De Niro + Pacino + Joe Pesci = Must See TV

We get together and talk, compare notes,” De Niro explained. “Not quite miss each other. We might miss each other.”

Perhaps most surprising of all is that at a moment when they could easily rest on their laurels — and have sometimes been accused of doing just that — Pacino, 79, and De Niro, 76, continue to care immensely about their craft…

But the actors found it a delicate task to explain why this facet of the film appealed to them and for obvious reasons: Who wants to admit that he is nearer to the end of things than to the beginning? As Mann put it, “Does one walk around thinking, oh, I’m an elder statesman now? Or do you still secretly think, who am I going to be when I grow up?”

With some hesitation, De Niro said that he and Pacino had to reckon with the existential questions that “The Irishman” raises.

“We’re at a point where we’re getting closer to seeing” — he made an oscillating, over-the-hill hand gesture as he sought the right words — “I don’t want to say the end, but the horizon,” De Niro said. “The beginning of the tip around and to the other side.”

De Niro and Pacino Have Always Connected. Just Rarely Onscreen. The Irishman is officially only the third time they’ve collaborated, but over the years they often turned to one another. Who else could understand?” (New York Times, October 25, 2019)

Incognito

With star turns in last year’s “Lady Bird” and the new period epic “Mary Queen of Scots,” out Dec. 7, the Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, 24, has catapulted into Hollywood’s top ranks. But she prefers to spend her off time out of the limelight: The 24-year-old’s favorite pastimes include knitting, cooking and reading history. “I don’t go to a lot of clubs because I’m busy knitting,” she jokes. “I just knit and read history books.” She laughs and shakes her head, adding, “Now nobody will want to read this interview.” …

She’s read a lot of history books to study for her roles, but she says her script choices are more emotionally than strategically driven. “It’s like a chemistry thing,” she says…She found revisiting her emotions “quite therapeutic,” she says. “It can really help get something out of your system or help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way or just be more in touch with how you’re feeling.”

That self-aware groundedness is part of what keeps her close to home in Ireland when she isn’t working. A self-described homebody, she lives outside Dublin, near where she grew up. Her father is an actor and her mother a homemaker…

She enjoys remaining incognito at the grocery store. Her relaxed attire helps. While she says her style changes all the time, she thinks she tends to dress like a “cool Scandinavian mother.” When I look at her quizzically, she describes loose, high-waisted pants and flowing shirts. “They’re not necessarily Scandinavian, but I just mean mothers who have just had a baby,” she explains. “I look a bit like a mother of one who’s gone mad in Anthropologie.”

Alexandra Wolfe, from “Saoirse Ronan Would Rather Be Knitting” – The ascendant star, now playing ‘Mary Queen of Scots,’ prefers to spend her off-time out of the limelight—and get through the grocery store incognito (wsj.com, Dec 7, 2018)

Happy Birthday Holly!

Happy 60th Birthday Holly Hunter! (Born, March 20, 1958)

“I don’t want anyone to ever wonder who I am,” she says. “I’m not interested in fooling people.”

“Acting is a tremendously insecurity-making profession. I always feel insecure and I always feel confident. They’re slammed up against each other and it’s a constant balancing act.”


Source: Vulture – Holly Hunter Is Keeping It Real

Uma

Uma Thurman knows that there are no retakes in theater, no postproduction fixes, no chances to dub in a line. When she strides onstage for “The Parisian Woman,” a play by Beau Willimon, the “House of Cards” creator, that opens Nov. 30 at the Hudson Theater, no flattering lenses or editing trickery will help her.

“Of course it’s exposing,” she said over dinner recently, “but no exposure, no challenge. You can’t test yourself in safety.” […]

“It wasn’t very difficult to cast her,” said Stephen Frears, the director of “Dangerous Liaisons,” speaking by telephone. “She was so striking, so beautiful and so fresh.”

She was also, as Mr. Frears said, “very formidable.” That’s a hallmark of her career and also maybe a clue to why that career has been so eclectic. Ms. Thurman isn’t a delicate actress or a melting one or the kind who comes right to the front of a movie screen and invites you in. There’s a remove in a lot of her best work (“Henry & June,” “Kill Bill”), a sense that she has emotions and ideas that are hers alone.

She has refused to be typecast as a siren or a femme fatale and has struggled to find roles that attract her. It isn’t that she won’t play wives and girlfriends — she will, she has. But these are women as likely to steal a scene as to yield to it.

