On May 16th, The Office will be closing its doors. After an eight-year run, Jim Pam, Dwight and the rest of the gang will be moving on to bigger and better things (hopefully). I’ve watched every episode of the long running series and I’ll definitely be sad to see the show go.
Before getting the role of Jim, John Krasinski was like almost every other actor in New York. He’d work his job as a waiter during the week then run off to an audition when he could. He had booked a few things but “not anything that would allow me to claim that I was a working actor and didn’t need another job,” he said during a conference call. Booking The Office was like winning the lottery, “except with a winning lottery ticket you just get money, and with this you get a whole change of your life.”
If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll love this interview. And honestly, even if you’re not, there’s some great stuff in here about what it’s like to go from hustling for auditions to becoming a star on a major network show. In this interview, John and Executive Producer/Writer Greg Daniels talk about the end of The Office, John’s audition, his past commercials and more. It’s a long one but it’s really great.
The Office airs on Thursdays at 9 on NBC – for only 2 more weeks! Read more
Defiance is one hugely ambitious show because for the first time ever, a TV show and video game will exist concurrently in a shared universe, influencing and impacting one anothers outcome. It all sounds pretty damn cool to me.
Defiance is set in the year 2046. It’s a new Earth and with over thirty different Alien races, it’s also a different Earth. Defiance is now what used to be St. Louis and when the mysterious Nolan (Grant Bowler) and Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas) settle in, things begin to happen that threaten the peacefulness the town has enjoyed for years.
Grant Bowler and Stephanie Leonidas took some time out of their schedule for a really cool Q&A where they talked about all aspects of the show; green screen and the special effects, the extensive makeup and all of the acting challenges they faced while shooting.
Defiance airs on Mondays at 9/8c on Syfy Read more
Vikings tells the story of Ragnar, one of the greatest heroes of that era. It follows him, his family and band of Viking brothers on his quest to become the King of the Viking tribes. His often brutal quest.
Travis Fimmel plays Ragnar and as he said when I talked with him at WonderCon, it wasn’t the violence, it was learning the Viking language. “It took me a long time,” he said.
In the interview, Travis talks about getting that language down, the shooting conditions in Ireland – “it just pissed down rain” – and how he prepares for the next shooting day when he’s already working long such long hours.
Vikings airs on Sundays at 10pm on The History Channel
WonderCon Interview: Kristen Kreuk talks ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Smallville’ Friends and “Rabid” Fans
Fans of The CW’s Beauty and the Beast are “rabid” and star Kristen Kreuk loves that about them.
I talked to Kristen at WonderCon right before she was to appear on the panel for the show and in the roundtable interview, she talks about how she got involved in Beauty and the Beast, if she ever reads the internet forums and keeping in touch with her Smallville friends.
And as a little added bonus, there’s also a couple minutes with Executive Producer Sherri Cooper-Landsman where she talks about Kristen and how great of an actress she is and how she does her own stunts.
Beauty and the Beast airs at 9pm on Thursdays on The CW
Constantine Maroulis on His Lead Role in Broadway’s ‘Jekyll & Hyde’: “I know that people want to sort of tear me down”
The original 1997-2001 Broadway production of the musical Jekyll & Hyde was certainly not shy about stunt celebrity casting. Musicians Jack Wagner and Sebastian Bach were two of the lead replacements, though none other than actor/musician/lifeguard legend David Hasselhoff was in the lead role at the end of the production’s run.
For the 2013 Broadway revival, the casting of American Idol alum Constantine Maroulis could be seen as a continuation of this casting tradition, except for the fact that Maroulis has made a name for himself on Broadway since making his name on the long-running reality show. Read more
Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond The Pines is three movies packed into one. Think of it like a novel instead of a film.
The story begins with Luke (Ryan Gosling), a motorcycle stunt rider who’s been traveling the country performing in county fairs. When he finds out that a former fling (Eva Mendes) has given birth to his child, he decides it’s time to step-up and provide for his new son. He meets a former con who convinces him to help him rob a couple of banks. With his particular skill on motorcycles, it should be a breeze. And it is. They’re pulling jobs left and right. The cops are quickly on the hunt and ambitious rookie cop Avery (Bradley Cooper) enters the scene. What follows next and throughout the story is a series of events that impact the lives of everyone involved for years to come. Corrupt cops, drugs, death; you name it.
Like I said, the film is shaped like a big sprawling novel. But unfortunately, like some ambitious novels that start off extremely promising, they also tend to fall apart towards the end.
The first 2/3′s of the film is absolutely fantastic. If Cianfrance, who’s last film Blue Valentine (also starring Gosling) was outstanding, cut and wrapped the picture at that point, it would have been one of my favorite films of the year (so far). Read more
Melissa Leo on the Real Reason She Gets Hired and the Difficulty of Watching Her Stunt Double on ‘Olympus Has Fallen’
Oscar winner Melissa Leo doesn’t mind being considered a character actress—in fact, she takes pride in knowing that her talent is what gets her cast.
“I don’t get hired because I’m the prettiest actor around, I get hired because I can lay down the truth to the filmmaker,” she said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “When the character’s choices are being disregarded, disrespected, when I can’t ground her no matter what she might be doing, find a reality for it, I’ll call it. In the end, it’s the director’s film and I give them what they need, but I do try to protect my women.”
Leo does just that in her new film, Olympus Has Fallen, in which she portrays the Secretary of Defense to Aaron Eckhart’s president. The biggest challenge the 52-year-old faced was allowing herself to step back and let her stunt double do some of the work.
“That for me was probably the most difficult thing,” she admitted. “She’s not standing the way Ruth [her character] would stand. Ruth has been trained militarily, and she has trained toe-to-toe, no matter how fast her heart is racing, no matter how long it’s been since she’s done such a thing, she knows what it is to stand toe-to-toe with a killer.” Read more
Theater directors: in case of emergency… call Bill Pullman.
Pullman is currently starring in Sharr White‘s The Other Place at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, his first role on Broadway since 2009. However, though he has always intended to return to Broadway, he wasn’t expecting it to be in this show. That’s because Pullman replaced Daniel Stern for more than a month of performances. Though Stern was in the cast for the play’s preview performances and January opening, in late January he had to leave the production for family reasons. Mandy Greenfield, the artistic producer of the Manhattan Theatre Club, called up Pullman, who was at the time attending the Sundance Film Festival. Pullman’s first show was February 5 and he will remain with the production through its close on March 3. Pullman had just five days to learn his lines.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Pullman admits that despite his four-decade acting career the rush to prepare for the role is a new experience. He says, “I’ve never done this before. No process. Just product.” His preparation amounted to watching two performances featuring Stern, learning the blocking in his own apartment, and doing only a single run through the whole show with castmates Laurie Metcalf and Zoe Perry before appearing in the performance scheduled for that night. To make the situation even more difficult, Pullman was suffering from a cold. But after that, Pullman says (with a laugh) that we learned from the experience was “That I’m still flexible. And you can overcome all the fear.” Read more
Chosen is a new original web series on Sony’s Crackle that stars Milo Ventimiglia as lawyer Ian Mitchell who is forced to kill an innocent man in order to protect his family. One morning, Mitchell wakes up and finds a mysterious box on his doorstep that contains a loaded gun and a photo of a stranger he must kill within the next three days. Not a good way to start your day, I’d say!
The series is six 30-minute episodes and after watching the first one, the quality rivals anything you might see on TV. It’s fast, slick and you’re most likely to get hooked very quickly, which is good because Crackle has adopted the binge-model and already placed all the episodes online.
I talked with Ventimiglia, who is also a producer on the show, about how he got involved in the series, why he thinks a digital platform is the way to go, getting into the mindset of playing someone who is constantly paranoid and the differences between shooting a web series and TV.
Even though Evita — starring Ricky Martin and Elena Roger — was the top-selling show of the 2012 Broadway season, it closed on Saturday. Why? Looking at the show’s expenses tells a similar story to other large revival musical productions with big-name stars: there is a very small margin of profit.
The original 1979 Broadway production, which starred Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, ran for almost four years. In contrast, this revival ran just under a year (46 weeks). It would have taken at least 63 weeks for the production to break even, though it would have likely taken longer because of declining sales. Sales were expected to decline even further when Martin opted not to renew his expiring one-year contract and a performer of similar drawing power could not be found.
Even though the show averaged about $1.03 million per week in ticket sales grosses, it still could not recoup investors $9.6 million investment. That’s because the weekly expenses of the production were about $880,000. Many of these expenses are attributed to the fact that since Evita was a revival, money was owed to the creators of the musical. These expenses included significant payments to composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, which received fees and royalties of about $70,000 a week in addition to an upfront payment of $100,000 (part of the royalty money went to lyricist Tim Rice). Really Useful also received 15% of merchandise sales. Read more