24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Acting

Around Town: The Stooges ride back to town

November 24, 2011 |  6:00 am


The Three Stooges, a Gary Cooper double bill and a tribute to Japan’s Studio Ghibli are among the Thanksgiving week film offerings.

Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! The Alex Film Society presents its 14th annual “Three Stooges Big Screen Event” Saturday afternoon and evening at the venerable Alex Theatre in Glendale. The slapstick, eye-poking comedy shorts starring Moe, Curly, Larry and Shemp are presented in glorious 35mm. Among the shorts scheduled are 1937’s “Back to the Woods” and “Goofs and Saddles,” 1948’s “Mummies Dummies,” with Shemp, 1943’s “Higher Than a Kite” and 1938’s “Wee Wee Monsieur.” http://www.alexfilmsociety.org

The New Beverly celebrates Turkey Day with a Gary Cooper double bill Thursday and Friday: 1930’s melodrama “Morocco,” directed by Josef Von Sternberg and also starring Marlene Dietrich in her only Oscar-nominated performance, and 1940’s “The Westerner,” directed by William Wyler and co-starring Walter Brennan, who picked up his third supporting actor Oscar as the infamous Judge Roy Bean.

Two seminal films from former cinematographer-turned-director Nicolas Roeg are screening Tuesday and Wednesday at the theater-1971’s Australian adventure “Walkabout,” with Jenny Agutter and David Gulpilil and the 1976 sci-fi fantasy “The Man Who Fell to Earth” with David Bowie. http://www.newbevcinema.com

Film Independent at LACMA shines a “Spotlight on Studio Ghibli” Saturday at the Leo S. Bing Theater. The Japanese animation studio was created in 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki. Screening late Saturday afternoon is 1986’s “Castle in the Sky,” Miyazaki’s debut film for the studio, followed in the evening by Miyazaki’s 2001 “Spirited Away,” which earned the Oscar for best animated feature. This week’s Tuesday matinee feature at the Bing is the 1936 screwball comedy “Theodora Goes Wild,” for which Irene Dunne earned a lead actress Oscar nomination. Melvyn Douglas also stars. http://www.lacma.org/series/film-independent-lacma

The American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre screens 1952’s “Singin’ in the Rain,” which is widely considered the greatest movie musical ever made, on Friday evening. Gene Kelly, who co-directed with Stanley Donen, stars with Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor and Jean Hagen in this effusive musical farce about the early days of the talkies in Hollywood. On tap for Saturday afternoon at the theater is “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The beloved 1939 musical fantasy “The Wizard of Oz” is set for late Sunday afternoon. And Wim Wenders’ 1999 musical documentary “Buena Vista Social Club” is on tap for Wednesday.

The Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre presents “French Female Directors Shorts Showcase” Saturday evening at its intimate Spielberg Theatre, while the main theater will be presenting the 1939 Oscar-winning epic “Gone With the Wind,” starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. http://www.americancinematheque.com

Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents the 1972 rock documentary “Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii” and 1976’s “Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same” Friday evening. The Silent Movie Theatre offers a free sneak preview Sunday afternoon of the film “The Death and Return of Superman,” starring Elijah Wood and Mandy Moore. Writer/director Max Landis, as well as several of the stars, schedule permitting, are set to appear for a post-screening Q&A. You must preregister for the screening.

Doug Benson’s “Movie Interruption” presentation at Monday evening Cinefamily’s is the acclaimed “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” http://www.cinefamily.org

Film Courage presents the L.A. premiere of “Missing Pieces” Monday evening at the Downtown Independent. Schedule permitting, there will be a Q&A with director Kenton Barlett and his stars after the movie. http://www.filmcourage.com

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “2011-2012 Contemporary Documentaries” series continues Wednesday evening at the Linwood Dunn Theater with Davis Guggenheim’s “Waiting for Superman” and Madeleine Sackler’s “The Lottery,” both released in 2010. http://www.oscars.org