Quentin Tarantino, who directed her as a gangster’s wife in “Pulp Fiction” and wrote the “Kill Bill” movies for her, compared Ms. Thurman to golden-age luminaries like Greta Garbo and Bette Davis. “There’s this year’s blonde and there’s last year’s blonde. Interchangeable. But to me, Uma has a quality that could rank with a Marlene Dietrich,” he said in a phone interview. He also called her, with affection, “a big, tall willow.” […]

Playing Chloe, she said, was taxing her more than any part in a decade. It was forcing her to use all of her actorly muscles “in a more total and protracted way.”

Is Chloe a siren? Maybe. A femme fatale? Depends who you ask. Happily, she is more than that, too.

As dinner wound down, with plates of vegetables and tiny bowls of tofu littering the table, Ms. Thurman considered the question of what a woman like Chloe really wants. “I think I’m still exploring that,” she said. Finally, she gave what she called “a most banal and bad answer.”

“I think she’s wanting and demanding to be fully alive,” Ms. Thurman said.

~ Alexis Soloski, excerpts from “Uma Thurman, Ready to Be Tested.” Hollywood’s “contempt and dismissiveness” toward women have led her to Broadway. In “The Parisian Woman,” she’ll be onstage for every minute of every scene. (NY Times, Nov 8, 2017)

give away the mirrors in your house, one with every birthday

A couple of decades ago, she had soured on celebrity, once and for all, so it seemed. “It wants to name you and diagnose you and keep you as a comfort animal,” Ms. Winger said the other day before quietly changing her tune. “Celebrity is not my favorite part of the gig,” she confided. “But it’s the price you pay for doing what you want.”…

True, she feuded viciously with former co-stars and directors. She once called John Malkovich …“nothing more than a catwalk model.” She endlessly needled Shirley MacLaine during the filming of the 1983 movie “Terms of Endearment,” tonguing her thigh during off-camera moments and teasing her crudely about her attire, her psychosexual antics causing Ms. MacLaine to flee the set … Has she mellowed over time? Could be… At 61, Ms. Winger is offering no excuses. “Sometimes I have less tact than other times,” she said.

“If I have an intention I’m going to try to stick with it and not be taken by someone else’s energy. “I’m on a quest; aren’t we all? With humans, it’s always a dance. If somebody’s moving slower than you are, you’ve got to get them out of your way.” Her truculence did not sit well with her long-ago peers or her studio bosses. “People said I’m too intense,” she acknowledged. “People can’t handle that.”  These days she is reserving that surfeit of passion mostly for her work…In many ways, she has never really stopped. What seemed like a hiatus in the mid-1990s was in fact a fertile time. Ms. Winger taught at Harvard, married the actor Arliss Howard, brought up three sons in Sullivan County, N.Y., and worked on memorable indie projects…

“It’s hard to accept your aging face,” she said. “You’ve got to be tough.” Still, you can hope to ease the pain. “You just give away the mirrors in your house, one with every birthday,” Ms. Winger said. “By the time you reach the right age, you have just one little mirror over your bathroom sink to make sure you don’t have any green in your teeth.”…

“It’s all about finding your groove at every age.”…“It’s all about chi, your life energy,” she said with Yoda-like serenity. “Like everything else, it goes through iterations. If it’s alive it changes.”…Till when? She fixed her companion with a sphinxlike gaze and grinned. “Can I get back to you on that?” she said.

~ Ruth La Ferla, excerpts from Debra Winger Comes to Terms With Fame and Age (NY Times, May 5, 2017)

I’m hooked on the hard thing. I believe in the hard way. Long recipes, no shortcuts.

Michelle-williams

Unobtrusive as a shadow, she slips in…wearing black jeans and a fisherman’s sweater as pale as her tousled hair, which looks as if she just rolled out of bed—except that she never went to bed last night. She’s the opposite of a diva making an entrance; this is a woman who knows how to hide in plain sight, with no makeup, no frills, no attention-grabbing gestures. In this busy restaurant she seems to inhabit a bubble of stillness; it’s easy to see why one critic described her as “a slight, unprepossessing person.” […]

Finding suitable film roles is tougher, and their demands often conflict with her daughter’s needs. “I think about work and how to do both all the time. I worry about the next job and when it’s coming and will I be able to get it, but when you’re looking at something, there’s also the criteria of timing, the school calendar, the location, the duration and just where we’re at as a family. How much does this work for me as a person, and how much does this work for my family? Sometimes they balance up perfectly, and sometimes they lean in one direction.” […]

