Amanda Seyfried: ‘Filming Mank was the hardest I’ve ever worked’

Amanda Seyfried was pushed to her limits while filming David Fincher’s upcoming biopic Mank.The historical drama documents the bitter fallout between Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and actor/director Orson Welles, with Seyfried playing …

Amanda Seyfried was pushed to her limits while filming David Fincher’s upcoming biopic Mank.

The historical drama documents the bitter fallout between Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and actor/director Orson Welles, with Seyfried playing Hollywood legend Marion Davies.

In a recent interview with Collider, the 34-year-old recalled filming with the critically-acclaimed director, and how she was blown away when offered the role of Davies in the movie.

“Honestly, it is the hardest I’ve ever worked. But I am so thrilled with it. First of all, it came out of nowhere,” Seyfried explained. “I was pretty sure I was going to do it, but I didn’t know, it was up to him. But I was just also like, how the f**k am I going to play Marion Davies?”

“But I was also like, this is such a get – to work with Fincher he’s one of a kind. And I actually can’t believe we did it,” she added, noting that they’d finished filming the biopic on 21 February, just days before the widespread Hollywood shutdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mank, set to be released on Netflix later this year, stars Oscar winner Gary Oldman as the titular screenwriter, opposite Tom Burke as Welles, and Lily Collins, who plays Mankiewicz’s secretary Rita Alexander.

And Seyfried also confirmed that Fincher lived up to his reputation as a meticulous filmmaker, as she recalled one scene taking days to film.

“…I was part of scenes with tons of people in it and we would do it for an entire week. I can’t tell you how many takes we did, but I would guess 200, maybe I could be wrong and could be way off,” she shared. “I could be underestimating by five days of one scene when I didn’t have one line.”

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Kelvin Harrison Jr. turned down The High Note three times

Kelvin Harrison Jr. turned down his role in The High Note three times because he feared he wasn’t good enough.In Nisha Ganatra’s new comedy-drama, the Waves actor plays unsigned singer David Cliff, who is discovered by Dakota Johnson’s aspiring m…

Kelvin Harrison Jr. turned down his role in The High Note three times because he feared he wasn’t good enough.

In Nisha Ganatra’s new comedy-drama, the Waves actor plays unsigned singer David Cliff, who is discovered by Dakota Johnson’s aspiring music producer and convinces him to let her produce his debut album.

But in a new interview with Collider, Kelvin revealed that he turned down the project repeatedly because he didn’t rate his vocal skills.

“I said no, three times before even auditioning,” he shared. “I read the script and I thought it was wonderful, but I was like, ‘You can find someone that’s better. I don’t wanna embarrass myself. I don’t wanna do that to your movie. You deserve a good supporting male.’

“But they convinced me, eventually, and I met with the director, who was wonderful. So, I did my first tape, and then they brought me in for a chemistry read with Dakota, and I was like, ‘I’m never gonna get this job. I’m not tall enough. I’m not cool enough. Dakota is beautiful. She’s just better.’ I think all of those things played into that.”

The 25-year-old then noted that he didn’t get the part at first but it eventually circled back round to him, and it was refreshing being able to play someone who wasn’t still in high school for once.

“I’d never played a day older than 18, so the first challenge was figuring out, ‘What’s it like to actually live like a grown man? I’m a 25-year-old and I’ve been pretending that I was in high school, since I left high school.’ That was the first step,” he explained.

The High Note, also starring Tracee Ellis Ross, is now available on-demand.

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Simon Pegg: ‘Tom Cruise is an incredibly generous performer’

Simon Pegg loves working with the “incredibly generous” Tom Cruise.The British actor has worked with the Hollywood action hero since Mission: Impossible III back in 2006, and is set to reunite with him for the seventh and eighth instalments in the spy …

Simon Pegg loves working with the “incredibly generous” Tom Cruise.

The British actor has worked with the Hollywood action hero since Mission: Impossible III back in 2006, and is set to reunite with him for the seventh and eighth instalments in the spy thriller franchise.

