June 19, 2013 8:04pm EST
James Gandolfini, best known for his work as the troubled crime boss on HBO’s hit series The Sopranos, has passed away at the age of 51.
The multi-talented actor passed away of a heart attack in Italy on Wednesday, according to several published reports. Gandolfini was oversees to take part in the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily alongside Italian director Gabriele Muccino.
HBO released the following statement: “We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”
Gandolfini wowed audiences with his performances as mafia boss Tony Soprano for six seasons on the HBO smash series — earning three Emmy awards for Best Actor in a Drama. The actor also has appeared in a multitude of films such as The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009), Killing Them Softly (2012), Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and this year’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Our prayers are with Gandolfini’s family and friends during this difficult time.
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December 07, 2012 10:00am EST
Playing for Keeps is the kind of movie that broadcasts its message and even its ending from the very trailer. There are plenty of movies where the end is apparent — Lincoln for instance. The pleasure is getting there. But in Playing for Keeps there is little pleasure found in connecting the dots. Even though it only runs 106 minutes it feels much much longer.
Gerard Butler plays George a former soccer player whose career is in the toilet moves to Virginia to be nearer to his son and ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel). There he reluctantly takes on the responsibility of coaching his son's soccer team. It would be impossible not to know that our dashing but irresponsible absentee dad will reconnect with his sensible ex before she marries her square fiancee. In the interim George sleeps with all the horny divorced ladies who swoon over his talent for working with kids. There are no real consequences; anything that could possibly go wrong doesn't.
There are so many guns waiting to go off that Chekhov would pull his own beard out. Playing for Keeps is a souped up Lifetime movie except there's no over-the-top drama just one or two shots of Gerard Butler shirtless and sex that's merely implied and alluded to. At one point I wondered if (okay hoped that maybe) a character would perhaps have a car accident and die because they were upset and driving in the rain. No nothing that exciting and silly could happen. Playing for Keeps is so by-the-numbers that it's almost offensive.
What does work in the movie's favor is the touch — just a touch — of chemistry between its leads. Even though there are 15 years between them in real life they've attempted to meet halfway by putting highlights in Butler's hair and dying Biel's dark brown and dressing her in casual suburban mom clothes. Still there's a little something between them that makes their sappy scenes together a little touching. That grin works on her after all these years for a reason.
The rest of the ensemble — Judy Greer Catherine Zeta-Jones Uma Thurman and Dennis Quaid — are wildly uneven though not necessarily miscast. A more fleshed-out script would have allowed the characters some dimension and given the movie at least a little more bite despite the rote premise. Greer as a naturally weird sense of humor but her character is left flailing as a newly divorced soccer mom who gets her groove back with George. Zeta-Jones is a sexy possibly dangerous soccer mom who helps George snag a professional opportunity but her character is ultimately harmless. Quaid is supposed to be some sort of jealous sleazy drunk rich guy who would be the type to pull a gun on someone but doesn't and Thurman as his wife comes on like a dippy rich housewife instead of channeling the biting bad ass-itude we know she's capable of. As a character George is confusing; it's as if he doesn't even want to sleep with all of the soccer moms but they're just throwing themselves at him and he's hapless to stop them. It's gross and doesn't even fulfill the movie's underlying promise which is to give its target audience a good dose of Harlequin-style romance with Gerard Butler. Guess those soccer shorts will just have to do.
October 22, 2012 6:58am EST
In Playing for Keeps, Gerard Butler's former soccer superstar character George actually suffers from being too good looking. It's a plight most of us may have difficulty understanding, but George's charm and handsome exterior put him in the crosshairs of admirers, and he's not the type to say no. His penchant for wooing women becomes an issue for the down-on-his luck athlete — his career took a dive, his marriage to Stacie (Jessica Biel) dissolved and his relationship with son Lewis (Noah Lomax) is on equally thin ice.
Hoping to reclaim the important things in this life and get back on his feet, George takes a job as Lewis' intramural soccer coach. As he quickly realizes, the soccer moms who frequent their games will be his biggest test of commitment.
Starring Butler, Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Uma Thurman, and directed by The Pursuit of Happyness' Gabriele Muccino, Playing for Keeps should be the right dose of sweet and serious for the holidays, when it arrives in theaters Dec. 7. Take a peek at four new pics from the film premiering exclusively on Hollywood.com:
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Open Road Films (4)]
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December 29, 2011 7:07pm EST
Each new year produces a handful of it-girls and men of the moment, and we here at Hollywood.com like to get ahead of the game by letting you, our loyal readers, know who’s going to be a big deal. 2012 sees a gaggle of films big and small hit theaters, and with them an army of actors working hard to make the most of their packed schedules. Some are big-screen veterans, others are relatively new to showbiz, but all of them are must-know names.
*This list was compiled based on the amount of films/projects each actor is a part of that will release in 2012, factoring in the size of the film(s) and their overall celebrity status.
Cooper had a hell of a 2011, with The Hangover Part II and Limitless proving him a major box office draw and those dreamy eyes helping him join the ranks of People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. So what does the New Year have in store for him? No less than four films: David O. Russell’s new comedy The Silver Linings Playbook, in which he works with an eclectic ensemble including Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles and more, the action-comedy Outrun, the dramatic thriller The Words (which co-stars Olivia Wilde and his new girlfriend Zoe Saldana) and The Place Beyond the Pines, the new film from Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance. All the while he’ll be shooting Paradise Lost, an epic FX-driven actioner from I, Robot director Alex Proyas.
This Aussie became the superhero-du-jour thanks to his breakout role as the God of Thunder in Marvel’s Thor earlier in 2011, and he’s capitalizing on his newfound fame in a big way. He’ll reprise the part in May’s The Avengers, and has one-of-two titular roles in one-of-two anticipated Snow White adaptations (Snow White and the Huntsman) in June. Additionally, a pair of pictures he shot long ago will finally hit theaters – first the horror-thriller Cabin in the Woods, followed by the remake of cult favorite Red Dawn. Add in Ron Howard’s Rush, which he’ll begin shooting this January for an early 2013/late 2012 awards run and you’re looking at one of the most exciting careers to follow!
Tatum made our list last year thanks to a packed schedule including The Dilemma, The Eagle, The Son of No One and more, and 2012 is just as busy for the young A-lister. In January, Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire will finally hit multiplexes (in which he has a bit part) and we could see his ensemble drama Ten Year go wide at some point, but even if it doesn’t he’s got plenty of major motion pictures to promote. First will be the romantic drama The Vow opposite Rachel McAdams, followed soon after by Sony’s 21 Jump Street reboot. On June 29th, he’ll release a pair of very different movies – Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation and his second collaboration with Soderbergh, the male strip flick Magic Mike. But the best is yet to come, as he’ll star in Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s new drama Foxcatcher opposite Steve Carell, due in 2013.
As stated in the introduction, this list is about both seasoned cinematic figures and rising stars, and was there anyone who had a more impressive year than newcomer Ms. Chastain? I think not. With films as wide ranging as Texas Killing Fields, The Debt, The Help and The Tree of Life (among others) she solidified herself as a dramatic force to be reckoned with in 2011, and the future is bright for the 30-year-old starlet. She’ll reunite with director Terrence Malick for his new, untitled romantic drama and also has a role in John Hillcoat’s anticipated prohibition thriller Wettest County opposite Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman. Additionally, she’ll star in a horror flick called Mama and a star-studded drama titled Tar with James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and more.
Here’s an example of a longtime film hero hitting it hard in 2012. While this isn’t the first fiscal year in which Willis has released multiple movies, it’s without question the busiest frame in his career. He’s slated to appear or star in no less than seven films, including big-budget blockbusters like G.I. Joe Retaliation and The Expendables 2, smaller action-thrillers Looper and The Cold Light of Day and more artful projects like Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite. He’ll also turn up in the 50 Cent-produced thriller Fire with Fire and will shoot the highly-anticipated A Good Day to Die Hard and videogame adaptation Kane & Lynch throughout 2012. Not bad for an elder statesmen.
