Quentin Tarantino keeps film sets loose with regular cocktail parties

Quentin Tarantino hosts an on-set cocktail party every time he shoots 100 rolls of film. The moviemaker likes to keep things loose and fun on his sets and so he celebrates every little movie milestone. “This is our lives and as important as it is to…

Quentin Tarantino hosts an on-set cocktail party every time he shoots 100 rolls of film.

The moviemaker likes to keep things loose and fun on his sets and so he celebrates every little movie milestone.

“This is our lives and as important as it is to try to do movies that we care about, just as important is the experience of making the movie,” he told WENN. “This is our lives so if we’re gonna dedicate months, some cases years to something, then we owe it to ourselves to enjoy it and have a great time. Everybody on the set, this is their lives so let’s live it.

“We have a little mantra that me and the crew have been doing for a long time, where we say, ‘OK, we got it but we’re gonna do one more! And why are we gonna do one more?’ And the whole crew screams out, ‘Because we love making movies!'”

Brad Pitt, who appears in the director’s latest movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, added, “And by the way everyone does it with no embarrassment. Everyone’s in.”

And Brad’s co-star Margot Robbie admitted making a film with Tarantino is a lot of fun: “We stop every hundred rolls of film and celebrate with a drink and have a little party. No one else does that.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, also featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino, hits cinemas in the U.S. on 26 July and from 14 August in the U.K.

© Cover Media

Beanie Feldstein starstruck over Booksmart co-star Lisa Kudrow

Beanie Feldstein struggled to keep her cool around Lisa Kudrow when they shared scenes together in Booksmart. In the new coming-of-age comedy, the Lady Bird actress and co-star Kaitlyn Dever play best friends Molly and Amy, and the Friends star portra…

Beanie Feldstein struggled to keep her cool around Lisa Kudrow when they shared scenes together in Booksmart.

In the new coming-of-age comedy, the Lady Bird actress and co-star Kaitlyn Dever play best friends Molly and Amy, and the Friends star portrays Amy’s supportive mum.

But Beanie, who is Jonah Hill’s younger sister, didn’t realise she’d be sharing scenes with her idol when she signed on for Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, and really had to keep her inner voice silent on set when she was around.

“I’m the number one Lisa Kudrow fan on this earth,” she told WENN. “I have a sticker of her on my computer. She was literally one of the biggest things to ever happen to me.

“I find her to be the loveliest human being ever to exist. She is remarkable to watch. I’m such a fan that it was hard for me to function as a human being.

“In one scene, I was lying on the bed, and the first thing that came to my mind, as I was fake strumming the autoharp, was one of (Lisa’s Friends character) Phoebe’s songs on Friends: ‘Monica, Monica, have a Happy Hanukkah.’ In my head, I was singing this, and I kept telling myself, ‘Beanie, if you sing that out loud, I swear to God… Keep it together, Feldstein. Mother of God, do not mess this up!'”

The 25-year-old previously told WENN that she lived with Kaitlyn while shooting the film and it helped them become best friends like their characters.

“It was at Olivia’s suggestion that we room together, and Kaitlyn and I looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s do it,'” she said. “Living together has made us the best of friends. It’s been wonderful. We love each other.”

© Cover Media

Halle Berry became Malinois mistress for John Wick sequel

Halle Berry worked tirelessly with Belgian Malinois dogs for months to perfect her role as a tough girl in the new John Wick sequel. The actress spent four days a week over “several months” working with Andrew Simpson, a leading animal handler who is …

Halle Berry worked tirelessly with Belgian Malinois dogs for months to perfect her role as a tough girl in the new John Wick sequel.

The actress spent four days a week over “several months” working with Andrew Simpson, a leading animal handler who is best known for training the direwolves in Game of Thrones, getting to know the five dogs picked for the action movie.

“I spent four days a week, three hours a day, going through drills with the dogs to build a close relationship,” the Oscar winner tells WENN. “Malinois are super smart and fiercely loyal but, at the same time, they like to play, which made it fun. I’m an animal person. I have two dogs myself, so the sweetest part of my training day was always hanging out with the dogs.”

The rest of Halle’s training was much more gruelling and centred around martial arts, core strength and conditioning so she could keep up with director and former stuntman Chad Stahelski’s touch pace.

