There are less than 24 hours until the big event and Captain America is out. The text comes in at 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday March 18. For the past two weeks, I’ve been talking regularly to writer/director Jason Reitman about the latest installment in his Live Read series, the ongoing set of performances at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in which he assembles famous casts to read famous scripts from famous movies as a one-night only event. We’ve been covering them for a long time. For the final one of this season, I wanted to know how it was done.
This Live Read was to be Dazed and Confused by Richard Linklater, a sprawling coming of age film with a huge cast of characters, many of whom have become iconic for moviegoers. The most iconic is Wooderson, played by Matthew McConaughey. It’s a small role, and one that Reitman thought he had cast months before the event.
Reitman was at the 87th Annual Academy Awards back in February representing Whiplash, a Best Picture nominee he produced. There he ran into Captain American actor Chris Evans and asked him if he wanted to read the role of Wooderson. Evans enthusiastically agreed and was on board… until less than 24 hours before the event, when he had to drop out. “He had a sincere personal reason to pull out,” Reitman writes via text. “He’s an incredibly decent and lovely guy.” Nevertheless, Captain America has caused a bit of a problem.
Below, find out both how that turned out and the entire making of story behind the Jason Reitman Live Read of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused Live Read. Read More »
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The great thing about Dazed and Confused? I get older and it stays the same age.
Twenty-two years after Richard Linklater‘s ’70s slice of life film hit theaters, listening to it read by a group of actors still feels as poignant and relevant as ever. Maybe the music and references have changed a bit but a teenager’s insecurities, rebellious nature and mischievousness are and will continue to be universal. In Linklater’s script those ideas are delivered with an almost unfairly simple and eloquent precision.
At Thursday’s Live Read, presented by Film Independent at LACMA, Jason Reitman brought together a group of actors to read the script and, yes, the huge cast of characters made things a little confusing. In back-to-back scenes, an actor might have to jump from nerd to cool guy to stoner, giving the whole evening an unpredictable energy. It was even more unpredictable as they were reading an earlier version of the script that had some huge differences from the final film.
Below, we’ll break down those script changes, the cast, some of the crazy performances, and talk about how even in a form that’s unfamiliar to most of us, Dazed and Confused remains as good as ever. Read More »
The East Coast of the United States has been stuck in a bit of a deep freeze over the past few weeks. Many inches of snow, subzero temperatures, and no one to blame. Or is there?
In Harlan, Kentucky (not quite the East Coast but still) they’re blaming Queen Elsa of Arendelle, aka the Ice Queen star of Disney’s hit film Frozen. The Harlan City Police Department has issued an arrest warrant for Elsa because of the snow.
In other Frozen-humor news the co-stars of The Duff, Bella Thorne and Mae Whitman, have shared a behind the scenes video from a live-action remake of Frozen, created with the help of Funny or Die. Check out two Frozen jokes below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 by Angie Han
After perfecting her plain-girl act in Arrested Development, Mae Whitman (her?) is trying to shake it off in The Duff. She plays Bianca, a high school senior who’s dismayed to realize she’s considered the DUFF — Designated Ugly Fat Friend — to her prettier pals. In an effort to reinvent herself, she enlists the help of handsome popular jock Wesley (Robbie Amell).
It all sounds pretty silly, starting with the notion that Whitman is ugly and fat. But this is movie-land, where Rachel Leigh Cook was once considered freakishly repulsive because she dared wear overalls and glasses. And where we’re supposed to believe Amell, a 26-year-old former male model, is a typical teenager. Hit the jump to watch The Duff trailer.
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Good news for fans of Parenthood (like me): NBC has renewed the series for a 13-episode final season. The network will air Parenthood Season 6 in the fall, in the Thursday 10pm time slot. More details on the return, after the jump.
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Early on in The Graduate, there’s that iconic moment. Ben Braddock, a recent college grad, is talking with the beautiful older family friend Mrs. Robinson. Ben says, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” It’s iconic thanks to director Mike Nichols’ choice of angle, the delivery of the line by Dustin Hoffman, and the way that one sentence sets the entire story into motion.
At Jason Reitman‘s final live read of the season, actor Jay Baruchel played the role of Ben Braddock. When he got to that line, delivered next to his Mrs. Robinson, Sharon Stone, the 32-year-old actor broke character, cocked his right arm on his side and whispered, “Yes!” He was excited, not just because he nailed the legendary line, but maybe he got the feeling what was to follow was going to go very well. Reitman’s casting of Baruchel as the nervous, unsure, yet charming and likable Ben couldn’t have been more perfect. The same could also be said for Sharon Stone, whose Mrs. Robinson was sexy, confident and cool.
Though both actors were merely sitting in chairs, reading lines of dialogue, their body language created an electric chemistry that turned the combination of a great cast and a flawless script into a memorable event. Below, read more details about the Film Independent at LACMA Live Read of The Graduate. Read More »
10,000 years. That’s how long Phil Connors was stuck in Groundhog Day. At least, that’s what writers Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin said in an early draft of the now classic 1993 film. That revelation was later cut out, along with a lot of other things, to make the film we know and love.
But on March 20, Jason Reitman presented that early draft as part of his Film Independent at LACMA Live Read series. On a night dedicated to Ramis, the Groundhog Day co-writer and director, Reitman brought together a small but perfect cast to read through the script. That cast included Jason Bateman as Phil, Elizabeth Reeser as Rita, Jeffery Ross as Larry, Mae Whitman as Nancy, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned, the role he originated.
That balance of familiarity from Tobolowsky, coupled with a fresh but perfectly poignant take from Bateman, made Groundhog Day one of the best live reads to come out of the series to date. Read More »
Briefly: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is having a big news day. He’s attached to adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and he’s now officially been revealed as the lead voice in Disney’s English-language release of Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises.
Gordon-Levitt will voice Jiro Horikoshi, a talented engineer who spends his life building planes, only to realize he can’t fix everything. The actor will be joined by an impressive list of names including his Looper co-star Emily Blunt, her husband John Krasinski, as well as Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog (!), Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood and Ronan Farrow.
The English dubbed version will be released February 21. [USA Today]
Posted on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 by Angie Han
Tom Hiddleston is already a Disney prince of sorts, but he’ll dive even deeper into the Mouse House next spring. A few months back, it was announced that Hiddleston and Christina Hendricks had signed on for The Pirate Fairy, a sort of Peter Pan spinoff about Tinkerbell (Mae Whitman — yes, her), a badass fairy named Zarina (Hendricks), and the cabin boy (James) she falls for.
Unfortunately for Zarina, the object of her affections may not be quite as sweet and innocent as he looks. It turns out his name is James Hook, as in Captain Hook, although The Pirate Fairy takes place before that crocodile took his hand. A new trailer has just arrived, and you can check it out after the jump.
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