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International Movie

AMANDA SEYFRIED, THE HEARTBREAKER IN “A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST”

Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried (“Les Miserables,” “Red Riding Hood”) stars as Louise, the woman who would break the hero’s heart in, Universal Pictures’ new comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” (opening exclusively  Today September 3 at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide.)

In the film, after sheep farmer Albert (Seth MacFarlane) backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend, Louise (Seyfried) leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman named Anna (Charlize Theron) rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband (Liam Neeson), a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

The filmmakers wanted to find an actress who was right in the “Goldilocks” zone, someone who could express that artful balance between a woman whom you don’t really want the guy to end up with because she’s not the nicest person, but a character who still has enough redeeming qualities that you don’t think the guy is an idiot for pining after her. Someone “just right.”

Actor-writer-director Seth MacFarlane found everything the team wanted in accomplished actress Amanda Seyfried. He explains: “Amanda is a great example of someone who is perfectly cast. There was the scene on the log where she’s talking to Albert and is about to dump him, and I remember thinking, ‘God, she is nailing it. She’s either the world’s greatest actress, or she’s cut down a bunch of guys like this.’ Amanda is very sweet, so I quickly learned it wasn’t the latter; she’s just extremely good.”

Amanda Seyfried

Seyfried was initially surprised at her casting. She advises: “Most of my projects haven’t been comedy.” Discussing her character, the performer shares: “Louise is a selfish young lady who dumps Albert in such a blunt, insensitive way because he’s not getting it. She is enamored of Foy, town’s most successful businessman, and how awesome she thinks he is that she can’t quite see who he really is. Foy’s very charismatic and he’s got balls, while Albert has no balls at all… figuratively speaking of course. Foy’s attractive to her because he has confidence and sex appeal, and his moustache is really hot.”

Although Theron’s and Seyfried’s characters were at odds, that’s where the similarities between the actresses ended. Theron explains that she struggled with the biting dialogue that was directed toward her on-screen nemesis: “I found myself constantly looking at Seth and saying, ‘I can’t say that. It’s Amanda, come on.’ There is a line where I have to tell her she looks bad in this dress. I was thinking that I am just not that good of an actor. I mean, look at her! She’s like a little doll.”

“A Million Ways to Die in the West” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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International Movie

AMANDA SEYFRIED AND JOSH HUTCHERSON IN AN “EPIC” (3D) JOURNEY

EPIC amanda seyfried

The 3D animated adventure “Epic” will take audiences on an amazing and magical journey through a secret world of hilarious creatures, visually spectacular locations and incredible aerial battles.  The ground-breaking, photo-real animation from the creators of “Ice Age” and “Rio” will make audiences wonder if this hidden world might really exist…perhaps even in their own backyard.

“Epic’ is introduced through the eyes of Mary Katherine (she prefers M.K.) voiced by Amanda Seyfried, a smart, spirited and headstrong 17-year-old who finds herself on the journey of a lifetime.  After returning to her childhood home to connect with her estranged father, Professor Bomba, M.K. loses patience with his endless stories of unseen people who live in the woods.   But when she is magically transported into the Leafmen’s world, she gains a new perspective.  To find her way home, M.K. must do more than believe in this world; she’ll have to help save it.

EPIC Josh Hutcherson

Amanda Seyfried, the versatile and popular star of movies such as “Les Miserables” and “Mamma Mia,” portrays M.K., whom the actress describes as “strong-willed and disconnected from her father to the point where she thinks there’s no way she’s going to be able to even live with him.”

But M.K.’s incredible journey to a secret universe in her own backyard changes many things about her, not the least of which is her feelings about her dad. “She ultimately comes to believe in him,” says Seyfried.  “He was right about so many things.”

The other man in M.K.’s life is a resident of this unseen realm, named Nod.  Josh Hutcherson, who stars as the warrior Peeta Mallark in the blockbuster “The Hunger Games” trilogy, portrays Nod. Rakish and handsome, Nod is all about bucking the rules and flying solo.  But his brazen individualism doesn’t square with the Leafmen’s ideals of teamwork and unity, so he quits the squad.   After M.K. enters his world – and when the stakes are high – Nod discovers what it takes to be a true hero.

EPIC 3D Movie

M.K. and Nod concurrently undergo transformative journeys, which bring them together, and which in turn trigger romantic fireworksthat are initially mixed with suspicion and resistance.  Part of their attraction to one another stems from their feelings of being disconnected to anything else – M.K. by the circumstances of her unsuccessful reunion with her father, and Nod by his rebellious nature, which he directs mostly toward his father figure, the Leafmen’s leader, Ronin (Colin Farrel).

“Epic’ (3D) opens very soon this May 24 in theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox.

 

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International Movie

BLUE SKY STUDIOS BREAKS NEW GROUNDS IN THE ANIMATED SPECTACLE “EPIC” (3D)

EPIC in 3D opens May 24

Prepare to be hurtled along in a journey to the fantastical, spectacular world of “Epic” from Blue Sky Studios, the studio that brought to life the most beloved and successful motion pictures “Ice Age” and “Rio.”