Though he’s best known as a modern TV icon thanks to his Emmy-winning role in AMC’s Breaking Bad, Cranston has been incredibly prolific on the big-screen in recent years. He appeared in six films in 2011, including Drive, The Lincoln Lawyer, Contagion and Larry Crowne, and has five major productions on the horizon in 2012. In January he’ll play an authoritative figure in Lucasfilm’s long-gestating wartime action flick Red Tails, followed by a turn in Disney’s mega-budgeted John Carter. He’s also got a part in Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages adaptation and a villainous role in Sony’s Total Recall remake, and is currently filming Ben Affleck’s CIA drama Argo, set to hit theaters in September.
The former High School Musical star has been trying to establish himself as more than just a pretty face for some time, and 2012 could be a pivotal year in his career. He dabbles in commercial and independent fare next year, with starring roles in Universal’s Dr. Seuss adaptation The Lorax and Warner Bros.’ Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Lucky One as well as parts in Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy and Josh Radnor’s Liberal Arts. He’s also going to appear in an untitled ensemble drama alongside Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham and Clancy Brown.
We've had to wait until 2012 to finally see Baldwin's return to TV, and, lucky us - we'll also be treated to about five film roles from the beloved entertainer. He’s got parts in all kinds of movies, from indie comedy AmeriQua to indie drama Lucky Them, and even big studio flicks like Rock of Ages and DreamWorks Animation’s CGI spectacle Rise of the Guardians. But his most interesting project in unquestionably Nero Fiddled, Woody Allen’s new Rome-set romp, which will likely premiere at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Biel is best known as a maker of mainstream movies (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The A-Team, Valentine’s Day), but 2012 will see her release a diverse slate of films. She’s got one of two female lead roles in summer actioner Total Recall, and will play a pivotal part in Gabriele Muccino’s new dramedy Playing the Field. In addition, she’s got a horror thriller titled The Tall Man in the can, and is preparing to film a pair of pictures that could screen next year – The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes. With any luck, we could also see the long-delayed David O. Russell political rom-com Nailed (in which she plays the female lead) release, but I’m sadly not holding my breath. And if she ends up wedding Justin Timberlake (as engagement rumors started swirling around the web earlier this month), it’s going to be a landmark year for the former 7th Heaven star.
This young talent has been on the rise for awhile, and with a resume that includes work with Robert Zemeckis, Jon Favreau, Paul Weitz and Lisa Cholodenko it’s a wonder he hasn’t been propelled to the spotlight sooner. In 2012 he has five films to release, and by the time the year is over he’ll likely be a household name. First he reprises his role from 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, then appears in an anthology film that sports a directing roster including Benicio del Toro and Gaspar Noe. March sees him starring in one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year – The Hunger Games – while he’ll then appear in the art-house drama Carmel opposite Alfred Molina and Hayden Panettiere. Finally, he’ll star in MGM’s Red Dawn remake in November, and by that point he’ll probably have already cornered several major films for his future.
When is Franco NOT one of the busiest entertainers in showbiz? The Oscar-nominated actor and noted workaholic has been laboring at ludicrous speeds as of late, and his 2012 schedule is packed with somewhere between five and seven films that you'll probably never see including drama Maladies (with Catherine Keener and David Strathairn), thriller The Stare (opposite Winona Ryder), the fore mentioned ensemble drama Tar, the Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace and another porn-centric drama called Cherry. All the while he’ll be shooting a documentary and filming projects for release in 2013. The man is a machine.
Finally, here’s yet another example of career resurgence. Goodman’s been working incredibly hard over the past few years and has been a part of some of the most acclaimed pictures of 2011 – Kevin Smith’s Red State and awards’ hopefuls The Artist and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Next year, however, is a whole other animal, as he appears in five movies including indie dramedy Thicker, dark comedy Spring Break ’83, Focus Features animated fantasy ParaNorman, and a pair of important dramas from Ben Affleck (Argo) and Robert Zemeckis (Flight). In between pushing those pics, he'll be shooting the Coen Bros. new flick Inside Llewyn Davis and Pixar's anticipated prequel Monsters University. Walter Sobchak is back in the building people.
