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    Sunday
    Apr252010

    Exclusive Interview With Bruce Timm

    Bruce Timm is a man who needs little introduction, with his work on Batman: The Animated series just one highlight of an extraordinary career. He’s one of the main people behind a lot of the recent DC Animated features that have been released direct to video.

    His next project to be released will be Batman: Under the Red Hood.

    TMT had the opportunity to take part in a round table interview with Timm, as well as an exclusive interview with Bruce at this weekend’s Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. You can read the exclusive interview below.

    Why did you choose Batman: Under the Red Hood as your next project?

    When I was first Pitched the idea of Red Hood, I wasn’t at all interested, and I hadn’t actually read the comic at that point either. I picked up the comic, and I thought it was “okay”. It could be done, but I really wasn’t convinced. It wasn’t until after I sat down with Judd (Winik), for every issue I had, he had a solution. After that, we started working on it right away. We actually just watched the finished product in its entirety the other day. I’m not sure if its been officially announced yet, but our plans were to premiere Red Hood at Comic Con San Diego this July.

    What would you say the tone of ‘Under the Red Hood’ will be?

    It’s definitely a very dark and intense movie, It’s not geared towards the “soccer moms”, or young kids. I’d say it deals with very serious subject matter, and it’s a very violent film.

    What is the MPAA Rating for ‘Red Hood’?

    That’s a great question we’re always aiming towards a PG-13 rating, obviously because it’s a lot a harder to market a direct to video animated feature that’s anything more than a PG-13, and for the fact that “super hero” films are generally geared towards a younger demographic.

    The problem we think we might have with Red Hood, is that it’s extremely violent, and not just for something animated. We’re hoping it comes back PG-13, but there is a strong possibility at this point its going to end up with an R Rating. We’d love to leave the film as it is now, we’re all extremely happy with how it’s turned out. But the marketing department at WB isn’t about to allow that. They’re a very conservative group, intent on having the direct to video features having an above average chance of making their money back.

    If it does come back with an R rating we’ll have to change a few things to bring the rating down to a PG-13. In the opening sequence a teenager is beaten to death with a crow bar, so the tone is very dark. We don’t want to lose that, but we may have to tone it down slightly.

    We were actually working on something a couple years ago that was planned to have an R Rating. It was a very popular book, I’m not allowed to say what it was, but it was before Watchmen came out. Everyone at WB was happy with it, the plan was to go ahead full force, and then Watchmen came out and tanked. The Marketing people and the exec’s said no, no more R Rated super hero films, especially not anything animated, and just like that the project was gone. That’s not to say it won’t ever happen, I’m sure at some point it is a possibility.

    What will be your next project after ‘Red Hood’?

    I’m not currently allowed to talk about that, not in great detail anyways. The people in charge of publicity at WB control what we say with an iron fist! We are however hoping to make two very exciting announcements soon. We have one feature in development and one that’s being animated right now.

    Did you feel a lot of pressure dealing with such iconic characters, when you started working on Batman: The Animated Series?

    There was definitely a lot of pressure. But we were actually quite lucky, when that show was being developed we were coming off the heels of the Tim Burton Batman films, which were very dark in tone. That actually created a great transition for the animated series. It made it easier to go to the Fox network and tell them we wanted to approach the show with a darker more serious tone, and more dramatic take on the character, which is what we had originally planned to do.

    When you were developing B:TAS, you wanted to distance it from the 60’s animated series. What are your thoughts on the new animated Batman series ‘Batman: The Brave & The Bold’?

    I think it’s really fun, it’s great because it came out around the same time as The Dark Knight. I loved the The Dark Knight, but it wasn’t really intended for kids, at least not young kids anyway. I think a lot of the time now we tend to forget that super hero movies and these characters biggest audience is the younger kids. With brave and the bold, I think we’re creating a whole new generation of Batman fans. It allows the younger kids to enjoy batman as much as we do while watching movie like The Dark Knight.

    I always try to keep in the back of my own mind that these movies or shows are going to be generally watched by a younger age group. When I’m creating something, I do like to do things that I know I’d enjoy, or people my age would enjoy, but I have to remember to not make things too complicated or serious to the point that our biggest audience isn’t able to garner interest. Brave and the bold does a great job of giving the kids something that’s just for them

    Are you still planning on doing an animated Vampire Batman movie? I know you had previously expressed interest in that.

    Not currently, no. We were pursuing something related to the Vampire Batman not all that long ago, but then they did the Batman Vs Dracula recently, so it would really just seem redundant at this point to re-hash a story that was literally just done.

    Are there any current plans to for ‘Judas Contract’ to be developed as an animated feature?

    We had quite a few drafts done up, but nothing that we really loved. We did love what they did with it in the Teen Titans series, and for now we’ll continue to go that route. Again it’s like the Batman Vs Dracula, it was done recently, and it worked. It would be redundant to do something different right now.

    Is there any chance of ‘Hush’ or ‘The long Halloween’ being developed?

    Hush isn’t something that we’re all that interested in our end, but it has come up. The real problem with Hush is that it works better as comic then it would as a movie, it could work as a show, maybe. The same can really be said for The Long Halloween as well. It works a lot better as a comic, and not so much as a movie.

    I wouldn’t rule out either of them altogether, but it won’t be happening anytime soon.

    Is it true, that the Justice League Unlimited episode “Epilogue” was not originally intended to be the ending for Batman Beyond?

    Yes. We did the return of the joker, and that at one point was almost how we were ending it. Then we did epilogue with Justice League and that worked. What we had originally planned on doing was another direct to video movie just for Batman Beyond, where Terry finds out that Bruce is actually his biological father. That’s something we were really looking forward to, but it didn’t work out at that point in time.

    Are there any plans to re-visit Terry McGinnis (Batman Beyond) in the future?

    Not currently. But I wouldn’t rule it out in the future. We’ve definitely discussed having a Batman Beyond re-union of sorts, but it won’t be happening anytime soon if it does get made.

    Do you plan to have any of your DC animated films released to theatres, like ‘Batman: Mask of the phantasm’?

    No. DC is really focused on their Live Action films right now. We were extremely nervous about Mask of the Phantasm. That kind of movie really work better for the TV movie or direct to video release.

