Friday, 17 October 2008

James Marsden: Leading Man, Quirky Character Actor


WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) ― Hollywood's leading men are usually perfect physical specimens. Those who aren't become character actors.

Except James Marsden. He's pursued quirky characters despite his leading-man looks. Marsden is the guy on the sidelines, the goofy one who doesn't get the girl. So his face is familiar but not immediately identifiable.

"Most people are like, `Didn't we go to high school together?"' said the 35-year-old actor, whose screen credits include "Superman Returns," "The Notebook" and three "X-Men" movies.

Marsden is taking a "slow-burn" approach; choosing roles that appeal to him in the hope that a gradual and meandering ascent will lead to a long and varied career.

"In going for the movie-star thing, the lead-guy thing, I've managed to have this whole sidetrack thing going where I'm playing these silly roles and doing great, offbeat, different things," he said. "It was just to have fun being an actor, entertain yourself while you're going for the gold. There was the career path and the work path. And now the work path has sort of become the career path."

After his roles in big-budget movies such as "Hairspray" (he played Corny Collins), "Enchanted" (he was the prince who lost his princess to Patrick Dempsey) and "27 Dresses" (where he finally got the girl), Marsden plays a foul-mouthed bigot in the independent teen comedy "Sex Drive," in theaters Friday.

He steals every scene as Rex, an overbearing tough guy who mercilessly teases his virginal younger brother.

Director Sean Anders had reservations about casting Marsden.

"I thought, `Oh no, this is some pretty-boy actor who wants to be in a comedy and thinks he's funny but isn't,"' Anders said.

Then he saw an audition tape that Marsden recorded for a different movie. Marsden was so ego-less and goofy, he used his computer Web cam to film himself reading lines for the role he wanted.

"By the end of it, I was like, `Can we really get this guy?"' Anders said.

Marsden wanted to do comedy, especially after his turn as Cyclops in the "X-Men" movies. Even after "Hairspray" and "Enchanted," though, he longed for something edgier. With "Sex Drive," he could see the character in his mind: the muscle shirts, the highlighted hair.

Marsden said he also hoped the part might catch the eye of Judd Apatow, director of "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."

"This is completely over the top, and it's so different from anything you've seen me do," he said. "Now I feel like people will go, `OK, he's funny. He can do comedy. But then I've got to put the brakes on a little bit and remind people I can do other things."

Though he happily plays quirky roles, Marsden hasn't taken his eye off the leading-man prize. "I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't aspire to that," he said. "I want to be a version of that. ... But I'm more like these weirdo, wacky, stupid characters I keep playing in these movies."

The Oklahoma native began acting in junior high. After a brief stint in college, he headed to Los Angeles, where he had a string of small parts before landing a role in 2000's "X-Men." The following year, his wife, actress Lisa Linde, gave birth to their first child.

"I just sort of loosened up a little bit and stopped trying to navigate every little point, all of this career trajectory," he said. "I just started having more fun with the roles and choosing more fun roles."

He's a bit daunted about being the leading man; to play, as he puts it, a nuance of himself rather than a caricature.

But Anders said it's inevitable.

"He's going to become more of a leading man as time goes by because everyone who works with him is so impressed with what he does," he said. "He is great-looking, yet you can still laugh at him and laugh with him. He's got such a real quality about him that guys aren't put off by him. Everybody's seen how great he is in other genres, and how he can be so funny in 'Enchanted' and 'Sex Drive.' The guy's got range."

The slow-burn approach suits Marsden just fine.

"I just want to stay in the game and keep working," he said. "The ideal career for me is to be able to let whatever inspires you creatively dictate what you choose to do, then the financial stability and all that stuff follows."

Top lists

The creator over at topless robot likes making 'top of' lists, and our very own X-Men have been featured in a few, see how they rank:

* The 10 Greatest Superheroes to Get Drunk With.
* The 7 Unintentionally Perverted Toys That Will Ruin Your Children.
* The 10 Villains Who Deserved Better.

Richard Donner Clears Up That Wolverine Thing

From: Filmiconic.

A few months ago someone somewhere reported that Richard Donner was spotted on the set of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Then people who like to make things up said that he was on the set because director Gavin Hood was having trouble with 20th Century Fox and Donner had been brought in as a ‘directing consultant’ to smooth things over. As this is the internet, the rumour spread and before long everyone though X-Men Origins: Wolverine was in trouble.

