Nickelback signs to BMG Music

January 25, 2017

Nickelback
Nickelback (Photo by Richard Beland)

Canadian rock band Nickelback has signed a worldwide deal with BMG. The band was previously signed to Universal Music Group’s Republic Records, and spent several years prior to that with Roadrunner Records, which released Nickelback’s first seven albums.  The band—consisting of lead singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger, guitarist Ryan Peake bass player Mike Kroeger and drummer Daniel Adair—is working on its next full-length album.

Since forming in Alberta, Canada, in 1995, Nickelback has sold 50 million units worldwide, according to BMG. Nickelback’s biggest hit song is 2001’s “How You Remind Me,” which was No. 1 in several countries, including the United States. Some of Nickelback’s other big hits include 2003’s “Someday” and 2005’s “Photograph.

2017 Academy Awards: ‘La La Land’ leads with record 14 nominations

January 24, 2017

by Carla Hay

Oscars-logo-white

With a record 14 nominations (including Best Picture), the contemporary musical “La La Land” is the  leading contender at the 89th Annual Academy Awards, which will be presented at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017.  Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the ceremony, which be telecast in the U.S. on ABC.  “La La Land” ties the record previously held by 1950’s “All About Eve” and 1997’s “Titanic,” which each had 14 Oscar nominations.

Other movies that received several nominations for the 89th Annual Academy Awards included “Moonlight” and “Arrival” (eight nominations each); “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea” (six nominations each); and “Fences” and “Hell or High Water” (four nominations each).

The nominations also set a record for the most nominations for African-Americans and other people of color. For the first time in Academy Awards history, people of color were nominated in all of the major categories in the same year: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. The ethnic diversity in the nominees comes after the Academy changed its membership policies in 2016 to include more women and people of color, following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that slammed the Oscars for not having any African-American nominees in the actor/actress categories for the 2016 and 2015 ceremonies.

The nominations for the 2017 Oscars were also noteworthy for the strides made by streaming services. “Manchester by the Sea” because the first movie from a streaming service (Amazon) not a traditional film studio, to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

The documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” which was an ESPN miniseries totaling more than seven hours, qualified for the Academy Awards because “O.J.: Made in America” had a limited run in U.S. theaters. “O.J.: Made in America” is up for the prize of Best Documentary Feature.

Another noteworthy nominee was “Arrival,” which became one of the few science-fiction films to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Best Picture
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“Arrival,” Eric Heisserer
“Fences,” August Wilson
“Hidden Figures,” Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
“Lion,” Luke Davies
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Best Original Screenplay
“20th Century Women,” Mike Mills
“Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“The Lobster,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan

Best Cinematography
“Arrival,” Bradford Young
“La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
“Lion,” Greig Fraser
“Moonlight,” James Laxton
“Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto

Best Documentary Feature
“13th,” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish
“Fire at Sea,” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
“I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck, Remi Grellety and Hebert Peck
“Life, Animated,” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
“O.J.: Made in America,” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow

Best Documentary Short Subject
“4.1 Miles,” Daphne Matziaraki
“Extremis,” Dan Krauss
“Joe’s Violin,” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
“Watani: My Homeland,” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
“The White Helmets,” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best Foreign Language Film
“Land of Mine,” Martin Zandvliet (Denmark)
“A Man Called Ove,” Hannes Holm (Sweden)
“The Salesman,” Asghar Farhadi (Iran)
“Tanna,” Martin Butler and Bentley Dean (Australia)
“Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade (Germany)

Best Animated Feature
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
“Moana,” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
“My Life as a Zucchini,” Claude Barras and Max Karli
“The Red Turtle,” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
“Zootopia,” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Best Animated Short
“Blind Vaysha,” Theodore Ushev
“Borrowed Time,” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
“Pearl,” Patrick Osborne
“Piper,” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Best Live Action Short Film
“Ennemis Interieurs,” Selim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing,” Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
“Timecode,” Juanjo Gimenez

Best Original Score
“Jackie,” Mica Levi
“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
“Passengers,” Thomas Newman

Best Original Song
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” from “Trolls” — Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
“City of Stars” from “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story” — Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana” — Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Production Design
“Arrival,” Patrice Vermette, Paul Hotte
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
“Hail, Caesar!,” Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
“La La Land,” David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
“Passengers,” Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena

Best Makeup and Hair
“A Man Called Ove,” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
“Star Trek Beyond,” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
“Suicide Squad,” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Best Costume Design
“Allied,” Joanna Johnston
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Colleen Atwood
“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Consolata Boyle
“Jackie,” Madeline Fontaine
“La La Land,” Mary Zophres

Best Film Editing
“Arrival,” Joe Walker
“Hacksaw Ridge,” John Gilbert
“Hell or High Water,” Jake Roberts
“La La Land,” Tom Cross
“Moonlight,” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Best Sound Editing
“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare
“Deepwater Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renee Tondelli
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
“La La Land,” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
“Sully,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Best Sound Mixing
“Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
“La La Land,” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Best Visual Effects
“Deepwater Horizon,” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
“Doctor Strange,” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
“The Jungle Book,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

Here’s a look at the movies that received more than one nomination for the 2017 Academy Awards:

 

 

Stars and Strikes to open locations in Augusta and Huntsville

January 17, 2017

Stars and Strikes
(Photo courtesy of Stars and Strikes)

Stars and Strikes will open two new locations: one in Huntsville, Alabama in September 2017 and Augusta, Georgia,  in November 2017.

The Stars and Strikes in Huntsville is a 54,000-square-foot facility located at 930 Old Monrovia Road NW. The Stars and Strikes in Augusta is a 55,000-square-foot facility located at 4238 Wrightsboro Road.

Each location will house 24 bowling lanes, eight of which are VIP lanes in the signature Main St Lounge. The Main St Lounge features VIP bowling lanes in an upscale setting that is ideal for corporate and group events of all sizes.  In addition to bowling, Stars and Strikes will feature other attractions, including a 7,000-square-foot arcade and prize store, a multi-story laser tag arena, bumper cars, the 7/10 Grille restaurant and a large full-service bar surrounded by big screen TVs for sports viewing.  The 7/10 Grille is an American restaurant that offers fresh, seasonally inspired cuisine, including a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, specialty pizzas and other house-made items. Each location will also have multiple private party rooms for events, highlighted by an upscale corporate event room that will seat 200 with a full private bar.

Stars and Strike’s new attraction Escape-ology will be prominently featured in each new facility.  Escape-ology is an entertaining, interactive amusement concept where you use your powers of deduction to solve a mystery.  While it looks and feels like an ordinary room, it’s actually a real-life mystery adventure game designed for small groups of friends, families and co-workers. Your team is on the clock and must solve the puzzles and figure out the clues to earn your freedom and “Escape from the Room.”

Universal Orlando Resort announces opening date of Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

January 13, 2017

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando)

Universal Orlando Resort has announced that its ride Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will officially grand open on April 6, 2017.

According to a Universal Orlando press release, the attraction will give guests the ultimate “Tonight Show” experience as they get up close and personal with the show’s most hilarious segments before taking off on a wild and action-packed race through New York City against “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon himself.

To celebrate the attraction’s Grand Opening, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” will take the show on the road with tapings from Universal Orlando Resort from April 3 through 6. Additional details on celebrity guests and how to become a part of the show audience will be released over time.

As they experience the attraction, guests will make their way through Studio 6B to board the world’s first-ever flying theater, which seats up to 72 audience members, for the race of a lifetime. They will speed through the streets of New York City and all the way to the moon and back, encountering iconic landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building to everything in between.

“Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” will be the first attraction at Universal Studios Florida to feature an all-new Virtual Line experience, allowing guests to spend less time waiting in line and more time discovering even more incredible thrills throughout Universal Studios. The Virtual Line system is accessible via the Official Universal Orlando Resort App or at kiosks located outside the attraction entrance.

Live Nation buys majority stake in BottleRock Napa Valley

January 13, 2017

The Jam Cellars Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley 2016.
The Jam Cellars Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley 2016. (Photo courtesy of Latitude 38 Entertainment)

Live Nation Entertainment has acquired a majority interest in the BottleRock Napa Valley music, wine, craft brew and culinary festival. According to a Live Nation press release, BottleRock will remain under the leadership of festival producer Latitude 38 Entertainment, whose founders will continue to be significant shareholders and owners of the festival.

BottleRock Napa Valley (held annually each May at the Napa Valley Expo Center in Napa, California) showcases more than 30 local wineries and dozens of restaurants. Celebrating its fifth year, the 2017 festival is set for May 26 to May 28, and is expecting more than 120,000 attendees with Foo Fighters, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Maroon 5 headlining.

