November 16, 2012 |
If you have seen Paul Thomas Anderson's “The Master,” you might reasonably assume that very little was left to chance. From its precise cinematography to striking score, the writer-director's drama about a troubled drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) and a charismatic leader of a new movement (Philip Seymour Hoffman) feels as well-planned as a military operation. But in this excerpt from the Envelope Screening Series this week, Anderson explains that his two lead actors brought far more to their performances than he ever imagined, and that the film's production team frequently improvised.
June 26, 2012 |
Four more actors have been added to the cast of “Jobs,” the new biopic about the late Steve Jobs, the computer designer and inventor who was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive ofApple Inc. Joining Ashton Kutcher, who is starring as Jobs, are Ron Eldard (“Super 8”) as Apple designer Ron Holt; John Getz (“The Social Network”) as Jobs' adoptive father Paul Jobs; Lesley Ann Warren (“Victor/Victoria”) as his adoptive mother; and James Woods (“Salvador,” “Nixon”)
October 23, 2013 |
Audiences acquainted with the "Saturday Night Live" character MacGruber - a bumbling special-ops agent who rather consistently fails to save the day - might be surprised to see the man who portrays him, Will Forte, co-starring in Alexander Payne's new black-and-white drama "Nebraska. " Speaking at the Envelope Screening Series recently, Payne explained why he doesn't hesitate to cast comedic actors in dramatic roles. "I've found that in the past I'm often drawn to people with good comic timing to perform in dramatic parts," the director said.
March 21, 2013 |
If the title of Donald Freed's new play, now at the Skylight Theatre, doesn't prompt you to quote Macbeth (“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…”), you are probably not its intended demographic. The heart of “Tomorrow” is three actors discussing and rehearsing scenes from the Shakespeare tragedy. And, yes, it sounds dry and cerebral, like something only a dramaturge would be into. As I actually have a degree in dramaturgy, you might roll your eyes when I say I was on the edge of my seat as I watched the characters hunt Lady Macbeth's psychology through the text, history and their own pasts.
October 10, 2010
Michael Mann is a visual stylist of the highest order, but he has gotten signature performances from elite actors. He reflects on some of them: Daniel Day-Lewis in "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992) "There's a tremendous confidence that you get as an actor that you as a man or as a woman can do what your character does. If you're playing Daniel Boone and you know that you can be dumped into wilderness and have breakfast, lunch and dinner, four seasons a year, and survive, it shows.
February 12, 2013 |
At the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Oscar nominee Quentin Tarantino was the recipient of the American Riviera Award for his screenwriting. The event included a conversation in front of 2,000 festival guests and clips of his films throughout his career. Here is the transcript of that Jan. 30 conversation with L.A. Times writer John Horn; it has been edited for length and language: OSCARS 2013: Full coverage John Horn: Thank you very much. Great reception.
June 17, 2011 |
In the hierarchy of television, being a freak and a geek is a good thing. And the five actors who gathered to talk to The Envelope about their characters' kooky idiosyncrasies (germophobia, social awkwardness, selfishness and then there's the shape-shifting and murdering) — and the effect of their shows on the fanboy (and girl) audience — are at the upper echelon of the TV pecking order, some might say. Following are edited excerpts from our chat — moderated by Times television critic Robert Lloyd — with Johnny Galecki ("Big Bang Theory")
June 14, 2013 |
Television has been proudly brandishing its "Golden Era" calling card of late largely on the merits of the many top dramas being produced on prime time and cable over the last few years. It's a rise in quality such that any demarcation line between film stars and TV stars has been wiped away - film actors who may have once shunned the small screen are increasingly embracing television dramas, proclaiming that the most creative stories and interesting characters are to be found there, and TV actors, well, they know a good thing when they've got it. The Envelope invited five such actors to take part in the Envelope drama panel - Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad," Connie Britton of "Nashville," Andrew Lincoln of "The Walking Dead," Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men" and Kevin Bacon in his first TV series, "The Following.
January 9, 2014 |
In the tradition of "Swingers" and "Good Will Hunting," "Dumbbells" originates from a pair of enterprising actors who have dabbled in screenwriting to generate parts for themselves. Brian Drolet and Hoyt Richards drew on their former lives as an MTV personality (Drolet) and fashion model (Richards) to write the story of an ex-jock languishing as a North Hollywood gym attendant after his promising career and superficial girlfriend both slipped from his grip. Drolet undertakes the role of the sweet-natured sad sack, while Richards plays an ex-model who assumes ownership of the gym and schemes to turn it into a set for a reality series.