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Thompson on Hollywood

Actress Watch: Multi-Talented Vanessa Paradis, Halle Berry Talks Career Extremes

Vanessa Paradis is multi-talented. She's been a pop singer since the age of 14, muse to Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld, partner of and parent with Johnny Depp, and recent co-star with Romain Duris in this year's charming French rom-com Heartbreaker (L'Amacoeur) - a must-see for Dirty Dancing fans. Interview Magazine has her chatting with interviewer Patti Smith. They talk music, playing dress-up, Gene Kelly, Paradis' version of "Hallelujah" (video below) and why having children make it seem "that half your brain doesn't belong to you anymore."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 7, 2010 4:47 AM
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Paul Giamatti Talks Barney's Version, Win Win, Too Big to Fail, Hangover II and Gibson

Paul Giamatti Talks Barney's Version, Win Win, Too Big to Fail, Hangover II and Gibson
Paul Giamatti is one of those actors who has enough of a global following, thanks to Sideways and HBO mini-series John Adams, to help get certain movies made. Barney's Version is one of them. You can see why he'd want to dive into the best Mordecai Richler character since Duddy Kravitz. The movie is worth seeing for how the actors run with their roles--from doting Dad Dustin Hoffman to Jewish princess Minnie Driver, hippie girlfriend Rachelle Lefevre and dream wife Rosamund Pike. Sony Pictures Classics is giving the film a qualifying run this week in New York and L.A. before a January 11 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2010 2:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Jeremy Renner Talks 'The Town,''Mission Impossible,' 'The Avengers'

The Hurt Locker not only gave Jeremy Renner the role of his career--which earned him an Oscar nomination--but it opened up a raft of career possibilities. Renner is young, gifted and masculine: he can play a charismatic hero or a dangerous villain, a leading man or a character role. He's versatile. This is what casting directors want. There aren't enough guys like him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 6, 2010 6:26 AM
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Lesley Manville Talks Another Year, Mike Leigh

Of all the descriptions I've heard from various folks about the famed Mike Leigh process--whereby the writer-director starts at zero with a troupe of actors and winds up after a lengthy workshop period with a solid character-driven screenplay--long-term Leigh veteran Lesley Manville (All or Nothing, Topsy-Turvy) does it best. The actress is celebrating her first win, from the National Board of Review, for the role of a boozy sad-sack in Leigh's latest, Another Year. More may follow: the Academy voters have rewarded Leigh and his actors many times in the past.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 7:24 AM
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Michelle Williams Talks Blue Valentine, Meek's Cutoff, Playing Marilyn Monroe, Female Directors

Michelle Williams Talks Blue Valentine, Meek's Cutoff, Playing Marilyn Monroe, Female Directors
Michelle Williams has a lot going on. Not only is the actress enjoying her Indie Spirit nomination for Sundance/Cannes/Toronto fave Blue Valentine (while decrying her co-star's Ryan Gosling's omission), but she's fearlessly stepping up to playing icon Marilyn Monroe in the upcoming My Week with Marilyn. She's enjoying working with two women directors, Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Me Lucy, Meek's Cutoff, which goes from Venice and Toronto to Sundance) and Sarah Polley (the upcoming Take This Waltz). UPDATE: Blue Valentine's NC-17 rating has been overturned and the American Cinematheque is honoring Williams with a tribute on December 11 at Los Angeles's Aero Theater, to include clips of her films, a discussion with moderator Timothy Blake and a screening of Blue Valentine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 4:42 AM
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  • 5 Comments

The Fighter's Amy Adams Talks Holding Her Own with Russell, Bale, Wahlberg and Leo

The Fighter's Amy Adams Talks Holding Her Own with Russell, Bale, Wahlberg and Leo
We've seen Amy Adams grab an Oscar nom for her breakout role in June Bug, steal scenes from the likes of Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson's War, hold her own with Leonardo di Caprio in Catch Me If You Can, and earn a surprise Oscar nom along with Meryl Streep and Viola Davis for Doubt. She can be sexy or innocent, a girlfriend or a nun, a girl-next-door or vamp. But given that range, The Fighter's earthy, beer-drinking, tough, Boston-accented Charlene is still a shocker. And by following David O. Russell's direction to play the yin to her showy castmates' yang, she could wind up stealing another supporting actress nomination. In short, Adams stands up to the power of Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo by being as quiet as they are noisy.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 30, 2010 10:46 AM
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Actor Watch: Award Circuit Talk from Firth, Franco, Moore and Kunis; Eyre on Good Actors

- One thing that makes Colin Firth blush: two thousand people singing him "Happy Birthday" (on his 50th birthday, September 10, when The King's Speech first wowed Toronto). The actor considered most likely to win an Oscar this year shares more embarrassing moments with The New Yorker's Lizzie Widdicombe, who describes him as: "the British actor best known for playing variations on the repressed-but-sexy English gentleman." On the other hand, Firth himself says the English are "very paradoxical people" for whom "It doesn’t take much to get them to let their hair down—soccer, alcohol, music, or general excitement.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 29, 2010 6:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Interviews & Oscars, Production & Development News, Marketing & Box Office

INTERVIEWS & OSCARS
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 26, 2010 5:51 AM
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Doug Liman Talks Fair Game, CIA Spies, Valerie Plame, Bourne, Jumper, New York vs. Hollywood

Doug Liman Talks Fair Game, CIA Spies, Valerie Plame, Bourne, Jumper, New York vs. Hollywood
Director Doug Liman fascinates me. He's hard to get a handle on. An indie filmmaker who broke through with Swingers and Go, after his smash hits The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Liman became a Hollywood director for hire (see: Warners' upcoming All You Need is Kill and Universal's Moon project).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2010 4:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch Q & A: Diane Lane Talks Secretariat, Feminism, Daddy Directors

Oscar Watch Q & A: Diane Lane Talks Secretariat, Feminism, Daddy Directors
Diane Lane submitted to my Secretariat Q & A for SAG members Friday night. The 45-year-old actress, who launched her career opposite Laurence Olivier in A Little Romance at age 13, may be coming from behind right now in the Oscar race for best actress. But she's one of those popular folks that her peers grew up with; they know the history of her Playboy centerfold mother and acting coach father (John Cassavetes stole Gena Rowlands from him) and they like this uplifting feminist true story; and she's in the nominated-but-never-won club.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2010 11:39 AM
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  • 9 Comments

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