In keeping with Live Nation’s strategy, BottleRock Napa Valley will operate independently under the continued leadership of Latitude 38 Entertainment founders Dave Graham, Justin Dragoo and Jason Scoggins. Live Nation currently has more than than 80 festivals in its global festival portfolio, including Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Reading, Leeds, Governor’s Ball, Electric Daisy Carnival and Rock Werchter.

2017 Bonnaroo Festival: U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd among the headliners

January 11, 2017

Bonnaroo 2017

The following is an excerpt from a Bonnaroo press release:

Superfly and A.C. Entertainment are proud to unveil the initial artist lineup for the 2017 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. This year’s edition of the world- renowned four-day multi-stage camping festival will showcase over 100 artists, headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, and, in an exclusive first-ever headline performance, U2 performing a set that will include the career-defining 1987 release “The Joshua Tree” in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the classic album. The complete lineup is below. The 2017 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will take place June 8 – 11, held as always at Great Stage Park (aka “The Farm”), the spectacular 700-acre farm and event space located just 60 miles south of Nashville in Manchester, TN. Tickets – including General Admission, VIP, and the brand new Platinum Pass – are on sale now, exclusively via www.bonnaroo.com.

The 2017 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will once again feature the wide-ranging scope of diverse artistry that fans have come to expect, with a spectacular array of musicians, bands, and comedians performing around the clock across 13 unique stages over the four-day event. For complete details and regular news updates, please visit www.bonnaroo.com.

The Bonnaroo era began in 2002, immediately decreed by Rolling Stone as one of the “50 Moments That Changed The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Each year since has seen the annual event consistently expanding the parameters of what a music festival can offer in the 21st century. America’s only major round-the-clock music festival, Bonnaroo presents fans with a seemingly infinite number of options, from the silent disco to its 5k race and yoga classes. Innumerable artisans and high quality craft vendors can be also found, along with an innovative food and drink lineup.

2016 saw the grand opening of more than 400 permanent toilets and hundreds of permanent shower stalls and water filling stations, all made possible by Great Stage Park’s investment in its own devoted water line, to provide Bonnaroovians with a more enhanced festival experience.

What’s more, Bonnaroo’s renowned Comedy Theatre has hosted countless superstars as well as comedians long before they became household names, including unforgettable appearances from Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer, Zach Galifianakis, Marc Maron, Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Chris Rock, Nick Kroll, Conan O’Brien, David Cross, Tig Notaro, Hannibal Buress, Daniel Tosh, Donald Glover, John Oliver, Adam Devine, Reggie Watts, Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Bridget Everett and others.Many of these stars come back just to visit and enjoy the unique Bonnaroo experience that often times results in memorable collaborations, like when Galifianakis dropped in with friend Jon Hamm to perform in the Comedy theatre and in the SuperJam, or when Bob Saget was joined by TV brother-in-law and real-life best friend John Stamos, or when Apatow brought along Kevin Nealon and then Eddie Vedder dropped in to sing an original song with him. As with all things Bonnaroo, expect the unexpected at the Comedy Theatre. The 2017 comedy lineup will be announced soon.

The Bonnaroo Cinema experience has grown into an important showcase for contemporary independent films and filmmakers, each year offering an eclectic schedule of world premieres, major music documentaries, cult classics, and much more. Bonnaroo’s seated, air-conditioned cinema also hosts an A-list array of one-of-a-kind happenings, spanning director spotlights, interactive screenings, live film scoring, and high energy Q&A sessions with special guest artists and actors.

Bonnaroo is a truly global event, with tickets purchased in all 50 U.S. states and over 40 countries around the world. As one of the planet’s foremost musical events, Bonnaroo has drawn major mainstream attention and critical applause each and every year.

Bonnaroo is indeed proud to be one of America’s most environmentally friendly festivals, the only major event in the world with its own permanent solar array and compost waste on site. The festival also works with a team of 100 percent volunteers who collect food from its vendors and on-site caterers to donate over 20,000 pounds of food to a local food bank who feeds families in need, senior citizens and other members of the local community. Since its very first day, Bonnaroo has been diligent in its pursuit of true sustainability. The festival has twice been recognized by the state of Tennessee, winning the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award as well as the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Pursuit of Excellence Award. Complete details, as well as Bonnaroo’s annual report to the fans, can be found at www.bonnaroo.com/experience/sustainability.

