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Thursday
Apr102014

Where My Girls At? Brie Larson, Viola Davis, Kiki Dunst & More...

And now our semi-weekly check in with actresses we love. Where / What / Who are they up to?

BRIE
Brie Larson has accepted an offer to star in the psychological horror drama as "Ma", about a woman who's trapped in her father's basement for years with her son. It's based on the novel by Emma Donoghue who also did the screenplay but the novel is narrated by the 5 year old child who's only ever known this one room so that one's going to be tricky to make breathe as a film. This seems a better fit for her dramatic gifts than that dumb Terminator reboot she lost out on. The actress is in demand now post Short Term 12 as well she should be. She's also got The Gambler remake and the comedy Trainwreck coming out. Room is not the only novel adaptation she's attached to. She'll probably co-star in The Good Luck of Right Now based on a forthcoming novel by Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick. From descriptions of the novel I'm guessing she's playing the librarian girlfriend of the bipolar leading man, who believes she was once abducted by aliens. [src]

VIOLA
As we feared but predicted Hollywood wasted the golden years right after The Help (a white actress in that kind of huge hit / breakthrough would have gotten a ton of follow up offers) and kept on casting Viola Davis in thankless supporting bits that didn't really require her skill level. Just as they'd always done. But the actress stays busy. As previously discussed she has a small but potentially showy role in Get On Up, the James Brown biopic.  And she is politically active too. The actress, who often went hungry as a child living in poverty is speaking out as part of the "Hunger Is" initiative. [src

You wake up thinking about food, you go to sleep thinking about food. We live in a country where you can have anything in your reach, and it's emotionally shameful to live in a land of plenty with nothing to eat. 

That little girl who grew up in dysfunction and poverty is still with me. That's why I need to help those who don't have a voice."

She's already filmed her next five roles: as previously discussed she'll play the showy small role of James Brown's mom in Get On Up (August, 2014); she's excellent as a college professor in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Pts 1 and 2 (release date still TBA but I saw it at TIFF); she's in Michael Mann's thriller Cyber (January, 2015) with Chris Hemsworth as the headliner and supposedly her role is large there as an FBI agent; She'll headline Shonda Rhimes TV series "How To Get Away With Murder" and if it gets picked up past the pilot, don't expect to see her on your movie screens for awhile; The other leading role is Lila & Eve (she plays Lila) but her co-star is... (wait for it)... Jennifer Lopez? Huh. They play moms out to avenge their children who were gunned down in a drive by. The film is directed by Charles Stone III (Mr 3000 and Drumline). There's been little movement on the most exciting Viola projects though -- still no word on a film version of Fences (her Tony winning role despite the obvious marketability (Denzel Washington  is proven to be one of the surest box office draws in the world) and her proposed biopic about politician Barbara Jordan with a screenplay by Tony Kushner is also quiet. Both are the kind of prestige projects that could challenge her and win her an Oscar but I fear neither are going to happen.

SIGOURNEY
[SPOILER ALERT] Lt. Ellen Ripley may return in Prometheus 2 from Ridley Scott. Rumor has it that Sigourney Weaver will return to her signature role. Or a clone version thereof. [/SPOILER]

MICHELLE
There is nothing happening. I continue to be so disappointed that she does not care. She's an empty-nester this year even so for god's sake get back to work.

KIKI
Kirsten Dunst, whose career is back on track with the 1-2-3 punch of great performances in All Good Things, Bachelorette, and Melancholia has upset people with not-exactly progressive gender comments she made to Harpers Bazaar UK (she's on the cover, pictured above). But we're here to talk about her career. 

She'll be back on screens very soon in the Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January (torn between Viggo & Oscar Isaac? Tough life) and not very soon but maybe later this year in Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special a father and son sci-fi-tinged drama (his follow up to Mud so one assumes he'll get bigger budgets now) so it surely won't be focused on her. Still... I feel more offers really ought to be headed her way, right? Her career is back on track but it isn't quite on fire. Some auteur needs to bring some gasoline. Because, as former co-star Ben Foster agreed in our interview in 2011, her talent is major. "She is a beast of an actor, always has been." 

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Reader Comments (21)

Just a heads up, Kirsten Dunst was in "Bachelorette", not "Bridesmaids". Otherwise, loved this whole post!

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKevin!

