Quentin Tarantino’s Staged ‘Hateful Eight’ Reading Reveals Pic Not Dead Yet

hateful 8 Quentin Tarantino as director“We’ve been rehearsing this for the last three days and we’re not bad,” Quentin Tarantino told a packed crowd tonight at the live staged reading of his The Hateful Eight script. With alumni from his past pics such as Samuel L Jackson, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, James Parks, Amber Tamblyn Michael Madsen, Denis Menochet, James Remar and Walton Goggins plus Bruce Dern by his side onstage at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in downtown LA, the director’s 3.5-hour performance of the five-chapter Western set in post-Civil War Wyoming revealed that Tarantino has a career in theater if he ever decided to chuck the whole moviemaking thing.

Related: Samuel L. Jackson Part Of Saturday’s ‘Hateful Eight’ Reading

Despite the controversy and legal action surrounding the leaked script, which Gawker put online in January, tonight’s Film Independent Presents the World Premiere of a Staged Reading by Quentin Tarantino: The Hateful Eight, as it was formally titled, also revealed that the big-screen version might not be as shelved as the director first told my colleague Mike Fleming Jr. on January 21. “I’m working on a second draft and I will do a third draft, but we’re reading from the first draft,” Tarantino, wearing a black Stetson and red ribbed cowboy shirt, said to the 1,200 patrons in the almost SRO theater before the performance started. (The well-heeled crowd included longtime Tarantino producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein.) “The Chapter 5 here will not be the Chapter 5 later, so this will be the only time it is seen ever.”

Hateful 8 Samuel L. Jackson as the majorRegardless of how Hateful Eight lives on, the crowd loved the show they saw tonight — especially the hands-on onstage narration and direction from Tarantino. “Guys, you are starting to drift away from the dialogue on the page,” the Oscar winner told the actors at one point around halfway through. “No more co-writing,” he added to a big laugh from the audience. “He’s directing,” said Jackson at another part when Tarantino ran across the stage to whisper something into his ear. That also got a big roar from the crowd. A couple of other times, the director asked the actors to start a particular scene over again. Near the end of the performance, Tarantino playfully told Goggins to just read the script and not worry about the imaginary guns in his hands. Also during the later part of the show, both Goggins and Madsen broke from the script and joked with Tarantino about a narration line where Madsen’s character was described as looking like “he’s cumming in his pants.” Madsen told the director that “it’s never happened before.” Tarantino shot back that he’d show him one day what it was like.

Besides several standing ovations, only a 20-minute intermission broke up the show. Tickets for tonight’s event went for $150-$200 a pop, with all proceeds going to Film Independent’s programming efforts at LACMA. Security was a top concern, with the crowd having to give up their cell phones and other electronics before entering the downtown theater. Read More »

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Bruce Dern Calls It A “Geezer’s Dinner”, But Oscar Nominees Show Up In Force At AARP’s Movies For Grownups Awards

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 9:42am PST
Pete Hammond

The Oscar luncheon has become a lynchpin for other events and award-related activities since so many MFGnominees are in town for the occasion. It’s a last-gasp attempt to get them out to as many events as possible before final ballots go out Friday. The Dallas Buyers Club group, the Wolf Of Wall Street and several others had AMPAS Q&As lined up Monday evening. But perhaps the biggest event — judging by the Oscar-nominated star power it drew Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon– was AARP‘s 2014 Awards Gala on Monday night saluting Movies For Grownups. Their mission as they say is to “honor outstanding writing, acting and filmmaking with distinct relevance to the 50-plus audience”. Considering the average age of Oscar voters, this is a good place to be seen. Among the winners were 12 Years A Slave  as Best Movie For Grownups, Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron as Best Director, Nebraska’s Bruce Dern and Philomena’s Judi Dench as Best Actor and Actress, 20 Feet From Stardom for Best Documentary, and Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke for their Before Midnight screenplay. Susan Sarandon received the life achievement award from presenter Melissa McCarthy. Best Buddy Picture was CBS Films’ Lost Vegas with star Morgan Freeman and director Jon Turtletaub on hand. Best Grownup Love Story appropriately went to Nicole Holofcener for the terrific and sadly Oscar-overlooked Enough Said.

Related: 86th Academy Awards Nominees Photo

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Bruce Dern To Receive SBIFF’s Modern Master Award, Steps In For Emma Thompson

dern2Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Academy Award-nominated actor Bruce Dern with the Modern Master Award at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs January 30 – February 9, 2014, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the historic Arlington Theatre and is sponsored by Adobe.

Emma Thompson, who was slated to receive the Modern Master Award, is unfortunately now not able to be in attendance as she is required for rehearsal in London on the New York Philharmonic staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which will be directed by Lonny Price.

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WGA Awards Sets West Coast Presenters

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 10:11am PST

wgaawards15Los Angeles – Oscar nominee Bruce Dern, nominated for his lead role in Nebraska, will join an all-star cast of top Hollywood talent presenting honors at The 2014 Writers Guild Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 1, at the JW Marriott Hotel L.A. LIVE. In addition to three-time Emmy-winning Everybody Loves Raymond star and 2014 WGA L.A. show host Brad Garrett (previously announced), this year’s presenters are slated to include two-time Emmy and Golden Globe-winning The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies, Oscar-nominated writer-actress Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), three-time TV Guide Award and People’s Choice Award-winning Castle co-star Stana Katic, three-time SAG Award-nominated Breaking Bad actress Betsy Brandt, Rizzoli & Isles co-star Sasha Alexander, and six Daytime Emmy Award-winning Jeopardy host Alex Trebek.

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Quentin Tarantino’s New Script: Creating Buzz, And Another Turn For Bruce Dern?

Mike Fleming

quenEXCLUSIVE: Here’s a bit of fun gossip surfacing in Golden Globes weekend. Whenever Quentin Tarantino completes a new script, it’s an event accompanied by great fanfare, partly because his scripts are so damned fun to read. The … Read More »

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OSCARS: ‘Nebraska’ Hitting Uncharted Territory For Actors In Age-Phobic Hollywood With New Campaign Spot (Video)

By | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 1:15pm PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: With today’s Best Picture Producers Guild nomination, 5 Golden Globe nominations, 6 CriticsNebraska poster Choice Movie Award nods and two more from SAG, some Independent Spirit awards love plus a coveted spot on the AFI Top Ten Movies Of The Year list, Paramount’s ‘little-movie-that-could’ … Read More »

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OSCARS Q&A: Bruce Dern Talks ‘Nebraska’

By | Saturday December 21, 2013 @ 12:26pm PST

Anna Lisa Raya is deputy editor of AwardsLine.

AwardsLine.LogoBWWoody Grant, the cantankerous, not-entirely-there patriarch chasing a dubious lottery payoff in Nebraska, is a character Bruce Dern embodied heart and soul. Though always considered a first choice for the role, Dern had to wait almost a decade—and amidst rumors that Gene Hackman would steal the character from him—to sink his teeth into it. His patience paid off with a best actor statuette at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and might lead to his first Oscar nomination since 1978’s Coming Home. While Woody’s quiet, silent type is a far cry from the psychopaths that have characterized Dern’s career, he knew that the role was right for him. His understated take has critics and awards prognosticators buzzing.

