Interviews

Even if you don't recognize his name right away, you're probably a Brendan Fehr fan already.

Currently starring on the NBC medical drama The Night Shift, Fehr has been acting in film and television for eighteen years, doing standout work on much-loved shows like CSI: Miami, Bones, and Roswell, as well as movies such as Final Destination, Silent Night, and, most recently, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

In Zarra's Law, Fehr stars a man torn between two starkly different worlds.  He plays Gaetano, a New York lawyer who infiltrates the treacherous underground of organized crime, attempting to help his ex-cop uncle Tony in his quest to avenge his murdered brother.  As filial obligation draws Gaetano deeper and deeper into the murky waters of criminality, the attorney finds himself lost in a labyrinth of deceit, greed, and violence.

Fehr is joined in Zarra's Law by a cast that includes Tony Sirico (The Sopranos), Erin Cummings (The Iceman), Burt Young (Rocky-Rocky Balboa), and Oscar nominee Renee Taylor (The Producers). The film, now available on DVD, is the latest from Juha Wuolijoki, the Finnish director behind acclaimed, award-winning fare such as Gourmet Club and Christmas Story.

The talented actor discussed the film in an iamROGUE exclusive with IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick.  In their lively conversation, Brendan Fehr enthusiastically talked about the production, starring in a mafia movie, his character's inner and outer conflicts, the possibility of a sequel, and working with Chris Pratt and John C. Reilly in Marvel's latest mega-blockbuster.

Love, anybody will tell you, can be odd.  Straight up strange, even.

It's only fitting, then, that the new animated family film Strange Magic is really all about love.

Produced by George Lucas (Star Wars), who also conjured up the story, Strange Magic is a wild musical fantasy that draws inspiration from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and features popular songs of the last six decades rearranged by Grammy-nominated music director Marius De Vries (Moulin Rouge!).  Gary Rydstrom, who directed the Pixar shorts Lifted and Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation oversees Strange Magic, a collaboration between Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic.

The story concerns the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest, rival realms that couldn't be more different.  When Fairy Kingdom princess Marianne (voice of Rachel Evan Wood, The Ides of March) cancels her wedding, her philandering suitor Roland (Sam Palladio, Nashville) conspires to obtain the Sugarplum Fairy's (Kristin Chenowith, The Boy Next Door) love potion from deep in the heart of the Dark Forest.

Also vying for the potion is Sunny, an elf who is desperately in love with Dawn, Marianne's sister.  Together, they're right at the center of a fantastical, boisterous, and, well, weird love story. 

Elijah Kelley (Lee Daniels' The Butler, Red Tails) provides Sunny's voice, while newcomer Meredith Anne Bull voices Dawn.  The two talented actors recently chatted with IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick in an iamROGUE-exclusive interview about Strange MagicKelley and Bull enthusiastically discussed their legendary producer, auditioning, singing the film's big musical numbers, songs that didn't make the cut, providing reference for animators, working with Rydstrom, and which songs they feel sum up their characters.

Neil Marshall is truly a visionary writer and director!

Marshall first gained attention for his work on the horror film Dog Soldiers, but it was the surprise hit The Descent that earned him acclaim as a filmmaker. He went on to helm the unfairly underrated sci-fi hybrid Doomsday, as well as the sword-and-sandal movie Centurion. Not to mention his work on the popular TV shows Game of Thrones and Constantine. He’s also still working on his long rumored Camelot follow up The Sword and the Fury, and the WWII spy thriller The Eagle’s Nest. But first, the writer/director has just finished production on the anthology project Tales of Halloween, which is scheduled for release this Halloween.

