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January.1.2014

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The 71st Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 2013, were presented on January 12, 2014, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where they have been held annually since 1961. A lot of great movies and fantastic actors and actresses attended the show and were nominated for the awards. Golden Globe nominee Michael Fassbender has admitted he feels more pressure before he starts a film than he does before a major awards show. He listened to music as he got ready for the Golden Globes last night. Michael is currently starring in 12 Years a Slave, which took home the prestigious award for Best Motion Picture, Drama at the ceremony. (sources: 1, 2)

Here are the exclusive HQ photos from this event, over 90 HQ photos! Click on the pictures or links below:

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To check the albums click on the links:
Red Carpets & Events > Golden Globes Awards 2014 (Los Angeles – 12th Jan)
Photoshoots > Photoshoot #67 (Golden Globe Awards) 12th Jan 2014

September.9.2013

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It’s a sunny Sunday morning in a Toronto hotel room, TIFF time, and Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen are not acting at all like tough guys.
“I like your look, Steve, nice jumper!” actor Fassbender says with a smirk, commenting on McQueen’s sweater as the 12 Years a Slavedirector makes a belated arrival to the interview room.
“Thank you, darling!” McQueen says, smiling back.
The moment of levity quickly establishes the off-screen friendship and genuine rapport between the two men, who have a habit of driving each other near the breaking point when the camera starts rolling.
In three films the two have made together, it’s as if the English director has gone out of his way to push the Irish actor to ever new extremes. Maybe that’s because he’s done just that — and Fassbender has encouraged him.
First there was Hunger in 2008, in which Fassbender played IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, a role that required him to lose 33 pounds in 10 weeks. Then came Shame in 2011, in which Fassbender played a sex addict who nakedly exposes both his manhood and his brutal downward spiral — so much so that he was relieved when his mother was unable to attend the premiere.
“He’s very demanding, that’s for sure,” Fassbender, 36, says of McQueen, 43. “He expects everything of everyone, not just the actors, but the crew as well and also himself. But I want to do it because I just know that working with him is always a very special experience and a very great learning experience.”
McQueen says he’s only trying to get the best out of people and, with Fassbender, he knows he has the best. He lavishes praise on him.
“With Michael, he’s the most influential actor of his generation. People want to be an actor because of him. People want to be in movies because he’s in the movie. It’s incredible, that. That’s the influence he has and it’s because he doesn’t hold back. He’s committed. He’s an artist and there are hardly any artists out there.”
Now comes the greatest challenge yet for both of them: 12 Years a Slave, a fact-based account of 19th-century freeborn African-American Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, a genteel family man who was duped and then abducted from New York state to the Deep South, where he was sold for servitude.
Fassbender plays a slave owner named Edwin Epps, a man for whom the words “brutal” and “despicable” barely suffice.
The film has been enjoying audience and critical raves during its official premiere at TIFF, with serious talk of Oscar contention in many categories that would include not just Best Picture, but also Best Director for McQueen and Best Supporting Actor for Fassbender.
Epps comes on like a malevolent hurricane, abusing his slaves both physically and mentally, never sparing the stick, lash or noose — just as McQueen doesn’t hold back on showing it. Epps is a character bereft of redeeming qualities, something many actors would want to steer clear of, fearing an audience backlash.
But not Fassbender, who doesn’t care if the audience loves him.
“I’ve always found that so confusing (when actors want love) because it goes against the nature of the job,” he says.
“I really think if I can be the character that Epps is, then I’m lending something to this story, which I think is a beautiful story. I just have to play the ugly parts, but somebody’s got to . . . I’ve never got that idea of maintaining an image or a brand.”
12 Years a Slave follows the recent Django Unchained and Lee Daniels’ The Butler in depicting the realities of slavery, a confluence McQueen attributes to public interest sparked by the “perfect storm” of such developments as the first black U.S. president and the recent Trayvon Martin shooting.
“Because of those events, Americans are willing to reflect on their recent pasts. It’s because of fortunate situations and also unfortunate ones.”
But 12 Years also speaks to universal truths about personal freedom, dignity and humanity, he adds, and at its core it’s a love story of a man fighting to get back to the family he was torn away from.
McQueen compares Northup’s situation to a particularly nasty fairy tale for its almost surreal depiction of character under adversity.
“It’s like Hansel and Gretel or Pinocchio,” McQueen says.
“It’s almost like a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. That’s what it’s all about. It’s all about the fact that it starts off with this man who gets seduced into service and therefore all he has is this love for his family that’s keeping him alive. Love! And it’s been tested to the limits of his humanity, so it’s all about love and how he can hold on somehow.”
This is the third time the men have brought a film to TIFF together, and it’s been quite the marvel to see them having arrived as unknowns in 2008 and now risen to the heights of awards season excitement.
Neither of them is taking the Oscar talk too seriously, at least for the moment.
“To be honest I’m just really proud of the film,” Fassbender says. “I think it’s a beautiful piece of work. What happens now is a bonus.”
“I can’t be bothered about anything like that, it’s just great if it happens,” chips in McQueen.
“I’m just happy to have made the film because it’s an impossible movie, as many people have said to me. Every barrier, every obstacle was put up. But we made it and now we’re here in Toronto. It’s just been incredible. I’m just really happy, appreciative.”
Fassbender has also been busy on projects without McQueen, in such films as Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class, Prometheus and David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method.
But he’s always ready to go wherever McQueen wants to push him.
“Yeah, that’s the sort of thing I was looking for as an actor when I started when I was 17, trying to find a director that I could work with, and that would draw out the best of me and take me to places that I wouldn’t be able to discover on my own. And so when Steve came along and we worked together on Hunger, there was chemistry there and I knew it was something special and rare. And then again on Shame, which was very tough . . . and then I realized that it wasn’t just a fluke, we did have this shorthand, this working relationship that was difficult but easy at the same time.”
“And so when 12 Years came about I said to Steve, ‘Any part that you can give me in this, even if it’s just a couple of days, I want to be a part of it.’ I felt it was a very beautiful story when I read it and an important one.” (source)

