Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Mackenzie Davis talks 'Happiest Season' and Kristen with The Independent


Though it’s seemed a charmed run, Davis says she’s often fought a lack of confidence. Therapy has helped. “It’s made things a lot less vague for me. I don’t so much try to control those feelings of anxiety or upset but understand them.” Kristen Stewart helped, too. On the set of Happiest Season, their forthcoming lesbian romcom, Davis was convinced everyone would realise she was bad at acting. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know how to do this and everyone is finally going to see it on this one,’” she jokes. Stewart, however, was “soothing” for her. “She’s been doing this forever and is, you know, somebody that seems very stable and secure in their enormous success but also gets the same feelings I get every day. Being an actor is not hard at all, but the emotional awkwardness of slipping into a role can feel excruciating.”

Working on Happiest Season right before coronavirus shut down the entertainment industry has also made her re-evaluate many of her past career goals. “I used to really like the challenge of switching between genres and being conscious of not wanting to be one single thing,” she explains. “Tonal shifts really appealed to me. But I think that’s kind of gone away a bit. Happiest Season was just two months of uninterrupted joy, and I realised I really like going to set every day and laughing.”


Friday, June 26, 2020

NEON picks up 'Spencer' for distribution in the US

NEON has teamed with Topic Studios to win a pitched bidding battle and will pay north of $4 million for U.S. rights to Spencer, with Pablo Larraín is set to direct and Kristen Stewart to play Princess Diana. The drama has been one of the most hotly contested packages at the virtual Cannes Market.

The Steven Knight-scripted film covers a critical weekend in the early ‘90s, when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen. The drama takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. Production is expected to begin in early 2021.

Searchlight, Universal and A24 were the other distributors I heard were in the mix. Tom Quinn’s NEON is coming off the stunning Oscar triumph of Parasite, and has been aggressive in the marketplace, teaming with Hulu for a precedent setting Sundance deal on Palm Springs. This gives the distributor another strong picture for the future. NEON previously teamed with Topic Studios to acquire the Sundance 2019 pic Luce, the thriller directed by Julius Onah.

The U.S. deal was brokered by CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content, with FilmNation Entertainment handling offshore. This is the second major deal for those parties today, with Emancipation near closing. That deal is a world rights pact to either Apple or Warner Bros, but while they got a couple of worldwide offers for Spencer, the filmmakers decided to spread this one out and international buyers have been all over it. I expect deals to be closed in short order, something that points to vibrancy in the global market.

While some wondered if the Virtual Cannes market would be worthwhile, this deal and the one about to close on Emancipation would indicate there’s a lot of buyer appetite which should bode well for the other numerous titles in play.


First image of Kristen, the cast and director Clea Duvall for 'Happiest Season'


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Source Happiest Season

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Kristen directs a short film shot in isolation in Pablo Larrain's short film collection 'Homemade" for Netflix


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Kristen Stewart: Art that is born of restriction has a way of becoming itself in a surprising and cosmic sort of way and short films by nature don’t have to abide by any rules which really opens up the idea of what a movie can do. I was so grateful for and liberated by this idea. It was a huge gift to be encouraged to make something out of this strange nothingness. I hope this series inspires people to do the same.


“Jackie” filmmaker Pablo Larrain may be set to direct Kristen Stewart in Lady Diana film “Spencer,” but the pair will first collaborate in a new collection of short films for Netflix. (Watch the trailer above.)

Filmed during COVID-19 and across various states of global lockdown, “Homemade” unites 17 leading filmmakers in a compendium of short films — available to watch individually as five to seven-minute shorts or as one long feature — that captures the shared experience of quarantine. The project is helmed by Larrain, his brother and creative partner Juan de Dios Larrain under the pair’s Fabula banner, and Lorenzo Mieli, CEO of Fremantle-backed Italian outfit The Apartment, for which “Homemade” is its inaugural project.

