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.


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.

Zendaya Fires Back At Giuliana Rancic Over Racist Hair Comments


(PCM) Teen actress and musician, Zendaya took the high road and was able to put E! “Fashion Police” host Giuliana Rancic in her place without ever naming names, after Rancic made racist commentary about Zendaya’s dredlocked hair at the Oscars.

During a post-Oscar episode of “Fashion Police” Rancic commented on Zendaya’s hair saying “‘I feel like she smells like patchouli oil … or maybe weed”. Zendaya, who looked absolutely gorgeous in her white off-should Vivienne Westwood gown and Chopard jewels, was deeply insulted by Rancic’s thoughtless statements and took to social media to school the E! personality about her ignorance and stereotyping  when it comes to individuals who sport dredlocked hair.

Zendaya wrote “There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful. Someone said something about my hair at the Oscars that left me in awe. Not because I was relishing in rave outfit reviews, but because I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect. To say that an 18-year-old woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or ‘weed’ is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive”

You can read Zendaya’s full tweet below:

You can see that no where in the tweet does Zendaya call out Rancic personally, but she obviously knew it was directed at her and took to her own Twitter account to offer up an apology.

The post Zendaya Fires Back At Giuliana Rancic Over Racist Hair Comments also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Did The Plastic Baby Seal The Oscar Fate Of “American Sniper”


(PCM) It was a running joke online leading up to last night’s Academy Award’s telecast that the use of a plastic baby, instead of a real baby in American Sniper would cost the film its’ Best Picture win.

It seems that during the filming there was actually a real baby cast in the film, however the baby had a fever and was unable to make it to the shoot day. Shockingly, the baby’s understudy was a no-show as well, forcing filmmakers to use a plastic baby doll instead. Watch the clip below:

Fandango’s Dave Karger started the joke at a pre-Oscar’s prediction panel hosted by Vanity Fair saying “The reason why American Sniper is not going to win is because of the plastic baby”.

The fake plastic baby even has its’ very own Twitter account!

Looks like the prediction was right, as “American Sniper” lost out to “Birdman” who took home the golden statuette for Best Picture of the Year.  Although, we somehow don’t think the plastic baby had anything to do with the Academy’s decision!

The post Did The Plastic Baby Seal The Oscar Fate Of “American Sniper” also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

2015 Oscar Winners! Live!

Oscars2(PCM) The 87th Annual Academy Awards are taking place tonight, February 22, in L.A.’s Dolby Theater and all of Hollywood has come out to celebrate the best films of the past year.

Facing outcries and protests at the lack of diversity in this year’s nominees, the Awards show opened with a timely joke by host Neil Patrick Harris: “We’re here tonight to celebrate Hollywood’s whitest, um, brightest stars.”

The opening number was a grand homage to cinema greats throughout history and included NPH dueting with Anna Kendrick and Jack Black crashing the number.

The big question on everyone’s mind is whether Birdman or Boyhood will come out on top tonight, seeing as both are great feats of directing and filmmaking and have been at the top of most Academy Award prediction lists.

Stay tuned to find out as PCM live tweets the Oscars and check back to see our update list of winners!

Tune in now to ABC to watch the 2015 Oscars!

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
*J.K. Simmons – Whiplash*

Costume Design
*Milena Canonero – The Grand Budapest Hotel*
Mark Bridges – Inherent Vice 
Colleen Atwood – Into the Woods 
Anna B. Sheppard – Maleficent
Jacqueline Durran – Mr. Turner

Makeup and Hairstyling
Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard – Foxcatcher
*Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier – The Grand Budapest Hotel*
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White – Guardians of the Galaxy

Foreign Language Film
*Ida – Poland*
Wild Tales

The post 2015 Oscar Winners! Live! also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

Children Adorably Act Out This Year’s Oscar-nominated Films


(PCM) As we gear up for Oscar season, we have discovered a video of some absolutely adorable children acting out some key scenes from this year’s Oscar-nominated Best Picture contenders.

Those films include “American Sniper”, “Selma”, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “Birdman”, “The Theory of Everything”, “Imitation Game”, “Boyhood” and “Whiplash”!

The children are pretty much on-point for the characters that they are portraying with the highlights being the wheel-chair bound child as a young Stephen Hawking from “The Theory Of Everything” and the mustachioed young boy playing Martin Luther King, Jr from “Selma”.

The adorable video has been viewed over 100,000 times!  Check it out below:

The post Children Adorably Act Out This Year’s Oscar-nominated Films also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

The LEGO Movie Director Responds Perfectly To Oscar Snub

(PCM) Everyone, ourselves included, thought sure that the ridiculously popular animated film “The LEGO Movie” was a shoo-in to receive an Oscar nomination in the category for “Best Animated Feature”.

All were shocked when the film wasn’t included in the nominees losing out to “Big Hero 6″, “The Boxtroll”, “How To Train Your Dragon 2″, “Song Of The Sea” and “The Tale Of Princess Kaguya” (yeah, we haven’t heard of the last one either)

However, despite the Oscar snub, “The LEGO Movie” director Phillip Lord had the best possible response to the situation, tweeting out:

Phillip Lord and “The LEGO Movie 1 – Oscars 0

The post The LEGO Movie Director Responds Perfectly To Oscar Snub also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

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