CHRISTIAN BALE: LEADING GOD’S PEOPLE OUT OF SLAVERY IN “EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS”

One man’s destiny to rule an empire is about to be challenged by a man destined to defy it in Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” starring Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses. The film’s intrigue, scale, scope, adventurer and vivid characters provide a unique theatrical event.  The Exodus from Egypt is the original and definitive heroic saga.  It’s also a powerful and personal story rich with emotion, rivalry and betrayal and an undying quest for freedom.

Notes Scott: “Moses’ life is one of the greatest adventures and spiritual quests of all time.”  From its opening battle where 15,000 Egyptian soldiers attack a Hittite encampment, to the towering structures, a terrifying series of plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea, Scott brings his signature vision to one of our most cherished and important stories.

Christian Bale stars as Moses, alongside Joel Edgerton as Ramses, John Turturro as Seti, Ben Kingsley as Nun, and Aaron Paul as Joshua.  The cast of “EXODUS: Gods and Kings” is comprised of numerous award winners, and hails from a wide range of countries.  As Ridley Scott explains, “Egypt was – as it is now – a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads between Africa, the Middle East and Europe.  We cast actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture – from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs.  There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people, and we had many discussions about how to best represent the culture. In bringing to life a story that has roots in many religions and is important to people across the world, we also looked to cast actors who could, through their vivid performances, do justice to a universal story.”

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Christian Bale is an actor with whom Scott has long sought to collaborate. “Christian has a very powerful physical presence on screen,” he notes.  Before shooting “Exodus: gods and Kings,”, Bale had starred in the Scott Free production Out of the Furnace, playing a steel worker.  To Scott, that role, in a way, presaged the actor’s turn as the Hebrew prophet and liberator.  “Moses is much more like a steel worker than a Pharaoh – he’s a modest man with common sense.”

Scott describes Bale’s performance as “an inside job. He gets right into the character and you are staring at a passionate leader. I enjoyed working with Christian as much as I have with anyone; he surprised me every day. I expected a lot, and I got more.”

There was certainly much to explore with the character.  “Moses is an iconic figure who at the same time has to be played as a real person,” says Scott.  “He’s the film’s heroic center and its emotional core.”  Bale took on the role for several reasons.  He explains: “I feel the Exodus story is not only one of the cornerstones of many of the world’s sacred texts, but it is one of the most profound narratives in human history.  I found that Moses was a complex and reluctant hero. Through his faith he transformed into a freedom fighter who would stop at nothing to further God’s will.  That said, he was also a man of contradictions:  He was faithful but also argumentative; hesitant but also assertive; a warrior but also a liberator; and he was tempestuous but stoic.”

In short, adds the actor, “Moses is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever studied.”   To that end, Bale read the holy texts, including the Torah and parts of the Koran, as well as the acclaimed book Moses: A Life by Jonathan Kirsch.  He also watched two films whose approach to history and religion is very different from “Exodus: Gods and Kings.”  “To get a humorous perspective before tackling this epic film I watched the comedies History of the World, Part I [directed by Mel Brooks] and the Monty Python classic The Life of Brian.”

When Ramses rejects Moses’ pleas to let the prophet’s people go, Egypt is hit by a series of plagues and pestilences. Ramses’ advisors offer science-based explanations for the phenomena –spectacles that are both thrilling and horrifying.

Laws of nature, taken to their extreme – and perhaps with divine intervention – can explain these plagues, but the final scourge transcends nature: The firstborn sons of Egypt are killed overnight, including the Pharaoh’s own child. When Ramses realizes that no Hebrew slave children have died, he orders them to leave Egypt – but shortly thereafter leads his army to pursue and kill the fleeing Hebrews.

Moses and his ill-equipped band of 400,000 followers, loaded down with whatever meager household goods they could carry, struggle to cross the foreboding mountains, heading for the Red Sea and to a crossing area that Moses had used before.  Arriving at the Red Sea, with the Egyptian army close behind, Moses realizes he has taken the wrong route and missed the shallow waters.  Faced with the massive body of water on one side, and the thousands of Egyptian troops on the other, Moses despairs.   As Ramses prepares for his final assault, Moses realizes that the tide is receding at a rapid pace. He rallies his people and they begin to stumble through the shallows.  When the Hebrews complete the crossing, Ramses’ pursuing troops are engulfed by a massive wave.

For Christian Bale, portraying Moses was an unforgettable experience.  “He’s such an intoxicating character to play, that in many ways I felt like, ‘Wow, can’t we keep going?’  There is so much more to tell about him, and he’s even more fascinating than anything I had realized.”