“Personal Shopper” and “Charlie’s Angels” star Stewart marks her directorial follow-up to her 2017 short “Come Swim” with a short filmed in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Maggie Gyllenhaal contributes a film out of Vermont — the “Kindergarten Teacher” actor’s directorial debut ahead of her star-studded film “The Lost Daughter.”

Other directors include Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty”) out of Rome, Italy; Ladj Ly (“Les Misérables”) from Clichy Montfermeil, France; Rachel Morrison (“Black Panther”) from Los Angeles, U.S.; Naomi Kawase (“True Mothers”) from Nara, Japan; Nadine Labaki and Khaled Mouzanar (“Capernaum”) from Beirut, Lebanon; Gurdiner Chadha (“Blinded By the Light”) from London, U.K.; and Ana Lily Amirpour (“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”). (For a full list of directors, please see below.)

“For once in our careers, this wasn’t about money, agencies, lawyers or the Hollywood structure,” Juan de Dios Larrain tells Variety. “This was a simple idea of [conveying] one message in five to seven minutes, and the idea was to give that message without any pressure; it was totally open. We asked only for [each film’s] rating to be general, and not only for older audiences.”

Pablo Larrain notes that the underlying message around “Homemade” is about “adversity, and how we are all from different countries, cultures and circumstances, but for a very unique moment of humanity, we’re all sharing very similar circumstances in different contexts.”

Based out of Santiago, Chile, the “No” director notes that the experience of coronavirus continues to vary wildly across the globe. Chile saws its “very worst moment of the pandemic” on Monday, according to Larrain, while in Europe there is marked progress despite fears of a second spike. “We’re going through different situations, but there are many things we have in common. That was the heart of this and the challenge we faced.”

Directors were instructed to use only equipment found at home, with the focus ranging from a glimpse into their working lives — Pablo Larrain’s film, for example, focuses on a conversation via Zoom call — to more narrative meditations on an unprecedented moment in history.

Plot details for all films remain largely under wraps, but Gyllenhaal’s short — which appears to star her partner, actor Peter Sarsgaard — will “surprise the whole world,” promises Pablo Larrain. “All shorts have something [special] but Maggie’s is very particular.”

“Each director has done a completely different thing,” explains Teresa Moneo, director of original films for Netflix. “We have put them together thematically. Some were very clearly personal stories and some were more narrative or fantastical or funny. We tried to give them some kind of organization…so they’ve been arranged thematically.”

The executive admits it was a race against time to ensure the concept — conceived collectively in March by Mieli and the Larrain brothers and then presented to Netflix — was still timely upon release.

It was intense work, says Moneo. “Intense in that it was all happening live, in front of our eyes, so we all had to pivot and join forces very quickly to make sure we had this within a time where it made sense to go out,” she adds.

“It’s been a real alliance among all our groups within Netflix to make sure everything is subtitled, and all the potential technical glitches are out of the way.”

Pablo Larrain describes the experience of “Homemade” as a “very strange, beautiful, unique film festival” where different voices have convened to tell a story in a “planetary exercise.” Mieli further underlines that the project looks to “show a broad variety of things from all over the world, done in exactly the same conditions, at the same time.”

“Homemade” will debut on Netflix on June 30, and a donation in honor of each filmmaker will be made from Netflix’s Hardship Fund to third parties and non-profit groups providing emergency relief for out-of-work cast and crew.

• Ladj Ly (“Les Misérables”) – short filmed in Clichy Montfermeil (France)

• Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty,” “The New Pope”) – short filmed in Rome (Italy)

• Rachel Morrison (“Black Panther,” “Mudbound”) – short filmed in Los Angeles (U.S.)

• Pablo Larraín (“El Club,” “Jackie”) – short filmed in Santiago (Chile)

• Rungano Nyoni (“Kuuntele: I am not a witch”) – short filmed in Lisbon (Portugal)

• Natalia Beristáin (“She does not want to sleep alone”) – short filmed in Mexico City (Mexico)

• Sebastian Schipper (“Victoria,” “Roads”) – short filmed in Berlin (Germany)

• Naomi Kawase (“True Mothers,” “Sweet Bean”) – short filmed in Nara (Japan)

• David Mackenzie (“Hell or High Water,” “Outlaw King”) – short filmed in Glasgow (Scotland)

• Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Kindergarten Teacher,” “The Honourable Woman”) – short filmed in Vermont (U.S.)

• Nadine Labaki & Khaled Mouzanar (“Caramel,” “Capernaum”) – short filmed in Beirut (Lebanon)

• Antonio Campos (“The Devil All The Time”) – short filmed in Springs, New York City (U.S.)

• Johnny Ma (“Old Stone,” “To live to sing”) – short filmed in San Sebastian del Oeste, Jalisco (Mexico)

• Kristen Stewart (“Clouds of Sils Maria,” “Come Swim”) – short filmed in Los Angeles (U.S.)

• Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham,” “Blinded by the Light”) – short filmed in London (U.K.)

• Sebastián Lelio (“Gloria Bell,” “A Fantastic Woman”) – short filmed in Santiago (Chile)

• Ana Lily Amirpour (“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” “The Bad Batch”) – short filmed in Los Angeles (U.S.)

Source 1 2 3

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

NEW PROJECT: Kristen to star as Princess Diana in 'Spencer'

Pablo Larraín is set to direct and Kristen Stewart to play Princess Diana in Spencer, a drama that shapes up to be a hot package for the virtual Cannes Market. The Steven Knight-scripted film covers a critical weekend in the early ‘90s, when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen. The drama takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. Production is expected to begin in early 2021.

The package will be unveiled to buyers at the virtual Cannes Market by CAA Media Finance and FilmNation Entertainment. CAA Media Finance arranged the financing and will make the U.S. distribution deal with Endeavor Content, while FilmNation Entertainment represents international rights.

The film will be produced by Larraín, director of films that include Jackie and Neruda, along with Fabula partner Juan de Dios, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski and Paul Webster. Knight’s script work includes Eastern Promises, Peaky Blinders, Locke and The Hundred-Foot Journey.

While growing up in Chile didn’t make Larraín as obsessed as many were in Diana and Charles’ storybook wedding, or the endless coverage as their high-profile union was frayed by the pressures of fame and the crown. But he grew up reading fairy tales literature, and sees this as the antithesis of that trope.

“We all grew up, at least I did in my generation, reading and understanding what a fairy tale is,” Larraín told Deadline. “Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen. That is the fairy tale. When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, I’d rather go and be myself, it’s a big big decision, a fairy tale upside down. I’ve always been very surprised by that and thought it must have been very hard to do. That is the heart of the movie.

“How and why do you decide to do that? It’s a great universal story that can reach millions and millions of people, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make a movie that goes wide, connects with a worldwide audience that is interested in such a fascinating life.”

Stewart is an intriguing choice to play Diana. She got a taste of that fishbowl life borne of fame when she starred in the blockbuster Twilight Saga films, with press hounding her every move at a very young age. She eschewed that persona, and has refashioned herself as one of the most interesting and unpredictable actresses working mostly in independent films. Now she’ll play one of the most famous women in the world at her moment of great moment existential crisis.

“Kristen is one of the great actors around today,” Larraín said. “To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery. Kristen can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile an ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her. The way she responded to the script and how she is approaching the character, it’s very beautiful to see. I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time. She is this force of nature.

“I’ve seen movies from Kristen that are so diverse it’s incredible, showing different layers and her diversity and strength as an actress,” he said. “We’re very happy to have her, she’s very committed. As a filmmaker, when you have someone who can hold such a weight, dramatic and narrative weight just with her eyes, then you have the strong lead who can deliver what we are looking for.”

