Carey Mulligan confronts self-doubt

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Good morning: In today’s edition of The Industry, we look at:

Carey Mulligan on imposter syndrome, Jon Stewart sees red and a gay seagull.

Let’s go!


CAREY MULLIGAN CONFRONTS SELF-DOUBT

Carey Mulligan thinks she’s a fake.

Even after Mulligan was nominated for two Oscars (An Education, Promising Young Woman), she still felt her role in Bradley Cooper’s new film Maestro (trailer) was insurmountable:

“Bradley had done mammoth amounts of research and preparation in all aspects because he needed to direct the film. I’ve never seen anyone prep for a character the way that he prepped for Lenny. It was astonishing… There was a part of me that was slightly held back, or maybe nervous of completely committing to something.”

Mulligan, a London native, explained in a screen test that she has a heightened sense of self-doubt when auditioning for films in an American accent. To practice, she would walk around a Whole Foods in LA trying to convince shoppers she was American. Even still, she feared she would be “busted.”

Her first on-screen role with an American accent is Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010). In this highly emotional scene, she plays across from Shia LaBeouf and is often more articulate than him.

Mulligan went on to say that she rarely feels satisfied with her work – she hated her performance in Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby.

“I’m not sure if I kind of lost my way because I was intimidated by the scale of it. I think I might have been overawed by my experience and intimidated by the level of performances around me…I’ve never been wholly thrilled about my work in it.”

Her immense self-doubt fuels her ability to be an incredibly generous actress. She gives everything to her screen partner, a trait beautifully on display in Drive, Shame and Inside Llewen Davis.

Perhaps this is why the role of Bernstein’s wife in Maestro resonated with her:

“She was his everything; she was his muse, his inspiration, his closest confidant, his best friend, his lover.”

Instead of pouring over research-filled notebooks, like Bradley Cooper, Mulligan took a more tactile approach by saturating herself in her character’s world.

She flew to Chile to spend time living with Leonard Bernstein’s kids. She ended up getting stuck in the country because of COVID-19 but decided to use the time to take up her character’s favorite hobby: painting.

We can’t wait to see Mulligan in Maestro.

The film will have a limited theatrical release on Nov. 22 before streaming on Netflix on Dec. 20.

For More:

Carey Mulligan brings the house down with her tender and pained rendition of New York, New York in Shame.

Carey Mulligan discusses her major stage fright before performing her first play. We don’t blame her, she had to memorize 16,000 words in 4 weeks.

Carey Mulligan won a British Academy Film Award for Best Actress in The Education.


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

When David Zaslav took over as the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery in 2022, he hauled Jack Warner’s desk out of storage. The nostalgic moment for the self-proclaimed cinephile was punctured by a vicious dose of reality more akin to an indie film—the company was in $56 billion in debt from the acquisition.

To combat the mounting debt, Zaslav laid off workers, closed divisions, and canceled 100s of millions of dollars worth of content (e.g., Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, Batgirl and Snowpiercer season 4).

Zaslav stated:

“We have made unpopular decisions because they were necessary.”

On the heels of a third major motion picture getting the axe (e.g., Coyote vs. Acme), The NY Times has done an in-depth report on Zaslav’s turbulent time as CEO in this article.

Jon Stewart’s Apple TV+ show cancellation raises red flags. The US House of Representatives committee is questioning Apple CEO Tim Cook over the cancellation, suspecting that Stewart’s episode on China episode may have played a role. Another piece of shelved content.

Kimmel hosts the Oscars again. He joked:

“I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times.”

But when Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the first time in 2017, he actually thought it would be his last.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Ben Mendelsohn plays Christian Dior in the Apple TV+ series The New Look. Mendelsohn seems to excel at two polar opposite types: the peasant and the king.

Peasant:

King:

Apple’s synopsis reads:

​The New Look explores the rise of fashion designer Christian Dior as he dethrones Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche) and helps return spirit and life to the world with his iconic imprint of beauty and influence.

The New Look debuts on February 14.

From Goonies to Star Wars. After four decades of being out of the spotlight, Ke Huy Quan, who first appeared as a child in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and The Goonies (1985), got a once-in-a-lifetime revitalization with his role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

This emboldened him:

“I love the MCU. You know, I was able to connect with my Indiana Jones family during the award season. And, as you know, Kathleen Kennedy was the producer. And she’s the head of Lucasfilm now. I did go up to her, and I said, ‘Kathy, I would love to join the Star Wars family.’”

Shoot your shot, we love the tenacity!

Pierce Brosnan rocks a British southern accent in Fast Charlie (trailer). There’s a bit of guilty pleasure in seeing him take on any role where he has a license to kill. However, in this film he doesn’t carry a Walther PPK. The plot summary is a bit too ridiculous to print, but the film notably features James Caan’s (The Godfather) final performance.


