- Team Kristen
- Against All Enemies
- American Ultra
- Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
- Cafe Society
- Camp X-Ray
- Certain Women
- Charlie's Angels
- The Chronology of Water
- Clouds of Sils Maria
- Come Swim
- JT Leroy
- Personal Shopper
- Still Alice
- Scheduled Appearances in 2019
- Cannes Film Festival 2018
Saturday, June 29, 2019
“One of the statements this movie makes is that you should probably believe women,” Banks adds. “We have as much validity in what we’re feeling and how we want to go about living in the world, being in the world, and that was really important to me, that we felt like we had characters that were being taken seriously and given a chance to live their best life.”
How is this reboot going to be more feminist than the original?
ELIZABETH BANKS: I honestly feel that the property has all of the bona fides of feminism already built in. I really didn’t have to do much other than honor its entire history. By that I mean, the original TV show was about women who went to the police academy but then were not allowed to actually be full police officers. They were given the jobs of desk clerk or meter maid. Charles Townsend came along and said, “Now they work for me, my name is Charlie,” and gave them the opportunity to live their best life. I feel like this entire endeavor is about giving women the opportunity, including myself, to participate fully in a really big action franchise. We’ve done it. It’s been something that’s been in the DNA of Charlie’s Angels from the beginning.
How did you incorporate the women’s sexuality into this reboot? Was that a big factor for you since it was such a big part of the original?
BANKS: We don’t really – we play with that trope and then we dismiss it pretty early on in the movie. The women in this film use their brains and their wits. We had a mantra which was we are going to fight smarter, not harder. That was how we approached most of the action sequences in the movie. The women in the film, for instance, I had another mantra on set which was everybody gets to wear what they feel awesome and comfortable wearing and what they want to strut around in in this movie. Whatever makes her feel best coming to set. That was the attitude we had about how we shot the film. There’s not a big romance particularly in the movie – we have a little romance in the movie. But the movie is really about the women working together and solving a crime story and helping Naomi Scott’s character take down a big corporation.
When it came to your approach to directing action, where did you find inspiration?
BANKS: Yes, I looked at a lot. I loved Tony Scott movies. I looked at a lot of Tony Scott movies. We also looked at Mission: Impossible a little bit. I love the interplay of those characters, the banter that they had, especially in the latest set of movies. When I originally pitched to direct Charlie’s Angels, it was right after Rebecca Ferguson had been in that Mission: Impossible movie and I was so inspired by her and excited for Wonder Woman which has since come out which I also looked at a little bit. We don’t have super powers in our movie so I don’t have golden lassos to play with. But we also looked at Atomic Blonde and John Wick.
Are there any nods to the originals or easter eggs in the new movie?
BANKS: [Laughs] There are! We have a lot of easter eggs in the movie actually. We really pay homage to a lot of the history of Charlie’s Angels, from costumes that we feature and props and photos. And … the Townsend Agency was founded in the ‘70s and that mirrors the timeline of the women’s rights movement as well.
What was an aspect from the originals that you were most proud that you got to update for this film?
BANKS: I just love the idea that this is a franchise that’s not about a singular hero, it’s about the women who work together. There always were those three women in the TV show. Back in the day they had the Six Million Dollar Man. This was about a team of women who got to work together. I just have always loved that. I love the idea of fighting bad guys with your friends. I think that’s really important and something also that people love seeing right now. You see that with the Avengers movies, I was in Power Rangers with Naomi Scott. People are responding to that in a way that even the Spider-Man movies now, you want to see Tom Holland but you also want to see his best friend help him. I just love the idea that Charlie’s Angels has always been about a group and not about a singular hero. I think that women collaborate. It’s a natural thing that women do anyway. We naturally collaborate, we naturally like to work together. We need each other. We recognize that. We like the support. That whole feeling that it takes a village is something that I respond to and that I wanted to tell a story about. We did it in the Pitch Perfect movies as well. This was another way to see a movie about women working together.
This movie is rumored to show a side of Kristen Stewart that people haven’t seen before. What can you say about that?
BANKS: [Laughs] Absolutely. First of all, she is a legit action heroine. There’s no doubt about it. She’s super badass in the movie. She did so many of her own stunts. Did all of her training. They all did. They all did weapons training. They all did stunt training, fight training, driving, we all took driving – not lessons but we all had to go through and were all put through our paces in all of those areas. And then she’s really, really funny. I think she lands as many jokes in this film as any comic actor working today. I think that will really surprise people.
What were you looking for when it came to casting all of the Angels?
BANKS: When we were casting the movie, I wanted really fresh faces. I wanted a diverse cast. It’s important that women, the audience for this movie, sees themself in some part of this movie. I think that’s really important. I want the audience to feel a sense of ownership over the film, that they could be in this movie, that they could live in this world, it’s a real message. It’s a movie that I want to entertain all audiences but I did want to make something that felt important to women and especially young girls.
What do you hope longtime fans of Charlie’s Angels get with this reboot?
BANKS: I hope that everybody who loved Charlie’s Angels for the female camaraderie and the action and the fun factor, you’re going to get all of that and more with this movie.
Friday, June 28, 2019
The world got its first look at the new Charlie’s Angels when Sony dropped a full trailer earlier this week. CinemaBlend got the jump start on everyone else, however, as we were lucky enough to travel to Berlin and watch director Elizabeth Banks as she poured her heart and soul into this updated version of the classic, female-driven spy saga.
