October 18, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
“12 Years a Slave” star Chiwetel Ejiofor takes on more history and race relations in Starz miniseries “Dancing on the Edge,” this time tackling black jazz musicians in 1930s Britain. It’s a beautifully shot but not altogether cinematic, deliberately paced take that is as glossy as “12 Years” is gritty. Unfortunately, it’s to the series’ disadvantage, with the premiere episode afraid to scratch much deeper to the hinted-at underbelly of its stylish surface.
August 22, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Plenty of new footage abounds in the newest trailer for Cannes hit “Inside Llewyn Davis”, the latest from Joel & Ethan Coen. The 1960s set folk music drama, which our own Rebecca Lewis called “a melancholy yet genuinely funny and enjoyable story”, stars Oscar Isaac as a down on his luck folk musician encountering classically colorful Coen characters on his journey, including Carey Mulligan as a vengeful ex-girlfriend, her new musician husband, as played by Justin Timberlake, blues man John Goodman and his driver, the perpetually on the road Garrett Hedlund.
The new trailer features some new music, and also shows off a bit more of the film’s sense of humor, which had been underplayed in previous marketing materials but which, as reviews suggest, is very much a large part of the film. I can’t wait to see it, but will have to wait until it’s released on December 6th. For now, there’s the new trailer to tide us all over below.
March 13, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Unknown 25 year old British actor Dimitri Leonidas has been cast in WWII heist thriller “The Monuments Men” by director George Clooney, according to Variety. Leonidas will join an all-star cast that includes Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin and Clooney himself.
Clooney and producing partner Grant Heslov wrote the script based on the true story of the Monuments Men, American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others who raced against the clock to track down hidden stashes of invaluable art pieces which Hitler and the Nazi regime stole, deemed “degenerate” and intended to destroy. Filming is now underway in Europe.
Leonidas has been acting steadily on British television for several years, including a guest spot on “Doctor Who” and the recent “Sinbad” miniseries, and appeared in 2010 ancient Rome war epic “Centurion” with Michael Fassbender and Imogen Poots. His last big screen appearance was in last year’s indie paranormal coming of age tale “Animals.”
October 29, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
George Clooney is stepping back behind the camera for his follow-up to political thriller “The Ides of March” and this time he’s assembled an even more A-list cast in front of the camera. For the WWII set drama “The Monuments Men”, Clooney will also star, alongside Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban.
Clooney and producing partner Grant Heslov wrote the script based on the true story of the Monuments Men, American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others who raced against the clock to track down hidden stashes of invaluable art pieces which Hitler and the Nazi regime stole, deemed “degenerate” and intended to destroy. Filming begins on March 1st in Europe.
Dujardin, who beat Clooney’s “The Descendants” performance for the Best Actor Oscar last year for his completely silent work in “The Artist”, is already quite known in his native France particularly for his roles in James Bond spoof films “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies” and “OSS 117: Lost in Rio”, though he’s certainly getting a well-deserved introudction to American audiences now. Since his Oscar win, he has been cast and is currently filming opposite Leonardo Dicaprio in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
February 9, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
More musically inclined actors are lining up for the Joel and Etahn Coen’s next project, 1960s set folk music drama “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Deadline reports Broadway and screen actor Stark Sands has joined the cast that already includes Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund and John Goodman.
Isaac plays Davis, a fictional character loosely based on 1960s Greenwich Village based musician Dave Van Ronk, nicknamed “Mayor of MacDougal Street”, whose circle of friends and fellow musicians included Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Patrick Sky, Phil Ochs, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Joni Mitchell. Despite being talented and passionate, he can’t make ends meet just playing music. Timberlake has the role of Jim, a fellow folk musician who is married to Mulligan’s character Jean. Sands will play a young soldier on leave, while Hedlund and Goodman’s characters are still unknown. Cameras began rolling this week in New York City.
