For forty years the HFPA has recorded interviews with famous and celebrated actors, actresses and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind — over 10,000 interviews — is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. Below is an excerpt: Hugh Grant, in 1992, talking about the perils of kissing the director’s wife on the set of Roman Polanski‘s Bitter Moon, and describing his relationship with then-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley.
“Roman Polanski’s marriage to actress Emmanuelle Seigner is like a ship with two mates and no captain. I think they’re having a marvelous time. Roman’s temperamental in the old fashioned tradition of the maestro director. It was fun to watch him lose his temper, particularly with Emmanuelle. There was a lot of that.
He would storm off the set saying, “No, I’m not shooting anything today. No, no, forget it.” And she’d say, “Oh no, come back, come back. I’ll try harder this time.”
It was very interesting, but she’s very naughty as well. I remember doing a standard film kiss, which is really quite chaste, and she kept breaking away and saying, “What are you doing? You put your tongue in my mouth! Don’t do that!”
Which, I promise you, I wasn’t doing. She was just trying to create trouble with Roman.
Elizabeth (Hurley) came up to me like a teenage fan. We met seven years ago in Spain on a film in which I was playing Lord Byron, and Elizabeth played the woman who was in love with him all her life. Clare Claremont. In fact I have a theory that she only really likes me as Lord Byron.
We lived together in England for a long time, but after a few years we discovered she was getting more work in the U.S, and I was getting more work in England, so we ended up living on separate continents. Strangely, I think we’ve been getting on better ever since then. It’s fresher, and we fight less.
What makes her so attractive? It’s very difficult to describe what one finds attractive, but she’s it. And I suppose I’m always rather endeared to people who fancy me, and she did. I remember she had a good line. She came up to me one day on the set and just said, “Hugh, I think I’ve got a crush on you.” And I loved that. I thought that was excellent, and we’ve been going out together ever since.Read More »
HFPA member Erkki Kanto gave the directors and producers attending the 31st International Film Festival of Uruguay a special lecture on the Annual Golden Globe Awards. A selection of 20 attendees, movie makers from various countries, had numerous enthusiastic questions about submitting their films to the annual awards. The event concluded with an HFPA-hosted Uruguayan lunch.
Erkki Kanto, miembro de The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), invita a directores y productores que participan del 31º Festival Cinematográfico Internacional del Uruguay a una presentación informativa sobre cómo aplicar para la categoría de Film Extranjero de los Premios Golden Globes. La cita es este viernes 5 de abril a las 10.30 hrs en Madredeus, Acevedo Diaz 1156 esquina Canelones. Luego de la charla compartiremos un almuerzo.
31ºFestival Cinematográfico del Uruguay
by Jack Tewksbury
For forty years the HFPA has recorded interviews with famous and celebrated actors, actresses and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind — over 10,000 interviews — is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. Below is an excerpt: a memoir of a very intense and rather colorful collaboration between James Woods and director Oliver Stone on the set of Salvador, in 1985.
“We fought like cats and dogs. I mean, we really were brutally at odds through most of the film, although I like Oliver Stone very much, and I think he’s a great screenwriter. Anyway, the movie worked, I think we both agreed.
We have each gone on record as saying it was an unbelievably difficult time but a very valuable time although we didn’t talk once for three whole days. If he said , “Action,” I wouldn’t do anything. I’d say, “Tell the first assistant director.” Once he called me a rat and a weasel and he told me, “I hate you.” So in the very next scene I shout, “Okay, I’m a f*** weasel.”
I just threw it in and he said, “You had to say it, didn’t you?” And he added, “I’m not going to print it,” and I said, “Yeah, you’ll print it, cause it’s good.” And there it is on the screen.”
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by Jack Tewksbury
For forty years the HFPA has recorded interviews with famous and celebrated actors, actresses and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind — over 10,000 interviews — is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. Below is an excerpt: way back in the early 1990, when an unknown Brad Pitt was starting out in Thelma and Louise, Kalifornia and A River Runs Through It, this is how he described his background, his vocation and his first forays into Hollywood.
“Where I’m from is a million miles away. I call it the Ozarks. A little bit of Huckleberry Finn, with rivers and lakes, trees and places to go get lost. I come from a very stable Christian family. I have a younger brother and younger sister, both married. Dad’s into the outdoors, and had a business. I’m crazy about all of them.
I just went home and spent three weeks there. There’s so much going on in Hollywood, it was good to get home for a while. It’s funny when you’re sitting home in Missouri, you see fame, you see money, you see all these things. They’re definitely an attraction, but when you come out here it turns into something else.
