Writer-director Paul Dano pulls back the curtain on the process of developing the "Wildlife" story and actress Carey Mulligan talks about relating to her character at the Los Angeles Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“Wildlife” marks actor Paul Dano’s debut as a director and screenwriter. With a galvanizing performance by Carey Mulligan, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Camp and Ed Oxenbould, the film tells the story of a family in 1960s Montana coming apart in the face of a father’s dashed ambitions and a mother’s reinvigorated sense of self.
When Dano and Mulligan stopped by the L.A. Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, he talked about the filmmaker writing the adaption of Richard Ford’s novel in collaboration with Dano’s real-life partner, actress and writer Zoe Kazan. He was drawn to what he called the “spare, strong, kind of lean” style of Richard Ford’s writing.
“Zoe just kind of tore apart my first draft and destroyed all my confidence as a first-time writer and was like, 'Why don’t you let me do a pass?' and I said, ‘Great,'” Dano said. "And then we just traded it back and forth. So we never wrote in the same room ever, we’d sit down and talk for like two hours and then one of us would take it. It was actually a great way to work. I don’t know if she would do it again, I would definitely do it again.”
"La La Land" star Ryan Gosling and Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle are back together for a very different kind of story: a bio-pic about Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. "The Crown" star Claire Foy plays Armstrong's wife in the visually dazzling movie that puts audiences directly into space, and grounds them in the Armstrongs' troubled home life as well. The three discussed the film at the Los Angeles Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"La La Land" star Ryan Gosling and Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle are back together for a very different kind of story: a bio-pic about Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.
"The Crown" star Claire Foy plays Armstrong's wife in the visually dazzling movie that puts audiences directly into space, and grounds them in the Armstrongs' troubled home life as well.
When the trio sat down to chat at the Los Angeles Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, they discussed Chazelle’s approach to filming space in a way moviegoers haven’t quite seen before. And how the project truly took flight before anyone even saw “La La Land.”
In the Los Angeles Times photo and video studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, we asked filmmakers and actors including Steve McQueen, Barry Jenkins, Amandla Stenberg, Jeffrey Wright, Melissa McCarthy, Penelope Cruz, Kelly Marie Tran, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde, Geena Davis, Carey Mulligan, Liam Neeson and Brian Tyree Henry what change they'd like to see in Hollywood.
Change has been a growing subject of discussion in Hollywood as the industry has grappled with movements such as #OscarsSoWhite and #MeToo.
So when top Hollywood talent stopped by the Los Angeles Times photo and video studio during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, we asked the stars and filmmakers themselves what change they’d most like to see in the industry.
Not surprisingly, directors including Steve McQueen and Barry Jenkins and talent such as Amandla Stenberg, Jeffrey Wright, Melissa McCarthy, Penelope Cruz, Kelly Marie Tran, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde, Geena Davis, Carey Mulligan, Liam Neeson and Brian Tyree Henry had lots to say on the subject.
Director Stella Meghie and "The Weekend" cast discuss their breakout black rom-com at the Toronto International Film Festival. The cast includes "Saturday Night Live's" Sasheer Zamata, "Insecure's" Y'lan Noel and "She's Gotta Have It's" DeWanda Wise.
There’sIno doubt that Stella Meghie’s “The Weekend” is chock full of up-and-coming actors. There’s “Saturday Night Live” alum Sasheer Zamata in the leading role along with “She’s Gotta Have It’s” DeWanda Wise, “Insecure’s” and “The First Purge’s” Y’lan Noel and “Disjointed’s” Tone Bell.
But despite the fresher energy they all bring, respect is paid to the veteran of their cast, Kym Whitley. When asked about working with the comedic heavyweight, one word came to mind: “Joy.”
Nancy Garcia, Marina de Tavira and Yalitza Aparicio discuss working with Alfonso Cuarón on Netflix's "Roma," which won the top prize at the 2018 Venice Film Festival and is generating major awards season buzz.
One of the films with the biggest Oscar buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival is Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” fresh off its award-winning debut at the Venice Film Festival. Its three stars, Nancy Garcia, Marina de Tavira and Yalitza Aparicio, stopped by the Los Angeles Times film and video studio to discuss working with Cuarón.
“It was incredible for me because to start, I didn’t know, not even in my wildest dreams, I'd ever get to do a project like this,” said Garcia. “To work alongside Alfonso, having him help, encourage and motivate me to get the best out of me, I think that was incredible.”
De Tavira added: “For me it was a really transforming experience because I was the only actress in the cast. I was working with non-actors and contrary to what you can think, it was me that had to get in the mood that they were all working [in]... Alfonso was asking me to not think as an actress but as a character and I think, this sounds easy, but it's not.”
