James Franco is truly a renaissance man!
Not only is he an Academy Award-nominated actor, former Oscar host, painter, college professor, novelist, screenwriter, and producer, but he is also an accomplished director who has not one but two films opening in October. The first is entitled As I Lay Dying, which is based on the novel by William Faulkner. The second is called Sal, a biopic about the life of actor Sal Mineo, which also stars Franco and will be available on VOD and iTunes October 22nd, and in theaters in November 1st.
Sal stars actor Val Lauren (The Salton Sea) in the title role and is based on a book by author Michael Gregg Michaud, with a story developed by Franco, Lauren, producer Vince Jolivette (Spring Breakers), and the film’s screenwriter Stacey Miller (The Ape). The movie chronicles the final hours of the life of actor Sal Mineo, one-time teen idol and star of the blockbuster films Rebel Without a Cause and Exodus. I fist met Franco, Lauren, Jolivette, and Miller almost 15 years ago when we all attended Playhouse West Acting School and Repertory Theater in North Hollywood together. The film also features several of our fellow classmates including Raymond T. Williams (Their Eyes Were Watching God), Cristian Olave (Some Body), and Brian Lally (Hesher).
I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with my old friend Val Lauren about his career defining work on Sal. The talented actor discussed his new film, his stunning performance, how the project came together, Sal Mineo’s fascinating life, his uncanny resemblance to the Rebel Without a Cause actor, what he learned about acting from Playhouse West, reuniting with his former classmates for the film, what Franco is like as a director, and Lauren’s tour de force performance in the film.
Currently available on VOD and opening in select theaters on September 20th is the new crime noir thriller A Single Shot from director David M. Rosenthal (Janie Jones, Falling Up, See This Movie). The film, which is based on the novel of the same name by Matthew F. Jones, who also wrote the screenplay, stars an impressive cast of actors that includes Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back), William H. Macy (The Sessions), Kelly Reilly (Flight), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter series), Joe Anderson (The Grey), Ted Levine (The Silence of the Lambs), Jeffrey Wright (Broken City), and Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo (Olympus Has Fallen).
The movie features a powerful performance by Rockwell as a classic noir character named John Moon, an everyman-type hunter who can’t seem to catch a break. Recently separated from his family, Moon is struggling to make ends meet in West Virginia while living in his wilderness home. After the accidental death of a young girl, he stumbles upon a box of cash, which he thinks will change his luck for the better. But when the criminals that the box belongs to come looking for their money, it begins a chain of events that threatens both him and his estranged family. Now Moon must use his wits and skills to protect his family in the backwoods area that he knows so well, while surviving a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse between him and the killers who will stop at nothing to retrieve their cash.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with director David M. Rosenthal about his work on A Single Shot. The accomplished filmmaker discussed his new movie, what attracted him to the project, the noir genre, the visual pitch he used to get hired, other movies that influenced this film, why it was helpful to have author Matthew F. Jones adapt his own novel into the screenplay, working with actor Sam Rockwell, the classic noir character of John Moon, assembling the impressive ensemble cast, William H. Macy and Jason Isaacs unusual performances, and the film’s silent opening sequence.
The first trailer for Escape From Tomorrow is only a minute long, but it takes way less time than that for the trailer to make you ask yourself just how this movie isn't being sued into oblivion by Disney.
Somehow, a strange David Lynch-like movie shot at Disney parks without permission is getting a limited theatrical release and VOD availability this October.
That's right. Escape From Tomorrow arrives on all manner of entertainment platform this October 11th thanks to Producers Distribution Agency.
Actor Ricky Schroder has been entertaining people with his work on television and in the movies for most of his life!
Schroder first gained attention at the age of nine for his role opposite Oscar winner Jon Voight in the Franco Zeffirelli film The Champ, which earned the young actor a Golden Globe for Best New Male Star of the Year in a Motion Picture. But it was his role as Ricky Stratton on the popular ‘80s series Silver Spoons that made him a star and a TV icon. Unlike many child actors, Schroder began to transition into an adult career by appearing on the Western mini-series Lonesome Dove, and its sequel, Return to Lonesome Dove. But it was his role as Danny Sorenson for three seasons on NYPD Blue that cemented his successful career as an adult actor. Schroder would later go on to appear on the beloved Fox series 24, where he played the role of CTU agent Mike Doyle. The actor is also a filmmaker and has directed such films as Black Cloud, and Hellhounds. Now, Schroder goes behind the camera again with a new film that he has also written and produced with his wife Andrea Schroder called Our Wild Hearts, which will be released on VOD and DVD beginning July 9th.
Our Wild Hearts is about a wealthy teenage girl from Malibu (Cambrie Schroder), who falls in love with a beautiful wild mustang in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as well as the father (Ricky Schroder) who she has never known. The film is truly a family affair, and in addition to collaborating with his wife, the movie features all of Schroder’s children in acting roles including Cambrie, Holden, and Luke Schroder.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ricky Schroder about his work on Our Wild Hearts, as well as his impressive career. The talented actor and filmmaker discussed his new film, co-writing it with his wife, directing his kids, discouraging them to be child actors like he was, the relationships between the characters in the movie, acting vs. filmmaking, his passion for Western culture, and if he would consider reprising his role as Mike Doyle for the upcoming 24 revival series, 24: Live Another Day.
