|RICHARD JEWELLCLINT EASTWOODWARNER BROS|
When Kathy Bates smashed that sledgehammer into James Caan's ankles 30 years ago in Misery, the world may have collectively cringed, but it made Bates an unforgettable force in Hollywood history.
The then 42-year-old actress wasn't a household name when she took on that role of homicidal nurse Annie Wilkes. She'd had theatrical successes, and appeared in a few smaller films and television shows like St. Elsewhere and L.A. Law. And yet, that year, she took home an Oscar, proving the game wasn't up for women over 35. Not by a long shot.
This year, Bates is enjoying her fourth Oscar nomination, this time for Richard Jewell, the Clint Eastwood-directed true tale of a heroic security guard falsely accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, although he actually found the device and saved many lives.Warner Bros.
Despite the Academy recognition, it's only very recently, in conversation with Eastwood, that she allowed herself to consider her success.
“I said to Clint, 'I've been doing this for 50 years, but I finally feel like I hit the big time.'” She says. “And I don't mean with all the marching bands and the confetti, I mean, working with another incredible director, and doing a story that matters.”
And Richard Jewell really does matter, in that telling the true story of a wrongly-accused person will always matter. Jewell surely deserves all the public exoneration a big-name feature film can deliver, even after his untimely death at 44 in 2007.
The film details his intense media and FBI hounding, while his mother Bobi, played by Bates, suffers under the weight of defending her son.Warner Bros.
Feeling “extremely nervous”, Bates flew to Atlanta ahead of the shoot for her first ever meeting with Eastwood. “I remember asking him why he wanted to make this movie,” she says, “and at first he looked up with those eyes and I thought, 'Oh God, here we go.' Then he said, 'Well, I think it's a movie I'd like to see.' He was so angry at how Richard had been treated. He felt this was an American tragedy, and that it needed to be told.”
So, she went to work, researching Bobi Jewell. And then they met. “We sat and talked for two or three hours and I recorded her voice. We went through the script and she corrected a few things. She teared up quite a few times. She was very determined. She gave me the Vanity Fair article that Marie Brenner had written that the film is based on. Bobi looked very different then, she was more my size, so that made me feel good. At one point I said, 'I just want to get this right for you Bobi.' And almost like a little girl, she said, 'Well, just be me.' And I thought, 'Oh...
In the years leading up to “Booksmart,” filmmaker Olivia Wilde had a strong urge to put all that she had gleaned from her years on set as an actress into use when it finally came time for her to direct. When she was a guest on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast, she admitted that one of the biggest obstacles she faced on her path to making “Booksmart” was her fear over a perceived lack of experience.
“I was so insecure based on my lack of film school training,” said Wilde. “I think that’s what a lot of people say, ‘I would direct, I just don’t know enough about lenses.’ And that’s an excuse, you don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge about the technical aspects of every single element, you need the awareness of what a collaborative experience it is, and the joy is really in hiring those people to help you make it.”
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Wilde’s directing friends, specifically Mark Romanek and Spike Jonze, encouraged her to try her hand at music videos first, which she found to be a great outlet to let lopse her pent up creative energy and gain confidence. “It’s what I imagine would have happened in film school, a challenge: Take a day, and few days to edit, and make something extraordinary and poetic,” said Wilde. “It’s almost like writing a poem to find your voice and visually tell a story, which in itself is its own challenge.”
What Wilde learned while making “Booksmart” was that she needed the confidence in her vision to say to collaborators, “this is a project worth your time and skill,” rather than worrying about being able to make every technical decision herself.
“When crafting a shot I loved acknowledging what I don’t know,” said Wilde. “So that I could allow for that person that did know the answer to feel empowered. That was a fun part for me, to say to the DP, Jason McCormick, who was so wonderful, to say, ‘This is the mood I want here, help me find that mood.'” That’s only the start of what she learned making her feature directorial debut; here’s what else Wilde took away from the experience.Comedy Advice
Michael O’Brien turned in a brilliant performance in “Booksmart” as the pizza delivery man the two leads Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever try to “hold up.” But the celebrated comedy writer and ex-“Saturday Night Live” staffer also had some important wisdom to share.
“He’s one of the best comedy writers out there,” said Wilde. “And he says, ‘Comedy...
Tom Ascheim is headed to WarnerMedia. The former Freeform President has been named President of Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics for Warner Bros. He will oversee Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, the studios of Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation in Los Angeles and will have global responsibility for the Turner Classic Movies channel. He will start in the summer, reporting to Warner Bros. chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff.
The news comes as Ascheim earlier today stepped down as President of Freeform after six and a half years at the Disney network, triggering immediate speculation that he had lined up another job.
At Warner Bros, he reunites with Sarnoff with whom he previously worked at Nickelodeon.
“I am excited that Tom will be joining Warner Bros,” Sarnoff said. “He is an excellent executive and collaborative leader with an impressive track record and deep experience in the kids and young adult worlds. I had the benefit of seeing Tom's skills firsthand when we were at Nickelodeon and really look forward to working with him again.”
Ascheim’s appointment helps fill the void left by the departure at the end of 2019 of Christina Miller, who stepped down as President of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and TCM after almost 15 years with the company. Ascheim’s larger portfolio includes oversight of production operations, including Warner Bros. Animation.
The content under Ascheim’s purview are distributed in 192 countries around the world. The division's networks are in 500 million homes and delivered through over 65 channels in 31 languages. Ascheim will work with executives at Warner Bros. and the WarnerMedia Global Distribution and Advertising Sales team to develop and implement global and local strategies for the brands.
“I am thrilled to be joining Warner Bros. and especially excited to be working with the deeply talented folks at Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM and Warner Bros. Animation,” said Ascheim. “I’ve been watching their work since I was a child and it’s thrilling to be part of such a storied group. I’m equally excited to be working again with Ann Sarnoff who remains one of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.”
Ascheim joined Freeform when it was still ABC Family in December 2013 and oversaw its rebrand into Freeform. Original series on Freeform include hit comedy grown-ish as well as dramas The Bold Type, Siren, Good Trouble, Party of Five, the newest addition, Motherland: Fort Salem, and the upcoming Last Summer produced by Jessica Biel.
A well liked executive, Ascheim has spent much of his career catering tp younger audiences. He joined the millennial-focued Freeform after serving as General Manager of...