SIR EDWIN FLUFFER REMEMBERS CHARLIE CHAPLIN

HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the man they called the laughing arse: Charlie Chaplin.

Hollywood’s historians will always gleefully tell those tales of the silent stars whose careers didn’t survive the arrival of sound, or ‘the talkies’ as we called them.  But few will ever remember those giants of the black and white movies whose days on the big screen came to an end with the invention of color.

I was one of the lucky ones: the dinner jacket I always wore while filming actually looked very smart in colour, but not everyone was as fortunate.

Dear Buster Keaton, for example, was absolutely hilarious in black and white, but in color his slapstick and general tomfoolery just didn’t come across. I personally think that audiences were distracted by his bright blue skin. The studio didn’t know what to do with him and after he turned down a lead role in The Smurfs he was never seen again. 
 
It was a similar story with Charlie Chaplin.  
In black and white he had the audience holding their sides with laughter, but in color his green skin just didn’t work. He read for both The Incredible Hulk and Kermit The Frog, but sadly lost out to slightly more emerald actors. I believe that in later years he moved to Japan and enjoyed a lucrative career as Godzilla.
But that’s another story… 

BREAKFAST WITH ASSHOLES: 1. ROLAND EMMERICH

HOLLYWOOD – Roland Emmerich is our first interviewee in the classic series: Breakfast with Assholes.

This town has a long history of taking in immigrants from Europe and using their talent to our mutual benefit. Look at Billy Wilder. Jesus, did that Austrian have cahones! And then there was Fritz Lang, what a massive talent! Dr. Mabuse, M and Metropolis. Michael Curtiz, Erich Von Strohiem, the list goes on and on, I think. And joining that venerable list is Roland Emmerich: the Master of Disaster, the chaos theory himself, the man some people are calling the new Kubrick, and by some people I mean idiots.

Emmerich first made a name for himself with Universal Soldier, an interesting character piece that pitted the talents of Dolph Lungren against Jean Claude Van Damme, a pairing that brought to mind the great acting duel of Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton in Beckett. Following up swiftly with some explorations in ‘science fiction’, Emmerich soon mastered the genre with Stargate and Independence Day and completed his ‘Trilogy’ with Godzilla.

‘It was a technical exercise,’ Roland tells me as he pours skimmed milk onto his Rice Krispies. ‘I wanted to see if I could take this giant monster, from Japanese movies and have it destroying New York, with the military and missiles and what not and yet still be boring. You see Spielberg had done dinosaurs in Jurrassic Park but he had done the obvious thing and made it exciting. Mine was the more difficult task.’

‘You succeeded brilliantly,’ I tell him.

‘Shhhhhh,’ he says. Of course, he wants to listen to the snap, crackle and pop.

‘The casting of Matthew Broderick as an action movie lead was key,’ he says.

And Jean Reno as comic relief.

Having completely dominated ‘science fiction’, Rollie decided it was time to make his mark in period drama. The Patriot – starring everyone’s favourite anti-Semite Mel Gibson – was like David Lean with blood squibs.

In order to give his lead depth, Rollie had him make a chair, and then, to add comedy, Rollie had the chair be crap.

‘He sits down, it breaks he falls on the floor,’ he waves a spoon at me. ‘Hilarious.’

At this point in his career, we couldn’t write contracts fast enough for this boy.

The Day After Tomorrow I would sincerely credit as Rollie’s masterpiece. Perhaps the most politically important film since Conan the Destroyer. After which there was nowhere to go but down. Trust Rollie Emmers to make going down an art form in itself. 2012 was such a pile of horrible steaming effluent that even John Cusack looked embarrassed (and he’ll do anything for a coin that glints). Cusack has since altered his appearance by weirdly disguising himself as a young Nick Cage (pictured).

Having perfected cinema in all its forms, the question was what next?

Rollie licks his spoon thoughtfully.

Everyone talks about Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Shakespeare. Borrrrring! So I had this idea that how can this little jumped up slap head, you know and the plays and school and stuff? Whereas a noble with the words putting together stuff would be better, the writer be. But there was a problem. How to persuade these great British actors, Derek Jacobi, Mark Rylance, Rhys Ifans to be in a film which basically trashes the greatest English playwright.

So how did you do it?

Rollie laughs.

Easy. I paid them lots of money. They love money. They didn’t give a shit.

We laugh our asses off. What a great guy!

[This interview was originally published in The New Yorker September 2012]

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OLIVER STONE GETS HIS SNOWDEN

HOLLYWOOD – Following fast on the news that Oliver Stone was to write and direct a film based on the life on NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden comes the news that Matthew Broderick has signed on to play him.

The Platoon and World Trade Center director said:

As soon as I begin writing a script, I have to have an actor in mind, and usually that might influence casting but it is rarely the case that an actor comes back to me so quickly and actually ends up playing the role. It happened with Jimmy Woods in Salvador. But Matthew obviously sees a chance to be in an important movie and I was lucky to get him seeing Godzilla has been such a smash!

What made you think of Broderick?

War Games initially. I see Snowden as someone who weirdly has been himself playing a role and that role is David Lightman from War Games. Of course, then I realized he’s also Ferris Beuller from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. He also took a day off and sang Twist and Shout with a parade band, you know, metaphorically.

Broderick himself told Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY that he was overjoyed to be working with Oliver Stone.

The man is a savvy political commentator but he also has an eye on the Zeitgeist and can exploit it to produce hugely popular mass entertainment. Just look at Alexander

Erm.

Anyway he’s obviously seen that there’s a hunger for these contemporary political pictures. See how well the Julian Assange movie, The Fifth Estate did.

But that movie performed really badly at the box office.

Ah. I knew you were going to say that, but Oliver told me that those figures are basically invented and put up by the Illuminati and the Bilderberg group to make political film makers feel disenchanted. They did the exact same thing with the Oscar winning Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Edward Snowden’s Day Off will be released in 2015.