Preparing for an interview with Russell Brand is basically a fruitless endeavor, in that he will take whatever question you manage to ask, half answer it and then digress into sordid and/or hilarious territory. Such was the case when I chatted with him at the "Arthur" press day over the weekend, where a discussion about a 35-year-old billionaire with a nanny lent itself toward the ridiculous.
Eventually, we got around to discussing the movie adaptation of Neil Strauss' Motley Crue bio, "The Dirt," and the fact that Strauss recently told me that the film's screenwriter Rich Wilkes wants Brand to play Tommy Lee.
Before I even got to my actual question as to whether he'd be interested in the movie, Brand pronounced the man he'd like to play: "Nikki Sixx!"
At this point in his career, Matthew McConaughey has established himself enough in Hollywood that people recognize him from dozens of roles, whether gripping law dramas, romantic comedies or would-be blockbusters. However, speaking to the one iconic role for which many film fans remember him and approach him for, McConaughey said that nothing beats the recognition he receives for his big screen debut as smooth-talking David Wooderson in "Dazed and Confused."
When MTV News caught up with the actor recently during the press day for his new film "The Lincoln Lawyer," he revealed that the fans of Richard Linklater's nostalgic look at life as a teenager in the '70s are the coolest.
“You got Dazed & Confused fans who love Wooderson. They’re the coolest fans," he said. "They never really want me to sign anything, but they love to come by and say half of one line I said [in the film], and I’ll throw the other half out ... sometimes just in passing, and then I’ll start laughing and they’ll hear me laughing and we never even really caught eyes."
Woe is the plight of the "Arrested Development" movie. We want to see it! The fans want to see it! The cast members want to make it! (Well, almost all of them.) So why the heck can't we get this show on the road? 'Tis a neverending puzzle that at this point will have to live on via the non-news updates we get from various involved parties.
When MTV News caught up with director Paul Feig (who directed seven episodes of the TV show) at the PaleyFest's "Freaks and Geeks" reunion recently, I asked him if he had heard any news about the long-delayed production. Unsurprisingly, and much like all the other players I've been harassing over the years, he laughed at the question.
We've all seen the stereotypical "fraternity movie," complete with raunchiness, college boy antics, hazing, boozing, and more.
In the new film "Brotherhood," which won the audience award at last year's SXSW film festival, and is currently in select theaters and available on-demand, the intense and unpredictable thriller tackles those issues of hazing and group psychology head-on. Jon Foster, Trevor Morgan, Arlen Escarpeta and Lou Taylor Pucci star.
"[This film] is about a lot of things," Foster told MTV News when asked to summarize "Brotherhood." "But the quickest and fastest way is, a fraternity that has gone really wrong. You know? On another level there’s kind of an exposure of group mentality."
In addition to the anticipation for "How To Train Your Dragon 2," which star Jay Baruchel called a "Chapter 2," not a straight sequel, another one of the actor's buzzworthy projects is his upcoming bloody hockey comedy "Goon."
MTV News recently caught up with Baruchel at the PaleyFest reunion for his TV show, "Undeclared," wherein we asked him for an update on his pet project.
"I saw a rough cut of it last week and it's phenomenal," Baruchel said. "It's easily the best hockey that's ever been captured on film, it has the most legit fighting that I've seen in movies in a decade, it's damn funny and my fiancee [Alison Pill] is beautiful and amazing in it so yeah, life is great!"
When news broke that a "Gambit" remake was in the works, I could almost feel the collective brows raising among the legions of classic film aficionados.
Granted, said remake has Joel and Ethan Coen behind the script, fresh off their biggest box office success ever with "True Grit," as well as recent Oscar-winner Colin Firth playing Harry Tristan Dean, the role established by treasured thespian Michael Caine. But then came word that Cameron Diaz is playing Nicole Chang, a role that Shirley MacLaine made famous in the 1966 original. Diaz isn't the most obvious successor to MacLaine, sure, but maybe she doesn't need to be.
When I caught up with Diaz recently as she was rushing into the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Sunday, I asked her how prep was going on the film. Our exchange was brief, but she assured me that the "Gambit" remake is very much its own entity -- in other words, don't expect her to channel Shirley MacLaine for her upcoming performance.
With the ever-changing, ever-flowing news cycle surrounding the goings on in the film industry these days, it gets tougher and tougher to get concerned parties to actually confirm or break news. Nevertheless, our tireless team of intrepid reporters here at MTV News will not give up in trying to push people for info! Like whenever we happen upon super producer Brian Grazer and pump him for details about "The Dark Tower," for example...
The last time we checked in with Grazer, the Roland casting process was moving along, but slowly. When I stopped him while on his way into the Vanity Fair Oscar party last Sunday, solely with the purpose of peppering him about the reported casting of Javier Bardem as the ruthless gunslinger, he seemed pleasantly puzzled by the fact that MTV is so interested in the project.
"'Dark Tower,' Javier Bardem, that's what we're hoping," Grazer said when I asked him for an update. "We're in the process of trying to put that together. Will that make you happy? Will that make MTV happy?"
Good news for fans of the most disfunctional couple from Judd Apatow's "Knocked Up." The spinoff movie is not only planned and greenlit, it is set to start shooting very soon.
On Oscar night, MTV News caught up with the talented and funny couple responsible for making and acting in the movie, Apatow and wife Leslie Mann, we asked them how things are coming along with the film.
"It's spinning off right now, as we speak," Apatow told me outside the fancy shmanz Vanity Fair Oscar party Sunday night.
"We're in rehearsals," Mann said, adding that her character and Rudd's character will be seen at a different place in their marriage than in "Knocked Up."
Anyone who has been following the campaign for Nicolas Cage's new action-adrenaline thriller "Drive Angry" should know by now that while the film is not a likely awards contender, the trailers give enough away for filmgoers to know what they're getting themselves into.
This is Cage at his absolute "Cage-iest," supported by pretty Amber Heard and favorite character actor William Fichtner stealing every scene he's in. The death scenes are creative and crazy violent, coupled with "car porn" by way of stunt sequences that feature gorgeous and classic muscle cars.
But this is not a film for everyone, of course. According to Cage himself, "Drive Angry" is a film for the "midnight audiences." When MTV News caught up with the actor at a recent press event for the film, I asked him to define the late night moviegoers.
The plight of "The Three Stooges" has been a long one. Thirteen years long, according to Pete and Bobby Farrelly, who are inching closer and closer to an actual start date for production on the film. First, three heavyweight actors were cast, then they all dropped out. Then three other less-heavyweight, but comedically-qualified types were rumored to have signed on. But have they really?
MTV News recently caught up with the brothers Farrelly during the press day for their upcoming comedy "Hall Pass," and I asked them to address the rumors -- specifically, if Johnny Knoxville, Andy Samberg and Aussie comedian Shane Jacobson were a 'go' to play the Stooges.
"No, there’s been a lot of casting speculation on 'The Three Stooges," Bobby said. "All I can say is that we are going to make the movie, we’re going to make it this spring. We have not finalized casting yet."