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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Today’s interview: Michelle Williams

    Posted: 12 Nov 2011 12:50 PM PST

    Michelle Williams doesn’t so much impersonate Marilyn Monroe in the winning new bio-drama, “My Week With Marilyn,” as inhabit her, suggest her gifts and her appeal. It was a daunting role, but certainly no tougher than her raw work in last year’s “Blue Valentine,” or her homeless woman-and-a-dog turn in “Wendy and Lucy.”

    She was also in the period-perfect Western “Meek’s Cutoff” earlier this year, and you remember her from “Brokeback Mountain,” “Shutter Island” even TV’s “Dawson’s Creek.”

    I’m curious about her approach to playing another screen icon, Glinda the Good Witch in “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” which she is currently filming.

    Have a question for Ms. Williams? Post them in  the comments, if you please.

    Harry Potter director has another movie he’d like to do with Emma Watson

    Posted: 12 Nov 2011 05:13 AM PST

    David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, is in town with a dozen or so other cast members (Rupert Grint, Warwick Davis, Jason Isaacs, etc.) to help celebrate the home video release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” Part 2.” They’re doing a movie junket at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, and a sort of “wrap party” event tonight.

    I chatted with Yates Friday about his plans for the future, now that “the franchise” is finally over for him and his cast. He has a bunch of things he’s considering, including a film that he wouldn’t elaborate on, but “I’ve got a really great script for Emma Watson. I just have her voice in my head for this part, an amazing role and she'll knock it out of the park.”

    She's going to be a huge star and a long-lasting one if she chooses her roles well.

    Yates says that “The scripts on my desk, go from inter-galactic sci-fi epics to three cahracter dramas set in a New York apartment. Thrillers, comedies, every conceivable genre. And yet every script has just a bit of Potter in it, something that they've seen in the Potter movies that they'd like their films to have – scale, character development, whatever.
    “I've just spent years in the Harry Potter movie gym, where you work with lots of different muscles.

    “I'm trying to line up things I can shoot the way we did Harry Potter—back to back to back. I love that process. A lot of directors take a year or two off between movies. But I was talking with my agents a few weeks ago and saying, 'I like that one. And I REALLY like that one. And that other thing? I LOVE that. Is there a way we could do them all in a row? That way, if one of them doesn't work, it doesn't matter because one of the others might.

    “Steven Spielberg describes directing as building bridges. You have th enext bridge started in case this one collapses underneath you. That's what I used to do in TV, let things overlap”

    One film he’s been fiddling with it screen biography of the mobster Al Capone.

    “I love Capone, that character and that world. It's a topic that's been well-covered in the past, but not the recent past. A great writer, Walon Green, who also wrote 'The Wild Bunch,' scripted that one a while back.

    “I love the idea of making a mythic gangster picture. I love the texture of that world. And he's a very compelling character, Capone. But that too is a couple of years away.
    It was an exciting time, a dangerous time, but also great era for fashion. We're developing that.
    “The next thing I make has to be lean and mean. I think it's healthy to work that way. When you just can solve a problem by writing a check, you use less of your brain. I want to make a movie that has a smaller budget just for that reason. That's how I used to work. It's a good discipline to have.
    I also love making big movies.”

    Yates, being a Brit, of course has a World War II movie he’d like to make. It’s about the WWII raid on the French town of Saint Nazaire.

    “It's a wonderful story, but it's not my next film. It'll be three or four years down the road, I hope. There are a number of other things I'm keen to do before it.
    It's about a second World War mission launched against incredible odds, in which a group of Marines were sent to blow up this French harbor, with a boat (a decommissioned British destroyer) that's been turned into a bomb. Great characters, and a great story.

    “But I'm keen to make my next film in America, and I'm looking at two or three things which some very patient producers are letting me consider.”

    Does he think this will be his last big Harry Potter event? Nooooooo. First of all, there’s a big opening of the actual soundstages and sets that they shot the movies on in the UK coming in March of 2012.

    “In ten years time – I'm sure I'll be on the convention circuit, with these Harry Potter folks again. Yes, the convention circuit may beckon, unless I'm in the Old People's Home for Directors.”