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Between his stand-up comedy, astute writing on pop culture and wonderfully odd performances in movie and TV roles, Patton Oswalt is a something of a modern media renaissance man. He's voiced a rat for Pixar, terrorized a football franchise in the excellent Big Fan, and earned well-deserved praise for his part in last year's Young Adult; and this week, Oswalt appears in director Lorene Scafaria's Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, in a small but funny role as an enthusiastic party-goer who's succumbed to his most wanton desires as the apocalypse approaches. In the spirit of impending doom we chatted with Oswalt earlier this week, and asked him to pick five films he'd want to watch if the world was about to end.
Actor, writer and comedian David Cross is perhaps best known (in certain circles, anyway) for his role on TV's Arrested Development, the cult show that will soon be resurrected, thanks to years of dogged fan enthusiasm, for a feature film. But his credits extend well beyond the role of Tobias -- Cross has featured in numerous TV and film projects, including Mr. Show, Tim and Eric, Kung Fu Panda and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to name but a few. This week, Cross stars in the ensemble comedy drama It's A Disaster, which features four couples holed up in a house as the end of the world approaches. Directed by Todd Berger, making his feature debut, the movie plays at this week's Los Angeles Film Festival en route to a theatrical release later this year. We had a chance to speak with Cross recently, and asked him to pick his five favorite films. "These are not my five favorite movies," he explained. "They are five of my favorite movies (of which I have hundreds)."
One of the breakout stars of the "mumblecore" movement that evolved during the mid-2000s, Mark Duplass has gone from writing, directing and starring in no-budget independent films to successfully adapting his brand of comedy-drama for a (relatively more) mainstream audience. This week, Duplass continues his fertile run with Your Sister's Sister, Humpday director Lynne Shelton's well-reviewed comedy which finds him caught in a love triangle with two sisters -- played by Emily Blunt and Rosemary DeWitt. To mark the movie's opening, Duplass shared his Five Favorite "sibling" Films with us -- doubly fitting, considering his working dynamic with his brother and how much of their stuff revolves around that very relationship.
There aren't many modern American filmmakers with a body of work as unique as that of Wes Anderson. His latest is Moonrise Kingdom, a fantastical tale of imagined childhood that follows two kids -- AWOL scout Sam (Jared Gilman) and moody dreamer Suzy (Kara Hayward) -- on their adventure through adolescent first love. Beautifully calibrated both visually and emotionally, the film, which opened Cannes, is drawing some of the best reviews of the director's career. We had the opportunity to chat with Anderson recently, where he talked about his inspirations for Moonrise Kingdom, his childhood obsessions, and how his experience in animation affected the way he approached his latest project. Read on for that and more, but first, we quizzed him on his Five Favorite Films.
It's been quite the few weeks for Jared Gilman. Just 13 years old, the star of Wes Anderson's latest Moonrise Kingdom has recently returned from Cannes, where the movie opened the festival to great acclaim, and now finds himself on a press tour as the film is breaking limited release box-office records and drawing some of the best reviews of the director's career. We sat down with Gilman recently for a chat about the film and working with Wes Anderson -- which sounds great and all, but what was even more impressive was that he learned how to tie a tie from Bill Murray. Read on for more on that, but first, here are his five favorite films.
Filmmaker Oren Peli caused something of a box-office sensation with his no-budget, found footage spook show Paranormal Activity in 2009 -- the 2007-shot horror frightened more than $100 million out of American audiences' pockets, which is not bad considering the production budget was around $15,000. Peli found further success as the producer of the movie's two profitable sequels, along with working on last year's Insidious and TV's The River. This week he serves as the producer on Bradley Parker's Chernobyl Diaries, a horror about a bunch of tourists who decide it's a good idea to take a holiday in the former Soviet Union's most notorious nuclear waste zone -- where they discover they're not alone. While promoting the film, Peli took a moment to send in his Five Favorite Films, via email -- and here they are.
Comedian, actor, and filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait became a fixture on the stand-up comedy circuit in the '80s and '90s, developing an idiosyncratic persona that he parlayed into a string of movie roles and TV gigs. But rather than ride that schtick into the nostalgia sunset, Goldthwait turned his talents to filmmaking. This week, Goldthwait returns with God Bless America, a delightful valentine to popular culture in which a disgruntled office drone (Joel Murray) and his teenage sidekick (Tara Lynne Barr) go on a cross-country killing spree designed to right the wrongs of contemporary bad manners, reality TV and other social ills. We sat down for a chat with Goldthwait recently; read through for more of his thoughts on the film and his career, but first, here are his Five Favorite Films.
