The ‘Pain and Gain’ director on Roger Ebert, George Lucas, and easing up a bit. By Marlow Stern in Newsweek.
He is reviled by critics and beloved by fanboys, who have shelled out billions of dollars in allowance money to partake in his assorted symphonies of destruction. His high-octane oeuvre has laid waste to Pearl Harbor and Chicago (the Transformers franchise), as well as Paris, New York City, and Shanghai in Armageddon.
Director and Executive Producer Michael Bay on the set of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. (Jaimie Trueblood/Paramount Pictures/Courtesy of Everett Collection)
But now Michael Bay has decided to return to his Bad Boys roots with Pain and Gain (in theaters April 26). Based on a series of 1999 Miami New Times articles by Pete Collins, the film chronicles the kidnapping, torture, and extortion of businessman Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) by a gang of bodybuilders known as the “Sun Gym Gang,” including ringleader Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), God-fearing Paul Doyle (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), and Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie).
Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Hudson, Riz Ahmed and Mira Nair discuss their new film, which is love story, political thriller and philosophical meditation all wrapped in one.
A young Muslim man, once a lover of America and now estranged. An act of terror that reverberates halfway across the world. And a cat-and-mouse hunt, with the American authorities hoping to find the bad guys before it's too late. Throw in a deeply moving love story and lush scenes of Lahore, and you'll have the building blocks of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the latest film from director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala). Based on the novel of the same name by Mohsin Hamid, it's the coming-of-age tale of Changez (Riz Ahmed), a Pakistani boy from a once-prominent family whose meteoric rise through the ranks of Princeton and Wall Street is abruptly altered by the tragic events of 9/11. The film—which toggles back and forth between Changez's backstory, including an affair with the wealthy, haunted Erica (Kate Hudson), and a present-day hostage crisis involving a kidnapped professor and a CIA manhunt—tackles the powerful themes of home and exile, of the global “war on terror,” and of the questions a young man must ask of himself and his conscience. The Daily Beast caught up with Nair and her film's stars to talk about the movie—which is out this Friday in the U.S.—and why Changez's tale is more relevant than ever today. Excerpts:
As Changez, Riz Ahmed transforms before the audience's eyes from a hopeful, happy undergrad to a hard and calculating leader. He and Kate Hudson talk about their characters' doomed relationship and the ripple effect of 9/11.
The Daily Beast: So how’s your experience been so far promoting the film?
Justin Bieber continues to rock his bad side, after getting busted for pot in Stockholm this week. But the Beliebers won’t care, and really, neither should anyone.
In case it wasn’t already clear after he threatened to “fucking beat the fuck” out of a photographer or when he posted an illustration on Instagram implying he just had sex with a (topless) fan, Justin Bieber is now, officially, all grown up. The once precocious moppet has now officially made the transition to petulant badass after successfully completing the child-star rite of passage: getting busted for pot.
Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs during a concert April 5 in Dortmund, Germany. (Caroline Seidel/DPA, via AP)
After catching a distinct whiff of the green ganja coming from Bieber’s tour bus in Sweden while it was parked in front of a hotel, Stockholm police notified a narcotics unit, which boarded the bus and discovered that Bieber and his camp were apparently harboring a small amount of marijuana. No one is being charged, since the bus was empty at the time, and no suspect could be officially identified, but that hardly curbs the tidal wave of leap-to-conclusions headlines: “Beloved North American Pop-Star Baby Now a Drug Fiend!”
Khloé Kardashian is the second host in two years to be fired from ‘The X Factor.’ Is hosting TV really that difficult?
To anyone who “kept up” with Khloé Kardashian’s trajectory as co-host of The X Factor, the reality star’s firing this week from the show hardly comes as a surprise. She had no live TV experience, no hosting experience, and no musical experience. She was a deer in headlights in every sense of the phrase, a wide-eyed Bambi fumbling to gather her legs under her in a job she couldn’t have been more ill suited to fill.
Host Khloe Kardashian, winner Tate Stevens and host Mario Lopez on stage during the “X Factor” Season 2 finale on December 20, 2012. (FOX,via Getty)
Her eyes would dart back and forth between cameras, unsure of where she should be looking. She’d literally shout at viewers, thinking she had to be heard over the screaming live audience. A fixed, terrified smile never left her face as she robotically recited whatever lines were being fed to her by producers. “Wow. What a phenomenal night,” she’d offer in a staccato deadpan. Certainly, there was no meaningful connection being made with the contestants. “I’m so nervous and I’m not ... even ... any of these ... groups ... right now,” she once lifelessly shrugged as a handful of competitors awaited their fates.