“Because of Chad’s long takes, it was essential to have really good cardiovascular stamina so I could do lots of moves at once and then do them over and over,” Berry explains. “I also really wanted to show I could keep up with Keanu Reeves, which is no easy deal.”

But her co-star was very impressed with the actress’ work ethic, adding, “She was 100 per cent committed. Not only did she go through months of martial arts and weapons training, she also had the dog training.

“She got to the point that our dog trainer said to me, ‘They treat Halle as their trainer now’, which is amazing. She showed up in every way. It was great fun for me to be able to work with her dramatically and to have her be such a strong partner in the action.”

And Halle also won praise from stuntwoman Heidi Moneymaker, who signed on as the star’s personal trainer for the shoot: “Halle’s very athletic, works hard and she picks stuff up incredibly fast.”

© Cover Media

Tolkien director thrilled to land Nicholas Hoult as his lead

No one could have played Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien better than Nicholas Hoult, according to a new biopic’s director. Dome Karukoski admits he was very impressed with the way the young Brit researched the role and portrayed the writer and…

No one could have played Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien better than Nicholas Hoult, according to a new biopic’s director.

Dome Karukoski admits he was very impressed with the way the young Brit researched the role and portrayed the writer and feels blessed that he had the chance to work with Hoult.

“The first thing that intrigued me with Nicholas is his intelligence,” the filmmaker tells WENN. “He’s very smart, which you need to be to play a genius like Tolkien. The second thing is that he’s very playful, also a quality of Tolkien, who was known to dress up as a knight and go out to scare people in Oxford!

“Nick fully embodied that. He spent months preparing, even practising how to illustrate as Tolkien did while sitting in the makeup chair for X-Men.

“Finally, Nick is an actor willing to do take after take, going for something different each time. He never stops looking for what’s best for the scene.”

And Dome also feels he lucked out when he cast Harry Gilby as the teenage Tolkien: “When I first saw Harry, I was struck by the fact that he’s almost as tall as Nick and he looks, and even walks, like Nick.

“He also had this sense of pure innocence that I felt captured something about Tolkien as a younger boy. I felt he brought out that playful, childlike quality that Tolkien always kept alive inside himself.”

© Cover Media

Anna Paquin studied beekeeping for new role

Anna Paquin conquered her fear of bees for her new movie by actually studying the stingers close-up. The actress plays a bee-keeper in new period film Tell It to the Bees and when she learned director Annabel Jankel was planning to use the real thing …

Anna Paquin conquered her fear of bees for her new movie by actually studying the stingers close-up.

The actress plays a bee-keeper in new period film Tell It to the Bees and when she learned director Annabel Jankel was planning to use the real thing instead of computerised bees, she realised she would have to face her fears.

“I got to learn how to work the beehives,” she tells WENN. “That was intimidating and scary and also exhilarating. In the film you do see my character doing a lot of real live working of and tending to the beehives. We did shoot that, for real, with live bees and with me doing all of it. That was skills I did not previously have that I had to learn and that was really exciting.

“I was terrified of bees but I also didn’t know a lot about them. I didn’t know under what circumstances they will or won’t attack or the hive politics. I didn’t know that they’re particular about weather. I didn’t know what conditions makes them more amenable to being checked or poked around with. Or what you’re looking for when you go into the hive and open it up.

“Ultimately, it’s about protecting the queen, because she lays the egg that will make the next queen, so if you come at the hive incorrectly they send out guard bees to come and get rid of you. If you feel like you’re being chased away, it’s because they’re coming to protect their queen.

“There’s lots of ways you work, approaching from the side as opposed to the front, how much smoke you use because it subdues them a little bit. Loads of stuff that I had no idea about. One of the amazing things about my job is that you get an opportunity to learn new skills that you never normally would have in real life.”

Jankel also hired a “bee whisperer” for the film in an effort to make sure cast and crew were safe.

Peter Hopfgartner used a range of herbs and mixed scents to entice the bees to behave in the way filming demanded, even sleeping next to the hives so they would be accustomed to his presence.

Only one crew member was stung, besides the bee wrangler himself.