The casting of the new Charlie’s Angels is on point. Banks tapped Ella Balinska and Kristen Stewart to be the initial team, a tough-as-nails tandem who are ordered by their Bosley (Banks, pulling double duty) to work with Naomi Scott (of Aladdin fame) on a brand new mission.
But on our trip to Berlin, we were most curious about Elizabeth Banks’ approach to action. While not a first-time director, Banks’ time behind the camera has so far been spent on comedies – she helmed a segment for Movie 43, and directed Pitch Perfect 2 before diving into Charlie’s Angels. So when we asked her about her philosophies on action thrillers, Banks told us:
"The women in this film use their brains and their wit. And we had a mantra, which was, ‘We’re gonna fight smarter, not harder.’ And that’s how we approached most of the action sequences in the movie….
I looked at a lot -- I love Tony Scott movies. I looked at a lot of Tony Scott movies. We also looked at Mission: Impossible a little bit, I love the sort of, the interplay of those characters -- the banter that they’ve had, especially in the latest set of movies. When I pitched -- originally pitched to direct Charlie’s Angels, it was right after Rebecca Ferguson had been in that Mission: Impossible movie, and I was so inspired by her and excited for Wonder Woman, which has since come out. Which I also looked at a little bit. And we don’t have super powers in our movie, so [laughs] I don’t have golden lassos to play with. But we also looked at Atomic Blonde and John Wick."
Needless to say, those are outstanding references for a modern action film, and you can actually see a few of those inspirations at play in the first trailer for the new Charlie’s Angels. In fact, the moment that Elizabeth Banks name-dropped Atomic Blonde, now I can only think of Charlize Theron appearing in a sequel as a badass ex-Angel who has to make life very difficult for Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska and Kristen Stewart.
As for Stewart, she has worked for numerous different filmmakers over the course of her career, and appreciated what she found in the collaboration with Banks on Charlie’s Angels. While she didn’t speak about the action scenes that they were concocting, Stewart opened up to us on the Charlie’s Angels set about Banks’ visual style and approach, explaining:
"She can be really straightforward and kind of like not so precious because being an actor. There’s not this implied, careful nature because they don’t understand what it’s like to bring this to life. It’s like, ‘No no. I know exactly what this is, and I’m not gonna hurt your feelings or anything, but just do it like that.’ And so it’s yeah. It’s good. Also she wrote -- she took a script that was really plot-based, and made it live and breathe and actually contain people with lives. Every one of these girls, after [Banks] got her hands on it -- I read this ages and ages ago, and then obviously, throughout the process. It’s just become so individualized. Like, she’s really allowed each person to stand up within it, and it makes you not just like the girls and have it be entertaining, but it found its purpose once Liz actually came onto the project."
You can actually interpret the layers in this trailer, which make Charlie’s Angels look like far more than an empty shoot-em-up meant to capitalize on nostalgia for an old TV show. Check out the first trailer, if you haven’t yet seen it.
“Good morning, Angels.” “Good morning, Charlie!” Whether that quote takes you back to the Charlie’s Angels movies in the early ‘00s or all the way back to the original TV series from the ‘70s, it means something to a lot of people. And now Elizabeth Banks wants to bring that feeling to a whole new generation with her Charlie’s Angels reboot.
Er, actually don’t call it a reboot. Or even a revival. According to Banks, who directed the film and wrote the script, the upcoming action film is more of a “continuation” or sequel that both builds on the events of the original TV series and two movies from the ‘00s as well as connects them all together to make one large Charlie’s Angels canon.
When the new Charlie’s Angels movie picks up, it’s been 40 years since Charlie first started the Townsend Agency with a trio of Angels. Since then he has turned it into a global spy program. There are Townsend Agencies all over the world with Angel teams everywhere.
Collider was lucky enough to witness the action on set in Berlin during production last winter to get the scoop on what longtime fans of Charlie’s Angels can expect from the new movie, from the modern updates to what Banks carried over from the originals and more.
Expanding the World
One of the biggest things that Banks wanted to maintain with her Charlie’s Angels is honoring the original legacy while bringing things into the 21st century. “We have a lot of easter eggs in the movie,” Banks told Collider along with a small group of reporters. “We really pay homage to a lot of the history of Charlie’s Angels, from costumes that we feature and props and photos.”
Producer Max Handelman explained that keeping the original show history in the timeline meant giving more context to how much the world has changed. “The agency was founded in the 1970s at a time when obviously the world and America was a different place than it is in 2018, and women were in a different place than they were in the 70s than they are 40 years later,” Handelman said. “40-plus years ago, a small detective agency was formed with three women who were all underestimated, invisible, not given the proper opportunities, and from that the agency grew to 2018, where we are today, and what has happened since.”
That means while the core DNA of the Angels is still intact, some updates come in the form of how big the world has become with Angel teams all over the globe. And with multiple Angel teams comes multiple Bosleys. Bosley used to be a character but now it’s become a rank. In the film, fans will see three Bosleys played by Sir Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou … and Banks herself.
That’s right, the director is stepping in front of the camera to play a Bosley, and a pretty important one too: she’s the first Angel to rise to the rank of Bosley. That’s to represent “women evolving through the workplace, and once you’re done being an Angel you’re not just done,” Handelman said. “So her character’s graduated or been promoted to becoming Bosley.”
