Aaron Paul Praises Dedicated “Need For Speed” Stunt Team

Need for Speed (Walt Disney)A certain level of balance is important in one’s life, and surely that applies to one’s venture in the acting trade. Aaron Paul, a thespian who’s coming off one of television’s most iconic shows (Breaking Bad), has a passion for independent filmmaking, but this year he’s also changing things up with a lead role in the anticipated action flick Need for Speed and director Ridley Scott’s biblical epic Exodus (which features Christian Bale as Moses).

“I think it was time for me to jump into the studio system,” said Paul. “I always gravitated towards the small, passion projects and I still do those. Right after I shot Need for Speed I did a little film called Hellion that was at Sundance this last year. Everyone was doing it for the pure love and passion for it and I just love independent filmmaking because you just walk on set and there’s about 30 people on the crew that are making something that they believe in. You know everyone’s first and last name, and you kind of know they’re stories…but yeah it was time for me to jump into the studio system. That way I can still do the passion projects.”

Speaking of passion, Aaron Paul talks below about the dedication of the stunt team behind Need for Speed.

Need for Speed opens March 14.

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posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘American Idol’ Spotlight: Malaya Watson Brings The “Slyonce” To Hard Times

American Idol (FOX, CR: Michael Becker) One of last night’s most memorable performances came from none other than Malaya Watson, one of the few American Idol contestants who actually seems to be comfortable in her own skin. Granted, Watson’s rendition of the Ray Charles tune “Hard Times” had its creaky moments, but I’d chalk that up to a bit of nervous energy on her part. After all, it is Rush week on American Idol, and Watson managed to handle that pressure with charming aplomb.

During her intro segment before the performance, Watson told mentor Randy Jackson that she sees her music as a mixture of Sly Stone and Beyonce, a combo she described as “Slyonce.”

Click on the media bar to hear Malaya Watson talk about having confidence:

For making up that moniker and rocking braces and glaces like there’s no tomorrow, Malaya Watson is easily one of my favorite Idol contestants this season. Check out her performance of “Hard Times” and tell us what you think!!

The top 15 guys perform on tonight’s American Idol (Fox, 8 pm et/pt).

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

Kevin Costner Changes Up Stunt Habits For ‘3 Days To Kill’

3 Days To Kill (Relativity Media, CR: Julian Torres) When one reaches 59, even if that person is Kevin Costner, priorities in the film industry tend to shift. Mr. Costner may continue to bring his steady and sure handed approach to moviemaking, but he’s not exactly a spring chicken these days.

With 3 Days to Kill, he stars as a Secret Service Agent who, during his final days, is trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and pull off one last job.

During a recent interview to promote the film, Mr. Costner, who was most recently seen in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, talked about how his approach to stunts was an entirely different prospect with 3 Days to Kill.

Click on the media bar below to hear Costner:

3 Days to Kill, co-starring Amber Heard and directed by McG (This Is War), opens Friday.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

Cartoon Network’s Hall of Game Award Winners Announced

Hall of Game Awards (Christopher Polk/WireImage) The annual Hall of Game Awards airs Monday, February 17 on Cartoon Network (7 pm et/pt), but the actual event actually took place over the weekend, as over 100 million online votes were used in handing out the evening’s awards.

NFL quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton hosted the festivities (the pair did a sing-off to the Katy Perry hit “Roar”), which featured performances from Fall Out Boy and Jason Derulo. Stars who attended the celebration included Zachary Levi (Chuck), Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), Jake T. Austin (The Fosters), and NFL running back Jamaal Charles.

Here’s a list of the evening winners:

Alti-Dude: Nyjah Huston, Street League Skateboarding champion

Amped Up Anthem: Fall Out Boy, “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)”

Best Boogie: Richard Watterson (The Amazing World of Gumball)

Best Foes Forever: Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers (NFL)

Captain Clutch: Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks (NFL)

Dance Machine: Joseph Fauria, Detroit Lions (NFL)

Dynamic Duo: Peyton Manning & His Wide Receivers (NFL)

Fanatic Fanstars: Seattle Seahawks (NFL)

In It To Win It: Victoria Azarenka, Tennis (WTA)

Gnarliest Newcomer: Lance Coury (Motocross)

He Got Game: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (MLB)

I Got Swag: Colin Kaepernick (NFL)

Most Awesome Mascot: Bailey (mascot for Los Angeles Kings (NHL)

