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Jake Gyllenhaal - Demolition

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STRIPLVINTERVIEWS

JAKE GYLLENHAAL
DEMOLITION

Sure Jake Gyllenhaal is good-looking and a great actor—yet in his many recent interviews, this 35-year-old actor has revealed a much deeper side to his personality.  

In his new film, Demolition, directed by French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, and Wild) he portrays a man struggling to deal with the grief of his wife’s recent death. In a car accident, in an instant, this man loses his wife. Vallée seems to be drawn to this type of material. He is an atypical director who employs a hands-on type of style in his moviemaking. He is a “run and gun” type of director (much like our own publisher of this magazine) taking many situations that most of us wonder silently how we could cope if we were the characters that he brings to the screen.

When Vallée sent Gyllenhaal the script for Demoliton, the actor quickly accepted the role. The unique director takes the audience into the tragedy of losing someone so close and so fast, helping you to feel the pain as if it were your own, then spins your emotions with the oddly surprising humor that can arise as we human beings experience grief. Gyllenhaal’s character, Davis, is so distraught after his loss, that he really doesn’t know how to feel, as the story begins with him writing a complaint letter to the company whose vending machine failed to dispense the package of Peanut M&M’s that he purchased. Finally, after receiving multiple letters, the woman from the company (played by Naomi Watts) reaches out Davis, to see if he needed someone to talk to. As a result, he finds a way to grieve, along with a finding a path to healing. The process seems to be infectious and ends up helping the son of Watt’s character to find a better way in his life, as well. The beauty of films like this and others that Vallée has directed is that they take you on the journey that a character is going through with such truth and beauty—yet helps you to feel the absurdity that life can throw at you from time to time. Ultimately, we get through these tough times in a way that may seem or feel unfathomable to someone else. It’s the cracks that make us whole sometimes. Look for Demolition due to be released on DVD soon.

STRIPLV: Tell us a little about the story behind how you were brought in to do the film, Demolition?
GYLLENHAAL: My process of getting involved in this movie was really a simple one. It involved, really, Jean-Marc sending me the script. He had a few months before shooting the movie, and he offered me the movie, and I read it and I was deeply moved by it. And within a week, I was in it, working on it with him. I was really sort of impressed with his point of view and how he wanted to make the film.
STRIPLV: What was it about the script that intrigued you, and what was the final catalyst that made you decide to take on the role of Davis?
GYLLENHAAL: What drew me to it was that, as I read the screenplay and as we made the movie, every time I thought that I was moving into something that was “eye-rollingly” conventional, the script would kind of lead me into a totally different place, and I was always surprised at how unconventional and surprising, and also really how uplifting and funny it was.  

“ There’s the initial moment for everyone in the audience when they see this movie where they, you know, they kind of cover their mouth and go: ‘Oh, God—should I be laughing at this?’ ”  

GYLLENHAAL: And then all of a sudden as they give in, almost more than half the movie [later], there’s significant laughter. And I think it’s because there’s a joy in being part of a universal feeling, which is: we don’t walk through this world without experiencing loss, and hopefully we don’t walk through this world without experiencing love. I know there are people who haven’t [experienced love], and Davis is potentially someone who, at the beginning of this story, could be one of those people. And as a result of taking everything apart, he’s not. He learns how to love.
STRIPLV: What do you think it was that Davis did or didn’t do to create this void in his life?
GYLLENHAAL: You know, I think he’s a guy who’s followed all the rules, who’s said: “Oh, I’m supposed to be married at this age. I’m supposed to be making this much money at this time.” And I think because of who he is and the way our society works, he’s been allowed to, in a way. But he’s lacking the richness of a real life somewhere, and I think this tragedy that happens opens him up to all the things that life can offer. And as a result, I think he’s, throughout most of the movie, really trying to search for what feels right to him—and tries to find himself again.
STRIPLV: What parts of your character do you think audiences will be able to relate to the most?
GYLLENHAAL: What’s relatable is that he is struggling. He is struggling to find who he is. I think that’s… seems to me, I don’t mean to be like... (throwing hands up in the air—shrugging) I speak for myself when I say this. We’re all searching for who we eventually want to be. The life that we think we want to have is not always the life that we actually do want to have. And I think that’s incredibly relatable.
STRIPLV: What was it like on the set working with the incredibly brilliant director, Jean-Marc Vallée?
GYLLENHAAL: You know, Jean-Marc is… he’s just…. He’s adversed to vanity. He’s adversed to the sort of Hollywood system. He’s adversed to convention, generally. And yet he has a huge heart and doesn’t stray away from the harder things to handle and his feelings, but ultimately always comes back to this sort of semi-conventional idea that love, kind of, and honesty and truth, kinda conquer all—and that the truth kind of does set you free. Working with him in his process is a whole other thing. I love… I’ve never been on a set before [like his], and I’ve made many movies, where you come to work and there is no: you walk on set, you put on your wardrobe and then you start working…  

“ There’s no makeup or lighting, and everything is handheld, and [Vallée’s] moving in for a close-up, and then the next take he’s running across the street getting a wide shot. It’s really the type of process. It’s how I work as an actor—how I wish to work as an actor. It is not cumbersome. It’s agile, and he’s always looking for an honest moment. 

STRIPLV: Can you tell audiences who may not have seen the film yet, why the title, Demolition?
GYLLENHAAL: Demolition is, in this movie, about demolishing things that existed before—things with history, whether it be happy times or painful times. And I think that the destruction and demolition of his life is obviously literal and it’s also figurative. And so it’s his internal life and his external life. I think he misunderstands it when people tell him, “You know, you have to take things apart in order to put them back together.” And I think he sort of assumes: “Oh, I’ll do that in the real world. I’ll literally tear my house apart.” The demolition of a house or a structure holds, they say, all the energy that you’ve had in it. And I think it’s also an inner journey and a metaphor for the demolition that we have and we must go through to change. And in this case, the humor comes when “demolition” becomes literal. (chuckling) You know, like, that’s the part that I love about this movie is that situations happen in life where we grieve and we have to change. In some ways, we know that story. We’ve seen that story. But in this case, this character sort of misinterprets it and kinda gets it wrong. And so he literally tears down his house (chuckles again) and everything around him, and I think that’s funny. You know, I think there’s a real sense of humor in that, in the misunderstanding of what healing is about. And what he’s trying to get to is: feeling. He’s trying to understand why he’s not feeling. Within the journey of him trying to figure that out, he discovers his feelings.
STRIPLV: It sounds like this movie really touched a chord for you. Was there a particular moment in the film that really struck you the most?
GYLLENHAAL: I think what moved me really was, so often we are told how to experience a situation, how we’re supposed to experience a situation, we’re supposed to feel—not only literally somebody telling you that, but just convention. You know, the movies we see, the books we read, the magazines we read, on the Internet, whatever it might be—we’re told: “This is the way it should be.” And every human being is so specifically and individually themselves—and I think that doesn’t leave much room for reacting however you would react as yourself. And so this is a movie really about the specificity of one guy and how he responds to grief, and the things he loves and losing them and trying to put his life back together. And I like that, because I like things that feel new and different, particularly when you seemingly are grappling with something that seems typical and is done in a totally typical way. I think that’s just great. I think it’s wonderful.

Tina Fey & Margot Robbie - WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

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STRIPLVINTERVIEWS

TINA FEY, MARGOT ROBBIE and KIM BARKER

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT

Tina Fey is a comedy powerhouse. Most know that she was the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live. Just don’t tell her that. She’s sick of hearing that. Fey looks forward to the day when she won’t be the first, or second, or even 25th woman to do anything. And she proves it with her sharp wit most of us wish we could bring with us into a tough business meeting. When a New York Times book review came out, mentioning that the author was a Tina Fey-like character, Fey’s agent immediately sent her the review. And the rest is, as they say, history—because that book is now the movie, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, starring the brilliantly comedic Fey, along with the gorgeous and sexy Margot Robbie.

Fey dedicated this movie to her late father, Donald Fey, who was a Korean war veteran. He died from heart failure this past October and her family set up a special scholarship at his alma mater, Temple University’s School of Media & Communication, Department of Journalism. The scholarship is very specific and will go to any returning veteran who wants to study journalism as he did. “My dad served in Korea. He was a code-breaker. So he didn’t see active duty, but he was real smart,” Fey said in a recent New York Times “TimesTalks”.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot takes you on one woman’s journey to rearrange her life. A Chicago-based reporter volunteers to report on the war in Afghanistan to escape the rut she had been living in her own life. This true-to-life story tells the audience that she went from the windy city to the streets of Kabul. Kim Barker’s book, “The Taliban Shuffle”, is her real-life account of what it was like to be there, reporting in the middle of all the chaos that swirled around her.  

It is ironic that Barker was nervous to meet Fey. In our interview, Fey admits that after reading the book she immediately wanted to make it into a movie. Yet she also admits that she’s not sure that she could do what Barker did—to have the guts to travel to Afghanistan, and found her to be a legit “badass” after reading her account.

