Reese Witherspoon is on a recent career upswing, with her production company behind two of the year’s biggest critical and commercial successes, Gone Girl and Wild. It comes after a period of personal and professional difficulty for Witherspoon. As she tells Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes tonight, her divorce from Ryan Phillippe led her to spend a few years just trying to “feel better.” She began to “flounder” in her career because, in Witherspoon’s words, she was not doing projects she was passionate about.
It was reading an article in a noted literary publication, The New Yorker, in 2012 that led to a low point for Witherspoon. She was not prepared to see her own name in the article. She inadvertently scanned a section at the bottom that listed “washed up actors.” Her name was among them, along with other once-formidable Hollywood heavyweights. It hit Witherspoon emotionally.
I thought I was reading a profile on another actor and somewhere at the end it said, you know, the people who are washed up and I think it included me, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson and I remember just being like, okay. I mean, it really hurt my feelings. Really hurt my feelings.
The piece was published just as Witherspoon had moved on to a new relationship with now-husband Jim Toth and had their son Tennessee, now 2. Witherspoon and Phillippe are parents to Ava, 15 and Deacon, 11.
Witherspoon will reunite with her Walk the Line co-star Joaquin Phoenix in January, with the release of Inherent Vice. Witherspoon won an Academy Award for her performance in Walk the Line as June Carter Cash. She has been nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for her performance in Wild as Cheryl Strayed, who wrote an account of her trek to resolve personal issues on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Witherspoon started her own production company, Pacific Standard, in 2011 with Bruna Papandrea. Papandrea was behind such films as Warm Bodies and the Sean Penn-starring biopic Milk.
Although Reese’s production company produced Wild and Gone Girl, she did not star in the latter film. Producer David Fincher thought Witherspoon was not the best fit for the role in the critically-acclaimed movie, which starred Ben Affleck. Gone Girl has made $300 million at the box office since its release.
Lionsgate is in talks to acquire U.S. distribution rights to the Mel Gibson thriller Blood Father, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Director Jean-Francois Richet’s (Mesrine) film stars Gibson, most recently seen in this summer’s Expendables 3, as an ex-con trying to protect his estranged 16-year-old daughter from drug dealers who want her dead.
Elisabeth Rohm, William H. Macy and Diego Luna co-star. Peter Craig (The Town) adapted the script from his 2005 novel.
The film, which shot in New Mexico, is produced by Why Not Productions. Rights to many international territories were sold at Cannes.
Deadline.com brought the exclusive (and exciting) news below!
Mel Gibson is in talks to take on directing duties on Hacksaw Ridge, based on the true story of Desmond T Doss, the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Andrew Garfield is also in discussions to play the lead role.
Doss was a U.S. Army medic who served in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa and refused to kill. President Truman awarded him the Medal of Honor for saving so many lives.
This is not a done deal yet, and Deadline understands that talks are moving forward delicately and slowly. If Gibson does step back into the director’s chair, the subject matter would seem to suit his tastes to a tee. Throughout his career in front of and behind the camera, Gibson has shown an abiding fascination with protagonists prepared to suffer for their principles but ultimately prevailing over hardship.
Hacksaw Ridge, if it happens, would seem to offer a return to the type of emotional terrain Gibson explored to such success in previous directorial efforts Braveheart and Passion Of The Christ. The project would reunite him with Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace, who co-wrote the script with Robert Schenkkan and had been attached to direct.
2006’s Apocalypto was the last film Gibson directed.
The project is being led by producer Bill Mechanic (Coraline) through his Pandemonium banner, with David Permut (Face Off), Terry Benedict (The Death Of Reasonable Doubt), Steve Longi (Youth In Revolt) and Gregory Crosby on board as producers. Walden Media has also been developing the project.
Gibson most recently starred in Expendables 3 and is in post on Jean-Francois Richet’s Blood Father, in which he plays an ex-con reunited with his 16-year-old daughter who must protect her from drug dealers trying to kill her.
Are you looking forward to a new film by director Mel? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Last Friday (Oct 24), Mel and Lucia were seen in enjoying lunch in Malibu. Time flies – she’s gotten so big. And Mel looks a bit exhausted from the beaming sun, ha! The photos DailyMail were uploaded to the gallery.
This is what Hollywood actor Mel Gibson had to say about the 1,500 members of the Irish Defence Forces who played his army in the Oscar winning battle movie Braveheart.
As part of our series on the 20th anniversary of the film’s production in Ireland, last week we showed you what it was like for the extras on set every day. This week, we’ve got some insights from the high-profile actors from the movie themselves about the filming in Ireland as well as a now retired Colonel who was charged with taking care of the soldiers and keeping them in line.
In an interview with TheJournal.ie, Colonel Pearse McCorely said the young men who took part in the film were “really great” and came from all over the country and from a variety of different professions. “They had a difficult time – it was hard work, they were up early in the morning, working long hours and it was boring for them at times.”