When it comes to acting, Elijah Wood is a maniac!
Wood began his career as just a kid with a small role in Back to the Future Part II, and went on to appear in such films as Avalon, Forever Young, Radio Flyer, The Good Son, The Ice Storm, Deep Impact, and The Faculty. But it was his performance as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy that made him a household name. Since then, he has appeared in a string of successful movies including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, Bobby, Happy Feet, Happy Feet Two, Celeste and Jessie Forever, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - reprising his role as Frodo in the prequel to the original series. Wood is also very busy on the small screen starring on FX’s extremely popular comedy series Wilfred, which just began airing its 3rd season, and also voicing the lead character on the Disney XD animated series Tron: Uprising. But now the actor can be seen in a completely different type of role as a psychopathic killer in the new remake of the cult ‘80s horror classic Maniac, which is currently available on VOD and in theaters in New York, and opens in Los Angeles on June 28th.
In Maniac, Wood plays Frank, the role portrayed by actor Joe Spinell in the original. Frank is an unassuming young mannequin shop owner living in downtown Los Angeles who befriends a young artist (Nora Arnezeder) and agrees to help her with her upcoming exhibition. But when the troubled young man’s suppressed desires come to the surface, it begins a series of events that prove deadly for everyone around him. The film is directed by Franck Khalfoun (P2) and shot almost completely from Frank’s point of view.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Elijah Wood for an exclusive interview to talk about his work on Maniac. The accomplished actor discussed his new film, its unique POV style, watching the original, director Franck Khalfoun’s vision for the movie, playing a psychopath, his own love for the horror genre, and the first horror movie he ever saw.
Available on DVD and VOD beginning May 21st is the new comedy/drama Picture Day form writer/director Kate Melville (TV's Degrassi: The Next Generation). The film stars Tatiana Maslany (The Vow), Spencer Van Wyck (The Lesser Blessed), Steven McCarthy (The Skulls), Susan Coyne (TV's Slings and Arrows), and newcomer Mark DeBonis.
IAR is proud to present the exclusive trailer premiere of Picture Day.
Opening in Los Angeles and New York theaters, as well as VOD on March 22nd is the British musical Hunky Dory from Welsh director Marc Evans (Patagonia). The film stars Academy Award-nominee Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting, Grosse Pointe Blank), Robert Pugh (Robin Hood), Steve Speirs (Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace), and Kimberley Nixon (Cherrybomb).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had a chance to sit down with Minnie Driver to talk about her work on Hunky Dory, as well as her overall career. The talented actress discussed her new movie, its similarities to Glee, her own musical abilities, shooting the film's music scenes, her love for David Bowie, if she were to make a rock musical out of a Shakespearian play - which play would she choose and what contemporary music would she use, how she chooses her roles, what's more important - a great script or a great director, and what film in her long and impressive career she is most proud to have been a part of.
Available on VOD and DVD beginning February 5th is the new crime drama Mafia from writer/director Ryan Combs (Caged Animal). The film stars Golden Globe-winning actor Ving Rhames (Death Race 3: Inferno), Robert Patrick (Gangster Squad), and '70s icon Pam Grier (Jackie Brown).
IAR is proud to present an exclusive clip from Mafia.
Golden Globe-nominated actress Sarah Paulson can do it all!
She has appeared on Broadway, television, and independent films, as well as big budget studio movies. The actress first gained attention on the small screen for her work on the beloved HBO series Deadwood before moving on to the short-lived series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and most recently FX’s hit anthology series American Horror Story, as well as it’s follow up season American Horror Story: Asylum. She has also appeared in such big screen films as Serenity, The Spirit, New Year’s Eve, and Martha Marcy May Marlene. Not to mention the critically acclaimed HBO film Game Change, which has earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film at this Sunday’s Awards ceremony. But first, the talented actress can be seen once again on the big screen in the new film Fairhaven, which opens in theaters on January 11th and VOD January 15th.
Fairhaven was written and directed by actor Tom O’Brien (The Next Karate Kid) based on a story written by him and fellow actor Chris Messina (Argo). The film revolves around Dave (Messina), a drifter who returns home to a small Massachusetts fishing village for his father’s funeral. While there, he reunites with his two best friends form high school, Jon (O’Brien) and Sam (Rich Sommer), who are also both having a difficult time adjusting to adult life. He also comes in contact with Sam’s ex-wife, Kate (Paulson), who Dave had secretly had an affair with years before. The reunion brings back old feelings for both Dave and Kate, and forces him to confront everything he had been running away from.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Sarah Paulson about Fairhaven, as well as her work on American Horror Story: Asylum, and the upcoming film Twelve Years a Slave, which was directed by Steve McQueen (Shame) and also stars Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The talented actress discussed her new film, her character, how she got the part, working with writer/director/actor Tom O’Brien, performing opposite Chris Messina, the process of acting, American Horror Story: Asylum, if she will return for season three, becoming friends with legendary actress Jessica Lange, Twelve Years a Slave, and what it was like collaborating with director Steve McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender.