Interviews

Thomas Jane is truly a modern day renaissance man! Not only is he a very impressive actor, but he is also a successful comic book writer and film director, to boot!

Jane began his acting career with small but pivotal roles in popular movies like Face/Off, Boogie Nights, The Thin Red Line, Magnolia, and Dreamcatcher, as well as playing baseball legend Mickey Mantle in director Billy Crystal’s *61. But his big break came playing Marvel comics street vigilante Frank Castle in both The Punisher, and the short film The Punisher: Dirty Laundry. He would go on to appear in such films as The Mist, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I Melt with You, White Bird in a Blizzard, Drive Hard, and Reach Me, as well as receiving a Golden Globe nomination for starring in the HBO series Hung. He is also the founder of RAW Studios and wrote their first comic book release Bad Planet. Jane made his directorial debut with the crime thriller Dark Country, and will soon direct his second feature, a Western entitled A Magnificent Death from My Shattered Hand. But first, he can be seen starring opposite Bruce Willis (A Good Day to Die Hard) in the new science fiction movie Vice, which opens in theaters and On Demand January 16th. 

Vice, which was directed by Brian A. Miller (The Prince), tells the story of businessman Julian Michaels (Willis). He has designed the ultimate holiday resort: VICE, where anything goes and the customers can play out their wildest fantasies with artificial inhabitants who look and think like humans. When an artificial robot (Ambyr Childers) becomes self-aware and escapes, she finds herself caught in the crossfire between Julian's mercenaries and a cop named Roy (Jane), who is hell-bent on shutting down the corruption of VICE and stopping the violence once and for all. In addition to Jane, Willis, and Childers, the film also stars Johnathon Schaech (The Legend of Hercules), and Bryan Greenberg (A Short History of Decay). 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the great Thomas Jane about his work on Vice, as well as directing A Magnificent Death from My Shattered Hand and if he would be interested in reprising his role as The Punisher in future Marvel Studios projects. The talented veteran actor discussed his new film, its wild concept, being attracted to androids, making a popcorn movie that has serious themes, drawing inspiration for his character from hardboiled detective novels, working with iconic movie star Bruce Willis, directing his upcoming Western, why he won’t be appearing in it, his goal to eventually only direct, and why he’s done playing The Punisher on screen.

Michael Mann has stylishly chronicled crime on film like few modern filmmakers, from the tommy gun-toting bank robbers of Public Enemies to the high-pressure LA heists of Heat.

With his latest film, Blackhat, the director tackles the new frontier of crime, creating an unsettling portrait of global cyber-criminality.

Hacking has been ubiquitous in the news as of late, and Blackhat couldn't be timelier, examining the perils of this plugged-in, turned-on digital age, but doing so through a thriller that takes audiences on a breakneck adventure from Chicago to Los Angeles to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong.

Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Age of Ultron) leads an international cast that includes Viola Davis (The Help), John Ortiz (Silver Linings Playbook), Tang Wei (Lust, Caution), and Wang Leehom (My Lucky Star).  Hemsworth stars as Nicholas Hathaway, a world-class hacker furloughed convict recruited to help American and Chinese authorities bust a shadowy cyber-crime network with the ability to shift massive sums of money instantaneously and, more importantly, destabilize nuclear reactors.

At the Los Angeles press day for Blackhat, both Michael Mann and Chris Hemsworth talked to IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick, along with other entertainment journalists from around the globe, about their new film, which hits theaters this Friday.  The director and star enthusiastically and thoughtfully discussed what they learned about cyber-crime in the course of making the film, as well as the project's origins, playing a hacker, reinventing the crime genre, and filming around the world rather than relying on green screens.

David Arquette is so much more than just an actor! He is also a writer, producer, director, nightclub and clothing line owner, comic book creator, musician, and former WCW World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. But acting is his first true love.

Arquette has appeared in many popular films including Where the Day Takes You, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Never Been Kissed, Muppets from Space, Ready to Rumble, and Eight Legged Freaks. But he is probably best known for playing Deputy Dewey Riley in director Wes Craven’s Scream series. Arquette also wrote and directed 2006’s The Tripper, and will appear in the upcoming Western Bone Tomahawk with Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins. But first, he can be seen in the new Civil War film Field of Lost Shoes, which is currently available on VOD and DVD.