The 50-year-old, who plays tech expert Benji Dunn, revealed that Cruise is so compassionate and caring towards his co-stars that it makes filming the blockbusters less nerve-wracking.

“It’s always fun. He’s an incredibly generous performer. He cares a lot about everybody else. He’s always hanging out around the monitor… after hanging off an airplane, he’s worried about me doing a fistfight which isn’t particularly scary,” Pegg told Collider.

“I like it because there’s a normal person there, there’s a regular person that people tend to never see, and he’s aware of who he is and what he’s become,” he explained, before adding that he’s always reassured when he’s starring alongside Cruise.

“I’ve always had a good experience with Tom. You know you’re working on something which is going to be executed with 100 per cent committed enthusiasm. It’s nice to have that as the standard,” he shared.

While filming was shut down on the Christopher McQuarrie-directed sequels earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pegg managed to meet some of the newcomers to the Mission: Impossible saga, such as Hayley Atwell.

“I felt like an old veteran. I’m four movies in… it was funny to be the old hand,” Pegg laughed. “I felt like Ving (Rhames) must have felt when I met him on number three. Now he’s six in.”

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Kenneth Branagh ‘wasn’t ready’ to direct Thor: The Dark World

Kenneth Branagh declined the offer to direct the sequel Thor: The Dark World because he “wasn’t ready”.The British actor/director helmed the hugely successful Marvel blockbuster Thor, which marked the debut of Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god, back in …

Kenneth Branagh declined the offer to direct the sequel Thor: The Dark World because he “wasn’t ready”.

The British actor/director helmed the hugely successful Marvel blockbuster Thor, which marked the debut of Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god, back in 2011.

Even though the film was well-received by critics and grossed more than $449 million (£355 million) at the worldwide box office, Branagh decided to pass on directing duties for the sequel in 2013.

The 59-year-old told Collider that he had worked on Thor for more than three years and needed to “recharge” with a less strenuous project.

“When the first one was finished, essentially it had been three fantastic years of my life, but I needed to recharge on something else. I was too close to the glass on that one, so I would definitely never say never again because it changed my life and changed my career and I’m profoundly grateful for it,” he explained. “I wasn’t ready to go straight into another one, but I like the idea of… I’d love to be planning something that was a three-parter in movie terms. That hasn’t come along yet but maybe it will.”

He also suggested that he had originally planned to work on a Thor trilogy, but that wasn’t possible as the first movie had to perform well at the box office before any sequel was greenlit by Marvel.

“Sometimes with these stories I like to plan them as trilogies, but it’s much harder in this world for that to work out because the stakes are so high you’ve gotta really see how the first one does,” Branagh stated.

Directing duties on the Thor sequel were originally given to Patty Jenkins, now famous for directing Wonder Woman, but she left the project because she didn’t think she could make a good film from the script being used. It was eventually helmed by Alan Taylor.

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Kenneth Branagh wants to make animated William Shakespeare movie

Kenneth Branagh hopes his next film project will be an animated version of William Shakespeare’s King Lear.The actor and director has starred in a number of Shakespeare’s plays on the stage and in the film adaptations of Henry V, Hamlet, and Much Ado A…

Kenneth Branagh hopes his next film project will be an animated version of William Shakespeare’s King Lear.

The actor and director has starred in a number of Shakespeare’s plays on the stage and in the film adaptations of Henry V, Hamlet, and Much Ado About Nothing, and he hopes to further his passion for the playwright’s work by transforming it into a different medium.

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about animated Shakespeare, but I always wait for the moment when the desire to do it becomes an absolute need and not just a want, not just a sort of desire but an absolute persistent need, because that’s how you’re probably going to achieve it,” he told Collider.

“And so animated Shakespeare, King Lear is a project that’s been circling me for quite some time,” Branagh noted, before adding that he doesn’t think the world is ready for an animated Shakespearean play yet.

“These things I know also benefit from sort of long term marination. I try and do that and listen to the universe as to whether there’s a moment to try and put your foot down on the accelerator if you’re in a position to do anything about that,” he explained. “So yes, I’ve been close, but so far the time hasn’t arrived for another one thus far.”

