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The Hollywood Reporter 2017 Drama Actress Roundtable is Here!

7 Jun

You can tell we are in peak pre-Emmy nomination season because the interviews they keep on coming and the Hollywood Reporter Drama Actress roundtable is always my most anticipated. As I mentioned earlier today, there is just something different that you get from a conversation that is just between women, which is why I’m happy we get a variety of roundtables from different outlets. This year’s outing is no exception.

There are a lot of big hitters here and veterans of this award season process with one newbie to the whole shebang (as there often is) and Chrissy Metz gets the This is Us place, which actually makes more sense than opting for Mandy Moore.

Not one, but two Big Little Lies ladies and while this initially surprised me you can see why they went with both Reese and Nicole. Oprah is no stranger to this process even if her IMDb credits (as she points out) are less than a lot of the others at this table. Mad Men is no more, but Elisabeth Moss is back and she is probably the front runner in her category for The Handmaid’s Tale. Jessica Lange rounds out the group and as the mini-series/TV movie category is the most stacked it is clear why the THR focus is here.Topics covered include process, the current political landscape and how Hollywood lacks in a variety of roles for women. It is something Nicole Kidman covers in her conversation with Ewan McGregor in their Variety Actors on Actors interview and it is a repeated talking point in these actress roundtables; the roles for women – particularly in – film are limited in scope.

The desire to do Big Little Lies and other such projects came from the small amount of decent parts on offer and Witherspoon forgets to give any more clues as to what terrible script she was offered.

“I started a production company five years ago because I was looking at maybe the worst script I’ve ever read in my entire life and it had two parts for women. I called my agents and said, “This is such a terrible script.” They said, “Well, seven women want it so … you’re the only one who’s not vying for the part.” And I thought, “God, if this is what we’ve come to, I have to get busy.” Because you can either complain about a problem or you can be part of the solution.”

Reese, you are bad at blind items but good at acquiring the rights to interesting books.

Nicole Kidman follows this up with the age old balancing debate; the ‘can I have it all?’ without saying ‘can I have it all?’

“We created the show for that reason. The other thing is, being a woman and having children, there are so many things I would want to do, but so much of my life is, how do I balance that? If I had my fantasy life, there are so many roles and places and things I’d want to do. I’m now at a point where I have to go, “What is that going to cost me? And what is that going to cost the people I love? Do I want to leave now to do this?” Men have that, but they don’t have it in the same way that we have it.”

This could be tired old ground, but it also plays into the same conversations their characters were having on Big Little Lies.

I also love what Reese Witherspoon says about prep time in comparison to her male peers:

“I was talking to this very famous actor and I said, “How did you prepare for this role?” He said, “Well, I went into the woods for three weeks and I didn’t talk to anybody.” And this person has a lot of kids and is married. And he’s like, “You did the same thing for Wild, right?” I was like, “Uh, no.” If I went away for three weeks and no one could call me, everybody would’ve had a mental breakdown. I got on a plane and was shooting within 24 hours. I wish I had prep time. I love the preparation. I love watching and reading and digging deep.”

Obviously she’s not talking about Leo here, but considering how much praise he got for what he ‘endured’ while making The Revenant and the conversation surrounding Wild the previous award season was far less fawning. That’s because Reese did not eat raw liver.

The rest of the conversation is also pretty interesting including why Nicole Kidman through a rock through a window after a tough day filming BLL, why it took Elisabeth Moss so long to say yes to Handmaid’s Tale and when they’ve felt nervous performing. I’m looking forward to seeing the whole thing when it becomes available and this roundtable season begins airing on Sundance, June 25.

One other thing to mention briefly as once again the styling is all about the muted tones and I’m putting it out there now as a prediction that the comedy actresses will be in bold colors. Mix it up, guys. Sadly there is no Kirsten Dunst this year to make bridesmaid observations about the choice of attire.

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Talking Drama with Justin Theroux, Laura Dern, Regina King and Milo Ventimiglia

7 Jun

Emmy roundtable season is well and truly here, aka that time of year when it is easy to fall down a YouTube hole watching all your TV faves talking about your TV faves. The format is different depending on the outlet with The Hollywood Reporter being the go to for the drama actressesVariety getting the actors to interview each other and Goldderby doing their one-on-one Google Hangout thing. And I am a sucker for them all.

