Marlene Forte is living proof that success stories can happen to those who put their hearts, minds and fortitude into making them happen. Forte, a Cuban American immigrant, former teenaged mom and self-made business entrepreneur who spent six solid successful years as a video store owner, has turned herself into the female version of a Quentin Tarantino, with an encyclopedic knowledge of films, directors and actors. Both her impressive acting portfolio and her one of a kind story have positioned her as a creative voice and force certainly to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.
With her current TV role as Rosie Hernandez in Tyler Perry’s TBS Sitcom ‘House of Payne’ and her upcoming big screen part in ‘Star Trek XI’, Marlene is living proof that it’s never too late to follow your calling, and her fiery Latin heritage doesn’t even begin to capture the extent of her resilience!
Forte is one of those rare talents whose dedication continues to set a standard in Hollywood. With each character and role she takes on, Marlene Forte is refining a formula of proving Hollywood wrong by continually breaking through Hollywood’s stereotypes and carving a niche for the Latino community and tearing down the walls of “ethnic minorities”.
Supernatural season 4 has been a wild roller coaster ride for fans and viewers alike as Dean and Sam Winchester (Jensen Ackles & Jared Padalecki) have faced some of the toughest challenges of their ‘hunter’ careers: from Dean being pulled out of hell by an angel to take on a mission from God to Sam becoming addicted to the demon blood from which he gains powers to defeat those very same demons. Along for this ride with the Winchester brothers is the Angel Castiel, played by the charming and very talented Misha Collins who recently received his official notice that his character is going to be regular in the upcoming Supernatural season five.
Yet before fans, viewers and actors cross that bridge, there are two more episodes left in season four and they promise to be the wildest part of the ride yet and Eclipse Magazine had a chance to spend ten minutes talking to Misha Collins about his role so far in season four as the angel Castiel.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in Austin Texas has is the little theater that could. It’s become an Internationally known movie theater and a must see stop for anyone visiting town which is quickly becoming a haven for the Hollywood hipsters to hang out. This is in large part due to the folks at Ain’t It Cool News and the hot new South By SouthWest conference, that, apparently I’m not cool enough to give credentials too. But that’s another story. After a few recent bad movie going experiences here in DC, I was ready to get a movie executive on the horn and vent, who better to talk to then the CEO of the Alamo John Martin – especially since they are expanding and opening their 2nd theater, here in Virginia.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about your role at the Alamo Drafthouse?
As chief executive officer my role has been that of: Overseer of creative DNA for the Alamos, promoter of specialty events with celebrities, ambassador for independent filmmakers, and creator of expansion opportunities for Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in new markets.
I have big plans for Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas over the next 12 months and beyond. Alamo will expand beyond its home state of Texas for the first time this fall by opening an eight-screen theatre in Virginia and will continue growth in Texas with three theatres – two franchisee-owned locations in McAllen and San Antonio, set to open by the end of 2009, and one corporate-owned location in Austin opening early next year. I am also in the process of qualifying potential franchisees for a theatre in San Marcos, Texas for an early 2010 opening. Also, in addition to continuing Alamo’s commitment to first-run blockbusters as well as independent films, I plan to unveil a number of programs designed to appeal to a wider variety of guests.
This week all of the movie executives are meeting in Vegas, partying, golfing and toasting each other on their box office success at the annual Movie Theater Owners event ShoWest. I was planning on attending but at the last minute real life interfered. This week I was able to catch up with Paul Dergarabedian the box office analyst at of one of the first film sites on the web Hollywood.com (although we did beat them to the punch a few years earlier, they’ve always had money and a great domain – man if I could turn back the clock). The interview we talked a bit about the history of Hollywood.com, where the film industry is and other stuff. Check out the interview, it’s good.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about your role at Hollywood.com?
I track and analyze of box-office data and trends as well as publishing a new blog called Hollywood on the Run (http://ontherun.hollywood.com/). The blog includes my musings on entertainment trends and also original video content that I produce myself.
I love Michael Ealy; he’s one of those really strong character actors who does a great job of blending into the background for his roles. You may not know his name but you’ll recognize his face. He was once selected as one of People’s most beautiful people in the world but he’s never been one who traded on his looks. As a matter of fact he’s purposely avoided getting famous. “When you get too famous, people just see that famous face.” So no his goal isn’t to become a super star, it’s to continue getting steady work, “If it were up to me I’d be doing nothing but great things.” I recently had a television conversation with him about his role in 7 Pounds and his star turn as the cynical soldier Bishop in Spike Lee’s controversial film Miracle at St. Anna.
