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PRESENTS N OV E M B E R 13 , 2019 OSCA R P RE V I E W

LUPITA NYONG’O Exploring the enemy within in Jordan Peele's Us PAIN & GLORY Delve into the partnership of Pedro Almodóvar & Antonio Banderas THE TWO POPES Recreating the Sistine Chapel on a soundstage THE DIALOGUE Anthony Mackie Jamie Foxx Sterling K. Brown Tracy Letts

Bombshell Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and an all-star ensemble take a powerful deep-dive into the downfall of Roger Ailes, with director Jay Roach and screenwriter Charles Randolph.

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“+ + + + +.

O N E O F M A R T I N S C O R S E S E ’ S B E S T F I L M S E V E R . F O R H I S C A S T, M A R T I N S C O R S E S E H A S A S S E M B L E D A T R I O O F G A L A C T I C O S , A S U P E R S TA R R E P E R T O R Y O F P L AY E R S G I V I N G P E R F O R M A N C E S O F W I N T R Y B R I L L I A N C E , E B U L L I E N C E A N D R E G R E T. N O O N E B U T S C O R S E S E A N D T H I S G L O R I O U S C A S T C O U L D H A V E M A D E T H I S M O V I E L I V E A S R I C H LY A N D C O M P E L L I N G LY A S I T D O E S , A N D P E R S U A D E U S T H AT I T S T R O P E S A N D I M A G E S A R E S T I L L V I TA L .

A M A S S I V E A C H I E V E M E N T F O R S C O R S E S E .”

F O R

Y O U R

C O N S I D E R AT I O N

I N

A L L

C AT E G O R I E S

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4-17

FIRST TAKE Lupita Nyong’o plays both sides of the coin in Jordan Peele’s Us Art of Craft: The Two Popes’ recreation of the Sistine Chapel Fresh Faces: George MacKay and DeanCharles Chapman go to war in 1917

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COVER STORY Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie fight fires at Fox News in Jay Roach and Charles Randolph’s explosive Bombshell

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THE DIALOGUE: ACTORS Jamie Foxx Tracy Letts Sterling K. Brown Anthony Mackie

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THE PARTNERSHIP Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas reminisce about their near 40-year friendship

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FLASH MOB Contenders LA AwardsLine Screening Series Contenders London ON THE COVER Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Jay Roach, Charlize Theron and Charles Randolph photographed exclusively for Deadline by Josh Telles ON THIS PAGE Jamie Foxx photographed exclusively for Deadline by Michael Buckner

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Painting the Vatican

p.12

| 1917’s newcomers p. 14 | Short Season Syndrome

p. 16

Seeing Red In Us, Lupita Nyong’o brings to vivid, creepy life two sides of the same self—the presentable outer version and the enemy lurking beneath BY ANTO NI A B LYTH

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SEEING DOUBLE Nyong’o (as Adelaide) fights for freedom against her counterpart Red.

didn’t understand the depth and the breadth of it in my first reading.” What Peele explained he wanted to explore with the doppelgängers and their shadow world, was, Nyong’o says, “us being our own worst enemy, and the monster sometimes coming from within.” And given his intricate knowledge of the genre, Peele asked Nyong’o to watch a catalogue of horror films, including Dead Again, A Tale of Two Sisters, Let the Right One In, Signs, Martyrs, The Babadook, Annihilation and The Shining. I explain how Sarah Paulson once told me her conjoined twins role in American Horror Story was the hardest thing she’d done to date. Nyong’o’s face lights up at the mention of Paulson, with whom she worked on 12 Years a Slave. “She’s amazing,” she

L

says. Does Nyong’o relate, given the Adelaide/Red situation? “I can only imagine”, she says with reverence.

UPITA NYONG’O HAS A NEW APPRECIATION FOR THOSE CHARACTERS in costume at amusement parks. Mainly because a few days before this interview, she was playing one of them at Universal Studios. It’s not what you’d expect for an Oscar-winner, but such is Nyong’o’s up-for-it attitude, she told Universal staff she’d be happy to throw on a boiler suit and reprise her Us character, Red, for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Nyong’o’s publicist shows me a

There was, of course, undeniable difficulty inherent in playing both Adelaide and Red. “I had to flip back and forth,” Nyong’o says of the shoot experience. “For the most part I wouldn’t shoot the same character on the same day. So at least I’d have a Red day and then an Adelaide day. On some rare occasions I had to do both.”

Wilsons, an apparently ordinary fam-

can affect and afflict one,” she says.

video of her in character at the park.

ily on a beach vacation, are confront-

“In Us, it’s class and privilege, and

opposing sides of the same coin. “I

Onscreen, a passing girl looks care-

ed one night by their doppelgängers,

the fact that we have a Black fam-

was the offender and the offended;

fully at the actress’s face before real-

or ‘shadow’ selves—flipside versions

ily taking us through the story is a

I was the hero and the villain,” she

izing who she is, then literally bend-

of them who have somehow busted

matter of circumstance. It’s not the

says. “I was playing both sides of an

ing double in shock, her hands to her

out of an underworld dimension.

exceptional thing. And that in itself

argument, coming for each other.

mouth. But mostly, the park-goers

Although Nyong’o was faced with the

I find radical and refreshing. People

That was the conflict. The conflict

shuffle through the spooky exhibit

grueling task of playing two versions

of color don’t always see the world

was between these two people. So,

unnoticing, passing by Nyong’o and

of the same self—Adelaide Wilson

through the color of their skin.”

it was very complicated in my head.”

her creepy paper cut-out Us prop.

and her counterpart, Red—her re-

During that initial read of the

spect for Peele was tough to resist.

script, while she found the idea of

was the fact that towards the end

playing both Adelaide and Red “in-

of the story, a twist reveals that

“I realized in that moment, when I was doing it, I was like, ‘Yo, this job is

“I already had such a big artistic

The main challenge was playing

What made things even worse

really hard,’” Nyong’o says, “Because

crush on Jordan,” she says. “I had al-

timidating”, she was wholly intrigued

Adelaide and Red swapped places

not everyone that walks through the

ready expressed to myself after seeing

and went to Peele for further expla-

when they were young children, and

door is into it. They’re just like, ‘Yeah,

Get Out how I’d kill to work with him.

nation. “Jordan writes in a very layered

mind-bendingly, their roles are actu-

this isn’t really for me, it’s not scaring

Then, by the time I was reading the

fashion and he writes with symbol-

ally the reverse of how they appear.

me.’ Or they’re out to break your con-

script, I was biased in his direction.”

ism,” she says. “Things aren’t what

centration. So, it’s hard to work in an

Us does not outwardly make race

“I had to prepare and develop a

they seem, and you can tell that this

roadmap for myself for their emo-

environment where not everyone is

a part of the story, which was part

is calling on something bigger, some-

tional and mental life,” Nyong’o says.

respecting the suspense of disbelief.”

of its appeal to Nyong’o. “In Get Out,

thing that has existed before, these

“With Adelaide for example, we spoke

the subject on the table was race

cultural references, political referenc-

a lot about her pursuit of normalcy.

and its paradigms, and how that

es, cinematic references. I certainly

She doesn’t want anything but to

Jordan Peele’s Us is a deliciously dark, deep dive into humanity. The

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“ UNMISSABLE ”

“ QUIET PERFECTION ”

“ FLAWLESS ”

“ PERFECT ”

“ WICKEDLY SMART ”

“ A MASTERPIECE ”

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HELL FIRE Nyong’o (pictured as Red) was intrigued by Peele’s notion of ‘the monster within’.

pass. That’s her thing. She has a

going to be in this film that’s coming

deep, dark secret, and she’s not trying

out soon.’ I had no idea what 12 Years

to gain any attention. For that reason,

was going to do in the world. But I

I approached her with a more natu-

just knew that I really loved this char-

ralistic performance sensibility.” What

acter and I could see the cinematic

that looked like in practice was a sort

potential of it.”

of ‘folded-in’ stance, and a sense

Eventually Nyong’o was able to

of concealment. “I tried to always

leverage her newfound star power to

hold her with more diagonal posture,

get the rights and make a deal with

twisted, in a way. She’s got something

Plan B with whom she made 12 Years

she’s hiding. She’s never straightfor-

a Slave. “Finally, five years later, it’s

ward in the way she stands.”

coming to fruition.”

In contrast, Red has an utterly dif-

nately, surgery wasn’t necessary, but

She’s also currently enjoying New

ferent sensibility and physicality. “She

Nyong’o was anxious to avoid a re-

York Times bestseller status with

is who she says she is,” Nyong’o says.

peat experience on Us. “I worked very

her first book, Sulwe, about a young

“She’s misunderstood, for sure, but

closely with a vocal coach because

she’s straightforward. And Jordan had

I knew that I was treading on very

talked about her having this regality,

dangerous ground,” she says.

and also a cockroach quality to her.

Voicework has actually long been

The way she moves, you can’t tell

an interest of Nyong’o’s, and it was

what direction she’s going to go, and

what brought her to drama school.

cockroaches move in a very skittery

“I had a Kenyan accent, and then I

manner. But then, also, her resilience.”

thought to myself, ‘Oh dear, I don’t

When Red speaks it is with a

know how many roles I’m going to

deep, rasping whisper—a sound

get if all I can do is a Kenyan accent.

Nyong’o describes as, “a hybrid that

It’s going to be a very, very short

was specific to this fictional charac-

career.’ I went to expand my vocal

ter, rather than a representation of

abilities, and that’s where I ex-

one human experience or another.”

perimented the most, in school. I’ve

While Nyong’o has excellent form in the voicework department with her Maz Kanata role in Stars Wars: The

I WAS THE OFFENDER AND THE OFFENDED; I WAS THE HERO AND THE VILLAIN. I WAS PLAYING BOTH SIDES OF AN ARGUMENT.”

Nyong’o’s passion for story is also

while her lighter-skinned sister receives praise—a situation that mirrors Nyong’o’s own experience. She says while it’s “a more magical interpretation” of her life, it feels very close to her, and seeing it being loved by children is a very emotional experience. “It rips my heart out,” she says. “And it was really rewarding to make. I really enjoyed the writing process. I hope that I can find that compulsion to write again.” And of course, there’s another

always been fascinated by accent and vocal register.”

dark-skinned girl facing colorism,

episode of Star Wars in the offing. been the champion of this adapta-

This time it’s The Rise of Skywalker.

tion from the beginning. “I read this

Will we see a lot more of Maz on-

Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and

clear. Her next role is producing and

book back in 2013,” she says. “This

screen this time? “I haven’t seen it,

as Raksha in Jon Favreau’s The Jungle

starring in Americanah, based on the

was before 12 Years a Slave came

I won’t see it,” she says. “They never

Book, Red’s sound was actually rather

novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

out, which was my first film. I had

let you see these things beforehand.

a high-risk endeavor. On the set of

With her Black Panther co-star Danai

just never seen the African contem-

Although, maybe, I don’t know. Let’s

Black Panther, Nyong’o had previously

Gurira as writer and showrunner, the

porary diasporic experience explored

see how J.J. [Abrams] is feeling this

damaged her voice. “You’re doing the

project received a straight-to-series

and celebrated and analyzed like this

time.” Nyong’o smiles and with a

fight scenes and you’re [yelling], us-

order from HBO Max. It follows the

book did it. And so, I immediately

note of polite self-deprecation in her

ing your voice,” she says. “And I used it

story of a couple torn apart by racial

went after the writer for the rights

voice, adds, “I don’t know what the

irresponsibly and I injured myself and

prejudice and Nigeria’s political

to adapt it. And I had no clout. I had

final thing’s going to look like, but

developed a vocal polyp.” Fortu-

situation, and Nyong’o has, in fact,

nothing to my name except, ‘Oh, I’m

from what I saw, I am in it.” ★

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CHARTED TERRITORY

Gold Derby’s Oscar Odds At press time, here is how Gold Derby’s experts ranked the Oscar chances in the Lead and Supporting Actor races. Get up-to-date rankings and make your own predictions at GoldDerby.com

Need For Speed

Composers Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders harness the racetrack’s energy and emotion in the Ford v Ferrari score MARCO BELTRAMI AND BUCK SANDERS THREW themselves entirely into the 1960s to create the Ford v Ferrari score. Centered on two mavericks who built a revolutionary race car in 1966, challenging Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the drama appealed to the pair as an opportunity to depart from their typical musical methods. Looking to honor the musical innovation of the era, they drew on the sound of fuzz Marco Beltrami guitars and muted brass to create a style somewhere between jazz and rock, ultimately putting together an ensemble that would record the score over the course of five months. “Traditionally, we record things ahead of time, and then manipulate them in the studio,” Beltrami notes. This time around however, the pair were “trying to record the score as they might have in the ’60s, with a band in the room,” Sanders says. “It could all be Buck Sanders performed in one take, keeping that sort of dynamic energy alive throughout the score.” With several varieties of guitars in the mix, along with both an upright and electric bass, B3 organ, trumpets and trombones, the longtime collaborators managed to capture all the tension, excitement and emotion inherent to life on the racetrack. “Jim [Mangold] has always been honest about wanting that energy that he gets from the scores that he loves,” Sanders says, “and I think this is probably the closest we’ve gotten to this sort of live energy, where you don’t feel a click track, and you don’t feel the production.” —Matt Grobar

SHINE BRIGHT

Cinematographer Darius Khondji leaned into gritty, garish ’80s aesthetics for Uncut Gems ON THE SAFDIE BROTHERS’ Uncut Gems, Darius Khondji found himself pulled into an ’80s sensibility—a world he was not initially inclined to embrace. A tense Diamond District thriller centered on overly ambitious jeweler Howard

10

Ratner, the mobile, high-contrast film was inspired by postmodern architecture, the work of Robert Altman, and the gaudy taste of the young and wealthy in New York. Shooting on “very, very long” zoom lenses, Khondji says that

half of the choices made were “against my so-called principles of photography”—that is, against his natural inclination toward the “glamorous and exciting” visuals of the 1970s. Leaning into the creative energy of his collaborators however, the DP was surprised by how much he loved the final film. “This one is very special. It’s just so electric,” he says. “It’s the first movie that I can watch, many times, after I’ve photographed it.” —Matt Grobar

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

ODDS

1

Adam Driver Marriage Story

39/10

2

Joaquin Phoenix Joker

4/1

3

Robert De Niro The Irishman

7/1

4

Antonio Banderas Pain and Glory

5

Leonardo DiCaprio Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

8/1

6

Jonathan Pryce The Two Popes

13/1

7

Eddie Murphy Dolemite Is My Name

14/1

8

Taron Egerton Rocketman

30/1

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

15/2

ODDS

1

Brad Pitt Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

7/2

2

Al Pacino The Irishman

9/2

3

Tom Hanks A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

11/2

4

Anthony Hopkins The Two Popes

8/1

5

Willem Dafoe The Lighthouse

23/2

6

Joe Pesci The Irishman

23/2

7

Jamie Foxx Just Mercy

18/1

8

Sterling K. Brown Waves

25/1

ROUGH DIAMOND Adam Sandler as jeweler Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems.

D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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“A

JAW-DROPPING MASTERPIECE with a brilliant screenplay by Anthony McCarten and extraordinary directing by Fernando Meirelles.” AWARDS WATCH

F O R Y O U R C O N S I D E R AT I O N

From the Academy Award -Nominated Director of ‘City of God’ Fernando Meirelles ®

NETFLIXGUILDS.COM

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Unfortunately, the largest studio space on the lot was not available, meaning that the chapel’s famous ceiling artwork would have to be created in post. To reproduce Michelangelo’s fresco, The Last Judgment, Tildesley considered multiple strategies, ruling out painting a full-scale version. The reproduction would ultimately be created from

The Art of Craft The Two Popes production designer Mark Tildesley rebuilt The Sistine Chapel on a soundstage BY MATT GROBAR PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY O F NETF L IX

high-res images applied to the chapel wall, but they would first need to go through extensive digital manipulation. When the designer visited the Sistine Chapel on a private tour with art historian Enrico Bruschini–the world’s leading expert on the space—he found that the chapel had been cleaned, to the point where it was brighter and more vibrant than the images he had been using as a reference. However, he was not permitted to take pictures in the sacred space so had to change the images based on memory alone.

“WE WENT TO THE SISTINE CHAPEL. IT IS A SPECTACULAR PIECE. And now, it’s been cleaned from the hundreds of years of candle burning. It’s super bright and vivid, and that’s something that I hope you see in the film. We wanted to recreate that spectacular feeling of how it must’ve been to walk in there for the first time–these glorious, glorious images.” —Mark Tildesley

Tildesley hired artists from Venice and Rome to paint at one-third scale those portions of the fresco which couldn’t be color corrected through digital processes. These paintings were photographed, then added to the other images.

Seeking a soundstage large enough to house a full recreation of the Sistine Chapel, Tildesley opted for the world-famous Cinecittà

Applying a printed film onto “plastered flattage”—

Studios in Rome. At

wooden boards with a plaster surface—to replicate the

400,000 square me-

texture of a fresco, Milan-based company Tattoowall then

ters, it is the largest film

dropped the massive digital reproduction onto the wall.

studio in Europe.

This process took three weeks. Tildesley estimates that Tattoowall’s technique saved him nine weeks of reproduction work. ★

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THE

PODCAST

WWW.DEADLINE.COM

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Fresh Faces BY DAMO N WI SE

WHO

WHY

Dean-Charles Chapman

Chapman started in television aged

Age: 22

four, moving to the stage at seven.

Hometown: London

Three years later, the call came from

WHAT

the producers of Billy Elliot, the West End musical production of Stephen

When Dean-Charles Chapman got

Daldry’s film about a working-class

the call from his agent, all he knew

ballet dancer. Chapman trained for

about 1917 was that Sam Mendes

two years, then played the lead role

was directing and Roger Deakins

for two years. “It was a big chunk of

was the DP. He didn’t yet know it

my life, growing up as a kid.” At 15,

would be the most extraordinary

opportunity knocked again–twice–

experience of his life. “It takes

with Game of Thrones. “I auditioned

place during the First World War,”

for a character called Martyn

he says, “but I wouldn’t necessarily

Lannister, who was a one-episode

describe it as a war movie—it’s more

character who got killed off,” he says.

a suspense thriller, really.” Mendes

Fortunately, David Benioff and D.B.

and Deakins shot the film in a single

Weiss brought him back in Season

continuous take. “It’s almost like

3 as Tommen Baratheon. “I was very

watching one of those first-person

lucky to be able to have the chance

shooter video games—you actually

to come back and play a completely

feel like you’re there. It’s very

different character.”

immersive,” Chapman says. He spent six months in intensive rehearsal

WHEN & WHERE

with co-star George MacKay. “It was

Chapman stars alongside Timothée

amazing. There weren’t really any

Chalamet and Robert Pattinson in

fake sets, as such, because it was all

David Michôd’s historical drama The

built to look like how it would have

King, while next up is the Irish indie

been. It was very realistic. It never

Here are the Young Men. “It’s based

once felt like we were making a film.

on a book, and it’s about a bunch of

It felt like we were actually reliving

Irish teenagers in 2003 that go on a

the First World War.”

drug crawl and end up questioning their friendship.” Does he enjoy doing period pieces? “I do,” he says, “because I love history, and on every period thing I do there’s always a cool costume. On Blinded by the Light I had leather trousers and a mullet, and then for The King I had real metal armor.”

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WAR EFFORT McKay and Chapman accept their dangerous mission in 1917.

WHO

ultimate professional. His self-respect

George MacKay

is born out of a respect for others,

Age: 27

and he made it not seem wanky to

Hometown: London

take a job seriously.” Asked what he

WHAT

looks for in a project, MacKay says, “I’m still learning about the kinds of

George MacKay has made war

experiences that excite me. Any idea

films before, but Sam Mendes’ 1917

of whether you’re doing well or not is

looks set to be the one that raises

in the eyes of other people, and that’s

the British actor’s international

irrelevant for me. I’m just learning

profile. “It’s a journey piece about

about the excitement I get out of

two soldiers who are tasked with

working in different ways, and I want

delivering a message that will stop an

to explore that. That’s all I’m going for.”

attack from happening,” MacKay says. “It’s a race against time, basically.”

WHEN & WHERE

Mendes hired him alongside the

Coming up next is Justin Kurzel’s True

younger Dean-Charles Chapman

History of the Kelly Gang, in which

in this single-take vision of the First

MacKay plays Australian outlaw Ned

World War. “With a normal film you

Kelly. “It’s such an important project

discover so much of the film’s rhythm

for me, personally. There’s a real

in the edit,” MacKay says. “But in a

physicality to the whole experience. It

film like this, you can’t change the

has a real punk attitude.” Then there’s

rhythm of a scene. You can’t tighten.

Rachel Hirons’ A Guide to Second

You have to let it get under your skin.”

Date Sex, about a boy and a girl on

WHY

their second date dealing with sexual pressure. “It’s a human story about the

MacKay caught the acting bug in

awkwardness of all the stuff you don’t

2003 when he was cast in P.J. Hogan’s

really talk about,” he says. “It’s the stuff

Peter Pan. “It was kind of by chance,”

beneath the bravado, and it’s a really

he says. “I was really into drama at

important story to be told because of

school, and I’ve always loved make-

that. We only tell each other the best

believe and imagining. But I really

bits, and this is a real celebration of the

wasn’t considering any form of work

beauty of the worst bits.” ★

at that age, other than maybe playing for Chelsea Football Club. Obviously, that didn’t quite work out.” A family friend introduced MacKay to an agent, and at the age of 19, mentored by actor Eddie Marsan, he realized he was in for the long haul. “Eddie is just the

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ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD

JOJO RABBIT

THE IRISHMAN

MARRIAGE STORY

PARASITE

The Awards Playoffs The Globes, SAG and Critics’ Choice ceremonies are looming large, but will an earlier Oscars date change everything? BY PETE HAMMOND

The Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and SAG Awards have not significantly adjusted their broadcast dates with this Academy move, but they are giving nominees little room to breathe, with successive Sunday dates of January 5th, 12th, and 19th, and there are a whole bunch of guild shows in their midst too. SAG had originally planned on January 26th, but that put them

WHEN THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES ABRUPTLY

directly in The Grammys’ line of fire, and anything earlier would be in the heart of

moved the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony up to early February, panic set in among

the holiday season (also a no-no). So

those other awards shows that often serve as bellweathers for Oscar’s grande finale.

crunched is this season, anything later

Stung by record low ratings for the 2018 telecast, hosted for the second year in a row by Jimmy Kimmel, an Academy Governor told me, “We have to do something.” Thinking they were losing their audience by being the last in a long line of ceremonies, where often we see the same winners and hear variations on the same speeches, AMPAS suddenly withdrew the already announced date of February 23rd, 2020 and instead declared February 9th, 2020—a full two weeks earlier than normal (the show will move back to the end of February in 2021 and 2022). That was problematic for BAFTA— perhaps the most prestigious of the pre-Oscar shows. But working with Motion Picture Academy officials, BAFTA moved to February 2nd (Super Bowl be damned), just one week ahead of the Academy Awards. Since final Oscar ballots are due only two days later, the impact of BAFTA wins will be smaller than usual (but then, they haven’t agreed on a Best Picture since 12 Years a Slave in 2013). 16

would run smack into the BAFTAs, the Super Bowl, and Oscar territory. For those precursor awards, gauging their winners’ influence on Oscar voters is a tougher call than ever, since, due to the earlier date, the Academy will conduct nomination voting in a very condensed window—January 2nd to 7th—just five days. That means ballots are due only two days after the Globes, and well ahead of Critics’ Choice and SAG. Of course, those key precursor groups still may have influence on their nomination choices, because those will be announced before the holidays, when Academy members will likely still be busy cramming in as many screen-

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conversely, there is a lot of drama in Rocketman, so go figure. SAG’s Outstanding Cast award is often thought of as their version of Oscar’s Best Picture, but as last year’s results proved, they rarely are in sync with one another. Last year Black Panther took it, while Oscar Best Picture winner Green Book wasn’t even nominated. For this year’s lineup, look for The Irishman, Marriage Story, Parasite, Bombshell, Knives Out, Little Women,

THE TWO POPES

Avengers: Endgame, Ford v Ferrari, 1917, and Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood as likely possibilities. The categories to watch at all three shows will be the wildly competitive and star-filled Best Actor and Supporting Actor races. In the Lead Actor contest, Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Christian Bale, Paul Walter Hauser, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Pattinson, Taron Egerton, Michael B. Jordan and more make this

LITTLE WOMEN

DOLEMITE IS MY NAME

a Solomon’s Choice if ever there was one. And for Supporting it may be even worse, with Brad Pitt, Anthony

ers as possible before their deadline. A

and Supporting Actor for Maher-

Waters, Just Mercy, and A Beautiful Day

Hopkins, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Tom

Globe, CCA or SAG nomination could

shala Ali, just like the Globes, while

in the Neighborhood are all probably

Hanks, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Foxx, Wil-

push a screener to the top of that pile,

the latter won four Oscars, including

near the top of the pack. As for box

lem Dafoe, Tracy Letts, John Lithgow,

or that list of downloads.

