Archive for the ‘INTERVIEWS’ Category

The show is done by Kevin Pollak and they are usually very good. It’s a 1 year old webcast show that has a lot of great guests. Kevin is a comic and an actor in a bunch of films over the last 20yrs. Check out his web site and watch the other 44 episodes he has done…

www.kevinpollakchatshow.com

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So she put out the word to her Hollywood representatives: “I really want to do an Angelina Jolie-type character,” Ms. Moretz said recently. “You know, like an action hero, woman empowerment, awesome, take-charge leading role.”

A month later she got her wish when she was offered a part in the adventure film “Kick-Ass” as Hit Girl, a mysterious vigilante who leaves a trail of bullet casings and body parts wherever she goes.

“My mom was like, ‘It’s exactly what you’ve been wanting to do,’ ” said Ms. Moretz, who was 11 years old then. (She’s 13 now.)

The movie, which opens on Friday, is the director Matthew Vaughn’s violent and foul-mouthed satire about aspiring crime fighters who use traditional weapons to compensate for their lack of superhuman powers. While its maladroit title character (played by Aaron Johnson) learns the heroic ropes, it is Ms. Moretz, clad in a purple wig and matching pleated skirt and wielding a mean double-edged blade, who usually utters the foulest language and perpetrates the most gruesome acts of brutality in the film.

For anyone unfamiliar with the “Kick-Ass” comics series (written by Mark Millar, who also wrote the comics version of “Wanted”), Hit Girl has been the movie’s most persuasive ambassador: the Internet went wild this winter for an R-rated trailer in which Ms. Moretz enunciates an obscene word that little girls are definitely not supposed to say, right before she slices and dices her way through a room full of drug dealers.

But Ms. Moretz and her character raise a recurring question about what limits, if any, should be placed on young actors involved in adult storytelling, and to what extent these performers understand the roles that they are playing. For some critics Ms. Moretz’s performance is stirring the same discomfort they felt when a 13-year-old Natalie Portman strutted her stuff for the ruthless hitman played by Jean Reno in “The Professional.”

Mr. Vaughn, who previously directed the crime drama “Layer Cake” and the fantasy “Stardust,” and who wrote the screenplay for “Kick-Ass” with Jane Goldman, described Hit Girl as one half of “the ultimate father-daughter relationship, where Barbie dolls are replaced with knives, and unicorns become hand grenades.”

Raised by her father (played by Nicolas Cage) to be “a fully trained, brainwashed assassin,” Mr. Vaughn said, “she is not normal, and therefore the rules that apply to other people do not apply to her.”

In seeking a young actress who can be both sugar and spikes, it is not hard to see why the makers of the movie would gravitate to Ms. Moretz. On a visit to New York last month, lounging in a private suite at a boutique hotel in Manhattan with her brother Trevor, 23, Ms. Moretz had no trouble acting her age, fiddling with a bottle of designer water or spontaneously singing a chorus from Lady Gaga’s “Dance in the Dark.” (“This is Chloë after dark,” she explained.)

But when discussing her career she assumed the sophistication of an actress twice her age. Each film she appears in, Ms. Moretz said, “sets a new brick in my acting wall.”

“The more bricks I have, the better I am at acting,” she said.

She has built that wall quickly with movies like “(500) Days of Summer,” in which she played Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s precocious younger sister, and the 2005 remake of “The Amityville Horror.” She has hazier memories of other early roles, booked when she moved with her parents and four brothers to Los Angeles for her father’s plastic surgery practice. “I was so tiny,” she said. “I was a little 6-year-old.”

Trevor Moretz, who is also Chloë’s acting coach, and her mother, Teri, read all the scripts she is sent by her agents, and try to balance her grown-up fare with family-friendly movies (like the recent hit “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”). When “Kick-Ass” arrived, the Moretzes felt it was a showcase for Chloë’s grit and athleticism; they recognized its harsher aspects too but believed she was up for the challenge.

“Being the youngest of five children,” Teri Moretz wrote in an e-mail message, her daughter “has a very well-rounded view of the world.” She added: “It definitely pushes boundaries, but Chloë knows the things that Hit Girl says and does are fictional.”

For Chloë herself, Hit Girl was an opportunity to keep pace with her cinematic idols, to do something “no other kid had done except for Natalie Portman in ‘Léon,’ ” she said, using the European title for “The Professional.”

Not that Ms. Moretz knows that Luc Besson film firsthand. “I haven’t even seen it now,” she said glumly. “I’m not allowed.”

