Check out a lovely gallery of red carpet and backstage pics from this year’s Jameson Empire Awards. Talent attending this year’s star studded film awards included: Tom Cruise; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Kate Beckinsale; Darren Aronofsky; Hugh Jackman; Rosamund Pike; Simon Pegg; JJ Abrams; Margot Robbie; Steve Coogan; Jonathan Ross; Emma Thompson; The Inbetweeners cast; Sarah Harding; Stephen Fry; Brian Cox; Richard E Grant; Will Poulter; Douglas Booth; Mark Gatiss; Paul Greengrass; Celia Imrie; Sally Hawkins; James McAvoy; Armando Iannucci; Hayley Atwell; Logan Lerman and Professor Brian Cox.
The best films and filmmakers of the past year, as voted for by the cinema-going public, were honoured this evening at the 19th Jameson Empire Awards. Film fans from the UK and around the world selected their cinema highlights for the awards, which honour blockbusters, independent filmmaking and home-grown British films.
To celebrate 25 years of the magazine, Empire bestowed two special Lifetime awards on star guests Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Current Empire cover-star Cruise was presented with Empire’s Legend of Our Lifetime award by Rosamund Pike. Acknowledging his stellar career to date, the magazine highlighted his outstanding work on Top Gun, Mission Impossible, Jerry Maguire and Interview with the Vampire. The Action Hero of Our Lifetime award was bestowed to action legend Arnold Schwarzenegger who was honoured for his performances in a host of well-loved action movies including True Lies, Predator, The Terminator series and Total Recall.
Two further special awards were presented by Empire to Hugh Jackman and Simon Pegg. Jackman attended the ceremony to receive the Empire Icon award presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey while Simon Pegg collected the Empire Hero award. Pegg joins an illustrious list of previous winners that includes Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Jude Law.
Pegg’s recent film The World’s End scooped Best British Film in what was to be an outstanding evening for British filmmaking talent. James McAvoy and Emma Thompson took the Jameson Best Actor and Best Actress presented by Max Factor awards and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa was awarded Best Comedy presented by Magic 105.4. In addition, Oscar and BAFTA-nominee Sally Hawkins received the award for Best Supporting Actress for Blue Jasmine. Joining Hawkins in the new supporting actor categories – introduced this year to acknowledge the extensive breadth actors shortlisted by readers – was Michael Fassbender who won the Best Supporting Actor presented by The National Lottery award for his role in 12 Years a Slave.
Actors new to our screens were honoured in the Newcomer categories with Margot Robbie collecting the award for Best Female Newcomer presented by Max Factor for her exceptional performance in The Wolf of Wall Street while Aidan Turner collected Best Male Newcomer presented by Tresor Paris for his role in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson’s epic sequel also took a second award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film presented by MediCinema.
Another film scooping multiple awards was Gravity for which helmer Alfonso Cuarón triumphed in the Best Director category and which received the prestigious Best Film accolade, presented by Sky Movies.
As previously announced, British director Paul Greengrass also received the Empire Inspiration Award, presented by Mazda Motors UK, for his work on the Bourne trilogy and recent commercial and critical success Captain Phillips.
The Jameson Empire Awards continue to recognise the diverse tastes of cinema-goers, with awards dedicated to popular genres including Best Horror which went to The Conjuring, and Best Thriller presented by Quaglino’s awarded to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
The Jameson Empire Done in 60 Seconds short film award-winner was David Smith from the UK for his remake of There Will Be Blood. Smith was on a shortlist of 24 contestants from 16 countries , nominated by Empire readers, which was then whittled down to the Top 5 by the judging panel who finally picked their winner.
Also present at the event this evening were nominees, presenters and guests including: Tom Cruise; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Kate Beckinsale; Darren Aronofsky; Hugh Jackman; Rosamund Pike; Simon Pegg; JJ Abrams; Margot Robbie; Steve Coogan; Jonathan Ross; Emma Thompson; The Inbetweeners cast; Sarah Harding; Stephen Fry; Brian Cox; Richard E Grant; Will Poulter; Douglas Booth; Mark Gatiss; Paul Greengrass; Celia Imrie; Sally Hawkins; James McAvoy; Armando Iannucci; Hayley Atwell; Logan Lerman and Professor Brian Cox.