I’ve uploaded OVER 70 HQ photos from the event, including a photoshoot and several candid photos! Check them out here:

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Click the links to view the albums:
Candids & Appearances > Hotel Le Germain on Tuesday (September 13) in Toronto, Canada
Photoshoots > Photoshoot #65 (2013 TIFF Portraits) 12 Years A Slave
Red Carpet & Events > 12 Years A Slave premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (6th September 2013) Canada
Red Carpet & Events > Fox Searchlight Party during the 2013 TIFF (7th September 2013) Canada
Red Carpet & Events > Variety Studio during 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (7th September 2013) Canada

July.7.2013

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12 Years a Slave is an upcoming historical drama film based on the autobiography Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film is directed by Steve McQueen and written by McQueen and John Ridley. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup; Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Paul Giamatti also stars in the film. 12 Years a Slave is scheduled to be released on October 18, 2013.

PLOT: In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

I’ve uploaded a lot of HQ stills from this film, made some HD stills from the trailer, uploaded an exclusive poster and on set photos!

Click the photos to check out the new updates:

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Click the link to check out the album updates :
Movies > Twelve Years a Slave > Posters
Movies > Twelve Years a Slave > Promo Stills
Movies > Twelve Years a Slave > Trailer Stills
Movies > Twelve Years a Slave > On Set

July.7.2013

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Twelve Years a Slave, slated for a fall release, is director Steve McQueen’s adaptation of the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup, an African-American who was born a free man but was tricked, captured and sold into slavery. He wound up working for 12 years on Louisiana plantations. The British filmmaker is well-versed in American history, but he found Northup’s story to be completely obscure.

“It was the Anne Frank story of America of that time,” says McQueen. “It’s the situation and the detail of Solomon’s recollection of those events that ingrained itself in my brain, and the humanity of everyone involved.”

One of the things that stood out when McQueen read the book was how much of a gentleman Northup was, even under extreme circumstances. That’s why he tapped English actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (Kinky Boots, American Gangster) to bring the figure to life. “He’s like a Sidney Poitier or even Harry Belafonte,” McQueen says. “There’s a certain kind of class and dignity about him. He brings that with him wherever he goes.”

The movie is a historical tale but also very much a straightforward and humbling journey for the audience, Ejiofor says. “He goes through an extraordinary ordeal, a very painful, brutal experience, and found a kind of redemption on the other side of it.” Northup actually struck up an “extraordinary friendship” with his first owner, Baptist preacher William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), says Ejiofor. But most of his 12 years was spent under the watch of the cruel planter Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), who posed an incredible physical and mental challenge to Solomon.

“Edwin Epps was able to create a very oppressive circumstance with great ease, almost flippantly” says Ejiofor. “It’s a very dramatic relationship and interesting dynamic they have as Solomon is attempting to survive it. Epps is not some Machiavellian character — he just has a mindset and a personality that allowed him to behave in a certain way to the people he owns.”

