Category Archives: Movieline Articles
Previously, Movieline magazine published lists of the 100 Dumbest Things Hollywood’s Done Lately. So it may seem like the staff adopted a positive attitude when they put together a list of the 100 Smartest Things Hollywood’s Done Lately for the December 1997 issue. Not so much. This list is just as snarky and sometimes as mean-spirited as you might expect. With the benefit of twenty years of hindsight some of these decisions turned out not to be so “smart” after all.
1997 was a very good year for Matt Damon. After a few years of supporting roles in movies like School Ties and Courage Under Fire, Damon landed leading roles in The Rainmaker and Good Will Hunting. The latter earned Damon an actor for Best Original Screenplay for the script he wrote with buddy Ben Affleck. Damon’s “little guy makes good” story won him plenty of fans. As this interview from the December 1997 issue of Movieline magazine makes clear, Damon’s “aww shucks” reaction to his new-found fame was genuine.
Last year, David Permut was one of the producers of the Oscar-nominated war movie, Hacksaw Ridge. Twenty-five years ago, he was best known for surviving the infamous flop, The Marrying Man. When Permut was interviewed for this profile from the December 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, he was viewed as a huckster without any real hits under his belt. Get ready to be schmoozed!
Twenty-five years ago, Tom Cruise was cementing his status as the biggest movie star of his generation. He had not yet jumped on Oprah’s couch. To most audiences, he seemed like a nice young man with a million-dollar smile. These days, we all know Cruise is kind of a kook. There’s no denying that his movie star status has dimmed since Cruise put his craziness on display, but he has outlasted most of his contemporaries on the A-list. In this cover story from the December 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Cruise discusses his upcoming courtroom drama, A Few Good Men. The interview is uniquely Cruisian. You can see glimpses of some of the modern day Cruise when he laughs too hard and discusses his difficult upbringing. This is a guy who doesn’t feel comfortable in his own skin, but he’s charismatic enough to fake it.
Writer-director Chris Columbus got his start working for Steven Spielberg writing scripts like Gremlins, The Goonies and Young Sherlock Holmes. Once he got his big break as a director, Columbus formed another partnership with writer-producer John Hughes. The success of their collaboration on Home Alone gave Columbus the freedom to do pretty much whatever he wanted. In this interview from the November 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Columbus talks about working with kids like Macaulay Culkin, stars like Maureen O’Hara and getting fired by his idol.
Currently, Jason Isaacs plays a Starfleet captain on the latest incarnation of Star Trek. (Ealrier this week, he was blocked on Twitter by OG captain, William Shatner.) But fifteen years ago, Isaacs was menacing Mel Gibson and Harry Potter in deliciously villainous roles. In this profile from the November 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, Isaacs discusses his turn to the dark side, which parts are the most fun to play and which director serves the best cake on set.
If Hollywood had a yearbook, who would have been voted most likely to succeed fifteen years ago? In the November 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, the staff named twenty up-and-comers in various fields of show business that they expected to make it big. With the benefit of hindsight, let’s see how well the magazine predicted the future.
Curtis Hanson became one of Hollywood’s most sought-after directors relatively late in his career. Early on he was known for making better-than-average thrillers. After The Hand That Rocks the Cradle became a surprise hit, Hanson was able to take on the acclaimed neo-noir, LA Confidential. In the November 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, Hanson discussed his latest unexpected career move – directing rapper Eminem in his movie debut.
It’s hard to match the early success of the Alien franchise. The first two movies in the series, while radically different, as both near-perfect entries in their respective genres. The third movie wasn’t as successful, but it did introduce the world to director David Fincher who went on to do great things. Given the pedigree of the series, whoever was chosen to directed the fourth alien movie – one that was intended to set the series back on the right course – was going to have enormous shoes to fill.
After nearly every American director passed on the opportunity, the job ultimately went to French film-maker Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Jeunet had previously collaborated with Marc Caro on the films Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. His co-director opted out of the Hollywood game leaving Jeunet to handle 20th Century Fox and Sigourney Weaver solo. Alien 4 didn’t resurrect the series as intended, but Jeunet managed to bounce back with his next movie, Amélie.
Martha Frankel had a history with Spike Lee before she interviewed him for the November 1992 issue of Movieline. Their previous interactions were heated. It’s pretty clear that she was not looking forward to meeting with the director, but this time things were different. While he was doing post-production work on his next movie, Malcolm X, Lee was much looser than he had been in the past. He laughs off a lot of questions which some might consider confrontational.
There are more talented actresses in Hollywood than there are good parts for them to play. That’s especially true in movies where good leading roles are few and far between. In the November 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Brian Hirsch and Elaine Bailey selected a half dozen character actresses they wanted to see land a lead role in a good movie.
Elizabeth Hurley was more famous than her filmography would suggest. She was better known for her romantic relationships and modeling work than she was for the movies she made. Hurley has spent more than her fair share of time in the tabloids. Movieline dubbed her “The Most Resilient Star in Hollywood” when she appeared on the cover of the November 2002 issue following a nasty break-up with her millionaire boyfriend who demanded a paternity test after Hurley gave birth to his son. And yes, it turns out, he was the father.
How do you measure success? In Hollywood, box office reigns supreme followed distantly by awards and recognition from critics and peers. Odds are, if you were asked to select the most successful person in Hollywood history, Orson Welles would not top your list. Welles spent much of his career obese and running from debt. His financial woes forced him to accept work that was beneath him just to cash a paycheck. But this article from the November 2002 issue of Movieline magazine argues that none of that matters. Welles’ legacy lives on and that may be the most important measure of success there is.