The only Google news alert I have set up happens to be “Emmy Roundtable.” Yes, really. So when I got an email to tell me that the LA Times drama discussion was up I instantly hit the link and was thrilled to see this line-up. Whereas THR separates actors and actress, the LA Times mixes it up and I am glad that both options are available as talking points can be very different. Justin Theroux, Laura Dern, Regina King and Milo Ventimiglia sit down with L.A. Times’ Greg Braxton to talk about the shows they are on as well as a number of other topics such as the potential writers’ strike (this was obviously recorded before the WGA deal was brokered).

There is an obvious rapport between Theroux, Dern and King as they have all worked together before and it gives an extra level of intimacy – see Dern/Theroux replaying a Lynch kiss – to proceedings. Regina King is there to discuss American Crime, but she is also very much part of The Leftovers family and so this also comes into play particularly when discussing co-star Carrie Coon.

They talk process with Milo Ventimiglia pointing to how his prep for the big fight scene in the This is Us finale was different to how he worked with Mandy Moore for the rest of the season, saying goodbye to characters, whether they watch their work and there’s a whole lot of praise for those behind the camera. The latter is something Carrie Coon also mentions in detail in her recent interview with Alan Sepinwall and I am here for this.

Watch the whole thing below.

Also as a style aside, I am very much all the heart eyes at Laura Dern’s polka dots. Because, of course.

Related – Talking about costuming on The Leftovers finale and the love story at the heart of it all.

Screen Queens of The Edit: Tracee Ellis Ross, Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Bell and Michelle Monaghan Talk TV

29 Nov

TV issues of magazines are up there with roundtable discussions in how much I enjoy them (which is to say a lot) and Net-A-Porter’s weekly online magazine The Edit has produced a ‘Screen Queens’ issue featuring Tracee Ellis Ross, Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Bell and Michelle Monaghan to talk all things TV and wear some of the latest fashions.

The thing with The Edit is that it is linked directly to the Net-A-Porter site so you can shop the issue with ease (if your bank balance permits and you are in the mood for a splurge) and there are a whole lot of ladysuit and sequin delights in this editorial. net-a-porterAs well as the Q&A’s with each actress there are also videos on the Net-A-Porter YouTube channel (and below) amounting to about an episode of a network drama and this is exactly the kind of thing I am after as they discuss the topics that typically come up on these things; diversity, ageism, sexism and equality.

This is also a good cross section of TV actresses covering a variety of shows – that they are currently on/have previously starred in – to the platforms they air on with network, cable and streaming all represented.

We are very much in the throes of movie award season, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t space to talk all things TV and you can watch the discussion below.

Hollywood Reporter Drama Actress 2016 Roundtable: Watch the Full Video

28 Jun

Last night the first process of Emmy voting closed with the initial round of nominations. Those will not be announced until Thursday, July 14 and in the meantime the full versions of the Hollywood Reporter Emmy roundtable discussions will air every Sunday on SundanceTV before being made available on YouTube.

The first one up is the drama actresses and we showcased this chat a few weeks ago when this amazing group of women covered The Hollywood Reporter.

Now watch the whole conversation below.

The 2016 Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable

15 Jun

Emmy roundtable season continues and The Hollywood Reporter has unveiled the comedy actress panel featuring an amazing lineup of Lily Tomlin, Gina Rodriguez, Ilana Glazer, Niecy Nash, Allison Janney and Rachel Bloom.

Emmy voting is now open and you can see the full list of submissions here; once again Allison Janney has a chance of picking up two awards in comedy (Mom) and drama (Masters of Sex). I’m going to be taking a closer look at the costume design submissions in the not too distant future as a specific episode is listed for each one so keep an eye out for that.THRStyling wise I prefer this (click on image for a closer look) to the drama actress pastels and satin (or bridesmaids as Kirsten Dunst accurately referred to it) with Ilana Glazer’s tuxedo dress and Rachel Bloom’s white ladysuit being my personal favorites.

The actual roundtable (which you can read here) is unsurprisingly great and continues the theme of people I would love to have a boozy lunch/dinner with.THRSo far there’s only a couple of clips on YouTube – there are more on THR – including this fantastic Rachel Bloom video which makes me feel bad that I still haven’t watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and it is  also a good reminder that Bloom used to live with Ilana Glazer.

And Allison Janney gives a good lesson in things you shouldn’t say to a famous person or when you think a person looks like a famous person. Just don’t do it.

This has been a really good THR roundtable season also extending to the equally wonderful Tony actress discussion and there will be more Emmy chat on TV Ate My Wardrobe in the coming weeks. Emmy nomination day is July 14 and the Emmys will be held Sunday, September 18.