Related: OSCARS Q&A: June Squibb On The Road To ‘Nebraska’

AwardsLine: You’ve said that this was the role of a lifetime. You always were the frontrunner, and NEBRASKAyet there was a long delay in getting the film made. What was that like for you?
Bruce Dern: It’ll be 10 years since the script was sent to me through my agent at CAA. I started reading at about 9 o’clock at night, and I was done by 9:50. I read that fast because there was no mistake that this was something special. I was overwhelmed that it came to me. I mean, I pulled my oar for 50-odd years, and I’ve been in good films and everything, but I’ve never had a part that just hit me immediately, like, “This is something I can do.” I responded by going out the next morning and I bought (Alexander Payne) a little red truck. With the truck I sent him a long letter, and I was told he responded positively to the letter. And then the wait began. The next thing I know, Alexander was in production on Sideways! You know, the guy’s making a movie, and I’m not in it. I never got my hopes up; I just kept doing the best I could. But then the next thing I know, Alexander’s in Hawaii! He’s making a movie with George Clooney and all the other folks in The Descendants. Then I got discouraged. I just kind of said to myself, “It’s a business of ups and downs. It’s a business of some do and some don’t. Sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you’re not.” I was lucky to have been privileged enough to be considered for the role. Read More »

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2013 LA Film Critics: ‘Gravity’ & ‘Her’ Tie For Best Picture (Winners List)

LAFCA LogoUPDATED, 2:35 PM: The LA Film Critics Association held its annual end-of year awards vote today, handing Best Picture to WB pics Gravity and Her in one of multiple ties. The big surprise of the day went down as Best Supporting Actor award resulted in a tie between Oscar contender Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) and James Franco (Spring Breakers). Also tying for LAFCA honors were Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos for Blue Is the Warmest Color, while Nebraska‘s Bruce Dern was named Best Actor and Alfonso Cuaron beat Spike Jonze for Best Director.

Scroll down for full winners.

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Blue Is the Warmest Color
Runner-up: The Great Beauty

BEST PICTURE (tie): Gravity and Her

BEST ACTRESS (tie): Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color

BEST SCREENPLAY: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Runner-up: Spike Jonze,
Her

BEST ACTOR: Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her Read More »

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Will Oscar Be Going Indie? Spirit Nominations Celebrate LOTS Of Strong Academy Contenders

Pete Hammond

Nominations for Film Independent’s Spirit Awards were announced earlier today. As usual the Spirits were among the first groups to jump into the awards season fray, but also, other than the Oscars, the last to name winners (the ceremony is Saturday March 1, day before the Academy Awards). That means there can be a big momentum shift between now and then when the envelopes are opened.  But it does give a boost to certain films that qualify as “indies” under their rules (generally a budget under or around $20 million) as they build toward Oscar nominations.  Although the Spirits preclude many Oscar frontrunners such as Gravity, Captain Phillips, American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, Philomena, August: Osage County, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Prisoners and Lee Daniels’ The Butler to name a few they can provide some comfort for those crossover films whose smaller budgets make them eligible for both including newly-minted Best Film nominees  All Is Lost, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and 12 Years A Slave which led all comers with 7 nods. Nebraska was a strong runner-up with 6 and would have tied, but inexplicably Phedon Papamichael’s exquisite black and white scope cinematography was somehow overlooked for the likes of Spring Breakers and Computer Chess. What’s up with that, indie people?

Nevertheless Oscar’s Best Picture list could include several of the Spirit choices and the same goes for the lead acting categories where Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac, Robert Redford, Matthew McConaughey (a winner last year at the Spirits) and Michael B. Jordan all have reasonable chances to make the corresponding Oscar lineup as well as Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett who likely will have a very good early March weekend at both the Spirits and the Oscars for lead actress. Read More »

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Palm Springs To Honor Bruce Dern With Career Achievement Award

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 6:01am PST

Palm Springs, CA (November 19, 2013) – The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Bruce Dern with the Career Achievement Award at its annual Awards Gala. Presented by Cartier and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey. The Festival runs January 3-13, 2014.