    When we did that, we had everyone from every different department at Warner Bros telling us how we had to do things, or what we had to be doing with Marketing and things of that nature. There was a lot more people to answer to doing a theatrical release than what there is with TV or direct to video.

    If you could develop any comic book hero or story line into a theatrical release, what would you do?

    There’s too many to name, and really the problem is more the ones being made are terrible. For example I read about the Avengers and Captain America happening, and then I’ll read something about them, and they sound like they really suck. It always seems to sound good on paper, and then you see what’s going on with a project and it just isn’t nearly as interesting.

    Are there plans to do any more sequels for the recently released DC animated films?

    We had originally planned to do sequels for Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but Wonder Woman’s sales started out extremely slow and then over time were eventually able to catch up to probably Justice League Frontier. The Exec’s decided because it wasn’t able to sell quickly right away, where as Justice League was, that there wouldn’t be any more female super hero films right now. We were developing and hoping to get started on a batgirl film based on Year One, but because of Wonder Woman’s slow sales start, that won’t be happening now.

    With Green Lantern, it didn’t perform nearly as well as what they had hoped it would. In the long run it eventually made its money back, but the sales weren’t there right away during its release. Hopefully with the release of the Live Action film next year, that will open up the doors for more Green Lantern relate material.

    Are there any current plans for an ‘Aqua man’ animated film?

    No. We did developed an Aqua man script for a direct to video movie. Marketing decided it wasn’t going to be profitable enough to release.

    The comic book needs to be wiped clean and have a re-boot once a year, they’re not able to keep the fan base interested any longer then that.

    Was there a reason you decided to use John Stewart in Justice League?

    Well for one to be honest, it was affirmative action. Every hero included at that point was white, it was my idea to include him. I felt we needed not only a diversity in ethnicity but also in personality, and Stewart was great for both.

    When you’re developing Justice League related properties, are you able to use any character you want, and are there certain characters you prefer to use over others?

    We used almost everyone we wanted to, but there were other characters we weren’t able to use due to licensing or legal issues.

    If you could cast any actor for any role, what would you do?

    Whenever we do something with Batman, we’re like cant we just have Kevin Conroy do it(laughs). We actually tried to have Ed Harris voice Batman, but he was not at all interested in the slightest.

    Does Warner Bros give you full creative control over what you do?

    For the most part yes. We used to hand something in and have it turned down, and we’d be furious, but now whenever something like that happens it forces us to be more creative. We try to create things that we know will work to begin with, but even then there’s still some people at WB that are going to say “Batman can’t do that, or he doesn’t do this”.

    I do wish they would be willing to roll the dice a little more often, and take chances on some projects.

    What is your favourite Live Action DC Comics related film?

    I would have to say the original Superman from 78’. It’s the one that I’m still able to sit through from start to finish and enjoy it. I would say after that I really like The Dark Knight, and even Tim Burton’s Batman films as well, maybe the first more so than the second.

    I love what Nolan did but I also still enjoy what Burton did. It’s fair to say though that, Nolan’s batman is the polar opposite from Burtons, and I didn’t enjoy Schumacher’s Batman at all.

    <a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&from=sp&fg=shareObject&vid=c9358acd-5576-4f1f-9034-f061a3294951" target="_new" title="Exclusive: 'Batman: Under the Red Hood' trailer">Video: Exclusive: 'Batman: Under the Red Hood' trailer</a>

    Batman: Under The Red Hood will be released this Summer. Check Back to TMT for our official review.

    Tuesday
    Dec222009

    Exclusive Interview With Melora Hardin

    It is hard enough to find success in one field, never mind multiple fields. Can you imagine balancing acting on television and film, singing and dancing on Broadway, directing a feature film, and creating your own album? I sure can't, but for Melora Hardin, it is just another day at "The Office". I was delighted when the incredibly talented Melora agreed to answer some questions for ThinkMcflyThink.com Enjoy our exclusive interview where she discusses the past, present, and future of her multi-faceted career.

    Television:

    When you signed on to play Jan Levinson in “The Office”, did you ever expect the character to become as big as she did?

    I had an inkling that she was going to be a special character, but it was really a collaboration between myself, the writers, and the audience responding to her that made her what she is.

    The dynamic between your character Jan Levinson and the Steve Carrell’s character Michael Scott on “The Office” is perfection. Is that something you work on or does it just happen?

    Greg Daniels (exec producer, creator of the American, "The Office"), Steve and I knew there was a special spark between Jan and Michael in the pilot and I think it was just a magical combination from the start that was always easy and surprising.

    You played the character of Trudy Monk, Monk’s deceased wife on the hit show “Monk”. The show just ended its successful run. What will you miss most about being a part of that show?

    Tony Shaloub and Randy Zisk (producer) are both stellar guys and such fun to work with.

    Anything else on the horizon for you in the world of television?

    Looking for something that I can star in that excites my imagination, something creative and strong.  I really want a special character to follow up 'Jan.'

    Stage:

    You played Roxie Hart in “Chicago”, how do does it feel being up there on stage live, not having the luxury to do another take as is the case with film and television? How do you deal with that pressure?

    I felt so at home on stage doing 8 shows a week.  I love the pressure of live theatre which really doesn’t feel like pressure to me at all.  It’s just pure joy to play out a whole story, beginning, middle, and end night after night and see what is new and how things play with each, unique audience.  I can’t wait to get back on Broadway!

    What other Broadway plays would you be interested in being a part of? Also, what do you recommend as a must see on Broadway?

    I loved singing, dancing and acting, skills I’ve been honing my whole life, so I’d love to do another musical! I really want to originate a role on Broadway and it would be so wonderful to use all my skills to do that.  I LOVED “Next To Normal”, and “Westside Story”.  I’ve also heard “Orphan’s Cycle” is fabulous and is coming to Broadway! 

    Film:

    You worked with Miley Cyrus on” Hannah Montana: The Movie” and Zac Efron on 17 Again, and like yourself they are both talented singers and actors, talk about that experience.

