Tag Archives: Brian Dennehy

Interview: Meet Monica Velour’s Dustin Ingram

Just about a year ago I spoke with Dustin Ingram while he promoted his new film, Meet Monica Velour, at the Tribeca Film Festival. Well, almost exactly one year later, things have certainly changed; the film is about to have a theatrical release and Ingram grew a mustache.

Kidding aside, Meet Monica Velour marks Ingram’s very first starring role as Tobe, a geeky kid with no game with the ladies who drives a truck with a gigantic hot dog on top of it. Upon graduating high school, Tobe decides enough is enough and not only is it time to sell his wiener-mobile, but to finally see his dream girl, washed up porn star, Monica Velour. It just so happens that both his potential buyer and Monica will be in the same vicinity at the same time.

Forget the fact that Ingram is a talented actor; he makes for a pretty damn fun interview. Perhaps one day I’ll compile a little reel of interview bloopers, but for now, I present the juicy details on every aspect of making this film from Ingram’s awkward audition competition, to his bee encounter on the first day of filming all the way up to his recent appearance on Glee. Check it all out in the video interview below and be sure to catch Meet Monica Velour when it hits theaters on April 8th.

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Interview: Meet Monica Velour Writer-Director Keith Bearden

Want to be in a movie? Well, if you don’t look like a runway model, have washboard abs or look anything like the cast members of The Twilight Saga, director Keith Bearden is looking for you. In all seriousness, Bearden has an appreciation for ideas and characters that feel real. While he considers his first feature film, Meet Monica Velour, a high concept piece, it’s got much more to it than its basic premise.

In high concept terms, Meet Monica Velour is about a nerdy kid who falls for an older stripper. Dig a little deeper and you get a piece about a high school graduate (Dustin Ingram) just trying to come into his own, experience the world and learn a little something about love. On the stripper side, Monica Velour (Kim Cattrall) is more than just a porn star past her prime; she’s a loving mother that’s just trying to do the best she can with the resources she has and the stigma her career left her with. And, when these two multidimensional characters come together, we get something far more interesting, engaging and emotional than a mere boy-meets-older-woman commercial concept.

This interview is a bit all over the place in the best way possible. Not only does Bearden enlighten us on the entire process of making Meet Monica Velour a reality, but he also touches upon the tough industry standards, as well. On top of that, he also knows how to have a good laugh. Hearing Bearden talk about his unusual looking candidates for the role of Tobe is a must. And, before we wrapped up, the director touched upon his next effort, a film called God Hates Kansas. See it all for yourself in the video interview below.

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Interview: Meet Monica Velour’s Kim Cattrall

After starring as Samantha Jones in Sex and the City for so many years, it’s easy to forget Kim Cattrall can play anything but strong, ambitious and beautiful. Well, her latest film, Meet Monica Velour, is certainly a good reminder that this actress has range and is willing to go to some pretty extreme lengths to do her roles justice.

Kim Cattrall is Monica Velour, a washed up porn star who can’t get decent work, is constantly berated by men and risks losing her child in a custody battle. Having hit rock bottom, Monica is absolutely hopeless. It isn’t until geeky teen and diehard fan, Tobe (Dustin Ingram), steps into her life that she realizes there is some good in this world and, with his help, she could possible pull through.

After a great deal of rehearsal time, filming, the post production process and then a festival run, Cattrall, Bearden and Ingram are finally about to see their movie hit theaters. In honor of Meet Monica Velour’s April 8th release, Bearden and Ingram flew back to New York City to celebrate their achievement, promote the film and to get a home cooked meal à la Cattrall. Read all about that and more in this roundtable interview.

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Interview: The Next Three Days Writer-Director Paul Haggis

Life is good for Paul Haggis. Not only does he have two Oscars sitting pretty on his shelf, but he’s got three other nominations in the bag and his career continues to flourish. Ever since his shift from TV to film Haggis has almost only delivered critically acclaimed work. First was Million Dollar Baby and then Crash followed by The Last KissCasino RoyaleIn the Valley of ElahQuantum of Solace and now The Next Three Days.

The film stars Russell Crowe as John Brennan, an English teacher who’s separated from his beloved wife (Elizabeth Banks) when she’s arrested for murder. Convinced she’s innocent, John devotes himself to getting her out. However, what starts out as a lawful venture turns into a daring plot to defy the system and help her escape.