The Murder on the Orient Express star also revealed he contemplated transforming Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream into an animated film while directing the Disney+ movie Artemis Fowl.

“The use of magic by Shakespeare in that play is such a fantastic invitation to the human imagination,” he shared. “Animation, IMAX animation, who knows. So I continue to enjoy noodling and percolating.”

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Paul Feig shoots down possibility of Bridesmaids sequel

Paul Feig has no plans to make a Bridesmaids sequel.The filmmaker directed the hit 2011 movie, which starred the likes of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, and Wendi McLendon-Covey. However, Feig has now poured wat…

Paul Feig has no plans to make a Bridesmaids sequel.

The filmmaker directed the hit 2011 movie, which starred the likes of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, and Wendi McLendon-Covey.

However, Feig has now poured water on the idea of a follow-up to the film, which was co-written by Wiig and Annie Mumolo, and insisted that any story for the sequel would never be as good as the original.

“Everybody thinks they want a Bridesmaids sequel, and it could be fun, but I always have to say this: Bridesmaids works – you remember all the comedy stuff, that was great, but the reason that movie worked is because it was about Kristen Wiig’s character,” he told Collider.

Feig went on to note that protagonist Annie Walker is a “disaster”, and the flick ends with her overhauling her life and starting a relationship with police officer Nathan Rhodes, played by Chris O’Dowd.

And the director believes that the only possible story for a sequel would have to focus on another wedding – though he would leave that decision in the hands of Wiig.

“So, to do a sequel, I think you’re basically just gonna have to have a funny wedding. And I’ve seen those movies a million times and some of them are good and some of them are like, ‘O.K., whatever.’ It’s obviously up to Kristen, she’s the keeper of the keys on that, but it would have to be something that you can emotionally engage in again,” Feig shared. “That could be funny, but I just think you need more for a movie to be great.”

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Jerry Bruckheimer developing Bad Boys 4

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is working on bringing Bad Boys 4 to the big screen.The Hollywood producer has worked on the action comedy franchise, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, since the hugely successful blockbuster Bad Boys debuted back in 1…

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is working on bringing Bad Boys 4 to the big screen.

The Hollywood producer has worked on the action comedy franchise, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, since the hugely successful blockbuster Bad Boys debuted back in 1995.

Bruckheimer revealed that after the success of this year’s Bad Boys for Life, which saw Smith and Lawrence reprise their roles as detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, he’s now working with bosses at Sony on another instalment.

“We had a great experience on the first one, both through the development process with Tom Rothman (Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman) and his team, and then through the editing process and filming process,” he told Collider. “We put together, along with their help, a movie that’s very satisfying for the audience, and we’d like to do it again, and I think they’d like us to do it again. We’re currently working on a draft for the fourth one.”

Bad Boys for Life, which was released in January, has raked in more than $419 million (£518 million) at the worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing film of 2020 so far. The third movie also starred franchise newcomers Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, and Charles Melton.

It’s not yet known if Smith and Lawrence will be back onboard for the follow-up, or if directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will be returning to the franchise.

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Joe Russo praises Tom Holland’s ‘Oscar-worthy performance’ in Cherry

Joe Russo was blown away by Tom Holland’s “Oscar-worthy performance” in hard-hitting drama Cherry.The director/producer first worked with the British actor on Captain America: Civil War back in 2016, when he made his debut as the web-slinging superhero…

Joe Russo was blown away by Tom Holland’s “Oscar-worthy performance” in hard-hitting drama Cherry.

The director/producer first worked with the British actor on Captain America: Civil War back in 2016, when he made his debut as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man.

Since then, Joe has teamed up with his brother Anthony Russo once again to helm the upcoming movie, which sees Tom play an Army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who robs banks to fund his drug addiction.

The gritty character is a far cry from the young actor’s infamous portrayal of the sweet and nerdy Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 48-year-old filmmaker teased the possibility of an Oscar nod for Tom next year.

