Interviews

I think at this point everyone on Earth has heard of JWOWW!

Even if you’ve never watched a minute of MTV’s groundbreaking reality series Jersey Shore, you’ve heard of Jenni “JWOWW” Farley and her fellow cast members including Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. I mean even the President of the United States has mentioned them in a speech!

Since Jersey Shore, Farley has appeared on the popular spin-off Snooki & JWOWW, and is currently featured on the series Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars with her fiancé Roger Mathews. In fact, Farley gave birth earlier this summer to the couple’s first child, a baby girl named Meilani Alexandra Mathews. She has also acted on the long running soap opera One Life to Live, and in the popular Farrelly brothers film The Three Stooges, along with the rest of her Jersey Shore co-stars. Now the reality superstar has gone behind the camera to executive produce her first film entitled Jersey Shore Massacre, which opens in theaters on August 22nd, and VOD August 26th. 

Jersey Shore Massacre is a horror comedy that spoofs the popular reality series. In the film, a typical weekend down the shore takes a bizarre turn in the New Jersey Pine Barrens as six girls and five obnoxious fist-pumpers become the unsuspecting targets of a deranged killer. The movie was written and directed by Paul Tarnopol (Girl Gone Dead), and stars Danielle Dallacco (TV’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Giovanni Roselli (The Wrestler), Chris Lazzaro (Catch of the Day), and The Howard Stern Show’s Sal Governale and Richard Christy, as well as porn legend Ron Jeremy

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the absolutely lovely Jenni “JWOWW” Farley about her work on Jersey Shore Massacre, as well as her life after Jersey Shore. The reality star turned executive producer discussed her new movie, how she got involved with the project, what she learned from producing her first film, spoofing the series that made her famous, her love of horror films, how Jersey Shore changed reality television, her place in pop culture, President Obama saying her name in a speech, her friendship with Snooki, forever being connected to the cast of Jersey Shore, what they have in common with The Beatles, acting in The Three Stooges, and if she would like to do more acting in the future or just focus on producing. 

Opening in theaters on August 29th is the new horror adventure thriller As Above, So Below from sibling filmmakers John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle

The movie is based on a script written by both brothers, while John Erick Dowdle directed, and Drew Dowdle produced the project. Their previous films include Quarantine, as well as Devil, which John directed and Drew executive produced. They are currently in post-production on their next film The Coup, which stars Pierce Brosnan (The November Man), Owen Wilson (Free Birds), and Lake Bell (Million Dollar Arm), and is scheduled for release on March 6th, 2015. 

As Above, So Below, which was produced by Legendary Pictures, follows a team of explorers led by archaeologist Scarlet Marlowe (Perdita Weeks). Their adventure leads them into the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris. They soon uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. In addition to Weeks, the film also features Ben Feldman (Cloverfield), Edwin Hodge (The Purge: Anarchy), and Francois Civil (Frank). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with director/co-writer John Erick Dowdle, as well as his brother co-writer/producer Drew Dowdle about As Above, So Below. The sibling filmmakers discussed their new movie, coming up with the concept, how Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull helped them combine one of their older character ideas with setting the story in the catacombs, their writing process together, how much time they had to actually write the script before they began production, casting Scarlet Marlowe, the challenges of making a found footage film, and how they share filmmaking duties while on set. 

With Life of Crime, Jennifer Aniston heads to the seventies, a decade known for some regrettable styles.

"It’s a tough look," the actress and international superstar commented. "It was awesome for the time and a lot of fun to wear all of that polyester and the handkerchiefs around the neck. My favorite piece of wardrobe was the sunglasses."

"I basically looked like my mom," Aniston quipped. "I pulled out a lot of her old pictures and tried to rock the old Nancy Aniston 1970s look."

Her outdated costuming was part of creating the period look and feel of Life of Crime, which is based on an Elmore Leonard novel first published in 1978.  Leonard, a master of American crime fiction who died almost exactly one year ago, was known from crackling dialogue, sharp humor, and unforgettable characters in a world of bad choices and worse consequences.

One of his many indelible characters is Mickey Dawson, played by Aniston.  A Detroit housewife, Mickey goes on an unconventional journey of self-discovery when she's abducted by a pair of first-time kidnappers.

At the Los Angeles press day, Jennifer Aniston shared her enthusiasm for Life of Crime, saying, "I was so excited because I’ve always loved Elmore Leonard. I had read The Switch, which was the actual name, but we had to switch because I was already in a movie called Switch about best friends making a baby. Then I read the book and I love how he writes his characters. They’re all so interesting and detailed. Also his bad guys aren’t the brightest, yet they somehow always make it happen and they’re actually lovable."

A star is born … and his name is Luke Bracey!

You may not know the actor by name right now, but you soon will as he has several high profile projects that will be released over the next year. On October 17th, Bracey (who up to this point is best known for playing Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: Retaliation) will be seen in the romantic drama The Best of Me, based on a book by Nicolas Sparks. But the actor’s most anticipated upcoming film is Point Break where he will play the iconic role of Johnny Utah, which was portrayed by Keanu Reeves in the original. Bracey is currently shooting the remake now, which also stars Edgar Ramirez (Deliver Us from Eviliam), Ray Winstone (The Sweeney), and Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies), and is scheduled for release on July 31st, 2015. But first, Bracey can be seen going up against former James Bond Pierce Brosnan (The Love Punch) in the new spy thriller The November Man, which was directed by Roger Donaldson (No Way Out) and opens in theaters on August 27th. 

The November Man is based on the novel There Are No More Spies by author Bill Granger. The movie follows ex-CIA operative Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) as he is brought back in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil, Mason (Bracey), in a deadly game involving high level CIA officials and the Russian president-elect. In addition to Brosnan and Bracey, the film also stars former Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), and Bill Smitrovich (Iron Man). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Luke Bracey about his work on The November Man, as well as Point Break. The talented young actor discussed his latest film, working with director Roger Donaldson, shooting guns at James Bond, what he learned from working with Pierce Brosnan, the father/son relationship between Peter and Mason, Point Break, status on filming, how his Johnny Utah will be different than the one Keanu Reeves played, and acting opposite Edgar Ramirez and Ray Winstone

George Takei is not just a legendary actor but also an American icon and a national treasure. Oh, my!!!

Takei has appeared in such films as The Green Berets with John Wayne, Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks, and the animated films Mulan, and Free Birds, as well as popular TV series like Will & Grace, Heroes, The Big Bang Theory, and Hawaii Five-0. But it was his role as Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek series and in the first six Star Trek films, including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, that made Takei a household name. However, a whole new generation knows him as the official announcer for The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Radio. 

A survivor of the Japanese American Interment Camps of the ‘1940s, Takei came out of the closet in 2005 and became an activist for LGBT rights, eventually marring his longtime partner Brad Altman in 2008. The actor now has over 7 million Facebook fans and his popularity just seems to be growing. A new documentary entitled To Be Takei highlights the incredible acting and activist career that Takei has achieved. The film opens in theaters, VOD and iTunes on August 22nd, and was directed by Jennifer M. Kroot (It Came from Kuchar). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with director Jennifer M. Kroot about her work on To Be Takei. The accomplished filmmaker discussed her new documentary, the incredible life of George Takei, his experience growing up in the Japanese American Interment Camps, why it took him so long to announce that he was a gay man, interviewing his Star Trek co-stars, the tension between Takei and William Shatner, how The Howard Stern Show reignited his career, and his cultural impact on society. 

The Giver finally arrives in theaters this weekend, but Jeff Bridges was trying to adapt the novel years ago.

Since its publication in 1993, Lois Lowry's book has become a staple, showing up on required reading lists and introducing heady, challenging concepts to the febrile minds of young readers everywhere.  The novel, which won the distinguished Newbery Medal, predates the current boom in dystopian young adult fiction, having been influential on many popular books and their cinematic counterparts.

Bridges, an Oscar-winner and American treasure, almost immediately seized upon the novel's potential.

"I originally wanted to direct my father, Lloyd Bridges, in the film and I wanted to make a movie that my kids could see. They were all young kids at the time," the actor revealed at the Los Angles press day for The Giver.

