Sienna Miller may be tabloid fodder, but while she’s at work she clearly seeks challenging material, wether she’s playing Warhol Factory Girl Edie Sedgewick or A-lister Katya in Steve Buscemi‘s Interview. Could The Edge of Love, the tale of the steamy relationships between Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and three friends, be her finest role yet? Alongside Keira Knightley, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys, Miller has been receiving impressive notices from critics.
How much do you think they had to censor the Dylan Thomas story for the film?
Sienna Miller: It’s a window on their lives, it was a moment in time and it was more about the relationship and the dynamic between these couples. It’s more about friendship and betrayal than love, than the dark things we all find fascinating, and I think it’s not intending to be a straightforward biopic. It’s not just about Dylan Thomas, it’s about real people, who happen to know, well, a fantastic poet, but the relationship between them and him, and relationships in general.
Did you research Caitlin at all? Because with Dylan Thomas it’s probably easier than most, but maybe not so much with her?
SM: It’s hard to find; I mean, she wrote a book. I got this job two weeks before shooting, so normally I would have read as much as possible, but I had no time to prepare, so I was just working on the accent, having the rehearsals and script readings. I read the book that Caitlin had written, and I met her daughter. I flew back from a holiday early and so I didn’t have time to do as much, but the script was so well developed that everything you needed was there. It’s just the whole kind-of actor-angst that makes us need to know everything.
Are you attracted to these wild-child bohemian characters?
SM: I think everyone is, I think it’s evident in every walk of life. I feel that people are always fascinated by destructive people; I want to understand what makes people that way. There’s a certain romantic element to people who’ve abandoned that. I do end up playing quite tragic people, but then I do play other roles and we forget about that.
We’re about to see you in G.I. Joe – can you still find these challenging, interesting characters in big event movies like that?
SM: Yeah, definitely. Everything’s a challenge; the challenge for me in that was trying to be this sort of villain, with guns. I’ve never held a gun, and training, learning fights; it was a whole new experience. Normally I’ve just got my hat and bag, and having to go through all of that, the gym, I was horrified. I had my MP7 rifle, and my two guns, and it was great. Great gun-girl fights. A lot of it was dress-up, and it’s about being able to play, for me, and I get paid for it.
There was lots of playing on the set with Keira, wasn’t there? Do you have that kind of relationship with her?
SM: Yeah, we’re really, really close. I mean, I went to boarding school when I was eight, I think I’ve grown up a different kind of woman. There are a lot of things I don’t really understand or know how to relate to, but she’s great, she’s fantastic. It was just this great time, we were in this big, lavish house, running around in our pajamas with my dogs. John [Maybury, the director] hated it. John doesn’t get the rural thing; but we were going for these walks…
I think it’s necessary to have fun; if I’ve got a late call, and I have a few glasses of wine, I think that’s the way we’ve been brought up in this country, and I think it’s acceptable. No one’s stupid or out of control.
Dylan Thomas isn’t very likeable in this film, because of what he does. Do you think there was a certain kind of fixation on that with him, but not so much for Caitlin?
SM: I don’t think she cared, that was what was so great. She was very honest about what she did, she did sleep with people, but because she needed to. But at the heart of it all, the couple were madly in love. And you can understand this, from the way John tells the story, but still there’s a huge love. And the scene over the car is, somehow, really powerful; these two women and they know there’s this love problem. It’s just this very mature way of dealing with this awful situation and I think it’s beautifully told by John.
With this, G.I. Joe and Nottingham, things seem to be happening for you, finally.
SM: Yeah. I hope through putting in a lot of hard work, more than anything. I’ve really consciously made the decision to accept roles that are more challenging. But there’s a big tabloid perception, that’s a very hard thing to overcome, and I’ve worked really hard. So hopefully it’s because of that. I think it’s because of that.
Do you think you’ll be working with John Maybury again in the near future?
SM: Yeah. We were talking about it, it’s just about figuring out dates and availability. I’ve not got a film that’s slotting in August till December. John’s got something planned, but we were going to do something in September. I have a role in Nottingham, as Maid Marion, but because of the actor’s strike, nothing’s clear because we need the summer leaves for that in England, and if not September we’ll have to push it a year, so it’s very much dependent on that and it’s very difficult timing.
Check out our interview with Miller’s co-star, Keira Knightley, right here.
In an age of fast-rising Hollywood production costs, the young actresses who strive to keep movie budgets down — specifically in the wardrobe department — deserve to be saluted.