Field of Lost Shoes is based on the true story of the American Civil War, culminating at the Battle of New Market, May 1864. In the film a group of teenage cadets sheltered from war at the Virginia Military Institute must confront the horrors of an adult world when they are called upon to defend the Shenandoah Valley. Leaving behind their youth, these cadets must decide what they are fighting for. In addition to Arquette, the film features a terrific cast that includes Jason Isaacs (Fury), Keith David (Platoon), Lauren Holly (Any Given Sunday) and Tom Skerritt (Top Gun). The movie was directed by Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer), and written by first time screenwriters Thomas Farrell and Dave Kennedy.

Before the holidays, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with David Arquette about his work on Field of Lost Shoes, as well as Bone Tomahawk. The accomplished actor and entrepreneur discussed his new movie, how he got involved with the film, preparing to play a Civil War soldier, if he stays in character on set, what he needs from a director, choosing projects, if he still enjoys acting, Bone Tomahawk, making a Western, and working with Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins.

Two Days, One Night is as epic an odyssey as you're likely to see onscreen anytime soon. 

The story chronicles a battle in which the stakes feel bigger than the fate of Erebor or Dale or whatever, yet the scale is recognizable as life the way it's actually lived. 

No Great Eagles are going to swoop in for Sandra, the heroine of the acclaimed new film taking place over – appropriately enough – Two Days, One Night.  When she returns after a leave of absence grappling with clinical depression, Sandra discovers that she won't be getting her job back.  Or rather, she might, but the other sixteen employees would have to forgo their annual bonuses.

Sandra, played to great acclaim by Marion Cotillard, sets out on a journey that's local but sweeping, visiting all of her coworkers over the course of a single weekend before they decide her fate in Monday vote.

Cotillard's been praised for her compassionate, subtle, heartbreakingly human performance, a performance that encompasses every scene in the movie.  At the Los Angeles press day for Two Days, One Night, the Oscar-winning actress talked to IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick and assembled journalists from the around the world, discussing her work in what's widely touted as The Dardenne Brothers' masterpiece.

Opening in theaters on January 2nd is the new movie The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death, which is a sequel to the 2012 horror film starring Daniel Radcliffe (Horns). 

Directed by Tom Harper (The Borrowers), the sequel takes place 40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House. When Harry Burnstow (War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine), Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox) and a group of children evacuated from WWII London arrive at the house, they awakening its darkest inhabitant. In addition to Irvine and Fox, the film also stars Helen McCrory (Skyfall). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeremy Irvine about his work on The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death. The talented young actor discussed his new movie, why he wanted to be part of the project, making his first horror film, the mood on set, joining the franchise, Harry and Eve’s relationship, the WWII backdrop, and working with director Tom Harper

In The Gambler, Mark Wahlberg is a man intent on his own destruction.

The high-stakes drama is a change of pace for the star last seen pounding Bud Lights and saving Earth in Transformers: Age of Extinction over the summer. 

It's not necessarily as big a change as it seems, however.  Wahlberg is an Academy Award-nominated actor, after all, having stolen The Departed out from underneath one of the most A-list casts assembled in modern cinema.

With The Gambler, he turns his Oscar-caliber acting chops to some dark material; as the title suggests, Wahlberg's latest role has him dancing with the devil, leaning into addiction, and courting oblivion.

The 1974 original starred James Caan, but in this version, Wahlberg plays Jim Bennett, a charismatic literature professor who is completely obsessed with gambling.  As he pisses his savings away, Bennett uses his own life as collateral with a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams, The Wire), pits a ruthless loan shark (John Goodman, Argo) against his own mother (Jessica Lange, American Horror Story), and finds himself increasingly attached to a beautiful, earnest student (Brie Larson, Short Term 12).

Robyn Candyce Schlau represented IAR at the New York press conference for The Gambler, during which Mark Wahlberg enthusiastically discussed his unconventional new starring role, from the challenges of playing an academic to his dramatic weight loss to the remake's dynamic ensemble cast.

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles is the documentary Orson Welles deserves.

Welles was and is a titan, a filmmaker and creative dynamo who continues to cast a long, long shadow of cinema and entertainment itself, even almost three decades after his death.  He was directing Shakespearean plays by the time he was a teenager, and his feature directorial debut at the young age of 26 is widely considered one of the finest – if not the single flat-out best – films ever made.

From Citizen Kane, he continued as a writer-director-actor-producer for more than forty years, defying easy categorization and following his wholly unique vision, creating classics including Touch of Evil and The Magnificent Ambersons.

In Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, Academy Award-winning documentarian Chuck Workman largely lets his subject speak for himself, extensively and entertainingly utilizing archival footage of Welles and his films.

