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Director Liza Johnson Discusses Bringing ‘Hateship/Loveship’ To The Screen

Director Liza Johnson Discusses Bringing ‘Hateship/Loveship’ To The Screen

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Adapted from acclaimed author Alice Munro’s iconic 2001 short story, “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage,” director Liza Johnson brings us the gripping story of “Hateship Loveship.” The story focuses on Johanna Parry (Kristen Wiig), a profoundly shy, unadorned woman who is hired by Mr. McCauley (Nick Nolte) as a housekeeper and a primary caregiver to his granddaughter Sabitha (Hailee Steinfeld). Despite her outgoing nature, Sabitha carries wounds from the death of her mother years before, complicated by the circumstances of that death for which her grandfather still blames her father, Ken (Guy Pearce), a hapless recovering drug addict with a certain ragged charm. In an act of mean-spirited rebellion, Sabitha uses technology to foster a pseudo-relationship between Johanna and her father, never dreaming of the potential harm to either party. Sabitha doesn’t understand that Johanna is not a demure cut-out, but rather a woman for whom the phrase “still waters run deep” could have been coined. The young girl’s interference provokes Johanna to indulge in something long missing from her life: the dream of a future and a home of her own. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with director Liza Johnson to discuss her career, the making of ‘Hateship Loveship’ and the challenges of bringing it to the screen.

Director Liza Johnson

Director Liza Johnson

I wanted to go back to your early years. What initially attracted you to the world of filmmaking?

I have always loved movies but when I was young, it wasn’t like I always wanted to make movies. When I was in art school, I studied more in a kind of tradition of video and film that you would see in museums or a gallery. Over time, as I worked in that tradition, I kept doing stuff with stuff with performers and things that had a bit of a story in them. At a certain point, I just thought “If I am going to push this work, it would be a movie.” [laughs] I started to think about it and it is a little bit of a different economic context and exhibition context, so I tried to learn. I did things like going to the labs at The Sundance Institute and that helped me understand some of the difference between the tradition I had been working in before and the one I am working in now.

Who were some of the inspirations who helped shaped see the artist we see today?

That is a hard question and always an embarrassing question too. I think it is fine to be aspirational but at times it makes me feel bloated and ridiculous. “Oh yeah, I really like Robert Altman?” If I say that then I am sure people will say, “Yeah, well you are no Robert Altman!” [laughs] For sure the cinema of the 70s has been influential to be, such as Altman and Cassavetes. I also really admire writers and filmmakers that take a really bold point of view. I am not sure I do that in the same way but I feel like writers like Lynne Tillman or directors like Kelly Reichardt inspire me with the way they take a very bold point of view with what they do.

'Hateship Loveship'

‘Hateship Loveship’

Your latest film is “Hateship Loveship.” How did you get involved with this project and what was it about the material that made you want to pursue it in film form?

The screenwriter, Mark Poirier, who is also a lovely literary writer, brought it to me. I think he thought I would be attracted to the main character. He was right! I just really loved the way she comes from a world where it doesn’t do her any good to what the things she can’t have. Then when she has to move into this new world, she really lights on fire with desire for something and has to figure you how to realize her desire. I just found that to be really beautiful and tense when you she her struggle to do that.

Going into shooting, how did you prepare yourself to tackle this film stylistically?