To that end, noted film critic Mr. Skin has unveiled his Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2007. Calling the last twelve months “A surprisingly strong year for big-screen nudity…among this decade’s very breast,” the renowned nakedologist has compiled the following list:
1. Marisa Tomei – Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
2. Keeley Hazell – Cashback
3. Natalie Portman – Hotel Chevalier
4. Christina Ricci – Black Snake Moan
5. Sienna Miller – Factory Girl
6. Roselyn Sanchez – Yellow
7. Malin Akerman – The Heartbreak Kid
8. Eva Mendes – We Own the Night
9. Lena Headey – 300
10. Stormy Daniels and Nautica Thorne – Knocked Up
11. Alexa Davalos – Feast of Love
12. Chelan Simmons – Good Luck Chuck
13. Wei Tang – Lust, Caution
14. Ashley Judd – Bug
15. Olivia Wilde – Alpha Dog
16. Ana Claudia Talancon – Alone With Her
17. Danielle Harris – Halloween
18. Heather Matarazzo – Hostel: Part II
19. Amber Valletta – The Last Time
20. Lucy Liu – Blood Hunter
Adjust your Netflix queues accordingly.
Source: PR Newswire
While sitting on a Comic Con panel, Frank Miller was asked about the hold-up on Sin City 2. (Numerous times, probably.) And it looks like the celebrated author / artist / filmmaker is laying the blame solely at the feet of the Weinstein brothers.
Could it be that Grindhouse threw a monkey wrench into future Weinstein production plans? Sheer speculation on my part, but I’d have thought a Sin City sequel would be a no-brainer by this point. Then again, both Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez are presently hard at work on other projects — to say nothing of the large number of busy actors who’d be needed. So there’s probably enough "blame" to go around, really.
According to Dark Horizons, Mr. Miller "confirmed that he and Robert Rodriguez have a script ready – an adaptation of A Dame to Kill and some of the book’s other short stories — but left the cryptic hint that the Weinstein’s themselves are part of the hold up — likely tying into the fledgling distributor’s lack of success so far at the box-office."
OK, so the Weinsteins didn’t exactly set the world on fire with Grindhouse, Miss Potter, Bobby, The Matador, Derailed, Pulse, Breaking and Entering, Harsh Times, DOA: Dead or Alive, The Gathering, Unknown, The Ex, Nomad, School for Scoundrels, Black Christmas, Arthur and the Invisibles, or Factory Girl — but they’re doing OK with 1408 and Sicko. Plus they’ve got some treats in store (Grace Is Gone is excellent, The Mist sounds great so far) for later this year. And maybe someday they’ll actually release Killshot, Teeth and Rogue and make a few dollars off of ’em. Still it’s tough to feel bad for the guys who put money behind Who’s Your Caddy? and Hannibal Rising. Then again, Clerks 2 was pretty darn funny.
Anyway, yeah: Sin City 2. As the highway signs sometimes say: Expect delays.
Source: Dark Horizons
With the Super Bowl taking males out of the picture, mothers and daughters squared off at the North American box office this weekend with the younger set earning a slim victory. The spooky thriller "The Messengers" opened at number one driven by teenage girls and young women while the Diane Keaton comedy "Because I Said So" bowed close behind in the runnerup position drawing upon older women.
The overall box office picture was bleak as the top ten slumped below the $70M mark for the second time in three weekends.
Sony scored its seventh consecutive victory over Super Bowl weekend with the haunted house spookfest "The Messengers," which grossed an estimated $14.5M in its debut frame. The PG-13 pic averaged a solid $5,736 from 2,528 locations but was weaker than the studio’s previous three hits that ruled this particular weekend. Last year, the horror pic "When a Stranger Calls" topped the charts with a $21.6M opening and $7,205 average, in 2005 "Boogeyman" led with a $19M bow and $6,232 average, and in 2004 "You Got Served" hit number one with $16.1M and a $8,341 average. "Messengers" did however post the best opening for a horror film since October’s "Saw III." A long string of terror flops were tossed into the marketplace in between with disappointing results.
Budgeted at only $16M, "The Messengers" skewed to a young female audience. According to studio research, 53% of the crowd was female and an equal percentage was under the age of 21. The studio is already planning for next year’s Super Bowl frame when it will release the horror remake "Prom Night," which will again cater to the same crowd. Teenage girls and young women historically have been the group least interested in football’s big championship game making them an attractive audience to target on this weekend. Creepy PG-13 films with strong female characters coupled with saavy marketing have led to many number one hits for Sony and its Screen Gems unit. But with the grosses getting smaller, movie fans could be telling Hollywood that it is dipping into this well too often.
Opening in second place with respectable results was "Because I Said So" with an estimated $13M from 2,526 theaters. Averaging $5,155 per location, the PG-13 film stars Diane Keaton as a meddlesome mother trying to find love for her unmarried daughter played by Mandy Moore. Men showed practically zero interest in the Universal release. Studio research showed that a whopping 82% of the audience was female. The film also played more to Keaton fans than to the Moore crowd as 55% of the turnout was 35 or older. 83% was Caucasian. Critics trashed "Because" and "Messengers" may have eaten into its potential with younger women.