FESTIVALS

Variety’s Entertainment Summit at CES offers a comprehensive exploration of the evolving entertainment industry, highlighting new technologies and strategies. Here are a few notable talks:

  • The Future of the Entertainment Industry
    • w/ Rob Mills, EVP of Unscripted at Disney
  • Conversation with Albert Cheng, VP of Prime Video
  • President’s Roundtable – Future of Media Monetization
    • w/ Amy Reinhard – President Advertising, Netflix

Date: January 10th. Location: Aria, Las Vegas. Sign up here.

The NBC Original Voices Fellowship has selected its winners. Angel Morris and Elliott Kennerson‘s Love Birds, a groundbreaking documentary exploring 1972’s discovery of homosexuality in seagulls and its profound impact on both science and LGBTQ+ rights, has earned a prestigious Fellowship from NBCU Academy along with a $100,000 grant and a commission deal from NBC News Studios.

A free virtual Sundance event with director Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman, Saltburn). Fennell will share insights on her creative process and multifaceted career in film, TV, and theatre at the Sundance Collab Spotlight Event.

Date: November 17th. Sign up here.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Eli Roth is serving up another plate of horror in the holiday-inspired Thanksgiving. The trailer will delight horror fans with its macabre depiction of a killer whose idea of a good Thanksgiving is carving everyone up. Although, that may be preferable to seeing some of your relatives.

Master of horror Eli Roth (Death Wish, Knock, Knock) explained:

“It’s about the commercialization of Christmas that has bled over and taken over this holiday, where you’re supposed to be sitting around being thankful for everything you have. ‘Oh, I’m so happy. I have my health, I’m happy. I have my friends.’ Cut to two hours later, you’re trampling someone to death for a waffle iron.”

Release date tomorrow, November 17th.

Creative partners Greg Kwedar and Clint Bentley just signed with CAA. Their recent film, Sing Sing, premiered at TIFF and was acquired by A24.

E.g., every indie filmmaker’s dream.

The film’s synopsis sounds a bit like Shawshank Redemption circa 2023:

It centers on a theater group escaping the reality of incarceration through the creativity of staging a play with a cast that includes actors who have been incarcerated.

Here is a TIFF Q&A with the lead, Coleman Domingo.

Previously, Kwedar and Bentley collectively wrote and directed:

They seem to be able to extract stripped-down performances from their actors. Perhaps that’s why they worked so seamlessly with non-actors on Sing Sing.

Eileen author and screenwriter Ottessa Moshfegh isn’t sleeping through her life. Margot Robbie optioned the rights to her 2018 book My Year of Rest and Relaxation, about a Manhattan heiress who loses her parents while embroiled in a string of chaotic relationships. This leads her to the radical choice of taking sleeping pills for an entire year as a form of psychiatric help.

No word if Robbie will take the role for herself, but it could be a great move after Barbie.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Pathe U.K. is pulling out of theaters. The French company is best known for its 100+ years of cinema distribution, from Apocalypse Now to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to their first IMDB credit film, The Wrestler’s Wife (1906).

Even though the company owns France’s largest theater chain, the theatrical landscape in the UK, as we reported yesterday, is markedly difficult.

Managing director Faith Penhale shares her perspective on the company’s legacy:

“It’s being part of a film studio that is 126 years old, that has always, throughout its lifespan, put quality first and understands talent, knows how to look after talent; that understands the ups and downs of working in film or now in television… There’s something in taking the long view, looking at something not just for tomorrow’s returns but for thinking about the brand for the next 100 years.”

While film is struggling in the UK, quality TV is still seeing healthy growth.

Zone of Interest DP, Łukasz Żal embraces the banality of evil. His lensing of the Jonathan Glazer holocaust drama took an anti-Hollywood approach. One in which he didn’t fetishize actors wearing lavish costumes, big close-ups, or gilded sets.

Żal explains:

“Here, Jonathan wanted everything to be bright and light, everything looking so nice and light and normal. I remember reading this and thinking: I want to do that. I want to shoot this film because I’ve never seen anything like this before and it goes to the core of something I’m personally very interested in, which is why people do evil, how people can treat killing like something ordinary, like mending a coat or cleaning the floor.”

He worked with Glazer to create dull, appealing imagery. Going so far as to shoot a Nazi’s house using ten cameras like a reality TV show.

Dope Girls, a new BBC drama series, stars Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown) as a female crime boss who embraces hedonism as she establishes the nightclub scene in London’s Soho. The show is seen as a spiritual successor to Peaky Blinders and is inspired by the non-fiction book of the same title.

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says:

“We can’t wait for viewers to discover the bold and brilliant Dope Girls. Packed full of complex and electrifying characters from a fascinating time in Britain’s history, this will be a must-see, ambitious drama.”

We’ll put it on our list.


See you Friday!


ON THIS DAY

2001. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the 1st film adaptation of the book series, premieres in the U.S.


Written by: Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter. Edited by Clarke Scott.

 

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