"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.
Melissa McCarthy's critically acclaimed star turn in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" shows the actress in a new light. She discusses the film at the L.A. Times photo studio at the Toronto International Film Festival with co-stars Richard E. Grant, Christian Navarro and Dolly Wells.
A struggling writer finds her voice by forging the letters of famous literary figures in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” a true story based on the life of Lee Israel. Directed by Marielle Heller from a screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, based on the memoir by Israel, the film stars Melissa McCarthy in a role that has already earned fantastic reviews and awards buzz.
McCarthy stopped by the L.A. Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival along with co-stars Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells and Christian Navarro to talk about the film.
Israel is a curmudgeon of the highest order, and McCarthy captures both the sweet and the sour in a character who makes no concessions to others.
Back in the day — think late ’90s, early 2000s — romantic comedies and dramas with black ensembles were around every release corner.
Stella Meghie’s “The Weekend,” premiering Tuesday at the Toronto International Film Festival, revives the tradition.
Starring “Saturday Night Live” alum Sasheer Zamata, “The Weekend” follows a comedian who takes a weekend trip to her parent’s bed-and-breakfast with her ex (Tone Bell, “Disjointed”) and his new girlfriend (DeWanda Wise, “She’s Gotta Have It”) in tow. While there, she meets a new potential bae in another guest, played by Y’lan Noel (“Insecure,” “The First Purge”).
Natalie Portman and Brady Corbet discuss "Vox Lux," their heady poem of celebrity, violence and pop music.
Writer-director Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux” is a dizzyingly ambitious project, in which a girl becomes a pop star after being a victim in a school shooting only to find herself years later again inexplicably touched by violence.
Natalie Portman plays the adult version of the girl, named Celeste, with Stacy Martin playing her sister and confidant and Jude Law her longtime manager. Raffey Cassidy plays both young Celeste and older Celeste’s daughter
Taken alongside Portman’s Oscar-nominated role in “Jackie,” her performance in “Vox Lux” is another fascinating look at the private lives of public figures. One of Celeste’s songs, co-written by real-life pop star Sia, is about being “a private girl in a public world.”
"Boy Erased" star, writer and director Joel Edgerton and author Garrard Conley talk about their film based on Conley's memoir about surviving a so-called gay conversion therapy camp.
It took Garrard Conley almost 10 years before he could write about being sent to a gay conversion therapy camp by his parents “because I was terrified of what had happened to me,” he said.
“I was either too angry or too upset to write any of it,” he said. “Then I read several blogs of survivor stories and saw mine reflected.”
What Conley ended up penning became “Boy Erased,” a 2016 memoir recounting his childhood in a fundamentalist Arkansas family. The book made its way to Joel Edgerton’s hands, who adapted it for the screen, with the film premiering last week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"American Dharma" filmmaker Errol Morris discusses the factors behind the 2016 election, why he made a film focused on Steve Bannon, the question he hopes it will answer and what he hopes it will accomplish.
Sunday afternoon at the Toronto International Film Festival saw the North American premiere of Errol Morris’ documentary “American Dharma” — which is essentially an extended interview with controversial political advisor Steve Bannon.
The movie arrived at TIFF after playing at the Venice Film Festival and not long after a public outcry over Bannon being announced to appear at, and then disinvited from, the New Yorker Festival. Morris’ film has become the subject of heated debate even before most people have had a chance to see it. Some say that even making it gives former Trump administration official Bannon too much of a platform.
Morris stopped by the Los Angeles Times studio in Toronto for a video interview on making the movie and whether he expected the mere fact of its existence to become a flashpoint.