Scarlett Johansson has made it clear that the physical preparation for "The Avengers" was no easy feat. In the superhero film, she dons a skin-tight body suit as undercover agent Black Widow -- something she put on after months of grueling workouts and stunt training.
But getting into the mind-set of the dark character was no easy job either, Johansson said on the red carpet at the film's Hollywood premiere Wednesday night.
"The character is awesome because she's a mercenary -- there's no funny business," the 27-year-old explained. "So just being a mercenary -- how do you get to that place? You have to be so burdened."
Johansson is only one of a handful of A-list stars featured in "The Avengers," which brings together Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner. Despite the big-name cast, director Joss Whedon said, there were no divas on set.
"These guys, they like each other, and they protect each other on a story level," the filmmaker said. "When they all get together, my biggest problem is getting them to stop giggling. I had to yell. I was like a schoolmarm."
Chris Hemsworth, a rather recent addition to the ranks of actors who have worn superhero capes, will reprise his role as Thor next month in director Joss Whedon's "The Avengers." But anyone eager to see the Aussie actor face a few dangers before the god of thunder returns will have plenty of opportunity with “The Cabin in the Woods.”
In addition to Hemsworth, the horror flick’s Los Angeles premiere at L.A. Live’s Regal Cinemas on Tuesday had an audience scattered with horror movie masters such as Wes Craven and the filmmakers' past collaborators, including “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof, who worked with "Cabin" director and co-writer Drew Goddard on the hit ABC show.
Whedon, who co-wrote and produced “The Cabin in the Woods,” reveled in getting his actors bloody and horrified, he told Ministry of Gossip at the movie's premiere party, where its trailer played on the walls of downtown L.A. venue the Edison.
“What I like to do is find great actors that I love and then beat the [crap] out of them and, if possible, kill them," quipped the “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” creator. “That’s a good time for me, and they seem to enjoy it, ’cause they keep coming back.”
“The Cabin in the Woods,” which opens in theaters Friday, also brought together several actors who have starred in past Whedon projects, including Fran Kranz (“Dollhouse”), Amy Acker (“Dollhouse,” “Angel”) and Tom Lenk (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”). All three will also star in Whedon’s adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing,” which he shot at his Santa Monica home in 12 days during what was supposed to be his vacation after filming “Avengers.”
“There’s a lot more sex in mine than is normal in that particular text,” Whedon said of the new take on the Shakespeare play.
He also emphasized that it’s “a real ensemble piece,” not the two-man show it’s often taken to be.
“I’d just come off ‘Avengers,’ and people said, ‘This is the exact opposite,’ and I said, ‘No, this is another superhero team,’” Whedon said.
The superhero team of “Avengers” will assemble Wednesday night at El Capitan Theatre for the Marvel movie’s world premiere, rounding out a full schedule this week for Whedon as he prepares for the release of “Cabin” in the tight spot between spoiling the film and not revealing enough.
“You have to tell them something,” Whedon said of the film’s marketing, which is pushing the tagline “Discover the Secret” and gives audiences a peek at what's really going on with this creepy cabin. Just what that secret is will have to be found by purchasing a ticket to the movie, but Whedon hopes fans know ahead of time that “this is more than just a horror movie.”
“Cabin in the Woods,” Goddard’s directorial debut, also stars Jesse Williams, Kristen Connolly, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. The film opens, fittingly, this Friday the 13th.
James Cameron went from complete isolation seven miles under the sea Monday to the cameras and crowds of the "Titanic 3-D" premiere in London on Tuesday, sharing the red carpet with lovely creature Kate Winslet after leaving the tiny shrimp-like critters that had been his only visible companions at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.
The 1997 film, which won 11 Oscars, including best picture, is being re-released in 3-D around the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's doomed maiden voyage, which ended with the ship's sinking on April 15, 1912.
"One of the reasons I made 'Titanic' was that I was fascinated by deep sea exploration," the director told reporters at the premiere, held at the Royal Albert Hall. "It was an opportunity to dive in a submarine very deep at that time."