Christian Bale  was born in Wales and grew up in England and the U.S.  He made his film debut in Steven Spielberg’s World War II epic “Empire of the Sun.”   Bale’s work to date includes “Henry V,” “The Portrait of a Lady,” “The Secret Agent,” “Metroland,” “Velvet Goldmine,” “All the Little Animals,” “American Psycho,” “Laurel Canyon,” “The Machinist,” “Batman Begins,” “The New World,” “The Prestige,” “Harsh Times,” “Rescue Dawn,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “I’m Not There,” “The Dark Knight,” “Public Enemies,” “The Fighter,” “Flowers of War” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”   More recently, Bale starred in “Out of the Furnace,” “American Hustle” and “Knight of Cups.”

Available in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D, “Exodus: Gods and Kings” opens December 5 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH TO BE MORE THAN FRIENDS IN “LOVE, ROSIE”

Taking chances on a happily-ever-after love after childhood best friends Alex  and Rosie have gone through miles of separation, unwanted pregnancy and disastrous love affairs, can they still end up together in the end? In “Love, Rosie” is based on the bestselling novel “Where Rainbows End” by Cecelia Ahern and starred in by one of Hollywood’s brightest new talents, Lily Collins (“The Mortal Instruments:City of Bones,” “Mirror, Mirror”), co-starring Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”).

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 The film is based on the bestselling novel, “Where Rainbows End” from Irish author, Cecilia Ahern (“P.S. I Love You” author) from a screenplay by Juliette Towhidi (“Calendar Girls”) and is directed by Christian Ditter (The Crocodiles; Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods).

“Choosing the person you want to share your life with is one of the most important decisions any of us makes, ever. Because when it’s wrong, it turns your life to grey, and sometimes you don’t even notice until you wake up one morning and realize years have gone by… Sometimes you don’t see that the best thing that’s ever happened to you is sitting there, right under your nose,” states a line from the character Rosie. In director Christian Ditter’s new film Love, Rosie, Lily Collins and Sam Claflin star as Rosie and Alex, childhood friends seemingly destined to be together, yet a couple which fate itself seems determined to keep apart. The film paints a rich and textured canvas of a complicated yet lifelong bond between Rosie and Alex, beginning in their childhood, spanning a trans-Atlantic separation, and enduring ups and downs of romantic liaisons with everyone but each other resulting in some bittersweet consequences.

A rising star in Hollywood, Lily Collins marked her feature film debut alongside Sandra Bullock in the 2010 Oscar nominated film “The Blind Side.” In the short time since she’s filmed “Mirror, Mirror” with Julia Roberts, “Stuck in Love” with Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly, “The English Teacher” with Kinnear, Julianne Moore and Nathan Lane, and “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.”

“I just fell in love with it right away,” says Collins of the Love, Rosie screenplay and her decision to take on the project. “After reading it, I just couldn’t imagine myself not playing the part.” “I think everyone has a little bit of Rosie in them and I know I certainly do,” Collins continues. “She’s charismatic, shy at times, but determined. She’s thrown into these situations that a normal teenage girl could be thrown into, but she doesn’t let anything deter her from reaching her goals…. She’s a bit kooky at times, but in the most endearing way possible. And, of course, she’s just incredibly strong.”

In collaboration with Ditter, Collins set about making the character her own. “In a sense it was about incorporating myself into Rosie and Rosie into me,” says the actress, who dropped her American accent for the role while simultaneously tackling the challenge of playing Rosie over the course of many years, following her transition from adolescence to adulthood.

“It was a great challenge,” says Collins of playing the character as she matures over time. “Instead of prosthetics, it was all hair and make-up and wardrobe changes, whether I use certain words as a young girl and then stop using them as an older one – even her mannerisms, the way she carries herself and walks change… In the end, I would watch the playback and go, ‘Oh my god that was so my mom!’”

“Lily is an incredibly smart and talented actress,” says Christian Ditter. “She’s very in touch with her feelings and very open emotionally. I basically just encouraged her to follow her heart and make each moment as truthful as possible.”

“I’ve never felt so terrified and vulnerable in a movie, but at the same time so protected and inspired,” Collins continues. “I never thought I’d be able to work on this kind of level and it was Christian who got that out of me.”  “Lily is just a little jewel,” says Simon Brooks of his leading lady. “Every day, I’d have to say to her, ‘Do you have any idea how great your performance is?’ She was funny, but she also had these heavy emotional scenes that had to be treated with great care. I would also watch the people on set when she was doing a particularly emotional scene and how moved they would be…. She’s just been so committed to this project since day one. I’m so proud of her and what she’s done.”

“She’s a diamond,” agrees Sam Claflin, who plays Rosie’s unattainable love, Alex on screen. “It worked so well because we got to know each other so well,” says the young British actor. “You have to really get on with someone if you’re going to work together on this kind of level… I’d like to think we not only became friends, but friends for life.”

“Love, Rosie” opens December 3 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH LEADS THE NORTH WIND – “PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR’S” LATEST ALLIES

What are the odds when the world’s elitest of spies join forces with the earth’s chicest undercover organization in the all-adventure family movie “Penguins of Madagascar.”