"I was looking at a catalog of children’s books and came across this wonderful cover of this grizzled old guy," he recalled. "And I thought, 'Oh this is great.' I read it and I was knocked out on a kid-book level but also as an adult. I thought, 'Oh this is a movie I’d love to see.' It turns, out, that Lois took that photograph of the guy on the cover."

Jake Johnson isn't quite a household name just yet, but given his scrappy everyman charm and inimitable comedic timing, it's only a matter of time.

He's probably best known as Nick Miller, a cantankerous scene-stealer on the Fox series New Girl.  On the cinematic side, Johnson has proved his value as a supporting player in movies as varied as 21 Jump Street, Ceremony, No Strings Attached, and even A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, in which he briefly played Jesus.

He proved he has more than mere comedic chops with this turn in the great Safety Not Guaranteed and his starring performance in Drinking Buddies last year.

With Let's Be Cops now playing in theaters, Johnson leads a summer studio comedy alongside his New Girl compatriot Damon Wayans Jr. (The Other Guys). The movie, which opened nationwide on Wednesday, follows Ryan and Justin, a pair of losers who really commit to impersonating LAPD officers after a successful costume party, buying a Crown Vic and responding to 911 calls.  Utterly unqualified and totally irresponsible, they're living a Quixotic fantasy in which they inadvertently get tangled up in a criminal conspiracy.

At the Los Angeles press day for Let's Be Cops, Jake Johnson discussed his merciless physical preparation for the role, improvisation, Natasha Leggero, the odd saga of Wayans on New Girl, and how he once spurned his co-star like an angry former lover.

Academy Award-winner Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, and Kelsey Grammer are now Expendables! The three iconic actors have joined Sylvester Stallone’s crew of action stars in The Expendables 3, which is the latest installment in the popular action franchise and opens in theaters on August 15th. 

Gibson has appeared in such popular movies as the Mad Max trilogy, the Lethal Weapon series, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory, Payback, The Patriot, We Were Soldiers, Signs, Edge of Darkness, and Machete Kills. He won two Oscars for producing and directing Braveheart, as well as writing and directing The Passion of the Christ, which is the highest grossing non-English-language film of all time. Snipes made his first onscreen appearance in Wildcats, and went on to appear in a string of successful films including Major League, New Jack City, Jungle Fever, White Man Can’t Jump, Passenger 57, Rising Sun, Demolition Man, The Fan, U.S. Marshalls, and the Blade trilogy. Grammer is probably best known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Dr. Frasier Crane on both Cheers and Frasier, but he also appears in two of the most successful films of the summer - X-Men: Days of Future Past (reprising his role as Dr. Henry McCoy/Beast from X-Men: The Last Stand), and Transformers: Age of Extinction

In The Expendables 3, Barney Ross (Stallone) augments his team with new blood to take down Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), the Expendables co-founder and notorious arms trader who is hell bent on wiping out Barney and every single one of his associates. Snipes plays Doctor Death, a former medic and one of the original Expendables, while Grammer portrays Bonaparte, a retired mercenary that helps Ross recruit his new team. In addition to Gibson, Snipes, and Grammer, new additions to the franchise include Antonio Banderas (Haywire), and Harrison Ford (Paranoia), as well as younger actors Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules), and Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises), professional boxer Victor Ortiz, and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey. Reprising their roles from the previous films are Stallone, Jason Statham (Homefront), Jet Li (Unleashed), Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning), Randy Couture (Red Belt), Terry Crews (The Single Moms Club), and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Sabotage). The movie was directed by Patrick Hughes (Red Hill), and written by Stallone, who penned the previous films.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Los Angeles press conference for The Expendables 3 and hearing what Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, and Kelsey Grammer had to say about their new film. Gibson discussed his first reaction to the script, how he helped improve it, and when he will direct again, while Snipes talked about why he chose this film for his cinematic comeback, and Grammer discussed why he’s always wanted to work with Sylvester Stallone.

Actor Sylvester Stallone has created three of the most popular film franchises of all-time with the Rocky, Rambo, and The Expendables series. He is also the only actor in history to star in a movie that has opened number one at the box office in each of the past five decades.

