INTERVIEW: ‘Iron Man 2’ Cast and Crew

Director Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 recently held a press conference interview at a Los Angeles press junket.  While some press junkets feature roundtable interviews with the cast, for today’s junket, Paramount gave the domestic press a 35 minute press conference with Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, director Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, screenwriter Justin Thoreaux and the head of Marvel, Kevin Feige.

As you might imagine when you get all these actors together, there was a lot of joking around and laughter.  Since that doesn’t exactly translate well to the written page, after the jump you can either read the transcript or listen to the audio.

Also, while I’d love to tell you what I thought about Iron Man 2, an embargo prevents me from saying anything.  Sorry.  Look for more Iron Man 2 interviews all week. Iron Man 2 opens May 7.


How To Break Into Hollywood As a Movie Director

Last November, Fede Alvarez went from being an obscure Uruguayan filmmaker to an overnight sensation after uploading his $300 short to YouTube about a massive robot invasion of Montevideo. The apocalypse went viral (it currently has around 6 million hits), Hollywood came calling and before he knew it, Alvarez had a seven-figure deal to direct a $30 million feature for Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures. The 31-year-old explains how he did it and updates us on his proposed feature.


Actress Krysten Ritter kicks the best friend habit with ‘Gravity’

Generally speaking, choking on your own vomit isn’t a career enhancer. Krysten Ritter proves otherwise. The 28-year-old actress was in something of a rut until landing the part of Jesse Pinkman’s junkie girlfriend, Jane Margolis, for Breaking Bad’s second season. “Up until then, I was getting a lot of comedic sidekick roles,” says Ritter, who had pretty much sewn up the feisty best friend in romantic comedies (27 Dresses, What Happens in Vegas, Confessions of a Shopaholic, She’s Out of My League).

But one dark role has begotten another darkish one: She’s now starring in Gravity (debuting April 23 on Starz), an ensemble dramedy about an A.A.-style group for suicide survivors. In many ways,Gravity’s Lily is like Jane: smart, acerbic, and quirky. But this time her character lives, hooking up with a grieving widower who drives his car off a bridge only to be thwarted by a passing cruise ship. “Krysten has this intangible energy,” says Eric Schaeffer, Gravity’s creator. “She can go from downright melancholy, to sarcastic, to very light and kooky.”


Movie theaters turn to live event screenings to fill seats

It's 7 p.m. on a recent Saturday and every seat in the 294-seat theater inside the AMC 16 Burbank is filled. The crowd isn't there to watch "How to Train Your Dragon" or "Alice in Wonderland," but a not-so-family-friendly kind of entertainment: mixed martial arts.

Tonight's feature is a highly anticipated Ultimate Fighting Championship face-off between Brazilian jiujitsu black belt Georges St. Pierre from Montreal and cocky English fighter Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy. When the action starts and St. Pierre scores his first "takedown," fans leap from their seats, pump their fists in the air and whoop wildly.

The event, beamed live to the Burbank theater and other venues around the country from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., is the latest example of how theater owners are harnessing the latest digital technology to program alternative entertainment such as broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera and live concerts from the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, whose March 30 show at Staples Center was transmitted live to 500 movie theaters.


New ‘Predators’ movie behind the scenes featurette

Central Texas town revels in ‘True Grit’ remake

"True Grit," a film classic that saw John Wayne receive an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1969, is being refilmed in Granger.

This rural crossroads of 1,400 situated on Texas 95 between Bartlett and Taylor dates back to 1882 when the Houston and San Antonio branches of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad intersected here.

The brick facades of the buildings along its 100-foot wide main street reflect the era of the late 19th century.

Construction crews busily hammering, nailing and painting up and down the main drag have enhanced facades and built movie sets. The frantic activity brings to mind the feeling of an 1880s boomtown in the making. Saloons, mercantile stores, a gallows and homes are going up in empty lots where buildings were long ago torn down.


Screenwriters sign up for “Masters of the Universe” movie

The duo who wrote the upcoming "Predators" reboot have been brought aboard a project based on Mattel's "Masters of the Universe" toys.

Columbia Pictures picked up movie rights to the 1980s property in the fall, when Mattel and Warner Bros. parted ways over creative differences.

The addition of rising scribes Mike Finch and Alex Litvak is the first major move on the movie, and signals the project is being rebuilt from the ground up. While at Warners, "Masters" went through several writers and in latter stages had "Kung Fu Panda" co-director John Stevenson attached.

Getting the go-ahead to tackle any major toy-brand film can be tricky. Depending on the property, writers and directors need to get a thumbs-up from the studio, which then has to win approval from the toy company. In the case of "Masters," Mattel has story approval.

In their pitch, the scribes attempted to balance a treatment that would convince the studio it was cinematic and keep the toy company satisfied that its characters were being portrayed appropriately.

The '80s show, "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe," centered on blond warrior Prince Adam, who, after uttering the magic words "By the power of Grayskull, I have the power," turned into the heroic He-Man. He and his allies -- Battle Cat, Man-at-Arms and Orko -- defended their planet Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor, who week after week attempted to conquer the fortress Castle Grayskull, which imbues He-Man with his powers.

The Robert Rodriguez-produced "Predators" opens July 9.

Hugh Laurie directs an episode of ‘House’

When Hugh Laurie gets an hour off from shooting scenes on his hit Fox drama “House,” he generally stretches out on a couch in his comfortable trailer, though not because he needs a quick nap to recover from playing one of television’s most complicated lead characters.

No, Mr. Laurie is taking a break from an even more arduous task: talking American.

“You are messing up my afternoon,” Mr. Laurie said pleasantly in his distinguished Oxford English accent. (Distinguished because he was born in Oxford and educated at Eton and Cambridge.)

After this interview interlude in his native tongue, he said he would have to return to the set and relocate his American accent, one he has delivered so convincingly in his six years as the tormented-genius diagnostician in New Jersey that many of the show’s fans are still shocked when he turns up on a talk show and describes his acting “proh-cess” instead of “prah-cess.”


Oscar win brings more eyes to foreign film

Wonderful as it is to win the Oscar for best foreign-language film, don't expect it to make your phone ring off the hook.

"If you win every other award in the world from every major festival, it's not as visible as the Oscar," observes Argentine writer-director Juan Jose Campanella, whose thriller "The Secret in Their Eyes" won the top prize last month.

But he added, "I don't know if it makes a huge impact on my career. What the Oscar does is make a lot of producers and directors want to see the movie. Then if they like it, something might happen."

"Eyes," opening Friday in New York and Los Angeles via Sony Pictures Classics, got on the awards track last fall after playing at festivals like Toronto and Spain's San Sebastian.

Its screenplay by Campanella and Eduardo Sacheri is adapted from Sacheri's book about a retired criminal court investigator writing a novel about a rape-murder case he handled 25 years earlier.


Richard Chamberlain: From Hawaii to `Leverage’

Richard Chamberlain is back in Los Angeles after leaving behind his Hawaiian "dream house" and says the move has proved a good one.

He quickly landed a role in the TNT series "Leverage," playing a dashing thief named Archie Leech. The character is a tip of the hat to Cary Grant, born Archibald Leach, and his role in Alfred Hitchcock's classic "To Catch A Thief."

"I wouldn't dream of trying to do a Cary Grant takeoff, but he (Leech) is very well-dressed, in any case, and kind of sophisticated. He's fun," Chamberlain said.

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