March 18, 2013 9:11am EST
Over the past year, Paul Rudd has managed to get the whole cool high school teacher thing down pat. Between his heartwarming turn as Mr. Anderson, the English teacher who takes a wounded freshman under his wing in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and now as John Pressman, the fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants headmaster of a New Age alternative high school in the new comedy Admission, Rudd seems like he'd actually be a perfect fit for a classroom setting. (You've come a long way, Andy).
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Here's the good news, youths of America wishing that the charming, funny star of Role Models, Anchorman, Clueless, and I Love You, Man would actually be your high school teacher: he'd be game for it. During an interview with Hollywood.com, Rudd said he'd consider being a high school teacher, but with a particular subject in mind. "I think I'd like to teach history. I think teaching history would be a cool thing. History or English...theater is just too predictable. I wouldn't teach math, I couldn't teach math. Science? I don't think I'd be qualified."
Still, even if Rudd was willing to brave the halls of a high school again, he might not quite understand the plight of students who have to go through the rigorous college application process, like the ones hoping to get into Princeton at the mercy of admissions officer Portia Nathan (played by Tina Fey, Rudd's on-screen love interest) do in the film.
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"I never wrote a college admission essay, I never went through this," Rudd admitted. "I never applied to other colleges, I certainly didn't apply to Princeton. I could have written the best essay in the world I wouldn't have gotten into Princeton or any Ivy League school." Rudd, a University of Kansas grad and former Kansas City resident, likened his college experience and his own application process to "kind of another extension of high school."
"It wasn't too tough to get in.... All I had to do was file some paper work," the actor said, adding about his alma mater, "That's not a slight against the University of Kansas, it's a great school."
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Of course, Rudd, like so many wise guys, spent his high school days quoting comedies like "Caddyshack and Animal House." But there was one movie in particular that amused Rudd as a teen: "I used to quote Weird Science a lot. I went through a Weird Science phase."
So, we had an idea for the actor, why not put that Weird Science knowledge to use and do a Jason Reitman-style live read? (He has participated in both live readings of The Apartment and The Princess Bride). Rudd asked, "Do you think there'd be an audience for that one?" Is he kidding? Class would most definitely be in session for that one.
Watch the entire interview below, in which Rudd also discusses his method (or rather, non-method) to choosing his roles:
[Photo credit: Focus Features]
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September 05, 2012 12:48pm EST
In what world could Breaking Bad's Walter White nab a vixen like Mad Men's Joan Harris? Well, it could happen in a world that only Jason Reitman could dream up. The Up In the Air and Young Adult director just released the full cast of his Toronto Live Read of the now-classic film American Beauty to EW and he's got Bryan Cranston and Christina Hendricks in the lead roles as Lester and Carolyn Burnham — roles originated by Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.
The event comes on the heels of a series of live reads in Los Angeles of films like The Breakfast Club, The Big Lebowski starring Seth Rogen, and Reservoir Dogs starring Terrance Howard and Common. Hollywood.com was on-hand for Reitman's only New York reading in April, during which Emma Stone and Paul Rudd delivered The Apartment to an anticipatory crowd at the New York Times Center.
Reitman's reads have gone from the director's pet project to a bit of a cult sensation, so this American Beauty cast announcement is an exciting one. Can this cast handle the material? Bryan Cranston as Lester Burnham (Originally played by Kevin Spacey) Christina Hendricks as Carolyn Burnham (Originally played by Annette Bening) Sarah Gadon as Angela Hayes (Originally played by Mena Suvari) Woody Harrelson as Col. Frank Fitts (Originally played by Chris Cooper) Mae Whitman as Jane Burnham (Originally played by Thora Birch) Adam Driver as Ricky Fitts (Originally played by Wes Bentley) Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credits: AMC (2), WENN.com (8), Dreamworks Pictures (8)] More: 'The Apartment' Live Read With Emma Stone and Paul Rudd Brings the Classic to New Life TIFF 2012 Trailer Gallery: First Looks at the Year's Most Prestigious Films
June 29, 2012 10:33am EST
Divorce isn't a pretty prospect, regardless of the people involved. The recent news of Hollywood power couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes split is an unfortunate event that's taking the Internet by storm, and while there is sure to be turbulence, we see one silver lining: the return of Katie Holmes.