You may be wondering, if they were so great, why did Gibson think they were a load of “smartasses”? McCorley explained that early on in the shooting, all the men were lined up for some shooting.
He might not have been wrong, if the interviews with some of the extras are anything to go by.
This lad is definitely our favourite:
I’m enjoying myself anyway. I’d stay here the whole time, I might leave altogether, you know, I might be Mel Gibson’s bodyguard…
Best Extras Ever
Despite their messing, several people involved in he film have commented on how well disciplined the extras were, including actor Alun Armstrong, who played the Earl of Mornat:
These must be the best extras I’ve ever worked with, they should have an award for being extras. They’re just so self-disciplined. You look at the hillside and there’s nobody there and you turn away for a couple of minutes and chat and you turn back and suddenly there are 1500 guys there, it’s just unbelievable.
Though there was just a handful of injuries on the set, there were a number of small issues that Colonel McCorley had to work through on behalf of his men.
“Initially, it was very hot and there were a few fellas who suffered from dehydration – though maybe one or two of them had decided to go out the night before,” he said. “So, we actually opened up facilities at the Curragh Rugby Club to make something available. We also started organising water to be brought out.”
There were some issues with showers and with the men being hungry during the long days of shooting but the Colonel said there were meetings every night where any issues could be brought up with the production team and they were quickly addressed.
During the filming, one cause of tension among the men was the terms of the contract as the men were led to believe they would have some weekends off but the nature of the filming meant shooting often ran over.
“It was a result of that that I marched them off the set once,” McCorley told TheJournal.ie. “I said to Mel Gibson: “Look, we’ve given you a number of times to finish this and I turned around and gave the order and 28 platoons marched off the set.'”
Mel Gibson’s mouth dropped. He couldn’t say anything.
But in hindsight, he said he can see now the immense strain the actor must have been working under during the filming, as there were rumours the initial rushes from the film were not being well received in Hollywood.
“He was under a lot of pressure,” he said. “He had invested his own money and he was producing – he was under severe strain.”
Another issue a small number of the young men had occurred on the day McCorley decided to bring his wife on the set, not knowing which scenes were being shot that day.
I was wondering why all the ladies from wardrobe were around that particular day. On my way to the set I saw seven or eight fellows lingering and I called the sergeant major and said “Get them back on set, what’s wrong with them?” He came back to me and he said “Sir they are conscientious objectors, they won’t expose their arses”. He explained to me what the scene was and I said if the didn’t want to do it that was fair enough – the majority of them did obviously.
The men who were involved were not going to let Mel Gibson get away with it so easily, however. When he decided to sit in the director’s chair for the full frontal kilt lift, the extras started shouting at him to come down and join them, which he eventually did.
“The only reason hew was in that scene is because the lads got onto him about it,” McCorley laughed.
If you’re interested in learning more, watch part two of the Defence Force’s documentary behind the scenes of the filming and look out for the noble attempt at a pyramid.
Mel’s son-in-law, blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!
The social media campaign has gone viral over the last two months to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. You may have seen your friends, relatives, coworkers as well as celebrities participate in donating and sharing videos of themselves taking on the challenge.
For more information, please visit ALSA.org to learn more about ways you may contribute to helping others who suffer from this disease, their caretakers and researchers. If you’re able to donate to their research efforts and services, please do so. Many blessings to you!
The cast of Expendables 3 sat down with ABC’s Cameron Mathison for an interview.
We guess his chair was expendable! During a Monday interview with “Good Morning America,” Mel Gibson broke his seat on while promoting his new film, “The Expendables 3.” And, no, it wasn’t out of anger.
The 58-year-old actor was talking about the arms dealer he plays in the film, Conrad Stonebanks, when he leaned back in his chair and it suddenly collapsed. Gibson stood bolt upright, along with co-star Sylvester Stallone, who then allowed the actor to use his lap as a seat.
“And I’ve lost weight, too!” Gibson quipped.
The Oscar winner did in fact change his physique for “The Expendables 3,” the third installment in the franchise about a seasoned group of buff mercenaries that includes Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Terry Crews, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes and Dolph Lundgren, among others.
Gibson told USA Today in 2013 that he worked out for months with a personal trainer three times a week for three hours each day to get in shape. He also changed his diet, substituting pasta, sugar and potatoes for green vegetables and fish.
“Some people say, ‘It’s inconceivable, how can he do that?'” Gibson said. “Well I have always had that body type to do that.”
The Aussie actor admitted that he had never worked out that much before, but that his pants had started to fit better as a result.
“It’s kind of getting rid of the middle-aged tire and sort of promoting circulation, aerobic exercise and blood flow circulation, stuff like that,” he said. “I have been working really hard at it.”
And he didn’t do it just to fit into his pants.
“I just want Sly [Stallone] to look good,” Gibson explained. “And he’s not going to look good if he’s beating up a fat old man.”
So all you chairs out there, watch your backs (and your seats)!