THE ENVELOPE
Hollywood's Awards and Industry Insider
'Lego Movie': Lord and Miller on the birth of 'Everything Is Awesome'

Anyone who left "The Lego Movie" with the impossibly catchy song "Everything Is Awesome" stuck in their head may not know whether to commend or curse the writing and directing duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

A jolt of chipper synth-pop arranged by Devo co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh and featuring Tegan and Sara and the Lonely Island, "Awesome" is at once an irresistible pop confection and a send-up of mass-market entertainment — much like "The Lego Movie" itself.

In this clip from a recent presentation of "The Lego Movie" for the Envelope Screening Series, Lord and Miller talk about how the song came to be.

"We wrote a line in the script that just said something like, 'Emmet turns on the radio and the song "Everything Is Awesome" is on, which is the most annoyingly catchy, happy song ever made by humans,' or something," Miller says. "And then it happened," he adds, still seemingly bemused by the whole thing.

The song, he says, "was a testament to a lot of really talented people to put...

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Jennifer Aniston dishes on her 'drunk singing' in 'Cake'

Part of the art of acting lies in navigating the subtleties of and transitions between emotions. From scene to scene and moment to moment, an actress may find herself laughing, crying, shouting, whispering or … drunk singing?

Indeed, at least for Jennifer Aniston in the Daniel Barnz-directed drama "Cake," which finds her portraying a woman who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a member of her chronic-pain support group.

In this clip from the first episode of Epix and the Los Angeles Times' five-part series "Hollywood Sessions," Aniston talks about her "drunk and on-the-verge singing" scene.

"I wasn't actually supposed to sing along with it," Aniston recalls. "They did playback of it and it was Billy Joel's 'Honesty,' and so you couldn't help but do the stupid imitation of pretending to know the words, but you don't know the words." (Watch Aniston do just that in the video above.)

She adds, "We did have a lot of light moments, and that was definitely one of them."

Check back for more...

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Actresses on the power of empathy, Meryl Streep and virginity scenes

For this year’s awards season, The Envelope brought together a unique group of actresses, including rising stars breaking through to the next level and established stars breaking out into new roles and challenges, each earning some buzz for their current films.

Participating in the conversation were Jennifer Aniston from the small, personal drama “Cake” (opening in December); Emily Blunt from the musical “Into the Woods” (opening Christmas Day); Jessica Chastain from the recently released space epic “Interstellar” and the December drama “A Most Violent Year”; Gugu Mbatha-Raw from the historic drama “Belle,” which opened in May; and Shailene Woodley from June’s young adult love story “The Fault in Our Stars.”

Here are edited excerpts from the free-flowing conversation moderated by Times film writers Rebecca Keegan and Mark Olsen in which the actresses share their experiences singing on-screen, drunk singing on-screen, what it takes to land a part and the changing roles for women in...

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'The Judge' stars, director and producer reexamine the evidence

Playing a slick attorney in "The Judge," Robert Downey Jr. traded Iron Man's armor for more tailored threads. The movie, which opened the Toronto International Film Festival in September, is a crowd-pleaser — funny, suspenseful and sometimes quite moving — anchored by a number of fine performances, particularly Downey and Robert Duvall, who play Hank and Judge Joseph Palmer, an estranged son and father working things out the hard way. We spoke to the actors, director David Dobkin and producer Susan Downey at a recent Envelope Screening Series event. Here are excerpts from the conversation.

The idea for this movie, David, started with your relationship with your mother and caring for her when she was sick. You had a complex relationship with her?

Dobkin: Very complicated. I was the kid always getting in trouble and getting arrested, and my father was the really brilliant attorney who was cross-examining me in the kitchen at night. But my mother somehow was the one that really delivered...

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Timothy Spall creates 'Mr. Turner' from the spare strokes of Mike Leigh

With its turbulent swirls of black and gray, British painter J.M.W. Turner's 1842 canvas "Snow Storm — Steam-boat Off a Harbour's Mouth" is unparalleled in its evocation of the terror and beauty of a raging sea. There are those who doubt the story that Turner had himself strapped to a ship's mast during a gale in order to experience the forces he so vividly set down in paint, but actor Timothy Spall, who plays Turner in Mike Leigh's earthy biography, is not among them.

"There's a lot of contention among aficionados of Turner as to whether he did that," Spall agrees. "But when I look at that painting, having copied it full-size in oil, and having been in a Force 9 storm at sea as a skipper, I know he was definitely there, watching the storm. I know because of the movement in that painting, and the terror he captures, and the sense of isolation and the beauty. I just know that this is a man who knows about the sea."

In a dapper striped sport coat, Spall looks little like the snorting,...

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Ronald Colman's 'Double Life' role carries echoes of 'Birdman' theme

As Michael Keaton's critically lauded "Birdman" emerges as an Oscar hopeful, with its tortured actor losing sight of where his character ends and how much realism to bring to the stage, it calls to mind 1930s and '40s actor Ronald Colman.

The dashing, debonair Colman had been a major star since the silent era, making women's hearts flutter in his heroic, romantic roles in such films as 1935's "A Tale of Two Cities," 1937's "The Prisoner of Zenda" and 1942's "Random Harvest."

Colman finally got a chance to show a darker side in 1947's "A Double Life," a psychological thriller/film noir about a famous Broadway actor, Anthony John, who takes Method acting to a whole new and ultimately murderous level. Anthony is carefree and charming when he's doing a comedy but loses his grip on his sanity when he stars in Shakespeare's "Othello."

Nominated for four Academy Awards — including director for George Cukor and screenplay for Garson Kanin and his wife, Ruth Gordon — "A Double Life" won Oscars...

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