Variety Actors on Actors or Pick Your Dream Dinner Date (Part 2)

9 Jun

The Hollywood Reporter has their award season roundtables gathering a group of actors/writers/showrunners who are at the top of their game and over at Variety they do things one-on-one getting the actors to interview other actors. Last year I referred to this setup as picking your dream dinner dates and that still stands with the line-up this year.

So far only a handful of the full videos are available on YouTube (you can find them all on Variety) and they are ideal viewing if you are suffering from show withdrawal or if like me you just love this time of year when TV awards chat is in full focus. Courtney B. Vance and Tracee Ellis RossFirst up we have Courtney B. Vance and Tracee Ellis Ross in this almost 40-minute extravaganza discussing everything from college, to the OJ Simpson trial and discussions of race on Black-ish.

And in people I didn’t know went to high school together; Rami Malek and Kirsten Dunst. Also love that Kirsten Dunst would listen to Dolly Parton’s “Here I Am” before scenes in which Peggy was particularly feeling herself.

Talking about producing material and creating their own work with Master of None and Confirmation. Plus audition chat and now I’m left wondering which two shows Kerry Washington got fired off for the horrific reason of not sounding ‘urban’ enough. Is one of them Wonderfalls? On a fashion note I have already mentioned how much I love Kerry Washington’s dress and I will be doing so again.

Jay Duplass tells a very funny story about having more sexual partners on screen in one season of Transparent than he has in his whole life and Emilia Clarke reveals why she ended up dancing in her Game of Thrones audition (always blame Diet Coke).

And finally from two Ryan Murphy projects we have Jamie Lee Curtis and Lady Gaga with Lady Gaga explaining how she got on board the American Horror Story train (she called him) and where Gaga ends and Stephanie begins. Turns out that Robert Durst is the surprising influence for Gaga’s performance on AHS.

It is not just one on one interviews Variety are gifting us this award season and you can watch a supporting actor roundtable featuring Regina King, Jonathan Banks, Miranda Otto, Anthony Mackie, Christian Slater and Maggie Siff here.

Updated to add this super delightful chat between Sam Heughan and Krysten Ritter. Heughan talks about the Outlander costumes and how helpful they are, which leads to Krysten Ritter breaking down Jessica’s unchanging wardrobe. They win my heart in an instant.

Check back for more Emmy chat here soon.

The 2016 Emmy Roundtable Season is Here!

18 May

It is no secret how much I love all things awards from the pre-nomination chatter to the red carpet decadence. Film award season stretches for months dominating the start of the year and now it is time for TV to bask in the glory of all things accolades; who deserves them, who should be nominated but probably won’t and the standout moments from television from the past year. Taking into account what will qualify as recency bias means certain things might get forgotten (anything that aired between June 1, 2015 and May 31 2016) so Mad Men is out (the finale aired May 17), but something like Show Me a Hero is in (which means Oscar Isaac in a tux hopefully). And maybe this is the year Emmy voters started watching The Americans.

The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable season is one way to mark the official start of the Emmy chat period although Gold Derby has also been on fire with their one on one chats (including this great one with Poor Martha herself, Alison Wright) in recent weeks. A few months ago Jennifer Lopez posted a pictured on Instagram (which she sadly took down) of what turned out to be the drama actress roundtable; pretty much from that point on I have been anticipating the arrival of this discussion because this lineup is on fire.

Diversity or rather a lack of dominated award season and the actress roundtable and subsequent cover was a clear example of how Hollywood is failing, With regards to TV this cover and other recent ones have done a much better job at showcasing a variety of women who are leading the way in both comedy and drama. This isn’t to say TV is always the beacon of light in this department as Kristen Warner pointed out when the 2014 cover was released and it was only last year that a black woman finally won for Best Actress in a Drama Series with Viola Davis crushing it on every level with her acceptance speech. Opportunity is key and TV is currently offering a lot more of this.

Now to this year’s cover and this is an amazing group of actresses covering cable and network shows (and surprisingly no streaming) with Regina King and Kerry Washington straddling both with American Crime/The Leftovers and Scandal/Confirmation.dramasummercoverYou can watch videos from this roundtable over at The Hollywood Reporter including Sarah Paulson talking about sexism in relation to her role on American Crime Story as well as in her career in general, Regina King discussing directing and acting and Kirsten Dunst mentions how hard TV is work load wise in comparison to film (and she also mentions her friend Lizzy Caplan, which I of course adore). Sex scenes, producing, before they found fame are also covered and I’m looking forward to watching the whole conversation.

