The Stars of Summer Speak at CinemaCon – Part 1
Even though CinemaCon was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, the actors visiting us in the press room before the awards ceremony on March 31st were promoting spring and summer films that hadn’t been released yet. In fact, most of these movies still haven’t been, so it seems like a good time to share what they had to say.
One actress who didn’t disappoint was the amazing Helen Mirren, who received CinemaCon’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was very excitedly awaiting the release of her latest film “Arthur” which co-starred Russell Brand. When asked whether the rumors were true that her leading man had a crush on her she replied, “If he does it’s reciprocated. I have to say in some other weird universe at some other time we’re madly in love with each other, but unfortunately we’re caught in this world. We can’t do anything about it.” Known for the variety of roles she’s played over the years, Helen admitted she was drawn to “Arthur” partly because it was a big comedy role. “I’ve done comedic films, but I’ve never done a comedy film. I’ve always wondered what that would be like. How is a comedy film structured? How are they shot?” she remembered pondering before adding that she believes “Arthur” is going to be one of her favorite films. “I think just making that character into a woman immediately modernizes it, shifts the feeling of it. Gielgud was absolutely brilliant. He won an Oscar for his performance. It was a brilliant performance. It was a bit intimidating to follow that one,” she said. “When I first got the role I thought I would study his work and really frame by frame, just like learn the phrasing and see why he was so successful, but then I thought that would be disastrous. Gielgud did his, Mirren’s done hers,” she concluded.
For Tyler Perry he received the CinemaCon Visionary Award the same day the announcement was made about his new deal with Lionsgate. He told journalists,“It’s really great. They’ve been an awesome group to work with and I’m very excited about it.” For Perry they have become an extended family and one that he enjoys working with with because of the autonomy the relationship has afforded him from the beginning. “That was part of the deal,” he said adding that he’ll remain happy with their arrangement, “Just as long as they allow me to continue to speak to the audience that I’ve super served for so long and try to branch out and push from there. That’s what makes it so special. They don’t bother me. It’s a great situation.” He admitted, however, that if his box office numbers changed, so might the circumstances. “I guess if I stop delivering it would be a different thing, but right now, so far so good,” he said.
Speaking about his rise in the box office Tyler explained that the small movie theatre owners caught on to what he had to offer quickly. “They knew something special had happened right away. I think it just took a minute for it to grow out, so that everybody started to understand the effect of it. It takes a while. You can’t nail it all at once. It takes some time to really get it all going and get a lot of people to recognized and understand it, but better late than never right?” he asked looking around the room.
Another topic of discussion was his new film “Madea’s Big Happy Family”, which led to a discussion about his mother. “My mother died on December the 9th, a couple of years ago and it’s been really a difficult time for me, but what gives me great joy are the wonderful memories she left me,” he related. “Madea is the PG version of my mother. I can’t say half the things she would say,” he concluded with a smile.
One of the newcomers to the big screen is Julianne Hough, who made her debut in “Burlesque” before taking on the role of Ariel in “Footloose”. She is happy that director Craig Brewer, who has done such edgy films like “Hustle and Flow” is at the helm for “Footloose.” “Obviously it’s an homoage, but it’s very new and gritty and very honest and real,” she stated. Hough believes that this version is very close to the original and that audiences who enjoyed the first one will be pleased with this one because it does pay tribute. She’s also excited about the music, which has been updated, but isn’t trying to change the feel of the film from the way it was in 1984. “What’s cool is it doesn’t look like one of those movies where it looks like a music video. It’s very much like the old school. A lot of the choreography is freestyle. I’m a 17 year old girl in the movie, you know, I’m not a dancer, so I just had fun with it. I didn’t really have choreography. I just had fun with it like a 17 year old girl dancing would, she explained. Even though Julianne is happy to ramp up her movie career with “Footloose” after gaining national attention with her appearance on “Dancing With the Stars” she has many other career plans that don’t include dancing. “I think it was a great transition going from the music and the dancing over to film and being able to do those things,” she said before adding, “I want to do dramas. I want to do comedies. I want to do action. I want to do it all.”
Recording artist Natasha Bedingfield was there promoting the Sprite Refreshing Films Contest she was featured in recently and to perform at the closing night party. Of her experience in the venture for Sprite she said, “I got involved. Sprite asked me to be involved. They were looking for some celebrities to be involved in shorts that they’re doing with a whole group of young people and it’s a contest. It’s a program about investing in the filmmakers of tomorrow.” Asked why she chose to participate, Natasha responded, “I’m passionate about it because I think music, movies fashion, it’s all very interconnected.” adding that she believes that the arts are all about self-expression. “I want to invest in young people. If I’d had resources like that available to me it would have made things a lot easier,” she admitted. Natasha has a new album coming out called “Strip Me” that will soon take her on tour throughout the U.S
Find out what Vin Diesel, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and more of our summer action heroes have to say next time in Part 2.