Nor had she seen many of the performances that Trevor regarded as Hit Girl’s antecedents, including Ms. Jolie in “Wanted” and Jodie Foster in “Taxi Driver.” She was, however, given a special dispensation to watch Uma Thurman in the “Kill Bill” movies. “It was hilarious,” Ms. Moretz said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, I’m killing people with real blood.’ It’s fake.”

Before filming on “Kick-Ass” began, Ms. Moretz spent several months in Los Angeles, London and Toronto training in gymnastics, body conditioning and weapons safety. (“Always check your gun when someone gives it to you,” she said. “Make sure it’s a fake bullet.”)

During the six-month shoot she was also told time and again by her mother, her brother and her director that Hit Girl, and not Chloë, was the one swearing and shooting at villains. The lesson seems to have sunk in. “When they call cut, I leave it behind,” Ms. Moretz said. “You should see me after a crying scene.”

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A mass of hyper tweens swarms a small auditorium in London’s Science Museum. They have been waiting outside on a cold January night for an hour and are extremely eager for things to start. In miniskirts, lace tights, and sparkly headbands, with bracelets piled high and cell-phone cameras at the ready, close to 200 girls shuffle in, giddy with anticipation and oblivious to the occasional boy in the crowd. The fans of Justin Bieber have only one boy on their minds: JUSTIN is boldly written on one girl’s forehead; another has J.B. scrawled on her left cheek. Some hold up handmade signs with devotional love letters. Many are furiously text-messaging, no doubt flaunting their imminent dream come true to less fortunate friends doing Sunday-night homework. When will he be here? “Justin! Justin! Justin!” they are chanting. And it is deafening.

Standalone player

A fresh-faced former hockey player from Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Justin Bieber, 16, has emerged as the pop prince of the Twitter generation, able to fill Madison Square Garden with squealing pubescents, as he did for a show this past December. Unlike Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers, Bieber is not a Disney creation but a self-styled Internet sensation, a YouTube meteor who was discovered in 2007 after he posted dulcet covers of songs by Stevie Wonder, Ne-Yo, and Usher. That tender moxie caught the eye of his current manager, hip-hop executive Scooter Braun, who signed Bieber at age 13—and then attracted the attention of Usher and Justin Timberlake, who engaged in a bidding war for the budding superstar. Usher won, and Bieber’s debut EP, My World (RBMG/Island Def Jam), released in November 2009, broke Billboard records and went platinum within two months. Even the president wants a piece of him. “It’s the only time I’ve ever been nervous to perform,” Bieber says of playing for the Obamas during the holidays in Washington, D.C.

This London show is an intimate one for Bieber, marking the U.K. release of My World. Wearing a black leather jacket and skinny gray jeans, Bieber slinks onstage, conscious of but not overly cocky about his Tiger Beat prettiness and ultrasmooth moves (he actually has a “swagger coach”). Girls go wild, hugging one another with an excitement verging on evangelical fervor. A bodyguard steps in to keep the hormonal advances at bay, but Bieber flirts with the worship, stepping out into the audience and causing one fan to weep merely by touching her hand. Bieber seems unfazed, poised, proud.

Backstage, sitting around a table with various handlers, who take turns keeping him entertained, Bieber says he likes closely interacting with his fans but admits that the hysteria can at times be over the top. For example, last November he was forced to cancel an appearance at Long Island’s Roosevelt Field mall because the throngs got out of control. Teenage girls are obviously . . . “Crazy!” Bieber pipes in. His hit songs like “One Less Lonely Girl” and “Love Me” fuel obsessively tweeted adolescent fantasies, and his looks don’t help ease the madness—those big brown eyes, that mop of perfectly swept hair! “I don’t style it. I just blow-dry it and”—he pauses and tousles his hair—“kind of shake it,” he says with a charming Southern twang, acquired since moving to Atlanta to propel his career as a recording artist. He has a house there, a step up from his childhood bedroom, where the walls were plastered with posters of Beyoncé. “I’ve been totally in love with her since I was seven. She kinda broke my heart when she married Jay-Z,” he says with an adorably wry smile.

Bieber is prone to self-reflective pronouncements that toy with maturity: “I haven’t been in love yet. I’ve definitely loved girls. But it’s kinda like puppy love. It’s not the real thing, but that’s what you think at the time.” He is still very much a kid, however, restlessly shredding a napkin and throwing the scraps at his manager, excitedly cracking jokes about Chuck -Norris, and breaking into spontaneous dances. “I leave the hip thrusts to Michael Jackson,” he teases. He picks up his Gibson guitar and starts playing to his entourage, including his stylist, his musical director, and his father, Jeremy Bieber.

