Actor Danny Trejo was born to play Machete!
The ex-convict turned accomplished Hollywood actor first appeared as his signature character Machete Cortez during a fake trailer featured in the 2007 Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino film Grindhouse. The appearance was so popular that it spawned the 2010 feature length movie Machete, which once again starred Trejo in the title role and was directed by Rodriguez. The film also featured an all-star cast that included two-time Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro (The Godfather: Part II, Raging Bull), Jessica Alba (Escape from Planet Earth), Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil: Retribution), Cheech Marin (The Lion King), Jeff Fahey (TV’s Lost), Don Johnson (TV’s Miami Vice), Steven Segal (Out for Justice), and Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls). Now, Trejo and Rodriguez are back with the promised sequel - Machete Kills, which opens in theaters on October 11th.
In the highly anticipated Machete Kills, the U.S. government recruits Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) to battle his way through Mexico in order to take down an arms dealer (Mel Gibson) who looks to launch a weapon into space. In addition to Trejo and Gibson, the sequel once again features an all-star cast that includes returning cast members Michelle Rodriguez, and Jessica Alba, as well as Demian Bichir (The Heat), Amber Heard (Paranoia), Sofia Vergara (The Three Stooges), Vanessa Hudgens (The Frozen Ground), Alexa Vega (Spy Kids), Walton Goggins (Django Unchained), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Antonio Banderas (Haywire), William Sadler (Iron Man 3), pop music icon Lady Gaga, and introduces Carlos Estevez (A.K.A. Charlie Sheen).
I recently had a chance to speak with the great Danny Trejo about Machete Kills, as well as his upcoming film Dead in Tombstone, which will be available on Blu-ray/DVD beginning October 11th. While we will run my conversation with Trejo about Dead in Tombstone closer to its street date, I wanted to share with you now what Trejo had to say about Machete Kills. The iconic actor discussed his new sequel, reuniting with his friend and second cousin director Robert Rodriguez, this new actor named Carlos Estevez, having a sword fight with Mel Gibson, what Machete fans can expect from Machete Kills, and the possibility of a third film entitled Machete Kills Again … In Space!
Barkhad Abdi has won the Hollywood lottery!
Born in Somalia, Abdi moved to the Minneapolis area as a youngster and a few years ago decided to attend an open casting call for a Tom Hanks movie along with three of his childhood friends. To their surprise … they were actually cast in the movie! Now, Abdi and his pals (Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, and Mahat M. Ali) can be seen starring opposite two-time Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) in the new Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93) film Captain Phillips, which opens in theaters on October 11th.
Captain Phillips is based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, which was the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. In the film, Abdi plays Muse, the leader of the Somali pirates who forges a reluctant and strange relationship with Phillips during the ordeal. Abdi’s real-life friends, Abdirahman, Ahmed, and Ali, play Muse’s pirate cohorts. The screenplay was written by Billy Ray (The Hunger Games), and based on Phillips' book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea.”
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Barkhad Abdi to talk about his work on Captain Phillips. The young actor discussed his new movie, the incredible story of how he got the role, acting with his friends, the strange relationship between Muse and Phillips, meeting Tom Hanks, working with director Paul Greengrass, and if he would like to continue making Hollywood movies.
Opening in theaters on October 11th is the latest big screen adaption of William Shakespeare's classic play Romeo & Juliet, which was directed by Carlo Carlei (The Last Legion) and based on a screenplay by Julian Fellowes (TV's Downton Abbey). The film stars an excellent cast of young and veteran actors that includes Academy Award-nominee Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) as Juliet, and Douglas Booth (Worried About the Boy) as Romeo, as well as Damian Lewis (The Sweeney), Paul Giamatti (All Is Bright), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road), Ed Westwick (J. Edgar), Lesley Manville (Another Year), Natascha McElhone (Ronin), and Stellan Skarsgard (Thor).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Julian Fellowes to talk about his work on Romeo & Juliet. The popular screenwriter discussed his new movie, the challenges of adapting William Shakespeare's classic play to the big screen, collaborating with director Carlo Carlei, and casting actors Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld in the title roles.
Opening in theaters on October 11th is the new drama The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete from director George Tillman Jr. The film was produced and composed by Grammy Award-winner Alicia Keys and features an excellent cast that includes Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Jeffrey Wright (Broken City), Jordin Sparks (Sparkle), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (The Thing), Anthony Mackie (Pain & Gain), and newcomers Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon.
