How has Emma Stone blown off steam as her career's skyrocketed over the past few years? By acting crude, of course.
Make that Crood, as in the title of her animated feature, The Croods, a caveman-themed comedy from DreamWorks Animation. The film was co-directed by Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon, Lilo and Stitch) and Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps).
"I'm a cave girl, yeah!" enthuses Stone, tall and skinny in a short, lacy slip dress and black-and-white checkerboard jacket during a recent L.A. interview. "So I got to go nuts, which was great. I like to not reel it in, and when you're a cartoon you can act as crazy as you want. I'd never done a cartoon voice before; it was really fun and exciting."
The story revolves around one particular cave family led by overprotective father Grug (Nicolas Cage) and caring mother Ugga (Catherine Keener). When an unforeseen event forces them out of their safe, secure, boring cave they stumble into a lush world of unimaginable beauty…and danger.
Robert Pattinson was expecting his life to change this year — but not as radically as it has, of course.
With this month's opening of the fifth and final Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn - Part 2, the 26-year-old English actor was hoping for a break from the frenzied fans and photographers who have forced him to calculate his every public move for more than four years.
And that mad fame brought by playing dreamboat vampire Edward Cullen probably will ebb. But since breaking up — and then perhaps getting back together — with his on-screen and real-life lover, Kristen Stewart, earlier this year, Pattinson's life has been the subject of even more intense, and certainly more personal, tabloid scrutiny and Twihard speculation than ever before.
Speaking in Beverly Hills before word got out of Stewart's affair with Rupert Sanders, the married director of her movie Snow White and the Huntsman, the unknowing Pattinson was only concerned about what life would be like without the film franchise that made him an international heartthrob.
There's no guarantee that Jennifer Lawrence's millions of new Hunger Games fans will follow their heroine to other movies. It has, after all, taken Kristen Stewart years to convince her loyal Twihards to try her out in different roles — a goal achieved (after many underseen indies) only this summer with Snow White and the Huntsman.
But this month we'll get our first inkling of how Lawrence will be received post-Hunger Games when the fright flick House at the End of the Street hits theatres. Then two months from now her talky farce Silver Linings Playbook — which co-stars Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, and premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival — will show a much different side of the 22-year-old actor.
Filmed in Ottawa (filling in for small-town America) in the summer of 2010, House at the End of the Street is one of those horrors where all is not as it seems. "It's about a teenage girl who moves into a new house with her mom, and finds out that this boy in the neighbourhood who she has a crush on her may not be as trustworthy as she thought," explains Lawrence during a recent chat in Los Angeles.
Henry Cavill took a break between the heroic roles of Theseus and Superman to play an everyday guy in The Cold Light of Day. Perhaps unavoidably, though, the English actor's part in the suspense film turned into quite a display of derring-do.
"Cold Light of Day is an action thriller about different international secret services," says the heroically handsome actor during an interview in Beverly Hills. "They're trying to attain a briefcase and I get stuck in the middle of it. I'm an average, regular Joe who has to do extraordinary things to survive, perform death-defying manoeuvres and risky stunts to save my family. One of the secret agents is using my family as a way of getting what they want."
Cavill's character, Will Shaw, is vacationing with relatives in Spain when his mother and brother are kidnapped. He soon learns that his father (Bruce Willis), who he thought worked for the government as a business consultant, is actually a CIA agent. After that Will becomes wrapped up with a series of questionable characters, including one of his dad's former colleagues, another CIA agent played by Sigourney Weaver.
Stronger men might have broken down and cried if what happened to Liam Hemsworth had happened to them.
True, not too many guys appear stronger than the towering, six-foot-three, remarkably well-built Australian actor. Regardless, Hemsworth seems to have weathered serious career disappointments with no apparent trauma — maybe because things worked out marvellously for him in the end.
It all began about three years ago when the now 22-year-old Hemsworth, who was doing okay in Aussie TV, caught the eye of Sylvester Stallone.
"I was originally supposed to be in the first Expendables," the soft-spoken actor explains during an interview in Los Angeles. "But it never ended up happening. The script got rewritten. Then Stallone brought me back for the second one."
For Blake Lively, growing up in Southern California was a total dream. For Ophelia, the woman she plays in Oliver Stone's new thriller Savages, the sun-drenched dream turns into a blood-soaked nightmare.
"There's sex, drugs and violence, everything you'd expect in one of Oliver's movies," Lively explains during a Beverly Hills interview. "She's got two pot-growing boyfriends, and gets kidnapped by a Mexican cartel that's trying to move in on their business."
The adaptation of Don Winslow's novel sees Lively's Ophelia hooking up with brainy botanist Ben (Aaron Johnson, star of Kick-Ass and Nowhere Boy) and his ex-Navy SEAL best bud Chon (Vancouverite Taylor Kitsch) after Ben's potent new strain of marijuana makes the boys beach-bum moguls.
Known for his challenging roles in art-house films like Hunger (he played starving IRA leader Bobby Sands), Shame (a sex addict) and A Dangerous Method (father of analytical psychology Carl Jung), Michael Fassbender looks absolutely relieved when describing his part in director Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller Prometheus.
"I am playing a robot," says the 35-year-old actor over coffee at a Beverly Hills restaurant. "It'll be a good excuse, the critics can't say, 'Oh, he was very wooden in that.' I can say, 'I was supposed to be!'"
To be more accurate, Fassbender — who was born in Germany but raised in Ireland — plays an android called David who is part of the Prometheus spacecraft's crew. After identical inscriptions are found at archeological digs across Earth, indicating that aliens contacted — or maybe even created — ancient man, he and his human crew mates (Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce and the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Noomi Rapace) are sent to a distant world to find the E.T.s.
Fresh off her turn as freakish media creature Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games, Elizabeth Banks is freaking out again in What to Expect When You’re Expecting — albeit in a more natural, or certainly more common, way.
"I play the owner of a baby store who has been dealing with infertility," Banks says of the ensemble comedy spun off of the venerable, non-fiction pregnancy guide by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. "I finally get pregnant and I think it’s going to be a miraculous miracle, an amazing situation — and, of course, I get the exact opposite of that. Then it's all about how I deal with it."
Ravaged by mood swings and other hormonal side effects, Banks' Wendy Cooper sees all of her idealized theories about impending parenthood shattered and her marriage to Gary (Ben Falcone) imperiled by the blessed event. It's one of five interconnected storylines in the film directed by Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee, Waking Ned Devine) and written by Shauna Cross and Heather Hach based on Murkoff and Mazel’s book.
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