"The 3-D enriches all of 'Titanic's' most thrilling moments and its most emotional moments,” said Cameron, who attended with wife Suzy Amis on his arm. "It kicks the whole experience up to another level.”
Winslet, who starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie, joked that she would rather look away than see herself nude in 3-D.
"I'm not going to look, I'll be in the bar by that point," she said.
Cameron has visited the wreck of Titanic, around 12,600 feet below the sea, 35 times in his history of 72 deep-sea submersible dives.
On Monday, more than 36,000 feet undersea, "My feeling was one of complete isolation from all of humanity,” Cameron told reporters shortly after the dive. "I felt like I literally, in the space of one day, had gone to another planet and come back. It's been a very surreal day."
Other cast members spotted at the premiere included Billy Zane, Bill Paxton, Frances Fisher, Rochelle Rose, Jason Barry and Bernard Hill, who played ship Capt. Edward James Smith.
The cast of "American Pie" knows what a lot of people think when they hear that the gang from the 1999 teen classic is reuniting for yet another spin-off of the franchise: "Really? 'American Pie' again?"
At least that was actor Eddie Kaye Thomas' reaction to the news that Universal wanted to bring back the gang for "American Reunion," which hits theaters Friday and premiered Monday night at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
"That's probably not a good idea. Let's leave well enough alone," the actor recalled of his initial response.
After all, there have already been a handful of "American Pie" installments in recent years -- the second of which was the most successful. Two sequels hit theaters with the same cast, but then there were the four direct-to-DVD titles that followed featuring lesser-known actors.
Alyson Hannigan, the "How I Met Your Mother" star who in the movie plays the wife of Jason Biggs' character, said she liked the idea of a reunion but "worried that it wasn't going to be as good" as the first film.
"My favorite was always the original one, so I was just concerned," said the actress, who showed off her growing baby bump on the red carpet.
She and the rest of the cast said they were swayed into jumping back on board because of the quality of the "American Reunion" script, which tells the story of -- shocker -- the gang returning to its hometown to attend a high school reunion. The franchise also held a lot of sentimental value for its stars, since "American Pie" launched many of their careers in Hollywood.
Chris Klein, for one, said that when he landed the role of Oz more than a decade ago, he had "just enough money to last in this town for two more weeks."
"I was auditioning for acting roles, and I got cast in the very first 'American Pie,' which means I got to stay here," he said with a grin.
Last year, Jonah Hill established that he had dramatic acting chops in "Moneyball," as his supporting role in the baseball film earned him an Oscar nomination. This year, the actor's "21 Jump Street" costar Channing Tatum is out to prove the opposite: That he can crack a joke.
Hill, who co-wrote the story that plays off of the '80s television series that launched Johnny Depp's career, said he intentionally sought out Tatum for the movie because the actor didn't have a comedic background.
"I wanted someone in the part who didn't come from doing a lot of comedies so it would feel fresh to people to see someone do something they've never done before," he explained on the red carpet at the film's Tuesday night premiere in Hollywood.
"I got that opportunity last year with 'Moneyball,' and I was so happy with the way it turned out that I wanted to do that for somebody else."
Tatum, who grew up watching the TV show every Friday night with his sister, said the project intrigued him because it was a "complete departure" from the program he knew and loved.
"The show is like a very serious drama, and ours is 'Bad Boys' meets a John Hughes movie," Hill added.
In the movie, the actors are Jenko and Schmidt, two inept cops who are sent by a harsh police captain, played by Ice Cube, on an undercover mission to bust a high school drug ring.
Asked why he believed this is the right time to bring back "21 Jump Street," Ice Cube had this to say: "Jonah's ready to do it, you know what I mean? He's hot. Channing's hot. I'm hot. All the hotness is here."
"The Hunger Games" premiere is upon us, and the Ministry has good news: The live-stream viewing odds are in your favor.
Watch the red carpet, live streaming in the video below, for star arrivals at Los Angeles' Nokia Plaza at L.A. Live. Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson will all be present for the world premiere.
Also expect supporting cast members, including Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Stanley Tucci.
"Games" has created quite a stir in the past weeks, as fan anticipation has transformed the premiere venue into an exciting camp known as "The Hob," named for the fictional black market where Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen sells the fruits of her hunting trips.