The film won’t deal with Diana’s tragic death after she left that palace life, but will examine the fraying of the relationship with her husband, and her ferocious love for her sons Prince William and Prince Harry. Latter married actress Meghan Markle and made a decision similar to the one made by his mother while he was just a child.

“I’ve always been intrigued and fascinated by the Royal Family and how things are in that culture, which we don’t have where I come from,” Larraín said. “Diana is such a powerful icon, where millions and millions of people, not just women, but many people around the world felt empathy toward her in her life. We decided to get into a story about identity, and around how a woman decides somehow, not to be the queen. She’s a woman who, in the journey of the movie, decides and realizes that she wants to be the woman she was before she met Charles.

“It’s about finding herself, about understanding that possibly the most important thing for her is to be well, and to be with herself and by herself,” Larraín explained. “That’s why the movie is called Spencer, which is the family name she had before she met Charles. It’s very contained, set over a few days in Sandringham. They spent Christmas there for many years and that’s where we set the movie in the early ‘90s, around 1992, we’re not specific. It’s Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day, three days, very contained. We get to understand what it is she wants and what she will do.

“It’s a very energetic and beautiful script by Steven Knight, whose work I have admired for years. It’s incredible and captures what I have always found and that is an enormous amount of beauty in the power of Diana. When she had the stage of the world and what she had to say in her own story and how strong she could be when she needed to transform herself into something different, to find her own path. It’s a romantic story of a woman going through difficult times who finds the light and the solution.

“She died years after where our story is set and so we don’t deal with that,” Larraín said. “It’s only three days of her life and in that very small amount of time, you’re able to get into a wider, bigger perspective of who she was. We all know her fate, what happened to her, and we don’t need to go there. We’ll stay in this more intimate space where she could express where she wants to go and who she wants to be.

“The key is how she discovers during the process of the movie that what she really needs to do is be who she wants to be,” he said. “And by that, it doesn’t mean she needs to be next to anyone, to be part of anything, but herself and her own children. Diana was many things, but chief among them, she was a great mother. This is the story of a woman who understands the most important thing for a woman in her life is her own children.

“We believe that this is a movie that could create interest around the planet,” Larraín said. “This is a beloved, iconic women and we have everything in front of us to do a beautiful movie and we are working very hard to get it made.”

Stewart is repped by WME and McKuin Frankel; Larraín by CAA and Management 360.


Thursday, June 4, 2020

Kristen and her friends march in the Black Lives Matter protest in LA - 2 June 2020

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Tips on how to help fight racism and support the Black Lives Matter movement - from signing petitions, donating to organisations, protestors and victims and educating yourself: CLICK HERE.

Source: CJ

Kristen included in The Hollywood Reporter's 50 Most Powerful LGBTQ Players in Hollywood

LGBTQ representation in Hollywood is at an all-time high. Thanks to the showrunners driving authentic stories, filmmakers bucking decades-old heteronormative paradigms, actors emboldened to live more honestly and platforms bankrolling so much of it, being gay, queer, transgender or any other other has never been more widely embraced in the entertainment industry.

For its inaugural Pride issue, The Hollywood Reporter homed in on the talent and makers helping boost visibility and creating opportunities for members of the extended LGBTQ community. These 50-plus power players, from Laverne Cox to the cast of Queer Eye, each make a unique contribution — and share here where they first felt seen by Hollywood and what work still needs to be done to achieve equitable representation.


In her post-Twilight career, Stewart successfully splits her time between studio fare and festival selections. In 2019, the bisexual actor could be seen as French New Wave icon Jean Seberg in Venice premiere title Seberg, as a secret agent in Sony's Charlie's Angels reboot and on a particularly gay episode of SNL. Up next, Stewart stars alongside Mackenzie Davis in the same-sex rom-com Happiest Season from Clea DuVall.


Video: Mackenzie Davis talks 'Happiest Season' with ET Canada