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The most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private.  These elitest of the elites are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind.  Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.  Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, voiced by John Malkovich, from destroying the world as we know it.

The Penguins are ever-confident in their ability to deal with Dave’s insidious plans, but a group of covert operatives known as The North Wind (their motto: “Nobody breaks The Wind!”), who help animals in need, do not think the guys are up to the task.  In fact, the members of The North Wind do everything they can to take over the mission to stop Dave, much to the chagrin of Skipper and the gang.

“On the surface it looks like The North Wind is the real deal and Skipper maybe should get out of the way,” says producer Lara Breay.  “It’s like the ‘grown-ups’ have arrived, so the kids can go home now.  But during the course of the adventure, we come to appreciate the Penguins’ strengths.  They don’t have the flash or training, but they have something that’s more important.”

The North Wind is led by Agent Classified.  The first thing you should know about Classified is that his name is actually classified, and not “Classified.”  He’s a highly-trained but cocky secret agent who underestimates the Penguins’ operation. Classified is the Alpha male of the tech-savvy team, and Skipper’s polar opposite. The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch, a celebrated and in-demand actor thanks to, among other performances, his work in the title role of the phenomenally popular BBC/PBS series “Sherlock,” came about almost three years ago, just before “Sherlock” debuted in the U.S.  Smith explains: “One of our crew is Australian, and the series had already aired there.  He told us that we should check out the work of this guy called Benedict Cumberbatch.  We saw ‘Sherlock’ when it arrived in the U.S., and we knew then he was a special talent and would be the perfect foil for Skipper. Benedict is so eloquent and has a fantastic voice that was perfect for Classified.”

The British actor reveals that Classified is “an all-action wolf who heads up The North Wind, which looks after animal welfare wherever it needs looking after.  He knows about Dave’s plot and Classified attempts to con the Penguins to reveal everything they know about their mutual adversary.”

“The North Wind team thinks they hold all the cards because they’re highly-trained, educated, have the best equipment, and nobody could ever top them,” Darnell continues.  “The Penguins are the underdogs.”  But Classified and the rest of the North Wind team soon learn that you underestimate Skipper & Co. at your own peril.  In fact, the conflicting teams are two sides of the same coin. “Everything about The North Wind is chic, professional, planned and rigorous, and everything about the Penguins is haphazard, gung ho machismo,” Cumberbatch explains.  “That’s why the two teams so complementary.  By the end of the film they really need each other’s help, because they’re even more powerful as a combined, elite force.”

Cumberbatch says he enjoyed having no inhibitions in portraying and researching the role.  Moreover, he embraced Classified’s skills and slick operation, as well as the character’s hidden but important vulnerabilities.  “Classified has to learn to abandon his intricate and gadget-laden planning and sometimes just run at the problem, like the Penguins do.  I like the idea of ‘unpacking’ a spy and making him a bit more human, even if he’s a wolf.  And I’ve never done that on screen before.”

Classified isn’t the only operative being “unpacked.”  He is joined in The North Wind by Short Fuse (Ken Jeong), a small seal who, though he looks like a plush toy, is as tough as any member of the team.  The North Wind’s explosives expert, Short Fuse has a volatile temper to match his vocational expertise.  Then there’s Eva (Annet Mahendru), an intelligence analyst and thrill-seeking, brainy beauty of an owl with a killer instinct.  Finally, Corporal (Peter Stomare), a polar bear who’s eight feet tall and armored in a half-ton of muscle, is the brawn of the Wind.

A Dreamworks Animation feature, “Penguins of Madagascar” opens November 26 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox nationwide to be distributed by Warner Bros.

JOEL EDGERTON IS CONFLICTED MONARCH AND BROTHER TO MOSES IN STAGGERING EPIC “EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS”

From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus) comes the epic adventure EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire.  Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

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Filmed in 3D, Scott’s film tells the story of Moses, abandoned by a desperate mother as a baby after the Egyptian rulers orders the murder of all boys born to slaves. He is found in the bulrushes by the Pharaoh’s daughter and raised in the royal household, where he grows up alongside Ramses, the future monarch.

As a man, Moses has a vision and turns his back on his privileged life and leads his people, the Israelites, from enslavement. Scott’s film will feature ground-breaking special effects, including the plagues – visited upon Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea.

According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God inflicted ten plagues on Egypt as punishment for not releasing the children of Israel from slavery – these included frogs, flies, boils, hail stones and locusts, all of which feature in Scott’s movie. It made for some very interesting days filming, says Edgerton.

The central relationship of “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is between Moses and Ramses, who grew up as brothers.  Ramses becomes Pharaoh and Moses his most trusted advisor and second in command.  But when Ramses learns that Moses is actually a Hebrew, he expels his “brother” into the desert and to an almost certain death.  “Ramses personifies how absolute power corrupts absolutely,” says Joel Edgerton who takes on the role. “Ramses starts to believe he actually is a god, which creates a wonderful dynamic between Moses and him.”

