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Weisz, Rachel (Constantine)

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I had the pleasure of taking part in a round table interview with Constantine star Rachel Weisz as she discussed her dual roles in the film as twin sisters Angela and Isabel Dodson. To genre fans, Weisz is probably best known for her turn as the lovely Evelyn in The Mummy films, first a love interest and later the wife to Brendan Fraser’s character. In Constantine she’s stepping away from the light-heartedness of the Mummy films and taking a good, long look at hell.


Question: Was there any talk of the irony that Constantine went from British to American, and you are British playing American? Any discussion of using your normal voice?

Rachel Weisz: Of me personally? No. I’m an LAPD homicide detective. It would be really odd if I spoke in English. No, there was no talk of that.

Q: How much did you have to work on the American accent?

RW: I’ve done it a bunch of times, so it’s not a big deal now.

Q: Did you think you wanted to go back to a big action fantasy thing?

RW: At the time I was actually looking for a comedy, and I was reading romantic comedies and there just wasn’t one that really got me. Suddenly I read this script. I’d never read the comic book, I’d never heard of the comic book. Sorry, I know it’s a huge cult comic/graphic novel, but it never crossed my path. But I just couldn’t get it out of my head. Something about the world that it painted and the complexity of this woman within it. I just thought it was just such an interesting role for a woman. Then I met Francis (Lawrence, the director) and I was really impressed with him and I saw his music videos, which I’d seen before and hadn’t realized they were him, and I just thought he’s such a great visual stylist. He’s so intelligent and really was interested in working with actors. So no, it was real left of field for me, but obviously I must be interested in supernatural stuff because the Mummy totally is more for kids. It’s more like Saturday morning TV B-movie, more self consciously. This is much more grown-up stuff I think.

Q: Do you go for the dark, brooding type?

RW: When I was younger, definitely. The bad boys, brooding types. Now I’m much more interested in geeks. Nice, kind, geeks. I think what’s meant to be cool, like bad boys, I find it very uncool. I’m into geek culture. I think that’s where the coolness is.

Q: Is there a middle ground, brooding geek?

RW: Geeks are too cool to brood. Brooding is kind of pretentious I think.?

Q: Is doing a comic book movie a good way to reach out to geeks?

RW: That is genius. Yeah, I never thought of that but probably. Yeah, maybe I’ll get me some geek fans.

Q: Do you choose one indie, one studio film?

RW: As I said, I was looking for a comedy, so it really wasn’t part of the plan. It wasn’t like I want to do a big Hollywood special effects movie. It literally came out of nowhere and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I couldn’t bear to let anybody else play her.

Q: What do you like better?

RW: You know, after you’ve done a big effects movie, I was definitely yearning to do a film where I could just sit in a room and talk to somebody and they talk back and that would be it, which I did. So I’m kind of greedy. I like to do both and right now no one’s making me draw down the line and choose.

Q: You met with a psychic to talk to for research on the film, do you believe in them?

RW: I actually met her through somebody I know here in LA who’s quite deep into that culture. I believe that she believes that she’s psychic, this woman that I met. I don’t know, I can’t prove it.

Q: How did meeting her affect your performance?

RW: In doing research, if you meet someone who really is who you’re pretending to be, I steal. I just steal from them so I ask them questions about their childhood and about what it feels like to have a vision, what it feels like to have sight and how it’s a burden, how it’s a blessing and what it’s like to have a boyfriend and you can read their mind. I just ask them all the questions. So then I just steal from them, so when I’m playing the character, I’ve just gotten stolen goods from somebody else and it’s research. Like detective work.

So did I believe? I believed that that was her reality. A ghost has never revealed itself to me. I’m pretty in tune with people. I can normally get a sense of what the vibes are in a room, but I can’t read somebody’s mind. It would be fun. It would be fun for about a month. Then it would get really exhausting. Like if we were sitting here and I could hear what you were all thinking in your mind, that I must let the cat out, whatever it is you’re thinking, it would just be exhausting.

Q: How much of this can you personally accept? Do you believe in possession?

RW: You know, it’s never happened to me or to anybody I know, but I’m not ruling it out. Weird stuff goes on in the world and I have a friend who used to live in South Africa and he used to tell me stories, like voodoo stories. I don’t know. I would never be so arrogant as to say not true, because how do I know. Just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. So I’m going to look into it now. I’m very curious, like TV shows about psychics and stuff. It’s fascinating.