Since Workman's biography of Welles spends so much time with the legendary figure, IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was happy to spend some time with Chuck Workman.  In their conversation, Workman discussed the contradictions of Welles, shaping his life into a functional narrative, the impact of Citizen Kane, his later years, and his influence on generations of filmmakers.

Tracey Ullman is an Emmy-winning actress, legendary comedian, and former pop star! So it only makes sense that she would now combine all of her talents for the new film Into the Woods, which is based on the beloved Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name and opens in theaters on Christmas Day. 

Ullman began her career in the ‘80s as a successful pop singer with such hits as “Breakaway” and “The Don’t Know.” But she made a name for herself as a comedian on the groundbreaking and Emmy Award-winning Fox TV series The Tracey Ullman Show, which was also the birthplace of The Simpsons. She went on to star in two more sketch comedy series, HBO’s Tracey Takes On…, and Showtime’s Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union. She has also appeared in several movies from acclaimed filmmakers like Lawrence Kasdan’s I Love You to Death, Robert Zemeckis Death Becomes Her, Mel BrooksRobin Hood: Men in Tights, James L. BrooksI’ll Do Anything, Woody Allens Bullets over Broadway, Everyone Says I Love You, and Small Time Crooks, Robert Altman’s Pret-a-Porter, John Water’s A Dirty Shame, and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride

Into the Woods revolves around a witch that tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree. Ullman plays Jack’s Mother, a poor woman that’s child sells their last cow for magic beans. The film was directed by Academy Award-nominee Rob Marshall (Chicago), and also stars Academy Award-nominees Emily Blunt (Arthur Newman), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect), and Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger), as well as James Corden (Begin Again), Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness), Christine Baranski (The Birdcage), and Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady). 

I recently had the absolute honor of speaking with Tracey Ullman about her work on Into the Woods and her legendary career. The iconic comedic actress discussed her new film, returning to music, singing in the car with Meryl Streep, being familiar with the source material, having Stephen Sondheim give the production his blessings, director Rob Marshall, the legendary filmmakers she has worked with throughout her career, which young female comedians are her favorite, and how she feels about having discovered The Simpsons.

Wes Bentley is one of the few actors that can successfully balance a career in both independent and studio films. 

Bentley first gained attention for his breakout role in the Academy Award-winning film American Beauty, and has since gone on to appear in such big budget studio movies as Ghost Rider, Jonah Hex, The Hunger Games, and most recently Interstellar. But the actor has also starred in a number of independent films including There Be Dragons, The Time Being, Cesar Chavez, The Better Angels, and the upcoming Night of Cups, which was directed by Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life, Badlands). His latest film is After The Fall, which opens in New York theaters and on VOD December 12th before opening in Los Angeles theaters on December 20th. 

After The Fall was co-written and directed by two-time Academy Award-nominated editor turned first time director Saar Klein (Almost Famous, The Thin Red Line). The film revolves around a suburban father and husband named Bill Scanlon (Bentley) that due to economic difficulties embraces a life of crime in order to support his family. While Bill begins an unusual friendship with troubled police officer Frank McTiernan (Jason Isaacs), his wife Susan (Vinessa Shaw) discovers his secret and becomes determined to do anything to save her family and their lifestyle. 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Wes Bentley about After The Fall, Interstellar, and Knight of Cups. The accomplished actor discussed After The Fall, his reaction to its unusual poster, why he liked the script’s economic themes, Jason Isaacs, Bill and Frank’s odd friendship, Susan’s true motivations, Saar Klein’s advantage as a first time director, Interstellar, watching Christopher Nolan direct, Knight of Cups, who has scenes with in the film, working with Terrence Malick, and balancing independent and studio movies. 

Opening in theaters on December 19th is Annie, which is a reboot of the beloved musical and ‘1980s movie. 

The new film is an updated version of the classic story and was directed by Will Gluck (Friends with Benefits, Easy A). The plot revolves around Annie (Academy Award-nominee Quvenzhane Wallis), a foster kid living with a mean foster parent named Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). She soon sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate William Stacks (Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx) takes her in. The movie was produced by musician Jay-Z and superstar actor Will Smith (I, Robot), and also stars Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class), Bobby Cannavale (Chef), and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Pompeii). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Will Gluck about his work on Annie. The accomplished director discussed his new film, how he got involved with the project, his concept for the reboot, the out-of-the-box casting of Quvenzhane Wallis, if he was surprised by the media reaction to that choice, Jamie Foxx’s influence on the music in the movie, drawing inspiration from the musical as well as the ‘80s film, and breaking the forth wall. 

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