Ramses is the story’s principal antagonist, but Scott and Edgerton wanted to give the character nuances and complexities that transcend stock villainy.  “Ramses has a strong , brotherly connection to Moses, so he’s very conflicted when Moses is revealed to be a Hebrew.  He also loves his wife Nefertari, and his young son, so that gives him important emotional shadings,” says the director.

Scott first encountered Edgerton years earlier, while casting his Crusades epic, “Kingdom of Heaven.”  The actor was deemed too young for the role then, but Scott continued to follow Edgerton’s career, particularly his work in the acclaimed independent drama Animal Kingdom. “Joel has flair, and he’s athletic, brooding, intellectual and very warm as well. He transposed himself elegantly into the demeanor of an Ancient Egyptian, acknowledging the period, without it feeling like ‘period.’ Ramses is a bad guy, with good emotional parts to his character, so that you are not sure whether to hate him or not. Joel is also very physical, so he provides a real sense of action and fury when needed.”

Bale hails Edgerton’s “tremendous commitment to the role.  I felt he had one of the most difficult parts in the film.  Joel captures all the arrogance of someone with limitless power, and all the insecurities of someone desperately trying to hold onto his position.”

Edgerton relished the role, especially its complexities.  “The most fascinating villain is someone who, in their own movie, would be the hero,” he explains. “I always feel if you can understand the bad guy, you can cheer for the hero even more. So I wanted to find that balance between doing my job as the villain of the piece, but give him humanity.  Amidst all the epic scenes of warfare, the big conflict here is the battle of wills between Ramses and Moses.”

Edgerton admits that Ramses has a huge ego, as expected from someone brought up to believe he is a living god. “He is unreasonable and lacks empathy,” says the actor. “Ramses is a tyrant and a dictator, but that was part of the beliefs of the times.”

Joel Edgerton has been on some big – very big – films in the past but nothing has compared to Ridley Scott’s epic adventure Exodus: Gods & Kings. “It’s definitely one of the biggest that I’ve ever been involved in. The scale of the sets, the amount of people around – the crew and the hundreds of extras we have on some days – and the epic scale of the story, is really staggering.”

Latest international trailer link:

“Exodus: Gods and Kings” opens December 5 nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D

“HUNGER GAMES’” SAM CLAFLIN STARS IN YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE “LOVE, ROSIE”

Sam Claflin came to worldwide attention since his notable role in the second instalment of the phenomenal hit franchise as Finnick Odair in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” in 2013 and reprises his role in this year’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”, but Claflin has already made an indelible impression in the movie industry with his roles in previously released blockbuster films “Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides” as Philip Swift and in “Snow White and the Huntsman” as William.

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Claflin now headlines his latest romantic lead role in “Love, Rosie” opposite Lily Collins – adapted from the bestselling tome, “Where Rainbows End” by Cecelia Ahern.    In director Christian Ditter’s new film Love, Rosie, Lily Collins and Sam Claflin star as Rosie and Alex, childhood friends seemingly destined to be together, yet a couple which fate itself seems determined to keep apart. The film paints a rich and textured canvas of a complicated yet lifelong bond between Rosie and Alex, beginning in their childhood, spanning a trans-Atlantic separation, and enduring ups and downs of romantic liaisons with everyone but each other resulting in some bittersweet consequences.

“The story is about two people who really have a deep love for each other, but are constantly being pulled apart,” explains acclaimed Irish author Ahern. “I wrote “Where Rainbows End” a couple of months after I had finished “P.S. I Love You,” she says of the follow-up to her first novel, written when she was only 21 years old.

Born in Suffolk, England, Sam Claflin first took up acting at Norwich City College and completed his studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 2009. Within a year of graduating, he’d already established himself as a someone to watch with performances in two award winning series – KenFollett’s “The Pillars of the Earth” (2010; for Starz television) and “Any Human Heart” (2010; based on the novel by William Boyd for UK broadcaster Channel 4) – followed by a starring role in the post-apocalyptic drama, “The Lost Future” for Syfy.

“Sam was really our first choice to play Alex,” says producer Robert Kulzer. “He was terrific in the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie and had just come out with Snow White and the Huntsman. I also knew that he would be one of the leads in the new Hunger Games sequel… I basically knew if we could get Lily and Sam in the movie it could be a very explosive combination.”  It also proved a combination which worked remarkably well on screen – as evidenced by the pairing of Collins and Claflin in their very first meeting. “It was important that whoever played Alex jelled with Lily; there had to be a visible chemistry,” says Simon Brooks. “I think it was after 15 seconds of them meeting in a room together that we knew we had found our Alex.”

