Because I am super late in this week's (er.. last week's Q&A column) I'm answering more questions than usual. So let's get right to it.
Ed: After Michelle Williams and Evan Rachel Wood, which actress under 30 would you love to see Ryan Gosling falling in love in the big screen?
I've been joking with friends (offscreen) that Ryan Gosling has basically made it his goal to bang every hot future Oscar winner in Hollywood (onscreen): Rachel, Evan, Kiki, Michelle, Carey, Emma. He's the envy of every straight and/or actressexual moviegoer out there. So pretty soon he'll have to get around to ANNE HATHAWAY, right? I'd be interested to see what he'd be like paired with Andrea Riseborough, Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), and... Oooh... totally random also small screen that needs to be bigger: Katee Sackhoff! She's 31 (Ryan's age) but she never gets good roles despite so much screen presence and I'm imagining that they'd completely burn holes in the celluloid if paired. (Unless they were shot digitally of course.)
Andrew K: I've seen you mention, in passing, that X actor should campaign in leading instead of supporting and although you're usually referring to the despicable nature of category fraud I'm curious as to whether or not you consider a Leading Oscar superior to a Supporting One.
I do not. And I don't think anyone else would either if it wasn't so often used as a demotion just to get a nomination or statue for the big stars. But the combination of egregious widely-accepted category fraud, the use of supporting statues to honor novelty acts or entire movies instead of performances (you all know what I'm talking about) and the natural human tendency to think being a movie star (i.e. lead) is better than being a character actor (i.e. supporting) have only strengthened this belief that a supporting Oscar is an inferior prize. An Oscar is an Oscar if you ask me.
Julian: Christina Ricci, under-rated or over-rated?
Depends on who you're talking to. I'd say early Christina is underrated and contemporary Christina is overrated. I mean it when I say she should have three Oscar nominations already: Addams Family Values (1993 -- not joking), The Ice Storm (1997) and The Opposite of Sex (1998). She's still totally watchable and charismatic but there's some missing ingredient lately. Black Snake Moan seemed like such an ideal opportunity to wow again but she didn't quite elevate it. In Pan Am she just seems like window dresssing. Adorable and pretty and funny window dressing yes... but not much more. It seems weird to hire her and then give all the good storylines to the lesser known actresses in that show?
Daniel: What´s your favorite musical? And song in a musical?
My favorite musical is West Side Story which had its 50th anniversary this weekend and I was so stressed out I forgot to celebrate it godddddddamnit. I've long thought about doing a top ten favorite song performances in musicals but I'm not sure I'd ever be able to narrow it down. It depends on the mood...
But one thing I know is that "The Man That Got Away" from A Star is Born would be in the top ten. If you're talking strictly "best song" and not "best song performance" the top ten would probably include "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge! because when I hear that song it makes me crazy hot for both Nicole and Ewan all over again even out of context like the movie was actually a menage a trois biopic about Nicole, Ewan & Nathaniel.
Dominik: What do you think of the orginal "Scream" trilogy and "Donnie Darko". Both of them I don't remember seeing you write about ever.
Hmmm. I like Donnie Darko just fine -- especially for Mary McDonnell's performance and the weirdo quotient -- and I haven't not talked about it on purpose. I guess I just don't have the passion for it that so many people do.
I don't like slasher movies at all but I have seen Scream and Scream III (the latter which I saw solely for Parker Posey). I remember the experience of seeing Scream vividly because I went with a huge group of friends and acquaintances on opening night and I somehow ended up seated next to a guy I was totally hot for...and his boyfriend. I was shaking like a leaf but couldn't grab hold of him for comfort, damnit. Yes, yes I know you're supposed to think Scream is hilarious and not scary but I am a wimp. I was terrified by the opening sequence which set the tone for the shaking for which I blame Drew Barrymore because she was just so authentic in it. I was scared for her but also with her, which is the key. The story has two happy endings: first, we did end up dating (the guy and me -- not Drew & me! -- albeit six months or so later) and second, it's now common accepted wisdom that Drew Barrymore's performance was absolutely sensational and one of the best ever in a horror movie.
Angel: Have you seen any of the "vomit gore trilogy" films?
I don't know what that is. But from the sound of it, no.
Marcy: Have you been seeing Ringer and Revenge? Which one do you prefer?
Andrea: What´s your opinion about Cruel Intentions?
Darleen: Do you like Sarah Michelle Gellar? Why did Reese Witherspoon became more famous?
Because Sarah Michelle Gellar is currently playing twins, I'll answer these questions together as triplets. Marcy, I wrote up the pilots of Ringer and Revenge here. Since then I am still enjoying Revenge but it doesn't seem sustainable and I like Ringer more and more but only when its at its absolute cheesiest/trashiest. It takes awhile for some shows to find their voice and I want this one to be as ridiculous as that much derided boat sequence was all the time. As for Reese & Sarah... I barely remember Cruel Intentions. I very much like SMG. Reese became more famous because a) she had lucky breaks which she met with tremendous talent. (She's since forgotten how to use her powers for good but that's different issue) and b) Sarah got famous doing genre work ("Buffy") and no matter how talented you prove yourself to be in genre films or genre television, virtually nobody who works in casting in Hollywood seems to believe that this requires skill or star charisma.
If I had one general but realistic wish about changing the weird way careers go in Hollywood it would be the removal of the industry blindspot when it comes to genre acting. I don't know how you can do what Katee Sackhoff did on Battlestar Galactica or what Enver Gjokaj did on Dollhouse (to cite two of my favorite examples) and not be swimming in offers afterwards instead of just back on the breadlines with the other working actors? I actually think this is also why Jamie Lee Curtis rarely won any awards despite being totally awesome since she started in a slasher flick.
