Archives for May 2017

May 20, 2017 - No Comments!

Nat Wolff Joins Sam Claflin in Henry-Alex Rubin’s Crime-Thriller ‘Semper Fi’

From Variety

By Leo Barraclough

Nat Wolff (“Fault in our Stars,” “Death Note”) has been cast in Academy Award-nominated director Henry-Alex Rubin’s (“Murderball”) crime-thriller “Semper Fi.”

The script was written by Rubin and Sean Mullin and will be produced by Academy Award-nominated David Lancaster (“Whiplash,” “Nightcrawler”) of Rumble Films and Karina Miller (“To the Bone”) from Sparkhouse Media. Cornerstone Films is shopping the project to buyers in Cannes and CAA co-represents the U.S. rights.

Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games”) leads the cast as Hopper, and Wolff joins as his younger brother Oyster.

Hopper is “a straitlaced cop who fills his downtime as a sergeant in the Marine Corps reservists alongside a close-knit team of life-long friends,” according to a statement. “A rowdy but inseparable bunch of guys, they look out for each other no matter what, including keeping an eye out for Hopper’s younger, reckless brother Oyster.”

When Oyster accidentally kills a man in a bar-room brawl and tries to flee town Hopper stops him and forces him to face the music.

“Wracked with guilt at leaving his brother locked up in jail, Hopper and his buddies are deployed to Iraq,” the statement continued. “Battle-weary, he returns home to discover Oyster’s final court appeal has been rejected. No longer willing to live with his guilt, Hopper resolves to save his brother by breaking him out of prison, no matter what the cost. But he can’t do it alone. [His buddies] Jaeger, Daddy and Snowball rally to his side to set right an injustice that can no longer be ignored.”

Rubin commented: “I’ve been watching Nat’s performances over the past few years and he reminds me of young DiCaprio — he’s highly likeable yet always mischievous and unpredictable.”

Miller also noted: “Oyster is a deliciously complex character — he’s part dreamer, part rebel, part man and part boy. His emotional arc is so engaging and extreme that I can’t help but get excited by the thought of watching an actor with Nat’s talent bring this character to life.”

Wolff is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Definition Entertainment.

May 11, 2017 - No Comments!

Backup Media to Fully Finance Tim Sutton’s ‘Donnybrook’ (EXCLUSIVE)

From Variety

By Elsa Keslassy

Paris-based Backup Media has come on board to fully finance Tim Sutton’s “Donnybrook,” the adaptation of Frank Bill’s 2013 noir novel, which David Lancaster’s Rumble Films is producing.

On top of financing the film, Backup Media is currently negotiating distribution deals for Germany, Switzerland, Benelux and Austria. Manuel Chiche’s banner The Jokers is co-producing the pic and will release it in France.

Sutton’s fourth feature after “Pavilion,” “Memphis” and “Dark Night,” “Donnybrook” turns on a cash-strapped family man who competes in the Donnybrook, “a legendary, bare-knuckle brawl where a $100,000 prize goes to the last man standing.” The producers describe the film as a mix of “No Country for Old Men” and “Fight Club.”

“Between Frank Bill’s primal scream of a book and the controlled menace of Tim Sutton’s ‘Dark Night,’ well…[it] feels like we might be raising some hell,” said Lancaster, whose credits include “Whiplash” and “Nightcrawler.”

Backup Media, which is led by David Atlan-Jackson, Jean-Baptiste Babin and Joel Thibout, said: “Tim Sutton’s subtle vision, along with the original novel and script, makes for a perfect match to continue our collaboration with Rumble Films.”

Rumble Films and Backup Media previously teamed up on Fabrice du Welz’s “Message from the King” and Evan Katz’s “Small Crimes.”

“Donnybrook” will start shooting in August in Southern Ohio.

UTA Independent Film Group is repping North America.

May 4, 2017 - No Comments!

Jaime Lannister Makes His Kids Work, Just Like You

From Vice

By Chloé Cooper Jones

We caught up with actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to talk about his new film 'Small Crimes,' 'Game of Thrones,' and his daughter's two jobs.

The new Netflix film Small Crimes is not a redemption story. That much should be clear from the moment we're introduced to the film's protagonist, Joe Denton, played compellingly by Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Streaming now, the film opens with Joe, an ex-cop serving a six-year prison sentence, making his last confession to his priest before being released. Joe tells the priest (and the viewer) everything we might want to hear: He's remorseful for his past, is committed to maintaining his sobriety, and eager to see his daughters who mean the world to him. As the words leave his mouth, the viewer both believes that Joe means what he says but also doubts that he'll make good on his promises. That suspicion is vindicated when Joe heads to a bar after he is freed and orders a shot of whiskey. He uses his AA sobriety chip as a coaster.

This quality in Joe—that he both wants to do the right thing but is at turns too selfish, manipulative, or incompetent to follow through—drives the action of the film, which leads Joe into increasingly complicated confrontations with a crooked cop, a dying mob boss with a sadistic son, and a district attorney with a vendetta.

Directed by Evan Katz (Cheap Thrills) and co-written with writer-actor-director Macon Blair (who also appears in the film as Scotty, the sole person who enthusiastically welcomes Joe home), Small Crimes bets heavily on Coster-Waldau's ability to make us care about Joe, despite his numerous shortcomings. The pressure on the Danish actor's performance is made more challenging by the removal of any backstory or flashbacks that might build sympathy or understand for Joe through explaining why he's done wrong. There is also, perhaps, the added pressure of the Game of Thrones "curse" that stars like Kit Harington have said makes it difficult to play roles outside the world of Westeros. But Coster-Waldau, through a deep understanding of the character and an adeptness with the dark humor of the script, manages a performance that might make you forget he's ever been a certain charismatic Kingslayer.

I recently met up with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the Nomad Hotel in New York and spoke with him about his own selfishness, why he makes his daughter work two jobs, and Jaime Lannister's internal battle to be his own man.

VICE: Small Crimes is funny in an unsettling way. How would you describe the humor in this film?

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: I remember reading the script and thinking it was funny, but I thought that I should find out if the script was meant to be funny or was this just me? I spoke to Evan [Katz] and later on to Macon [Blair], and I got how they intended it to be read. It's a dark comedy and a drama, and that made sense to me. When I look at my own life and think about some of the most horrific moments in my own life, painful situations, I see also really funny things.

What does Joe Denton really want?

He doesn't know. He's been living for so long in a fight-or-flight mode, in a panic of not getting caught. He thinks: I just have to turn this one corner. I just have to get out of this bad situation, and then I'll be OK. Even though he's spent six years in prison, he's been bullshitting throughout those six years. He's always manipulating. He has an image of himself that he'd like the world to see. He'd like to be a considerate, recovering alcoholic. Someone who has seen the darkness and understands the darkness and has been fighting the darkness and is ready to move ahead and enter life as a good, law-abiding citizen. That's the great thing about the way Macon wrote the script. You start the movie, and he says the things he wants to hear: "It's all about my daughters. I just want to be a good father now." We think this is a story about a guy who has done a lot of bad things, and there will be some shit happening, but at the end he will finally be taught a life lesson we can all relate to and goodness will prevail. But what he wants is for people to love him, regardless of anything he does. He cares in the moment. It's like you might think: Today's the day I'm going to give a beggar some money. And then you open your wallet and see that, Oh, shit, I only have a 20. Never mind.

So is Joe an exaggerated version of who we all are?

I think we're a lot more selfish than we want to admit. We all see the world through our eyes and filter it accordingly, and Joe Denton is no different. My favorite line in the film comes when Joe's dad confronts him about what he's going to do with some money he has and Joe says, "I'm going to give it to my daughters… most of it." Nothing is unconditional.

You recently wrote a piece in the New York Times about your own selfishness, where you describe the moment you transitioned from the self-centeredness of youth into a more aware, mature person capable of putting your mother's feelings before your own. What made you want to write that piece?

I don't know. It was a very important moment in my life. The idea was that the headline would be "The First Time I…" and then could be whatever you wanted after that. When you're a parent yourself, you think more about how your parents raised you. I have teenagers now. You know how they say, "Teenagers go crazy," but it just occurred to me that it is as much parents as teenagers who go crazy. There's a pressure on me to be aware of what's going on because of alcohol, drugs, sex, all these things—which is in a way crazy, because I shouldn't interfere in her life. You can't.

"If [my daughter] wants money to go out with her friends, she'll have to work for it. And she's run into those moments when she wants to go out, but the money is gone, and that's annoying, but an important lesson."

That piece also touches on your desire to protect your children from self-obsession and excessive materialism. That's hard for any parent, but you have to do it while in the midst the global phenomenon of Game of Thrones.

Yeah, it is bizarre. I was in China and Kenya, and it was the same level of excitement as anywhere else in the world. I live back home in Denmark, and that does make a difference. I'm sure it would be different if I lived in LA. My kids have seen some of [my work], but they still think the idea of me pretending to be someone else is weird. And if they see me make out with someone, that's gross and really uncomfortable. And I get that. I'm their dad—I'm not supposed to be kissing another woman.

