Ben Affleck and Matt Damon inserted a spoof gay sex scene into the script for their breakthrough movie Good Will Hunting to test whether Hollywood producers had read it.
The pair hawked the screenplay for their 1997 hit around Tinseltown but feared many studio bosses would turn it down without giving it a fair assessment. So they hatched a plan to add a bizarre sex scene halfway through the script, and they happily agreed a deal with Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein when he was the only producer to query it.
Weinstein tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "Everyone in Hollywood wanted Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and the film. In the meeting with them I said, 'I only have one really big note on the script. About page 60 the two leads, both straight men, have a sex scene. What the hell is that? I don't get it,' and they go, 'That's the scene we wrote to see if guys like you read the script because every studio executive we went to hadn't read it. You're the only guy who brought it up so you get the movie.'"
Actresses Shailene Woodley and Jennifer Lawrence were among the big winners at the 2015 People's Choice Awards on Wednesday (07Jan15) after taking home multiple honours. Woodley picked up awards for Favorite Action Movie for Divergent and Favorite Movie Duo with onscreen love interest Theo James, while the actress' hit teen cancer film, The Fault in Our Stars, scored her the title of Favorite Dramatic Movie at the prizegiving in Los Angeles.
Lawrence landed two acting accolades - Favorite Movie Actress and Favorite Action Movie Actress.
Unfortunately, neither of the leading ladies were present at the Nokia Theatre to accept their awards.
Robert Downey, Jr. was another double winner, claiming the Favorite Movie Actor and Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor prizes, while Angelina Jolie's Maleficent was named Favorite Family Movie and Favorite Movie overall.
Long-running medical drama Grey's Anatomy earned the most trophies of the night, including Favorite Network TV Drama, Favorite Dramatic TV Actor and Actress for Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo, and former cast member Sandra Oh was named the Favorite TV Character We Miss Most.
Other champions included Castle's Nathan Filion and Stana Katic (Favorite Crime Drama, TV Actor and Actress) and British singer Ed Sheeran, who nabbed the Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album titles.
Meanwhile, Ben Affleck was saluted as the Favorite Humanitarian for his work with the Eastern Congo Initiative, the organisation he set up in 2010 to help residents of the war-torn region.
Amy Adams presented her Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice co-star Affleck with his prize, which he admitted was a trophy he never expected to receive.
He explained, "This is incredibly humbling... I've been called a lot of things in my life, but I'm not sure until recently humanitarian has ever been one of them. To be honest, it's something that I have a hard time accepting, because I've had the privilege of working alongside so many incredible people in Congo and all over the world, who I assure you are far more deserving."
Affleck continued, "Sometimes the world is a scary and terrible place and bad things happen... the one way to combat the terrible things we see is to bring a little bit of kindness and show that our country is about reaching out and helping our fellow man.
"This is an incredible honour - I can't say that I'm deserving, but I'm privileged to be among the many, many, many people who have done such great work."
Awards co-hosts Anna Faris and Allison Janney kicked off the show with a skit featuring Faris' husband Chris Pratt, who jokingly embellished his success after blockbuster movie Guardians of the Galaxy last summer (14), surrounded by piles of movie scripts as Faris attempted to convince him to take care of their young son, Jack.
Pratt actually missed the event because he was at home with the couple's son, who was recovering from eye surgery.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Favorite Movie - Maleficent
Favorite Movie Actor - Robert Downey, Jr.
Favorite Movie Actress - Jennifer Lawrence
Favorite Movie Duo - Shailene Woodley & Theo James (Divergent)
Favorite Action Movie - Divergent
Favorite Action Movie Actor - Chris Evans
Favorite Action Movie Actress - Jennifer Lawrence
Favorite Comedic Movie - 22 Jump Street
Favorite Comedic Movie Actor - Adam Sandler
Favorite Comedic Movie Actress - Melissa McCarthy
Favorite Dramatic Movie - The Fault in Our Stars
Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor - Robert Downey, Jr.
Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress - Chloe Grace Moretz
Favorite Family Movie - Maleficent
Favorite Thriller Movie - Gone Girl
Favorite TV Show - The Big Bang Theory
Favorite Network TV Comedy - The Big Bang Theory
Favorite Comedic TV Actor - Chris Colfer (Glee)
Favorite Comedic TV Actress - Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (The Big Bang Theory)
Favorite Network TV Drama - Grey's Anatomy
Favorite Dramatic TV Actor - Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy)
Favorite Dramatic TV Actress - Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy)
Favorite Cable TV Comedy - Melissa & Joey
Favorite Cable TV Drama - Pretty Little Liars
Favorite Cable TV Actor - Matt Bomer (White Collar)
Favorite Cable TV Actress - Angie Harmon (Rizzoli & Isles)
Favorite TV Crime Drama - Castle
Favorite Crime Drama TV Actor - Nathan Fillion (Castle)
Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress - Stana Katic (Castle)
Favorite Network Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show - Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV show - Outlander
Favorite Sci-Fi-Fantasy TV Actor - Misha Collins (Supernatural)
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress - Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast)
Favorite Competition TV Show - The Voice
Favorite Daytime TV Host - Ellen DeGeneres
Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host - Jimmy Fallon
Favorite Dramedy - Orange Is The New Black
Favorite TV Icon - Betty White
Favorite TV Duo - Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries)
Favorite TV Character We Miss Most - Dr. Cristina Yang played by Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy)
Favorite Actor In A New TV Series - David Tennant (Gracepoint)
Favorite Actress In A New TV Series - Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder)
Favorite Sketch Comedy TV Show - Saturday Night Live
Favorite Animated TV Show - The Simpsons
Favorite New TV Comedy - Jane the Virgin
Favorite New TV Drama - The Flash
Favorite Male Artist - Ed Sheeran
Favorite Female Artist - Taylor Swift
Favorite Group - Maroon 5
Favorite Breakout Artist - 5 Seconds of Summer
Favorite Male Country Artist - Hunter Hayes
Favorite Female Country Artist - Carrie Underwood
Favorite Country Group - Lady Antebellum
Favorite Pop Artist - Taylor Swift
Favorite Hip-Hop Artist - Iggy Azalea
Favorite R&B Artist - Pharrell Williams
Favorite Album - X by Ed Sheeran
Favorite Song - Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Favorite Humanitarian - Ben Affleck.
Robin Williams helped his Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb co-star Skyler Gisondo score a prom date by starring in a video asking the teen's female friend to go to the dance with him.
In one of the late funnyman's final roles, Williams returned to his post as Teddy Roosevelt in the blockbuster franchise, and while filming the final installment, he spent his downtime helping 18-year-old Gisondo come up with ideas on how to ask a girl to the annual dance.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gisondo recalls, "All morning, Robin was pitching more ideas. He was saying 'Can I say this? Would it be appropriate to say this?' You're Robin Williams. You can say whatever you want!
"It turned into this three minute, ridiculous thing. A prom-posal. I realized that was the most awesome three minutes of my life and I've accepted it will go downhill from there."
Gisondo, who plays Ben Stiller's son in the film, created a video featuring himself, Williams and Stiller, who attempted to convince the teen's pal Hilary to go to the prom with him, insisting he is a "good Jewish boy" and a "good kisser".
Crystal the Monkey, who is featured in Night at the Museum, also made an appearance by jumping on Gisondo's shoulder's and handing him a single red rose.
The young actor goes on to praise Williams for his selflessness and generosity during their time together, adding, "Robin was this bottomless reservoir of kindness and hilarity. It was just so special to work so closely with this guy whose movies I've grown up with and watch his preparedness and his kindness."
Williams committed suicide at his home in California in August (14).
Night At The Museum stars Ben Stiller and Ricky Gervais have paid tribute to tragic funnyman Robin Williams after working with him in his final onscreen appearance.
The trio teamed up to shoot the last movie in the hit comedy franchise earlier this year (14), with Williams reprising his role as waxwork Teddy Roosevelt. Unknown to the cast and crew, the scenes were among the last Williams filmed prior to his suicide in August (14), and Stiller vividly recalls how the shoot was a poignant one as Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb would be the end of the franchise.
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "On set we felt it was going to be the last Night at the Museum so there was that awareness of it, but obviously we had no clue what was going to happen (to Robin)."
Gervais adds, "Everyone I have ever met who knew him absolutely loved him. I've never heard a bad word about him. He was lovely all the time and never forgot to be the nicest person. If he had a second between takes he would be entertaining the crew. He was an amazing, lovely man."
Recently, we sat down the the beautiful Mizuo Peck, best known for her portrayal as Sacajawea in the Night At The Museum series to prep for the release of the final film in the series, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. We spoke with her about her acting career, that began in a school with many other famous alumni, and got candid about her time in this popular series. She discussed her methods for portraying a historical figure, what it's been like to be a part of this series, and her thoughts on Robin William's impact on the film.
How did you get your start in acting?
I started acting when I was 11-years-old. I was apart of this really great theater company, called TADA!, which is still going strong today. They have a lot of great alum, like Iggy Azalea and Kerry Washington. It really changed my life and got me into this world. I auditioned by singing this song and it got me out of my skin and got my very confident and I learned how to be focused. They really treated us like professionals. We weren’t allowed to get away with, “oh they’re just kids,” no, this was a professional company.
Growing up, did you have any actors/actresses you found inspirational and used as motivation?
Oddly enough, for a long time as a kid I looked up to Johnny Depp. Not only did I think I looked like him a little bit, but also I enjoyed that after 21 Jump Street he could have gone on the pretty boy path, but he fought convention and did all the crazy roles and he wanted to focus on genuine character work. I just remember thinking that was amazing thing to look up to. These days I think there are a lot of actors and actresses that are doing a really great job. I also really like these indie people, like Miranda July and Emily Mortimer, I’m really impressed by her career. Just actresses that are really smart and savvy, who create the work for themselves.
Are there any actors/actresses you’d like to work with in the future? Like someone, that you need to work with?
No, I’d be honored to work with any of them. The list of Cate Blanchett’s, they’re the ones that I idolized. It’d be great to work with them. But for the most part, I just want to be girlfriends with them. I think we’d get along, like Lena Dunham.
What is it like to portray a historical figure? Is there any pressure because people actually know who that person is?
I swear, I did so much research on Sacajawea, because it’s so important to me to make her real. We are playing wax statues of these characters, but her story is so fascinating, so it was really cool for me to watch all these documentaries and read all these books about her life. I could tell you so many stories about her, she was such an asset to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Do you have a particular style for preparing for this role?
Yeah, I read a lot of books. Watched a lot of documentaries. I went to the American Indian Natural History Museum all the way down in Bowling Green, which was beautiful to see all the different artifacts and they have modern Native American art. I also read some of the children’s stories that they had at the library there. It was nice to learn and research, it felt like a great way to get in touch. I took a lot from my time out west, visiting the different reservations and the countryside.
Is there any other historical figure, male or female, you’d like to portray?
As far as playing another historical figure man or woman, it would be fun to play a wild and eccentric artist like Salvador Dali. How about Josephine Baker, the barrier breaking roaring 20's entertainer? The Japanese artists Yayoi Kusama and Yoko Ono are still very much alive and creating their courageous art. I think they're great and I'd love to portray them some day.
What’s been your favorite trait about this character, as this is the third time you’re portraying her, what do you think is the best thing about her?
It’s funny, because this time around Sacajawea really gets to put her leadership skills out there. She gets to take charge and she gives some sagely advice to Ben’s character, now that they’ve known each other through the years, she’s able to give him some advice about parenting, She’s very confident. There are so many words to describe her, she’s brave and resilient. In one word, I would say she is wise. She does impart her opinion ad advice. She is someone Ben Stiller’s character listens to and looks up to, because she knows what’s up.
So, how would you say what her relationship with Ben Stiller’s character (Larry Daley) is in these films?
Sacajawea has become a link between the magical creatures that are coming alive in the museum. Carla Gugino’s character (Rebecca), the female interest in the film, and he kind of presents Sacajawea as a gift to her to prove he’s not crazy. I think I was like a friend, along with Ahkmenrah and Attila The Hun, we are all a team with Ben. Which is fun, we encounter obstacles together, along with Teddy Roosevelt of course, who is like the team leader, but Ben is the leader too. We’re a very democratic team, everyone gets a say and is respected.
Is there a moment you think fans will look forward to in this movie?
This time around it was really great. What was different is that I’m holding a monkey the entire time.
What was it like working with the monkey?
It was amazing. Yes, I’ve worked with Dexter before and me a Dexter really get to bond. I’m basically carrying Dexter the entire time. People all want to believe that Dexter is a boy, but she’s not. It’s a girl, she’s Crystal. Crystal and I bonded very much. What was amazing is the gestures she gives you. She shows you when she trusts you, when she puts her hands over her teeth, it’s an act of submission to show she won’t bite you. When she gets really comfortable, she grooms you. It was actually a great honor to work with her. And saying goodbye to her at the end, she was at the cast party and she reached out her hand. It was heartbreaking, it was like tearing myself away from this child. She had such a connection with me.
Twentieth Century Fox
Is there any museum you wish you could have unlimited access to like in these films?
The Lourve. That was always the name thrown around, that it would be the next museum we were going to go to. That would be absolutely amazing. I think it would be romantic and mysterious to walk through. We were able to walk through the British Museum at night and it was eerie and really cool to have free reign.
How do you feel like this film will reflect on Robin Williams’ memory? Is there is any scene with him that you feel you’ll really keep with you?
Oh absolutely! Robin and I, from the very start, had a really sweet relationship. Teddy and Sacajawea's relationship does continue on into this third movie. This time around, we were arm and arm, walking around the halls of the museum. Checking things out, checking in on each other. We had this strength and trust in each other. He was my Teddy. I’m always going to remember him as that. He’ll always have a special place in my heart. I do think this movie will be such a celebration of his genius. I feel so lucky to have gotten a glimpse of his wild personality and his spirit. I feel very grateful to have been able to work with him.
How is it going to be, promoting this film and watching it on the screen after his untimely passing?
It’s going to be really tough to watch. Without what happened, the movie is kind of takes a serious note. In the movie, there’s a lot of mortality issues, even though we are mannequins. The tablet that keeps us alive is failing. I think there’s a lot of heart wrenching moments. With Robin’s passing, it’s going to be even more bittersweet to watch.
What was it like working with him?
He’s just pure joy. Especially in this character, you know just the strong, leadership of Teddy Roosevelt in this film. I mean, he is a shining light. I’ll never forget when I first got the job, my agent was like, “Okay, you’re going to be riding a horse...with Robin Williams.” I knew there was going to be some famous people in the film that I wasn’t expecting. It’s been an amazing ride.
What can we expect to see from you in the next year?
I would love to do television! I want to use this momentum to go into pilot season, which is the beginning of the year. I would love to book a TV series. I just got new agents, so I’m going to get on it.
What is it about a TV show you’d like? I know some actors don’t like to do both film and television.
I think these days television is a whole other ball game. It’s so well written and so high quality. I think it’s a dream world of stability. You know, I’d do a million films. But with films, they’re a couple months and then they’re over. With some jobs, it’s only a couple days and it’s over. So that just means you keep having to look, which is obviously part of being an actor, you’re always looking for the next gig. I have this fantasy of rolling up to set and getting ready for the day. There’s just a family feeling that I’m seeking.
Is there anything you’d like to add that you want our readers to be looking forward to in the film?
There’s so many good things! You know, the film is going to be like a surprise to me. There’s so many times we are fighting things that aren’t there. That is an interesting thing to look for, when we’re fighting the 9-headed Chinese dragon, it isn’t there. The was one stunt thing I did, which wasn’t much of a stunt, but wasscary for me. In one part of the movie, I’m opening the doors of the planetarium, not only is it digitally done, I’m on a 30-feet cherry picker. It was most frightening thing, I didn’t realize I was afraid of heights until I got up there. And that’s the magic of movie making.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is in theaters December 19th! Make sure you see it in theaters for one final, incredible ride.
Luke Bryan made a triumphant return to the stage after a short break from the spotlight, with three wins at the first ever American Country Countdown Awards on Monday night (15Dec14). The Crash My Party hitmaker took a brief break following the death of his brother-in-law, Ben Lee Cheshire, who passed away last month (Nov14) at the age of 46, seven years after his wife Kelly - Bryan's only sister - died unexpectedly, aged 39.
Earlier this month (Dec14), the star decided to skip the CMT Artists of the Year event, where his friends Lady Antebellum dedicated a song to him, and on Monday, Bryan returned to the stage as he won the first prize at the American Country Countdown Awards.
As he picked up the Male Vocalist of the Year trophy, Bryan said, "I wanna thank all of my fans for the past couple of weeks in my life for keeping my family in your prayers and I want to recognise the country music community - they have rallied around me and helped me and my family through the past couple of week and its just nice to feel loved in this situation."
Bryan also won the Collaboration of the Year and Digital Song of the Year award for This Is How We Roll, his duet with Florida Georgia Line.
In addition to the two awards, the Cruise hitmakers, who also hosted the event, were named Group/Duo of the Year.
Mother-to-be Carrie Underwood kicked off the night of star-studded performances, by singing a medley of her hit songs to celebrate her 10 years in the music industry.
Other sets came from the likes of Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Artist of the Year Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, and Hank Williams, Jr., who closed out the show.
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems hitmaker Kenny Chesney was presented with the Groundbreaker Award by actor pal Vince Vaughn in honour of the singer's contributions in "moving country music into new directions with his pioneering, record-breaking tours".
Music icon Reba McEntire was given the special Nash Icon prize for her outstanding achievements over the past four decades, and she was honoured by her daughter-in-law Kelly Clarkson and Miranda Lambert, who belted out a medley of some of McEntire's biggest hits.
The prizegiving, determined by the longest-running radio countdown in the U.S. hosted by Brooks & Dunn star Kix Brooks, was held at Nashville's Music City Center in Tennessee.
