Columbia Pictures Everett Collection
Moviemaker Francis Ford Coppola gave his Bram Stoker's Dracula star Gary Oldman a coffin to help him prepare to play a 300-year-old vampire.
The actor was struggling to get into character during a pre-shoot retreat in Napa Valley, California and he asked the director for tips only to return home to Los Angeles and find a coffin on his doorstep.
He says, "I kept it in my garage. I think he wanted me to have sex in it. He kind of hinted at it."
"On a wild night... when I was a drinker back in the day, people just ended up at the house and when they were leaving, I wanted to impress them and I had a little switch inside the house and the garage door would open and the light would come on over the coffin and I said, 'Check this out...' They never came back!"
Ted Nugent has attacked Idaho casino bosses who have axed his upcoming show at the Worley venue over his outspoken views. Coeur d’Alene Casino owners cited the rocker's "history of racist and hate-filled remarks" when they pulled his upcoming date (04Aug14), and now Nugent is firing back, claiming he has become a victim of America's liberals over his anti-Barack Obama and pro-hunting beliefs.
He tells Radio.com, "They literally have an army assigned to destroy Ted Nugent. To call me a racist is a clear act of desperation. Because everybody knows I’m not a racist!
"My bass player Johnny Gunnel happens to be a black guy. My bass player Marco Mendoza was born in Mexico! Are you kidding me? I pay tribute to Martin Luther King in my songs, I’ve always said my music is a direct result of Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, and all the black musical heroes of my life."
Further attacking what he calls the "sick, stoned, hygiene-challenged (director) Michael Moore fans", the Cat Scratch Fever rocker adds, "They call in and complain that I’m a racist, they claim I’m a paedophile, that I dodged the draft. They call all the promoters, they call all the venues, they call all my sponsors, every day. Meanwhile, what am I doing? I’m going to rock my a** off tonight. And tomorrow night. And the next night."
Nugent is currently touring to promote his new album Shutup & Jam!
"The only person who has consistently said no has been Prince. I haven't approached him in 20 years... I had several ideas... for When Doves Cry and Kiss and 1999 and a few others but Prince wasn't into parody... I got a telegram from Prince's people saying that I was not to establish eye contact with Prince at the American Music Awards. Everybody in his immediate seating area got that same telegram, so I didn't feel singled out." 'Weird Al' Yankovic never got along with Prince after trying to persuade the pop superstar to let him parody his hits.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
We first encountered the bounties of Michel Gondry's imagination in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, his second collaboration with Charlie Kaufman (after Human Nature) that earned both parties new legions of admirers. Gondry's latest film, Mood Indigo, is perhaps his most visually imaginative, bringing objects and ideas to life in a sweet, simple, sad love story about a French dreamer and his sick wife. In a conversation about the new movie, Gondry taps into the tenets of his mind, discusses bringing his visions to life, and even reconsiders the impeccable message that made Eternal Sunshine such a winning film a decade back.
When developing the more surreal elements of the film, is there a certain direction you go in visually? Were there margins you set for your aesthetic style, or do you just let your imagination run wild?
Michel Gondry: There is stuff that comes back, it’s funny that you mention the insects. I did something very close to that with the shaver in The Science of Sleep. And I was probably more or less consciously influenced by Boris Vian from a young age. It’s … just making you believe that objects can be alive, that there is not a strong difference between things [and people]. In the imaginary world, the table has four legs; I could put shoes on the legs of this table, and it is something different. So it’s how I imagine things. It’s sort of functional, it’s not really an artistic way of looking at things. So it might be messy at the end, but it doesn’t come from trying to be a type of image.
Is that just sort of how you live your day-to-day life, being an imaginative person and writer, just noticing things like that?
MG: Yeah. Things remind me of something else… or sometimes, even when you see something far in the distance, you don’t really understand what it is. So your brain tries to find an explanation. It can be the shape of a cow, or a shop window, or anything. But your brain tries to tell you what it is. In a way, my imagination takes from that. It’s like when you try to remember a dream, but it’s all messy. Sometimes you try to make sense, to make a story out of it, but it’s really hard. Your feeling tells you [that] you’ve been through a very complex and traumatic story, but then if you look at the detail, the rest of it makes no sense. I try to put that in order so it becomes something more explainable. So I do that with everything I touch.
Mood Indigo has a particularly unusual structure — the conflict comes to life very late in the film. And you can say the same for some of your other movies. Can you talk about how diverting from the norm helps you tell the stories you want to tell?
MG: I don’t know, exactly, the format… so that’s by ignorance, I guess. Some people say that there are only seven types of stories you can tell. That’s quite depressing! … In the movies, they don’t tell you exactly what kind of story it is. You decide it yourself. It’s just a story when it finishes. It’s my technique. so I don’t have the preconceived idea. Some people, maybe, say that I don’t know how to tell a story. Maybe we just on what the story is.
Drafthouse Films via Everett Collection
We got to spend a lot of time in the “happy chapter” in Mood Indigo, before the sadness sets in. Did you particularly want to immerse your viewers in this dreamlike state before we hit the hard stuff?
