Some teachers from movies and TV are too cool for school–in fact, they’re so cool, we wish these amazing mentors and role models would hop right off the screen and teach us a thing or two.
The best drama series on TV defy easy categorizations — they’re procedurals with deeply nuanced characters, supernatural thrillers with political ramifications, period pieces impeccably dressed. Some of them invented a whole new way of thinking about television, paving the way for future classics. Others, well, they’re just one-of-a-kind.
J. Smith-Cameron–who plays Daniel’s mother, Janet Talbot, on RECTIFY–knows a thing about being a mom. And not just onscreen. Here she shares her insights about Janet’s outfits, her mothering style and her own signature dish (hint: It’s not pecan pie).
Q: Janet always seems on the verge of breaking down or bursting into tears. How do you maintain that kind of emotional tension?
A: That’s one of the challenges of the part. She does put a lot of energy into keeping it in, keeping that wall up, yet maintaining some kind of grace. She’s got a lump in her throat at all times; it’s her coping mechanism. This show is an actor’s dream–the man who created it, Ray McKinnon, is an actor as well–and that’s definitely written into the part.
Q: She has these very put-together outfits, and she often seems to be clutching her purse. Do those physical details help define the character for you?
Article: Top 5 Janet McTeer Movies
Extraordinary British actor Janet McTeer has long been a favorite among those in the know. Statuesque and fiercely charismatic, she is the thinking man’s (and woman’s) sex symbol. In honor of her thrilling, new SundanceTV series, THE HONORABLE WOMAN, here are her top 5 movies.
Bullies, bitches and bad guys take note: When you try to pull a fast one on some girls, you’d better get ready for what’s to come. They may be young, they may seem sweet, but when push comes to shove, they will shove you right back. Here are 10 movies where girls get even.
Jake Austin Walker, who plays Daniel’s spunky, sympathetic younger half-brother Jared Talbot, talks about the family dynamics on the show (and behind the scenes), his own experience with bullying and when we can hear his next single (he’s really good!).
Q: Jared’s fascination with his half-brother’s case is touching, but it also freaks out Daniel (Aden Young). Did you really have a file of information about the case that you studied?
A: Oh, yeah–on the day that Aden shot that scene, they asked me about the folder and what I wanted in it; it’s real. Jared researched it, like a comic book or a movie he just can’t get enough of. Personally I think he raided the basement of their house and got all the old newspaper clippings from the case that his mother had hidden to try to put the bad memories away.
Q: Does having siblings in real life help you tap into the dynamics with your half-siblings on Rectify?
Article: Top 5 Stephen Rea Movies
By the time this Belfast-born actor won the hearts of American audiences in the Oscar-winning movie at the top of our list, he’d already been a staple on UK screens for nearly three decades. In honor of his thrilling, new SundanceTV series, THE HONORABLE WOMAN, here are his top 5 movies.
Article: Top 5 Maggie Gyllenhaal Movies
Thanks to her unique and compelling on-screen presence, Maggie Gyllenhaal can be quite the scene-stealer. In honor of her thrilling new SundanceTV limited run series, THE HONORABLE WOMAN, we’ve picked her top five movies. Which is your favorite?
Charming and forthright, J.D. Evermore is not much like his reticent RECTIFY character, Sheriff Carl Daggett. But he does have a lot of interesting things to say about family, whether or not he thinks Daniel’s guilty (and of what) and a scene with Arnold Schwarzenegger he’ll never forget.
Q: Between takes, does the cast ever discuss whether they think Daniel (Aden Young) is actually guilty or not and if so, of what exactly?
A: I can’t speak for all the cast, but yes, it’s been brought up a couple of times. Most of us think that he’s probably guilty of something, we just don’t know what. I keep going back and forth. With one script, I think my character thinks he’s guilty and the next I think he thinks he’s not.
Q: You’ve played lawmen on shows ranging from Treme to True Detective–and of course on RECTIFY. If you weren’t an actor, any chance you’d be a cop?
Article: Kick-Ass Women of “Game of Thrones”
Brimming with sex, violence, political intrigue and shocking deaths, HBO’s Game of Thrones—based on the bestselling George R.R. Martin books—is one undeniably kickass series. And (bless his heart) it’s often the women who are the baddest of the bunch. Here are 10 of our favorite kick-ass women on television.
Of course you meant to see them in the local art-house theater when they were released. Maybe you even did—and have been thinking about them ever since. Well, you’re in luck! These stellar movies, all winners at Sundance Film Festivals past, are available streaming on Netflix right now.
It was a long (long, long) winter. Thankfully, that’s behind us now. Summer’s now just around the corner and with it, the most buzzed about movies from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival are now hitting the theaters. Here are our top eight picks to catch on the big screen.
Article: January Jones Gets Dramatic
Fans know and love her as Betty (Draper, then Francis) on Mad Men, but there’s another side to the actress. If you haven’t seen January Jones like this, do yourself a favor and check out some of her best dramatic characters.
1. Lou Ann Norton, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
This neo-Western, Tommy Lee Jones’ directorial debut (he also stars), features Jones as the wife of a Border Patrol Agent (Barry Pepper) who shoots and kills a Mexican immigrant cowboy (Julio Cedillo). Rather than fess up, he tries to cover up his crime and is kidnapped for his troubles. Lou Ann, meanwhile, is fed up with him and their life in Texas and decides to leave it all behind and return home to Ohio.
Article: Top 5 Ways to Get More of Jon Hamm
There’s no denying Jon Hamm’s TV superstardom—Don Draper is one of the most indelible characters of our time, but the actor shines on the big screen as well. As Mad Men draws to a close, take a look at Hamm’s Top 5 movie roles—including one you can catch in theaters now.
It’s not like high school isn’t strange enough as it is. Add a little supernatural seasoning and you get TV shows and movies where high school gets downright spooky-weird, which makes for great angst-filled horror stories.
1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter (2001-2011)
“Oh well, what’s life without a few dragons?”
It should come as no surprise that a school dedicated to the education of young witches and wizards would be filled with magical goings-on, including a whomping willow tree on the grounds (never mind an entire forbidden forest). But things got extra-strange when the Boy Who Lived enrolled. Basilisk in the basement? Check. Boggarts in the classroom? Oh yes. Centaurs, Dementors and ghosts? Of course. Even the climactic standoff, where numerous witches and wizards on both sides perished, is dubbed the Battle of Hogwarts.
Julianne Nicholson, who plays troubled mom Jean Jensen, tells us why she’s particularly honored to have been the first person cast on the show, the scene she found hardest to shoot from Season 1, and what she hopes to do next (hint: It’s funnier than you might think).
Q: You were the first person cast for the series. How did that come about?
A: I was sent the script and I just fell in love with it. I went in and met with [show producers] Aaron [Guzikowski] and Bridget [Carpenter] and had a chat about it. I just made it very clear that I loved the show and would love to be part of it. I was so excited to be the first person cast. so often they cast the men first and cast the women to match the dudes. It was a great honor that it happened this way.
Q: What were the challenges in playing such a mentally fragile character? How did you prepare for the role?
Masterful at portraying unusual characters, Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has been an artist, a revolutionary, a tailor and a pirate (among others); he’s been Russian, Israeli, French and British (among others). To top it off, many of these characters are based on real people, making it that much trickier to get them just so. Vote…
There’s no scandal as juicy as a sex scandal. And when political intrigue gets mixed in, well, that just ups the ante. Lest you think that political sex scandals are a modern invention, here’s a breakdown of movies — all based on true stories — over the last half century.
The Devils (1971)
Talk about sordid: Back in 1634, French Catholic priest Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed) was burned at the stake in connection with a series of supposed demonic possessions. The powerful Cardinal Richelieu used the accusations of a twisted, sexually obsessed nun (Vanessa Redgrave) as fuel to pursue a political vendetta against Grandier. The movie, directed by Ken Russell and based on a book by Aldous Huxley, met harsh criticism in the U.S. and U.K., both of which gave it an X rating because of violence and explicit sex scenes (two words: nun orgy). It has since been embraced as a cult classic.
Based on the memoir of a former stripper, Blaze recounts the passionate love affair between Louisiana Governor Earl Long (Paul Newman) and his buxom babe Blaze Starr (Lolita Davidovich). They may have been an unlikely pair, but their connection held fast even when the governor’s rivals used their relationship against him when he advocated for black voting rights). Having a fling with a stripper is one thing; what really riled up his adversaries was when they moved in together.
Can’t wait for THE RED ROAD Season 2? Keep up with the stars through their upcoming big-screen projects in the meantime.
Jason Momoa (Phillip Kopus)
In addition to starring in and directing the recently released Road to Paloma (which also features wife Lisa Bonet), Momoa has two more movies slated for 2014: The action-horror coming-of-age movie Wolves (as in were-) helmed by screenwriter David Hayter (X-Men, X2 and Watchmen) for this summer; and Debug, a hackers-in-space thriller directed by Stargate: Atlantis costar David Hewlett.
Few American actors are as revered as Bill Murray. The hilarious-serious elder statesman of indie comedy first won our hearts more than three decades ago as a different kind of funnyman, playing a series of lovable buffoons. It’s all genius, and it’s all just added to his enduring sheen of cool. Though it’s really hard to choose just 10, here are our picks for the best Bill Murray film scenes.
Face it. There’s something intrinsically tough and sexy about a woman on a motorcycle. How we’ve thought about–and pictured–her over the decades may have changed a lot but one thing’s remained constant: When there’s a motorcycle involved, you can count on some rule-bending hotness.
Revved up for more motorcycle action? Don’t miss the creators of Sons of Anarchy on THE WRITERS’ ROOM, Mon., May 12 at 11PM/10c.
The ’60s: French Chic
In the ’60s, biker babes morphed into a self-possessed, fashionable rebel. Perhaps no one better exemplifies this than Rebecca (Marianne Faithfull) in The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968), as she escapes boredom–in the form of her new husband–by zipping on a skintight black leather bodysuit and taking off through Alsace on her trusty motorbike to visit an old lover. And in The Swinger (1966), Kelly (Ann-Margret) claims her own ambition–and sexual freedom–by acting out her fantasies… and riding her Triumph Tiger in a belted green leather jacket and little else.
Looking back on that decade of excess and contradictions, it’s clear that our art was just as twisted as we were, tapping into the darkest kind of humor behind all that neon. Don’t believe us? Be sure to catch these darkly comedic ’80s films on SundanceTV.
1. Brazil (1985)
Terry Gilliam’s fanciful futuristic comedy takes a wild dive into a land of bureaucracy, terrorism and, in an indelible image, extreme plastic surgery. It’s a fever-dream kind of dystopia that is simultaneously hilarious and horrifying, making Brazil a true dark comedy classic.
Article: Daniel Day-Lewis as President, Ed Harris as an Astronaut… American History as Envisioned by Hollywood
AMC’s TURN has re-sparked an interest in the American Revolutionary War. Who knew George Washington had a team of spies?
But if you’re a history buff who needs more than a single TV show or historic period to stay happy, you’d do well to consult this list of great historical movies.
1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Yes, the storyline revolves around the rescue of the last surviving son of a grieving mother. Even so, Steven Spielberg’s real accomplishment is in the first half-hour of the film: perhaps the most powerful and accurate reenactment of the D-Day invasion and subsequent battle ever. It’s a crucial chapter in America’s twentieth-century identity, and Spielberg (who won a Best Director Oscar) does little to glorify the tragedies.
Do the ’90s seem less memorable that the ’80s (so rad) or the ’70s (so groovy) to you? Take a moment and reconsider the decade which features some of the most offbeat characters in movie history. Suddenly, the ’90s seem a bit more memorable, right?
1. The Dude (Jeff Bridges), The Big Lebowski (1998)
It’s hard to imagine a more iconic, more offbeat character from the ’90s—or any era—than Jeff Lebowski, a perpetually bath-robed bastion of chillness in search of justice for his peed-on rug (because, hey, “it really tied the room together”). A fan of weed and White Russians, he made bowling an art form and inspired a subculture of devoted fans who still attend annual Lebowski Fests.
2. Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), The Piano (1993)
The mute woman at the center of Jane Campion’s extraordinary story is one of the most unconventional heroines in film history: a young mother (Hunter won a Best Actress Oscar) who, despite being shipped off to the wilds of New Zealand for an arranged marriage, manages to fall in love (not with her husband) through a shared passion for music and ultimately receives a most unexpected salvation.