Rami Malek’s Best Actor, and a Best

office behemoth Joker, it is anyone’s

Timothée Chalamet, and many others

I actually happen to think the

Picture nomination. The Favourite’s

guess where that one may land with

vying for very few slots. Will the Globes,

nominations that come from these

Olivia Colman and Regina King were

the Hollywood Foreign Press Associa-

SAG, and Critics’ Choice help narrow

three groups could be more important

also big Globes and Oscar winners, as

tion, but starting with its big win in

the field and apply some clarity?

in such a short season. Oscar voters

was Alfonso Cuarón for Director and

Venice, it has been very strong with

have little time to get to all these mov-

Foreign Film. “Shallow” from A Star

international critics and audiences, so

out numerous awards in the TV field,

ies as it is, and need help in separat-

Is Born won Best Song, and Spider-

it stands a decent enough chance of

with the Globes usually going for the

ing the must-sees from the rest of

Man: Into the Spider-Verse was Best

an appearance on Globes night. And

newest and freshest names around,

the pack. Studios have already been

Animated Film. The Globes inevitably

can Downton Abbey escape its TV

and SAG often lagging behind the

slow to get contenders into Academy

had influence on the Oscars.

roots to land big time in the Globes

Emmys. Critics’ Choice is usually

movie contest?

throwing in the edgiest names as

voters’ hands, so there will be a lot of

However, SAG and Critics’

last-minute viewing, and the heavily-

Choice–both usually more reliable in

advertised endorsement of nomi-

matching Oscar–were a bit off last

things, Quentin Tarantino’s much-

mys recently surprisingly awarding

nees in the three televised precursor

year with a track record of 50% or

loved Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

new blood like Fleabag , Killing Eve’s

awards ceremonies can’t hurt.

less. It is all cyclical because the year

joins Jojo Rabbit, Rocketman, Dolemite

Jodie Comer, Pose’s Billy Porter, When

before, the Critics’ Choice matched

Is My Name, Hustlers, Booksmart, and

They See Us star Jharrel Jerome and

can be a mixed bag. Looking at last

Oscar winners 90% of the time, and

Knives Out. Universal’s Cats, derided

other breakouts, these groups will

year, the Globes fared better than

is often in line with Academy tastes.

by some after its first trailer dropped,

have their work cut out to remain

In terms of past track records, it

any of the others, with a particularly

Top contenders for the Globes’

On the comedy/musical side of

All three of these shows also hand

contenders. However, with the Em-

will get a big push for Globes love from

even half as hip. Of course, getting

high average mirroring eventual Oscar

Motion Picture (drama) this time

Universal, and could be a factor here

cool choices didn’t exactly help the

winners. Keeping in mind that they

around are the Netflix trio of The

as well, but is another unknown quan-

Emmy ratings this year, and the next

split drama and comedy/musical into

Irishman, Marriage Story, and The Two

tity. Of course, some of these films are

ceremony is a long way off, so, unlike

two separate categories, the Globes’

Popes, with all three quite realistically

stretching the definition of ‘comedy’,

the influence on the Oscars, gauging

two big Motion Picture winners were

landing those nominations. Universal’s

but as many an awards strategist

the effect of Globe, SAG, and CCA

Green Book (comedy/musical) and

upcoming Sam Mendes WWI drama

keeps telling me, if The Martian can do

wins on the Emmys is murky at best.

Bohemian Rhapsody (drama). The

1917 is a good bet, even sight unseen

it, anyone can. There are elements of

And with the Globes now regularly

former went on to win three Oscars,

as of this writing. Honey Boy, The Re-

comedy in a lot of the dramas, like The

besting Emmy in the ratings game,

including Best Picture, Screenplay,

port, Ford v Ferrari, Little Women, Dark

Two Popes and Marriage Story, and

does it really matter anyway? ★

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I N D E A D L I N E ’ S S T U D I O S P A C E AT T H E T O R O N T O I N T E R N A T I O N A L F I L M F E S T I VA L T H E H O T T E S T N A M E S I N I N T E R N AT I O N A L C I N E M A D I S C U S S E D T H E I R L AT E S T M O V I E S A N D S AT F O R P O R T R A I T S

P H OTO G R APH S

BY

C H R I S

C H AP MAN

PRESENTED BY

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JENNIFER LOPEZ Hustlers

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(left)

CHARLIE HUNNAM

True History of the Kelly Gang

SHAILENE WOODLEY

(below)

Endings, Beginnings

KELVIN HARRISON JR. Waves

TONI COLLETTE Knives Out

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(right)

SUSAN SARANDON Blackbird (below)

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD Dads

(above)

MATT DAMON

Ford v Ferrari

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(right)

EDDIE MURPHY

Dolemite Is My Name

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(left)

KRISTEN STEWART Seberg

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER

(below)

EDDIE REDMAYNE

Knives Out

The Aeronauts

ROSARIO DAWSON Briarpatch

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TOM HANKS

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

(left)

KERRY WASHINGTON American Son (below)

FINN WITTROCK & RENÉE ZELLWEGER Judy

CHRISTIAN BALE Ford v Ferrari

Visit Deadline.com/TIFF2019 to watch video interviews from the Deadline Studio at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Deadline Studio was presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to sponsors Soia & Kyo, Fig & Olive, The Watford and Inkbox; and partners Calii Love and Love Child. Paint and wallpaper for sets provided by Farrow & Ball (farrow-ball.com); furniture for sets provided by Klaus by Nienkamper (klausn.com); lighting and cameras provided by Silverline Studios (silverline-studios.com).

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“A LAVISH CINEMATIC EVENT.” IN D IEWIRE , HA N H N G UY E N

“EFFORTLESSLY CHARMING, DELIGHTFUL AND POIGNANT.” DAILY M AIL

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR PRODUCED BY

GARETH NEAME JULIAN FELLOWES LIZ TRUBRIDGE

BEST DIRECTOR MICHAEL ENGLER

BEST ACTRESS MICHELLE DOCKERY

BEST ACTOR

HUGH BONNEVILLE

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

MAGGIE SMITH LAURA CARMICHAEL JOANNE FROGGATT ELIZABETH MCGOVERN IMELDA STAUNTON

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

JIM CARTER ALLEN LEECH ROBERT JAMES-COLLIER

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY JULIAN FELLOWES

BASED ON THE TELEVISION SERIES CREATED BY JULIAN FELLOWES

BEST FILM EDITING MARK DAY

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY BEN SMITHARD, BSC

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

DONAL WOODS PRODUCTION DESIGNER GINA CROMWELL SET DECORATOR

BEST COSTUME DESIGN ANNA MARY SCOTT ROBBINS

BEST SOUND MIXING

DAVID LASCELLES PRODUCTION SOUND MIXER NIGEL HEATH RE-RECORDING MIXER BRAD REES RE-RECORDING MIXER

BEST SOUND EDITING NIGEL HEATH

SUPERVISING SOUND EDITOR

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

ANNE NOSH OLDHAM MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGNER ELAINE BROWNE MAKEUP & HAIR SUPERVISOR

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE JOHN LUNN

Sign up at FocusInsider.com for exclusive access to early screenings, film premieres and more. © 2019 FOCUS FEATURES LLC.

Untitled-3 1

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11/8/19 11:09 AM


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Bombshell tells the dramatic story of the downfall of Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, as a slew of women led by onair talent like Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly levelled extensive allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Directed by Jay Roach, from a script by The Big Short’s Charles Randolph, the film gathers an expansive ensemble cast to mark the moment in 2016 when the first powerful giant of the media was held accountable for his misdeeds. Bombshell’s three principal cast members, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, meet Joe Utichi to discuss their urgent drive to tell this story, amplify the conversation about sexual harassment, and ensure that women’s voices are heard. P H OTO G R A P H S BY J OS H T E L L E S

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I

t took two and-a-half hours, every day of Bombshell’s shoot, for Charlize Theron to transform into Megyn Kelly; deciding to take on the role in the first place took much longer. “I loved this script so much, and I didn’t want to fuck the movie up,” she says. The project came to her Denver and Delilah company for her to produce, and she was concerned she might exert her influence unduly and claim the role over an actor that deserved it more. “I was trying to talk myself out it. I tend to second-guess myself. I didn’t want to stand in the way of this story.”

that would, in less than a month, send two men marching from the building. As more than a dozen women joined the public chorus against Ailes, star anchor Bill O’Reilly defended his boss for being a “target” as a “famous, powerful or wealthy person”. Still more women accused O’Reilly of a range of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment. O’Reilly denies the allegations against him, though investigations by The New York Times uncovered a total of six settlements with his accusers. Kidman’s turn as Carlson is only one part of an ensemble film that is led by Theron’s dramatic transformation into Kelly, whose career at Fox News was ascending when Carlson’s allegations broke. Kelly made her own allegation against Ailes less than two weeks later; Ailes limped on for two more days before resigning.

There was an ideological distance, too, giving her

In the end, Kazu Hiro, the Oscar-winning makeup

When he finally did, 21st Century Fox Executive

pause. Kelly’s views are far removed from Theron’s

designer behind Gary Oldman’s transformation into

Chairman Rupert Murdoch issued a statement

own. Even after Kelly’s tenure at the conservative

Winston Churchill, crafted eight facial prosthetics

that made no mention of the allegations against

Fox News, during the period she was on NBC, she

that would completely transform Theron’s appear-

him, and instead praised Ailes for his “remarkable

caused controversy by defending blackface, and

ance. There was very little left to do after the fact.

contribution to our company and our country”.

succeeded in offending gay people, fat people and

Some color correction on skin tone. A touch of digi-

Ailes went on to advise Donald Trump’s presidential

Jane Fonda—the latter with questions about plastic

tal softening around the edges of the prosthetics.

campaign—as well as Murdoch and 21st Century

surgery, sparking a running feud. She also commit-

“You can’t do that if you need to do it a lot,” Theron

Fox—before his death in May 2017. According to end

ted a segment of her news magazine show Sunday

notes. “It’s impossible, because the face becomes

cards on Bombshell, the remuneration paid to the

Night with Megyn Kelly to Alex Jones, the supplement

so soft that you can tell immediately. The quality of

women at the center of these accusations against

salesman and hawker of poisonous Sandy Hook

Kazu’s work was just so phenomenal.”

Ailes and O’Reilly stands at $50m. The men’s own

conspiracy theories. For Theron, though, the story Bombshell was telling ultimately won out. “I had to realize that, even through all this stuff, this was a person that

When Charlize Theron looked in the mirror after Hiro had done his job, the face she saw staring back at her was Megyn Kelly’s.

settlement packages with Fox totaled $65m. Bombshell also follows Margot Robbie, who plays Kayla, a fictional new hire at Fox News that catches Ailes’ eye. Her story is based on countless hours of

did something really incredible, and I couldn’t

It is a choking evening in Los Angeles.

throw the baby out with the bathwater. It took

As wildfires in the hills blanket the city in smoke, 400

several Ailes accusers. The movie, Robbie says, is “a

a while, and it’s a really scary thing as an actor,

people are gathered inside a vintage movie house

political thriller, but it’s not so much about politics.

because I know that my capability lives and

on Wilshire Blvd. to screen Bombshell. Many more

It’s ultimately about people, coming together to take

breathes in removing myself from these precon-

can’t even make it through the door. While the movie

down a very powerful person who is abusing that

ceived notions. She was part of a moment in his-

tells its fast-paced, incendiary narrative about the

power. That’s a very satisfying thing to watch.”

tory that will always be remembered. It doesn’t

sexual harassment allegations levelled against the

negate other things for me, but I had to remove

former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, its principal cast,

film’s cast is rounded out by Jennifer Morrison, Alice

that from the conversation of what this was.”

Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie,

Eve, Kate McKinnon, Allison Janney, Connie Britton

By comparison, her time spent in the makeup

research by Randolph and reflects an amalgam of

Lithgow delivers a terrifying turn as Ailes, and the

are collected backstage ahead of their Q&A. There’s

and many more recognizable names. “We didn’t

chair was a breeze, especially considering the

a buzz of anticipation in the air. In a small, Lynchian

have to convince a lot of people,” notes Theron.

uncannily accurate end result. It should have

holding room behind the screen, fitted with a red

“The material and the subject really spoke to them.

taken four hours plus to pull off, but the produc-

velvet curtain and checkerboard flooring, Kidman

It was really easy; people wanted to do it. I’ve never

tion couldn’t spare that kind of time, especially

flinches at the harshness of the halogen strip light

had that kind of good will. You felt like, Shit, let’s

since the makeup team was also engaged in

in the ceiling. She has Robbie switch it off as she

figure this out.”

transforming Nicole Kidman into Gretchen Carl-

locates a smaller, warmer, desktop lamp. “That’s

son, John Lithgow into Roger Ailes, and a sweep-

better,” she says. “Now we’re at home.”

ing ensemble into frighteningly realistic versions of the Fox News players circa 2016. Kelly’s eyes were the hardest part. They were

It’s a take-charge moment that is appropriately reflective of her role in Bombshell. In the Jay Roach

“When Charlize says, ‘Babe, you’ve got to be in this; show up or I’ll kill you,’ you go, ‘OK, I’m there,’” Kidman laughs. “I have read a Charles Randolph script before,”

film, based on a script by Charles Randolph, Kidman

says Robbie, who had a scene-stealing cameo in

also the key. As much as actors recoil at even the

plays Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News anchor who

Randolph’s The Big Short. “When I got this, I knew it

suggestion of concealing their eyes with contact

ignited the touch-paper on a litany of sexual harass-

would be good. He and Jay research every aspect of

lenses—and there would be contact lenses—there

ment allegations that would lead to the explosive

the subject, but at the same time, they are still purely

was no way for Theron to become Kelly without

ousting of Ailes from the Fox newsroom.

focused on human interaction and behavior. I started

adjusting the shape of her eyelids. “Whenever we

Carlson was not the first to allege wrongdoing

reading the script as an actor, knowing I was prob-

applied everything but the eyelids,” says Theron,

by Ailes—earlier, isolated stories had been swept

ably going to do it because it would be a fantastic

“it never, ever felt right. I looked like a young Glenn

away—but her profile helped ensure that her break-

role. But I finished the script wanting to do it just as a

Close. It was bizarre.”

ing of ranks became the catalyst for a movement

person. As a human being living right now, I had to do

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this, because it was important.”

come out of the gate like that… You just go, ‘Yes!

believe that you can’t isolate this in trying to find the

“So much of what we’re doing now is about

Take the baton and run!’ It’s so exciting, because

answers; in trying to actually create the change that

joining forces and working together,” Kidman says.

that’s what you’re passing it on for. You go, ‘And

we all need and want. So, it started with Charles,

“If we do that as women, we’re so much stronger.

pass it on to the next! Create your destinies, take

which I had no power over, and I’m just grateful that

Standing there, talking to all these crazy-talented

some power back, have some control, and by God,

he had the balls to do it. No pun intended.”

actresses, it was like, Let’s mark the moment in

let’s see what you can do.’”

history, because that’s what this is.”

Theron’s name, as well as the subject matter,

“I think it’s an important film for men,” notes Robbie. “This is not a female movie; it’s for men

were the magnets that attracted the ensemble,

and women. The most important thing, perhaps,

but there were still roadblocks to come on Bomb-

is that men for a moment might be in that office

than a year before the explosive allegations in

shell’s path to the screen. Though it had come to

with Kayla and might understand a slice of what

The Times and The New Yorker against Harvey

Denver and Delilah as a project ready to shoot at

it feels like to be sexually harassed at work, if they

Weinstein in October 2017, which kickstarted the

Annapurna, the ground shook two months out from

haven’t experienced it in their own lives.”

Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. And though

production. “We were asked to bring in a financial

That the first major motion picture dealing with

Theron hadn’t necessarily been looking to tell

partner to alleviate some of the budget for them,”

the fallout from high-profile cases of sexual harass-

stories about sexual harassment, it was ground

Theron recalls. She went to Aaron Gilbert and BRON

ment in the media would come to tell the story of

she had walked before. In 2005, she starred in

Studios, who she says told her, “We’ll come in. We

the women at Fox News is also significant. The cast

Niki Caro’s North Country, which tracked a sexual

really like this.” And then, with two weeks until cam-

is aware that people will bring to the theater their

harassment lawsuit in a mining community in 1988.

eras rolled, Annapurna fell out completely. “Aaron

own baggage—in many cases, those ideological

“These issues have been a part of my life for as

was willing to pick everything up within 24 hours,”

disagreements with the stances Kelly, Carlson and

long as I can remember,” she says. “But I was naïve

adds Theron.

others have taken in their careers in conservative

The downfall of Ailes occurred more

in thinking that struggle wasn’t there anymore. I

By that point, Theron had committed to playing

media. And they’re aware of the journey the film

figured, after those landmark cases, that people in

Kelly. Roach was aboard, and it was her conver-

has to travel for that baggage to be divorced from

power were taking more responsibility. That there

sations with him that tipped her over the edge

what the women say happened to them when they

was a law behind it. It was legislated. I think that is

of playing the part. “That was the first moment

worked in the Fox newsroom. “If it doesn’t do that,

the thing we still all have to reconcile with, because

where, because of what he was saying about how

then what’s the point of the film?” Kidman asks,

it’s very much there, and if anything, you could

he saw the project, it excited me as an actor. I

rhetorically. “Because this really is a bipartisan issue.

argue it’s the same, or worse.”

knew, for Jay I would go there.” They had begun

It has to be. Hopefully the movie makes that clear.”

Randolph’s untitled draft (he had toyed with

talking while Theron was developing the project

“This crime doesn’t discriminate,” insists Rob-

the title ‘The End of the Leg Man’) came to Theron

and bringing him on as Bombshell’s director was

bie. “There are very powerful people abusing that

through Annapurna, who were initially onboard

“kismet”, Theron says. “I felt safe with him. I felt like

power on every side.”

to finance and release Bombshell. “For all of us at

I got excited about making this movie.”

Denver and Delilah, it was a no-brainer that we

When she made Tully with Jason Reitman, she

Bombshell’s uncanny valley-skirting

wanted to make the film,” she says. But even the act

had heard the complaints of some critics about

illusion—the actor playing Bill O’Reilly is so

of bringing Theron aboard to produce felt like some-

a male director helming a film about a mother’s

convincing it feels as though it might be O’Reilly

thing impossible a decade earlier, the cast agrees.

bond with her night nanny. “Everybody was like,

himself (it isn’t)—is made ever more convincing

The streaming services’ voracious appetite for con-

‘It’s quintessentially a woman’s story, why would

when its cast is cut against real footage from

tent has brought forth more stories about women,

you make it with a guy?’” she recalls. “It’s hard to

the Fox News archive. This includes Megyn

and their success, they say, on streaming and in

explain to people how Jason feels about that topic.

Kelly’s run-in with Donald Trump at a Republican

cinema, is more undeniable than ever. “People can’t

To me, it proves something that I want the world

primary debate, after which the future President

hide behind misinformation,” Theron insists. “The

not to forget: men are just as invested in wanting a

told CNN, “There was blood coming out of her

facts are out there. We know that 2017 was a way

safe world for us. We need to get rid of the few bad

eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” There’s

more lucrative year for female stories than it was for

apples, but in general, I feel like men don’t want

footage, too, of misogynist comments made by

male stories. Being a part of that time right now in

this for their daughters, or for their wives. There’s

Gretchen Carlson’s fellow Fox & Friends anchors,

telling stories, it’s fucking great.”

an empathy there.”

with Kidman spliced effortlessly onto the sofa.

All three of Bombshell’s principal cast now

She’s committed, she says, to providing more

A supercut on YouTube of the original footage

produce as well as act, helping to deliver award-

opportunities to female directors. “But as a

captures the regularity of such comments when

winning film and television, like I, Tonya (Robbie)

producer, sometimes you have to trust that little

Carlson served on the show.

and Big Little Lies (Kidman). “When I started, those

voice inside, and something inside me said that Jay

were called vanity deals,” Theron notes. “It was

was the person to make this film with. I knew that

I am assuming that she would even want to speak

a crazy concept. I get my name on a movie, I get

we would, behind the camera, have more female

to me,” Theron laughs—and neither has Kidman

the check, and I don’t do anything? ‘Yes, because

producers, and our head of departments would be

met Carlson. In the latter case, that’s because

you’re an actor and you have no other abilities.’

more female.” The overall balance “was definitely

Carlson signed a $20m settlement agreement

That’s definitely changed now. People like Margot

more female than it was male”.

with Fox News, which came with a non-disclosure

Robbie can step in and start actually producing,

Randolph’s script simply resonated when she

Theron hasn’t met Kelly—“out of choice, though

agreement barring her from speaking about her

because a lot of that groundwork has been laid.

read it. “To me, as a woman, that is already re-

time at the channel. These agreements are com-

When I was starting out, that wasn’t possible.”

ally touching, because I want to believe men are

mon when accusations of workplace malfeasance

interested in this stuff, just as much as we are. This

are mediated—a condition of many employment

Margot produced I, Tonya, she didn’t know anything

concept that only women would want to tell these

contracts—and the financial payments that come

other than, ‘Oh, I can do that.’ It wasn’t even a part

stories is really disproved by Charles taking this on,

with them are often the subject of disparaging

of the conversation when I was starting out. There

which wasn’t an easy task. The amount of research

comments against accusers. But they also serve to

was no possibility of it. So, to have the strength to

that he had to put into this was phenomenal. I really

silence victims from sharing their experiences pub-

“How great is that?” Kidman smiles. “When

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licly. At the start of this month, Carlson told AP she

“And when you try to break it down behind that

wanted to be released from her gag order. “It would

shield, what is this persona that says, ‘Bring it on,

be nice to be able to tell my full story,” she said.

I’m going to fight them all?’”

Research for the film involved speaking to

Her answer was to find a common ground

people who were at Fox News as the allegations

with Carlson through family. Carlson said, of

were breaking. “I felt like I had access to a lot of

watching her kids as their mother was being

sources—that we can’t talk about—which told

dragged in the press for the allegations she had

me we were on the right path,” Theron says. “We

made, “They got it. Both my son and my daugh-

realized we had a lot of stuff wrong initially, based

ter have become more courageous in their lives,

on the editorial pieces that were written as more

and the impact that me coming forward has

information was coming in. It was important be-

[had] on them has probably been the most

cause the narrative changed. Things became a lot

important thing I’ve done in my life so far.”

clearer to us. There was a lot out there that, I think,

“You can’t portray a woman who has

people wanted the narrative to be. And you would

done this as a mother if the children aren’t

believe it, until you heard women say, ‘That’s not

there,” Kidman says. “She would have been so

who did it; this is what happened…’”

frightened for their

It did mean those conversations included

future, for how this

Ailes’ victims. Roach mentioned the breaking of

would have affected

NDAs in an earlier Q&A, Theron says, “and there

them. You can’t

was panic. Everybody got this email, like, ‘Don’t

define this woman

do that, it’s dangerous ground.’ Then, two weeks

without that.”

later, the NBC NDA story was breaking, and ev-

There was a

erybody, including Megyn Kelly, was saying, ‘We’re

bittersweet tinge to

going to have to remove these gag orders on

Carlson’s story that

women if we want to get to the bottom of these

Kidman also needed

stories.’ Gretchen, she keeps fighting. It is so in

to show. As she

the zeitgeist right now, and it’s what people are

stacks her dishwash-

talking about.”

er and checks her

“These things happen in waves in our culture,”

phone, the question

Kidman notes. “The waves rise, and you start

for Carlson becomes,

getting stories and films made on the subject. I

“What now?” Says

worked for almost two decades for UN Women,

Kidman, of how she

which was all about eradicating violence against

imagined the imme-

women. When we started, you would talk and

diate aftermath for

you’d only sort of be heard; not really. But sud-

Gretchen Carlson:

denly, there’s this tide and people are willing to

“There’s not really

listen and to change.”

much going on, and

“It was part of Roger Ailes’ toolkit to isolate

the future isn’t bright. That’s frightening, and it’s

women,” says Robbie. “To pit them against each

sad and real. But she survived.” Indeed, Carlson’s

other. I think that, ultimately, what took him down

activism in support of victims of sexual harass-

was the women unifying.”

ment, regardless of any other views she may

When Kelly finally came forward, the die was

hold, has never ceased, and she has published

cast. Bombshell deals with the journey it took to

books and documentaries in support of vic-

get her there. “She was in negotiation for a lot of

tims. She became the chairwoman of the Miss

money, and she was a superstar there,” Theron re-

America pageant—she herself is a former win-

flects. “On top of that, there was a moral dilemma

ner—and spearheaded a contentious abolition of

she had, because she liked [Ailes]. There wasn’t a

the pageant’s swimsuit competition.

part of her that felt like she could not be truthful

Kidman thought of her own kids as she read

about that. That makes for a very conflicting story,

the scene in which Robbie’s Kayla is called into

and one that people are not necessarily ready to

Ailes’ office. Kayla is excited, with lofty ambi-

hear. We want to believe that they’re villains, and

tions toward becoming an on-screen anchor,

the fact that she was de-villainizing him in the way

only to have Ailes demand her ‘loyalty’ through

she talked about him, I think, was so important to

euphemistic, and increasingly more direct, sex-

getting to the real crux of what this is all about.

ual advances. “You go, ‘I don’t ever want this to

Because until we fully understand it, we won’t be

happen to my daughter,’” Kidman says. “I don’t

able to resolve it.”

want it to happen to my wife, to my sister, to

For Kidman, tapping into why Carlson took her first steps to right this wrong required understanding her life. She started with footage of her on-air

me. I don’t want this to happen. That response definitely comes through Kayla’s character.” It is one of the movie’s most uncompromising,

appearances, and there was a lot of it. “But equally,

uncomfortable scenes, as the realization slowly

she’s got to have had her shield up,” Kidman says.

dawns on Kayla that she is being asked to give

36

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something she should never have to sacri-

Everybody has a different impression

fice. As the rest of the film maintains a heady

of the world Bombshell leaves to pick up

pace, and at times a surprisingly upbeat tone,

the pieces at the end of its story. Carlson’s

this sequence descends like an icy silence,

settlement agreement impelled 21st Century

stopping the audience dead in its tracks.

Fox to issue a statement of apology, expressing

“In some cases, sexual harassment hap-

regret “for the fact that Gretchen was not

pens in a gray area,” notes Robbie. Indeed,

treated with the respect and dignity that she

the movie details Carlson’s struggle, with her

and all of our colleagues deserve.” Yet, as Ailes

legal team, to class much of the inappropri-

and O’Reilly’s settlements outpaced that of their

ate behavior she had witnessed as evidence

accusers by $15m, Fox News itself continues

of legally challengeable sexual harassment.

make profits in the billions annually. How

“Someone may not immediately feel like

impactful can any of these settlement figures

Kayla in that situation. ‘He didn’t touch me.

have been on making real, systemic change

What do I call this thing that just happened to

when they would barely dent a balance sheet?

me?’ Someone as smart as Roger Ailes could

The question mark was important for

manipulate the position of power to force a

Theron, who says they were many arguments

victim to start rationalizing, to start explaining,

about how to wrap up the movie’s narrative.

to start excusing. That’s, I think, the reason it

“People are brave enough to tell these

goes on as long as it does in some cases.”

stories if they feel, at the end, victorious;

Robbie says that the character, a con-

that there has been a moment of victory,”

servative Christian who believes deeply in

she says. “But it’s not that easy with this

the values espoused by the network, comes

story. I really fought very hard—along with

from Randolph’s own upbringing. “His family

Jay and Charles—to have an ending that

watched Fox News religiously, and the lines

felt authentic to how things are today. Yes,

about them having the logo burned into their

what these women did was heroic. But at

TV screens come from that,” she says. “He

the same time, they didn’t change everything

very much understood Kayla, and I could

overnight. That systemic problem is there

talk to him about her a lot. I also had to wrap

and it’s going to take years for us to undo

my head around this young, millennial, but

that power struggle. But that doesn’t mean

extremely conservative point of view. Twitter

it’s impossible.”

was a great source for that, because there

Another end card on the movie notes

are a number of young, Christian conserva-

that the women that accused Ailes were

tive women who are very vocal on social me-

among the first to bring down a such a

dia. It was fascinating, and it was frightening.”

powerful public figure, but they have not

As with Theron, the issue of sexual harass-

been the last—a statement that seems

ment has never been far away for Robbie, she

especially self-reflective for a movie industry

says. “This story takes place at Fox News, but

that has dealt with its own rotting bushel of

it’s a backdrop for something that happens

bad apples. Kidman sees the optimism of

in so many places, in so many industries, all

that card, just as she sees the optimism of

over the world. I’ve had these conversations

Carlson’s response to her legal team when

all my life, about things like this happening to

they tell her, “You will be muzzled, Gretchen.”

women, and I know I’ve had those conversa-

She replies: “Maybe.”

tions even more in the past two years since

“Maybe she’ll be muzzled,” repeats

the #MeToo movement started. So, there’s a

Kidman. “Nothing’s changed, but at the

lot of research that has gone into the film, but

same time things are changing. Women

also, I guess, interactions in my life, where I

aren’t as muzzled as they once were.”

can absolutely understand.” She hopes the movie will continue a

A responsible company, says Theron, “would want to be transparent. Any therapist

conversation that gets louder by the day. That

will tell you silence is the most dangerous

conversation, she says, “has helped us start

thing. Here we are, legally implementing it on

defining, and pointing to situations and say-

women. I’m so impressed by women coming

ing, ‘That was not OK.’ Something like this is a

forward who are openly breaking their NDAs

powerful thing.”

and saying, ‘Come after me, I have nothing.’

“And just being believed,” adds Kidman.

One woman was literally like, ‘I don’t even

“Not being made to question, ‘Was this my

have a TV. This is how much I’ve lost.’ It’s

fault?’ No, there’s protocol, and the protocol

heartbreaking to even fathom that women

is, don’t abuse your position of power, you’re

have to get pushed that far.”

not allowed to touch someone physically, or sabotage them because they wouldn’t do something that you wanted sexually or emotionally. Those things are not OK.”

But, adds Robbie, “Women always find a way. It may take a while, but we find a way.” “There’s hope in that,” Kidman says. The fires are still being fought. ★ D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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Director Jay Roach and screenwriter Charles Randolph tell Mike Fleming Jr. why Bombshell was a story they needed to tell

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You can tell Bombshell is registering as a

dominated by men at a time in which there

til I started hearing these stories from the women

threat in the awards race when you see out-

were few female bands. I imagine an industry

directly and then through Charles’s script and

raged stories asking how a story like this could

full of heavy-breathing dragons. Was she fill-

those performances, I realized I didn’t know shit.

be written and directed by two white men.

ing your ear with those tales?

Randolph: It was a courageous choice on Charl-

Rather than wait, let’s put that on the table.

Roach: Constantly. She has some stories, and

ize’s part to offer it to Jay. She knew she would

Jay Roach: It’s not being defensive to say we had

friends who have them. She’s really good friends

get some pushback. At the time we were thinking,

these job titles, but we made this film as a group

with Rosanna Arquette, who watched our film,

We’re going to have a woman. It’s obvious, right?

with some really incredible women. Half of our

and just came out of the screening room crying.

And then she shows up. “You know? Jay Roach.

producers are women. Charlize was our fearless

It was so fucking devastating, experiencing it with

And here’s why...”

leader for a lot of this movie, especially when it was

Rosanna Arquette, and I didn’t even know all the

in jeopardy by the way.

stuff until recently, when I read the books by Jodie

ing collaborative, in the way that he can take hun-

Kantor & Megan Twohey, and Ronan Farrow. Sue

dreds of relationships and make them work for the

You mean, when Annapurna dropped out?

knows tons of people. She’s had some interest-

film. You can see this in his history. For any great

Roach: Charlize got BRON Studios to step in. She

ing experiences. My wife, whenever she’s alone in

performer, when it comes time for a collaborative

helped us put it all back together. She called her

a city, she just runs from point A to point B. She’s

partner, Jay Roach, right? And the mix of comedy

reps and said, “You’ve got to save this movie.” She

five feet tall. She just knows… Just picture her, living

and drama. There’s also his political sensitivity as

was a monster in terms of just the fierceness and

in that world, where she has to run in constant mo-

well, which was important.

tenacity... monster is probably not a good word.

tion because she is fearful of male predators. And

She said to us when we started, “We will kill for

women in their workplace have to live in that. It’s

“He gets it, he gets me, he gives me the courage to

each other. We’re going to save this movie. It’s not

just unacceptable.

do this. It’s hard for me to express why.” That mat-

going to go away. We have this amazing script, cast, they can’t stop us.” And we rallied around her. She was also the one who put us together. She sent me this script and said, “Hey, as a friend, will

My wife has always been a touchstone of, “Is

But the most important thing Charlize said was,

tered so much.

this authentic? Does this feel real to you?” She has been an amazing partner with me through that.

What did John Lithgow bring as Ailes, espe-

Charles’s wife is the same.

cially in that scene with Kayla that showed how he groomed these women?

you take a look at this?” I didn’t even know I was up to direct it. She’s the one who had that sense.

Jay’s the best director any of us know of for be-

The stage actress Mili Avital.

Roach: We had to convey women in crisis. John

Randolph: It is much the same thing. And so, for

was the crisis. His ability and willingness to be that

women who we spoke to who had been there,

us, there’s just nothing more rewarding than wom-

antagonist makes the jeopardy appear so power-

the women we screened it for many times… We

en coming up after screenings and saying, “This

ful. He’s so likable, and then he shows this other

would say, “Please just help us not get this wrong,

resonated to me.” Women have had to endure it for

side. Every scene he’s in with all of them, they’re as

because we’re likely to, we’re men. We will get this

centuries. That feedback is rewarding because we

good as they can be because he represents that

wrong unless you tell us what’s screwed up about

want women in general, and the women we love in

dark force, misogyny and narcissism. And John is

the way we’re coming at it.”

particular, to feel heard. That we get it, that this is

the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.

The women who teamed up with us, all the

My wife was on me the whole time to get it

a time to change. And we can help hopefully move

[The scene between Kayla and Ailes] was

right. Everyone was on us, “Get this right. Do not

that ball down the field a little bit, because this re-

disturbing, one of the most unforgettable expe-

screw this up. You have a responsibility to the

quires 100% of society to buy into it, for every guy

riences I’ve ever had. I was in the room. I don’t

women who told you their stories. To the actors

and woman to get with the program. It takes only

usually operate cameras very much, but there was

you are asking to risk their reputations to do this.”

one unchecked bozo in some office somewhere to

something about that day.

We felt that the entire time. Women helped us find

make a woman’s life miserable. What was that atmosphere like on set?

the balance by just setting us straight. Charles Randolph: There were moments where

Some men, they read the stories about these

Roach: Charlize was there, watching and mak-

we were unsure. A good example is the scene with

accusations and there’s a skepticism. Is there

ing sure Margot felt safe. People were weeping at

Kayla and Roger in that room. You see that camera

due process, is this the real truth? Can it be this

the monitors, reassuring each other with, “Wow,

going up her body, exposing her. In some screen-

bad? As someone who feels he has behaved,

that was hard to watch, but amazing.” Charles

ings, people said, “Oh that’s making me awfully un-

and always valued strong women, the scene

was always at the monitors, giving me another per-

comfortable.” And Jay and I were like, “Oh, should

between Kayla and Ailes made me reconsider

spective. It’s such a fantastic thing to have a great

we...” And women were like, “Don’t you dare cut a

whatever skepticism I had, and crystallized the

writer not only deliver a great script but be there

frame of that scene.” It had to be repugnant.

obscenity of seeing the natural ambition of a

with you every second of the process.

Roach: Some people even said, “Do you really

woman beginning her career get twisted by the

want him breathing that loud?” He’s a predator

perverse desire of a powerful predator.

imagine what a woman is going through [in that

looking at the victim he has groomed and primed

Randolph: What you just said makes me cry here

moment], but we knew that was the whole point,

for the next round of predation. You don’t want

[he does]. That is so moving to us because our

to ask you to empathize with that. Something you

him to breathe too roughly? He’s the dragon, right

goal was always to put men in that fucking room.

thought you might understand, but you didn’t.

there. It was women who gave us encouragement;

If you could put men in that room, and in her head

Randolph: It surprised us; how emotional it

they said, “No. Don’t [pull back], you’re on track.

and her heart, that’s the best we can do as men.

became. It’s that classic thing that men do, which

That’s how that feels, and you should stick with it.

Put other guys in that room. I’m so pleased that it

is minimalize or dismiss the female experience

Don’t let other people try to water it down.”

hit you that way.

around sexuality. When you see in her emotions

Roach: It was eye-opening for me and I am glad it

how utterly devastating it becomes for her, and

Jay, you mentioned your wife, who is Susanna

might be for other men too. That is the life chang-

how life changing and career ending it is… We, and

Hoffs, the lead singer of The Bangles. She was

ing experience of making a film like this. I thought I

the crew, felt the way you described feeling when

a woman pioneer in a rock music business

knew some of that, that I was a sensitive man. Un-

you saw it, like for the first time. ★

It is such a soul extinguishing thing to even

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D THE DIALOGUE

OSCAR CONTENDERS/ ACTO RS

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Jamie

point. Once we started, Walter was there, Bryan was there, everything was there. And you just feel like, “Oh, here he is.”

FOX X

How did you cope with the weight of telling this story? We got so many crazy people talking in media that you don’t know who the fuck is

running this. And then there’s someone like

In Just Mercy, he takes on the story of an innocent man sentenced to death, and a system warped by prejudice BY A N T O N I A B LY T H

Bryan Stevenson, who is very pragmatic, who is articulating things that we actually need. We need proximity. You need to be around people who are going through these things, understanding that we are

WRONGLY-CONVICTED DEATH ROW PRISONER WALTER McMillian may have tragically lost most of his life to a broken justice system, but McMillian’s story lives on in the memoir of his tireless lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, and now in the film it inspired: Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy. Jamie Foxx plays McMillian—a man without hope, facing both the electric chair and the endemic racism in Alabama that condemned him—when a young, idealistic Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) decides to fight his case. Having experienced the incarceration of his own father, Foxx brought a deeply heartfelt perspective to the role.

really connected with each other. So that’s the silver lining of it. That’s watching Michael B. Jordan take on Bryan Stevenson and the words that he’s saying. I think it’s really things that we need and it’s hard to have art meet message. But the response, watching people in rooms, mostly white rooms, how they respond and how they get on their feet and they cheer. They’re like, “What can I do? How can we change this narrative? We didn’t know about this.” I think the good outweighs the bad heavily.

How did you first get on board?

diabolical, because the cells were right

Did making this film change your poli-

Michael B. Jordan called me. I’ve known

next to where they are being executed. So

tics around the death penalty at all?

Michael B. Jordan since he was tiny. If he

they can smell the burning. it was a tortur-

Well, I’ve never been for the death penalty

ever needed anything, I was always there,

ous thing.

because my father went to jail for seven

which is just a thing that I do. And in this

years. They gave him a seven-year sen-

situation, he called and said, “Listen, I

Unfortunately, Walter has passed

tence for $25-worth of illegal substance.

would really love for you to take on this

away now, so how did you build a clear

He got a chance to view the movie.

role.” He was so eloquent. I mean, what-

picture of him?

I talked to a judge. He was a judge in

ever he was going to ask me I was going

I call it a blessing to be able to look at

Alabama and he quit. I said, “Why’d you

to say yes anyway. But when he told me

someone or hear a few things about them

quit?” He says, “I couldn’t take it anymore

about what it was…

and start to wrap the skin around them.

because we will pick up kids off the street,

And if you look at Walter, we are from the

Black kids, 15 or 16, for nothing. Put them in

he did Fruitvale Station, I thought that was

if you look at his body of work, when

same tribe. We have the same cheek-

the system.” I said, “Why?” He said, “Well,

amazing because it allowed a narrative

bones, the diamond-shaped head. The

so we could have a lineup. So, if anything

that he could always go back to, talking

haircut that he had, I had that haircut in

goes wrong in Pleasantville, go grab them

about what’s going on with us, some Black

the ’80s. There are pictures. I can show you

kids, put them up.” And then when the

folk. Those stories that are so important.

we looked exactly the same. Then, talking

jail is privatized, you go pick them kids up,

And then what he did in Black Panther was

to Bryan and him explaining that Walter

and you put them in the system. Because

still that narrative of us feeling good about

was just any Black man from the South

for every kid you have in there, if you meet

ourselves. And now, along comes Just

that just wanted to do right. Once he got

your quota, you get a check.

Mercy with Bryan Stevenson. I said, “It’s

into the prison, he was still really trying to

beautiful that you have this that you can

be a light for some of these guys. He had a

natural resource is freedom. And the great

go to, and let us feel good about some-

great spirit.

thing about America is the evolution of it.

thing.” And I said, “I want to be a part of it.”

Then it was just finding the way he

I’ve always said this about America, our

We got this wrong at one point in Ameri-

talked. Me being from Texas, man, when

can history, we’re righting those things, and

You’ve visited death row before.

we talk it’s something different. And that

we continue to do it.

When I met the guy I was supposed to be

was Destin, myself and Michael sitting in

playing at that time [in Redemption: The

the room, finding out what’s the best way

an ongoing thing, and accept that this is

Stan Tookie Williams Story], he came in

to approach that so it doesn’t come off

a problem, and then try to fix it, because

with shackles, and two shotguns flanked

caricature-like. And then finally, anybody

like Bryan Stevenson would say, if we don’t

him. It’s a lot different. That being said, the

will tell you the spirit of that person has to

acknowledge that these things are hap-

death row back then where these guys

come visit you. So, you sit with your fingers

pening, then we can’t take steps in trying

were [in Just Mercy], it was even more

crossed that Walter will step in at some

to correct it. ★

PHOTOGRAPH BY

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Michael Buckner

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Tra c y

special about Ford v Ferrari. First of all, Jim Mangold. I really admire his work. I thought

LETTS

he was the right director for this script. The script by the Butterworths, I thought was really strong. It was long, but it was strong and it was beyond just being a sports movie. I mean, it hits all of those points that a sports movie hit, but beyond that, I really loved what felt to me like secret his-

Ford v Ferrari proved to be quite the ride, while reuniting with Greta Gerwig for Little Women was undeniable BY A N T O N I A B LY T H

tory. It’s not really secret at all, I just didn’t know it. I don’t know anything about cars, I don’t know anything about racing, but the story made all that stuff, not only very understandable, but it was like, oh, this really

HERE’S A SCENE IN JAMES MANGOLD’S Ford v Ferrari that had TIFF audiences almost rolling in the aisles. Tracy Letts as Henry Ford II is persuaded by Matt Damon’s Caroll Shelby to take Ford’s latest racecar for a spin, but the bossman is vastly underprepared for the reality of 100 mph. When the car finally stops, all his gravitas turns into a childlike sob. But then the real brilliance of Letts is that, within seconds, we go from laughing to crying along with him. Aside from this iconic role, he’s also in Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig, with whom he made Lady Bird.

T

is a moment in history. What research did you do? The scenes were on the page. The true story of that drive, for instance, I think, is that Ken Miles—not Carroll Shelby, but Ken Miles—took Ford around the track a couple of times and they had a great time. How much good does it do me to know that, when in fact the script requires something very different? It’s not a documentary. I watched some YouTube videos—not really that helpful. I did track down some old biography of Henry Ford II, but it was written by a friend of his and it was just hagiography and not helpful at all. Not a lot

Is it true that you did that ‘crying in the

that stuff. That’s one of the reasons I took

car’ scene in one take?

the part. We shot that scene all day. Matt

It wasn’t a one-take. In fact, we did many,

and I were in a car. We were being pulled by

There’s this amazing speech that you

many takes. It’s just that apparently James

a camera car that they call a Biscuit, which

give to the workers.

used the first take. I was not aware of that

goes quite fast. Jim tells me we got up to

That speech on the factory floor, that’s

until after I saw it myself. It was a great

100 miles an hour.

great theater, and I’ve done a lot of theater.

scene on the page, and we all recognized

of that stuff was helpful to me.

The idea that I get to stand up there and

it was a great scene. It’s a pressurized day

That fast, for real?

pontificate, make my angry speech for a

because you know what you need to do

Yeah, we were doing serious speeds. We

couple of minutes, it’s like, I know how to

with the scene and there wasn’t a lot of

were doing 100 miles an hour out on the

do this. There’s a little fear if you blow out

talking about it beforehand. I think the

tarmac. The speed was not scary for us.

your voice. You get adrenalized because

great thing that James did was provide the

For Matt and I both, the scary part was the

you want to do a good job, and so you blow

underpinnings to let the scene happen. I

claustrophobia. Those cars are really tight,

out your voice... Like, “Oh shit. Now I can’t

really was in a car, and I really was traveling

and because of the way you have to shoot,

do it again.” So I did it for Jim and he said,

very fast speeds, and Jim had the cameras

there are cameras attached all over the car

“That’s great. How’s your voice?” I said, “I

all ready to go. So, we really did slam to a

so you can’t open the doors and you can’t

can do that nine more times.” He said, “I’m

stop, and that was the moment, you know?

open the windows. You’re strapped in with

going to ask for 12.”

He provided the underpinning work for the

a seat belt, wearing period clothes and

adrenaline to do some of the work.

makeup, with your hair lacquered down,

Now, about Little Women…

and then you get in that.

I saw it last night for the first time. I was

And then of course you make everyone

blown away. Me and my wife, we sat there,

cry along with you too.

What was the original draw for you?

we cried as soon as it started. We cried

The scene’s really well written. If it had just

Most of the time, when somebody comes

for two solid hours. We just never stopped

been a guy crying because he’s scared of

to me with a role of one of these guys—a

crying. So yes, we all want to live in the

fast speeds or something, it wouldn’t have

head of state or a titan of industry, or what

world of Little Women. Who doesn’t want

been as interesting to me, but the idea

the Coen brothers refer to as ‘the man

to crawl into that world? It’s so fantastic,

that it was actually something emotional

behind the desk’—I get asked to play a lot

it’s so beautiful. She’s such a great artist,

underneath that, the emotional con-

of those parts—there has to be something

Greta. She just made an extraordinary

nection to his father and pressure of the

special about it to interest me. In this case

movie. I’m so proud. Even just the tiny little

legacy and all that kind of stuff? I loved all

there were a few things that were really

part of it, it’s just a thrill. ★

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Sterling K.

B ROW N

Us. It was a bit schizophrenic, going back and forth, but I had a plane ride to make an adjustment from one to the other. It was also incredibly energizing, because both Kelvin and Taylor were so locked into their characters, and also playing with Renée Elise Goldsberry was an absolute joy. There’s something about doing something completely different from what people

The This Is Us actor shows a new side as the controlling and ambitious Ronald in Trey Edward Shults’ Waves BY D I N O - R AY R A M O S

know you for that excites me. Why do you think Ronald is so domineering towards Tyler? Ronald is somebody who has already lost

TERLING K. BROWN IS KNOWN FOR playing Randall Pearson, the loving father in This Is Us, but in Trey Edward Shults’ family drama Waves, he shows us a very different role. As Ronald, he’s the domineering parent of Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), a young man painfully striving to impress his pushy dad by becoming a great wrestler, and Emily (Taylor Russell), who is on her own difficult journey toward womanhood. The Emmy-winning Brown embraced this challenging role as a thoughtful framing of the father-son relationship, highlighting the importance of vulnerability within the masculine mindset.

