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Entries in casting (130)

Thursday
Jul212016

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (S1.E5-6)

We haven't forgotten about Crazy Ex Girlfriend. We'll just mix in it as we get through its hilarious episodes in preparation for Season 2. 

S1:E5 "Josh and I Are Good People!"

Rebecca, still guilty from her terrible behavior with Greg, attempts to prove to herself that she's a good person by getting mixed up in people's lives including Daryl's custody battle for his daughter. Josh also goes a little mental worrying that he's too much of a sinner. Let's rank the crazy...

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Friday
Jul082016

Will Justin Bring Sexy Back to Woody Allen Movies? 

Eric on strange casting news. Justin Timberlake will be joining the cast of Woody Allen’s upcoming 2017 film (as yet untitled). He'll join Kate Winslet, Jim Belushi, and Juno Temple. If that isn’t one of the weirdest casts for any movie, let alone a Woody movie, I don’t know what is.  It’s funny imagining those four people in the same room together, let alone the same film. 

Woody has had the most unpredictable decade, delivering some of his best (Blue Jasmine, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris, Match Point) and some of his worst (Irrational Man and Magic in the Moonlight), and you just never know what you’re going to get...

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Wednesday
Jul062016

Interview: That Neon-Loving Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn

Nicolas Winding Refn. Photographed by Tom Hoops for Lab MagazineNicolas Winding Refn, the Danish auteur whose made a career of candy colored violent films after grimier movies at home, is both exactly what you'd expect and unexpected. The expected: he's a little bit eccentric pacing the room rather than sitting, a little intimidating, and a little impish -- it's difficult to know if he truly means what he says in some instances, or if he has just mastered the art of provocation. The unexpected: he's relatively friendly, surprisingly generous about his collaborators despite the auteur's ego, very tall, thin and surprisingly attractive, something you wouldn't necessarily think since he's so often been photographed with inhuman gods like Ryan Gosling who make everyone but other movie stars look crumpled and basic.

As we talk we find mutual ground in Christina Hendricks adoration ("the perfect woman," he says) but elsewhere it's like he's speaking a foreign language and I don't mean Danish. His films, though quite serious on the surface, betray a dark sense of humor, and yet it still surprises me to hear him drop "I think it would be fun to make a spy movie" as we're saying our goodbyes. Why is this surprising? I couldn't quite tell you but such is the fascination of meeting this singular director, whatever you make of his increasingly divisive movies.

Our interview follows....

NATHANIEL: Let's talk about your opening scene. It's such a bold tableau. Did you ever worry you were coming on too strong. Like 'how will I top that first image?'

NICOLAS WINDING REFN: I'm setting the stage knowing that, if you look through the film, you'll see the same dynamic in all the other scenes of death and beauty.

NATHANIEL: So you're laying the theme.

NWR: I'm laying the theme right on. Most films -- storytelling in mass media -- start slowly, introducing. Eventually it gets to some kind of dramatic point in the first act. That means the second act is how do we solve it and the third act is resolution. But i don't necessarily believe that's the right order...

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Saturday
May282016

Who should direct / star in the next Bond? 

In not surprising news, Sam Mendes is moving on from the 007 franchise after Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Daniel Craig is probably moving on, too, but rumors about who will replace him are, as ever, premature. The names floating about this time are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston (wishful fan thinking, maybe, since the internet has been suggesting these two names forever) and 30 year old Jamie Bell which is an interesting idea and probably not a bad one. If chosen he'd be the youngest Bond since Sean Connery (who was 30 when he was cast for Dr. No (1962) though most subsequent Bonds have been around 40 when they started. Plus Bell is super charismatic but underused in cinema.

Though Bond films are largely regarded as producer driven and leading actor focused pictures, rather than directorial feats, the man in the chair is important. In the past the franchise has generally relied on mid level directors rather than auteurs, the two with the most success outside the franchise are Oscar winner Sam Mendes and Oscar nominee Lewis Gilbert. Once the franchise even handed the reigns to a Bond editor who graduated to the director's chair (John Glen) for his directorial debut.

Directed the Most Bond Films

  1. John Glen - 5 Bonds: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, License to Kill (and he edited a few more before those); Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Not really
  2. Guy Hamilton -4 Bonds: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Force 10 From Navarone
  3. [TIE] Terence Young - 3 Bonds: Dr No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Wait Until Dark AND Lewis Gilbert - 3 Bonds: You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker: Key Picture(s) Outside the Franchise: Alfie (Oscar Nomination), and Educating Rita
  4. [TIE] Sam Mendes - 2 Bonds: Skyfall, Spectre; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: American Beauty (Oscar win), and Road to Perdition AND Martin Campbell - 2 Bonds: GoldenEye, Casino Royale; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: The Mask of Zorro

 If you could bend producer Barbara Broccoli's ear...
What would you whisper to the woman behind the franchise who makes those final hiring decisions?  

 

Thursday
May262016

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem Join The Asghar Farhadi Avengers

After scooping up Best Screenplay and Best Actor honors for The Salesman at the Cannes Film Festival, Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi has swiftly landed two more international prizes for his next film: Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The Oscar-winning couple reuniting onsceen is only the half of it; as previously announced last year, they join producers Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar for Farhadi’s first Spanish-language project. If you place the emphasis on the first word in “cinematic universe,” this is the sort of continent-crossing collaboration of which one dreams. As the superheroes behind A Separation, Volver, No Country for Old MenAll About My Mother, and Wild Tales coalesce and move towards production, we can’t wait to see what kind of direction they take the project.

While Cruz, Bardem, and the brothers Almodóvar have all collaborated with one another in some form before – recently, Broken EmbracesVicky Cristina Barcelona; not so recently, Live Flesh – it should be fascinating to see how these very outwardly expressive films gel against Farhadi’s track record of inwardly simmering yet subtly explosive dramas. It’s no surprise that Cruz and Bardem already contend with some of cinema’s sexiest movie star marriages – contemporarily, I’d give them the gold – and it will be fascinating to see how or if Farhadi bends that image against them. His films tend to combust entrenched socio-cultural strictures rather than manipulate flashy celeb fodder but, then again, Kubrick was never much of an Us Weekly guy and he still warped Cruise and Kidman with fascinatingly transgressive results.

What are some of your favorite movies with IRL married couples thrust into diegesis? Or, on a more directorly note, what do you think of Almodóvar and Farhadi teaming up behind the scenes?

Thursday
May122016

Misty Copeland Gets the Biopic Treatment

Kieran, here. It was announced today that a biopic of ballerina Misty Copeland is currently in the works at New Line Cinema. Based on Copeland's own memoir "Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina," the film will chart Copeland's rise to fame as the first black principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, despite a delayed beginning--she didn't start taking ballet until age 13, which is extremely late compared to other dancers. The project will be penned by Gregory Allen Howard, who scripted Remember the Titans and the upcoming theatrical Harriet Tubman biopic (not the Viola Davis project, though Nathaniel was correct in wishing that those projects would merge). No director is attached to the project as of yet.

News of this project means an opportunity for a black actress to take center stage (no pun intended) in a major motion picture, which shouldn't be a rare occasion but feels like it in the current cinematic landscape. [More...]

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Monday
May092016

Two Must Reads: Asian Actors Speak Out, and Method Acting's History

After two hit TV shows Daniel Dae Kim is Broadway's new King of SiamTwo Must Reads today that are a pleasure to highlight

The Hollywood Reporter published a piece called "Where are the Asian-American Movie Stars?" that's definitely worth a look. Kudos to fine actors like Maggie Q, Daniel Wu, Daniel Dae Kim, Ming-Na Wen and others for forging and holding down careers (it can't have been easy) and speaking out about the white-washing. The problem is not just that Hollywood doesn't get it but that they also don't make use of what they already have. There is plentiful camera-ready talent out there, but Hollywood mostly ignores Asian Actors.

The white washing is so egregious lately that even an upcoming animated film from China called The Guardian Brothers has an all non-Asian voice cast for its US release! What the holy f***? That cast includes Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, and quite frankly that pisses me off. They should know better. Neither of those perpetually working  Oscar winning goddesses need the exposure, the work, or the money that that job will offer.  

[More after the jump on this topic and Method Acting, too...]

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