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Amanda Seyfried Is Perfectly Charming In The Film While We’re Young

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(PCM) Amanda Seyfried portrays a free-spirited young woman who learns some vital life lessons in her new indie film, “While We’re Young” about the generation gap.

The film centers around a New York-based documentary filmmaker and his wife (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts), who begin hanging out with a couple in their 20’s, played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried.

The 29-year-old small-town Pennsylvania girl, plays Darby, the girlfriend of an aspiring documentary filmmaker, Jamie, who shakes things up when they encounter a middle-aged couple (Josh and Cornelia) and everyone questions their ethics, dreams and future.

The older couple’s career and marriage are overturned when the disarming younger couple enter their lives. The film is well-written, expertly acted and has many comic and poignant moments. There are also some brutally honest lines about the realities of new parenthood.

The movie from A24 Films had its debut at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and is now playing. It was written and directed by Noah Baumbach.

During a chilly and breezy day as winter-turned-to-spring, Amanda looked lovely in a long- sleeved white cotton blouse and black slacks. She was soft spoken, had a gentle smile, and a great rapport with her co-stars and the film’s director.

Seyfried is known for a wide variety of challenging roles from starring as porn star Linda Lovelace in the movie Lovelace, as well as the award-winning musical Les Miserables with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Big Wedding with Robert DeNiro and Diane Keaton, and the animated story Epic, with Colin Farrell.

Seyfried continues to make a big splash in films – both big blockbusters and small indies and we are all eager for the next time she lights up the silver screen.

Q: How did acting become your life passion?

AMANDA SEYFRIED: I wanted to be an artist. Somehow I wanted to express myself. And that’s part of me. It definitely got me to where I am.

Q: This movie is also about how gadgets have taken over the younger generations. What are your thoughts about that?

AS: Besides negatively? Ha! Yeah, sometimes. I think there’s good and bad. But it’s much easier to hide behind it, and not have actual human interaction.

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Q: What was it like filming on busy crowded city streets, and everybody gawking at you?

AS: They’re just trying to make their mark! Everything is going on, and delivery men. But you know, I like that feeling in movies, where you can feel real life around you.

Q: What did you like most about your character, Darby in this movie?

AS: I really liked that she doesn’t seem to worry about much.

Q: Do you ever feel anything like Darby?

AS: I mean; there’s this burden that I carry on my shoulders constantly. And I’m really, actively working on loosening up.

Q: How so?

AS: You know, being more mindful. And she’s got that. I think that she was born with it, you know? There’s a lot going on. So yeah, I’m learning that. Surely. One of the many things! But that’s one of the many wonderful things about Darby. And that made it easy.

Q: Please tell me more.

AS: You know; I could connect so well with how my character is feeling. But this movie was pretty easy, because we had this rapport. And that’s what you look for. You know; you just want that connection.

Q: Do you feel that your character has any lessons about life that you picked up?

AS: I didn’t learn any lessons like that! And you know; people are going to take away what they’re going to take away.

Q: This is a generation gap movie. So was there ever a time in your life when you felt that disconnect but then realized yeah, ‘I think I’m a grownup now’?

AS: That’s a good one. It’s true. But it’s really just presenting that culture back to people, in a new form. It’s not like the young people are crazy. I don’t know.

Q: What did you like about doing this movie?

AS: It’s been a while. But I’m so excited about the movie; we had a really good time.

Q: Tell me about this incredible cast?

AS: I know! It’s really, it was a different kind of challenge for me. But working with Noah, you know he’s going to make something insanely thought provoking. And awesome.

Q: How did you react to this script about aging?

AS: I just thought it was hilarious. I thought that this is, I get it. Unfortunately! It felt very…familiar! And you know, these two couples being at such different stages in their lives, and the dynamics between them. Also, how they sort of become symbiotic, in some ways. But then obviously, it’s not going to last. You know, it’s a fascination for the wrong reasons.

Q: Please tell me more.

AS: But luckily, our couple comes out at the other end. And is able to sort of move forward with that bump in the road. And I think my character is a step ahead of Josh. But he’s, yeah. There’s more ego involved here, you know? And he needs that endorsement, he’s feeling that.

Q: What else is involved?

AS: Well, I think Cornelia does smell a rat, so to speak. As we say! But at the same time, she just gets a little caught up herself. You know, these things they like to do. Like making out in front of everyone. You know, public displays of affection. And walking the tracks in a train tunnel. Like it sounds and feels exciting. So yeah, it’s possibly true that life does slow down and get a little bit boring. At some point, And so um, she likes that. You know, they wake the child up in them.

Q: How do you feel about relationships?

AS: You have to re-evaluate sometimes, reevaluate yourself and where you are. And I think people don’t stop enough because they get so used to these people. It’s almost like they’re, everything becomes furniture. You’re just used to it being there.

Q: You said you enjoy going home to Allentown; do you hang out with long-time girlfriends when you go home?

AS: My three girlfriends from high school Liz, Anne and Maureen and I are all really close.

Q: What is it like to be able to share all of this with dear friends?

AS: It’s great, we each have separate lives and we all come together, and sometimes they come to premiers and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, they get to come with me when I’m on location, sometimes they don’t and I of course go visit them, so we all take each other everywhere. But it is nice to have them part of this world, too.

Q: You career exploded after Mamma Mia, how tricky has it been to navigate your life since then?