    They are both very talented and I enjoyed them both for different reasons.  We didn’t really talk about music that much, but Zac was very interested in hearing what I’m doing musically, so I’ll have to make sure he gets a copy of my upcoming CD, “All The Way To Mars” which comes out Feb 9th.

    I believe your next film, “Knucklehead” is now in post production, what’s the plot and tell us about your character.

    “Knucklehead” is a really sweet story about a misfit who wreaks havoc on the orphanage he grew up in and loves.  He goes on a road trip with my character and a fight trainer to learn to be a wrestler, make money, and save the day! 

    What’s next for you on the film front?

    My husband, Gildart Jackson, and I made a movie called, "YOU" YouTheFilm.com and we plan on making another film together soon so that’s in the works.  Also I’m of course excited about "Knucklehead" coming out in April.

    Music:

    Your first two albums, “The Melodrama” and “Purr”, describe them and in what ways did you evolve from one album to the next? 

    When I wrote “The Melodrama” I was very much in the singer/songwriter, girl with a guitar, mode.  I was still finding myself as a musician, songwriter and performer.  I wasn’t quite sure where I fit in.  I love how that record really reflects that stage I was going through.  “Purr” is more focused and was a very specific idea that was inspired by the pin ups of Gil Elvgren.  I loved the idea of music that matched those images and I also was inspired by Cole Porter and all those wonderful double entendres of the time.   

    Talk about your next album, “All The Way To Mars”.

    “All The Way To Mars” is definitely my best recording to date.  I had the wonderful ears and honesty check of my record producer, Richard Jay-Alexander and the inspired musicality of my musical director, Ben Toth, guiding me and I feel that our collaboration on this CD is magic.  It’s nice to do something and hear something that is live, not pro-tooled and honest.  The songs are fabulous and the instrumentation is real and rich. I love this record and I think everyone else will too!

    Your single “Come Home With Me For Christmas” is now available. What was your inspiration for this song?

    “Come Home With Me For Christmas” was written by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and my musical director, Ben Toth.  When I heard it I loved it.  We hadn’t planned on recording the song but when we were in the studio I told Ben he should really play it for Richard.  He did and Richard said, “Melora, you should record this song?” I learned it that night and we recorded it the next day.  I love Christmas and I’ve always wanted to record a Christmas album, so this was perfect for me.  The song is beautiful and I hope everyone will add it to their Holiday repetoire!

    If you could work with any singer past and present, possibly sing a duet, who would it be and why?

    Barbra Streisand because she’s one of my idols and I think she’s amazing in every way, Mel Torme because his phrasing was so incredible, Bing Crosby because his voice is smooth as ice, Harry Connick Jr. because he’s a great musician and Paula Cole because she’s one of my best friends and I love her singing and songwriting!

    Director:

    You just made your directorial debut with “You”, how do you compare the experience of directing with acting?

    Directing is all about the big picture whereas when you are portraying a character you are focused on who you are, what you want and how you’re going to get it.

    Is there anything you brought with you as an actress that helped you when you were behind the camera?

    An understanding of what an actor does is helpful to being able to get what you want from an actor for the whole story. Also just being on so many sets working with so many different kinds of people gave me a comfort with being the leader.

    On the flip side, anything you can now take back with you as an actress that you learned from directing?

    I definitely did some of the things I hated as an actress.  Like once I told my husband, who starred with me in "YOU," to “just do it” when he had no room to run around a corner and make it feel believable to himself.  I knew what I was seeing in the camera was working and I just needed to move on to the next scene.  I will always trust a director more when he or she says it’s working in the camera and just go ahead and do it even if it feels wrong to me.

    Your husband, Gildart Jackson, wrote the film and acted in it playing the role of Rawdon. You also were in the film taking on the role of Miranda.  Do you find it easier to work with somebody you are so familiar with?

    It was both easier and harder in that we made this in our own home with our own money and so it needed to be an intimate experience which could never have happened without being in an intimate relationship with my husband. It was also challenging to be wearing all those different hats all the time and we definitely faced challenges that we wouldn’t have if we hadn’t been married, but we also created something very connected and full of family and love that we could never have created without that element.

    Do you plan on getting behind the camera again, and what type of projects would interest you?

    Definitely!  I have been trying to option a book for 10 years that I hope to get this year and direct.  Gildart and I are also looking towards making another movie together soon.

    You’ve almost done it all as an entertainer. Have you thought about taking on the role as a writer for either television or film?

    I am writing a screenplay with a partner right now that I hope to star in.

    How do you spend her down time, if you do indeed have any?

    With my kids, in dance class, going to the movies and date nights with my husband and lunches with girl friends.

    Tell me what your fans can do to follow your multi-faceted career?

    Go to Melora.com, follow me on twitter@melorahardin and Melorahardin on Facebook. Also become part of our YOU community at YouTheFilm.com, pre-order “All The Way to Mars” on Amazon now to be the first to hear my new record. 

    Thursday
    Dec102009

    Exclusive Interview With Johann Urb

    If you didn't remember Johann Urb from CW's television drama "The Mountain" you certainly should know who he is now. He was born in Estonia, and grew up in Finland, but Johann is now taking Hollywood by storm. The young actor has enjoyed a more than solid 2009, playing the role of nice guy extraordinaire in the form of Will St. David on television series "Eastwick" and stalwart pilot Sasha in the blockbuster film "2012". The former model, has the looks and acting chops to further an already successful career in film and television. Like everybody else, ThinkMcflyThink.com has taken notice. Johann took the time to answer some of our questions in a TMT exclusive interview.

    Loved your character on “Eastwick”, Will St. David. You had the whole “Clark Kent” thing down. What will you miss most about working with that particular cast and crew?

    I really enjoyed my cast mates and the crew. It was a really fun set and there were very talented people.

    Will St. David, is the nicest guy you could ever meet. Did you ever find yourself wanting some magical powers to play with so you could unleash some evil?

    Yes! I would have loved to have had some magical stuff going for me, but I guess my magic was in being the nicest dude alive, ever.

    First spotted you on the CW’s “The Mountain”, but you have had a good amount of television experience, did you feel like a veteran on the set of “Eastwick”?

