Quentin TARANTINO: Cannes 2014 Press Conference
Omar Sy Talks X-Men: Days of Future Past
The film is based on the comic book storyline “Days of Future Past,” which ran in Uncanny X-Men #141 and 142 back in 1981 during Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run and introduced the idea of an alternate future for Marvel’s mutants that grew out of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants killing an important senator, leading to a future where all mutants are hunted by Sentinels.
For Sy, who plays Bishop, the film is his biggest profile he won critical acclaim and became the 1st Black Actor To Win César Award For Best Actor (French Equivalent Of Oscars) for his 2012 film, "The Intouchables." Besides this X-Men film, Sy has "Good People" opposite James Francocoming out and has a featured role in another big franchise film "Jurassic World."
How much did you know about the character prior to taking on the role?
Omar Sy: Before the film, nothing. I heard about Bishop when I was in the producer’s office and he told me the film, ‘Days of Future Past,’ and introduced me to Bishop. I then started to do research and found out that Bishop is a big character.
How would you describe your character Bishop?
OS: Bishop is a mutant who is capable of traveling through time. His power is to absorb energy and give it back through a gun. He’s also a soldier, fighting to free the mutants. He comes from an apocalyptic future and he has to fight for freedom because he was raised in a mutant camp. That’s why he has a “M” in his eyes and he escaped and comes back to free others.
Had you seen the previous X-Men films?
OS: Of course. I’m a big fan. Before this film, I would say that the first film is my favorite and then "First Class."
OS: Just to be a superhero. To be an X-Men is a childhood dream. It’s cool to be in it.
With so many actors in the film, what was it like working with those in your scenes?
OS: It was cool. It was amazing for me and unbelievable. I was nervous coming to the set on the first day. The night before I couldn’t sleep, but once I got there, the cast was very warm and welcoming. Sometimes we had dinner together, but at times, after long days of shooting, the best we all needed was sleep.
How long did it take to put on the costume and makeup?
OS: It took two hours for the brand (M) as well as the hair.
Have you ever grown your hair long?
OS: Never. I used to have dreadlocks.
Do you believe Bishop can have his own story?
OS: You have to write that because I want to, and maybe it will give the producers an idea.
Will Bishop be part of the Apocalypse phase, which is also going to be a film?
OS: Yeah. He is. He is one of the X-Men in the future. As far as being in the film, I don’t know.
How has life been after "The Intouchables"?
OS: From the first time we met, when I did interviews for that film, I think I speak better English. There’s been a lot of change, but I living my dream.
OS: I’m the bad guy for the first time in my life. It was really interesting and funny to play that role. That’s one of the changes I’ve had, to be able to play that sort of role.
Then there, "Jurassic World." Are you allowed to talk about your role in the film?
OS: All I can say is that I was on the set recently and it’s cool. It’s really good to work with the director Colin Trevorrow. He’s a good guy, a very talented guy. I met Chris Pratt and we did some scenes together. He’s a good actor and funny guy. I also had time to say hello to Bryce Dallas Howard. She’s nice too. It’s a new team and a new adventure. I’m happy.
With these two big franchise films, is there anything else you are looking to do?
OS: The universe will tell us.
When you are not filming, what keeps you grounded?
OS: I stay with my family. I try to be a good husband and good dad. That’s my real life.
What’s next for you?
OS: I have "Sambe" coming out in October in France. That was directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, the guys who did "The Intouchables." I will also be shooting "Chocolat," the story of Rafael Padilla the first black celebrity in France who was known as Chocolate the black clown. I have other projects coming up as well.
Jamie Foxx Talks "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"
By Wilson Morales —April 29, 2014
Coming out this week in the States — after making its debut overseas — is Marc Webb’s "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, and Marton Csokas.
It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.
For Foxx, playing the role of Max Dillon wasn’t an easy call for the studio. But, having starring in Quentin Tarantino’s acclaimed "Django Unchained," and seeing his status rise internationally, helped propel execs to give him this opportunity.
How much did you want to go all out as the villain? Was everything on the script or did you throw some flavor to the character?
Jamie Foxx: Of course, there were things that were cut out. As an actor, you have to leave room for everyone else and for other different reasons, you have to keep it kid-friendly. I’m excited about the opportunity or the chance that when they bring Sinister Six back, and Electro being part of that, you can see him in his full villain mode, because this film is really the genesis. He’s only been bad for a few minutes. I want to see when he’s perfected his energy and perfected his craft.
When you signed on for the role, were you aware you may come back in Sinister Six?
JF: We’ll still not aware, but it’s in the air right now. Like any person who is smart in this business, you make sure you campaign for yourself. So, when they do say that they want to turn this on and that you will part of the band, you’re ready to go.
