Justine Browning

Justine Browning

Opening in theaters on May 2nd is the new British drama Belle from director Amma Asante (A Way of LIfe). The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Larry Crowne), Tom Wilkinson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1), Matthew Goode (Stoker), Emily Watson (War Horse), Tom Felton (TV's Full Circle), and Sam Reid (Anonymous).  

IAR's New York Correspondent Justine Browning recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Miranda Richardson and Sam Reid to talk about their work on Belle. The seasoned actress and talented young actor discussed their new film, what they learned about the time period it is set in, the painting that inspired the project, paintings that have inspired them, how the costumes helped them get into their characters, and their first reactions to the movie's screenplay. 

Opening in theaters on April 2nd is the new British crime film from writer/director Richard Shepard (The Matador) called Dom Hemingway. The movie stars Jude Law (Side Effects), Richard E. Grant (The Iron Lady), Demian Bichir (Machete Kills), and Emilia Clarke (TV's Game of Thrones).  

IAR's New York Correspondent Justine Browning recently had the opportunity to sit down with Demian Bichir to talk about his work on Dom Hemingway, as well as the upcoming second season of FX's The Bridge. The Oscar-nominated actor discussed his new movie, its excellent cast, balancing the film's comedic and dramatic tones, working with director Richard Shepard, and reprising his character of Detective Marco Ruiz for season two of The Bridge.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 11:54

IAR Set Visit: 'The Americans'

Few series could pull off showing a corpse being doused in acid and disposed of followed by a sex scene in a 76 Oldsmobile to the sounds of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight." Not only has The Americans successfully managed to balance the gritty realism of the Cold War with an alluring, yet understated romance--it's done so with style.

Set in 1981, the thriller follows two deep-cover KGB spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) posing as married Washington suburbanites Elizabeth and Philip Jennings. The two have even raised two children to cement their appearance as an all-American family. When Stan (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent, moves next door, the two must take extra precautions to mask their true identities.   

Former CIA officer Joe Weisberg developed the FX hit and he frequently incorporates real spy craft tales into the storyline (like the poisoned umbrella!). I had the chance to visit the show's Gowanus, Brooklyn set this month to talk to the cast and writer Joel Fields about the acclaimed series.

It has action, romance, and wigs--lots of wigs. There's also plenty of 80's knitwear and some of the decade's most loved tunes. But while there's an element of camp to The Americans, there's also a range of haunting themes that ground it in realism.
 
The Cold War-set series centers on a pair of deep cover KGB agents (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), who go by the names Philip and Elizabeth Jennings. The arranged couple, which was trained in Russia, has been living in the U.S. under the guise that they are an average married couple. They've even raised two children, who are unaware of their parents' true identities. What threatens their covert operation is the fact that they have contrasting priorities. Philip not only loves his children and fake wife, he's grown fond of America (he's rather enthusiastic about cars, malls and cowboy boots). Elizabeth, however, is an absolute daughter of the KBG and will face death before betraying her homeland.
 
Yet when Philip makes a monumental sacrifice for Elizabeth, she begins to develop genuine feelings for him. As a real relationship takes form, they are forced to recognize whether they are more devoted to their country or one another. To further complicate matters, their FBI agent neighbor (Noah Emmerich) has his suspicions about them and is slowly getting closer to uncovering who they really are.
 
I recently had the chance to speak exclusively with The Americans’ creator and former CIA officer Joe Weisberg as well as writer Joel Fields about the hit FX thriller, which goes into its second season on February 26, and has its first season currently available on Blu-ray and DVD.

As Justified continues its stellar fifth season, show creator Graham Yost continues to lend his talents to The Americans, as the hit thriller's Executive Producer.
 
Set in 1981, the series follows two KGB spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys), posing as a married couple in the suburbs of D.C. The pair, who has raised two children as part of their cover, has grown to develop real feelings towards one another and their children, which begins to hinder their ability to carry out covert missions in the name of Mother Russia. If that's not enough, their neighbor happens to be a dedicated FBI agent (Noah Emmerich) who specializes in counter intelligence.
 
I recently had the chance to speak exclusively with Yost on keeping fans happy, colorblind casting and how he advised The Americans creator Joe Weisberg on developing his first series. 

Opening in theaters on January 31st is the new romantic comedy That Awkward Moment, which was written and directed by first time filmmaker Tom Gormican. The movie stars a group of talented young actors including Zac Efron (At Any Price), Miles Teller (21 & Over), Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle), Imogen Poots (Fright Night), Mackenzie Davis (Smashed), and Jessica Lucas (Evil Dead), as well as veteran actor Josh Pais (Touchy Feely). 

IAR's very own New York Correspondent Justine Browning recently had a chance to sit down with Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan to talk about her work on That Awkward Moment. The popular young actors discussed their new film, its Shakespearian undertones, which Shakespeare play they would most like to appear in, their love for Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Sixth Sense, the strangest thing they have ever done to impress someone, and the worst thing that a director can say to an actor. 

Opening in theaters on January 31st is the new romantic comedy That Awkward Moment, which was written and directed by first time filmmaker Tom Gormican. The movie stars a group of talented young actors including Zac Efron (At Any Price), Miles Teller (21 & Over), Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle), Imogen Poots (Fright Night), Mackenzie Davis (Smashed), and Jessica Lucas (Evil Dead), as well as veteran actor Josh Pais (Touchy Feely). 

IAR's very own New York Correspondent Justine Browning recently had a chance to sit down with Imogen Poots to talk about her work on That Awkward Moment. The popular young actress discussed her new film, what aspects of her own personality she was able to incorporate into her character, what aspects of her character she'd like to incorporate into her own life, defining a true friend, the film's Shakespearian undertones, which Shakespeare play she most like to appear in, and shooting in New York. 

It wouldn't seem that a film about a phone sex hotline could be so imaginative and creative but Sweet Talk: An Unexpected Love Story manages to be just that.

Written by author, playwright, and screenwriter Peter Lefcourt (Desperate Housewives, The Deal) and directed by actress Terri Hanauer (whose short Recycling Flo proved promising), the indie comedy marks the pair's first project as a married couple. This no doubt contributed to the intriguing dynamic between the two leads, a frustrated yet fiery young woman (Natalie Zea) and a blocked writer (Jeffrey Vincent Parise). The pair, who begin chatting over a phone sex hotline, soon find that they're on a journey of self-exploration. What starts out as soulless small talk, turns into something much more—as they create scenarios that have less to do with sex and more to do with the excitement of feeling alive and connected to someone.

Zea's portrayal of Delilah is what makes the film so grounded and alluring. This is no surprise given that the actress turned what could have been hollow small screen roles on shows like Justified and The Following and gave them an edge. In Sweet Talk, Zea takes Delilah from a woman consumed with bitterness to a woman who openly shares her fantasy about having a dangerous love affair in war-torn Budapest.

I had the chance to speak with Zea about acting with a phone instead of a scene partner, the scarcity of dynamic female roles, and how she approached conveying her character's sexuality in an honest light.

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