November 07, 2011 10:23am EST
Judy Greer is one of the few women who's been able to establish herself as one of Hollywood's most versatile comedic presences—so much so that IMDb declares her trademark as "playing the best friend." She's affable, she has timing and she can do pretty much anything, making her the perfect character actor for any situation.
Thankfully, the big players in Hollywood respond to Greer's talent. Branching her out of the obvious typecasting, Alexander Payne cast Greer in his new dramedy The Descendants, where the actresses pops up in pivotal dramatic moments opposite George Clooney. It's easily some of the best work she's ever done.
I had a chance to sit down with Greer to talk about her experience working on Descendants, her return to Two and a Half Men and the handful of other projects she has in the works. But upon entering the room, an spirited Greer beat me to the punch on my own interview...
Judy Greer: I love Alexander! I auditioned for the part!
Oh no, you’re stealing all my questions! Why are you doing that?
JG: It’s fun to talk about a movie that people love.
People do love it.
JG: I know. Did you see it?
Yeah, I saw it. Are you saying that you don’t get to talk about movies that people love very often?
JG: Well, you know. This is different for me.
How did you end up becoming part of the movie?
JG: Good old fashioned audition. He is a director I’ve wanted to work with forever. So, when this came up, I went in for it, and obviously got the part. I’ve had a couple auditions, and sometimes at my agency, they’ll organize table reads of scripts for directors and actors. One time I did a table read with Al Pacino.
JG: A movie that they never made. He wanted to hear it out loud. A lot of those guys like to do a table read of a script to decide if they want to do it. In that situation, I thought to myself, 'I got to act with Al Pacino. That’s kind of awesome.' And in this situation, I’m like, 'I got to act with Alexander Payne.' You know? Even just the audition was enough for me.
You got to kiss George Clooney.
JG: I mean, that came much later. But that was awesome.
Do you find it difficult to track down parts that are our of the norm like this? Are they roles you're actively looking for?
JG: Thankfully, knock on wood, my career has never felt like a struggle. I’ve always been really blessed. I work all the time, and I get to move within the—I’m like undercover. Oh, I’m on this giant television show! And I’m doing this little indie movie! And I’m in an Alexander Payne film! Oh, I’m doing a voice on a cartoon! It’s been so awesome that way. In the bigger studio projects, it has been hard to get outside of my quirky sidekick persona. I don’t mind playing those roles at all.
We like you when you do that.
JG: I like it. It’s fun! It’s a fun day at work. Trust me. But this has been something so different and awesome.
What I like about this movie is that there are a lot of characters and they each get their shining moments. They may not get a ton of screen time, but they all feel like real people. Did it feel that way in the script? How did you develop this character?
JG: It’s definitely in the script. I want to say it’s in the book. I read the book after I got the part, but I haven’t read it since. I focused more on the script. But it’s very rare to get the size of roles that I always play…be so well-rounded on the page. A lot of times I get a script and they’re like, 'We know you’re going to do something awesome with this.' And I’m like, 'I’d rather you did something awesome with it!' But in this situation, it was a character with a complete journey in three scenes. So, yeah. I didn’t have to do much.
And what’s the dynamic between you and Alexander? You and George?
JG: The dynamic between George and me…I’ve known him for a while now. I worked with him on Three Kings a hundred years ago.
We don’t talk about that movie enough. A great film.
JG: Well, it’s been a while. It’s so good. It felt very comforting to have George there, because I knew him. And because these scenes were tough and hard. To just feel really comfortable with someone was helpful to me as an actor. And I was so incredibly nervous around Alexander. I don’t think I could have handled it [if I had] not met George before either. To be in the room with both of them? I don’t know, I probably would have exploded. I was so nervous and star-struck by A.P., as his friends call him. I was like, 'Thank God for George! Thank God I’m not at all nervous around George Clooney, for some reason!'