Full official List of Winners Below:
EMPIRE 25th AWARD: The Legend of Our Lifetime
Presented by: Rosamund Pike
EMPIRE 25th AWARD: The Action Hero of Our Lifetime
Presented by: Jonathan Ross
EMPIRE ICON presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey
Presented by: Darren Aronofsky
Presented by: JJ Abrams
EMPIRE INSPIRATION presented by Mazda Motors UK
Presented by: Brian Cox
Best Male Newcomer presented by Tresor Paris
Presented by: Sarah Harding
Aidan Turner (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug)
Best Female Newcomer presented by Max Factor
Presented by: Richard Armitage
Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street)
Presented by: MyAnna Buring
Best Comedy presented by Magic 105.4
Presented by: The Inbetweeners cast
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Best Thriller presented by Quaglino’s
Presented by: Stacy Martin & Jamie Campbell Bower
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy presented by MediCinema
Presented by: Sophie Turner & Thomas Brodie-Sangster
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Best Supporting Actor presented by The National Lottery
Presented by: Celia Imrie
Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
Best Supporting Actress
Presented by: Richard E Grant
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Best British Film
Presented by: Mark Gatiss
The World’s End
Best Actress presented by Max Factor
Presented by: Stephen Fry
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Jameson Best Actor
Presented by: Kate Beckinsale
James McAvoy (Filth)
Best Director presented by Air New Zealand
Presented by: Logan Lerman & Douglas Booth
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Best Film presented by Sky Movies
Presented by: Brian Cox
DONE IN 60 SECONDS
Presented by: Edith Bowman, Ben Wheatley, Alex Zane
David Smith, There Will Be Blood
Having reunited and re-established their fame The Muppets are convinced by a smooth talking agent Dominic Badguy to set out on a world tour. But when the world’s most dangerous Frog Constantine breaks out of a Siberian prison the Muppets find themselves caught up in his evil schemes and another elaborate crime caper, pursued by Interpol and the CIA.
The Muppets made a long overdue but triumphant return to the big screen in 2011. Director James Bobin and musician Brett McKenzie recaptured much of the magic of the Muppets that had once appeared lost with the untimely passing of Jim Henson. Rescuing the franchise from inferior quality straight to DVD efforts the last film was a heartfelt homage to the original charms of his beloved creations. Muppets Most Wanted happily continues that revitalisation.
Music has always been one of the Muppets most effective tools for demonstrating their unique combination of whimsy and humour. Opening number We’re Doing a Sequel is a catchy encouraging start and the songs that follow are all likely to provoke big smiles. A lavish musical homage to a Siberian prison, cheesy love ballad I’ll Get You What You Want and a final reprise of classic Muppet track Together Again are among the toe tapping highlights.
The Muppets have also always been able to rely on cameos from an array of famous faces. The Muppets are so universally popular that the likes of Lady Gaga, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston and Céline Dion will gladly drop everything for just a brief appearance. Armed with their resurgent popularity Muppets Most Wanted is easily the most star packed of all the Muppets adventures.
Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey do fine work in more substantial human roles, both clearly relishing every moment they get to play alongside their childhood heroes. Though easily and consistently outshone but their Muppet co-stars they clearly don’t seem to mind.
New villainous Muppet Constantine is also great fun. The evil frog that bears an uncanny resemblance to Kermit is a mischievous delight, complete with a garbled Russian accent and amusing mean steak.
While Flight of the Conchord’s funnyman Brett McKenzie returns to provide an array of entertaining songs for the new sequel in truth they don’t quite match the memorable charms of his Oscar winning efforts in the last film. Although there’s plenty to smile about and a few catchy moments at times it perhaps lacks the heart that made songs like Rainbow Connection and Man or Muppet so effective.
Overall that is perhaps the only criticism to be made of Muppets Most Wanted; it’s slightly lacking the cohesive emotional narrative of the Muppets 2011 return. Unlike its nostalgia infused predecessor Muppets Most Wanted is a throwback to the straightforward silliness of the usual Muppet adventures, its charming fun but without quiet as much emotional subtext and sentimental impact.
Devoted Muppet fans may perhaps also be a little disappointed to see popular characters like Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat and Pepe the King Prawn once again given minimal screen time. As the latest film continues the trend of giving prominence to key figures like Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy.
The Ugly Truth:
In a world of cynicism and overblown CGI it’s a heart-warming delight to have the tangible whimsy of the Muppets back on the big screen. Lifelong fans and the newest generation of captivated kids will welcome the latest dose of well-polished Muppet musical madness.]]>
Today Michael Bay continues his quest to systematically convert your memories of beloved toys into inevitably disappointing but embarrassingly lucrative films. Here is the first official look at the new live action/CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
The teaser trailer confirms in just 90 seconds what many had long expected/feared. Producer Michael Bay has precisely followed his trademark formula to bring you essentially a Transformers remake with Turtles instead of robots. See for yourself below:
Madonna is set to direct her third feature film, adapting Rebecca Walker’s book Ade: A Love Story. Walker is the daughter of The Color Purple author Alice Walker and is reportedly attached to produce the big screen adaptation of her debut novel.
The book centers on a troubled romance between an American student and young muslim man on a remote island paradise. With their initial passions complicate by a clash of cultures.
Madonna’s previous track record as a director has certainly failed to live up to the massive success of her seemingly never-ending pop music career. Her last directorial effort W.E. was a critical and commercial disaster of infamous proportions. The historical biopic documenting the relationship between Edward VII and Wallis Simpson was slammed by damning reviews and took less than million dollars worldwide.
The return of the world’s most fatigued and gravel voiced Counter Terrorism Agent Jack Bauer at last has a real trailer. Fox have released this one minute teaser for the new 24 mini-series 24: Live Another Day. After years in hiding as an international fugitive Bauer resurfaces in London in an effort to stop a political assassination. As thing quickly escalate and get increasingly explosive Jack clearly has to reluctantly get back to doing what he does best, saving the world with a handgun and angry phone calls…]]>
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Constantine, Ricky Gervais and Director James Bobin spoke about The Muppets sequel Muppets Most Wanted in London for an in depth press conference. The Stars and creative team behind the family friendly sequel told us all about working with the ultimate diva Miss Piggy, dance moves, relationship advice, all star celebrity cameos and filming on location in the Tower of London. Read a full transcript below of the hilarious UK press conference.
Q. Kermit how did it feel to be an action star in this film?
Kermit: I think of myself as kind of getting to do a bit of an action role in this. It’s something I haven’t done before. In order to prepare for that role I watched all of Bruce Willis’s movies. When that didn’t work I just went to his hairdresser.
Q. Ricky How much of a dream come true was this job?
Ricky: It’s not a job is it. This is fun. I’m a big kid and I can’t believe my luck. I’ve been a fan of the Muppets for 30 years. I used to watch them on Sundays with my family. So this was a good call to get. I didn’t know this guy (Constantine) before but now he’s one of my best pals.
Constantine: That is right we are buddies. You will give me your email address right? I kep asking for it but he does not give it. How are we supposed to stay in touch if you do not give email address!?
Ricky: I think about Constantine a lot. I say to my girlfriend… I wonder where Constantine is today… it’s usually in a bag.
Constantine: This is Right!
Q. Constantin what does it feel like for everyone to hate you.
Ricky: Wow.. That’s usually my question!
Constantine: Ricky you want to field this one? Well you know being the bad guy… oh it’s such a tough question to answer. There is part of me that kind of enjoyed being the bad guy and enjoyed being hated. I was written that way so what can I say.
Kermit: Lady Gaga did a song about that. I have to say though we don’t hate him. It’s sort of just a story from the movie, he’s actually an old pal from the swamp. Ricky is his best friend now and he’s a good guy.
Ricky: In the movie he’s evil but I think doing this movie and meeting me has thawed his little heart of stone. You see he was born in a pond in Russia one of 800 brothers and sisters. All tadpoles. Many of them dead, eaten by fish! But showing him love has made him quite a cuddly little thing. (Tickles Constantine under his chin)
Constantine: (Laughs uncontrollably) stop it stop it. Do NOT tickle me!
Q. Ricky how did it feel being oustaged by the Muppets?
Ricky: I knew it was going to happen. I knew from day one. The first thing that worried me in the script was the song and dance number. I’m okay at singing. I’m a failed pop star. I always sneak a song in. I wrote a song with David Brent, I’m still doing it. I wrote a song with David Bowie for extras. I wrote a song in Sesame Street with Elmo. The Simpsons. But dancing… a little bit awkward. Then I thought it’s alright there’s going to be frog on screen dancing, they’re not really going to be caring what you’re doing with your clumsy little short legs. It was sort of meant to be awkward as well. But I love being upstaged by the Muppets. I ruined a lot of takes by jus laughing. One I just went “Hehehe I’m In the Muppets!”. They yelled cut and said yes you are in the Muppets so let’s do that again and just don’t say that!
Q. Constantine are you worried about being typecast?
Constantine: Well you know the one thing I’m really worried about are authorities catching up with me. And also my face being plastered everywhere. So I think maybe I need to change my career path. Maybe I will be an agent in Hollywood! Does this sound good?
Ricky: Yeah you could do that.. anyone can.
Q. How do you feel about people the word Muppet as an insult?
Kermit: Well we’re sort of like a rep company. I’m not a species called Muppet, I’m a frog. I belong to a group called the Muppet and quite frankly… I see the point. They’re a little slow.
Ricky: Yeah, it’s sort of a term of affection as well. You call someone a Muppet when they’ve made an error. We’ve all made mistakes, especially the Muppets and that’ why we love them. It’s a term of affection.
Kermit: I think there are worse things to be called!
Ricky: I’ve got a list!
Q. In the movie we see you paying off a journalist for good reviews, is that quite accurate in real life?
Ricky: Do you want some money? Just say it! (Takes out a handful of money) I don’t think so. I think everything is heightened. I was with an Irish journalist yesterday and he mentioned about Irish people in the film wearing flat caps. I did an episode of Alias that wasn’t a joke and it was meant to be set in a pub in Dublin. All that was missing was a horse! There was straw on the floor, people smoking pipes it looked like the 1950s. But it was just heightened; it’s playing with stereotypes if anything.
Q. Did you envoke the character of David Brent for any of your dance moves?
Ricky: I did that song and dance many times, most of it was choreographed but that bit was ad libbed. That’s my best dancing!
Q. Was Ricky harder to work with than the Muppets?
Constantine: No there was only one character who was really hard to work with. Everybody knows who it is. Let’s Just get it out in the open… (Miss Piggy Arrives) … Right on cue Pig!
Miss Piggy: I’m here everyone it is I. My ears are burning, where you talking about Moi? Hello Ricky… Hello person over there…
Kermit: This is Edith Piggy… she’s not with me for the record.
Q. Kermit and Piggy I’m about to get married next week and I wondered as one of the world’s most high profile celebrity couples if you had any advice. Piggy for my beautiful soon to be wife and Kermit for me as a husband?
Piggy: I think I need some advice from you and you’re lovely because you’re engaged and I’m not!