Will Forte opens up about his journey from ‘Saturday Night Live’ to starring roles in the Tribeca Film Festival drama ‘Run and Jump’ and the Alexander Payne’s Cannes entry, ‘Nebraska.’
Acting wasn’t Will Forte’s first dream.
After graduating from UCLA, he was all set to become a financial “Master of the Universe,” following in the footsteps of his namesake father (Forte was born Orville Willis Forte IV). He managed to land a cushy gig as a financial broker at Smith Barney Shearson in Beverly Hills, where he’d make his fortune. But things didn’t go exactly as planned.
Best know for his comedic roles, actor Will Forte poses for a portrait in promotion of his upcoming film, "Run and Jump," on April 19, 2013 in New York. (Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)
One is a beloved rock star, the other a black sheep who can’t get anything right. Indie rock hero Matt Berninger of The National and his younger brother Tom tell Melissa Leon how they opened the Tribeca Film Festival with their documentary ‘Mistaken for Strangers.’
On the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival, festival co-founder Robert De Niro and his wife, Grace Hightower, stepped onto the red carpet, almost instantly obscured by a noisy mass of photographers. Less than 15 feet down the same carpet, in a fitted suit and clear-rimmed glasses, and with fewer cameras around him, stood Matt Berninger, lead singer for one of indie rock’s most respected bands, The National. Bemused, two journalists behind me wondered aloud “what this guy is doing here.” One commented that he had “never heard of ’em.”
Matt Berninger of the National, left, with brother Tom, right, appear in a scene from "Mistaken for Strangers." (Tribeca Film Festival)
A little way off was Tom Berninger, Matt’s younger brother. Vaguely Philip Seymour Hoffman-esque in appearance, Tom is a slacker type familiar to many: he’s a 33-year-old metalhead who lives at home with his parents and somehow never quite manages to finish what he starts. Tom is also the reason the band was there. Though his previous director credits were mainly homemade slasher flicks—one revolved around a murderous rampage-prone barbarian with an identity crisis—Tom’s new “self-mockumentary,” Mistaken for Strangers, was selected as the opener for this year’s festival. He was as flabbergasted as the journalists behind me were.
Ke$ha has had sex with ghosts, drunk her own pee, and smoked glitter, but her new MTV reality show, ‘My Crazy Beautiful Life,’ is a snooze. A nostalgic Kevin Fallon looks back at her wilder times.
“My message is to give the haters the finger and be yourself,” Ke$ha says in the premiere of her new MTV docu-series Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life. Damned if, until now, the glitter-soaked pop warbler hasn’t heeded her own advice. This is, after all, the woman who first hit it big with a musical ode to debauchery, who wears a fan’s molar on a necklace, who created her own line of condoms emblazoned with her likeness.
Kesha attends fashion house Calzedonia's Summer Show Forever Together on April 16 in Rimini, Italy. (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty)
My Crazy Beautiful Life, whose first episode aired Tuesday night, tracks the Katy Perry–Lady Gaga love child as she prowls the globe on her first headlining tour. “Brace for some serious wackiness,” you probably thought. After all, when teasing the series earlier this year, Ke$ha revealed that she drank her own pee and smoked glitter during the filming process. That Ke$ha! She’s so crazy, what with her brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, glitter fetish, and pee-pee chugging! Surely, then, a so-called all-access documentary series airing on MTV would gleefully exploit the auto-tune maven’s penchant for crazy, unleashing a torrent of sparkly ridiculata to entertain viewers.
Evan Rachel Wood stars as a flighty barista in ‘A Case of You,’ premiering at Tribeca. The actress dishes on her film, her decision to come out, hidden talents, Twitter, and more.
At just 25 years of age, Evan Rachel Wood has established herself as a gifted, highly unpredictable actress. After her breakout role as a troubled young girl in Thirteen, she’s gone on to star in a diverse array of films, including Julie Taymor’s musical Across the Universe, Darren Aronofsky’s dark drama The Wrestler, and George Clooney’s political thriller The Ides of March.
Tribeca Film Festival
A very pregnant Wood is at Tribeca to unveil her latest film, romantic comedy A Case of You. Directed by Kat Coiro from a screenplay by brothers Justin and Christian Long, the film stars Justin Long as Sam, a disillusioned novelist who is infatuated with Byrdie (Wood) the barista at his local Brooklyn coffee shop. He eventually stalks her Facebook profile and seeks to win her over by becoming the man he thinks she wants—that is, conforming to all the things under her “likes” section. The experiment goes swimmingly, until Sam realizes he may be biting off more than he can chew. The film boasts a stellar supporting cast as well, including Vince Vaughn as a snappy agent, Peter Dinklage as a saucy gay barista, and Sam Rockwell as a stoner guitar instructor.
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