Kathleen Turner began her career in the theater, before a sizzling film debut in Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 thriller Body Heat established her as one of the screen sirens of that decade. Hits ensued: Romancing the Stone, The Man with Two Brains, Prizzi's Honor, Peggy Sue Got Married and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? numbered among her critical and commercial successes, while Turner would gravitate toward the black comedy of The War of the Roses and, later, a delectably unhinged turn as John Waters' Serial Mom. We spent some time recently with Turner to talk about her favorite movies -- a subject that proved to be both challenging and an entertaining glance back at her career.
If there's one actor who was made for the five favorite films quiz, it's John Cusack, the man who spent the better part of High Fidelity dispensing his own top five lists on matters of girls, relationships, and of course, records. Since Cusack is in town to promote The Raven -- a pulpy murder thriller in which he plays the Godfather of American Goth, Edgar Allan Poe -- he decided to run through his five favorite horror films. "We could do the horror genre," he says, "you know, the scariest movies. I've made a couple, but I don't know how good they are --'cause I'm in 'em." Read on for more of our chat with Cusack, in which he talks about his attraction to playing Poe and the many sides of the writer, but first, here are his Five Favorite (Horror) Films.
As any student of popular American cinema knows, the name Lawrence Kasdan is synonymous with some defining movie experiences among audiences of a certain age. One of Hollywood's hot young screenwriters in the '70s, Kasdan was enlisted by George Lucas to help pen The Empire Strikes Back, the film that -- along with the Kasdan co-written Return of the Jedi -- helped transform Star Wars from blockbuster movie into cultural myth. Soon after, Kasdan's second film as director, The Big Chill, effectively captured -- for better or worse -- the feelings (and musical tastes) of a generation of Baby Boomers entering thirtysomething adult life. And between those films, Kasdan's screenplay for Raiders of the Lost Ark was turned into another massive hit -- and enduring piece of movie iconography -- by Steven Spielberg. Kasdan returns after a lengthy hiatus with this week's Darling Companion, a comedy starring Kevin Kline and Diane Keaton about the search for a lost dog that brings on some typically Kasdan-esque moments of life assessment. We sat down for a chat with Kasdan earlier this week, in which he talked about his new film, his long collaboration with Kline, and his favorite memory writing on Empire. Read on for that, but first, he talks about his five favorite movies.
After her stint on the island of J.J. Abram's Lost, Maggie Grace has taken to the big screen with roles in a series of high-profile movies -- including Faster, Twilight: Breaking Dawn and, most famously, Taken, in which she played Liam Neeson's kidnapped daughter. It seems movie villains never learn, however. In this week's Lockout (also from Taken producer Luc Besson), Grace plays the President's daughter, dispatched as an emissary to a floating space prison where -- you guessed it -- she's taken hostage, prompting Guy Pearce's mercenary mission to rescue her. We spoke with Grace this week for a conversation about her five favorite films.
Back in the 1990s, Whit Stillman wrote and directed what might be regarded as three modern American classics. While independent cinema grew saturated with dysfunctional Sundance dramas and pop culture solipsism, Stillman's so-called "yuppie trilogy" -- Metropolitan (1990),
Barcelona (1994) and The Last Days of Disco
(1998) -- instead offered comedic portraits of hyper-literate, obsessive preppy types negotiating a world of social etiquette that felt extracted from another time. Fourteen years (and several aborted projects) after Disco, Stillman at last returns with
Damsels in Distress, which opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles this week. While on the press rounds for the film this week, Stillman took some time out to write about his five favorite films. "These are just five of a possible 55 faves -- or more," he says. "But one has to start somewhere."
In a busy career across movies, stage and TV, Lucy Liu has played all kinds of roles: fashionistas, Charlie's Angels, animated snakes and -- perhaps most memorably -- sword-wielding, scalp-collecting bosses of deadly assassination squads. She's currently appearing in this week's The Trouble with Bliss, an independent New York comedy co-starring Dexter's Michael C. Hall and 21 Jump Street's Brie Larson. With the movie opening in New York, LA and across VOD, Liu called in for a conversation about her role, while also sharing some stories from the Chinese set of The Man with the Iron Fists. Read on for more of the chat, but first up -- her five favorite films.