Making the Women More Real
Because the new Charlie’s Angels is giving context to the mythology by putting it in the same timeline as the original series and films, that meant it was time to update the Angels for modern times. According to Handelman, Banks refused to do the “obligatory training montage where the female characters get to prove to you why they’re badass.”
“They just are, in the same way that you never see Ethan Hunt train to become Ethan Hunt,” Handelman added. “He just is. You meet him climbing a rock or a skyscraper. When you first meet Jason Bourne he just is a total badass. So when you meet Kristen Stewart as Sabina in this movie, when you meet Ella Balinska as Jane, they’re just trained, badass women. We don’t have to prove to you why they are who they are. They’re just talented women who represent different archetypes of female characters.”
Taking a break in between filming a major fight scene, Stewart, Balinska and Naomi Scott, playing this movie’s main Angel trio, giddily share their excitement over how their characters are the perfect modern update to the original Angels because they’re relatable while still being badass.
“We have this whole network of women working together and supporting each other [working for] ‘good,’ which is just treating people well and being positive and self-affirming rather than having like, three superhuman women that are like sexy and perfect and fly through the air,” Stewart said. “It’s like no, it’s hard to do what we’re doing, and we’re only able to do it together.”
Plus not every Angel is some superhuman fighting machine. Scott plays Elena, who starts off the movie as a client hiring the Angels in a time of crisis (and no surprise here: eventually becomes an Angel herself). Elena works at an international tech company and makes a terrible discovery – she becomes a whistleblower trying to right a horrible wrong but isn’t taken seriously. That’s where the Angels come in.
“What’s cool for me is that the arc of my character, she becomes an Angel as well,” Scott said. “It’s the idea that anyone can be an Angel, because she may not be the most coordinated gal in the world, but she’s smart, she got brains.”
That was “very important” for Banks to include a “female character who’s in the sciences, in STEM,” according to Handelman. “And she’s entering this world of the Charlie’s Angels, spies, and she has no idea that this exists and her mind is kind of blown that this is an opportunity in a world that even exists,” he added.
It's Totally Feminist
While Banks loves that the original Charlie’s Angels series already had feminism baked into the DNA, she was excited to make this movie even more feminist than ever. For one thing, she toned down how the Angels used sex and sexuality to succeed.
“We play with that trope and then we dismiss it pretty early on in the movie,” Banks said. “The women in this film use their brains and their wits. We had a mantra which was we are going to fight smarter, not harder.”
And that’s what Stewart is most passionate about. “When was the last time you saw a movie where a group of women were sitting together and figuring out how to overcome something, how to formulate a plan and be proactive about it?” she said. “We’re destroying the patriarchy in this movie. It’s about a company that was created by well-intentioned men, and then taken over by corrupt jerk-offs. So we’re taking the company back and reinstating its mission statement.”
That also means there isn’t as heavy of a focus on romance in this movie as there had been in previous Charlie’s Angels stories. “[Banks] really wanted to focus on these characters as women who are doing their jobs and are good at their jobs and focus less on love stories,” Handelman said.
Stronger Villains = Stronger Heroes
Another, quieter way Banks is making this Charlie’s Angels more feminist is by making the male villains even stronger than ever to only further enhance just how strong the Angels are. Kingdom’s Jonathan Tucker plays a mysterious villain who goes head-to-head against the Angels in some intense action sequences, and he didn’t hold back in what he described as “dance-like” fight scenes.
“We even play like some of that old Fred Astaire when we were doing some of the choreography, and then we kind of update it more get closer to kind of modern day hip hop, but we were trying to feel like this is a dance and as two wonderful dance partners,” Tucker said. “The idea is that the stronger my character is, the better and stronger she looks because that’s a stronger adversary. The conversation is: how much stronger can we make my character look so that she ultimately comes across as the real true physical heroine?”
And fun fact: Tucker’s character doesn’t speak in the movie. And that was actually his choice.
“I wanted to kind of be a mystery and I cut all the dialogue for the character, because I really thought that’d be a lot of fun,” Tucker said. “So I don’t say anything until the very end. I think it’s a lot more fun for people to be like, ‘Who is this dude, just like showing up over and over and over again?’ It’s funny. It’s also kind of annoying. It’s also really threatening. And we don’t know much about him.”
There's a Mystery to Be Solved
While most of the film’s plot revolves around the Angels helping Scott’s character, there is a larger mystery playing in the background that hits a little closer to home for the Angels, especially at the end of the movie.
“Who is Charlie?” Handelman teased. “If we’re playing the story straight, meaning the company was born in the ‘70s, and it’s 2018, you might ask yourself, who is Charlie? How old would Charlie be today? Who’s really running this? And that’s a question that comes up over the course of the film.”
You’ve Never Seen KStew Like This
Get ready to see the former Twilight star in a whole new light. Most of the film’s comedy comes from Stewart, who plays a character described as “extremely fun, happy, high-energy and just extremely dynamic.”
“I’m literally like a puppy,” Stewart said with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘Please, please, please! Don’t you wanna be friends, don’t you wanna be friends? Can we be friends?’ We’re all totally flawed, and then, yeah, kind of complete one another.”