Filmmaker Chris Wedge helms the upcoming larger-than-life “Epic” based on the beloved children’s book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs” by William Joyce which introduced Samurai-like warriors, the Leafmen– and a war being waged in our own backyards between the forces of life and the forces of decay.

colin farrell voices ronin in EPIC

In the thick of adventure in “Epic” is a smart, spirited and headstrong 17-year-old named Mary Katherine but prefers to be called MK (voiced by Amanda Seyfried).  She returns to her childhood home to reconnect with her estranged father, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis), M.K. loses patience with his endless stories of unseen people who live in the woods.   But when she is magically transported into the Leafmen’s world, she gains a new perspective.  To find her way home, M.K. must do more than believe in this world; she’ll have to help save it.

The film’s visual wonders breaks new ground in animated spectacle, realism, action and adventure, but it is Epic’s characters and the actors who portray them that take center stage.  Along with Seyfried’s and Sudeikis’ voices in “Epic” are Beyonce Knowles, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Pitbull, Blake Anderson, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd and Christoph Waltz.

EPIC

The ongoing battle between good and evil in “Epic” transports MK in a secret universe where she teams up with an elite band of warriors headed by Ronin (Farrell), Nod (Hutcherson), a crew of comical creatures including a snail named Grub (O’Dowd), a slug named Mub (Ansari)  and the Leafmen’s queen, Queen Tara (Knowles).  Together they fight to save the forest from the Boggans headed by Mandrake (Waltz) and his son Dagda (Anderson).  In the midst of it all is a caterpillar named Nim Galuu (Tyler), a consummate party animal whose practical know-how make him a key player to save the forest.  Between the forces of light and darkness is Bufo (Pitbull), a tough-guy toad who is a wheeler and a dealer who likes to play all the angles no matter which side wins or loses.

“Epic’s” world is lush and alive through Michael Knapp’s supervision, the movie’s art director in charge of designing characters, colors, environments, textures, story and lighting.  Working with Chris Wedge and artists to transform the familiar environs of a woods into a kind of alien universe, where the colors are more vivid, the light more expressive, and vegetation sways as if it were consciously alive.

EPIC

With these departments achieving unprecedented levels of realism and spectacle, Wedge singles out “pushing the animation further than ever before” as another formidable creative challenge.  “Our characters in EPIC are the most sophisticated-looking and human-looking of all our Blue Sky Studios projects,” he says.

Colin Farrell who voices Ronin enthuses on making the film, “The film is epic by name, epic by nature and epic by experience.”   The Blue Sky Studios team has no bigger fan than Beyoncé Knowles, who says, “The animators based much of their work on footage of the actors recording our lines, so my facial expressions and body language have become part of Queen Tara.

“I was blown away by the detail in the animation,” she continues. “It’s very hard to even tell it’sanimation; it looks so lifelike. I’ve always imagined being in an animated film, so to see that happen was really exciting for me.”

EPIC

Action is also king – or, in this case, Queen – in EPIC, which features two spectacular battles, including the climactic confrontation in which the Leafmen, M.K. and Bomba face off against Mandrake and the Boggans that will decide the fate of Queen Tara’s Moonhaven.  It’s grand storytelling, giant action, and bigger than life heroes and villains in the ultimate war between good and evil.

It’s EPIC.  And it’s all happening in a world you’ve never seen before – but is as close as your own backyard.

Opening across the nation on May 24, “Epic” in 3D and 2D is from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

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International Movie

Les Miserables Q&A With Cossette: Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seigfried Les Miserables

Set against the backdrop of violent political unrest in 19th century France, Les Misérables, based on Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 novel, is an epic story of broken dreams and unrequited love. And although there have been more than 30 film and television productions based on Hugo’s novel, there has never been a film of Les Misérables, the musical until now.

Les Miserables Q&A With Cossette: Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried plays the grown up Cosette who, as a child, was adopted by Jean Valjean, played by Hugh Jackman, a former prisoner who has re-built his life with a different identity.

Q and A follows:

You’ve made a musical before, Mamma Mia!. How does it compare to working on Les Mis?

I have to say Mamma Mia! was a piece of cake compared to this. It was hard, but we pre-recorded all the music and I didn’t have to sound perfect, and it wasn’t classical in the way that Les Mis is classical. And classical is so much harder. I was singing pop music in Mamma Mia! and pop music is a dream compared to this. However, when you get it right, that classical sound, it feels different and it feels wonderful. I loved singing opera when I was young and this reminds me of that.

Did you work with a voice coach to prepare for Les Mis?

Yes, Claire Underwood. And she is one of the reasons that I got this movie. She has been so supportive and just a dream to work with. I’ve also been working with Liz Caplan who is based in New York. She listened to me sing all of the time and I’m sure it was frustrating for her at times but she never lets on, she was always so encouraging, saying things like, ‘you are amazing!’ She has this scientific knowledge and is so in tune with the body and how it works, she’s like a scientist. Actually, she’s more like a magician and I don’t know where I would have been without her. She really helped me so much.

