Interviews

English actress Rebecca Hall first gained attention for her work in films like The Prestige, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town, Frost/Nixon, and last summer’s Iron Man 3. But she can now be seen in the new movie Transcendence, which stars Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger) and opens in theaters on April 18th. 

The film revolves around Dr. Will Caster (Depp), an artificial intelligence researcher who strives to create a machine that possesses sentience and collective intelligence. Extremists who oppose technological advancement target him, shooting him and other researchers with radioactively tainted bullets so that the poisoning will kill them even if the assassination fails, but their actions drive him toward his goal. Caster also wants to become part of the new technology, and his wife Evelyn (Hall) and his best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), also researchers, question the wisdom of this drive. When his mind is uploaded into a computer to try and save his life, Caster's goal to acquire knowledge becomes one to acquire power, and he seems to be unstoppable. In addition to Depp, Hall, and Bettany, the cast also includes Kate Mara (TV’s House of Cards), Cillian Murphy (Red Lights), Cole Hauser (Olympus Has Fallen), Clifton Collins, Jr. (Hellbenders), and Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman (Now You See Me). Transcendence marks the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight Rises). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Rebecca Hall about her work on Transcendence. The talented actress discussed her new film, what she liked about the screenplay, why it’s similar to Frankenstein, acting with Johnny Depp, and working with first time director Wally Pfister

"Would you be married to a hard drive?" Johnny Depp asked in earnest.

It was a line of questioning inspired by his latest film, the sci-fi thriller Transcendence.

In the film, hitting theaters nationwide this Friday, Depp stars as Dr. Will Caster, the world's foremost expert on artificial intelligence.  When tragedy strikes, Will's wife and professional partner Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) makes the radical decision to upload his consciousness to the most advanced computing setup in the history of the world.

"Think about how technology is moving so rapidly. Things become obsolete very very quickly," Depp continued.  "So let’s say, Will Caster, in fifteen years time, is going to be in some weird room in Vegas, and people are plugging quarters into him.  Right? Who has a minidisc or laser disc player? It’s over."

Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton is best known for his work as a screenwriter, director, and actor in both critically acclaimed and financially successful feature films. But now the actor will tackle the small screen with his new FX series Fargo, which premieres April 15th and is based on the Oscar-winning Coen Brothers movie. 

Thornton first gained attention as a screenwriter and supporting actor for One False Move, which earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Screenplay. He would go on to write and star in the short film Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, which was directed by the late George Hickenlooper (Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse). He reprised his role as Karl Childers in the feature length adaption of the short film, simply entitled Sling Blade, which he also wrote and directed. The film earned him an Academy Award-nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role, as well as winning an Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). He would later direct All the Pretty Horses, Daddy and Them, and Jayne Mansfield’s Car, as well as co-write Sam Raimi’s The Gift

However, Thornton is also a celebrated actor having appeared in such beloved films as Tombstone, Dead Man, The Apostle, U Turn, A Simple Plan (which earned him an Academy Award-nomination for Best Supporting Actor), Armageddon, Primary Colors, Monster’s Ball, Bandits, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Bad Santa, Love Actually, Friday Night Lights, Bad News Bears, The Astronaut Farmer, Eagle Eye, Faster, Puss in Boots, and Parkland. He will be seen next on the big screen in the feature film version of the hit HBO series Entourage, and is rumored to reprise his role in a possible Bad Santa 2. 

In Fargo, Thornton plays a drifter named Lorne Malvo who arrives in a small Minnesota town and influences the population with his malice and violence, which including an insurance salesman named Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman). In addition to Thornton and Freeman, the exceptional cast also includes Allison Tolman (TV’s Prison Break), Colin Hanks (High School), Bob Odenkirk (Nebraska), Kate Walsh (TV’s Full Circle), Adam Goldberg (Saving Private Ryan), Jordan Peele (Wanderlust), Keegan-Michael Kay (Hell Baby), Joey King (Oz the Great and Powerful), and Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class). Academy Award-winning writers and directors Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis) return as executive producers, along with Noah Hawley (Bones), and also penned three of the show’s episodes. 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of briefly speaking to Billy Bob Thornton while on a conference call promoting Fargo. The Oscar-winning actor and I discussed how his previous work on a Coen Brothers film prepared him for his role on Fargo, and why his good friend - the late great musician Warren Zevon ("Werewolves of London," "Lawyers, Guns And Money"), should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

It’s time to once again “Get in the Cage” with Nicolas Cage!!!

At IAR, we’ve had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the Academy Award-winning actor several times over the years. First at San Diego Comic-Con 2011, and later at the press days for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and The Frozen Ground. Cage is truly a delight to speak with, and is one of the finest actors of his generation. He is definitely a one of a kind talent, and has never been afraid to try different approaches to achieve a certain performance. That's high praise!!!