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Jordin Sparks to talk about her work on The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete. The talented singer/actress discussed her new film, her initial reaction to the script, working with young actor Skylan Brooks, reuniting with fellow American Idol alumni Jennifer Hudson, and her admiration for producer Alicia Keys.
Actor Tom Felton practically grew up in front of a camera!
Felton first appeared in the film Anna and the Kind with Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster, but it was his role as Draco Malfoy in all eight Harry Potter films that made him an international star. Since the Potter series ended, he has portrayed several different types of roles in films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and The Apparition, and shows no signs of being pigeon holed into one specific type of role. His latest project is a TV series called Full Circle, which premieres on DIRECTV October 9th, and was written and created by director and playwright Neil LaBute (Death at a Funeral).
The project is quite unique in that each episode takes place at a restaurant and only features two actors at a table talking. Each following episode will include one of the actors from the previous episode, and also introduce a new character. Felton appears in the first and final episodes as Tim Abbott, a British student studying in the U.S. who has had an affair with Bridgette Murphy, the trophy wife (Minka Kelly) of a family friend (Julian McMahon) he has been living with. The first episode features Tim confessing his love to Bridgette, only for her to admit that she has made a mistake and is staying with her husband.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Felton about his work on Full Circle. The popular actor discussed his new project, why he wanted to be a part of it, reciting Neil LaBute’s words, why the series is like shooting a play, working with Minka Kelly, the difficulties of creating a full character arc in only two episodes, DirectTV, how television is changing, and finding good roles in his post-Harry Potter career.
Alan Rickman is considered by many to be one of the best actors of his generation and he has been entertaining audience on stage and screen for almost 35 years.
Rickman first gained attention in the United States for his iconic role as terrorist Hans Gruber opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard. He would go on to star in such popular films as The January Man, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Sense and Sensibility, Michael Collins, Galaxy Quest, Bottle Shock, and Love Actually, but it was his role as Severus Snape in all eight of the Harry Potter films that made him a household name for a whole new generation of film goers. Recently Rickman took on another iconic role by playing beloved President Ronald Reagan in Lee Daniel’s The Butler. Now he can be seen once again portraying a real life person as seminal ‘70s club owner Hilly Kristal in the new film CBGB, which opens in New York and Los Angeles on October 11th.
CBGB was directed by Randall Miller (Bottle Shock), and co-written by Miller and wife Jody Savin. The film takes a look at the New York City punk-rock scene of the ‘1970s through the eyes of CBGB club owner Hilly Kristal (Rickman). In addition to Rickman, the movie features an all-star cast that includes Ashley Greene (The Apparition), Donal Logue (Shark Night 3D), Johnny Galecki (TV's The Big Bang Theory), Stana Katic (TV's Castle), Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror), Ryan Hurst (Remember the Titans), and Bradley Whitford (The Cabin in the Woods), as well as Malin Akerman (Watchmen) as Debbie Harry, Rupert Grint (Harry Potter series) and Justin Bartha (The Hangover Part III) as The Dead Boys, Kyle Gallner (A Nightmare on Elm Street) as Lou Reed, Joel David Moore (Avatar) as Joey Ramone, and Mickey Summer (Frances Ha) as Patti Smith, Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) as Iggy Pop, and newcomer Keene McRae as Sting.
I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the legendary Alan Rickman about his work on CBGB. The iconic English actor discussed his new movie, its comedic tone, filmmakers Randall Miller and Jody Savin, his prior knowledge of CBGB, researching the life of Hilly Kristal, what Hilly saw in punk rock music, reuniting with his Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint, Hilly’s relationship with daughter Lisa, working with Donal Logue, and how Miller tried to fool Rickman into believing that American born Keene McRae was really English.
Opening in theaters on October 11th is the latest big screen adaption of William Shakespeare's classic play Romeo & Juliet, which was directed by Carlo Carlei (The Last Legion) and based on a screenplay by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey). The film stars an excellent cast of young and veteran actors that includes Academy Award-nominee Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) as Juliet, and Douglas Booth (Worried About the Boy) as Romeo, as well as Damian Lewis (The Sweeney), Paul Giamatti (All Is Bright), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road), Ed Westwick (J. Edgar), Lesley Manville (Another Year), Natascha McElhone (Ronin), and Stellan Skarsgard (Thor).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld to talk about their work on Romeo & Juliet. The talented young actors discussed their new movie, the pressures of playing such iconic characters, the challenges of speaking Shakespeare's classic dialogue, how director Carlo Carlei was able to bring the stage play to the big screen, and working with the equally great Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti.