In addition, 2009 saw the formal establishment of the Bonnaroo Works Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, serving as the philanthropic division of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The mission of the Bonnaroo Works Fund (BWF) is to support local, regional and national organizations that advance arts, education, and environmental sustainability. Since the inception of the festival in 2002, more than $7 million in support has been generated, largely benefiting Manchester, TN,  Coffee County and surrounding areas. A few of the national organizations that have provided local and regional support include First Book, Notes For Notes, Little Kids Rock and  Music For Relief – along with nearly 100 others.

The complete Bonnaroo 2017 lineup is below:

U2
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Weeknd
Chance the Rapper
Major Lazer
Flume
The xx
Lorde
Travis Scott
Cage the Elephant
Marshmello
The Head and The Heart
Big Gigantic
Glass Animals
Future Islands
Tory Lanez
Tove Lo
Yellow Claw
Umphrey’s McGee
Portugal. The Man
Crystal Castles
Milky Chance
Tegan & Sara
Cold War Kids
Kaleo
SuperJam
Russ
Jon Bellion
Royal Blood
The Strumbellas
Car Seat Headrest
Michael Kiwanuka
Gallant
D.R.A.M.
Louis the Child
Borgore
Dua Lipa
Nghtmre
Getter
Snails
James Vincent McMorrow
Joseph
Illenium
Flatbush Zombies
Aminé
Claude VonStroke
Francis & The Lights
Margo Price
BadBadNotGood
The Front Bottoms
G Jones
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Greensky Bluegrass
Cam
Bad Suns
Coin
Mandolin Orange
Eden
Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Ookay
Herobust
Kevin Morby
Goldfish
Noname
Leon
Bluegrass SuperJam
Albin Lee Meldau
San Holo
Rezz
Angélique Kidjo
Haywyre
Deap Vally
Hippo Campus
Luke Combs
Vanic
Unlike Pluto
Kaiydo
Ten Fé
Nightly
The Orwells
Stick Figure
Mondo Cozmo
Barclay Crenshaw
Goody Grace
July Talk
Khruangbin
Lucy Dacus
Klangstof
Kevin Abstract
Turkuaz
The Lemon Twigs
Wilderado
Twin Limb
Big Jesus
Twiddle
White Reaper
River Whyless
Alexandra Savior
Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real
Innanet James
Ganja White Night
Welles
Aaron Lee Tasjan

Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and the ‘La La Land’ team backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

“LA LA LAND”

Golden Globe wins:

  • Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
  • Best Director (Damien Chazelle)
  • Best Screenplay (Damien Chazelle)
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Ryan Gosling)
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Emma Stone)
  • Best Original Score (Justin Hurwitz)
  • Best Original Song (“City of Stars,” written by Justin Hurwitz, Justin Paul and Benj Pasek)

Here is what these Golden Globe winners said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

"La La Land" stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

Damien, how many “no’s” did you hear before you knew “La La Land” was actually going to happen?

Damien Chazelle (writer/director): Many, but enough to fill six years. That’s how long it took to actually get the movie going. I actually have to remind myself of that. All of this is so surreal, but the biggest dream come true I had was the first day literally standing there with the cameras rolling and being surrounded by people like Emma [Stone], Ryan [Gosling] and John [Legend] and my crew. It was the biggest gift. All of this is even more surreal because of that.

Why do you think “La La Land” has become such a critical and popular success?

Ryan Gosling (co-star): I think Emma spoke to that so beautifully in her speech. The thing that moved me so much about the film is the importance of pursuing your dream, despite the obstacles. It’s such a beautiful message for Damien to put out into the world. It seemed like a very appropriate time for that.

Emma Stone (co-star): Thanks. Yeah, I think that’s maybe the key to what’s inspiring about it now. I also think that something about these two characters and what they’re going through that feels very realistic and very human, even in these fantastical circumstances where they’re singing and dancing and everything is so beautifully colorful. I think two people struggling that way and falling in love and how it ultimately unfolds is something that everybody can relate to in what could have been.

How has the modern era shaped our fantasies about love?

Gosling: I’ve had too much champagne to answer that question. Emma?

Stone: I don’t know if I can speak to the entirety of the modern era right now. But by next week, I will have a solid answer for you—with footnotes and references.

Chazelle: I don’t know if this answers the question, but it was important for us to make a love story that was for the modern era, that was a contemporary love story but use older movies and older love stories to comment on the modern era. And look at the ways the time we live in how matches the old movies in some ways and doesn’t match them in other ways.