He is appeared in an eclectic list of movies in his almost 35 year long career, which range from critically acclaimed independent films, to blockbuster box office hits. His distinguished cinematic resume includes, among others, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Rumble Fish, Peggy Sue Got Married, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Wild at Heart, Guarding Tess, Kiss of Death, Leaving Las Vegas (for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor), The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off, Snake Eyes, Bringing Out the Dead, The Family Man, Adaptation., Matchstick Man, National Treasure, Lord of War, World Trade Center, Ghost Rider, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Kick-Ass, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Croods, and The Frozen Ground

Cage’s latest film, which is entitled Joe, has been earning him some of the best reviews of his career and opens in theaters on April 11th. Directed by David Gordon Green (Prince Avalanche), the film revolves around Joe (Cage), an ex-con and the unlikeliest of role models. When he meets a 15-year-old boy named Gary (Tye Sheridan), he is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin. 

I recently had the absolute pleasure to once again “Get in the Cage” and speak with Nicolas Cage, along with other select members of the press, about his work on Joe and his fascinating career. The Oscar-winner discussed his latest film, his “Western Kabuki” style of acting, returning to a more realistic approach, why he wanted to make Joe, working with director David Gordon Green, the actor’s eclectic career, and what he learned as a child about pain from vanilla Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Bruce Lee

While I’ll always love Christophe Reeve, Tom Welling might just be my favorite actor to ever play Clark Kent/Superman!

Welling played the man of steel for ten seasons on the popular WB/CW series Smallville and brought the iconic character to life for a whole new generation. Since then he has appeared in several films including the Cheaper by the Dozen series, The Fog, and Parkland. He now appears opposite Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner (Man of Steel, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 3 Days to Kill) in the new football film Draft Day, which was directed by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Dave), and opens in theaters on April 11th. 

Draft Day revolves around Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver (Costner) who has the opportunity to rebuild his team at the NFL Draft when he trades for the number one pick. Now he must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams. Welling plays Brian Drew, the Browns quarterback who becomes concerned for his job when the team considers drafting a new QB (Josh Pence). In addition to Costner, Welling, and Pence, the movie also stars Jennifer Garner (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), Denis Leary (The Amazing Spider-Man), Chadwick Boseman (42), Terry Crews (The Single Moms Club), Sean Combs (Muppets Most Wanted), Rosanna Arquette (Silverado), Chi McBride (I, Robot), Kevin Dunn (Transformers), Sam Elliot (Hulk), Academy Award-nominee Frank Langella (Superman Returns), and Academy Award-winner Ellen Burnstyn (Requiem for a Dream).

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Tom Welling about his work on Draft Day, as well the legacy of Smallville. The accomplished actor discussed his new film, football, the script, getting the NFL’s approval, what he liked about his character, if he took any inspiration from Peyton Manning or other professional quarterbacks, appearing in a sports movie with Kevin Costner, what he learned from director Ivan Reitman, his favorite sports film, Smallville, forever being associated with that iconic character, and if he and Costner talked about Man of Steel

It's not uncommon for a director to make movies about his or her hometown. 

Usually, however, these cinematic love letters to home aren't animated musicals about anthropomorphized macaws.

Believe it or not, this Friday's Rio 2 represents an unconventional example of a filmmaker's essay about his hometown.

Carlos Saldanha, who also directed the original Rio, was born in the titular city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

English actress Felicity Jones is best known for her work on independent films like directors Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s Cemetery Junction, director Ralph FiennesThe Invisible Woman, and Like Crazy from writer director Drake Doremus. However, this summer she will be seen in the highly anticipated blockbuster sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which opens in theaters on May 2nd. But first, she can be seen reuniting with Doremus on his new film Breathe In, which he co-wrote and directed and opens in Los Angeles theaters on April 4th. 

Breathe In revolves around a foreign exchange student named Sophie (Jones), who arrives in a small upstate New York town and challenges the dynamics of her host family's relationships, ultimately altering their lives forever. Sophie is a piano prodigy and soon forms a dangerous relationship with the married Keith (Guy Pearce), who is a teacher and struggling musician. In addition to Jones and Pearce, the film also stars Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me), and Ben Shenkman (Concussion). 

While Jones’s character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been kept under wraps, she has dropped a few hints as to what her role might be. She said in an interview last summer that, “It’s all quite shrouded in secrecy, but I’m the Goblin’s girlfriend. I’m in a relationship with him, and his accomplice. I’m on the dark side.” It’s since been stated by director Marc Webb that her character has a costume and is in a “special relationship” with Norman Osborn, played by Academy Award-winner Chris Cooper. It’s also been speculated that Jones plays Felicia Hardy, otherwise known as the anti-heroine Black Cat, but that has yet to be confirmed. 

I recently had a chance to speak with Felicity Jones about her work on Breathe In, as well as The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The talented young actress discussed her latest film, reuniting with Drake Doremus, what she likes about working with him, her complicated character, learning to play the piano, acting with Guy Pearce, the themes of the movie, what she is looking for when choosing projects, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, making a big studio film, director Marc Webb, and working with Chris Cooper

David Koechner is one of the funniest men on the planet! 