She is also a woman who understands paralyzing grief. Like Randi, a mother forever shattered by a malevolent moment of fate in Manchester by the Sea, Williams is a mother who has spent years trying to recover from an irreparable loss…After (Heath) Ledger died (from an accidental drug overdose), she found it excruciating to give up the home they had shared with Matilda’s father.  “At that time, I was inconsolable, because I felt, How will he be able to find us? This is where we lived, and he won’t know where we are,” she says, dabbing away tears. “And now I can’t believe I thought that.” She shakes her head. “The past—you might be done with it, but it’s not done with you.” […] Over time, she has learned a tough lesson. “When you find yourself in hell, the best thing to do is keep going,” she says. “Don’t stop. Put one foot in front of the other. The territory keeps changing, but it won’t change if you sit down. Keep moving.” […] [Read more…]

Riven with insecurities

dustin-hoffman

Hoffman, 78, often professes himself riven with insecurities and convinced that every job will be his last. “You don’t erase the first 10 years of your life, it stays with you, it’s imprinted … you didn’t work!” he says. “Selfishly, I feel, well, I just got in under the gun.” However, he has nothing to prove. With a catalogue of era-defining movies including The Graduate, Lenny, All the President’s Men, Straw Dogs and Tootsie, he’s one of the pre-eminent film stars of the last 50 years. While it’s doubtful that Kung Fu Panda 3, the film he’s promoting today in New York, will join The Graduate and Midnight Cowboy in the National Film Registry, it’s still a perfectly charming kids’ movie, enhanced by Hoffman’s infinitely expressive growl. […]

So who’s the best actor of all time? Hoffman doesn’t believe in the concept, but he believes in best performances. “The first one that comes to mind – he just got an Oscar, I heard – Mark Rylance. His Jerusalem, my God. I said: ‘What is that?’ When you see something that transforms everything that you’ve been doing for a living … I mean, you’re an actor but that goes beyond. He was doing something larger.” Equally stunning, says Hoffman, was Simon Russell Beale as Hamlet. “He was unkempt, he was heavy, he played him like a real loser, which I think Shakespeare wrote, and I thought he had an essence. Then it came to ‘To be or not to be’ and he came to the lip of the stage and he said: ‘To be …’”

Hoffman gets up, and just for me performs Russell Beale performing Hamlet. “And he held it until there wasn’t a person in the audience that was breathing and it was as if he had collected everyone to the very essence of what he was saying. ‘… or not to be.’ And I thought, ‘Woah.’ I got goosebumps. He still kept the iambic pentameter but it just got inside something that no-one else had done before. Great acting, I do love it.” And, he says, despite niggles – a torn rotator cuff, back injuries and waning ability to remember people’s names, he’ll be doing it for as long as he’s able.

~ Alex Needham, Dustin Hoffman: ‘I was an outsider. I came to New York and I was cleaning toilets’


Source: The Guardian

 

50. And most beautiful.

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Christie D’Zurill, LA Times: Sandra Bullock is People’s most beautiful woman; ‘ridiculous,’ she says:

Sandra Bullock, mother of Louis and winner of Oscar, is People magazine’s most beautiful woman for 2015…

At 50, she’s the oldest celebrity to be featured on the magazine’s annual cover celebrating beauty — a factoid that likely wouldn’t register with her 5-year-old son.
“[H]e asked why I have wrinkles, and I said, ‘Well, I hope some of them are from laughing so much.’ And he touched my face and said, ‘You’re not old, you’re just happy…

“Real beauty is quiet,” she said. “Especially in this town, it’s just so hard not to say, ‘Oh, I need to look like that.’

“No, be a good person, be a good mom, do a good job with the lunch, let someone cut in front of you who looks like they’re in a bigger hurry.”…

A blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others

tatiana-maslany

By: Lili Loofbourow, The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany:

Tatiana Maslany, the 29-year old actress, is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan. She is the leading lady on the set of “Orphan Black,” the BBC America television show that has the same star many times over. “Orphan Black,” you see, is about a group of persecuted clones, and all of them are played by Tatiana Maslany.

Despite Maslany’s reluctance, I managed to steer our conversation back to her magical quick-change act. I still wanted to know how she does it. “I think there’s something about being prepared enough that you can surrender,” she said. Then she quoted to me something the dancer Martha Graham told the choreographer Agnes de Mille in 1943.

At the time, de Mille was confused and bewildered by her sudden rise to fame, and Graham offered her words of encouragement.  […] De Mille asked Graham when she would feel satisfied, and Graham replied: “There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” I asked Maslany what her divine dissatisfaction was. “I don’t know how I would label it right now,” she said. “I think if I looked back on this time, I’d probably see where it lived.”