UCLA Film & Television Archive’s Wednesday evening presentations at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles offers two collaborations between Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson: 1970’s “Five Easy Pieces,” for which Nicholson earned his first lead actor Oscar nomination, and the underrated 1972 drama “The King of Marvin Gardens,” which also stars Bruce Dern and Ellen Burstyn. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu


Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli enters ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’

-- Susan King

Photo: The Three Stooges, from left, Moe, Curly and Larry. Credit: Alex Film Society

Plummer? Pitt? Oscar's supporting actor race wide open

November 20, 2011 |  7:00 am

Andy Serkis played an ape through motion caption
A category full of questions: Will voters reward the relevance of “Margin Call”? How about a nomination here for Brad Pitt’s best acting work of the year? Has resistance to motion-capture performances started to crumble? Will anyone remember the name of the guy they loved so much in “Midnight In Paris”?

Here’s how Gold Standard sees the supporting acting race currently shaking out:

1. Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

2. Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”

3. Albert Brooks, “Drive”

4. Armie Hammer, “J. Edgar”

5. Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”

6. Max von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

7. Nick Nolte, “Warrior”

8. John Hawkes, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

9. Andy Serkis, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

10. Ben Kingsley, “Hugo”

Bubbling under: Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey, “Margin Call”; Brad Pitt, “The Tree of Life”; Patton Oswalt, “Young Adult”; Philip Seymour Hoffman and George Clooney, “The Ides of March”; Corey Stoll, “Midnight in Paris”; Viggo Mortensen, “A Dangerous Method”; Ezra Miller, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”; John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz, “Carnage”; Jim Broadbent, “The Iron Lady”

For your consideration: Corey Stoll, “Midnight In Paris.” Bad Hemingway = Great Hemingway for Stoll, who hilariously plays the author as a parody of one of his manly-man characters.

Analysis: Hasn’t Plummer already delivered his acceptance speech? We seem to remember it was deliciously droll and, god, dropping in the chorus from “Edelweiss” made The Standard Bearer’s mom tear up. No? Didn’t happen? Well … not yet.

Serkis can’t be making the rounds to stump for his bravura work in “Apes” since he’s off in New Zealand reprising his work as Gollum in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit.” But he did take part in a Skype-aided Q&A for the Screen Actors Guild last weekend following an enthusiastic “Apes” screening at the Zanuck Theatre on the 20th Century Fox lot.

Given the volume of ovations and the number of times audience members used the word “genius” when prefacing their questions to Serkis, the 47-year-old actor would seem to be in the thick of the race. The big hurdle now comes in reminding voters just how much they enjoyed watching Serkis’ chimpanzee Caesar go all Spartacus on the humans in “Apes,” since voters typically ignore acting from the sci-fi movies.


The Gold Standard: Predicting the best picture race

-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: Andy Serkis stars as an ape through motion capture technology. Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times

Octavia Spencer leads, Janet McTeer gains in supporting Oscar race

November 19, 2011 |  7:00 am

Octavia Spencer
Glenn Close isn’t the only woman bending genders in “Albert Nobbs.” Tony-winning costar Janet McTeer gains some momentum this week as audiences continue talking about her magnificent work as the confident housepainter who inspires Close’s quiet character to contemplate a brighter future.

Here’s how the Gold Standard sees the supporting actress category stacking up:

1. Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

2. Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”

3. Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”

4. Jessica Chastain, “The Tree of Life”

5. Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”

6. Vanessa Redgrave, “Coriolanus”

7. Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”

8. Sandra Bullock, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

9. Judi Dench, “J. Edgar”

10. Carey Mulligan, “Shame”

Bubbling under: Jessica Chastain, “The Help” and “Take Shelter”; Evan Rachel Wood, “The Ides of March”; Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet, “Carnage”; Judy Greer, “The Descendants”; Emily Watson, “War Horse”

For your consideration: Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids.” It’s the year’s most talked-about supporting performance. Hell, why even qualify it? Did any other acting turn generate the kind of response that McCarthy’s gale-force bridesmaid did? And you’re not going to nominate her because she starred in a movie that made people laugh? Seriously?