Kermit: I advise full compliance. I think it’s the only way to go in a modern Marriage. But are you marrying a barnyard animal or a human woman?
Just a beautiful human woman
Kermit: Oh good… well it still applies!
Ricky: Have you noticed in the Muppet movies when they get married and have children it’s ether a frog or a pig there’s no hybrid weird abominations. We’ve got three frigs and a pog!
Q. Ricky what’s the true spirit of the Muppets?
Ricky: I think trying your hardest and optimism and the acceptance of difference, which isn’t even commented on other than being a good thing. I like the fact that they struggle. I do that a lot in comedy it’s essential. I learnt that from Laurel and Hardy. They were precarious, they called fall at any moment but I loved the relationship. Optimism is another thing I’ve always supported. I like David Brent because he made a fool of himself but then he got back up and I think that’s the spirit of the Muppets. It’s fun deconstructing that for an adult audience. Not cynicism but that awareness of this magical world.
Director: Try your best is very important to the Muppets. That’s very important to the Muppets and even our human stars. I don’t want you to be able to sing and dance perfectly I just want you to try your best. That’s lucky for you Ricky!
Piggy: The real spirit of the Muppets in flawless beauty.
Q. The film is packed with star cameos how do they come about?
Director: Well largely we write those in at a script stage. We even write the name of the particular person down. Usually we find because there’s such a great love out there for the Muppets people tend to say yes. I’ve done it a lot of other times and it doesn’t go that way. It’s amazing when we write for someone to be Piggy’s spiritual advisor and duet with her. We think who would be perfect for that… of course Celine Dion. We call her up and she’s like yeah of course I’ll do that no problem. That never ever happens and it’ amazing.
Q. Can you explain why Rolf talks but Fou Fou doesn’t?
Kermit: Well Fou Fou is just a pet, she’s hardly sentient. Rolf is an old piano playing dog. I don’t think we need to explain it any further!
Q. Having done so many different types of films I there a genre you’d like to explore for the next Muppets adventure?
Ricky: The best genre is obviously sequel, everyone knows that. As we know films get better and better with every sequel… Rocky 6, Grease 2, Godfather Part 3. So we’re just looking forward to the next sequel, whatever it is. Muppets Less wanted.
Director: It doesn’t really matter what it is because often the Muppet movies don’t really follow in sequence anyway. They’ve done everything so it could really be anything.
Kermit: I’m personally hoping for Muppets Well rested. That would be really good. Yes… yes.
Q. How difficult was it to work with the constant beauty of Miss Piggy as a distraction on set?
Director: Don’t worry Ricky she can’t reach you!
Kermit: Now you guys know how I feel like all the time!
Ricky: I want Constantine to answer this!
Constantine: I’m sorry I was not paying attention… how was it to work with Pig and her constant beauty?
Piggy: I’m distracting in this press conference even. You can’t take your eyes off me can you boys?
Ricky: Constantine you had to pretend to love her in the movie didn’t you
Constantine: Yes it was my BEST ACTING!
Ricky: I had to help him out after the scene by doing this…. (sticks his tounge down Constantine’s mouth)
Constantine: (Bleergh cough cough) I Knew that was going to come sometimes! Hey Ricky did you have salad for lunch? That’s what it taste like!
Ricky: I’d love to do that with real mates.
Q. Ricky you’ve worked with a lot of the leading actresses in Hollywood, how does Piggy compare?
Ricky: She’s a bigger diva and I think she won’t mind me saying that she takes it as a compliment. That she talk about herself all the time!
Piggy: Not all the time, if other people are talking about me I’ll be quiet
Ricky: (puts on Miss Piggy voice) “Oh Kermy.. does this dress make me look fat?” No Piggy all the pies do.
Q. Who Inspired you guys growing up?
Kermit: I think for me it was probably the great American actor Walter Brenan. Nobody has a clue who I’m talking about. But I was inspired by so many people. I had great grandparents. Old frogs are great. I’m struggling for an answer here. Help me Ricky give me something funny
Constantine: There is great safe cracker named Thomas the knuckle O’Brian there explosive expert he is Thomas the toenail Lewis.
Ricky: You love Al Pacino too don’t you. Do your impression of him
Contastine: Oh I love Al pacinos. I do his famous line for movie. (puts on weird voice that sound nothing like Al Pacion) “Oh I am Al Pacinos from the Godfather movies I go outside and then I gotta get back inside”.
Kermit: I think that was more cappuccino than Al Pacino.
Piggy: Well Moi is an inspiration to everyone of course and even to me myself. Before I go on stage or on camera I always just look in the mirror.
Kermit: Then look the other way very quickly and just keep on going!
Q. Did you really film at the Tower of London?
Director: Famously you’re not allowed to film in the Tower of London and they’ve turned down everyone who’s asked to film there before. But suddenly you turn up with Muppets and ask for favour people change their minds. So we actually got to film there for three or four days which was amazing. So maybe someone in the royal family is a big Muppets fan.
Piggy: I had to sign so many autographs!
Q. Ricky you had a cameo in the last Muppets movie cut, were you surprised to be asked back?
Constantine: this will be a good time for Ricky and the director to hash this out.
Ricky: It wasn’t really a role it was me and Billy Crystal turning up as ourselves. The host of the Oscars and the Golden Globes. But James told me and I agreed that you can’t put it in there just because you filmed it. They film about 4 hours of this to cut down.
Kermit: the Good thing about our director James is he tells you that before you shoot the scene. We’re not going to use this but please come by.
Q. Ricky given your newfound friendship with Constantine have you thought about planning an idiot abroud special with him and Karl?
Ricky: I see a lot of similarities. Little round head and up there is where the brain would be if the head didn’t stop. I’d do anything with Constantine. I would travel the world wth Constantine.
Constantine: We will not go to France though!
Ricky: No we don’t have to ever go to France, but I would host the Oscars with Constantine
Constantine: Okay let’s make it happen!
Q. Constantine what qualities do you look for in a number 2?
Constantine: This is good question. You must have evil snarl like Ricky Gervais has. You must have opposable thumbs to move things around. Also library card so you can check out books for evil plotting. But you always make sure to return the books; I am evil criminal not disrespectful to library system.
Q. Ty Burrell form Modern Family plays a very French detective in the film what inspired that?
Director: He’s an amalgamation of every French character ever. When you have Sam eagle being a patriotic American you need the Frenchest French person as a foil for him. So I told Ty just to be the most super French person ever, don’t bother about what region of France he comes from. Just do that and it works perfectly well.
Q. Are there any other fictional characters the Muppets would like to team up with?
Kermit: It’s tough because we’re the only ones these days who aren’t computer generated in the fictional world. So they’re not really there. It would be tough to work with them.
Constantine: You could not see them at press conference.
Kermit: If we were those guys here’s what the press conference would be…
(Kermit and Constantine duck down under the table disappearing. Miss Piggy looks around confused).
Piggy: What! I’m real… okay parts of me aren’t real… this nose for instance.
Constantine: Gervais wig isn’t real.
Gervais: That’s an important point actually because I’ve just done Night At the Museum 3 with Ben Stiller and there’s scenes where all the animal comes to life, but they’re not really there. So Ben spent 6 weeks running around talking to a tennis ball on a stick. But with the Muppets your acting with these guys The timing and affection makes a difference.
Constantine: You cannot stick your finger down tennis ball’s throat.
Kermit: You could never host the Oscars with a tennis ball!
Sherlock and Star Trek star Benedict Cumberbatch is officially set to play Hamlet on stage in London for a three month run in 2015. Cumberbatch will play the iconic lead in the eternal Shakespearean tragedy from August to October next year at the Barbican Theatre.
Director Lindsey Turner greeted the casting news by describing the 37 year old star as one of the ‘Most gifted and exciting actors of his generation”. Speaking in 2012 Cumberbatch himself said that :
“It’s a role I’ve been interested in for a long time. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a right age to play he part, but 36 or 37 seems expropriate to me”.
Ticket details will be released in May for the 12 week run with expectations on an instant sell out.]]>
Ahead of the Captain America The Winter Soldier European Premiere in London the directors and cast including Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson faced journalists for an in depth and often hilarious press conference full transcript below.
Q: In the film, Steve Rogers keeps a checklist of all the great pop culture stuff he’s missed out on in the last 50 years. So if you had to recommend anything for Steve, what would it be and why?
Anthony Russo: I think I would recommend him to check out Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Joe Russo: That’s all you need to know.
Anthony Russo: I wanna know if we got it right. “Does it feel representative of your experience?”
Q: For him it would be a documentary. And you, Joe?
Joe Russo: Four words: Fifty Shades of Grey.
Q: The whole trilogy or just the one?
Joe Russo: Just the first one!
Chris Evans: I would stick with music. I would probably do The Beatles, Led Zepplin.
Scarlett Johansson: Hmmm…Cake Pops. Because how do they make those things anyway?! (Laughter) They’re just so delicious!
Q: And Samuel?
Samuel L. Jackson: Um, RedTube.
Sebastian Stan: The Godfather, for sure! The Godfather, and maybe Coronas…I dunno.
Anthony Mackie: Any Eddie Murphy movie before The Golden Child.
Scarlett Johansson: I love The Golden Child!
Anthony Mackie: Anything before that! The Golden Child is included.
Q: You guys have such diverse careers, if you could take any one of the characters you’ve played and put them in the Marvel Universe, who would you pick and why?
Chris Evans: That’s so tough… if I can take any character I’ve played and put it in the Marvel Universe?
Scarlett Johansson: Does it have to fit in the Marvel Universe?
Samuel L. Jackson: He didn’t say they had to fit.
Chris Evans: My movies are terrible, I don’t want to do this…
Samuel L. Jackson: I’d pick Mitch Hennessy from The Long Kiss Goodnight, just because he’s so childlike and would be in awe of everybody in there but he’d claim he’d have a superpower.
Scarlett Johansson: If I could do the voice from Her it would avoid the early morning gym hours, so…I’m gonna choose that one!
Sebastian Stan: Well looking at my brilliant filmography (laughter) I started with Captain America movies, so I’m just not going to even speak right now, I’m just going to pour myself a glass of water…
Anthony Mackie: I’m gonna say Nate Ruffin –
Samuel L. Jackson: – Booty, from The Man!
