We all know those couples where we love him, and hate her – or vice versa. It makes them so hard to be around as a pair.
When it comes to “Iron Man,” I’m crazy about the wise-cracking, world-weary Tony Stark as played by Robert Downey, Jr. He’ can make me laugh by just raising an eyebrow at the right time. He cracks a one-liner like a whip. But I just can’t see him staying with Gwyneth Paltrow’s prissy Pepper Potts through serial sequels. Am I alone?
Here are ten reason for Stark to call it splits:
1. She’s not that into you.
2. Your love connection with Pepper would flunk Chemistry 101
3. In this era of sexual harassment at the workplace, it’s dumb to sleep with the help. What if she accuses you of assault ‘n Pepper?
4. We just hate Gwyneth – and we’re not alone. Star Magazine called her the most irritating celebrity. She’s a boring carrot.
5. She’ll make you eat your vegetables.
6. She has a sense of humor deficit.
7. You’re an international playboy, Tony. Work it!
8. She’s a pompous know-it-all – but did she come up with the iron suit? No! You did.
9. She’s a bossy boots.
10. More Scarlett, less Gwyneth.
You could almost walk by “The Avengers” star Clark Gregg without knowing he’s a movie actor. Not exactly something you could say about Chris Hemsworth of “Thor.”
Sure, you’d wonder, ‘Where do I know that guy with the high forehead from?”
Maybe you’d think it was your high school science teacher, or a guy your girlfriend dated back in college, or someone that stood in front of you in line at Whole Foods.
As Gregg sat across from me at a café table at 55 Gansevoort Street during the Tribeca Film Festival, there’s an instant feeling that we’d known each other forever. That’s because he’s a very good actor, and his forte is playing regular guys – like Agent Phil Coulson.
What’s behind this everyman’s staying power from his first role in “Iron Man” through his expanded story arc in Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers?”
In his characteristically humble way, Gregg told me: “Mostly I’ve been mystified myself.
“I had a tiny role in “Iron Man” but there was a rapport between me and Tony Stark,” Gregg continued. “I grew up reading comics. I could have died right there and been happy. But when Joss Whedon said I was going to be in ‘The Avengers,” I thought my character was going to bring in a java.”
Agent Coulson has a lot more to do in “The Avengers” than carry coffee. Coulson is critical to the storyline. So, talking to Gregg, I was curious: I’d just seen Agent Phil die an apparently grisly death last summer. How was he going to star in Whedon’s TV movie, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?”
“It seemed like I was pretty dead,” nodded Gregg. “I was waiting for a last minute rewrite from the governor!”
But, unlike a “Game of Thrones” character –Sean Bean’s Ned Stark for example – this was not the end for Agent Coulson. Sure, there was a lot of blood, but there was no death rattle, no final shot of eyes wide open. The fans demanded his return — and writer-director Whedon gave them what they wanted.
“There’s something people like about this guy,” said Gregg. “Joss picked up on it. Coulson is a fanboy himself. Whedon fans started this movement – the ‘Coulson Lives’ hashtag. All over the world, fans painted ‘Coulson Lives’ on bridges. It was a kind of civil disobedience. ‘Colson lives; Fury lies.’”
So, how did Coulson survive? Leave it to the comic book conspiracy theorists. “The superhero collector’s cards were in the locker, not on his body, is one of the theories,” said Gregg. “The fact that the fans refusal to let Coulson die was so moving to me. I think it was because he was them: he was the fanboys’ avatar.
“There are people around the Avengers that don’t have their invincibility,” explained Gregg. “These normal folk have to step up, especially when the superheroes were acting like diva bitches.”
At the “Iron Man 3” premiere last night, Whedon confirmed that Agent Phil Coulson survives and stars in the upcoming TV spinoff: “We’ve finished the pilot,” Whedon said. “Agent Coulson is in it. We will explain why in the pilot, and it is wonderful and [Gregg] is phenomenal in it. And we should find out in the very near future whether or not everyone gets to enjoy it as much as we already have.”
Gregg happily discussed Coulson, but on the front burner was the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of his own heroic effort to write, direct and star in “Trust Me,” a dark comedy with Sam Rockwell, Amanda Peet and newcomer Saxon Sharbino.
“It’s the story of a second-string Hollywood agent who finds the next big teen thing,” said Gregg, “and goes to some very dark places to sign her as a client.”