Analysis: Will Chastain be nominated for playing sassy and sad (“The Help”), strong and exasperated (“Take Shelter”) or the Living Embodiment of Grace (“Tree of Life”)? Or for one of her other … gulp … three movies? Can we settle on one? It’d be a shame if Chastain isn’t at the Kodak after this year’s remarkable run, but her absence looms as a very real possibility because she was so good in three prominent movies.

The other problem facing Chastain -- the depth of competition in this category. Whichever way it plays out, some deserving performances will be overlooked.


The Gold Standard: Predicting the best picture race

--Glenn Whipp

Photo: Octavia Spencer leads in the supporting actress predictions. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Will Meryl Streep give Viola Davis a run for her money for the Oscar?

November 18, 2011 |  7:00 am

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in 'Iron Lady'

We’re still waiting for one of our leading contenders to show herself, though we’ll probably be done with the Thanksgiving leftovers before we see that particular “Girl” and her tattoo. In the meantime, let’s sort through the deep list of candidates for the lead actress Oscar.

1. Viola Davis, “The Help”
2. Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”
3. Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
4. Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
5. Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
6. Charlize Theron, “Young Adult”
7. Tilda Swinton, “We Need To Talk About Kevin”
8. Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
9. Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia”
10. Ellen Barkin, “Another Happy Day”

Bubbling under: Keira Knightley, “A Dangerous Method”; Felicity Jones, “Like Crazy”; Emma Stone, “The Help”; Michelle Yeoh, “The Lady.”

For your consideration: Charlize Theron, “Young Adult.” Theron gained 30 pounds and won an Oscar for playing a serial killer in “Monster.” Sans makeup, she’s even better in this black comedy, playing a woman who’s frightening for altogether different reasons. But can you win the Academy’s love without a third-act redemption?

Analysis: Streep’s “Iron Lady” has finally come out of hiding, and what has always felt like a foregone conclusion is true: Nomination No. 17 would seem to be in the bag. (If Streep could escape “Mamma Mia!“ -- also directed by Phyllida Lloyd -- unscathed and radiant, then how hard could it be to make Thatcher come alive?) The film has the same Academy-friendly biopic sweep as “J. Edgar,” only with better makeup. How can she lose?

Barkin and “Another Happy Day” writer-director Sam Levinson played their film to enthusiastic audiences at guild screenings in Los Angeles last week. Critics have generally trashed Levinson’s fractured-family tale for being a bit too ... well, let’s just say “dramatic.” But it’s playing well for audiences (one SAG member likened it to “City Island,” another crowd-pleaser that left critics cold) and has an ace ambassador in the plainspoken Barkin, whose stream-of-consciousness Twitter feed showcases a way with the F-word that would make Samuel L. Jackson proud.

Barkin probably can’t move past Close for the category’s career-crowning-achievement slot. But we’re glad she’s in the race because she makes it a lot more *$#@ing fun.


Predicting the best director Oscar nominees

The Gold Standard: Predicting the best picture race

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio in tight Oscar race

-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in "Iron Lady." Credit: Alex Bailey / Weinstein Co.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio in tight Oscar race

November 17, 2011 |  2:46 pm

George Clooney and Shailene Woodley in The Descendants
George Clooney seems to be solidly holding on to a lead actor Oscar nomination slot (and is the leading candidate for the win at the moment). But "The Artist's" Jean Dujardin, a leading French actor, is climbing in popularity as well. And with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Gary Oldman still in the race, anything can happen.

As the movie awards season progresses, the Gold Standard column will handicap the current state of the races in The Envelope and at 24 Frames — ranking them by likelihood of a nomination. Check back often for updates.

1. George Clooney, “The Descendants”
2. Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
3. Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”
4. Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”
5. Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
6. Michael Fassbender, “Shame”
7. Woody Harrelson, “Rampart”
8. Ryan Gosling, “The Ides of March”
9. Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter”
10. Paul Giamatti, “Win Win”

Bubbling under: Matt Damon, “We Bought a Zoo”; Daniel Craig, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”; Jeremy Irvine, “War Horse”; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “50/50”; Demián Bichir, "A Better Life".