Last weekend’s number one film "Epic Movie" dropped a sizable 56% in its second weekend and ranked third with an estimated $8.2M. With $29.4M in ten days, the spoof comedy looks on course to finish with $40-44M making it a bit smaller than Fox’s spoof from last February "Date Movie." That spin on romantic comedies grossed a somewhat stronger $33.8M in its first ten days, had a slightly lower 53% sophomore drop, and found its way to $48.5M.
Fox’s runaway smash "Night at the Museum" slipped only 29% and placed fourth with an estimated $6.8M pushing its tally to $225.4M. The durable Ben Stiller blockbuster became the first film to spend seven weekends in the top five since 2004’s "The Passion of the Christ."
Universal’s mob thriller "Smokin’ Aces" dropped 57% to an estimated $6.3M in its second weekend and put its cume at $25M after ten days. The step dancing hit "Stomp the Yard" followed with an estimated $4.2M, off 45%, for a total of $56M. The Oscar-nominated musical "Dreamgirls" saw the worst decline of its run dropping 40% to an estimated $4M. Cume stands at $92.8M.
Picturehouse added 259 theaters to the run of the fantasy pic "Pan’s Labyrinth" and stayed put at number eight with an estimated $3.7M. With six Academy Award nominations, the R-rated film upped its cume to $21.7M while its average of $3,383 was the third best in the top ten. Will Smith‘s tenth career $100M blockbuster "The Pursuit of Happyness" took in an estimated $3.1M, down 38%, for a $157.4M total to date.
Tied for tenth place with an estimated $2.7M in ticket sales each were the Helen Mirren Oscar nominated pic "The Queen" and the Jennifer Garner dramedy "Catch and Release." The Miramax contender for Best Picture slipped 33% raising its cume to $45.5M while the Sony flick tumbled 65% in its second weekend thanks to its female audience shifting over to the frame’s two new releases. The ten-day total stands at a weak $12M.
The horror remake "The Hitcher" also saw sales nosedive and dropped out of the top ten. The Focus release slumped 68% to an estimated $1.2M giving the R-rated scarefest only $15.6M overall. A final gross of $17M seems likely.
MGM and The Weinstein Co. saw a solid start for its indie drama "Factory Girl," starring media darling Sienna Miller grossing an estimated $95,000 from only three theaters for a stellar $31,764 average per site. Bowing in just New York and Los Angeles, the R-rated film tells of the rise of Edie Sedgwick and her mentor Andy Warhol. Reviews were mostly negative.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $66.5M which was off 13% from last year when "When A Stranger Calls" opened at number one with $21.6M; and down 19% from 2005 when "Boogeyman" debuted on top with $19M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Much has been made lately of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s demands to screen the Weinstein Co.’s upcoming Oscar hopeful, but it’s only the latest in a growing trend of troubling rumors surrounding the Edie Sedgwick biopic.
"Factory Girl" has been buzzed about as Sienna Miller‘s big break, the role that could send the British actress from "Layer Cake" eye-candy to breakout star. Distributor Weinstein Co. even pushed the flick towards a last-minute December 29 release to qualify for awards season; months ago, Hollywood Elsewhere‘s Jeffrey Wells rough cut rave hailed it as a contender (and suggested there’s Oscar potential in both Miller’s star turn and co-star Guy Pearce‘s portrayal of Andy Warhol).
The film, directed by documentarian George Hickenlooper ("Hearts of Darkness," "Mayor of the Sunset Strip"), chronicles the up-down trajectory of Warhol celebutante Sedgwick, the pixie-headed model-actress who was briefly a member of the Factory in the 1960s, dated Bob Dylan, and died of a drug overdose in 1971. Miller herself is a dead-on doppelganger for Sedgwick and stars alongside Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Ileana Douglas, Mary-Kate Olsen, Jimmy Fallon, Mena Suvari, and various members of Weezer.
It’s Christensen’s character, "Billy Quinn," that has drawn the ire of Dylan and his lawyers; though the name is different, the character bears enough resemblance to the folk legend and implies that their break-up inadvertently led to Sedgwick’s demise. From the LA Times: "[The character] has Dylan’s mannerisms and sports a checked scarf like the one Dylan sports on the cover of his classic "Blonde on Blonde" album — on which, legend has it, Sedgwick inspired two songs, "Just Like a Woman" and "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat."
Consequently, Dylan is demanding the film’s release and all early screenings be cancelled until he can view it and give his approval — or else producers Bob Yari and Holly Wiersma will be sued for defamation. (Coincidentally, Yari is the guy who was embroiled in a lawsuit around this time last year over snubbed producing credits for "Crash" and is currently in a public sparring match with Warner Bros. over what he considers a flawed Oscar campaign for his upcoming film, "The Painted Veil.")
