Check out my quick interview with one of the nicest and most talented men in the film industry – Idris Elba
A lot of your acting roles have been very diverse from a Marine, to a devoted single father, to a Drug Kingpin and even Stringer Bell – was very different to your role as a drug lord in American Gangster how do you pick your roles is it on purpose that there so diverse?
Idris Elba: Yeah definitely I want to smash out as many sides of who I am, acting is definitely an extension of your personality, you definitely have to have your idiosyncrasies when you learn your lines but you have to bring your own personality to the character. Honestly Matthew in the last five years I’ve realized I’ve got so many different personality’s I think I’ve got a disorder in my head (laughs), it’s hard to squeeze all these personality’s into one character so with every role I get a chance to show something different so I’ve definitely been lucky to not just play one stereotype character to pay the bills.
Yeah especially with the Stringer Bell character being so big did you get a lot of offers for similar roles?
Idris Elba: Yeah continuously, people want to see you play the same thing, just like if you’re a musician if you put out a banging hip hop album then next you go on a rock tip your probably gonna lose your audience but if you show your officially diverse in everyway I think people will go with you.
So how was it like working with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe two of the biggest actors of the last two decades?
Idris Elba: I didn’t actually work with Russell you know. Denzel’s intense, definitely intense. I haven’t really said this to anyone before but with Denzel when your working with someone at that level he’s at you just bring you’re A game, you’ll fall on your face if your nervous, you have to be a hundred percent and with Denzel he didn’t show up to the set, his character showed up to the set, you didn’t get any more than that, so whatever his character was feeling about my character that’s what you got, so if you shake his hand and his character didn’t like yours he’s not really shaking your hand, there’s no conversation or friendly banter because his character and my character had proper beef. I remember filming one of the scenes I said hello to Denzel and he kinda dissed me and later I realized he was in character but it pissed me off, I felt too myself fuck him then and that came across in the film.
His character took you out though man that was a harsh way to go you have to get him back?
Idris Elba: (Laughs) I got him back believe me (laughs). I like Denzel as an actor I’d love to do a film with him for a good six months and carve out some real shit and delve into the characters were playing and merk it you know.
Are the American audience shocked by your English accent?
Idris Elba: (Laughs) A lot of them don’t know I’m English, they’ll think I’m doing a great English accent, I have to tell some people I’m not actually Stringer Bell
How do you follow the football I know you support Arsenal?
Idris Elba: I try to keep up, Fox Sports have it I think and in LA there’s so many English, you bump into a geezer over there and ask what’s the score mate, they’ll be like (in an American accent) Arsenal played Chelsea today and they kicked some ass dude but the referee is an asshole dude (Laughs)
Have you got any last words or shout outs?
Idris Elba: Boy big shout out to East London, Forest Gate my old manor, big up Quincy the comedian big up my boy Boogie that’s my team man, I’ve got too big up Vanessa, Chantelle, I love coming back home and with the music and the films I wanna celebrate it back home in London and spread it.
Idris Elba will next be in Cinemas with Taker – also starring Matt Dillon, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, Paul Walker, T.I., and Hayden Christensen
GUYS if your girlfriend is a sucker for chick flicks like mine is, you know your gonna get dragged kicking and screaming to this, just accept your fate right now like I have. Use it as leverage to watch films with her that she would NEVER usually watch as punishment. This is my least anticipated film of 2010.
Valentine’s Day is cheduled for release February 12th 2010 and stars Bradley Cooper, Taylor Lautner, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Emma Roberts, Topher Grace, Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane, Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Shirley Maclaine
Really looking forward to this!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My cousin and a couple friends went to the test screenin and really enjoyed it(I was meant to go to a screening two weeks ago but the London Underground f**ked me about!)