How long did it take to get into make-up?
JF: About four and a half hours at first, and then once I got the rubber suit, it was about an hour and a half. It was all well worth it. When you see the finished product and how you look and everything, and some of the pictures that are out, are really rock star status. When you see the way Electro looks on some of these posters, it’s crazy.
JF: It’s the same thing. When you know you have to be able to get into that suit, you have stay away from the buffet table a couple of times and stay limber. I had a different way of training. It was more stretching and playing basketball as opposed to the heavy weights I had for "Any Given Sunday" or in "Django" [Unchained]. That’s always good in our business to have to be in shape for a film because it gets you in shape.
Prior to taking on the role, how much did know about the character Electro?
JF: What’s interesting is that we knew about Electro because of the Max character. I knew before getting the call that Max was the key ingredient to Electro. Max is in his 40s and used to be married, but they didn’t want to show that in that film. I brought that in and said, “You know he’s married,” but they said they didn’t have enough time. His father left and he lived with his mom. They took the mom part out of the film, which I thought would have been more key to see where he comes from because the relationship between Max and his mom was really important. Here is someone mom says she loves but really doesn’t and in the way we had it in the script was that it was his birthday and his mom doesn’t remember it. In the script, when he’s turning into Electro, he goes back to his mom to explain and she doesn’t want to hear it. He hugs her and electrocutes her, which is more comic book style but they felt that for the kids, it wasn’t the right thing to do. We weren’t comic book fanatics like some of the guys at Comic Con but we definitely followed our favorite superheroes like Spider-Man, or in my case, when Robert Downey Jr. took over as Iron Man. I was like, “Wow! That’s the perfect Tony Stark.” It’s always good to some knowledge when you go into it so you understand that when they are telling you certain things that you can and can’t do, it has to do with the fans.
Did your recent exposure help for you to get the role?
JF: The success of "Django" dictated a lot overseas and when it did well, it was the highest grossing film in Germany and the biggest pirated film in China of all-time. When asked, Sony exec Amy Pascal saw that it made sense for me to play the role. There’s the question of “Do African Americans sell internationally?” It’s no secret in our business that’s the question being asked. It was even asked before I did "Annie." There’s a computer and you can look where your international meter is at. Because of "Django" and because of my music like ‘Blame It On The Alcohol’ and ‘Gold Digger’ and things like that, the meter is up. When ‘Django’ came out, I told Quentin Taratino that he turns stars into legends, and the Django character is a legendary character. I walked the streets of Rome, Paris, and Singapore and people are screaming the Django name and their ages range from 9 to 90. I still tip my hat to Quentin for putting me in that role.
JF: Here’s the tricky about winning the Oscar. Oscars can hurt you. Oscars can hurt the way you perceive yourself. I would constantly tell my people, “Hey, I know I won the Oscar, but I don’t want to go speaking in an English accent and wearing an ascot.” I think it hurts you in the sense of what you are going to do with your career. Everything is not going to be an Oscar. Everyone is not going to win an Oscar. People just don’t win two or three Oscars. They just give them out like that. What I didn’t want to do was kill myself trying to win one. There were certain things that I wouldn’t do and I did the music or I would go and do stand-up, anything from just being known as “The Oscar winner.” Although it’s the most incredible feeling and the most incredible feat in the world because you walk through a small door that not a lot of people go through. There’s Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker and myself.
It is so amazing but sometimes when you wait for that script with the Oscar, you could die on the vine. So my thing was to go out and tell jokes right now. After I won the Oscar, I went out and told jokes. I want to do a comedy and a musical and be a bad guy and a western. I was lucky in these ten years by not blowing way up with the big commercial films. What I see now is that sometimes when you’re known for that big commercial film, you do lose a little bit because if people are used to seeing you that way, then you can’t go back to do movies that have that heart and soul that could probably get you nominated. I’m sort of glad that it went like this. There were some good and there were some bad. But the one thing that we did keep intact was the integrity of what the performance was. It’s almost like hitting the reset button.
What do we expect to see from Motherfucker Jones in "Horrible Bosses 2"?
JF: "Horrible Bosses 2" is funny. They want to do a Motherfucker Jones the movie now and I’m like, “I’m with it.” It became a cult hit with college kids so it should be fun.
JF: There’s certain people that a knack in this business that you don’t know how they do it, but they know how to do it. Will Smith, James Lassiter, Caleb Pinkett and Jay-Z. No one could get the rights to ‘Annie’ for years. Jay-Z gets the rights. Will Smith gets the rights. They are going to do their version of it and all of a sudden here comes Quvenzhané Wallis, who did a fantastic job in a movie and got nominated for an Oscar at the age of 8. Now the stars are lined up. Here’s Annie who we all know and here’s Quvenzhané, who can really personify our day. Will Gluck the director did something smart. He did a movie that happens to be a musical as opposed to doing a musical. When you see Quvenzhané, she’s able to hit you somewhere by the way she acts and then the music takes you to another place.