Stallone first gained attention in 1976 when he was nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his work in Rocky, making him the third man in history to be nominated in both categories for the same film behind Charles Chaplin and Orson Welles. Stallone would go on to write all six films in the Rocky franchise, as well as directing Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, and Rocky Balboa. In addition to playing the underdog boxer, he created the role of Vietnam veteran John Rambo in First Blood and wrote every film in the franchise as well as directing the final installment Rambo

Stallone starred in several successful non-Rocky/Rambo movies as well including Cobra, Tango & Cash, Cliffhanger, Demolition Man, The Specialist, Judge Dredd, Assassins, and Cop Land. But it was his vision of bringing the greatest action stars of all-time together for one movie that gave him his third major franchise. Stallone wrote and directed The Expendables, which saw the actor sharing the screen with the likes of Jason Statham (Homefront), Jet Li (Unleashed), Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning), Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Sabotage), and Bruce Willis (A Good Day to Die Hard). He returned for The Expendables 2 but only wrote and starred in the sequel, which included new cast members like Jean-Claude Van Damme (Timecop), and Chuck Norris (The Delta Force). Now Stallone can be seen in The Expendables 3, which opens in theaters on August 15th and features several new additions to the cast. 

In The Expendables 3, Barney Ross (Stallone) augments his team with new blood to take down Conrad Stonebanks, the Expendables co-founder and notorious arms trader who is hell bent on wiping out Barney and every single one of his associates. Academy Award-winner Mel Gibson (Braveheart, Lethal Weapon series) joins the cast as Stonebanks, along with fellow veteran actors like Wesley Snipes (Blade trilogy), Antonio Banderas (Haywire), Kelsey Grammer (X-Men: The Last Stand), and Harrison Ford (Paranoia). Younger actors Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules) and Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises), as well as professional boxer Victor Ortiz and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey also join the cast as Barney’s new recruits. While Statham, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger, Randy Couture (Red Belt), and Terry Crews (The Single Moms Club) reprise their roles from the previous films. The movie was directed by Patrick Hughes (Red Hill), and once again written by Stallone.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Los Angeles press conference for The Expendables 3 and hearing what Sylvester Stallone had to say about his new film. The Italian Stallion discussed his new movie, working with Mel Gibson, why Bruce Willis and Jackie Chan don’t appear in this film, his longtime friendship with Harrison Ford, bringing younger actors into the franchise, why he didn’t end up killing off Terry Crews’ character, Stallone’s first encounters with his Hollywood heroes, which one of his famous characters from the past would make good additions to the Expendables team, and how many more Expendables movies he’d like to make. 

Unarguably, director Robert Altman is one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time. 

His impressive resume of films include such groundbreaking classics as MASH, Brewster McCloud, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye, Nashville, Popeye, The Player, Short Cuts, Gosford Park, and A Prairie Home Companion. Robert Altman’s life and career are now examined in the new EPIX Original Documentary entitled Altman, which premieres August 6th. 

Altman takes viewers through the highs and lows of the uncompromising visionary’s half-century long career in filmmaking. The documentary features interviews with Paul Thomas Anderson, James Caan, Phillip Baker Hall, Sally Kellerman, Lyle Lovett, Julianne Moore, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, and Bruce Willis

Another longtime Altman collaborator that appears in the new documentary is Elliot Gould, whose own impressive career has spanned over fifty years. The veteran actor made five films with Altman including MASH, The Long Goodbye, California Split, Nashville, and The Player. Gould first gained attention for his work in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, which earned him an Academy Award-nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He would go on to appear in such films as Capricorn One, The Muppet Movie, Bugsy, American History X, Contagion, and Ruby Sparks. But he is probably best known to a younger generation for his role as Monica and Ross’ dad on Friends, as well as playing Ruben Tishkoff in Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and Ocean’s Thirteen. He can currently be seen opposite Liev Schreiber on the popular Showtime series Ray Donovan

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Elliot Gould about Altman, making MASH, The Long Goodbye and The Player, as well as working with the legendary director. Gould candidly discussed the new documentary, his first meeting with Robert Altman, reading the script for MASH, his onscreen chemistry with Donald Sutherland, why MASH was so ahead of its time, Altman’s process as a filmmaker, his groundbreaking use of sound, making The Long Goodbye, playing the iconic character of Phillip Marlowe, why the movie angered so many people, appearing in The Player, and his favorite all-time Altman films.

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