TINA FEY and AUTHOR, KIM BARKER

STRIPLV: Was it after reading Kim Barker’s book, “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan” that you decided to do the movie, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot that it was based on? 
FEY: I’m embarrassed to say that when I first became aware of the book—it wasn’t even that I even saw the Times review… I think it was like my agent who forwarded the Times review of the book where they referred to Kim as a “Tina Fey-type character” and so then, because I’m an egomaniac, I tracked down the book and read it, and found it to be so funny and fascinating and intelligently written and well-observed.  
STRIPLV: Could you immediately see it as a dark comedy film?
FEY: Well, I definitely thought: ‘I want to take this to Lorne Michaels, and we’ll take it to Paramount and see if we can sell it as a movie, because I’m always looking for things that I can believably be in that are still unusual—and not always playing a mom, or lady working at a magazine. And so this definitely seemed like a more exciting environment for a film.
STRIPLV: What were the key ingredients that interested you to produce this film?
FEY: As a producer, the book interested me because I think you look for things… I look for things that would be good scenes, really, and so many things that really happened to you (looking at Barker) were just “juicy” for lack of a better word. So yeah, as a producer I thought: ‘This has cinematic appeal!’
STRIPLV: Kim, what was it like in the beginning, when your book was being pitched as a possible Tina Fey film?
BARKER: The review came out and it was Michiko Kakutani at the New York Times, and of course I was thrilled to be compared at all to Tina. And I think talks started probably within a week, ten days? (confirming with Fey)  
FEY: Very quickly, yeah. And then it was within two weeks—it was the night of my book party, actually, that I found out Paramount was optioning it—and I got a call at a party and it was happening.
FEY: Oh, that’s great!
BARKER: Yeah, yeah! Thank you, for that!  
FEY: Yeah! That’s good times.
BARKER: It was a good present.
STRIPLV: Tell us about what it was like for you, seeing your book turned into a movie.  
BARKER: It was called originally: The Taliban Shuffle, and I went back and forth between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Obviously you had to cut one of those countries out—which meant you had to cut Nawaz Sharif, and there’s some pretty good scenes with him in the book, in real life. And you know, obviously, you had to make it a bit more Hollywood—and you expected that. There’s more explosions. There’s a different romance than I actually had (Fey chuckles) and you expect that. But I think that at the core they tell the same story. You know, I like to refer to the movie as “truthy,” (laughter) if not entirely accurate, you know, in terms of like what happened with my life. I know that Robert Carlock, the script writer, he talked to a lot of people besides me. He talked to my friends. He talked to other people. He did a lot of actual original reporting. So I think there’s actually a lot of stories that happened, maybe not to myself, but to other people that are layered on top of this story.
STRIPLV: What was your first meeting like together?
FEY: We had like a brunch…
BARKER: It was a lunch… it was September 11th, 2014.
FEY: It was!
BARKER: (smiling) Of course, I’m gonna remember that day. And yeah, they set it up, and I was really worried about what to wear that day, because I was like: “What do you wear?”
FEY: (chuckles) You were like a fashion icon.
BARKER: You know, I was like: “Should I be casual and like cool about this?”  
FEY: (laughter)
BARKER: “…or should be I wear a suit? Should I wear heels?” So I opted for like you know, a skirt, flats and an Ironic T-shirt and I think like a suit jacket or something like that.
FEY: I remember thinking: “My God, she’s nailed it! She’s nailed her look today.” (laughter)
BARKER: She was wearing like a flannel shirt over a t-shirt and a…
FEY: Children’s pajama pants…
BARKER: …aspirational hot pink sports bra, yeah and jeans, you know. (laughter) I remember all of it so vividly, because I went there early, well not early, it was like five minutes early, and I asked for the Tina Fey table. (laughter) You know, and they were like: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” So then I ask: “Does she have a reservation?” “No.” And so I’m asking for the assistants… “No.” And then they’re just looking at me like: “Are you crazy, Ma’am?” (laughter) So I said, “Can I just get a table for two?” and she walked in, so, and of course it’s New York, so they’re completely blasé about it and said: “Oh, yeah—there’s Tina Fey.”
FEY: Because no one cares.
BARKER: No one cares. That’s the great thing about New York.
FEY: Midtown—no one cares. So we met, and in hindsight, I was like: “We should have met closer to the thing,” because I didn’t… I was like, “Yeah, so we’re gonna do this…” like I didn’t have like very good questions or anything.  
BARKER: Yeah, like: “Were you ever scared?”
FEY: “Where’d you get tampons? Did you bring them from home?” (laughter)
BARKER: I did, yeah.
STRIPLV: What was it like to have Kim come to the set and share her real-life experiences with the crew?
FEY: We were nervous to have Kim come. We were nervous because what if she gets here and just says, “Guys, it’s all wrong—it’s all wrong.” And there were a couple of things like that. It’s funny, because early in the beginning of the process, when we talked about Robert Carlock had done so much research and he was like so, so dedicated to his research. And I had a fitting one day, and I sent him pictures from my fitting, saying, “Look, I’ve got my burqa on, and I’m trying on my vest.” And he said (sternly) “That vest should say ‘PRESS’ on it—blah, blah, blah.” And I’m like, “Okay, it’s just a fitting. I’m just trying to have camaraderie with you right now. Like, relax.” And then months later, we get there and I’m wearing the vest and Kim comes and says: “Oh, we’d never wear one that said ‘Press’ because that would just make us a target.
BARKER: (cracking up) That’s true!
FEY: That just goes to show you the level of complexity, and even with the best, most over-thinking intentions, like: “Oh, I shouldn’t be wearing that!” And I was like: “Oh, I’ve already worn it in a bunch of scenes, so I can’t change it.”
BARKER: Yeah, I wasn’t gonna bust them too hard for anything—because it’s a movie, right? Just as, like, they probably can’t write journalism stories, I can’t write scripts.
FEY: I think Robert can. I’d have to go back to school.
BARKER: He might be able to. Yeah, he did report that out. I mean, for me, it was exciting to be there obviously, but I thought it would be more exciting, and it actually turns out it’s a lot of sitting around.
FEY: It’s so much sitting around.
BARKER: And I have a short attention span, because most journalists do. It’s like, you know, we’re onto the next thing.
FEY: What’s more sitting around? A real embed or a fake embed? (Embedded journalism refers to news reporters being attached to military units involved in armed conflicts)
BARKER: God, they’re both sitting around a lot of the time—waiting to do something.
STRIPLV: Did you get to add some input when you visited the shoot?
BARKER: I came in and they were already halfway done with shooting, so… I mean, I did make one suggestion that they took me up on, which was when she was going up on the embed. You were wearing those high-heeled boots, and originally there was a joke about the high-heeled boots, and I said, “Okay, man. I didn’t know what I was doing, but they sent me a list of things to wear, and I was wearing hiking boots.” And so then they changed the joke to the backpack, which was actually very funny.
STRIPLV: During your actual journalistic schedule in the Mideast, what were your accommodations really like?
BARKER: The space that we had, like in Afghanistan, it was more of a low-slung. And it was sort of this one-story, sort of ranch house, where one room spilled into the next room, and you were always walking through somebody’s room and whatever was going on in there, to get to the bathroom. And the name of our house was “The Funhouse.” And it was like a rotating cast of characters, whether they were diplomats or aid workers, journalists, U.N. workers, who would sort of stay there when they were in town. But it was like dance parties, and it was Thursday nights, and you would drink an incredible amount. You know, people will say: “That doesn’t seem realistic at all.” And anybody who’s been over there knows—that like, when you’re covering really difficult things, it’s difficult—and you don’t have like the sort of release that you have in real life, like back here. You can’t go to the gym. You can’t like go for a run outside. My mother would always tell me to do yoga. I was like, “You do yoga, mom. I’m gonna go to the party.” (laughter) You know? And it just like became this thing, and you know, you sort of always were going back. I call that section of the book, ‘Kabul High,’ because it was sort of like being in a fraternity party in high school again, and being this really strange environment, and everybody was living it the same way.
STRIPLV: What time of mindset did you prepare yourself for when doing those very intense and frightening scenes? 
FEY: In the back of your mind, when you’re shooting a scene like that—you’re working hard to forget it, but you know in the back of your mind that you are safe and that this is not real. And so, to try to even imagine to be in an environment that could take a turn one way or another, and it’s real—I can’t claim to, in my pretending to do it, have experienced what Kim has experienced.
BARKER: And I also didn’t have explosions going off in front of me like that… 
FEY: …that close to you, yeah.
BARKER: I mean, they were like three blocks away or something like that. And you would hear them, as opposed to having a big ball of flame in front of you. And you’d hear them, and obviously, as a journalist, you’ve got to go towards them.
FEY: …walk through carnage.
BARKER: Yeah, you just have to sort of put all that emotion aside, because you’re there to do a job. People always ask me: “What was the scariest time—were you ever scared?” And I think, in the very beginning—sure—because you’re not used to it. But then the longer you’re there, the more it’s just like you see all your friends doing these things and you feel like, “Oh, I don’t want to seem like I’m a coward, or a chick, even though I kind of am.” And so you push yourself to do these things and I write the line in the book and they used it as dialogue: “The whole idea that we we’re all just frogs in boiling water—didn’t know the water was boiling.” I like the way you guys did that, by the way.
FEY: Oh, yeah.
STRIPLV: Tell us about the relationships in the movie.
FEY: The story of the movie is about a woman blowing up her life in the state that she’s a bit stuck in, and taking this risk to go to Afghanistan and start anew. It’s about her adventure, for lack of a better word, and it’s about her relationships over there. I think my favorite relationship in the movie is the relationship between Kim and Fahim, because it’s one I don’t feel you see a lot. You don’t see two adults having a friendship that is in no way romantic and is crossing a deep cultural divide like that.
BARKER: Yes, I’ve never seen it before.
FEY: And I think Chris Abbott is so lovely in the movie, too. And it’s about that sort of impossible friendship. It’s about people being addicted to an adrenaline-driven lifestyle, you know. It’s about Kim seeing Tanya and Ian, and at first being so in awe of them and charmed by them and wanting to be them—and by the time she’s been there for a while realizing: “Oh, this is a dangerous lifestyle that I have to jump off of or I’m just going to be here forever. I’m just gonna be an old, hardened adrenaline-chasing lunatic,” thinking that I’m, you know, living my life, but I’m just chasing this next story.
STRIPLV: And how is this very serious lifestyle somehow turned into comedy?
FEY: The movie is very funny at times because the book is so funny. I think people in those extreme situations, any intelligent or living person, is gonna to cope through humor, at some point, or is going to see the humor and the absurdity in where they are. And so there are definitely funny moments in the movie. I feel like, as an actor, you just try to play the scenes as honestly as possible and then hope that if it comes out funny, it’s funny. For example, the scene with Fred Molina. I go, I’m hungover, I’m trying to interview the man who’s probably going to be the next Attorney General, and he won’t speak to me—he will only look at my male translator. And so you just try to go in there and you just try to play the thing straight, and play the tension of that scene, and hopefully it’s funny. But yeah, you don’t go in there like: “Today’s a comedy day.”
BARKER: It’s more situationally funny, like it is in the book. It’s just like the sort of absurd things that happen and you reacting to them. You know it’s funny, because when I talked about writing a dark comedy about being in Pakistan and Afghanistan, people here would be like: “Are you serious? I don’t get the humor.” And then anybody who was over there was like: “Oh, I totally understand what you mean,” whether you’re a soldier, you’re a police officer, a journalist who has to deal with horrible things, an Afghan or a Pakistani has to deal with horrible things. You use dark humor as a coping mechanism. It’s very common.
STRIPLV: How do you think people will be able to relate to this character?
FEY: It’s about being a little fearless in your life and being bolder with your life choices, so maybe that’s something to take away from it.
BARKER: I think the movie has just a lot of humanity. I think that people might expect they’re going to go see a comedy, and it’s just laugh-out-loud all the time. But there was a time in the movie where I know I teared up. And I know I watched it with a bunch of foreign correspondents, including people who had been kidnapped by the Taliban, and there were a lot of people who were tearing up at the end of that.