Kate Beckinsale on "Whiteout"
The same actress who landed her first feature role in Kenneth Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing" in 1993 has gone on to carve out one of the most interesting careers of any actress in the business. Although celebrated for her stunning beauty, Kate Beckinsale has never been one to shy away from earthy roles in films such as "Brokedown Palace" (1999), "Laurel Canyon" (2002), or Atom Egoyan's 2008 "Nothing But the Truth." No stranger to comic book action films (the "Underworld" franchise, and the unfortunate "Van Helsing" - 2004), Kate's current role in an adaptation of the "Whiteout" graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber, finds the British beauty playing U.S. Marshall Carrie Stetko who gets assigned to Antarctica to investigate the continent's first murder. Murder mystery proves an ideal genre for the ever-impressive Beckinsale to exert her athletic physicality in an unforgiving cold climate for which Manitoba did Antarctic stand-in duty. At a recent press conference in LA, Kate Beckinsale shared her thoughts about her role, Manitoba, and working in other genres.
KB: It's hard to say. It may have been, but I think nothing was harder than going from never having done it before to doing it. I'd had a background in ballet before I did "Underworld," and so the whole training/physical thing wasn't a complete shock and totally new to me. Before filming, I'd never been dragged around on a homemade surfboard through snow, but in the realm of action movies, there's nothing like the first time. It was definitely manageable. We had a great stunt team.
CS: How was this kind of action movie different from fighting vampires?
KB: It was a lot colder. It was a lot more intense actually because we were all worried we were going to die of hypothermia every other second. It's a woman in an extreme situation with extreme weather. Being the only girl--I've done that a couple of times now--it was much more intense just because of the weather.
CS: Did you have to do much CGI work for this movie?
KB: We weren't doing a lot of reacting to stuff that wasn't there. I haven't had a huge amount of experience with that--I imagine that's quite difficult, but when we're being dragged through snow, we're [really] having stuff thrown at us.
CS: Will you ever do another "Underworld"?
KB: I don't know anything about a fourth "Underworld" at this point. It was always conceived as a trilogy, and I was never going to be in the third one. I think if they came up with an amazing script then, sure, I wouldn't be averse to it, but it's not planned or anything. I don't think my daughter needs to see my bottom in rubber for another ten years. I heard they were talking about a fourth one, but I don't know if that's officially happening or if that's just a rumor. As far as I'm concerned it's a rumor.
CS: How was it working in Northern Manitoba?
KB: When we arrived they put a small telephone directory under our hotel doors the night before we started shooting saying, "These are the different ways it is possible to die here, from being too cold, or from being too hot if you keep your clothes on too long when you go inside, or if you've ever had an alcoholic drink, or if you breathe in a westerly direction." We all panicked. The most I remember was taking off and putting on 15 layers of clothes about 70 times a day. There's a game in England where you put on loads and loads of clothes and then you get to eat chocolate, but [in Manitoba] the chocolate never showed up. When we first came up, the men all had beards full of ice that I thought was from make-up department tests, but it wasn't--it was real. My hair froze into a point just from breathing on it. Living in England, I never had to handle cold that was anything like that.
On the very first day--coming out of the trailer--I didn't know if I was going to be able to speak at all--say a line ever--because my throat closed on that first breath.
KB: In Winnipeg, I got a root canal, which was excellent and it's held up really well. The dentists were fantastic in Winnipeg. In cold weather they have great things to do inside with kids, so I went to awesome museums and children's theater places. I had my daughter with me for the whole thing. I got to do a lot of that stuff in Winnipeg.
CS: What other types of genres would you like to explore?
KB: Well, I shot an independent movie while I was shooting this movie. So I've done three or four independent movies, and now this. I'd love to do some comedy actually. I'd like to maybe do a character that's English. I'd like to maybe do something more classical. But I really enjoy doing lots of different types of things, so I hope that continues.
CS: You've been living in the states for a while now. Do you ever get homesick for England.
KB: I've just come back from being in London for five months. I was a little homesick actually, and my daughter went to school there for a little bit. I went to see some of my relatives, so I've got it out of my system for a little while. Five months was a good long time. I've been working so much that I haven't really been able to do that since moving here six or seven years ago. So, because I was taking a bit of a break it was nice to be able to go home for a little bit.
I'm always open to working in England. It just hasn't really come up.