Now, in an interview with THR Lauren and Richard Donner explain what really happened and why Richard was on the Wolverine set.

“For the first time ever, I went to him and I said, ‘Could you please help me?’” Shuler Donner says. “And he came down, and he helped produce ‘Wolverine’ for me in Sydney, Australia, while I went to New Orleans on ‘Cirque du Freak.’”

As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Before long, Internet wags were speculating that Donner was waiting in the wings to replace “Wolverine” director Gavin Hood.

“I was there to do nothing but help Gavin anyway I could, as a producer and never as a director,” Donner insists. “That was my deal with Lauren. I would never step on another director, and I didn’t go until Gavin asked me to come over and help him. He called me in L.A. and I said, ‘Hey, pal, I’m on my way.’ He’s a good buddy of mine right now.”

'Marvel vs. Capcom 2' hinted for download

From: Digital Spy
By Matthew Reynolds

Capcom's Marvel vs. Capcom 2 may be available for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network soon.

The fighting game was recently given an ERSB rating in North America, according to NeoGAF. It is also reportedly being tested on Microsoft's Partnernet service.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a 2D arcade fighter featuring over 50 characters from the Marvel and Capcom universe, including Street Fighter and X-Men characters.

It was originally released on Dreamcast in 2000, and later ported to PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2003, remaining a favourite with fighting fans.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Reaction to IGN's Top 50 Chicks Behaving Badly

Somebody posted their reactions to IGN's Top 50 Chicks Behaving Badly list and I felt like passing it on. [HERE] What are your feelings about the list, omissions? Characters that shouldn't even have been on it?

Halle Berry Named 'Sexiest Woman Alive'


Berry Humble About Esquire Magazine Title.

Halle Berry has been named the "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire magazine in its November issue.
The actress, who gave birth to her boyfriend Gabriel Aubry's daughter, Nahla, in March, said of the honor, "I don't know exactly what it means, but being 42 and having just had a baby, I think I'll take it."
Berry also said that she shares the title "with every woman, because every woman is a nominee for it at any moment."
The actress won an Oscar for her role in the film "Monster's Ball."
She's also starred in such films as "Die Another Day," "Gothika" and "Bulworth," and voiced a role for the animated comedy "Robots." Berry also played the weather-changing mutant Storm in the "X-Men" film trilogy.Berry has also starred in the television movies "Their Eyes Were Watching God" and "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," and the miniseries "Alex Haley's Queen."

Conceptual Artist Gives Glimpse Of ‘Magneto’ Origins


It all depends on Wolverine — but the movie spin-off of Magneto should be next in the “X-Men” series of films, said character designer Aaron Sims.

“Unfortunately, because of the writers strike, it got pushed off,” Sims said. “But they’re now back to the rewrites.”

Since “X Men Origins: Magneto” is still in conceptual form, it’s too soon to say much about it, except that obviously, like Wolverine , it will be an origin story — “where he started, where he got his powers, the very beginning.”

“Remember the scene [from 'X-Men'] in the concentration camp where you see Magneto as a young boy? It just continues from there,” Sims said. “Some people thought that might be too dark, but I really like that. It’s a lot of death and mayhem.”

Magneto won’t be the only mutant — just like in “Wolverine”, there will be new mutants aplenty to keep Sims busy coming up with something to please and yet surprise the fans. “The fan base has a vision of what they should look like, and that’s always the challenge,” Sims said. “It was the same with ‘The Hulk.’”

But since director David Goyer is still finishing “The Unborn” and also has several other movies on his plate (from “The Invisible Man” to “Super Max” to “Baltimore”), Sims doesn’t have to realize his character designs too quickly, which is a good thing, since he’s also in the middle of designs for “The Invisible Man,” “The Clash of the Titans,” “Paradise Lost,” and “Green Lantern” — for which he did the suit and Kilowog. (This, after finishing matte paintings for “The Spirit” and designs for the robot and the spaceship in “The Day The Earth Stood Still”).

“David’s like me,” Sims laughed. “He works nonstop. He’s not one of those kinds of writers or directors who ever stops. I’m surprised he has any time at all. But I’m fortunate to work with directors like him who I admire. I can’t say no to him.”