As for the other Angel, Balinska’s action-oriented Jane comes from MI6. “She’s very disciplined,” Handelman said. “She worked in a tightly-controlled work environment of like a formal government agency, and so her character journey is trying to let go of control and trust the team more which is in contrast to the Kristen/Sabina character [who is] wildly gorgeous [and] just does her thing and isn’t concerned about the rules.”
About Those Other Two…
There are two other big name actors in Charlie’s Angels we haven’t mentioned yet: Sam Claflin and Noah Centineo. Not much is known about their characters yet, but we do have some basic information after talking with them on set.
Claflin, who is reuniting with Banks after their time in the Hunger Games franchise together, is playing Alexander Brock, described as a Silicon Valley-type of guy – but the actor actually had no idea what that meant before joining the film.
“I have a very small knowledge of male or female people within the industry that my character is based, in this sort of tech, Silicon Valley-esque kind of world,” Claflin said with a laugh. “Like it’s so far beyond my reach. It was quite a bit of research that me and Elizabeth were both jokingly like, ‘Oh maybe he’s a bit more like Elon Musk, or maybe he’s a bit more like … ’ so it was quite fulfilling learning about that world.”
So what exactly did Claflin and Banks land on for Brock?
“He’s a child that never grew up,” Claflin said. “He’s a gamer, lives in his own head and just managed to invent this tech that has made him what he is. He’s kind of spoiled in many respects. You get the impression after a few things that he says that he didn’t have the best upbringing. But he’s a very, very intelligent and knowledgeable man.”
Brock’s the hotshot boss of the company Elena works for and is trying to bring to justice when she discovers the new tech, Calisto, can actually do more harm than good in the wrong hands. But according to Claflin, Brock has no idea just how dangerous it is.
“He’s an innocent party within this,” Claflin said. “He’s not sure of exactly what’s going on, which is why the Angels are here. Despite being a very, very intelligent man, he’s very, very stupid.”
As for Centineo, the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before star plays Elena’s BFF Langdon who works with her in software development for Calisto.
“Langdon’s cool, man, he’s top of his class, he worked very hard to get where he is,” Centineo said. “He’s dedicated, he’s part of the intelligentsia, no doubt. But he’s also goofy, he’s ridiculous. He has this sensitive quirkiness about him.”
Langdon and Elena’s relationship is brother-sister, according to Centineo.
“He looks up to her,” he said. “They share a sense of humor and spend a lot of their nights off together. They get into some pretty tough and tricky situations and both have to find their way out of it. He gets dragged into it actually. It is an action film, and Langdon gets caught up in it a little bit.”
Charlie’s Angels hits theaters November 15th.
Click on BTS photo for larger view.
Some quotes might be duplicated. Interviews and details were over several pages at Popsugar.
It's been over 40 years since we were first introduced to the Townsend Agency, and in 2019, that private detective organization has taken on a whole new look. Charlie's Angels may be the latest installment in a long line of TV shows and movies in a well-known franchise, but it definitely stands out among its predecessors. In November 2018, POPSUGAR got to visit the Berlin set for the film and learn all about the ins and outs that make this movie so different from the rest.
First things first: don't call it a reboot. While speaking with producer Max Handelman, he made a point to emphasize that the film is a continuation of the franchise, rather than an attempt to discard all continuity in the established series. You can also expect the new film to take into consideration how different 2019 is from 1976.
"America was a different place than it is in 2018, and women weren't in places in the '70s that they are 40 years later. So this movie is not a reboot . . . in fact, it's very much honoring the original legacy of the Charles Townsend Agency and what that all means," he said. "[Elizabeth Banks]'s take on [the franchise] is that the Agency has become a global intelligence, security, and espionage agency. There's no longer just three Charlie's Angels. There are teams of Angels stationed all over the world, and they can travel anywhere they want and can be anywhere they need to be."
In previous iterations, audiences are made aware that other Angels exist but that they always came before the current trio rather than them working together (see: 2003's Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle with Demi Moore playing a fallen Angel). Branching out is a natural step for the agency when you consider how the Angels' missions take them all over the globe — why wouldn't they go bigger?
This also comes into play with the role of Bosley, who has been transformed from a single liaison between the Angels and their spy agency to being a rank in the organization with multiple people using the name, like lieutenants. One such Bosley is played by director/cowriter/producer Elizabeth Banks.
"I really felt like I could make a global movie about women working together that could be really entertaining and cool."
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When we spoke with Banks about her modern iteration of the Angels, she revealed that her decision to tackle the relaunch comes from a personal enjoyment of the franchise. "I've always loved Charlie's Angels — I loved the TV show and I loved the films," she said. "I wanted to tell a female-fronted story, and I felt like it's a brand name that is meaningful to women and girls, but also highly entertaining to all audiences. I really felt like I could make a global movie about women working together that could be really entertaining and cool. I wanted to cast a movie with really fresh faces, and I wanted a global audience to feel like they could see themselves in the film."
Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska and Elizabeth Banks star in Charlie's Angels.
Those fresh faces are new to the genre, though one is arguably way more familiar than the other two. As Handelman explained to us, we start off the film with two Angels: the wild Sabina Wilson, played by an unexpectedly high-energy Kristen Stewart, and former spy Jane Kano, played by big-screen newcomer Ella Balinska. The two are fierce ass-kickers who are assigned to the case when a young systems engineer named Elena Houghlin (Aladdin's Naomi Scott) discovers some dirty business with new technology made by her company. When she attempts to report the problem through the proper channels — which include her boss, played by Hunger Games alum Sam Claflin — she's basically ignored.
