“BLACK PANTHER’S” M’BAKU WINSTON DUKE A GOOFY DAD IN “US”

“BLACK PANTHER’S” M’BAKU WINSTON DUKE A GOOFY DAD IN “US”

He’s best known for playing the fan-favorite character M’Baku, leader of the Jabari Tribe and eventual valuable ally to King T’Challa in Black Panther.  Now, Winston Duke stars in Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed thriller, Us.

“The film is about an American family trying to live the perfect American dream, and then realizing that the American dream is perilous, insecure and unsustainable,” says Duke, who plays Gabe Wilson. “I look at the American dream as another character in this film that succumbs to the dangers of the horror-thriller genre and becomes a hapless victim.”

Duke plays Gabe, husband to Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and patriarch of the family, but he’s also the “fun” parent. In a way, he’s Adelaide’s opposite. He’s not big on structure and rules, and he’s often the antidote to her fears and anxieties.

“Gabe is this fun, charismatic character,” director-writer Peele says. “He’s kind of a goofy dad, but he has an enthusiasm and spontaneity that makes him the spirit of the family. He often doesn’t think before he acts, though, and that has been a bit of a strain in his relationship with Adelaide.”

As the family arrives in Santa Cruz at the beginning of the film, Adelaide isn’t the only character feeling anxiety. Gabe doesn’t share her past, but he has real concerns of his own. “Gabe is the heart and soul of this family,” Duke says. “He’s playful and spontaneous. He keeps this family buoyant on their toes. We thought of him as a man who’s trying to be the father that he never had, so he is overly present; and this summer is a big deal.” As part of that effort, he buys a speedboat that has seen better days, hoping for some bonding family outings on the water.

All of that is thrown into high relief when Gabe and Adelaide are confronted by The Tethered. “Gabe’s need to live in a fantasy of what an American marriage, and an American family, is—that’s his driving force,” Duke says. “And then everything changes. My favorite line in the movie is, ‘The world’s not going to end. It’s just going to be different.’ It’s a metaphor for what their family structure is going to be, and what their family is going to look like, in the aftermath of what they’re going through.”

For Peele, Duke was the perfect choice to play Gabe. “Winston doesn’t know it, but he basically is Gabe,” Peele says. “Winston thinks Gabe is based on me, but when I met Winston it was like, ‘Ok, yes. Just do that.’ Winston is that dude. He’s a fun mash-up of how I originally saw the character and all the qualities that he brought to the role. You can’t separate the two.”

For Nyong’o, her long friendship with Duke became a critical part of their on-screen marriage. “Winston and I have known each other since we were in graduate school together,” Nyong’o says. “And, of course, we’d had this short stint together in this little movie called Black Panther. We’re extremely close. We bicker like siblings; we’re like an old couple. So there was the comfort of knowing that he’s someone that I trust personally, and also someone whose artistry I really admire and respect.”

“Winston is just such a rambunctious character,” she continues. “He’s so warm and so unafraid. He’s a courageous actor, and a generous one, so it was great to just trust our chemistry and to play off of it. Our on-screen marriage got deep really quickly.”

Now playing in Philippine cinemas, Us is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.  Follow us on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/ ; Twitter at https://twitter.com/uipmoviesph  and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/uipmoviesph/. Use the hashtag #UsMovie.   

THE FIRST TRAILER FOR “ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD” IS HERE!

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

After debuting the teaser posters yesterday, Columbia Pictures has now revealed the first trailer for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, the 9th film by Quentin Tarantino.

Check out the trailer below and watch Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood in Philippine cinemas soon.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/gw-_ILmYvTM 

Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.  Use the hashtag#OnceUponATimeInHollywood

(Video download link of trailer file —  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GhxvdiEp4o4agNgCF8uqzZnt1MP-n7c6 )

About Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore.   The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.  

Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is produced by David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino.  The cast is led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.

“ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD” REVEALS FIRST POSTERS

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Columbia Pictures has unveiled the first posters for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, the ninth film from writer/director Quentin Tarantino.

Check out the one-sheet artworks below and watch Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood in Philippine cinemas soon.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore.   The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.  

Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is produced by David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino.

The cast is led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.

In Philippine cinemas soon, Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.  Use the hashtag #OnceUponATimeInHollywood

ZACHARY LEVI BRIMS WITH HOPE, ENTHUSIASM AS “SHAZAM!”

ZACHARY LEVI BRIMS WITH HOPE, ENTHUSIASM AS “SHAZAM!”

Zachary Levi (“Thor: The Dark World,” TV’s “Chuck,” “Heroes Reborn”) stars as the titular DC Super Hero of New Line Cinema’s origin story “SHAZAM!”

Director David F. Sandberg says Levi’s passion and youthful nature were vital in his casting.  “It was important to find someone who could feel like a kid in a grownup’s body.  I think a mistake a lot of people make when grownups try to play kids is that they just sort of lower the IQ, just play it dumber.  And kids aren’t dumber, they’re just inexperienced, and more enthusiastic about life.  And they don’t have the filter that a lot of adults have.   So that’s what we were looking for and what we absolutely found in Zachary Levi.”

In the film, streetwise 14-year-old foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!— courtesy of an ancient wizard.  Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers.

Levi was thrilled with the opportunity to tap into the 14-year-old in him.  “I don’t want to say I’m a man-child,” he jokes, “but I happen to be an enthusiastic, hopeful, energy-filled type of person.  So, to show up on set and get to play this character, Shazam, and fly around and fight bad guys?  I was totally in!  I was so eager to shoot every scene of this film, to be able to bring not just a really badass Super Hero to life, but one who has so much heart and charm and humor.”  