I felt that in some ways it should be in a classical style. I really had a great team on this movie. I worked with the cinematographer, Kasper Tuxen. We looked at a lot of movies that have been shot with available light or work hard to create a style of a realistic, everyday world. I wanted to be accountable for the author of the source material, Alice Munro, who I think is so beautiful at writing the inner lives of everyday people who live in an everyday world. Her characters don’t live in styled, film noire world or a fantasy world. They live in the same world you and I live in. That was important to Kristen [Wiig] too. The first time we ever met we talked about what the world would look like. Kasper has a lot of range as a stylist and was really smart about how available light could make the world feel like the world I wanted to achieve on-screen. We also worked closely with two designers, one of which was Hannah Beachler. She is a production designer who also did the film “Fruitvale Station’. In the tradition I have been working in, I often don’t have an art department and I sometimes just shoot on raw locations, which always brings something to the situation. Usually, there is something accidental in the frame that is unexpected and that can be bad or good. When you have an art department, they can go in there and clean out all the dirt at the location and put back their own perfectly ordered dirt! [laughs] Hannah was a really good collaborator because she was interested in trying to make a controlled world that also feels like it has the randomness and sense of accident that real life has. We shot a lot on real locations. She designed, styled and dressed them but you try to be sensitive to the idea that everyday life has a lot of randomness in it. We tried to make a look that has the quality of realness and surprise. Likewise with the costume designer, she is a very character driven costume designer and she tried to really think about what kinds of clothes would be available to Johanna in the world she is coming from, how would she look different from the other people around her in the new world she goes to. I would say between the three of them, they made a coherent style to the movie that feels like the style of everyday life or something really real, you know?

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Absolutely. Another huge part of the realism of this film is your very talented cast. Was it difficult to land the right mix of people to bring it to life?

Actually, it wasn’t that difficult. It was really a great experience. I felt like Kristen would be the right person to play Johanna. I love her work and I think she is wonderfully talented. I also felt that she would be interested in this role thematically. I say that because a lot of the characters she has created are often very funny or broad. From being on Saturday Night Live, you have to convey that character in very short period of time. I felt like the characters I had seen her create, I felt like she would understand this woman. Once she decided to do the film with me, it was not very hard to attach other actors because I think actors are really good observers of one and others work. The first person Kristen and I thought of for the role of Ken was Guy Pearce. Guy Pearce is a really serious, super smart actor and of course, he wanted to be in a movie with Kristen because, well, it is kind of like sports. If you play with someone who is as good as you are; it raises your game. I feel like Guy instantly wanted to do it because he felt like it would be exciting to work with her. I think that was pretty much true throughout the cast. With that said, people who are massively talented like Jennifer Jason Leigh or Christine Lahti were not only attracted to the script and source material but knew it was going to be an ensemble with an incredible level of talent.

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You can serve as a terrific inspiration to young filmmakers. What is the best piece of advice you can pass along to those looking to explore a career in filmmaking?

Wow! Well, for me, and it could be different for other people, the thing that has helped me the most is having a really good community of like-minded people who are doing their own project that others may find eccentric! [laughs] Living in a support world of other people who might be directors, actors, writers, scholars or painters and having them not be cynical, believe they can get their work done has been eye-opening. Sometimes it is hard to stay in the game and it really helps to build a world around you where people have common interest and common struggles. That is the thing that has helped me the most.

Thank you so much for your time today, Liza. I enjoyed the film and look forward to spreading the word on this and all of your future projects!

Thank you, Jason. It’s been a pleasure!

Liza johnson’s ‘Hateship Loveship’ hits select theaters and VOD on April 11th.

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IRON MAN 3: Tony Stark Falls To Earth On New Theatrical Poster

IRON MAN 3: Tony Stark Falls To Earth On New Theatrical Poster

Film fans and comic book nerds alike have something to be excited about today as a brand new poster for ‘Iron Man 3’ has been unleashed. This new one sheet shows Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) plummeting  from the sky in a heavily battle damaged Iron Man suit. Check out the poster below and stay tuned for plenty more ‘Iron Man’ goodness in the weeks to come!

The film, directed by Shane Black and starring Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, James Badge Dale, William Sadler, Rebecca Hall and Jon Favreau explodes into theaters nationwide on May 3, 2013.

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Dane Dehaan Talks Inspirations, His Career, The Making of ‘Lawless’ And More!

Dane Dehaan Talks Inspirations, His Career, The Making of ‘Lawless’ And More!

Dane Dehaan has spent the first four years of his professional career making an unbelievable impact with film fans and critics alike. Most recognizable from his emotionally charged role in 2012’s ‘Chronicle’, his hard work and dedication to his craft recently landed him the coveted role of Harry Osborn in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’. His most recent project pairs him with some of young Hollywood’s most prestigious names. ‘Lawless’ features an all-star cast which features Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and Mia Wasikowska and was adapted from the 2008 novel “The Wettest County in the World” by Matt Bondurant.  ‘Lawless’ is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic gangster tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant’s family in his novel “The Wettest County in the World,” the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave.  Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Dane Dehaan to discuss his journey and evolution as a young actor, the challenges involved with bring ‘Lawless’ from script to screen and much more! 