"She's not being taken seriously, and so she ultimately goes to the Townsend Agency for their aid in helping air this discovery she's made. And that's where it starts the movie," Handelman explained.
Elena's introduction to the Angels leads to her own journey of empowerment and the decision to take more control over her narrative. Her arc from client to Angel — which involves working with the elite team to keep her technology from getting into the wrong hands — is a big part of the film's central focus of women coming together and uplifting one another to become the best versions of themselves. You could argue that every iteration of Charlie's Angels has a similar goal, but there's a decidedly modern element to the 2019 film.
"I wanted to make a movie where women could just be in a room and get stuff done."
"I think what's so exciting is that each film, when it was made, is what it was for its time. That is what is so exciting about being able to bring it into the 21st century — this is the film for now," Balinska answered when asked about modernizing the Angels. "It's one thing being a strong, empowered woman . . . but then the other thing is being able to broadcast that and for people to watch it and be like, 'There is an amazing representation of what it means to be a badass girl.'"
"We have this whole network of women working together and supporting each other, sort of in the name of quote-unquote 'good,' which is just treating people well and being positive and self-affirming, rather than having three superhuman women that are sexy and perfect," Stewart said, explaining how their Angels differ from others. "It's like, 'It's hard to do what we're doing and we're only able to do it together.' When was the last time you saw a movie where a group of women were sitting together and figuring out how to overcome something, how to formulate a plan and be proactive about it?"
That wasn't an unfamiliar sentiment on the Charlie's Angels set; in fact, Banks revealed that the very basis of the film revolves around that idea.
"It's really about how women work together. When I looked around, I tried to find a scene or a sequence in a movie where a bunch of women sit around a table and talk about how they're going to accomplish something. And I found it incredibly difficult to find a film with one," she explained. "I guarantee most of them are in rom-coms, or the women work for a magazine, and there's always a man in the room to help them because god forbid women figure out how to work in the world all by their lonesome. I wanted to make a movie where women could just be in a room and get stuff done."
Considering that even the previous Charlie's Angels movies featured Bill Murray in the role of the bumbling yet still serviceable Bosley (with the late Bernie Mac stepping in as his brother in the second film), Banks isn't wrong. It's obvious that this continuation of the franchise is more than ready to put the "girl" back in "girl power" with a fierceness.
While most of the elements of the original Charlie's Angels formula are still present — three highly trained and intelligent women kicking a lot of ass — director Elizabeth Banks made sure to update some things. First and foremost is the fact that it's a whole new world for the character previously known as Bosley. While previous squads of Angels have been trained and mentored by men who go by the name John Bosley, the surname has now been transformed into a position at the Townsend Agency where the Angels work. Now, anyone can be a Bosley — including the Angels themselves.
"There are multiple Bosleys who oversee different territories or headquarters," producer Max Handelman explained while POPSUGAR was on set. "So you're having Bosleys kind of also moving around the world with their own teams." Who will be playing Bosley? Banks is pulling double duty being both behind and in front of the camera, as she's serving as the main Bosley the Angels — played by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska — come in contact with. But she isn't the only Bosley around. In fact, she's one of three. Find out who else will hold the Bosley title ahead!
Noah Centineo and his character
Every day that passes without the premiere of the To All the Boys I've Loved Before sequel is another day I spend softly weeping into my pillow, but luckily, there's some good news for all the Lara Jean and Peter shippers out there: Noah Centineo, who plays Peter, is starring in the new Charlie's Angels film! So in other words, while we might not be seeing him sweeping LJ (Lana Condor) off her feet anytime soon, at least we can all take solace in the fact that we'll see at least one-half of the duo on the big screen come this Fall.
Now that the trailer for the action-packed reboot (though it isn't technically a reboot, but more of a continuation) has debuted, Centineo's fans likely have only one question on their minds: who the heck is he playing? Luckily, POPSUGAR had the chance to go behind the scenes of Elizabeth Banks's take on the iconic franchise in Berlin last year, where Centineo was on set and happy to divulge a few things about his character, Langston.
According to the actor, Langston is a "cool" goof who works with tech guru Elena (Aladdin's Naomi Scott) and ends up getting tangled with the Angels when she goes to them for help.
"He's got a goofy element to him, but he's pretty well-rounded, though," he explained. "He's not goofy when you should be serious. He won't just crack a joke when it shouldn't be there. But he's also not afraid to make fun of certain normal structures. If they're in a business meeting, and Elena messes up, he'll crack jokes at her under the table. But he would never do it to his boss. So he's the right amount of serious, the right amount of goofy. He's the right amount dedicated to his craft."
Although Langston has a clear bond with Elena, don't expect sparks to fly between them when the film hits theaters on Nov. 15. "He works in software development with Elena, and he looks up to her, but she's also very much so his sister in this dynamic," he said. "They share a sense of humor and spend a lot of their nights off together, but it's a platonic relationship."
If anything, it seems Langston ends up flirting with gun-wielding Angel Jane (Ella Balinska) in the trailer, so we're excited to see where that leads.
The Story Centers on an "Undeniably Human Emotional Experience"
"[The Angels] have a lot of scenes that are not together, and I think the whole movie, you're really craving for these people to find each other again, because it's fun to watch friends like each other," she continued. "And it's really a moving, sort of undeniably human emotional experience, to watch three people struggling separately, but then all of a sudden, we come together with like minds and we can change the world."