How many times have you seen Les Mis?

Twice. The second time was when we were rehearsing and I went to see the London show. But I could see it over and over again because it’s one of those shows that you become addicted to. You get something different from it each time – there are different nuances, different feelings. And that’s why we had to sing this live because it’s not like an Abba song, something that could be pre-recorded, with this it’s all about being in the moment and giving it a different feel with each take. Les Mis is such a great musical for actors.

What was your reaction when you heard that you would be singing every take live?

I thought, ‘God, this is going to be so hard..’ But I knew why Tom wanted to do it that way because the performance on the day comes through, the vulnerability of your voice comes through and that’s all part of it. Obviously you don’t want the vocals to be flat or sharp but we have so much freedom with it and it’s all about acting, too, rather than just miming to a pre-record.

You loved the role of Eponine when you were a child. But you’re playing Cosette…

Yes, I auditioned for Cosette. I can’t sing Eponine, I wish I could but I can’t. And for my audition I worked on Rue Plumet and A Heart Full of Love and I won’t lie because I felt that first tape was weak. I think they said that I was having trouble in that register and I was. And I respected the way that they cast this film – they are very serious about it and so they should be. They saw everybody and that’s the fairest way to do it. And I was like, ‘OK, I’ll try harder..’ And I kept working. And I love a fight (laughs). I really do. And being in this is my absolute dream and I can’t imagine anything else that I want to do more than this. And I think all of us feel the same way – all of us are Les Mis nerds! (laughs). So I kept doing my lessons and working really hard. And later I met Tom in Los Angeles and Tom explained to me that it was about the acting, the soul and the flavour of the piece and he saw something in me that he believed in, thankfully.

Les Miserables Q&A With Cossette: Amanda Seyfried

heart_full_of_love_amanda_with_partner

How did you find out that you had the role?

I was at home and I missed a call from Tom. It was near Christmas and I was like, ‘why is Tom Hooper calling me? What’s going on?’ And I called him back and he said, ‘my Christmas present to you is that you’ve got the job..’ I was absolutely thrilled, as you can imagine. It really was the best Christmas present ever. And I don’t take it lightly. It’s an honour to be in this film.

Tell me about Cosette…

Cosette is the adopted daughter of Jean Valjean, played by the lovely Hugh Jackman, our hero. He plucked her from this terrible, terrible situation. Cosette is an orphan and her mother, Fantine died when she was tiny. Valjean knew Fantine and he finds her in this awful situation and he adopts her and brings her up as his own child. I play Cosette when she is older and Valjean is still very protective of her. She doesn’t really have any friends but they have an amazing relationship and it’s quite a complicated dynamic because she’s a bit like his mother, his sister, his wife and his child but it works, they love each other. But she’s had this kind of secluded life and then she’s out one day coming back from church and that’s when her journey really starts because she meets Marius, played by Eddie Redmayne, and she falls in love. It’s the beginnings of romantic love and it’s confusing because she’s never felt like that before. In our story, Cosette really represents hope and innocence and she’s the source of light in Les Misérables. It’s wonderful to play that but it also feels like a huge responsibility.

You mentioned Hugh as Jean Valjean. What’s it been like to work with him?

I think, with his wonderful outlook and attitude, he is the most gracious person I’ve ever met. And he’s funny and he’s normal and he knows his stuff. He really is the nicest person I have ever met. He’s a great Aussie bloke and a lovely human being. I’d like Hugh Jackman for president, please (laughs). Oh, and did I say he’s the most talented actor? Because I should have. He is so right for this role and he has the most incredible voice.

You have a lot of scenes with Eddie Redmayne…

I’d always known Eddie was good because I’ve seen his films but what I didn’t know is what an incredible voice he has. He is just great. He’s got the chops. And he is so right as Marius because there’s an innocence about him. And it’s a lot of fun doing scenes with Eddie and singing together. And I must say, Sam (Barks) has got the most incredible voice. She had to really fight to get the role of Eponine, which she played in the London stage show. And they were so right to give her the part in the film. She has the most amazing voice. As does Annie. Oh my God, her voice just makes me melt. It’s like butter.

And Anne does play your mother of course. That’s a little odd…

(laughs) It’s weird because Anne is only two or three years older than me. But of course, we are in different parts of the film. I’m Fantine’s grown up daughter. But it’s definitely interesting that Anne Hathaway is playing my mother! (laughs).

Tom Hooper hasn’t directed a musical before. Were you surprised when you heard that he was directing Les Misérables?

Yes I was. But when I had my first audition with him I was like, ‘I get what he’s doing..’ He’s so aware of the music but the acting is the key element and he doesn’t lose sight of that. This is an epic film and he absolutely knows what he wants and he is in control of it for every second. He’s the most amazing director.

“Les Miserables” Now Showing Nationwide released and distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corp.