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Tag: Brian Helgeland (1-3 of 3)

Best of 2013 (Behind the Scenes): How Harrison Ford revealed his true 'character' in '42'

Harrison Ford is Harrison Ford because he made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs, raced Nazis for lost treasure, and got the best of vengeful terrorists no matter the odds. Ford has been a movie star of the brightest magnitude for nearly 40 years, and not unlike Gary Cooper and Clint Eastwood, he is most popular when he plays a version of his most heroic action-adventure characters. But this year, Ford went in another direction. In 42, the story of Jackie Robinson, he put on a fat-suit, wore a dowdy bow-tie, hid behind some facial prosthetics, and traded his iconic voice for a scholarly growl to play Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ executive who expedited the integration of Major League Baseball.

You might think someone of Ford’s pedigree can land any role he wants, but even at the height of his stardom, character roles like Rickey were not frequently available to him. “When I would occasionally suggest blurring the edges of the movie-star personality, it was often rejected,” says Ford. “If I wanted to wear a mustache or a beard, they’d say, ‘No, no, no, we paid for the face. We want to see you.’ But I was always anxious to play characters. That’s why when I was offered the first Jack Ryan movie, I said I think the script is great, but I’d rather play the Russian guy [ultimately played by Sean Connery] than Jack Ryan. They said, ‘Oh, no, no, no.'”

Not much had changed when 42‘s writer and director Brian Helgeland was casting Rickey, the supporting character in his modestly-budgeted sports film. READ FULL STORY

'42': Its success tells us something surprising about what audiences want

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I’m always interested when a movie dramatically surpasses box office expectations — not for what it says about the film, but for what it says about the audience. In the case of 42, the Jackie Robinson biopic that smashed the opening-weekend record for a baseball movie and is now looking, this weekend, to continue that hot streak, the reasons for the film’s success might seem to be obvious. It is — at least in my book — a rock-solid sports movie, and it’s also a drama of race in America that allows us to experience the well-worn past with a new vividness and insight. It’s worth noting that a number of people don’t agree with that: They look at 42 and see a complacent liberal message movie with a flawless and therefore overly sanded off and uncomplicated hero. What were they expecting, Jackie Robinson Unchained? READ FULL STORY

'42' trailer: Baseball legend Jackie Robinson comes to life

One of the most instrumental figures in professional sports, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he signed with Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey in 1945, and started for the Dodgers in 1947 after a year in the minor leagues. Despite that monumental achievement only one feature film has been made about Robinson’s life, 1950’s The Jackie Robinson Story — starring Robinson as himself — until now.

Some 66 years after his first major league game, Robinson’s story will return to the big screen on April 12, 2013, with Harrison Ford as the tenacious Rickey and relative unknown Chadwick Boseman as Robinson. In the new trailer for 42 — a reference to Robinson’s uniform number — we get a good taste of the iconic sweep writer-director Brian Helgeland (PaybackA Knight’s Tale) appears to be bringing to Robinson’s story, as well as its the thematic focus.

“You want a player who doesn’t have the guts to fight back?” Robinson says to Rickey.

“No,” replies Rickey. “I want a player who’s got the guts not to fight back.”

Check out the trailer below:  READ FULL STORY

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