Category Archives: Movieline Articles
Everyone talks about Matthew McConaughey’s comeback. Admittedly, the “McConaissance” was impressive, but Dallas Buyers Club also represented a massive comeback for Jared Leto. Leto had been best-known as the teen heartthrob on the short-lived TV show “My So-Called Life”. When that show was cancelled, he spent years trying to change his image. Rather than taking lead roles in light-weight romantic comedies (as McConaughey did), Leto took supporting parts in movies like Fight Club, The Thin Red Line and Panic Room. Over a decade before those efforts paid off in the form of an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, Leto talked to Movieline magazine about his so-called career.
In the late 90’s, John Travolta was enjoying his post Pulp Fiction comeback. His career was firing on all cylinders. His wife, Kelly Preston, was getting back to work after having given birth to the couple’s first child. Preston had been working as an actress for over a decade without attracting much attention. But after a couple of supporting roles in buzzworthy movies, Preston’s career started heating up.
It was during this period of increased relevancy that Martha Frankel interviewed Preston for a profile in Movieline magazine. Frankel’s questions are mostly about Preston’s famous husband, but Preston doesn’t seem to mind. The piece ran in the April 1997 issue of Movieline magazine. From a modern day point of view, the article takes on a different tone in light of Preston’s son’s tragic death in 2009.
After a promising debut in the titular role of The Princess Bride, actress Robin Wright spent a few years toiling in movies most audiences had never heard of much less seen. She wouldn’t appear in another hit until Forrest Gump seven years later. During that time, she became romantically involved with her costar Sean Penn and dropped out of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to have a baby. In the April 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Stephen Rebello asked Wright about her relationship with Penn, the press and her frustrations as a working actress.
When it comes to the Academy Awards, there are winners and losers. It may be an honor to be nominated, but the fact of the matter is they only hand out so many statues every year. Over the course of a career in showbiz, there are a limited number of opportunities to win an Oscar. For varying reasons, some of the most famous actors and actresses in Hollywood history never took home the prize. In the April 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, they compiled a list of the ten most famous actors who never won.
Hard to believe but fifteen years ago there was no such thing as a Spider-man movie. Now here we are and Spidey is on his second reboot. When the original Spider-man movie debuted in 2002, super hero movies were still relatively uncommon and director Sam Raimi was known primarily as the director of cult horror movies. Prior to the movie’s release, Raimi talked to Movieline about how he got the job, what controversial contributions James Cameron made to the movie and how the chemistry between Tobey Maguire and Kristen Dunst may have spilled over into real life.
Movieline magazine was always a bit obsessed with youth culture. Not only did they publish an annual Young Hollywood issue, but eventually they began hosting their own awards ceremony honoring up-and-coming stars. In the April 2002 issue of the magazine, the staff elaborated on some of the nominees from the prior year. As an added bonus, I have added the actual winners from the 4th Annual Young Hollywood Awards.
Last year, we lost a rock and roll legend. I am ill-equipped to discuss David Bowie’s musical legacy except to say that Bowie was so big that his influence spilled over into other media including movies. In the April 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, one of the magazine’s editors interviewed Bowie about his side job as a movie star.
Critics are always complaining that movies aren’t as good as they used to be. After a year of high profile flops and disappointments, 2001 was considered by many to be a low point in cinema. In the April 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, an uncredited writer looked back at some of the gems of the previous year. What did they all have in common? Good writing.
Everyone likes Julia Roberts, right? I mean most people. There’s always going to be someone out there who has a bone to pick with any celebrity. I’m not an especially big fan of Roberts, but pressed for a verdict I will give her a thumbs up. However, twenty years ago Roberts’ future as a movie star was uncertain. Following the massive success of Pretty Woman, she struggled to find the right projects. Her movies were often overshadowed by her tabloid romances.
Her career stabilized when she returned to romantic comedies with My Best Friend’s Wedding. That movie represented a comeback after her uncharacteristically glum performance in Mary Reilly. But prior to Roberts’ return to form, writer David Thomson saw potential in Roberts’ least glamorous role. Where others saw an actress in over her head, Thomson saw potential. While Movieline was counting Roberts out, Thompson was mounting a defense. In the April 1997 article, Thompson argued that Roberts’ future depended on her ability to abandon her mega-watt smile.
Twenty years later, Roberts has rebounded so successfully that many forget that she was ever out of favor. I would argue that she did so by doing the opposite of what Thompson suggested.
Personally, I’m fashion illiterate. But Movieline magazine stayed current on fashion trends. In the April 1997 issue of the magazine, Diane Clehane asked Mark Badgley and James Mischka to dish on which actresses were hot and who needed a make-over.
In the late eighties through much of the nineties, Michelle Pfeiffer was one of the hottest leading ladies in Hollywood. Around the start of the 21st century, Pfeiffer’s career started to cool off. To some extent, that was due to Pfeiffer starting a family with TV producer David E. Kelley. In this interview from the April 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, Pfeiffer talked with Stephen Rebello about motherhood, whether or not she is difficult to get to know and how she creates chemistry with notoriously prickly leading men like Sean Penn and Harrison Ford.
There are movie stars and there are TV stars. Every now and then, an actor will cross over from one medium to the other, but more often than not TV stars struggle with the transition from the small screen to the big one. In the late 90’s Julianna Margulies was part of the ensemble cast on the highest-rated drama on television. She was also the only member of the cast to have won an Emmy. As expected, movie offers came her way, but Margulies knew not to jeopardize her day job by lunging at the brass ring. It’s a strategy that paid off in the form of the lead role in another highly successful TV drama, The Good Wife. In this profile from the April 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Margulies talks about balancing her commitment to ER with movie roles, what she thinks of former costar Steven Seagal and which celebs made her earn her tips as a waitress.
Movieline’s list of the 100 best female characters in film includes heroines and villains, victims and women who triumph. Most of these characters are strong, though some more than others. A lot of them aren’t terribly admirable, but they are all memorable characters immortalized by the actresses who portrayed them. Did your favorite make Movieline’s list? (The article ran in the April 1997 issue of the magazine, so any characters after that date are out of bounds.) Who were you glad to see included and who was overlooked? Sound off in the comments section.