Bosley Gets a Makeover
Townsend Agency isn't the only thing getting a major upgrade: it's a whole new world of opportunities for a Bosley. While previous squads of Angels have been cared for by John Bosley (or his family), the surname has become a position at the agency, and anyone can be a Bosley — including Angels themselves.
"There are multiple Bosleys who oversee different territories or headquarters," producer Max Handelman explained. "So you're having Bosleys kind of also moving around the world with their own teams. And Elizabeth's character is the first Angel that became a Bosley. So, without being super on the nose and not being heavy handed about it, that's a way to talk about women's equality through the workplace. Once you're done being an Angel, you're not just done." (This could have prevented a lot of issues in 2003's Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, where Demi Moore played a fallen Angel gone really rogue. Sorry, girl!)
Banks isn't the only Bosley around, of course. She's one of three, with the rest of the trio played by Patrick Stewart and Djimon Hounsou. According to Handelman, Stewart's Bosley is "kind of the patriarch of the organization," who worked alongside Charlie to build the agency. He didn't elaborate on Stewart's role, but we can't help but wonder if that means we'll be meeting the original Bosley.
This Isn't a Reboot — It's a Continuation of the Franchise
In the days of reboots and remakes, it's pretty easy to label the film as one or the other. However, everyone on set was very adamant that the film wasn't trying to retcon any of the previous works in the franchise at all. In fact, the desire to modernize the agency came from Elizabeth Banks's personal enjoyment of the franchise.
"I've always loved Charlie's Angels — I loved the TV show and I loved the films," she said. "I wanted to tell a female-fronted story, and I felt like it's a brand name that is meaningful to women and girls, but also highly entertaining to all audiences. I really felt like I could make a global movie about women working together that could be really entertaining and cool. I wanted to cast a movie with really fresh faces, and I wanted a global audience to feel like they could see themselves in the film."
Obviously, the film stands a bit apart from its predecessors in that it's more advanced in terms of technology and organization. But Max Handelman emphasized that the cast and crew strove to "honor the original legacy of Charles Townsend Agency and what that all means" with the project, while still taking into account how things would have to change with time.
We'll Be Seeing the Birth of an Angel in Action
This time around, audiences will be able to watch as an Angel gets her wings. (Sorry, I had to.) Aladdin star Naomi Scott plays Elena, the young engineer who finds herself entangled with the Angels and has a whole new world opened to her. (I'm not sorry about that one.)
"The idea that anyone can be an Angel is kind of cool," Scott shared when asked about her character's journey during the film. "I'm someone that hasn't really come into my own yet, but I'm just all about justice. I'm kind of a whistle-blower in my company and just constantly being shut down. [When I get] pulled into this whirlwind that is the Angels, I just grow in confidence. I see them and I'm like, 'They're amazing. I could never do that.' But actually, I can. I have it within me."
If You Thought Creepy Thin Man Was Wild, Wait Until You Meet Hoda
We've only gotten a glimpse of Jonathan Tucker's character in the trailer, but from what I learned on set, he's definitely going to wig you out. The Westworld actor had a lot of fun with the character, sharing that he and Elizabeth Banks collaborated heavily on his appearance and action on set. If fact, Tucker made the call to have Hoda's dialogue entirely cut.
"I'm very interested in leaning back as far as I can, so that the audience will kind of lean in, because I want him to be a mystery," the actor shared. "Banks and I cut all of the dialogue for the character because we both thought that would be a lot of fun. So I don't say anything until the very end."
A character who is completely silent for the majority of the film, covered in tattoos from head to (we assume) toe, while also being impeccably dressed? Sign us up for this mystery!
Tucker went on to explain that he felt that the mystery of it all would be fun for the audience and leave them guessing throughout the film. "My dream as an actor for this is that when the credits roll, people are like, 'Who was that, what was that story?'"
Working With Elizabeth Banks Is a Highlight For, Well, Everyone
If there is one thing everyone on the set could agree on, it was how much they enjoyed working with Elizabeth Banks, who continued to wear multiple hats during production. Naomi Scott noted that Banks's work as an actress helped with her directing because "there's a certain shorthand that we have, and she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it out of us."
Kristen Stewart added that Banks's work on the script "made it live" and that each Angel "become so individualized" after she began working on it. "She's really allowed each person to stand up within it. And it makes you not just like the girls and have it be entertaining, but it found its purpose once Liz actually came onto the project," she said.
Sam Claflin, who worked with Banks on The Hunger Games, shared the same sentiment. "When the part was initially offered, she got on the phone with me and was just talking me through the fun we could have, and so I had a few ideas. It was, 'Oh, we can go this way with him, and go that way,' and she's such a collaborator, which I think comes from the acting experience that she has, I think she knows how to work with actors."
He went on to add that seeing "an actor's director" at work was really fun, regardless of how short his time on set was. "She's just maintained a very calm, cool, collected kind of atmosphere and made it very, very easy to work."
Jonathan Tucker wholeheartedly agreed, calling Banks "such a boss," citing her ability to control the set and gain people's respect. "It's a whole other part of the business; how well you control a set, how you deal with momentum and flow of scenes, keeping a day on time and budget and making sure that people's expert opinions — which are great — are sometimes overruled, and it's just cool to watch [her]," he noted.