© Cover Media

Simon Pegg took recording studio lessons from schizophrenic producer he portrays

Hot Fuzz star Simon Pegg’s new movie character was inspired by a real-life music producer battling schizophrenia. The Brit actually worked with the guy his Theo Ross is based on, so he could look like he knew his way around a recording studio in Lost …

Hot Fuzz star Simon Pegg’s new movie character was inspired by a real-life music producer battling schizophrenia.

The Brit actually worked with the guy his Theo Ross is based on, so he could look like he knew his way around a recording studio in Lost Transmission.

“The story was inspired by some events that I went through with a friend of mine who is a music producer,” writer/director Katharine O’Brien tells WENN.

“It was a similar situation, where he went off his medication for schizophrenia and there was a group of us that was trying to get him help… He was very enthusiastic about telling his story about it and he consulted very early stages of the script.

“We really wanted to make sure that we were portraying the intricacies of his delusions really accurately. It’s been a really therapeutic experience for us and for him to own his truth and opening up the conversation about it. It was a deeply personal experience between my friend and myself and now we’re taking it to larger audiences.

“My friend is doing well I’m happy to report.”

And she was thrilled that he and Pegg got along: “Simon met with him and he taught Simon how to use the mixing console that he uses in the film,” Katharine says.

“Simon had never known much about schizophrenia and he was curious to learn about it. He is truly one of the kindest and funniest actors in the business.

“The hardest thing was we had to wait for Simon’s schedule to become available after he was done shooting Mission: Impossible. I just knew he was the right person for this role… I was willing to wait for that to happen.”

And O’Brien was thrilled when Temple signed on for the film: “Juno is an incredibly warm and caring person, which is what I was looking for in the role,” the filmmaker explains. “She understood music because she came from a musical family. Her father is Julien Temple, who used to work with the Sex Pistols, and Joe Strummer, one of the guys from The Clash, was her godfather.”

© Cover Media

Taylor Schilling fought for lead in quirky comedy Family

Taylor Schilling fought for the lead in writer/director Laura Steinel’s quirky new movie after falling in love with the frazzled character she felt destined to play. The Orange is the New Black star plays a workaholic businesswoman tasked with looking…

Taylor Schilling fought for the lead in writer/director Laura Steinel’s quirky new movie after falling in love with the frazzled character she felt destined to play.

The Orange is the New Black star plays a workaholic businesswoman tasked with looking after her troubled niece in Family, and admits she knew as soon as she read the script she had to play Kate Stone.

“I’ve never done this before but I was so enamored with the character that I wrote to Laura and said, ‘Congratulations’, and sent her flowers,” the actress tells WENN. “I was really impressed.

“I had very rarely seen female characters start in the middle of the race of their own burn out. I thought it was pretty brave. I thought it was interesting to explore someone who was so unabashed in her lack of desire for domesticity. She makes a tremendous amount of sense to me.”

Schilling also got to work with one of her comedy heroes, Kate McKinnon, in the film, and experience a gathering of face-painted Insane Clown Posse fanatics, known as juggalos.

“The call went out to the juggalo community and they found out we were shooting this movie,” Taylor adds. “All the fans of ICP came down during the gathering scene and set up camp in Georgia and just participated in the film with us. They were all so loving and very much like a family.”

Taylor admits she hasn’t been so invested in a role since she played Helen of Troy in college.

“I shaved my head… and I would bring peanuts to auditions and just eat them,” she recalls. “I don’t know why I did it but I received feedback that it wasn’t a helpful choice!

“I was very diligent about auditioning back then. I was nannying in Washington Heights (New York) and I would just organise my auditions around the breaks… I knew exactly what I wanted to do and nothing was going to throw me off course.”

© Cover Media

Ralph Fiennes offered ballet star acting masterclass

Young ballet dancer Oleg Ivenko went through acting bootcamp with Ralph Fiennes after the Schindler’s List star picked him to play Rudolf Nureyev in his new film. The Tatar State Ballet company dancer was cast following a nationwide search throughout …

Young ballet dancer Oleg Ivenko went through acting bootcamp with Ralph Fiennes after the Schindler’s List star picked him to play Rudolf Nureyev in his new film.

The Tatar State Ballet company dancer was cast following a nationwide search throughout Russia to find the man who would play the ballet icon in The White Crow and director Fiennes then spent weeks with his leading man giving him a crash course in acting.