Anthony Mackie: (Laughing) “Booty from The Man”! “Stellar work on the part of Anthony Mackie!” (Laughter) “Once again making Sam Jackson look good!” I would say Nate Ruffin from We Are Marshall, because he was such a cool, hip cat.
Q: Captain America is obviously a symbolic character, he’s a really, as said in the first film, “A Good Man”. I was actually genuinely touched, as corny as that sounds, by all of Steve’s journey over the first film and this film. But obviously the world’s a lot grittier now. How did you maintain the essence of how Captain America is “A Good Man” in this world with darker characters, without being corny? How do you keep that at the core, and also how do you get around that?
Chris Evans: He just is a good man. It’s about developing a character. I don’t think the part of him is necessarily dependent upon his environment, he’s a good man essentially in a vacuum, he’s just a good person. He has morals and values and hopefully you can put him anywhere…whether that’s in the 40s, or the modern era or whether it’s a period film or a gritty political thriller. Hopefully the qualities of who he is will somehow still shine through. In terms of not making it corny…I think that’s more of a director question…
Anthony Russo: You know, not making him corny, you cast Chris Evans, right? He strikes the balance between somebody who is self-confident and focused and he puts the emphasis on that rather than on righteousness, which is important, but for us, we always liked the more complicated version of the character. This simple version of the character was never appealing to us. We tried to put him in a very complex situation and play with the complexity. He starts the movie off in a very vulnerable place. This is the first movie where we really catch up to him in modern day. We see what that means to him on a character level to have missed 70 years and woken up and found that nobody from his old life is around anymore. It’s a very isolated place, it’s a very vulnerable place, so his relationship to the other characters in the movie are even more important because he has nobody. I think that’s basically how we kept him grounded and how we approached the character.
Q: My question is for Scarlett specifically. Obviously one of the key components of the Black Widow character is this enigmatic past that is still affecting and defining her, but it seems at the end of this movie at least, she’s perhaps a little more receptive to what that entails. So would you as an actress be interested in going there and exploring that and realising it in a film, or do you think that perhaps some things are better left undefined and perhaps stop the character from having this very intriguing mystery?
Scarlett: Well you’ll get more of Widow’s backstory in Avengers 2…
Samuel L. Jackson: Really?
Scarlett: And I think her backstory, her rich, rich past as you’ve already described, she definitely comes from a really dark past…I think she’s really had to desensitise or dehumanise in a way to be able to do and see some of the things she’s seen and participated in willingly. I think she’s just now grappling with the fact that she may be experiencing some trauma from that, or at least she has some feelings about things. Maybe she doesn’t sleep so well at night. It’s just sort of hitting her right now that she’s kind of been acting as a sort of “gun for hire” and in doing that she’s never really made any active choices and that the rug has sort of been pulled from under her feet. So I think more interestingly would be to discover her progression of that story. Bring her back home…see where that kind of leads to, but of course that’s all in my imaginary next instalment. We’ve thrown the ball around a little bit but nothing is in the works right now.
Q: My question is for Samuel. In this film, your character has slightly more dramatic meat than in the other Marvel films, perhaps a little more to the humour that you bring while this is more of a serious tone to your performance. I wondered how that affects your experience when acting in this particular film than the others?
Samuel L. Jackson: I approach it all in the same way. You show up, you look at the relationships, what’s going on, take it all seriously, and still have as much fun as you can on the inside of it. I’m really glad that we saw more of Nick and what happens with him, how he reacts to situations, but as usual he’s always trying to be three steps ahead and all of a sudden when he finds out he’s been used it kind of ways incumbent on him to find out why. Use the tools that he has at his disposal to have that happen. As usual, part of that has to do with subterfuge and diversion, even down to fooling and hurting his most trusted compatriot, and we actually shot a scene where that’s explained. We had that moment, but I’ve been told it slows down the film in a significant way, and they don’t want to slow it down, but…when you get the DVD and you click on my face, there’s a hidden feature (laughter) that will allow you to access that scene and you’ll see more of what that means between he and Black Widow. But it was joy to be able to go into Nick’s workplace and to find out who he is in depth in certain ways and to expose some of the stuff through conversations Robert Redford and I had filmed.
Q: Anthony and Joe, is this true, is there a lot of stuff from the cutting room floor? Can we expect to have a lot of deleted scenes on the DVD and Blu-Ray?
Joe Russo: We were actually fortunate to have enough time to work on the script and prep the movie, prior to execution. I think there are six or seven minutes of deleted scenes? Not a particularly large amount.
Q: It used to be for where the films would stand alone and the one thing Marvel has done fantastically well as actors and writers and directors is create that universe. I’m wondering if that affects the approach to making the movie, when you don’t just have one story to tell, you’ve got a piece to tell, but you’re already planning to go up against Batman in two years time. Does that have to be a longer game, as it were, in the way you approach it?