Gregg hatched the idea over the years while working with a couple of young actors. He became “obsessed with the people who handled them, their agents, struggling in Hollywood’s minor leagues. The script came out in this feverish burst. It was more noir and complex and expressed more ambivalent feelings that I have about the star system. I started to write something goofy for fun, and ended up with an aging loser in his fifties desperate to create a break. And, then, I had to play the guy, too.”
Circling back to the world of Marvel, Gregg said, “part of this new story appeals to the Comic Con/”Avengers” crew: this loser agent is so desperate for his last shot that when he finally discovers this prodigious talent, he starts to lose his grip on reality. We are in his head and we start seeing what he sees: whether it’s fantasy, or the alternative sci-fi vampire movie within a movie.”
If it sounds a little like “The Twilight Saga,” it should. “The movie is like ‘Twilight,’” explained Gregg. “Only it’s classier in that Ang Lee is directing Sir Ben Kingsley and Helen Mirren. Of course, I didn’t have the budget for them, but they’re mentioned.”
Any hopes to hit the award circuit with “Trust Me” like Lee, Kingsley and Mirren? “I’ll take a Razzie,” Gregg joked. “I don’t care.”
While in “A Royal Affair,” Mikkelsen plays a doomed hero; he’s equally adept at playing villains. Enter Hannibal Lecter, the TV series. The NBC show is set in contemporary America. It takes place before the FBI arrests Lecter for his serial crimes. “That was a nice shift of gear for me,” said Mikkelsen of being cast in an American TV series. “Like wow, why not stick with something for a long time and see how it goes?”
Certainly Anthony Hopkins, who won a Best Actor for playing Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs,” throws a big shadow over the character. “You can’t avoid that,” agreed Mikkelsen. “He made it iconic and for a good reason. He’s absolutely outstanding in that character. We cannot move away totally from the fact that he is what he is, if not a little decadent then at least a man full of taste. But this takes place before he’s captured. Before anyone knows what he is.”
Mikkelsen offered a thumbnail of the plot, which is a prequel. “Lector is hired to help Will Graham [Dancy], who is a genius FBI profiler. But unfortunately Will suffers from too much empathy. It means he cannot deal with the cases. He’s putting himself in the shoes of the killers and he cannot handle that situation. So, the FBI hires me to help him deal with his job.”
Big mistake, right? “Right,” Mikkelsen continued, “I’m a psychiatrist. And all of a sudden I find myself in this candy store where I love being in the middle of every investigation that comes in. It means I can do pretty much what I want. I can manipulate the cases that Will’s running. I can get away with anything.”
Does this Lecter commit murders or just solve cases? “There’s a lot of solving cases and I do eat stuff occasionally,” Mikkelsen said. “A man’s gotta eat.”
For the full article go to Yahoo! Movies.
There’s a purity to the English actress Rachel Weisz, as she glides from playing a doctor in the popcorn thriller “The Bourne Legacy” to a love-besotted wife in the intellectual romance “The Deep Blue Sea.” In the latter film, she plays Hester Collyer, a postwar English aristocrat who risks everything for an affair with the charming but vapid pilot Freddie Page (“Thor’s” Tom Hiddleston). Weisz delivers an Oscar-worthy performance that merits a second look. Adapted from the Terence Rattigan play and directed by Terence Davies, “The Deep Blue Sea” is one of the best films of 2012 that you probably haven’t seen: It grossed $1.1 million domestically, while “The Bourne Legacy” hauled in $275 million worldwide.
One difference between the two movies: In the big-budget “Bourne” Weisz is the chief damsel in distress; in “TDBS” she’s the lead, and her character’s story drives the plot. The posh Hester has married an older man for love and social position and then gets blown sideways when she meets a man in uniform who unleashes her libido. There’s a thematic parallel to “Anna Karenina,” another historical fiction about a women who exits a stifling marriage through infidelity and suffers the consequences.
Weisz, who married Daniel Craig last year, was sitting over breakfast in a boho East Village cafe with me as she reflected on Hester’s parallels with Keira Knightley’s Karenina. In both movies, the husband isn’t demonized to justify the wife’s action. In “TDBS,” Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale) clearly wants the best for Hester despite her infidelity. “Yes,” agreed Weisz, “he’s a nice guy. He’s a sweetheart. When I read it, I’d imagined a really evil, horrible, nasty husband.” Continue Reading