“I think he’s exceptional in the movie, honestly. I think it’s an Oscar-worthy performance out of him. He is shredding himself, physically and emotionally,” Joe told Collider, noting that it is a “complicated role” that spans decades in the movie. “I just think he’s exquisite in the part. He’s so compulsively watchable onscreen.”

Joe also admitted it was a bonus that Tom is so well-liked because of his critically-acclaimed portrayal of Spider-Man, as audiences will find it hard to hate his character in Cherry.

“When you’re playing a character that goes to that level of depravity, to have someone as inherently likeable as Tom playing that character, so that you continue to root for them no matter what horrible choices they make, it’s invaluable,” the filmmaker continued. “I think it really changes the entire presentation of the movie for an audience. I can’t say enough about it. I’m just really blown away by him in the film.”

Cherry is slated for release later this year.

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Jesse Eisenberg feels invincible while working on movie sets

Jesse Eisenberg feels so invincible while working on movie sets that he is happy to do certain stunts.The 36-year-old actor opened up about his experience while filming his new sci-fi thriller Vivarium, and revealed that any fears he has in real-life d…

Jesse Eisenberg feels so invincible while working on movie sets that he is happy to do certain stunts.

The 36-year-old actor opened up about his experience while filming his new sci-fi thriller Vivarium, and revealed that any fears he has in real-life disappear once he steps on set.

“I don’t know if it makes me feel invincible because I’m on a movie set,” Jesse told Collider. “Fears of heights, or in this case, being zipped up in a bag and claustrophobia, immediately disappear. I do stunts in movies that I would never do, in real life. I think there’s a feeling that you’re invincible on a movie set because they take so many precautions, or because you don’t foresee ever getting hurt at work.”

His bravado on movie sets has also terrified his wife, Anna Strout, with whom he shares three-year-old son Banner, after he asked them to come and watch one of his scenes while filming Vivarium.

“I love the stuff in this movie. That was fine. I asked my child, who was one years old, to come out and watch the scene and my wife said, ‘Are you kidding me? Absolutely not,'” he laughed.

Elsewhere in the interview, The Social Network star revealed that shooting the sci-fi thriller, in which he plays one half of a young couple who become trapped in a nightmarish idyllic neighbourhood, was emotionally exhausting.

“You’re shooting these movies on these like soundstages, where there are no windows or outside noise, and you’re stuck at the same time of day for 14 hours, and that’s exactly what the characters are living in,” he explained. “They’re living in this totally unnatural, plastic hellscape. In a way, it mirrors what the experience of shooting a movie on a soundstage is, but with more dire consequences.”

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John Cena had ‘no fear’ doing his own stunts on Fast & Furious 9

John Cena had no fear while performing his own stunts for Fast & Furious 9.The 42-year-old was cast in the latest instalment of the action franchise last year, but has refused to divulge any information on the character he will be playing alongside ori…

John Cena had no fear while performing his own stunts for Fast & Furious 9.

The 42-year-old was cast in the latest instalment of the action franchise last year, but has refused to divulge any information on the character he will be playing alongside original stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ludacris, and Charlize Theron.

However, he told Collider that his mysterious character will be involved in plenty of explosive set pieces, and revealed that he was more than happy to do his own stunts on the movie.

“On film, I will cheat death but it’s so safe,” Cena explained. “I had no fear in any of the processes. It’s awesome and I think by making the actors feel that sense of like, ‘Hey man, we’ve set this up so you are going to be all right. Just go for it.’ You get the best performance from your actors rather than somebody going, ‘I don’t know about this’… It was unbelievably safe but also unbelievably creative.”

While the original cast has worked together since The Fast and the Furious back in 2001, newcomer Cena received a warm welcome from his co-stars.

“It is a family environment and it is one that the world views as their family as well. They’re into the storyline, they’re into the characters, and they’re into this 20-year, eight- instalment narrative that, in a lot of cases, (is defining),” he shared.

“On top of that, they’ve managed to build an almost superhero environment with real people… It’s already a globally-appreciated franchise and I think Fast 9 will be a wonderful adrenaline shot for the franchise.”

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