Add that to recent rumors of Weinstein-mandated re-shoots and "Girl" champions might have cause to worry about the flick (and it’s stars’) chances come February. And then there’s the message board shouting match over at Cinematical about the Hickenlooper film, a failed competing Edie Sedgwick project, and a quite entertaining, if hard to follow, ensuing war of words from supporters of both camps (scroll down to the comments, it’s worth it!).
Elsewhere in Indie News
Sharon Stone To Play Jimmy Fallon’s MILF in Indie Pic
Stone in last year’s "Broken Flowers"
Jimmy Fallon and Sharon Stone are teaming up for the indie drama "Eliot Rockett." The film, which will begin shooting in February, tells the story of a workaholic/commitment-phobe man returning to his hometown due to a family illness; a reunion with his mother (Stone) rekindles his feelings of dysfunction. "Eliot Rockett" marks the directorial debut of co-screenwriter Patrick Sisam.
Lionsgate to Show Crowe’s "Tenderness"
Crowe earning his Golden Globe in "A Beautiful Mind"
The Russell Crowe-starrer "Tenderness" has been picked up by Lionsgate. The indie drama, which also features the talents of Laura Dern, Jon Foster, and Sophie Traub, tells the story of a cop on the trail of a serial killer, who’s become a bit too friendly with a local girl. The film is currently in post-production, and will likely hit theaters in late 2007.
Judge Unleashes "Alpha Dog"
"Alpha Dog": Coming to theaters before going to trial
It’s finally a go for teen crime flick "Alpha Dog," the Nick Cassavetes-helmed biopic based on the life of a young drug lord known as Jesse James Hollywood that premiered at Sundance nearly a year ago. Thanks to a federal judge’s ruling, Universal can release the film as planned this January; Hollywood’s defense attorney still maintains that releasing the flick will infringe upon his client’s right to a fair trial (to take place next year) and will continue to seek legal restraints.
The pic, starring Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis, and a lot more young Hollywood thesps, details the kidnapping and murder of a young man allegedly orchestrated by Hollywood, who consequently became the youngest person on the FBI’s most wanted list. The wealthy, fast-living criminal fled to Brazil, where he was apprehended in 2005.
Tomatometers for Last Week’s Limited Releases
Sarah Polley in Isabel Coixet’s "The Secret Life of Words"
Also playing this week in limited release: "The Secret Life of Words," starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley in a tale of high drama on an oil rig, is at 76 percent with 25 reviews; "Automatons," a zero-budget dystopian sci-fi flick, is at 67 percent with 6 reviews; "Breaking and Entering," a story of the tangled webs weaved after a burglary starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, is at 50 percent with 36 reviews; "The Good German," Steven Soderbergh‘s "Casablanca"-esque drama set in post-WWII Berlin starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, is at 33 percent with 70 reviews; and "Home of the Brave," about the trials of vets returning home from Iraq starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, and 50 Cent, is at 21 percent with 33 reviews.
Top Performing Limiteds
In the indie box office battle last week, Pedro Almodovar‘s "Volver" again claims the top spot, taking in a per screen average of $6,965 of 45 screens in its seventh week of release for a total of just under $2.9 million. The runner-up was the debut drama "The Secret Life of Words" starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley; it took in $5,309 in one theater. The suburban drama "Little Children" starring Kate Winslet came in third, claiming $3,695 on 21 screens in its 11th week of release (for a total of just over $2 million). The theatrical adaptation of "The History Boys" finished fourth, taking in $2,889 on 76 screens in its fourth week of release for a total of $795,000. Finally, the Bollywood drama/adventure, "Kabul Express," made $2,852 on 50 screens in its first week of release, for a total of $142,000.
Early screenings of the buzz-generating “Thank You For Smoking” at the Sundance Film Festival have some Katie Holmes fans pouting, as a sex scene between Holmes and Aaron Eckhart has been sliced from the festival print.
Jason Reitman’s cigarette industry satire contained the racy scene when it was first shown at the Toronto Film Festival last year, but had inexplicably been edited out when it was screened in Park City at this year’s Sundance. Some speculate that the all-powerful Tom Cruise himself may have persuaded filmmakers to cut the scene in order to preserve the wholesomeness of his pregnant fiancée; Cruise was rumored to have persuaded Holmes to drop out of the now-filming “Factory Girl,” a biopic of Studio 54 party girl Edie Sedgwick, because of its controversial themes.
At a Q & A session following the Sundance screenings, director Reitman clued in a mostly unaware audience to the missing scene — which, unbeknownst to him, had mistakenly been lopped off when editors were assembling the Sundance print. Reps from Fox Searchlight, which bought “Thank You” at the Toronto Film Festival for $6.5 million following a fierce bidding war with Paramount Classics, were unaware of the missing scene and assured the movie-going public that the theatrical release would include the precious Holmes scene.
“Thank You for Smoking” is set for limited release March 17, 2006.