Entertainment Weekly SDCC ’14 Star Portraits

Photos from Entertainment Weekly SDCC Star Portraits Gallery. Photography by Michael Muller for EW.

DAY 1

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First row: Benedict Cumberbatch; Sarah Wayne Callies; Josh Hartnett
Second row: J. August Richards; Jim Parsons; Adam West
Third row: the cast of Penguins Of Madagascar; Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead); the cast of Hannibal; the cast of Under The Dome

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DAY 2

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First row: Daniel Radcliffe; Colin Firth; Zachary Quinto; Jon Bernthal
Second row: Isaac Hempstead-Wright; Natalie Dormer; David Benioff & DB Weiss
Third row: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie & Pedro Pascal; Sophie Turner, Kit Harington & Maisie Williams; Will Poulter, Dylan O’Brien & Kaya Scodelario; Freddie Highmore & Vera Farmiga
Fourth row: Samuel L. Jackson; the cast of Dominion; the cast of Outlander (incl. Graham McTavish); DC Comics’ Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, John Romita Jr, Dan DiDio, Jim Lee & Scott Snyder of DC Comics

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DAY 3

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Top: The cast of Avengers: Age Of Ulron
First row: Robert Downey Jr.; RDJ & James Spader; Spader; Mark Ruffalo
Second row: Cobie Smulders
Third row: Hayley Atwell; Chloe Bennett; Paul Rudd; Josh Brolin
Fourth row: Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly & Corey Stoll (Ant-Man cast)
Fifth row: Janet Montgomery & Shane West; the cast of Gotham; the cast of Constantine; the cast of Arrow
Sixth row: Grant Gustin; Omar Epps; the cast of Grimm; the cast of Sleepy Hollow; Danai Gurira
Seventh row: The cast of The Walking Dead; Steven Yeun & Lauren Cohan
Eight row: Theo James & Shailene Woodley
Ninth row: George Miller, creator of Mad Max
Last: The cast of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

 

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Norman Reedus wants Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead graphic novel

Here’s one of the results of my Singapore The Walking Dead trip: an interview with Norman Reedus. Full coverage will be available in Total Film Indonesia Issue #52 (out this weekend) consisting of a 2-page Norman Reedus interview and a 6-page Andrew Lincoln feature. Earlier today I wrote an introductory piece to those magazine articles for totalfilmindonesia.com (Norman Reedus Ingin Tokohnya Di Serial TV THE WALKING DEAD Masuk Komik). And here’s the English translation of that piece.

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Norman Reedus wants Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead graphic novel

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All The Walking Dead TV fans know that their favorite series comes from Robert T. Kirkman’s popular graphic novels, making this AMC show highly popular and a lot of people’s favorites. But not all the comic book characters are 100% the same to the TV series and vice versa. And one of those characters that exist in the TV series only but not in the comic books in Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon.

Daryl, who made his TWD debut as Michael Rooker’s Merle’s brother, was one of the most interesting characters in Season 1. He started out as somewhat of an antagonist, parroting his big brother who was a real piece of work) but is now Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) trusted lieutenant.

Total Film Indonesia caught up with Reedus in Singapore last month and we talked about Daryl’s transformation in the past four seasons.

I think once… I think he was going to be Merle. I think he was going to grow up being Merle and once Merle was sort of out of the picture, it sort of allowed him to not be sort of embarrassed to who he was going to become and slowly… and the situation that they’re all in [allows him to say] ‘it’s okay to be you’. I think he sort of learned that late in life and I think he sort of found a family in a lot of ways for the first time.

But he doesn’t think Daryl is in any way ‘softening up’.  “So I think that’s his way of softening up. But he’ll still stab you if look at him wrong,” Reedus said.

Also, don’t call him a ‘douchebag’. (Another reporter conveyed a fan question to Reedus that used this word. Reedus’ reaction was incredulous and perhaps a little annoyed.)  “Douchebag? DOUCHEBAG?That’s a bit harsh! Give me that guy’s address!” he quipped with a little shake of his head.

The most important question on the table, though, is this: is Robert T. Kirkman, the graphic novelist who is also involved as a writer and producer in the TV series, going to put Daryl in the comic book? Does Reedus know anything about the status of Daryl’s graphic novel existence?

You know, I’ve offered to wash Robert Kirkman’s car, I’ve offered to sleep with him, whatever it takes… but, God, I don’t know. I mean I would love to be in the graphic novel.  I would love to but that’s a Robert decision. The only thing he’s said to me is “STOP ASKING ME ABOUT IT.”

We reckon that all the fans who want Kirkman to put Daryl in The Walking Dead comic book should stop asking and just offer the author a huge favor… anybody up for washing those cars?

More on Norman Reedus and his The Walking Dead character can be found in Total Film Indonesia #52 (coming out this weekend). TWD is playing on Fox Movies Premium in Asia. New episodes are broadcast every Monday morning at 10.30 AM (Indonesia time) and replayed on the same day at 19.10.

Scenes Of A Sexual Nature

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I watched Scenes Of A Sexual Nature the other day, in order to write about Andrew Lincoln’s performance in there, and I surprisingly liked it quite a lot. It’s a very low key movie with not much happening except people talking about relationships, which should be very boring, but there are some funny bits and amazing performances by some of the actors we’ve come to know as mainstream stars these days.

Lincoln, in particular, shows off a finely tuned comic timing. He’s always been a great comedic actor, which was why he wanted to do Strike Back at that time, because he wanted to play a badass role in something not comedy. He got his wish, of course, playing Rick Grimes but it’s been almost four years since he first took on Rick and now I miss his romcoms and funnier roles. Seeing him in a humorous act in this movie was so refreshing that I just wanted to back some more and watch all of his old movies.

But Tom Hardy.

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I swear this man is a genius. First, he’s got a great range. He can play anythingbecause he can do it all. Secondly, he’s got a way with voice. I mean, whatever accent he needs to do, it never seems to bother him because everything flows just right in the perfect pitch from him. And finally, there’s the looks. That he is good-looking, there is no doubt, but he’s no classic beauty. He’s got a distinctive look but he can always transform his face and his entire body to suit the characters that he plays. Here, you get his real face but with a slightly different hairstyle and wearing tight polo tee and tight jeans and boom, he transforms. (Does any of this make sense?)

I just love to see him perform because he always loses himself completely in those roles and manage to sell those characters to us. The only other British actor I’ve seen who can do this is Martin Freeman. Martin, too, is an actor who can convincingly sell a character to us – no matter what the setting or the background is – and he loses his own personality in the roles he plays. Guys like Hardy and Freeman are always fun and exciting to watch because when I watch them, I get preoccupied in their characters’ stories and plight. In Tom Hardy’s case, I can name a few of my favorites: Stuart, Handsome Bob, Eames, Tommy Conlon and Ricki Tarr. And now there’s Noel from Scenes Of A Sexual Nature.

Films like Star Trek: Nemesis and The Dark Knight Rises didn’t give him enough to work with so his performances in these two franchises are probably more forgettable than others but he truly shines in character-driven films.

TLDR: I love Tom Hardy. I adore him. I can’t wait to see what he does next (i.e.Locke and Child 44).

Scenes Of A Sexual Nature: Recommended. Watch it for the performances, not for the story.

The Walking Dead – Press Day in Singapore

Yesterday I was in Singapore for a 2-day The Walking Dead junket trip. It was such an excitement to be there because the talents who came to Singapore are the show’s biggest stars, namely Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) and Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes). I’m quite amazed that they came to Asia, let alone Singapore, which is very close to Indonesia. But they told me that Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Reedus also felt privileged to be able to come to our side of the world.

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Funnily enough, about half of the journalists who came to the press day are fans of the show as well. I’m a fan of the comic book and the show so naturally I asked for their signatures on my copy of The Walking Dead comic book (by Robert T. Kirkman, whom Reedus and Lincoln mentioned a few times during our Q&A). Also, my chief editor asked me to ask Lincoln to sign a copy of his Love, Actually Blu-ray box.

The Walking Dead‘s popularity as a show is undisputed. I would be hard pressed to find any other show that is still able to maintain their game at this very intense level on their fourth or fifth season. The Walking Dead is visceral and cerebral at the same time, supplying us with gore and violence that are paired perfectly with human drama and psychology. This is a show where a character banishment can hurt a lot more than a character death; but when they do kill someone, they make those characters earn it. There’s no gratuitous killing – when someone dies, the impact is very much felt and absorbed.

As you may recall, this show didn’t even make it to the Top 10 of my Favorites Of The Year 2013 list. But I did explain that that decision was a personal one because I still couldn’t get over the death of one of the characters I really like. It’s funny how I can deal with Game Of Thrones deaths but not The Walking Dead – “The Red Wedding” episode provided as much angst as TWD‘s last episode did. But the difference is, I didn’t care much for Robb Stark. TWD‘s death felt more similar to Sean Bean’s character’s death in the first season of GoT.

Anyway, Lincoln and Reedus promised us an amazing last half of season 4. I can’t wait for this show to be back on TV. Fox Movies Premium will air this series only mere hours after the US; there is no longer a week-long gap between US air date and Asian air date. Forget those lo-res Torrents… this is one show worth seeing on HD TV!

Favorites Of The Year 2013: Television

2013 is, for me, the best year in television I remember in recent years. The TV renaissance, of course, started a few years ago when HBO Originals and AMC shows started influencing pop cultures and playing with the networks in ratings and popularity. But I didn’t feel it until 2012 when, all of a sudden, I simply had no day without TV shows. Both television from the US and the UK gave me more quality stories and performances than many films released this year.

I had a hard time compiling the list because it took me a while to decide on which stuff to put in the list, seeing as there are so many of them I watched this year, including old series that have gone off air (but continue to live on home video, like Spooks). A few people might be surprised to know that I watched close to 40 titles of TV series (though not all of them complete).

Favorite TV Shows In 2013

Note: I pick TV shows based on what I see this year and all the ones I put in the favorite are the ones I followed week-by-week. The TV shows I put on the list may include the second half of last season (for fall 2012-2013 shows) or only the first half of the new season (fall 2013-2014 shows).

1. Broadchurch


By far, this is the absolute best TV series I followed in 2013. Here’s why. David Tennant might be the one who’s going to the US for the remake, but Olivia Colman is the most interesting actress playing the most interesting female character on any TV show. And she killed it in the last episode. Absolutely flawless. I have no complaints. If you haven’t watched this show, please do so ASAP. You won’t regret it.

2. Sleepy Hollow


I don’t know where to begin to tell you why I love this show. Perhaps because all of the characters are great. Maybe because it’s been a long, long time that there’s a supernatural show on TV that excites me. Not to mention the series has a very filmic quality to its production, particularly the cinematography and storytelling… and naturally I have a huge crush on Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. Sleepy Hollow is magically irresistible.

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Exclusive Interview With The Walking Dead’s David Morrissey in Total Film Indonesia

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Think you’ve seen David Morrissey somewhere but don’t quite know exactly where it was? It’s not just you. But if you see him now, you know you’d have to be careful. Where The Governor is, heads will roll…

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Last October, Total Film Indonesia found itself in a bind. The phone number given to TFI to call one of the biggest names of the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, David Morrissey, was not working. Only after dialing repeatedly, did we manage to get connected. Even then, we were asked to wait for a few more minutes for David’s arrival. All we could think about was: screw the phone bills – as long as we get to talk to The Governor. Or, should we say, the guv’nor?

Well, we’re not only totally crazy about the show. We admit to being obsessed with TWD the way zombies are obsessed with eating human flesh – the series is dramatic, intense and stunningly star-studded – but Morrissey is a bit of our hero as well. We’ve seen him in Basic Instinct 2, Derailed, The Other Boleyn Girl, Centurion, Blitz… and recently he was in Hollow Crown, BBC’s Shakespeare mini-series, in the Richard II part of the show along with Patrick Stewart, James Purefoy and 007’s new gadget man, Ben Whishaw. And our inner geek also recalled his outing with Tenth Doctor David Tennant in The Next Doctor, a Christmas special of Doctor Who.

He’s that kind of actor – you may not immediately remember his name, but his face is certainly recognizable. Like David Straithairn or Elias Koteas, he’s a character actor with a comprehensive CV. And his chops are undeniable – he’s done stage, TV and films. All medias covered. Now, thanks to the zombie extravaganza The Walking Dead, he’s going to be even more recognizable, face- and name-wise. Here’s a food for thought: now that he’s in a popular American hit show, would he be willing to go back to England and do Who? When we finally got to speak to David, we put the question to the guv’nor…

Let’s talk The Walking Dead, your first ever zombie gig. Is there a difference between playing in a zombie series and the other things you’ve done in your career so far?
Yeah, I’ve not encountered many zombies in my acting life so far. They’re very real. I think one of the wonderful things about being in the series is Greg Nicotero, who is the head of the special effects that do such a brilliant job, that you really don’t have to that much of your imagination to imagine what it would be like to be confronted by these terrible things. And the guys who play them, I’m told, come at 4 in the morning and then have them go into make-up and stand under the terrible Georgian heat. They are wonderful people who work very hard to bring these characters to life. So, yeah, it’s a challenge but it’s also wonderful to do. I think it’s an amazing creation done by an amazing team.

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Exclusive interview with The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies in Total Film Indonesia

Back in August, I had the privilege of having a phone interview with Sarah Wayne Callies who plays Lori Grimes in AMC’s The Walking Dead. She was a very nice lady who answered questions very clearly and professionally. In our interview, she addressed character deaths that might happen on the show, including her own. She also had some very interesting insight on a lot of aspects on the show. It was truly a pleasure to be talking with her and discussing TWD (as well as zombies and aliens) with her.

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Exclusive interview with Total Film Indonesia: Sarah Wayne Callies on character death, strong women and aliens…

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Lori Grimes, the leading lady portrayed by Sarah Wayne Callies in AMC’s The Walking Dead, is one of those love-her-or-hate-her types. After cheating on his husband (Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes) with his best pal (Jon Bernthal) in Season 1 and getting pregnant without knowing who the father of the baby is in Season 2, probably not a lot of people would cry to see her go after a zombie bite. But hang on – The Walking Dead would truly lose one of its biggest intrigues without her. Can the show survive if she was really gone? Callies herself told us what she knew and what she wanted for her character in this exclusive interview with Total Film Indonesia. Apparently, she is not afraid of dying…

WARNING: The following interview contains spoilers from The Walking Dead. Please read with caution.

How far do the actors in The Walking Dead know about what’s going to happen to their characters?
We talk to the writers at the beginning of each season and we get the broad strokes so we can start making decisions and prepare things appropriately. There are certain details that they keep from everybody. For the second season, Frank gave us the first seven episodes about a month before we started shooting so we can start working on our lines and what’s happening but they kept back the 8th episode so none of us knew about Sophia dying until about a week before we shot that. And it does vary. We’ve had people on the show who were called and told they were going to die and they don’t. And then there are people who’d not been told they were going to die and they die. And that’s just kind of how it works.

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