Jami Philbrick

Jami Philbrick

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Opening in theaters on November 7th is the new historical drama Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, which is based on a true story and stars Kal Penn

Penn is best known for his roles in such popular film and TV projects as Van Wilder: Party Liaison, Superman Returns, 24, House M.D., How I Met Your Mother, and the Harold & Kumar trilogy. But in 2009 Penn decided to take a break from acting to join the Obama administration as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. 

Now back from his side job in D.C., Penn joins Mischa Barton (TV’s The O.C.) and the great Martin Sheen (The Departed, Apocalypse Now, TV’s The West Wing) in Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain. The new film interweaves stories of people in India and the US as they face dilemmas in the months leading to the biggest Industrial disaster in human history that claimed 10,000 innocent lives within a few hours. The movie was written and directed by first time feature filmmaker Ravi Kumar

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kal Penn and director Ravi Kumar about their work on Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain. The actor and his director discussed their new project, the true story it is based on, why they wanted to make the movie, Penn’s post-White House acting choices, casting Mischa Barton and Martin Sheen, how Bhopal marks the second time Penn has worked with a US President, and what they hope audiences will learn from the film. 

American cartoonist Jim Davis is responsible for creating one of the most beloved comic strip characters of all-time … Garfield!

After writing for such popular syndicated comic strips as Tumbleweeds and Gnorm Gnat, in 1978 Davis created the comic strip Garfield and has never looked back. Since then, the lovable orange cat has become the star of the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip, and has gone on to appear in 12 prime-time specials, an animated series (Garfield and Friends), a comic book, a musical, several video games, and two live-action films including Garfield: The Movie, and Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties. In addition to Garfield, Davis also created the fat cat’s cast of supporting characters including his owner Jon Arbuckle, and his dog Odie. 

Available exclusively at Walmart on November 4th and on iTunes on November 11th is Garfield Holiday Collection, which features five classic prime-time specials all on one DVD. The collection includes A Garfield Christmas, Garfield’s Thanksgiving, the Emmy-winning Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, the Emmy-winning Garfield On The Town, and Garfield In Paradise. The DVD also includes a documentary entitled The House that Garfield Built: A Visit with Jim Davis

I recently had the honor of speaking with the great Jim Davis about Garfield Holiday Collection. The legendary cartoonist discussed the new DVD, how he created the character, Garfield’s relationship with Odie, when Hollywood first approached him to make animated specials, casting Lorenzo Music (Rhoda) as the voice of Garfield, why Bill Murray was perfect to voice the character in the live-action films, originally making the animated holiday specials, and the legacy of the characters that he created. 

Opening in theaters on November 21st is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, which is the third film in the incredibly successful franchise. The new movie was once again directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine), and stars Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Josh Hutcherson (Little Manhattan), Liam Hemsworth (Paranoia), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman), Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect), Woody Harrelson (Free Birds), Julianne Moore (Carrie), Jeffrey Wright (Shaft), Stanley Tucci (Road to Perdition), Donald Sutherland (MASH), and Academy Award-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (God's Pocket).

Courtesy of our friends at Lionsgate, IAR is proud to present footage from the New York press conference for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. Director Francis Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, and Donald Sutherland discussed their work on the highly anticipated new film. 

Opening in theaters on November 14th is the new horror thriller from co-writers/co-directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (Absence) called Starry Eyes. The film stars Alex Essoe (Passion Play), Amanda Fuller (TV's Life), Noah Segan (Looper), and Pat Healy (The Innkeepers). 

IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Alex Essoe to talk about her work on Starry Eyes. The talented young actress discussed her new film, her initial reactions to the screenplay, relating to her character, how she got the role, and working with co-directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer

Professional actor and acting teacher Mark Pellegrino definitely practices what he preaches!

Pellegrino has been a working actor for over 25 years, and has an impressive resume of television and film credits to his name. He has appeared on such popular TV shows as Dexter, Prison Break, Supernatural, Being Human, The Closer, Revolution, and The Tomorrow People. While his film work includes No Holds Barred, Lethal Weapon 3, Mulholland Drive, Spartan, National Treasure, The Number 23, and the Oscar-nominated Capote. However, Pellegrino is probably best known to audiences for his role as Jackie Treehorn’s blond thug in The Big Lebowski, and as the mysterious Jacob on Lost. In addition to acting professionally, he has also spent over 15 years as an acting teacher at the famed Playhouse West School and Repertory Theater in North Hollywood, where I was actually once his student. Now Pellegrino can be seen in the new film Bad Turn Worse, which is earning the actor rave reviews and opens in theaters on November 14th. 