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Stars Turn Out To Honor Their Colleagues At Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 1:25pm PST
Pete Hammond

Finally, an awards show for all those people who usually get played off the stage after 45 seconds. Actually last night’s event at the Ebell Theatre was the 7th Annual Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards, an honor for which actors need not apply except as a presenter. Production Designers, Casting Directors, Film Editors, Costume Designers, Cinematographers, even a Property Master got to be in the spotlight here. Yes, there were some “above the line” awards too including David O. Russell (American Hustle) for Directing, Brad Ingelsby and Scott Cooper (Out Of The Furnace) for writing, Saudi Arabia’s Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadja) for Foreign Film and Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter (Dallas Buyers Club) for Producing. I am not exactly sure who votes on these except to say the watchmaker bases the choice of honorees on “the knowledgeable advice of professionals” which I imagine is code for studio publicists who want to get their Oscar contenders out winning something on a November Sunday night. There were lots of PR people swarming the red carpet last night so Hamilton definitely has this on the Hollywood radar. Nevertheless it was a nice, well-organized event and any awards show devoted to the artists who make great movies happen behind the scenes is a worthwhile one.

Numerous actors did show up to make the presentations including Casey Affleck to his Out Of The Furnace writer/director Cooper who was excited about the early trade reviews from the intense film’s AFI Fest premiere the night before. After the Hamilton award he was heading to the DGA where he was thrilled William Friedkin would be doing the Q&A following their official screening. He told me the movie was a “very personal” one that is really about examining the “times in which we live” over the past five years in a country that he says is the “most violent” on earth. Cooper got laughs though in his acceptance when he talked about his very first watch, a Hamilton. “I cherished it until it stopped working. But it sure looked good,”  he said which was not exactly the kind of ringing endorsement for which the evening’s sponsor might have been hoping. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 9:35am PDT

The Paramount comedy is becoming a consensus favorite during this early part of awards season after popping during its time in Telluride — faring even better with buzz than it did in its Cannes debut, when star Bruce Dern won the best actor prize. Director Alexander PayneRead More »

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Telluride: Bruce Dern In ‘Nebraska’ Isn’t Supporting Anyone This Awards Season

By | Friday August 30, 2013 @ 1:31am PDT
Pete Hammond

It was the first full day of movies and events at the 40th Telluride Film Festival. Nebraska‘s Bruce Dern and another potential Best Actor contender this year, All Is Lost‘s Robert Redford met up at the picnic and sat together talking with another legend, Francis Coppola. Of course Redford and Dern co-starred in 1974′s The Great Gatsby, but Dern told me he hasn’t seen the new version. Redford is, the subject of a Telluride tribute and seemed to be having a great time catching up with old friends during his first visit to this festival. His late entrance to the picnic caused a stir with lots of cameras whirring. Coppola is returning to Telluride after several decades and supporting his granddaughter Gia Coppola’s feature film directorial debut, Palo Alto, which premiered Friday night and next heads to Toronto. The proud grandpa told me Gia represents the fourth generation of his family in the movie business - father Carmine (an Oscar winner for music), himself, kids Roman and Sofia.  But back to Dern, who is here for screenings of his new film Nebraska and made very clear to me where he stands on the issue of being recognized this awards season.

The Internet recently offered Dern and the movie’s distributor Paramount unsolicited advice on which category – lead actor or supporting – he belongs in for his terrific performance in the Alexander Payne film releasing November 22nd. The thinking is that, because he is an older veteran actor, he could instantly become a frontrunner in the supporting category (like Christopher Plummer in Beginners or James Coburn in Affliction). Whereas the Lead Actor race is overcrowded and he could be squeezed out of even a nomination.Dern is aware of the Internet chatter but completely dismisses it. “I don’t know why they are saying that. I suppose they could take a stopwatch and say someone else has one minute and 45 seconds more screen time than I do so that makes me supporting. But I say ‘get the f**k out of here’,” he told me at Thursday’s opening picnic. Read More »

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Hammond On Cannes: Spielberg And Jury Award France’s Sizzling, Sexy And First Gay Palme d’Or Winner; Is Oscar Next?