What was it like going from playing Bishop to your role in Seven Pounds?
It was like night and day. Two completely different characters, Bishop was all cynical anti-establishment, he was the guy who was like F the government and the war, why should I fight for a country that treats me like dirt? My character in Seven Pounds works for the Government has a wife and kids. I get to play a total square. I think this is the first time that I’ve ever worn a suit in a movie. I called my Mom up and told her to watch it.
The first thing you need to know about Director/Producer R.W. Goodwin is that he is the man who directed all the season finale episodes of the first 5 seasons of one of my favorite shows of all time – The X-Files for which he received four Emmy Nominations for Outstanding Drama Series and won Three Golden Globe Awards. So of course I had a love fest going on (and he produced the series Tru Calling). The 2nd thing you need to know is that he is really open and talkative, you ask one question and he’ll go on for a few minutes. The third thing you need to know is that he recently directed and produced a weird (in a good way) little sci-fi film called Alien Tresspass. The movie is a throwback and homage to 50s sci-fi films, starring Will and Grace’s – Eric McCormack. Everything from the sets, to the special effects, to the acting style is straight out of the 50s.
For a few minutes I actually believed the marketing campaign that this was some long lost 50’s sci-fi classic that was recently discovered. Hey, I never watched a second of Will and Grace so I didn’t know who Eric was. The movie is a combination of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Blob and the Day The Earth Stood Still put into a blender. The fourth thing you need to know is this is a pretty long and involved interview that starts a bit abruptly…
I think I’m a Masochist [when referring to my brief 3 year attempt at producing a tv show]
I finally laid off of producing television series because it was becoming too much of a drag and I was working with a lot of people I didn’t like. A friend said producing television is like waking up every morning being chased by Coyotes.
Tyrese Gibson is another one of those Rappers who successfully made the transition from music to films. He started by making guest appearances on TV shows like Moesha and Martin and had his first breakthrough role starring in John Singleton’s Baby Boy. This is where I first notice Tyrese, I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never heard a single one of his songs, so couldn’t comment on that, but as an actor he certainly has the “It” thing. He’s currently on tap to star in Marvel’s upcoming Luke Cage film and he’s in next summer’s Transformers sequel. I had the chance to talk with him for a few minutes for the Blu-ray release of Death Race. Here’s what I learned.
Tyrese wouldn’t talk about Luke Cage. He said it’s too early in the process and until he sees a finalized script he doesn’t have anything to say about it.
On the difference between working with Paul W.S. Anderson and Michael Bay is primarily budget and scope. Bay is very much a big movie director/general who doesn’t spend as much time with his actors as Anderson does. Anderson is more personal and hands on.
He’s not a method actor, but during the last two weeks of filming he really got into his dark place and didn’t come out of it for a while, to play a dark character you have to really just let yourself go and surrender to it.
He’s a chameleon who likes to challenge himself in the types of roles that he takes.
He never wants to mix music with his acting, so he’s taking a complete break from Music. Saying that when he does something he wants to commit to it 100% which is why he won’t sing in any of his films and he doesn’t want to do any soundtrack music for any of his films.
Other than talking about working with Michael Bay he avoided all my questions related to next summer’s Transformers other than saying it was a completely different experience and that times he was filming both Death Race and Transformers at the same time.
They didn’t have any race training for Death Race, other than just being a naturally fast driver.
He’s not a huge comic book fan, but he’s done his research for Luke Cage and he does have some books at his house.
Death Race hits the streets Dec 23, on Blu-Ray ($39.99 retail) and an Unrated DVD Version (29.99).
EM Interview by
By Michelle Alexandria
Originally posted 12.21.08
For some reason fanboys seem to have an irrational hatred of British director Paul W.S. Anderson who is best known for directing several successful video game films including Mortal Kombat and helming the Resident Evil franchise which will be shooting it’s 4th installment sometime next year. He also did Alien Vs. Predator which James Cameron once called the 3rd best Alien films. Sure his films always has a much lower budget than most sci-fi film, but Anderson is a technical director who knows how to make a smaller budget film seem bigger than they are. Even though I’ve always hated the games, I’ve been a fan of Anderson’s R.E. films (and generally I don’t like Zombie movies either). So it was a pleasure to have a quick conversation with him last week. I really wanted to ask him about Aint It Cool News’ irrational hatred and personal attacks against him, but ran out of time. Here’s what I learned.