I wish we could all be that way. Being one of these big stars, it's hard to get a grasp of what working with him must be like. I’m sure some people would paint him as the guy who comes to work, does his scenes and keeps away from everyone.
JG: No. He likes to hang out. He’s the first person on set. He’s fun, he’s sweet, he learns everyone’s name. Everything you hear about him is exactly true. We did this table read in Santa Monica before they started production. Everyone was there. All the heads of Fox Searchlight, all the producers, all the actors. It was really scary. Alexander made this awesome speech, this amazing speech, about how he cast us because of who we were. 'Do what you’ve done, be yourself.'
And then George said, 'I’m really excited to do this movie, and I think Judy had something that she wanted to say to everybody.' [And I’m like,] “I did?!” And everyone laughed at it totally broke the ice in a way that only George really can do.
What was it like working in Hawaii? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that puts Hawaii out there—as a real place, rather than a tourist destination.
JG: That was one of the things that Alexander said was the reason he was drawn to the project. He said, 'I wanted to show Honolulu and Hawaii as not a vacation destination.' As a place where people live and struggle and make ends meet and fuck up their lives. And for me, I was shooting another movie at the same time in New Orleans. And that movie took place over the course of one day. So, when I would leave to go to Hawaii to shoot this movie, they’d be like, 'Don’t fucking get tan.' And I’m like, 'Are you kidding me? You’re sending me off to Kauai and I can’t get tan?' So then I would go and splatter myself with sunscreen and put on a hat and sit and stare at the ocean. Making a movie in Hawaii is amazing, and it’d be way more amazing if when I went to hair and makeup every day, they didn’t have to cover my whole body in makeup. I’d be so paranoid. 'I think I got a freckle! Oh God!'
Did you learn anything about Hawaii that is not evident, just by existing there for a few days?
JG: I did learn that sometimes, one of the local girls told me, if the surf is really awesome, they don’t even bother to have the first class of the day at school, because none of the kids show up anyway. I went to this Hawaiian bar that I wanted to check out after work one day. It said it opened at four. I sat there, and it didn’t open, didn’t open…it was about five o’clock, and the waitress showed up. She was like, 'Yeah, the surf was really good.' Right on!
Going back to working with Alexander. He’s a prolific guy, with the few films that he’s made. They all have this wonderful tone. A wonderful balance between comedy and drama. I imagine that’s a really difficult thing to find, or at least to be explained to you. Can you talk a little about working with him and the dialogue there? Finding that tone?
JG: Like I said, he seems to cast people for who they are. He casts your tone when he puts you in the movie. So you don’t have to struggle to please him, to help him find his vision. Because he wouldn’t—he doesn’t have to put people in the movie…
I’ve also been watching Two and a Half Men this season,
JG: Oh, yeah! I know!
You and Ashton have a great dynamic, but then I saw the movie and I was like, 'These couldn’t be more different.'
JG: I know. So weird.
What is it like coming back to the show [Greer had previously appeared in two episodes of Men as a different character]?
JG: It’s been fun to be a part of that. My sweetheart was like, 'Do you realize that this is like…'—it doesn’t feel like it, because I’m in it, and I have to shut down that part of my brain that can make me totally freaked out—but he’s like, 'You know that this is one of the hugest moments in television history.' He’s like, 'When this show airs,' and I wasn’t in the first episode, I was in the second, 'everyone’s going to be watching. People are going to be talking about this forever.' And I’m like, 'Well, shut up! You’ll make me crazy!' And the night before my first episode aired, my manager was like, 'More people are going to watch you tomorrow night than have ever seen you before, ever.' I’m like, 'Fuck! I should have gone to manicure school.'
But it’s been fun to be a part of that. It’s a part of history in a way. It’s a part of our culture. It’s kind of weird and depressing, but it’s true. And you can’t deny that it’s a big deal. To be a part of it has been special. To be working with Ashton again…he produced a television show I did a hundred years ago. And so now I get to act with him. I respect him a lot. He’s cool.