Lily Collins was born into fame -- her dad, Phil, could bang a drum and write a hit tune or two -- but she found her own way into an acting career, performing in stage productions as a kid before working as a teenage Hollywood reporter and scoring small roles in movies like The Blind Side. This week she steps into the limelight as the star of Mirror Mirror, director Tarsem's visually energetic remix of the Snow White fairytale -- the first, and likely funniest, of this year's adaptations of the classic story. We sat down with the English-born Collins recently in her adopted home of Los Angeles, where she talked about the movie, working with Tarsem and her thoughts on Kristen Stewart's not-really-a-rival take on Snow. First up, she talked us through her five favorite films.
In our final Hunger Games Five Favorites feature, we present Elizabeth Banks, who plays the vapidly effervescent, Effie Trinket. Trinket is the Reaping Day host for district 12, the one who pulled the names out of the lotto and sent Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark on their way to the Capitol where they, and 22 other tributes, fight to death in the Hunger Games arena. We spoke to Banks for illumination into her movie viewing history.
Woody Harrelson is no stranger to eccentric characters; he's played serial killers, pornographers, vigilante superheroes, and stoic zombie hunters. In The Hunger Games, he's Haymitch Abernathy, an alcoholic former Hunger Games winner who mentors two young participants in the fine art of gladiatorial survival. In an interview with RT, the Oscar-nominated actor shared his favorite movies, and discussed his aversion to movie franchises and hi-jinks on the set of Hunger Games.
A little over two years ago, Jennifer Lawrence was a talented yet relatively unknown young actress with a handful of television roles and a few small indie films to her credit. All of that changed when, at age 20, she turned in a powerhouse performance in Debra Granik's bleak 2010 drama Winter's Bone and earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination (the second youngest ever to get the nod) for it. This week, Lawrence takes the next big leap forward, starring in the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' sci-fi novel The Hunger Games. RT was fortunate enough to speak with Lawrence about her career thus far, her training regimen for The Hunger Games, and whether she approaches all films, both big and small, the same way, and of course, her Five Favorite Films.
If things had gone just a little differently for young Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, it might have been his steely grip -- as opposed to that of his brother Chris, who ultimately got the role -- clasping the hammer of Thor. At the same time, if things had gone just a little differently, he also might not have worked on The Last Song, the Nicholas Sparks adaptation in which Liam starred opposite his girlfriend-to-be, Miley Cyrus. The youngest of three Hemsworth brothers -- actors all -- 22-year-old Liam decided to pursue acting at 16 and, after a few stints on Australian television, made the leap to Hollywood in 2009. Though his career has thus far been somewhat overshadowed by those of his brother and famous significant other, this week he embarks on an epic new adventure as one of the central characters in The Hunger Games, which will certainly thrust him into the spotlight. RT spoke with Liam recently about his involvement in the film, his strong family ties, his favorite actors, and the career he'd like to craft for himself, but before we get into all that, here are Liam Hemsworth's Five Favorite Films:
Josh Hutcherson is only 19 years old, but he's already amassed an impressive resume in Hollywood, delivering strong performances in big mainstream fare (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) and critically-acclaimed indies (The Kids Are All Right). He stars in the hotly-anticipated The Hunger Games, playing the good-natured, protective Peeta Mellark. In addition, Hutcherson stars in the forthcoming Red Dawn remake, and acts as an executive producer on the high school horror/comedy Detention. In an interview with RT, Hutcherson shared some of his favorite movies; in addition, he discussed his excitement about bringing the Hunger Games to big screen life and why the movie's action scenes reminded him of his childhood in Kentucky.
In the odd chance that you happened to be watching Mexican telenovelas sometime in the last five or six years, you may have locked eyes upon Genesis Rodriguez, a young actress who was a regular cast member on several shows before moving to Los Angeles for an arc on Entourage. You're also likely to enjoy her performance as Will Ferrell's absurdly radiant paramour in this week's Casa de mi Padre , a movie that riffs heavily on the telenovelas of Rodriguez's past. We sat down with Rodriguez for a chat last week, in which she reflected on working with Ferrell and his intentions behind playing a Mexican. Plus, she talked a little about working with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the forthcoming Last Stand. First, though -- before we ran out of time -- she ran through her all-time five favorite comedies...