AS: I’ve just been really lucky with the movies that are coming up. Scheduling is always really hard especially if you have three really great offers on a movie, on three movies, and they’re all going at the same time, you have to pick and choose and it’s really difficult to do that. I just take what’s best at the time and usually the good ones are always pretty unique.

Q: Talk about not losing your head in the process after initial fame and then when it continues to build as it has for several years?

AS: I think I’m past the age of getting lost. It didn’t happen too early. It’s happened steadily, slowly but steadily and people say, oh well. You’re an overnight sensation. But actually that’s not true at all because I got into playing a supporting member in Mean Girls and then I went to Big Love and then I did small movies and then I did bigger movies, then I did Mamma Mia. It’s been so many years and I feel like it’s not happened too fast. I think that’s another secret, keeping my head on and obviously I have really good parents.

Q: When you are not working do you go hiking or do other outdoors activities?

AS: I live near Runyon Canyon in L.A. I hike every day when I am there. And in New York, when I live here six months out of the year, I have to leave the city to get out, but my parents are in Allentown [Pennsylvania] so I go upstate a lot. I mean I’m obsessed with the mountains; I’m obsessed with the East Coast and the four seasons kind of deal, since I grew up here.

The post Amanda Seyfried Is Perfectly Charming In The Film While We’re Young also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Simon Pegg Reveals Details About Writing Star Trek 3

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(PCM) Our colleague Taylor Salan of AgeOfTheNerd.com recently attended the press day for the upcoming film “Kill Me Three Times” and had some time to chat with actor Simon Pegg about the writing process for the upcoming “Star Trek 3″,as well as, exclusive details about “Kill Me Three Times”.

At the press day for Kill Me Three Times we had the pleasure of speaking to Simon Pegg about the film. While we will run the full interview closer to the film’s release date of April 10th, Pegg did offer some insight into the process of writing “Star Trek 3″ (As well as shooting “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”). During our chat, Pegg spoke briefly about how he ended up joining the project as writer, the intense pressure that he feels to make Star Trek fans happy with the newest installment, as well as what direction the new film will head.

Here’s how he joined “Star Trek 3″ creative team to begin with:

Well, I don’t want to talk about it too much because we are here for this one [Kill Me Three Times] obviously, but I yeah. It was just kind of conversations I was having between J.J. and Bryan Burke and they decided to kind of restart the process. And because I had been on set with Burke [For MI5], he said “maybe you should come on and write it with Doug [Jung], and Justin [Lin], and him, and Lindsey Webber”.

When talking about the pressure that he felt to say yes to writing “Star Trek 3″, Pegg commented:

I kind of, I felt like—no, I don’t want to, it’s too much pressure—but we just want to take it forward with the spirit of the T.V. show.

Finally, Pegg commented on the direction that the story of “Star Trek 3″ might take:

You know, it’s a story about frontiersm, and adventure, and optimism, and fun. That’s where we want to take it. You know where no man has gone before—where no one has gone before—ostensibly corrected, for a slightly more enlightened generation. But yeah, that’s the mood at the moment.

It has already been announced that “Star Trek 3″ will hit theaters a few months before the property’s 50th anniversary, and all signs seem to lead the third entry back towards creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision even more than ever. While Pegg obviously can’t give plot specifics this early on, it did seem evident that Pegg was very excited about the challenge of making a movie that truly represents what the franchise is about. I honestly think that Simon Pegg is a great screenwriter, and that his increased creative presence in the franchise can never be a bad thing. ‘Star Trek 3″ hits theaters on July 8, 2016.

The post Simon Pegg Reveals Details About Writing Star Trek 3 also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Jussie Smollett And Yazz Talk Empire’s Theme Of Family And Love

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(PCM) Last nights season one finale of the hit FOX drama “Empire” was nothing short of explosive. The two-hour finale gave us so many game-changing moments that we don’t even know where to begin. Some relationships were repaired, others were destroyed and the one particular catfight that was inevitably going to occur finally went down.

**Spoiler Alert** Plot details about the season finale are mentioned below

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The first major reveal of the finale occurred when we learned that Lucious was actually misdiagnosed and is no longer suffering from ALS. However, after taking some new medications for his new far more treatable illness he hallucinates in bed and confesses to the death of Bunky just as Cookie enters the room.

Upon hearing his horrific confession, Cookie is understandably distraught and nearly decides to take Lucious’ life into her own hands and attempts to smother him with a pillow. Lucious later sends out a warning to Cookie in the form of gifting her with a gift-wrapped pillow, when he is handing out apology presents to his family.

Hakeem decides to court his father’s rival record label Creedmore and even releases a new rap song in which he publicly slams Luscious and sleeps with his father’s ex-Anika. Jamal has mended his relationship with Lucious  and receives the key to become his father’s successor in taking over Empire. We also see Jamal, in an attempt to prove himself to his father, dangle Creedmore record executive Beretti over a balcony to get him to agree to sign over Lucious’s original demos back over to Empire. Definitely a major change in character.

Cookie is cut out of the company after Lucious learns about her relations with security guard Malcom and turns Jamal against her after he shows him footage of Cookie attempting to smother him with the pillow. Hakeem and Andre join together in an attempt to forge a hostile takeover and regain control of Empire from Lucious and Jamal. They enlist the help of sworn enemies Cookie and Anika and of course a major catfight reminiscent of something out of Dallas in the 1980’s ensues between the two before they begrudging agree to work together to bring down Lucious.

Vernon is accidentally killed when he visits Andre in an attempt to work together when things get out of hand and we learn that Andre’s wife Rhonda is now pregnant. Just as Lucious is about to hit the stage for the tribute concert, he reveals to Jamal that his real name is Dwight Walker and is then promptly arrested for his involvement in the murder of Bunky. As he marched out of the venue in handcuffs he immediately thinks that Cookie sold him out, but as he is marched past both Hakeem and Andre he sees the true culprits who sold him out. The episode concludes with Lucious behind bars with the haunting line “The day will come when Lucious Lyon will return. Game time, b**ches.”

We were recently able to catch up with Empire’s Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) and Yazz (Hakeem Lyon) to talk about the epic finale and what will be in store for season two.

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On their wonderful on-screen chemistry and the way in which their relationship has evolved throughout the season.

Yazz: “As you’ve seen throughout the season, the brothers, they’re clashing. There is a lot of success going on. They’re making a lot of money and it’s about if they’re going to stick together through the new adventures that are going on in their lives. The season finale is where you get to see that. It’s going to be crazy.

Jussie Smollett: “Yea, and as far as the relationship and the chemistry between both Hakeem and Jamal and, obviously, essentially, myself and Yazz, the thing about Hakeem and Jamal is that they compete and there are other people that really have their hands in the pot of their brotherhood, but at the same time they always find themselves back to each other. They always find their way back to each other somehow.

I think that’s the beautiful thing about them is that families fight; families have issues. Not exactly as many issues as the Lyons family, but, families fight and they have issues and then they come back together at the end of the day and they’re a family. I think that it speaks volumes about brotherhood, the fact that Hakeem is so supportive of Jamal. Jamal is so supportive of Hakeem, but then it leads into our friendship and our brotherhood outside of the work.

I feel like I watch the show sometimes, like when Yazz was performing “Nothing but a Number,” my character was excited, but my character was excited because I was genuinely excited because that was the first time I heard the song and I loved it and he was killing it. There’s that brotherhood and camaraderie that we share. I think that’s what you see.”

On whether or not they are happy and satisfied about where their character ends up after the finale. 

Yazz: “I’m definitely happy about where my character is.”

Jussie: “I’m excited because there’s so much more to come. The dope thing about Season 1 is that there are still questions to be answered in Season 2. You know what I’m saying? I feel like Season 1 was the set up and then Season 2 will be, okay, let’s go back and let’s clean up all of the Lyons’ stuff, if you will. I’m very happy. I’m very excited where Jamal, where his journey has taken him, from beginning to now, and where it’s going to end up going. I’m very excited.”

Yazz: “And we’re excited about Andre. Where he goes, he gets better and better. I feel like his story is real important and it grows and people can learn from his experiences”

On who would be their dream guest stars for Season Two

Jussie: “For me, it’s Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson and Brandy. I really want them just because I want to sing with them.”

Yazz: “For me it’s Madonna, Queen Latifah, and Rihanna.”

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On fan reaction to the series

Yazz: “The fans are amazing.It’s just pandemonium, but it’s a dream come true. We’re working with the greatest, Oscar-nominated, actors and directors, so it’s great. I’m in a great place. Jussie’s in a great place and we’re blessed.”

Jussie: “For me, it’s been a really wonderful experience thus far. Everybody has been really supportive and loving. I just get the most beautiful letters from kids, both homosexual children and heterosexual children, telling me that somehow they relate to Jamal in so many ways and I feel like that’s the – as an artist, we don’t always get these types of roles to come along, that really say something about what you care about, but when they do, you jump at the chance.

I feel like that’s what we all did. I feel like we all, in our own individual ways, fought so hard for these roles because of what it meant and what it said. It’s so entertaining and it’s so glamorous and fantastic, but it also is saying something about where our society is today and that means so much. When I get those letters, I’m a crying fool anyway, because I’m a Cancer, but it’s just really, really emotional and I love it. It’s been wonderful.”

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On working with Snoop Dogg in the finale

Yazz: “It was great to work with Snoop. I can’t tell you what we’re doing, but we had to prepare for our scene for like an hour in his trailer. It was good to vibe out with the legend Snoop Dogg and to get some jewels I can take into life and use and to apply them to my everyday life.”

On what they have both personally taken away from working on the series.

Yazz: “There were many elements, darling, but no, it’s family, family, family. You got to talk to your family. You got to stay grounded. You need to pray a lot. You need to eat healthy. There are a lot of things that tie into it but definitely staying prayed up, and keeping the family involved.”

Jussie: “For me, it’s been like to piggyback on what Yazz was saying, it is, what we took away from it is I think that Yazz and I, separately, in our own ways, are so, so, so dedicated to our families and then what we came away with it, it was another – more additions to our family, if you will, with this cast and the crew. Such incredible people but, also, I feel like what I’ve seen is the stereotypes that society tries to push down our throats actually are not real.

That what we’re seeing is we’re seeing the very people that society wants us to believe would not accept someone like a Jamal, those are the very people that are coming up to me being like, brother, I love you. I respect you. Keep doing what you’re doing. So for that, it’s really – I don’t know if it’s opened my eyes because I feel like my eyes saw that already, but I feel like what it did is that it killed that cycle that started to feed itself of, that there are really, really genuine and good, honest, respectful, and loving people in the world. So, I really love it. That’s why I love the viewers so much, because that’s what they show every single day.”