“The chemistry between the two actors simply fired up the entire space,” recalls Christian Ditter of the actors’ initial reading. “After that day it was very clear that no one else could play these characters other than Lily and Sam.” “When Sam and I met for the first time it was just like Rosie meeting Alex,” agrees Collins.   “We got on so well from the get-go and we had the best time with Christian… I mean, Rosie and Alex were created that day I think. It was just an amazing feeling.”

For Claflin, the prospect of filming “Love, Rosie” resonated on many levels. Initially attracted by the script and the prospect of working with Lily Collins, he was also a fan of the genre itself and saw the film as a departure from his previous work. “I’d read a fair number of scripts over the past few years and nothing really grabbed my attention like this did,” says Claflin of his decision to come aboard. “The journey that these two characters go on struck a chord with me. I also wanted to do something contemporary, something modern. All in all, it was a no brainer.”

“Sam is like a young Hugh Grant,” says Brooks of the up-and-coming star and hisperformance in Love, Rosie. “What this film did was allow him to really act. He’s incredibly charismatic and he put a lot of hard work into the limited amount of time we had with him.” Like his co-star, Lily Collins, the biggest challenge for Claflin was playing a character who ages from adolescence to adulthood over the course of a performance. “It was very difficult to begin with, but with the help of make-up and costume you felt you were taken back in time,” says the British actor. “I didn’t really need that much preparation though to play Alex,” says Claflin of his overall approach to the character. “Instead what Christian Ditter did was really allow Lily and I the time to get to know each other, along with the freedom to play with the scenes, to just be spontaneous and go with the flow… I don’t think this would have been half the film it is without him at the helm. He was so passionate and easy going – he was just fantastic to work for. And I think his vision for the film was equally incredible.”

“Love, Rosie” opens December 3 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.

ENTHRALLING ANIMATION IN “THE HOUSE OF MAGIC”

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“The House of Magic,” a Belgian-French-American computer-animated fantasy-comedy film, produced by avant-garde production Anton Capital Entertainment and directed by Ben Stassen and Jeremy Degruson, focuses on an abandoned young cat named Thunder who seeks shelter in the home of an old, retired magician with his automatons and gizmos.

Seeking shelter from a storm, abandoned young cat Thunder sneaks into a mysterious mansion owned by retired magician Lawrence, aka “The Illustrious Lorenzo”.  Lawrence shares his fairy-tale world with many animals and a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos capable of whipping up breakfast while rolling out a spectacular song-and-dance routine.   He soon makes Thunder feel welcome, but Jack the rabbit and Maggie the mouse start plotting to get him kicked out. When Lawrence ends up in the hospital, his nephew tries to trick him into selling the house. But its ragtag inhabitants develop a spooky strategy to defend their home. They turn their house into a haunted mansion, using Thunder as their secret weapon.

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Director Ben Stassen shares thatthe movie is based on an attraction film featured around a decade ago. An attraction film is a 4D film lasting 10-15 minutes. “After “Sammy’s Adventures” and “Sammy 2,” we were looking for ideas for a feature-length movie and we thought this would be a good one to turn into such a film. Of course, it was a short and we had to turn it into a real story. In fact, the first 10 minutes at the start of our film recall certain shots and decors from that attraction made a decade ago.  In the beginning, the English title was “The Enchaunted House” (enchanted/ haunted), but the word “magic” fits better with the film because the house belongs to a magician and because the characters use magic. So we preferred to call it THE HOUSE OF MAGIC. And it’s not a scary film at all. Even the scene where the potential buyer for the house ends is scared and leaves the house screaming “the house is haunted!” is completely fun because the audience knows the whole thing has been orchestrated by the characters who live in the house,” explains producer and director Stassen.

“There are fifty (50) characters in “The House of Magic” and each one is drawn. Beforehand, there was a lot of research. We tried out different designs and a range of approaches. For Thunder, we needed a young cat, somewhere between a kitten and an adult cat, so in terms of proportions, we did different tests to get the effect we wanted,”  co-director Jeremie Degruson enthuses.

“The House of Magic” opens December 3 in cinemas from Crystalsky Multimedia.

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British actor Tim Roth followed this early success with roles in Mike Leigh’s Meantime and Stephen Frears’s The Hit. Known for his talent with accents and his ability to slip seamlessly into characters, Roth received international attention in 1990 after starring in Vincent & Theo as well as Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. He then caught the eye of director Quentin Tarantino, who cast him in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

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In his upcoming film ‘Grace of Monaco’ Tim Roth plays as Prince Rainier III of Monaco was married to American actress Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) and was the longest ruling European monarch at the time of his death in 2005.

What attracted you to this role?                                                                                                  

It was far from anything I’ve done before, especially since I do not come from such a family or such a universe. It was a great challenge but I thought I would not be the right person to this role. Olivier Dahan was not of this opinion, and this is someone with whom every actor should work because it is excellent. (Laughs) This is just for me. I wanted to work with Olivier and Nicole Kidman but also because I do not know if I could do it. Already because it away really the roles I’ve played so far. So when I was offered this role, I immediately saw as a challenge.Because it was not the kind of character that I will be interpret imagined one day I did not know if I was capable of. Olivier was sure of his choice. It is thanks to him that I could interpret such a character.