MG: In the French version, we had much more time on the dark side. Incidentally, when we tried to distribute in … some other countries in which Sarte’s part is a little lighter. In the first version it was much heavier. And some people felt, myself included, that it was a bit long. So I felt what I wanted, for sure – I didn’t think of balance – I wanted to start as ripe, full, inventive. A little bit shallow at the beginning to show the contrast with the really, really somber, emotional [ending]. So I didn’t see it in terms of balance, but in terms of cooperation.
Speaking of the mood, I wanted to hear you talk about the very interesting use of color in this movie.
MG: That was the first visual impression I had when I read the book. I discovered the book a long time ago, way before I ever thought I would become a film director. And it stuck with me. I though, if ever I was asked to do this adaptation I would do it this way: start in color, finish in black and white.
I feel like it’s very gradual.
MG: Yeah, it starts in the middle, when Colin is looking for a job. At this point, we lose 10 percent of the color, and then the next part is 20 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, and so on, until it’s completely black and white … We wanted to [shoot the film] in winter, and we shot in black and white. Even though it was digital, we set the camera so it was black and white. So we could not come back and change our minds. I didn’t want to give any possibility to anyone to influence me to change that.
And did you think that they would be able to?
MG: I had one bad experience on a video, where I was supposed to do it in black and white. We shot it in color for blue screen purposes, and then the producer convinced me to keep it in color. To this day I regret it. Stick to your plan!
You mentioned earlier that you had ideas for this book when you read it many years ago. Which ideas were in your head back when you first read the book, and which ones came to you as you were making the movie?
MG: I had a list of numerations in the book which I sometimes wrote down, and I wanted to present the film a little bit like a personal flashback of my first impression reading the book. I remember the ice-skating rink, the stretching guy, all the chaos … I had many impressions that stuck with me from the beginning.
Was there anything that came about during filmmaking that wasn’t among your original impressions?
MG: The characters were very transparent in the book. We needed these actors, like Romain Duris, who are emotional. In the book they are very transparent. We needed to correspond to how young people are hanging out in Paris. I couldn’t think of a French young actor who I would love to work with. So that’s why I picked these [actors].
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Like you said, the characters in this story are transparent, and in the movie can get a little wacky. Can you talk about finding the humanity and gravity in characters, and in a world, like this?
MG: A lot of [the writing process] gets in the way of directing the actor or finding right tone or finding the emotional thread. So I managed somehow, more or less, to forget all the technique. To really stick with the actors. That’s one of the most important things to do.
Was there anything specific that these actors brought to the film?
MG: Yeah. Romain did. Audrey [Tautou] had this idea that she would be – she would say “very, very, very, very!” … that sort of style. Just a detail like that. Aïssa Maïga, who played Alise, she had this idea that she had a secret in her mind: a love affair with Colin. And people add their own agenda, and their little secret carried that way enriched the character.
Sure. Like Omar Sy’s character and the money. There’s a lot of interesting side stories going on.
MG: Yeah, the money was a big issue, and it was even bigger in the book. The fact that it keeps shrinking, he had to count his money, and everything. So I sort of thought I’d diminish that in the adaptation. I thought it was a bit reductive.
You just felt like it was a little unnecessary?
MG: Yeah. Reading the book, it can really digress … [in the film it felt] a little more trivial. In fact, maybe now the money issue was it was trivial to push it so far. It was too trivial to be pushed that far.
I wanted to talk to you about the ending. The ending of the movie reminded me of the ending of your other film, Eternal Sunshine. Even if something ends sadly, it’s better to experience it. Since it can be seen as the theme to two of your movies, can you talk about what this message means to you?
MG: The idea is that if you just erase everything, then it’s like lazy eyes, it’s less intense. Every person might say there’s one specific memory that ruined all your life, maybe you should erase it. I mean, in movies it’s different. You can really enjoy a movie that’s really sad. Because it resonates with a part of your life that’s not necessarily happy. But we cry in movies… it’s one of their purposes.
You can catch Mood Indigo in theaters now!
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Rapper Snoop Dogg risked arrest by smoking weed in a bathroom at the White House.
The hip-hop star has revealed he defied the security team at the U.S. president's official residence to light up a joint during a bathroom break.
During an installment of his YouTube.com web series Double G News Network featuring an appearance by Jimmy Kimmel, the late night talk show host asked the rapper, "Have you ever smoked (weed) in the White House?"
Snoop Dogg replied, "In the bathroom... not in the White House, but in the bathroom. Cos (sic) I said, 'May I use the bathroom for a second?' and they (the security team) said, 'What do you want to do a number one or number two?' And I said 'number two'... So I said when I do a number two I usually have a cigarette or I light something to get the aroma right and they said,'You know what, you can light a piece of napkin' and I said 'I'll do that' and the napkin was this (weed)."
Singer/actress Ariana Grande is nursing a broken heart after her beloved grandfather died on Tuesday (22Jul14). The Problem hitmaker's maternal granddad was hospitalised with a mystery ailment earlier this month (Jul14), prompting the star to cancel an Independence Day (04Jul14) performance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to be by his hospital bedside in Florida.