Set in modern-day Britain, HARRY BROWN follows one man’s (Sir Michael Caine) journey through a chaotic world where drugs are the currency of the day and guns run the streets. A modest law-abiding citizen, Harry Brown is a retired Marine and a widower who lives alone on a depressed housing estate. His only company is his best friend Leonard (David Bradley). When Leonard is murdered by a gang of thugs, Harry feels compelled to act and is forced to dispense his own brand of justice. As he bids to clean up the run-down estate where he lives, his actions bring him into conflict with the police, led by investigating officer DCI Frampton (Emily Mortimer) and Charlie Creed-Miles.
In Cinemas November 13th
Really looking forward to this, I’m a big fan of Robert Downey Jnr, Jamie Foxx and the director Joe Wright. The film has been held back for well over a year now, but now is released in the September 25th. Check out some clips and the trailer below
In “The Soloist,” an emotionally soaring drama about the redemptive power of music, journalist Steve Lopez (Oscar® nominee Robert Downey Jr.) discovers Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (Oscar® winner Jamie Foxx), a former classical music prodigy, playing his violin on the streets of L.A. As Lopez endeavors to help the homeless man find his way back, a unique friendship is formed, one that transforms both their lives. “The Soloist” is directed by Joe Wright (Golden Globe winner for Best Drama and Oscar® nominee for Best Picture “Atonement”).
Going to the screening of this tommorow and I should be interviewing 50 Cent, Brenda Blethyn, Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand (Ferdinand and Cole helped fund and produce it) in the coming weeks look out for that!
When it becomes apparent that the recession is hitting the criminal world as hard as it is hitting Wall Street, notorious gangster and loan shark, Mr. Thigo (50 Cent) arrives in London to shake things up and make an example out of one of his late payers.
Already struggling financially, reformed ex-con Nick is given exactly 24 hours to come up with the money left on his bill or he is literally a dead man running. As a guarantee, Thigo’s men hold Nick’s wheelchair-bound mum (Brenda Blethyn) hostage, leaving him no choice but to comply. Enlisting the help of his best mate, Bing (Danny Dyer), the boys embark on a frantic race against the clock. Their mission takes them from the dog tracks of East London to the underground drug scene of rural Manchester as they try every trick and scam in the book to get the cash before it’s too late…
Following his stand out performance in Inglorious Basterds Christoph Waltz has been cast as the villain ‘Chudnofsky’ in Michel Gondry (director of one of my favorite films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Seth Rogen’s The Green Hornet. A few weeks ago Nicolas Cage was rumored to be cast – for me Cage’s acting has gotten worse and worse every movie I’ve seen him in.
Waltz’s performance in Inglorious Basterds earned him the Best Actor nod at Cannes this year and I’d put good money on him winning Best Male Supporting Actor as well for his role as Nazi Col. Hans Landa.
The Green Hornet is shooting now from a script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Rogen is cast as Britt Reid / The Green Hornet, Cameron Diaz is cast Lenore Case the love interest and reporter, Jay Chou is the martial artist and Hornet sidekick Kato. Edward James Olmos and Tom Wilkinson are also in the cast. The film will be released December of 2010
Paul Bettany plays the scientist Charles Darwin in Jon Amiel’s Creation, which is based on the book, Annie’s Box, by Randal Keynes about the life of his great, great grandfather. Oscar winning actress Jennifer Connelly plays Darwin’s wife, Emma, and they star alongside Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Described as part ghost story, part psychological thriller and part heart wrenching love story, Creation brings vividly to life history’s most eminent scientist as a deeply conservative man tortured by arguably the most important discovery in history – the theory of evolution – that will deal a body blow to religion and the Christian beliefs that his devout wife clings to for comfort after the death of their beloved 10 year-old daughter, Annie.
Told with flashbacks from the past – when Annie was still alive – to the present where Darwin delays releasing the findings of his meticulous research which will eventually be published as On The Origin of Species. The film is timely, of course, as this year marks the bicentenary of his birth and the 150th anniversary of his most famous work.
Bettany, 38, was born in Harlesden near London and studied at The Drama Centre before starting his career with roles in television, including Killer Net, a Lynda La Plante thriller and Sharpe’s Waterloo.
