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.

Claire Foy, John Lithgow and ‘The Crown’ 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.

“THE CROWN”

Golden Globe wins:

  • Best Television Series – Drama
  • Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama (Claire Foy)

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

"The Crown" star Claire Foy at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017.
Claire Foy 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

Claire, if you had a chance to sit down with Queen Elizabeth and have tea with her, what  would be one question you want to ask her now that you’ve been playing her for the television series?

Claire Foy: I’m really shamefully going to nick Andy Harris’ reply to this which is “Has she watched it?” And then probably I just like to hear her talk for about two hours that would be nice.

Peter and Stephen, what fascinated you about this and why do you think you were able to get such an amazing budget for it?

Peter Morgan (creator): We didn’t ask for that. Netflix gave it to us. I just sort of started this journey when writing the film “The Queen.” And it and even that was by accident. I started just thinking it was interesting what happened between the queen in her prime ministers. And that just grew and grew and grew.

And I wanted to know how must have been for her with her first prime minister, who was [Winston] Churchill, and the next thing I know these stories were coming back to me and I started thinking this is a much longer running thing, and now we’re shooting the second season at the moment. I hope that’s answered your question

How have you reacted to “The Crown’s” popularity? How did you pick John Lithgow to play Churchill?

Stephen Daldry (director): John is a very good person to answer the question about how on earth how surprising the response has been around the world.

Lithgow: It is astonishing. It delights all of us. We knew we were doing something fine. I think from day one, we knew this was going to be extraordinary. But we didn’t we didn’t dream that it would be massively popular internationally.

I suppose it’s because the monarchy is the subjective everybody’s attention and obsession internationally. And Peter and Stephen have just found a way of turning that very, very public family into an extremely fascinating private world ever and everybody connects with it. And you have to ask them about casting me. I didn’t do it myself.

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that “The Crown” could feasibly go on six or seven years. Any thoughts on that?

Morgan: The danger of writing a story about someone with a long life is the story goes on and on … We’re filming the second season at the moment, and that would take us through to 1964. We were there for about three episodes in at the moment, and that starts in the Suez crisis and then as Britain goes into the ‘60s, the world changes you know if we leave behind a certain kind of Britain and we enter a new kind of Britain.

And we will then at the end of Season 2, we will reach a point where we will have to start thinking about a new cast because our actors would reached what I think is the limit that they could reasonably play and we haven’t had those conversations with Netflix about going forward. I think they would like to, and I think we would like to, but it’s only now really that will have those conversations

John, how difficult was it for you to master Churchill’s speech patterns and the physicality?

Lithgow: It was difficult but it was fun it was all fun and I had tremendous help from the costumer Michele Clapton and the makeup artist Ivana Primorac and a remarkable dialect coach William Conacher, who helped me with not just the dialect but the sort of machine dream of changes explosiveness that was William. And I have to say he worked just as hard with the British actors as you did with me. He was remarkable. Put all those things together, and it came very, very easily. And I think the bottom line the greatest asset of all was the lines that were written for me.

Daldry: The bottom line is that John Lithgow is one of the great actors of our age. And that we had him in our show was a great gift, and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to explore the character Churchill. We’re blessed to have you, sir.

Do you have a favorite Churchill quote or anecdote?

Lithgow: There was a wonderful moment that Stephen and I derived. We wanted to do something appalling for Churchill to demonstrate that he should not be prime minister. There was a moment when he stands up in a cabinet meeting and staggers out of the room.

And it was my idea that he actually reach right straight into his trousers. This was inspired by a quote from Churchill when someone pointed out that he’d left his fly buttons open. And his quote was, “It’s not a problem. A dead bird never leaves its nest.”

Billy Bob Thornton 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.

BILLY BOB THORNTON

Golden Globe win:

Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama

(“Goliath”)

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

Billy Bob Thornton at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Billy Bob Thornton at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

Can you elaborate on what you said in your acceptance speech about sticking up for people?

I said that it’s easy to talk about people. It’s hard to stick your neck out. And I guess my point about that is a lot of people in the entertainment business get called “privileged” and yet … I came out here in poverty and spent a decade trying to eat. And that does things to you. At the end of the day, what separates people who come to these awards shows and who do television shows or movies or whatever it is or write a score, there are people who are willing to take a chance.

And maybe it was safer to work, but if you wanted to make something out of yourself, you’re willing to go take the chance. And so when people in this day of the social media, and when people are slamming each other left and right, what they have to remember at the end of the day is those who talk about those who do things, that’s not a very good job.

That’s why when the legitimate press … when you write a review or talk about something on your TV show, it comes from a place of knowledge, as opposed to a place of hatred or jealousy or whatever it is, you know. And I think we’re living in that society right now. I let it bother me for a few years. And now, when I accept an award, I accept it with pride, because I know I tried.