Chase Whale of Film Threat called Mark Pellegrino’s performance in Bad Turn Worse, “The best villain I’ve seen on screen since Heath Ledger’s Joker.” That’s high praise! The film follows three Texas teens (Jeremy Allen White, Logan Huffman, and Mackenzie Davis) that hope to make a break for it and escape their dead-end existence in a cotton-mill town. However, they get sucked into the seedy underbelly of organized crime when one of them steals from a crime boss named Giff (Pellegrino). The film also includes performances from Jon Gries (Taken 2) and William Devane (Interstellar), and was directed by first time feature filmmakers Zeke and Simon Hawkins

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the great Mark Pellegrino about his work on Bad Turn Worse. My former acting teacher discussed his new film, how he got involved with the project, getting to play such a great role, how he uses the acting technique that he teaches in his professional work, collaborating with first time filmmakers Zeke and Simon Hawkins, what he learned from director David Mamet on Spartan, and the legacy of The Big Lebowski

Opening in theaters on November 14th is the new drama from writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) called Beyond the Lights. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Nate Parker (Non-Stop), Minnie Driver (Hunky Dory), Benito Martinez (Bless Me, Ultima), and Danny Glover (Supremacy). 

IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with director Gina Prince-Bythewood to talk about her work on Beyond the Lights. The accomplished director discussed her new film, finding inspiration for the lead character, what is going on with women in hip-hop, momagers, Minnie Driver's excellent performance, casting Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Noni, and the film's Romeo & Juliet theme. 

Actor Jason Ritter may be part of a Hollywood dynasty, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t work hard to get to the top!

Jason Ritter is the son of legendary comedic actor John Ritter and actress Nancy Morgan, as well as the grandchild of musician/actor Tex Ritter and actress Dorothy Fay. Jason began his career at a very young age appearing in the opening credits of his father’s groundbreaking series Three’s Company. As an adult he has appeared in a string of successful films including Swimfan, Freddy vs. Jason, The Wicker Man, W., and The East. But he is probably best known for his work on TV in such popular shows as Joan of Arcadia, The Class, The Event, and Parenthood. But now, Ritter can be seen once again on the big screen in the new film Always Woodstock, which opens in theaters on November 14th. 

The new film follows struggling songwriter Catherine Brown (Allison Miller) as her life in New York City falls apart. She is forced to confront her past when she spends the summer at her childhood home in Woodstock, New York, learning that becoming successful means becoming your true self first. Ritter plays Garret, Catherine’s ex and the reason she leaves NYC. The movie was written and directed by first time filmmaker Rita Merson, and in addition to Brown and Ritter also stars James Wolk (For a Good Time, Call…), Katey Segal (FX’s Sons of Anarchy), Rumor Willis (The House Bunny), and Brittany Snow (96 Minutes). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jason Ritter about his work on Always Woodstock. The talented actor discussed his new film, why he took such a small role, why he still auditions, finding roles that are different from what he has done before, wanting to be an actor from a very young age, and the invaluable advise that his parents gave him. 

Opening in theaters on November 14th is the new drama from writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) called Beyond the Lights. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Nate Parker (Non-Stop), Minnie Driver (Hunky Dory), Benito Martinez (Bless Me, Ultima), and Danny Glover (Supremacy). 

IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Gugu Mbatha-Raw to talk about her work on Beyond the Lights. The popular young actress discussed her new film, if she based her character on hip-hop star Rihanna, and performing the music video scenes in the movie. 

Screenwriter David Hayter has helped write some of the greatest super hero movies ever made!

Hayter actually began his career as an actor and was the voice of Captain America on the Spider-Man animated series in the ‘90s. After transitioning into a career as a screenwriter, Hayter wrote Bryan Singer’s X-Men. He went on to co-write X-Men 2, as well as co-writing Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. He was also at one point set to write and direct a film based on the Marvel character Black Widow for Lionsgate, before Marvel Studios retrieved the rights to the character. Hayter finally makes his directorial debut with his new film Wolves, which he also wrote and opens in theaters on November 14th.

Wolves follows Cayden Richards (X-Men: First ClassLucas Till), who is forced to hit the road after the murder of his parents. Cayden wanders lost without purpose until he meets a certifiable lunatic named Wild Joe (John Pyper-Ferguson). Joe sets Cayden on a path to the ominous town of Lupine Ridge, to hunt down the truths of his history. But in the end, who's really hunting whom? In addition to Till and Pyper-Ferguson, the film also stars Jason Momoa (Conan the Barbarian), Kaitlyn Leeb (Total Recall), Merritt Patterson (The Hole), and Stephen McHattie (Watchmen). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with writer and director David Hayter about his work on Wolves. The accomplished screenwriter discussed his new movie, how he got involved with the project, making his directorial debut, his favorite werewolf movies, what he learned about directing from the filmmakers he’s collaborated with on past projects, casting Lucas Till, the current status of his Black Widow movie and why Watchmen is a masterpiece.

Opening in theaters on November 14th is the new drama from writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) called Beyond the Lights. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Nate Parker (Non-Stop), Minnie Driver (Hunky Dory), Benito Martinez (Bless Me, Ultima), and Danny Glover (Supremacy). 

IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Nate Parker to talk about his work on Beyond the Lights. The popular young actor discussed his new movie, its powerful love story, working with the legendary Danny Glover, having Lethal Weapon deja vu, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw's impressive performance. 

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