"Widows" stars Michelle Rodriguez, Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo discuss how the Steve McQueen-directed heist thriller allowed them to defy Hollywood's expectations of female actors: "Sometimes you get a role that helps you to slay certain dragons in your own life."
Hollywood knows Viola Davis as a fierce force to be reckoned with. Just one Grammy shy of the EGOT and positioned to score more awards consideration for her turn in Steve McQueen’s Nov. 16 heist thriller “Widows,” she’s one of the industry’s most commanding stars.
But, Davis revealed at the L.A. Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, making the role her own meant peeling back layers of toughness to find “a level of femininity and vulnerability” that Hollywood has not historically seen in her.
“I don’t get to play roles in movies where I am rolling around in bed with Liam Neeson,” Davis said with a laugh in the Times studio, flanked by her “Widows” costars Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo and Michelle Rodriguez.
All four praised the McQueen film, co-scripted by the director with novelist and screenwriter Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), for granting them the rare opportunity to step out of the boxes the industry might otherwise keep them in.
“Sometimes you get a role that helps you to slay certain dragons in your own life, just certain obstacles, and this was one of those roles for me,” Davis said. “It just was a transformative role, a role for me to go to another level of vulnerability.”
This year’s Toronto International Film Festival has an unexpected onslaught of movies centered around female singers. There’s the splashy “A Star Is Born,” starring Lady Gaga, the headier “Vox Lux” with Natalie Portman, the rootsy “Wild Rose” featuring a breakout turn by Jessie Buckley and the yearning “Teen Spirit,” with Elle Fanning.
And then there is “Her Smell,” a wild, churning character study like no other starring Elisabeth Moss as Becky Something, the leader of a fictional ’90s rock group called Something She.
Just like its lead character, the film is aggressive and purposefully obnoxious. It more or less dares an audience to live through its forceful, unrelenting energy — and the self-destructive, pushy pitch of Moss’ performance — for most of the two-hour-plus running time to ultimately get to a place of serenity, self-knowledge and grace.
A timelapse video shows Polaroids developing at the Los Angeles Times' photo and video studio at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
Thanks to the popularity of social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, photography is all about speed these days. But remember when you used to have to actually wait for a photo to develop?
This year at the Toronto International Film Festival, the L.A. Times took a page from the old days by having A-list celebs such as Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde pose for Polaroids (signed by the stars, no less).
The full gallery of signed photos are here for your viewing pleasure, and The Times is also pulling the curtain back on the development process — for those who either don’t remember or just don’t know — with this fun timelapse video. Click play on the video above to see all the action up close.
"Sorry for Your Loss" stars Elizabeth Olsen, Kelly Marie Tran and Mamoudou Athie discuss the Facebook Watch series about loss, grief and moving on.
Grief, and the multitude of emotions that come with it, form the complex terrain of “Sorry for Your Loss,” starring Elizabeth Olsen as Leigh, a woman struggling to cope with the death of her husband.
At the Toronto International Film Festival to debut the first four episodes with director James Ponsoldt and creator Kit Steinkellner, stars Olsen, Kelly Marie Tran and Mamoudou Athie discussed the drama series debuting Sept. 18 on Facebook Watch.
“What Kit always says is, if you’re going to tell a story about grief and loss and death, you’re ultimately going to tell a story about how amazing it is, and how lucky we are, to be alive,” Olsen said.
“I think everybody knows someone who is dealing with or has suffered from depression, and you can’t always tell — it’s just not always apparent,” said Athie, who plays Leigh’s late husband, Matt. “The script just had a very compassionate and also honest view of it.”
After making a splash with his 2015 directorial debut, the dark, unnerving thriller “The Gift,” Joel Edgerton got sent his fair share of suspense scripts. But true to his unpredictable form, the Australian actor turned filmmaker wanted to go in a completely different direction with his next project.
“A large part of what the film business is about is following in the footsteps of something that seems to work, but I’ve never had that attitude as an actor,” Edgerton, 44, said earlier this month at the Telluride Film Festival, where his latest film, the gay-conversion therapy drama “Boy Erased,” made its world premiere. “For my next project after ‘The Gift,’ I wanted to put something positive and moving into the world.”
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, “Boy Erased” stars Lucas Hedges as a young man who is pressured by his deeply religious Baptist parents (played by Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman) into entering gay-conversion therapy. Slated to hit theaters in the heart of awards season, on Nov. 2, the film has already earned kudos for its emotionally wrenching look at a family being pulled apart over conflicting beliefs and the strong central performances of Hedges, Kidman and Crowe.