Set in the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.
Starring the likes of Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Joseph Gilgun, Paddy Considine, George MacKay, Ben Schnetzer, Sophie Evans, Jessie Cave, Freddie Fox, Faye Marsay, Adrian Palmer, Lasco Atkins and Shane Salter, ‘Pride’ opens in the UK and Ireland today (September 12th) and in the US on September 26th. The film is directed by Matthew Warchus
I can imagine that ‘Pride’ appealed to you on a number of levels: it’s an incredible true story, it’s hilarious, there’s great characters, and then there’s also the theme of social justice, Thatcher-era community activism, a look at trade union struggles and LGBT politics in Britain…?
Bill Nighy: You’re exactly right. If anything was ever a no brainer, this was it. The script came through the door, kind of unannounced. I read it cold and it made me laugh from start to finish. I laughed throughout. Good scripts are rare, and funny scripts are almost never. Also, even after I’d read it a number of times and I was studying it, I never got through it without crying at some point. It was one of the best scripts I’ve read in my life, and I really mean that. I was desperate to be in it and I loved playing this part. The two main themes are very close to my heart. If you were asked by your grandchildren, “What developments in your lifetime made you most proud to be around for?”, one of them would be the emancipation of gay men and women in my lifetime, and the other would be the civil rights movement in America.
‘The Drop’ is a crime drama from Michaël R. Roskam, the Academy Award-nominated director of ‘Bullhead.’ Based on a screenplay from Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone), ‘The Drop’ follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters – “money drops” – in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost. The film, set for September 12th in the US and a November 14th bow in the UK and Ireland, also stars Noomi Rapace, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz and James Frecheville.
Your character Bob is the emotional center of the film, yet he demonstrates little overt emotion himself – so much of what is going on with him is under the surface. On his best day, Bob is not a terribly articulate guy, which is compounded by the fact that he has pushed everything down deep inside. What was it about Bob that intrigued you and sparked your interest?
Tom Hardy: I’m always fascinated by characters that don’t get the opportunity to speak their voice. I find that the most interesting characters are normally hidden under rocks and pushed into small corners of society where they don’t often have their voice heard. I like to look into characters that don’t normally get looked into. He’s unassuming and therefore underestimated. You never see him coming. The guy’s an Everyman with a big heart and a long story that he would never burden you with, because he prefers silence. He leads an ordinary life. And Michaël R. Roskam is a great bloke and a fantastic director. For an actor, he creates an environment that allows you to develop and facilitate the character and story by encouraging specificity and volition. The best idea always wins with Michaël. He wants to make great films with great characters and he delivers.
‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ stars an ensemble cast including returning cast members Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Jude Ciccolella, Powers Boothe, Mickey Rourke, and Bruce Willis. Newcomers to the series include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Jamie Chung, Dennis Haysbert, Marton Csokas, Christopher Lloyd, Julia Garner, Juno Temple, Ray Liotta, Stacy Keach, Christopher Meloni, Alexa PenaVega, Lady Gaga, Jeremy Piven and Crystal McCahill. Co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, the script is written by Miller, and is primarily based on the second book in the ‘Sin City’ series by Miller. The film arrives on August 22nd in the US and August 25th in the UK (August 22nd in London).
Eva, your character Ava Lord is sort of the classic femme fatale. And I can imagine she was a lot of fun to play, especially considering how many facets there are to her and the various fronts she puts on for different people?
Eva Green: Definitely. It’s such a multi-dimensional role. Ava is like an enchantress, a siren, she casts spells over men. She can read men’s minds and she can become whatever they want her to be. With Josh Brolin’s Dwight, it’s very interesting because there’s a true connection – he’s different from other men. He’s probably the only man she ever loved. But the thing with Ava, she’s sort of caught up with her own demons. And like you said, Ava has so many facets… she can be a damsel in distress for Dwight, with Manute she’s a goddess and with Mort, she’s the sexy kitten. As an actor, it’s great because you can show so many colors.
Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller’s visually stunning ‘Sin City’ graphic novels back to the screen in ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.’ Weaving together two of Miller’s classic stories with new tales, the town’s most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more notorious inhabitants. ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ is the follow up to Rodriguez and Miller’s 2005 groundbreaking film, ‘Sin City.’
The main cast for Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s long awaited sequel includes the original ‘Sin City’ cast members: Mickey Rourke as Marv, Jessica Alba as Nancy, Bruce Willis as Hartigan, Rosario Dawson as Gail and Jaime King as Goldie/Wendy. New cast members for the neo-noir crime action thriller include: Eva Green as Ava Lord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny, Dennis Haysbert as Manute, Christopher Meloni as Mort, Jeremy Piven as Bob, Stacy Keach as Wallenquist, Jamie Chung as Miho, Ray Liotta as Joey, Juno Temple as Sally, Julia Garner as Marcy, and Josh Brolin as Dwight. The film arrives on August 22nd in the US and August 25th in the UK (August 22nd in London).