Over the weekend, Lawrence herself visited camped-out fans, 400 of whom were lucky enough to nab wristbands granting access to viewing bleachers and the world premiere screening.
Catch the full red carpet arrivals beginning at 5:30 p.m. PDT, and stay with the Ministry for full coverage!
Taylor Swift fans of the world, let it be known that you guys just might have a chance with the pop-country star, even post-Joe Jonas and post-Taylor Lautner. In “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” Zac Efron’s character goes on an adventure to impress Swift's character, but she has yet to be so wildly wooed in real life outside of "the fan/YouTube section of my life," she said.
“Guys in my life — I don’t think I have a memory of [being impressed like] that. But that’s good! The bar’s really low,” Swift said Sunday at the world premiere of “The Lorax,” her first voice-acting gig.
The film, based on the 1971 children’s book by Dr. Seuss, also sparked a friendship between its lead vocal stars that led to Swift teaching “High School Musical” star Efron to play guitar.
“She’s a great teacher,” Efron said at the Universal CityWalk premiere. “In the past, everyone who’s tried to teach me guitar starts with music theory and stuff like that. I tend to just doze off after a little while. She went straight into songs. She taught me, like, four chords, and I’m already playing all the good campfire songs.”
Co-writer Ken Daurio was just “happier and happier” upon learning of each actor who had signed onto the film, especially Danny DeVito, who voices the title character, a small but formidable mystical creature who speaks for the trees.
The script even went through some changes once DeVito was aboard.
“Once you find out Danny DeVito was going to be the Lorax, it so informs everything you do,” co-writer Cinco Paul said on the premiere's orange carpet, which was lined with replicas of the book's Truffula Trees.
Daurio added, “Once we heard Danny and knew it was going to be him, a lot of the dialogue did change. It just helps you think of what his attitude was going to be — he’s going to have that bite.”
The Lorax's lexicon of insulting nicknames like "beanpole" was written in after DeVito took the part. The actor himself said he embodies "the spirited tenacity of the Lorax. I don't really like to take no for an answer."
"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" also features the voices of Ed Helms, Betty White and Rob Riggle. The film opens March 2.
A mini “Friends” reunion came together with the upcoming comedy “Wanderlust,” which stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd — the celebrity alter-egos of Rachel Green and Mike Hannigan, love interest of character Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan.
Their "Wanderlust" costars revealed they have traits akin to the characters they played on the hit sitcom.
"She’s kind of Rachel-y," Jordan Peele said of Aniston at the film's world premiere Thursday.
"She's awesome, she's open, she's warm and she's loving. She just pulls you right in — magnetic."
Actress Kerri Kenney-Silver shares a bedroom scene with Rudd in the film about a couple that leaves New York City and stumbles upon a free-love commune called Elysium, where they start a new life. Kenney-Silver said that they filmed about 20 takes of the scene before she was able to get out her lines without Rudd making her laugh.
"He's such a goofball. He's the first one to try to make you to crack up," she said on the red carpet outside the Mann Village Westwood.
Malin Akerman, who plays a member of the commune, said that while acting with Rudd, "It was really hard to keep a straight face. He is such a good improv actor.
"Things would come out of his mouth, and I was like, 'Did you just say that? That’s crazy!'"
The movie was also a reunion for some of the talent behind “Wet Hot American Summer,” a box office flop that launched the careers of several now-successful actors, including Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Banks. (A real reunion may be coming soon with a sequel in the works.) Kenney-Silver was among the “American Summer” alums in “Wanderlust,” along with Rudd, writer-director David Wain, writer-actor Ken Marino and actor Joe Lo Truglio.
“Any time I get to work with David or Ken or Joe or any of the guys, it’s home,” Kenney-Silver said. “This was the first time really that we were able to incorporate huge movie stars and a huge company and have it feel like it was still home, but we just bumped it up like 10 notches.”
The comedy’s cast members differed a bit in their ideas of what would be the best part of the Elysium lifestyle to bring back to the real world. Akerman said she likes the idea of growing a vegetable garden, but “not the nudist part and sharing of my husband.”
