‘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.
Three dumb guys who think they’re smart rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays the enforcer hired to track them down and restore order. ‘Killing Them Softly’ also features Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and Vincent Curatola. Max Casella, Trevor Long, Slaine and Sam Shepard also make appearances. ‘Killing Them Softly’ is written for the screen and directed by Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), and is based on the George V. Higgins novel, “Cogan’s Trade.” Arriving in UK cinemas this Friday, ‘Killing Them Softly’ is released in the US on November 30th. This interview is a re-post from the time of the films May world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Look out for new ‘Killing Them Softly’ interviews in November.
What was it about ‘Killing Them Softly’ that interested you in starring and co-producing the film? Also, as a producer, is there something in particular you look for in a story?
Brad Pitt: First and foremost, Dede Gardner (producing partner) and I have focused on films that might have a difficult time in getting made, and help them get made. To get behind filmmakers like Andrew Dominik who we believe very strongly in, and have great admiration for. That would be the first impetus. But we are also looking for stories that say something about our time and who we are. I certainly felt upon reading this that this was making those comments, a commentary. We were certainly at the apex of the Mortgage loans debacle, people were losing homes right and left. It was at the forefront of the newspapers, as the economy still is. But this commentary and the way it’s done in this film where you believe you’re watching a gangster film, or I felt like I was reading a gangster film, and then it wasn’t until the end when it coalesced for me as far as maybe what direction the film is pointing to overall. That this microcosm actually was saying something about the greater, the macro world.
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’ over the next two weeks.
The trouble for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Joe comes when he “lets his loop run,” in the form of your older Joe….
Bruce Willis: Yeah. Letting your loop run means that you’ve shown up to work, your older self has appeared in front of you, and – for whatever reason – you’ve let your older self escape. It doesn’t happen often, because if all goes correctly, your older self should have a sack over his head and be gagged and tied. You should just shoot him without knowing what you’re doing. But my character shows up in front of his younger self untied and no sack over his head. I get the drop on him and escape.
Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her. Based on a true story, ‘The Impossible’ is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, ‘The Impossible’ is a journey to the core of the human heart. Marking the English-language debut of director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), ‘The Impossible’ arrives in cinemas December 21st in the US and January 4th in the UK.
What was your initial reaction when you read the script for ‘The Impossible’….?
Ewan McGregor: I wanted to be involved with ‘The Impossible’ because of the script, I liked it very much. And the script, for me that’s the first box you have to tick, regardless of who’s going to be in the movie or who’s directing it. I think if the script is not really good, it’s harder to make a really good film out of that. And with ‘The Impossible,’ there was something very honest and true about it, and a simplicity, in a way that made it very brutal and very vivid. And then I liked Juan Antonio Bayona’s film ‘The Orphanage’ very much so I was interested to meet him and work with him. And to get to work with Naomi Watts again, because I made a film with her some years ago, it’s always nice to work with somebody you’ve enjoyed with working before. We knew each other and have a nice easy way, hopefully that came across on screen. We are both parents and we tried to make this couple seem real, not like a movie family.