McQueen, who cast Fassbender in his dramas Hunger (2008) and Shame (2011), says the actor has an intensity to his performance “that no one’s ever seen before, and that’s saying something.” Recent best-actress Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis stars as Solomon’s young daughter, and the cast also includes her Beasts of the Southern Wildco-star Dwight Henry,The Wire’s Michael K. Williams, Paul Giamatti and Alfre Woodard. The film also features newcomer Lupita Nyong’o — “a star is born,” McQueen says of his discovery. A recent Yale drama grad, Nyong’o plays Patsey, a slave whom Solomon befriends on the plantation and who has a volatile relationship with Epps, much to dismay of Epps’ wife (Sarah Paulson).

Brad Pitt has a small role as a Canadian carpenter who is integral to Solomon’s eventual freedom, but he played a much larger part as a producer and A-list force behind the scenes. “Without Brad, this film wouldn’t have been made. Fact,” McQueen says. “Just his presence sometimes could lift everyone’s mood. It’s like having a great ballplayer on a team. He doesn’t have to play a big role, but his presence can lift everyone’s game.”

McQueen and Ejiofor appreciate that Twelve Years a Slave will be many moviegoers’ introduction to an important figure along the lines of a Harriet Tubman or Frederick Douglass. “His story is not something that’s been mythologized or idealized. It’s raw and it’s right there and it’s a real connection,” Ejiofor says. “You can look at this film and be of any ethnic grouping and identify with Solomon,” McQueen adds. “He has been taken away into circumstances that are horrific and not pleasant. All he wants is to get back to his family.” [source]

Steve McQueen’s eagerly anticipated 12 Years a Slave gets an October 18th release date, putting it smack in the middle of the best time to release movies into the Oscar race. The pic marks McQueen and Fassbender’s third collaboration, the first two being The Hunger and Shame. [source]

Last week, Fox Searchlight has released a set of official photos from the upcoming film, giving us our very first look at it. And with this reveal, I’ll say that the first trailer is a few days away, as is often the case when marketing engines begin (usually with some still photos to tease, followed by a poster, and then, finally, a first trailer). Check out the photos in the gallery of my fansite!

Click the photos to check out the new updates:

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Click the link to check out the album updates :
Movies > Twelve Years a Slave > Posters
Movies > Twelve Years a Slave > Promo Stills
Movies > Twelve Years a Slave > On Set

April.4.2013

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With a newly extended run and two Lucille Lortel nominees to boot, the Off Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play Talley’s Folly has much to celebrate. Though one of its stars, Sarah Paulson, is best known for her prolific TV work (most recently, Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story), she’s been acting on and off Broadway since the age of 16. She stars as Sally Talley in the two-person show alongside three-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein as a young nurse from Missouri with a dark secret. VF Daily caught up with Paulson about competing with Scarlett Johansson for Broadway gigs, her dream roles, and working with Michael Fassbender in Twelve Years a Slave. Highlights from our chat:

VF Daily: How has it been to be back onstage? You’re no stranger to the theater.

Sarah Paulson: It’s pretty exciting. The last play I did was another two-character play on Broadway, with Linda Lavin. It was a Donald Margulies play. So this was the first time I’ve been onstage in three years, and it was both totally exciting and completely petrifying, as everything involving theater is.

I know we’ve seen you a lot in film and even more so on television lately. Is theater something you were looking to do again?

In my fantasy I would like to be onstage once a year. Sometimes it doesn’t work out with the timing of a TV schedule. I prefer to be onstage as much as possible, but the great parts don’t come along that much and sometimes really famous movie stars snatch them up.

I know your schedule is probably so crazy, but have you been able to see anything?

When I first got here we were in rehearsal, so we had our evenings free. I saw The Other Place with Laurie Metcalf, which is probably my favorite performance I’ve seen here. I think that she is a truly astonishing theater beast. She’s a theater creature.

On to Talley’s Folly. What a beautiful, romantic show. How has the response been for you?

I’ve never been a part of a play before where I’ve been able to feel the emotion from the audience by the end of the story. We’ve been collecting for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for the last week, so Danny makes a curtain speech so the lights come up and you can see all these people in the audience with their tissues out, wiping their eyes—men and women and younger people. It’s just a very powerful thing to be a part of to know that the story you’ve told has moved people.

In the play, your character, Sally Talley, alludes to the fact that she may be in love with Matt. After an hour of watching her reject him, she finally cracks.