Dane Dehaan

You are becoming quite a familiar face on the silver screen. How did you get started on this journey into the entertainment industry?

Acting is the one thing I have always been passionate about in my life. Looking back, I can’t think of a time when I didn’t love acting. When I was a three years old, I loved to play pretend and then it came to a point of me wanting to do community theater around my town in Pennsylvania. That turned into me wanting to do all of the school plays and eventually led me to acting school. After acting school, I jumped right in and started working. I have been really lucky in having something I am truly passionate about throughout my entire life and now I get to do it for a living!

Who would you cite as some of your biggest influences as an actor, be it a mentor or other actors?

I went to college at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Two of my most influential teachers there were the dean at the time, Gerald Freedman, and a Mask teacher there named Robert Francesconi. They are the biggest influences, hands down, on me and the way I work, anytime I am creating a character. As far as actors, the first actor saw that truly excited me was Philip Seymour Hoffman. I remember seeing him hop out of that red convertible in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ and thinking “Who is that guy?!” [laughs] I became kind of a Phil Hoffman junkie when I was in high school. I have probably seen “Love Liza” more than any other youth in America! [laughs] My other two favorite actors are Al Pacino and James Dean. James Dean because I think he was amazing and I can’t even begin to imagine the work he would have gone on to do had he lived longer. I absolutely love the three movies he had done. Pacino I enjoy for many of the same reasons as Hoffman. He continues, day in and day out, to look for projects that challenge him and focus on the work and the craft of acting. That is what I love and that is so important to me. When I see actors out there who really keep that alive, it really turns me on to the whole thing.

A Must See Film!

Your latest film is ‘Lawless’. What was it about this script or character that attracted you to the project?

It was a no-brainer to me to try and get involved in the project because I came in a little late in the game and by then the script was already amazing and it already had a cast of the most unbelievable young actors I had ever seen between Shia [Labouf], Tom [Hardy], Mia [Wasikowska] and Jessica [Chastain]. I also got to play a really interesting and complex character that was unlike anything I had done before, so it really was a no-brainer!

What type of research did you do for this role and do you have a typical process when it comes to bringing a character to life?

I have things that I always do. I always break down the script and have certain work I do on the character, just my normal actor work. I do also look at ever role I get as an individual person and I have to find my way into that person. For Cricket, I knew he had rickets, so it was a lot about finding the best way to have the physicality of the character but still make it believable and consistent. I started by looking at pictures of people with rickets and then talked to a few doctors about the condition. I didn’t want him to be this stereotype. I think it would have been easy for him to be the giddy, limping sidekick. I didn’t want to call to much attention to his rickets but in doing that, I felt I had to put an incredible amount of work into still making it accurate. I looked at a lot of pictures and I decided what I wanted my legs to look like. I worked very closely with the costume department to develop shoes that were essential on angles and kept the illusion of my feet being flat on the floor but kept my legs bent at a consistent angle throughout the movie. That was one specific thing that I did for the character of Cricket.

There is such a wealth of young talent in the film, as you mentioned. What did you learn from your time on set with these other very talented people?

I learn something from absolutely everybody. Whether it is someone like Gary Oldman, who is basically a living legend, or Shia, who has extreme success early on in his career or Mia, who is up and coming and someone who has had a career path very similar to mine. I came in and it was my first big movie. I will always look at different actors and figure out what it is they do better than me and how they do it, because that is what I can learn from.

We had the pleasure of speaking with director John Hillcoat. In your opinion, what did he bring to the table for a project like ‘Lawless’ and what was your experience working with him?