In terms of styling the drama actress cover tends to go in the dark and moody direction (of last year), black and white (see 2013) or pastels (as with 2014). Bold and bright is for the comedy actresses. Here it is pastels again with some white thrown in for good measure and they all look great facially, but I don’t love that Julianna Margulies and Jennifer Lopez are blending into the background. I think Sarah Paulson’s pleats are fantastic and Regina King’s pink dress is probably my other standout. I think Cannes has set a super high bar for Kirsten Dunst and this is just fine, but just that.

Read the whole roundtable discussion here.

Keep an eye out for more roundtable related discussions/covers in the coming weeks. Plus more Emmys chat soon!

Watch the WGA Awards TV Nominees Panel featuring Mr Robot, The Americans, Inside Amy Schumer and More

26 Jan

Typically all awards chatter at this time of year is geared towards film, which makes a whole lot of sense as we are deep into pre-Oscars territory. Most TV related panels tend to occur at the Emmys business end (so any time from July-September usually), but the SAG-AFTRA Foundation got some of the WGA nominees together for a discussion that covers everything from casting, influences, whether binge watching impacts their storytelling choices to interacting with material written by critics and fans online.

Mixing comedy and drama writers with a whole variety of backgrounds makes this panel even more interesting and it features Sam Esmail (Mr Robot), Joe Weisberg (The Americans), Joel Fields (The Americans), Kim Caramele (Inside Amy Schumer), Adam Rapp (Flesh & Bone) and Dan Lyons (Silicon Valley).

WGASome of these writers are also the showrunners/creators (Esmail, Weisberg and Fields) so this means their input and day to day tasks also incorporate wider aspects of production. Or if you are Sam Esmail you’re directing all 10 episodes, plus writing which is probably why his current day starts at 6 and finishes at 2 the next morning. This sounds good for writing a character like Elliot, but dude will need a long holiday by the time season 2 is over. Writers’ rooms and process varies from show to show with the Mr Robot going all in on the telling each other to “go fuck yourself” in a totally constructive manner (of course), whereas Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields will take long walks to solve any writing issues they might be having.

Kim Caramele goes into some detail about the 12 Angry Men episode of Inside Amy Schumer, which has received all the critical adulation but was met with some resistance when they pitched the idea. The idea of responding to online chat/reviews also comes into play and Esmail admits he reads everything. Joel Fields discusses this idea of how you can’t set out to do something great/original with a spy show because there is so much that has come before it, but you can set out to do something exciting which they are certainly doing on The Americans. They also talk about whether people binge watching dictates storyline and it sounds like FX are really good bosses to have.

Watch the whole thing below.

For more SAG-AFTRA discussions (of which there are many to deep dive in to) head here.

Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable – “I Want to Play Everything I’ve Never Played Before” (Update! Watch the Full Video)

11 Jun

This is the one I have been waiting for and every year the drama actress roundtable is the highlight of The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy series. It might be a premature declaration as there are still more discussions to come as part of this season, but I am pretty confident in this assertion after reading the transcript and watching the clips which have been made available prior to SundanceTV airing it in full come August (Update – you can now watch the full discussion at the end of this post). I do want to point to the comedy actress chat as another enlightening and fascinating entry into the roundtable Hall of Fame. And now there is another group to add to my boozy lunch wish list.

The line-up is entirely different to last year (sometimes there are repeats) with Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honourable Woman), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), Ruth Wilson (The Affair) and Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex). Gone are the questions of ‘how do you balance work and family?’ and instead there is a strong focus on their work from the shows they are currently on to past experiences. There are four Oscar nominees among these women (some multiple) and a two time winner showing the caliber of talent television attracts particularly when it comes to complex roles for women. A mixture of cable and network with ages ranging from 32 to 66 shows how well television caters to a range of experiences.

THRAs the cover so boldly states there is a focus on race, sex, age and nudity with the latter coming up on multiple occasions. Lizzy Caplan and Ruth Wilson joke about the name of their network – “Showtits” – and sex plays a big part in both Masters of Sex (it is in the title after all) and The Affair. Sex isn’t just there for sensationalism or to be gratuitous; it is worth noting that both shows have a female showrunner with Caplan going so far as pointing out that Michelle Ashford is kinda prudish and those scenes can be hard for all involved.

How to Get Away with Murder is Viola Davis’ first starring role on prime time and she talks about her initial concerns when she took the project on including her appearance. There is one point which really sticks with me and is worth quoting in full exemplifying why this roundtable series strikes a chord:

“I’ve been doing this for 27 years. I’ve performed in basements, churches, off-Broadway. I want the work to reflect my level of gifts and talent. I don’t want it to reflect my color, my sex or my age. That’s what I want most.”