And also this idea that one does need to move forward, that nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake is not a place to live in. You should honor the past but actually find a way to push that forward, whether it’s in how you love or how you make movies or how you make any art.

Damien, can you comment on “La La Land” setting a Golden Globes record for the most Golden Globe Awards (seven) won by a single movie or TV show? And you’re also the youngest person to ever win a Golden Globe for Best Director. How does that feel?

Chazelle: Now that you say that, it feels incredible. I’m still processing it. This is my first time ever at the Golden Globes. I assume it doesn’t always go this way. I’m not going to get used to this. I was just so honored to be here at all, so to be on the stage with the people I made this movie with. I think what I was most excited about was to see [“La La Land” composer/songwriter] Justin [Hurwitz], who I went to college with and met in a college band, and we talked about movies when we were 17 and 18, to see him on that stage [accepting his Golden Globe Award] was actually the single greatest moment for me.

Barry Jenkins, Janelle Monáe and the ‘Moonlight’ team backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

“MOONLIGHT”

Golden Globe win:

  • Best Motion Picture – Drama

Here is what these Golden Globe winners said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

"Moonlight" team at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
“Moonlight” team at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What did it mean to you to be able to show Miami on screen?

Barry Jenkins (writer/director): It meant the world to me. You know, the whole the whole point of this film for Tarell Alvin McCraney, the playwright, and I was to tell a very truthful story about how we grew up. And so are going to Miami to make the film because this story I think not that is universally I think is very specific, to be honest, but we could have told the story in New Orleans you could’ve told in Atlanta, Georgia, where our budget would have gone much farther than did in Florida where there’s no tax incentives.

But Tarell and I are both from Miami, so the city—kind of cliché to say it—it was a character, but it really was a character in this film and whenever people see this movie I feel like they come to Miami. They sit down with us the experience what it’s like to grow up there. And then to have all these journalists from all over the world have taken this trip to Miami and award the film is proof positive that we did the right thing by sticking to our guns and shooting in Miami.

Janelle, this film deals with one of the toughest things that some people go through in this country on being young especially African-American coming out. Can you talk about performing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in place of Kim Burrell, whose performance was cancelled after her anti-gay speech?

Janelle Monáe: I’m pro-love. I’ve been very supportive of love. And at the end of the day, I think that no matter where you come from and who you love, you deserve to have a right to the American Dream and to also have your story told. So I’m so thankful to be part of this true American story.

I’m thankful to be a part of a cast and a director who is pro-inclusion. And I just think that anybody who is representing hate is a part of the problem and I hope we can learn from each other and be more empathetic of one another and I hope that we can all remember the end of the day we all bleed the same color.

Why do you think people are responding “Moonlight” the way they are?

Jenkins: For me, I’m all about process and the process of making this film going back to day one on set … was about making universal film. It was about getting it right and being very specific to where we were with what the actors were giving us on the day and trying to speak truth to power in that.

And so I think in doing that I think the movie touches people because they see the authenticity that we put into it we were trying to do anything but tell our story. I think people respect that because often you try to tell a story that you believe someone is going to be willing to pay to hear. That was not our goal.

Our goal was to just speak truth as to Tarell’s experience and my experience they can doing that you can go to Katmandu or I can say I’ve been to London or Rome or Toronto will Telluride, these places so far removed, or the HFPA, the Philippines, to Russia all these different places and people respect the fact that oh no I’m not trying to make a story that relates to you in your place here right now. I think we need more that as we move into the next four years of life on this planet.

Barry, you dedicated this award to your mother. Has she seen “Moonlight” yet?

Jenkins: I think she wants to watch it on the small screen, which as a filmmaker, like no, you see it in the theater as big as possible but I think she wants to make her peace with it, woman to screen. I think she wants to engage the story on one level not in a room like this with a bunch of—I’d say for her—strangers. I do think we’ve been talking a lot more and the conversation has accelerated. I will say Naomi has given all these interviews, every interview she gives my mom watches and it.

And she has seen I think the care and thoughtfulness that they will be put into betraying her and I do think she’s getting you know I can’t rush her bit-by-bit, but she’s a step closer to I think sitting down and watching and some version you know myself and Tarell’s depiction of herself.

Do you think movies can change things socially?

Jenkins: I see what you’re saying, but … people have seen this film three times, four times, not as escapism but for realism. They want to go to the cinema and see something real reflected in all these films. No one could have anticipated that we would be sitting on the president-elect that we have coming into office in the next 12, 13 days. However, we all made these films because we felt something was lacking in the soil at the root these stories that hadn’t been told.