Believe it or not, there was a moment in Holmes' career when she was much more than the mother to Tom Cruise's children. Even before rising to stardom with her five year run on Dawson's Creek, Holmes impressed at a young age in movies like Ang Lee's The Ice Storm, Go and Wonder Boys. There's an argument to be made that the Holmes' Dawson years were a particular type of vehicle for the actress, but once she departed the teen romance drama in 2003, she continued her hot streak. Sam Raimi's 2000 film The Gift was a touching supernatural drama. 2002's Abandon, in which the star played a psychopathic college senior — pretty much the polar opposite. Holmes went indie with the low-key family drama Pieces of April then followed it up two years later with her highest profile gig to date: the 2005 comic book reboot Batman Begins.
Holmes' time spent on Dawson unquestionably shifted her career into high gear, to some, the WB show will always be a dark mark on her filmography. The quiet nature of her performing makes it easy to underestimate Holmes — c'mon lady, be flashy! But Pieces of April/Batman Begins was clear evidence of the star's potential. As her career evolved, there were only expectations of great work on the horizon.
In 2005, Holmes entered a whirlwind relationship with Tom Cruise, eventually marrying him after only six weeks of dating. At the time, the actress had another movie in the can, Jason Reitman's dark comedy Thank You For Smoking. Word coming out of the Toronto Film Festival was positive, highlighting a particularly steamy sex scene between Holmes and star Aaron Eckhart that had audiences buzzing. But when the film eventually played the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, the scene was gone — surprisingly, without Reitman's consent. What happened? Gossip detectives immediately pointed to Cruise. The possibility of Hollywood's biggest star editing out his new wife's sexy moment are still unsubstantiated to this day, the disappearance points to a larger issue. Holmes roles were getting safer.
The road continued to go downward when Holmes declined to appear in the follow-up to Batman Begins, 2008's The Dark Knight. Speaking to MTV in 2008, the actress chalked it up to wanting to diversify. Instead, Holmes took a role in the slapstick comedy Mad Money, alongside Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah (two stars Holmes was passionate about working with). "I had a great experience working with Chris Nolan [and] I'm sure it's going to be a great movie. [But] I chose to do this movie ['Mad Money'], and I'm really proud of it," she told MTV. Any rumors that Cruise was an influence in the decision were purely speculation (this was a mother with a one-year-old, after all), but Holmes life path was clearly taking a toll on her big screen choices.
Over the past five years, Holmes has popped up once in awhile to gasp in shock (Don't Be Afraid in the Dark), float along as a manic pixie dream girl (The Extra Man) or and costar against double dose of Adam Sandler (Jack and Jill) — but nothing that really fulfills the promise of her early career. If there's any upswing to the sadness that comes with the news of her divorce, it's a second chance at cinematic greatness. Are we getting the Katie Holmes that we once knew back and better than ever? Let's hope.
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[Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
June 24, 2012 5:15am EST
The blonde beauty has wowed fans in such films as The Cider House Rules and Monster, but she confesses she's left terrified by the prospect of live theatre.
She tells Interview magazine, "I'm just not made for that kind of live audience where you don't create a fourth wall. I take my hat off to those guys. It's not disconnected enough for me... Some people are good at performing in front of people like that, but I'm uncomfortable at it. I think maybe that's the difference between acting and being a performer... As soon as there are 200 people in a theatre watching me, I get really scared."
And Theron admits she's previously turned down offers from her Young Adult director pal Jason Reitman to participate in his famed theatrical readings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art - because she can't stand the pressure.
She adds, "I've even said to Jason, 'I will jump off a building for you, but I will not do that.'"
June 07, 2012 5:00am EST
The actress jetted off to Turkey some years ago for the astronomical spectacular and felt cheated when a fellow eclipse traveller crooned the 1993 megahit throughout the magical experience.
Recalling the moment during an appearance on U.S. chat show Conan, she says, "I turned the whole thing into, like, a three-and-a-half week trip... and the day of the eclipse, you have to take a four-hour hike to get to this one spot that every website and every book told me, 'This is where you have to watch this eclipse'.
"It was amazing; there was only, like, three other people and it's really quiet and this amazing thing happens right before and eclipse, it goes really quiet and then the birds go nuts and the light kinda drops, and then this woman started playing a guitar and singing that 4 Non Blondes song as the eclipse was happening - and she didn't stop.
"She just kept singing that Linda Perry song over and over and over and over again.
"A part of me died that day. Linda Perry, you're awesome but that person just ruined it."
Ironically, Theron's character in Young Adult has to listen to that song on a road trip - and the actress insists director Jason Reitman had no idea what it meant to her: "He said my face looked like someone farted in the car... It's in the movie and nobody knows."
June 01, 2012 6:07am EST
They say that Tom Cruise didn’t really hit his stride until he won the 1997 MTV Movie Award for Jerry Maguire. They say that Kate Winslet’s career petered out after she lost Best Actress for her work in Titanic to Neve Cambell in Scream 2. They say that Seann William Scott rivals Billy Crystal for best award show presenter in show business.
Actually, they don’t say any of these things. And if they do, you should probably stop hanging around "them" so much.
Realistically, the MTV Movie Awards doesn’t have the clout that institutions like the Oscars do, partially because of its proclivity to grant Best Picture to the films of The Twilight Saga. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t know good cinema when they see it. Over the past two decades, MTV has granted Best Picture, Actor and Actress titles to some genuinely deserving films and performers — some that might actually surprise you quite a bit.
1994: Tom Hanks wins Best Male Performance for Philadelphia
It wasn't a shocker when Hanks won the Oscar for his work in Philadelphia, but with crowd pleasing opponents like Mrs. Doubtfire's Robin Williams, The Fugitive's Harrison Ford, and The Firm's Tom Cruise, his MTV victory might have been a bit more surprising. The fun-loving nature of the network was in contrast to Hanks' heart-wrenching performance as AIDS-stricken attorney Andrew Beckett, but even if Philadelphia didn't seem to fit the MTV spectrum, Hanks' heaviest performance to date was too stellar to overlook.
1995: Pulp Fiction wins Best Picture
More in step with the MTV vibe, Pulp Fiction beat out formidable opponent Forrest Gump and three other things that were nominated over Shawshank Redemption: Speed, The Crow, and Interview with the Vampire. Yes, Pulp Fiction is flashy and stylistic, up-tempo and perfectly in keeping with the provocative, shock-value attention span of the 1990s' MTV audience. But it's also quite a spectacular piece of work.
1996: Se7en wins Best Picture
Almost all of the Best Picture nominees at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards were impressive candidates: Apollo 13, Braveheart, Clueless. But Se7en is inarguably the power player of the lot, with an intriguing storyline, great performances by stars Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Spacey, and an unforgettable ending. Although it's darker, grimmer and less of a make-'em-cheer thrill-ride than any of the other nods, Se7en grabbed Best Pic at the '96 MTV Movie Awards.
1998: Titanic and Leonardo DiCaprio win Best Picture and Male Performance
Well, of course they did. Titanic is the most popular movie in the history of time, and Leonardo DiCaprio is constantly breaking new ground in Hollywood handsomeness. This flick was a shoe-in for the Best Picture win, even over comic adventure hits like Men in Black and the first Austin Powers, the thriller staple Face/Off (with Male Performance nods for stars Nicolas Cage and John Travolta), and good ol' Good Will Hunting (star Matt Damon was nominated for Best Male Performance). Batman & Robin was also nominated.
2001: Julia Roberts wins Best Female Performance for Erin Brockovich
One of movie star Julia Roberts' most celebrated roles to date is her 2000 biopic Erin Brockovich, which earned her Best Female Performance at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards over candidates like Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), Jennifer Lopez (The Cell), Aaliyah (Romeo Must Die) and Julia Stiles (Save the Last Dance). The film is a modern classic that more than deserves recognition for its central player's performance.
2006: Jake Gyllenhaal wins Best Performance for Brokeback Mountain
Although Ang Lee's romantic film as a whole was a little slow and meandering, its performances exhibited new triumphs, both by MTV Movie Award victor Jake Gyllenhaal and his costar, the late Heath Ledger. Gyllenhaal's turn as cowboy Jack Twist won over Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line, and over Steve Carell's memorable role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the latter being on par with the Best Picture winner of the year: Wedding Crashers.
2008: Ellen Page wins Best Female Performance for Juno
She might not be a name you think of in the company of Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, and Leonardo DiCaprio, but Ellen Page's career-making turn in the Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody picture Juno deserves the recognition it received at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards. Like Pulp Fiction, Juno exemplifies the MTV mentality. It's quippy, frenetic, pop culture-obsessed, whimsical even when dark. Page duly beat out Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up), Amy Adams (Enchanted), Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest), and Jessica Biel (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry).
The 2012 MTV Movie Awards boasts its own impressive array of nominees, highlighting terrific feature films like Bridesmaids, 50/50, and Drive. Who is your winning pick for this year?
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April 28, 2012 11:01pm EST
Leave it to Jason Reitman and The New York Times to remind us that at the heart of every great film is a solid screenplay. And that’s exactly what the first ever New York edition of Reitman’s Live Read series proved, when Emma Stone and Paul Rudd took on the leading roles in the 1960 classic, The Apartment on April 27. At the risk of sounding like my father reminiscing about the days of yore, our contemporary catalog of films relies heavily on visual delights. How can we render the audience completely incapable of a single valuable thought with this 10-minute shot of our lead in a bathing suit? How many times can the main couple make out before the viewer starts rolling their eyes like they’re watching two teens mack on the subway? How many explosions can we fit into two hours (Michael Bay...)? But believe it or not, there are films that can live without all that and stand on the merit of their writing, and if the Times Live Read taught us anything, it’s that Billy Wilder’s classic, genre defining romantic comedy The Apartment is one of those films. The night of the performance, the pristine TimesCenter in the Manhattan headquarters of the New York Times buzzed with anticipation as the austere setup awaited an enlightening evening of entertainment. When Reitman appeared onstage to introduce his pet project and the actors who so graciously agreed to take this journey with him, the room erupted with clapping, everyone anxious to start the once-in-a-lifetime event. The concept of these Live Reads is not just that we filter our experience of the art of filmmaking down to just the words as they move from the page to our ears, but that the experience doesn’t make it out of the room to become a scrambled YouTube video 25 minutes after it ends. “Nothing is live anymore,” said Reitman. “But tonight, you have to be here in order to experience this.” And that’s exactly how it felt: A true, honest delivery of a script whose words still pack an emotional punch. It was, in a word, a moment. Reitman’s perfect introduction segued into the actors entering one by one to sit in their unadorned middle school music room chairs, to exponentially increasing applause, so that by the time we’d passed Jason Sudekis, Gretta Gerwing and James Woods’ introductions, the crowd was practically ravenous with excitement as Stone and Rudd took the center seats as the couple we’d spend the next two hours rooting for. Stone’s subdued crackle was infused into her take on the classic Shirley MacLaine heroine, elevator operator Fran Kubelik. Her adroit turn as Fran proves that while she’s still blooming, she’s solidly a member of the future classics club. Supporting player Sudeikis practically stole the show with his boyishly hyperactive portrayal of our hero Baxter’s skeevy coworker and all around dirtbag, Al Kirkeby. Gerwig, who was a last minute replacement for hot button actress/writer Lena Dunham, was Sudeikis’ perfect match as Sylvia, the Bronx floozie and telephone operator. Someone oughta learn to bottle her salty, old fashioned dame voice and put it in museum. And as the big bad wolf - the cheatin’, lyin’ romantic roadblock Mr. Sheldrake - Woods delivered the perfect scoundrel; he did so well he even earned a few stony glares from Stone’s Fran during scenes that didn’t even involve her character. But of course, the man of the evening was Mr. Paul Rudd, whose delightful performance of the lovable mess that is The Apartment’s hero, C.C. Baxter, was so inspired I actually left the theater thinking, “They need to remake this movie so Paul Rudd can star in it.” While the actors stayed put for the most part (aside from one comical swoop in for a pantomime kiss between Stone and Woods when the scripts notes called for a kiss), Rudd was so ingrained in his one-night character that he couldn’t help but move around and add physical elements to his performance, even pulling up pant legs when Baxter tells a story about shooting himself in the leg. By 20 minutes in, the perpetually frazzled Mr. Baxter is clear as day for Rudd’s tie is slightly undone and his hair is a scrappy mess. His sweet, humble portrayal of the classic character was so genuine, so real, that by the climax of the story no visual or physical expressions were needed to drive the emotional close home. An auditorium filled with 200 people somehow felt as intimate as a cramped Upper East Side apartment. Somehow on a plain stage, with no costumes, and only a few eerie stills of the film’s original set as context, the words from Wilder’s original script jumped up off the page and down our throats to make our hearts skip a beat. As Reitman told his faithful audience, “I have much more fun doing this that I do making movies.” And perhaps that’s because no matter how it gets dressed up on the big screen, and no matter how revolutionary or amazing that dressing is, in the end the magic all stems from the life-giving words on a simple page. Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
April 27, 2012 7:15am EST
The moviemaker has been bringing a series of well-loved movies to the stage in Los Angeles in recent months for star-studded live readings of films including The Big Lebowski, The Breakfast Club and The Princess Bride.
He is now taking the shows to the Big Apple and will kick off the Live Read series in Manhattan on Friday (27Apr12) with a reading of 1960 classic The Apartment.
Stone and Rudd will take over the roles made famous by Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon, while the show will also feature James Woods, Lena Dunham and Jason Sudeikis.
The event will take place at The Times Center, and due to the overwhelming demand for tickets, the reading will also be broadcast on screens in the venue's main hall for those who couldn't get a seat in the theatre.
April 19, 2012 5:00am EST
"Humbled and thrilled to have been offered a role in the next Jason Reitman movie. Easily one of the best storytellers working today. Big fan." James Van Der Beek shares his excitement after being cast in the Up In The Air director's new movie Labor Day.
April 18, 2012 8:04am EST
James Van Der Beek, currently enjoying quite a resurgence in his post-Dawson's Creek career, is in negotiations to join director Jason Reitman's next film, Labor Day.
Van Der Beek, who has been receiving raves for his oddball performance as a fictionalized version of himself on ABC's hit midseason series Don't Trust the B----- in Apartment 23, would play a police officer in the drama, alongside Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet.
With the Beek's recent surge, coupled with the lack thereof that preceded it, is it safe to say that he has now surpassed his friend and former costar Joshua Jackson in terms of post-Dawson's Creek success (God knows he hasn't even come close to Michelle Williams' career, or even Katie Holmes' — although he has possibly fared better than Mary Beth Peil)? They're pretty much neck-and-neck, actually: Van Der Beek struggled in the years following Creek (his movies during the show's run, like Varsity Blues and The Rules of Attraction, don't count), rarely landing more than guest-starring roles on other shows, but his career is looking better now than it has in a decade, whereas Jackson has co-headlined a moderately successful series (Fringe) but not much else. Advantage Van Der Beek? Soon, perhaps ...
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