24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Red carpet

Diablo Cody: 'Young Adult' hype 'freaks me out' [Video]

October 26, 2011 | 10:42 am

Diablo Cody at the Hollywood Awards
"Young Adult," the upcoming film starring Charlize Theron as a woman reluctant to grow up, is one of the remaining question marks in awards season.

Because the film stars Theron, was directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody — all three of whom have been nominated for or won Academy Awards — the project has been highly anticipated in Hollywood. Still, the movie has not played at any major film festival and has yet to be screened for critics ahead of its December release.

The expectation that the film is award-worthy worries Cody, the "Juno" screenwriter admitted at the Hollywood Awards on Monday night.

"I understand why it's there, because Charlize is an actor that people get very excited about, and rightfully so. Her performance is amazing," said Cody, who took home the evening's screenwriter award. "At the same time, it always freaks me out a little to see it on a list when nobody's seen the movie. It's definitely speculation."

Cody is also fighting anxiety over her impending directorial debut, which is set to star Julianne Hough and Russell Brand. To prepare, she said, she's been seeking advice from as many directors as she can track down.

"It's totally intimidating. I'm freaking out. It's so different from writing that it surprises me that writer-director is a natural trajectory," she said. "To me, I can't believe how different the directing gig is compared to sitting at a computer in my pajamas."


'Breakfast Club' reading: Jason Reitman heads to detention

'The Help'? That's what the movie is doing for its stars [Video]

'Evil Dead' remake: Diablo Cody polishing script for first-time director

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Quentin Tarantino presents Diablo Cody with the screenwriter award at the Hollywood Film Awards. Credit: John Shearer / Getty Images

Carey Mulligan: I wasn't uncomfortable being naked in 'Shame'

October 25, 2011 |  3:15 pm

Carey Mulligan at the Hollywood Film Festival
Carey Mulligan has laid her emotions bare on screen numerous times. But in "Shame," the upcoming drama about a sex addict played by Michael Fassbender, she exposes far more of herself.

In the movie, Mulligan plays the sister of Fassbender's character -- a somewhat promiscuous young woman open with both her body and her feelings. The role required the actress to get fully naked for one scene in a shower -- something Mulligan said was surprisingly easy to do.

"I wasn't uncomfortable being naked. For other roles, it may be inappropriate, but for this, I felt like it was right for the part," the 26-year-old told 24 Frames on the red carpet Monday evening at the Hollywood Awards, where she was accepting a prize for her supporting role in the film. "It was a very small set and a very small crew, so it didn't feel like I was doing it in front of that many people. And Michael is so engaging when you act with him ... I felt like I was just in the room with him."

What caused more anxiety, she said, was having to sing a rendition of "New York, New York" in the Steve McQueen-directed film.

"That was actually probably more nerve-racking than the nudity. Yeah, that was scary. We did about 15 takes because [Steve] wanted it live," she said, adding that said she was so taken with the script that she "begged" McQueen for the job, despite not being an "obvious choice for the role."

Meanwhile, the movie will almost certainly receive an NC-17 rating when it is released stateside in December. The actress said she admired McQueen for not excising the film's riskier parts in an effort to make the movie more commercial.

"I think Steve was brave and made an uncompromising film and didn't want to change anything and won't change anything," she said. "He wanted to sort of hold up a mirror and show real people doing real things."


'Shame' director surprised by controversy

Michael Fassbender trailer has little 'Shame' [Video]

Michael Fassbender exposes more than skin in 'Shame'

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Carey Mulligan poses on the red carpet at the Hollywood Awards. Photo: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Anthony Mackie-Sugar Ray Leonard bromance blooms

