Julia Roberts Climbs Acting Mountain for August: Osage County

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (The Weinstein Company)

August: Osage County, the Tony award winning play from Tracy Letts (Killer Joe), centers on the lives of a dysfunctional Midwestern family, with Meryl Streep playing their matriarch. The all star cast also features Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, and Sam Shepard.

John Wells, producer of such prodigious shows as ER and The West Wing, has turned his focus of late to directing films. Wells was behind the camera for the underrated 2011 drama The Company Men, and now he’s interpreting Letts’ gift for language to the silver screen.

“This is the kind of writing that got me interested in acting in the first place,” said Cooper, who also worked with Wells on The Company Men. “It’s a great, great study of human behavior and all those films I was influenced by in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s…it’s human behavior that got me interested.”

For Julia Roberts, working on the film was an arduous yet gratifying endeavor. “I’ve never worked so hard in my life, and I’ve given birth to three children,” said Roberts. “It was like a mountain to climb every single day and the only way to climb it, we discovered, was holding hands, whether we liked it or not, and we would work all day and go home and shower and shower and then run all to Meryl’s house and start practicing for the next day. You had to have that momentum really about 19 or 20 hours of the day or else it would just leave you. It was the best acting experience of my life.”

Click on the media bar to hear Julia Roberts talk about working with Meryl Streep in August: Osage County. The film opens Dec. 25th.

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Michael Fassbender “In Tears” Over ’12 Years A Slave’ Screenplay

12 Years A Slave (Fox Searchlight)Based on Solomon Northup’s memoir, 12 Years A Slave centers on Northup’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) harrowing and eventually inspiring journey as a free man who was abducted and sold into slavery. Michael Fassbender plays Edwin Epps, the cruel slave owner in the feature, which was honored at the Toronto International Film Festival with the People’s Choice Award.

The project continues Fassbender’s collaboration with director Steve McQueen, whom he previously worked with on Shame and Hunger.

“As soon as I read the script, by the end of it, I was in tears,” said Fassbender. “I found it such a moving story, an incredible story. I couldn’t believe it was a true story. I had never heard anything about it before.”

Click on the media bar below to hear Fassbender talk about how his involvement with 12 Years A Slave came together:

12 Years A Slave, co-starring Brad Pitt opens October 18.

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Bones Season 9 To Feature A Booth and Brennan Wedding

BONES (FOX, CR: Patrick McElhenney)With season 9 of Bones premiering tonight, the show has garnered a steady and loyal legion of fans, and part of the show’s success stems from the innate chemistry between lead characters Dr. Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her life partner Booth (David Boreanaz). Although the show is a straight up procedural, and one of the most successful programs within its genre, the narrative’s bread and butter lies in the sheer likability of both actors.

Deschanel recently talked about the status of Booth and Brennan’s relationship at the beginning of this season. “We have just been really disconnected the past few months, and we jump ahead a few months after the season finale last year,” said Deschanel. “That’s when Booth rejects Brennan’s proposal, after accepting it before. So you know, Brennan’s hurt and she doesn’t understand why Booth has rejected her proposal, when he wanted it in the first place.”

Even with the conflicts within their relationship, Deschanel adds that the pair will get married this season.

The season premiere of Bones, which features guest star Freddie Prinze Jr., airs tonight of FOX at 8 pm et/pt.

Click on the media bar to hear Deschanel talk about the Bones wedding.

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Insidious: Chapter 2 Scares Off Box Office Comers With $41 Million Debut

Insidious: Chapter 2Insidious: Chapter 2 continues the hot streak of The Conjuring filmmaker James Wan, as it easily beat out the competition to rake in $41 million at the box-office. Wan, a lifelong suspense thriller fan, has kept his movies under a tight budget, and his astounding success at turning a profit is evidence by both the Saw and Insidious franchises.

Coming in a distant second is the Robert De Niro/Michelle Pfeiffer mob comedy The Family, which took in $14.5 million.

Here’s the top 10:

1. Insidious: Chapter 2 – $41 million and already making a sizable profit.

2. The Family – $14.5 million

3. Riddick$7 million. To date, the Vin Diesel flick has pulled in $31 million domestically.

4. Lee Daniels’ The Butler – $5.58 million

5. We’re the Millers – $5.4 million

6. Instructions Not Included – One of this year’s surprise hits. This weekend, it made $4.25 million.

7. Planes – $3.06 million

8. One Direction: This is Us – $2.4 million

9. Elysium – $2.05 million

10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – $1.83 million

Click on the media bar below to hear Insidious: Chapter 2 actress Rose Byrne talk about having a nightmare after watching James Wan’s other movie The Conjuring:

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‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ Provides Haunting Spectacle for Leigh Whannell

Insidious: Chapter 2 (Filmdistrict, CR: Matt Kennedy) One of the scarier moments of Insidious: Chapter 2 occurs during a sequence at the Linda Vista Community Hospital in the Boyle  Heights section of Los Angeles. Closed since 1991, the hospital contains a scary confrontation witnessed by some of the movie’s key players, including investigators Specs (Leigh Whannell, who also penned the script) and Turner (Angus Sampson).

“I’m kind of agnostic when it comes to ghosts,” said Whannell, who also penned the script. “I wouldn’t wholeheartedly thump the table and say ‘Of course there’s ghosts!’ I just think there are a lot of things that human beings don’t know.”

During our interview with Whannell, he talked at length about a surreal experience that was witnessed by members of LA Paranormal. Whether the event actually occurred or was fabricated is entirely up to the individual, but click on the media bar below to hear Whannell recount the story.

Insidious: Chapter 2, directed by Whannell’s frequent collaborator James Wan, is now playing nationwide.

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