    Yes, it definitely feels like home being on set. I love it. I hope I get to do it all the time! I was very green when doing “The Mountain”.

    In “Eastwick” you were on the set of a faux New England town. Have you experienced the real New England?

    Yes, I love New England in the summer.

    “2012” blew my hair back. What was it like being involved in such a big budget film when compared to television?

    Amazing! I love big action movies and it was an incredible experience from beginning to end. If I only got to do big action movies from now on, I’d be a happy dude.

    You acted as producer and were an actor in “Pornstar”, what is the status of this film?

    It should hit the shelves pretty soon. There are some minor finishing touches and changes that need to be tended to.

    I already alluded to it above, you have a very heroic look to you. Would you be interested in playing a superhero on the big screen?

    Hell yes! I can’t wait!

    You’re on a plane heading out of the country to shoot a film, how would you pass the time?

    I’d be reading a book, hopefully one of those that you can’t put down, like “Altered Carbon” or “The Electric Church”. I’d also catch up on some movies.

    I know your uncle is a famous actor in Estonia. Did he share any tricks of the trade with you

    Nope. He’s kept all the tricks to himself. I’ve had to learn it the hard way.

    If I were to head to Eastern Europe, what tips would you give me so I could make an attempt to fit in?

    Fit in? You can’t unless you learn the language and that changes every couple of hundred miles. Every country is very difference and rich in culture so don’t blend, absorb.

    Any upcoming projects you want to share with your fans?

    I’m working on an episode of “100 Questions”, a new sitcom on NBC, right now. I don’t know when that is going to air but it’s very funny stuff! And keep your eyes peeled for “Pornstar” and if you haven’t seen it yet, “Strictly Sexual” is an amazing powerful-beautiful-funny-touching film that I’m very proud of.

    Johann seems geeked up about possibly playing a superhero on the big screen. I can see him playing a number of different characters from the pages of DC or Marvel but the obvious connection at this point would be Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent. I had one of our resident TMT artists, who goes by the name of Dark B, construct a quick photo manipulation of what Johann might look like as mild mannered reporter Clark Kent.

    Thursday
    Dec032009

    Interview With Natalie Morales

    Some of you might remember Natalie Morales from her portrayal as the unflappable Wendy Watson in ABC Family's television series "The Middleman". Now you can catch her on USA Network's new hit series "White Collar" playing the sassy Agent Lauren Cruz. She just recently finished shooting for her role in "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps". Natalie was nice enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.

    There is an obvious spark between the characters you and Matthew Bomer play on "White Collar", Lauren Cruz and Neal Caffrey. What do you think is holding them back from getting together at this stage?

    I think it might be way too soon. Neal is still a bit hung up on Kate. Also, there is a lot of trust issues going around for everybody. I don't think any of us REALLY trust Neal yet, and the same goes for Neal with us. Although, now that I mention it - that may be part of the attraction.

    I saw you hauling ass while chasing down Ghovat in the 2nd episode of White Collar, "Threads". What do you do to stay in shape so you can make chasing down criminals look easy?

    Interesting question. I should have some ridiculous workout regimen where I do yoga at 5am and only eat leeks. Really, I'm just a lazy 24 year old with a fast metabolism. Ask me again when I'm 30.

    Matthew Bomer was close to playing Superman at one point, would you be interested in playing a superhero?

    Well, playing Wendy Watson was a hell of a lot of fun. I'd love to do it again.

    I want to hear more about "Quitters", which you not only starred in, but also took on the role of executive producer.

    Quitters was a pilot that my brilliant friend, Dane Hanson, wrote and directed. We got a group of friends together and shot it in 2 days, just for fun. I look forward to working with him a lot more, the man's a machine.

    “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” has just wrapped filming. Talk about that experience.

    It was so much fun! Everyone was really cool and I got the chance to play a completely different character than I'm used to. I was completely honored to be working with those guys, and they made it very easy.

    I heard that "Boldly Going Nowhere" has some new life, tell us about that project.

    Boldly is a pilot I shot over a year ago that was written by the Always Sunny in Philadelphia guys (who completely and totally rule) and to be honest I have absolutely no idea what's happening with it.

    You're certainly doing well for yourself in front of the camera any thoughts of getting behind the camera as a director?

    Absolutely, and thanks, I would definitely love to direct someday. I need a hell of a lot more experience though. I would hate to be one of those people that just thinks she can direct because she's been around directors. There's so much more to it - I've learned a lot from some magnificent people I've worked with.... but I need to take a ton of classes first.

    You're spending a quiet night at home watching movies, what's in Natalie's Netflix queue?

    Let me look - okay, here's a few: Steamboat Bill Jr., Paper Heart, Big Love Season 1 & Joe Versus the Volcano.

    Update your fans on any upcoming projects. What does Natalie's future hold?

    I wish I knew. That's the tough/awesome thing about this business. I could be filming a movie in Yemin tomorrow night and not know it until tomorrow morning. Right now, however, I'm focusing on finishing this season of White Collar and then a script I've just written and getting that made. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Can fans follow your Tweets via Twitter or poke you courtesy of Facebook?

    Tweet! find me @nataliemorales

    Don't miss the White Collar Fall Finale this Friday December 4th at 10PM Eastern. Then get reacquainted with Natalie Morales when White Collar returns on Tuesday, January 19th for all new episodes on it's new night.

    Some of you might remember Natalie Morales from her portrayal as the unflappable Wendy Watson in ABC Family's television series "The Middleman". Now you can catch her on USA Network's new hit series "White Collar" playing the sassy Agent Lauren Cruz. She just recently finished shooting for her role in "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps". Natalie was nice enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.

    There is an obvious spark between the characters you and Matthew Bomer play on "White Collar", Lauren Cruz and Neal Caffrey. What do you think is holding them back from getting together at this stage?

    I think it might be way too soon. Neal is still a bit hung up on Kate. Also, there is a lot of trust issues going around for everybody. I don't think any of us REALLY trust Neal yet, and the same goes for Neal with us. Although, now that I mention it - that may be part of the attraction.

    I saw you hauling ass while chasing down Ghovat in the 2nd episode of White Collar, "Threads". What do you do to stay in shape so you can make chasing down criminals look easy?