October 4, 2011 |  5:18 pm

Anthony Mackie in Real Steel

A big Hollywood production can make for strange bedfellows. "Real Steel," the Hugh Jackman fighting-robot movie that opens this weekend, made a truly odd one: it cemented a bond between Sugar Ray Leonard and Jackman co-star Anthony Mackie.
How did the classically trained actor and world-champion boxer come to meet? Leonard was training "Steel" star Hugh Jackman and choreographing the film’s robot fights when the two struck up a relationship.
“After talking to him, he’s kind of one of the nicest guys that you would think about punching you in the face over and over again,” Mackie told 24 Frames at the “Real Steel” premiere on Sunday. (You can watch video of the interview below.)
The actor also read Leonard’s memoir, “The Big Fight," and it made him realize that the boxer’s life would make "an amazing movie" in which he'd like to star.
Leonard, who has had a bit of an on-screen career himself (he appeared as himself in “The Fighter” last year, for instance), returned the favor by endorsing a Mackie portrayal. “That would be awesome," he said.
Mackie has spent the past five years developing a film about another iconic black athlete, Jesse Owens. Though the project may not be making its way to the big screen at the speed of an Olympic sprinter, Mackie still has hopes for the project, calling Jonathan Demme his "dream" director.
Mackie, who has expressed frustration before about the scarcity of roles for black actors in Hollywood, is hoping an independent film like the Owens biopic could allow him greater freedom than a conventional Hollywood production. Known for indie roles in films such as "Half Nelson" and "The Hurt Locker," Mackie is taking a step into a studio realm: in addition to "Steel," he has roles in upcoming big-budget pictures such as  “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and “Gangster Squad.”


Does Hollywood discriminate against young black actors?

'Real Steel' premiere: Hugh Jackman on acting with robots and kids

'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' star Anthony Mackie: Our movie will be educational

— Emily Rome

Photo: Anthony Mackie with Hugh Jackman in "Real Steel." Credit: Melissa Moseley/DreamWorks Pictures.

John Singleton: 'Abduction' will 'definitely' have a sequel

September 16, 2011 | 11:05 am

John Singleton will likely direct a sequel to Abduction
"Abduction" -- the film that marks Taylor Lautner's official bid to become an action star -- doesn't hit theaters until next Friday, Sept. 23. But director John Singleton says that no matter how the movie fares at the box office in the coming weeks, a sequel to the action flick is already a done deal.

When asked if there would be another installment of "Abduction," Singleton replied enthusiastically: "Definitely."

"We've been talking about it while we're making the movie. Of course, I'm gonna direct it," he grinned, speaking from the premiere of the film in Hollywood Thursday night. (You can check out a video interview with Singleton from the event below.)

And if the movie tanks at the multiplex? "I don't think we have to worry about that," he said. "It's happening."

"Abduction," in which Lautner stars as a high schooler who discovers his identity is different than his parents led him to believe, is the first film Singleton has directed in six years. The filmmaker, whose biggest successes include "Boyz N the Hood" and "Shaft," said he's spent his time off "sailing and raising kids." 

He was lured back into the spotlight by "Abduction," he said, because he was intrigued by the possibility of how he could help shape an emerging star like Lautner. (His daughters, avid fans of the "Twilight" series, also told him they'd kill him if he passed on the opportunity.)

 "I’m a competitive guy. I’ve worked with a lot of new talent, and I wanted to show what I could do with Taylor,” Singleton told us in an interview for a profile of Lautner, which appears in Sunday’s L.A. Times. “I wanted to show there’s a certain edge to him. It’s not just about how he looks. It’s about him being able to convey emotions in a character and be funny and be very physical in the action scenes. That’s what truly makes a star.”


A new dawn for Taylor Lautner

2011 Movie Preview: 'Abduction'

20 years later, 'Boyz N the Hood' still powerful

--Amy Kaufman


Photo: Taylor Lautner, left, with director John Singleton at the premiere of "Abduction." Credit: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Fleischer: Why I followed 'Zombieland' with '30 Minutes or Less'

August 9, 2011 | 11:13 am

Ruben Fleischer grew as a filmmaker while shooting 30 Minutes or Less

After Ruben Fleischer's "Zombieland" became a surprise hit in 2009, the director was sought after for a slew of high-profile projects, ranging from "Mission Impossible IV" to a Will Ferrell comedy.

Some heads in Hollywood turned when the young filmmaker opted to direct the smaller "30 Minutes or Less," an R-rated buddy comedy about a pizza delivery guy played by "Zombieland's" Jesse Eisenberg who is kidnapped, strapped with a bomb and forced to rob a bank.

At the premiere of the film in Hollywood on Monday night, Fleischer said he selected the project precisely because it was small. He was, he says, "psyched to do something a little bit where I could define my voice as a filmmaker."

"With some of these bigger movies where you tether a big franchise and there's a huge movie star involved, as a young director, you kind of get lost in the process," he said on the red carpet (video below). "So for me, I was really excited just to get a movie where I felt comfortable, where I could define it, and say a little bit more about my tastes as a filmmaker."

The results, he said, give him heart. "I'm proud of it. I think it's as funny as any movie, and it was a good stepping point because my next film now is a more dramatic piece."

He's referring, of course, to "The Gangster Squad," the upcoming period drama about the Los Angeles Police Department's attempt to bar the mafia from Los Angeles in the 1940s. The film, which begins production in four weeks, has a high-profile cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Josh Brolin.

And how is he planning to wrangle all of those egos, exactly?

"It'll be a learning experience, I think," he said with a laugh. "It's almost schizophrenic juggling this film's release and then also the preparation that I need to do for the next one. But I'm not complaining. I'm happy to be in this situation."


This time, Aziz Ansari has more than a cameo

'Tales From the Gangster Squad' pinpoints its target

Ruben Fleischer was courted for 'Mission: Impossible IV,' others

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Ruben Fleischer at the premiere of "30 Minutes or Less." Credit: Fred Prouser / Reuters

James Franco explains how he really feels about 'Apes' [Video]

August 1, 2011 | 10:55 am

James Franco is many things: scholar, actor, writer, poet, emcee, artist, director. But diplomat? Not so much.

Ever since his critically panned stint hosting the Academy Awards back in February, Franco has continued to offer up a variety of reasons for his performance. He needed to be the straight man to a "Tasmanian Devil"-esque Anne Hathaway. Longtime Oscars writer Bruce Vilanch didn't write him enough funny jokes. His latest gripe? He hated being made to dress in drag as Marilyn Monroe, as he told Playboy last month.

Meanwhile, in that same interview with the adult magazine, the 33-year-old also gave a dig to his upcoming film "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." He didn't "feel the same way" about the film as he did about "127 Hours" or "Milk," he said.

"It was a ­different kind of acting," he explained. "I never thought of this movie as an example of my creativity. I was an actor for hire. But people still have it out for me, so they’re going to go after the movie."

At the premiere of the "Apes" in Hollywood on Thursday, Franco attempted to clarify his negative comments.

"I just mean, there are people that -- I don't know -- have it out for me for other things," he said. "And, like, they see me do this movie and so maybe they will criticize me for this -- but really, it's about something else."

Rupert Wyatt, who directed the film, said Franco had not seen "Apes" when he sat down with Playboy and that the interviewer likely "caught James on a bad day."

"He hadn't seen the movie at this point so I think he might have been a little nervous because of what he'd experienced recently," Wyatt said, referring to the Oscars criticism. "I ended up doing some additional shooting with him after that [interview] and we had a chat. Like I said, it was probably a bad day. But he has seen the movie now and I heard he called various people and said how much he enjoyed it."

If Wyatt was irked about the magazine interview, he did a good job of hiding it on the red carpet, calling Franco a "terrific, terrific actor."

"And I think everybody acknowledges that," he said. "He's been Oscar-nominated and he's done some extraordinary performances and that's what he should be judged on."


Is James Franco honest or tiring?

Oscar writer Bruce Vilanch speaks out on James Franco

James Franco versus Bruce Vilanch: Will this continue until next year's Oscars?

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: James Franco stars in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." Credit: 20th Century Fox

How much was 'Super 8' influenced by 1980s films? J.J. Abrams and the stars weigh in [Video]

June 12, 2011 | 12:47 pm

As audiences turn out to see "Super 8" this weekend, the movie has attracted not just younger audiences but adults nostalgic for the popular 1980s films the J.J. Abrams project evokes.

Indeed, such movies -- including producer Steven Spielberg's "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," Rob Reiner's "Stand By Me" and Richard Donner's "The Goonies" -- were of such importance to Abrams that the studio had the young stars of "Super 8" watch them before production began on the film.

"Paramount had us watch those movies because so many of the references J.J. made were to those movies," explained one of the film's kid stars, 14-year-old Ryan Lee, at the movie's premiere in Westwood Wednesday evening.  "And after we would watch those movies, we’d be like, ‘Ohhh, that makes sense now.’"

As 15-year-old Joel Courtney, who has the largest role of any teen in the film, came to understand it:  "‘E.T.’ kind of brings a little bit of sci-fi to it. ‘Goonies’ brings that group of kids to it. And ‘Jaws’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ brings that terror to it."

