Hollywood actor John Travolta is hoping for a role opposite Daniel Craig in the next James Bond movie as he has long dreamed of playing a villain in the 007 franchise. The Grease star admits he is a big fan of the British movie series and hopes to eventually follow in the footsteps of actors including Christopher Walken, Sir Christopher Lee and Javier Bardem who have all previously played Bond's bad guys.
Travolta tells Britain's Daily Telegraph, "I'd love to play a bad guy in James Bond."
He adds of the films' lead actors, "I have two favourite Bonds, Sean Connery and Daniel Craig. They both have ruggedness, class and suave."
Pierce Brosnan hasn't stepped into James Bond's shoes for over a decade, but you wouldn't know it when you meet him. The Irish actor — who turns 60 this month, but doesn't seem to age — seems to be carrying on the suave legacy of Bond. Especially when it comes to his affinity and appreciation for women.
Hollywood.com caught up with Brosnan to discuss his latest film Love Is All You Need and when it came to the subject of his co-star, Danish actress Trine Dyrholm (whom Brosnan says has "the Meryl Streep touch" to her craft), he put it simply: "I've been blessed with all the leading ladies I've been with, they've all been rather gorgeous and beautiful and I love women." When it came to the subject of his Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier, he put it simply: "I've worked with some great directors from Barbra Streisand to Susanne Bier to when I did Remington Steele, there were some fine lady directors on that show. I love working with women. I love women. There's just an ease and a grace." Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan.
But, it wasn't just his fondness for working with talented females like Dyrholm and Bier that drew him to a project like Love Is All You Need. The film a glossy but heartfelt romantic drama about a hairdresser named Ida (played by the vivacious Dyrholm who gets naked, literally and metaphorically), a cancer survivor whose husband has been cheating on her, and Philip (Brosnan, in what Bier describes as "one of his most touching performances"), a hard-working businessman and widower. Philip and Ida meet at their respective children's nuptials at a picturesque French villa and the two begin fall in love. "It goes right up there on the shelf with, dare I say, Mamma Mia," Brosnan says of the film, which taps into similar theme of finding yourself — and, of course, love —at any age.
Another one of the film's emotional cores — dealing with a devastating loss — is one that hits especially close for Brosnan. In 1991, Brosnan lost his first wife Cassandra Harris to ovarian cancer. They had one son together, Sean, as well as her children from a previous marriage Charlotte and Christopher. (Brosnan remarried in 2001 to his wife Keely Shaye Smith, with whom he has two sons with, Dylan and Paris). "All of that life pain that I went through — somewhat publicly, somewhat privately — is in the past but I can certainly identify and draw upon it," he says of playing a part like Love Is All You Need's Philip, a man who is still dealing with his pain.
"This character and this movie and this script found me at the right time in my life to be able to sit still and explore my own tragedies, my own pain, my own loss, what it's like to be a single parent," Brosnan continues. "In the hands of Susanne Bier, you surrender to that and allow yourself to go there. It just made sense. Her style of direction is very quiet and specific, strongly so at times. But there's great liberation in there because of the cinematic style that she uses. There were many emblems within the story: fatherhood, being a widower, being a single parent, a man of business, being alone, being middle-aged, dealing with time, time past, time present, time future."
And time, it seems, has since been kind to Brosnan. Not just in terms of his rugged good looks, but finding peace and comfort within himself and his career. "I painted myself into a corner sometimes I feel with the style of performance I'd given or the kind of actor I was trying to create when I came to America with Remington Steele," Brosnan admits. "As you get older there's a loosening of the ties to the ego and the posturing of who you are and how you behave. There's an ease within my own being now and there's a confidence, simple as that really, with performing... there's a great joy in being an older actor now. You have to adapt to your age and your years. It's nothing but humble gratitude of having come down the road so far."
Then again, it's hard not to be humbled with gratitude when you have labor of love projects like the big screen adaptation of Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down (in which he stars alongside Aaron Paul, Toni Collette, and Imogen Poots, whom he refers to as "The Quartet...we were joined at the hip") and, of course, Love Is All You Need. Love, being the key word.