[John] Hillcoat is such a gentle soul. He is just as gentle as his movies are violent! [laughs] Which is something I didn’t expect! He is so open and a collaborator but he also has a clear vision. One amazing thing he did was give us two weeks of rehearsal time where we were sitting around the table with him and Nick Cave. We were just going through the script, scene by scene and line by line, discussing it all. We would discuss if it would make sense on the day we were going to do it and ended up making changes the script but ended up keeping, obviously, most of it. It gave us all a clear understanding of what he wanted to achieve in the scene, so when we were doing 30 setups a day on set, we could still move at a very efficient pace but feel like we were accomplishing the job we set out to accomplish. That is a really comforting feeling — being on the same page with the director.

Do you have any aspirations to one day explore work behind the camera?

I don’t know. I wouldn’t rule it out but right now, I am just having so much fun acting.

In all seriousness, you are doing a terrific job!

Oh! Thanks so much! I really appreciate that!

Dane Dehaan

Looking back at you time with ‘Lawless’. What do you feel was the biggest challenge it presented to you as an actor?

That is a tough one. I try to take it day by day and scene by scene when I am on set. If I had to pick the hardest day on set, I know what that was. It was the scene where Shia and I run out of gas in the car. That scene just wasn’t coming to life when we were filming it, whether it was because we were tired or something else, I don’t know. On that particular day, we were having trouble with that particular scene. We were going by the script and had the camera on dollies. We were getting frustrated that we couldn’t do it and frustrated with each other. A couple hours later, we had ended up going handheld and going completely off script and ended up coming out with something I thought was a really great scene. However, it certainly didn’t come easily! That is one we really had to fight for.

Your work has been very diverse. Do you ever take a moment to reflect on how you have evolved as an actor since starting out?

I haven’t given it much thought but I would like to believe that I keep digging deeper and that my work keeps getting more thorough. I think I have been afforded such amazing opportunities and have been around such amazing people that I have soaked up a whole lot of lessons over the past four years I have been a professional actor. My passion for the work and to continue to grow as an artist has never faltered. I just keep moving along and trying to do it better and better each time.

Is there a particular type of role or a genre that you are excited to explore as an actor in the short term?

Honestly, no. I look at every opportunity that come to me as it’s own thing. I have enjoyed every kind of movie and genre. It is really all about continuing to challenge myself and whether I think a script that is presented to me is something that could turn out to be great and if I can contribute to making it a great experience while making the film and an end product that people really enjoy. I love things to be hard and I get really frustrated if things are too simple. I am always looking for something to challenge me. If I read something and I say “I have no idea how I would every possibly do that!” that is probably the role I am going to do!

You have had a great 2012 and as it winds down, I was curious for what you are most thankful this holiday season?

I got married this past year, ya know? I am going to go with the fact I am most thankful for my marriage!

Good answer, my friend! That will keep you out of hot water! Congratulations on your marriage and your great work. All the best to you in the coming year!

Thank you, man! Happy Holidays!

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Director John Hillcoat Discusses Bringing ‘Lawless’ From Script To Screen

Director John Hillcoat Discusses Bringing ‘Lawless’ From Script To Screen

Director John Hillcoat made a strong impression with film fans with “The Proposition” and “The Road”. His latest film is no less captivating. ‘Lawless’ marks the director’s third collaboration with Nick Cave, which has been adapted from the 2008 novel “The Wettest County in the World” by Matt Bondurant.  ‘Lawless’ is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic gangster tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant’s family in his novel “The Wettest County in the World,” the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave. The film features an all-star cast which features Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska and Dane DeHaan. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with director John Hillcoat to discuss his journey and evolution as a filmmaker, the challenges involved with bring ‘Lawless’ from script to screen and much more! 

John Hillcoat

I wanted to give our readers a little background on you. What originally intrigued you about the world of filmmaking and made you pursue it as a career?

How did this all begin? I had the great fortune of seeing loads of films in the ‘70s in America and Canada when I was growing up. These worlds, to be honest, were always too big and I was always in awe of the cinema of the experience. I never dreamed I would end up doing what I am doing. I was involved in fine arts and even a bit of animation way back when. I then decided to go to film school. The pictures and drawings started to be replaced by live action and people. I guess I just found fine arts and animation to be too isolating. I went to film school in Melbourne. It was a place that you had to do a little bit of everything because there were very few resources. I was very fortunate to have a gifted lecturer expose me to even more films from all around the world, different times, places and cultures. I probably learned more from that than anything. From there, I got involved with music videos which eventually led to me making my first film!

Who are your biggest professional influences who inspired you along the way?

There are so many! Peter Weir was someone who gave me great advice along the way. That was wonderful. His early films in Australia were a great inspiration. My friendship with Nick Cave and the collaborations with music and film have been terrific. Nick shares a love of film and watches more movies than anyone else I have ever come across and now it is TV! He watches TV because there are so many wonderful things coming out from the cable networks. I was inspired from a distance by American filmmakers such as Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola — the people who rewrote cinema in the 1970s. I have quite a wide range of interests. I love documentaries because I love research, so that is another huge aspect to everything I do. Really, writers and musicians are those that I have had the longest relationships with. The filmmakers in America were very inspirational when I made my first movie, “The Road.” People like David Fincher, Paul W.S. Anderson, Steven Soderbergh and etcetera. They were very inspiring and helpful when it came to advice and feedback.

Your latest project is “Lawless.” What attracted you to this project?

I love the genres of gangster films and westerns. “Lawless” was really a combination of both, where the west ends and the era of the gangster begins. Really, it came from the book, which was steeped in research, which I loved. Then I took the book to Nick Cave and it sort of took off from there. I had been looking for a gangster film for a long time but what was most refreshing about it was that it broke a lot of the rules. It was set in the countryside and tells the story where the police are the gangsters in terms of the corruption at that time and there are a lot of reversals of the traditional gangster film model.

What was the biggest challenge for you on this particular project?

It started as a studio film and when we hit the budget crisis, the budget for the film dropped dramatically from in the 30s to all the way down to 21 million, yet the script did not change. If anything, it got bigger! Really, it was a logistical challenge. I never had less time to prep and shoot a film.

How did you prepare yourself to tackle this film stylistically? How challenging is it to shoot a period piece in an ever-evolving modern world?

That is absolutely a challenge! We were fortunate to find so many vintage car collectors in Georgia. We also had weather challenges. We needed to find the areas of America that had the right ingredients. We ended up building the set on location. The landscape was the most critical element. The problem with going forth in American film is you have to go where the rebates are but, even so, we went up to the Carolinas to scout. There were so many mobile homes and modern things in sight, that it took us to Georgia where there were remote towns and locations where you wouldn’t see parts of the modern world.

There is no shortage of talent in this film. What can you tell us about the cast and what they brought to the table to bring the whole thing to life?

A Must See Film!

That is a big question! I was totally thrilled with the cast that we got and each of them brought something very special. With Mia [Wasikowska], in addition to being a great actress has a wonderful face of that time and world of a secluded religious community of the South — there is a real innocence there. Shia LaBeouf was the first one aboard. He was so brimming and enthusiastic. Much like the character, he wanted everything at once and couldn’t sit still! There was that quality in the character of Jack that I think translated really well. Jessica [Chastain] and Tom [Hardy] have this beautiful complicated relationship, like they are two damaged souls coming together. They are so brilliant at exploring their vulnerable sides. Jason Clarke has a real physicality to everything he does, whereas Tom had a very distilled manner. There were points where he wouldn’t say and do anything for so long. We all looked at each other and realized that he brought this incredible distillation into the process. He also brought the idea of the matriarch and ran with in an audacious way. It was brilliant, the idea of this mother hen protecting the coop. Dane Dehaan had such a superb, youthful innocence and vulnerability that was quite heartbreaking. Gary [Oldman] and Guy [Pearce] had the courage to really let loose with this and do things they had never done before. Guy works from the outside in, so the outrageous choices of dress and hair started to come forward from Guy very early on. Of course, Gary is the ultimate chameleon. Together, they personified the outrageousness of Chicago in that era, the larger than life Jimmy Cagney types. We had a terrific cast and I could go on and on. All of these people were quite impressive. They are from all around the world and came together to form a very close-knit, small community for the film. That was quite an impressive feat.

You have quite a few projects under your belt at this point. How do you feel you evolved as a director through the years?

John Hillcoat

Wow! That is a tough one. I would certainly like to work more frequently. That is something I am working on. In the future, I hope the gaps will be not as long between projects. That is one great evolution! I have grown up loving the great genres of American cinema. Now that I am living in America, I would love to do something contemporary. I have learned a lot about working with actors. They inhabit the characters and can teach you more about them than anyone because they personify those characters. I have also learned a lot about action, which is a whole different skill set to direct. You are always picking stuff up. I have become attracted to these ambitious, extreme other worlds where the stakes are quite high. I would love to do a sci-fi film. I want to keep going in a direction where you can do a genre film but try to find something fresh about them and have characters that are fresh in them. That is an increasing challenge!

Thank you very much for your time today, sir! We will spread the word and look forward to everything you bring to the screen in the future!

Thank you, Jason!

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Harold Perrineau Discusses His Career, ‘Seeking Justice’ And Much More!

Harold Perrineau Discusses His Career, ‘Seeking Justice’ And Much More!

Harold Perrineau has leant his considerable talents to a plethora of memorable Hollywood hits ranging from “Romeo and Juliet” to “The Matrix Reloaded” to “28 Weeks Later”. His work in television is no less impressive, as he has received critical acclaim for his roles on HBO’s gritty prison drama “Oz” and the pop culture phenomenon that was ABC’s hit series”Lost”. Along the way, he has established himself as one of the most diversified actors in the business. For his latest film, “Seeking Justice”, he stars alongside Nicolas Cage, Guy Pearce, January Jones, and Jennifer Carpenter in a unique story of vengeance and deception. Icon Vs. Icon’s Jason Price recently caught up with Harold Perrineau to discuss his unique career, the influences that shaped him as a performer, his experiences on the set of “Seeking Justice”, his musical side and much more!

Harold Perrineau

We always like to start by giving everyone a little background. What can you tell us about how you got started on your journey in the entertainment industry?

Oh, wow! That is a big question, starting right off! [laughs] I am from New York. When I was in high school, I was in the orchestra, which means I wasn’t really cool! [laughs] At the time, my aunt was going to Long Island University. There was a program there focusing on theater for kids. She took my brothers, all my cousins and I there to check it out. I instantly fell in love with it and started right in on this journey. After high school, I went to a conservatory of music and I came back and got a scholarship for the Alvin Ailey School. Just keep going and going and going! Eventually, I started acting, which is my real passion, and it has led me to this point! That was the abridged version! How was that!? [laughs]

That works for me! I am curious to know the influences who helped shape the actor we see today, both on-screen and off?

I am influenced by so many things because there are so many parts of this business that I really love. I love performing and the way entertaining feels. I have influences from all over the place, ranging from musicians to actors to dancers. As a dancer, I loved to watch Baryshnikov back in the day. He was very, very influential for me stopping dancing, as one day I realized that I was never going to be that good and I need to hang it up! [laughs] Back in the day I loved old movies and I would sneak out of bed at night and watch old movies with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, all the dance and musical movies. Those films really made me want to do that. Later on, the stakes started getting higher as I discovered Denzel Washington, Al Pacino and Gene Hackman. Those guys became like gods to me. I knew that if I wanted to act, I wanted to be just like them! My biggest influence musically was Miles Davis. He is obviously one of the all-time greats!

In Theaters March 16th!

Your latest project is “Seeking Justice.” What can you tell us about the film and your character, for those unfamiliar with it?

“Seeking Justice” is an action/thriller which stars Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce and myself. The movie asks the question, “If you or a family member were a victim of a crime, how far would you go to get justice? Or would it be revenge?” Nicolas Cage plays a teacher whose wife is a victim of a crime. He then has the opportunity to get justice or revenge and he takes it, then we go on this journey with him. I play his good friend and the principal at the school where he teaches, who is an interesting character in the film.

What was it about the script or the character in particular that drew you to your role in the film?

Yeah. At the time, I was coming off of “Lost” and this role gave me the opportunity to play a guy in an ordinary circumstance, set in New Orleans. I really wanted to go there and work with Nic and director Roger Donaldson. I just thought, “Wow! This could be kind of a cool thing!” When the opportunity came my way, I jumped at it! It was great to be able to head down to New Orleans, work with a great cast and make a fun film.

