Cloak & Dagger Season 2 Interview: Producer Jeph Loeb

Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb brought Cloak and Dagger season 2 to WonderCon 2019, just a few days ahead of the new season’s premiere on Freeform. Kicking things off with a two-hour season premiere, Cloak and Dagger season 2 starts out eight months after the season 1 finale and sees Tandy and Tyrone take on a set of entirely new challenges. Loeb teased some of those challenges as well as what else fans should expect in season 2.

What can you tell us about season 2, because some people are still cagey about it?

The way I look at it is that… First of all, we’re on April 4th on Freeform. That’s a special 2-hour premiere. And just so everyone’s clear, that’s two episodes that are back-to-back as opposed to the show didn’t suddenly become two hours, as much as I would love that. But it really is… if the first season was about these two people meeting learning about who they are with each other and discovering their abilities, and then ending on that question, which is, okay… Now we are who we are, can we do the job? Can we be heroes in the Marvel Universe? And when you start season 2 the answer is, unequivocally, yes. We’re going to do this. We’re going to take this on. We recognize that that may wreak havoc on our personal lives, but Cloak and Dagger have always been, when you go back to even the earliest of comics… they’re not really characters that were created to stop bank robbers or 50 ft monsters that are going to cross the city or aliens that are coming through a hole in outer space. They really were there to help people who couldn’t help themselves.

And, in many ways, they were there to help each other, and that’s what makes the show feel very true and feel authentic. And I think that’s why our fan base is as passionate as it is because they legitimately care about Ty and Tandy and what they’re going to do this season, and the excitement in the adventure and the danger that they’re going to follow. You know, you would hope that they would have… I think maybe mentor’s too strong a word, but at least an advisor, someone who understands how the system works. And, in many ways, that’s what they had in Bridget O’Reilly, and then someone threw her in the swamp. So, this season their lives are going to be complicated by something that we might as well just start a referred to as Mayhemic. And so, they may be setting out to do something that is really good and really smart and solve a problem, and then get hit sideways by the most unexpected person in their lives. I think that’s just a taste of what’s to come. Also, if there were any outstanding questions from season 1 there’ll be answered. I’m not saying that new questions aren’t then going to that arise from it. That’s what makes Marvel Marvel, you know. I don’t believe in ending the story with the end. I believe in ending the story to be continued.

You’re overseeing all the different shows. Like how often do you actually go on set?

As often as I can. This is what makes Marvel Television different from other television studios. Every show has more than an executive producer who is partnered with the showrunner. And so, we’re in casting, we’re in editing. We go in the writers room and hear the stories. We go to set, someone is always on set all the time. And that person’s role is to make sure that the show stays the course, and that’s always not easy. New Orleans is an amazing city. It also has some of the most unpredictable weather that you could possibly imagine, and if you’ve ever made any kind of television series and had planned on a beautiful, bright, sunny day, not a hurricane, it makes your life different. And that’s just one of the many, many, many challenges that the show has conquered really well. You don’t see it because the show just looks and feels as it is, but you know when you’re behind the camera you go, “Oh that was that night. That’s when that happened.”

You have so many Marvel Television shows on different networks. Are there some challenges with keeping the continuity of the universe together while allowing each of those shows and tell their own story in their own way?

Continuity that’s important to us is that the heroes always feel authentic, the world feels real, and that in some way they’re inspirational. This is a hard time for a lot of people, and whether it’s socially or economically or racially or any of those issues that are touching our lives and that we’re being assaulted by, you know, a 24/7 news cycle all the time. And so, to be able to sit and watch something that gives you a sense of hope is really our end goal, and not hope in the sense that we hope that you know this outside person is going to come and save us, but much more so that teenagers who decided they’re going to make the personal sacrifice of their own lives in order to make other people’s lives better, so that the end result of which is in the message is we are not so suddenly giving you is that anyone can be a hero. And that they are around us all the time, whether it is just nurses or doctors or teachers or parents or yourself, it is as long as you stand up when everyone else is told to sit down, then you’re the hero in the story. And if that’s what watching a Marvel Television show brings to you, that’s the feeling that you get out of all of it, then good on us. But, more importantly, good on you for watching us and watching us across those different platforms so that you get that same kind of Marvel feeling. It’s not bad thing; it’s why we’re all kind of here.

So last season we got some mystical elements of possibly like destinies unfolding, was about to bring in more magical characters like Brother Voodoo…

I think they’ll be some surprises. There won’t be Brother Voodoo, let’s just establish that, but there are certainly some as, Joe likes to say, there’s some Easter eggs along the way that it even I don’t know about. (He’s wrong.) But it’s okay, I like to let him say things like that. But, you know, look we’ve never been a place that’s an Easter egg farm. We don’t ever want to feel like when you’re watching the show that you should have left something there. But, by the same token, we all come from the comics, we all come from the same source. So if there’s a way that we can bring that in there, so that our geek fans can geek out, awesome. But we also never want the show to feel like I’m so inside I can’t even feel like I can go outside. We want this to be a show where… just care about Ty and Tandy and their adventures. And the good news is that Olivia and Aubrey make that really inviting. And so, I don’t know what else you’re doing on April 4th other than watching Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger. 2-hour Premiere. It’s not actually 2 hours.

Next: Cloak & Dagger Recap: 6 Biggest Questions Going Into Season 2


2019-04-04 03:04:40

Mansoor Mithaiwala

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre & Matthias Schoenaerts Interview: Mustang

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre is an actress and director, known for Rabbit, Atlantic Avenue, and The Mustang. Matthias Schoenaerts is a Belgian actor, film producer, and graffiti artist. He is best known for his roles as Filip in Loft, Rust and Bone, and Red Sparrow. Schoenaerts received critical acclaim for his portrayal of an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD in Disorder.

In this interview, they talk about what the how programs like the one in The Mustang can help animals and former inmates recover mentally and what it was like to work on set with these animals.

Guys, congratulations on the film. It’s amazing. I had no idea that programs like this existed, so that’s all new to me. But criminal justice reform has been in the forefront of the news lately. How does The Mustang add to that?

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre: I mean, if, if this film can raise awareness about those programs and expand them that would be my biggest wish. There’s a lot of wild horses in holding facilities waiting for adoption. Sometimes they would spend years and years and years without, I mean, just sometimes dying there and there’s a lot of inmates upon their release who actually relapse and is there, are there, do most of them die. And I feel that those programs inside the prison, they’re wonderful and they should also be outside of the prison. I think it’s such a natural and visceral response of repair, a man’s soul, immense sadness and pain. That, I wish that was on the justice level is maybe a way to push it more, to explore it more and to expend it.

Your character, almost his journey. Roman’s journey almost mirrors that of taming a wild horse that’s captured as well. Can you talk to me about that experience and what you tapped into that character so much of Roman?

Matthias Schoenaerts: Cool. For me it’s about, uh, the movie tells a story about the possibility of change and the possibility of transformation. That’s why I also think it’s so urgent and so actual to talk about it because it goes against, you know, a certain cynical tendency that we might run into a where people say, yeah, but some people are lost, some people cannot change. And this film tries to tell the opposite. And if this movie can contribute and if the journey of this character can contribute to that notion then I think we’re doing a good thing. And then the change is being instigated by this horse, the contact with the horse, which is a very intuitive process, a very emotional process. It’s not an intellectual process. It’s really two hearts beating and affecting each other in a very pure and straight forward way. And that has an enormous political quality to it. And I think that is also, to me, I think the strength of the movie it’s the sincerity of the exchange between these two individuals, so to speak.

It’s really beautiful actually the relationship that Roman has with Marcus’s horse. I just recently found out that Jason was actually afraid of horses.

Matthias Schoenaerts: And not only Jason also Bruce. Bruce was petrified. I was scared as an understatement. He was petrified. Like “You’re gonna get that horse away form me.”

Well I was going to ask cause they say that in Hollywood don’t make two types of films, one with kids and one with animals. And I just wanted to know some of your experiences that you guys had with a lot of these horses. Training them, scoring them.

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre: It was definitely a challenge, but they were very disciplined, those horses in the end.

Matthias Schoenaerts: We were very lucky to have an amazing horse trainer who’s like a true master. And without him we would have been in trouble. Cause we only have five weeks to shoot the film. So that’s a limited amount of time that we had some complex sequences and thanks to him, he was just, I mean he was like a conductor. He could just like, he could have horses jump around and do parallelism and whatnot. I mean that guy had the real magic. And he helped us a lot.

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre: He helped us a lot.

You guys, this movie is amazing. I hope everybody sees it. Amazing job. Thank you so much for your time.

More: Jason Mitchell Interview for The Mustang


2019-03-28 06:03:22

Joe Deckelmeier

Theo Love Interview: The Legend of Cocaine Island

The term “Florida Man” has become ubiquitous with wild, ridiculous, and incredulous stories of inept criminals who straddle the line between obscene and absurd. One such story is the focus of the new Netflix documentary, The Legend of Cocaine Island, true crime doc which offers a light and jolly touch to a genre which is frequently criticized for being overly morbid and violent.

In the aftermath of the economic recession brought about by the 2008 housing market crash, Rodney Hyden did what anyone whose livelihood was compromised by the financial circumstances would; he took a local storyteller at his word and embarked on a quest to dig up a buried treasure, millions of dollars in contraband. The Legend of Cocaine Island tells the true story of a Florida everyman who went outside the realm of law, order, and common sense in an effort to provide for his family. In the wake of a spate of grisly true crime documentaries, it’s refreshing to see a story like this: as hilarious and unbelievable as it is sincere and empathetic, The Legend of Cocaine Island is an atypical documentary, to say the least.

Related: 10 Best True Crime Shows On Netflix

While promoting the film’s debut on Netflix, director Theo Love (Little Hope Was Arson) spoke to Screen Rant about The Legend of Cocaine Island. He speaks about how refreshing it is to make a different kind of True Crime Doc, casting Rodney Hyden himself in the movie’s extensive reenactment sequences, and shares some insight into the extensive process of creating a documentary from scratch.

The hot meme right now is typing the words “Florida Man” followed by your birthday into a search engine and post the first story that comes up.

Theo Love: I haven’t seen that one. That’s hilarious!

How did this “Florida Man” story catch your attention?

Theo Love: A couple of years ago, I was looking for a documentary idea. I made a crime documentary before, and I liked that, but I wanted lighter material, maybe a crime where there wasn’t much of a victim. Florida, as you know, is home to ridiculous criminal stories. I went down the rabbit hole of “Florida Man” research, and came up with all those unbelievable stories, but when I came across Rodney’s, it was almost as if it was structured as a movie already. It felt like the story was just a screenplay ready to be filmed.

Another thing I like about this is how there’s very little violence in the story. Sometimes, I get kind of icked out by True Crime Docs. They can be a little morbid and I’m getting entertainment of true stories of people getting murdered horribly. The Legend of Cocaine Island is refreshingly non-violent, and I like that!

Theo Love: I like that, too. When I was making this, I was in kind of a dark period of my life, and I think that a lot of people around the country shared that sentiment, and I wanted to make a story that wasn’t going into those darker, depressing areas. There are other films and filmmakers who do a wonderful job with those, but I wanted to find a story that was true, but was ridiculously entertaining, and that’s what I got with Rodney’s story. We didn’t have to go to any of the dark territory for it to feel like a movie.

It really does feel like a movie in so many ways. Was there ever the thought to make a straight feature with this story, rather than the documentary format that you’re already familiar with?

Theo Love: Yeah, there’s always that thought. I’ve always wanted to be a narrative filmmaker, but documentaries, there’s something so exceptional about them that I love. You can just pick up a camera and start filming something or someone, and you’re making a documentary already. When we started this, it was just a really small indie project. But that’s the great thing about Netflix; they’ve been changing the whole documentary landscape because they’ve come along and supported indie docs and are giving them a huge spotlight. That’s what we’re really excited about.

So there’s a lot of reenactment in the film, and Rodney plays himself. Can you talk about directing him in those reenactments? Did he ever tell you, “no, this is the way it happened,” leading you to shooting a scene differently, or stuff like that?

Theo Love: He wanted to be in the film to make sure it was authentic and real. I, of course, wanted that as well. I couldn’t have asked for a better actor. There was something about Rodney, from the day I met him, that I was like, this is the kind of person you hope to find in a casting call. He didn’t have that movie star quality to him. (laughs) It was kind of an obvious source from the get-go, and really fun. We had a blast making this film. We went to Puerto Rico. We all crammed in a tiny little plane, and all of us were terrified, Rodney was in there. Hopefully, that energy comes across and people have a blast watching it!

Did you shoot the reenactments in all of the real locations that they happened in real life?

Theo Love: We did our very best. There were a couple of situations where we were denied access to film. Particularly, a spot where a treasure might be buried. That request was denied, so we had to find a different spot, but it is on the island that Rodney went to to find the treasure.

One of the characters in the film, someone I found really intriguing was Dee, AKA The Cuban. His face is covered throughout all his interviews, but he’s such an integral part of the story. I read that he approached you to be in the film. But was there ever a concern that he might not be game to play, so to speak?

Theo Love: Yeah. I hadn’t seen him in any of the news articles. There was nobody who had gotten access to this person. And, with a name like “The Cuban,” he just seemed like this mythical figure. We weren’t planning on going after him, but as we started reaching out to people he was associated with, he heard about the project and was a little upset that nobody had interviewed him to get his side of the story! That’s what I find with a lot of crime documentaries; getting access isn’t as difficult as you might think, because everybody wants to tell their side of the story. I tell all my subjects, “I’m going to do my very best to give you the chance to tell your side and pit it against someone who might have a different perspective.” I think that provides some interesting drama.

Was there anyone you wanted to interview but weren’t able to?

Theo Love: Hmm, you know, I think we got pretty much everybody! There’s always things, while you’re making the film, that feel like, you wish you had an hour left in the day just to get that last shot one more time, or you wish that you could get this one interview, but in hindsight, I think we got everything we needed to tell the story the way we wanted.

Zooming out, way out to putting a documentary together, what is the process of working from your initial idea and how does that change based on the interviews?

Theo Love: My producing partner, Bryan Storkel, and I, we have done lots of projects. We both meet the subject as soon as possible, even before we know if we’re going to move forward with the project. We go out and try to just hang out for a week. We try to get to know the people who we think might be subjects in the film, and try to meet them at their homes, in their environment, to try to get to know how we could possibly communicate who they are on film. Then we come back to L.A. and spend about three months of creative brainstorming and how we can weave these stories together. During that time, we’re continuing to call our subjects and talking to them about how they want to tell their stories. Really, our approach is allowing real people to tell their stories. There’s no narration by us; it’s all the people who lived it, and in some cases, they’re acting in it as well. Once we get the structure down, we go out and do the interviews, which are fairly pointed, because they’re based on conversations we’ve already had. They’re not scripted. I did have, like, four hour interviews, and so we just talked about everything about the story from every angle.