Did you know that Prince Rainier before this shoot?

To be honest, I knew nothing about him. I knew he was the husband of Grace Kelly. And this is the kind of stories we’re talking about today. The idea of this actress, who won an Oscar ( ed. for The Girl in the province in 1955), a big Hollywood star at the top of his career, and dropped everything for this small Principality where she became the princess. Everyone, directors spectators passing by photographers, was intrigued by this story. And then I discovered the political fracas with the French who ruled at the time and I had no clue before. At the time, an actress who is now Princess of Monaco, it is a subject that fascinates glamor and intrigue people. This is a really intriguing story when you think! With the film, I also discovered the political tensions that there was between Monaco and France. I had never heard of. When we started thinking about it, we wanted to make a strong person who has to fight smart and intelligent. We needed to build his image, his strength. It is a wise business man and a fine politician who is caught in the middle of a maelstrom very difficult to manage things. The film begins when Rainier is about to fall and reveal all the issues of the Rock through advisors prince.

Your opinion on the monarchy is known and yet you agreed to play a prince …

(Laughs) In fact, I’m not a hardcore fan of the British royal family. For me, the aristocracy is an anachronism and aristocrats, a DNA error. I think these people have a right to exist but living with their people in social housing, working and not taxes. They restore the money spent for the wedding of Charles and Diana, who was taken to the English! This is not the kind of world that attracts me, especially politically. But sometimes it’s good to include a person in a world that does not believe. It’s interesting, especially since I know of no businessman. I see at Cannes, but I do not hang out with them. Same with politicians.

How have you prepared for this role?

There was not a lot of archive films about him but I’ve seen a few. The fact that there is little literature on the relationship between Grace and Rainier kept mystery. Otherwise, I read a lot about him because his character intrigued me. I liked to see a man in Rainier in difficult times, to see his vulnerability as each of us can know . In the film, it comes as he explored all the possibilities and find a course ideas.

How would you describe the relationship between Rainier and Grace Kelly?

In the film we juggled two different phases: the idea of a more or less arranged marriage and that of a couple who deeply loves. I was not there when they met but obviously I can imagine this evening in Cannes where they met, how she came to Hollywood, I know they have exchanged letters, they are reviewed then got married. Grace of Monaco is a focus on the couple but could be a focus on couples in general. How two completely opposite worlds come together, the collision and finally adaptation. I think the Prince Rainier was really in love with his wife. This contrasts for example their relationship to that of Diana. The idea for us was always oscillate between these two aspects. I was not there so I do not know how things really happened. What we wanted to do with them both, and that is probably the case of couples in general, is to enter their worlds collide. But I think – or hope – that he really loved her, unlike someone like Diana. There they confessed that they did not like each other.

The film was mostly shot in Belgium, Italy and Monaco studios and little; Did you know the Principality?

Yes, I had already made ​​a film there ( ed. Möbius ) and I just got home I came back to it. But I was especially shown a very interesting interview in which Rainier had raised the issue that Monaco had with France and its willingness to front. More than the content, that is his way of speaking and delivering his message, his confidence and how to move that seemed fascinating to me. I discovered an intriguing character. He never seemed attractive before, but I quickly realized how a woman could fall for him. I also saw pictures of him at the funeral of Grace Kelly, and he seemed devastated, so the idea was to get a version of this to another man in the story.

You give the replica Nicole Kidman; how was it to play with it?

She was on the film for longer than me. She had built her character. She already over the project, it literally floated above us. Then, on the set, we had fun, Nicole is very funny. For this role she has reinvented itself again, it always elsewhere. Her acting choices are very strong and unusual. As we age, especially for women, the job is relentless, we must challenge and take risks. It is a survival mode to last. The role of Grace of Monaco is very difficult.

 

GRACE OF MONACO is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.

 Showing on December 3, 2014. Nationwide.

Production Begins on ‘KIDNAP’, Starring Halle Berry

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Lotus Entertainment announced today that Luis Prieto’s upcoming thriller ‘Kidnap’ has officially started principal photography. The film, based on Knate Gwaltney’s screenplay, will shoot in New Orleans and wrap on November 25.

New additions to the cast of ‘Kidnap’ are Sage Correa, Lew Temple and Chris McGinn. They’ll co-star opposite Academy Award winner Halle Berry, who stars as a mother who will stop at nothing to rescue her kidnapped son.

Di Bonaventura Pictures’ Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Erik Howsam, Gold Star Films’ Joey Tufaro and Gregory Chou of Rumble Entertainment are producing; executive producers are Halle Berry and her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas through their 606 Films production banner, Lotus Entertainment’s Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, D.J. Gugenheim and Ara Keshishian, alongside Gold Star Films’ Colin Bates and Todd Trosclair, Knate Gwaltney, and Doris Pfardrescher of Well Go USA. Lotus is handling international sales, with Relativity Studios distributing in the U.S., and Captive Cinema distributing in the Philippines on October 2015.

The creative team behind ‘Kidnap’ includes Director of Photography Flavio Martinez Labiano (The Gunman, Non-Stop), Stunts Coordinator Steve Ritzi (Prisoners, G.I. Joe, Looper), Costume Designer Ruth Carter (Oldboy, Abduction, Frankie and Alice), and Production Designer Sarah Webster (Pusher).

Nicole Kidman was “honoured” to play Grace Kelly in ‘Grace of Monaco’.

The Oscar-winning star is set to portray the glamorous Hollywood actress – who later became Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco – in a new biopic and she hopes she is able to successfully bring the character to life.

‘Grace of Monaco’ will be set in the 1960s and concentrate on the actress-turned-princess’ crisis of identity and marriage as her husband, Prince Rainier III, enters into a political dispute with France’s Charles De Gaulle.

Nicole Kidman would give up her career for love, and why she was drawn to Grace Kelly as a character and a person.

She said: “I wanted to be respectful of her, her story and her essence so hopefully that will all come through.”

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What went through your mind when you were first offered the part?
It was such a great opportunity; my whole career I am always looking for things that put me on a high wire, and this was one of those roles.

 

How did you research the role?

Prior to doing the film, I had seen all of the Hitchcock films; I actually hadn’t seen THE COUNTRY GIRL, so I saw that, but my favourite performance is in REAR WINDOW; that’s my favourite Hitchcock movie as well. I have studied a lot of footage of her because there was a lot of footage available through the years. Some of the most fascinating is before she came [to France]; when she knew she was going to get married to Rainier and she does a press conference, and she is asked questions about the nationality of her children and citizenship and all of those things, and I found that really fascinating. Also there is some footage of her when she was on the boat, travelling over, which I thought was incredible, because she was with all the journalists on the boat; she had her pets and her family… it was unusual and kind of extraordinary. It just magnified how unusual her life was, and how it was rarefied air in which she existed.

 

When you get to work on an icon like Princess Grace, how do you approach the role?
I have played people who have existed before in history, so I have had different approaches to different things. For this particular role, there is a lot of footage that is available to watch. I can also hear her voice; I can read a lot of things. We had about five months to prepare so I was able to, very gently, absorb into her skin by watching, listening, absorbing. At the same time, when we talked about it, it was very important that I didn’t feel trapped by having to mimic her. It was more [about] trying to find her essence. It was a beautiful experience to live her life for six months. We got to shoot it here [in France]; it was a French crew and a French director, so it wasn’t on a studio lot in LA, and I think that imbues the film as well.

 

This film is about Grace Kelly choosing a different path in her life, and walking away from her career as an actress; why do you think she did this?
 I think she chose love, and I think many people do that in their lives. She was so unique in the sense that she was a major American movie star at a very young age, she won an Academy Award, and she then said ‘I am actually going to leave it all because I want a marriage and I want a family’. I think that’s a very strong thrust for many many people, not just women. I completely understand what she did. When the film starts, which is six years into her marriage, with two children; inevitably, if you are a creative person and you have a passion, which Grace did, there is a pull towards what you used to do. As much as you say ‘I can walk away from all of this’, the reality of walking away from it is very very different to the idea of it, and I think that’s what’s so interesting about how the film starts.

 

How important was the jewellery and the clothes to you, in getting into the character of Princess Grace of Monaco?
We were so fortunate because Gigi [Lepage] who is a very good friend of Olivier’s, happens to be an extraordinary costume designer; so much of the performance was imbued by the costumes. We were lucky because we also had access to the House of Dior, who did a number of costumes in the film, and jewellery by Cartier. We were very very fortunate to have access to the real things. Also, the milliner, his father designed the hats for Grace, so there has been an enormous amount of thought and work that went into that side of the movie. As an actress… Recently, I haven’t gotten to do that kind of thing. Probably the last film I did where there was so much attention to detail for the costumes, was MOULIN ROUGE, and I forget how important that can be for the characters.

 

Would you give up acting for love?

I have never had to; I would, absolutely. I wouldn’t even think twice about it because I would hope there is something else I can do, and I would find something else to do. I think love is the core emotion, and I have certainly existed without that in my life, and it’s a very empty life. I have always said; when I won the Oscar I went home and I didn’t have that in my life. That was the most intensely lonely period of my life. I have also said, strangely for me, the greatest highs have coincided with the greatest lows; my professional highs have come at times when I have had personal lows and they have collided. That’s always aggravated me; that it’s gone that way. I hope that one day I can have professional high and personal high [laughs]. I don’t know whether that’s ever possible, but I would never think twice about it. I also think that once you have children, the love of a parent… You suddenly have the emotion of being able to die for someone, and the power of that emotion is the greatest emotion there is; when you have that selflessness, as soon as that hits you, your whole life changes, and your whole life changes.