His portrayal of a ruthless crook in Gangster No. 1 paved the way for a film career that has included A Knight’s Tale, A Beautiful Mind, Dogville, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, The Da Vinci Code, The Secret Life of Bees and The Young Victoria.
Were you nervous at all about working with Jennifer?
A: More in the build up to it because it was like ‘oh my god, we’ve said yes to this and we’re actually going to work together and what’s that going to be like?’ Because I can’t go home and slag off the leading actress to my wife – because she is the leading actress. (laughs).
So what was it like?
A: I’d probably lie anyway, but I don’t have to, and the truth is it was such an easy working relationship and she is a fantastic actress. I knew that before and I know it even more now. It was great, really great.
But didn’t your home life and working life begin to blur a little?
A: You know when you are shooting those sort of movies and you are doing 15 hours, six-day weeks and you get home and play with your kids and put them to bed. And on Sunday you want to spend your time with them. They are on set the whole time, so they are with us, but any spare time you want to devote to them. And, frankly, you are too tired to bring it home with you. You just get by. But actually if you need to talk about a scene you are doing together the next day you have the person you are doing it with right there, so that’s good. Jennifer is so fastidious that when I thought about the two of us making a film together, I thought ‘we’ll be up all night talking about it!’ (laughs). But the truth of it was that we were in rags – we would go home, put the kids to bed, eat and go to bed
Did you know much about Darwin before you started on this project?
A: I felt like I knew quite a bit about him actually but then when you are going to play a role like this it gives you the perfect opportunity to be entirely specific about one person in history.
There must be a lot of material out there…
A: Absolutely – there is so much. He himself was so prolific with like a book a year. I now can’t separate to what I knew and what I learnt. I will say that it was an exercise in complete frustration because the amount that he wrote and the amount that has subsequently been written about him, you were always looking at a pillar of unread books.
But what did you take from the research that you could actually use in the performance?
A: You are always looking for the thing that conflicts inside the person and there’s a lot of things that like – the conflict in his marriage, the loss of a child, his wife’s religious beliefs and the fact that he is in the process of killing God.
What conclusions did you draw about him?
A: I think he was a social conservative with a revolutionary idea and that’s painful. He moved at glacial speed anyway and we know that he wasn’t the greatest student but what he could do was look at something fresh and I don’t think he had a snobbery about where the information came from – so whether he was talking to a farmer or whether he was talking to a professor, it didn’t matter it was all about the information. He was rigorous and he moved slowly and I think these ideas came to him. He read a book on economics and he sort of took the formula and saw it in nature everywhere and suddenly couldn’t stop seeing it. And what he discovered, with meticulous research, meant that he couldn’t deny the fact that gradual changes over time happen if you want to survive in your environment.
Survival of the fittest…
A: Survival of the fittest has actually become a bit of a problem whereas it’s more the survival of the most apt and survival of the most keen to adapt, really. And he just couldn’t stop seeing it and I think that made him ill. So that’s even before you get into the whole thing about his wife’s religion and knowing that his discoveries were going to be like a bomb going off. He knew of course that his wife took great solace in her religion after the death of their children. In the film we focus on the loss of one child but in fact they lost three.
You clearly built up quite a picture of the man. Did you like him?
A: Yes. I haven’t found a bad word said about him apart from on the Internet now. People that knew him say he was a decent man and a great father. I once heard it levelled that he sort of would study his children like experiments, but when you think that science was such a huge love in his life then it becomes an act of the utmost love to do that.
How important is it that the film is based on Randal Keynes’ book?
A: Very important. I got the script and I thought it was beautiful – its one of the best scripts I’ve ever read. It’s John Collee who wrote Master and Commander and he’s the bollocks. And Randal Keynes is all things Darwin – he is his great, great grandson, which was important because you have that seal of approval right from the beginning and that’s crucial because you are dealing with that biographical stuff. But moreover it worked as a script and as a story even if you took out the fact that it’s Darwin. This is a story about a marriage in crisis and the loss of a child. It’s compelling enough even if it wasn’t about Darwin.