However, his health continued to deteriorate and he passed away on Tuesday.
Grande, who had to fly to New York immediately after his death to prepare for an early morning TV appearance, took to her Twitter.com blog on Wednesday morning (23Jul14) to share her heartbreak with fans and thank them for their ongoing support.
In a series of posts, she wrote, "thank you for your continuous love & light over the past few weeks... we did lose my favorite person to ever exist yesterday, my grandpa
"if only y'all knew how amazing he was.. my (heart) hurts so much. It's beyond broken but I got to hold his hand and watch him find his peace... this is the hardest thing imaginable but I'm so grateful that I got to spend this time with him & my family. taking care of him & loving him... we thank you so much for the continuous love".
She admits she stayed up all night crying as her best friends comforted her, adding, "only reason I made this twelve hour trip (to New York) is grandps (sic) told me he wanted me to always be professional & fulfill (sic) my business commitments."
Grande also reveals her half-brother Frankie is unaware of the family death as he is currently competing on U.S. reality show Big Brother - and it was her grandfather's last wish to make sure the aspiring actor/dancer did not lose on his account.
She writes, "asked grandps last week if he wanted us to pull frankie off bb & he said 'no way! he's gotta play the game even tho (though) i don't understand it'."
Steve Irwin's teenage daughter has blasted the Crocodile Hunter star's cameraman for detailing her father's final moments in a recent Australian TV interview, insisting he was "wrong" to make the adventurer's family relive the tragedy eight years after his death. Justin Lyons opened up about the freak stingray attack which claimed Irwin's life in September, 2006 in a candid chat with presenters on morning show Studio 10 earlier this year (14), choking back tears as he recalled his pal's final words.
He said, "I was saying to him things like, 'Think of your kids, Steve'. He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, 'I'm dying'.
"It was seconds but it felt like forever. Even if we had been able to get him to an emergency ward at that moment, we probably wouldn't have been able to save him because the damage to his heart was so massive."
Bindi Irwin has since revealed she was disgusted by Lyons' decision to go ahead with the broadcast. She did not tune into the show when it aired in March (14) and has vowed never to watch the footage.
She tells America's People magazine, "It's really hurtful, and as long as I live I'll never listen to it. It's wrong as a family for us to hear about it."
Bindi's comments emerged during her first in depth interview since her father's death and she admits the pain of losing her beloved dad haunts her to this day.
She says, "I remember after we lost dad, so many adults came up to me and said, 'Honey, time heals all wounds'. That is the biggest lie you will ever hear. It doesn't. That part of you is gone forever. Time softens things, so now when I think back about dad and the amazing memories we had together, I'm happy. But that kind of sadness never goes away. It's like losing a piece of your heart that you never get back."
Charlize Theron has been called out as a rude girl by actress Tia Mowry after the Oscar winner allegedly blew her off during a recent run-in in Los Angeles. The Sister, Sister star tells In Touch magazine she was thrilled to discover the blonde beauty was at her SoulCycle spinning class - and decided to say hi, but received a less than friendly reply.
She recalls, "She wasn’t very nice to me. I said, ‘Hi', and she actually rolled her eyes and said, ‘Oh my God'.
"I wasn’t over-the-top. I know how to approach another celebrity. Charlize was just mean. I’m just being honest.”
Simon Cowell has received an apology from Tulisa Contostavlos' personal assistant who sensationally alleged the music mogul is secretly gay. The former N-Dubz singer's associate Gareth Varey was caught on tape telling an undercover journalist that he knew several men who have slept with The X Factor boss.
The footage was played to a jury in London last week (ends20Jul14) during Contostavlos' trial for brokering a cocaine deal, prompting Cowell to issue a statement denying the claim and insisting he has no reason to hide his sexuality.
Now Varey has confessed the statement was untrue and claims he was drunk and trying to impress the reporter, Mazher Mahmood.
In a statement, Varey says, "On 10 May 2013 in the course of seeking to entrap Tulisa, Mazher Mahmood supplied Tulisa, me and others with a lot of alcohol... I can no longer recall all of the details of that evening but I have listened to the recording made by Mahmood. I was clearly very drunk.
"At some point and utterly out of the blue Mahmood asked me if Simon Cowell was gay. I said he was. This is not true. I do not know why I said it, but assume it is because I was so drunk and felt that I was giving Mahmood the type of information he was seeking. I am very sorry for this."
Contostavlos was cleared of being concerned in the supply of cocaine over inconsistencies in Mahmood's evidence.
Indian actress Freida Pinto joined British Prime Minister David Cameron in London on Tuesday (22Jul14) to campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM). The Slumdog Millionaire star attended the Girl Summit, the first global conference dedicated to eradicating FGM and child marriage, two issues which plague African and Asian countries.
Pinto spoke to representatives from 50 nations in her role as ambassador for Plan International, a children's rights charity.
During the conference she said, "Every 10 seconds, one girl has been cut. No religion or culture can be used to help cushion or justify these acts. They need to go. I often think of the fear a girl faces when she is taken to the forest, pinned down and cut. I think of the fear a girl feels when she is told the man she is to marry is a little older than her father."