In George Clooney's latest directorial effort, The Ides Of March
, the actor/director focuses on the American political system and how ambition can seduce and power can corrupt even the most optimistic person. In an all-star cast that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, Ryan Gosling portrays idealistic campaign worker Stephen Myers, a young man who is devoted to Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), a wild card presidential candidate who has groundbreaking ideas that could change the political landscape. Morris' ethics and integrity, however, are tested during a tough and dirty Ohio primary. Surprisingly, Stephen gets himself caught up in a nasty political scandal where the only path to survival is to play both sides. When Clooney made the decision to direct The Ides Of March
, he instinctively knew Ryan Gosling would be perfect for the lead part of Stephen -- a decision he's glad he made and one that most critics and movie-goers are happy with, too.
"I think he knocks it out of the park," Clooney says of Gosling's performance. "He’s at the center of a hurricane in this film and he carries everyone and every point of view on his shoulders. The part requires intelligence in an actor, which Ryan brings to every role. I found working with Ryan was a delight. He just gives a tremendous performance."
Gosling's portrayal of the young campaign worker has garnered him several awards as Best Actor of the Year by critics' associations across North America. It also has most Hollywood insiders declaring him an Oscar and Golden Globe shoo-in. However, Gosling isn't ready to declare himself a winner. "Anything can happen, so I've learned to not pay attention to all that predicting," the former The Notebook
leading man admits. "I just do my work and if people like it, then I just count it as an extra plus."
In 2011, Gosling also delivered stellar, unforgettable performances in Drive
and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
"I'm starting to be offered better and better roles," he says, "and that's the only part of being considered famous that is a plus. I love great parts and this year I feel like I hit the jackpot."
This fall, Gosling sat down for an interview to discuss The Ides Of March
, his fame, dealing with Clooney -- the director and prankster -- working with Steve Carell, being considered a sex symbol and his soul-mate.
There's a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding your performances in The Ides of March and Drive. How do you feel about the praise?
"It’s great that people are liking what I’m doing. There is the praise. I think it’s risky to believe in your press. What I believe in is the people who had a belief in me when I was starting out. I’ll never forget who believed in me when nobody else did."
How would you describe your character in The Ides of March? He seems conflicted.
"He really wants to effect change in this country and in the world. He believes he can help. But he gets to a point where he knows if his candidate isn’t going to win, he isn’t going to effective either. He ends up working for a candidate who can effect policy and change, but it’s a big dilemma for him to figure out what to do when he finds out some interesting facts about his candidate."
What was it like working with George Clooney as your director?
"It was more than fun. It was life altering. Working with him was like watching a unicorn being born every single day. (laughs) It’s actually rare to work with a director who is as clear as George Clooney and really knows what he wants. He knew this film inside and out."
Clooney loves movies.
"He really does. George also has this enthusiasm for filmmaking in general. He loved talking about the film and really breaking it down. He would talk you through the scenes and even hum what he thought the music would be like in the final cut. It was like talking through the movie in real time. Then when the cameras rolled, he would give you this incredible direction. He would walk away from you when you were ready to do the scene. That’s when you’d realize he sprayed an Evian bottle on your crotch."
The Evian bottle sounds like one of George's infamous practical jokes.
"It was one of many. And then, he would expect you to do the scene with wet pants. (laughs) He’s not just about making a good film. It’s about having a great experience making it."
This year, you were also in the film Drive. In it, you play Driver, a man who feels more at home in a car than anywhere else. How would you describe him?
"He’s a getaway driver who does small heists as well as a stuntman. And he happens to fall in love with the wrong women."
Drive is not your average action film, so why did you decide to do it?
"A lot of action movies are more action and less character. I loved that this had a strong character at the center and a strong love story as well."
Did you have to take any driving lessons for the role?
"I did, because cars weren’t something I knew much about in real life. But it was fun. I was given the choice of any car I wanted for the film, so I picked an old 1973 Chevy Malibu. They rebuilt it for speed."
What makes the role exciting to watch is that you don't play Driver like your typical action-adventure hero.
"It’s more important for me to bring some reality to the part. I wanted you to see what motivates this guy to make what are some really bad choices. I also wanted the film to be dreamlike, but with a dream that turns into a nightmare."
How did you cope with rejection starting out as a young actor?
"When you’re a young actor most people tell you on a daily basis that it’s not possible or you can’t do it. Nobody believes in you, except for a few people. You learn not to care about other people’s opinions. You tune them out. You numb yourself if you’re smart. It’s not because you’re so smart of so full of your own stuff. It’s because if you listen to other people in life, you really wouldn’t ever do anything. You’d be too afraid to try."
How do you feel about being consider a sex symbol?
"I’m not that good looking. I’m a pretty weird-looking guy. Every role I got up until The Notebook
was the weirdo, freak, psychopath nerd outsider character guy. I don't think things have changed. I still look the same. The public just sees my face a lot more."