On what they hope that viewers will take away from the show

Jussie: “Love.  Just love.”

Yazz: “Family. It’s love and family conflict in situations. It’s a family show, so you get to experience family situations that you can learn from in your household. Stuff that Hakeem does, idiotic stuff he does, you would teach your son, like, that’s going to happen you if you keep going that route. It’s great. The fans keep watching each week and it’s loving.

Nobody’s perfect and you’ll get that on the season finale. Everybody is an enemy. Everybody is a villain. Nobody is safe in Empire.”

On their human activist work

Jussie: “My mom didn’t even really give us a choice growing up. Look, we had a choice what sports we played. We had a choice in what music we listened to. We had a choice in the careers that we chose. We did not have a choice in being activists because that was the one thing that she said, if you do nothing in your life, you’ve got to give back. So, what you do is you’ve got to collect your own stuff so that you can properly give back.

But it’s just who we are. It’s literally like, it’s the thing that feeds me the most. If I didn’t do it, then I would feel empty. But I talk to the young youth in the city, I talk to young LGBT youth. I talk to young women with babies that have been raped or have suffered through domestic violence and have gotten out of it. That’s what I do, you know what I’m saying? So, as far as, has it changed me? No. It’s just further cemented who I am in my own life and the work that I know that I’m here, put on this earth, to do.”

Yazz: “And to piggyback a little bit off what he said, I had a close friend get killed from violence in the streets and, from 16 years old, I went out talking to the kids, because that really touched me internally, that somebody that got killed was that close to me. I went out, at 16 years old, me and my mom would pack up a Camry and drive to Michigan, use our own money, and we weren’t really that fortunate, and we would go out to these schools and I would perform.

I would talk to the kids and give them a little bit of inspiration because I was really hurt from that situation and from there, I kind of built a fan base through talking to the kids and letting them know, this is possible. You’ve just got to follow your dreams. If I’m here on stage from Philadelphia, you can be just like me. I did that since I was 16 years old and from there it just – I got Empire.”

The post Jussie Smollett And Yazz Talk Empire’s Theme Of Family And Love appeared first on TV News.

Going Down A Dark Rabbit Hole With Vera Farmiga, Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin of “Bates Motel”

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(PCM) Season 3 of the hit A&E series “Bates Motel” is off to a fantastic start and only being two episode’s in we are already on the edge of our seats waiting to see how the drama and suspense will unfold throughout the new season.

Recently, we were able to catch up with “Bates Motel” actress Vera Farmiga who plays “Norma” along with executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin to chat about the new season.

Here are few key points from our conversation:

On why Carlton Cuse chose to set both “Bates Motel” and his new series ” The Returned” in the Northwest. 

Carlton Cuse: “I think the physical environment is a big part of both shows. And while the second season Bates was sort of warm and summery, you know, Kerry and I felt very strongly that we should go back to a sort of bleaker, more monochromatic winter, late fall look for Season 3 of Bates and that it was narratively appropriate.

You know, for “The Returned”, the physical environment, the presence of nature; the kind of overwhelming influence of nature is I think a big part of the storytelling. It just, you know, there’s this really weird phenomenon that’s happening. And it – I think it – I think kind of metaphorically using nature to represent that there are forces much larger than our characters was an important part of the storytelling.”

On Norma’s sense of personal growth throughout Season Two carrying over into Season Three

Kerry Ehrin: “I think Norma’s whole plan in going to White Pine Bay was to have a normal life. And it – although she had a hell of a lot of trouble since she got there, it has forced her to have to deal with a lot and interact with a lot of people and find parts of herself that were stronger than she probably ever knew. And that actually has had the affect of making her stronger.”

Vera Farmiga: It’s pretty nutty to see now what we explore with this character this season like the height of righteousness that she possesses and the depths of manipulation and depravity almost that she is capable of. And there just is so many antics and adventures for me to explore.”

On knowing Norma knowing about Norman’s blackout’s and ever allowing him to be part of the regular world again.

Vera Farmiga: “I mean you’re going to see a more unraveled Norma this year. You know, I mean there’s mammoth stress in dealing with Norman’s mental state, you know. It has a whopping physical and emotional torn toll on Norma the way it would on any parent of a quote unquote special needs child.

And I think following the events of last season, Norma is more aware, she’s more circumspect, she’s more attentive to Norman’s fragility. I think you’re going to see her playing I think her cards really close to her chest in the beginning of the season but she’s got to reach out. She’s as protective of him as ever and determined to help him out as best she can. But she doesn’t always know how. And I think she’s going to start reaching out to others. And they’re going to I think that relationship evolves as they allow more people in their lives. And you’re going to see how the mother son bond kind of withstands that – those pressures.”

On upcoming guest star Joshua Leonard and the role in which he will be playing in “Bates Motel”

Vera Farmiga: “Norma’s determined to make her business a success. And so she starts enrolling in business classes at the local community college. And so there she meets James Finnegan. And he kind of launches her into a whole new path of discovery. James – I rooted for Joshua to get this role. It was a very interesting and bazaar dynamic between the two of us. I – it’s a character that Norma bonds intensely with. And, you know, he’s just – he’s phenomenal. And it was a – but I – I’m not going to – it was a quirky experience to embarking on. We were so close and this is just a weird twist.”

Carlton Cuse: “Kerry and I strive to create characters who are quirky and odd but yet believable within our sort of larger than life pulpy world of White Pine Bay.

And he did – Joshua did such an incredibly great job of fitting that mold exactly. He’s odd but he’s really compelling. And over the course of a few episodes, I think the audience will find themselves incredibly engaged in this relationship with these two characters as it starts to deepen and unfold.”

Bates2On keeping both the characters of Norma and Norman so fresh and innovative. 

Vera Farmiga: “It’s a great acting challenge for me and Freddie as well. And I think, you know, as they sort of head towards what seemingly is going to be their inevitable Hades, you know, these emotional scenes also come at such high frequency and duration that sometimes I honestly am just sort of running out of ideas.

And it’s, you know, it’s really interesting the closeness and the best friendship and the respect and the trust between Freddie and myself. From an acting perspective, it’s just – it’s really intense work. And Freddie has become really particularly adept at sort of instigating me and knowing my soft spots emotionally and treading like a bulldozer over them.

And it’s like in this last season in particular he can be a real prick when it comes to helping like that endurance and the emotional (earnesty). But I’m going to say it’s hard. It’s hard. But it’s like it really is – it comes down to what Freddie and I have together as colleagues and as team players, you know.

And there’s so much trust that we can get pretty wily with each other. And certainly that goes for the entire cast and with every year. We just draw nearer and dearer to each other and can push each other’s limits. And we push each other’s for better, for more, for deeper.”

Kerry Ehrin: “Carlton and I like to change up the storytelling a lot. And so, you know, you are telling a very intimate story of two people over a very specific and somewhat small period of time. So it does require a lot of thought about how is this going to be different.

And I think what personally is so fascinating is that it is a psychological thriller. And you can, you know, if you – if you’re in a bad marriage let’s say for like two years, every single day is going to be specific and different and fascinating. And it’s going to feed into what happens the next day.

So I think the joy of it is getting under that and playing with it and exploring it so that it’s constantly growing and moving forward, you know, in ways that surprise use because as Carlton and I like to be surprised.”

On what the ingredients are that make “Bates Motel” so special.

Vera Farmiga: “There is so much darkness and yet so much humor watching these characters navigate in some ludicrously improbable situations, you know. But that’s what makes it for me so exhilarating.

You know, yes, it’s acute, it’s intense, it’s agonizing most of the time but it’s balanced so beautifully. There’s a lot of joy and beauty and friendship and love.”

Carlton Cuse: “The label of the show would be that it’s about a guy who’s growing up to become a serial killer but we strive really, really hard to, you know, provide, you know, to make it feel so, you know, human and real and part of that is humor.

And I think that that’s something that really the sort of the humor and heart of our show is what distinguishes it from other shows in the genre.”

On if we will be seeing more of Norman beginning to manifest himself as Norma throughout this season.

Carlton Cuse: “We try to make the relationship between Norma and Norman different every season. And, you know, we’re watching a progression here. And we are, you know, it’s the story about a mother and who desperately loves her son and is trying to prevent him from becoming this guy that’s he inevitably going to become.

And this season he starts to slide much more significantly into that character. He becomes less able to the kind of modulator or be conscious of his decline. And that causes, you know, just really serious consequences in his relationship with his mom. And, you know, I think we explore that in a lot of different ways and, you know, it’s – and we – and that’s really the journey of the season.”

On whether or not Dylan’s opinion about Norma and Norman’s behavior have an effect on the way that Norma attempts to balance their relationship.

Vera Famiga: “Yes indeed. I think she’s relying on Dylan in a way that she’d never expected to. And that relationship really deepens. And they both share the same concern. They, you know, and they both want to help Norman. So I think she is relying on him, you know, for a male perspective on how to care for Norman. And that’s going to trigger somebody something they’ll in Norman.”

On what was the biggest challenge going into Season Three

Carlton Cuse: “I think that we work hard on the, you know, the kind of the crime story aspect of the show is something that, you know, kind of trying to have – the show for us is just a cocktail of super nuance, the character writing combined with this intentionally pulpy crime drama.

And so getting that right is something that, you know, is really hard to do. And, you know, we have this character of Chick Hogan who played by Ryan Hurst is, you know, is a very – was like a very dangerous character for us to create because he’s right on the edge of being ridiculous or being terrifying. And that was something that I think we were very nervous about being able to pull off. And, you know, I think we got on the right side of the line.”

Bates4On the roles of other upcoming guest stars this season such as Kevin Rahm and Tracy Spiridakos.

Kerry Ehrin: “Kevin Rahm plays a White Pine Bay local, a prominent person, wealth, affluent and somewhat of a antagonist. The really cool thing about his role is that he is someone who grew up with Alex Romero. And through the storyline this season we get to peel back some layers of Romero, which is so much fun as certainly as writers.

But it just, you know, as a viewer I think it’s going to be so interesting to get inside this incredibly stoic guarded person and see a little more of what makes them tick and what they need and what they’re hiding from themselves, you know. So that’s just been a really fun storyline.”

Carlton Cuse: “Tracy plays this sort of mysterious beautiful enigmatic woman who checks into the Bates Motel and she really becomes the catalyst for our entire crime story this season. You know, it may sort of seem at first blush that it’s, you know, kind of an obvious storyline out of the movie Psycho but that’s not – it doesn’t turn out to be that way at all.

And but, you know, we really – we – we’re sort of – we’re sort of teasing Norman’s confused, you know, sort of sexual perspective. And, you know, the – her fate and, you know, her whole back story is sort of the big mystery that sort of drives our plot and our narrative over the course of the, you know, the season.”

On the eventual ending of the series

Carlton Cuse: “We have it mapped out for five seasons. Kerry and I have a pretty clear roadmap. So we – we’re just finishing the third season right now and, you know, we feel pretty strongly that there’s two more seasons in the show and, you know, we have a pretty, you know, we have a pretty clear plan of where we want to go and we want to bring this story to its inevitable conclusion.”

On Bradley’s return to White Pine Bay this season

Kerry Ehrin: “It’s not what you would expect it to be. It’s – we get to see what Bradley has been through since we last saw her, which was pretty daunting. And she’s kind of on a journey of her own in returning back to White Pine Bay. But it does not directly intersect with Dylan.”

On how this season of “Bates Motel” could be described in eight words or less.

Kerry Ehrin: “Going down a dark rabbit hole”

Vera Farmiga: “Going to leave our audience open mouthed and panting”

On what there is going to be more of this season .. sex, drugs or murder?

Vera Farmiga: “Murder.”

Kerry Ehrin: “I think that the story I mean just if you look at Psycho it’s like we’re telling the prequel of that and the story of someone sinking into insanity is – if you put it on a graph, it has to get more and more intense and crazy and weird as they sink further into it. You know. So yes. We’re definitely getting into a very meaty part of the storytelling. And, you know, it’s very exciting part of the storytelling.

Vera Farmiga: “There’s in all sort of sex, drugs and rock and roll there’s wicked bombshells thrown this year. There’s some pretty rude awakening to be had. There’s some flabbergasting shakeups. But I can’t tell you what they are. But yes, there’s going to be some extermination, some butchery, some crazy absurdity, yes.”

The post Going Down A Dark Rabbit Hole With Vera Farmiga, Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin of “Bates Motel” appeared first on TV News.

Nothing Common About This Renaissance Man

Common1Common is on the ride of his life and he is savoring every moment of it.

This Renaissance man won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and a Grammy for his song “Glory” from the historical drama, “Selma,” in which he also starred as civil rights leader James Bevel

Now, he is playing the ultimate bad guy — a super villain — opposite Liam Neeson and Ed Harris in the riveting action thriller, “Run All Night,” which opens on Friday, March 13.

The Warner Bros. movie centers around Neeson’s character, Jimmy Conlon, a mobster and hit man, who has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life, and the lives of his wife and two young daughters, are in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, played by Ed Harris, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.

The action, car chases and fast-paced camera work makes “Run All Night” exhausting and well worth the wild ride. Neeson and Harris are mesmerizing, and give thrilling and highly emotional performances. The film was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (“Non-Stop” and “Unknown”).

Common, who received a standing ovation at the Oscars, and is still basking in the glory of his musical triumph, is looking forward to a stellar acting and musical career. He said there is room in his life for both creative endeavors, in addition to writing books.

“This movie is about working with the greats,” Common explained, during a recent Manhattan press event for “Run All Night.” “When you tell your friends that you are in a film with Liam Neeson and you are going man-to-man with him, you know you are going to get your ass kicked.”

Q: It must be fun to have a character, an inspiring leader, like the one you play [in Selma] and then hear about playing his opposite in “Run All Night.”

Common: It’s a lot of fun for me as an actor to do different roles so that I get to expand. I get to show different things as an actor and explore too. I like being bad, too. As soon as I took the role of Andrew Price I knew it was going to be a journey to get there.

Q: What drives your character of Price? Is it the job? Just getting it done? Or is it revenge?

Common: It’s a drive of getting it done. He’s a goal oriented individual and his goal is to kill. He does have some joy in that and inflicting pain on people, but ultimately it was people like the police officers that were coming and he was like ‘I’m taking you out, I’m taking you out,’ without thinking twice because he has a goal, he’s determined, he’s relentless about taking out Jimmy and his son.

Q: It really showed that there appeared to be a great chemistry among all of you in the movie – Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman and Common.

Common: One thing I enjoyed when I watched the film was that I felt the relationships between the people, I believe that the stories, felt authentic.

Q: What else was going on?

Common: Jimmy and his son really have this friction and have to repair things. Seeing Liam Neeson being hunted, and not at the top of his game and dealing with alcohol, he’s almost rock bottom. He was this hit man that was really great at his job, but he’s not happy about what he did and it was great seeing that transition when he calls Sean, Ed Harris’ character, and he’s like ‘you sure you wanna go through this?’ That’s when you see him rise up and he’s the unstoppable Liam Neeson that we see sometimes. I love how this movie allows for characters to go through things. It’s like a French Connection-type movie but with some new things. It gave me a ‘70s feel.

Q: We talked about the physicality and the stunts. Was there any kind of special training you had to do? The movie was intense to watch and looked extremely intense to make.

Common: The training we did was intense. It was like real fight training. You’re dealing with some of the best because Liam’s team and the stunt coordinator we had are the best. I had to be super sharp.

Q: Did you enjoy it?

Common: Yes, I was looking forward to it because I was like ‘I get to be in a movie with Liam Neeson. I wanna go toe-to-toe with him.’ It was a lot of fun; it was a lot of work, but it was definitely fun. Once we got into that room with the fire we had to get it done because there was only so many takes we could do.

Common2

Q: What was your favorite scene to shoot?

Common: The fight scene with the fire turned out well because we worked on the fight coordination a lot. When we were shooting it we had this certain energy and I was like “This is good!”

Q: You have such a way with words, what’s it like building a character with very little language?

Common: It’s funny. Until I watched the movie, and it was mentioned to me, I didn’t realize he didn’t have a lot of dialogue, but his presence is still felt. As an actor, I’ve starred in movies where I only have a couple of lines.

Q: So how do you convey who this person is without the words?

Common: You just got to be alive and present in those scenes so you create the character and he’s alive and breathing so people know him regardless. We know who Price is, even if he didn’t have one word of dialogue we knew who he was. You just have to create those characters. I don’t mind characters without a lot of dialogue because so much can be said with actions and through the eyes. Sometimes you just feel things coming off of people in a scene.

Q: Please talk about your recent Oscar experience for “Selma.”

Common: Being a part of Selma was a life changing, life enhancing experience. Getting to meet Ambassador Andrew Young, one of the first things he said to us was ‘what are you willing to die for? Live for that.’

Q: Wow, that’s pretty powerful to hear.

Common: Yes, that made me go home that night and think about what am I really living for? What would I die for? Those are some of the messages and inspiration we were getting for doing Selma.

Q: What do you recall from the “Selma” experience?

Common: The whole experience was inspiring. Working on the project itself, knowing we were extensions of what the people of that time did, and now seeing the impact the movie had, and [that] the song had [such] an impact. Now younger people know about “Selma” because of the movie and they’re going back and doing research. I feel like that movie is an extension of that movement. It was definitely a great experience for me.

Q: It was very timely, indeed since the anniversary of the Selma March was just this past weekend.

Common: I didn’t get to see everything, but I heard the President had an incredible speech. Just to see the people there celebrating, but at the same token saying ‘we got a way to go. We’re here to commemorate and honor the people who were here 50 years ago, but we have a way to go.’

Q: Was it inevitable that you’d combine your singing and acting? It feels like your acting has improved your music and made certain things possible.

Common: I would say it improved the music, to be honest. I didn’t know I was going to be an actor. I loved acting when I was a kid. Like I did a play and I didn’t get the best reviews so I left it at home. But music was something that felt very natural for me. I loved going to the theater and going to movies. It was one of my favorite things to do and still is. I just started taking acting classes and I felt like this is it.

Q: But you kept them separate, right?

Common: Yes, initially I didn’t want to combine the two. For most movies that I have done, I didn’t also [perform] that soundtrack, because I didn’t want to be viewed as a rapper-actor. This guy is an actor and also a hip hop artist. I represent hip hop culture, obviously, but the point is I’m also an actor and didn’t want to get bunched in with the rest of the people that pursued it from a rap career. Now I’m like it’s great to do music for movies.

Q: Especially for things like “Selma.”

Common: For “Selma,” it’s very inspiring. And it’s great to be able to do films like “Run All Night.” Maybe my music isn’t in it, but you get to see me as an actor. I didn’t come to Run All Night wanting to do music for it; I wanted to be an actor. So when the two combine organically, it works like in Selma. But sometimes I separate them and they just do what they do.

Q: So overall do you see yourself as a storyteller – as an actor or musician?

Common: That’s a good way to say it, a storyteller, that’s great. I eventually want to write scripts. Some of the songs that I write are… they have a visual component to them, a story to them. As an actor you write certain things, you write the person’s story as you tell it. I’m working on a new book, too.

Q: Do you work as an actor as seamlessly as you do with [fellow musician] John Legend, your collaborator on “Glory”?

Common: Acting has opened me up… when I write songs I get into the back-stories and themes and I feel freer as an artist. When you’re an actor you can’t keep cool, you just got to let go. That transferred into some of what I do as a musician. Why you say it’s seamless is because John Legend and I have worked together before, he’s a friend of mine, and we have the same intensity. We want to put out great music and help improve the world in any way we can.

Q: Tell me about the educational aspect?

Common: John has been doing it through educational programs and he’s been very adamant about it. I’ve been doing it through my foundation, Common Ground, and helping the youth and get them to reach their dreams. It was the perfect voice, I couldn’t choose someone better to do that song, it’s like God’s blessing us. At one moment I just said “let me call John about this song.” [Selma director] Ava [DuVernay] mentioned to me late in the film process, while she was editing, ‘Why don’t you do a song? Let’s just call John and see what happens.’ And we just went from there.

Q: How is it now that people are recognizing your talent, your ability, your poetry and durability…?

Common: That’s a good word; and perseverance. They key is if you really love what you do and believe in what you’re doing; and you continue to do it. Sometimes the spotlight will be on you, and sometimes it won’t. Obviously, this has been the most recognition we have ever gotten.

Q: How does that feel?

Common: I wanted my music and art to touch people like it was 10,000 people or 10 billion people paying attention. I just honestly want to keep growing and remembering what that purpose is and growing within that purpose, as a human being, as an actor, and as an artist. The message of “Glory” is similar to things I’ve done before, but everything happens at the right time. If we had the opportunity to do these things before, I don’t think we would have been able to deliver this at such a [high] level.

Q: There’s a maturity involved with all of this.

Common: Maturity and evolution.

Q: And timing…

Common: Definitely timing. Who would have known when we were making “Selma” that unfortunately you have situations like Mike Brown and Eric Garner and protests. We were doing press [events] for “Selma” with protests happening outside. You couldn’t put that together. And because those things happened together it’s moving the meter, bringing up discussion. Younger people who already want to be part of the protest are seeing Dr. King and saying ‘We wanna do that. We can do that in our own way.’ Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen.