"It all melded together from day one," Brosnan recalls, adding, "[my cast and director] embraced me with such a warmth and generosity and I, in return, did the same and we just hit the ground running. The experience of filming on a day-to-day basis was nothing but joy. It's criminal how much fun we had. It was a magical summer." Who knew Bond was such a softie?
Love Is All You Need opens in limited release on May 3.
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More: 'Love Is All You Need' Director Susanne Bier: 'It's Kind of Disgraceful There Aren't More Female Directors 'Love Is All You Need' Trailer — WATCH 10 Actors Who Almost Played James Bond
A relatively little-known (or at least little-publicized) factoid about this week’s Mark Wahlberg-starring action thriller Contraband: It's a remake of the 2009 Icelandic film Reykjavík-Rotterdam. The American remake of a foreign film happens pretty often, and while the former is rarely – very rarely – as good as the latter, there have been some pretty solid remakes. Here are our favorites.
Based on: Infernal Affairs (China)
Martin Scorsese scored his biggest box office hit and first-ever Best Director Oscar (don’t get us started on how long overdue he was) with this remake of Hong Kong’s similarly themed Infernal Affairs. American moviegoers, critics and award voters were pretty much smitten across the board, but Infernal’s co-director, Andrew Lau, and co-star, Andy Lau, expressed then what we all probably feel now: The Departed is very good, if not great, but it’s not without flaws. And it’s long!
Based on: La Totale! (France)
James Cameron’s extended remake of the very like-minded (but much shorter) French film La Totale! represents probably the least serious and stuffy movie of his career. And – thanks to the stunt work commissioned by the director and the action/comedy in his script … and, yes, Ah-nold – maybe his most fun offering.
Based on: Funny Games (Austria)
Both versions were directed by Michael Haneke, and both were divisive, love-it-or-hate-it exercises in testing audiences’ tolerance and bloodlust. Count us among the fascinated (partly because of the stellar performances that are under-appreciated because most people didn't see them through).
Based on: Ringu (Japan)
The success of The Ring was largely responsible for the annoying PG-13-horror trend – as well as “Let’s remake every Japanese horror movie”-mania – but most people would agree that Gore Verbinski’s faithful remake of Hideo Nakata’s 1998 Japanese original was entertaining at the least, horrifying at the most.
Based on: Insomnia (Norway)
The most overlooked film in Christopher Nolan’s resume – OK, maybe it’s The Prestige. Or Following...– changed quite a bit from the Norwegian film on which it is based (different setting, different arcs for the main characters, slightly different plots overall), but both are modern-noir, psychological-thriller classics.
Let Me In
Based on: Let the Right One In (Sweden)
Thanks to some fumbling by the marketing team, not many people saw Let Me In, but it’s one of the few remakes that matches, if not exceeds, the original movie on which it is based in terms of quality. Do yourself a favor: Watch both and be the judge.
Based on: Brothers (Denmark)
The American version didn’t fare quite as well as Susanne Bier’s original five years earlier, but the star-studded cast (Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman) turned in unforgettable performances.
Scent of a Woman
Based on: Profumo di Donna (Italy)
Al Pacino won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal as the blind Frank Slade in Scent, which scored several other big noms – basically matching the critical praise of the Italian version on which it was based.
Based on: La Jetee (France)
It’s hard to believe that an American movie that feels so contemporary and even futuristic could be based on a 1962 short film from France, but that’s the case with Terry Gilliam’s masterful 12 Monkeys and Chris Marker’s influential La Jetee (“The Pier”) – even if the former is merely a loose conceptual update of the latter.
Based on: Interview (Netherlands)
The Birdcage (1996)
Based on: La Cage aux Folles (France/Italy)
Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)
Based on: Boudu Suave des Eaux (France)
The Debt (2011)
Based on: The Debt (Israel)
Enigmatic and deliberate Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy makes no reservations while unraveling its heady spy story for better or worse. The film based on the bestselling novel by John Le Carre is purposefully perplexing effectively mirroring the central character George Smiley's (Gary Oldman) own mind-bending investigation of the British MI6's mole problem. But the slow burn pacing clinical shooting style and air of intrigue only go so far—Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sports an incredible cast that can't dramatically translate the movie's impenetrable narrative. Almost from the get go the movie collapses under its own weight.
After a botched mission in Hungary that saw his colleague Jim (Mark Strong) gunned down in the streets Smiley and his boss Control (John Hurt) are released from the "Circus" (codename for England's Secret Intelligence Service). But soon after Smiley is brought back on board as an impartial observer tasked to uncover the possible infiltration of the organization. The former agent already dealing with the crippling of his own marriage attempts to sift through the history and current goings on of the Circus narrowing his hunt down to four colleagues: Percy aka "Tinker" (Toby Jones) Bill aka "Tailor" (Colin Firth) Roy aka "Soldier" (Ciaran Hinds) and Toy aka "Poor Man" (David Dencik). Working with Peter (Benedict Cumberbatch) a conflicted younger member of the service and Ricki (Tom Hardy) a rogue agent who has information of his own Smiley slowly uncovers the muddled truth—occasionally breaking in to his own work place and crossing his own friends to do so.
Describing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as dense doesn't seem complicated enough. The first hour of the monster mystery moves at a sloth's pace trickling out information like the tedious drips of a leaky faucet. The talent on display is undeniable but the characters Smiley included are so cold that a connection can never be made. TTSS sporadically jumps around from past to present timelines without any indication: a tactic that proves especially confusing when scenes play out in reoccurring locations. It's not until halfway through that the movie decides to kick into high gear Smiley's search for a culprit finally becoming clear enough to thrill. A film that takes its time is one thing but Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy does so without any edge or hook.
What the movie lacks in coherency it makes up for in style and thespian gravitas. Director Tomas Alfredson has assembled some of the finest British performers working today and they turn the script's inaccessible spy jargon into poetry. Firth stands out as the group's suave slimeball a departure from his usual nice guy roles. Hardy assures us he's the next big thing once again as the agency's resident moppet a lover who breaks down after a romantic fling uncovers horrifying truth. Oldman is given the most difficult task of the bunch turning the reserved contemplative Smiley into a real human. He half succeeds—his observational slant in the beginning feels like an extension of the movie's bigger problems but once gets going in the second half of the film he's quite a bit of fun.
Alfredson constructs Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy like a cinematic architect each frame dripping with perfectly kitschy '70s production design and camera angles that make the spine tingle. He creates paranoia through framing similar to the Coppola's terrifying The Conversation but unlike that film TTSS doesn't have the characters or story to match. The movie strives to withhold information and succeeds—too much so. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy wants us to solve a mystery with George Smiley but it never clues us in to exactly why we should want to.
Like some of his A-List contemporaries, Leonardo DiCaprio started his career young, tackling any small screen role that would come his way. His breakout came from the Cousin Oliver-esque role of Luke Brower in the Kirk Cameron/Alan Thicke sitcom Growing Pains. The role could have seen him typecast, but DiCaprio had versatility and charisma that his co-stars lacked. Miraculously, the young actor parlayed his 23-episode stint into a full-fledged movie career, making his big screen debut in the Robert De Niro familial drama This Boy's Life, and earning his first Oscar nomination at the age of 19 for What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
There are two types of true movie stars: One whose face a studio can slap on a poster and make bank, regardless of quality, and one whose raw talent has every director in town clamoring to work with them. After that first nomination, a few test runs with notable names (Sam Raimi in The Quick and the Dead, Baz Luhrmann in Romeo + Juliet) and a star turn in Titanic, DiCaprio became both. From there, the former-heartthrob continued his evolution, utilizing his fame and status in Hollywood to help some of the last decade's riskier dramatic fare take flight. He took commanding leads in Danny Boyle's The Beach, Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, Edward Zwick's The Blood Diamond, Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road, and Christopher Nolan's Inception. Peppered between those prestige dramas, DiCaprio fostered a relationship with legendary director Martin Scorsese that resulted in four quality films: Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and Shutter Island (and the duo are rumored to have more movies in the works).