Related to that, how do you play interrogator when you can tell that they’re not giving you, not what you want, but what you already know to be the truth based on your conversations? Has it ever happened that they’re holding back when the cameras are rolling and it’s time to lay down the truth, on the record?

Theo Love: When I’m preparing a subject for the interview, I say, “look, I want to give you the opportunity to defend yourself against some argument that might be pitted against you. I play the Devil’s Advocate with them, and I position myself as that. Like, “what would you say if somebody accused you of lying?” And then they defend themselves on camera, so I don’t have to be the camera. If somebody’s a liar, and they lie on camera, it’s gonna be found out. It’s not a good idea to lie in any situation, but especially on camera.

What were some of the cinematic influences going into The Legend of Cocaine Island?

Theo Love: Definitely a lot of Coen brothers films were watched. We wanted to have a quirk in it, for it to feel a little bit odd. So the Coen brothers were a big one. We watched a lot of treasure hunting stuff. That’s what we were looking for, to give the feeling that the audience was going on a real treasure hunt, to feel that adventure. A lot of adventure-type films. The Big Lebowski was probably one of the more specific films for this one.

More: 10 True Crime Podcasts You Need To Be Listening To

The Legend of Cocaine Island debuts March 29 on Netflix.


2019-03-28 05:03:58

Zak Wojnar

Mary Lambert Interview: Pet Sematary 30th Anniversary

In 1989, Stephen King’s Pet Sematary shocked audiences with its depiction of supernatural terror in small-town Maine. Now, thirty years later, the original classic has been remastered in 4K Ultra HD with HDR lighting for maximum picture quality. The timeless classic has been given a fresh coat of paint, and just in time for the high-profile remake, which leverages the success of It and Castle Rock in an effort to continue the current Stephen King renaissance.

Screen Rant had the opportunity to speak with Mary Lambert, director of the 1989 film, regarding the new Blu-ray transfer, and the filmmaker shared her insights into the making of the movie, from casting then-toddler Miko Hughes in the film’s most pivotal role (spoiler alert), to exploring the subtle dynamic between Pascow and Judd, played by Brad Greenquist and the legendary Fred Gwynne, respectively.

Related: Every Upcoming Stephen King Movie In Development

Lambert also shares her thoughts on the long-awaited remake, giving her stamp of approval to the project. Finally, the director dishes on Pet Sematary Two, a film which was sadly dismissed upon its original release back in 1992, but has since gained a passionate cult following and is considered by many to be equal to, if extremely different from, its predecessor.

Let’s talk about this Pet Sematary 30th anniversary 4K Ultra HD remaster! I was watching the Blu-ray last night, and it looks amazing. Can you tell me a little about how this project got off the ground and some of the work that went into making this new version?

Mary Lambert: First of all, I’m a huge fan of archiving things on 35 millimeter film. Film, if properly exposed and properly processed and everything, I think it’s the safest way to archive, because it keeps the original image, it doesn’t have to be reinterpreted by new technology every ten years. It’s just there. That negative was solid. It was a beautiful negative. I worked with Danielle Cantwell and Matt McFarland, and we went back to the negative and we scanned it into 4K Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range, and I just couldn’t believe the way it just leapt onto the screen. I couldn’t believe the range that we had to go back in to adjust and tweak and make things perfect. That was truly fun for me. I’m also a painter, and it was such a great experience.

Did you make any overt changes to the film for this anniversary edition?

Mary Lambert: One thing we were able to do was to go back into the scenes that had effects. At the time, they were all optical film effects. I can’t even tell you how difficult it is certain kinds of opticals on film, because you make a guess at what they’re going to look like, and then they take it back to the lab and they shoot it on a multipass stand, and then they composite it and then later, you see what your best guess was. If you don’t like it, you have to go through the whole process again. With digital effects, you can treat them like they’re in front of your face. We were able to go back into the effects and, not change them, because that would have been… But we were able to enhance them in a way I think looks really good.

Did you ever consider going in, like George Lucas on Star Wars, and completely redoing some of those effects?

Mary Lambert: No, but even at the time, I would have liked to do some more extensive work on the effects. There was more work planned, actually. To be honest, after the first few previews, it was previewing so well that Paramount just said, “we don’t think we need to work on the effects anymore; it’s working!” But I always felt like the VFX could have been better. If I could change anything in the movie, it would be some of the visual effects. They actually are better now.

Absolutely, but not totally reinvented. Got it. So, for me and my friends, when we were little little kids in the early to mid 1990s, Pet Sematary was one of the absolute scariest movies we could watch. It’s got this unsettling aura to begin with, but it’s not really violent until the very end. There’s some gore with Pascow’s wounds early on, but they’re almost sanitary because it’s in the hospital, right? But then, by the end, it just goes nuts when Gage is biting Fred Gwynne’s frikkin’ face off! It’s just horrifying!

Mary Lambert: (laughs)

It’s so many notches beyond what we’ve been prepared for by that point. It’s such a shock. Was it a challenge to hold back on the gore like that until the very last act? It’s so atypical for a horror movie, especially in 1989.

Mary Lambert: Actually, it was kind of refreshing to be able to do that. I think, a lot of people didn’t completely understand how we were going to make the baby, Gage, horrific. How was it going to be frightening to have the major villain be a baby boy? When I walked into the project, the understanding at Paramount was that we were going to probably have a dwarf actor or a puppet to play Gage when he’s resurrected. The feeling was that he would be so destroyed by being run over by a truck, he would be so squashed, that the character would have to be all sewn up in a horrible way and look like he had been run over by a truck. We thought we could never get a small child to sit in a makeup chair and do the prosthetic work that would be necessary. But I didn’t think it would be scary to have a dwarf of a puppet. I thought it would just draw attention to the fact that we had switched actors. Those kinds of prosthetics, when you see too much of them, aren’t very scary. They’re grotesque, like how Pascow wasn’t grotesque, but he wasn’t terrifying. I really wanted the end to be terrifying.

Then it must have been a miracle when you came across Miko Hughes!

Mary Lambert: I spent a lot of time casting Gage. I had to really convince the producers that it was okay to hire a single child and not twins. I just fell in love with Miko and I knew, I don’t know how I knew, but I just knew that he was going to deliver a terrifying performance. He wasn’t just gonna be a baby who walks around on camera; he was going to participate as an actor. And you know what? He truly did. I think that’s why the ending is so scary, because you know it’s a real baby and you know he’s doing these terrible things. The horror of that, of something you love so much, when Rachel Creed, played by Denise Crosby, when she opens the door, first she sees Zelda, and then Zelda turns into Gage, and her heart just melts with love for her baby, but he’s not her baby. He’s a monster. There’s a lot of that in Pet Sematary. The thing you think is the good angel, or the thing to cherish, turns out not to be.

You point out on the commentary track that Judd, who appears good, is actually the harbinger of the bad events of the movie, and Pascow, who appears bad, is trying to save them from doom.