Each project is a learning experience for an actor. What did you learn from your time on this film?

On this project, I learned a bunch of different things. One of those things is that New Orleans is a dangerous place to be! [laughs] I say that because you can have WAY too much fun and not pay attention to the work! [laughs] While I was there, I got the chance to hang out a lot with the crew and the director of this film. That is something that I didn’t always do. It wasn’t on purpose or anything, it was just I didn’t have the opportunity to do that very often. I got to see firsthand how that type of camaraderie helps bring more fun and interest when you are actually doing the filmmaking. As I got closer to those guys, I found myself discovering more interesting stuff to bring to my character and into the movie. That was a very intriguing and fun thing for me to learn. Quite often, I come in and it is a situation like, “I am the actor. This is the director. I am the student and that is the teacher.” There was always that weird separation. On this project I thought, “What happens if I move that barrier?” I really enjoyed the results!

Harold Perrineau

Do you have a typical process when you set out to bring a character from script to screen?

I do have sort of a process. It is kind of a personal thing but if I can find a way to sympathize with my character or get into their head, I can spend days figuring it out. I think, “If this was me, how would I do that? What would make me do that? How would I get there?” I spend a lot of time, unfortunately by myself, daydreaming! [laughs] Or reading or things like that, spending time alone. Then I show up with all of the stuff that I have worked out and come up with and present it to the director. Hopefully, through all of that, we can find something to agree on.

Looking back on your career so far, how do you think you evolved in your craft since starting out?

Ya know, I feel that it is a process. I think I have had some moments when the roles are difficult, I have really stepped up, figured it out and have been able to rise to the occasion. The role of Mercutio in “Romeo & Juliet” is a good example but then there are other times, in the films I have been in, when I realized, “Oh, I just didn’t work hard enough to make that happen.” It has been quite a journey and I am coming along quite well, if I do say so myself! [laughs]

You played a diverse range of characters in your career. Is there a role or genre you haven’t tackled yet that you would like to take a stab at in the future?

I have been able to do a lot of stuff. Honestly, I like the journey that I am on. I think of all the tough stuff that I have done, I would like to do more romantic comedies. I don’t know why but there is just something that is fun for me about them and, at the end of the day, I find sticking in my head. I love the romance and comedy of it all. We have this thing coming out on TBS called “The Wedding Band.” It isn’t a romantic comedy, it is more of a musical comedy, but I haven’t had as much fun in quite a long time as I did working on that project. It is myself, Brian Austin Green, Peter Cambor and Derek Miller playing in this band called Mother of The Bride. It is hysterical! [laughs] We have a great cast that features Melora Hardi, Jenny Wade, Kathryn Fiore — it is a terrific cast of people! Nobody dies, nobody gets beat up or hurt! We just laugh, play and sing! It is nice to be in that space for a bit!

There is nothin’ wrong with that!

Harold Perrineau

Nothing at all! [laughs]

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to someone just starting out on their journey in the entertainment industry?

It feels almost clique but you really do have to love it. There are so many ups and downs. There is an old saying, “Today a peacock, tomorrow a feather duster.” For some reason, that always rings in my mind because of those ups and downs, the ins and outs and the many things that you have to figure out along the way. You really have to love it because it is a real honor and a gift to be able to do it, so it would be a shame to not enjoy it and to be miserable throughout that journey. I would really evaluate if it is truly something that you wish to pursue, then pursue it. Go forward to learn as much as you can, do as much as you can and enjoy it as it comes.

You also have a musical side. What can you tell us about that and how fans can learn a little more about it!

My musical side, as I said early, started when I grew up playing music. It has always been a passion of mine and something that is fun for me. For a couple of years, we have been working on this album called “Seeker.” Instead of releasing a big album, we have been releasing a song here and there when we have time and have put some stuff together. You can go to my website, www.haroldperrineau.com, which we always update with new stuff that we have come up with. That is where we have been, I don’t even know if I want to call it a fan base, but a group of people who we can play music for and have a good time. I have music videos on there and silly little short films and things we are having fun with. You can learn more about the music from there.

