls. The super seniors’ combative relationship with antagonistic high school cheerleaders, who film their failures and mercilessly mock them, takes center stage as the main conflict. There’s no reason the heroines’ own inner demons couldn’t have driven the plot.
Perhaps the greatest disappointment is that Atkinson and Hayes never strike a good balance between all the characters in the ensemble. The film fails both in showing them as multi-faceted individuals and in capturing their group dynamics, allowing superficial character traits to define them. Consistently-upbeat Sheryl’s only worry is if the authorities find out her teen grandson Ben (Charlie Tahan) is living with her, but that’s forgotten by act two. The filmmakers become more concerned with an unnecessary romance between Ben and classmate Chloe (Alisha Boe), who betrays her own cheer team to help train his grandma’s squad. It’s a lot of hoop-jumping when a simpler solution would’ve been to eliminate Ben and the rival squad altogether, and make Chloe a visiting character who helps the ladies train.
Sultry Olive (Pam Grier), who tangos her way into the troupe, revives her waning romance with her hubby — but since we didn’t see her struggling with it in the first place, the impact is lessened. Conservative Alice (Rhea Perlman) finds her inner power after her controlling husband dies, but outside of one George Carlin-esque swearword tirade, her character fades into the background. Aerobics enthusiast Ruby (Carol Sutton), yoga instructor Evelyn (Ginny MacColl), and line dancer Phyllis (Patricia French) are dealt short shrift altogether. The lone character afforded a noteworthy performance by the lackluster material is baton-twirling Helen (Phyllis Somerville). Somerville’s small screentime is infused with a palpable, nuanced sense of anguish and anxiety over her ageist, sexist son essentially imprisoning her financially, and then physically after an injury.
For a film that’s supposed to instill confidence in the hearts of its target demographic and beyond, it lacks that same sense of bravery in its storytelling to say something genuinely moving. Time and time again, it falls back on outdated clichés and lazy contrivances. It prefers to follow predictable patterns set by many previous underdog stories, ticking off the expected emotional beats versus doing something radically different to make the emotions feel earned.
Overall, “Poms” isn’t a film that demands the audience’s attention — and that’s a shame given the breadth of skilled, seasoned talent involved. The blueprint for a genuinely inspired, warm-hearted dramedy is indeed there, it’s just that the filmmakers can’t figure out how to properly utilize what they have.
It was a blue carpet pep rally as Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier and Rhea Perlman debuted their new film “Poms” on Wednesday night in Downtown Los Angeles. But much like their characters in the film, the actresses’ cheers weren’t for sports teams. Instead, they were celebrating a Hollywood system that is hopefully becoming more inclusive for older women. Keaton and Weaver star in “Poms” as Martha and Sheryl, two senior citizens who decide to start a cheerleading club at their retirement community. “I think in this day and age, people realize that you don’t have a ‘use by’ date,” Weaver told Variety. “Some of us can keep on going. Some of us still look to the future and make the most of the present.” But as much as Hollywood has evolved, who could have ever predicted a movie featuring a “Bring It On”-style scene of a group of seniors trying out for the cheerleading squad? “[It used to be that] women are erased and invisible after they get a certain age, but once we started saying, ‘We’re not invisible — we’re full of life, we take care of kids, we’re still viable to society.’ And once you own that, then you get offered to sit at the table,” Grier said.
It’s been 45 years since her career-making turn in “Foxy Brown” and the 69-year-old actress has noticed that the industry has been changing: “I think there is a shift, but it’s an evolution and a revolution.” “Poms” follows last year’s “Book Club,” a rom-com that earned $68 million at the box office and also starred Keaton, who is 73. Perlman says the reason for the growing support for movies about mature women is simple. “Because women go to the movies, people are starting to realize that women want to see themselves up there,” Perlman said, adding that watching Judi Dench travel to India in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” transformed her own views on box office possibilities for older actors. “I am so happy that it’s finally starting to happen. I mean there’s still way more white men in movies and in businesses, but slowly people are starting to take notice of who else is around them and how important it is for them to be represented as well. And how great their stories are,” the 71-year-old actress explained. “So, I’m just thrilled with how things are moving.”
After assembling the cast, which also includes Celia Weston, Charlie Tahan, Bruce McGill and “13 Reasons Why” star Alisha Boe, the ladies went through a cheerleading boot camp to help the women bond and nail those moves. “It was tough,” Weaver, 71, laughed. “You get a bit creaky at our age.” The premiere included a post-screening party at WP24, where pom-pom shaking cheerleaders lined up in a tunnel formation and welcomed guests, including Emmy winner Sarah Paulson. “Poms” hits theaters on May 10.
In 2013 Margot Robbie turned heads in The Wolf of Wall Street as the ultra-seductive and equally feisty Naomi; later in 2016, she brought DC Comics’s disturbed girlfriend Harley Quinn to life in Suicide Squad; and now, the actress proves she’s as versatile as ever in her latest film Dreamland, which just debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Serving as both the star and producer of the period piece, Robbie really does carry the film. And, according to Dreamland director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, “She throws great parties.” Joris-Peyrafitte, sporting a slim navy suit and slicked-back hair continued, “She’s just as excited as everyone else to be there. She sets the tone for everybody else and that’s all you could ask from a producer and lead actress.”
Dreamland is part bank robbery caper, part Spaghetti Western. Set in the 1930s Dust Bowl era, Robbie stars as Allison, a mysterious and thrill-seeking bounty hunter who is surprisingly chic (refer back to the time era and situation).
In a hard-to-miss nod to Bonnie and Clyde, Allison charms the heart of the young Eugene Evans played by Slaughterhouse Rulez’s Finn Cole. Despite Robbie’s problematic actions in the film, Cole’s character remains boyishly infatuated and allows his life to be transformed entirely by the frenzied blonde who loves to drive her getaway cars with baby blue leather gloves on. But at the premiere’s red carpet, Robbie appeared the modern-day starlet in a black lace Chanel jumpsuit, which ultimately proved that there really isn’t anything she doesn’t look good in.
Dreamland will premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival ( April 24 – May 5). The film will be included in the Spotlight Narrative section of the Network based festival. Margot Robbie will be in attendance but we will not be conducting international press at this time. The film will also be screening in the upcoming Cannes market in May.
Netflix announced the release of "Peasants' Rebellion" on their platform, thus becoming the first Lebanese series to be broadcast through their network.
After the overwhelming success achieved on the local channels, the largest Lebanese historical production series included more than 100 Lebanese actors, which took eight months to be filmed.
Ranked amongst the top 5 Arabic series in Ramadan 2018 with one of the highest viewers rating statistics.
Received one of the highest trends on Twitter for 15 days.
Gained regional popularity for being daring yet respecting the cultural factor.
Critics praised the series positively and considered it to be Ramadan 2018 out of the box series for; actors’ intense performance, the surprise element, the tailored music, the mysterious sequence of events and lastly the cinematography.
AL NAHAR newspaper, a renowned Lebanese Newspaper.
The plot continues to thicken on LBCI’s latest prime time drama, PEASANTS' REBELLION, as alliances begin to form, love blooms, and betrayals are made.
It is truly a pleasure when a television series, a fully Lebanese production no less, create such a positive impact on its audience - through some do continue to negatively criticize, sans reason, even if it means finding something as ridiculous as the show’s choice of font to attack.
Al Nahar Newspaper, a renowned Lebanese newspaper, described the Peasant's Rebellion as the magnet that compelled people off the streets, leaving an echo of the social discourse that is occurring in a certain nation. A "Spark Ignites" leaving the audience wanting to relive and enjoy the authenticity of the series. I will be sharing the updated portfolios on Monday to be followed by 2019 Projects skeleton.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ shot past “Guardians of the Galaxy” to become the highest grossing domestic release of 2014. It’s the second time in a row that the dystopian franchise has topped the charts. It gives Lionsgate bragging rights as the studio with the top film in consecutive years — something no one else has achieved in over a decade. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ hit $333.2 million on Wednesday, edging past “Guardians” at $333.17 million at the U.S. box office. Unlike most major tentpole releases, the latest “Hunger Games” didn’t get the benefit of a 3D or Imax surcharge.
Patriots Day is the TOP TEN FILM winner at the National Board of Review, USA, 2016 awards and Spotlight award for the creative collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg
We are proud to share with you that The Hunger Games Mockingjay 1 has Won the following Awards:
Golden Camera, Germany - Best International Actress (Julianne Moore).
Golden Trailer Awards 2015 - Best Fantasy Adventure, Best Original Score Tv Spot, Best Fantasy / Adventure Poster, Best Teaser Poster, Best Wildposts.
Kids' Choice Awards, USA 2015 - Favorite Female Action Star (Jennifer Lawrence).
MTV Movie Awards 2015 - Best Musical Moment.
NewNowNext Awards 2014 - Best New Lead Film Actress (Natalie Dormer).
Teen Choice Awards 2015: Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Josh Hutcherson), Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Jennifer Lawrence).
Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2014 - Best Female Images in a Movie.
Today, in over 25 locations around the globe THE HUNGER GAMES iconic '3-Finger salute' will be posted on high profile buildings, billboards and locations, including Times Square in New York, Westfield Centre in London, Colonne di San Lorenzo in Milan and Novy Arbat Avenue in Moscow just to name a few. The hands used in the synchronized global outdoor advertising campaign were created from 6 images of people ranging from ages 8 to 80, both men and women and from all nationalities.
Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films has struck an output deal with Middle East based distributor Eagle Films. The deal sees all films produced or co-produced by Codeblack distributed in the Middle East and North Africa, beginning with “Addicted,” based on the best selling book by Zane. Formed in 2012 as the Lionsgate’s ‘next generation’ offshoot, Codeblack has activities which span movie production and distribution through to home entertainment, TV syndication and new channel monetization. Its previous releases include “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain,” and independent thriller “Repentance,” starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker. Codeblack signed a previous output deal with Times Media Films, covering South Africa, in October 2014. “Codeblack is expanding its footprint beyond the domestic marketplace,” said Jeff Clanagan, Founder, CEO and President of CodeBlack Entertainment
VANCOUVER, BC, and SANTA MONICA, CA, October 16, 2014 – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, today unveiled plans to debut the year’s most anticipated film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, in the UK, Asia and North America. The film, the third in the global blockbuster Hunger Games film franchise. All purchases on AMCTheaters.com, Cinemark.com, Fandango.com, and MovieTickets.com in the first 24 hours will receive a free download of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on VUDU. The first Hunger Games film generated nearly $700 million at the worldwide box office. The second film in the franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was the #1 domestic film of 2013 and the 10th highest-grossing North American release of all time, grossing over $860 million around the world and bringing the combined global box office of the first two films to over $1.5 billion. The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.
The Ambassador's Hall of Casino Du Liban hosted the ceremony of the 7th Edition of Murex D'or on September 4th 2014, where Eagle Films' production BEBE won Best Film by Public Vote. The producer, Mr Jamal Sannan _ CEO of Eagle Films, accepted the Murex D'or.