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Tag: Octavia Spencer (1-10 of 23)

Casting Net: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill set to re-team; Plus, Matthew McConaughey boards Gus Van Sant pic, more

Wolf of Wall Street co-stars and Oscar nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are reportedly set to re-team for an Atlanta Olympics bombing drama based on the 1997 Vanity Fair article “The Ballad of Richard Jewell.” Fox acquired the rights to the article and planned to develop it for Hill, who would play Jewell, the janitor who reported the suspicious bag and was subsequently accused of being a potential suspect in the bombing. DiCaprio would play the attorney at his side. [Deadline]

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Casting Net: Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce to star in 'Strangerland'; Plus, Damian Lewis, more

• Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours), Guy Pearce (Prometheus) and Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit) will all star in the Australian thriller Strangerland, about a couple whose two teenage children go missing in the Australian desert. Kim Farrant will direct the film from a script by Fiona Seres and Michael Kinirons. [THR]

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Casting Net: Hugh Jackman teams up with Neill Blomkamp; Plus, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, more

• Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine) may take on an antagonist role in Neill Blomkamp’s next venture Chappie. The Elysium director has also recruited Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel to tell the story of a robot who gets abducted by two gangsters angling to use it for their own illegal needs. The Les Miserables star confirmed his involvement during a press conference for his recently released Prisoners, and will be traveling to South Africa to film his scenes at the beginning of next year. Jackman can be seen next in X-Men: Days of Future Past (out May 23). [ScreenDaily]
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Diablo Cody's 'Paradise': Watch Octavia Spencer explain the 'magical Negro' to a white girl

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Like the lead characters in Juno and Young Adult, Julianne Hough’s character in Diablo Cody’s Paradise is a young woman going through a crisis in a very public way. Lamb Mannerheim’s faith is shaken after a plane crash burns two-thirds of her body, and she shocks her small-town congregation when she publicly renounces God — and threatens to vote Democrat!

She sets out to experience the worldly pleasures of Las Vegas. So basically, she’s on a mission away from God. But the Lord works in mysterious ways. Along the way, she meets a friendly bartender (Russell Brand) who serves her her first real drink, and a cynical lounge singer (Octavia Spencer) with her own special brand of insight. Together, the three of them venture forth to check off as many dirty deeds as possible from Lamb’s Napkin of Sin bucket list.

In the exclusive video clip below, Spencer’s lounge singer, Loray, takes issue with her role in Lamb’s spiritual quest. She resents being the “magical Negro” — à la similar characters in The Green Mile and The Legend of Bagger Vance — even as she insists that she’s full of wisdom. READ FULL STORY

'Paradise': Julianne Hough stars in Diablo Cody's directorial debut

Diablo Cody’s directorial debut stars Julianne Hough as a evangelical Christian named Lamb whose faith is shaken after two-thirds of her body — but not her face, thank God! — is burned in a plane crash. In the new trailer for Paradise, she shocks her church congregation with her doubts before heading to Las Vegas to take a walk on the wild side. (FYI, Paradise, Nev., is the sub-community of Las Vegas that boasts the Strip.) Her bucket list of worldly pleasures is pretty tame (e.g., “smoke a fatty,” “cut hair,” “burn flag”), but with the help of her Rock of Ages co-star Russell Brand and Octavia Spencer, I suspect our little Lamb is going to find herself.

I want to warn you, though: This trailer does contain imagery that some readers will find upsetting. I don’t think Nick Offerman’s character was also in the plane accident, but more than two-thirds of his most iconic feature was lost in the making of this movie. I’m sorry. That’s all I can say. READ FULL STORY

Octavia Spencer on 'Fruitvale Station': 'It's not a 'black' story, it's a human story'

When Oscar Grant was shot while coming home from New Year’s Eve celebrations on January 1, 2009 at a public transit stop in Oakland, Calif., it made headlines, not only in Northern California but across the country. The news of a young, unarmed African-American man shot by police — and the event captured on cell phone videos and social media — illustrated racial tensions and police brutality in Oakland and many other communities, but for Fruitvale Station‘s writer/director Ryan Coogler, the story didn’t end after it left the newspapers.

“I was angry, frustrated, scared, and more than anything filled with questions as to how this could happen….Fortunately enough I have filmmaking as an outlet, which I thought was something that was positive, something that I figured could maybe help in a preemptive way,” Coogler says of his film in the clip below.  Fruitvale Station chooses to focus most of its energy on the story of Grant’s life and his family, rather than the circumstances of his death. “Hopefully in the film people can see in Oscar’s personal relationships, see their own relationships… and how they view people that they normally would pass by or open up in the paper and not really care about,” Coogler says.

Michael B. Jordan, who plays Grant, echoes Coogler and notes that Oscar’s story signifies more than just the one incident. “Oscar Grant represents a lot of kids from the inner city who are trying to do the right thing.”

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer stars as Grant’s mother. “We all make mistakes, that doesn’t mean that every man shouldn’t get a second shot at redemption,” she says of the film. “The story itself isn’t a quote unquote ‘black’ story, it’s a human story and the message is very universal.” Spencer also notes that the film received a similar reception from audiences abroad at Cannes as it did at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic earlier this year. READ FULL STORY

'Snowpiercer' international trailer: A bunch of dirty rebels fight Tilda Swinton and tyranny -- VIDEO

In Snowpiercer, in the future, the Earth will freeze over and everyone — from the filthiest to the fanciest — will live on a very large train that never stops moving. It completes its trip around the planet once each year, like the sun. And like the sun, it keeps its inhabitants alive. Not all of this is obvious in the first international trailer for the film, which is based on a French graphic novel and written/directed by Bong Joon-ho, the South Korean filmmaker behind The Host and Mother.

What is obvious: the healthy smearing of grime across each face in the large cast (Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, and so many more). But not Tilda Swinton, who plays a shout-y classist. In the two minutes of footage, she’s the strangest sight of all.

Watch the Snowpiercer trailer below:

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Casting Net: 'Game of Thrones' actor to play Cinderella's prince; Plus Octavia Spencer, more

• He might be King of the North to some, but Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden (he plays Robb Stark on the HBO series) is about to reach a whole new demographic when he takes on the role of Prince Charming in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Cinderella. Downton Abbey’s Lily James will play the title role in the Kenneth Branagh-directed film, with Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother. With a script from Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), we’re starting to get excited to see what Branagh does with the film, and to finally see Madden in a less stressful role.

• It’s quite a departure from her work in Anna Karenina and A Royal Affair, but up and coming actress Alicia Vikander is in talks to star opposite Tom Cruise and Armie Hammer in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  The Swedish actress would play a British agent. For those of you who might remember the television series, don’t worry, you’re not losing your mind — this character is a new addition. Vikander can also be seen in The Seventh Son (out October 18) and The Fifth Estate (out November 13). [THR]

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'Snowpiercer' gets grimy with new images, character posters

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We have some of our first images of Snowpiercer, and humanity is looking rough.

The film, adapted from a French graphic novel, is South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s English-language feature debut. It takes place at the near-end of humanity, in 2031, when an Ice Age has virtually frozen us off the planet and survivors are kept alive aboard an endless train ride. In the new character posters and stills, we see the film’s sprawling cast — which includes Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris, Kang-ho Song, and a desaturated and bespectacled Tilda Swinton — as well as a few glimpses of the world they live in, which features a lot of grime and frowns.

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Meryl Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer to present at the Oscars

No surprise here, but now it’s official. Last year’s acting winners Meryl Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer will present at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

“We are honored to have Meryl, Octavia, Christopher and Jean, last year’s Oscar winners in each of the acting categories, return to the Oscar stage,” said Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron in a statement.

This isn’t the only bit of presenter news lately: Earlier, Mark Wahlberg confirmed he would be presenting alongside the animated bear, Ted.

The Academy Awards, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, air Feb. 24.

Read more:
Mark Wahlberg and CGI costar Ted to present at the Oscars
Seth MacFarlane serves up a martini for James Bond in Oscars promo
Oscars luncheon on-the-scene: Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, and more

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