The film shows that Darwin took a long time to publish The Origin of the Species. Why do you think that was?
A: There were a lot of contributing factors – his wife, his fear of social disorder, of being ostracised by this world that really embraced him. It embraced him prior to this just because of his writings on the Beagle (his findings from a five year voyage on HMS Beagle established his reputation). He came back and he was a bit of a star in that scientific community immediately. So I think there were a lot of factors that stopped him. He writes about it himself. He quite clinically thought ‘why did I come up with this idea? How did this come to me?’ And he put it down to the fact that he was incredibly observant – he has this over developed muscle for observation without putting any pre-determined ideas on it. He would talk to a guy who was a pigeon fancier in the pub exactly the same way he would talk to a professor at Oxford University and everything he heard had the same weight, whether the syntax was right or not, it was all information for him. Also, he was clearly incredibly thorough and that’s also part of why it took 20 years.
The film is very much a love story, too, isn’t it?
A: Oh my God, he loved her. She had ten children and in their marriage there was not a time she wasn’t pregnant, they did not stop having children. She had her last child at 49 and in that era it’s extraordinary. They were so in love with each other. It doesn’t come into our film but they used to play backgammon every day and he kept a running total of who was winning – they just entirely adored each other but had had this incredibly alienating experience at a time when she was being drawn into religion and he was being pulled apart.
You live in the States now. Have you settled to life over there?
A: You know, work wise it doesn’t really matter were we live. I’m in a lucky position that it just doesn’t matter for me anymore. But we are there for the family. Jennifer has lots of relatives there and I love it in New York and we also have a place in the country, which is fantastic. It took me three years to realise ‘**** I’m not going home! I’d better get some American mates..’ And I’ve got some American mates now but I keep in touch with all my mates back in London and they come out and see me, too, which is great. But yes, I love it there. Maybe we’ll come back to Europe at one point in the future but not for a few years while the kids are going through schools.
Creation is in cinemas 25th September
I have never really followed films that are based of books I’ve read or shows I’ve watched as a kid due to the fact most of the time they have turned out being sh*t – Transformers 1+2 (They were both SH*T), Speed Racer, Dragonball ect . But seeing as this is being directed by Spike Jonz (Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) and the trailer looks SERIOUS this is one of my most highly anticipated film of the year.
Innovative director Spike Jonze collaborates with celebrated author Maurice Sendak to bring one of the most beloved books of all time to the big screen in Where the Wild Things Are, a classic story about childhood and the places we go to figure out the world we live in.
The film tells the story of Max, a rambunctious and sensitive boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to where the Wild Things are. Max lands on an island where he meets mysterious and strange creatures whose emotions are as wild and unpredictable as their actions.
The Wild Things desperately long for a leader to guide them, just as Max longs for a kingdom to rule. When Max is crowned king, he promises to create a place where everyone will be happy.
Max soon finds, though, that ruling his kingdom is not so easy and his relationships there prove to be more complicated than he originally thought.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, a Playtone/Wild Things Production of a Spike Jonze film: Where the Wild Things Are, starring Catherine Keener, Max Records and Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara and Forest Whitaker.
Where the Wild Things Are is directed by Spike Jonze from a screenplay by Spike Jonze & Dave Eggers, based on the book by Maurice Sendak. It is produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Maurice Sendak, John Carls and Vincent Landay, with Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.
The creative team includes director of photography Lance Acord, production designer K.K. Barrett and editor Eric Zumbrunnen. Music is by Karen O and Carter Burwell.
Where the Wild Things Are will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. Soundtrack Album is available on DGC/Interscope Records.