One of the new stories in this film, “The Long, Bad Night,” features your character Johnny, a young, cocky gambler. And unlike any story in the first movie, Frank Miller wrote “A Long, Bad Night” and Johnny distinctly for this film, without any preexisting graphic novel. What was is it like to collaborate with Miller and Robert Rodriguez on the development of his character.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I absolutely love that. The character of Johnny, who’s not any of the books, has sort of been a collaborative creation. I mean, it was written in the script but there weren’t any drawings and so it didn’t have as much specificity as really all the other characters in this world. So Frank was re-writing as we were going, and it’s sort of an actor’s dream to be working with filmmakers who are so collaborative and so open and eager to incorporate my creative contributions into the movie. And Johnny’s an interesting character. Johnny loves a game fo chance. He’s good with the cards and the coins. His “sin” is gambling, although there’s a lot of other “sin” that comes into play on this long, bad night (laughs).
‘The Giver’ tells the coming-of-age story of Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man raised in a seemingly Utopian world where everyone appears to be happy. This sense of harmony is created by a strictly engineered existence where the community is deprived of the so-called burden of memories. They have no notion of suffering, hunger, or violence. On the other hand, there’s no freedom, no choice and no individuality. Being treated with a regimented daily injection, the humans are genetically designed not to feel emotion or see color, and the scientifically-controlled environment prevents any visual distinctiveness that may stimulate sensation and alter the order of their seemingly utopian world. They live in sameness: identical homes, identical clothes, and an identical family structure. Family units in this unusual society each consist of a husband, a wife, and two children: one male and one female who are born to designated “birthmothers.”
Apart from a bright intelligence, and integrity, there is something slightly ‘different’ and exceptional about Jonas. At the Ceremony where youth is assigned their vocations, the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) selects Jonas to inherit the position of the community’s Receiver of Memories. In this, most-honored position in the community, he will become the keeper of ancient memories before the time of ‘Sameness’. Jonas enters into training with the current Receiver of Memories, known as the Giver (Jeff Bridges). The old man is kind, but weary as he carries the burden of memory. Co-starring the likes of Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard, Odeya Rush and Taylor Swift, ‘The Giver’ lands in US cinemas on August 15th (expect news on a UK release shortly). Directed by Phillip Noyce, the film is based on Lois Lowry’s classic novel of the same name.
This film represents the fulfillment of an 18 year-long dream for you. Can you talk a little about your history with the film and what has kept you attached to it after all this time ?
Jeff bridges: Sure. My daughters read the book, but before I had known that they had read the book I was looking for some material to direct my father in, Lloyd Bridges. And I wanted to do something that my kids could watch at the time, and I was looking through a catalog of children books and I came across this wonderful cover of a book, with this old, kind of grizzled kind of guy on the cover and thought, “Oh yeah, my dad can play that guy!” And so I got that book and read it and just fell in love with the story…. I was expecting it to be children’s book, but I really got it on an adult level that worked so well. I thought, “This will be a terrific thing for my father to be involved in.” It has a magical quality to it and I thought it would be an easy book to get made, but I was proven wrong (laughs). Even though it was taught in schools and over 10 million copies had been sold, it was also on the banned books list – which excited me, I like that sort of stuff (laughs). So it was quite controversial and it took all these years to get it made.
In ‘The Expendables 3,’ Barney (Sylvester Stallone), Christmas (Jason Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables — but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet. Opening in cinemas on August 14th, ‘The Expendables 3′ stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell and Kelsey Grammar. Patrick Hughes (Red Hill) directs.
I can imagine coordinating the schedules of a cast that included Terry Crews, Jet Li and Jason Statham as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes was a massive undertaking? How difficult was that, and what is like balancing the personalities and characters in the story when you have an ensemble cast like this?
Sylvester Stallone: To have a cast like this is unprecedented. The effort to bring everyone together was herculean and it has paid off in a huge way. To get them all together for one movie is nothing less than miraculous (laughs). And this one I think we got the tone just right, especially with the humor. Plus, there’s not so much “wink wink, we’re being retro”. It’s happening right now and we bring in the young people to keep it fresh. Also, the story is more identifiable in that I think we’ve all been betrayed by somebody. We also have better actors, we’ve got Harrison Ford in it, Wesley Snipes is absolutely fantastic, Antonio Banderas bring so much humor and flair, Kelsey Grammar… these incredible actors.
When I was working with Harrison Ford for example, he’s minimalist. So, I thought initially that I’d just eaten him up on-screen. But then I saw the dailies and I thought, “You were just swallowed, Sly.” (Laughs) He’s good, he’s very, very, very good. I appreciate them coming on board and I think we have eons to go. There are so many other actors who could come into this. We have so many opportunities now because it’s not just athletic actors, there’s an opportunity now for real actors to add different things. We can advance this more and more.