Opening in theaters on November 27th is a new 3D computer animated musical-fantasy film entitled Frozen from Walt Disney Animation Studios. The new movie was directed by Chris Buck (Tarzan) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, Wreck-It Ralph) and is inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen.” Frozen features the voice talent of Kristen Bell (Hit & Run) as Anna, Idina Menzel (Enchanted) as Elsa, Jonathan Groff (TV’s Glee) as Kristoff, and Josh Gad (The Internship) as the loveable snowman Olaf.
I recently had an opportunity to travel to the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California and screen 30 minutes of the new film, as well as speak with the directors. While we will be running my full interview with Buck and Lee closer to the film’s release date, we wanted to tell you now about the footage we saw from Frozen, as well as the new animated short Get a Horse!
Robin Weigert is one of the most versatile actresses working in film or on television today!
She first gained notice for appearing in the acclaimed HBO mini-series Angels in America, but it was her role as Calamity Jane on Deadwood that caught Hollywood’s attention. Since then she has appeared in such popular series as Lost, ER, and The Mentalist, as well as acclaimed films like The Good German, Things We Lost in the Fire, and The Sessions. She also currently has a recurring role on the extremely popular FX series Sons of Anarchy as attorney Ally Lowen, and co-starred on the first season of one of my all-time favorite TV series - the incredibly underrated NBC show Life, which starred Homeland’s Damian Lewis. But now she can be seen once again on the big screen in the new drama Concussion, which opens in theaters on October 4th.
The movie, which was directed by first time filmmaker Stacie Passon, stars Weigert as Abby, a lesbian housewife going through a mid-life crisis. After a blow to the head, Abby decides she can no longer be faithful to her wife Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence) and is searching for something else in her life. She creates the alter ego of Eleanor and secretly becomes a lesbian prostitute. But as she gets more involved in her new career, it threatens the stability of her marriage and her relationship with her children. In addition to Weigert and Lawrence, the film also stars Maggie Siff (TV’s Sons of Anarchy), Jonathan Tchaikovsky (Reservation Road), and Janel Moloney (TV’s The West Wing).
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Robin Weigert about her work on Concussion, as well as what can be expected from her character on Sons of Anarchy this season, and a look back at Life. The accomplished actress discussed her new film, lesbian prostitution, preparing for her role, her character’s choices, what attracted her to the project, working with Sons of Anarchy co-star Maggie Siff, having a role in casting, collaborating with director Stacie Passon, the new season of Sons of Anarchy, what can be expected from her character, my love for the series Life, and why her character was shortchanged during the show’s run.
Producer David Heyman is best known as the man who helped bring author J.K. Rowling’s epic Harry Potter series of books to the big screen, so it only makes sense that he would be the right choice to produce visionary director Alfonso Cuaron’s (Children of Men) new space odyssey - Gravity, which opens in theaters on October 4th.
Heyman produced all eight Harry Potter films including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (which was also directed by Cuaron), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. In addition, he has also produced such popular films as I Am Legend, Yes Man, and most recently, We’re the Millers. Next up, he is set to adapt two more popular works of literature for the cinema with Paddington Bear, based on the beloved children’s novels, and Fables, which is based on author Bill Willingham’s fan-favorite Vertigo comic book series.
However, his latest film - Gravity, is a 3D extravaganza that stars Academy Award-winners Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), and George Clooney (Syriana). In the film, a medical engineer (Bullock) and an astronaut (Clooney) work together to survive after an accident leaves them stranded in space. Gravity was co-written by Alfonso Cuaron, and his son Jonas Cuaron.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with David Heyman about his work on Gravity, as well as the status of Fables. The accomplished producer discussed his new movie, the challenges of making the film, reuniting with director Alfonso Cuaron, the project’s unique music and sound, NASA’s involvement, casting Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, 3D, Fables, when the script will be ready, and if it will feature the Big Bad Wolf.