What’s the environment like? I imagine it’s a fun show to shoot.
JG: It’s really fun! The energy is great. He’s great. Jon Cryer is so awesome. He’s so lovely. And it’s cool to be in front of an audience again. I really like that. I love being in front of an audience. That’s how I started—in the theater. That energy that you get from them, and the excitement that they have. And, you know, the food is great. Craft services is awesome.
Yes! Such a good spread. Do you think you’d ever go back to the theater?
JG: I do want, so badly, to do a play. I’d love to do a play on Broadway. I’ve never done that before. Every time I say to my manager and agent, 'I want to do a play,' they’re like, 'Oh, we just got a movie for you.”' But I did something off-Broadway a few years ago and the experience was so incredible.
Nothing beats live.
JG: It’s fun, you know? It’s the best acting class you’ll ever do. The feeling that you have when you’re driving home from work shooting something, and you’re like, 'Ugh, why didn’t I do that?' You can do 'that' the next day! You absolutely get a second chance. So, that’s fun.
My TV cohorts would be very sad if I didn’t ask a little about Archer.
JG: I know. It’s insane.
What's your experience like working on this deranged, wonderful animated show?
JG: The pilot episode…I was in Arizona working on something else at the time, and they were like, “'You have a day off. We got you this thing. It’s a voiceover thing.' And I was like, 'Okay, cool, whatever.' You know, it’s no money, and I wanted to break into doing voices and stuff. That’s a really tight-knit group. A very exclusive club. And it’s hard to get into it.
Yeah. Jon Benjamin’s pretty much dominating.
JG: Yeah, I know! So, I was like, 'I want to do that.' And I’m shooting on set all day, and I’m so tired, and my next day is my day off, and I’m like, 'Ugh, I don’t want to fucking record something. It’s my day off. I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep and go for a run.' And then I read the script. I’m like falling asleep in bed, and then I’m like, 'Wait, what?! What is this for? This is for FX? You can’t say—this is never going to get picked up! We can’t do that on television!' Even though I think they did all that on Rescue Me.
But it’s just been such a fun ride. Every week I get excited. I should say, probably more like every two or three weeks now. I get super excited to get the script. It’s always something better than the last. I’m constantly in awe and amazed by [creator] Adam Reed. He does all of it all by himself. He has no writer’s room. It’s insane. I love him so much. I asked him to write a live-action television show for me this year.
Is that going to happen?
JG: He said that he would…
JG: …and then his manager said he couldn’t, because he was too busy doing Archer. [Laughs] So hopefully, I’ll get him—maybe he could just write a movie or something. I think he’s such a talent.
We would all enjoy that.
JG: An Archer movie! How awesome would that be? Start that rumor!
What’s next for you?
JG: I have a couple of movies coming out. And I’m developing a television show that Adam couldn’t write. But I have other awesome writers that are working on it.
Is it your idea?
What is the show?
JG: It’s a pilot. I’m going to keep it a secret for now, because I don’t want to jinx it. Not that I don’t want you to know! But I have superstitions about this stuff. At this point, I just sold an idea with Deb Kaplan and Harry Elfont, who are feature film writers—they’re writing it. We’re hopefully going to actually shoot the pilot. I don’t know yet. I also obviously do Archer, and I have some more Two and a Half Mens coming up. Yay! Pay the bills! And I have two movies coming out in the spring. One is called Jeff Who Lives at Home which is really good. I saw a screening of it a few weeks ago. I’m super proud of it. Tiny, sweet, compassionate lovely little film. And a great, big, giant, huge studio romantic comedy called Playing the Field with Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel and Catherine Zeta Jones and Uma Thurman and Dennis Quaid and me. And that was awesome. And I was in Shreveport. Gabriele Muccino directed that. He was also on my list of directors I always wanted to work with. He’s awesome.
JG: Yeah. He’s very loud and very Italian. It was really fun.