The Next Three Days isn’t your typical thriller. It does offer a fair amount of action, but it’s really a character driven drama more than anything and that’s exactly what Haggis intended it to be. While promoting the film for its November 19th release, Haggis sat down to tell us all the details from developing his script from the original film, Pour Elle, to locking down locations, working with Crowe and Banks and much more. He even took the time to address the never ending Crash saga. Check out all of that and much more in the interview below.

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Review: The Next Three Days

It’s one thing to walk into a drama and get a little action, but when you opt to check out a thriller that winds up being more of a drama, it’s a bit too difficult to adjust. Making it harder to appreciate a drama with a thrilling twist is a lengthy presentation. There’s a lot that works inThe Next Three Days, if only director Paul Haggis had paid more attention to keeping a proper pace, perhaps that drama would have created more suspense and risen to the level of the film’s more exhilarating moments. Instead we’re left with something that isn’t quite dramatic or thrilling and doesn’t strike a chord as much as it could have.

Life is good for the Brennan family, but when Lara (Elizabeth Banks) is dragged out of her house by police officers as her young son looks on, they’re existence becomes anything but ideal. John (Russell Crowe) misses Lara terribly and Luke (Ty Simpkins) refuses to even look at his mother when they go to visit. Lara claims she didn’t commit the crime, but the evidence against her is overwhelming. John soon realizes there is no way to get Lara out of prison – legally.

The central plot of The Next Three Days is beautifully simple; a man’s wife is wrongly accused of a crime and the only way they can be a family again is by breaking her out. The problem is, it takes an awfully long time to get there. The opening sequence is fantastic. We get a very brief, but telling dinner scene during which Lara has a harsh yet amusing argument with her sister-in-law followed by a typical morning in the Brennan household. Unfortunately, breakfast doesn’t last long and a barrage of officers demolishes the serene setting. After Lara’s taken away, that’s about it in terms of action for quite a while.

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Tribeca Interview: Every Day’s Richard Levine

Superheroes, maniacal serial killers and historical figures brought back to life are great, but sometimes you just need a good old family drama that feels real and Every Day is just that. Our family of four, played by Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Ezra Miller and Skyler Fortgang, take on a hefty load when grandpa Ernie (Brian Dennehy) comes to live with them. That’s on top of routine troubles, like work frustrations and struggles with sexual identity, all of which send the clan into an amusing and often touching period of confusion and frustration.

You’d never think this type of story would come from the pen of Nip/Tuck writer Richard Levine. Levine does away with the profound happenings at the plastic surgery practice and adopts a far more true-to-life tone. In fact, Every Day is somewhat true-to-life in Levine’s case; much of the piece evolved from his experience with his own family.

While promoting his film at the Tribeca Film Festival, Levine took the time to elaborate on the film’s connection with his personal life as well as the casting process, an unusual method of rehearsal as well as his upcoming ABC show, Scoundrels. Take a look at what he had to say below.

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Tribeca Review: Every Day

Writer Richard Levine’s entire resume consists of work on the small screen, most notably on Nip/Tuck, so it’s no surprise that his first feature film plays out much like a TV show. The unusual thing is that Every Day is as ordinary as they come, whereas Nip/Tuck is far from it. Every Day may be a low-key film about an average family dealing with average problems, but Levine’s more twisted side is still evident; its brainchildren are just kept as theoretical concepts rather than visual ones.

Ned and Jeannie (Liev Schreiber and Helen Hunt) live in a nice home with their two sons Jonah and Ethan (Ezra Miller and Skyler Fortgang). Like just about any family, they’re seemingly happy, but have some issues. Ned writes for a television show and his more restrained ideas clash with his boss’ demand for concepts with extreme shock value. Jeannie is forced to ditch her career when she winds up taking care of her sickly father in addition to her two boys. Making matters worse, her father, Ernie (Brian Dennehy), is a bit of a handful and anything but thankful. Then there are the kids; Jonah has known he’s gay since he was 12, but his father is still having a hard time accepting it. Meanwhile, Ethan is on the paranoid side constantly questioning his folks about the potential of home invaders and if his grandfather will walk into the light soon.

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