Clint Eastwood ‘Trouble with the Curve’ Interview – Speaks On Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake & His Career
Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood, Oscar nominee Amy Adams, and Justin Timberlake star in ‘Trouble with the Curve,’ which marks the feature film directorial debut of Eastwood’s longtime producing partner Robert Lorenz. Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) has been one of the best scouts in baseball for decades, but, despite his efforts to hide it, age is starting to catch up with him. Nevertheless, Gus—who can tell a pitch just by the crack of the bat—refuses to be benched for what could be the final innings of his career. He may not have a choice. The front office of the Atlanta Braves is starting to question his judgment, especially with the country’s hottest batting phenom on deck for the draft. The one person who might be able to help is also the one person Gus would never ask: his daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), an associate at a high-powered Atlanta law firm whose drive and ambition has put her on the fast track to becoming partner.
Mickey has never been close to her father, who was ill-equipped to be a single parent after the death of his wife. Even now, in the rare moments they share, he is too easily distracted by what Mickey assumes is his first love: the game. Against her better judgment, and over Gus’s objections, Mickey joins him on his latest scouting trip to North Carolina, jeopardizing her own career to save his. Forced to spend time together for the first time in years, each makes new discoveries—revealing long-held truths about their past and present that could change their future. The film also stars Justin Timberlake as Johnny Flanagan, a rival scout who has his sights on a career in the announcer’s booth…and has eyes for Mickey. Rounding out the main cast are John Goodman, Robert Patrick, Matthew Lillard, Scott Eastwood, and Joe Massingill. ’Trouble with the Curve’ is out now in the US and is pencilled in for a November 30th release in the UK.
What was it like for you not directing on ‘Trouble with the Curve’? It’s been nearly 20 years since you acted in a movie you didn’t direct….
Clint Eastwood: Yeah. Its been 20 years just about, 19 years. It was very refreshing because it gave me the opportunity to give Rob the opportunity to direct – which he’s always wanted to do. It gave me time to really sort of enjoy the surroundings. So when I wasn’t working on the film, on the set that day, I could relax and see what everyone else was doing. Which when you’re directing you do too, but you’re always thinking in terms of the next shot. It was refreshing though. In fact, while I was doing this I was thinking, “Why haven’t I done this more often?” (Laughs) But after ‘Gran Torino,’ which wasn’t that difficult a picture to make, I thought, “Maybe I’ll just separate the two powers for the rest of the road.”
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ centers on 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. Co-starring the likes of Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh and Mae Whitman. Stephen Chbosky writes and directs the adaptation of his own highly acclaimed young adult novel of the same name. ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ is released in cinemas today in the US and October 3rd in the UK. My interview with Emma Watson for ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ can be read here.
Working with Stephen Chbosky and the idea of having the author of the book write the screenplay and direct the film, I can imagine that was a great resource but possibly a pressure as well?
Logan Lerman: There wasn’t really a lot of pressure in developing the movie from my perspective, except for the fact that there was a lot of heavy material. And getting to understand it and to figure out the arc of the character was pretty difficult. But we had one really really valuable ally, and that was Stephen (laughs), who wrote the novel, wrote the screenplay and directed ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower.’ He was so insightful and he had every answer to every question you could possibly want from him. It was really helpful. Stephen brought real passion to the process and passion is contagious. ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ was an exhausting shoot, but sitting down and talking to Stephen every day refuelled me.
In ’Dredd,’ the future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One – a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge – a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.
During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighbourhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture- a 200 story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan’s inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound’s control center and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival. ‘Dredd’ is brought to life by the endlessly inventive mind of writer Alex Garland (28 days later, Never Let Me Go) and acclaimed director, Pete Travis (End Game, Vantage Point). Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Deobia Oparei, Wood Harris, Jason Cope and Domhnall Gleeson, ‘Dredd’ is out now in the UK and the US. My previous interview with Olivia Thirlby for the film can be read here.
What is it about the character of Judge Dredd that speaks to you?