These Definitely Aren't Your Grandmother's Angels
It stands to reason that a notable part of the Charlie's Angels franchise is its reputation as "Jiggle TV" and its objectification of women for the male gaze. No one on set was denying that aspect of previous iterations, but they definitely weren't interested in applying that element to the new film.
Banks recalled someone telling her that the film "is really sexy, but it's not sexual," which is a sentiment she's content with. "The women are very comfortable with themselves, with their bodies, and they're comfortable in their clothes," she explained. "My main conversation about costuming was that I want the women to feel really comfortable and confident when they come to set. But they also had to move, so you're going to see a lot of [limbs], but it's all out of necessity, not because it's sexual."
"The women have to be able to use their bodies because they're kicking butt, and that's the way we approached costuming," she added. "We didn't approach it wondering what is going to make people look at them."
You're Probably Going to Fall in Love With Langston
You didn't think Netflix's rom-com lead of choice, Noah Centineo, could play someone who isn't automatically the dork of our dreams, did you? According to the actor, Langston is a "cool" goof who works with Elena and ends up getting tangled with the Angels when she goes to them for help.
"He's got a goofy element to him, but he's pretty well-rounded, though," he explained. "He's not goofy when you should be serious. He won't just crack a joke when it shouldn't be there. But he's also not afraid to make fun of certain normal structures. If they're in a business meeting, and Elena messes up, he'll crack jokes at her under the table. But he would never do it to his boss. So he's the right amount of serious, the right amount of goofy. He's the right amount dedicated to his craft."
Sounds like a regular dreamboat, doesn't he? But Centineo swore that Langston's relationship with Elena definitely isn't romantic.
"He works in software development with Elena, and he looks up to her, but she's also very much so his sister in this dynamic," he said. "They share a sense of humor and spend a lot of their nights off together, but it's a platonic relationship."
That doesn't mean there isn't any romance on the horizon for Langston. He seems to get quite close to a certain gun-wielding Angel in the trailer . . .
You Won't Know What to Do With Sam Claflin's Character
Though he doesn't make an appearance in the trailer, Sam Claflin's character plays a key role in the film as the boss of Naomi Scott's Elena. According to the actor, there was a bit of waffling on how he would take on Alexander Brok.
"Well, I have a very small knowledge of the people within the industry that my character is sort of based in," Claflin admitted. "It's so far beyond my reach. There was quite a bit of resets that me and Elizabeth jokingly were like, 'Oh, maybe he's a bit more like Elon Musk. Or no, maybe he's a bit more like this.'" Eventually, they figured out that Alexander is "kind of a child that never grew up."
Claflin shared that his character is quite intelligent and knowledgeable, but he also revealed that "he's very, very stupid." Sounds like a fun time! While Elena is striving to keep their tech from those who would use it for the wrong purpose, Alexander is a little too used to getting his way to be much help. But that doesn't necessarily mean he's a bad guy in the film.
"I don't think he's a villain," the actor said. "Well, I've played villainous people before, and I always say I don't believe they're a villain, I just feel like they're misunderstood. But no, I think he's a man with a plan, and in his mind, 'in order to bake a cake, you have to break a few eggs.' So I think he's a businessman, first and foremost, and I think that there's a reason that he's a billionaire. I think he sort of uses people, but I wouldn't say he's a villain. But it's up to you to make your own minds up, really."
Kristen Stewart Is Like You've Never Seen Her Before
One of the most exciting things for fans is the chance to see Kristen Stewart in a new element. Lighthearted roles are a rarity with the actress, but Sabina Wilson is definitely showing a new side to Stewart that even delighted her costars.
"The word I like to use for Kristen is 'game.' She was just game for anything. She came to set every day so up for it, so excited, and it really pays off in the movie," Elizabeth Banks revealed. "She lands as many jokes in the movie as any comedic actor working today. Anyone who has seen the movie walked away very impressed by how delightfully fun Kristen is in the film. And frankly, it's why I cast her. I knew I could surprise audiences with Kristen, and I feel confident that we will."
Noah Centineo added that seeing the actress at work inspired him, saying: "She just has so much depth and quite a spectrum that she can play. She takes it so seriously, and she really gives a sh*t, not just about this craft, but about the world and about the people in it."
Elizabeth Banks Didn't Want the Angels to "Apologize For Being Good in Action"
One thing Elizabeth Banks was firm about was the desire to present the Angels in all of their badassery without a need to explain themselves. "I feel like there's always been a sense that women have to apologize for being good in action movies or justify why they can run and carry a gun," the director revealed. "But in this movie, we don't apologize for anything and we don't explain why or how we're capable — we just are capable. We just get on with the job."
Max Handelman elaborated on the notion by explaining that there was no desire to feature the "obligatory training montage" in which the women would prove how badass they are to the audience.
"[The Angels] just are, in the same way you never see Ethan Hunt train to become Ethan Hunt. He just is," he said. "We meet him climbing a rock or skyscraper. So when you meet Kristen Stewart in this movie and when you meet Ella Balinska as Jane, they are just trained, badass women who don't have to prove to you why they are the way they are. They just are talented women."
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Thursday, June 27, 2019
When Elizabeth Banks set out to make a Charlie’s Angels movie for the modern era, she wanted a lead actress with a unique blend of talent, notoriety and individuality who could help carry the iconic property in a new direction.
Banks, who directed, produced and wrote the film’s screenplay, in addition to playing an important supporting character, says she found all of that in star Kristen Stewart.
“She’s a world-famous beauty, a style icon, but I think what she’s most known for is living authentically. Just being herself all the time,” says Banks. “I felt that I could surprise audiences with a Kristen performance. And I think that people will be delighted by just how much fun she’s having in this movie.”
The Pitch Perfect 2 director also praises Stewart’s willingness to experiment, try new things and to lead by example.
“She came to set super game, so excited,” she says. “[Kristen] is a great leader, took the responsibility of being number one on the call sheet seriously, took the other ladies under her wings, showed the way. She did all the training, worked super hard and was a total pro and leader the entire time. I couldn’t ask for better partner to make the movie with than Kristen.”
This new Charlie’s Angels revolves around three highly-intelligent and highly-skilled women (played by Stewart, Aladdin‘s Naomi Scott, and British newcomer Ella Balinska) who fight and solve crimes for an international security and investigative agency backed by the mysterious Charles Townsend.
“When the show came out in the seventies, Charlie’s Angels was an instant hit because of it’s blend of beauties with brains, kicking butt, in a job that few women had ever done before, which was detective work,” Banks explains of the mass appeal of the original ’70s TV show. “We’re taking that tradition and updating it for today. Putting women to work together to solve crimes, take down international baddies, and it has a lot of themes that I think represent some people’s anxieties about the moment we’re living in right now.”
Banks has high praise for all three of her leading ladies.
“I’m a huge fan of all three women I cast,” she says. “Naomi Scott, I’d worked with in Power Rangers. She plays Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin and I think you saw in that movie what I love about her, which is that she has a big, huge, open heart. She’s very relatable. And Ella Balinska is, I think she’s a unicorn,” the Brightburn star admits with a laugh. “Ella is someone who just has incredible physicality. She’s six feet tall in her bare feet and exudes elegance, charm, grace. Everything you want out of someone.”
Banks is also excited about the uniqueness of the film, an action movie starring three women, that doesn’t involve super heroics.
“I wanted to celebrate the everyday woman who is out there fighting for herself,” she says. “We kept it really grounded. The women do a lot of their own stunts. And they fight, not just with their bodies, but with their wits and their resilience and their grit. And that is something that these women are showing off in spades in this film.”
Not to mention some very beautiful-but-functional clothing and cool-but-practical gadgets.
“Everything came from a real sense of practicality. They wear clothes that help them in action set pieces,” says Banks. “It was important to me when designing gadgets that they felt like things that everyday women would actually use, so the lipstick taser that’s in the purse. But we also give props to a good set of fingernails and some brass knuckles. What are every day objects that these women can just pick up and turn into something dangerous.
“It’s spyware, but make it fashion,” she adds with a smile.
Charlie’s Angels hits theaters November 15.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
In director-writer-producer Elizabeth Banks' upcoming continuation of the Charlie's Angels franchise, the titular trio is Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, and in this sneak peek at the trailer, Sabina and Jane (Stewart and Balinska, respectively) put their wigs and weapons to work for a top-secret mission, before recruiting Elena (Scott) to the team. Banks pops up as a new take on Bosley.
"I'm really excited for the world to meet the new Angels," Banks told ET's Lauren Zima during a visit to the Istanbul set. "We built this project on the shoulders of the amazing legacy of Charlie's Angels, the TV show [and] the movies in the 2000s. We wanted to honor the original incarnations over the years and, like all great feminists, stand on the shoulders of what came before us."
"Admittedly, I've never seen the TV show. I loved the movies growing up," Stewart added. "This one, really, it lives in the same world. All of the previous Angels laid the foundation for us to exist."
Noah Centineo and Patrick Stewart co-star in the action-packed, globe-trotting spy flick, with the three stars doing much of their own stunt work. "We're proud of our bruises," Stewart said, though her bond with Balinska and Scott also left an impact: "I've never laughed more. I feel like my face hurts at the end of every day. I'm like a pig in sh*t."
The full trailer premieres on Thursday at 6:00 a.m. PT. In more exciting Charlie's Angels news, ET's Ash Crossan recently sat down with Banks and asked her whether she'll follow in the footsteps of the 2000 film with a Destiny's Child-esque theme song a la "Independent Women."
"I've got some stuff up my sleeve!" Banks played coy.
Now, we know the trio of ladies behind the track: Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus, who teased their involvement on social media on Wednesday. This trailer sticks with Janelle Monáe, so we have to wait a little longer to hear that collaboration.
Charlie's Angels is in theaters on Nov. 15.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Sunday, June 16, 2019
Thursday, June 13, 2019
In this episode of the 3.55 'CHANEL in Seoul' podcast, Kristen Stewart, actress, director and CHANEL's ambassadress evokes her memories with Karl Lagerfeld and shares her feelings about the Paris-New York 2018/19 Métiers d'art show in Seoul.
Kristen discusses her creative expression as an actress and director, elaborates on the inspiration of various cities, including Seoul, Paris and New York, and the reasons why making art is so important.
Monday, June 10, 2019
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Monday, June 3, 2019
Saturday, June 1, 2019
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The issue consists of a Karl Lagerfeld tribute where friends and muses are interviewed about their experiences with him.