Interview: Sofia Boutella (“The Mummy”)

Sofia Boutella is outstanding as “Ahmanet”, the mummy, in the latest remake of “The Mummy”.

Her portrayal of Ahmanet, has the audience connecting with a very unliveable character. “I wasn’t personally interested in playing a monster that’s just scaring people for no reason. I needed to find her depth because the level of admiration I have for the original film is so high.”

When I asked Boutella about how it felt seeing herself as Ahmanet for the first time, she responded, “We needed 24 screen tests to find her looks … It was such a long, tedious process of getting into character, but at the end I could not have done it without it. You know, I needed to feel all of that make up on and I needed to feel how people looked at me  when I had it on. It was very different to when I didn’t have it on.”

As well as being a great actress, Boutella spent many years in her twenties, dancing with, and for, legends such as Michael Jackson and Madonna.  “I loved working with Madonna. She taught me so much and she’s such a wonderful strong woman that I really look up to. She taught me a crazy amount and her work ethic is admirable.”

As for why Boutella makes movies, she said, “I like creating, I loved dancing when I did (it) and I love creating movies. Anything that triggers anybody’s imagination or inspires people is something that I love doing; and anything that can entertain people I love doing … I love being inspired. I know the feeling and impact that it has on me and I love to just channel that myself.”

“The Mummy” is in cinemas on 9th June 2017.

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Interview: Erin O’Connor

Erin O’Connor is the ambassador for the new ISPCC Childline “Headbomz” campaign (supported by Vodafone). This campaign encourages children between the ages of 8 -10 to share how they feel, because “talking makes us stronger”.

“This campaign is about engaging more kids. I am still dumbfounded that children struggle with the pressures of resilience and they mightn’t have a person to talk to, and so that’s why this is so valid”. said Erin.

Erin went on to share tales about her experience of growing up and breaking into the modelling industry.

“I had a very interesting, kind of unique, access to the industry when I dipped in, because there was a whole wash of rebellion against the idea of aesthetic ideals and it was more character and personality based – and I was really ready to unleash that in a medium. I didn’t know I had that in me, so that was incredibly liberating.”

She also opened up about the time she was at a fitting and was told her bum was too big for the pants, so she told the designer to just make the pants bigger! “I didn’t worry so much about losing the gig. I worried more about leaving that building with my dignity in tact and that to me will lead me throughout the rest of my life.”

Erin is a big supporter of regulating the modelling industry. “I am not anti-modelling, but I am anti underage modelling. This is for 2 reasons.

One, at under 16 years of age, they are children … and there are pressures and responsibilities (in this industry) that they shouldn’t have to take care of.

And two, grown women trying to emulate themselves on girls who are not yet fully formed in mind and body – problems arise with that. There’s unrealistic expectations to compare and contrast and to judge, and I am so over that.”

Erin also shared what she would like to do next.

I have to say, this was one of my most interesting, refreshingly honest and positive interviewees yet.

For the full interview, listen below.

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Interview: Priyanka Chopra (“Baywatch”)

“Baywatch” marks, Bollywood star, Priyanka Chopra’s debut Hollywood film. However, this movie, in fact, brings her total film tally up to 51!

Even though Priyanka has starred in 51 films, has a Miss World title and stars in the US TV show, “Quantico”, if a chance meeting never happened at a mall and her mother did not send in her photos to the Miss India competition, Priyanka could have been working at NASA!

I recently sat down with Priyanka to talk about being the Baywatch “bad girl”, taking this persona off set, the beauty of Indian cinema and what she’s up to next.

“Baywatch” is in cinemas now. Here’s a clip of Priyanka in “Victoria” mode.

 

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Review: Wonder Woman

To paraphrase the words of the theme song, “Wonder Woman, all the world is waiting for you and the power you possess … fighting for your rights”. And Wonder Woman, what power you possess, thanks for coming back – it has been worth the wait!

In this film we see the evolution of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). She begins as Diana, a young Princess of the Amazons, who has no idea of her destiny until Pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crashes into her universe. When he tells her of the war in the outside world, Diana leaves with him and transforms into the warrior she needs to be to bring peace to the world.