May 24, 2011 7:15am EST
Ed Westwick's star continues to rise. Since becoming the best thing on The CW's Gossip Girl, he's only made a few appearances on the big screen, including bit parts in Children of Men and Breaking and Entering, but for a young actor getting to work with the likes of Alfonso Cuaron and Anthony Minghella is a big deal and a show of confidence from these stellar filmmakers. Clint Eastwood also saw something special in the Brit and cast him in J. Edgar (another great move), but now he's booked a major part in an upcoming adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
Variety reports that Westwick will play Tybalt, cousin to Hailee Steinfeld's Juliet, in Italian director Carlo Carlei's rendition of the classic tragedy. Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) penned the screenplay and Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness) will produce. Obviously, the linchpin in the films roster will be Romeo, who has not been cast yet. Whoever does take on the role of the star-crossed lover will have big shoes to fill and will also have to work alongside some really talented actors. Coming off of her debut performance in True Grit (which earned her an Oscar nod), Steinfeld has a lot to prove and I believe that all eyes will actually be on her, which both takes some pressure off of Westwick (and the unnamed Romeo) and will entice him to bring his A-game in order to leave his mark on the movie.
Though another version of Romeo and Juliet isn't at all necessary, the cast at least makes it somewhat interesting. Production is set to begin this summer; expect an announcement regarding Romeo soon.
April 07, 2011 1:08pm EST
Hailee Steinfeld looks to make her first post-Oscar nod move one of the Shakespearean variety. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the young actress may take the role of Juliet in an upcoming indie spin on Romeo and Juliet from Italian director Carlo Carlie, best known for the 1992 foreign film Flight of the Innocent. Julian Fellowes (The Tourist) penned the adaptation and will produce alongside Gabriele Muccino (director of Seven Pounds). And for those of you who spent that part of school home "sick" with a "stomach ache," the story follows two lovers from enemy households which leads to their (spoiler alert) tragic deaths. In theory, it should be a good opportunity to show off more of her incredible 14-year-old talent, but then again, she won't have the support of guaranteed-to-be-loved-by-the-Academy scenes of Jeff Bridges holding a cigarette and drinking whiskey, so we'll see what happens.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
April 07, 2011 10:15am EST
The generous stars, who are shooting the new film in Shreveport, Louisiana, ordered the tasty surprise last week (beg28Mar11) from Cush's Grocery and Market.
A source tells People.com, "It's a wide variety of cupcakes (that) she and Gerard ordered for a Friday treat... (Biel) is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people."
The film, directed by Gabriele Muccino, also stars Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid.
April 06, 2011 7:15am EST
The Scottish actor will portray a European soccer star in Playing The Field opposite Biel as his estranged wife. His character moves to the U.S. to make amends with his partner only to be charmed by a number of other women, including a neighbour's wife, played by Thurman, and a saucy newsreader, played by Zeta-Jones. Judy Greer will also feature as a housewife who falls for Butler's character, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The film will be directed by Italian moviemaker Gabriele Muccino.
February 23, 2011 6:38am EST
Uma Thurman and Jessica Biel have signed on to join Gerald Butler in Playing the Field, the new film from director Gabriele Muccino. The news follows yesterday's announcement that Muccino will direct Adaline, another drama more in line with his previous hits The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds.
Playing the Field, penned by Robbie Fox, tells a story revolving around a former pro-soccer star (Butler) who, in an attempt to bond with his son, agrees to coach his soccer team. And because Gerald Butler is the hunk of a man that Gerald Butler is, his character is forced to fight off romantic advances from hordes of soccer moms (and let's be honest, we're hoping that he does this in the most extravagant way by -- just go with us here -- channeling his inner Leonidas, grabbing a sword and proceeding to chop off their heads, holding them in the air, screaming, "I AM KING OF SOCCER MOMS!")
Anyway, that probably won't happen, but audiences should be careful with this film regardless. By billing itself as a "soccer comedy," the Nu Image/Millennium Films picture may just be trying to trick everyone into thinking it's not a "romantic comedy." So, whatever. Movie studios, listen up: all you need to change a film's genre is a minivan.