Growing up, my mom didn't have a lot. And now I have financial freedom. I could spoil the shit out of those kids. But obviously I don't do that because it would be so stupid. It's really important that they learn to manage that part of their life, and they are, of course. Being financially independent—I just mean being able to manage your finances—is really important, and it took me a long time as a grown up to learn that, and I want my kids to learn that. My oldest has two jobs, and she earns her own money. She works in a bakery and helps in a cafe. She's 16. If she wants money to go out with her friends, she'll have to work for it. And she's run into those moments when she wants to go out, but the money is gone, and that's annoying, but an important lesson.

As both Jamie Lannister and Joe Denton, you have the challenge as an actor of portraying characters the audience needs to feel connected to, despite the bad things they do.

I know what you mean, but Jaime Lannister is the opposite of Joe Denton. Jaime has values, he will follow through, and if you're his family or his sister, you can trust him unconditionally. He'll kill kids for you. His whole life is about his sister. These characters are both complicated. I don't know any people who aren't complicated. We all carry the potential for good and bad. I find it interesting to show people with flaws. With Jaime, everything is extreme—he's a knight, and we're in this other world—but there are a lot of people who see their whole purpose for living through the needs of their partner. People who will say: "I'll do whatever you want." You lose yourself in that, and then you have to fight to reclaim yourself, and that's what Jamie is battling with. Joe Denton is the opposite. Everything is all about him, and if you want to be a part of his life, you'll have to fit into his because you know he's not going to make an effort.

There's a tendency from the public to want to connect the character to the actor forever. Can you be unseen as Jaime Lannister?

I'm aware of this, of course. The first job I ever did was a movie in Denmark called Nightwatch, and I was very lucky, and it became a big, big hit in Denmark and because it was the first thing I'd been in. For a long time after, if I was in a play or something, they'd write, "Oh, the night watchman Nikolaj Coster-Waldau." And it upset me for a long time until I realized that's just how it is, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Small Crimes is now streaming on Netflix.

May 3, 2017 - No Comments!

Sam Claflin to Star in Crime-Thriller ‘Semper Fi’

From Variety

By Dave McNary

Sam Claflin has come on board to star in the crime-thriller “Semper Fi.”

Production is planned for Vancouver this summer with Henry-Alex Rubin directing from his own script co-written by Sean Mullin.

Cornerstone Films has acquired international rights and will commence sales at the Cannes Film Festival. Cornerstone will co-represent the U.S. rights with CAA, which packaged and arranged financing for the movie.

Producers are David Lancaster (“Whiplash”) of Rumble Films and Karina Miller (“To the Bone”) from Sparkhouse Media, which is also financing.

Claflin will play a straight-laced cop who fills his downtime as a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve alongside a close-knit team of lifelong friends. When his younger, reckless brother accidentally kills a man in a bar-room brawl and tries to flee town, Claflin’s character stops him and forces him to face the music.

After being deployed to Iraq, he returns home to discover that his brother’s final court appeal has been rejected and resolves to save his brother by breaking him out of prison, no matter what the cost.

Lancaster said, “From the moment I read this script, I couldn’t shake the passionate feeling I have always had for the iconic film ‘Deer Hunter.’ Henry has shown a unique ability to draw realistic characters combined with a strong sense of place. Brotherhood, loyalty, family … with a thrilling escape. I’m in!”

Claflin will be seen next in “The Nightingale” and “My Cousin Rachel.” Rubin’s credits include “Disconnect” and “Murderball,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary.

Claflin and Rubin are represented by CAA; Claflin is also represented by Independent Talent Group. Mullin is represented by UTA.

May 1, 2017 - No Comments!

If You Want Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to Play a Good Guy, You’re Going to Have to Wait

From Elle

By Jennifer Vineyard

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones' guy with the golden touch, took a break from the show—and its massive production values—to shoot an original film for Netflix, which premiered this weekend. One GoT action scene might take two weeks to make, but on Small Crimes, that stint would have made up half the entire shooting schedule.

Coster-Waldau loved the "crazy energy" on set, though—on one particular day, they filmed a shoot-out, complete with explosions in the background—as well as the chance to do a deep dive into a possibly irredeemable character. Ex-cop Joe Denton might be caught up in a corruption and murder scheme, but his main crime might just be how thoughtless and selfish he can be.

The actor met up with ELLE.com over a burger and fries to chat about narcissism, the secrets of the universe, and why he's hoping his mother will forgive him.

When you start watching 'Small Crimes,' it seems as if it's going to be a redemption story. It doesn't turn out to be, but why do you think we expect certain characters—Joe in this film, Jaime in 'Game of Thrones'—to be redeemed in the first place?

We're brought up like that. We think, If you just keep going, it's going to be okay in the end. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel. We want our story to tell us it will all make sense. That works in this story's favor, because in the very beginning, you do think, Yeah, okay, this is good, he's just getting out of jail. One of the things he says in the first scene is, "I want to connect with my daughters. I want to be a father again." And we think, Of course! That's the only thing that matters. And then we're so invested in the character, it sneaks up on us—he's not really a very nice guy.

"HE DOESN'T THINK HE'S BEING BAD. BUT HE IS"
I mean, he doesn't mean to be bad. He doesn't think he's being bad. But he is, because it's all about his needs, and what he wants, and he has so many opportunities to not go down that path. We talked a lot about the frog and the scorpion, that whole thing, and it's just, "I can't help myself." People don't often change. Maybe, if you watch movies, you wouldn't think that it's rare. But I think life is more like it is in Small Crimes. At least if we fuck up in real life, we can watch a story where it works out, eventually.

Joe's own father diagnoses him as a narcissist. Do you think your character is a narcissist, or do we all have a tendency to play armchair psychiatrist and diagnose ourselves and other people?

Funny you say that, because I just read this thing, right now, where they found a connection between bacteria in your digestive system and your mental health. So obviously now, I take that little bit of information, and I put that on everything. Anyone who has mental issues? It's probably because they have too much gas.

Or they're not taking probiotics.

Exactly! "Sometimes, you just need to take probiotics. Have you done that?" Because I don't need to read the whole scientific study. That headline says it all. And that's what we do. I'm sure in 15 years' time, my kids are going to come and tell me why the way I brought them up is responsible for something they're going through, because we do that. "Oh, that? That's because of my mom..." or whatever it is.


Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in 'Small Crimes'

Just wait until they start dating.

It's already happening. My wife said the other day, "I have a feeling that our oldest daughter has fallen in love with someone. We might be introduced to someone." So here we go! But it's a good thing. And it's a horrible thing. [Laughs]

But self-diagnosing, it's so easy, and that's why there's such an industry, and how it's growing. I don't know how many self-help books are in that category. I remember I was skimming this book, I read most of it, called Law of Attraction. Basically, it's in the vein of The Secret—you can have whatever you want, if you just ask for it. Ask the universe, and it will give it to you. If anything bad happens in the world, if something bad happens to anyone, it's their fault, because you attract whatever you send out. So if you do well, good for you. You have only yourself to blame for you doing well. But if you're fucking up in life, well, that's your fault. But the good thing is, just ask for something else, and you shall receive.

Part of it is just common sense. If you want to succeed at something, you have to focus. The danger, of course, is that you become so selfish. Everything is about your needs. All the people around you, you don't have to invest in them. You don't feel any responsibility towards them, which is scary.

And for Joe in Small Crimes, it's all about him. Whatever happens, it's about him. Even when it's about someone else, he makes it about him. You could argue that the whole story is about karma. You could argue that it's a happy ending, in a way. Without giving anything away, the father finally takes responsibility. What's he going to do with the money? "I'm going to give it to my girls. Most of it." But you know, it's like, [takes out his wallet and offers a bill] "Oh, I'm going to give you some money. Oh, shoot. I only have a twenty. I was going to give you a five, but I don't have it. Next time."

Speaking of parents and lessons about selfishness, congratulations on the piece you wrote for the 'New York Times'...

[Grins] I'm very, very proud. I'm kind of worried, too. I sent it to my mom and my sisters, and my sisters were really excited, but I haven't heard back from my mom yet. I think she hates the fact that I mentioned her. She's pretty private.

You didn't run it by her first?

No. But I thought it put her in a good light. I'm sure she's going to be fine. Do you ever run into that with people you write about? You know, some of my favorite things to read, which can also be really horrible on one level, but it's when you sense that the journalist really doesn't like the person they're writing about, that they think that person is an asshole. There's something about it that can be so entertaining, but you know, This is not going to end well. I read one recently with Miles Teller in Esquire, and it started off something like, "I'm trying to figure out if Miles Teller is a dick." It was so fun to read! It leaves a mess, but that's fine. You could start this one off as, "I'm trying to figure out if Nikolaj is a dick." It's okay if you start it like that! [Laughs]

It's okay. I don't think you're a dick. You don't need to worry about the dick.

"Don't worry about the dick!" That could be the headline! [Laughs] Clickbait! Clickbait! Clickbait!

This interview has been edited for clarity.