It has been a pleasure talking with you today, Harold. We look forward to spreading the word on all of you projects and will talk to you again in the future!

Alright, Jason! Thank you very much!

Synopsis: Directed by Roger Donaldson, “Seeking Justice” is an action-packed thriller focuses on Will Gerard (Nicolas Cage), a happily married family man whose quiet life is turned upside-down when his wife, Laura (January Jones), is brutally attacked one night while leaving work. At the hospital, waiting for news about his wife’s condition, Will is approached by Simon, (Guy Pearce) who proposes an intriguing offer: Simon will arrange to have a complete stranger exact vengeance on Laura’s attacker, in exchange for a favor from Will in the near future. Distraught and grief-stricken, Will consents to the deal, unwittingly pulling himself into a dangerous underground vigilante operation. While continuing to protect his wife from the truth, he quickly discovers that his quest for justice could lead to frightening and deadly consequences. 

“Seeking Justice” hits theaters nationwide on March 16th, 2012!

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First Official Poster For ‘Lockout’ Starring Guy Pearce And Maggie Grace Unveiled!

First Official Poster For ‘Lockout’ Starring Guy Pearce And Maggie Grace Unveiled!

Check out the first official poster for LOCKOUT, the action-packed sci-fi thriller from the producers of TAKEN. From renowned action producer Luc Besson, LOCKOUT stars Guy Pearce (THE HURT LOCKER, upcoming PROMETHEUS), along with Maggie Grace (TAKEN, ABC’s LOST) and Peter Stormare (ARMAGEDDON, upcoming HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION).
The film will be in theaters everywhere on April 20, 2012.
Official Facebook Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/lockoutmovie

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New Action-Packed Trailer For ‘Lockout’ Starring Guy Pearce Unleashed!

New Action-Packed Trailer For ‘Lockout’ Starring Guy Pearce Unleashed!

See Guy Pearce in action in the new full length trailer for LOCKOUT, the sci-fi action thriller from the producers of TAKEN.  The film follows a falsely convicted ex- government agent (Pearce), whose one chance at obtaining freedom lies in the dangerous mission of rescuing the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) from rioting convicts at an outer space maximum security prison.

From rising directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, LOCKOUT stars Guy Pearce (THE HURT LOCKER, upcoming PROMETHEUS), along with Maggie Grace (TAKEN, ABC’s LOST) and Peter Stormare (ARMAGEDDON, upcoming HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION).

The film will be in theaters everywhere on April 20, 2012.
Official Site: http://www.lockoutfilm.com/
Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/lockoutmovie

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20th Century Fox Debuts Trailer For Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’

20th Century Fox Debuts Trailer For Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’

20th Century Fox has released the teaser trailer for Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated film “Prometheus” which stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, and Charlize Theron. The film will be In theatres June 8th, 2012.

Swing by Apple, via this link, to check it out! You can also get a look at the teaser poster for the film which debuted last week below.

Synopsis: Visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott returns to the genre he helped define, creating an original science fiction epic set in the most dangerous corners of the universe. The film takes a team of scientists and explorers on a thrilling journey that will test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world, where they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life’s ultimate mystery.

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New Theatrical Poster For ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’

New Theatrical Poster For ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’

FilmDistrict has just unveiled a brand new theatrical poster for ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark.’ In addition to the cool new artwork, the official film website is also now live. Check that out at www.dontbeafraidofthedark.com! The film stars Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes and is directed by comic book artist Troy Nixey!

Synopsis: Guillermo del Toro presents DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, a horror film starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison, directed by Troy Nixey. Based on the 1973 telefilm that del Toro believes is the scariest TV production ever made, the story follows Sally (Madison), a young girl who moves to Rhode Island to live with her father (Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Holmes) in the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the house, Sally starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement whose hidden agenda is to claim her as one of their own. Akin to del Toro’s PAN’S LABYRINTH, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK focuses on a young girl’s struggle against menacing and terrifying forces. FilmDistrict will release the film on August 26.

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