I think he was the first person that she met that she could imagine having a life with. Probably the reason it was so devastating for her was that she knew she couldn’t because of the secret that she was holding was all the more reason for her to try to push him away. She knew that if he got too close, she would never want to leave him.

Do you relate to Sally at all?

I do. I usually feel like the role comes to you to sort of illuminate some piece of where you are in your life. I feel like I myself am a single woman and I’m childless—by choice—at this point, and I don’t know what will happen.

The thing I worry about for myself is I spend a lot of time alone, and another person comes around and you’re like, What are you doing here? Get out of here. I definitely feel a connection with her because I understand what it means to believe so deeply that there’s something true about you that maybe you’re not a person that can be loved and that you’re broken and that you’re not a viable option for someone if they really knew your secrets and things. I can certainly relate to that.

What are your hopes for the takeaway?

I think the greatest thing about this play is that there’s a tremendous love story here, but there’s a tremendous story about the power of hope. Any kind of hope in life is a win. To not have any hope is where things start to get really bleak. Things are possible. The impossible can be possible. I love the idea of people walking away with the idea of hope and possibility.

Is there anything that you’re dying to do onstage?

There’s one character I’ve wanted to play my whole life, but I think I’m too long in the tooth for it. I always wanted to play Abigail in The Crucible. And I would like to play Hedda Gabler, actually. That’s something I’d like to do. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance. That’s a role that, you know, Scarlett Johansson may want to play, so I may be out, you know?

You did a part in Twelve Years a Slave. How was that? I mean Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, my God.

I play Michael Fassbender’s wife in the movie.

Oh, nice.

I’ll say. He’s really the most spectacular creature. That was a pretty amazing job. I play a very horrible, racist woman, but I think the movie is going to be very powerful. I just looped a little bit of it the other day to rerecord some dialogue and it was my first time seeing some of it. It looks incredible. I feel very proud to be a part of it. Steve McQueen is a genius, a really special filmmaker.

I have to ask just because I’m curious—you were wearing a wig, right?

Yes, ma’am. I’ve had many wigs for this character. For whatever reason, the first wig I had on my head didn’t like me. One day I was onstage, and, you know, I don’t leave the stage for essentially 97 minutes. All of a sudden it looked like a bird or a small chipmunk had crawled up the back of my wig.

Oh my God.

I had a freak attack and jumped out like I had stuck my finger in an electric socket. So we had to get me a different wig. [source]

March.3.2013

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Steve McQueen (no, not the Hollywood icon, he passed away in 1980) previously directed the critically-acclaimed dramas Hunger and Shame, both of which feature physically-demanding central performances from Michael Fassbender (of X-Men: First Class and Prometheus fame) and have established McQueen’s reputation as a skilled and artistically-motivated cinematic storyteller.

This year, the filmmaker returns with his third feature-length effort: 12 Years a Slave, which is based on the memoir titled “Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853″ (you can even read Northup’s original writings online).

Fox Searchlight is backing the project and has set 12 Years a Slave to open on December 27th, 2013, which allows it to slip under the wire just in time to qualify for the major awards ceremonies that will be held in 2014. It sits alongside a few other prestigious historical and/or biographical films as early awards contenders this year – given it has joined the Weinstein Company-backed Grace of Monaco and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom during the final quarter of 2013 (Grace, in fact, opens the same day as 12 Years a Slave).

Three-time Golden Globe-nominee Ejiofor (whose mainstream movie acting credits include Serenity, 2012 and Salt) headlines the 12 Years a Slave cast, which counts Fassbender among its ranks.

Here’s an official description of the plot setup:
SOLOMON NORTHUP (Chiwtel Ejiofor), an educated black man with a gift for music, lives with his wife and children in Saratoga, New York. One day, when his family is out of town, he is approached by two men claiming to be circus promoters. Solomon agrees to travel with them briefly, playing the fiddle while they perform. But after sharing a drink with the men, he awakens to find he has been drugged and bound and faces a horrifying reality: he is being shipped to the South as a slave.

Rounding out the supporting cast are such people as Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness), Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Asylum), Paul Dano (Looper), Scoot McNairy (Argo) and Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire), who drew from a script co-written by McQueen and John Ridley (Three Kings, Red Tails).

12 Years a Slave is similar to last year’s Oscar-winning Lincoln (in terms of the great cast and creative talent), but its explicit focus on American slavery – coupled with McQueen’s more unflinching and raw storytelling tendencies – should prevent it from reaching anywhere near the box office success equal to Steven Spielberg’s film. However, in terms of creative merits, McQueen’s picture has the potential to be just as captivating (if not more so). [source]