Pete Hammond

Blue Is The Warmest Color (La Vie D’Adele – Chapitre 1 & 2) is only the second purely French film in this most French of festivals to win the Palme d’Or in the past 46 years. The film has had the … Read More »

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Hammond On Cannes: Paramount’s ‘Nebraska’ Hits Town As Only Major Studio Movie In Competition

Pete Hammond

Alexander Payne says he only finished postproduction last Friday on his Cannes competition entry Nebraska, which had its press screening this morning and will premiere tonight. Reviews coming in so far are largely mixed to very good. Even though Paramount won’t release it until November 22, Payne likes to take awhile in post to get everything right. There was initial concern about even making the Cannes date, so that is why until just a week before this year’s official lineup was announced did Paramount and Payne even decide to take a shot. He brought the film to Paris, showed it to Thierry Fremaux with only two days to spare, and landed tonight’s slot. Payne is becoming somewhat of a Cannes regular — although other than 2002′s About Schmidt, this is only his second film in competition. He has served on the juries of both Un Certain Regard and, last year, the main selection.

Nebraska, which will be one of Paramount’s Oscar hopes this year, played well to nice but brief applause from the press at the screening and at the press conference that followed (especially when stars Bruce Dern and Will Forte were introduced). It’s pure Payne in its humanist, gently funny style and captures that Middle America folksy style in beautiful black and white, but it is definitely what I would call a small film that will need tender loving care from the studio (the only major studio film in competition). Read More »

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TOLDJA! Paramount Heads To ‘Nebraska’ With Bruce Dern And Will Forte

By | Monday August 6, 2012 @ 2:59pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount has given a green light to Nebraska and has set a mid-October production start on the black & white film Nebraska, Alexander Payne’s followup to The Descendants. And while the road trip pairing of Bruce Dern and Read More »

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Alexander Payne Wants Bruce Dern And Will Forte To Accompany Him To ‘Nebraska’

By | Tuesday May 15, 2012 @ 11:31am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Alexander Payne has fixed on Bruce Dern and Will Forte for the main roles in Nebraska, the black and white $13 million budget road trip comedy for Paramount. Payne wants to make the Bob Nelson script … Read More »

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EMMYS: When Is A Guest Star Really A Guest Star?

Nellie Andreeva

Cloris Leachman today landed her 22nd career Emmy nomination for her role on Fox’s freshman comedy Raising Hope and may add to her haul of eight Emmy Awards, which is already a record for a female performer. But, despite being featured in the main credits of the show before the title card, listed as a cast member on Fox’s website and included on panels for the series, Leachman, who appeared in 20 of Raising Hope‘s 22 episodes, was nominated not as a supporting actress in a comedy series but as a guest star. The move probably helped the Oscar winner to snag a nomination in the less-crowded guest star field, but it also raises the issue of what really constitutes a guest star on a TV series as the line between a guest and supporting actor has blurred in recent Emmy races.

According to Emmy’s rulebook, “Comedy/Drama series guest performers with ‘guest star’ billing, or who are contracted as such, are eligible in the guest performer categories without regard to the number of episodes he/she appeared in.” The definition was originally limited to a single episode but was later expanded to three episodes and eventually the limit on the number of episodes was lifted altogether. Per 20th Century Fox TV, which produces Raising Hope, Leachman was technically a guest star on the first season of the show despite appearing in virtually every episode, so she was eligible for the guest starring category, something she won’t be next year as she is being promoted to a regular for Season 2.

Leachman’s guest starring nomination is part of a growing trend of the TV Academy moving away from the traditional guest starring stints involving a splashy performance in a single episode and awarding nominations for playing characters built over the course of one or more seasons that often feel like supporting roles. Not a single actor from a primetime series nominated in the guest starring categories this year has done only one episode of the show they got nominated for. Read More »

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Ben Affleck Circling Big ‘Great Gatsby’ Role

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ben Affleck is in talks to play the role of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann-directed 3D adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic at Warner Bros. Now, Affleck will have to work to fit … Read More »

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