Q: So when all is said and done how will you balance your music career with your acting?

Common: I love both; I guess I will be spending less time at the bar.

The post Nothing Common About This Renaissance Man also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Nine-Year-Old Issie Swickle Has Many Bright Tomorrows Ahead

Annie2(PCM) Nine-year-old Issie Swickle already knows what it often takes other actresses years to find out – without family support the road to stardom can be extremely bumpy.

Swickle, from Davie, Florida, is making her national tour debut as Annie, and while she likes to be “just a regular kid” she finds touring the country with her mom, is a dream come true.

She is able to balance school, friendships, family life and her passion for acting, singing and dancing, as she does so well in the current production of “Annie.” Swickle said she has been on tour with “Annie” for six months, and recently signed on until December.

This national touring production of “Annie, which boasts a 25-member cast, is part of Broadway Philadelphia, from March 17-22, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.

Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time, the current production is a new physical incarnation of the iconic Tony Award winning original. Broadway Philadelphia is presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization.

Annie has a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards for their work. The choreography for this show is done by Liza Gennaro, who will incorporate selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award-winning choreography.

The original production of “Annie” opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album and seven Tony Awards.

The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, and has been performed in 28 languages and has run onstage somewhere around the world for 37 years.

Swickle said that she thoroughly enjoys working with the two dogs who play Sandy in the show, (Sunny and Macy), and their trainer, William Berloni. He has trained many of the Sandy’s in past productions as well as other stage productions and films. All of his dogs are adopted from rescue operations.

The beloved score for Annie includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

Q: Please tell me what it’s like playing the leading role of Annie in this production?

ISSIE SWICKLE: I love being able to travel around the country and see all of these amazing places. I am getting a lot of exposure, too, if I ever want to do a TV show.

Q: Do you have advice for young girls who want an acting career or what to do or not do?

IS: First of all; always be yourself. Listen to your directors and others in the show, and do exactly what they say. Don’t be shy. Be yourself. They are not there to judge you; they are there to support you. When you audition be focused, listen to their advice and be yourself. And most of all have fun.

Q: I hear that the mom’s on the tour have sacrificed a lot for their daughters. Talk about your mom, Dana, who tours with you and has supported you ever step of the way.

IS: She is the best mom on the planet. She has shoulder problems and is still doing everything she possibly can for me and my career. I don’t know any other mom who would do all of this. I am really grateful for her, and for my dad. They are business owners and he works extra hard so she can tour with me.

Q: What is the best advice you have received from your mom?

IS: Be myself, have fun and don’t let people bring me down. She has also said, ‘If you work hard, good things happen.’

Q: Do you feel that family support is of major importance?

IS: Yes. I am grateful for my entire family. My brother, Max, is 13 and he is the best brother on earth. He has sacrificed so much for me and is so supportive of me. Each of them has supported me and sacrificed so much for me to be able to do this.

Q: Why did you want to become an actress?

IS: I saw my brother, Max, in the play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it looked like great fun. I went to camp for training, the best camp on earth. It’s called Broadway Kids in Florida and it’s near where I live.

Q: Do you want to keep acting?

IS: Yes. Definitely. But if acting doesn’t work out when I am older I would like to be a veterinarian, or a doctor. I love playing with animals. People have done nice things for me, so I want to do nice things for them.

Q: So are you a normal kid even with all of your success?

IS: I would say that I am. I am making my own lunch, cutting up chicken.

Q: Do you go to school or have tutors?

IS: Both. When I am home I go to school. On the set I have a tutor. Jessica is my tutor right now.

Q: What’s your best school subject?

IS: I have a few – science, math or reading

Q: Have you seen the musical of Annie on Broadway?

IS: Yes, I was a big fan of the Broadway show, it’s very cool. The set is kind of different from our version.

Q: What did you think of the new movie version, which came out before Christmas, with Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Quvenzhane Wallis as Annie?

IS: It was really good; I liked it. It was really different from our version. It was a more modern version.

Q: Are your school friends interested in theater or acting?

IS: No, they are just regular kids.

Q: How do you hang out with your girlfriends?

IS: When I’m on tour I hang out with [girls who play] the orphans in the show. When were not acting we like to make music videos and go swimming.

Q: Speaking of music – what kind of music do you enjoying listening to?

IS: Anna Kendrick, Demi Levato, Selena Gomzez, and others, too.

Q: What is your favorite song in the show?

IS: I can’t pick one. I have three: Tomorrow, Maybe and Anything But You.

Q: Do you enjoy movies? What have you seen lately?

IS: I want to see “Into the Woods” again. Meryl Streep is really good; I also saw it on Broadway and loved it.

Q: Tell me about working with the dog who plays Sandy in the show.

IS: It is so much fun. I love dogs and have three at home. I get to see how they train the dogs and that is really cool.

Q: What do you think is the message of the play?

IS: Hope, that’s what I want people to get out of it. It’s a sad story, but it becomes a happy story because Annie gets adopted. Annie brings happiness and joy to the people around her. It’s such an amazing story. I just love her. I think that people will get a lot out of her; she’s a wonderful character.

For tickets or information go to www.anniethemusical.com or facebook.com/anniethemusical

The post Nine-Year-Old Issie Swickle Has Many Bright Tomorrows Ahead also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

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