Recently, you also co-starred with Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid, Love. What was that like?
"I just love Steve Carell and always wanted to work with him. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I did a pilot. I was 17 and had a small part and so did Steve. We didn’t get to work together, but he was so funny that I’d just hang out on the set longer to watch him work."
So, Steve is really a hilarious guy both on-and-off camera?
"Oh yeah, one time, the boom guy just threw down his mic and had a laughing attack in the corner in the middle of a take. It was the first time I worked with someone who was so good, it was a problem."
There are rumors that you are dating Eva Mendes, your costar in The Place Beyond the Pines. Are the stories true?
"You know, doing the movies I did recently, I got the soul mate question a lot this summer. I just don’t know about that stuff."
So, does that mean you have a soul mate?
"Yeah, it’s a dog whose name is George. Eleven years. He looks like Jim Henson made him. It’s the longest relationship I’ve ever had in my life."
The Ides Of March Blu-ray and DVD Bonus Features:
"Believe: George Clooney" and "On The Campaign: The Cast of Ides of March
" featurettes plus Commentary with George Clooney and Grant Heslov.
: "Developing the Campaign: The Origin of Ides of March
" and "What Does a Political Consultant Do?" featurettes. (Available January 17)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY & DVD:
Mildred Pierce + Mildred Pierce: The Collector's Edition
is a penetrating portrait of a proud mother's battle to earn her daughter's love - and the immense power the daughter exerts in withholding it. The HBO miniseries received an outstanding 21 Emmy nominations, winning five including Outstanding Lead Actress for Kate Winslet (Oscar-winner for The Reader
) and Guy Pearce (Oscar-nominee, The King's Speech
), for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Mildred Pierce
is available on DVD along with Mildred Pierce: The Collector's Edition
which contains both DVD and Blu-ray formats. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven
), Mildred Pierce
is based on James M. Cain's classic 1941 novel of pride and status in the middle class. It tells the story of Mildred (Winslet), a struggling single mother in Depression-era Los Angeles determined to fulfill the demands of her eldest daughter Veda (Rachel Wood), while surpassing societal expectations and the duplicity of the men in her life. With a talent for baking and a tremendous work ethic, Mildred sets her sights on becoming a restauranteur. Along the way she finds unexpected romance with Monty Beragon (Guy Pearce), a charming and wealthy idler, but personal tragedy soon strikes and Mildred faces the ultimate betrayal of love by her gifted but haughty daughter. DVD Bonus Features:
Audio commentaries from Haynes, co-writer Jon Raymond and production designer Mark Friedberg (who created the historically accurate setting); a menu-based "Series Index" and "Previews" of each five parts. The Collector's Edition also includes "Inside the Episode" pieces and the behind-the-scenes featurette "The Making of Mildred Pierce
The Windsors: From George To Kate
The Windsors: From George to Kate
provides a window into the captivating lives of the British Royal Family. The intriguing 2011 documentary gathers archival film footage and photographs from nearly a century of the House of Windsor’s history. Narrated by actor Brian Blessed (I, Claudius
), The Windsors
presents a unique look at the pomp and pageantry that surround these fascinating figures. This documentary gathers archival film footage and stills from nearly a century of official events. Highlights include the Silver Jubilee of King George V (1935); the coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth, formerly Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1937); the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip (1947); the coronation of Elizabeth II (1953); the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer (1981); Diana’s funeral (1997); and the announcement of Prince William’s engagement to Catherine Middleton (2010). Full of pomp, pageantry, ritual, tradition, and sheer splendor, these historic films portray the Windsors at their most noble. While most monarchies have crumbled, the British royal family remains essential to the nation’s identity. Today, the House of Windsor continues to capture the world’s imagination, most recently for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, watched by a global audience of millions. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features:
Clips from the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (8 min.); archival footage about King George VI; the subject of the 2011 Oscar winner The King’s Speech
(17 min.); biographies of select Windsors; and a 16-page viewer’s guide with a Windsor family tree; articles about royal titles and last names, coronation regalia, and protocol and fascinating facts about the Windsors.
After witnessing a friend's suicide, Cole (Mark Kelly) is having a difficult time adjusting. He's plagued by what he believes are hallucinations that are getting stronger by the day. While trying to focus on his work, Cole is called to a carpet-cleaning job for a man who appears to have just murdered his wife. He tries to move through the work as quickly as possible, but his horrific hallucinations begin to unravel the truth. Sometimes the truth is better off buried. Removal
brings together an exciting cast including Billy Burke (The Twilight Saga
), Mark Kelly (Mad Men
), Oz Perkins (Star Trek
), Kelly Brook (Piranha 3D
), with Emma Caulfield (Buffy the Vampire Slayer
) and Elliott Gould (Contagion
). From executive producer Mark Canton (Piranha 3D
), the horror film was chosen as Official Breakthrough Selection at AFI Film Festival (2010) and an Official Selection at Dubai International Film Festival (2010). (Only on DVD) Bonus Features:
Deleted scene; Alternate opening and Gag reel.
Man In A Suitcase, Set 2
Brimming with mystery and suspense, this DVD is the conclusion to the atmospheric Cold War-era spy series, Man in a Suitcase, Set 2.
Richard Bradford (The Untouchables, Cagney & Lacey
) stars as the savvy and adventurous “Mac” McGill, a cynical yet honest spy who has been disavowed by his American bosses and is on the run from a host of international enemies. After 10 years working for U.S. intelligence, "Mac" McGill knows a thing or two about living by his wits and getting the job done. But after his employment is terminated under mysterious circumstances, he has to look for work among those prepared to pay for his services. From his base in London, McGill travels all over Europe and beyond, taking on the jobs no one else can handle, tracking down the people no one else can find. This action-packed drama features a host of superb guest stars, including Donald Sutherland (Pride & Prejudice
), Felicity Kendal (Rosemary & Thyme
), Peter Arne (The Return of the Pink Panther
), Ray McAnally (My Left Foot
), Colin Blakely (The Beiderbecke Affair
), Philip Madoc (A Mind to Kill
), and Edward Fox (Gandhi
). Sharply written, the intriguing drama had national broadcast exposure on ABC in 1968. Set 2 includes the last 15 episodes of this stylish series. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features:
Interview with star Richard Bradford offering a frank and unfiltered look at the series and his career and a Photo gallery.
The moment Sara (Sara Paxton) and her friends arrive at her parent's Louisiana lake house, the party is in full gear. Everyone is having a blast until Malik (Sinqua Walls) loses his arm in what initially appears to be a tragic wake-boarding mishap. Determined to get him to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible, it isn't until they're far from shore that they realize the lake is teeming with hungry sharks, and a tiny speedboat isn't about to stop them from getting their next meal. As the feeding frenzy begins, Sara and her pals realize that their only hope for survival is to swim for their lives. Shark Night
features performances from Sara Paxton (Superhero Movie
), Dustin Milligan (Slither
), Chris Carmack (The O.C.
), Katharine McPhee (American Idol
), Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle
), Alyssa Diaz (As the World Turns
), Joel David Moore (Avatar
) and Sinqua Walls (The Second Half
). Bonus Features:
Shark Attack! Kill Machine! – Use this feature to jump to your favorite kills quickly; Ellis’ Island – A cast appreciation of what Shark Night
director David Ellis brought to the film. On Blu-Ray: Shark Night’s
Survival Guide – Everything you need to know about the sharks in the movie to avoid becoming human chum and Fake Sharks Real Scares – This behind the scenes featurette focuses on the use of both animatronic and CGI sharks in Shark Night
and a Digital Copy.
Greatest Super Bowl Moments
Beginning with the first World Championship of Pro Football in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs to the epic game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers last year, Greatest Super Bowl Moments
details and highlights key moments from every Super Bowl. Using footage, sideline sound and exclusive player wiring from NFL Films, this DVD is the historical collection of the greatest spectacle in pro sports. Greatest Super Bowl Moments
is a must-have program for any football fan to relive some of the most memorable plays that have helped shape the history of the NFL. From David Tyree “using his head” for one of the most improbable catches of all time to Lynn Swann’s diving grab and Adam Vinatieri kicking a last-second field goal to win The Big Game, there have been some unforgettable plays in Super Bowl history. With the excitement for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis building, this DVD captures memorable moments from past Super Bowls for NFL loyal fans. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features:
Never Take it Away; “Ambush” (Super Bowl XLIV onside kick) and Sam Wyche’s Super Agony.
A hilarious behind-the-scenes television satire in the vein of The Larry Sanders Show
, Dr. Willoughby,
stars fan favorite Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous
) as Donna Sinclair, an actress desperately clinging to her fading career. On the sleazy daytime soap in which she stars, Sinclair plays the competent and compassionate Dr. Willoughby. Off-screen, Sinclair is a holy terror -- conniving, vain, and utterly insincere. The series is from the production team behind the long-running hit Brit-com Birds of a Feather
, and it broadcast in 1999 on ITV and was syndicated on public television. The DVD includes all six episodes of this hilariousy written comedy. Joanna Lumley is deliciously bitchy as the aging, vain Sinclair in this hilarious send-up of British television. She’ll stop at nothing to keep her place in the spotlight, from betraying her fellow actors to terrorizing her producer, pilfering toilet paper from the supplies closet, and lying her way out of a charity gig. Dr. Willoughby also stars Brian Protheroe (Holby City, North & South
), Isobel Middleton (Cracker
), and Paula Bacon (Bad Girls