TINA FEY and MARGOT ROBBIE

STRIPLV: We haven’t yet heard the history behind the real-life character of Kim Barker.
FEY: I play a woman named Kim who is working as a cable news producer and gets the opportunity to go and become an on-camera reporter in Afghanistan at a time when her network is very short-handed abroad. And she goes, thinking she’s gonna be there for three months, and ends up staying there for three years—three insane hard-partying years. (laughter)
STRIPLV: And Margot, tell us about your character.
ROBBIE: I play Tanya, who’s also a war correspondent already in Afghanistan, when Kim comes over and she kind of takes Kim under her wing and then they become friends and she’s pretty impressed with Kim, and you know, they have a bit of healthy rivalry, and by the end it’s starting to look a little unhealthy.  
FEY: It becomes less healthy as it goes on. (chuckles)
ROBBIE: (laughing) Yeah, yeah. And then she’s kind of like: “I don’t want to be like you.”
STRIPLV: What did it feel like to play such a strong character, someone who seemed to make such brave yet dangerous choices in life?
FEY: I have so much admiration for Kim—because we pretended to do things that Kim really did—you know go into a dangerous area and interview a warlord, put on a full burqa to make her way safely into the streets of Kandahar and to get stories that she wouldn’t have had access to. So it was pretty cool to just even get to meet her, and to have her book as the source for this movie. She’s pretty badass. 
STRIPLV: After playing the roles as reporters, could you have ever seen yourself doing that occupation? 
FEY: (joking) I think I would be a real good domestic reporter covering like…
ROBBIE: I think I’ve got the partying side of it down. (chuckles) I can do that real well. I can’t even imagine what it would be like.  

“ It’s easy to sit on the side of things and be like: ‘Sure, I’d give it a shot.’ But who knows how it’d actually be in reality. Yeah, it’s not something I think we can fathom. ”

STRIPLV: Do you have some favorite scenes in the movie?
FEY: I have a lot of favorite scenes in the movie. One of my favorites is a scene I have with Chris Abbott, where Chris is really doing all the work in the scene, where he quits. He works with me as a translator, a fixer. And he feels that my character is starting to get reckless and put him in situations that are too dangerous and he gives this beautiful speech about the nature of war reporting and people getting addicted to adrenaline and he’s just so, so good in that scene.
ROBBIE: It’s funny you say that, because my favorite scene is with Chris Abbott in it, as well. It’s when he takes you to the airport at the end. And it’s just a really beautifully genuine moment, where it’s so rare that you just see an actual genuine male and female friendship on-screen where there are no ulterior motives. It comes across as really, really honest and beautiful to me. I really got a little teary-eyed at that moment. And my favorite scene to shoot would have been when we were in the karaoke bar and Martin had to be… (laughter) Oh, actually no! When we were all doing the karaoke, do you remember? When we were all in the other room, and we were all like meant to be like sloppy drunk, like wasted, but it’s 10:00am and we’re sober, (placing her hands as if holding a microphone) trying to do karaoke badly—which it sounded bad anyway. But it was just so ridiculous to be like pretending to be that drunk.
FEY: Yeah, at 10:00 in the morning.
STRIPLV: What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?
FEY: I hope they will laugh and think the movie is funny. I hope they will be moved by the beauty of the location—even though we faked it.
ROBBIE: (cracking up)
FEY: …and kind of the humanness of the story that, in spite of its extreme location, that it’s a relatable story hopefully of someone wanting to take a risk in their life and change their life. Also that every character in the story is kind of… I mean, I keep thinking of Billy Bob’s character—in terms of the politics of the movie. Billy Bob plays a colonel, who, by the end of the movie, is a general, and has just the best intentions of trying to be helpful in Afghanistan and that it’s just an untamable, kind of unknowable place that changes all these people’s lives.

Rebel Wilson - Sexy, Sassy and Sensational

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REBEL WILSON
Sexy, Sassy and Sensational

We all fell in love with the bigger-than-life bodacious blonde at first laugh in her breakout role as Kristen Wiig’s roommate in the 2011 blockbuster comedy film, Bridesmaids, and fans are still laughing so hard they’re crying (some, maybe even peeing) when they experience the unique comedy that is Rebel Wilson.

2012 found the quick-witted Australian now in Hollywood’s big league, playing alongside big names like Kirsten Dunst in Bachelorette, and Ray Romano and Dennis Leary in Ice Age: Continental Drift. But it wasn’t until October of that same year that Wilson’s big personality truly shined its brightest, when she took on the role as the boisterous singing coed, Fat Amy, in the hit comedy film, Pitch Perfect, which garnered her further applause and belly-busting laughs. The sexy confidence that Wilson injected into Fat Amy was absolutely adorable—and fans just ate up her quick-witted naughty remarks: 

“You guys are gonna get pitch-slapped so hard, your man boobs are gonna concave.”

That strong character opened the door to more roles, like the 2013 action-comedy with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, Pain & Gain, another voice character in the animated film, Kung Fu Panda 3 with co-stars Jack Black and Angelina Jolie, and by fall of that year, she hosted the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.

The singing sequel, Pitch Perfect 2, came out in 2015, reigniting the passion for Fat Amy, which held strong through a media debate over the actor’s real age (she was actually 35, rather than her original claim of a more youthful 29-year-old). Wilson’s sarcasm closed the book on the matter with one tweet:

“I’m actually a 100-year-old mermaid formerly known as ‘CC Chalice.’”

On Valentine’s Day weekend, the ever-sassy Aussie sat with us discussing her movie, How To Be Single, in which she plays the life of the party, with Leslie Mann and Dakota Johnson. Wilson can also be seen in The Brothers Grimsby, which came out in theaters this March with co-stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher and Penelope Cruz.

STRIPLV: So what is this story about? Tell us about your character.
WILSON: Well, How To Be Single basically tells the story about four women who are all single in New York City and all deal with being single in very different ways. My character, Robin, like, loves her independence, and really parties and really enjoys her singleness. Dakota [Johnson]’s character, Alice, has just been in a long-term co-dependant relationship and so is newly single, and doesn’t know quite what to do. Leslie [Mann]’s character is a workaholic and she’s kind of sacrificed relationships up until now when she thinks maybe she should really be more open to it. And then Alison [Brie]’s character is really relatable to a lot of people. She’s like obsessed with finding the right man and doing it in a timely fashion, and she goes online dating and dating apps, and is crazily trying to find a man.
STRIPLV: How do you meet Alice, and what is that relationship like?
WILSON: I work as a paralegal, and I meet Dakota in our law office. And kind of instantly we just bond, and I feel like I should just show her around. It’s almost like I sense that she’s newly single and that I know how to have a good time, so she has to follow me.
STRIPLV: Was there anything in particular that drew you to this film?
WILSON: Well, I really like the message in the film. In the romantic comedies of the past, it’s just all been about a girl meets a cute guy and then at the end they end up together. And this film is just much more reflective about what it’s really like to be single and be looking for love. And the end… you just don’t expect what’s coming in the end, and I think that’s part of the reason that makes this movie such a satisfying movie to watch.
STRIPLV: Did you draw from any personal experiences to play your role, or are you just completely opposite of your character.
WILSON: (Laughter) There’s always like a bit of yourself in all the characters. And in Robin, I think, I am a very independent person, and I just love doing whatever the hell I want to do, and that attitude… Also the fact that she’s very comfortable in her own skin, I think, is very me. But the differences: is probably that Robin just parties way too hard. She drinks every single night. She’s basically a functioning alcoholic, and in real life, I’m not at all like that.
STRIPLV: What’s it like working with Christian Ditter as a director?
WILSON: This movie was Christian’s first Hollywood comedy movie. So it was really interesting because he hadn’t really worked in the style of like, improvised comedy, and we’d tell him: “Oh, this is what we normally do.” But he had such a strong vision for the film that he’d let us play around in certain sequences, and then others he’d have a really strong visual vision. And I think that’s why the movie’s got all this great comedy, but then it just looks really good. There are so many beautiful shots of New York City and cool montages and stuff and that’s all Christian. I think he just did such a good job, he’ll probably be directing way more comedies now.
STRIPLV: The cast was incredible, too. Everybody had some great chemistry on the screen. Did you work with everyone at one point?
WILSON: Well, there was one scene with all of us four girls, but I think that was cut out of the finished film. I mainly worked with Dakota in the movie, because our storylines intertwined the most, and then some days with Leslie, I think like one or two days with Alison and Anders [Holm], which was really fun, because I worked with Anders’ work mate, Adam Devine, in Pitch Perfect. Most of my stuff with Dakota and it was just really good, because I think we’re kind of a classic comedy duo—just when you look at us, and we’ve got different energies, but they kind of compliment each other.
STRIPLV: What do you hope that audiences take away from this movie?
WILSON: Well, it’s a very pro “single” message, which I think is perfect for Valentine’s Day, ‘cause so many people are single on Valentine’s Day. And they should just totally be buying their tickets right now to see the film. But also if you’re in a couple or you’re dating someone right now—this is also the perfect movie to see, because it’ll make you think like: “Oh, am I too co-dependant? Should I be finding out who I am more?” or maybe it would just validate your relationship and go: “Oh, we’re a great team, and you know, I really love being with that person.”
STRIPLV: Given that it’s Valentine’s Day—what do you think Robin, your character, would be doing on Valentine’s Day? (Laughter)
WILSON: (Laughter) Aah… well, she’d be in New York, and she’d probably be at some like massive rave party with extra glow sticks, maybe red glow sticks, because it’s Valentine’s Day, and maybe a dress with like a flashing heart on it or something, that she’s made herself, somehow. She has amazing secret skills. Yeah, I think she’d just be tearing it up on the dance floor, all night.
STRIPLV: And speaking of tearing it up... there’s some physicality to your role. Does this come naturally to you, or did you have any training? Especially the dance moves?
WILSON: I think I just like going for it in scenes, and as a comedian you just kinda have to use your physicality. So if they say, “Just run into traffic and jump on a taxi.” I stupidly kind of just do it. And I don’t really think about it until after I’ve done it, (giggles) because I’m just really invested in the scene, and in the character, and often because I play such sassy, bold characters, they do do bold things, that often means using your body in ways that, if you’re being sensible, you might not.
STRIPLV: Well, you pulled it off very well.
WILSON: Aw, thank you.

Daisy Ridley - The New Women of STAR WARS

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THE NEW WOMEN OF STAR WARS

It’s been the dawn of a new age of women in the Star Wars film franchise, thanks to Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, who championed the addition of more female characters in the newest installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And not just random, female roles—but strong roles of substance.

We sat with two of the strong lead females from the record-breaking blockbuster, The Force Awakens—the heroine: “Rey” (Daisy Ridley) and the villain: “Captain Phasma” (Gwendoline Christie).

Daisy Ridley – born the youngest of five daughters to Louise Fawkner-Corbett and Chris Ridley of London, England, hit Hollywood with a bang in her powerful lead role as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But this talented actress is no stranger to the fine arts, whose great-uncle was Arnold Ridley: actor, playwright, appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and who was best known for authoring the play, The Ghost Train, as well as his role in the popular seventies WWII British television sitcom, “Dad’s Army”. Initially sent by her parents to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in response to the preteen’s somewhat naughty behavior in primary school, the young budding performer would become a triple-threat as an actress, dancer and mezzo-soprano with a strength in jazz and cabaret-style singing. And the new Star Wars’ sensation must have some pipes—hitting social media last month, saying that she had recorded a duet with none other than the legendary singer, Barbra Streisand, posting a photo on Instagram of the two of them together, teasing “...more details to come.” Director J.J. Abrams has stated his love for Ridley’s singing voice—so who knows what he has up his sleeve?  

What we do know is that Ridley turns 24 with her birthday this month, (April 10) and that we will enjoy much more from the talented actress, as she is slated to reprise her role in the next of the franchise’s sequels. She took out a moment from the media storm to share her excitement in taking on the heroic character and to tell some stories about how incredible it was to work with legendary actors, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill.

Gwendoline Christie – another British talent – is best known for playing roles of women who kick ass. Graduating from Drama Centre London with a First Class BA (Hons) in 2005, she started out in theater, and then became the subject of photographer Polly Borland’s noted series of photographs. It was 2011 when Christie landed the role of the fierce medieval fighter, Brienne of Tarth, in the highly successful HBO series, Game of Thrones. “I’ve been lucky enough to play a couple of parts of women who are very driven and somewhat unconventional,” she adds. “I love playing women who kick ass!” Towering over other long-legged actresses, Uma Thurman (6” 0”) and Jane Lynch (6’ 0”), even Brigitte Nielsen (6’ 1”) Christie’s height of 6’ 3” made for an ever-more fearsome villain in her role as Captain Phasma in the sci-fi epic. The formidable yet striking actress shares how taking on the ‘typically male’ role as villain for the franchise was much more than just stepping up and wielding a laser—that the original Star Wars movie had a huge influence on her as a young girl and that landing the role actually was a dream come true.

DAISY RIDLEY
STAR WARS’ HEROINE “REY”

STRIPLV: Did you enjoy playing such a strong, heroic character, and if so, why?
RIDLEY: I did, but I also enjoyed that she’s not just those things. Rey is kind of a simple, young woman, and she kind of just gets swept onto this incredible journey. So to play a role that was so nuanced, and an incredibly emotional role, was thrilling, because it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t think it is going to be what people expect. And that is incredibly exciting.
STRIPLV: What do you want girls to take away from the movie?
RIDLEY: I would love firstly, girls to enjoy it as a whole, and secondly, from Rey, I hope they feel uplifted and hopeful, and perhaps see themselves in her, somewhere, and feel joyful.
STRIPLV: What does it feel like to be a star in a movie franchise that has such a following? And do you feel a responsibility to the fans?
RIDLEY: I think [director] J.J. [Abrams] and [producer] Kathy [Kennedy] probably feel more of a responsibility than I do (smiles) because I’m just saying the words—trying to do a good job. But of course, we all hope that everyone is going to enjoy it, but there are a lot of people to please. There are the old fans who have certain expectations, and there are new fans who will hopefully come on board, who perhaps haven’t been so immersed in Star Wars before. And I think with J.J. at the helm, and Larry writing the story they have, combining the old and the new so brilliantly, I think it will appeal to many, many people.
STRIPLV: First there was Princess Leia, and now there’s Rey. How are they similar and how are they different?
RIDLEY: The main difference is that Leia comes from privilege and Rey doesn’t. Leia is obviously born into something, there’s a certain level of hierarchy and everything, and Rey is definitely at the bottom of the pile. She really is just working to live, everyday. She’s not in charge of anything. She doesn’t really have anyone to have relationships with, be them brothers, or husbands, or a squadron, I guess, underneath her. Similarities are that they’re both women trying to make their way in the world, and they’re both pretty kick-ass.
STRIPLV: Yes! Talk about the importance of music in this film.
RIDLEY: We went to go see the scoring with John Williams a few months ago, which was unbelievable! ‘Cause you watch what’s going on, and the scenes are already incredible, and then adding the music to it—it’s like seeing a whole other thing. And I had to leave at one point, because I was pretty emotional. So to see that all come together, I can’t wait. It’s absolutely stunning.
STRIPLV: You jumped right into the movie by filming in the deserts of Abu Dhabi. What did you learn about yourself from that experience?
RIDLEY: Abu Dhabi for me was a real baptism by fire. And I was incredibly nervous—like I really was. And looking back, it’s amazing, because Rey’s journey begins in Jakku, and that’s where we began filming. I learned that, even though I’m terrified a lot of the time, and even though I don’t know what I’m doing, with the right support and the right people around you, you can break through boundaries that you might have on yourself, restrictions that you might think you have, and do some really cool stuff.
STRIPLV: What was it like for you as a young actress to play opposite Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill?
RIDLEY: Harrison, Carrie and Mark are all brilliant people, and they’re all incredibly different because they’re different people, united by this incredible thing, and they were all so excited to come back, and that is incredibly joyful for us, because coming into this, you think: ‘Who knows better than they do about what story should be told and how excited we should all feel?’ So they really set a precedent. They’re all incredibly kind and warm and funny and wonderful to work with. And everybody felt like we were the newbies. It just felt like a group trying to make the best film possible.
STRIPLV: If you had to describe your experience making this film in one word, what would it be?
RIDLEY: One word: a “roller coaster”—because my soul’s journey has now spanned over two years. I started auditioning over two years ago, and so obviously within two years, not only with this film, but many, many things have happened. So I’ve hit every emotion possible. So that is why I’d say: “roller coaster.”
STRIPLV: You’ve never worked on such a large-scale film before. Tell us what you thought of the sets, and the creatures, and did it inform your acting in any way?
RIDLEY: I think, for me, it didn’t feel like working on a huge film, the way that people talk about huge films, it didn’t feel like that. It felt intimate. And I’m kind of small. And then you realize, you see the span of how many people it takes to make such a film. But the creatures are insane, and of course they inform, because they set the tone. In the desert in particular, where we started, the creatures were there already setting this tone of Star Wars. There’s humanoids and creatures, aliens, all kinda working side by side. And it really helped. J.J. and Kathy wanted to really base everything in practical effects, and having creatures really there, there was nothing to have to imagine, they were just right there in front of you. So it was incredibly helpful.

GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE
STAR WARS’ VILLAIN “CAPTAIN PHASMA”

STRIPLV: So what made you want to join Star Wars and play Captain Phasma?
CHRISTIE: Oh, Good Lord! (bursts out in laughter) What wouldn’t make me want to join Star Wars and play Captain Phasma?! I have loved Stars Wars since I was first shown it. I think I was around six years old when my family showed it to me, and I fell in love with the film. There were so many unusual elements, things that I didn’t feel I’d seen before in other films. I remember, even at that young age, seeing Princess Leia and being so… in a state of rapture due to her strength, her wit, her determination, and thinking: ‘That’s unusual! I don’t really see women like that in the things that I watch.’ Even at that very young age, and thinking: ‘I like it and I like her, and I want to be like her.’ Thinking back about this recently, that was quite a significant moment. I also remember saying when I was very little: “I want to be in a Star Wars film,” and being told: “Well, they don’t make them anymore.” And so when I heard that they were making them again, and that J.J. Abrams would be directing, I wanted to be in it more than anything! I’d really loved Super 8. I’d really loved what J.J. did with the Star Trek movies. I just felt like this beloved series of films, that this would be in safe hands, and I really wanted to work with J.J. So when I heard that they were going to be casting for the films, I was just like a dog with a bone. I would not let it go, and I went on, and on, and on about it—for probably about six months I went on about it. Until finally, probably someone just like gave in, had enough and couldn’t take it anymore. (laughter) And I was lucky enough to get a meeting. And after that, when I found out fully about the character, and about what the costume was, and what the character truly was—then I was so excited. And I thought it was such a modern idea. Captain Phasma is Star Wars’ first onscreen female villain, I believe. And the idea that there is a female character, who is encased in armor, and we primarily form a relationship with her due to her actions and her character, rather than the way she has been made flesh, was very interesting to me. And for there to be a woman depicted in that way in a Star Wars movie felt truly progressive to me, and I realized quite how lucky I was.
STRIPLV: How did you approach bringing both femininity and power to the role while wearing a face-covering storm trooper helmet?
CHRISTIE: Well, I didn’t really think about bringing femininity to the role. I thought about the character—what the character was—the list of characteristics, things that made up who the character was, their actions, what people said about the character, what the character said about themselves. And what I did focus on was that I knew, because there was so much costume, what went on below the neck would be as important as what went on above the neck. So it became a very creative acting challenge for me, because every gesture had to be explored and investigated. And every gesture had to say something about the character and had to inform the audience who this character was. So it meant that I had to do an investigation of the way the character walked, the way she stood, and where the emphasis would be in the body. And I am a woman, wearing armor, so I didn’t have to think about making that feminine.
STRIPLV: What was it like to be on set, surrounded by the Star Wars world, and seeing all the original cast?
CHRISTIE: (gasping) It was completely insane. (laughter) I could never have expected this. I certainly don’t think I ever dreamed it. When I heard those three iconic cast members were going to be back in the Star Wars films… I mean everyone just breathed a collective sigh of relief, and a scream of joy. And they’ve been so warm to me and so encompassing. The whole production, everybody in the crew, all the creatives, J.J., Kathleen, all of the actors, have been so enthusiastic and so warm about this film and the understanding that everybody loves it and that it means so much to everyone, and that it’s been a real joy to work on. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I really couldn’t have hoped for a better experience.
STRIPLV: To that point, if you had to describe your experience in making this film in one word, what would it be and why? 
CHRISTIE: Mind-Bending. Not really one word though, is it?
STRIPLV: Might be two.
CHRISTIE: Can I have two?
STRIPLV: Yes.
CHRISTIE: Thank you. (laughter) I know it was greedy of me.
STRIPLV: (laughter) For you, personally, what did you like best about playing Captain Phasma?
CHRISTIE: What I liked best about playing Captain Phasma was that she felt new. This felt like a different way to see a female character in a movie. It felt like a different way for an audience to form a relationship with a female character. And the fact that that was in Star Wars really impressed me and heartened me—because it seems like there’s been an upholding of those original values of Star Wars, all the things that we love and we hold dear, but it’s been brought right up to date and into the modern day, in a way that everybody really seems to be applauding.

Jessica Chastain - Up For The Challenge

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Jessica Chastain - Up For The Challenge

With flowing red locks that look straight from the rolling hills of Ireland, fans might be surprised that the ginger beauty, Jessica Chastain, is actually a California girl.

The first of her family to attend college, Chastain graduated from Juilliard, and has worked in theater, TV and film, remaining under the radar until her role of the lovable Southern girl in the 2011 film, The Help, of which she received an Oscar nod. Then as a CIA agent in 2013’s chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Quaeda terrorist leader, Osama Bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, she took home a Golden Globe. Sharing about the joys of working with visionary director, Guillermo del Toro on the film, Crimson Peak, Chastain also joins real-life NASA astronout, Tracy Caldwell Dyson, discussing making the film, The Martian. Keep an eye out for those ginger tresses in this month’s release of The Huntsman: Winter’s War, in which she plays the forbidden lover to Aussie hunk, Chris Hemsworth.


