Sure, we all saw Kelsey Grammer play Dr. Frasier Crane for about a hundred years, but deep down inside we all knew that with that scowl and deep timbre of voice that he would make a fantastic villain. I mean, the minds behind The Simpsons were obviously on to something with Sideshow Bob, right? So Grammer was the perfect fit to play the corrupt Chicago Mayor Tom Kane in Boss, which will soon begin its second season.
In an interview with Reuters, Grammer talks about transitioning from comedy to drama and his feelings on critics of his performances, including not being nominated for an Emmy.
Grammer admits that despite the character’s evil nature, he loves the role. He points out, “He is a great character to play because he is so energetic. The guy’s vitality is fantastic. He is dying and yet he has more vitality than most people who have another 50 years to live. It is more energizing to play in a weird way. We have explored and lifted from Shakespeare quite a bit. Apparitions in Shakespeare are common place and in the culture of that time they were meant as real things. It is up to the audience whether they want to accept it as a real thing or a figment of his imagination.” Read more
Not bad for a play based on a Disney cartoon, right?
The Lion King, the groundbreaking and award-winning Broadway musical based on the 1994 Disney animated classic, has officially become the fifth longest-running Broadway show with performance #6,138 on Wednesday. The show premiered in 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theater, later moving to its current home at Minskoff Theatre. It takes the spot from A Chorus Line, which ran from 1975 to 1990. This is the second time this month that A Chorus Line has been mentioned in the news after the musical’s composer, Marvin Hamlisch, died on August 6. Read more
As twisted as it is, the NC-17 rated Killer Joe is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. One of the reasons why is the movie’s stellar cast, which includes Emile Hirsch as Chris Smith, a scummy drug addict who arranges the murder of his mother in order to get her life insurance.
With the film now in limited release, Hirsch spoke to The Seattle Times on what inspired him to take on such a dark role in the violent and unsettling film.
Hirsch’s character waivers about his decision to off his mother for money, something that Hirsch thought was comparable to one of the greatest roles in the history of theater. He explains, “In the two years before we shot Killer Joe, I was trying to make a film version of a contemporary Hamlet, which we ended up not getting the financing for. But studying the play as much as I did — and I watched all the film versions I could find and I watched a bunch of stage versions and read some books on it — I think it really helped me portray Chris. I do.” Read more
Little known until recently despite key roles in the Star Wars prequels and King Arthur, actor Joel Edgerton came onto a lot of people’s radars with his role in Warrior. He won’t be going away anytime soon, with big roles in The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Zero Dark Thirty, and The Great Gatsby all set for release in the next several months. Edgerton spoke to New York about coping with the different off-screen challenges of shooting films and recent roles that he hasn’t been able to land.
After shooting the lavish Gatsby, Edgerton moved on to shooting Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty in the deserts of the Middle East. However, Edgerton confessed he didn’t notice much of a difference in accommodations, saying, “You get treated so well on one set, you have to watch out not to assume that’s your new constant state of affairs. Sure, you’re flying first class for one film, but there might not be the budget to do that next time. And when you’re shooting a movie in the Middle East, the budget is all going to be onscreen. I saw a few scorpions there, but I’m from Australia — we don’t mind critters!” Read more
Alfred Molina stars in Red at the Mark Taper Forum through September 9, a role that he originated in London and again later in a Tony Award-winning production on Broadway. Like the previous productions Molina stars as Mark Rothko, the eccentric real-life artist who was commissioned to paint works for New York’s Four Seasons restaurant and felt conflicted about taking such a commercial job.
Molina spoke to Southern California Public Radio about his portrayal of Rothko and what “disappearing into a role” really means to him.
Molina found himself intrigued with Mark Rothko before deciding to play him. He points out, “Like so many interesting characters that one gets to play, he’s full of contradictions. All the most interesting characters are, in the same way all the most interesting people in life are often paradoxical and seemingly contradictory … Theatrically, in terms of playing characters, that’s where the really interesting grit is. It’s in those areas where things get confused, things get conflicted and contradictory, that’s where the most interesting part of character is in many ways because you have to resolve that for the audience and make all those contradictions equally valid. If the audience is agreeing with you one second and disagreeing with you the next, totally with you one moment and totally against you the next, then you’re halfway to doing your job because that means — hopefully — they’re going through the same sort of conflict that the character is.” Read more
Bill Hader has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor for his work on Saturday Night Live. Now Emmy nominations for SNL aren’t anything new, but no SNL actor has been nominated for that particular award since Eddie Murphy in 1983.