Peele, though, could see the advantages of the nudist lifestyle. "I think nudity is very underrated.... Do you understand how long it took my girlfriend to get ready for today? I would be sitting down in my seat right now if it weren’t for clothing.”
As for what Aniston hopes audiences get out of the movie, she told reporters, “Don’t take yourself so seriously. Live a little bit. Relax!”
“Wanderlust,” which also stars Aniston's new beau, Justin Theroux, and was produced by Judd Apatow, opens in theaters Feb. 24.
"I mean, I woke my sister up [from crying so loud]. She was sleeping while I was watching it and woke up and was, like, 'What's wrong? What's going on here?'"
"The Vow" is sure to induce a few sobbing sessions of its own when it hits theaters Friday. The film is based on the real-life tale of Krickitt Carpenter, a newlywed who got into an automobile accident and lost all memory of her husband, Kim.
The Carpenters, who attended the premiere, said "The Vow" filmmakers spent time studying video interviews of the couple to "nail their personalities."
"The way in which it's done is very moving. I cried," Kim Carpenter said. "Rachel and Channing just did an unbelievable job, and I think their portrayal was just dead on."
Meanwhile, the young women lining Hollywood Boulevard may have been eager to catch a glimpse of Tatum, but we were more excited to catch up with Scott Speedman. That's right, ladies, Ben from "Felicity."
Speedman, who has mostly stuck to independent films since the college soap concluded in 2002, told us he enjoyed playing McAdams' character's jerky ex-fiancé.
"This is my first time in a while I've done a big ... movie," he said. "[Before], I was just wanting to do darker, weirder things, and now I'm trying to do bigger things."
And, we had to ask: Might there be a "Felicity" reunion in the cards? And if so, where would Ben be in his life?
"I thought it'd funny if he was in a darker place," Speedman said of his old character. When the show ended, "he was trying to be a doctor; I think maybe he didn't make it, though."
The characters in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" encounter all manner of unusual animals on the film's Jules Verne-inspired island, but the only creature actress Kristin Davis wanted to pet Thursday was costar Josh Hutcherson.
The "Sex and the City" star revealed that she was a big fan of Hutcherson’s performance in "The Kids Are All Right" and said she prepared for playing the 19-year-old's mother by getting tips from Mama Hutcherson herself.
"I talked to Josh's mom. I said, 'I always want to pet him,'" Davis told Ministry of Gossip at the film’s L.A. premiere Thursday at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. "She said, 'You can’t really touch them when they get to this age, 'cause they feel like you're making them like a kid.' ... In the movie I had to scold him. But I felt bad because Josh is such a mature young man."
The family adventure movie, a sequel to 2008’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” takes 17-year-old Sean (Hutcherson) and his stepfather (Dwayne Johnson) to a mystical island in search of Sean’s grandfather (played by Michael Caine).
In preparation for filming underwater scenes, Hutcherson and Johnson got scuba-diving certification.
"I've always wanted to get scuba certified, and this was a great excuse, and I didn't have to pay for it!": said Hutcherson, who will next be seen in the much-anticipated "The Hunger Games" in March.
Johnson, a.k.a. "The Rock," may be most recognized for his wrestling career and tough-guy roles in movies like last year’s "Fast Five," but Hutcherson busted that stereotype.
"He's fun, he's charismatic, he's outgoing. He has a sensitive side," the actor told reporters. "But he’s also very physical and has the whole action hero side as well."
Luis Guzmán, who plays the helicopter pilot who takes Sean and his stepfather to the Mysterious Island, said of Johnson, "He is the man. I'd work with Dwayne any day of the week. He certainly made an action hero out of me. I'm just waiting for my action figure to come out."
"Journey 2" brought Johnson home to Hawaii, where he grew up, a location that costar Vanessa Hudgens took plenty of time to enjoy.
"The adventures I got to have in my downtime –- I would take my car and drive around, go to the North Shore, hang out, check out the waves, go on a bunch of dives cause I'm certified," Hudgens said of filming on Oahu. "I'm such an adventurer, and I love being on the island."
"Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” hits theaters Feb. 10.