November 23, 2011 4:00am EST
The Scottish hunk has been linked to a string of Hollywood beauties, including his The Bounty Hunter co-star Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz.
But Butler has ruled out dating a fellow star during filming ever again, insisting it's too easy to become infatuated with an actress while at work.
He says, "That's a dangerous path. When you're making a film with someone, you get to know them very well indeed and it's too easy to develop a sort of obsession with them that you think at the time might be love. But it isn't.
"Earlier in my career, I had a couple of relationships with co-stars and both times it was a disaster."
November 08, 2011 10:03am EST
Set in the modern world but teeming with Shakespearean dialogue and affectation, Coriolanus is actor Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut and it’s a bold and audacious freshmen effort. Though it may be somewhat inaccessible to those not familiar with the source material (one of the lesser known works from the bard), the film is strangely mesmerizing as it spills out its allegorical tale of government corruption, military power and family loyalty. Fiennes plays Caius Martius Coriolanus, the hero of Rome and a soldier that is simultaneously loved and loathed as a symbol of militaristic might and nationalistic pride, while Gerard Butler is Tullus Aufidius, his sworn enemy and the commander of the Volscian army.
As the film unfolds, the people of Rome are rioting in the streets over the withholding of grain from the ordinary citizens and they blame Coriolanus for this hunger-inducing turn of events. The titular hero is now vilified by his countrymen whom he feels are not worthy of the grain due to their lack of military service. Upon news that the Volscian army is on the march, Coriolanus leads his troops on a siege of the Volscian city of Corioles and winds up in brutal hand to hand combat with Aufidius, which is only cut short by a bomb blast that prematurely ends the fight. Upon his return to Rome he is hailed for his courage, but others in the Senate are determined to undermine and inspire a yet another revolt against him. His contempt for the idea of “popular rule” enrages him, causing his subsequent banishment from the city. Amazingly, while in exile he sets out to find Aufidius and the two become unlikely allies for a time, and eventually wind up fighting side by side as they prepare to mount an attack against Rome. Finally, Coriolanus’ mother Volumnia attempts to broker a peace that will ultimately lead to a tragic end for her son.
Coriolanus is a strange alchemy of old and new, mixing old-world language and shocking violence with a contemporary setting. With an Iambic Pentameter-laden script and a 122-minute run time, the movie gets convoluted at points and rambles on a bit longer than it should, but amazing performances from its prestigious cast including stunning turns by Vanessa Redgrave as Volumnia and Brian Cox as Menenius make this a must see for movie buffs and Shakespeare fans alike.
November 08, 2011 6:15am EST
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn pulled in $3.5 million (£2.2 million) on its second weekend of release, forcing In Time into second place with $3 million (£1.9 million).
Ben Stiller's comedy Tower Heist debuted at three with takings of $2.4 million (£1.5 million), while Johnny English Reborn and Paranormal Activity 3 rounded out the top five.
Gerard Butler's drama Machine Gun Preacher, about a former biker building an orphanage in Africa, entered the chart at number 10.
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.
November 02, 2011 6:59am EST
Joel Edgerton has thrust himself into the breach more than his share of times.
He played a warrior in Warrior. He was attacked by clones in Attack of the Clones. And though I can't really make a play on words with the title of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, you can bet that he was pretty stalwart as Metalbeak. His next seizing of the sword might very well take place in Ancient Greece: Edgerton is in talks to join the 300 sequel, Battle of Artemesia as its star player.
Edgerton's character-to-be is Themosticles, leader of the Greek army against invading Persian forces. Like the first movie, this story takes blace in 480 B.C. Pretty big year for the groundwork of the whole Greek-Persian enmity of ancient days. Smart People director Noam Murro is trying his hand at action-adventure with this sequel, while 300 director Zack Snyder is working on the script.
But, of course, the most exciting news about this project is still the potential casting of Gerard Butler.
November 01, 2011 8:54am EST
The first ten months of the year can be a mixed bag for award contenders. Maybe you'll see a few possibilities sprinkled amongst the comic book blockbusters, the joke-a-minute comedies and whatever else Hollywood has up their sleeves over January to October months, but for the most part, studios hold off to unleash their "Best Picture" challengers until late in the game.
Now that November and the holiday movie season is upon us, we can finally take a size up the competition. What we've seen, what's coming and what movies may make it to the finish line when the Oscars roll around in February. It's anyone's game…or is it?
Get ahead of your office Oscar pool with a look into the 2011 movies that are buzzing the loudest and guesses on who might take the gold!
Starring: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Release Date: January 27, 2012
The Buzz: Close first starred as the titular woman-disguised-as-a-man character back in 1982, when she nabbed the leading role in the play The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs in 1982. Now, after years of working to get the project off the ground, the cinematic adaptation is finally coming to theaters. The movie debuted at this year's Telluride Film Festival to mixed reactions, most of the compliments highlighting Close's performance.
Potential: While Albert Nobbs sports a solid cast and creative team, Close's tour-de-force realization of Nobbs may overshadow the other positive (or negative) aspects of the film. Expect the actress to land a spot in the Best Actress race this season.
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Release Date: November 23, 2011
The Buzz: Director Michel Hazanavicius is a master replicator. His films OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies and OSS 117 - Lost in Rio are pitch perfect spoofs of the Bond movies/spy genre, and his new film The Artist goes beyond mockery and captures the essence of a early 20th century silent film. Completely without dialogue, star Jean Dujardin lights up the screen in this lighthearted look at the evolving movie industry. The movie garnered rave reviews when it played at Cannes back in May, winning a Best Actor award for Dujardin, and has since picked up an Audience Award at the Hamptons International Film Fest.
Potential: Audience reactions to The Artist have been enthusiastic, while critical response has been favorable, but mellow. There's so much cinema dripping from the picture that it won't be ignored come Oscar time—Dujardin seems like a given, while Hazanavicius could slip into the Best Director race. The Artist is a definite contender for the Best Picture race.
Starring: Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly
Director: Roman Polanski
Release Date: December 16, 2011
The Buzz: Legendary director Polanski rounded up four of Hollywood's best actors for an adaptation of the Tony award-winning play God of Carange. The result is a snappy, often-hilarious emotional roller coaster that builds momentum even within its singular location. The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival where Polanski took home an award for directing. We saw the movie when it played at New York Film Festival and ate it up.
Potential: The movie might feel too theatrical for most movie-focused voters, but Polanski's style is so energetic despite the restraints that he could very well pull through to the top five. With an A-List quartet sharing equal time in the spotlight, it would be hard for any of the four to come out on top. Right now, there isn't anyone championing any specific actor, so the talent in Carnage may slip by unnoticed.
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain
Director: Ralph Fiennes
Release Date: January 13, 2012
The Buzz: Master thespian/man behind Voldemort Fiennes makes his directorial debut with this modern day adaptation of Shakespeare's war and politics. The movie opened the Berlin Film Festival, and while many of the reactions were glowing, they were hushed. The movie scored several nominations alongside some other buzzed about Oscar-possibilities at the British Independent Film Awards, indicating, perhaps, that the louder buzz for Coriolanus has yet to come.
Potential: Fiennes pulls double duty in the film—no easy task, especially with the fragile work of Shakespeare. But the existing reviews of Coriolanus praise his work on both sides of the camera, which might land him a coveted spot in both Actor and Director categories (a feat only achieved twice: first by Laurence Olivier in Hamlet, second by Roberto Begnini for Life Is Beautiful). Word on the street is that Vanessa Redgrave also delivers an award-worthy performance, so she could squeeze her way into Best Supporting Actress territory.
A Dangerous Method
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley
Director: David Cronenberg
Release Date: November 23, 2011
The Buzz: Cronenberg's inside look into the battle of intellect, science and lust between famed psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung has run the gamut of award season film festivals, including Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York. The movie's repressed nature and physically demanding performances weren't everyone's cup of tea—reviews range from "masterpiece" to "floundered drama"—but the pedigree is there. I saw the movie at the NYFF and found it riveting, but it's easy to see why some found it off-putting.
Potential: The pieces are there, but A Dangerous Method might be too odd, too introverted for mass audiences, and more importantly, award voters. It's a talky, tense film and while Fassbender, Mortensen and Knightley all deliver captivating performances, they feel emotionally distant (as they should). Fassbender and Knightley have potential as the two main leads, but the former has another movie to ride and Knightley is the antithesis of charming (again, purposefully).
may be Theron's best performance to date.
Potential: The pedigree might be there, but if Young Adult is too dark, too mean-spirited and puts all its chips on a character voters despise, it may not feel the love Juno saw a few years back. Then again, Theron won her first Oscar for playing a serial killer (Monster), proving that if the talent is there, so are the awards. Cody and Reitman both seem likely to nab respective nominations for writing and directing, but it'll all come down to response once Academy members see the film—which the studio doesn't seem to interested in making happen.
October 25, 2011 5:00am EST
The 300 actor is angry after hearing chiefs at the NHS (National Health Service) Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board are threatening to axe the kids' ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, near Glasgow.
And he has vowed to front a protest against the decision, which will see the loss of jobs and services in the local area.
He says, "I keep in touch with what's going on at home through my mother. This proposed closure is shocking and I'm happy to lend what support I can.
"Various members of my family have reasons to be thankful for ward 15. For the ward to close, and for the RAH to lose the skills and jobs that would go along with it, is a blow Paisley can do without. I am happy to support this campaign in its efforts in whatever way possible."
October 18, 2011 1:15pm EST
"He's extremely attractive, but I think he's a little too old for me." Twilight star Ashley Greene on reports suggesting she's dating Scottish actor Gerard Butler.
October 09, 2011 2:15pm EST
The Scottish star, who famously bulked up to play a Spartan warrior in 300, stunned film fans recently by sporting a slender new look to portray surfing icon Rick 'Frosty' Hesson in new film Mavericks - but Butler admits he had another motive to drop the weight.
He tells CNN talk show host Piers Morgan, "I saw those photos and that changed me. I changed my life actually. I was on holiday with a buddy down in Barbados... I was taking some time off and I was eating more and more and I kept thinking I should be careful.
"I was getting in the water and I looked over and I saw a boat in the distance (with photographers on), and I thought 'Oh no'. Even I didn't realise how awful it was going to look. In truth, it didn't look great, it didn't kill me... it did lead me to be a little more (aware) of what I was eating."
October 09, 2011 2:15pm EST
"It was a very sad moment for me at that point, because I don't come from a family of lawyers, it was a big deal that I was going to law school. And then my mom... (was) very proud, 'my boy's going to be a lawyer'. And then one week before qualifying I had to call her and say I've just been fired." Gerard Butler on deciding against becoming a lawyer.