After establishing himself as a Tony Award-winning choreographer, Rob Marshall made the rare transition to accomplished film director with the acclaimed feature adaptation of the popular stage musical...
Boyhood director Richard Linklater is set to add another trophy to his collection when he is honoured with the Cinema Audio Society's Filmmaker Award at the 51st Annual CAS Awards on 14 February (15) in Los Angeles. He follows in the footsteps of previous recipients including Quentin Tarantino, Rob Marshall, Jonathan Demme, and Edward Zwick.
"I found out I was having a baby the same week I found out I had this movie and I told Rob two weeks before we started rehearsals and he was amazing. I called him and just said, 'I have something to tell you', and for a joke he went, 'You're having a baby...' and I said, 'Yeah, I am!'" Emily Blunt told Into The Woods director Rob Marshall she was pregnant just before rehearsals for the film began.
Actor Billy Magnussen has Meryl Streep to thank for his role in Into The Woods. The Broadway star plays Rapunzel's Prince in the upcoming big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's classic fairytale musical, and Magnussen has revealed he would never have even got an audition if it wasn't for Streep and her keen eye for talent.
Magnussen tells Variety, "I'm just really thankful to be a part of this. Actually, Meryl got me the job. I was doing a play and she came and saw the play and told (director) Rob Marshall to let me audition."
Magnussen, who earned a Tony Award nomination for his role in that very production, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, also impressed Marshall and landed the part of the Prince.
He adds, "I remember the first day I showed up for the first read through and Meryl's like, 'I got you this f**king job!'"
Birdman leads the nominations for the International Press Academy's 2014 Satellite Awards after picking up 10 nods on Monday night (01Dec14). The film is up for Best Motion Picture, Actress in a Supporting Role (Emma Stone), Actor in a Supporting Role (Edward Norton) and Actor in a Motion Picture (Michael Keaton), while Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is up for Best Director and Best Screenplay awards.
The Imitation Game has scored eight nominations, including Best Motion Picture, Best Director (Morten Tyldum), Actor in a Motion Picture (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Actress in a Supporting Role (Keira Knightley), and Gone Girl and Boyhood have tied with seven nods.
There are also multiple nominations for Whiplash, The Theory of Everything and Into The Woods - the cast of the Rob Marshall movie musical will be honoured with the Best Movie Ensemble prize when the awards are announced on 15 February (15) in Los Angeles.
The Best Motion Picture nominees are Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl, Love is Strange, Mr. Turner, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash.
In the TV categories, Fargo, Olive Kitteridge and The Knick lead the pack with four nominations apiece. The cast of The Knick will pick up the Best TV Ensemble trophy.
Emily Blunt and Chris Pine endured their own private hells while preparing to play leading roles in new movie musical Into The Woods because director Rob Marshall insisted on them hitting the high notes. Both stars knew they'd have to sing in the film but they had no idea just how gruelling the work they had to do prior to the start of filming would be.
Blunt tells WENN, "I was very reluctant to audition for this and Rob did audition all of us as he should. I was scared to go in. Rob called my agent and said, 'I want actors who can kinda sing; not the other way around'. So I had a couple of singing lessons and I learned it and auditioned and he was amazing and gave the role of The Baker's Wife to me. I'm very grateful.
"It's the best part I've ever been given. Once I got over my own fear of singing in front of other people it turned out to be such an exhilarating and impassioned experience. You realise how joyful it is to sing and to be around music. The day we sang with a 65-piece orchestra with Stephen Sondheim in the next room is just one of those days you will never ever forget."
And Pine adds, "I was the only person who didn't know what Into The Woods was when my agent called and asked me if I wanted to audition for it. I heard Meryl Streep, Rob Marshall... so I said, 'Yeah, count me in!' I had a night to prepare a song to go sing in Rob Marshall's living room.
"I made a mistake in going online and Googling what I was getting into and then it dawned on me the kind of magnitude of the kind of pantheon that I was touching with this music... So to step in that living room, I had not sung for anyone but myself; it was terrifying. A piano was brought out and he joined me in singing. It was actually a blast."
British actress Emily Blunt came to the rescue of her friend Meryl Streep after the veteran star suffered a frightening fall on the set of their new film Into The Woods. The Devil Wears Prada co-stars reteamed for the big screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, in which Streep plays a witch who places a curse on a childless baker and his wife, played by James Corden and Blunt.
During an interview with the cast on Yahoo!, Corden recalls a near-death incident involving the trio just a couple days after production kicked off.
He says, "It's day two of rehearsal, and we're in this mock-up bakery. Meryl's leaping and jumping up on things and coming up and getting into your face. And she leaps onto the table... catches her shoe in the dress, and starts to fall back headfirst towards this stone floor.
"And time slowed down and I thought, 'I'm about to watch Meryl Streep die.' I wish I could say I didn't consider my own career in this and I thought, 'This film's gonna go down - f**k!' (Director) Rob Marshall freezes and thinks, 'Oh my God, Meryl Streep's gonna die.'"
Corden admitted neither him nor Marshall came to the rescue of the Oscar winner - it was Blunt, who was pregnant with her first child while filming the movie.