Let me start by saying that Lynda Carter is my idol. I never thought anyone else could be Wonder Woman. All that has changed thanks to Gal Gadot. Gadot is outstanding, and deserves to share the title with Carter. She has captured the essence of who Wonder Woman is perfectly. She is strong, caring, sensitive and powerful.

“I am willing to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. I may never return but who will I be if I stay?” Wonder Woman is a great superhero  – she’s not just about taking out the bad guys, she’s about looking after the good ones!

While there is no invisible helicopter to be seen in this film (or maybe there is but we just can’t see it!), and the outfit has had some tweaks, Wonder Woman still has her lassoo of truth and manages to do our favourite Wonder Woman spin (go on admit, we’ve all tried it at least once).

As well as this being a great Superhero film, Wonder Woman having her own film is more powerful than we think. I couldn’t believe the pride, respect and empowerment I felt watching a female do what we all know females can do. Women don’t have to be side characters or be protected. Women are strong and can be centre stage and kick butt! And kick butt Wonder Woman does in this film.

The action scenes are spectacular. I was in awe watching Gadot do her thing. As I was watching Robin Wright. Wright isn’t in the film a great deal but when she is, you are captivated by her strength and fierceness.

Pine’s Steve Trevor is the perfect ally for Wonder Woman. They are on the same page, “If you see something wrong happening in the world, you can either choose to do something or nothing, and I’ve tried nothing, so time to do something.” The something they do together is wonderful to watch, as is the fact that Pine knows this is Wonder Woman’s film, not his. Pine doesn’t try to be the standout, rather he is charming and supportive.

Even though Wonder Woman is my favourite superhero, this does not mean that I can not see some of the film’s flaws. Tonally it can be all over the place, with the fish out of water parts not always working; and it is at least 20 minutes too long!

All that aside, to once again, paraphrase the Wonder Woman theme song, “Wonder Woman, now the world is ready for you and the wonders you can do, stop a war with love, make a liar tell the truth … get us out from under, all our hopes are pinned upon you and the magic that you do, stop a bullet cold, make the axis fold, change their minds and change the world”. I know that is all a bit dramatic, but this film is a game changer in cinema and long may the game continue to change. This is the superhero film we have all be craving and waiting for. Wonder Woman, thanks for not only saving the world but for making me believe that a superhero film can be a great experience.

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Interview: Zac Efron & Alexandra Daddario (“Baywatch”)

“Baywatch” is back and this time two of the actors getting to put on the swimsuits and do the iconic slow motion run are Zac Efron (Brody) and Alexandra Daddario (Summer).

I got to sit down with Zac and Alexandra and find out what it’s like to be a “Baywatch Babe”, how they deal with hanger, why it’s impossible to make the 20kg airline luggage limit, and why they’re both excited about where each other’s film careers are going.

“Baywatch” is in cinemas now

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Interview: Danny McBride & Billy Crudup (“Alien Covenant)

Danny McBride & Billy Crudup are the pilot and Captain of the latest Alien ship – Alien Covenant.

I sat down with the lads to talk about:
* the excitement & nerves that come with being involved in such an iconic franchise
* finally getting to share the film with the fans
* what it’s like to be a part of Ridley Scott’s world
* entertaining themselves

“Alien: Covenant” is in Irish cinemas on Friday 12 May

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Interview: Jessica Chastain (“Miss Sloane”)

Jessica Chastain gives an outstanding performance, as the title character, in the political drama “Miss Sloane”.

I loved getting the chance to sit down and chat to the super talented, intelligent and lovely Jessica Chastain. We spoke about:

* how she gives such a flawless performance when there are so many lines to memorise
* why “House of Cards” was her go to show during filming
* whether or not Hollywood has lived up to her expectations
* how she is creating opportunities for more women to work in film
* how her self belief helped her live her dream.

“Miss Sloane” is in Irish cinemas on Friday 12th May.

 

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