Bill Pullman

Few will forget Bill Pullman‘s rousing speech as the US president in Independence Day, but it’s only one of a long string of vast and diverse roles that have seen him cast as romantic lead, action hero, comedy star and dark villain. In more than twenty years of screen acting he’s defined himself as a hard-working, engaging talent.

His latest film, Surveillance, opens in UK cinemas this week. Directed by Jennifer Lynch, it casts Pullman as one of a pair of FBI agents (with Julia Ormond) tracking down the culprit of a grisly collection of seemingly unpremeditated murders. With a fine ensemble cast it’s an original crime thriller; only Lynch’s second film since her 1993 debut Boxing Helena. It will open in the US on 26th June.

Of his five favourite films, Pullman says his choices depend on mood and context. “I always feel like there are a lot of different types of favourites,” he tells RT. “there are some that I look to for interesting things, some that I look to for acting things, others that I watch again and again. I don’t know if this is in any sort of order!”

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

“This is always the first choice when people say they have a new television set or home cinema system and they want to watch a great visual movie. I always choose this because I feel it has an incredible presence.”

Click on a thumbnail below.

Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia

The Searchers
The Searchers

Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point

America, America
America, America

Scenes from a Marriage
Scenes from a Marriage


Bill Pullman

The Searchers

The Searchers

“I like The Searchers for the same reason. I like to see those performances again and just the way that without special effects or tweaked shots or CGI or whatever you get this expansive feeling of being in the outdoors.”


Bill Pullman

Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point

“When I was in college, first year, I saw it and I really hadn’t been exposed to a lot of European filmmakers. It’s such a ‘film’ film. It wasn’t required viewing, it was just a film playing on campus and I hadn’t been interested in film before then. Nowadays people are deciding to get into film at age five when they’re sitting, watching the Oscars. I really didn’t come out of that culture — I was pretty much a John Wayne fan and that was it. Zabriskie Point was a time when I was in a lot of change and flux and these incredible visuals hit me like they had rearranged the organs in my body. The ending and the free-floating debris and everything is an image that burned itself in my consciousness.”


Bill Pullman

America, America

America, America

“It’s a little bit of a Slumdog movie in a way of somebody coming from incredibly unlikely beginnings and climbing through a lot of incredibly hard challenges to get somewhere. As an actor you’re continually riding the waves of whether you’re in or out, getting work or not getting work, and Kazan was really a guy who was condemned into not working and looking to go deep into someplace and just live inside his art.”


Bill Pullman

Scenes from a Marriage

Scenes from a Marriage

“This is one I’ve watched a couple of different times in a couple of different forms. I’ve watched the film version and I’ve also seen the mini-series. I think when I first saw that it changed my idea of acting. I go back to it sometimes just to put myself back in that place where my discoveries about what was possible on a film and the level of immersion between people — this incredible dance that they do — really formed.”

Click on a thumbnail below.

Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia

The Searchers
The Searchers

Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point

America, America
America, America

Scenes from a Marriage
Scenes from a Marriage


Surveillance opens in UK cinemas this week. It will open in the US on 26th June.

In This Week’s Ketchup, Edward Norton gets to take over the role of Bruce Banner in "The Incredible Hulk," Heath Ledger will portray a darker, scarier Joker than what audiences are accustomed to in "The Dark Knight," and "Spider-Man 3" received some glowing early reviews.

Also, Sam Raimi comments on "The Hobbit," as does Kirsten Dunst on "Spider-Man 4," and Optimus Prime speaks in the latest "Transformers" spot. Read On.

This Week’s Most Popular News:

Edward Norton is "The Incredible Hulk"

What was your first reaction upon reading that headline? Be honest. Mine was "Edward Norton as Bruce Banner?? Excellent choice, and one I never would have thought of."

Ledger’s New Joker to Be Scrappy and Scary

If you were hoping for a Jack Nicholson-style Joker in Christopher Nolan’s "The Dark Knight," then you might be disappointed by the adjectives being used to describe the new character design. Words like "raggedy" and "scary."

"Spider-Man 3" Reactions Starting to Come In

A prickly one again for me: There’s a brand-new "spy review" of "Spider-Man 3" over at AICN, but since I refuse to read extensive opinions about a movie until I see it for myself, I’ll just have to point you in the right direction and say "The spy really liked it."

Sam Raimi Talks "Hobbit" and Dunst Discusses "Spidey 4"

It’s been a while since we first heard that "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi could be in line to direct "The Hobbit" for New Line — and now the director has actually spoken about the possibility. In other news, Kirsten Dunst says a "Spider-Man 4" without her or Raimi or Tobey Maguire would "flop."

Optimus Prime Speaks in New "Transformers" Spot

Wow, I’ve never seen this many different websites respond to one TV spot like I have here. I guess it only makes sense, since "Transformers" hits a lot of different geek demographics: The movie nuts, the toy collectors, the animation buffs, the automobile enthusiasts…


He will be a tad scarier than this.

In Other News:

  • "Crash" producers Robert Moresco and Mark R. Harris are teaming up on an untitled feature film about Whitewater figure Susan McDougal. Moresco will write and direct, and is co-producing with Harris.
  • Elijah Wood will produce his first film, teaming up with Anthony Moody and Rob Malkani’s Indalo Productions on "Black Wings Has My Angel," an adaptation of the Elliot Chaze novel.
  • "Vacancy" director Nimrod Antal will direct another thriller for Screen Gems, "Armored," from a screenplay by James V. Simpson.
  • Tony Leung Chiu-Wai has rejoined the cast of John Woo‘s "The Battle of Red Cliff" after Chow Yun-Fat dropped out. Leung had quit the cast last month due to scheduling conflicts, but agreed to return after Chow’s sudden departure.
  • Ron Lieberman will direct the psychological revenge thriller "Tortured," based on a script by Marek Posival for Twisted Pictures.
  • Paramount Vantage has acquired Harris Wilkinson’s script "Ink," a horror film centered around the tattoo industry.

Meet the new boss.

What could be better than seeing John Travolta in drag in next year’s 60s-era musical, "Hairspray"?? Seeing Christopher Walken hoof his way through the pic, as none other than Wilbur Turnblad, Travolta’s on-screen hubby.

While earlier reports named Brit actor Jim Broadbent to play the same role in Adam Shankman‘s version of John Waters‘ 1988 comedy musical (which was later turned into a Broadway show), Variety reports that Walken will instead play the father of 1960s plump dancing teenager, Tracy Turnblad.

Also on hand for "Hairspray" Redux will be Travolta (in the gender-bending role of Tracy’s mom, Edna), Michelle Pfeiffer (as evil stage mom, Velma von Tussel), and Queen Latifah (as local party queen, Motormouth Maybelle).

The teen roles will be fleshed out by Amanda Bynes (as Tracy’s best friend, Penny), Brittany Snow (as mean girl Amber von Tussel), Zac Efron (as love interest Link Larkin) and in her first screen role, newcomer Nicole Blonsky (as Tracy Turnblad).

Original songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will write some new tracks for the "Hairspray" soundtrack. Shooting is expected to begin next month, and New Line is aiming for a summer 2007 release.

For fans of the classic John Waters 1988 version of "Hairspray," here’s a cast comparison:

Tracy Turnblad: Nicole Blonsky vs. Ricki Lake
Edna Turnblad: John Travolta vs. Divine
Wilbur Turnblad: Christopher Walken vs. Jerry Stiller
Motormouth Maybelle: Queen Latifah vs. Ruth Brown
Corny Collins: James Marsden vs. Shawn Thompson
Penny Pingleton: Amanda Bynes vs. Leslie Ann Powers
Link Larkin: Zac Efron vs. Michael St. Gerard
Amber von Tussle: Brittany Snow vs. Colleen Fitzpatrick (AKA Vitamin C)
Velma von Tussle: Michelle Pfeiffer vs. Debbie Harry
Franklin von Tussle: ??? vs. Sonny Bono
Beatnik Cats: ??? vs. Rick Ocasek & Pia Zadora

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