Don’t miss entire NY Times Magazine article here: The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany.


Boldly Go Mr. Spock

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spock-leonard-nimoy-star-trek-cartoon


Image Source: larygo and mayangelsfall

 

The Humbling

al-pacino-barry-levinson

Al Pacino and Barry Levinson on Age, Accomplishments and ‘The Humbling’:

Mr. Pacino, 74, is playing Simon Axler in The Humbling. Axler is an aging actor whose memory and stamina are failing him. He fears his opportunities are drying up and audiences no longer recognize him.

Q: “The Humbling” deals with a character who is despairing because he’s growing older and believes he’s no longer proficient at the things that defined him. Are these feelings you’ve experienced yourselves?

Al Pacino: Oh, yeah. What film is this again? [Laughter] There are professions where there are certain tools you depend on. With the actor it’s the memory, and also it’s the stamina. You can’t coast in some of these Shakespearean roles. They’re uncoastable. You can imagine the kind of panic that sets in when you realize you can’t get through this.

Q: Is a crisis of confidence like the one your character experiences unimaginable to you?

Al Pacino It’s got to be really confounding when you no longer have that appetite, I would imagine. I know about Philip Roth saying that he doesn’t write anymore and he feels good about it. There’s a kind of relief in that. But to be an actor that doesn’t want to do it anymore?


There’s the purpose. Right there.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Q: There was a strong, negative reaction after you won your Oscar. In a recent interview for Elle U.K., you said, “As with anything difficult, eventually its purpose revealed itself, and I found it ultimately very liberating.” What was its purpose?

AH: Self-acceptance. If you’re not someone who has a natural and effortless love for yourself, it’s hard to let go of your desire to please other people, and that’s really not an ingredient for a happy life.

~ Anne Hathaway, Anne Hathaway’s Oscars Advice: ‘Do The Opposite of What I Did


Image: linkservice

Nostalgia for a lost world, an unrecoverable childhood

Quentin-tarantino

From Larissa MacFarquhar’s 2003 Profile of Quentin Tarantino:

“For every monologue he writes about an old movie or TV show, he writes one about European hamburgers or tipping waitresses or eating pork. … The love of minutiae, like the love of pop culture, is a form of nostalgia—a junk-food version of Proust’s madeleine. But, unlike madeleine-nostalgia—nostalgia for a lost world, an unrecoverable childhood—minutiae-nostalgia is nostalgia for a world that still exists, for a life you’re still living.”


(Source: newyorker.com). Photograph by Ruven Afanador

59 Finishes in 5 min. How many can you name?

The Last Thing You See: A Final Shot Montage from Plot Point Productions on Vimeo.


My score? < 25%. Need answers. See below: [Read more…]

Drive-In Movie Theaters: Going Way of T-Rex?

Drive In Movie Theaters

This article evoked vivid, early teen memories. Sultry Friday and Saturday nights in August. Shad flies filling the night time sky over the Kootenay River. We would race our bikes to beat the twilight turning to dusk. We’d hide our bikes in the bushes and go searching for a grassy spot on the hill at the Sunset Drive-in. The tantalizing smell of buttered popcorn and hot dogs. The car window speakers cackling. The older high school kids cozying up to their girls.

I googled the Sunset Drive-in and was shocked to learn that it showed its last movie in 1986, over 25 years ago. The old drive-in is now a RV Park known as Kootenay River Kampground.

Italo Calvino’s words capture my recollection of these memories from where we sit today, in front of our screens, big and little, in our homes: “Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.”

Here’s a few excerpts from the BusinessWeek article titled: America’s Last, Remaining Drive-Ins Face a New Threat

[Read more…]

Tootsie = Epiphany


This emotional three minute interview with Dustin Hoffman has gone viral on Youtube.  Hoffman said he’d initially had doubts about making the movie Tootsie unless he could be made to look like a beautiful woman.  In the moment he was told that he was as attractive as he was going to get as a woman, the actor said he had an epiphany.

“I went home and started crying, talking to my wife, and I said, ‘I have to make this picture,’” Hoffman said, choking up as he recalled his reaction. “And she said, ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘Because I think I’m an interesting woman, when I look at myself on-screen, and I know that if I met myself at a party I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill, physically, the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have in order for us to ask them out.’

“She says, ‘What are you saying?’ And I said, ‘There’s too many interesting women I have … not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed. And that was never a comedy for me,” he said.