October 16, 2009
Australia, New Zealand:
December 3, 2009
December 11, 2009 (Why SO FAR BEHIND THE US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
I recently attended the press screening of The Firm and am safe to say Nick Love (The Business, Football Factory….) is on top form. The Firm is very funny, the music is great, the acting is great, the visuals are great and the story is one of the best coming of age story’s I’ve seen this year.The Firm is Loosely adapted from Alan Clarkes 1989 classic TV film, Nick Loves film is set earlier in the 80s and retells a similar story to the original but from a different characters point of view. The film centres on Dom, a young wannabe football casual, who get drawn into the charismatic but dangerous world of the firms top boy, Bex.
Accepted for the fast mouth and sense of humour, Dom soon becomes one of the boys. But as Bex and his gang clash with rival firms across the country and the violence spirals out of control, Dom realises he wants out until he learns its not that easy to simply walk away.
Humorous, heart-warming and set to a killer jazz funk 80s soundtrack, The Firm is a classic coming-of-age story set amongst one of Englands most revered tribes.
While promoting Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian I was fortunate to interview Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais and Hank Azaria.
Night At The Museam: Battle Of The Smithsonian is the sequel to the american adventure comedy fim Night At The Museum (which has grossed over $571,069,550). The film starred Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Rami Malek, Hank Azaria, Bill Hader, Ricky Gervais, Christopher Guest and Steve Coogan.
There’s a line in the film that goes ‘Happiness is doing what you love with people you love’, would you endorse that?
Ben Stiller: Yeah definitely that’s the idea behind the movie, we had to figure out a way of making a 2nd movie because at the end of the 1st movie everything was so happy, so we had to figure out a problem to begin the next one with. The idea that Larry becomes successful and all the problems of success draw him away from happiness, success doesn’t always lead to happiness.
Ricky Gervais: I just did the film for money.
Hank Azaria: If you’re asking me if I’m in love with Ben and Rick the answer is yes, I did fall in love with them.
Hank how many different voices did you go through before settling on the final voices?
Hank Azaria: With Kah Mun Rah I wanted him to sound stupid, with Abraham Lincoln I would mess around with temporary voices on set and they ended up using the one I made up on set, we tried a bunch of different things, Abraham Lincoln was hard because he had to sound Presidential but also funny. We tried a bunch of different version of Kah Mun Rah, I had 5 or 6 at the testing’s then as a joke at the end I said what about Boris Karloff (in the accent) he’d be a good Mummy if he were still alive. I still can’t believe we actually used that but it made them laugh.
Ben Stiller: It’s such a silly voice
Ricky Gervais: I used my own accent, I’ve nailed it.
How do feel about Night At The Museum 3 if all goes well with this? Do you see this as something that can go further or do you think it stops here because it can’t get much bigger than this with the Smithsonian?
Ben Stiller: I don’t know you know, with this one we had to figure out an interesting story, the idea of doing a 3rd one would be great and a lot of fun, but the main thing would be how to figure out how to sustain itself. If the audience want to see it there’s ideas already floating around but working with these guys again would be great. It’s just trying to figure out something different.
Ricky Gervais: We could just do it in a normal museum where nothing comes to life that would be great.
What type of jobs did you have before you became an actor?
Ben Stiller: I was a bus boy, a really bad waiter, I waited on Dudley Moore once and I was very interested in what he was talking about so I hovered around him, I think I annoyed him, I also worked in a camera store when I was a teenager, I was a scuba a diving instructor in Massachusetts for a couple summers. It all helped me in my career (laughs). I was a bad student but I liked archaeology, I wanted to become an archaeologist but because I had such bad grades I wasn’t gonna get in to any good College so I fell back on acting.
Hank Azaria: I was a bus boy as well but I was a really good one, I could clear a table really well. In fact I was so bored I would try out accents, people would look through you if you sounded regular but if I said ‘Are you finished with this’(in a really good French accent) they would be like where are you from? My first job was as a bar tender though, I was fired from every job I had except acting.
Ricky Gervais: I worked in an Office (laughs). That worked out alright.
Ricky do you ever get back to Reading that much? Do you ever meet up with the other Reading Hollywood contingent at all Kate Winslot?
Ricky Gervais: No I think she was born on the other side of the tracks (laughs). I go back about twice a year to see folks dotted around and see family. When I lived there I didn’t go out after dark obviously, it’s like I Am Legend (laughs). I’m actually in pre production for a film set in Reading but we’re not filming it there we’re filming it in Hampstead though. I had good times in Reading I thought it was great and I got out when I was 18. I’ve got fond memories from Reading.
What was it like working with each other and were you distracted by Amy Adams flight trousers?
Ben Stiller: I enjoyed the trousers, I thought she looked great in them, I was happy to shoot scenes with here every day, we did laugh a lot, it was great to hang out with people who you admire.
Ricky Gervais: I was only filming for two day’s
Ben Stiller: The first one was exciting because we had week and weeks of acting with nothing, running away from Dinosaurs when their not actually there, not having people to interact with, then Ricky shows up and we were like oh my god!
Ricky Gervais: So I was better than nothing (laughs)
Ben Stiller: Yes but it was almost too much, when Ricky Gervais shows up when you’ve been acting with no one it’s too much. We laughed a lot though.
Ricky Gervais: My part was just me trying to put Ben off, I got crazier in this one, I went into the 1st movie a bit blind, I didn’t know how it was gonna be, but then when I saw the finished product I got it, just go crazy, so when I went over for the 2nd I went madder and madder, it got to the point where Ben had to stop laughing and tell me it was ridiculous. Which is the nicest thing anyone’s said to me.
Ben Stiller: He went off on a crazy tangent what my character was like then he went into a weird cowboy character, it was so far from reality, there was no motivation for it (laughs) I had to say something. It was always exciting working with these guys. Hank and I have been friends for a long time. Sitting around on set with these people like Steve Coogan and Christopher Guest, we all look up to him and he’s such a sweet guy, I still can’t believe he’s in the movie.
Ricky Gervais: No off switch, it’s a machine and I met the monkey.
Hank Azaria: The monkey packs a wallop. I know Ben’s tired of it.
Ben Stiller: I’m beyond tired I resent her now. The slapping scene is not the most exciting day of the shoot for me, it’s one monkey playing to parts.
Ricky Gervais: With the trousers I only worked with Ben and the monkey so I never got to see them. I haven’t even seen the film, its brilliant though(laughs) I only read my bit in the script.
Hank Azaria: I told her about my distraction with the trousers, I said something really clever like nice pants, they really hug you from behind.
If the 3 of you had to steal something from any museum in the world what would it be?
Ben Stiller: Something valuable
Hank Azaria: Yeah I’d find out what was the most expensive thing.
Ricky Gervais: I’m into evolution so I’d probably take Lucy the first hominid.
Ben Stiller: I just went to Egypt and saw King Tut that was great I’d take that.
Hank Azaria: I’d take the Hope Diamond because it expensive
What did you guys think of the waxworks and would you ever want to get one of yourselves?
Ricky Gervais: I’ve been asked to do a couple things like that, one was for chocolate but I didn’t want to sit there for three hours, if they can do it from a photo their welcome (laughs). There a bit creepy though
Ben Stiller: Yeah they are quite creepy
Ricky Gervais: The best ones I’ve ever seen are in this film, the eyes looked real, they were amazing.
Ben Stiller: The one of Hank I had to email the picture to him because it looked exactly like him it was full sized as well. It was weird.
Hank Azaria: I was creeped out by them.
If you could make any inanimate object come to life what would it be?
Hank Azaria: I’d like for my car to come alive, we could scheme up some adventures together.
Ricky Gervais: Is it the car or do you want to be like David Hasslehoff?
Ben Stiller: I’d like to make David Hasslehoff come alive (laughs)
Hank Azaria: That’s your answer David Hasslehoff!