Who are you most excited to see tonight?

I was excited to see my wife being happy. I mean, she’s happy every day, but tonight, she’s just proud to be here with me and everything. But in terms of celebrities, I was very excited to see Warren Beatty because he’s one of the guys I admired growing up.

What drew you to your “Goliath” character?

I always wanted to play a lawyer, because I think lawyers and actors have the same job. A lawyer is trying to convince a jury, and an actor is trying to convince an audience. And I did it in “The Judge” with Robert Downey [Jr.] and [Robert] Duvall, but it was kind of a big cameo. It wasn’t really a full part. I’d always wanted to play a lawyer for a period of time, but mainly I wanted to play a guy who was trying to fight his way back from nowhere—and I’ve had to do that a few times, so I kind of related to the character.

You’ve said the “Goliath” was one of the best crews you ever worked with, and you recognized your PA [production assistant] in your acceptance speech. Can you talk a little bit more about the crew?

It was a very, very good crew on “Goliath.” There were people who enjoyed being there every day. They got who the actors were and related to us in that way. Luke Scott was a kid who was only 23 years old, and he passed away last year.

Luke made me want to come to work. He was the guy who, when I got there, I know that his face was such a joyous face. And he was so happy just to be there and have that job and be around a business that he wanted to be around.

To lose your life at 23 years old when you’re just starting something like that, I thought, “I can thank people all night long. I can thank lawyers and agents and everybody, but at the end of the day, the two entities I have to thank are Luke Scott, this PA that made me happy to be there, and Amazon, who was willing to do the show.”

Amazon is a company that was very kind to us and allowed us to be what we wanted to be, and in fact encouraged us to be more than what was there. But if I thank them publicly, then I need to thank every lawyer, and that takes a lot of time. So if I had to pick one out of two, I pick the kid who’s not with us anymore.

How would you say luck or blessings fit in addition to the chances you’ve taken and how good your work is?

In terms of luck and all that, I’ve kind of left it up to providence in a way because if Fred Roos hadn’t seen me in the theater back in the early ‘80s, I’d be nowhere. But then again, if this unemployed actor who I met named Don Blakeley hadn’t met me three or four years before that, I would never have been in the theater were Fred Roos saw me.

People say, “Was ‘Sling Blade’ the turning point?” or “Was ‘Once False Move’ the turning point?” And sure, you can say that in a way, but the fact of the matter is, if it weren’t for Don Blakely, this actor who would feed me when I was starving and who introduced me to somebody and put me in a play in this little theater group where Fred Roos, a big producer came and saw me, then none of that would have happened. So you have to really go way, way back.

So I think, as opposed to those defining moments that people usually pin on movies, I think you really have to think more about those people that led you to that moment. So my hat goes off to Don Blakeley, just like it went off to Luke Scott, a PA who made me want to come to work. I think the little woman and the little man aren’t recognized enough in the trajectory of someone’s career.

We have not heard about the future of “Goliath” from Amazon. What have you heard, and what are your hopes for the show going forward?

If I told you, I’d have to kill you. They would like to do another season, I know that much. This one was written in a way that it had a beginning, a middle and an end, so that was kind of the intention. But once they see what the potential is—and I honestly believe there’s more potential for the show than what was in the first season. I love the first season, but I think there’s so much more to mine.

I think we need to know where this guy came from and what happened and what it is that made him who he is and what his sense of justice actually is and what his desires are and what he does think about these people. And I think another season could unfold that and could answer a lot of those questions and lead the audience down a path that’s much stranger and much darker. I know that Amazon, to their credit, wants to do it, and I think it just depends on if they come up with the right story.

Is there some talent that you’re not so good that you wish you were better at?

Absolutely. I’m the worst dancer, maybe in history. I grew up as a musician, as a drummer, so I have a natural sense of rhythm. It’s not about that. On the dance floor, I freeze up like you can’t imagine. It’s incredible.

When I was in junior high school there was a band called the Yardleys in my hometown of Malvern, Arkansas, and they were like the Beatles to us. And they had a dance in the old high-school gymnasium.

And this senior in high school named Joan Burnett asked me to dance and her boyfriend Bucky Griggs was a drummer in the Yardleys. And she came over and got me by the hand and led me out to the middle of the dance floor because I was friends with her little brother, who was in school with me.

And I stood there sweating, like my hands are sweating, and I thought I was having a heart attack at 13. And I lost my mind I didn’t know what to do. So when I watch people dance and look at the old movies when actors couldn’t just be actors; they had to ride horses, shoot guns, dance, sing, everything—I admire those people so much, because now we can just sit in a room and a chair and talk, but they just have to do everything. I’m so fortunate, because I just can’t dance.