For your consideration: Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter.” A movie that should go to the top of every screener pile for a dozen different reasons, including Shannon’s subtle, empathetic portrait of a haunted man consumed by apocalyptic visions and desperate to protect his family -- from the coming storm and from himself.

Analysis: DiCaprio’s work is so good that he actually makes you forget the geezer makeup -- no small feat. Reaction to the film itself is mixed, but nobody loved Eastwood’s “Invictus,” either, and Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon won noms. Still, the movie’s ashtray-tinted history lesson does feel a little blah when compared to full-frontal Fassbender. Might he sneak through the ... (wait, why does every metaphor feel vaguely dirty when connected to "Shame"?).

Harrelson and Shannon made the rounds in Los Angeles last weekend, with Woody working his charm at post-screening Q&As for SAG and BAFTA members. Some voters who have seen Harrelson’s violent cop character study express more admiration for the performance than the film itself. (“He’s insane in it,” one film academy member told me. “But the movie comes up a bit short on story.”)

Oldman’s “Tinker Tailor” might have the opposite problem. The Cold War espionage film already has a reputation for being so relentlessly complex that it has left a few voters feeling intimidated. (“You mean I have to really concentrate for 130 minutes?” one academy member sarcastically groused. “Can’t I watch ‘The Artist’ again?”)

The never-nominated Oldman has pried himself loose from filming “The Dark Knight Rises” and will be in town Tuesday for a SAG nomination committee screening. He’ll be feted at the Gotham Awards the following week, raising a profile that, to this point, has been as understated as his “Tinker Tailor” spy.


The Gold Standard: Predicting the best picture race

Viola Davis off to strong start in lead actress Oscar race

Gold Standard: Predicting the best director Oscar nominees

-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: George Clooney and Shailene Woodley in "The Descendants." Credit: New York Film Festival

Around Town: 'Last Picture Show' and Duncan Jones

November 17, 2011 |  6:00 am

A 40th-anniversary reunion screening of “The Last Picture Show,” a tribute to the vintage TV series “Insight” and a personal appearance by filmmaker Duncan Jones with screenings of his films “Moon” and “Source Code” are among the offerings this weekend.

Director Peter Bogdanovich and stars Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman, Timothy Bottoms and Eileen Brennan join host Luke Wilson on Thursday evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater for the special presentation of “The Last Picture Show.”

Continue reading »

Pierre Etaix's legendary comedies come to Los Angeles

November 15, 2011 | 11:17 am


Pierre Etaix may be the funniest filmmaker you’ve never heard of.

 Etaix gained fame in the 1960s when he made two short comedies and five features — the majority co-written by Jean-Claude Carriere (“The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”).

 Inspired by Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd, Etaix’s sweet and inventive films were box office hits and award winners, including the Academy Award for live-action short subject for 1962’s “Happy Anniversary,” about an earnest young man trying to get home in time for his anniversary dinner.

 But due to legal issues with his producer and distributor, the films were out of circulation for decades.  Etaix, though, kept busy working with his wife, Annie Fratellini, as a circus clown. The two even opened the first National Circus School in France. And he’s appeared in small roles in films, including Jerry Lewis’ ill-fated, never-released “The Day the Clown Cried” and in Aki Kaurismaki’s current comedy, “Le Havre.”

With his legal woes finally resolved, his films have been restored. Now the world is being reintroduced to his comedic vision. After a triumphant tribute to the filmmaker at the Telluride Film Festival in September, Etaix, 82 and now widowed, is appearing Wednesday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater. “Pierre Etaix: The Laughter Returns” will be hosted by Leonard Maltin and actress Genevieve Bujold, who appeared with Etaix in 1967’s “The Thief of Paris.”

 Screening are “Happy Anniversary” and Etaix’s first color film, the delightful 1969 romantic comedy “Le Grand Amour,” in which he plays a married man who finds himself falling in love with his pretty new secretary.

Speaking through an interpreter over the phone from Paris, the charming Etaix admitted that “at first I was worried that my films — they are now 40 years old — would not find any interest from the public. But having seen the success they have found since they have come back out in the public has made me very happy and content.”

Etaix, born in Roanne, France, fell in love with the films of the great silent comedians as a kid. “I loved the fact that all of these artists were coming from musical halls and Vaudeville and the circus,” he explained. “Their comedy was derived from these sources.”

And he followed in their footsteps as a young man, clowning around in the circus and in musical halls. “At that time in my early career, I was not thinking about making movies.”

But that all changed in 1954, when he met the Oscar-winning French comedic genius, Jacques Tati (“Mr. Hulot’s Holiday”), who relied more on visual humor and sound effects than dialogue.

 “Tati looked at my drawings and thought they had a lot of the humor and observational skills and I was really good at writing gags,” related Etaix. “So he asked me to help to prepare ‘Mon Oncle.’ That is how I entered the world of cinema. Not having any idea of cinematic language before then, I learned everything from Tati.”

The legal issues that surround the films’ disappearance for years was difficult for Etaix.

 “When I made the films, I was working with a producer who wanted to keep the rights for 10 years,” he said. After the failure of his 1971 film, “Milk and Honey,” which was pulled from the theaters after less than two weeks, the producer told him that “my type of films were not in fashion. They were not sellable. There were no buyers for my films. There was another producer that had approached me to buy the rights to the films, but that same producer refused, so it became a case of litigation.”

During the prolonged litigation, the producer died and his widow sold the negatives to another production company. Eventually, the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage and Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema stepped in to restore the films and get Etaix the legal rights.

Etaix said he never truly abandoned filmmaking. “I was working on three screenplays" in the 1970s, he said. “Because of the flop of the last film, none of the producers I showed the new screenplays to wanted to finance my films. After many years of rejection, I opened the school of circus.”

For information on the program, go to www.oscars.org.


"Around Town: Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones honored"

"Telluride Film Festival: Movies Get in Touch With The Land"

— Susan King

 Photo: Pierre Etaix, center, in "Le Grand Amour." Photo credit: Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage and Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema.

Young Hollywood: Armie Hammer on working with Clint Eastwood

November 10, 2011 |  1:25 pm

Evan Rachel Wood talks about working with Woody Allen at the LA Times Young Hollywood roundtable

When Evan Rachel Wood showed up to her first day on the set of "Whatever Works," she wasn't sure if she'd be out of a job in a few hours.

After all, she had yet to meet director Woody Allen -- he cast her simply because he felt she was right for the part in his 2009 film. And she'd heard stories about the legendary filmmaker quickly firing actors when he realized they weren't right for certain parts.

"People will show up and do the scene and he'll be like, 'You know what, this isn't right.' And he'll just recast. So the first day I was, like, so, so scared," the actress admitted on Friday at the Los Angeles Times' Young Hollywood roundtable, which also included Armie Hammer, Kirsten Dunst and Anton Yelchin.

Hammer also admitted being terrified before working with a different iconic director -- Clint Eastwood. The actor began work on Eastwood's "J. Edgar" immediately after wrapping "The Social Network" with David Fincher and said the two filmmakers employ completely different styles of directing.

"With Fincher, he would spend 20 minutes making sure that the angle of your head was right when you shot a scene," Hammer said. "But with Clint, you walk into a room and he goes, 'OK, so put it on its feet.' ...' And you're like, 'Oh, so it's up to me? Uh, OK.' "

For more on how the young stars approached working with A-list directors, watch the clip below. Check back with 24 Frames this week as we continue to post short videos with additional highlights from the conversation.