As a result, Hader didn’t expect a nomination in a category which had eluded so many other SNL superstars since then. He spoke a bit about the surprise with the Los Angeles Times as well as what he learned from his SNL mentors.
Hader admits that he wasn’t the only one who was surprised by his nomination. He says, “When people called, it wasn’t, ‘Hey, man, congratulations.’ It was, ‘Holy … , they actually nominated you for an Emmy! How did that happen?’” Read more
While Jeremy Renner is on an incredible roll since starring in the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily happy with everything he does on screen. In fact, in an interview with The Los Angeles Times he actually reveals that he’s disappointed with his role in The Avengers as the bowman Hawkeye. He also talks about how his career has changed from small indie movies to a big budget action star.
Renner admits that he had no inkling that he’d turn out becoming a franchise action hero. He says, “Not by any stretch of the imagination. It just sort of became opportunities that I don’t think anybody really would want to turn away. As long as it was in the realm of what I feel like I could bring something three-dimensional and truthful and honest, these are worldwide movies, which I thought was a great opportunity to be a part of cinema that people see. That’s interesting to me. Like The Hurt Locker, we didn’t know what the heck that was gonna be. And The Town, we had an idea, but who knows. You just never know. But these big movies like The Avengers, I couldn’t say no to, really, so I thought I’d explore that. It kind of just fell my direction, and I’ve been blessed with the opportunities to learn something new.” Read more
We love our dog acting stories here at Daily Actor, and this is one of the better ones: the breakout star of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival is Michael, a deaf pit bull who stars in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Michael stars as Crab, the apathetic dog owned by Launce, played by Kevin Crouch, and has won audiences over with his uncontrolled reactions to Launce as his owner extolls his misery. Though Michael only spends about fifteen minutes on the stage, he has apparently become the most memorable aspect of the performance.
There’s an even more heartwarming element to the story: Michael was set to be euthanized after being discovered in July 2006 in Reno and went unclaimed. Michael is now owned by Michelle Okashima, who expresses shock that her dog was chosen for the part, saying, “What are the odds they would pick a pit bull? All the time they face rejection in our society. I was shocked he got the part. I really appreciate the fact they gave him a shot.” Read more
Although movies like The 40 Year Old Virgin are hilarious, I think Steve Carell is at his best in supporting roles. In fact, in the Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones movie Hope Springs about an aging couple that is looking to put the spark back into their relationship, Carell plays a more subdued role than usual as the couple’s therapist.
He speaks to MovieFone about working with the two respected veterans and why he sometimes chooses roles that are a bit out of his element.
When asked if he felt nervous acting with Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, Carell reveals that he was, but only at first. He explains, “There was when I [first] read the script, but not actually in the execution. It was really just fun and exciting to be there with them. A lot of these scenes were sort of lengthy — they could be 8-10 minutes long — and [the director] David Frankel shot them uncut, so we went and would do the scene in its entirety. So that, to me, was fun and exciting, as well, to be able to do a little one-act play with these two. I guess I try not to be nervous, because I didn’t want that to be reflected in what I was doing at all, because the character I was playing had to be very much in control and poised and confident and calm. So that’s sort of where I tried to get my head.” Read more
‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ James Corden on Acting Roles: “They will come and they will go as quickly as they arrive, so it’s important to make the most of it”
One Man, Two Guv’nors, the play starring Tony Award winner James Corden, is closing after the departure of Corden, who is so integral to the show that producers would have a tough time carrying on without him. Though a star in his native England, One Man, Two Guv’nors has exposed him to American audiences, many whom might be wondering where they’ll see Corden next.
As Corden tells The New York Times, he has plenty on his plate in both his professional and personal lives to keep him busy.
There’s no rest for Corden after One Man, Two Guv’nors ends its run on September 2. He explains, “When I get home next month, I host a TV show, which only takes two weeks, and then I get married. So all my dreams are coming true. Some people would say, ‘You can’t do all those things.’ I don’t know why. They don’t really give an answer. I think they’re probably wrong.” Read more