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. My previous interview with Tim Burton for ‘Frankenweenie’ can be read here, while my Winona Ryder interview for the film can be read here.
Is it safe to say that ‘Frankenweenie’ has been in development for 30 years….?
Tim Burton: (Laughs) Yeah, I guess you could put it that way. I never quite thought of it in that way (laughs), but in some ways that’s true. The ‘Frankenweenie’ short film is very special to me, and the opportunity to go back to the original drawings, and then to do stop-motion, black and white, 3D, thinking about all of the other characters, the kids, the monsters, it just made this ‘Frankenweenie’ feel like a whole new project.
Based on true events, Ben Affleck’s dramatic thriller ‘Argo’ chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis – the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA “exfiltration” specialist named Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. Affleck directs the film and stars in it alongside Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, Zeljko Ivanek, Richard Kind, Scoot McNairy, Chris Messina, Michael Parks and Taylor Schilling. ‘Argo’ is set for release October 12th
What was it about the ‘Argo’ script and story that grabbed you?
Bryan Cranston: What’s really great about ‘Argo,’ although it’s steeped in espionage and bureaucracy at the highest level – with foreign relations, politics…. truly when you get down to it, it’s about the human experience. And ‘Argo,’ it’s about what lengths others will go to save the lives of others. There are things that you respond to immediately, viscerally, and ‘Argo’ was definitely one of those. It was tense and dramatic and engrossing, and every time I read it, I got charged up again. Opportunities to be a part of something like this don’t come along often, so I’m very glad I am.
From Oscar-winning writer and director Martin McDonagh comes a star-studded, blood-drenched, black comedy. Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay Seven Psychopaths. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Billy (Sam Rockwell) is Marty’s best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. Hans (Christopher Walken) is Billy’s partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past. Charlie is the psychopathetic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie’s unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn’t think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale. Alongside Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken, ‘Seven Psychopaths’ stars Woody Harrelson, Olga Kurylenko, Abbie Cornish, Kevin Corrigan, Zeljko Ivanek, Tom Waits and Gabourey Sidibe. The film is set for release October 12th in the US and December 7th in the UK. Look out for a more in-depth interview with Colin Farrell and Sam Rockwell for ‘Seven Psychopaths’ next week.
How did this project come about for you, was it an idea Martin McDonagh told you about when you were making ‘In Bruges’?
Colin Farrell: Yeah. When we were shooting ‘In Bruges’ Martin alluded to this script ‘Seven Psychopaths’ by letting me know that ‘In Bruges’ was actually a rehearsal to see if he liked shooting movies, that he had a real script that he wanted to shoot – which was much better than ‘In Bruges,’ and that was this one. So before I even read ‘Seven Psychopaths’ I was….he’s just a brilliant writer, lets just call a spade a spade (laughs). It being the second film I’ve done with him, there’s definitely a shorthand, which is nice to experience.
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. This interview is a compilation of these three individual interviews for the film: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt. My interview with Rian Johnson for ‘Looper’ will be posted tomorrow.
Joseph, ‘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.
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. My interview with Tim Burton for ‘Frankenweenie’ can be read here.
Speaking to Tim Burton, he said he really wanted to work with people he hadn’t worked with in a while on ‘Frankenweenie,’ people that he loved. You two in particular have a great background….
Winona Ryder: Yeah. I’ve known Tim Burton for 25 years, and I credit him with my career – I really mean that. I don’t know if….acting was sort of an accident for me, I wasn’t going on auditions and trying to be an actor. I was actually sort of discovered in San Francisco and I’d done only two movies, small parts, and I remember my parents were very picky (laughs) – because we had to drive from Northern California for ‘Beetlejuice,’ it was like 9 hours to get there, and I remember very well when I first met Tim. I was sitting, waiting to meet him and this guy came in and started talking, talking about movies and music and 25 minutes later I was like, “When is this Tim Burton guy coming?” And he was like, “That’s me!” And I was like, “OH….” (Laughs) I had no idea that a director could actually be so cool and I could easily hang out with them, you know?
Justin Timberlake Interview For ‘Trouble with the Curve’ – Speaks On Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, 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. My interview with Clint Eastwood for the film can be read here.
The opportunity to work with Clint Eastwood, who’s kind of a father-figure/mentor role to your character in ‘Trouble with the Curve,’ what was that like for you?
Justin Timberlake: I mean, it’s one of those kind of things that if you were to say it to me two years ago I would have just laughed at you. There’s not a descriptive word for it, and to be with him and to see someone who’s had such an iconic career, but who is still so excited to be there, so collaborative, so supportive, and having so much fun with the cast – that’s awesome. He was continually keeping it fun and light, and then you throw somebody like Amy Adams in the mix with Clint Eastwood, it’s great. I’m a huge admirer of Amy as well, and in doing ‘Trouble with the Curve’ I became great friends with her. They’re just two amazing people, and I think that’s why they’re such great actors as well.