(Justin normally travels with his mother, but this week he’s sent her to a spa and his dad is -stepping in.) “Down, down—let me teach you something,” he instructs his father, who is -accompanying him on another guitar. They rehearse a song from Bieber’s new album, My World 2.0, which is out this month and features contributions by Ludacris, Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, and The Dream. The songs will be—shock!—“mostly about girls, again,” the boy wonder says. “I want them to hear my music and wanna play it again because it made their hearts feel good.”

So what exactly is Bieber’s ideal world? “I want my world to be fun. No parents, no rules, no nothing. Like, no one can stop me,” he says, and then repeats it. “No one can stop me.”

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Alex Berenson on the Set of ’24’

09:35:05.36 …

The California sun is shining as I stop at the gate outside the warehouse where the show “24” is written and filmed. My first day on set, baby! I’ll admit I’m excited. I’ve heard that some writers have no interest in Hollywood. In my experience these creatures exist only in myth, or maybe in Brooklyn.

I am here because Howard Gordon, the show’s lead writer, liked my novel “The Faithful Spy.” He has invited me to Los Angeles to “consult” for a month on the show’s eighth season, which will turn out to be its last.

I have no idea what consulting actually entails. All I know is that I have spent a week trying to imagine new adventures for Jack Bauer, the show’s hero, a counterterrorism agent played by Kiefer Sutherland. But the show’s writers have beaten me to every possible plot twist. Terrorists unleashing an Ebola-type virus? Yep. A nuclear weapon? Check. Government corruption at the highest levels? Absolutely.

I am left with a single idea: Give Jack a sense of humor. Jack has not even smiled in seven years. I will change that.

I give my name to the guard at the gate and inch onto the lot. I don’t want to hit anyone’s Ferrari.

09:36:23.78 …

I pass a Prius, a Volvo and other unsexy cars. Don’t these people know they work in Hollywood? O.K., there’s a Maserati. It’ll have to do.

10:27:28.38 …

Alex Gansa, a writer, introduces me around. The men who write “24” — and, no surprise, they are all men — are an accomplished lot. Several ran other shows. While Hollywood famously skews young, they are in their 40s and 50s. All but one are married. (Guess who owns the Maserati.) Despite the pro-torture reputation of “24,” their political views run the gamut.

Their building provides no clue that “24” is one of the most successful — and profitable — shows on television. The writers have small individual offices. At the building’s west end is a large wood-paneled room that looks like a suburban basement. This is the “writers’ room.”

11:15:47.19 …

The world is watching Season 7, which had its premiere a few weeks ago. But aside from a few minor edits, the writers no longer care about Season 7. They are worried about Season 8.

Season 8 is a blank canvas, 24 episodes of 42 minutes apiece, not counting commercials or credits. Generally, one minute of screen time requires a bit more than a page of script. Season 8 is 1,100 pages that must be written. Today we will try to answer a terrifying question: How can we fill all those pages?

We sit on couches and comfortable chairs, looking for answers. Season 8 will be set in New York. But why is Jack in New York? He’s a diplomat. No, he’s in a hospital, rehabilitating from his near-death experience in Season 7. No, he’s handling security for a rich guy.

We spitball possible plots. When the process is going well, it is like playing soccer with an invisible ball. One writer pushes an idea forward until another steps in. Someone says, “So the terrorists seize a school bus filled with rich kids. …” “except one kid hides a cellphone. …”

And away we go.

But all too soon someone finds a hole in the plot, or argues that it doesn’t give Jack enough to do, or that it’s too maudlin. We backtrack. Sometimes we succeed in addressing the complaint. Sometimes, after a few minutes of arguing, we fail. Howard steers us in a new direction. But the original argument will flare up a few minutes later, like a fire in a garbage dump.

Howard has a reputation as a very democratic lead writer. He likes to build consensus. The good news is that everyone gets a say. The bad news is … that everyone gets a say. The debate can seem exhausting and circular. As a novelist, I’m not used to this. My ideas are my own. I don’t have to listen to other people tell me how stupid they are. Maybe I should. Maybe I’d write better books. Or maybe I’d never finish one.

13:34:29.54 …

Why is “24” called “24”? Anyone who’s ever seen the show knows the answer. “24” takes place in real time. Each episode represents a single hour of a single day. In general, television dramas fall into two categories: “procedurals,” where each episode can stand alone, and “serials,” where each episode builds on the next. “24” is the ultimate serial.

The real-time conceit is central to the show’s appeal. And it is sacrosanct. Jack exists in a permanent now. He never flashes back or forward.

Nice backstory. If you don’t know who Alex Berenson is you should. He is a great writer of fiction novels. His first was “The Faithful Spy” and it was GREAT. I love these kinds of books and I have read all 3 of his paperback books, they are awesome. Great stories, characters and just great military/political books..Pick one up!!!

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WORKING HOLLYWOOD

Simon Atherton, prop weapons maker for movies

The company designs swords, shields and other items for movies that have included ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ ‘Clash of the Titans’ called for a lot of sword play.

Handiwork

Simon Atheron makes props. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

By Cristy Lytal

April 4, 2010

Simon Atherton and his team crafted more than 900 swords, shields and other weaponry for “Clash of the Titans,” but he’s always been a pretty peaceful guy.

“I don’t really like shooting animals and things,” he said. “And even though weapons like firearms and swords are functional, there is a lot of artistic input that goes into the weapons as well. People decorate them and make them into things that are quite beautiful. So all of these crafts that come into it fascinate me — engraving, working with wood to make the stocks and the handles for swords.”

A native of the small fishing village of Coverack in Cornwall, England, Atherton undertook a six-year apprenticeship with a gun maker when he was 16.

“I made the tea, I got the biscuits from the shop, and I did all that,” he recalled. “And then I started to work on the guns, doing very small repairs, cleaning them. And then slowly, I was allowed to make things. My apprenticeship built that way until eventually I could build the whole weapon.”

Atherton joined a company in London that created weapons for the film industry, and wound up working on 1981’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

In 1997, he went out on his own, working on such films as 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan,” 2000’s “Gladiator” and the upcoming “John Carter of Mars.”

“It was just circumstances that I ended up not making guns that kill people for real,” he said.

Arachnophilia: In “Clash of the Titans,” the world’s lightest and strongest shield is made from a piece of a giant scorpion’s exoskeleton. “We created the shield before they had actually created the scorpion,” said Atherton. “We were looking at the concept drawings [of the creature], and trying to find a part of the scorpion that could be broken away and fashioned into a shield. We sculpted the shield in a Plasticine or a clay, we took a silicone mold off that and then we poured into that with high-density foam. . . . . On the back of the shield, there’s a mother of pearl effect.”

Different strokes: One sword does not fit all. “We use lots of different materials to create the sword that the person needs for the stunt or the effect that he’s going to do,” Atherton said. “If he wants to look pretty fast with the sword, it needs to be lightweight, so we’d make it from a bamboo construction. If he’s going to fall off a building, we would construct the sword in a foam or a rubber, so if he accidentally fell on it, he wouldn’t be damaged. And then sometimes, if he really has to go hell-for-leather, we’d make aluminum ones. If for some reason the sword has to cut through a prosthetic, we’d use a steel blade that’s sharpened up to do that. One sword that you see on the screen probably has six or seven different variations that are used throughout the scene.”

Olympus’ finest: Atherton had the challenge of creating one sword that, in the world of the film, was forged by Zeus. “The sword that’s given to Perseus by the gods, instead of having a double-sided blade, has a front-cutting, single-sided edge,” Atherton explained. “The shape of it evolved over lots of discussions with the director. Once we’d got the finished item, we then cast that in bronze, which looked very nice but was a bit too heavy. But for some of the hero shots and the close-ups on the sword, the bronze one was used.”

Weapons testing: Atherton works closely with the stunt department. “As we create a weapon, we start to think about how someone is going to fight with it,” he said. “The first thing we do when we build a weapon or start to get an idea of the size the director wants is we’ll run up and down stairs with it. We’ll see if we can climb on a horse with it. And that’s in its very primitive form, the shape or length that it is. And from that we can learn that we need to cut 2 inches off it, or every time we wield it, the pummel starts to hit us in the wrists. And we’ll develop it so that it functions. Then we’ll . . . . think, ‘Now it works, how can we make it look beautiful?’ “

calendar@latimes.com

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

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If you don’t know who John Cassar is pull your head out of your ass! Was Executive Producer of ’24’ who also Directed quite a few Seasons. You can also check out his photography work at his website www.cassarpix.com where he sells his work.

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Justin sings ‘One Time’ in this video. We will see how long he lasts. Stay out of trouble kid!!

This video has Justin answering questions about this song and his music.

Here he is on “The Next Star Live Finale” on TV. This was before he was big. It was a singing competition. I think He Won..

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