Stephen Dorff Exclusive Video Interview: Bucky Larson’s Bad Guy Talks

Getting Stephen Dorff to star in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star took all of an hour for Adam Sandler — the film’s producer. On the phone with his friend Sandler for a catch up call, Dorff mentioned his desire to try some comedy after a career of stellar work onscreen in dramas. An hour later, Sandler called and said, “Have I got the part for you.”

Stephen Dorff in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

In Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, Dorff is a porn star at the top of his game until the title character comes to town and is suddenly the industry’s star du jour. Therein lies the comedy in Bucky Larson, and Dorff was more than game to make his first foray into the Happy Madison production team’s latest comedic venture.

Dorff has the uncanny ability to play roles that after witnessing the film audiences are left drawing a blank when thinking how any other actor could have taken on the role with such power. From his recent turn in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, to Michael Mann’s Public Enemies and even back to his devilish role in Blade, Dorff also keeps audiences guessing where they will find him next. Evidence of that is his part in Bucky Larson across the film’s stars Nick Swardson, Don Johnson and Kevin Nealon.

Dorff visited with Movie Fanatic for an exclusive video interview recently and gave us the inside scoop on how Sofia Coppola, of all people, was integral for him in taking the role of Dick Shadow in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star.

Stephen Dorff Exclusive: Bucky Larson’s Villain Speaks

Expendables 2 Cast: Who’s In or Out?

Rumors have been flying that Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme have been approached to join the cast of The Expendables 2.

Sylvester Stalone Picture
Given the fact that the first Expendables, featuring a cast of action heroes of movies’ past, shot to the top of the box office charts in the summer of 2010 for weeks on end — finally closing at $275 million — everyone who was anyone in the action movie genre would be jockeying to join the cast of the Expendables sequel.

What we do know is Sylvester Stallone, his new best bud Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews and Randy Couture are back.

As is the cast in any sequel, where is the new blood to send the series into its next chapter?

According to Millennium Films, Van Damme and Norris are in fact on board, yet a third huge star may be also joining the party — John Travolta. Witnessing him at his Broken Arrow bad guy best would be a treat in an Expendables 2.

Will action hero heavyweights Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger be back to reprise their roles from the first one? Absolutely. Guess that means that everybody’s in and nobody is out!

And we even have a release date to report: August 17, 2012.

Eddie Murphy as Oscar Host: How’d He Score the Gig?

Yesterday, moments before it was announced, Movie Fanatic reported on the swirl of buzz surrounding the fact that Eddie Murphy was going to host the 2012 Oscars. So, how did he get the job?

Eddie Murphy in Tower Heist

We believe the connection lies with his Tower Heist director Brett Ratner, who is producing the telecast.

Even though Billy Crystal campaigned for the job, telling a group gathered at the American Cinematheque screening of City Slickers that he would do the show another few times before he hung up his hat, Ratner was never interested.

Ratner knew that after last year’s hosting by Anne Hathaway and James Franco, putting somebody “hip” into the position wasn’t going to bolster ratings. He also knew that going back to an old host would most likely achieve the same result. So, Ratner had to look forward.

Among the contenders besides his star of Tower Heist was comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld. Although Seinfeld would have made an interesting choice, it did possess the power to drift into David Letterman territory. Letterman famously hosted the Academy Awards in 1995 and was generally panned for bringing his type of humor to the broadcast without incorporating the magic of the movies that is central to the Oscars show.

So, when you think about it, Murphy was the only solid choice to host the 2012 Academy Awards. And Movie Fanatic believes it is a brilliant one at that.

Young Adult Poster Premieres: Charlize Theron Tipsy

Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody is back and the poster for her film, Young Adult starring fellow Oscar winner Charlize Theron, has debuted.

Young Adult Movie Poster

Theron portrays Mavis Gary, a Young Adult writer who decides to move back to the town she grew up in with the hope of reviving her personal life, a la her high school splendor.

Mavis has ulterior motives: She is seeking to woo her married high school honey — played by Patrick Wilson. Her seamless transition to returning home does not go as smoothly as she expected and results in her unlikely friendship with another former high school cohort, played by Patton Oswalt. Seems Oswalt’s character has not gotten over the glory days of high school as well.

Young Adult marks the return to form of screenwriter Cody after her impressive debut with Juno. It also serves as reuniting the writer with Juno’s director, Jason Reitman.

The film arrives on screens December 9.

Contagion Chat: Steven Soderbergh Talks to Movie Fanatic

Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh is becoming a modern Robert Altman. He gathers casts that are the envy of the entire industry. Whether it is his current effort Contagion with stars Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Bryan Cranston and Kate Winslet or his soon-to-be-filming Magic Mike with Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey and Olivia Munn, Soderbergh is a Spielberg of the new century — versatile, veracious and beyond visionary.

Steven Soderberg and Gwyneth Paltrow in Contagion
Soderbergh first conquered the ensemble drama with his debut film Sex, Lies and Videotape. Since that Cannes-winning movie, the filmmaker has amassed a resume about which all who dreamed of wielding a camera can only fantasize. From Oceans 11, 12 and 13 to Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight and The Good German, Soderbergh is the eyes and ears of happening cinema for the last two decades.

His latest, Contagion, tells the story of how the simplicity of human contact can destroy us all. Soderbergh took a moment out of his demanding schedule to talk to Movie Fanatic about the magic of filmmaking and his course for Contagion.

Movie Fanatic: Did you have any rules making Contagion to avoid other disaster movie clichés?

Steven Soderbergh: The one rule that we had was we can’t go anywhere one of our characters hasn’t been. We can’t cut to a city or to a group of extras that we’ve never been to, that we don’t know personally — that was our rule! And that’s a pretty significant rule to adhere to in a movie in which you’re trying to give a sense of something that’s happening on a large scale. But we felt that all of the elements that we had issues with prior when we see any kind of disaster film were sort of centered around that idea, that suddenly you cut to Paris where you’ve never been and something happens and it’s a bunch of people you don’t have any emotional engagement with. We were trying to have it be epic and also intimate at the same time. So that was rule number one.

Movie Fanatic: How do you balance the spectacle of an international thriller versus keeping the film intimate with characters we care about?

Steven Soderbergh: Honestly, I was just trying to keep it very, very simple. And that meant the entire film’s shot with two lenses, basically. When I would look at a scene I would try and figure out how few shots I needed as opposed to how many. I really wanted it to be, in terms of style, one of the simplest movies that I’ve ever made. Often that can require more thought than just walking in and saying, “I’m just gonna cover the hell out of this and I’m gonna figure this out later.” When you’re going in saying, “I really wanna keep this simple and I want every shot to have a purpose and I want every cut to have a purpose. I don’t want any waste.” If you pulled one shot out, it meant something would be diminished. That was my approach. That was really it, you know, eye level, no crane shots — no like throwing the camera around — just keep it simple so that all you were paying attention to was the performances.

Marion Cotillard in Contagion

Movie Fanatic: How game was Gwyneth Paltrow for shooting that autopsy scene?

Steven Soderbergh: Gwyneth is a trooper because we got into that room and we had an actual medical examiner there who does this sort of thing all the time. We asked her to walk us through the steps in which somebody has died under these circumstances. When she got to the part where she said, “We cut here and then we peel the skin over the front of the face,” I immediately turned to Greg and said, “OK, we need to find a flap of something that looks like pizza on one end without the sauce that we can attach some wig hair to so that we can do this.” [Laughs] We scrambled around and we were able to do that. It took about 40 minutes of having Gwyneth in that position. Greg actually ended up being the person that put the skin flap over and she was stock still, didn’t say a word. She had contact lenses in and she asked the medical examiner, “OK, talk to me about the rest of my face. What about my mouth?” And the woman said, “Your tongue would be extruded just a little bit. You would have some sort of yellowish fluid coming out of your nose.” She wanted it to be exactly right. I think she had a feeling this was going to be some sort of weird, iconic image somehow. It’s kind of jarring. There were no tricks there, no freeze frame — no high speed frame rate. That was just Gwyneth being stock still with some really good effects.

Movie Fanatic: What did you see in Jennifer Ehle that made you want to cast her in Contagion?

Steven Soderbergh: I’d known who Jennifer was for a long time and it didn’t take a lot of thought, honestly. I have a long list of people I’ve seen over the course of my career that I’ve thought, “Wow, they would be great to work with.”

Movie Fanatic: Was there something that made her right for that role in particular?

Steven Soderbergh: I knew by her saying yes that she was willing to take a run at some very complex language. One of the most difficult scenes in terms of the language in the movie is the explanation when she says, “Look, we know what it is now. The green part is this and the red part is that.” Scott had written it in sort of general terms and then (film consultant) Ian Lipkin was on the set and we wrote it right there. It’s not really fair to throw dialogue at someone like that at the last minute. I was hoping that the fear of having to say it would translate as excitement and high emotional stakes for the world because it was a lot and it was hard.

Steven Soderbergh filming Contagion

Movie Fanatic: Why was the timing perfect for a movie like Contagion in 2011?

Steven Soderbergh: Well I guess we’re gonna see if the timing is perfect or not [laughs]. The reaction from Warner Bros when we presented them the script, everyone felt there was a place for an ultra-realistic film about this subject. Nobody hesitated. It all happened very quickly uncharacteristically actually considering what the business is like now for adult dramas. That made me feel like maybe we’re onto something.