The actor surmises that growing up reading comic books and playing video games probably set him on a particular trajectory, but still, “the scene where the Wizard first transforms Billy into Shazam and he hears his voice for the first time—and it’s my voice!  I couldn’t wait for that moment, I knew it was going to be so much fun.”  Or, to act out the moments “when he sees his reflection for the first time, the whole montage of him learning what his powers are…” Levi adds.  So, really, everything.

Levi says that to play a boy in a grown man’s body was really about straddling the two sides of himself.  “Kids don’t get bogged down with life the way adults do.  They’re not dealing with 401ks or mortgages; they’re just going to school and thinking, ‘I really don’t wanna go to math right now.’  They haven’t built the catalogue of experiences in their journey to adult wisdom yet to understand why things are the way they are.  

“But even as an adult, and especially as an actor,” he continues, “I’ve always tried to maintain a lust for life, along with enthusiasm and sincerity, which I think is what most kids just exude naturally.   Up to a point, they have a purity of heart, and I think that’s what’s so great about this story and what’s unique about Billy specifically.  He is pure of heart, and that’s why the Wizard endows him with this power.  And that’s a big gamble—giving this 14-year-old kid the power of the gods.”

Along with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the endurance of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the fighting abilities of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury, “He’s also got the ability to wield lightning, which is very much in tune with his Zeusitude, if I can be so bold as to call it Zeusitude.  I’m coining that phrase right now,” Levi quips.

On set, the actor had as much fun with the discovery of Shazam’s powers as the character did.  “One of the moments that just delighted me was the scene when he’s stopping the robbery, and he figures out he has bullet immunity.  Basically, he just starts giggling because the bullets literally tickle him.” Long before production began, just reading the scene, Levi confesses, “I just lost it, I started laughing out loud, legitimately LOL-ing by myself in my living room.  Because it’s the joy of that moment.  You don’t get to see Batman or Superman being tickled by their abilities.  Those guys are dudes who’ve had a lot on their shoulders for a long time, while Billy’s just stepping into this world.  You get to experience his delight, and I just loved it.”

Speaking of Shazam’s fellow Super Heroes’ attributes, director Sandberg offers, “Shazam has the best secret identity of all.  He becomes a totally different person, a young boy.  So, if he needs to blend in or get away, he can say ‘Shazam!’ and turn into Billy, just a normal kid.”

In Philippine cinemas April 3, “Shazam!” is a New Line Cinema production, and distributed by Warner Bros., a WarnerMedia Company.  Use the hashtag #SHAZAM

THRILLER “US” PUTS LUPITA NYONG’O FRONT AND CENTER OF SHOCKING TALE

THRILLER “US” PUTS LUPITA NYONG’O FRONT AND CENTER OF SHOCKING TALE

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o stars in Universal Pictures’ new horror thriller Us, playing the film’s central character is Adelaide Wilson, a woman hiding an inexplicable childhood trauma from her past.  She discovers that her attempts to push down and suppress the incident now threatens to destroy not only herself, but her husband and her children.

For such an expansive and complex dual role, director-writer Jordan Peele and his fellow filmmakers quickly turned to Nyong’o.

“We’ve admired Lupita for so long, and as we were thinking about casting, we were shocked to realize that she’s never been the star of a film, but has instead always played these amazing supporting roles,” producer Ian Cooper says. “So we were excited at the opportunity to have her as the anchor at the center of this film. Lupita is someone audiences feel they can access and have an identification with; she’s someone you want to spend time with, but she’s also so good at turning the screw a bit and making you feel suddenly alienated from her as well. That duality in her performance was perfect for this film, on multiple levels.”

Nyong’o has vivid memories of her first meetings with Peele about the roles.

“At first, every time I spoke to Jordan about these roles, I felt like I needed to sign up for philosophy, psychology and sociology courses at a university to be able to play them,” Nyong’o says, laughing. “He’s so detailed and, in my first reading of the script, I knew there was more significance to it than I had caught onto. It wasn’t until I spoke to him that I realized how much he was investigating and trying to unpack in this one story within the horror genre.”

Nyong’o continues, “Early on, I asked Jordan which films were influencing this story or had inspired his imagination.  He created a list for me of films to go through that ranged from Dead Again to A Tale of Two SistersThe Shining, Alien, The Birds. That was very informative, not just for how he was framing this world, but also for specific moments in those films that he pays homage to in Us.”

“One of the themes Jordan said he was interested in exploring was the sense that one of America’s biggest flaws is being unable to recognize its own demons,” Nyong’o says. “That is a powerful thing to be able to do, because it’s what real self-acceptance is: the ability to recognize both your most noble and your most destructive sides.” The idea intrigued her. “We cast judgment on people,” Nyong’o says. “We decide who is good and who is bad. But the truth is that we all possess that duality. That’s a really powerful statement to make, for us to recognize that evil is not an external force but is very much part and parcel of our experience as human beings.”

Peele also gave her a warning before she agreed to take on the film. “One of the first things Jordan said to me was, ‘Lupita, you’re going to be very tired,’” she says, laughing. “And he delivered on that promise! I feel like I’ve made five films, and we’ve only just made one. This was a really intense and all-consuming film to be a part of.”

In Philippine cinemas March 20, Us is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.  Follow us on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/ ; Twitter at https://twitter.com/uipmoviesph  and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/uipmoviesph/. Use the hashtag #UsMovie.