Mary Lambert: I always thought Pascow was the good angel, and Fred Gwynne, Judd Crandall, was the bad angel. But Louis saw it the other way around; he was afraid of Pascow because he was ghoulish in appearance and came back from the dead to speak to Louis, so he immediately assumes that’s a bad thing. But Pascow is actually giving him good advice, and the sweet, kindly old man next door who tells him story about the neighborhood and drinks beer with him in the evenings, you think, that’s the good angel, but no, Fred Gwynne is the one who leads him on the path to the Pet Sematary and to his ultimate destruction. I really like that motif. What you see is not always the truth.

That’s so great. Until I listened to the commentary track, I really hadn’t thought of Judd in that light before. But it’s almost like he wants to see how things play out with this family and this supernatural force.

Mary Lambert: Well, it happened to him. I think, sometimes, people go to that place of, “I had to go through it, so he has to go through it. I did it and I suffered, so if he does it…” Sometimes, especially as people get older, they can have a vindictive attitude in that way.

I want to ask you about Pet Sematary Two, which I think is an awesome movie.

Mary Lambert: (laughs) Thank you! We should have gotten a little more attention, I really liked it, too.

It just blows up everything from this first movie and takes it to a whole other place. The first movie was written by Stephen King, and part two is much more of an original idea. Could you talk a little bit about being attached to the sequel and how things played out differently than the original?

Mary Lambert: First of all, it’s not really a sequel. It’s another story about the Pet Sematary, basically. I’ve always wanted to do a real sequel about Ellie, since she’s the one who lives, and she’s the one who should have come back. At the time, there was a feeling, which is changing, that a woman, especially a young girl, couldn’t carry a whole movie. There was a lot of resistance. In my whole career, there’s been a lot of resistance. I always want to have strong female protagonists, and I’ve tried to sell a number of films with women as protagonists or villainous protagonists. People are interested, but the people who finance them ultimately go, “we won’t be able to get a big enough star,” and “a woman can’t carry a movie like this,” so it was decided to do a new story about the Pet Sematary.

That’s terrible, but then you obviously got a spark of inspiration with this new direction, not to mention a completely fresh cast of characters.

Mary Lambert: But then, I got really into this new idea, because I felt it could be extremely irreverent and it would be more about dark humor. What is worse that having your mother remarry a dickhead who’s the sheriff of the town who makes your life miserable? Well, what could be worse is you bury him in the Pet Sematary and he comes back as a crazy zombie. When you’re a teenager, you always think things can’t get any worse. You go down that path, and guess what? Things can get worse. I also really really love teenagers. Most of my work tends to be about them or for them. I think arrested development is slightly an issue for me, personally, so I got the idea of making this movie from their point of view. Pet 1 is Louis Creed’s point of view. It’s about his interior life, the things that happened because of the inner monologue he has with himself. Pet 2 is really about seeing the whole thing from a teenage boy’s point of view. As we all know, teenage boys do not have the best judgment in the whole world. That part of their brain is still developing, so that’s the way I approached it once we settled on the basic plot and story. Then it was just a matter of finding great actors to do it!

Edward Furlong, Clancy Brown, they’re both great!

Mary Lambert: They were a dream cast. Clancy Brown as the dickhead sheriff who comes back as a zombie, he was so brilliant. Clancy was such a great villain, and he’s such a good actor. He has so much physical grace. Those scenes where he’s chasing Eddie and his friend in the different action scenes, I think they’re terrifying because you don’t want him to catch you, you know he’s gonna whoop ass! He’s so graceful and so good at what he does. He’s so technically proficient as an actor. I’ve loved him since he starred in Highlander.

Oh yeah, he was great in that, too!

Mary Lambert: But, he also scared those little boys! He was like, we were getting ready to shoot, especially that scene where he’s chasing him through the house, Eddie would look back at him, and Clancy would say, “I’m gonna get you. You’d better run.” And, boy, Eddie took off, man! Eddie Furlong is a doll to work with, too, and Anthony Edwards. Anthony is such an incredible actor. It was great to watch Furlong working with those two actors who were stretching his technique and his abilities and not just doing a horror movie, but really acting with Anthony and Clancy.

So, Pet Sematary 2019, the remake, have you seen it?

Mary Lambert: I had the opportunity, the privilege of seeing it, and it’s really good, you’ve gotta go see it! It’s very similar in some ways to the first one, but it’s also very different. There’s several things in it, several places where the filmmakers, Kevin and Dennis, do something that I’m like, “Wow, I wish I had thought of that!” One thing they do is they give more agency to Ellie in moving the plot forward. In the novel, she’s the force behind Louis’ decision to bring Church back to life. She’s the one who galvanizes him.

She made him promise.

Mary Lambert: Yeah, she made him promise!

More: Every Stephen King Movie Ranked, From Worst To Best

Pet Sematary: 30th Anniversary Edition is out on 4K Blu-ray now, and the Pet Sematary remake hits theaters on April 5.


2019-03-28 05:03:02

Zak Wojnar

Jason Mitchell Interview: The Mustang

Jason Mitchell gained nationwide recognition and critical praise when he portrayed Eazy-E in the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton. He went on to star in the critically acclaimed Mudbound and the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island. His latest film is The Mustang, the story of a violent convict who rediscovers his own humanity by training wild horses. Mitchell plays Henry, an outgoing fellow inmate and trick rider.

Screen Rant: First of all, Jason, congratulations on the film. I’ve got to know, what brought you to this project and how did you connect with your character?

Jason Mitchell: What brought me to this project actually was [Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre]. She was a really big fan of mine already. And I’m a fan of hers. But what really connected me to it was, like no matter what situation I’m in, in life, I always have a smile on my face. Like things could be going in the worst, and I’m always going to be smiling and everybody knows that. So, to have somebody sort of take that and add that to the script already was like, “Oh! This is for me.” You know? But I was completely terrified of horses. My entire life. So, I’m like, “This could be interesting.” This could be something that, that not only changes me as an artist, but changes me as a person.

Screen Rant: You were afraid of horses your entire life? So, you got to confront a lot of fears in this.

Jason Mitchell: Yes, definitely. Because I mean, this is a 900-pound beast, you know what I mean? And they’re prey animals, so they’re like, they always spook super easily. But I had a really bad experience when I was like 16, and one of my friends was run over by a Clydesdale horse, and it was just all bad. And I was like, “You know what, maybe horses ain’t for me.” You know what I mean? [LAUGHS].

Screen Rant: That’s a good reason.

Jason Mitchell: Yeah. So, to get to the point where not only I can ride a horse, but I can actually go through the process to put my hand on a wild Mustang, is groundbreaking for me.

Screen Rant: Well, they say never work with kids or animals and obviously there’s a lot of horses in this. Can you talk to me about the experience and the training that you had to go through to be this like teacher for these horses?

Jason Mitchell: Yeah. Well, before I even got to get on the horse, maybe for like a week solid, they just had me learning how to saddle the horse. Learning how to clean the stables, learning how to clean the horse, learning how to communicate with the horse. Learning which side to walk on, and how to stay out of danger, or different things like that. But it was something that I loved so much that I would always just, you know, kind of go the extra mile. I was the guy who was cleaning all the horse stables after every day, and coming in early to be able to ride, and trying a bunch of different things, and it was really good. I had this guy; he was an Australia guy actually. And he would always be like, “All right, now when you get comfortable, okay, I want you to just get him trotting along that wall. When I say Jason, just do about a 10-foot circle and get back right on that wall. I’m not going to say much, I’m just going to say Jason. Okay?” [LAUGHS] But it was a good time. It was just a really good time. And everybody who had something to do with it was really proud. You know what I mean? And actors can always take the easy route out. Like, “Call in the double.” But I didn’t want to be that guy. And as a result, I think we really, really hit the mark.

Screen Rant: You really did. And also, another thing that’s highlighted in this film, is all you guys have such stunning performances.

Jason Mitchell: Thank you.

Screen Rant: And you got to work with the legendary Bruce Dern. So, I have to ask, is there anything that you learned from him just by being on set with that man?

Jason Mitchell: Absolutely. I learned that—Well, because a lot of times as a young actor, you’re afraid of your own thoughts. You know what I mean? Like, “Would this be okay to do? Is this not okay to do?” And he has such a bag of tricks. When you’re in a scene with him, it’s never going to be like you think it is. And afterwards, he’s like, “You know? I like this kid. This kid can dance. Every time I give him something, he hasn’t moved for it. I like this kid.” And he was just so seasoned, and he had so much love for it. Cause we’re out there with dust and dirt and the horses. And he’s kind of just this frail old man, but he was just always ready. There were times you had to like, cover him up with blankets, but he didn’t want to leave. He was totally down to stay. I love that guy.

Screen Rant: Can you talk to me about the relationship between Henry and Roman and how that develops?

Jason Mitchell: Yeah, it was interesting. Because it was a lot like me with a horse. It was like, you try to just sort of like press this, this idea of loving somebody, or having this sort of bond with somebody. But it’s steps to that. So, his relationship that he has with Henry is directly reflected through his horse. So, we’re kind of like in this weird love triangle. And it was really, really good because [Matthias Schoenaerts] is so dedicated, he’s so dedicated. And he’s a guy who like, in the middle of the night in the hotel room, he just [KNOCKS], “You know? I was thinking about this. So, what do you think about this?” And he’s just really, really sticking it. And when I watched his performance, I’m like, man, I cried like three or four times. I’m like, “Matthias, I know exactly what’s going to happen. Why are you making me cry?” It’s so good.

Screen Rant: You guys did an amazing job. Thank you so much for your time.

Jason Mitchell: Thank you, man.

More: Jeff Tremaine Interview for The Dirt


2019-03-22 02:03:26

Joe Deckelmeier

Brian Bendis: Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse Interview

For comic book writer Brian Bendis, the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is personal. Bendis is one of the co-creators of Miles Morales, the character who’s made his big-screen debut in Sony’s animated blockbuster. The film has been a tremendous success, grossing over $360 million in the global box office and even winning the Oscar for Best Animated Movie of 2018.

Brian Bendis is one of the most celebrated comic book writers today, and over his years at Marvel he wrote popular and influential runs of AvengersX-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy. He received a Peabody Award for his work as co-creator of Jessica Jones on Netflix, and for years served as part of Marvel’s Creative Committee, consulting on every Marvel movie from Iron Man through to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. All in all, it’s impossible to overstate Bendis’ influence on the current comic book industry.

Related: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Blu-Ray Contains Longer Alt-Universe Cut

We had the opportunity to speak to Brian in the aftermath of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘s Oscar win, and ahead of this week’s home release of the film. He shared some details about Miles’ creation, and the reason he believes Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has been such a hit.

Screen Rant: First of all, congratulations! How did you celebrate that Oscar win?

Brian Bendis: We got invited to a bunch of Hollywood stuff, and instead we decided to stay at home and watch it with my family, I did it with my closest friends and family who were with us when I was sick last year. My family and Kelly Sue, who was the author of Captain Marvel.

A lot of people don’t know this, but we were living in a house together when I was developing Miles and she was developing her Carol run. So it’s very emotional and weird for us to watch both our debuts go into this next level, like, right on top of each other. Like, just as Spider-Verse gets to DVD, here comes Captain Marvel. And they were literally made in the same house.

Screen Rant: It was just meant to be.

Brian Bendis: It was just a very strange eight years.

Screen Rant: OK, let’s do a quick dive into the creation of Miles Morales. So how did you come up with the idea of this particular all-new Spider-Man?

Brian Bendis: Well, it was a long gestation period with a lot of people, but it started back at Marvel, with Ultimate Spider-Man, a comic book I did with Marvel for many years. It featured a 16-year-old Peter Parker, the base idea of Spider-Man, in a modern setting, not unlike what the Tom Holland movies are right now. One of the things I liked working with Joe Quesada at Marvel, Joe would never bask in success, that’s when he would be questioning, “What can we do better, what more can we do in this time of success?” – and we started talking. I said, I don’t think I’m representing Queens or Brooklyn as well as I could, I’m gonna do better in my representation of that part of the world, and then from there came the conversation of, does Spider-Man himself represent that part of the world as best he could? And from that, why is he even a Caucasian? And once that idea’s out there, and I’m thinking about it, and — but, people really like Peter Parker, no-one’s saying hey can you replace Peter Parker, we’re so sick of him! So it was a conundrum, but we had a story we really think we might want to tell here, but y’know, no-one’s asking for it. So, we just decided once we had all the pieces together — it took about a year, a year of thinking about the charter school, thinking about his name, what his powers are, what’s different about his perspective of the world versus Peter’s? And once we had that, we were off the races.

And one of the reasons I’m most proud of this movie is that it goes, well, what if this boy had a very happy home life? That his parents loved him, and it’s because they love him so much that he feels this deep obligation to make the world a better place. Like, you don’t see that in comics. Everybody’s parents – particularly the father, in Marvel Comics – their father has betrayed them, has been blown up, y’know, or isn’t living. And I wanted it to be like this, to have one whose dad loved the crap out of him, and I’m so happy that that’s represented in the film and I was also so moved that the filmmakers were eager to use that idea. So that was very important to me.

Screen Rant: Did you always suspect Miles was going to be a hit?

Brian Bendis: No, I had that nervous energy of, “This could go either way.” And – for the sake of other writers who are reading this – that’s the best feeling. You have to do it. A lot of people back down from that, and sometimes it blows up in your face, but when it doesn’t, you end up with a Miles Morales.

Listen, you’re writing for Screen Rant, you’re a pop culture professor, you know your stuff. It’s filled with things that should not have worked. Nobody was bored of Peter Parker, nobody wants more out of Peter Parker, people like it, y’know? Also, the story of Miles Morales involved Peter Parker dying. That could’ve really blown up in our face. All of these choices and elements could’ve literally backfired, but we felt from our deepest honesty of storytellers we were coming from a good place. So, we had to go for it.

Also, we haven’t mentioned Sara. I had the backbone to put Sara Pichelli and Joe Quesada just constantly keeping it as real as it could possibly be. Sara is an amazing designer, and she’s been doing amazing design work on all the characters in the Ultimate universe. And the idea of designing somebody new with her was just overwhelming to me, based on what I’d seen her do for Gwen Stacy.

Screen Rant: How did Sara come up with that brilliant costume design?

Brian Bendis: Well, Sara started playing with it and I don’t remember whose idea was, like, a reversal — like, black and red — but I got excited because, that’s kind of like, black and red is kind of like my favorite look, and had been for like 20 years, so I was like, yeah this is my favorite kind of look. So, it was being developed along these lines and I gambled a lot, and then Joe came in, I think it was Joe who put on the reverse-webbing. And I remember thinking, “Oh, that looks amazing,” and what a dick move from Joe because it looks amazing, and now he’s gonna go and do something else and now Sara has to go and draw that every issue. Reverse-webbing is very difficult to draw. But yeah, it was Sara with a little help from Joe, and it was super-exciting to watch it develop.

It was one of those things that happened very quickly – sometimes it takes a long time to create, but this one y’know, it just really came to be.

Screen Rant: Obviously, now we’ve got an animated hit, what do you think has made Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse such a great success?

Brian Bendis: They found the stuff that I thought was special and they built upon it, and made it more special for them. It really leaned into the stuff that made Miles special, and by doing so — I’ve learned as a storyteller, later in my life but you do learn it through experience that the more specific the details of your story, the more universal it actually becomes. So by leaning hard on the very specific family life and the charter school and everything in Miles’ world, way more people who have never had any of those elements in their life somehow find a connection to it. And I was so grateful that they kept that stuff in, and then built upon it. Like, they had reached deeper into Miles’ connections with his family in a way cinema can. And I was so happy to see that, and I know when I hear from fans that that’s the stuff that they feel connected to.

Screen Rant: What moment in the film really stood out to you as your favorite scene?

Brian Bendis: Mine is gonna sound weird, because it’s not gonna be anything to do with me. But, the Kingpin sequence morphs into a Bill Sienkiewicz Valentine — he’s one of the great artists of comics, who had done this Daredevil graphic novel, it wasn’t even about Spider-Man — where he had created a visual of the Kingpin that was so striking, that other artists can’t get over it. So it became a Valentine to this Daredevil graphic novel, not even a Spider-Man, so we’re now turning the Spider-Man references into Daredevil references, into great artist references, because he had made the greatest contribution to that character. And I said, “Now it’s not just me liking a movie ’cause this is so awesome and builds on the stuff I did,” now we’re into this, like, film-making. And also, I’m a big Bill fan, seeing that was lovely to see.

Screen Rant: So, I couldn’t resist asking – the relationship between Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen was so much fun in the film. What are your thoughts on the potential romance plot going forward?

Brian Bendis: It doesn’t matter what I think, I’ll tell you what my seven-year-old daughter thinks! So, remember, my daughter was a baby when all of this was being gestated in the world that she lives in, right. But now, she’s the biggest Spider-Gwen fan in the world. So, I’m in my office, she comes storming in with one graphic novel that I and Jason Latour did together, where Miles and Spider-Gwen team up and they kind of go back and forth between the universes.

And in there, there’s um – Miles is very taken with her, as he would be because she’s awesome, right? And so we do a cover with them making out. And also, just for those people who don’t know, in this version of the story Miles and her are much closer of age. And, so the cover of the two of them kissing. She comes storming in my office, and she goes, “What is this?” And I go, “Oh, we did that when you were like two years old,” and she goes, “Was I old enough to talk? ‘Cause if I was old enough to talk I would’ve said, ‘No!'” and then stormed out of my office. And I think that would be the definitive statement of that.

Screen Rant: So, what other characters have you created that you feel could work in a similar sort of animated movie like Spider-Verse?

Brian Bendis: Oh, all of them. Honestly, after seeing Spider-Verse, the flexibility of animation and for those of us who really study storytelling really diving in there and looking at what they’ve done, it somehow is a perfect film and then also an invitation to other people to pitch further with their stuff. Every comic book artist felt, not only was this a Valentine to them, but it was also a call to get to work. Do more, do better. It’s up to us. And so, it’s hard not to imagine anything being adapted by excellent people.

Screen Rant: Do you think Miles Morales will make his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well?

Brian Bendis: I have no idea, I would love to see it, but not my call! This is where I become Zen, and hope for the best for all involved. And listen, we are so far beyond what I had dreamed of as my dream for Miles. We are so far beyond that. I have a Campbell soup can with Miles on it! What more could I possibly want! All I ever wanted for the character was exactly what the message of the movie was; which is for empowerment, and people to see themselves in a different way because that was from our very first issue what we were talking about. So for them to take that, and for them to offer it to the global stage. My Twitter feed is filled with kids from all over the place, looking at it right now, writing this little note, and I love how empowered they are. It’s all I could have ever wanted. So, right now, I’m gonna just enjoy what we have.

More: Every Animated Version of Spider-Man, Ranked

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is out now on Digital and is available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on March 19.


2019-03-17 01:03:36

Thomas Bacon

Garrett Hedlund and Charlie Hunnam: Triple Frontier Interview

The “men on a mission” movie gets a modern facelift with Triple Frontier. Directed by J.C. Chandor (All is Lost), this action/adventure story follows a squad of hardened soldiers who strike out for themselves and set out to rob a South American drug kingpin.

The squad of soldiers are played by some of the hunkiest men in Hollywood: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam, and Pedro Pascal are a veritable mountain of machismo, and the film makes a grand showing of balancing the emotional journey of these characters with a non-stop barrage of action, adventure, and white-knuckle tension.

Related: Triple Frontier – Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac Interview

During a New York City press junket for the film, we spoke to the stars of Triple Frontier, Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund. The Sons of Anarchy and Tron: Legacy stars, respectively, shared with us some behind-the-scenes details of the film, including finally sharing the screen together after years of friendship and discussing their training regimen; particularly, being forced to take swimming lessons for insurance purposes.

Screen Rant: You guys, this movie. So… so many words… It’s manly, but it’s emotional. It’s an adventure. It’s like The Guns of Navarone meets Treasure of the Sierra Madre. You guys function as such a unit in this movie. How well did you and the rest of the cast know each other before you started production?

Charlie Hunnam: Garrett and I have known each other and been very dear friends for fifteen years, and that’s how we ended up becoming brothers in the film. Initially, J.C. (Chandor, director) hadn’t intended for these two characters to be brothers, but he was looking at us both, and feeling like there was too much similarity physically, and just our vibes were too similar, that he felt like it would be distracting, it would ask too many questions if we weren’t related. So he was trying to figure out which one of us he would hire and which one he wouldn’t, and then he had this eureka moment of realizing he could just change the script and write us as brothers and have us both! It required very little for the two of us to create a brotherly bond…

Garrett Hedlund: …But it’s been a long time in pairing. And Oscar and I, this is our third film together, so we’ve known each other for ten years and been super close pals. You know, to jump on this and go on this journey with them, especially with this story that’s so involved with brotherhood and camaraderie, it was a perfect fit.

Screen Rant: So you’ve worked together a lot. Did have any bonding exercises that you did in rehearsals or anything, or was that in itself the bonding exercise?

Garrett Hedlund: We took swimming lessons together.

Charlie Hunnam: It’s true.

Garrett Hedlund: We wrestled on the beach. Charlie and I would wrestle in the gym. He’s a big fan of Jiu-Jitsu, so he was trying to teach me a few things. We trained together. We did tactical stuff together with the SEALs and military supervisors that were on the film. I mean, all these things add up, so we spent some time together.

Charlie Hunnam: Yeah, we probably… In terms of the way films are made, generally, it’s a trajectory of truncating rehearsal time because it costs money to get everyone together, but on this, we actually had, like, two and a half weeks, or three weeks of time. And really, they stack those days for us. So we were all together doing military training, horse training, and, Garrett said, swim lessons, which was kind of unnecessary, but, you know, we had fun!

Garrett Hedlund: Insurance, man! Gotta cover it.

Screen Rant: You mentioned military training, and this movie is so intensely physical. Can you talk a little about the physical intensity of climbing mountains and carrying all that equipment?

