February 8, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
“This is Where I Leave You” is not dead. The ensemble family comedy had been in limbo since original director Adam Shankman left the project before finalizing deals with actors including Zac Efron, Malin Akerman, Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis to join the cast, but now the project is getting back on track. Shawn Levy took over directing duties from now-producer Shankman, and Bateman has signed back on for the lead role of Judd Foxman.
It looks like Bateman may be the only original cast member to return to the delayed production, and casting is now underway for new actors to join him. On Monday, actresses including Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Isla Fisher, Ari Graynor, Zoe Saldana and Kathryn Hahn will be auditioning for Levy and Bateman. Bateman’s Judd is a man from a large family who has just discovered his wife’s infidelity with his boss and whose distant father has just died. His father’s dying wish was for the entire family to spend the full seven days after his death together, in the same house.
December 27, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
and Linda Ge
Another year, another new crop of fresh talent. Just like last year, the hardest part is narrowing down which of the dozens of the year’s rising stars shone the brightest. This year we heralded the arrival of the unlikeliest of movie stars, actors we’ve been familiar with for a while finally hitting their stride, a couple of international imports and some serious emerging acting talent guaranteed to turn out great work for years to come. As always, we’ve had to leave off some of our – and your! – favorites, but we are proud to present below our Top 10 Breakout Stars of 2012.
Breakout Stars: The Guys | Breakout Stars: The Girls
December 10, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
in Awards, Features
It’s almost that time of year again, when young actors who are lucky enough to be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences see a drastic rise in their profiles and the movie offers come flooding in. But first, you have to get nominated. With critics awards already underway and the SAG and Golden Globe nominations both coming this week (!!), now is the perfect time to check in on the dozens of young actors who are vying for just a few spots come Oscar nomination time on January 15th.
From likely winners to maybe-nominees to long shots that deserve some more attention (in descending order), we assess the chances of up and coming actors in each acting category below.
November 28, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
More Sundance photos are trickling in, and now we have our first look at Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley as the high school couple at the center of James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Tim Tharp’s award-winning novel “The Spectacular Now.”
Teller plays Sutter Keely, a party-hard high school student who stumbles across Woodley’s shy and introverted Aimee. Instead of good girl Aimee saving Sutter from his bad boy ways, he begins to change her in return as she starts to adopt some of his risky behavior. Brie Larson plays Cassidy, the beautiful and popular girlfriend of Sutter who dumps him and prompts his meeting with Aimee. Rounding out this impressive cast are Kyle Chandler as Sutter’s father and Ponsoldt’s “Smashed” star Mary Elizabeth Winstead as his sister.
“The Spectacular Now” will premiere in the US Dramatic Competition category next January, and the HQ version of the first image can be viewed below, thanks to The Film Stage.
November 27, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” and David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” led the way with five nominations each as the shortlists for Film Independent’s Spirit Awards were announced this morning. Both films were nominated for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay, while “Silver Linings” scored two acting nods – Best Female Lead for Jennifer Lawrence and Best Male Lead for Bradley Cooper – and “Moonrise” was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Male for Bruce Willis.
Fellow Oscar hopeful “Beasts of the Southern Wild” made away with four expected nominations, including Best Feature, Best Director for Benh Zeitlin, Quvenzhane Wallis for Best Female Lead and Best Cinematography. Newly invigorated indie “Middle of Nowhere” also got four, including Best Female Lead for Gotham’s Breakthrough Actor Emayatzy Corinealdi, Best Supporting Male for David Oyelowo and Best Supporting Female for Lorraine Toussaint.
Some of our other favorite noms include Michael Pena nominated for Best Supporting Male for “End of Watch”, Mary Elizabeth Winstead for Best Female Lead for “Smashed” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” for Best First Feature. The full list of nominations can be found below.
October 12, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
The search for the female lead of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is becoming one of those long-winded musical chair sessions. First it was Imogen Poots vs. Felicity Jones vs. Anna Kendrick, then it was Poots up against a few other names, including Alison Brie, Emilia Clarke, Teresa Palmer and Jessica Brown-Findlay. Now, the latest rumor suggests it may not be any of the above. Latino Review reports that Marvel actually “has the most traction” with a name that has not been on either list: Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
The young lady chosen will likely be playing Sharon Carter, or S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 in the film opposite Chris Evans returning as Steve Rogers. Depending on the mythology, which varies even in the comics, Sharon is the niece or granddaughter or some other relative of Peggy Carter, Rogers’ love interest in “Captain America: The First Avenger” as played by Hayley Atwell. Latino Review further details that actresses auditioning for the role should be in their 20s and read their lines with “an accent.”
October 4, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Classical music, an elevator, foreign bad guys with blond hair, and lots and lots of explosions? Yep, it must be a new “Die Hard” film.
The first trailer for “A Good Day to Die Hard” was released earlier today and it features all the things we love about the “Die Hard” franchise – guns, explosions, foreign bad guys with big plans … and John McClane being a total badass.
Starring Bruce Willis, in his fifth outing as ex-cop McClane, Die Hard 5 (as we know we’ll all be calling it!) brings back Mary Elizabeth Winstead as McClane’s daughter, and the trailer gives us our first glimpse of Jai Courtney as John McClane Jr. (aka Jack).
Courtney won the role after beating out stiff competition, and his character of course allows for the long-running franchise to continue without Willis should the film be a hit. The plot has been kept firmly underwraps but it looks like McClane and son are heading to Russia this time around.
“Die Hard or Live Free” was a disappointing addition to the franchise but today’s trailer suggests director John Moore may have managed to avoid turning this film into another generic Willis action flick and remind us why we all loved Die Hard in the first place.
Check out the trailer below and let us know your thoughts in the comments. “A Good Die To Die Hard” is due out February 14th 2013.
September 11, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
There has been buzz about this move since it premiered at Sundance in January, but today we finally have the trailer for James Ponsoldt’s relationship dramedy “Smashed”, which sees Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul as a couple of happily married kids whose bond is sustained by a mutual love for getting drunk.
Things get tense when Winstead’s character decides it’s time to stop and begins going to AA, where she is befriended by Octavia Spencer in her first role since winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “The Help.” Winstead herself is getting her fair share of Oscar buzz this time around, with critics calling her performance revelatory and a tour-de-force and the footage in the trailer certainly is very promising. The film’s also got that classic indie drama visual style, with swaying cameras and blurry closeups, which reminds me immediately of last year’s “Like Crazy”, which also charmed audiences and critics, as well as boasted a breakthrough performance from a young actress.
“Smashed” will be released on October 12th and the trailer can be viewed below.
August 8, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
in Casting, Images
There was a lot of hoopla surrounding the casting of the new co-lead of “A Good Day to Die Hard”, Bruce Willis’ fifth time donning his most famous character John McClane. In the end, little known Aussie actor Jai Courtney landed the role of John McClane, Jr. aka Jack, who will be poised to take over the franchise from the aging action star should he be a hit with audiences. Through it all though, we wondered about that other McClane progeny.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead played Lucy McClane in “Live Free or Die Hard”, the fourth installment of the action series, and had appeared to be sitting this one out, giving the spotlight to her brother, but new photos from the Budapest set of the film indicates she may appear in at least one scene.
Moviehole (via Bleeding Cool) got the photos of Winstead as Lucy apparently dropping off Dad at the airport. The bulk of the action takes place in Moscow, with McClanes Sr. and Jr. teaming up to save the world, so it seems safe to say Winstead’s role may be limited to waving goodbye from New York as the men in the family take care of action hero business. See the photos below, and head over to the original sources for more.
August 2, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kyle Chandler have joined the cast of teen coming of age dramedy “The Spectacular Now”, which already stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Dayo Okeniyi and Brie Larson. Variety also reports that Bob Odenkirk, Andre Royo, Kaitlyn Dever and Masam Holden have also joined the cast in supporting roles.
In the James Ponsoldt-directed film based on Tim Tharp’s novel, Teller plays Sutter Keely, a party-hard high school student who stumbles across Woodley’s shy and introverted Aimee. Instead of good girl Aimee saving Sutter from his bad boy ways, he begins to change her in return as she starts to adopt some of his risky behavior. Larson will play Cassidy, the beautiful and popular girlfriend of Sutter who dumps him and prompts his meeting with Aimee. Chandler will play Sutter’s father, and Winstead his sister.
Chandler graduated from playing the beloved Coach Taylor of NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”, which finally earned him an Emmy, to an increasingly impressive film career. He most recently completed filming on Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty”, as well as political thrillers “Broken City” with Mark Wahlberg and Ben Affleck’s “Argo.” He’ll next film Martin Scorsese’s “Wolf of Wall Street” opposite Leonardo Dicaprio. Winstead broke out as Michael Cera’s dream girl in Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” and starred in one of this year’s best-received Sundance offerings, “Smashed”, as well as “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, in which she played Mary Todd-Lincoln.