The musical abilities required should be no problem at all for Sands, a Tony nominee and recent headliner on Broadway in Green Day musical “American Idiot.” He made his big screen debut in 2003′s indie “Die Mommie Die” and has also appeared in films including “Chasing Liberty” and “Flags of Our Fathers”, as well as on TV in HBO miniseries “Generation Kill” and current CBS cop drama pilot “The 2-2.”
January 9, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
“Akira” getting pushed back may be a blessing in disguise for Garrett Hedlund (some would say flat out blessing, but we digress). Variety reports the star now has an open slot in his schedule and has promptly filled it with something awesome: Hedlund is jumping on board the Coen Brothers’ next directorial vehicle, the 1960s set folk music drama “Inside Llewyn Davis”, which already stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman.
Isaac plays Davis, a fictional character loosely based on 1960s Greenwich Village based musician Dave Van Ronk, nicknamed “Mayor of MacDougal Street”, whose circle of friends and fellow musicians included Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Patrick Sky, Phil Ochs, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Joni Mitchell. Despite being talented and passionate, he can’t make ends meet just playing music. Timberlake has the role of Jim, a fellow folk musician who is married to Mulligan’s character Jean. Hedlund’s character is unknown, but after having done some impressive crooning in “Country Strong”, it should be no problem for him to pick up a guitar and jam with his co-stars.
Hedlund, who is still attached to “Akira” whenever the risky, big budget remake finally gets its act together at Warner Bros, and also has the similarly long-gestating, controversial adaptation of “On the Road” in the can ready for release this year. His past couple of high profile projects, “Country Strong” and “Tron: Legacy”, weren’t exactly big breakout moments for him, but it’s clear bigger successes lay just beyond the horizon for the talented and underrated actor.
August 29, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Newcomer Taylor Schilling has been given one hell of an introduction to mainstream feature films. Having wrapped up romancing Zac Efron in Nicholas Sparks’ “The Lucky One”, she is now upgrading to an even bigger Hollywood heartthrob. Variety reports Schilling will play Mrs Ben Affleck in political thriller “Argo”, also directed by the actor. Schilling is the first female to jump on board the cast that already includes Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, John Goodman and Alan Arkin. Recently “Monsters” breakout star Scoot McNairy also signed on.
Based on Joshuah Bearman’s April 2007 Wired magazine article “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran,” “Argo” is a retelling of true events that surround a CIA operative team smuggled out American diplomats being held hostage by pretending they were a Hollywood movie crew. Affleck plays Tony Mendez, the leader of the operation, while Schilling will be Christine Mendez, a former teacher whose role is, predictably, to sit at home and worry about her husband.
Schilling had been most known for a regular role on the short lived medical drama “Mercy” before landing the female lead opposite Efron in the next Sparks adaptation, which have a history of being box office successes and sometime star makers (see: Mandy Moore, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Liam Hemsworth). Clearly Schilling’s just getting her feet wet landing love interest and wife roles – albeit high profile ones; hopefully we’ll get to report on her landing something a little meatier soon.
August 4, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Okay, so he may not have ended up in “Prometheus” or “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” after all, but Scoot McNairy, breakout star of Gareth Edwards’ low-budget “Monsters”, seems to be making an impression on Hollywood nevertheless. Variety is reporting that McNairy has joined the impressive ensemble cast of Ben Affleck’s follow-up to “The Town”, political thriller “Argo”.
Based on Joshuah Bearman’s April 2007 Wired magazine article “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran,” “Argo” is a retelling of true events that surround a CIA operative team smuggled out American diplomats being held hostage by pretending they were a Hollywood movie crew. Affleck is also leading the cast that includes Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin. To add a dash of realism (and no doubt readying some fun anecdotes for junket season), Affleck plans on having the cast members who will be playing hostages live in a a “safe house” for two weeks prior to filming to experience what their real life counterparts actually went through.
After starring in “Monsters”, which was made for under $500,000 but has made over $3 million worldwide, McNairy recently wrapped a lead role in the highly anticipated “Cogan’s Trade”, Andrew Dominik’s gambling heist actioner which pits his character against the likes of Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Mark Ruffalo and Sam Rockwell.