A self-professed whodunit junkie, “Knives Out” writer-director Rian Johnson never wanted his first stab at the genre to play as a parody.
“I was very much thinking of tone from the start,” Johnson said during the Variety Screening Series presented by Vudu. “I wanted it to be funny. First and foremost though, I wanted it to be a straightforward whodunit that was about something, as opposed to a movie that was poking fun at whodunits.”
Johnson went on to describe how much of the film’s humor was discovered through its actors. “In the script, I erred on the side of it being more serious,” he said. “It takes a really good actor to give the massive performance that they’re giving on screen and not have it tip over into feeling like a joke.”
Daniel Craig plays Benoit Blanc, the private detective that’s been anonymously hired to solve the murder of 85-year-old crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Johnson pointed to Blanc’s thick Southern accent as one of the film’s primary comedic elements, serving as a cultural counter to the New England WASP background of his suspects.
“I wanted (the accent) to be gentle and pleasant to the ear. I kept telling our producers it was going to be subtle,” Johnson said before throwing up his arms. “Sorry, producers!”
Ladj Ly made his full-length feature directorial debut with “Les Misérables,” which examines the real-life police brutality in Montfermeil, France. The drama also became France’s entry for best international feature film at the 92nd Academy Awards. “It’s amazing. Just making the movie was not even guaranteed at all. Now, being at the Oscars, the visibility [...]
How do you make an audience relate to the plight of a severed hand? The filmmakers behind “I Lost My Body” had to tackle the unique problem in their movie, which earned an Oscar nomination for animated feature. “It’s not the body missing the hand, but it’s the hand missing the body. Giving the conscience [...]
Director Todd Phillips dove into the meaning behind the pivotal bathroom scene in “Joker” during the Variety Screening Series presented by Vudu. Played by Joaquin Phoenix, failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck slowly transforms into the murderous villain in Phillips’ movie, which picked up 11 Oscar nods, the most of any film this year. “One of [...]
A prolific stage, television and film actor, BD Wong said he is perhaps most recognized for his role as FBI agent/forensic psychiatrist Dr. George Huang on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” But for a long time, the 59-year-old Tony winner did not understand fans’ affinity for the soft-spoken doctor with the soothing bedside manner, […]
After 16 seasons as the faces of “Project Runway,” Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum are ready for a change. The pair have jumped to Amazon for “Making the Cut,” a new competitive reality series. “One of the reasons Heidi and I wanted to fly and saw the opportunity of Amazon as a brand new threshold […]
Variety’s Angelique Jackson sat down with “This is Us'” star Sterling K. Brown for the season finale to discuss everything from the importance of mental health and how it’s projected on television, how many times his kids have seen “Frozen 2” and even took a break to sing a little “Shallow” from “A Star is […]