A truly masterful actor with impeccable taste, Philip Seymour Hoffman was and is almost synonymous with ultra-creative and boundary-pushing projects, bringing life and empathy to characters that other actors would run screaming from–from that of a masturbating prank caller (“Happiness”) to an accused pedophile (“Doubt”). Hoffman’s presence elevates indie flick–like “Synecdoche, New York”–and adds the necessary ham and heft to every Hollywood blockbuster he was cast in. Here, a list of his finest movies.
Spooks, secret agents, operatives–by any name, the secret lives and cunning skills of spies makes for great movie-watching. Those that made our list are at the top of their game and star in some of the spy movie genre’s most defining movies, from the campy, swagger-laden ’60s flicks to the more understated action-packed thrillers of today–we even threw in a few parody that’s just as worthy as the genre it’s sending up.
Michael O’Neill, who plays Senator Roland Foulkes on RECTIFY, debates where his character sits on the good-guy/bad-guy spectrum and the realities of shooting a love scene.
Article: 10 Tense Middle East Movies
The complicated history in the Middle East has provided Hollywood with a backdrop for some of the most gripping movies to hit the silver screen. Our list of the tensest movies about the region will have you hanging on the edge of your seat.
Bruce McKinnon, who plays Ted Talbot Sr. on RECTIFY, discusses Southern culture and his life before acting.
Q: To what degree is southern culture a character in the show?
A: I think it needs top billing. [Laughs] that’s one thing that’s wonderful about doing shows on location. To try and replicate that in some artificial way or film it somewhere else, I think to a certain extent can take away from the depth of the show… Even our background actors who are local add such a depth to it and they have a sense of the movement of the South… But, yes, it’s high priority for our show. It’s just the pacing and the To Kill a Mockingbird flavor.
Q: Ted Sr. is something of a strong, silent type, a caretaker. How do you view your character? Do you relate to him at all?
Luke Kirby, who plays Jon Stern on RECTIFY, talks about the lawyer quote that helps him get into character and his foraging hobby.
Q: Jon’s job seems to be about managing personalities and playing politics as much as it is about knowing the law. Does that make the gig more fun for you?
A: Yeah, I have a kin for that kind of thing. I’m drawn to or intrigued by politics. I’m not the most litigious person, I didn’t study in law, but it’s very revealing and there’s a ton of stuff out there on this. It’s an ongoing education for me. I guess the things that stuck out immediately for me is the time and money that’s required to get anything done in the wheels of justice. There’s a lot of grease necessary to keep it in motion.
Q: Do you think you’d have to same resolve to see a case like Daniel’s through if you were in Jon Stern’s place?
Jayson Warner Smith, who plays Wendall Jelks on RECTIFY, talks about playing the bad guy and how he gets inside the mind of a sociopath.
Clayne Crawford, who plays Ted Talbot Jr. on RECTIFY, discusses his theory about how Ted and Tawney met, his directorial aspirations and life on his 50-acre farm.
Q: Some fans see Teddy as the bad guy on RECTIFY. How do you seem him?
A: I see Teddy as a guy who never really had a true family unit… knowing that he came into the Talbot family around 10 or 11 and was never truly accepted by his sister and had that looming cloud hanging over the family’s head with Daniel being incarcerated. And then my little brother Jared was born not too far after, so I think Teddy is a guy craving attention and love as a result of that experience.
Q: Teddy is very devoted to Tawney. What has the writer told you about their back story and how they met?
In one scene, deep into the 1985 adventure romance Out of Africa, Baroness Karen von Blixen (Meryl Streep) has her dear friend Berkeley over for dinner, where he cleverly warns her: “When the old mapmaker’s got to the edge of the world, they used to write, ‘beyond this place, there’ll be dragons.’” It’s a sly warning and a great line, delivered in the setting of Blixen’s deliciously well-appointed living room.
RECTIFY’s Adelaide Clemens (Tawney Talbot) talks about how she relates to Tawney and trusting people before judging them.
Q: Are there aspects of Tawney that personally you relate to?
A: There are so many traits of Tawney that are very similar [to me]. I think she had to think for herself a lot in her childhood and also find community. She grew up as a foster child, so the church is literally a source of stability and a community and something to latch onto. Just personally, from moving around a lot, wherever community is offered, I’ll take it.
Q: You’ve played characters with a darker side in movies like Generation Um… and The Great Gatsby. Has it been fun to play a less jaded character?
Johnny Ray Gill, who plays Kerwin Whitman on RECTIFY, talks about his emotional scene with Aden Young, the challenges of shooting in a jail cell and tapping into your nerdy side.
Q: Kerwin and Daniel become close friends in prison. Is it weird when your costar is on the other side of a wall?
A: Yeah, it can be. You have a camera right up against your face and then you have a wall that’s right up next to you, so you really get an idea of how restrictive it is to live in one of these rooms and how few places there are to go. I almost found myself sectioning off the room, saying okay this is the living room, this is the dining room, this is where he reads his books, this is where he goes to recess and all these other things. But it can be claustrophobic until they move the walls and say “take five.” [Laughs]
Q: You were actually a very studious kid who grew up in Portland, Oregon. What did you do to tap into the mindset of a convict? What kind of research did you do to prepare for the role?
Abigail Spencer, who plays Amantha Holden on RECTIFY, talks about the key to her character’s style and working alongside co-star Aden Young (Daniel Holden).
Q: Amantha is a very unusual name. Do you know how Ray came up with it?
A: Ray and I have never spoken about this, which is so funny. But I heard through someone who heard that Ray has a friend who has a daughter named Amantha and the character is named after the daughter… And I was surprised, I was like Oh, a human is actually named this? Actually there was a version of the script in Season 2 that explains the name, but the scene got cut, so we will continue to ponder the origins.
Q: Amantha’s style on RECTIFY is adorable. Does Amantha’s style match your personal style at all? Is there anything from her wardrobe that you’d like to steal?
Aden Young, who plays Daniel Holden on RECTIFY, talks about the complexities of his character, the most unusual scene he shot in Season 1, his own teenage hobbies (hint: it’s not BMX riding), and working opposite Clayne Crawford (Ted Jr.).
Q: You grew up in Australia. Are there any similarities between Australian culture and Southern culture?
A: I was born in Canada and my father is from Missouri and my mother is from Australia and when I was about 9 we moved out to Australia. But there always was within me this mystery land where my father was from that I wanted to explore, and that was especially true when he passed away… it was perfect for me to come to play a Southerner in his home town, but a Southerner who has of course been locked away from that town for many years. So what was being revealed to me as an Australian was similar in the experience that Daniel might have had in coming out of prison.
Q: It must be a mixed bag getting recognized from the show. Do fans expect you to be as eccentric as Daniel?
Isabella Rossellini, the director, writer, and star of GREEN PORNO talks about her successful stage show and the animal mating habits that interest her most.