Hollywood's Awards and Industry Insider
For Rene Russo, it took time to understand 'Nightcrawler' character

Call it uncommon the way Rene Russo landed her latest (and some say career-best) role as the desperate, morally impoverished news show producer Nina Romina in this season's L.A.-set indie crime thriller "Nightcrawler." The role was created by her husband, Dan Gilroy — the film's screenwriter and director — and has given her a pack of crackerjack reviews after nearly six years away from the big screen.

She arrives for a late-afternoon interview on the Westside in a black velvet blazer, slim tan pants and vain-free smile. As an actor, she's one of those ageless sorts, both on screen and off, looking nearly half her 60 years and better than half the women half her age.

The film digs into a seedy side of the city as crime videographer Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) gets ever more aggressive in his tactics, and Romina, ever more desperate to get her show's ratings up, encourages him.

It seems that you and your husband went outside your comfort zones for this — and you both hit pay dirt. Did...

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Kevin Costner's 'Black or White,' a labor to produce, explores gray areas

No studio wanted to make it. And once he had spent $9 million of his own money to produce it, no one stepped up to distribute the thing. Passion project, albatross, conversation starter? Just don't let Kevin Costner hear you call his new film "refrigerator art."

"'Black or White' is really a giant metaphor for my career," Costner says, laughing in the bright sunshine of an early December day. "I'm a bit of a plodder. I didn't happen at 22. I started to happen around 28, 29. Certain movies have been hard for me to get made. It's a bit of a pattern for me. 'Bull Durham' was not a cinch movie to be made. 'Dances With Wolves' was not going to be made for the longest time.

"Studios are publicly traded companies, and they really have to look at that bottom line. The slots for a movie like this, maybe there's one a year for each studio, and maybe that was filled. There was no spot for 'Black or White,'" he says of his second collaboration with "The Upside of Anger" writer-director Mike Binder...

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After SAG Award nominations, an early peek at the crystal ball

The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were announced five minutes ago, and the awards won't be announced for another month. But why procrastinate? Let's pick the winners ... now!. Because of the size of the voting body (111,228 eligible members and counting!), the prizes typically go to consensus candidates. (Sorry, Jake. This isn't the Spirit Awards.) Here's our (really) early look at the races:


The nominees: "Birdman," "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game," "The Theory of Everything"

And the winner is: "Boyhood." Actors love the back story on this movie. The commitment! The passion! And no age makeup!

Unless: Voters often go for volume in this category, rewarding the biggest cast five years running until "American Hustle" upset the apple cart last year. Should they return to that thinking, "Grand Budapest" could pull off an upset, though "Birdman" logically should be the next in line.


The nominees: Steve...

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Actresses bond over playing dress up, tattoos and aging on screen

Chemistry is one of the most essential but hard-to-describe parts of the filmmaking process. Actors need to get in tune with their costars, just as directors need to find the right way to communicate with their actors. You can’t really force it. It just happens or it doesn’t.

Good chemistry broke out in a big way at this year’s Envelope Roundtable of supporting actresses. Participants Laura Dern (“Wild”) and Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”) have moved in similar circles for years, while Tilda Swinton (“Snowpiercer”) and Emma Stone (“Birdman”) met — and bonded — for the first time.

It all made for a conversation filled with genuine curiosity and discovery on such topics as impromptu costume design, adapting to unusual shooting methods, growing up in a household of actors and what the future holds for the next generation.

Here are excerpts from that conversation.

Olsen: Emma, with “Birdman,” the style of that movie is such a big kind of part of the movie itself, the way it’s shot so that it...

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Oscar Watch: Could Jake Gyllenhaal get Angelina Jolie a margarita?

Rain, shine or chickenpox, Oscar Watch -- a look at who and what's up and down this awards season -- comes to you every Monday. What's moving and shaking this week? Read on ...

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Golden Globe Awards 2015: Join our video chat on the nominations

Can any movie beat "Boyhood"? What about Julianne Moore? Is she a shoo-in for every acting award for her affecting work as a woman coping with early-onset Alzheimer's in "Still Alice"? And who is going to emerge from that crowded lead actor field? Michael Keaton? Benedict Cumberbatch? Eddie Redmayne?

Now that the nominations for the Golden Globes and Screen Actor Guild Awards have been announced, we at least have a little more clarity. Join Los Angeles Times awards columnist Glenn Whipp and movie writer Steven Zeitchik at noon Thursday, Pacific time, as they sort through all the nominations, looking at the winners, the ignored (criminally and otherwise) and what it all might mean for the Oscars.

GOLDEN GLOBES 2015: Top nominees | List | Snubs/Surprises | Reactions

If you have any questions, concerns and/or outrages you'd like to vent, feel free to send them along and we'll address them accordingly. Tweet them to us using the hashtag #asklatimes.

Twitter: @GlennWhipp, @ZeitchikLAT

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