BREAKING NEWS – Wunderkind writer / director, Damien Chazelle’s next film will be a Benny Hill musical biopic. The Exec caught up with Chazelle to discuss his magnum opus.
Damien, what was it about Benny Hill that drew you to the project?
I’ve always loved that sophisticated English humor, y’know? There’s just nothing funnier than watching a middle-aged, fat, white guy chasing after scantily-clad young women. Especially if you speed it up slightly and put that funny saxophone music over the top. It’s a winner every time.
Do you not think that kind of humor is problematic these days?
Look, if chasing around after young women with hardly anything on is problematic, then I’m a wrinkly little old man. And you can keep slapping the top of my wrinkly, bold head. Plus, you don’t know who I have playing Benny Hill.
So, who is playing Benny Hill?
Well, I really wanted to capture that cheeky, everyman spirit that Benny had. Y’know what I mean? So I thought who is around currently who can bring all that. But I also need them to be able to dance. The movie has huge dance sequences, just like La La Land. They also need to be able to carry a decent tune.
Come on, who is it?
Ok. I’ll tell, But you have to promise to keep it to yourself. Lady Gaga.
Trust me. She has the acting chops to do it. We’ll stick her in a fat suit. Just like the one they used in Shallow Hal. It’ll be fucking dynamite. She’s going to write the music, with lyrics by Tim Rice. It can’t be sexist if we have a woman playing him.
Are you sure about that? You’ll still be depicting the same sexist jokes?
All we’re going to be doing is objectifying women as play things for middle-aged lecherous white men. How can anyone have a problem with that? We’ve questioned lots of focus groups in England, Florida, Alaska and Texas. They all loved the idea.
The Benny Hill Biopic Musical Begins Filming In The Fall.
HOLLYWOOD – Veteran rocker and Genesis front man Phil Collins today confessed that he was the voice behind Emma Watson’s Belle in the new live action Beauty and the Beast.
British rocker Phil Collins admits to being the voice behind Emma Watson in Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast. He spoke with the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:
I’m thoroughly ashamed of myself. But the divorce lawyers took a real bite and I need the moolah. First they came sniffing around the time of La La Land. Just a little bit of vocals, Phil, they said. Three days tops. So I said yes.
This was for Ryan Gosling’s role?
No, Emma Stone. She’s a beautiful lady and she’s got a pair of pegs on her. But Lord her singing voice was like someone bunging a cat locked in a fridge down a spiral staircase. Lorks!
So you dubbed Emma Stone in La La Land?
She won an Oscar for that role.
Did she? I don’t keep up with the showbiz. It depresses me frankly.
Then you got the Beauty and the Beast gig?
Yeah. They liked what I’d done so they must have thought, Phil’s the go-to guy to voice Emmas. It was a bit harder, but I managed. Hermione had given it her best shot bless her. But her best shot sounded roughly the equivalent of someone killing a bucket of baby seals with a claw-headed hammer.
Someone called 911. And it was someone in the studio who knew what was happening.
So you came in.
Yeah. And I gargled with pineapple juice and away I went.
Yeah. It makes me sound less like a dustbin man and more like a young scrap of a lass.
What’s your next project?
Emily Blunt. Oh and I’m doing a charity record for the victims of drone attacks.
What’s it called?
I can Feel it Coming in the Air Tonight (Oh Lord).
Beauty and the Beast is in cinemas.
HOLLYWOOD – The Oscars are almost here.
The Academy Awards (or Oscars as Bette Davis prefers to call them) are happening Sunday. So the Studio Exec FACT Squad greased up, squeezed into tuxedos and got busy with some predictions.
1 La La Land, or Moonlight is going to win best picture, or Manchester by the Sea, or Fences, or Hacksaw Ridge, or Arrival, or Lion. Or Hidden Figures. Or Hell or High Water. Which is just one film by the way.
2. The winner of best feature documentary will be either black or Italian.
3. John Travolta will present the Best Supporting Actor category and Mahershala Ali will win but everyone will think ‘Meepy Deepy DooDar’ has won instead.
4. Meryl Streep will happen.
5. Jimmy Kimmel will be a better host than Anne Hathaway and James Franco were. Donald Trump will be mentioned more than once. He will live tweet the event from a toilet in the White House.
HOLLYWOOD – The Academy published the Oscar nominations earlier this week. We give our reaction.
So apparently, the Oscars are on again this year. It’s almost as if it’s every year now. We were going to do a full list of nominations but my cut and paste finger is sore. So you can go here and see that. Then come back and read this.
First things first. The Academy discovered there are people in America who aren’t white! Moonlight, Fences and Hidden Figures all picked up nods as did Ruth Negga with Loving, the Jeff Nichols film. Supporting actress category saw Miss Moneypenny as well as Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer getting nommed. If that’s a a verb.
To round of the diversity anti-Semite Mel Gibson received a nomination for Hacksaw Ridge, the perfect American movie – loads of dirty Japanese get killed while we pretend to admire pacifism.
Then there were the SNUBS. Amy Adams didn’t get nominated for Arrival and Martin Scorsese missed out with Silence. To be honest, Adams is great but there’s a law that Meryl Streep has to be nominated and that took her spot. As for Silence. Kundun was miles better. Silence is like Shogun but with more religion and less Richard Chamberlain.
La La Land received a large haul of nominations. There’s a point at which this kind of love begins to hurt a movie. I loved La La Land, but I saw it in August when no one else had. If I was to walk in having heard all the praise, I might be tempted to think the film a technically bit of superficial whimsy. I don’t think that. But with the group think pressure to love it, I can understand the Pavlovian backlash that is on its way.
So we’ll leave predictions to the experts. Who knows? Maybe we’ll post about he Oscars again before the actually ceremony. Feel free to comment in the box about how you think the whole think went down. We never read them.
The Academy announce the winners on February 26th, 2017.
REVIEW – Boyhood meets Brokeback Mountain meets Boys n’ the Hood is a terrible description of Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight.
A portrait of young gay black man coming of age in Miami is a wonderful and serious movie that needs to be seen. Divided into three chapters, the film begins with Chiron “Little” (Alex R. Hibbert), a boy whose life is dominated by his addict mother (Naomie Harris) and bullying school mates. He finds an unlikely ally in Juan (Mahershala Ali), a local drug dealer who takes pity on the kid and offers guidance as well as swimming lessons. Along with his partner Teresa (Janelle Monáe), Little finally has a safe space.
The film is built on ellipses and we are never explicitly given any motivation for Juan’s kindness. Crucial events also occur between the lines as we skip ahead to the teenaged Chiron (Ashton Sanders). But his problems continue with his harsh environment and the constant threat of violence. Finally, the grown Chiron has become a survivor, hard and as inflexible as scar tissue.
Based on Tarell Alvin McCrane’s stage play, Jenkins has created an intensely personal film about the cost of survival. Without detracting from the sun soaked delights of La La Land, it’s instructive to see how different life can be. And how certain freedoms we believe to be won, battles done and dusted, are still alive and being fought for daily.
HOLLYWOOD – La La Land’s Ryan Gosling is an extraordinary actor but what do we really know about him?
We sent the Studio Exec FACT squad out to Los Angeles to find out about Ryan Gosling: the man Hollywood calls ‘the little goose’.
1. First, Ryan Gosling is named after a little goose.
2. The Drive actor is a believer in the macrobiotic diet, which means he only believes in eating really big robotic things. Like those robots that make cars. I think.
3. To prepare for his role as driver in Drive, Ryan Gosling drove.
4. La La Land was originally known as La La La Land, until Ryan insisted they drop a La.
5. In 2014, Gosling launched his own brand of vegetables called Ryan’s Vegetables.
For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE!
VENICE – Damien Chazell’s follow up to Whiplash is like the interesting B-Side to all the Hollywood musicals you know and love.
La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as a pair of starry eyed dreamers who must negotiate a path to success and fame while stay true to themselves and, as romance develops, each other. It’s about… wait a minute. The way I saw it at the festival I knew nothing about it and that added to it. The surprise and the joy are great. So I’m not going to give you the story or any of that crap. All I’m going to do is point you in the direction. It’s funny and smart and moving. Chazelle knows how to put music and images together and this makes the usual off the rack Broadway adaptation look like just that. It has the wow of a Stanley Donen film but the emotional complexity and wit of middle period Woody Allen. Romance is alive and well and living at the movies.