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Oct 31, 2013

Buddy comedy ‘Last Vegas’ hits jackpot with senior star wattage

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman has a conundrum at 76 years of age: he gets plenty of job offers, but the roles tend to be serious and they only beget more serious roles.

“I would do anything that got me out of gravitas,” said the actor, who has played the likes of a prison inmate in 1994′s “The Shawshank Redemption” and Nelson Mandela in 2009′s “Invictus” over a prolific career.

Oct 23, 2013

Cormac McCarthy keeps moviegoers guessing in ‘The Counselor’

LOS ANGELES, Oct 23 (Reuters) – When Michael Fassbender
faced the challenge of interpreting the lead role in Cormac
McCarthy’s first original screenplay, he wasn’t about to quiz
the renowned American novelist about the gaps in the script for
the crime drama “The Counselor.”

The Irish-German actor figured the 80-year-old McCarthy
“wasn’t that type of guy.” And besides, Fassbender had accepted
of the enigmatic counselor from British director Ridley Scott
precisely after being drawn in by a script he called
“mysterious, original.”

Oct 21, 2013

Black American history gets 500-year rewind in PBS series

LOS ANGELES, Oct 21 (Reuters) – A new U.S. television
documentary series reaches back 500 years to demonstrate how
America’s black history contained some unsettling nuances and
uncomfortable truths from the start.

The six-part series, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to
Cross,” which premieres on PBS on Tuesday, opens with Juan
Garrido, a free black man who was among the Spanish
conquistadors who arrived in Florida in 1513. He is followed by
the first known slave, named Esteban, 13 years later.

Oct 17, 2013

In ’12 Years a Slave,’ all eyes on actor Chiwetel Ejiofor

LOS ANGELES, Oct 17 (Reuters) – One of the most memorable
scenes in the film “12 Years a Slave” is a long close-up of
actor Chiwetel Ejiofor’s eyes, wide with amazement as his
character regains his freedom after enduring the brutal bonds of
slavery on Louisiana plantations.

It is a defining moment for the British actor of Nigerian
origin in the biggest film role of his career, one that many
critics believe will yield him a best actor Oscar nomination. It
is also a role that he wasn’t quite sure he was up for.

Oct 2, 2013

Minute With: Paul Giamatti on films about JFK assassination and slave trading

LOS ANGELES, Oct 2 (Reuters) – It’s been almost a decade
since actor Paul Giamatti introduced himself to the world as the
hapless and neurotic but lovable wine aficionado Miles in

Since then, he’s played a U.S. president (John Adams) and a
Federal Reserve chairman (Ben Bernanke) and this fall he has two
more roles based on real-life characters to add to the list.

Oct 1, 2013

‘Gravity’ highlights personal adversity in deep space journey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Watching an astronaut tumbling into the void of deep space might make a mere mortal’s own adversities seem rather small.

But “Gravity,” a drama starring Sandra Bullock and showing in U.S. theaters on Friday, was born out of the setbacks suffered by one man in the midst of the last recession: its director and co-writer, Alfonso Cuaron.

Sep 25, 2013

‘Rush’ screenwriter inspired by rivalry, not Formula One racing

LOS ANGELES, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The fast-paced and
adrenaline-filled drama “Rush” may be one of the most engaging
films about the world of Formula One racing, but British
screenwriter Peter Morgan says he couldn’t be less of a fan of
the elite motor sport.

Morgan, a two-time best-writing Oscar nominee for 2006′s
“The Queen” and 2008′s “Frost/Nixon,” simply wanted to tell a
tale of rivalry between an Austrian and an Englishman. As it
happens, the battle for the 1976 F1 championship between Niki
Lauda and James Hunt fit perfectly into Morgan’s plans.

Sep 23, 2013

After Emmys slip, ‘Homeland’ turns to new season to regain footing

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – After Claire Danes claimed her second straight Emmy for best actress in a drama on Sunday night, she mused that her role as the brilliant bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison in “Homeland” was a “good gig” that she hopes “lasts a while.”

The third season of “Homeland,” however, has its challenges after a second season that underwhelmed critics. Notwithstanding Danes’ repeat win, Sunday served up a reminder of the pressure on the Showtime counterterrorism thriller to regain its footing.

Sep 23, 2013

‘Breaking Bad’ finally makes good with best drama Emmy

LOS ANGELES, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Television drama “Breaking
Bad” won the top Primetime Emmy award for the first time on
Sunday, just as the gritty tale of a chemistry teacher turned
meth cook and drug kingpin winds down to widespread acclaim.

Although it won best drama series for its fifth season,
AMC’s “Breaking Bad” has just one episode left to air next
Sunday in its sixth and final season. Its creators credited a
changing television world of binge-watching, video on demand,
online streaming and social media buzz for its success Sunday.

Sep 23, 2013

‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Modern Family’ win top Emmy awards

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Breaking Bad” took home the top honor at Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards, winning the best drama series prize for the first time, as AMC’s gritty tale of a schoolteacher turned meth kingpin heads into the homestretch of its final season.

In the best comedy series category, ABC’s “Modern Family” was a return winner as the show about unconventional families won the top award for the fourth consecutive year.

    • About Mary

      "Mary Milliken is Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor for the Americas since July 2013, based in Los Angeles. In 15 years with Reuters, she been bureau chief in Washington DC, the West Coast and South America and has organized news teams covering everything from presidential elections to economic crises to natural disasters. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese."
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