Q: Did the film help convince you one way or another?

RW: No. A ghost has to come, something has to happen to me in reality. Film is make believe.

Q: How did your relationship with Keanu change from working almost ten years ago together on Chain Reaction?

RW: Just like old pals, really. We didn’t have to go through the getting to know each other phase. We just were like old pals, as you say, getting together. It made things really comfortable and easy.

Q: Did you research the police aspect?

RW: I trained with this ex- what was it called in America? Seals. I don’t know, in England we call it SAS. It’s like the highest trained possible. This guy is called Peter Warita and amongst the LAPD he was a hero. I mean, we’d walk into police stations and the whole room would just stand up and applaud him. He was the man. He’s now training people in movies and doing personal security for really big Hollywood stars, but he gave me kind of a crash course in being a cop and introduced me to a lot of female officers. I met a few days with a female homicide detective. He took me to the LA County Morgue. I spent an evening there which was very intense and a very new experience. I’d never seen dead bodies before and I saw hundreds that night. And he took me in drive-a-longs in police cars at night and taught me to fire a gun at the firing range. I love to do all that stuff. I got to do cops and psychics in this. It was a complete research fest.

Q: Was there any prosthetics used on your stomach during the exorcism scene or was that all CGI?

RW: That was CGI.

Q: Did you have any physical stunts?

RW: Yeah, did you see the movie? There was the scene where I get dragged through the building. They rigged a special machine,it was a chair on a kind of track that was about four times as long as this room. And they pulled the lever on the chair and I was seat belted in but [whoosh] I was whipped back incredibly fast and your body jerked back. That was pretty terrifying. Then they painted in the office blocks afterwards. So yeah, I don’t remember any other stunts, but they were…

Q: You’re moving and they add what you’re moving through? Why not just CGI you?

RW: No, no, you need the motion of the person.

Q: Does your new film the Fountain have a lot of FX?

RW: It does have in one section. It has a kind of science fiction element to it so there is. We haven’t done it, but a little bit of the film is green screen.

Q: How is it going?

RW: It’s phenomenal. The most original, incredible screenplay which is written by Darren Aronofsky. It’s an original story and he’s directing it and Hugh Jackman plays my husband. It’s a love story, a great, big ginormous love story.

Q: How has the struggle affected Darren?

RW: He’s like the happiest guy in the world. He spent six years trying to get something made. It’s his dream. It’s his dream come true, so he’s as happy as anyone can be.

Q: Did you differentiate Angela and Isabel?

RW: One had really long hair. One had short hair. (Laughs)

Q: But how you played them?

RW: One’s an LAPD homicide detective and the other is locked up in a hospital. It just became obvious that they were just apples and oranges, totally different.

Q: What about the bathtub scene?

RW: That was quite scary. That wasn’t CGI. That was me under the bath and the water being held down. The director wanted it to look as real as possible so he told Keanu, in front of me, “don’t go easy on her”. So it was scary. I mean, I had a signal which I think was tap him on the arm, but it was very hard for him to tell because I was thrashing about so much what was tapping and what was thrashing. I think he just knew when it was enough and I had to come. After like a minute and a half, no one’s doing too well without breathing.

Q: What did you say before you got in the tub?

RW: I can’t remember. We did do some improvising. It’s a good moment. I think it must have been in the script.

Q: In the scene when you are running out of the bathroom it looked like you actually fell. Did you really slip there?

RW: They used that take. That was it I just slipped. The best things always are mistakes.

Q: Any chance of a Mummy 3?

RW: Who knows?


Big thanks to Warner Bros. for letting us be a part of the junket and to Rachel Weisz for taking the time to indulge us geeks. Constantine opens everywhere on February 18th! Be sure to check out its official site right here!

Discuss your hopes for Constantine in our forums!

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Spoilers: Which Major Walking Dead Actor Might Leave the Series After This Season?

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*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***

Like many of you out there, I gave up on AMC’s The Walking Dead a long time ago. In fact, I gave up after they fired Frank Darabont following the horrendous second season.

That said, I’m not bitter towards the series, and hell, even I watched the season premiere where Negan beat the brains off Big Red and the dude from Mayhem.