Joe Russo: It is, it is a giant mosaic, and it’s a very ambitious undertaking. It’s probably as ambitious as movies have ever gotten in terms of scale and the amount of films that they are making that are interconnected…but the real secret sauce is Kevin Feige at Marvel, who is this auteur producer who is quite brilliant at what he does in terms of keeping that interconnectedness, but also focusing at the movie at hand. He’s very good at not putting any constraints on the movie he was working on because he has the belief that if you’re thinking about the future you’re not going to make the best movie you can right now. He really tries to make the best film he can and then figure out what the next move is from there, so it’s a very organic process.
Q: There’s a lot of physical action going on amidst all the other stuff. What was the biggest challenge for you guys, were there any injuries?
Chris Evans: I mean there’s always injuries, whether you end up in a cast or not. Doing stunt work is physical stuff, and even when you block a punch, that punch lands somewhere, so you’re always going home with bumps and bruises and we’re all getting older, so it has lasting effects.
Q: Was there anything in particular?
Chris Evans: Any fight with Frank Grillo! (Laughter) He doesn’t know how to pull his punches! Mack, you must know this!
Anthony Mackie: Yeah, we were hitting each other for real.
Chris Evans: You hit for real! If you don’t block Frank Grillo’s punch, you’re gonna get knocked out.
Anthony Mackie: That’s because he’s an actual boxer.
Chris Evans: He’s a boxer! And he doesn’t know anything but 100%.
Anthony Mackie: That’s because he’s a mean person.
Scarlett Johansson: Frank Grillo beat the sh#t out of me. (Laughter) I’m forever wounded from these movies. I have old injuries from Iron Man 2 days that I just keep reinjuring. That’s part of the joy. It’s part of the process, I guess. As you sustain more injuries over time and it hurts for longer…I like to be able to do as much of the stunt work as possible. I think you take a little bit of a risk with that, but I’d rather that than having to hand off my scenes to a stunt team, as amazing and capable as they are all the time. I’d rather do some of it and have some battle wounds, that way I can compare bruises!
Sebastian Stan: I feel like I got pretty familiar with Chris’ kneecap like once or twice. (Laughter) I don’t know, we were doing everything so quickly and we prepared for months doing those fight sequences so I honestly wouldn’t feel anything until once I was in the car on the way home when I couldn’t get out of the seat when I got dropped off at the hotel.
Q: And Sam? You weren’t on the end of a Frank Grillo punch at any point, but…
Samuel L. Jackson: Me? No!
Q: Any injuries?
Samuel L. Jackson: No! I use my stunt man extensively! (Laughter) I have no issues with him being hurt, that’s what he’s paid to do and he loves it, he’s from a stunt family. His father was a stuntman, he and all his brothers are stuntmen. Before they could eat breakfast in the morning their dad kicked them down in the stairs in the morning, or made them jump out a window to come downstairs to get their breakfast, so…(Laughter) I use Kiante [Elam] more than…my god, he works more than me sometimes.
Scarlett Johansson: Why didn’t I learn that from you? After so many movies. I’d come in limping going “I hurt so bad!”, it’s like, “Why don’t you let other people that are better than that do that job?”
Samuel L. Jackson: It’s way better to stand there, they throw a punch, you duck out of the way, they fight, and you get up and go “Urgh!” (Laughter) and then run off and do the next guy, that’s it! Believe me, it’s good for you!
Q: Scarlett Johansson. Captain America has his shield. Falcon can fly. You only have two small guns, have you ever asked for anything more to protect yourself in the film? And the second question is how do you identify with Black Widow?
Scarlett Johansson: Well I have a bite, I have a Widow’s bite…and uh…you know, all kind of things that come out of my belt. And I have my wit, of course…(Laughter)…My sensational wit. My kung fu-like wit. And I think part of the Widow’s fighting style and what makes her charming is her size against her opponent and it’s to her advantage that she’s fighting these big dudes and she’s kind of quick thinking and quick on her feet.
Chris Evans: A mouse that’s hard to catch.
Scarlett Johansson: A mouse that’s hard to catch! And I think that any character that you play you have to be sympathetic towards because you know, even if that’s a villainous character, that’s what you always have to have, that likeability to you. I think this character has a certain unexpected humility to her. She has that soft underbelly…and I have that same soft underbelly.
Samuel L. Jackson: That you do. That you do.
Q: A question for Mr. Jackson. I was wondering as a fully paid up member of the association of spectacles wearers, how do you cope with the wearing of the eyepatch in these movies? When one eye is closed it must affect peripheral vision, it might mean you bump into other actors, scenery, stuff like that, or is there any advantage wearing the patch?
Samuel L. Jackson: I learned to turn my head further. But the interesting thing about the patch is that I didn’t discover, until Captain America, the first one, was, because I didn’t have that many lines to say…was that all of a sudden I had dialogue and I would learn it the night before when I got to work…I could only see half the page when I put the patch on! So I discovered that I have to actually learn my lines with one hand covering my eye so that my mind will absorb what’s going on in there. And that’s the one thing, but I put up with both my eyes open, don’t you?
Q: Scarlett, you are a musician as well as an actress, I was wondering if the rest of you have any hidden music ability and if you would like to do “Captain America: The Musical”? (Laughter)
Anthony Mackie: Man, nah. (Laughter) I can deal with the trumpet a little bit. Growing up in New Orleans, you have to learn an instrument, so I could deal with the trumpet.
