EXCLUSIVE: YouTube host and actress Anna Akana is the latest online personality to jump to the big screen. She’s joined Sally Field and New Girl‘s Max Greenfield in the cast of Haven Entertainment and Red Crown’s Hello, My Name Is Doris, the indie comedy directed by Michael Showalter from his script with Laura Terruso. Akana’s the YouTuber behind recent viral videos like the make-up tutorial spoof How To Put On Your Face, which has garnered 1.4M views in less than a month. (Watch it below.) She’s a prolific online creator whose channel boasts 60 million views and 900,000 subscribers, and last year wrote and starred in her own narrative feature Riley Rewind, scoring a none-too-shabby 20M views online.
EXCLUSIVE: Sally Field will star in the indie comedy Hello, My Name Is Doris, opposite New Girl’s Max Greenfield and 2 Broke Girls’ Beth Behrs. Michael Showalter will direct a script he wrote with Laura Terruso. Jack Antonoff is also part of the ensemble. Field will play an isolated 60-year old woman who is motivated by a self-help seminar to romantically pursue a younger coworker. This causes her to stumble into the spotlight of the local hipster social scene. The film is a co-production between Haven Entertainment and Red Crown, with Haven’s Jordana Mollick and Kevin Mann producing with Red Crown’s Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker, and Daniel Crown executive producer. Haven and Red Crown teamed on Life Partners, which premiered at Tribeca.
Field is coming off The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and if Greenfield and Behrs have their eyes on feature careers after they wrap their series turns, Field is a heckuva role model. Jumping back and forth between TV and films isn’t that hard now, but it was tough when Field went from starring in Gidget and The Flying Nun to winning Oscars for Norma Rae and Places in the Heart, and getting nominated most recently for Lincoln. Showwalter produced and co-wrote Lionsgate’s They Came Together (Greenfield is part of the ensemble cast) and the director first worked with Red Crown when …
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
The Actors Stories speeches that set the stage for each Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony—unofficially referred to as the “I’m An Actor” speeches—have become one of the most anticipated elements of the awards show. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable:
“My first memory of wanting to be an actor came when I saw my mother play the title role in Evita. I watched her die on stage and come back to life in time for the applause, and I thought, Hi-diddly-dee. My name is Anne Hathaway, and I’m an actor”.
“I performed my first scene ever when I was 12 years old in the 7th grade at Birmingham High School. I was very shy, and I had no idea what I was doing, so I just flung myself off the cliff and felt like I was falling. I’ve been falling ever since. I think that’s kind of what it is, informed falling. I’m Sally Field, and I’m an actor”.
Even as Oscar nomination polls were closing Friday afternoon, the awards season action was already shifting to the Southern California desert as the 10-day Palm Springs International Film Festival kicked off, not only with its highly publicized Saturday night gala where enormous statuettes are handed out to Oscar hopefuls looking for a boost in the race, but also as a genuinely impressive public showcase for world cinema.
42 of the 71 official Oscar foreign entries are on display at the Fest (which runs through January 13) including 8 of the 9 finalists which made the shortlist. Many of those filmmakers nervously awaiting results, of which of the 9 become the 5 nominees, were at the fest all weekend, even as a select group of about 30 high-profile Academy members (including Meryl Streep, who told me last year she had a great time on this uber committee) in New York and Los Angeles were viewing the finalists and making their choices (to be announced with other Oscar nominees on Thursday morning).
David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor.
No actress has matured before our eyes the way Sally Field has. Appearing on the scene first as a perky ingénue in two 1960s TV series—Gidget and The Flying Nun—she made an unexpected dramatic breakthrough in Sybil (1976), a made-for-TV movie that brought the genre newfound respect. From there it was a relatively short hop to her first Oscar, as an unlikely union leader in Norma Rae (1979). Then—for a good decade and a half—Field appeared in consistently solid material, including playing a single-minded reporter opposite Paul Newman in Absence Of Malice (1981) and Tom Hanks’ redoubtable mama in Forrest Gump (1994). Then, after a period out of the limelight, she reemerged on TV in 2006 to lead the Walker clan for five seasons on Brothers & Sisters. Earlier this year she played Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony’s reboot of its lucrative franchise. And now she claims her biggest—and most important—role in at least 20 years, as the mentally unstable wife of our 16th president in Steven Spielberg’s epic Lincoln, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the great man.
AwardsLine: What appealed to you about playing Mrs. Lincoln?
Sally Field: What doesn’t? I’d been looking out for her for a long time. She is one of the most underexamined, misunderstood, maligned, yet important women in American history. Had there not been a Mary Todd, there would not have been an Abraham Lincoln. She found him early on, and she was ambitious. She always said she was going to marry the president. She recognized his genius and said, “He’s the one. I will marry him, and he will be president.” She honed him. She was always his closet confidant—until they got to the White House. She was highly complicated but a very necessary and important part of his life. So, yes, she was someone I wanted to play.
Related: OSCARS: The Supporting Actress Race
It’s a reunion for Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg when she returns to the studio where she first auditioned for the director for a role in The Color Purple. Now 27 years later, she’s here to talk with Spielberg about his latest film Lincoln. The clip below offers a first look at her conversation with Spielberg and the film’s stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field. The interview airs on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 9 PM.
“It has all been leading up to this night,” AFI CEO and President Bob Gazzale told me at the Hollywood Roosevelt pre-screening reception for the AFI Fest closing film, the official World Premiere of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. It was actually first presented in “unfinished” form at the New York Film Festival, a fact that didn’t bother Gazzale. “We ask the studios ‘how can we help you with your movie? We were thrilled to get it as our closing’,” he said and felt this was a very big deal. It made nice bookends for the festival that opened with Hitchcock and now was closing with Lincoln.
It was indeed a big deal with virtually the entire principal cast turning out. Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones as well as Spielberg, screenwriter Tony Kushner and most of the key crew were there. DreamWorks chief Stacey Snider, Participant’s Jim Berk and Jeff Skoll and Disney’s Bob Iger also attended, along with many others.
Spielberg was excited to see the long gestating project finally premiere at the Chinese Theatre. The film, which details Lincoln’s battle with Congress to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, is ironically relevant to today’s fractured Congressional fights and the director thinks the post-election timing is perfect, especially with looming debates about several hot button issues. “I didn’t want to see this released in front of the election or see it politicized”, Spielberg told me. “I think now it can almost be a kind of cleansing for the country”.
EXCLUSIVE: Jackie Earle Haley is set for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, playing the role of Alexander Stephens. Stephens was vice president of the Confederate States during the Civil War and a nemesis of Lincoln’s slavery reform agenda. He is remembered for an infamous speech in which he said that slavery was the “natural condition of blacks and the cornerstone of the Confederacy.” The Spielberg-directed film shoots this fall and DreamWorks is eyeing a late 2012 release date, after the presidential elections. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Abraham Lincoln, Sally Field plays Mary Todd, and Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt also star. Haley, whose career was resuscitated with his Oscar-nominated performance in Little Children, is currently in London shooting the Tim Burton-directed Dark Shadows for Warner Bros. Haley is repped by CAA and managed by Leslie Rice.
David Strathairn has been set for a key role in Lincoln by director Steven Spielberg. He’ll play William Seward, Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, an outspoken abolitionist and a core member of Lincoln’s wartime cabinet. He joins Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The DreamWorks film has been set to begin production this fall in Virginia for a late 2012 release through Disney’s Touchstone label. Tony Kushner wrote the script based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals and Kathleen Kennedy is producing with Spielberg. Strathairn won an Emmy for HBO’s Temple Grandin. He’s repped by ICM and Ryan Entertainment.
Los Angeles, CA (April 13, 2011) – Two-time Academy Award winner Sally Field will star as Mary Todd Lincoln, wife to the 16th President of the United States, in DreamWorks Studios’ “Lincoln” to be directed by Steven Spielberg. The announcement was made today by Spielberg and Stacey Snider, Co-Chairman and CEO of DreamWorks Studios.
Sally Field joins Daniel Day-Lewis, who has been cast to play Abraham Lincoln in the Spielberg film.
“I’m excited to be working with Sally for the first time,” said Steven Spielberg. “I’ve admired her films and she has always been my first choice to portray all the fragility and complexity that was Mary Todd Lincoln.”
“To have the opportunity to work with Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis and to play one of the most complicated and colorful women in American history is simply as good as it gets,” said Sally Field.
CULVER CITY, Calif., February 14, 2011 – Columbia Pictures announced today that the title of the next Spider-Man film will be The Amazing Spider-Man.The studio simultaneously released a photo of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, the first shot of Garfield in the famous full mask and suit.
The film, which is now in production and is being shot entirely in 3D, will be released on July 3, 2012. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field. The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach are producing the Marvel Entertainment production for Columbia Pictures. The executive producers are Stan Lee, Kevin Feige, and Michael Grillo.
EXCLUSIVE: Brothers & Sisters is reuniting Sally Field with her Norma Rae leading man Beau Bridges for a major romantic story arc to kick off early next year. Bridges, who co-starred as the title character’s husband Sonny in the 1979 pic, will play a love interest for Field’s Walker matriarch Nora in at least five episodes. The news comes as the ABC drama is enjoying a wave of momentum in its fifth season. After showing surprising ratings muscle this fall, the network increased the show’s episode order from 18 to 22 (a.k.a. a full season). Michael Ausiello will be contributing to Deadline.com and Movieline.com as he preps for the January launch of a new TV-centric website.
Martin Sheen is joining the Marc Webb-directed 3D Spider-Man movie, playing the role of Uncle Ben. He joins Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans, who were set earlier in the Sony Pictures Entertainment film that begins production in December. Meanwhile, Sally Field is in early talks to join the film as Aunt May. Uncle Ben, who raised Peter Parker along with May, doesn’t last long. That’s no surprise to fans of the comic or the original film series, who watched Uncle Ben get killed by a thief whom Parker could have stopped with his new-found superpowers, but let escape. Sheen has a longer run in The Way, the crowd-pleasing film directed by his son Emilio Estevez that made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival and is still in the process of being set up for distribution.