STRIPLV: Tell us about your director, Guillermo del Toro.
CHASTAIN: I think Guillermo is a very, very important part of our industry. He is a legend of cinema. He is a visual master and encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to not just film history, or even American history, but even when it comes to the encyclopedia of gothic romance… I try to work with directors that I can learn something from, and I’ve worked with Guillermo and his incredible imagination twice, and I hope that I get to work with him again, and again, and again.
STRIPLV: What it’s like, as a female actress, working with Guillermo?
CHASTAIN: What I love about this film so much is that the female roles are complex and really interesting, and we’re not just serving another story of the film. I love working with women. I love movies about women. I mean, of course, the male roles are great in this, as well. But, everyone’s role is equally great. You work with Guillermo as an actor, and you know you’re gonna show up and you’re gonna have something interesting to do. And you’re not gonna be a prop to a story, you’re gonna actually participate in the telling of it.
STRIPLV: Tell us about Guillermo’s amazing ability to weave the most stunningly beautiful elements and the most frightening, and how it relates to your character.
CHASTAIN: One of the most wonderful things about Guillermo is his imagination. And I remember I saw an interview that he did on Charlie Rose, maybe about ten years ago, where he pulled out these journals, and he had all these drawings of monsters and creatures that he had created in his head. And watching movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and Devil’s Backbone, you kind of feel this compassion for the monsters and the fairytales that he has. And so that’s why I was so excited to play Lucille in Crimson Peak, because working with Guillermo, I knew that he would show this woman in a very fair and compassionate light. She of course has some bad qualities, but everything she does, she does for love. And I really respect that and feel for her because of that. She just likes her simple things. She likes to play the piano. She loves to read a book, and she loves to be around her brother. And she doesn’t want to deal with anyone else, because in her history, she’s been hurt. Society has not been kind to Lucille.
STRIPLV: And the title, Crimson Peak, where did it come from?
CHASTAIN: The house is called Crimson Peak because it’s built on a clay mine, and when it snows, or all the time, the clay leaks up from the earth. And so it goes into the walls and the snow, and leaks into the snow, giving it a look of blood. When I first walked into the set, I was completely blown away. I’d never seen anything like that before. I mean, I think they used to make movies like this… (laughter) a long time ago, where they would build the house. The set feels like a character in the movie. It really is the past and it’s the history, and it’s kind of what’s keeping the Sharpe children and the Sharpe adults now in place, stuck in time. And Edith represents the future and you know, technology and going forward. Lucille is of the house. Guillermo connected the house and her costumes. And he had Lucille’s costume (the blue velvet that I wear in the house) look as though she could emerge from the walls and then go back into them. There were these spiked acorns [on my dress] that matched this hallway that had spikes that look like a mouth with razor teeth. And then the lace leaves that I have on my costume also are in the house. So we really wanted to connect these two characters. It’s like working in another era—by creating this house by scratch, he really can tell this story that’s in his mind, unlike any other way. I mean, you can’t go find a house that looks like what Guillermo had in his mind. But the movie’s so layered. Also as an actress, everything was practical. I actually cooked scrambled eggs on the set. There were working fireplaces, running water, a three-story elevator. You kinda of just have to show up and the props and the set really does a lot of the work for you.
STRIPLV: Talk about the power of love in this film.
CHASTAIN: Well, the poster says: “Love makes monsters of us all.” Love takes a big part in this movie. Guillermo talked to me in the very beginning about it being a movie about two different kinds of love. There’s a love that Lucille has and that represents one, and a love that Edith has, that represents another one. Lucille’s the one that says: “Love makes monsters of us all.” There’s the selfless and the selfish, and I think the movie kind of shows what happens when love is all-consuming. And for Lucille, for my character, she’s a woman that desperately wants to feel love and intimacy. But because of her trauma, her scars, her history that she comes from, she associates suffering with intimacy. And love, I think, is the reason Crimson Peak works, because, in a way, a selfless love actually wins in the end.
STRIPLV: There’s so many different frightening yet romantic elements in the film…
CHASTAIN: You know, I think there’s a misconception sometimes with scary films, or horror films. Modern audiences think: ‘This is the way it’s supposed to be—it’s a lot of jump scares and we know what a horror genre is.’ This film is not a horror film—it’s a gothic romance, which if you look at those films like The Innocents, and you look at Frankenstein, and these types of stories, there’s another way of filmmaking; another way to tell a story. This film, like the movies of my youth, you know: Interview With The Vampire, and Dracula with Gary Oldman, oh… (yearning) It is a similar intone to those, where it’s a mixture of genres. It’s thrilling, it’s a drama, it’s a romance, and yes, there happens to be ghosts in it. The ghosts are really beautiful, the same way in Pan’s Labyrinth, the monsters were so beautiful and heart-wrenching and Guillermo has a story for each of them, the ghosts, and why they look a certain way, and perhaps that’s why it’s so rich, to look at them and to look into their eyes.
STRIPLV: So what can audiences expect when they sit and watch this film?
CHASTAIN: Well, I think that audiences are gonna be moved in ways that they didn’t imagine. And you can’t really say there’s another film nowadays like this. It’s a throwback to another era, like Rebecca, when they made films and they would build the sets and they would create these complex characters. So I would say, you bring your friends, you bring your people to cuddle up with when you get scared, and keep your heart open when the love shows up.

ON THE FILM, THE MARTIAN
WITH REAL-LIFE NASA ASTRONAUT – TRACY CALDWELL DYSON
STRIPLV: Director Ridley Scott has very strong female characters in so many of his films. How does your character in his film, The Martian, fit into this tradition?
CHASTAIN: Ridley Scott is a filmmaker who has always defined gender roles in his movies. Alien was originally written for a man, and he changed the role to a woman, and it’s actually, in my opinion, it makes the film a classic and far greater than what it would have been if it was a man, because then it would have been a similar story to what we’ve seen many times. He also did Thelma and Louise. He’s a wonderful director. And he was on my bucket list of people I wanted to work with, and to get to do a space movie with him… He was writing his own space movie, so it was kind of a dream come true.
STRIPLV: Tracy, what did you learn about filmmaking from your time on set with Jessica and Ridley?
DYSON: Oh, wow! I would say that they make space look fun (laughter) in filmmaking. There are definitely fun parts to it. It’s a lot of work and things don’t happen quite as fast as they do in a movie, and so there’s a little bit of a sweat that goes on that you don’t see all the work that goes into what they do. But, as I’ve learned about filmmaking, it can be actually be harder to float in space than it is actually when you’re in space. It takes a lot of work and…creating the zero gravity and all the considerations, so that you make it look real. I think that’s actually the hardest.  
STRIPLV: And Jessica, what was the most significant thing you learned from Tracy?
CHASTAIN: I learned so much! I don’t know if I think I could think about the most significant thing. Probably, one of the most significant things was the connection, and how important it was to remind yourself of your relationships on earth, when you’re out there. I noticed she was wearing a wedding ring when we were working together. I don’t know why, I just assumed people in space didn’t wear jewelry. And my character in the film is married, so I asked her: “Do you wear your ring in space?” And she said: “Absolutely.” Things like that, that connected the human part of what it is to actually leave the planet and separate yourself from your loved ones—and how important it is to remind yourself of your reason for coming home. That was actually really moving for me to learn that part.
STRIPLV: Tracy, what do you hope audiences take away from The Martian, as far as their perception of astronauts in space? Is it accurate?
DYSON: (smiling)
CHASTAIN: There’s no diapers!
DYSON: (breaks out laughing)
CHASTAIN: Listen. (laughter throughout the room) Hold on. (trying to maintain composure) I don’t know if you’ll ever see a space movie where the characters wear diapers under their suits, (bursts out laughing again) but they’re supposed to.  
DYSON: (laughs) There’s a reality that is not depicted in filmmaking when it comes to…
CHASTAIN: (cracking up) It’s not so glamorous!
DYSON: There are some very unglamorous moments in space—and they’re thankfully not the things that we highlight. But what I hope people take home is just what Jessica said: is just the human element of this, because, if it were just robots that we were sending, then it would be hard for everybody to imagine themselves in that place. But we’re doing this so that we can, not only learn more about ourselves, but to explore. And we don’t want to do that alone. We want to do that with people. And the thing I enjoyed the most about the film was the way that they depicted the connection that the humans in space had with the humans at home—whether it was through work or family. That’s very accurate to what we do in space. We have our job, but we also have that personal connection.

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