    Interesting question. I should have some ridiculous workout regimen where I do yoga at 5am and only eat leeks. Really, I'm just a lazy 24 year old with a fast metabolism. Ask me again when I'm 30.

    Matthew Bomer was close to playing Superman at one point, would you be interested in playing a superhero?

    Well, playing Wendy Watson was a hell of a lot of fun. I'd love to do it again.

    I want to hear more about "Quitters", which you not only starred in, but also took on the role of executive producer.

    Quitters was a pilot that my brilliant friend, Dane Hanson, wrote and directed. We got a group of friends together and shot it in 2 days, just for fun. I look forward to working with him a lot more, the man's a machine.

    “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” has just wrapped filming. Talk about that experience.

    It was so much fun! Everyone was really cool and I got the chance to play a completely different character than I'm used to. I was completely honored to be working with those guys, and they made it very easy.

    I heard that "Boldly Going Nowhere" has some new life, tell us about that project.

    Boldly is a pilot I shot over a year ago that was written by the Always Sunny in Philadelphia guys (who completely and totally rule) and to be honest I have absolutely no idea what's happening with it.

    You're certainly doing well for yourself in front of the camera any thoughts of getting behind the camera as a director?

    Absolutely, and thanks, I would definitely love to direct someday. I need a hell of a lot more experience though. I would hate to be one of those people that just thinks she can direct because she's been around directors. There's so much more to it - I've learned a lot from some magnificent people I've worked with.... but I need to take a ton of classes first.

    You're spending a quiet night at home watching movies, what's in Natalie's Netflix queue?

    Let me look - okay, here's a few: Steamboat Bill Jr., Paper Heart, Big Love Season 1 & Joe Versus the Volcano.

    Update your fans on any upcoming projects. What does Natalie's future hold?

    I wish I knew. That's the tough/awesome thing about this business. I could be filming a movie in Yemin tomorrow night and not know it until tomorrow morning. Right now, however, I'm focusing on finishing this season of White Collar and then a script I've just written and getting that made. Keep your fingers crossed.

    Can fans follow your Tweets via Twitter or poke you courtesy of Facebook?

    Tweet! find me @nataliemorales

    Don't miss the White Collar Fall Finale this Friday December 4th at 10PM Eastern. Then get reacquainted with Natalie Morales when White Collar returns on Tuesday, January 19th for all new episodes on it's new night.

    Thursday
    Jul162009

    Exclusive Interview With Julia Voth

    Model. Actress. Writer. Twenty-four year old stunner Julia Voth is a woman of many talents. She is a star on the rise, and I was was recently afforded the opportunity to speak with and interview her. She is smart, classy, and witty not to mention jaw droppingly gorgeous.  Below, we discuss everything from how she got her start in the business, to the differences between filming movies and television series, to a certain star spangled superheroine.

    Now, I'm sure you're all much more interested in what Julia has to say than what I do. So here without further ado, my interview with Julia:

    How did you get your start in modeling, was that something you wanted to do even when you were a young girl or did it just kind of happen?

    Performing was always something I knew I wanted to do, even from a young age. I basically grew up in front of my dad’s video camera. And when the opportunity arose to go to Japan and work as a model it seemed like a
    perfect fit.

     

    Was it while modeling that you thought about trying your hand at acting or is that something you always wanted to pursue?

    For a while modeling was great. I got to travel and meet amazing people around the world. But I got to a point where creatively it wasn’t enough. I needed something more to stimulate my mind. For me it was a natural progression to acting. As I learned and studied acting I found I approached modeling very much as an actor would a part. I created a character in my mind to portray whatever it was a designer or photographer wanted. And now that I am here in LA doing it, I know this is where I am meant to be.

    What was your reaction when your agent handed you the script for Bitch Slap?

    When I first read the title I was a little skeptical. But I read to about the 20th page when I called my agent back and told him to do whatever it took to get me in to read for Trixie. I knew I had to be part of this project and I knew she was the one I needed to play.

    What was it about the part of Trixie that appealed to you, and how did you feel when you knew you got the part?

    On the outside Trixie is a sweet, naïve, down-on-her-luck stripper, with a heart of gold. I saw a lot of me in her, well besides the stripping stuff.  But what I liked most was the journey she goes on and the arch that she has in the film. She ends up being totally different from how she began. And that was very fun to play.

    I get the vibe everyone had a blast and had lots of fun on set, would that be accurate?

    Absolutely, it was so much fun on set. You can be working on the most amazing project but if the people are negative it can bring the whole thing down. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing people who believed in me and trusted me to take Trixie where she needed to go. Rick Jacobson and Eric Gruendemann (our director and executive producer), had the confidence
    all of us to be the ambassadors of the film.

    What was it like shooting your love scenes for Bitch Slap?

    Bitch Slap was full of firsts for me including my first time onscreen kiss. I had two scenes and each time it was a closed set, I felt very comfortable about it. Everyone on set was so respectful of what we were doing. Each scene was a very important and appropriate part of why Trixie is the way she
    is. (And besides that, I’d rather kiss a pretty girl than an ugly guy any day.)

    Was the shooting in the desert difficult?

    Shooting in the desert was very challenging. Both Erin and I were wearing 4-inch heels, which never came off, not even in the fight scenes. In the mornings it was SO cold. I am Canadian so I am used to the cold, but it’s a lot different when you are wearing nothing more then a little gold dress. Then everyday when 4 o/c hit, the winds would pick up to 40mph and we’d be doing our close-ups with sand and dirt and glycerin and lip-gloss all over our faces. It definitely pushed us mentally and physically. Not only did I prove to myself I could do it, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    America Olivo your Bitch Slap costar recently did a layout in Playboy Magazine. Were you and Erin Cummings approached as well, and is that something you'd ever consider?

    Yes! She was the June Cover Girl! I am so proud of her and she looked beautiful! The female body is beautiful and being a model and now actress, showing some skin is not something I am uncomfortable with. But it's not for me at this point in my career, it’s not to say I would never consider it in the future, but not right now. I also think it is so much sexier when a woman is dressed and there is something left to the imagination. It’s the unknown, and to me that’s hot.

    In a previous interview, you said there needs to be more female action heroes. As comic book movies are all the rage right now, have you auditioned for any?

    No, I haven’t had an opportunity to... not yet.

    Would a role like Wonder Woman be something that interests you?

    Are you kidding I’d LOVE to play Wonder Woman. Growing up she was my favorite.

    In addition to movies and commercials, you've also been part of video games. You're the model for Jill Valentine in Resident Evil games. How did that come about? Were you a fan or were you aware of the game series popularity beforehand?

    I was modeling in Japan when I auditioned for it. There where thousands of girls up for the part. I was so honored when they offered me the job. She isan iconic character, who is beautiful and strong. I still feel a strong connection to her.

    You have two upcoming projects. The Anniversary, and Love Hurts, what can
    you tell us about them?

    'Love Hurts‘ is a romantic comedy starring Jenna Elfman and Carrie Ann Moss as Amanda, and I play Young Amanda 20 years ago. Barra Grant wrote and directed it. It’s very funny and very sweet. Then I did 'The Anniversary’ a film by John Campea. It’s a romantic comedy about love and loss. I am the main character's love interest. It really is a fall-out-of-your-seat-laugh-out-loud kind of movie. And I just finished a show for MTV called ‘The Phone.’ Produced by Justin Timberlake ‘The Phone’ mixed the worlds of reality and scripted television and put them head to head in an intense race against time. I played a scripted secret agent, which was a lot of fun.

    Love Hurts you have many highly successful actresses as your costars, did you learn a lot or get any advice from them?

    You can learn a lot from an actress by just watching them work. I’ve seen the final product and they are all amazing. I feel very lucky to have been surrounded by so many talented actors so far in my career.

    What type of actress do you see yourself as? Mostly action, drama, comedy? And, which actresses do you look up to?

    I look up to actresses like Anne Hathaway, Scarlet Johansson, and Rachael McAdams. They are all extremely talented actresses who have range in their choices of films. I would love to have the opportunity to try all kinds of genres.

    Are there any specific actresses or directors you'd love to work with?

    Coen Brothers, Bill Condon (Dream Girls), Scott Charles Stewart are a few directors I’d love to work with.

    Having worked on both movie sets, and TV series (MTV's The Phone) how would you compare the two, and is there one you like more than the other?

    Movie and television sets are so different it’s hard to pick one. And I think as an actress it is important to work both muscles. I see myself more in movies as my career progresses, there is magic in movies, but I would never limit myself to just one or the other.

    In addition to modeling and acting, you're also writing a book of what you've referred to as "dark poetry". When will that be released, and could you perhaps share a poem with us?

    Yes I am, but I’m still in the process of writing it. I am hoping it will be completed by the end of the year, but I’m not sharing anything until it is totally done. But what I can tell you is this is the most organic, raw and real work I’ve ever done. It’s dark and unapologetic. And I am very proud of it.

    Do you have any advice for the young girls out there who want to get into modeling and/or acting?

    I think when it comes to anything in life you need to have an unshakable faith in yourself. Especially in this business there are so many people who will tear you down, you need to learn how to let it roll off your shoulders and get back up and keep going.

    As you're from Saskatchewan, Canada, and while I've never been, I've always wanted to visit. When I do get the chance to go, what are the places to go and things I need to make sure to do?

    Well if you like nature then Saskatchewan is a great place to go. It is called the land of the living skies for a reason. Every night, winter or summer, you can see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. And in the winter on any clear night you can see the northern lights. They are so beautiful I will brave any freezing temperature to stand outside and watch them. Saskatoon (our biggest city) in the summer is alive with festivals and people enjoying the weather. There is a calm the people have. It’s so refreshing to be at home and to have people ask you how you are, not what you can do for them, it’s just that simple.

    Well, there you have it folks.  If I was a betting man, and let's face it, I am I'd say Julia Voth is a name to be remebered and her star will only shine brighter as her career progresses.  If you want to learn more about Julia, be sure to checkout www.JuliaVoth.com  she can also be found on her official myspace here

    For any of you not entirely sure what exactly "Bitch Slap" is about, check out the trailer below

    Friday
    Jun262009

    Exclusive Interview With Marc Guggenheim

    Movie writer. TV producer. Comic book creator. Video game writer.

    While this list may seem like a collection of dream jobs for many of us, it actually is the resume of former lawyer Marc Guggenheim.

    Since Guggenheim left the world of Boston law and turned to Hollywood, his biggest problem seemingly has been finding the time for all of the work sent his way.


    FLASH FORWARD

    One of the items currently on Guggenheim's plate is his role as executive producer of the television series "Flash Forward," which is scheduled to debut this fall on ABC.

    The concept behind "Flash Forward" is that everyone on Earth blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During the blackout, people experience visions of April 29, 2010, which is six months into the future at that point. When the "flash forward" is over, many people have died in accidents involving vehicles, aircraft or other devices that require human control.

    The plot is adapted from the 1999 book "Flashforward" by Robert J. Sawyer.

    "I like to use the phrase 'inspired by.' [The show's writers] took the storyline in a different direction than the novel," said Guggenheim. "If you read the book and find the concept intriguing, you will really enjoy what David (Goyer) and Brannon (Braga) did with it."

    One major change from the book to the television show involves how far into the future people see when they black out.

    "We've obviously changed it from 21 years to six months," said Guggenheim. "The real appeal when you are doing a television series is getting to see the payoff of when the future becomes the present. David and Brannon made the decision to have that payoff come in the first season."

    One aspect of the show that has people talking is the high caliber of its cast. "Flash Forward" features Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport and Courtney B. Vance. That cast was one of the factors that intrigued Guggenheim.

    "I wish I could take credit for the cast," he said, "but I got involved after the cast was put together."

    According to Guggenheim, the show has the ability to sustain a high level of quality over a number of seasons.

    "We figure it can go seven years pretty comfortably," he said. "At a minimum, we figure we would need three seasons [to tell the story]."

    Guggenheim said he believes "Flash Forward" can achieve success on the level of "Lost."

    "I have a feeling people will start talking about 'Flash Foward' once they see it," he said. "I think that show will inspire that much interest."


    ELI STONE

    For Guggenheim, the beginning of "Flash Forward" arrives just as "Eli Stone" is ending.

    After 26 episodes over a two-year period, "Eli Stone" has been canceled by ABC. The final episodes of the show have begun airing in the U.S. at 10 p.m. on Saturday nights (the episodes previously aired in the U.K.).

    "We had an initial 13-episode order for Season Two," Guggenheim said. "We hoped for a back-nine order (to get up to 22 episodes), but we had written 13 without knowing whether we would get the other nine."

    However, he said, by the time the 13th episode of Season Two was actually filmed, the writing was on the wall.

    "Everyone went into production on Episode 13 knowing it was the end," he stated.

    Guggenheim said fans of the show will feel a sense of closure.

    "Do you get a sense that we brought the show in for a landing? Yeah, you do," he said.

    However, Guggenheim noted, there is a chance "Eli Stone" may live on in another format.

    "I've gotten super close on a couple of occasions to doing it as a comic book series," he said. "But it's something I'm taking a beat on, because I'm so busy with 'Flash Forward.'"

    And if it is possible to do it as a comic book series, Guggenheim said he already is off to an excellent start.

    "I have four more scripts that were written by 'Eli Stone' writers," he said. "Episodes 14 through 17 have been written. And I want to do something with them."

    But Guggenheim also noted he won't do it "just to do it."

    "I'm only going to do it if I can do it right," he said. "My ego could not tolerate 'Eli' failing in two different mediums."

    Guggenheim then laughed and clarified that he meant the show was a "failure" on television only in terms of the ratings.

    "I have absolutely no regrets. I'm really proud of the series. I am as proud of it as I am anything I have ever done," he said. "And I know there is a rabid fan base for the show. I would rather have the fans who are passionate than a kajillion people who watch the show, but don't really care."

    Shows such as "Flash Forward" and "Eli Stone" feature twists, an element toward which Guggenheim said he finds himself attracted.

    "I favor shows that are outside the box. I'm very excited about 'Flash Forward'," he said. "But it always comes down to, 'Is this a quality show?' And, 'Does it tell a good story?"


    VIDEO GAMES

    Another field through which Guggenheim has discovered he can tell a good story is the world of video games.

    "I love writing video games," he said. "I enjoy working with video game developers."

    The games for which Guggenheim has written or co-written the stories for include "Call of Duty 3," "Perfect Dark Zero" and, most recently, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

    "It's an exciting technology to be working on," he said. "The technology is at the place where you can tell big, cinematic stories. The potential is just so huge."

    Guggenheim said he would love to do more games, but added that they are "very time consuming."

    "When I can, I work them into my schedule," he said. "When I've done it, it's usually during a hiatus."


    COMIC BOOKS

    Guggenheim also continues to write comic books, something he enjoys doing.

    His upcoming work includes the "Who Is Ben Reilly?" arc in Amazing Spider-Man. In the past, he has created stories for characters such as The Flash, Aquaman, The Punisher and Wolverine.

    And, oddly enough, Guggenheim was slated to work with Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, on a comic book series called "Nowhere Man."

    "Unfortunately, Virgin Comics went under and we just don't have a home for it," Guggenheim said. "I've talked to Hugh Jackman's people and we're looking at things to do down the road. But, unless things get resolved, I don't think it will be 'Nowhere Man.'"

    Conversely, Guggenheim noted, things are looking very good for another comic book series of his called "'Resurrection."

    "I'm doing a comic for Oni Press that's been optioned for a movie at Universal [Studios]," he said.
    Guggenheim called the comic book's concept "really cool."

    "In 'Independence Day' and 'War of the Worlds' and basically every alien invasion movie you've ever seen, people win and the aliens get kicked off the planet. You don't see what happens next," he said. "With 'Resurrection,' the aliens leave, then our story begins."


    GREEN LANTERN

    Speaking of movies, Guggenheim knows that no matter how many shows, video games, comic books or other movies he does, the topic of the "Green Lantern" movie he co-wrote with Greg Berlanti and Michael Green is the topic most likely to come up. Yet, it also is the topic he is most hesitant to talk about.

    "'Green Lantern' continues to move forward," he said. "But I can't say any more about it. I've signed a blood oath of secrecy."

    Guggenheim said he is aware fans are concerned that the lead role has yet to be cast, but he said they have nothing to worry about.

    "I understand where the fans are coming from," he said. "I understand that people are passionate, but everything will work out."

    Guggenheim said he doesn't go on Internet message boards to see what people are writing about "Green Lantern," but he does get an e-mail notice when new stories are written about the movie.

    "I haven't gone on the boards, but I do have a Google alert," he said. "So if something gets written (about "Green Lantern") and Google captures it, I see it."

    And through reading the stories, Guggenheim said he has noticed a common thread.

    "I can say don't believe all the rumors," he said. "In fact, I haven't read a single thing that is accurate."

    However, Guggenheim also tried to downplay his role in the process by saying he is "just the writer."

    "In fact," he said. "I have the Google alert so I can find out who is cast along with all of you."

    Friday
    May012009

    Exclusive Interview With Dan Forcey

    Brandon Routh took a break from filming 'Dead of Night' recently to attend the Watchmen premiere. Official photos from the movie are forthcoming, but have yet to be released. For a great explanation of where the photos are, check out the 'Dead of Night' production blog at http://deadofnightmovie.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/a-brief-explanation.

    Although a number of comic book-based movies are in various degrees of development right now, the most promising one just might be "Dead of Night."

    Based on Tiziano Sclavi’s "Dylan Dog" comic books (published in Italy), the movie began filming in February.

    Directed by Kevin Munroe, "Dead of Night" is the story of a detective drawn into the world of the supernatural.

    One of the primary forces in bringing the novels to life has been Dan Forcey, who is the VP of Development at Platinum Studios Inc.

    "Platinum is the multi-media company that originally optioned the rights from Bonelli to make a Dylan Dog movie," said Forcey, who is wearing multiple hats in the making of "Dead of Night."

    "I’m also here on set serving as a member of the stunt team," he said. "I did stunts before moving into development at Platinum and this film has allowed me to exercise those muscles again, which has been a ton of fun."