Garrett Hedlune: A lot of the equipment we had in the gym were pieces to deal with the elevation and stuff like that; certain treadmills that were testing your oxygen and stuff like that, and everyone’s endurance. There was so much climbing and stuff, and the Sierra Nevada was treacherous, I think we were shooting at, like, 13,000 feet. The stuff in Bogota was at, like, 12,000 or 13,000 feet. Just overall, the scenes, the action, the crashes, you know, got to be a lot!

More: Triple Frontier – Pedro Pascal Interview


2019-03-08 12:03:33

Zak Wojnar

Director Alexandre Lehmann Interview: Paddleton

Recently, Screen Rant had the opportunity to attend a screening of Netflix’s new film Paddleton. It stars Mark Duplas (Micheal) and Ray Ramono (Andy) as two misfit neighbors that build a strong unexpected bond through a game they have created that set out on an emotional journey when Michael is diagnosed with terminal cancer. The film becomes a very deep look at relationships, that inadvertently redefines healthy alternative views of masculinity and how friendships and life long bonds can be created and fortified. It was directed by Alexandre Lehmann who coincidentally also wrote the screenplay. He spoke to us about the process of making such a subtle, yet poignant and impactful film.

Screen Rant: I like to start off every interview with a little old before covering a lot of new. So first off thank you for *Asperger’s Are Us, it was a banner waving, inspirational documentary for anyone on the spectrum.

*An award winning coming of age documentary directed by Lehmann, in which four friends on the Autism Spectrum who have bonded through humor and performed as the comedy troupe “Asperger’s Are Us” prepare for one last show before parting their separate ways.

Alexandre Lehmann: Thank you for watching it. It wasn’t something made just for views or critical acclaim. I hope all their friends and family members feel the same way. I think that a lot of people that are or maybe are not on the spectrum still related to these guys and the feeling of not always being understood. By the way we will be releasing a follow up docu-series in April on HBO. We took the same guys on the road, put them in an RV and filmed their experience.

Screen Rant: Speaking about films with relatable protagonist. You wrote and directed Paddleton. This is a small film with a big heart and even bigger performances, How were you able to get such honesty out of both Mark and Ray?

Alexandre Lehmann: I think they are pretty honest guys. And due to that they were able to find the truth in the story that spoke to them and in turn were able to give life to characters they loved as much as I did, and that’s what translated to the screen. If anything [I like to say] I captured their honesty. [Maybe] I’d like to say to filmmakers [in general] that may ask “how do you get a certain level of honesty out of actors?” The answer is: by starting out as honest as possible yourself. And be willing to share and/or overshare yourself; and others will recognize that humility, in being vulnerable and be more inclined to join you in that. [and again, though I didn’t say in so many words] I feel that is in Mark and Ray’s wheelhouse, and may be something a lot of us didn’t notice or realize while we watched their respective sitcoms. Though they may be slightly heightened versions of reality. They are both real guys, they’re very accessible and beyond that they are incredible actors. It was just us doing something from the heart that was a lot of improv and being in the moment instead of trying to regurgitate words that made sense at another time. So it was [you know] a genuine process with genuine people. I wish I could take credit for it but I was being as real as everyone else.

Screen Rant: You said a keyword there “improv”. There’s a storyteller/standup scene between Mark and Ray at the bar. Was it fully scripted or where they able to run with it mostly?

Alexandre Lehmann: Well, funny enough that was Mark regurgitating the plot points to a fictional Kung-Fu film that we created for this film called “death punch”. Ray knew a little about the film and just did a bit of “yes-and” making for a very meta performance.

Screen Rant: speaking of meta is there anything we, as an audience can expect from this film like an epilogue much like how you treated Asperger’s Are Us?

Alexandre Lehmann: I’m just waiting for a million people to send ninja stars to Netflix. Just ninja stars that say “Death Punch” on it [paper or metal; your choice], then they’ll ask me to make the Death Punch in its entirety. That would serve as the proper epilogue for this film. [being 100 percent honest] I just want to make Death Punch. Those movies [Wu shot sub-genere in Kung-fu] they really are Duplas bro-mancy movie attributes to them. Yes; there’s the master and the student. And ninja stars being thrown. But they get real, there’s some real introspective heart felt stuff going on there.

Screen Rant: How were you able to seamlessly navigate such powerful and almost polarizing subjects like terminal illness and assisted suicide while still giving us such high peeks of levity?

Alexandre Lehmann: I mean, there’s nothing funny about death, there’s nothing funny about assisted suicide, there’ certainly nothing funny about terminal illness. There’s only a couple ways to handle really difficult things in life; we can get irrationally angry, you can shut down, or [you know] we can refer to comedy, we can choose to laugh at the absurdity of things or at the pain of things. And that seems to be the best coping mechanism and the most relatable. It’s treating the issues genuinely and seeing how difficult cancer/death can be in anyone’s life and at the same time being able to laugh at how crazy and unpredictable life is and remembering to celebrate the good things and not being ravaged by the bad.

Screen Rant: At the ore of this film it was about two single men whose lives become inexplicably entangled and a platonic bro-mance develops. Is there any relation in your life to that dynamic that was captured in the film?

Alexandre Lehmann: Oh yeah, for sure. I’ve got one friend that I used to see all the time [everyday] when we were living one on top of the other in an apartment complex. We will be best friends until the very end. There are a couple of guys I love so much that I just want to share so many experience with and I feel so lucky to. [It’s funny because] In a couple of interviews its been the topic of masculinity, what about this version of masculinity and toxic masculinity. Being honest I’m not smart enough to speak on that and what masculinity should be or how to redefine it. All I can say is Michael and Andy, I have that relationship in real life and nobody ever told us we shouldn’t or weren’t allowed to. And it happens to be that those relationships mean the world to me so of course I want to celebrate that. [to be honest] I forget sometimes that it is weird to some people to have a relationship like that at my age. I see it as a no-brainer. Any of us would be lucky to have a relationship like Michael and Andy, to be so understood and be able to live in such simplicity while you have everything you need in the world. [I mean] Nobody would need social media if they had a Michael and Andy dynamic. You wouldn’t need that validation form anywhere else. You would just feel like you belong.

More: Javier Bardem Interview for Everybody Knows

Paddleton is now on Netflix.



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2019-02-22 04:02:30

Javier Bardem Interview: Everybody Knows

Javier Bardem’s roles have run the gamut from cold-blooded hitman in No Country For Old Men to concerned family friend who receives he shock of his life in Everybody Knows, but one thing that hasn’t changed is his desire to work with people who inspire him. The Oscar-winning actor talks about why director Asghar Fahardi was one of those people and what moved him so much about the role of Paco in the Spanish thriller.

Screen Rant: I watched Everybody Knows last week and I loved it. I thought it was really well done film, and both and Penelope gave excellent. Congratulations.

Javier Bardem: Thank you.

Screen Rant: You’ve mentioned that A Separation was your introduction to Asghar as a filmmaker. What spoke to you about that film and what made you want to work with him after you watched it?

Javier Bardem: Well, I went to see the movie because Penelope had seen it before and she wanted to introduce me to do this director’s work. And I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll go. Of course. If you like it, it will be interesting.’ I sat down and I remember having one of the most enriching – creatively speaking as an audience and inspiring as an actor myself – experiences that I have ever had in a movie theater. Like, ‘What have I seen right now? What is this? What are those actors; where are they coming from? What are those scenes, those texts, those dialogues, that movie? Who is the director?’