If you’re going to last, you’ve got to love what you’re doing. I’m not saying I despise money, but my dream was not about the fame or the money. It was about those movies I watched sitting by myself in the dark. Seeing films offered me a different way of looking at things. They gave me reasons why people do the things they do. They helped me realize that I could leave Missouri if I wanted to.
After high school I went to college but I got bad grades, and I got it into my head it was time to go, so I left two credits short. Acting wasn’t available there on any level that you could respect, but once I figured out in my head that I could leave, I left two weeks later. Since then, however, they’ve called and asked me to come back.
When I first arrived in L.A. I had a million jobs. I slept the first couple of nights in my car, and I lived six different places the first eight months. I met people where I could kind of crash.
The first week I started doing work as an extra but I also I delivered chickens and refrigerators. I rented a room where I told the landlady, “It’s so small you couldn’t swing a cat.” She replied, “No problem. I don’t allow animals.”
And then, about nine months later, I got my first part in Dallas. Then, episodic television and Movies of the Week until I got Thelma and Louise.
I was in this acting class, and a woman in the class had an audition with an agent. She needed a partner to do a scene. It was one of those classic stories I did the scene with her and ended up with the agent.”
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by Elmar Biebl (text and photos)
A delegation of the HFPA attended the World Premiere of the Starz original series Da Vinci’s Demons April 2nd in Florence, Italy. David S. Goyer, creator and head writer of the series, welcomed an international press corps ”to experience life through the eyes of young Leonardo Da Vinci“.
Part of the schedule included key landmarks of Da Vinci’s early years:
- His birth place (born April 15, 1452) in the picturesque village of Vinci whose Mayor Dario Parrini invited the visitors to imagine Leonardo’s spirit within the ancient stone buildings of his town
- The Museo Leonardino with an impressive collection of models built according to Da Vinci’s visionary , hand-drafted, technical inventions
- Florence, Tuscany’s Capital with the majestic Duomo (Dome) and the power center of the Medici family, the Palazzo Vecchio
- The Hotel San Michele in the hills of Fiesole with a panoramic view of Florence.
In this Michelangelo-designed former monastery the journalists met with the main characters of the cast: Tom Riley (title role), Laura Haddock, Lara Pulver and Blake Ritson. David S. Goyer pointed out that the pilot was shot in Wales and has already been sold to 120 territories. Goyer, known as the co-writer of The Dark Knight trilogy, added: “The series is not a documentary about the original Rennaissance Man. The series is meant to be an entertaining historical fantasy paying tribute to the legends and myths of the man with one of the most recognizable names on this planet“.
HFPA President Aida Takla-O’Reilly thanked the organizers for their hospitality and efforts to introduce the media representatives firsthand “to the fascinating world of one of the greatest geniuses in world history“.
Da Vinci’s Demons premieres in the US on April 12.Read More »
by Jack Tewksbury
For forty years the HFPA has recorded interviews with famous and celebrated actors, actresses and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind — over 10,000 interviews — is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. Below is an excerpt: in this anthology of quotes from the late 1980′s, master filmmaker John Huston reflects on his life and the craft of directing.
“I was born in Nevada, Missouri. My grandfather won the town in a poker game.
Walter Huston, my father, was an actor who traveled the West with a theatre troupe. For a brief period, he did a vaudeville act with a chicken that danced on one leg. Times got hard. Other vaudevillians said Walter ate the chicken. He said that was a bold lie! He ate only the leg the chicken didn’t dance on.
My mother and I traveled the West with him. I got a taste for colorful people. Making a movie, I like casting best. No question , my films are successful because of my casting. I choose charismatic actors with the ability to play a certain role.
I directed Marilyn Monroe in her first movie, Asphalt Jungle, and last, The Misfits. She was the embodiment of the characters she played. I give artists as much freedom and encouragement as I can to be themselves.
Very often, as in Prizzi’s Honor, I get the actors together and say, “Look, work this scene out between yourselves.” I’d send the crew away and tell the actors, “Send for me when you’re ready.” Half or three quarters of an hour later they would have put a scene together. Usually it was ideal, and I wouldn’t have to do any directing at all. That is what being a director is knowing when not to direct. Someone asked me a question about having conflicts on the set. You don’t have conflicts with an actor. You get as much out of him as you can through encouragement.You give him heart and boldness and freedom to exercise his artistry.
Jack Nicolson has the greatest virtuosity of any actor in the business. He is not necessarily the greatest. De Niro is. There was never a better actor than De Niro. I’m often asked, “Why haven’t we got actors like Bogart and Cooper today?” Well, Bogart and Cooper weren’t like anyone who preceded them. But the very nature of a star is that he isn’t like any other star. We have extraordinary actors today.
The Nineteen-Thirties and Forties male stars were unique because each was a defined personality, supported over and over again by screenplays written specifically for them. Their voices personified them. Each one not only sounded different from the other, but no one else on the planet had their accents and manner of speech. Even some of the women, particularly Hepburn and Davis.
