Before interviewing Lee Pace—who returns to Middle-earth as the Elvenking, Thranduil, in the upcoming ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’—I conducted a completely scientific poll (it was not scientific at all, I randomly asked my friends), asking “Where do you think Lee Pace is from?” Of the seven people I asked, only one knew that Pace was born in the United States. (This particular person guessed Nebraska, the correct answer is Oklahoma and/or Texas.) What’s most remarkable about this is just how shocked people look when they find out that Pace went to high school in Houston. (Honestly, this all seems like a compliment. An “actor from England” seems to have more prestige than “an actor from Houston.”)
Interviews - Page 2
Damien Chazelle’s film, ‘Whiplash’—the story of a future jazz prodigy (Miles Teller) and his manipulative, sadistic conductor (J.K. Simmons, who seems to be the odds-on favorite to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor) has had quite the journey this year. It premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and wound up taking home the top prize. After, it steadily built momentum from word of mouth on the festival circuit and now, having been in release for two months, it still seems to be operating on a word of mouth system. (I still get text messages from friends back in the Midwest asking, “Should I see ‘Whiplash’? I keep hearing it’s good.”)
‘Wild,’ which stars another actor, Reese Witherspoon, who is seeking a reclamation of sorts after a high-profile arrest and spending the last few years in rom-com hell. Witherspoon already has an Oscar for her performance in ‘Walk the Line,’ but, other than that added twist, we are hearing the exact same things about a Vallée movie that we did last year.
Matthew Goode has a way of being the best thing in a lot of movies, even without a lot of starring roles. In ‘The Imitation Game,’ he is surrounded by talented actors (and actors getting Oscar buzz), yet, still, Goode is a standout as the rival and sometimes friend of Alan Turing —the man who helped break the Nazi code and was then punished by his own government for being gay, which eventually led to Turing’s suicide. Ahead, in an extended interview (we had enough time that even ‘Chasing Liberty’ was brought up for reasons I can’t 100 percent defend), Goode discusses his what-should-be-awards-buzzing performance and why he can’t be in as many movies as we’d maybe like him to be.
On Sunday afternoon, we spoke to Emily Blunt who is promoting her role in Disney’s ‘Into the Woods.’ During this conversation, Blunt referenced her character in this summer’s ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ comparing that role to what a possible Marvel movie might be. It just so happens, Blunt’s name has been mentioned in Internet buzz as a possible lead in Marvel’s ‘Captain Marvel’ (due in 2018), which would be Marvel’s first movie with a female lead. Has Blunt heard this buzz? As it turns out, she has. And she seems to find that buzz quite flattering, but admits she has had no discussions with Marvel at this time.
When you speak to Sam Claflin, he is nothing like his ‘Hunger Games’ counterpart—he comes across as humble (an adjective that does not at all describe Finnick Odair) and he doesn’t quite understand why anyone would want to make such a fuss over him. As Claflin says, ‘The Hunger Games’ has brought him a lot more attention, but he can still walk down the street—it’s not quite the same phenomenon that he’s witnessed happen to a few of his co-stars. Ahead, Claflin discusses his pivotal role in this ‘Hunger Games’ chapter—which includes a prolonged filibuster used as a distraction during a rescue mission—and he explains how Finnick, in the heat of battle, can still have such perfect hair.
Francis Lawrence, the director of three out of the four ‘Hunger Games’ movies, gets emotional when the subject of Philip Seymour Hoffman is discussed. It’s not so much grief at this point (it’s been over nine months since the actor’s death), but it’s...
There’s a special sensibility that James Marsh brings as the director of ‘The Theory of Everything,’ which, I suspect, has a lot to do with his success as a documentary filmmaker. Marsh won an Oscar for directing ‘Man on Wire’ – a documentary detailing Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between the two World Trade Center towers – and now he’s back on everyone’s awards radar with his Stephen Hawking biopic, ‘The Theory of Everything.’
It’s a strange thing, admiring an actor’s ability to physically act out a part when the role in question has that actor almost entirely immobilized. And what Eddie Redmayne does in portraying Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory of Everything' is physical – what Redmayne conveys and accomplishes with basically just limited facial expressions is truly remarkable. But that’s the thing: who looks at Stephen Hawking and thinks to themselves, Yeah, I could successfully portray this man in a movie?
Felicity Jones in ‘The Theory of Everything’ is a revelation of sorts. Think about how many times a biopic has been done and the lead female character is written off in reviews as “So and so was great in a thankless role.” Ignoring the cliché of the word “thankless,” that’s almost become a trope in movies like this: The “thankless” role for a woman. But, that’s what’s so fascinating about Jones in ‘The Theory of Everything,’ not only is she Great with a capital G playing the role of Stephen Hawking’s first wife, Jane Hawking, an argument could also be made that Jones is the true lead of this movie. Put another way: There are a lot of thanks to go around.