April 16, 2014

Tag Archives: Billy Connolly

Dustin Hoffman Dishes on His Directorial Debut Quartet

Dustin Hoffman, one of the most celebrated actors of our time, opens up in the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine about stepping out of his comfort zone for his directorial debut Quartet, redefining retirement in Hollywood and how his latest film drove him to ponder how far he’s come and how little he’s changed.
The Academy Award® winner is also being recognized for his Breakthrough Achievement in directing by AARP The Magazine with a 2012 Movies for Grownups® award.

The following are excerpts from the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine cover story, available in homes today and online NOW at www.aarp.org/magazine.
On his directorial film debut, Quartet:
“An honest answer: I directed a play on Broadway. I blamed my own demons for waiting 35 years to do it again. Why did I fight it? Because it’s a thrilling opportunity to be the one who holds the paintbrush.”
“As we were working on the film, I asked Billy Connolly [one of its stars], ‘What’s the movie about?’ And he said, ‘Don’t die until you’re dead.’ I thought that nailed it.”
On what drew him to Quartet:
“It’s an affirmative movie but still reality. There’s this cloud of mortality hovering over the characters and blinding them.”
On using real musicians ages 70-plus in Quartet:
“Brilliant artists—and no one had rung their phone for 30 or more years. They showed up at 6 every morning and worked sometimes 14 hours a day without a whimper, with such dedication and joy. It infected all of us.”
On retiring:
“I think ‘retirement’ goes hand in hand with people who make a living by having a ‘job.’ I don’t think we—the .00001 percent of the population who are so fortunate to love passionately what we do—consider it a ‘job.’”
On his ideal age and growing older:
“I wouldn’t trade now for anything.”
“What we all want is to continually grow and expand. I’ve discovered that as the body becomes more limited, the soul expands.”
On the differences between men and women:
“I think men are the weaker of the genders and live a more limited life than women. For whatever reasons, men run from intimacy. If you run from intimacy, you’re running from what life can give you.”
On mortality:
“My wife says I’ve been worrying about it since we started going out. But at a certain point your icons change. There’s Manoel de Oliveira, who’s still directing at 104. And I recently read about a 94-year-old guy who had just [...]

Is Dustin Hoffman going to be nominated for director?

Last night, the 35th annual Kennedy Center Honored Dustin Hoffman among others. We are very proud of Dustin Hoffman. His new film and directorial debut,”Quartet,” is doing very well and it has been recognized by many organizations.
Dustin Hoffman has long harbored a desire to direct a film, and having only ever done so on stage, he can officially call himself a Director this year with the release of his first feature film “QUARTET.” Debuting at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, “QUARTET” stars Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly, and Sir Michael Gambon. Based on the play by Ronald Harwood, the film follows four retired opera singers as they attempt to put on a concert to save their beloved home — and celebrate Verdi’s birthday in the process. Of his experience with the first time director, Connolly explains, “Dustin’s a brilliant director because he’s such a brilliant actor, so he directs like an actor.” “QUARTET” is due out in limited release on December 28.
With a career spanning more than five decades in front of the camera, Dustin Hoffman is one of the world’s most accomplished and highly regarded actors. Garnering 2 Academy Awards (and 7 nominations), 5 Golden Globes, 4 BAFTAs and an EMMY, Hoffman’s impressive resume boasts such critically acclaimed and commercial hits as “THE GRADUATE,” “ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN,” “RAINMAN,” “MIDNIGHT COWBOY,” “KRAMER VS. KRAMER,” “TOOTSIE,” “WAG THE DOG,” “MEET THE FOCKERS,” and “LAST CHANCE HARVEY. ”

Last October, the 2012 Hollywood Film Awards also honored Richard Gere for career achievement; Bradley Cooper for actor; Marion Cotillard for actress; Robert De Niro for supporting actor; Amy Adams for supporting actress; Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and the cast of “Argo;” John Hawkes for breakout performance; David O. Russell for director; Dustin Hoffman for breakthrough director; Quentin Tarantino for the screenwriter award; Quvenzhané Wallis for the New Hollywood Award; Samantha Barks, Bella Heathcote, Tom Holland, John Magaro, Ezra Miller, and Kelly Reilly with the Spotlight Awards; Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for producers; Wally Pfister for cinematographer; Dylan Tichenor for editor; Sarah Greenwood for production designer; Peter Ramsey with “Rise of the Guardians” for animation; and Jeff White with “The Avengers” for visual effects.
The Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on October 22, 2012. The event honors cherished stars and up-and-coming talent, and traditionally kicks off [...]

Happy Father’s Day, from Disney/Pixar’s BRAVE

HollywoodNews.com: Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. From Disney and Pixar, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida(voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition and challenges destiny to change her fate.
“Brave” follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources – including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers – to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.
Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor that audiences of all ages around the world have come to eagerly expect. The film takes aim at theaters on June 22, 2012, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
A grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor, “Brave” uncovers a new tale in the mysterious Highlands of Scotland where the headstrong Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) defies an age-old custom and inadvertently unleashes chaos, forcing her to discover the meaning of true bravery before it’s too late. Opens June 22, 2012, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

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Peter Jackson concludes “Hobbit” casting with Billy Connolly

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: You would think that Peter Jackson had buttoned up his “Hobbit” casting, given the fact that filming has been underway for weeks (maybe months) now, and we’ve already seen extended footage and a full trailer.
But the great Billy Connolly has landed a key role, according to a press release, and should finalize the casting on what’s without question one of the most anticipated one-two punch for 2012 and ’13.
Connolly will play Dain Ironfoot, a great dwarf warrior and cousin of Thorin Oakenshield, in Jackson’s two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”
“We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connelly, the Big Yin himself,” Jackson said in a statement to THR. “With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of ‘The Hobbit’ is now complete. We can’t wait to see him on the Battlefield!”
Connolly joins Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis, who will return as Gollum in the films.
We’ll see the first part, “An Unexpected Journey,” on December 14, but then will have to wait a full year for the conclusion, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” which reaches theaters on December 13, 2013.
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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

Pixar’s “Brave” shares two exclusive images

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: As a Pixar fan (and who isn’t, right?), I’m anxiously awaiting next summer’s “Brave” for two key reasons.
First, I need the animation studio to wash the wretched taste of “Cars 2” out of my mouth. As the father of two boys – who, admittedly, don’t mind the sequel – I’ve had to endure the misguided effort on multiple occasions since the Blu-ray release, and it breaks my heart a little more every time I sit through what honestly feels like a slapped-together sequel.
Secondly, I’m excited for the studio to return to the realm of original storytelling. We’ve endured “Toy Story” and “Cars” sequels since Pixar produced “Up.” We have a “Monsters Inc.” prequel on the horizon. “Brave” appears to be a fresh story from the studio that used to crank out memorable fare, and I hope it puts them right back on the pedestal of family entertainment.
Empire has posted two exclusive images from “Brave.” One is above. The other is below. What is that blue light? Makes me wonder.
The film tells the story of Scottish archer Merida, whose parents – King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) – want her to settle down. But Merida, seeking to march to her own drum, makes a decision that goes against her family’s culture, with significant ramifications.
“Brave” features the voices of Kelly Macdonald, Thompson, Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane. It will be in theaters on June 22, 2012.

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Jack Black straps in for latest “Gulliver’s Travels” trailer

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Jack Black has been quiet lately. Outside of a guest spot on NBC’s “Community,” the actor hasn’t appeared on screen since 2009’s “Year One.” His fans are probably hoping he’ll come back with something big.
This might qualify.
Black is headlining a rejuvenated telling of “Gulliver’s Travels” for director Rob Letterman. It will be released on Dec. 22, from 20th Century Fox. And it has an excellent supporting cast. As Black ventures into the land of Lilliput, he’ll be surrounded by Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Amanda Peet and the great Billy Connolly. So there’s hope.
A full trailer for “Travels” finally made its way online. It’s over on Moviefone. Watch the new trailer below:

Will it work? It likely will make money, as “Travels” will sail into theaters ion 3D, enjoying an instant ticket bump. This seems like the kind of project that Black can carry with his own unique energy. We’ll find out next month.
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Jack Black charts hilarity in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

HollywoodNews.com: Despite getting a so-so response at Comic-Con, Jack Black is excited about his upcoming December adventure comedy “Gulliver’s Travels.”
The film is an updated adaptation of the classic book. Black plays Lemuel Gulliver. Emily Blunt portrays the Princess of Lilliputia and the buzz is that she steals all the laughs from Black.
Talking about the update with MTV News, Black exclaims, “We’ve taken some liberties. We’ve updated it; we’ve modernized with a pinch of spice as well.”
Black became wowed by the Jonathan Swift novel upon being introduced to it.
“Of course [I've read it]! Are you kidding me? And let me tell you something, if I hadn’t, I would have never have sent it to you,” says the actor quipping before setting the record straight:
“No, I hadn’t, actually, when I was first offered the project. But I quickly read it and was blown away by it. One of the great masterworks of fantasy and fiction.”
“Gulliver’s Travels” bows December 22 in 3D. The 20th Century Fox film also stars Jason Segel, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly and T.J. Miller. Rob Letterman of “Monsters vs. Aliens” fame helmed the production; his first live-action title.
Jack Black’s last film at the box office was last summer’s “Year One” which generated over $43 million at the domestic B.O.
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Photo Credit: PR Photos
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