And then it happened that a month later, destiny put us together in Los Angeles, which is a very funny place to put both of us together because he was promoting A Separation and I was promoting something else. We sat down to share a cup of tea, and I was like, ‘I can’t believe that I’m talking to you when a month ago I saw A Separation, and I’m still… There’s no one day I don’t think about that. About the quality of those performances. So what are we doing here? Don’t tell me there’s a slight chance that we can work together.’ And he said, ‘Well, I’m thinking about making a movie in Spain, in Spanish. And then my heart beat, like, ‘Please! Hire me.’

He happens to be one of the best directors. He happens to be funny, caring, very intelligent, sensitive, beautiful man. What a luxury. I have a great life. I have a blessed life because I have a job that I can provide for my family with. A job that I love. And not only that, I have the chance to meet people that I truly admire and work with them. That’s pretty extraordinary, and this is one of the cases for sure.

Screen Rant: That’s wonderful. It sounds like you and Penelope were not only on board from that first conversation but also more involved in the development of the story than usual. What was that process like, of being immersed with the director long before you even start to film?

Javier Bardem: I love it. I mean, it’s one of the things that he talked to me and Penelope about like it could be a problem. Like, ‘Well, you should know that I like to rehearse, that I like to talk previously with the actors and prepare and construct, to build up from the rehearsals.’ And he looked at that as a kind of worry, but I remember both of us looking at each other like, ‘Yes!’ And then he came to Spain a whole year before shooting to get in touch with the culture he was going to portray. We spent a lot of time together and we worked together as much as he wanted and as we could. He would send us treatments, ideas back and forth. He always wanted to make what he made, he knew this story. But the presence of rehearsals one month before shooting with all the actors that made themselves available for that.? It was beautiful. He comes from theater and you can tell that’s what he does. He loves it. And for me it was, again, a luxury. Because you’ve seen his movies, and you know he really cares and he really knows about performances. So if something [in rehearsal] happens by accident, and it turns out to be a good accident, he is going to be able to read it and put it there.

Screen Rant: And how did that theatrical approach and extra time with the script help you connect with Paco and find the truth of your character?

Javier Bardem: Well, I think one of the greatest things Asghar has in his stories is that he creates these very complex situations, where some might call it melodrama, some call it soap opera, and I call it life. Because if you look around, you won’t stop seeing melodrama and soap opera all around you, within your house. I mean, it’s all around us. We create the melodrama. But he brings that to an exquisite place of truth, where we understand that we create that melodrama, we create that soap opera by knowing, denying, rejecting what we are and what we feel, what we don’t want to say, how we treat each other. So I think his work is always tinted by what is real and what is not, what is faith and what is not. What is exposed by others or by yourself. and what is hidden. The pain and the burden of human feelings, thoughts, and words. And that is a very complex thing, but at the same time, these are very normal day-by-day characters that cannot be seen as somebody special at all. They’re one of us. So that combination of the deepness, the depth of the feelings you have to explore on the surface of someone who seems very common, I love it. It’s very much what he does in his movies, and that’s why we can really understand all of his characters. Because we feel for them; we are them.

Screen Rant: I love that. You certainly managed to get to the heart of Paco in Everybody Knows, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing you in Dune now that it’s been announced.

Javier Bardem: Me too! I cannot wait. Oh my God. Denis Villeneuve. A director that I – again, as I said before, what a luxury to be able to work with someone that I like so much. I happened to meet him a couple of times and he’s, again, a very nice, funny and clever man. What a luxury, what a grace. I mean, the only thing that I can do to deserve that is to work as hard as I can to earn it.

More: Penelope Cruz Interview For Everybody Knows

Everybody Knows is now playing in theaters.



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2019-02-22 01:02:10

Phil Lord & Chris Miller Interview: The LEGO Movie 2

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part literally builds on the first film, exploring how a bright and positive hero like Emmet deals with a world in which everything is not actually awesome. Screenwriters Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who also directed the first LEGO Movie, shared how our hero’s choices act as a critique on toxic masculinity as well as how they themselves expanded on the legacy of the franchise’s previous films.

Screen Rant: I just wanna know what draws you guys back to animation again and again, because you keep pushing boundaries in it – both visually and in terms of story.

Chris Miller: Well, that’s a big part of it. We feel like animation is a medium and not a genre, and there’s so many different ways to tell a story. This past year and a half, we spent working a lot on these two animated movies that couldn’t look more different but also have a lot in common in terms of a lot of the same themes like collaboration and inclusion and all sorts of stuff like that. And also try to put out a positive message and be funny and full of heart.

Phil Lord: And they’re both really ambitious, that’s another thing that we’re proud of. Both of these movies are going for it and not playing it safe.

Screen Rant: One of the themes that I noticed at least was in this last movie especially, but also in the original LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman, was sort of a critique on toxic masculinity.

Phil Lord: A little bit.

Screen Rant: We’ve got Emmet who thinks he’s got to toughen up to save the day, but it’s his soft side that wins. And of course Batman is a parody of a lone wolf, but really he just needs love.

Chris Miller: Then he found love!

Phil Lord: He’s psychologically a disaster.

Screen Rant: So was that a conscious choice that you guys made, and how did you approach that subject?

Chris Miller: From the very beginning, we were thinking about [how] we made this song in the first one called “Everything is Awesome,� and it’s not really true. You know, everything in the world isn’t actually awesome. There’s a point when you grow up and you start to realize that, and you can make a choice in your life. Once I realize that, am I gonna get cynical and angry and harden my heart, or are you gonna make a choice to be positive and empathetic and kind? And we think that’s actually a more mature thing to do, and so…

Phil Lord: When you’re a middle schooler, you perform this idea of what a grown-up is supposed to act like. You’re supposed to be above it all, and you’re basically just protecting yourself from vulnerability. And when you grow out of that, ideally, at least we’ve figured out that it’s more brave and more mature to be kind.

Screen Rant: Speaking of “Everything is Awesome,� one thing I found fascinating was how the Systar System really was just like a musical. It really did feel like music was the universal language.

Chris Miller: They love pop music there.

Screen Rant: What was the inspiration behind that?

Chris Miller: A lot of it was watching my kids and other families really just dance around to “Everything Is Awesome� and have them be so happy and full of joy, and thinking, “Well, if we’re gonna do another movie, we should build on that idea. What if the sister is really into pop music that a kid who’s 13 who wants to be cool would find super gross?�

Phil Lord: He thinks it’s really annoying.

Chris Miller: So the idea that that would be a really aggravating thing to him seemed like it was a funny place to start. Then we got to work with a lot of really cool and talented musicians and have all these funny songs.

Phil Lord: And we fell for the songs, you now, and just the act of trying to make them really good and appealing and say something. It’s a delightful challenge.

Screen Rant: I noticed the Flash was just not really there with the Justice League.

Chris Miller: He is… Oh, he wasn’t in the Systar System. He was moving so fast, he was moving so fast.

Phil Lord: He’s really busy.

Chris Miller: There’s a lot to do before the big ceremony. You probably didn’t notice him zipping in the background.

Phil Lord: A lot of errands that he runs. That was not by design. He winds up in the spaceship, though, right? He doesn’t quite make the trip.

More: Read Screen Rant’s The LEGO Movie 2 Review



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2019-02-06 01:02:14