‘Need For Speed’ centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey’s shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, and sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out west. Directed by Scott Waugh and also starring Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek, Michael Keaton, Dakota Johnson and Harrison Gilbertson, ‘Need for Speed’ is set for a March 14th release.
Can you recall your first reaction to the script, and also Scott Waugh’s pitch to you about playing Tobey?
Aaron Paul: It was such a fun ride when I read the script. I was blown away by the story, the characters and I was instantly invested in it. And then the idea of jumping behind the wheel of all of these cars and driving around the country, very fast, that was exciting to me. Then when I got on the phone to Scott and I heard his vision…. he wanted to do a throwback to the classic films that really started this genre, like ‘Bullet’ and ‘Vanishing Point’ and ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’ All those films that did those stunts, nothing was CGI – there’s no CGI or green screen. So the fact that he wanted to do all of that for real, with this script…. because in the script crazy stuff happens (laughs), I was down. I liked that it was kind of a throwback to the classic car culture.
Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel ‘Xerxes,’ and told in the striking visual style of the blockbuster ’300,’ this new chapter of the saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield – on the sea – as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. ’300: Rise of an Empire’ pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemesia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy. Penciled in for a March 7th release, ’300: Rise of an Empire’ stars Sullivan Stapleton as Themistokles, Eva Green as Artemisia, Jack O’Connell as Calisto, Hans Matheson as Aesyklos, Callan Mulvey as Scyllias, Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo, David Wenham as Dilios, and Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes.
What was it about your characters that you particularity latched onto?
Jack O’Connell: For me, my characters father, played by Callun, is pretty high ranking in terms of the whole army set up at that time. I think that crafted a lot of my characters aspirations as a kid, looking up to this glorified, warlord figure. To give you an idea of my character in relation to that, I don’t think he’s the typical naive boy, that’s stupid enough to expect he’ll become his father, he wants to take the opportunity as early as he can to work and earn that kind of respect as well as opposed to just finding it. And that element of the character fascinated me, I think Scyllias done a good job raising Calisto.
Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel ‘Xerxes,’ and told in the striking visual style of the blockbuster ‘300,’ this new chapter of the saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield – on the sea – as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemesia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy. Penciled in for a March 7th release, ’300: Rise of an Empire’ stars Sullivan Stapleton as Themistokles, Eva Green as Artemisia, Jack O’Connell as Calisto, Hans Matheson as Aesyklos, Callan Mulvey as Scyllias, Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo, David Wenham as Dilios, and Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes.
For me, Artemisia is one of the most memorable villains I’ve seen in a very long time. She’s a bit nuts…..?
Eva Green: Just a bit (laughs)!? She’s the baddie. I love playing evil characters, you know? It’s always more interesting, and especially those villains who are complex and have a reason to behave in such a way. Artemisia is very ballsy, she’s very tough, she’s fearless, and we find out through the film that her whole family got killed by mutinous Greek soldiers. That tragedy explains her obsessive need for revenge and hatred towards the Greeks. But honestly, she’s just… mental. She finds jubilation in killing people. She has no conscience and she can’t tolerate incompetence, and anybody who doesn’t follow her orders, she just snaps, “Off with his head!”
Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in ‘Gravity,’ a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. In the film, Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney) in command. But on a seemingly routine mission, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space. Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuarón directs from a script he co-wrote with his son Jonas. ‘Gravity’ is nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Cuarón and Best Actress for Bullock. The Academy Awards take place this coming Sunday, March 2nd.
Sandra, watching ‘Gravity,’ I can imagine that this was one of the most challenging roles you’ve ever played, on multiple levels: emotionally, physically, detail wise….?
Sandra Bullock: Definitely. Physically I knew that I could get there, but I had no idea how I was going to execute what I wanted to give to Alfonso – who’s someone I had always dreamed about working with. I just didn’t know I was going to be able to step up and give him what he needed because the whole environment was new. I didn’t have my crutches and tools in people, other actors. When George Clooney was there it was like the sunshine was there and life walked into the room. When he left it was like the tomb had shut again (laughs). On a daily basis I was hoping I was giving Alfonso what he needed and deserved.
During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the government to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes. ‘Non-Stop,’ which reunites Neeson with ‘Unknown’ director Jaume Collet-Serra and producer Joel Silver, co-stars the likes of Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Scoot McNairy, Nate Parker, Anson Mount, Michelle Dockery, and Corey Stoll. The film is in cinemas from February 28th.
What was it about this story and your character that interested you. I really liked the fact that Bill Marks is a flawed man who has to earn the trust of the passengers and the audience at the same time….
Liam Neeson: That was one of the main things, I really liked that. I was thrilled when Joel Silver (producer) called me up about this. I literally couldn’t stop turning the pages. When we see Bill in the start of the film, he’s a guy on the edge and someone you don’t want to sit beside on a long-haul flight. The finger of suspicion points to him for quite a period. But I was drawn to him because in a very basic, cinematic, iconic-figure way, he fits that mold of someone who does what he has to do to save the day. He’s an everyday guy who rises to the challenge.
Matthew McConaughey stars in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ as real-life Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof, whose free-wheeling life was overturned in 1985 when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. These were the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and the U.S. was divided over how to combat the virus. Ron, now shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, and bereft of government-approved effective medicines, decided to take matters in his own hands, tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Bypassing the establishment, the entrepreneurial Woodroof joined forces with an unlikely band of renegades and outcasts – who he once would have shunned – and established a hugely successful “buyers’ club.” Their shared struggle for dignity and acceptance is a uniquely American story of the transformative power of resilience. The Jean-Marc Vallée directed film also stars Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, Denis O’Hare, and Bradford Cox. McConaughey’s performance in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ earned him the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actor – Drama” and an Academy Award nomination for “Best Actor”. The Academy Awards take place this coming Sunday, March 2nd.
When you first read the screenplay, what was it about Ron that immediately appealed to you and made you want to play him?
Matthew McConaughey: Well, he was a great anti-hero. A great anti-hero who… what I enjoy about an anti-hero is you don’t have to abide by societies laws – they’re actually outside of the law and butt the governor on the face, they butt parental guidance on the face. They do things their own way and that means while they are the rule breakers, they make up their own rules, they are usually on the run from something or ducking and diving from something, and they have to live a little on the outskirts of society, or go right up the middle – which Ron does. He goes right up the middle, he sells memberships not drugs, he used the system, a loophole in the system to beat the system – I love that (laughs). The screenplay bled off the page. It was just incredibly human, with no sentimentality. I’d never read a script that tackled the issue from this point of view. Ron was an American original. He shook the tree. He made noise. I said, “I want to get this made, get Ron’s story told.”