S

his first wife, and the biological mother of his two children, to a drug overdose, and he knows how fragile family can be, and how easily it can be taken away from you. I think that causes him to hold on that much tighter to his children, in particular his son, recognizing that just by virtue of being a young Black man, you can be threatening. Other people can perceive you as a threat. They can perceive you as not being as important, so you don’t want to give anybody any excuses for counting you out, for dismissing your presence. He wants him to be excellent because he recognizes excellence within him. And sometimes that causes him to push a little

When you first read the script for Waves, what was your initial reaction,

training as a wrestler [for the film]. So, we had this conversation and I

too hard, to take the air out of the room to where you don’t give your children the

and what was it that spoke to you

shared [with Kelvin] my concerns for how

space to express their own perspectives,

about this very unique story?

he could be viewed, and how the character

opinions and feelings.

Reading the script was the most unique

could be viewed. Once you do it, and you

reading of a script that I’ve ever had be-

put it out into the world, you can’t fault

done in our presence. If your model for

cause the music cues were embedded in

anybody for how they receive it, and how

being a man is you pull it together and you

the PDF, so you hit the button, you play a

they receive it may run the gamut.

figure it out, then you’re going to pull it

song, and you read the scene. Trey had it

Kelvin said, “I understand. My dad has the

Sometimes we only do what we see

together and figure it out. If you don’t see

scored in his head, how he wanted it to go. I

same fears that you do. But it’s a good part,

vulnerability modeled for you, it can be a

have never done that before. But it’s a really

right?” And I was like, “Yeah, man, it’s a good

difficult thing to take on for yourself.

immersive script—the structure of it being

part.” He said, “Should I not do it, just be-

the perspective of Tyler in the beginning of

cause he’s Black?” And I was like, “Oh, shit.”

As a father, what did you personally take away from Waves?

the movie, and then switching over to the

I realized the reasons that I was

perspective of Emily. I was like, “Wait. Oh,

fearful were actually the reasons why I

My kids are eight and four. Their mother

snap! The movie keeps going.” And thank-

should do it. Because this father prob-

and father are still the center of their

fully, it keeps going, because I do remember

ably has very similar fears for his son that

world, and God, if it could only last forever.

there being a bit of trepidation on my part

I had for Kelvin. You hope and pray that

But I know once we start to get to middle

with a movie where a young Black man kills

your children come back safe and sound,

school, their peer group becomes the

a young girl, and whether or not we’d be

in one piece, and that the world gives

primary influence and you have to take a

feeding into a negative stereotype.

them a fair shake.

back seat. More than anything else, I want

How did you handle that?

How was going from playing a loving

in their life, they can share it with their par-

I talked to Trey about it. I told him what my

father like Randall in This Is Us, to a

ents and they will be loved unconditionally.

concerns were, and he said, “Please, share

demanding man like Ronald?

I never want to create an environment

ideas on what you think we can do to

Pretty awesome, dude. I was actually

where they feel as if they fall short of the

make the film better, because I don’t want

shooting them concurrently. I was flying

expectations that we have set for them...

to lose our audience at the midway point.”

from LA on Friday night to work on Waves

Shit happens. People fall short of the mark.

And then he said, “Maybe you should talk

Saturday and Sunday, and then flying back

You can rebound. And it’s easier to do it

to Kelvin, too,” who was out in Los Angeles

to work Monday through Friday on This Is

together, rather than in isolation. ★

my sons to know that whatever is going on

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Anthony

You’re very private when it comes to your personal life.

M AC K I E

Well, I’m a very private person. I don’t allow people in my life who aren’t private people. I’ve been very fortunate to garner my celebrity through work, not appearance. I live in New Orleans. I live in a very simple neighborhood. I do simple stuff with simple people. I enjoy my anonymity,

Both The Banker and Seberg required collaboration and tireless work to bring truth to their real-life stories BY S T E V I E WO N G

and I’ve always been that way since I was a kid. I’ve never wanted that kind of celebrity, that fame, that notoriety. That’s not the reason I joined the business. When I was in high school I went to art school because I

E MAY HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE CAPTAIN America shield in Marvel blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, but Anthony Mackie shows us a more serious side with Seberg. He plays Hakim Jamal, the real-life Black Panthers activist whose relationship with actress Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) led to her being targeted by the FBI during the late 1960s. Mackie also produced and stars in The Banker—the true tale of the first African American banker in the U.S. Getting the latter film financed taught him a lot about the industry, he says, while telling the story of the hounded Jean Seberg has made him even more grateful for his own privacy.

H

loved acting. When I went to college I went to Julliard because I loved acting. I didn’t love being a celebrity or having my picture taken, I just loved the idea of being an actor. I love words. I love creating. That’s how I’ve been able to stay out of the public eye, just by keeping my head down and staying out of those opportunities to be seen. You’ve also delved into producing. How did you get involved in The Banker? Well, George Nolfi, who wrote it and directed it, is a dear friend of mine. His editing partner, Joel Viertel, was on set when we were doing The Adjustment Bureau 10 years ago and pitched me the

What was it about Seberg’s true story

give the truth of who I thought that person

story. From that point on, I was liter-

that was so interesting to you?

really was.

ally harassing Joel for the past 10 years,

I wasn’t familiar with Jean Seberg’s story at

[asking] what was going on with this

all, but once I read the script and started

Here’s an actress who follows her

project. Finally, I got famous enough and

doing research, I became enthralled by the

political passions but is then punished

Nolfi got time to write it, and we were

idea of this woman being tortured and ma-

for her opinions. It feels like nothing

able to make it happen. I learned a lot

nipulated by the U.S. government. I feel like

has changed since then.

by how hard it was to get The Banker

as a Black man in America, nothing about

Yeah. Everyone who went against the gov-

financed. Hollywood is a very humbling

that story was surprising. Especially if you

ernment and [believed in] what he or she

giant. When you think you’ve arrived,

look at what the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover

stood for, fell as a victim. I think that’s the

they have an innate ability to let you

were able to do to the Black Panther Party

most disturbing part, if you look at how the

know that you have not.

and with Dr. King. She just fell victim to a

Black Panther Party was treated, and how

vicious system that we have been living in.

drugs were introduced into the community

Your character Bernard has spent his

by the government, it’s really heartbreak-

life fighting what the world wants him

Was there a lot of information about

ing to think those types of people were in a

to be. Have you always gone against

Hakim Jamal out there for you?

position of power at that time.

the roles that Hollywood expects?

There wasn’t, but he had written a book,

The funny thing is, being in the public

and it was interesting because it talked a

eye in this day and age is not very differ-

are two movies on my resume I’m not

lot about his time with Malcolm X and his

ent. There’s a mass desire to see people

proud of at all. I’m not going to say which

part in the civil rights movement. For me,

become celebrities just so we can watch

ones they are, but they are fucking awful.

it’s more about his feel. I’m a firm believer

them crumble and fall, to applaud people

I am hyper-aware of the roles I select and

not so much in what you say about your-

just to watch them burn out, especially

the way they’re portrayed. With movies like

self, but what other people say about you.

somebody like Kristen [Stewart]. I mean

8 Mile or The Hate U Give, where I played

I like to hear how your actions make other

so much of her celebrity and fame came

a wannabe bad boy, kick-ass drug dealer,

people feel, to give me an idea of who you

at a young age. We’ve basically watched

they might not be the best of people

are. With Hakim, it was about the conver-

her grow into the young woman that she

character-wise, but I always talk to the

sations with people who spent time with

is today. She’s faced all the public scrutiny

director and the writer and I ask them for

him. That I found the most helpful and

and all of the problems that come along

a moment of humanity. Because we’re all

most interesting. I tried not to impersonate

with people wanting your demise. I think

not the best people, but there’s a reason

him or make a fake image, but more just to

she’s handled it pretty well.

why we’re doing what we’re doing. ★

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100%. From the beginning. Actually, there

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The

Partnership No. 1

PEDRO ALMODÓVAR & ANTONIO BANDERAS

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p

Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas have made eight movies together, and their latest, Pain & Glory, may represent the high point of their collaboration. In perhaps Almodóvar’s most directly autobiographical film to date, Banderas literally wears the auteur director’s clothes to play a Spanish filmmaker named Salvador Mallo. As the character reflects on his youth, and suffers through crippling back pain, he rekindles a friendship with a volatile actor from his past and reconnects with a lost love. Given the rocky road of their own relationship—Almodóvar criticized Banderas for his early-’90s move to Hollywood and it took them years to repair the rift—the parallels are striking. In conversation with Joe Utichi, alongside new portraits by Josh Telles, Almodóvar and Banderas trace their relationship from a whirlwind first encounter through to the effortless sense of catharsis and self-reflection within which Pain & Glory was made.

that I would develop afterwards, in terms of my interest in characters, dialogue, and comic situations. But also, just the way of life and the way of living. Just how you confront life. Everything was related with an extreme freedom. In Pain & Glory, the three main characters, they were safe during the ’80s. And that is something that is very specific. We were young in that moment, so we could enjoy the period. It was something that really marked our lives. Banderas: Being a part of that moment in time, which was called La Movida Madrileña, I lived it very intensely in the ’80s. It’s true what Pedro says: we lived the night so intensely. I remember not getting home before 4AM or 5AM practically every day. My 20s were like that, quite crazy and fun. At the same time as being a part of that with Pedro, I also had an independent life as an actor in the theatre. I used to do theatre—and also movies— with other people. I had that thing going on over there, but there was always Pedro. Pedro became the pivot point of my career; I always returned to

Take me back to the beginning of your journey

Could you have foreseen you would still be

him. Until I left Spain.

together. How did you meet?

together nearly 40 years later?

Almodóvar: He left!

Antonio Banderas: I was working in the Spanish Na-

Banderas: No. That first movie we did, Labyrinth of

Banderas: That was the beginning of the ’90s. I

tional Theatre at the time. We were a group of actors

Passion, is a very choral movie with many different

left behind La Movida. At the time, La Movida was

having coffee in a coffee shop close by, and he ap-

characters and situations.

finishing and something else was starting.

peared with a red briefcase; a famous red briefcase.

Almodóvar: It was just like a pop comedy with musical groups. It was a reflection of the Madrid at

Pain & Glory deals with what happens many

talked 10 minutes, and he was very funny, you could

the time. Madrid was living an incredible explosion

years later. What it means for the people that

tell he was a genius. It was fast, witty. About the

of freedom after the dictator’s death. It was a funny

were part of that moment when they come

time he was standing up to leave, he looked at me

movie with many musical groups.

back together and look back on that time. How

and said, “You should do movies, because you’ve

Banderas: It wasn’t until the third movie we did…

did the stone start gathering moss towards

got a really romantic face.” I said, “OK…”

Almodóvar: Matador, I think.

what this movie would become?

Banderas: Matador, exactly. That’s when we started

Almodóvar: It’s always very mysterious when

and someone said, “He’s Pedro Almodóvar. He

connecting on a different level. At the time, he had

you start writing, because usually the first pages

made a movie, but he will never make another one.”

already decided who was part of his group. It was al-

are not the movie that results. They will become

Pedro Almodóvar: It was some envious guy. He

most like a company of theatre actors, but in cinema.

a script, and after that a movie, but I would be

said, “Almodóvar is never going to make any more

A group that was working all the time with him. We

writing every day about anything; sometimes short

movies.” I remember that.

were together practically the entire time. We used

tales, sometimes just ideas.

He was really talkative. That afternoon, he

He left, and I had no idea who that was. I asked,

And I remember Antonio. He had a big mustache

to go and live the night life of Madrid together, to the

This specific script was started just as you see in

and long hair, and really, the most romantic face. He

discos, to the dinners, to this and that. People like

the movie, writing about those moments when I was

had the perfect body and face to play the classic

Rossy de Palma, Carmen Maura—

in my swimming pool, under the water, and they were

Spanish theatre. In this case it was Lope de Vega, no?