    Bringing Dylan Dog to the big screen has been a longtime goal for Forcey.

    "I, and other folks at Platinum, have been working on a script based on the comic for years now," he said. "We nearly made it with a couple of other partners, but after a few false starts, we finally found what we think is the perfect combination of talent to truly bring Dylan to life."

    Top-lining that talent is Brandon Routh, best known for his portrayal of Superman in the 2006 movie "Superman Returns."

    In "Superman Returns," Routh was somewhat under-utilized, despite playing the title character. In "Dead of Night," Forcey said, Routh will have a chance to really show what he can do.

    "Those folks that are only familiar with Brandon from his work on 'Superman Returns' are going to be surprised by him in this role, I think," said Forcey. "Although he was great in that movie, I think Dylan will allow him to shine even more."

    According to Forcey, Routh perfectly fit what the filmmakers were looking for when casting Dylan Dog.

    "Brandon has a dark complexity, coupled with a genuine likability, that is essential to bring Dylan to life," he said. "We talked a lot about who could handle Dylan with Kevin and the consensus was that a lot of actors could act the part of Dylan, but Brandon was the only one who was it."

    Forcey said Routh has immersed himself into the world of Dylan Dog in preparation for the role.

    "He’s really dived into the comics, and at this point probably knows more Italian than I do as a result," said Forcey.

    In fact, Forcey noted, Routh "even did an entire scene in Italian in the movie."

    Forcey added that Routh has lived up to his reputation as being a nice guy behind the scenes.

    "At this point in the production, as a stuntman, I haven’t had a lot of interaction with him," he said. "But I can tell you, he’s liked by everyone on set. He’s nice, down-to-earth and a very hard worker."

    Other actors cast in the movie include Anita Briem, Taye Diggs, Peter Stormare, Kurt Angle, Kyle Russell Clements, James Hébert, Marco St. John, Dan Braverman, Kimberly Whalen and Courtney J. Clark.

    Additionally, Sam Huntington is playing Dylan Dog's sidekick, Marcus. The character marks a departure from the comics. In the original Italian comics, Dylan Dog's sidekick is Groucho, an actor for whom a Groucho Marx impersonation became his permanent personality. In the American reprints of the comics by Dark Horse, the character has been renamed Felix and even the Groucho mustache has been removed.

    According to Forcey, using a Groucho Marx likeness would have cost several million dollars and a piece of the marketing pie ("including any comics Bonelli publishes in the future”).

    For Huntington, playing Marcus in "Dead of Night" will mark his second pairing with Routh. Huntington played Jimmy Olsen in "Superman Returns," and he and Routh have remained friends since filming the movie.

    According to Forcey, that friendship ultimately may have helped Huntington to get the part, but the fact that the two actors already had worked together on a superhero movie almost worked against Huntington.

    "Brandon was definitely part of that decision (to hire Huntington)," said Forcey. "Brandon and Sam were at first under consideration independent of each other, just because we thought they were both great actors. We were actually worried about casting them because we didn't want to invite comparisons to 'Superman Returns.' Then Kevin found out from Brandon that they had remained friends after 'Superman Returns' and agreed to allow them to read together. Almost instantly, he realized they naturally had the exact kind of dynamic that Dylan and Marcus have in the script and decided he needed them both."

    The comedic dynamic between Dylan Dog and Marcus is just one aspect of a movie that is not exactly tied down to a single genre.

    "It's a thriller with a little action, a little buddy comedy and a splash of noir," said Forcey.

    And if the movie itself is hard to pin down, that just might be due to the nature of the lead character.

    "Dylan is a very complex character," stated Forcey. "He has a brand of 'optimistic melancholy' that makes him a fascinating figure in cinema, I think. We’re interested in him because he is complex and real. Despite the craziness he encounters in every issue, at the core of every story is this flawed character named Dylan. But unlike a John Constantine, who revels in his flaws or outright ignores them, Dylan is quite aware and tries to rise above them with an optimism and sense of humor that is infectious."

    And while every effort has been made to keep the character as true to the original stories as possible, moving the action to a new locale has some fans of the series up in arms.

    While the "Dylan Dog" stories typically take place in London, "Dead of Night" is set in New Orleans. Forcey said the new location is primarily story-driven.

    "The city definitely plays a part in the story. I can't go into too many details, but it does play a big part in it," he said. "More importantly, though, the city is as much a character in the film as London is in the Dylan novels. New Orleans has an age and a mysticism to it that I don't think you'd find anywhere else in the states and if a 'nightmare detective' was going to find business anywhere this side of the ocean, it would be there."

    Principal photography for the movie currently is taking place on location in New Orleans, with the release date slated for "sometime in 2010," Forcey said.

    As for the movie's budget, Forcey wouldn't reveal a number, but he did say that it was "about on par with the 'Underworld' movies." ("Underworld" cost $22 million and the most recent sequel was priced at $35 million. Unofficial estimates have put the budget for "Dead of Night" somewhere between those two numbers.)

    Forcey also is keeping details of the plot a secret. An early script was leaked, but Forcey said it was a "very, very old draft of the script."

    Since then, Forcey said, "The director and Platinum’s foreign library specialist, Gioj Demarco, went through the script just prior to shooting and did an entirely new draft that was specifically intended to make things closer to the books."

    For those wondering how the movie will relate to the stories told in the books, Forcey said, "People should think of it as a continuation of Dylan's ongoing adventures."

    Forcey added that "there will be a 'how we got from the stories in the book to where "Dead of Night" picks up' story that will be available to fans in a ... very interesting way soon."

    However, he noted, moviegoers will not be required to read the comics in order to fully comprehend the movie.

    "Like 'Iron Man' last year," Forcey said, "we've definitely added in a lot of things just for the fans, but the movie will stand on its own."

    To stay up-to-date on the filming of the movie from behind the scenes, check out Dan Forcey's blog at http://deadofnightmovie.wordpress.com. In addition to updates about the shoot, Forcey does a great job of explaining differences from the books to the screen (such as why Dylan Dog's white Bug with a black top has become a black Bug with a white top).

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