Also, I’m aware there has been some controversy surrounding the “death” (yeah, right) of Chandler Rigg’s character. I have no opinion on the matter.

Speaking of character deaths, we might want to expect another this season as it looks like Lauren Cohan, aka Maggie, has taken another job on the ABC pilot “Whiskey Cavalier.”

While this doesn’t immediately mean Cohan’s Maggie character will kick the big old zombie-bucket… it pretty much means that.

Variety reports that Cohan has been in negotiations with AMC for months over her return, but she does not currently have a contract for the ninth season and will instead take the lead in the new ABC pilot.

Do you think this means Maggie is done for? Let us know below!

“The Walking Dead” returns on Sunday, February 25th.

Season 8B Synopsis:
All-out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the people at Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered — half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors.

At the very center — Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan’s attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity — lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward.

But Rick isn’t the only person who’s living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside — unclear if they’re in friendly territory, or if they’ve just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop, and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she’s currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader.

In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others’ thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene’s loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves.

As all-out war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger — to feel safe and have a world worth living in.

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Filthy and Fine! The Best Shots of Ash vs. Evil Dead

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The Evil Dead franchise is my all time favorite horror series, which evolves its mythos with each entry. Of course, the original Evil Dead has been just a straight-up horror film, but thanks to the fateful meeting of filmmaker Scott Spiegel, director Sam Raimi took the franchise into a strange comedic territory, using slapstick while still keeping the tones of sheer terror. What makes this terror stay with the franchise even with Ash’s loudmouth persona is it’s influential and inspiring camera work that Sam Raimi makes a legend behind the camera.

After years of waiting for the master of horror to return to the Evil Dead franchise, our palates were satiated with “Ash Vs Evil Dead” which continued the inspiring cinematography. With two seasons of a television show under Raimi’s watchful eye and a third season on the way, I took a look at every episode in the series to see if each director on board the project kept that eye for cinematography and shooting style. The series was notorious for it’s over the top gore and gags and I could’ve sat here and just gushed over the geysers of blood emitting from every orifice in the show, but, what I found in each episode brought more and more to the table. There are still horrifying shots to balance out the comedy of the show, but there are also amazing character moments within that foreshadow and evolve each character.

Think about it, other than Ash we’ve never had a cast of characters that survived more than two minutes but now there’s a crew of Ghostbeaters! Don’t worry as we still have randoms coming in and out that leave you to ponder, “How long can this poor Shemp live?” as they burst into blood and viscera. There are shots that revel in the grotesque, but there are also shots that revel in who our heroes are and delve into their psyches, the specialty of the Deadites! For those who’d like to follow along with the shots in the show, I’ve given you the time these shots show up if you’re watching the show on Netflix skipping the recaps.

To see the images in their full-size glory, give them a groovy little click!


S1E1: “El Jefe”
Directed By Sam Raimi
12:53
The flashlight twirling on the ground illuminating the scene as it spins on the two detectives faces gives way to one of the best sequences in the series. As Amanda’s deadite partner attacks her, the light spins furiously with the actions of the scene as she tries to retrieve her gun. When she retrieves the gun and aims it at the deadite the audience member would get a sigh of relief that she would triumph but is then tricked into terror. The flashlight spinning becomes slower and slower on both their faces as the man cries in pain pleading to his partner. The light illuminates his transformation back into a deadite horrifyingly for a slow dread filled shot. This shot and sequence show Sam still has it and sets up the series for what’s to come.



S1E2: “Bait”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
12:30
As Ash brings down the cross upon the ground the camera pans to Pablo and Kelly with a bright sunrise upon them. While the horrors of the night are over it is this sunrise the signifies the dawning of Kelley’s new life and her dialogue over this shot swears her vengeance.


S1E3: “Books From Beyond”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
2:38
Up until this point, Ruby has remained a mystery and not given us a sense of danger. Against the howl of the windmill in the background bathing in the moonlight we see her unleash the Kandarian dagger upon the already impaled deadite with a smirk on her face. This shot unravels her mystery bit by bit hauntingly as the first person besides Ash to stare down a Deadite with no fear.