He continued, "The person who stepped in and saved her life that day - was not the two men in the room - it was the pregnant woman. She leaped forward, catches Meryl Streep and we were all just gasped. I never forgot it really. Every day I kept thinking, 'Is she really gonna keep going for it at this level?' And she really did."
Moviemaker Richard Linklater is to be honoured with a special prize to mark his contribution to the entertainment industry. The Before Sunrise director will be presented with the Casting Society of America's Career Achievement Award at the organisation's 30th Annual Artios Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on 22 January (15).
Richard Hicks, the President of the Casting Society of America, says, "Richard is a filmmaker whose work is both current and timeless... It's a special year for the Artios, our 30th, and it required an extraordinary honouree. We are thrilled to salute him."
Chicago director Rob Marshall will also be honoured at the ceremony. He has been chosen to receive the New York Apple Award for his contributions to the casting community in New York.
Movie icon Sophia Loren spilled the beans about some of Hollywood's most famous male stars during a tribute evening on Wednesday (12Nov14) as part of the American Film Institute (AFI) film festival. Director Rob Marshall interviewed Loren for an onstage career retrospective at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, running through her Italian acting work, her transition to Hollywood and her later films.
The 80 year old discussed the male co-stars she encountered throughout her career, telling Marshall that Cary Grant was a "special person, a great actor, absolutely incredible as a person" and Peter Sellers was a "very melancholic person. He would light up only when the director said action".
She added that she liked Clark Gable, "But he had a watch and it rang every evening at five. When it rang, he would leave without saying goodbye."
However, Loren also made it clear she was not a fan of Marlon Brando, simply shrugging when his name was brought up. They co-starred in A Countess of Hong Kong and she recalls the Godfather star keeping her and Charlie Chaplin waiting, so Chaplin reprimanded him for it.
Modern Family star Sofia Vergara and Loren's son Edoardo Ponti also took to the stage to praise Loren, and Vergara's boyfriend Joe Manganiello and actress Michelle Monaghan were in the audience.
Following the tribute, festival organisers screened a restored version of the actress' 1964 comedy Marriage Italian Style and short film The Human Voice, which was directed by her son.
The AFI Fest will close on Thursday evening (13Nov14).
Spanish actress Penelope Cruz has been named the Sexiest Woman Alive in a new poll by Esquire magazine.
The Vicky Cristina Barcelona star landed the U.S. publication's annual title for 2014, making her the eleventh celebrity to be given the accolade following previous winners including Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johansson.
Cruz poses on the cover of next month's edition (Nov14) of the magazine in a low-cut, black swimming costume, and in the accompanying interview, Cruz explains why she is guarded about her private life with husband Javier Bardem, saying, "That is for us."
Filmmaker Rob Marshall is set to be honoured with the Casting Society of America's New York Apple Award. The director will be presented with the accolade, which recognises those who have made special contributions to the New York entertainment industry, at the 30th annual Artios Awards in January (15).
Directed the screen adaptation of the musical, "Chicago"; earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Director
Choreographed the Broadway production of "She Loves Me"
Choreographed ABC's version of "Rogers & Hammerstein's Cinderella"
Choreographed the stage production of "Victor/Victoria"
Provided the dance numbers for director Tim Robbins' "The Cradle Will Rock"
Choreographed the revival of "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum"
Directed the feature adaptation of "Memoirs of a Geisha," from Arthur Golden's best-selling novel
Made television directorial debut with ABC's adapatation of the musical, "Annie"
Choreographed the revival of "Damn Yankees," starring future collaborators Victor Garber and Bebe Neuwirth
Directed the screenplay adaptation of the Broadway musical, "Nine"
Uncredited directing on the Broadway show, "Suessical"
Made Broadway co-directorial debut (with Sam Mendes) with revival of "Cabaret"
Began career as a Broadway dancer
Oversaw the dance sequences in the CBS TV movie, "Mrs. Santa Claus"
Directed production of "Chicago," starring Bebe Neuwirth in Los Angeles
Produced and directed the NBC variety show, "Tony Bennett: An American Classic"; also choreographed
Directed the fourth installment of the "Pirate" franchise, titled "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
Provided additional choreography for "Kiss of the Spider Woman" on Broadway
After establishing himself as a Tony Award-winning choreographer, Rob Marshall made the rare transition to accomplished film director with the acclaimed feature adaptation of the popular stage musical, "Chicago" (2002). Prior to his feature success, Marshall earned a reputation on Broadway as one of the finest choreographers working in the business, thanks to his work on such hits as "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1993), "Damn Yankees" (1994) and "Cabaret" (1998). Though "Chicago" put him on the Hollywood map, Marshall actually made his screen debut with a television adaptation of the musical "Annie" (ABC, 1999), which starred Kathy Bates and earned the director his first Emmy Award. Marshall made his first foray into non-musical territory with a solid take on Arthur Golden's "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005), which did allow him put on his choreographer hat for an elaborate ceremonial dance. Though not as revered as "Chicago," his second feature effort attracted Academy attention and informed critics that Marshall was a legitimate talent. With his third feature, the eagerly-awaited musical "Nine" (2009), Marshall was on firm ground to make his case for being one of Hollywood's premiere directors.