I don’t know if it was that these two things are coming together at the same time but we’re here now you know and we have to keep telling these stories very truthfully and honestly. And we have to give people things not to escape to this room for escapism but things they can run to reaffirm that not that all lives matter, I don’t want to step into that, but that you know what if you’re feeling something that you want to speak it? You speak it and someone there will be there to hear your truth. And I think that’s been the spirit of “Moonlight” so far.

To the actors, how specifically did you acted against each other especially in the three different acts and how each relationship was different moving forward to the story?

Mahershala Ali (co-star): Let me just say that one thing that we didn’t do was act against each other we always acted with each other. And this is the greatest joy my career.

Ashton Sanders (co-star): I agree.

Trevante Rhodes (co-star): Yeah, it was really just about sharing the moment issue in the space with beautiful people and being able to listen and react. That’s all it was and just understanding situation and understand who the person was. And trusting this man right here [he points to Jenkins].

Ashton and Trevante, you weren’t allowed to see each other during filming “Moonlight.” How important was that for the overall effect and were you surprised actually to find continuation within the characters when you saw them on screen?

Rhodes: I think it was very important because me personally I would have done any and everything I could to try and at least a little bit mimic what the younger versions were going to try and force some similarity within myself. And I think just not having to focus on that and again trusting Barry, trusting the script, trusting my idea who the person was the most important thing and allowing me to be free and to just embody the character and just leave it at that. That’s where I’m at.

Sanders: Just to back up what Travonte was saying, I think it allowed us to focus on our sections and our circumstances within our sections. Chiron is a different person having three parts of the film, so it allowed us to again focus on our circumstances and to tap into that time period of Chiron.

Can tell us how difficult it was to find the producers for “Moonlight” and how many countries has the movie been sold?

Jenkins: A24 sold the movie to—and I’ll say ballpark—20 territories internationally, which is amazing for a film set in this world featuring these characters. I will say the myth has been propagated about what a film with a cast that looks like this in a story that’s set in this world where it can show where people come out and see it. This movie has defied—I won’t say expectations—but I think those perceptions.

I made a movie in 2008 called “Medicine for Melancholy”— a very small film, $15,000 budget. And the good folks at Plan B saw that film. We started talking; nothing came of it. I think I wasn’t ready at that point. And when I had the screenplay for “Moonlight” with my first producer, Adele Romanski, who I went to film school with, the cinematographer and both editors also went to film school with me at Florida State University, we sent the script to Plan B, and they read it and immediately they said that they wanted to get involved. They had seen the first film and thought, “What can this guy  do? Look at what these people do with a larger canvas.”

And then from Plan B, they take it to A24. A24 at that point only distributed films, not finance them, but they believed in our voice so much—I’ll say Tarell’s and my voice—that they literally opened a new lane, as the kids say. And they are in their business to finance the film. It was the first film financed by A24. From there it was just like an open door. It was like, “This is the budget here and the parameters. Go out and make the film you want to make.” It was a beautiful process.

They allowed me to do the things I wanted to do. And yet they asked questions and those questions always led to answers, but they allowed me to decide when the answer has been reached. So it was a beautiful process. I feel very fortunate very privileged to have made this film with Plan B, A24 and Adele Romanski. Thank you very much. Much love to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Viola Davis backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

VIOLA DAVIS

Golden Globe win:

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

(“Fences”)

Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

Viola Davis at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017.
Viola Davis at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get home tonight?

I’m not going to get in my Jacuzzi because it’s going to be too late. I’m probably take a shower and maybe have another glass of Prosecco with my husband.

Where are you going to put your Golden Globe?

My husband always takes care of the trophies because after tonight, I so appreciate this, but I’ve got put the trophy away get back to work. he puts in the office on a shelf.

Can you tell us something about your communication and your team work with your husband Julius that makes you better?

I don’t know. It’s like that’s a God question. Lord knows, I don’t know what I did to deserve him walking into my life 18 years ago. I just know that it worked. I just know that it’s a great friendship. I know that when I’m down, he’s up. And when he’s down, I’m up, so we could throw each other a rope.

And now, people kind of merge our names together. I was JuliusViola. But I think probably respect—respect on the greatest level and wanting the best for him as well as him one and the best for me. I think that’s probably the truest foundation of love.

You won a Tony Award for the same role in “Fences.” Can you talk about moving the story along with your “Fences” co-star/director Denzel Washington from the stage to in front of the camera?

It felt very natural, already kind of feels like an intimate story, but not intimate in a way that’s small. I think that you know with Shakespeare or Chekov or any great writer who writes tragedies we know that they write about big emotions, about people within the confines of a family or community fighting for their lives. And it was such a joy and pleasure to have that challenge and to have August Wilson’s words and have those characters.

And like I said on the stage, very seldom does the average person get their due—especially with people of color. It’s always biopics. It’s always which is fantastic. It’s always someone who did something tremendous in life that changed the scope of our country.

But I also like the stories of the smaller people. I think that it encapsulates time. I think that it’s universal and inclusive, and that’s what August did. And all of that, it just felt like a very natural fluid movement to bring it to the screen.

In Trump’s America, how can we really be sure of the progress we’ve made all these years, in terms of racial tension, in terms of everybody still having a shot at the American Dream, and make sure we’re continuing in the right direction?

Believe it or not, I will remove Trump from the equation because I feel that it’s bigger than him. I believe that is it is our responsibility to uphold what it is to be an American. And what America is about in the true meaning of what it means to pursue the American Dream.

I think that America in and of itself has been an affirmation, but I think that we’ve fallen short a  lot because there is no way that we can have anyone in office that is not an extension of our own belief system. So then what does that say about us? And I think that if you answer that question, I think that that says it all and I know that’s very ambiguous, but thank you.

 

Aaron Taylor-Johnson backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON

Golden Globe win:

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

(“Nocturnal Animals”)

Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Aaron Taylor-Johnson at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What was the most challenging part of your role in “Nocturnal Animals”?

You know, every day was pretty intense and grueling. I think maybe the first day of shooting the big car sequence. Jake Gyllenhaal is a talented actor, and my role was to provoke and manipulate him and trying to get a reaction. And I think that was my challenge to give him as much material to work from, so I wanted to be as giving as possible.

What is your dream passion project?

To be working with people I enjoy working with. I love different characters, and I love to explore different genres, but it’s such a luxury to do what we do. You want to just work with the people that are also passionate and enjoy it too.

You got to briefly thank your parents in your acceptance speech right at the end. Do you want to expound on that at all?

Well yeah, I guess if I could … I started acting when I was 6 years old, so they gave me that opportunity, and I ran with it. I found my passion, and if it wasn’t for that and the fact that they … kind of encouraged me to do what I enjoy doing that I wouldn’t be here.

They just encouraged me to do what I enjoy doing. My mother would take me up and down from [where] I lived outside the city and I would get trained take about an hour and a half to get in. If I had an audition when I was young, she was there to support me and be by my side. She gave up her job to really help me do what I’m doing.

Are you wearing Tom Ford tonight? What did your parents say when they saw you play this role in “Nocturnal Animals”?

Yes, this is a Tom Ford tux. And my parents—shout out to them actually to see me because they got up at 4 a.m. They’re living in Qatar, so they’re watching on their TV screen right now, and I know they’re just extremely proud … I think they saw [“Nocturnal Animals”] at the London Film Festival, and they were just I don’t know … This is a really hard movie to watch. I think they were pulled in by the thriller, so they were moved.

The character is an extreme type of guy. A lot of people know you for starring in “Kick-Ass,” where you played a very moral character. Your character in “Nocturnal Animals” is the opposite. So how do you prepare for that?

I’m grateful for the opportunity from Tom Ford. I was perplexed why he chose me for a role like this because this is definitely something out of my comfort zone and a challenge. It was intense and grueling, and I spent three months prior to making the movie watching documentaries on serial killers or psychopaths.

And this guy was set in West Texas, so I would listen to characters from there, dialect-wise, and we kind of went from there. You know I had a lot of sleepless nights watching this material. Psychologically, it’s hard.

You sported some very serious facial hair in this role. Can you tell us the story behind that and how it affected your performance?

I remember Tom offering the job in summertime and it was about three months prior to making the movie. And he just said, “Grow your hair out, grow your beard, grow your fingernails out so that I have enough to play with. I don’t even know what I’m going to do yet but I just need to kind of be out to see what I can play with.” And that’s what he did. He got a razor out and he personally like gave me muttonchops. He took the chin off and played around, and they straightened my hair, and we started to mold this character.