The full list of winners is:
Artist of the Year: Jason Aldean
Male Vocalist of the Year: Luke Bryan
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Group/Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Album of the Year: The Outsiders, Eric Church
Song of the Year: Beat of the Music, Brett Eldredge
Collaboration of the Year: This Is How We Roll, Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
Digital Song of the Year: This Is How We Roll, Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Kip Moore
Groundbreaker Award: Kenny Chesney
Nash Icon: Reba McEntire.
Ben Stiller and Robin Williams spent a night filming inside the British Museum in London for the latest movie in their family comedy franchise. Stiller reprises his role as security guard Larry in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the third film of the series, and a large portion of it was shot at the British Museum, where he spent a memorable night with late actor Williams once the building was closed to the public.
He tells British newspaper The Independent, "It was really amazing and I felt like we really got to know it, being given private tours of different things... The Rosetta Stone was the thing I was most impressed with... It was Robin and me standing by the Rosetta Stone saying 'This is just the coolest thing ever'."
Stiller posted a picture on Twitter.com of the pair standing beside the tablet inscribed with three ancient languages.
Williams, who returns as former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt for the third time, died in August (14), shortly after the movie was completed.
Stiller adds of his late friend, "I think the deeper the relationship with somebody, the more connection you have with that person, the harder it is to lose them. But then, the other side of it is, the more you keep of that friendship with you, so I am grateful for that."
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is released later this month (Dec14).
Actress Rebel Wilson has director Shawn Levy's daughters to thank for helping her land a role in the third instalment of the Night At The Museum franchise. The Bridesmaids star reveals Levy's daughters begged their dad to cast her in the film after becoming huge fans of her movie work.
She says, "I think Shawn Levy, who directed the whole trilogy, he has quite a few teenage daughters, who had seen me in Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids and so they did say they wanted me in the movie, so I thank them a lot."
After landing the role of a British Museum guard, Wilson felt she had another reason to celebrate - the cast.
She says, "It's an amazing ensemble cast in the Night at the Museum movies. You got Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais and of course, the late and very great Robin Williams, so just to join that ensemble is so much fun."
She later adds, "I just love being in this because where else can you be so funny and have so much action and great special effects."
Robin Williams' widow will honour the late comedian/actor at the New York premiere of one of his final films on Thursday (11Dec14). Susan Schneider has agreed to attend the Night at the Museum 3 screening after director Shawn Levy personally invited her.
He tells USA Today, "She is coming to honour her husband, that is what she told me. She knows it will be emotional, she knows it will not be easy. But she knows it's an amazing performance in a franchise that Robin Williams loved.
"I called to connect with her. We don't know each other that well, but I feel connected to her. I cannot begin to fathom what she has endured... She knows the final act (of the film) has some bittersweet stuff, but she wanted to be there and celebrate it for Robin."
Williams had just wrapped the movie when he took his life in August (14).
The premiere will mark Schneider's first major public appearance since the actor's death.
She will join Williams' co-stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Rick Gervais, among the celebrities at the Ziegfeld Theater for the premiere.
Lady Antebellum dedicated a performance of Luke Bryan's Drink A Beer to the singer on Tuesday (02Dec14) after a death in the family forced him to bow out of an appearance at the Country Music Television Artists of the Year concert. Bryan's brother-in-law, Ben Lee Cheshire, passed away in Georgia on Saturday (29Nov14) at the age of 46, seven years after his wife Kelly - the star's only sister - died unexpectedly, aged 39.
He scrapped all of his live commitments for this week (begs01Dec14) to spend time with his relatives, but he was firmly in his peers' thoughts as they celebrated his career as one of the honourees at the CMT Artists of the Year show.
Lady Antebellum and singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton treated the audience at the Nashville, Tennessee bash to an acoustic cover of Drink A Beer, which honours Bryan's late brother and sister, after band member Charles Kelley dedicated the tune to their absent pal.
He said, "Tonight, if you're watching back home, Luke, this one's for you and your family."
The touching moment was not lost on Bryan, who subsequently tweeted, "That was amazing. Truly. Thank you Charles, Dave, Hillary and Chris! Beautiful!!! Thank you fans for your love."
Other performance highlights at the CMT prizegiving came from another honouree Jason Aldean, who teamed up with rocker Chris Cornell to open the show, while Eric Church, Ashley Monroe and T Bone Burnett joined forces for a rendition of Artist of a Lifetime recipient Merle Haggard's hit Workin' Man Blues.
Actor Billy Bob Thornton was also on hand to pay tribute to Haggard, comparing him to writers like John Steinbeck and Tennessee Williams, saying, "He's truly a storyteller. And that's something that has been lost."
Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban were also among the musicians saluted at the CMT gathering.