The only think I love to watch as much as a great movie is some behind the scenes looks at great movies. The films in “The Movies That Made Us,” a new Netflix series that is a spin-off of their popular “The Toys That Made Us,” may not be “great,” but they are deliciously watchable and deeply beloved, including “Home Alone,” “Die Hard,” and “Dirty Dancing.”
Charlize Theron, Jay Roach, Charles Randolph on Bombshell, and Speaking Up About Sexual Harassment at FOX News
Posted on November 14, 2019 at 12:11 pm
Last night, a powerhouse Washington D.C. audience got an early look at one of this winter’s biggest and best movies, “Bombshell,” based on the true story of the sexual harassment complaints that caused a seismic shake-up at the most powerful media company in the world. The title is clever, referring to the “bombshell” anchors of Fox News, selected for their beauty as well as their credentials as journalists, and the “bombshell” disclosures of abuse that led to the departure of the company’s top talent, including the founder of FOX News, the late Roger Ailes and their top-rated broadcaster, Bill O’Reilly.
Following the screening at the spectacular new Washington DC office of the MPAA, CNN’s Dana Bash interviewed producer and star Charlize Theron, who plays Megyn Kelly in the film, director Jay Roach, and screenwriter Charles Randolph. Some highlights:
Randolph described himself as “the least woke man in the room,” subject to “the masculine instinct to minimize” the experiences of women, which itself causes great harm — the “refusal to acknowledge the importance of these events in women’s lives is devastating.” But “how is that helping the world? And so, he told us the the reason he wanted to tell this story: “Sexual harassment has to stop. And this has such interesting characters. They are not earnestly passive, as we see too often in “good” characters. They are filled with quirks, contradictions, internal conflicts. My parents are FOX News people. These are characters they can relate to, laugh at, laugh with, fully identify with and respect.”
Roach also comes from a “Fox News family,” he said. “This could cross over. Even my mom and my aunts could connect to this because they know them. When this story happened, we were all talking about it but I did not hear my family talking about it. The women in this film did not call themselves feminists; it is a great predicament for a story.”
Theron on taking on the role: “This film began before the Harvey Weinstein/#meetoo/Time’s Up movement. In a way, it is the origin story. But this was already a part of my life as it has been for every woman. Producing the film was easier than playing Megyn. And in some ways, playing Aileen Wuornos in ‘Monster’ was easier, because everyone knows Megyn’s face, voice, gestures so well. It took a little time for me to put my personal feelings aside. Megyn says some things I don’t agree with and some that rub me the wrong way. We have different views on a lot of stuff, but the only way to do this job is to remove yourself from those judgments and come from an empathetic place, to find the emotional arc of the story and not hide yourself away from the thorns. It’s easy to do a heroic person who does everything right and the audience immediately likes them. But it is more interesting to take a conflicted person who has a moment to do something right, not fluffy nice and cozy. We are complicated as people and the characters should be, too.” The same goes for those in the story who are not the heroes. “The harasser you most have to worry about is not the guy twirling his mustache.”
“It’s the belittling factor,” Theron said. “We’ve always been able to wrap our heads around the violent injuries. But this is also incredibly damaging. You carry this stuff, adding more weight to the luggage you never get rid of.”
Behind the Scenes of The Crown: A New Cast Takes Over
Posted on November 12, 2019 at 3:36 pm
Peek behind the scenes as Oscar winner Olivia Coleman and Helena Bonham-Carter take on the roles of Queen Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret, with Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip), Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Erin Doherty (Princess Anne).
Costume design is just as important in animated films as it is in live action. The New York Times has a great article by Robert Ito about the costume designers working on new looks for already-iconic characters Anna and Elsa in the upcoming Thanksgiving release “Frozen 2.” An excerpt:
Elsa is the queen, so her travel dress has to communicate her exalted position. In many ways, it also functions as a uniform, with military-style epaulets. Adorned with snowflakes, the pale blue dress is set off by a flowing cape split in two in the back. “We got a little pushback from the directors, who were skeptical about how it might perform,” said Lee, but her husband, David Suroviec, a character technical director on the film, vouched for it. Onscreen, the halves of the cape look like wings. “We wanted something that would play in the wind, because fall wind was going to be a big element in the movie,” Lee said.
Pay attention — you’ll be seeing these new gowns next year at Halloween!