Hoffman, 75, has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning two for his performances in Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Main.  His other notable films include Midnight Cowboy, Little Big Man, Papillon, All The President’s Men, Tootsie, Hook and Wag the Dog.


Source: Thank you (again) Lori @ Donna & Diablo.  Moved.  Full stop.

I do it for me. That’s it. That’s it.

ricky-gervais-arrives-at-the-69th-annual-golden-globe-awards-pic-ap-936706034

“I do it for me and like-minded people. That’s it. That’s it. My career, I look at it in a Darwinian framework. I’m going to do exactly what I want, and I’m going to survive or I’m not. I’m not going to pander, I’m not going to change things, I’m not going to do focus groups. I’ll live and die by the sword. I don’t care. Because I couldn’t live with myself…Everything I’ve done has been existential. Everything, really. Everything is always about, ‘Am I living a good life? Am I making the most of my life?'”

Ricky Gervais


Clips from GQ.com (Note “R” rated for vulgar language): Chris Heath on Gervais: “…I think there is a sense that someone who seemed like one of us, and on our side, may have slipped his moorings.” [Read more…]

Character: $6B in movie ticket sales and not slightly offended by being rejected

entertainer, actor,entertainment, hollywood, american way magazine
“While describing the uncommon experience of being rejected for a role he coveted, Harrison Ford is amused and understated. He provides the details calmly, without disdain or condescension for the director who initially refused to even talk to him. The story has a successful ending with Ford getting exactly what he wanted, but the striking part about Ford telling it is the noticeable absence of entitlement. Here is a man who has generated an estimated $6 billion in movie-ticket sales worldwide and is one of the most successful actors in film history. But he is still not even slightly offended by a hesitant director.

The character Ford found so compelling is Branch Rickey, a man of surpassing intelligence who played a significant role in advancing civil rights in this country, not only because it was morally proper but also because it was good business. Rickey was the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the man who desegregated baseball by signing 26-year-old Jackie Robinson in 1945 to play for the Montreal Royals, the organization’s top farm team. After spending the 1946 season with Montreal, Robinson was promoted to the major leagues in 1947. Their story is told in the film 42, which debuts in theaters this month. In Rickey, Ford saw a man with complex motivations — honorable because Rickey deplored racial prejudice, but also practical because the better his baseball team, the more money he made.  “Ethnic prejudice has no place in sports,” Rickey once lectured, “and baseball must recognize that truth if it is to maintain stature as a national game.”

Harrison Ford.  An inspiration.  Read more @ American Way Magazine

The Intouchables

A jobless Senegalese man (Omar Sy) applies for a caregiver position for Philippe, a wealthy quadriplegic (Francois Cluzet). He is hired and brings Philippe a reinvigorated appreciation for living.  As improbable as the plot line may be, the movie is feel-good medicine for a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  It is light, warm-hearted and funny.  Omar Sy steals the show.  The movie was a smashing success in France.  Critics’ Reviews: Andrew O’Hehir (Salon), Roger Ebert (Sun-Times), Rex Reed (NY Observer).  DK Grade: * * * * *


The Intouchables @ Amazon.  (Note: this is a French flick with subtitles.)

Big Things

Quentin Tarantino

“I remember reading a review that Pauline Kael wrote about some director’s big epic, and she said: Now, look, it might seem unfair to judge a talented man more harshly when he tries to do something big than a less talented person who’s doing something easier. But when you try big things, you take big risks, and if you’re trying to do something that is maybe above you and you can’t quite pull off, then whereas before we only saw your gifts, now we see your failings.

I’ve always been pushing that envelope. I want to risk hitting my head on the ceiling of my talent. I want to really test it out and say: O.K., you’re not that good. You just reached the level here. I don’t ever want to fail, but I want to risk failure every time out of the gate.”

~ Quentin Tarantino


“Quentin Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1963.  In junior high he attended drama classes and he actually dropped out of High School at age 15 to attend acting classes full-time at the James Best theater company.  After he left the acting school he became an employee at the Video Archives, a now-defunct movie rental store in Manhattan. It was there that he began to truly think about and discuss cinema as he worked with customers to find the best movie for them. He actually credits that store as providing the inspiration for him to become a director by saying that ‘When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them, ‘no, I went to films.’  Tarantino is the famed director of classics ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Kill Bill’ and ‘Inglorious Basterds.'” (Source: ID Poster)


Sources: Image and bio – ID Poster.  Quote: 99u.com via New York Times story: Quentin’s World

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