Charity Wakefield Explores “Moral Dilemma” of ‘The Player’

NUP_167925_0566.jpgWhether it’s for gambling or one night stands, Las Vegas is dubbed Sin City for obvious reasons, and the new NBC series The Player raises the stakes on a completely different level.

The world’s richest and most powerful individuals bet on a high stakes game which hinges on a player’s (Philip Winchester) ability to stop a crime before it happens, and aiding our hero’s quest is a mysterious dealer named Cassandra King (Charity Wakefield). King’s employer is Johnson, an amoral boss whose only concern is the bottom line.

“My character being the technical whiz, she’s been in Intel for years,” says Wakefield. “She’s very guarded at the beginning, but she’s very intelligent and she has a very complicated computer network. She’s able to compute statistics very quickly, work out when a crime will occur and she’ll make odds on when the crime be successful.”

Click on the media bar below to hear Charity Wakefield talk about the “moral dilemma” that rests behind all the action.

The Player debuts September 24 on NBC (10/9c).

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Survivor’s Remorse’ Explores Fast Fame And Fortune In The World Of Pro B-Ball

survivors_remorse_ver2Returning tonight for its second season on STARZ, SURVIVOR’S REMORSE is a half-hour dramedy centered on the close-knit family of a young man who finds overnight fame and fortune after being signed to play pro basketball for a team in Atlanta. Clearly aimed at an adult audience, the series doesn’t shy away from fairly graphic (by TV standards anyway) depictions of sex, drugs and (in at least one instance) domestic violence.

Created by MIKE O’MALLEY, the series lists Basketball legend LeBRON JAMES as one of its many executive producers and features a cast that includes JESSIE USHER, RONREACO LEE, ERICA ASH, TEYONAH PARRIS, TICHINA ARNOLD and MIKE EPPS.

Probably best described by Entertainment Weekly as ‘ENTOURAGE for basketball’, SURVIVOR’S REMORSE is a solid, smart satire of today’s professional sports world and, at a recent TCA press conference to promote the show, O’MALLEY spelled out what he sees to be at the core of the series. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

Season two of SURVIVOR’S REMORSE begins tonight on STARZ.

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Posted By Bob Healy

Back Into Compton: Reliving N.W.A. With Ice Cube

znwaStraight Outta Compton is a bonafide hit having earned over $75 million at the box office in less than a week. The film has won over audiences and critics alike. The movie centers on the beginning and rise of N.W.A and tribulations of what the group had to deal in the 1990s. Considered the progenitors of the gangsta rap genre, N.W.A. is now one of the most legendary groups in hip hop history.

Long before he was a worldwide movie star, Ice Cube was a founding member of N.W.A. and he lent that experience as a producer of Straight Outta Compton. Ice Cube says it was a dream come to not only make the movie but to also have his son O’Shea Jackson, Jr. portray him in the film.

Click on the media bar below to hear Ice Cube elaborate on his Straight Outta Compton experience.

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Posted by AC

Jesse Eisenberg Was ‘Ultra’-Excited To Reteam With Kristen Stewart

americanultra-1Adventureland pair Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are back at it with the action comedy American Ultra. The story centers on Mike Howell (Eisenberg) a stoner who was actually trained by the CIA and much to his chagrin is a one man wrecking crew. When the agency plans to take him out, it’s up to Mike to turn the tables and save his girlfriend (Stewart) in the process.

The chemistry between the two leads has always been apparent, and Eisenberg views Stewart as a “wonderful actress.” Though Adventureland featured wonderful work from a talented ensemble (Ryan Reynolds and Margarita Levieva), Stewart and Eisenberg proved to be the film’s biggest one-two punch

American Ultra is now in theaters.

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Posted by AC

‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Hits Blu-ray & DVD In October

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, the inspired feature directing debut by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, hits Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD October 6 via Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann) is a likable enough teenager who wants to graduate high school without any kind of confrontations from his fellow students. He passes time making short movies that spoof films he loves with his best friend Earl (newcomer RJ Cyler), and his social life is rather uneventful until he’s forced by his mom (Connie Britton) to befriend Rachel (Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke) a terminally ill classmate. With his new friendship, Greg is forced to confront his own issues of responsibility and accountability, as his “coming-of-age” tale is filled with its share of tragedy.

The Blu-ray edition contains the exclusive feature “A Conversation with Martin Scorsese and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.” Scorsese was a huge influence on Gomez-Rejon’s film education (he once served as Scorsese’s personal assistant), so I’m definitely looking forward to this chat (both filmmakers are huge fans of The Red Shoes filmmaker Michael Powell, and Powell’s movies are referenced in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl). Also included in the Blu-ray version is the featurette “This Is Where You Learn How The Movie Was Made” and a shorts montage by Greg Gaines (Mann) and Earl Jackson (Cyler).

Both versions include the trailers, audio commentary by Gomez-Rejon, a photo gallery, and deleted scenes with optional commentary from the director.

Although it didn’t light the world on fire at the box-office, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl received excellent reviews and carries a 90% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s also one of my favorite films of the year, and hopefully it will find a second life with its impending, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD release (it hits Digital HD September 18).

In the media bar below, Olivia Cooke talks about one of the inspiring aspects of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi