Mike Ryan is currently the senior editor at ScreenCrush. Mike most recently served as Senior Entertainment Writer for The Huffington Post. Previously, Mr. Ryan was a frequent contributor at Vanity Fair and Wired magazine and wrote for Time, GQ, ELLE-UK, and New York magazine.
Mike Ryan Biography
The first thing you notice about Brie Larson is her unexpected height, forever putting her in my own personal “this actor was much taller than I expected” club, where she joins the likes of John Cusack and Colin Firth. The second is that she’s, pleasantly, a bit of an oddball, meant in the most endearing and interesting way possible. With a single answer, she has the ability to be aloof and on point at the exact same time. Larson seems to have it all figured out without even trying. In other words: She’s winning a game that even she admits is impossible to win.
Christoph Waltz is a lot like what you might expect Christoph Waltz to be like in person: Forever charming, even when he doesn’t agree with what you are saying. And Waltz always has a lot to say, which comes from an interesting perspective as an actor who, after years in German cinema, now owns two Academy Awards. Waltz has an equally interesting approach to characters—he doesn’t see characters as “good” or “bad”; and he certainly doesn’t let himself think about the fact that in his latest film, Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes,’ he’s playing a real person—but whatever Waltz is doing, it appears to be working.
While standing in the hallway of New York’s Waldorf Astoria, Emily Blunt approached me, assertively, and said, “We’ve met before.” This happens from time to time before interviews, even from people I’ve never met, but it’s usually with an I hope I’m right question uptick at the end. This seemed different. I responded, “We have, Comic-Con two years ago. There’s no way you remember that.” Chit chat continued and, it was at this point, that a publicist approached us and asked that we not conduct an interview in the hallway, so we were led into a hotel conference room with a big round table. Even in a desolate room like this one, Blunt has the ability to be on and funny when nothing funny should ever happen in a room like this.
A few months ago, the Internet celebrated the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ as the Internet is wont to do: retrospectives, lists about things we may or may not have known about ‘Batman,’ embeddable clips from Prince’s ‘Batdance.’ So it’s kind of fitting that both the director of ‘Batman,’ Tim Burton, and its star, Michael Keaton, currently have movies out that are considered respective departures. Burton, for dropping his signature style to make the Margaret Keane biopic, ‘Big Eyes,’ and Keaton for playing off his own persona as Batman in ‘Birdman’—a movie Burton has yet to see, but that fact doesn’t stop Burton from saying many wonderful things about Keaton.
Rupert Wyatt admits he was at one point attached to direct the sequel, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ but he and the studio couldn’t come to an agreement on the story. What was Wyatt’s version of the sequel? Wyatt claims he’s never told anyone before, but, ahead, he reveals what his intentions were for the sequel, including a tie-in with the original 1968 movie.
It’s always an interesting thing when actors host ‘SNL.’ You know, actors in the sense that there’s just no way to know if his or her talent will translate to ‘SNL.’ They are true wild cards. Two years ago, Christoph Waltz hosted ‘SNL’ and it was one of the best shows of that season. Who knew? And now here comes Martin Freeman as yet another true wild card. No one knew what to expect—and, as it turns out, Freeman is so quirky as a host, sometimes he just felt like a member of the cast. These are the best kind of hosts. This might not have had an Internet friendly signature moment, but, top to bottom, this is one of the best ‘SNL’’s in the last five years. (Put it this way, there was only one sketch in the “bad” category and it’s the first time in the five years of ‘SNL’ Scorecard that there hasn’t been an “Ugly.” There just wasn’t one this show.) Here is your Scorecard...
It’s kind of a strange thing to write about ‘The Interview’ now, right? Its place in culture will always be defined by the Sony hacks that preceded the movie’s release. Is any other film defined so sharply by events that were out of that movie’s control?
Rumors are flying that even though Christoph Waltz’s character is technically named Franz Oberhauser in the next James Bond installment, ‘Spectre,’ he’s actually playing Bond’s arch-nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The now two-time Oscar winner, Waltz, is currently promoting his Golden Globe nominated turn in Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes.’
It’s a weird thing, I can already tell that ‘Inherent Vice’ will grow on me after time. I can already tell I like it better as I type this than I did while watching it. People will compare ‘Inherent Vice’ to the Coen brothers’ 1998 movie ‘The Big Lebowski’ and that’s totally fair because I’m going to do just that right now. Both films feature protagonists – with an affinity for marijuana use – who experience a remarkable adventure while searching for something that doesn’t matter. Sixteen years later, Mickey Woolfman means about as much as the money for a urine-soaked rug. It matters to the character but it never really matters much to us and, in both of these cases, we wind up being right.
Tracey Ullman is starring in Disney’s adaptation of ‘Into the Woods’ as Jack’s Mother, (a play she has admired since her son played the role of Jack in middle school). ‘Into the Woods’ is the story of a baker (James Cordon; the new host of ‘The Late Late Show’ who was in the running against rumored names like Amy Schumer, who Ullman greatly admires) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who make a deal with a Witch (Meryl Streep) in an effort to have a child. Ullman admits her film options are limited because she wishes there were more roles for “women in their mid-50s”, which is (a) accurate and (b) infuriating that this is true. Ahead, Ullman shares her experiences of being in a music video with Paul McCartney (twice) and her opinions on the state of women in comedy today. (Spoiler alert: She thinks it’s ridiculous.)