Chris Evans: The trumpet?
Anthony Mackie: I’m nice on the spoons. I can do a funky beat. (Drums beat on table) Aww, sh#t. Some turntables, you know…
Samuel L. Jackson: So other words, no.
Q: Sebastian, any musical talent?
Sebastian Stan: Nope, no musical talent. Just good old karaoke, you know? That’s all I’ve got.
Anthony Mackie: Which we’re doing tonight at The Dorchester!
Samuel L. Jackson: I played instruments when I was a kid. I played trumpet, French horn, and flute. And I’ve learnt to play various instruments for different films like guitar, piano, and cello…but I don’t keep up with any of them.
Q: And Chris?
Chris Evans: Yeah, I played the piano and the guitar!
Q: Not at the same time, surely?
Chris Evans: Nope, at the same time, it’s amazing! You should see it, it’s really good!
Q: So Anthony and Joe I can expect that Captain America 3 will be a musical then? “Captain!” Exclamation mark.
Anthony Russo: Yeah, right?
Joe Russo: Frozen’s doing so well, so…(Laughter)
Q: My question is for Sebastian. You previously said you’ve got a nine-picture contract with Marvel…
Anthony Mackie: Damn, kid!
Samuel L. Jackson: That’s what happened to the rest of my deal!
Anthony Mackie: You know who’s paying for karaoke!
Q: Could you possibly see your character becoming Captain America in the future?
Anthony Mackie: I hope so in nine movies!
Sebastian Stan: I have no idea, man. I mean, I really don’t know. I’m still trying to realise that I’m sitting up with these guys, you know…(Gestures to everyone but Mackie). Wherever those two fellas want to take the story, is where I’m going so…(After Mackie jokingly gestures, Stan acknowledges him)…and also, this guy.
Anthony Mackie: Thank you! Damn, man. You just cut me out!
Joe Russo: We’re going to use this press conference actually to announce that Anthony Mackie will no longer be with Marvel…(Laughter)…Falcon was one-off…Iron Fist is taking over!
Q: Captain America 3 is going to up against Batman and Superman, you may have heard of them. Do you have plans to suitably up the ante, do you think you might see another Avenger?
Joe Russo: Celebrity boxing match! That’s what we’re working on right now, you know? I don’t know, I think who said this best…two cars are speeding at each other, one of them is going to have to veer out of the way at some point, so…
Anthony Mackie: Hell yeah!
Joe Russo: Listen, I think Marvel announced that date originally, if you go back historically and look at Marvel and I think Sony have been trading off on that May date for a long time and I think when Warner Bros. decided to move that film, they moved it to the May date. So I can see where Kevin says “I’m not moving off that date, so…” I don’t think that there’ll be anything to up the ante other than that hopefully we make a great movie and everybody is very excited to see it. What is it, May 5th, May 6th?
Anthony Russo: All we can do is just focus on making the best film we can make and when and how it gets released there’s other factors involved.
Samuel L. Jackson: And Marvel we have heroes, and there’s DC where you have interesting bad guys…
Anthony Mackie: We have Chris Evans, baby, deal with that! (Laughter) Yeah!
Q: I got a question from my six year old son, it’s for everybody. Basically The Avengers are obviously his heroes, who is your hero?
Chris Evans: It’s so generic but I’ll say my parents. They’re the ones who shape you and make you and teach you how to love and how to feel pain and happiness and cope. It’s everything from birth until you’re in your teen years, that’s where you’re really forming who you are. I’ve really got to tip my hat to my parents, they’re my heroes. Good luck everyone else following that up!
Scarlett Johansson: David Bowie! (Laughter) That’s my hero. For obvious reasons.
Anthony Mackie: Samuel L. Jackson.
Samuel L. Jackson: I look at the young people that put their lives on the line for us, so we do have the freedom to make movies like this and tell stories like this because we do have a volunteer army now, you don’t have to do it. And those young men and women are going out there to put their lives on the line and go to different countries and they’re there. To make sure that we can do what we do. I admire them greatly.
Sebastian Stan: Well, my mom, definitely, and probably Jim Carrey. I was obsessed with Jim Carrey growing up, so it led me to acting, I guess.
Anthony Mackie: My two brothers. I mean, I spent the first 12 years of my life with them beating me up, and the past 22 of my life applauding me and building me up, so my two brothers.
Joe Russo: I can’t decide if it’s Superman or Batman…(Laughter)…Maybe if somebody made a film and put them both in that movie? Together…?
Anthony Russo: You’re going to be in for a really good weekend.]]>
We Are The Millers star Will Poulter spoke to Red Carpet News at the London premier of prison drama Starred Up. Will spoke about his recent win for the Rising Star award at this year’s BAFTA Awards ceremony. Will shared his reaction to the awards success and jokes about how it compared to kissing recent co-star Jenifer Aniston on screen. Will admits that he also shares fans interests in whether there will be any news of possible sequels for We Are The Millers after the first film performed so well at the box office.
Will also talks a little about his upcoming role in The Maze Runner, the much anticipated adaptation of the popular young adult series. He praises his co-stars and suggests the recently released trailer is the sign of more good things to come.
Check out the full video Interview below:]]>