The comedy actresses talked about bad auditions and incidents earlier in their careers where they maybe tried to adjust their look for an audition. This is something Maggie Gyllenhaal discusses in terms of her appearance and how she has been judged in the past in terms of being ‘sexy.’ Gyllenhaal also mentions her interest in nudity and what she looks for in a sex scene.

Cookie Lyon has made such a huge impact on the TV landscape this season and Taraji P. Henson jokes “I hate that bitch. She’s stolen my identity! My friends don’t want to talk to me unless it’s about Cookie.” I’m only halfway through Empire but within the first few minutes of seeing this character on screen it was love. Henson also reveals who she sometimes channels when she is playing Cookie and the answer is not who you might expect. There are no boundaries when it comes to want roles Henson wants to play “I want to play a superhero. I want to be a Bond girl. I want to play a man. I want to play a white woman. I want to play everything I’ve never played before.”

There are more clips to watch here before the full thing becomes available in August.

THR drama actress roundtableIn terms of the styling of the group it turns out I wasn’t proved wrong after all with an explosion of sparkle and while Ruth Wilson is the lone person in print (a beautiful Erdem frock), there is some color with Viola Davis’ Lanvin and range of styles suiting the wearer in question. Lizzy Caplan’s Donna Karan ensemble is reminiscent of her Donna Karan Atelier Emmy stunner from last year (Caplan also chose this designer when she wowed at the Met Gala last month). During the chat Caplan wears an oversized tuxedo jacket and looks super cool while doing so. Excellent lipstick game from all the ladies with Caplan’s fuchsia reminding me of my new favorite lip color. And now if you will excuse me I will be drawing hearts around this entire conversation.

Check back for more Emmy related discussions in the weeks/months to come.

Update! Watch the full uncensored Emmy Drama Actress roundtable below.

Emmy Roundtable Season is Here!

28 May

You know the drill by now and while I can pretend I haven’t been checking various industry websites daily (okay sometimes way more than that) for their Emmy discussion coverage, anyone who visits TV Ate My Wardrobe at this time of year will be aware of my love of all things roundtable. The Hollywood Reporter kicked things off a couple of weeks ago with an interesting chat with writers from shows such as EmpireThe Good Wife and The Leftovers and now we turn to the comedy actresses.

The Hollywood Reporter has gathered a roll call of ladies I would like to get a boozy dinner with and covers network, cable, basic cable and streaming platforms; Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Ellie Kemper (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Lena Dunham (Girls), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) and Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer) discuss a range of subjects touching on racism, sexism and issues they have encountered in the work place. Sounds like a hoot, right? Oh, but it is.

THR Comedy coverThere’s a lot of jaw dropping revelations which sadly fall in line with some of the other industry stories making the rounds (such as Maggie Gyllenhaal is ‘too old’ and Salma Hayek has an accent). You can read the transcript over at the THR website, which is great and all, but the videos are where the real good stuff is at. In the past the full discussion has been released at the same time as the issue of the magazine, however this year we will have to wait until August when it will be available on THR.com and SundanceTV. For now we will have to make do with the clips they have made available on YouTube, which thanks to some editing makes it seem like the same question gets asked three times. Regardless of this choppy nature there is still plenty to unpack.

First up Amy Schumer discussing the incredible 12 Angry Men episode of Inside Amy Schumer and the inspiration behind it (so much rage/eye rolls at those dudes).

Good audition stories ahoy and by good I mean ‘Holy fuck! Hollywood is a garbage dump at times’ with Tracee Ellis Ross sharing a humiliating experience as well as talking about sexism and racism behind the camera.

Gina Rodriguez shares a similar WTF audition moment and I heart these women and their reactions to the crap they have to endure so hard.

On race and learning experiences Lena Dunham discusses the reaction to season 1 of Girls. Plus she also talks sexism and how her book advance was scrutinized. Plus I really want to know who the Girls guest star who spouted that awful shit is.

For a couple more videos from this roundtable head here and roll on August so we can watch the full thing (this will be my sentiment for all of these posts).

Comedy roundtableStyling wise they have stuck with the bold color palette and this tends to be the signature look for the comedy actress editorial, while the drama actresses usually get something a little more somber or on the more delicate end; see last year’s pastel, satin and lace for more (cue this year’s drama ladies in so much sparkle just to prove this theory wrong).

Check back for more Emmy related discussions in the weeks/months to come.

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