At 60 years old, an age she freely admits, Mary Steenburgen has had an amazing career. She's an Oscar-winning actress, an award-winning song writer and has starred in so many projects that are a major part of pop culture from 'Elf' to 'Back to the Future III' to 'Step Brothers.' She continues to work and, maybe most impressively, isn't just playing the grandma in a movie. She's the romantic lead in a movie opening today, 'Last Vegas' with Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline.
We caught up with Steenburgen to talk about her impressive career, the 'Step Brothers' outtakes, a return to 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and how nerds keep coming up to her wanting to talk about 'Back to the Future' 23 years later.
‘Orange Is the New Black‘ breakout star Samira Wiley helped solidify the Netflix drama as a major contender and centerpiece of the cultural conversation for its unique depiction of women in the correctional system, as per 'Weeds' creator Jenji Kohan's vision. Fans adored Wiley's recurring character Poussey Washington (accent à droite, b-tch!) and her unique relationship with Taystee (Danielle Brooks), but what does Wiley herself have to say about season 2 and beyond?
It's rare that thought would go through your head as you prepare to spend a weekend covering a movie. I mean, interviewing Tommy Lee Jones might feel like getting punched in the balls, but never a movie star actually punching your nuts. Then again there aren't many movies like 'Bad Grandpa.' The film stars Johnny Knoxville and is produced by many of his 'Jackass' cohorts, notorious for their behind-the-scenes nut-punches.
Armed with the knowledge that a potential smack to the groin lurked around every corner, I packed my bags to spend a weekend in Vegas, Grandpa Style. Could I survive a weekend with Johnny Knoxville and Team Jackass?
'Baggage Claim' may mine familiar territory with its tale of a flight attendant sorting through her exes for the perfect man, but Djimon Hounsou is better than perfect in the film – he’s complicated. Playing a hugely successful hotelier who offers unexpected proposition to Montana (Paula Patton), the film’s heroine, Hounsou presents a sophisticated alternative to the African characters that too often appear on film. Possessed of a more cosmopolitan attitude about relationships, Hounsou’s character provides the film with one of its only alternatives to traditional relationships, and makes that option even more appealing than the one she’s chasing.
We sat down with Hounsou at the recent Los Angeles press day for 'Baggage Claim,' where the actor offers some remarkable insights about not just his character, but the perception of Africans in American and European entertainment. Putting his own professional endeavors in a cultural context, Hounsou talked about the work he does with each role, and revealed how taxing it can be to balance those larger responsibilities with his own creative process.
It's easy to be jealous of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's an incredibly talented (and good-looking) guy. He can act, sing, dance and with his latest movie, 'Don Jon,' he proves he can write and direct too. It's almost not fair. But, it's hard to hate a guy who is so damned nice. (Oh, did we mention he's also just about the nicest guy you could meet? Yeah, that too.)
We caught up with Gordon-Levitt to talk about the challenges of making his first movie, whether people take actors seriously as directors and, as a native New Jerseyan, how he and co-star Scarlett Johansson managed to so perfectly embody that Jersey style.
No matter how it happened, 'SNL' vet Bill Hader has become one of the go-to voices for animation, as he leads this weekend's 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2' as Flint Lockwood. On top of that, he's popular at Pixar and will do voice work for their upcoming films 'The Good Dinosaur' and 'Inside Out,' which we talked about, and the process of doing voiceover in the days while working on 'SNL' at night.
Hader is knee-deep in the animated world as he's working on this new season of 'South Park,' where you could hear his Alec Baldwin impression last night. Hader is also one of the preeminent nerds in pop culture, so we covered a lot of ground in our freewheeling discussion about his career and his taste.
Fantastic Fest 2013 kicks off this week in Austin, Texas -- every year, Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League and his selection committee choose a variety of genre films to present to movie fans and Drafthouse devotees at the festival, which takes place this year at the recently opened Lakeline location in North Austin. Fantastic Fest is the kind of festival where you'll see everything from Keanu Reeves' new martial arts film, 'Man of Tai Chi,' to independent gems like 'Detective Downs' (a movie about a private investigator with Downs Syndrome), and festival favorites like 'Escape from Tomorrow,' which was filmed guerrilla-style at Disneyland.
We had a chance to chat with Mr. League about what we can expect at this year's festival, the movie he's most excited to share with attendees, and the big events he has in store.
Though he might not be as well known as Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito (Co-President at Marvel Studios) has been one of Marvel's top producers, having worked on all the in-house Marvel films since 'Iron Man.' He's also become the regular director of the 'Marvel One-Shot' series, which have gotten bigger and better with each new entry in the series.
With the Blu-ray release of 'Iron Man 3' comes the latest 'One Shot' 'Agent Carter,' which is easily the best of the series and stars Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter as a James Bond-esque superspy, though one that isn't taken seriously by her superiors because she's a woman. It's smart and fun, giving Atwell another shot at one of her best roles (a part she's likely to reprise).
D'Esposito came up working as an assistant director for the likes of Paul Verhoven and Elaine May, but with the 'One Shot' films, D'Esposito is not only coming in to his own, but perhaps positioning himself to direct one of Marvel's next superhero movies.
We spoke to him about Marvel spinoffs, the origins of Nick Fury, 'Captain America: Winter Soldier,' 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and more.
A nominee for Best Foreign Film at the 2013 Academy Awards, Kon-Tiki not only roused audiences with its sweeping tale of Thor Heyerdahl’s journey across the Pacific, but earned the kind of widespread acclaim that could make its directors’ careers. But Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning, the team responsible for the adventure, have been working steadily for years around the world, debuting with the feature Bandidas and subsequently helming commercials and another feature, Max Manus, which established their talent and versatility. That their next project is a massive Hollywood blockbuster – the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film – feels like the icing on a cake they started making almost a decade prior.
We caught up with Ronning and Sandberg via telephone earlier this week to discuss the home video release of Kon-Tiki. In addition to talking about the obstacles – and opportunities – in telling Heyerdahl’s tale, the duo discussed their worldwide professional ambitions, and the prospect of rekindling the essential appeal of the original Pirates film as they connect their personal creativity to its fifth installment.
Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell are responsible for one of the biggest horror franchises of all-time with the 'Saw' movies. Since then, they've created yet another horror franchise as 'Insidious: Chapter 2' opens in theaters this Friday. We caught up with Wan (who also directed this summer's 'The Conjuring') and Whannell to talk about creating the follow-up and how exactly you make a scary movie even scarier.
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