The devilishly handsome lead on CBS' new crime drama Golden Boy may have the chiseled face of a Franco brother (as in James or Dave Franco), but he's actually British actor Theo James... though you wouldn't be the first to be confused.
James spoke with Hollywood.com to preview his new CBS show, and admitted that he was once approached by a paparazzo who thought he was the most eccentric Franco brother: "It was fun to be human and to wave and be like, 'What’s up, man?', but [the paparazzo] was like 'Where are you going?' And I said, 'Um, we’re going for some food, why are you filming me?' And he stopped and you could see he was like 'Oh s**t.' He thought I was f**king James Franco," he says with a laugh. But luckily for the newest CBS star, he hasn't had that issue recently. "Maybe it’s because I changed my haircut and started doing press-ups," he jokes.
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But you may recognize James (Theo, not Franco) as a rather memorable guest star on Downton Abbey. Before he snagged the lead in Golden Boy, he played Mr. Pamuk, the man who stole Lady Mary's good name by seducing her and dying in her post-coital arms. Now, he's come back to life as Walter Clark, Jr., a young cop promoted to the illustrious homicide department (the big leagues) after becoming a New York City hero. James gave a little background on the series, which manages to play by new rules in CBS' never-ending crime drama landscape.
"It is very different, because it's character-driven and the cases are secondary," says James. "It's about [the six characters and] their families, their lives, their affairs, their backgrounds, the mistakes they make, people they f**ked over." Rather than sticking to CBS' "case of the week" bread and butter, Golden Boy plays with the timeline a bit, bringing in various cases for varying amounts of time and often connecting them to people in Clark and his fellow cops' lives.
But it's not just the way the series works out each episode that sets the show apart. James is proud of his "flawed" young character. "He’s very intuitive, he’s very aggressive, sometimes too much, and he’s arrogant," he says.
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What's more is the series doesn't just follow modern day Clark; we also meet future Police Commissioner Clark, who, at age 34, is the youngest police commissioner in New York history. "[The 34-year-old Clark] is more of a broken person, so there’s a big juxtaposition [to young Clark] in that way … you want to find out all that he’s lost and the damage that’s been done on the way to this pivotal point where he’s the police commissioner," he says. Of course, there is one tie between young Clark and older Clark, because his arrogance hasn't waned with age: "I like the idea that Clark is going for the senate, if not ultimately president, baby," says James.
Of course, the thing we all want to know is: What about the handsome young officer's love life? With an attractive hot shot like Walter, there have to be some babes in tow. "He’s a smart guy himself so naturally he’s kind of attracted to smart, complex women," he says. And boy, are there some smart, complex women for Walter. "There’s the reporter and obviously the D.A. … he has a history of not opening up, and then he manages to start kind of showing a little bit of color with [the reporter]," he adds.
But it gets juicier. James says a love triangle could be in his character's future, teasing that Walter's rival Arroyo (True Blood's Kevin Alejandro) could provide a romantic roadblock. "The triangle will definitely be explored, especially because of the dynamic between Arroyo and Walter and that just makes it even more interesting, all of the implications of their jealousy and pride and ownership and all those things," he says.
The series wastes no time in getting to the complexities of Clark's life, and it all begins Tuesday night at 10 P.M. ET on CBS.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden/CBS]
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The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.