S1E4: “Brujo”
Directed By David Frazee
22:40
The Brujo’s entire set up is pretty creepy with all sorts of totems that he utilizes for good but look haunting. When Kelly steps into the barn possessed by Eligos the totems come to life and react to the evil stepping before them. The best one though is the face that quickly begins to disappear bit by bit as Kelly approaches. It utters the word Mentirosa, Spanish for a liar, as she steps forth, giving way to a visually striking and terrifying warning.


S1E5: “The Host”
Directed By: David Frazee
21:26
Pablo bids farewell to his youth and tutelage under the Brujo while stepping into a new life with Ash that is more in tune with his family’s spiritual upbringing. With each totem lighting up as Pablo walks by the shots build Pablo’s feelings of loss toward a teacher as Pablo emerges a warrior that foreshadows his importance later to come as the first magical force of good in a fight that’s only ever cast spells of evil.


S1E6: “The Killer of Killers”
Directed By Michael Hurst
20:24
This is one of the most hilarious yet meaningful shots of the episode. Amanda’s boss has become a deadite ready to kill her. Ash shoots Amanda’s boss in the head, making her question the authority she had adhered to so much. Her idea of Ash as a villain changed with that charming Smile and look to Amanda in a gory pose over the lower jaw of her former boss. Ash looks to her like Uncle Sam simply saying join us! Blood and viscera flowing around him like a fountain. Dangling legs in the background as an added bonus!


S1E7: “Fire In The Hole”
Directed By Michael Hurst
19:25
Actions in combat can tell a story just like any dance. The compatibility between our heroes is evocative of Ash and Amanda’s budding romance during the entire sequence. However, it is this one masterful shot of the two working in unison dodging hellfire that tells the story of warrior’s love lit by demon fire!


S1E8: “Ashes to Ashes”
Directed By Tony Tilse
18:21
Ash can never escape the past it seems as the series goes on. He is hesitant to trust Pablo and Kelly as friends in his adventure for fear of losing them like he has lost so many others. This infamous shot from Evil Dead 2 is one of the few things that could make him question his machismo. This time he doesn’t even bring the chainsaw down on his beloved Linda but is forced to watch as an invisible chainsaw comes down upon her head forcing him to be reminded of what he did. This plays heavily into his decision making near the end of the season.



S1E9: “Bound In Flesh”
Directed By Tony Tilse
25:20
We finally get to see the book speak and beg Ash to not destroy it. This is something we’ve become accustomed to in the comic series, but have never been treated to the book itself speaking to Ash otherwise. We as the audience become the eye of the book and in true Evil Dead fashion watch, Pablo scream as the camera rushes toward him and he fuses with the book. This moment is the change in Pablo that clashes with his new direction discovered in the shot in Episode 5, which then tortures him internally until the end of season 2 where he is constantly being pulled by the necklace of the Brujo and the evil of the books spells.


S1E10: “The Dark One”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
19:06
A dreary moonlight shot of blues against the cabin looking ominous as Kelly stares on drenched in blood and anger. It’s a hauntingly beautiful shot. Kelly has fully embraced herself as a ghost beater and is done being tormented ready to start saving her boys. For a lot of characters, this could easily be a breaking point, but this shot affirms Dana Delorenzo as Kelly among some of the most powerful and able Final Girls on the rise.


S2E1: “Home”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
27:31
This shot is very telling of Ruby’s betrayal to evil. As her children surround and attack her, she is obscured by darkness and where she lies in terror a bright light emanates from behind her illuminating the scene as if to show her becoming a hero against evil.


S2E2: “The Morgue”
Directed By Tony Tilse
16:41
When this episode aired it was one of the most talked about and disgustingly depraved things to see. A simple Camera rig in front of Ash as he struggles to get out of a corpse, pubic hairs and dick swinging in his face. If Dead Alive wanted to take Evil Dead’s title of biggest gross-out scenes, then “Ash Vs Evil Dead” took the title back with excrement and body fluids all over our hero.


S2E3: “Last Call”
Directed By Tony Tilse
23:08
There are a ton of great shots of the evil Delta but perhaps the best one is this single frame of Lacey telling her boyfriend she loves him as he is splattered across the windshield. Blood and glass between them as they try for one last kiss against the fire and demonic lighting coming from the Delta and then splat! It’s a small touching moment that makes Lacey’s character a bit more sympathetic as the show goes on. As for her boyfriend? Well, I told you there would be plenty of Shemps to kill off.


S2E4: “DUI”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
1:45
After splattering Ash’s dad across the street, The Delta pulls up with a camera spin into the grill revealing an eye stuck in it. Ash’s one true love, his car, that’s survived everything has turned against him and killed his father just as they had reconnected. A perfect role reversal as Brock William’s severed eye is now staring down Ash through the grill of the car. No longer a window into Brock’s soul, but a sick vision of Ash’s love turned enemy.


S2E5: “Confinement”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
17:46
Flashing between light and darkness as the skin is ripped and blood is splattered gives us a horrifying look for the first time at the main antagonist of the season. Baal emerges from the flesh of humanity showing how we are all merely tools for his psychological deceptions.


S2E6: “Trapped Inside”
Directed By Mark Beesley
11:37
The moon reflects an eerie light upon Cheryl’s picture as it begins to bleed like the statue of Mary. The innocence of Ash’s sister was never saved and her soul weeps as the flesh is resurrected for evil’s bidding.


S2E7: “Delusion”
Directed By Mark Beesley
23:59
This entire episode is about breaking down Ash’s spirit and character, making him think he’s truly insane. As he’s at the breaking point he sees his friends and his love for them saves him. It’s a really simple shot that’s amplified by Bruce’s performance, but that disturbed look against the shadowy bars across his face in the dreary room give him his eureka moment where he comes down from his insanity and understands what he has to do to win.


S2E8: “Ashy Slashy”
Directed By Tony Tilse
14:13
Throughout the season the town builds up a boogeyman mythos in Ashy Slashy that we know as an audience member isn’t true but this shot brings Ashy Slashy to life. That boogeyman becomes real as the straight jacket becomes Ashy Slashy’s costume and the fire created by the chainsaw shows a side of Ash we’ve never seen. In this shot, we are convinced he had become a mindless killer.


S2E9: “Home Again”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
19:51
We’ve only ever heard his voice and seen his ghost save for a few shots of him discovering the Necronomicon in Evil Dead 2. Professor Knowby watches his student, Tanya, bleed out on the floor. She looks up at her mentor with horror as light swings back and forth casting shadows on his face. He is almost serial killer in nature and the shot reflects how his quest for knowledge outweighs his humanity. We see Professor Knowby and his daughter Ruby are not too dissimilar.


S2E10: “Second Coming”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
26:12
The finale brings Ash back to the cabin having to completely confront his past to change the future. With Pablo dead, because of Ash’s own follies, it is in the ashes of Ash’s dark past that Pablo is reborn, no longer tormented by the Necronomicon he takes his first breath as a new human. The evil within him gone and his life ready to begin anew.


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McKenna Grace Snags Lead in Rob Lowe’s Remake of The Bad Seed

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Okay so, evidently Rob Lowe is remaking The Bad Seed. Meh, I’m interested. But wait, evidently it will be a Lifetime original film. Urgh, interest is waning.

All jokes aside, I’m intrigued by this remake. Not only is it set to star Rob Lowe, but the man will be directing and executive producing as well.

Another interesting variation is that this film will follow Lowe’s father figure dealing with the evil child, instead of the original film’s mother character played by Nancy Kelly.

And on top of that, today we have news via Deadline that McKenna Grace (Amityville: The Awakening) has been cast as the titular bad seed, Emma, and Patty McCormack – who played the evil little girl in the original, and received an Oscar nomination for performance – will co-star as the psychiatrist who treats Emma.

Grace will next be seen in the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House from director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Gerald’s Game).

The Lifetime remake is directed and executive produced by Rob Lowe from a script by Barbara Marshall. Lowe as executive produces with Mark Wolper and Elizabeth Stephen and stars alongside Patty McCormack and McKenna Grace.

Synopsis:

Lowe plays a single father who seems to have everything under control. But when there is a terrible tragedy takes place at his daughter Emma’s (Grace) school, he is forced to question everything he thought he knew about his beloved daughter. He slowly begins to question if Emma’s exemplary behavior is just a façade and she played a role in the horrific incident. When more strange things begin to happen, he’s faced with keeping a terrible secret to protect Emma, but ultimately must stop her from striking again.

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