LOL. what a slip. I hated when people compared those movies ;)

April 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Hollywood has nothing for non-white dramatic actresses because they never commission racially neutral scripts for women. Michael Clayton was initially offered to Denzel Washington—a scenario never to be repeat reversing the sexes. No role being offered to Meryl Streep declining it would go to Viola Davis or Alfre Woodard or Angela Bassett because the Streep scripts would specify the character is white. When writing for men Hollywood does allow for racially neutral lead characters. It is progress that Washington and Clooney are allowed access to strong material for either one of them. But the sexism of the institution is why fuck-ability is still a standard for women. Hollywood is mind numbing and soul crushing.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Sigourney must have few offers if she's sullying her Alien legacy witha cameo in THAT rumoured sequal.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

People's outrage over that Kirsten Dunst interview is beyond ridiculous to me. I get that the internet age isn't fond of subtlety, but this is a level of obtuseness beyond my comprehension. Then again, people have always been on the watch for reasons to hate on Kiki. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Just rewatched What Lies Beneath talent and beauty there and some major acting chops,she makes it work,the film is so hokey!!! though.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

in other news... I heard that Sharon Stone has a TNT drama playing the Vice President....

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe

I don't understand how Fences is not being made yet? Prestigious play + Denzel /Viola . The Help and The Butler both have made a lot of cash so this idea that dramatic films with black leads aren't marketable is insane

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Its all about money and who owns the rights and control re: Fences. Who would have thought AOC would turn out to be a dog.......but it did.

Fences is a very important piece of American literature. If handled correctly, it will be a HUGE hit. If handled wrong..........such a shame.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Nice list, though I don't have the love for Michelle as folks here seem to. Really hope that Brie can get something going--SHORT TERM 12 made my top 10 for last year. Sigourney's turn in Political Animals was pretty good; she could use a Damages or other innovative TV drama to better showcase her talents for the long run (for example, Christine Baranski is doing fantastic work on The Good Wife.) IMO, Weaver was the weak link in Vanya, Sonya, Masha, and Spike, and I haven't liked her in movies since GALAXY QUEST (don't judge me) .

Very excited about Jeff Nichols' new movie since I've really enjoyed his others, and glad to see Dunst up for a role. Witherspoon was good in MUD, but underused (part was perhaps underwritten?) so I hope the same doesn't happen to Dunst.

And Viola, dear, amazing, talented Viola. My fingers are crossed for her every time I see the words "casting news".

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

You forgot about Joan Allen!

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

ROOM is such an incredible novel and if it HAD to be made into a film, I'm glad the original author wrote the screenplay. Brie is a PERFECT casting choice, and that's a major coup since I'm sure every actress in her age bracket was gunning for it. Although it should be noted that she's not held captive in a room built by HER father, but by the boy's father.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I've been reading a book on Pauline Kael and I thought it was interesting to know she wined and dined Stephen Frears and got him to drop Kelly McGillis and offer Mme. de Tourvel to Michelle. Sure wish Pauline was still around and offering advice like that.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTy

Lila and Eve is a reunion for Viola and JLo after Out of Sight. Maybe Viola will excite her and get JLO to give a performance on that level again.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

Ty: Really? Kelly McGillis? If that was his initial idea of casting that role, no wonder Frears peak grade is B+ or A-.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Pauline Kael is irreplaceable.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

If Red Light Winter ever gets into production with Kiki still involved? It will be the best performance of her career.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

Maybe Michelle isn't getting offered any good parts right now ?

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

I don't think Michelle Pfeiffer should be chastised for not working. She devoted a big chunk of her life to acting and gave us many fantastic performances. If she wants to pursue other interests or just relax and enjoy life without having to work, I understand.

And I have high hopes for Viola Davis's career. She said that 'How To Get Away With Murder' gives her the chance to play all the things she's not allowed to play in film, so I look forward to that, and Denzel has expressed interest in directing a film adaptation of 'Fences.' Fingers crossed!

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Rami is absolutely right about Fences, but can someone explained what happened with this project: http://www.chron.com/life/article/Viola-Davis-to-take-on-Barbara-Jordan-role-3728868.php. Where is Nancy Drew when you need her?

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

It's great all these actresses are still getting work. Some projects might not sound promising or overall baity, but it's said enough big baity projects went nowhere.
Timing is all. Maybe they'll have it one day.

April 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

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