Koechner first gained attention as one half of the comedy duo The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show, but it was his role as Champ Kind in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy that made him a comedy star. Since then he as appeared in such films as Talladega Nights, Thank You for Smoking, Semi-Pro, Extract, and The Comebacks, as well as playing Todd Packer on NBC’s The Office. But now, he returns once again as Champ Kind in the new sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning April 1st. 

In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, with the ‘70s behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to take New York's first 24-hour news channel by storm. In addition to Ferrell, the returning cast includes Steve Carell (The Way Way Back), Paul Rudd (This Is 40), Christina Applegate (Hall Pass), Fred Willard (WALL-E), Chris Parnell (21 Jump Street), and Vince Vaughn (Delivery Man), as well as new cast members Meagan Good (Brick), James Marsden (X-Men), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), and Greg Kinnear (Movie 43), and cameo appearances by Harrison Ford (Paranoia), Will Smith (Men in Black 3), Jim Carrey (Kick-Ass 2), Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator), Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia), Tina Fey (Muppets Most Wanted), Amy Poehler (Free Birds), Liam Neeson (The Grey), John C. Reilly (Wreck-It Ralph), and recording artists Drake and Kanye West. The film was once again directed by Adam McKay (The Other Guys), and written by McKay and Ferrell. The Blu-ray has over four hours of special features, as well as the recently rereleased in theaters super-sized R-rated version that includes 763 new jokes.

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with David Koechner about Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Blu-ray/DVD, the new extended version, and the apparent end of the Anchorman franchise. The hilarious actor discussed the new film, returning for a sequel, why it was so hard to get made, reuniting with the cast, why he likes playing Champ Kind, Champ’s secret love for Ron Burgundy, McKay and Ferrell’s script, the new super-size R-rated version, the film’s cameos, why there won’t be an Anchorman 3, and if he would entertain the idea of a Champ Kind spinoff film. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been promising he'll be back for thirty years now.

Yet he's never really gone anywhere.

He's been an ever-present part of the part culture, but there's something fundamentally unknowable about this slab of Austrian oak.  He's an exuberant mystery wrapped in a musclebound enigma.  A movie star more than an actor, an icon with an accent and exclamatory delivery that can turn seemingly any line into a quotable cult classic.

Sabotage, hitting theaters nationwide today, March 28th, delves into the Schwarzeneggerian mystery.  Inspired by the Agatha Christie tale Ten Little Indians, Sabotage stars Arnold as John "Breacher" Wharton, leader of an elite ten-person DEA task force that makes its biggest bust in a raid on a cartel compound, only to be embroiled in controversy when $10 million goes missing.  As his squad is picked off one by one, Breacher must figure out who stole the money and who is wiping out his friends before it's too late.

In his review, The Dissolve's Matt Singer calls Sabotage Schwarzenegger's Unforgiven, the action star's late thematic opportunity "to wrestle with all the death he’s perpetrated onscreen, and to consider, once and for all in his twilight years, whether it was really worth it."

Schwarzenegger was thoughtful and characteristically buoyant at the press day for Sabotage, where IAR's Heather Newgen was able to speak with the action star about the current state of gunslinging cinema, as well as his place in it.  The actor was happy to discuss his extensive preparation for the film, as well as just how unique Sabotage is in the canon of Schwarzeneggerian action.

Writer and director David Ayer has made a career of creating films based in Los Angeles revolving around the LAPD, but he now moves his focus to DEA agents in Atlanta with his new film Sabotage, which opens in theaters March 28th.

Ayer first gained attention for writing Training Day, which earned Denzel Washington an Academy Award for Best Actor. He went on to write the screenplays for The Fast and the Furious, Dark Blue, and S.W.A.T. before making his directorial debut with Harsh Times starring Christian Bale. He would follow that up by directing his second film Street Kings, before writing and directing the critically acclaimed End of Watch starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. His latest film, Sabotage, stars none other than the former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with an all-star supporting cast of actors. But Ayer’s next film, Fury, takes him into completely new territory, as it is a WWII-set film that stars Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf

Sabotage, which Ayer adapted from a script by Skip Woods (The A-Team), revolves around members of an elite DEA task force that find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house. In addition to Schwarzenegger, the impressive cast also includes Sam Worthington (Drift), Terrence Howard (Iron Man), Mireille Enos (World War Z), Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike), Josh Holloway (Paranoia), Max Martini (Pacific Rim), Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense), Harold Perrineau (Seeking Justice), and Martin Donovan (Insomnia).

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to writer and director David Ayer about his work on Sabotage, as well as his upcoming film Fury. The acclaimed filmmaker discussed his new movie, adapting Skip Woods’ script, working with Arnold, having him smoke a stogie on screen, surrounding him with an excellent cast of actors, training them to really look like DEA agents, setting the film in Atlanta, creating the movie’s realistic violence, Fury, making a WWII film, and working with Brad Pitt

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