But since his first swing at Oscar gold in 1993, DiCaprio has only been nominated twice: for Best Actor in 2004's The Aviator and 2006's Blood Diamond. The actor can deliver, but apparently, not enough for the Academy.
That's the fundamental problem with the Oscars. There are some talented folk that, no matter what they do, they'll receive a nomination (see: Meryl Streep). Then there are others of which the Academy demands more. In the eyes of the Academy, Leonardo DiCaprio gives great performances–but not the BEST performances. Over the years, he's never taken on a truly "showy" role, an extravagant performance wild enough to have voters say, "Yeah, he is acting!" Think something like Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, a tour-de-force that's poetic, ferocious and BIG. But in DiCaprio's movies, the actor strives to make his characters' eccentricities relatable, using suave mannerisms and his reserved facade to keep an array of personalities and emotions grounded. Even his Howard Hughes, a man who locked himself away while battling psychological duress, drawing up airplane blueprints and peeing in bottles, felt restrained. That could be a personal choice—either he fears slipping of the edge and overacting on screen, or doesn't find those types of roles all that interesting. It really doesn't matter. He does great work, just not the kind of that earns a guy an Oscar.
Flashy parts aren't the only hurdle standing in DiCaprio's way to Oscar glory. By Hollywood standards, he's still a young guy—at 37, DiCaprio's body of work is astounding, but he's never been in the running when someone else didn't deserve it more. Award prognosticators, picking up buzz from the inner voting circles, are able to venture guesses for possible Oscar contenders early, because the Academy is notorious for following tradition. Rewarding time-honored actors in memorable roles, as a proxy for the celebrity's lifetime of work, is common practice (unless you think Pacino's finest role really was in Scent of a Woman). DiCaprio isn't far enough along in his career to be thrown that bone.
My fear is that the constant cold shoulder for his body of work will push DiCaprio to strive for awards recognition, instead of allowing accolades land in his lap. His new movie, the Clint Eastwood-directed J. Edgar, feels like a strategic move. The movie chronicles the turbulent, controversial life of the infamous FBI director—and if there's one thing the Academy has been known to love, it's biopics that pull an actor through the ringer (in the last ten years, five of the Best Actor winners portrayed real people). This isn't to say the performance is lackluster—he's great in the movie, even under ten pounds of old age make-up—but J. Edgar may be too serious, too restrained, too soulless for his own good. DiCaprio needs a colorful role. He needs to spice it up.
Once upon a time DiCaprio was set to play the wicked Nazi Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds (a role that earned Christoph Waltz an Oscar), but allegedly turned it down because it wasn't good for his image. Thankfully, he seems to have put reputation aside in order to join Tarantino's latest, Django Unchained, where he'll play a villainous slave owner. That's a big move, and it feels right. If anything will catch the eye of the Academy, including the new wave of young ruffians filtering in to the voting scene, it's risk-taking. I have no doubt that Leonardo DiCaprio will one day march to the podium to accept his Academy Award for Best Actor, but, for now, he may be standing in his own way. There's a wild, unfiltered version of the actor lurking underneath his oh-so-serious exterior. Once it comes out, the statue will be his for the taking.
Actor CHRISTOPHER SIEBER has swapped one Broadway production for another - he's quit his upcoming stint in CHICAGO to replace JEFFREY TAMBOR in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. The Arrested Development star stepped into Kelsey Grammer's shoes as suave club owner Georges in the drag queen musical last month (Feb11), but bowed out of the show last week (ends25Feb11), citing "complications from recent hip surgery".
Bad news, guys. Natalie Portman will not be the hottest Lois Lane or Catwoman ever.
After being rumored for roles in both Zach Snyder's Superman reboot and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, the actress is officially being totally lame: she will not appear in either film. In fact, according to Entertainment Weekly she doesn't know anything about anything.
"What is that?" The potential Oscar-nominee asked, laughing, in reference to Superman. "No, I haven't heard anything."
Okay, so no Superman. What about Batman?
