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Thompson on Hollywood

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"
Most weekdays, producer Scott Rudin, 52, starts off with an early breakfast meeting or two at a Madison Avenue cafe. One recent week, he met at 8 AM with Lena Dunham, the young filmmaker he plucked to adapt and direct Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, well before Tiny Furniture became a film du jour; he met me the following day at the same hour. How did he find out about Dunham? He has a deal with former assistants Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, producers at Parts and Labor (The Exploding Girl): he covers their overhead in exchange for them sending him their talent discoveries. That's how he got to see Tiny Furniture. As he was watching it, Rudin realized that he knew Dunham's artist parents, Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham. Rudin thinks their daughter is "a total star.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 5:28 AM
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Cameron Mitchell and Lindsay-Abaire Talk Rabbit Hole

There are so many ways for a movie to go wrong, especially a grief-stricken family drama like Rabbit Hole. It could easily have become emotionally overwrought, too sincere or depressing, or been-there predictable.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 10:56 AM
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Paul Greengrass Talks Bourne, Green Zone, Short Movie Day 8

Brit actor David Morrissey interviews director Paul Greengrass (Bourne films and Green Zone) in this short movie for Dunhill’s Day 8:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2010 5:18 AM
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John Wells Talks Company Men, Downsizing Economy and Hollywood Dramas

John Wells makes his directorial debut with Company Men, a smart, angry, sad movie about the state of things in recession-era America that is based on first-hand research. Wells, a veteran of such TV series as E.R. and The West Wing, developed this for years and wrote compelling characters we want to spend time with. He raised overseas financing with stars Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, all strong as three men laid off from their shipping company. Kevin Costner is terrific as the brother of Affleck's wife Rosemary DeWitt (left off the poster, boo), who is the best thing in this straight-on, no frills, naturalistic character drama.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 9:15 AM
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The Fighter's Success Has Many Fathers

Careful what you wish for.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 4:18 AM
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Helen Mirren Talks The Tempest, RED, The Debt, Shakespeare

Helen Mirren Talks The Tempest, RED, The Debt, Shakespeare
On Friday, I conducted a Q & A with Helen Mirren after an opening night showing of Julie Taymor's The Tempest at the Arclight. Dame Mirren earned a rousing round of applause at the packed house.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 1:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Taymor Talks Shakespeare's "Tempest," Stars Mirren as Prospera: "It's more powerful with a woman"

While director Julie Taymor has been getting a lot of ink about her $60-million musical Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark, which is finally opening on Broadway with Bono and Edge's music, less attention is being paid to her Shakespeare movie The Tempest, which opens Friday. Alas, this defiant art film is getting lost in the year-end deluge as Ron Tudor's deal to buy Disney's Miramax specialty label finally closes, and Disney pays more heed to the fate of bigger-budget entries such as Tangled and Tron: Legacy. "It needs to get seen," Taymor says of the $20-million period drama in iambic pentameter. "You don't have to get every word."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 11:30 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Interviews with Arndt, Bardem, Giamatti, Hammer, Renner, Steen, Sturgess

INTERVIEWS- Michael Arndt Digs Into Toy Story 3 and the Genius of the Pixar System.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 10, 2010 9:23 AM
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Javier Bardem Talks Biutiful: "We Have to Reach People's Hearts, Not Their Pockets"

It's no surprise that the great Spanish actor Javier Bardem delivers yet another incendiary performance, under the director of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, in Biutiful, which won the best actor award in Cannes and finally opens stateside on December 29 for awards consideration. TOH's Sophia Savage interviewed Bardem on December 9.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 10, 2010 4:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Social Network's Armie Hammer Gets Actor-Nerdy Talking Winklevi, Fincher, Sorkin, Rowing

Social Network's Armie Hammer Gets Actor-Nerdy Talking Winklevi, Fincher, Sorkin, Rowing
TOH's Sophia Savage sat down with The Social Network's scene stealer Armie Hammer on Tuesday afternoon:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 8, 2010 9:05 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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