"Amy Adams": What's your favorite Amy Adams performance?
LOL. I'm just going to pretend it's actually you! This prize easily goes to Junebug in which you are eternally adorable but, way way more importantly, utterly inspired and original in what could have just been an "adorable" role. But you're also excellent in The Fighter. The magic in the latter is all in your baby blues and their backstories.
MDA: I think you'd agree that there is a dearth of visible minorities in prominent acting roles in Hollywood right now; who would be in your top five of actors who deserve more work?
I answered this question, at least in regards to black actors, in this previous column. But for minorities in general, pick virtually ANY Asian actor. I think they have it the worst at getting good and regular parts in Hollywood projects. But let's see. If I were a casting director I'd definitely try to get the following people more work or at least higher profile work: Paulina Gaitan (so affecting in completely different ways in Sin Nombre and We Are What We Are), Michael Peña (always good), Demián Bichir (that last scene in A Better Life. gah. I cry!) and I like John Cho too. Er... I feel like I am not answering this question well. It's SUCH a big question. Let's narrow it down somehow by gender or ethnicity.
Or someone help me in the comments. Which underemployed minority actors do you think deserve more work?
Jake: What does Evan Rachel Wood needs to do in order to win an Oscar?
Deglam... or rather, Desex. I think she's got to play against type at this point because in some sense I think a lot of people have come to associate her with her characters, and that's not always a good thing for Oscar play or even Emmy wins as the Mildred Pierce loss show us.
Also... though I can't prove it, I have a theory that male Academy voters like to be hot for you in an abstract "she's beautiful!" way but not necessarily so hot for you that they're fully aware of their hard-on. Because then they don't respect you. I mean how else do you explain the cold shoulder Kathleen Turner kept getting in the 80s for work as brilliant as Body Heat or Romancing the Stone?
Someone back up this theory quick in the comments if I'm on to something.
Hofverbergs: Of the unawarded actresses from the 80s-90s: Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver & Barbara Hershey who do you think will win an Oscar?
None if Close doesn't win this year. I think there are windows for these sorts of things for actresses (not so much with actors who they like grizzled) and the only way to win one beyond the traditional time frame -- late 20s to early 40s -- is either with a stroke of once-in-a-lifetime luck in the form of a new iconic role (like the ones Julie Christie and Sissy Spacek got in 2007 and 2001) that doesn't arrive in a year where there's a history-making young beautiful woman option for voters OR to apply serious momentum "overdue" pressure in the form of constant attacks on the Academy's sensibility which is how Meryl Streep will eventually win her 3rd and maybe 4th, even up against the hot young things. There are other complications: Hershey, Turner and Close don't get the right opportunities anymore; Sigourney Weaver gets a lot of bite-sized work and can do exceptional things with only one or two scenes (she's just rich and awesome in Rampart going head-to-head with Woody Harrelson and even fun head-to-head with a block of wood in the utterly stoopid Abduction) but she's never in the right project at the right time and in the right size role; Pfeiffer merely doesn't work enough -- she's enough of a beloved star to win if she did apply Streep-style momentum but her history shows us that she either doesn't want it enough, doesn't have good enough taste in scripts, or just isn't currently in favor with the A list filmmakers who could offer her the right role(s) in prestige projects.
Mr Ripley: Ok seeing how they may go head to head at the oscars next year swap a meryl part for a glenn part and a glenn part for a meryl one? - any era!!!
This is actually easy because I think Meryl and Glenn, who were compared more often in the 80s than they are now, are actually kind of oppositely skilled. Meryl isn't very good at the kind of thriller-bound dramatic villainess that Glenn can do (superbly) in her sleep -- see Meryl's botching of The Manchurian Candidate or her own admission that she didn't understand this type of stylization when she tried it in Still of the Night -- so I think she'd be not very good in something like Dangerous Liaisons or Fatal Attraction. But she's great at comic villains which I actually think Close is too obvious when playing; Meryl's hammy too but in a more infectious 'laugh with me!' way. So I'd be tempted to give Streep the Cruella role in 101 Dalmations. And I'd be tempted to give Close the French Lieutenant's Woman role because it's my least favorite early Streep Oscar nomination and Close's 80s-era eroticism (Fatal Attraction, Big Chill, Liaisons) was so hypnotic both for being weirdly convincing and totally unconventional at the same time.
I can't judge it without seeing it but I always thought Close would make a better Margaret Thatcher too. We shall see when The Iron Lady arrives.
Luiserghio: In anticipation of Meryl Streep's (very possible) 17th nomination: for you, how many nominations and actual wins (Oscars) should she have today?
I would have voted like so... Nominations: The Deer Hunter (1978), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Ironweed (1987), A Cry in the Dark (1988), Postcards From the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Adaptation(2002)... A Prairie Home Companion (2006) and Wins: Sophie's Choice (1982), Silkwood (1983), and The Devil Wears Prada (2006). So that would be 11 nominations / 3 Oscars.
Undecided: 1985 & 1998 would be close-but-no-cigar calls for Plenty and One True Thing and in a similar way, though I love her work in The Hours but she remains in the dread #6 spot that year below Moore, Huppert, Morton, Lane and Kidman (though Kidman and Streep are basically equally good in that movie)
How many nominations and wins would you give Meryl?
Remember it's not # of performances I like but actual top 5 worthy of an entire year placements.
Who would you love to see Ryan paired with for the first time... or again?