Tales of Halloween tells ten stories that are woven together by their shared theme of a Halloween night in an American suburb. Ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents. Marshall wrote and directed the segment of the movie entitled Bad Seed, while other portions are written and directed by such filmmakers as Axele Carolyn (Soulmate), Lucky McKee (The Woman), and Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!). The film’s cast includes an impressive list of genre actors and directors including Sam Witwer (Justice League: Throne of Atlantis), Adrienne Barbeau (Escape from New York), Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Lin Shaye (The Signal), Barry Bostwick (The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power), Greg Grunberg (TV's Heroes), Pat Healy (The Innkeepers), Dana Gould (TV’s The Simpsons), and directors Adam Green (Hatchet III), Joe Dante (The Hole), and John Landis (An American Werewolf in London). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with writer/director Neil Marshall about his work on Tales of Halloween, as well as Constantine, The Sword and the Fury, and The Eagle’s Nest. The acclaimed filmmaker discussed Tales of Halloween, finishing principal photography, being part of an anthology movie, the plot and actors in his segment - Bad Seed, making his first Halloween themed film, directing the pilot of Constantine, dealing with network restrictions, and the status on his two long rumored projects. 

Jennifer Lopez recently realized she has a certain unexpected connection to her new movie, The Boy Next Door.

"Actually my first boyfriend was the boy next door when I was like thirteen or fourteen years old.  Yeah, it was the summer I turned fourteen. He was cute," she said with a laugh at the Los Angeles press day for the film.  "Cute enough, I guess, at the time."

Lopez's romance with a neighbor turned out less dramatically for her than it does for Claire Peterson, her character in The Boy Next Door

In this psychological thriller, Claire is a high school classics teacher freshly separated from her philandering husband (John Corbett, Sex and the City).  She strikes up a flirtatious friendship with Noah (Ryan Guzman, Step Up All In), her charismatic nineteen-year old neighbor, and before long, the two share a momentary indiscretion on a dark and stormy night.

Claire, who immediately regrets it, never imagines that their one night stand will lead Noah into a full-blown obsession.  Before long, he's threatening Claire at home and school, using her son teenage Kevin (Ian Nelson, The Best of Me) as a pawn, and escalating his dangerous fixation until Claire's life is no longer her own.

The film, which opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, January 23rd, is directed by Rob Cohen, the director who kicked off The Fast and the Furious mega-franchise.

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was on hand at the press day to discuss The Boy Next Door with star Jennifer Lopez.  The multi-hyphenate star of screen, television, and music enthusiastically discussed the appeal of the project, making a lower-budget thriller, acting and producing, the camaraderie among the cast, the discomfort of shooting sex scenes, creating a crowdpleasing experience, and what the future holds for her.

Actress Sarah Wayne Callies is no stranger to playing strong female characters on screen. 

Television audiences first became aware of Callies for playing Dr. Sara Tancredi on the Fox series Prison Break and the direct-to-DVD spinoff movie Prison Break: The Final Break. But her best role to date was as the doomed Lori Grimes on AMC’s breakout hit The Walking Dead. She also appeared on the big screen as Meteorologist Allison Stone in last summer’s Into the Storm. But now Callies can be seen playing another strong female character in the new film Black November, which opens in theaters, and on VOD and iTunes January 9th. 

Inspired by true events, Black November follows an oil-rich Nigerian community that wages war against an oil corporation to protect their land from being destroyed. When a Nigerian woman named Ebiere (Mbong Amata) is sentenced to death for leading her community in peaceful protest, rebels kidnap an American oil executive (Academy Award-nominee Mickey Rourke) and demand his corporation in stopping Ebiere’s execution. Callies plays Kate Summers, a journalist that befriends Ebiere and joins her fight against injustice. In addition to Amata, Rourke, and Callies, the cast also includes Hakeem Kae-Kazim (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Vivica A. Fox (Jackie Brown), Anne Heche (That’s What She Said), musicians Wyclef Jean and Akon, and Academy Award-winners William Goldman (All the President’s Men) and Kim Basinger (Batman). Interestingly, the film was originally released in 2011 under the title Black Gold, but writer/director Jeta Amata (The Amazing Grace) decided to reshoot 60% of the movie and rerelease it now as Black November.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Sarah Wayne Callies about her work on Black November. The talented actress discussed her new movie, appearing in an entertaining and educational film, the affect its had on audiences, how Black Gold became Black November, filming in Nigeria, dealing with the country’s government, playing a journalist, and the meaning of the film’s ambiguous ending. 