 

How do you feel that the Grimaldi family attacked the film and didn’t attend the premiere at Cannes?

Obviously, I feel sad, because I think that the film has no malice to the family or particularly to Grace of Rainier. It’s fictionalised; we have said that, it’s not a biopic. There’s the essence of truth, but as with a lot of these things, you take dramatic license at times. I understand also, because it’s their mother and father, and I understand the protection of the privacy of their mother and father, so it’s awkward but I say that and I still have respect and I want them to know that the performance was done with love, and ultimately if they ever did see it, they would see that there is an enormous amount of affection for both their parents.

 

GRACE OF MONACO” is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.

JOHN MALKOVICH PLAYS OCTOPUS WITH GINORMOUS GRUDGE AGAINST THE “PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR”

John Malkovich, considered as one of the world’s lead actor of his generation and who has made an important mark in cinema, lends voice to Dreamworks’ “Penguins of Madagascar’s” tentacled nemesis who goes by the name Dave aka Dr. Octavius Brine.

John Malkovich john malkovich voices dave aka dr brine _in PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR

A renowned geneticist, cheese-enthusiast (at least he has that in common with the Penguins) and donor to public radio pledge drives, the good doctor’s limbs are skewed at impossible angles, which isn’t that surprising because he’s actually an octopus named Dave. Raiding Fort Knox for a tasty treat is nothing compared to the challenges the Penguins face when they come up against Dr. Octavius Brine. And Dave bears a ginormous grudge against the Penguins.  Dave was once a star attraction at various zoos around the world, until the adorable, cuter-than-cute Penguins stole the spotlight away from him, relegating him forever as an exhibit also-ran.  “You took everything from me!” he bellows at the Penguins, and he’s about to take extreme measures to once again become a star attraction.

The filmmakers wanted Dave to be an adversary whom audiences wouldn’t soon forget.  “Dave is a villain like those in the classic tradition of the James Bond films,” says producer Mark Swift.  “He has a big agenda; this is a guy who wants to change the world.”

To give Dave a bigger-than-life comic presence, they really thought outside the box in casting the role. “We wanted someone who was new to animated features and would bring gravitas in terms of stage craft, which would bring some weight as well as fun to the character,” says Smith.

They turned to Academy Award® nominee John Malkovich, who has distinguished himself in films, on stage, and on television.  Making his animated feature debut, Malkovich quickly latched onto Dave’s vengeance-fueled motivations.  “Dave feels he had his life ruined at every zoo and aquatic park he’s called home, once the Penguins arrived,” he notes.  “They’re cute, so people oohed and aahed over them, so Dave would no longer get any attention.”

To Dave, the Penguins are the story’s true villains.  “These Penguins ruined his life by stealing all the attention and just standing there or waddling around, while Dave actually performed tricks and acrobatics, only to have people ignore him,” adds the actor.  “So he has very strong feelings about the Penguins, but they aren’t even aware of him.  Which makes them even more annoying to Dave!”

Malkovich quickly embraced his inner mollusk, but was also eager to give Dave’s thirst for vengeance some subtext.  “We strategized with John and came up with the idea that this film is the third act of Dave’s life,” says Smith.  “Dave’s plot is the culmination of ten years of planning, which entails kidnapping the Penguins, developing a transformative technology that will change Penguin-hood forever, and disguising himself as a human.  All that subtext made the role much more fun for John.”

The actor’s physical performance while recording the role so impressed the DreamWorks Animation team that they lifted parts of it to create the final animated performance.  “John and Benedict [Cumberbatch, who voices Classified] just didn’t do voice recordings for this film.  They act out the scene; they’re very theater-based in that way,” says Darnell.

“Moving around in the booth while voicing the role was kind of natural because Dave is so slippery and gelatinous,” Malkovich elaborates.   “I’d move my arms and pretty much the rest of my body.  I found it really helpful to have that physical manifestation.”

Perhaps abetting the actor’s drive to get into character was his resemblance to his cinematic alter ego.  “Yeah, Dave does look a bit like me – but he looks even more like my youngest sister,” he says with a laugh.

Dave is aided by his octopi henchmen, who do his bidding with ninja-like moves.  Their innate abilities, including camouflage, flexibility, and a vise-like grip make them a multi-limbed threat to our heroes.  Their interactions with Dave also provide a rich source of verbal byplay, complementing the film’s plentiful physical gags.  Dave’s instructions to his team result in hilarious puns; one, of many, examples:  “Nicolas, cage [the Penguins]!”  The filmmakers had brainstormed dozens of these celebrity-themed verbal gags, the best of which made it into the finished film.

“Penguins of Madagascar” opens November 26 in cinemas nationwide – available in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D from Dreamworks Animation and 20th  Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.