Again, we have extraordinary actors today, but not personalities. Well, Nicholson.”Read More »
For forty years the HFPA has recorded interviews with famous and celebrated actors, actresses and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind — over 10,000 interviews — is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. Below is an excerpt: in 1992, on the set of Honeymoon in Vegas, two fiery individuals — Nicolas Cage and James Caan – met each other’s match. Cage told us what happened and reflected on the mixed blessings of being a member of the Coppola clan.
“Acting with Jimmy is formidable. He’s very unpredictable, and has a totally different approach than I have. He likes to be intentionally unprepared, so that things happen accidentally. I like to have an idea of where I’m going and mix it up with a little spontaneity. He would constantly try to get some sort of shock out of me.
In one scene, for example, a poker game, out of camera range he surprised me by pulling a switchblade. Now, if I were nineteen and hadn’t been doing this for eleven years, it might have been helpful, but I didn’t need that. I can get there on my own, in my own time. It’s what I get paid for. So I said, “Jimmy, that’s great. Thanks, but you know, it’s all right. You don’t need to pull a switchblade out on me. Our approaches are different, that’s all.” After I’d say my lines, he’d a stop and say, “Nicolas, if you ever come unprepared again, we’re all going to go home and forget about work.” But when I look at the movie, I’d have to say the balance is pretty good.
I have been acting since I was sixteen. At that age people can say things that aren’t very nice. I just decided I didn’t need the pressure so I changed my name from Coppola to Cage. Other young actors, I suppose, felt that I couldn’t act because I was related to such a powerful director. I had a lot of proving to do. I had to feel I was my own man, but I was very young. I would walk into casting offices, and they wanted to know what Francis was doing. I was prepared for my audition, but all they wanted to do was talk about my uncle.
After I changed my name, the first movie I auditioned for was Valley Girl, and I got the part. And I didn’t have to talk about him. At the time I really needed to do things apart from family, to prove I was an entity unto myself and not just part of the Coppola dynasty.”
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by Jack Tewksbury
For forty years the HFPA has recorded interviews with famous and celebrated actors, actresses and filmmakers. The world’s largest collection of its kind — over 10,000 interviews — is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. Below is an excerpt: in 1989, promoting the Danny De Vito-directed War of the Roses, Michael Douglas reflected on the never ending conflict between women and men.
“I think it’s very appropriate that this movie War Of The Roses ends the 1980′s. The decade has been about yuppie hard work and material values. If you spend that much time working, and very little time on a relationship, what do you expect? That is why we have so many divorces.
Marriage is wonderful, when it works, but too many people were sold a bill of goods about its dreamlike qualities. I totally support the feminist Movement, but I think women created a monster. I’ve seen working women spread themselves very thin, and when they’re not happy they blame their husbands. Now in the 1990′s we begin to come full circle. There’s got to be a balance, a rekindling of love.
A friend of mine told me recently, “They’re smarter than we are, and they don’t play fair.” After twenty years of the Feminist Movement, I hope we’ll end up kinder to each other. I hope women will be nicer to guys and their husbands.
We tend to be more polite to strangers than we are to the person closest to us. One of the best lines in the film is, “A civilized divorce is a contradiction in terms.”"Read More »
by Elmar Biebl
Marlon Brando didn’t show up to collect his second Best Actor Oscar in 1972 for The Godfather, sending an actress in his stead to decline as a protest to Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans.
However, back in 1954 Brando was keen to win the award, after being skunked three previous times. His losing streak began in 1951 when his Streetcar Named Desire castmates (Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden, Kim Hunter) prevailed in the other three acting categories but Brando was bested by Humphrey Bogart (The African Queen). The following year, he lost his bid for Viva Zapata! to Gary Cooper (High Noon) while in 1953 his nod for Julius Caesar was edged out by William Holden (Stalag 17).
Brando had been surly and uncooperative while on the derby track those three times. So he switched strategies. First up was the Golden Globes on Feb. 24. As the LA Times reported, “Unusual was the fact that Brando appeared to accept his award.” The Mirror-News added, “Marlon Brando showed up a the banquet wearing impeccably tailored dinner clothes and a charming smile. In fact, he was so downright human that one old hand cracked, ‘What happened to all his false reserve?’”
Brando also won the World Film Favorite award, which was decided by a poll of film fans in 40 nations.
Both of these awards are up for sale this month at Heritage Auctions. Also on offer is the draft of his rejection speech from the 1972 Oscars.
However, Brando’s estate is precluded from selling the Oscar he won for On the Waterfront as all winners since 1950 are required to sign an agreement that they will offer the academy right of first refusal.Read More »