“We employed two casting directors in Russia to do a big sweep, which ended up with four or five candidates and I identified this young Ukrainian dancer, Oleg Ivenko,” the Oscar nominee tells WENN.

“I felt he had a latent acting ability and he is a strong ballet dancer, who has a physical proximity to Rudolf Nureyev. I pushed him to understand the best screen acting is rooted in being really present and in the moment. You’re reacting and listening, so the thing to get him to feel is, ‘Don’t show me you’re angry or shy or irritated or whatever; just feel it, be it. Have it inside’.

“I said, ‘If you really have it or are close to having it, it will reveal itself’.

“It sounds quite simple, but it’s hard to be really present, and the beauty of his work is that he is very present. It’s an uncluttered performance. He was very generous and allowed me to steer him a bit, but he has a real pure screen acting instinct.

“In the end, I felt we were comfortable with each other quite quickly and there was a good working relationship.”

The White Crow, which details Nureyev’s early life in central Russia in the 1940s, his student years studying dance in St. Petersburg, and his decision to defect to the West in 1961, was released throughout Europe earlier this year (19). It hits cinemas in the U.S. next week (26Apr19).

© Cover Media

Jakob Dylan still can’t believe he scored Tom Petty’s last interview

The Wallflowers star Jakob Dylan was thrilled to sit down for what became Tom Petty’s final interview because he got to spend an afternoon with one of his music idols. Bob Dylan’s son produces and narrates new documentary Echo in the Canyon, which det…

The Wallflowers star Jakob Dylan was thrilled to sit down for what became Tom Petty’s final interview because he got to spend an afternoon with one of his music idols.

Bob Dylan’s son produces and narrates new documentary Echo in the Canyon, which details the California music scene around Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon in the late 1960s, and he was very excited when Petty agreed to be interviewed for the film.

“It was the last time he sat down for an interview to be filmed,” Dylan tells WENN. “I remember the day really well. He had about an hour to talk and we closed down a guitar shop (For the chat).

“I think it had been a while since he got to walk through a guitar shop like that. He knew about everything in there and he was laughing at some stuff and appreciating some, but he stayed for three or four hours and had a terrific time being there and that’s what I remember.”

And it turned out Petty, who the film is dedicated to, had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Laurel Canyon scene: “He’s a superfan,” Dylan adds. “He’s obviously an iconic artist but he was a late teenager listening to that stuff, which is an impressionable time anybody has listening to music. It was very soulful, I think, for him to have a chance to talk about it.”

Petty died in October, 2017, weeks after filming the interview with Dylan, the son of his former Traveling Wilbury’s bandmate, Bob Dylan.

Echo in the Canyon, which also features Dylan’s interviews with Michelle Phillips, David Crosby, Beck, Jackson Browne, Roger McGuinn, Graham Nash, and John Sebastian, is released in May (19).

© Cover Media

Lightning storm wrecked The Best of Enemies director’s debut

The Best of Enemies filmmaker Robin Bissell feared his directorial debut was cursed when a lightning storm shut down his first day on set. Bissell gathered his cast and crew together and started making plans for the first day of his first shoot when t…

The Best of Enemies filmmaker Robin Bissell feared his directorial debut was cursed when a lightning storm shut down his first day on set.

Bissell gathered his cast and crew together and started making plans for the first day of his first shoot when the clouds gathered and the rain pelted down.

“I got my first set-up and then we sat for three hours because of lightning strikes,” he tells WENN. “After a strike, you need 30 minutes without lightning before you can turn the generators back on. We would almost get to 30, and then lightning would strike again, and we’d have to re-set the 30-minute clock. That was my first day as a director.”

His film, about the unlikely friendship between an African-American single mum, called Ann Atwater, and North Carolina Ku Klux Klan leader member C.P. Ellis, was released on 5 April (19).

Based on Osha Gray Davidson’s 2008 book, which has also been turned into a successful play, the film has been well received by the Ellis and Atwater families, but Bissell is disappointed the activist didn’t live to see the finished project.

“Ann (Atwater) was so very excited to see the movie and my biggest regret was that I couldn’t pull it together before she passed away in 2016,” he adds.

But she died knowing Taraji P. Henson would be portraying her – and she was thrilled by the casting news.

The Empire star says, “She called me ‘that Cookie woman’ and I’m told she was very happy I was cast.”

© Cover Media