In her feature debut, Little Accidents, Sara Colangelo maps the twisted routes of grief through an American town torn asunder by tragedy.

The film takes place in a small West Virginia town not long after mining accident that left ten dead.  As everyone in the one-industry community reels, a teenage boy goes missing under mysterious circumstances, slowly but surely drawing three very different people into a chain of surprising choices, dramatic events, and vulnerable moments none of them could possibly have anticipated.

Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) stars alongside Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl) and Jacob Lofland (Mud).  Diane Doyle (Banks) is the increasingly distant wife to Bill Boyle (Josh Lucas, Sweet Home Alabama), the mining company bigwig whose possibly negligent oversight of the mine could make him culpable in the disaster.  Amos Jenkins (Holbrook), is the sole survivor, whose reluctance to share details of the event is a boon to the Doyles, who are otherwise the subject of scorn.  As Diane and Amos are drawn into a passionate, dangerous affair, young Owen (Lofland), a child of one of the lost miners, guards a terrible secret.

Colangelo, a filmmaker behind several acclaimed short films, wrote and directed a short of the same title five years ago.  The full-length version of Little Accidents premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year and is now playing in select cities.

In an iamROGUE exclusive interview, Sara Colangelo spoke with IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick about Little Accidents, discussing the path from short to feature, her research into the setting, her outstanding ensemble cast, how Boyd Holbrook became indispensable to the production, and the weighty themes of the film.

Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated actor William H. Macy has appeared in over 90 film and television projects, and can now add the credit of director to his already impressive resume of work. 

After achieving success as a respected Broadway actor, Macy appeared in such films as House of Games, Radio Days, Searching for Booby Fisher, The Client, Murder in the First, and Mr. Holland’s Opus. But it was his role as Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo that earned Macy his Oscar nomination and made him a household name. Since then he has appeared in a long list of beloved and acclaimed movies like Air Force One, Boogie Nights, Wag the Dog, Magnolia, Jurassic Park III, The Cooler, Spartan, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Sessions, and most recently Cake. Not to mention, he is also currently starring on the popular Showtime series Shameless. As an actor, Macy has worked with some of the best directors in the business including Woody Allen, David Mamet, the Coen brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson, Barry Levinson, and Gus Van Sant. Now he moves behind the camera to direct his first feature film entitled Rudderless, which stars Billy Crudup (Watchmen, Almost Famous) and will be available on DVD beginning January 20th.

Rudderless follows Sam (Crudup), a grieving father in a downward spiral after the sudden death of his son Josh (Miles Helzer). He soon stumbles across a box of Josh’s demo tapes and lyrics. Shocked by the discovery of his son’s unknown talent, Sam forms a band with a struggling musician named Quentin (Anton Yelchin) in the hope of finding some closure to his son’s passing. Macy also co-wrote the film and appears in a minor role as the owner of the bar where Sam’s band plays. In addition to Crudup, Yelchin, Helzer, and Macy, the film also features his wife - Academy Award-nominee Felicity Huffman (Trust Me), Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers), Jamie Chung (Big Hero 6), Academy Award-nominee Laurence Fishburne (Man of Steel), and musician Ben Kweller

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the great William H. Macy about his work on Rudderless. The Oscar-nominated actor turned director discussed his new film, if he’s always wanted to direct, what he learned about directing from the iconic directors he has worked with in the past, casting Billy Crudup and Laurence Fishburne, why he thinks its “difficult” working with actors, if he considers himself to be a “difficult” actor, choosing the music for the movie, what he learned from directing his first film that he will apply to the next project he directs, and if directing will change the way he approaches his acting work.

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.

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