Most Viral Player: Titus Ashby, Trick Shot Toddler

MVC: Most Valuable Cartoon: Adventure Time

Queen of the Slopes: Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Skier

Rumble Royalty: John Cena, WWE Superstar

She Got Game: Leticia Bufoni, Skateboarder

Super Siblings: Lopez Brothers (NBA)

We Got Game: Miami Heat (NBA)

Whoa-Ment: Chris Davis, Auburn Tigers

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

‘Anna Nicole’ DVD Interview: Agnes Bruckner Recounts Emotional Journey

Anna Nicole (Sony Pictures Television)

Now out on DVD, Anna Nicole features Agnes Bruckner as late reality star and supermodel Anna Nicole Smith. If you’re looking for a cheesy, exploitative tale that rots the brain, you’re thankfully barking up the wrong tree.

The Lifetime Television movie comes with a pretty high creative pedigree, as the project was directed by American Psycho and I Shot Andy Warhol filmmaker Mary Harron. The all-star cast includes Martin Landau as her father figure and former hubby J. Howard Marshall, Adam Goldberg as Howard K. Stern, Sideways star Virginia Madsen as Anna’s mother, and Cary Elwes as E. Pierce Marshall.

Hollywood Outbreak had a brief chat with Agnes Bruckner about the film.

This must have been such a plum role for you, not just because of the role, but also the cast and crew that were involved with Anna Nicole.

Definitely. It was the favorite character I’ve played. It was one of the craziest and most beautiful experiences I’ve had as an actor. I was terrified because I’d never played a role similar to Anna. But after meeting Mary and our DP (director of photography) Michael Simmonds, I got much more comfortable.

They really helped me go deep into the role and find my comfort level. And then of course working with Martin Landau, who was just unbelievable and just so kind and just so cool. He told so many amazing stories of his past. Adam Goldberg is hands down the funniest person I think I’ve ever met. There were just so many people..Cary Elwes whom I’ve worked with now three times was amazing. It was a really great experience.

Was it tough playing such a complex character and cover so much life within 90 minutes?

I think I’m in every single scene except for two. So running around, and just putting on wigs and costume pieces and all this stuff. I had to kind of have people, including myself, figure out what was going on at the time. The most important thing for me is bouncing off (ideas) and acting with people who give me something as an actor and help me. Every single one of the actors, even every single kid that played a different version of DannyCaleb MartinLuke Donaldson…Graham Martin King…they were just so on it. I had the best actors to work with. I was very, very lucky.

How did watching video of Anna Nicole Smith help you research in shaping your role?

It’s a huge emotional journey she went through, all these ups and downs, and I really took from that. I really studied them and got a feel for, as much as I could, to what kind of person she was and what she was going through at the time. She was a really vulnerable and sensitive person, and I think that it was too much for her at the end of the day. It was really kind of beautiful to see the ups and downs she went through and as an actor it was so much fun to play all those different levels.

Are you choosy when it comes to signing onto a film?

For me, personally it’s gotten to a point where I pick and choose projects that really resonate with me and are able to show different sides of me. It’s really scary to live that way (laughs). Every project I take one step at a time. You can never make everybody happy, so I think the most important thing is just to always keep yourself happy and try to do your best and see what happens.

With Anna Nicole, I was very nervous, and even through the premiere I was live tweeting fans. The response was amazing. I was so happy that people really loved the movie. Watching with them, cringing at times, remembering what I went through, it was really amazing. It turned out to be great, and everybody’s hard work really paid off.

Anna Nicole (Sony Pictures Television, CR: Bob Mahoney)Finally, just wondering what you took from your scenes with Martin Landau.

When he was on set, he was like the captain. People were like, ‘okay, what do you need’ or ‘what can I do for you or bring you.’ He just kept reminding me to just take my time and really just feel it, and enjoy every single moment. That’s something that’s really rare these days because I feel like everything has become so fast paced and people are just running everywhere. Especially with actors, when you’re doing TV projects, the notes are always “speed it up, speed it up.” When he was on set, he said “Let’s just take our time with it, let’s rehearse it.” It was really nice, and he has an incredible way of working. It’s hands down one of my favorite working experiences.

To check out my interview with Anna Nicole director Mary Harron, check out the Q&A on Deepest Dream.

Here’s a Huffpost Live clip featuring Bruckner talking about the first rate make-up team behind Anna Nicole.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi