The National Board of Review announced its 2013 honorees on Dec. 4, with Her, Nebraska, and Fruitvale Station claiming some of the top prizes. That meant the only real suspense last night at the organization’s New York City gala was who would win the crowd and earn the best howls. Rob Reiner nearly stole the show, but it was Meryl Streep who brought down the house at Cipriani’s on 42nd Street. Streep, presenting the Best Actress award to Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks, left her friend “nauseous with gratitude” with a heart-felt introduction that also took swipes at Walt Disney and the Disney brand. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Will Forte (1-7 of 7)
If you have Midwestern roots, you probably know a Kate Grant. She’s hard-as-nails. She doesn’t suffer bullsh–. And, most importantly, she doesn’t have a filter.
In Nebraska, Descendants director Alexander Payne’s black-and-white ode to the heartland, June Squibb gives life to this archetype through the feisty Kate. The matriarch of the Grant family will just as soon call a long-deceased woman a whore as she’ll tell her son fairly explicit details about who fancied her in her youth.
“When I read this script I just thought, ‘I know this lady,’” Squibb told EW. “I’m from Illinois. I see her in my mother and my grandmother. Nothing surprised me.” According to Squibb, screenwriter Bob Nelson based the part on his mother-in-law.
The 84-year-old actress had worked with Payne in About Schmidt, which actually worked against her in the beginning. “In Alexander’s mind, I was that sweet lady that Jack was married to,” she says. But, despite his reservations, he gave her a shot. “Her audition knocked my socks off,” Payne said Monday at the AFI Fest screening of Nebraska. “I didn’t have a second-place gal to play that part.”
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Cue the black and white. Starring Bruce Dern (who won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival) as an elderly gentleman who believes he’s won a million dollars and Will Forte (yes, you read that right, SNL Will Forte) as the son who’s trying to let his father enjoy the moment without things going too far, Nebraska is all about life, family, and the possibility of being rich.
Directed by The Descendants and Election helmer Alexander Payne, Nebraska also stars Stacy Keach, June Squibb, and Breaking Bad‘s Bob Odenkirk.
Watch the trailer below:
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Cannes 2013: Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' is very minor Payne (but still a pleasure). Plus, my Palme d'Or prediction
Alexander Payne has become one of those figures who isn’t just a film director — he’s a genre. As much as I love Election, his 1999 breakthrough film, the Payne movie that really kicked off the Payne format was About Schmidt (2002). The leisurely, semi-planted version of the road-trip structure; the classically framed images of a falling-down American middle class that Hollywood is no longer in touch with and no longer knows how to show us; the earnest, damaged heroes with their family ties and family demons; the arcs that are built not out of screenwriting-class “story points” but, rather, out of experience — arcs that serve as emotional bridges from one state of being to another. Not every Payne film conforms to every one of these traits (The Descendants wasn’t a road movie — though I’d argue it was a road movie of the spirit), but Payne Land is still, by now, a familiar and even cozy place, with its own off-kilter humor and skewed, knuckleball humanity. READ FULL STORY
Will Forte is best known for his physical comedy and impressions on Saturday Night Live, where he was a regular cast member from 2002 to 2010. But recently — and not necessarily on purpose — the actor, who got his start with Los Angeles improv troupe The Groundlings, is taking on more dramatic roles, including the upcoming Run & Jump, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20.
“I had never ruled out the possibility but just had never found myself in a position to do something dramatic,” Forte says. “So when I got to see the script it was such a great story, I thought it would be really fun to try to be a part of it.”
Run and Jump follows the story of an Irish wife (Maxine Peake) dealing with the aftermath of her husband’s stroke. Forte plays a neuropsychologist who is studying the man’s progress and observing his mental health.
“Thank god I didn’t have to do an Irish accent,” Forte jokes. ” I have grant money to study this guy so I move out to Ireland and I’m watching him as he goes about his daily routines. And it’s a situation where the family obviously doesn’t want this intruder in their lives but they need the money and they take me in. It’s a really intense experience.”
Forte says director Steph Green gave him a book about neuropsychology to help him prepare for the role. “And I grew a beard!”
Check out the exclusive trailer for Run and Jump (and Forte’s beard) below.
Casting Net: Tina Fey teaming up with the 'Muppets.' Plus: Josh Brolin, Christopher Meloni entering 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'
• Tina Fey once made a muppet-y episode of 30 Rock, and she’s once again returning to the world of felt skin and feather hair. The upcoming Golden Globes cohost is in final talks for a lead role in the sequel to 2011′s The Muppets, as a guard in a Russian gulag. She’ll join Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell. Director James Bobin is returning for the second installment, writing the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller. [THR]
• Josh Brolin and Christopher Meloni are joining the growing ensemble cast of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Brolin, whose casting was announced by Dimension Films, will play a younger version of Clive Owen’s character Dwight from the 2005 Sin City. In the new film, Dwight is hounded by an ex-flame, ultimately leading him to change his face into Owen’s visage. Meloni, meanwhile, will play a (likely dangerous) cop. They join returning actors Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, and Jaime King, and new recruits Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Haysbert, and Jamie Chung. Like the last film, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller will both write and direct. [Deadline]
• Will Forte and Tim Robbins have signed up for The Switch, and in one of Hollywood’s nice little ironies, they’re taking over roles originally occupied by Ty Burrell and Dennis Quaid, respectively. Based on the Elmore Leonard crime novel of the same name, the film will serve as something of a prequel to Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, with John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) playing younger versions of Robert DeNiro and Samuel L. Jackson’s career crooks from Tarantino’s film. Robbins will play the wealthy husband of the woman (Jennifer Aniston) they kidnap, and Forte will play a man who witnesses the crime. Dan Schechter (Supporting Characters) is directing from his script. [Variety]
Casting Net: Joseph Gordon-Levitt signs up for ‘Sin City’ 2. Plus: Hailee Steinfeld, Amber Heard join Kevin Costner thriller
Casting Net: Maggie Gyllenhaal joins Michael Fassbender’s band in ‘Frank.’ Plus: Ashley Tisdale, Stephen Lang, Vinnie Jones
Casting Net: Ricky Gervais in talks to star in ‘The Muppets’ sequel. Plus: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Eddie Redmayne, Berenice Bejo
Shortly before the release of 2010′s Will Forte-starring action-comedy MacGruber, the Saturday Night Live star told this writer that he would definitely like to make a sequel. “That is a dream scenario,” said the comic. “Just to be working with the same group of people would be awesome. I would love the chance to do that again… in a tropical setting.”
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