Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.”
Dylan O’Brien, who shot to fame playing Stiles Stilinski on MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” is opening up about not joining Paramount Plus’ upcoming film revival of the hit television series.
“It was a difficult decision. A lot went into it,” O’Brien told me earlier today while promoting his new movie “The Outfit” (more on that later). “The show couldn’t be more dear to me. It was the first thing I ever did I and so many people there are extremely dear to me. It was something I was trying to make work but it all happened very fast. We didn’t really know that it was happening and they kind of just threw it at us a little bit, which is fine because we all love the show. We were trying to figure it out.”
However, he says, “Ultimately, I just decided it was left in a really good place for me and I still want to leave it there. I wish them well and I’m going to watch it the first night it comes out. I hope it fucking kicks ass, but I’m not going to be in it.”
Variety was the first to report the movie was in the works in September 2021. Paramount Plus announced last month that “Teen Wolf,” being written and produced by series creator Jeff Davis, will include original cast members Tyler Posey, Holland Roden, Colton Haynes, Shelley Hennig, Crystal Reed, Orny Adams, Linden Ashby, JR Bourne, Seth Gilliam, Ryan Kelley, Melissa Ponzio and Dylan Sprayberry.
Daisy Edgar-Jones’ new Hulu horror movie “Fresh,” co-starring Sebastian Stan, may have some comedic moments, but it’s so twisted and dark that she had to find something to take her mind off the work when she’d wrap for the day.
“I find watching reality TV really helps with that,” she says. “I would go home every night and watch ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.’ That was what was on at the time and I think that really helped,” the British actress says during an appearance on today’s episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast.
Her favorite queen? “I quite like Blu Hydrangea,” Edgar-Jones says. “She’s from the north of Ireland and I have a lot of family there.”
Charlie McDowell found it funny when the COVID officer on the set of his new thriller “Windfall” would tell him to wear his mask and shield while talking to the film’s co-star and his real-life fiancé Lily Collins. “I was always masked, but she’d come up to me every time I spoke to the actors and would be like, ‘You need to wear your visor whenever you speak to the actors,’” McDowell recalls. “Even when I was talking to Lily, I had to put the visor on. But then at a certain point, I was like, ‘I go home and go to sleep in the same bed with this person. It’s not like I’m wearing a visor in the bedroom.’”
Later in our chat, he adds with a laugh, “It was a pretty bold move to see if can make a movie together before we were even married. Luckily, it ended up working out well.”
In “Windfall,” Jesse Plemons stars as a tech billionaire who returns to his vacation home with his wife (Collins) to find they are being burglarized by Jason Segel. “Jesse’s part was original written as an older CEO in his 50s, but we couldn’t figure out the casting,” McDowell recalls. “Then there was this moment where I was just like, ‘Jesse would be right for this.’ I sent the script to Jesse and said, ‘You’re not going to read it and be like, ‘Oh, I know how to play this.’ It’s not going to make sense, but I think we could craft a character around you.’”
Little did anyone know that “Windfall” can be marketed as starring an Oscar nominee because Plemons is now up for his first Academy Award for his work in “The Power of the Dog.”
Like “Power of the Dog” and Collin’s hit TV show “Emily in Paris,” “Windfall” is a Netflix property. “I really respect how Netflix is sort of going back to an old Hollywood studio feel, which is, let’s work with the filmmakers and the voices that we want to work with and we’ll take a gamble on their stories,” McDowell says, adding, “I hope people watch it on as big of a TV as they can and not like on an Apple Watch. But as long as they watch it, I think that that’s cool.”
McDowell is hoping to have his next project finalized in the next few weeks. “It’s a kind of tricky one to make in a very specific window in Scandinavia in the summer,” he explains. “We have just two months to shoot it and it takes place on a rock island in Finland.”
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” was celebrated with a gospel brunch at Craig’s in West Hollywood last weekend. The festivities included makeup artists offering fake eyelash applications and Instagram-able moments using Tammy Faye Bakker-inspired, faux-fur wraps and hats. Real wigs worn by Jessica Chastain in the film were also on display. The only things missing were a couple of Tammy Faye drag queens singing gospel tunes. And can we talk about how beautiful it was that Chastain asked longtime LGBTQ+ and AIDS activist Steve Pieters to be her guest at the annual Oscar nominees luncheon on Monday? “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” features a scene that recreates Bakker’s historic 1985 TV interview with Pieters, who was diagnosed with AIDS at the time, on the PTL Christian television network. As I was the first to report, Chastain also recently recorded a tribute to Pieters for the audio component of Stories: The AIDS Monument, the memorial for people living with and who have died from HIV/AIDS that is being installed in West Hollywood Park.
“Better Things” star Mikey Madison couldn’t be happier about the success of her latest movie, Paramount’s reboot of the “Scream” franchise. However, she’s a bit disappointed that she can’t be in the sequel because her character – spoiler alert! – didn’t make it out alive. “It’s the most heartbreaking thing. I’m trying to think of ways how I can pitch to the directors to have me come back,” Madison tells me. “It was so much fun to film and I’ve fallen in love with the rest of the cast. I’m so jealous.”
Make sure to check out “Andy Warhol Diaries,” director Andrew Rossi’s new six-part documentary series on Netflix about the late pop artist. Just when you think you probably know all there is to know about Warhol, Rossi paints a full picture of the artist as a man wanting and searching for love. In “Diaries,” executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Rossi points his lens directly into Warhol’s private life to show how he was a queer man navigating a world that didn’t always know what to make of him.
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