Almodóvar: Victoria Abril. Yeah, it was like my stable

the only moments where I didn’t have any kind of

Banderas: No, it was Calderón. It was about a

company. We worked together, but we also hung out

muscular tension. The only moments I was in peace.

week after, I think, that you came to the theatre

in the wonderful nights of Madrid of that period.

The only problem is that you can’t breathe under-

with Cecilia Roth. They saw La hija del aire, The

Banderas: We were more like a rock group than a

water. It was relieving for me, because I was going

Daughter of the Wind. He came to the dressing

group of people that were making movies, in the

through surgery on my back and I was in a lot of pain.

room and said, “Would you like to do a movie

way that we behaved. We would arrive at places

with me?” I said, “Sure.”

and people would say, “Uh oh, here come the

feeling like a ghost inside the water, alone with your-

Almodóvar: Calderón de la Barca, yes. By that

Almodóvar people.”

self, your mind and your memory. What immediately

moment, more or less, I was writing the script

So, I started there, writing about the situation of

came to me was another stream of water: the river of

for Labyrinth of Passion. I called him to just

What do you think that atmosphere led to in

my childhood, when I went with my mother and our

make a short audition with him. It was just to

terms of the movies you were making? Did the

neighbors while they washed clothes. They sang, they

try something with the camera, to see how he

camaraderie—perhaps the debauchery—feed

talked. I was maybe three or four, and it was the begin-

walked and looked at someone. I knew immedi-

into the work?

ning of storytelling for me, because they told stories

ately that I wanted to work with him on a movie.

Almodóvar: It was so inspiring, because there were

to one another and talked about the things that were

As we worked together, I thought, Oh my God, if

all sorts of peculiar behaviors and peculiar personali-

happening in the rural place we were living in.

I’d have met him sooner I would have given him

ties. It really became a source of inspiration for the

the protagonist of the story. I was so impressed

stories I wanted to tell. The nightlife was so impor-

like a girl who was pregnant by her own father.

with his natural skill to do everything in front of

tant. For me, the nightlife of that moment in Madrid

Sometimes they were awful stories like that,

the camera.

was like my university, where I learned everything

but as I was hearing them, they were everything

I developed these things in Volver, stories

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to me, and they were life. I realize now it was a

send you a script. You’re going to feel me in it, and

very inspiring moment for me. Really, the base of

you’re going to feel the references to many of the

strong women that I wrote in my career was these

stories that we’ve lived in the past. You’re going to

women: my mother and the neighbors, washing

see some of the characters that we’ve put together.”

clothes at the river.

What caught my attention at the beginning was of course the story, but it was also the form. I found it

That’s a very positive look back, but is there

a very simple story in the way he was telling it. It was

regret in the retrospective also?

very austere. It was outside of the normal baroque

Almodóvar: I regret youth. That’s something you

Almodóvar that I know. There was something very

have to learn to live with. When I thought about

honest that ran through the whole script. It sounded

getting older when I was young, I thought I would be

almost like a confession to me in the beginning, even

OK, because by the time I got there I’d have different

if it’s not a confession. It had a feeling of something

necessities than I did when I was 24. I was wrong.

that had been written in a monastery. It’s almost like

I would like to do exactly what I did when I was 24,

if Pedro went to that kind of state in which the movie

but of course I don’t. I don’t hang out; I don’t go out.

starts, in the water, and he wrote it from there.

Yes, I go to see movies and shows—if I didn’t, I would

I think I perceived the truth of the script right

cease to exist—but just to survive you have to live in a

away. That helped me in the process, actually. I was

different way than you did when you were 24.

a little bit afraid. But then, every time I go to work

And when I say youth, by the way, I don’t mean beauty. No, I mean strength.

with him, I am afraid, because he’s very demanding and very, very precise. Almodóvar: I’m awful.

And vitality?

Banderas: No, but it was different [laughs]. This time

Almodóvar: Exactly. A lack of restraint. Energy. And

it was different to anything we had done before. It

that you dare to do everything and you’re not afraid.

doesn’t matter that I was in hell. No, I had the biggest laughs I’ve ever had in my entire career of making

Passion, too? The movie deals with what it’s

movies with him. And we’ve had great times; abso-

like to reckon with passions—both positive and

lutely great, great moments. I can tell you many beau-

negative—that burned bright in youth. Things

tiful stories about the movies we’ve done together.

that you have to let go of. Love, but also hot-

They will always be in my memory. But you’re always a

headed arguments and disagreement.

little apprehensive, for the reasons I described.

Almodóvar: But I even miss those kinds of problems [laughs]. I think I’ve matured very well as a filmmaker. I

This time, that all transformed into something that was very rhythmic between him and me. I don’t know how to describe it. It was some sort of rhythm that we

didn’t really know how to make movies in the begin-

understood and knew how to work. I could approach

ning, and I’ve been learning, one after another, until

him and talk, and it was relaxed. There was something

I made my 21 films. I’ve matured, perhaps, person-

so very magical about it.

ally in the sense that I’ve come to accept whatever

Almodóvar: Sometimes this happens, and it’s very

physical limitations that I have to live with within. In-

weird. We found ourselves not only walking at the

side my head, inside my being, I’m still that 24-year-

same pace, but also on the same path. That really

old. In that sense, I have not quite matured.

created a dynamic that engendered a lot of trust

Anyway, I don’t lie to myself. I know who I am. I

between us, and that is not usual. It is not the normal

know the age that I have. But inside me—and this

way things work. In this case, it happened, and it

is serious—I had always felt, for example, that I’m

was really wonderful. I think this is also why his

a tall man. In my head, I thought I was as tall as

performance is so extraordinary.

Antonio. I got that same feeling that—and this is not

But not only that, I thought at the beginning that

a joke—to be transsexual, you are not born into the

just to make this movie—and I don’t know why I

body that you belong. It took many, many years of

thought this—it would be much harder and tougher

thinking I was tall to realize I wasn’t. I felt that too:

because of the nature, or the implied nature, or the

that I was in the wrong body.

intimate nature of the story. But it was the opposite. It was absolutely faster, quicker and easier.

Antonio, what did you make of the script he

At the same time, it could be as deep as I

delivered to you? You play a man who looks

wanted it. This really is a kind of miracle, because

and lives strikingly like Pedro. And there were

when you start shooting, anything can happen.

moments along the way in your relationship

The nature of a shoot is that there are going to be

where, like the actor character of Alberto in the

problems, and the director’s job is not to let them

movie, you had disagreements. Did you think

get out of hand. Truffaut used to say that shooting a

that character was you?

film was like having yourself and your whole team on

Banderas: I think Alberto, in a way, is a Frankenstein

a train, on a fast track and with no brakes. And that

made of many of the characters of the actors, and

it was the director’s job to make sure the train didn’t

also the actresses too, he has known along the way.

derail. But sometimes it happens in a peaceful and

But actually, he called me, and he said, “I’m going to

blessed way, as this one did.

50

I was a little bit afraid... every time I go to work with him, I am afraid, because he is very demanding and very, very precise.” –B anderas

D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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heart attack. Did you relate on those terms? Banderas: Yeah. It came from many different places. It was not one thing, like we opened this box in the morning with the same suit and wore it every day. No, it was not like that. I think it was a state in which we were allowing things to happen. Sometimes you can get into a state in which you go, “I’m going to do this—I have to—I cannot delay it.” We were really relaxed, and when things came up, we accepted them. I remember moments that were very precise, being in the room and discovering, for example, a reflection in the furniture of red. The camera was going to be on me, but no, let’s go to the furniture and look at that reflection instead. It’s beautiful. It was a state of giving ourselves permission, to just travel with the character and travel with the story without too many impositions. It developed in an easy way, and a way I’ve never really experienced before, not just with Almodóvar, but with any filmmaker. It was a totally different experience of making movies. You mentioned earlier, Pedro, that you were changing over the course of making these 21 movies. How did Pain & Glory, and this experience you both describe, change you? Almodóvar: It’s hard to say. For example, this is something that happened on this particular film, and we were both aware of it. From there, to sort of extrapolate and say it could happen in the future— that we’re now approaching things differently—I think there’s no way of knowing. Perhaps it will, but all we know is that it was different this one time. Banderas: And actually, as we talk about it, it is making us do an exercise that is not good. As we’re thinking all day long about the narrative of how we did this movie, as we discover things, we intellectualize them, and in the moment that you intellectualize something, the magic disappears. It’s exactly what he said: if you try to repeat exactly what we did in this movie, it’s not going to work. You have to find for the

UPON REFLECTION Banderas as Salvador–a version of Almodóvar’s younger self.

ent way. Like you’re riding

state in which you allow these new things to come

one of those bikes that has

freely without you trying to drive it too much.

a sidecar, and you invite

done other things, but I have done things that were

you. There was something

more in the parameters of things I’ve done before.

about the character where

I did a movie with Robert Downey Jr. where I play a

all that was in the layers. Banderas: I was just thinking too, and it’s some-

But I am curious. After I did this movie, I have

the audience to ride with

I loved to think, when I was performing, about

pirate [Dolittle], and that doesn’t have anything to do with this. I’m hungry now for movies that allow me

thing I had not thought of before, that perhaps

that. About being a witness. I am looking at Leon-

to experiment a little bit with what I found doing this

something caught my attention about the charac-

ardo Sbaraglia who plays Federico, but I am also

one. I don’t know if it’ll work or not, but I want to try.

ter that helped. I could smell something in him that

looking in a mirror and seeing myself. I am looking

Almodóvar: It was just wonderful to experience

was not written, but that made him a little bit of a

at my mother and looking at myself. I am looking at

that. I think I will never forget it. I really would like

witness of himself. It was like looking in a mirror; like

Alberto and looking at myself.

to find the same chemistry again that we found in

he was looking in a mirror all the time. There was some transparency there. Let me explain this. I didn’t want—and I think Pedro didn’t either, although we never talked about it—

Maybe it was just a game in my mind, because

a natural way with this one. Perhaps it will be in a

of the fact that Pedro was there the whole time. I

different way. It really is the ideal where you’re work-

could see him every day while I was telling a story

ing, but you also have to know how to work in other

reflecting his own life.

conditions, and also in some very bad conditions.

to manipulate the audience. It was probably very easy

You have to find a way to do it. So, it depends. It de-

to do, but we didn’t want to go there. You want the

The character is facing mortality, and you faced

pends on what the next project is. But the memo-

audience to take the trip with you, although in a differ-

your own at the top of 2017 when you suffered a

ries of this will always be gorgeous. ★ D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

1113 - The Partnership.indd 51

51

11/8/19 11:45 AM


Nicole Kidman

Jordan Peele

Rob Morgan, Onnalee Blank and Jamie Foxx

Quentin Tarantino

Contenders Los Angeles NOVEMBER 2, 2019 The stars aligned in the place it all began for our biggest Contenders event ever, with 38 films and 20 studios in the mix. See more photos at Deadline.com

Noah Jupe

Awkwafina

52

Dean DeBlois

Nia Long

Margot Robbie

Noah Baumbach and Adam Driver

Zack Gottsagen and Shia LaBeouf

RE X /S H U T T ERSTO CK

Lulu Wang

Bong Joon-ho

D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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VIDEO SERIES

THE ACTOR’S SIDE Intriguing one-on-one conversations between Deadline’s awards editor and leading actors of film & television

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Deadline presents AwardsLine Screening Series

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REAL TO REEL: A Netflix Documentary Showcase OCTOBER 25 / NETFLIX LA

54

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OCTOBER 29 PAC I F I C D E S I G N C E N T E R L A

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D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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VIDEO SERIES

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Contenders London OCTOBER 5, 2019

Kristen Stewart

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Jamie Bell, Taron Egerton and Dexter Fletcher

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D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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Untitled-2 1

11/8/19 11:26 AM


NEW YORK

DECEMBER 7, 2019 D G A T H E AT E R 110 WEST 57TH STREET ( I N C L U D I N G A C AT E R E D B R E A K FA S T A N D L U N C H )

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C O N T E N D E R S N Y 2 0 1 9. D E A D L I N E .C O M

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Profile for Deadline Hollywood

Deadline Hollywood - AwardsLine - 11/13/19  

Deadline Hollywood - AwardsLine - 11/13/19