Olivia Thirlby: There’s something really special about this character of Judge Dredd, and there’s something about this dystopian future, something about the fact that he’s this man. He’s a man not endowed with supernatural abilities, or superpowers, or super human strength, or a magical robotic suit. Dredd, he’s a man. He’s a man who’s tremendously courageous, very moral, sees the world in black and white – and he’s pretty badass (laughs). He’s kind of got that Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood thing going for him.
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ centers on 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. Co-starring the likes of Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh and Mae Whitman. Stephen Chbosky writes and directs the adaptation of his own highly acclaimed young adult novel of the same name. ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ is released in cinemas today in the US and October 3rd in the UK. My previous interview with Emma Watson for ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ can be read here.
Speaking to you before, I know the script for ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘ really grabbed you. But what was it like meeting Stephen Chbosky for the first time, the person who wrote the book, wrote the script and was going to direct the film?
Emma Watson: Yeah. I read ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘ script having not ever read the book before, and I just loved it – it made me cry, I laughed hysterically and it really really spoke to me. So I said, “I’d love to meet Stephen,” and my agent said, “The problem is, the writer who wrote the script and the book wants to direct it, he’s a first time director. How do you feel about that?” I was like, “Well, I’ll just meet him and see how it goes.” And the minute I met Stephen, any fear that I had about this being his directorial debut just kind of vanished. He knew how he wanted to shoot ever single shot of this move. He had been dreaming about making it for 10 years, he had every little thing planned down to the finest detail. And he has such passion for it, how he saw it as a movie and not just as a book – that was so inspiring.
From Tim Burton comes ‘Frankenweenie,‘ a heart-warming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life – with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous. A visually stunning black and white, stop motion animated film in 3D, the voice cast for ‘Frankenweenie’ includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder. Disney will release the film on October 5th in the US and October 17th in the UK. ‘Frankenweenie’ is the first animated film that Tim Burton has directed for Disney. The screenplay is by John August, based on an original idea by Tim Burton.
You first conceived the idea of ‘Frankenweenie’ as a full-length, stop motion animated feature in the 80s, but due to budget constraints you made a live-action short which was released in 1984. That original short film and this new full-length version must be special to you?
Tim Burton: Definitely. The originals a special film for me because it was the first live-action film that I got to make. So that is special. My background is in animation, so being able to do a live-action film working with actors and working with regular crew, that was an amazing appearance. I think your first experience doing something like that is always special to you. It’s based on my relationship I had when I was a child, my dog – which is probably your first big relationship in your life. And even though it’s revisiting something that I did a long time ago, this feels new and special. ‘Frankenweenie’ is a project that always meant something to me. And the opportunity to do it in stop motion, in black and white, 3D, and expand on it with other kids and other monsters and other characters, it just seemed like the right medium for the project.
In the futuristic action thriller ‘Looper,’ time travel will be invented – but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and also stars Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, and Jeff Daniels. ’Looper’ is released in cinemas September 28th. Look out for in-depth interviews with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Rian Johnson and Emily Blunt for ‘Looper’ next week.
‘Looper’ re-teams you with writer/director Rian Johnson, who you‘ve remained good friends with since filming ‘Brick’ almost a decade ago. How was that experience of working with a friend, and working on something I can imagine he told you the idea about a number of years ago?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Yeah. Rian and I first met nearly ten years ago. It wasn’t too long after we shot ‘Brick’ that he started telling me about his idea for ‘Looper.’ He ended up writing the lead character for me, which is the first time that’s ever happened to me as an actor, so to play that was a great honour. It’s a treat to work with a true friend, and Rian and I….it was 2003 that we shot ‘Brick,’ it didn’t come out until 2006. We’ve done even little things together before we started on ‘Looper,’ making little videos and songs all the time. For years we’ve been talking about this idea, about ‘Looper.’ And the standard for an actor in a movie is that you get the script a few months before you start shooting – which is just a different process, I’m not saying ones is better or worse, but it is out of the ordinary and really special to have this much investment in the material and have such a personal connection with the director.