"Oh, I don't know anything about that," she said.
Now before you're completely heartbroken by this news, there is a slight chance that the media-suave Portman could just be fucking around. Don't hold me to that, because I write it more out of hope than fact. Still, it's hard to swallow this news because she could fit these roles so well. With her performance in the acclaimed Black Swan she proved that she's light on her feet and can go as deep into the darkness as any male protagonist; two musts for anyone working on a Chris Nolan Bat-film. On the other hand, she's also shown a penchant for comedy and all things leading lady in past productions and her upcoming features No Strings Attached and Your Highness.
I'm not one for puns, but I think that Ms. Portman could do both Catwoman (if that is indeed the role she was rumored for) and Lois Lane justice. Then again, I'm certain that she fits perfectly nearly any role ever created for an actess.
Source: Coming Soon (via EW)
After re-invigorating the Batman movie franchise by taking him back to his beginnings three years ago director Christopher Nolan again tweaks the superhero movie genre and turns it on its ear with this riveting and brilliantly executed sequel. You could safely say this is The Godfather II of comic-book movies because at its dark heart it really plays like a crime movie more L.A. Confidential than Iron Man. Joining a triumvirate to eviscerate crime in Gotham City Batman (Christian Bale) teams with Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and crusading D.A. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to triumph over evil. But as a true anarchist The Joker (Heath Ledger) is unleashed by the mob and determined to cause holy bat terror for no apparent reason other than his own enjoyment. Right from the beginning Batman and his colleagues realize they are not dealing with any rational criminal and must use all their ingenuity to combat him. The film explores the extreme damage one determined person can have on an entire society an apt analogy to the real world where local terrorists can create havoc beyond human belief. Things also get complicated when a love triangle develops between Batman’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne Harvey Dent (who truly has a dark side ) and Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Bale is back in a role that fits him like a glove--the perfect Batman and suave Bruce Wayne. Fans can also take comfort that Morgan Freeman as scientist Lucius and Michael Caine as loyal butler Alfred are both back along with Oldman whose role as Lt. Gordon has been considerably beefed up for the better. Eckhart’s complex turn as Dent is the most intriguing of all as his eventual predicament sums up the film’s most salient point: There is a fine line between justice and revenge. Gyllenhaal does what she can to ratchet up Rachel (a role played originally by Katie Holmes)--Bruce Wayne’s true love now romantically involved with Dent. But as good as this cast is--and it doesn’t get much better in the genre--The Dark Knight is Ledger’s film a fitting finale for an all-too-short but enormously impressive career. The late actor took on the daunting task of filling Jack Nicholson’s shoes but makes his Joker one of the most memorable of all previous Batman baddies (and that includes Jack’s). It’s a fearless performance bitingly alive and ironic--a clown on crack as it were. This a movie villain that might even scare Hannibal Lecter. Ledger’s posthumous performance may be headed toward the bittersweet moment of a certain supporting Oscar nomination if not the award itself. Perhaps it’s the fact that Christopher Nolan got his feet wet directing small gems like Memento that The Dark Knight feels so intimate in its theme--even though the film itself is played on such a large scale. Nolan has created a dark creepy Gotham City where anarchy reigns justice is confused and the criminals and the crime fighters are seemingly interchangeable at times. Nolan’s boldest move has been to film six major action sequences in the IMAX format giving this sequel a scope that few other movies out there have. He has also jettisoned the tired overuse of CGI trickery for good old-fashioned stunts--including a spectacular sequence in which a giant Big Rig is flipped as well as numerous high-flying chases from Gotham to Hong Kong. There is also the addition of a new mode of transportation for Batman--the Batpod a heavily armored two-wheeled all-purpose driving machine that makes the Batmobile look like a Honda. Ultimately though Nolan who co-wrote the screenplay with brother Jonathan Nolan has more on his mind than mere gadgets and movie mayhem. The Dark Knight’s true power comes in the way this darkest of knights puts a mirror up to society and shows us we are all potentially on the eve of destruction--unless we summon the elusive will to stop it.