Anderson loves the Blu-ray format and thinks that if you put a movie on it, you should use it to its fullest extent. When he purchases a Blu-ray and it’s barebones he feels cheated (amen brother) and that his movies are always successful and have a longer shelf life as DVDs and now Blu-rays because he always strives to use the medium to it’s fullest extinct. In our short conversation we talked extensively about this and he’s really proud of the Death Race Blu-ray release, as well as the work he put into the upcoming Event Horizon Blu-ray as well. He said if you pay double for a Blu-ray you should get more.
On the Death Race Blu-ray there is this cool multi-angle (7 Camera) feature that let’s users re-cut one of the major action sequences in the film. As proof of Anderson and Universal’s commitment to the Blu-ray format, this featured cost $750,000 to produce. Through BD-Live you can upload your new cut and there will be contests where he and the movie’s editor will judge the best cut.
There will be a Resident Evil 4 film and they are working on it now. When asked about some critics irrational hatred of him, he said he doesn’t care what critics think. Especially when they don’t even get the film. One Critic questioned who the audience for the first Resident Evil film was, then when the sequel came out said that he killed the franchise.
It took him ten years to get Death Race made. Famed B-Movie director/producer and the creator of the original Death Race film, Roger Corman distributed Anderson’s very first film in America, so he’s always been an inspiration for him and has impacted his career. When you work on a project this long, it showed people that he was committed to getting it done.
Death Race is actually a prequel to Roger’s film. He wanted to do a contemporary version because he loved the idea of using Cars as “these big war machines,” and the first movie didn’t have the budget to really do it properly.
He only gets nervous when he sees a film with an audience for the first time. He makes his movie for an audience and when they don’t like it he feels gutted.
Death Race hits the streets Dec 23, on Blu-Ray ($39.99 retail) and an Unrated DVD Version (29.99).
Leverage is a new TNT show that airs Sunday nights. The show reminds me a lot of USA’s weekly spy caper – Burn Notice. The difference is being that instead of an ex spy stuck in Miami, Leverage is about criminals trying to do the right thing. They take on, primarily Corporate criminals who prey on the week and helpless. I watched the first two episodes a few weeks ago and liked it, can definitely see the potential in it, even though I’m usually not a big fan of procedurals or complicated con-games.
I recently had the chance to sit down with one of the shows stars Aldis Hodge who plays the techno geek Alec Hardison and the show’s creator and mastermind, the great Dean Devlin. Doing a multi-person interview is always strange because I always end up focusing on one of the participants and not both equally. I had a lot of questions for Dean, but I made a connection with Aldis over our mutual geek love fest and he new friend the Playstation 3. It was a 5pm interview (which I usually hate) both were energetic and a lot of fun. They were going to do a screening and Q and A later that night and I was off to see the Wizard of Oz at DC’s Warner Theater. We had a short-term (about 30 minutes) romance.
I’ve been playing a lot of Call of Duty 4 the last few weeks. Thinking about picking up Call of Duty: World at War.
In the upcoming movie “The Secret Life of Bees” (starring Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah) Tristan Wilds portrays Zack Taylor, a young, idealistic teen growing up in the tumultuous racially charged sixties during the height of the civil rights movement. As a young black man trying to find his way to becoming a lawyer, Zack works part-time for the Boatwright sisters who introduced him to a world of bee keeping, love, sisterhood and a forbidden friendship with Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning); a young white girl on a quest to find out the truth about her dead mother.
I had a chance to sit down and chat with Tristan about his role in this film, bringing “The Wire” to a close and his newest adventure on The CW’s smash hit remake of 90210 – which airs Tuesday nights at 8pm.
Last week I had a chance to participate in a Q and A with Josh Bernstein, the star of the Discovery Channel’s new adventure show Into The Unknown. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the call, but our friends over at Media Boulevard and Deadbolt.com did the interview. Here’s the full transcript.