Young Hollywood: Yelchin, Wood, Hammer, Dunst on making it big

Young Hollywood: Kirsten Dunst, Armie Hammer talk role preparation

Young Hollywood: Hammer, Yelchin, Wood, Dunst on getting their starts

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Evan Rachel Wood and Henry Cavill are directed by Woody Allen, right, in "Whatever Works." Credit: Jessica Miglio / Sony Pictures Classics

Young Hollywood: Kirsten Dunst, Armie Hammer talk role preparation

November 9, 2011 | 12:58 pm

Armie Hammer and Kirsten Dunst at the Young Hollywood roundtable
When Armie Hammer showed up his first day of work on "J. Edgar" -- where he would be directed by Clint Eastwood and acting alongside Leonardo DiCaprio -- he wanted to make sure he was prepared.

So weeks before production began, the actor hired a researcher to help him dig up as much material as possible on his character, Clyde Tolson, who was J. Edgar Hoover's rumored lover. What he ended up with was a wealth of source material: more than 6,000 pages of research and thousands of photographs.

"At 25, that was a world that I will never know and I will never understand it because it's so drastically different than how we are raised and how we exist now," he said Friday at the Los Angeles Times' second annual Young Hollywood panel at AFI Fest, which also included Kirsten Dunst, Anton Yelchin and Evan Rachel Wood. "So that's really why I felt I had to do the research, because if I played this as a modern dude, I'd be the idiot who looked stupid next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Judi Dench and Naomi Watts, and I did not want that to happen."

Dunst seemed surprised by Hammer's level of preparation, admitting that she feels it's the "director's job" to help actors with research. While working on "Melancholia" with Lars von Trier, she said, the filmmaker used his own experiences to help the actress understand her character's depression.

"With Lars, he writes from a very personal place. So he talked to me a lot about his depression and some of the films in the film are actually scenes that he's experienced in real life," she said. "For him to be so vulnerable and open with me about that just made me very comfortable to feel free in whatever I was doing on the set."

There's more on how the young performers prepped for their recent roles in the clip below. Check back with 24 Frames this week, as we'll continue to post short videos with additional highlights from the conversation.


Hammer, Yelchin, Wood and Dunst set for Times roundtable

Young Hollywood: Yelchin, Wood, Hammer, Dunst on making it big

Young Hollywood: Hammer, Yelchin, Wood, Dunst on getting their starts

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Armie Hammer and Kirsten Dunst at the L.A. Times Young Hollywood roundtable. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images

Young Hollywood: Hammer, Yelchin, Wood, Dunst on getting their starts

November 8, 2011 | 11:14 am

Anton Yelchin, Evan Rachel Wood, Armie Hammer and Kirsten Dunst at the 2nd annual LA Times Young Hollywood panel
Three members of this year's Young Hollywood roundtable -- Kirsten Dunst, Evan Rachel Wood and Anton Yelchin -- all began acting when they were kids. But Armie Hammer began auditioning only a few years ago, and he got his first big break last year playing the Winkelvoss twins in "The Social Network."

On Friday night, at the Los Angeles Times' second-annual discussion, Hammer said he was first inspired to act after watching Macaulay Culkin's performance in "Home Alone." But his "good, responsible parents" wouldn't let him try his hand at a career until he got older, he said.

"What are you trying to say, dude?" joked Wood, who revealed that she had been up for Dunst's part in "Interview With the Vampire" at the tender age of 5.

"I'm just saying that I know I experienced things in this business when I got into it at age 18, that if I was 12 having to deal with it, it would have crushed my soul," Hammer said, trying to defend his comment.

Eventually, the actor defied his parents' wishes. He dropped out of high school -- and later college -- to try his hand at acting. To hear more about Hammer's career trajectory, check out this clip from the event. Check back with 24 Frames this week, as we'll continue to post short videos with additional highlights from the conversation.


Hammer, Yelchin, Wood and Dunst set for Times roundtable

L.A. Times Young Hollywood Roundtable: Working with veterans

Young Hollywood: Yelchin, Wood, Hammer, Dunst on making it big

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo, from left: Anton Yelchin, Evan Rachel Wood, Armie Hammer and Kirsten Dunst at the second-annual Los Angeles Times Young Hollywood roundtable. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images


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