But when asked what Abrams wanted his child stars to take away from the '80s movies, the filmmaker had a different point of view.

Continue reading »

Some 'Scream 4' newcomers felt daunted about stepping into the franchise

April 14, 2011 |  2:50 pm

After 11 long years, the "Scream" franchise will finally be back on the big screen this weekend. Because it's been so long since moviegoers have seen the iconic ghost-faced killer, director Wes Craven wanted  to reinvigorate "Scream 4," which opens Friday, with some fresh blood.

But some of the new players who ended up in the film admitted that acting alongside franchise veterans Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell was daunting.

"You do have to have a respect for the fact that it's something that's so established, that it's a family that's been created over the past 15 years," said Hayden Panetierre on the red carpet at the movie's Hollywood premiere Monday. "But [the old cast] were so nice and so welcoming and so cool about it that you didn't really feel that 'Oh my God, don't mess up, you gotta come in with your stuff together.'"

Anna Paquin, the actress now best known for her role on HBO's "True Blood," said she didn't have any trepidation about joining the ensemble. When asked if she was nervous about taking on a cameo role in the thriller, she responded directly: "I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but no. I mean, it's nice coming into a franchise that's already been around for a long time and is really loved and it just feels like an easy choice. ... It's like your work's already been done for you in a sense because they established everything years ago."

To watch video interviews with both actresses, as well as co-star Emma Roberts, click beyond the jump.

Continue reading »

Kristen Bell: Russell Brand is a game changer, like Richard Pryor [Video]

April 12, 2011 |  6:16 pm

With "Arthur" opening poorly this past weekend, some in the movie industry have questioned whether Russell Brand has what it takes to be a leading man.

But the comedian does have at least one defender in Hollywood: Kristen Bell, who costarred with Brand in his American film debut, 2008's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

Asked at the premiere of "Scream 4" on Monday night if she thinks Brand is cut out to carry big studio films, Bell said she believes the actor's comedy is sometimes misunderstood.

"Not everybody gets him, and they don't have to. Not everybody got Richard Pryor, but he's still one of the best comedians out there," said the actress, who played the girlfriend of Brand's outlandish rock star Aldous Snow in the comedy. (Video above.)

"Arthur," a remake of the 1981 comedy starring the late Dudley Moore, cost Warner Bros. about $40 million to produce but only raked in $12.2 million upon its debut. The film drew largely negative reviews, with many critics declaring that  Brand's over-the-top persona can overstay its welcome in anything more than a supporting part.

"If you make something that nobody hates, then nobody loves it. And I think that's a really good rule to live by," Bell said of the critical response. "[Russell] elicits emotions out of people, and whether you like it or not -- whether he's too daring for you or not -- I think he's a really good guy."

--Amy Kaufman



Russell Brand makes his case for leading-man status

Will the 'Arthur' box-office results put the kibosh on '80s remakes?

'Arthur' director defends his remake


Kid stars of J.J. Abrams' 'Super 8' excited to be on the cusp of fame [Video]

April 2, 2011 | 10:12 pm

When new footage from J.J. Abrams' hush-hush summer release "Super 8" was unveiled at Las Vegas' CinemaCon this week, many were surprised by the prominent role that half a dozen formerly unknown kid actors play in the film.

The director said he chose the novice cast -- led by newcomer Joel Courtney -- largely because he wanted them to look like authentic kids.

Indeed, at the Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, the group of young boys seemed to be just that. They spoke excitedly about working with Abrams and shook their heads enthusiastically when asked if they'd become close friends off-set.

"He's like a kid at heart," the diminutive Ryan Lee said of the director. "I mean, he cracks jokes all the time. He knows as soon as we get overworked, he's gonna make us feel better by just, like, being a kid."

To make the movie, Lee said, he and a number of the other child actors -- many of whom had never before been in a film -- had to be home-schooled because their "schools wouldn't cooperate."

"But it's a sacrifice worth making," he added.

Asked if they expect their lives to change after the release of the much-anticipated summer film, cast member Riley Griffiths had this to say:

"I'm not gonna say I'm not gonna enjoy the ladies," he grinned.


Arrival photos from the Kids' Choice Awards

Best and Worst of the 2011 Kids' Choice Awards

Kids' Choice Awards: Selena Gomez says next film role marks 'crucial turning point' in her career [Video]

--Amy Kaufman



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