Archive for the Features Category

Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek find their purr-fect roles in “Puss in Boots”

Posted in Features on October 31, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Antonio Bandares and Salma Hayek first worked with one another on Robert Rodriguez’s second film, “Desperado”. Since then, they have gone on to work on four more film together and they are have also become best friends for life. In their latest collaboration “Puss in Boots”, Bandares reprise the role of Puss in Boots, who is an outlaw on the run from a crime he unwittingly help partake in. Puss reunites with his old friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) who, with the help of Kitty Softpaws (Hayek), convince Puss to help steal magic beans that would lead to the goose that lay golden eggs. I have the opportunity to participate in a roundtable interview with Banderas and Hayek at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bricket when they were in town promoting the film.

Antonio, you have voiced your character for nearly five years. What motivated you to play this character and what do you attribute the longevity of the films?

Antonio Banderas: Years ago, I saw “Shrek” at the Cannes Film Festival that year. I was very impressed with the new approach of animation movies. When they called me, I could not believe that they asked to play a character in a “Shrek” movie. They showed me the entire movie put together on the wall and I really liked the character of Puss in Boots. In the beginning when I went to the recording studio for the first time, we did not know yet what he was going to sound like. We decided that the voice should not match the body. I produce a voice that is not my natural voice, but a voice that is deeper and bigger.

Salma, how did you get involved in the movie?

Salma Hayek: I was in Paris when I got a call from the filmmakers asking if I would like to do the movie. Since I had a family, I wanted to take some time off. Doing this movie was great you can record your line from anywhere in the world, even in the bathroom. It was so easy and it was very accommodating for me. Even if I did not have a daughter, I still love the “Shrek” films. I also love Antonio and his character what he did with it.

You have worked together many times throughout the years. What do you both like about working with one another?

Hayek: I have never worked with someone that is so enthusiastic about what they do. By nature, he is such a good storyteller and he really enjoys it profoundly. He is very professional; but at the same time, he love acting. I love what I do, but compared to Antonio, I look lazy. His attitude about working puts me to shame. I am so inspired to work with him. His is so generous that he makes you want to be better. His is also a very director. He not only has enthusiasm for his part, but he has enthusiasm for everybody’s part. He has so much energy more than anyone I have ever worked with. Antonio’s enthusiasm for life and what he does is amazing. I think he as an enormous passion for life. Now it is your turn.

Banderas: I could go on and on about Salma that sometimes it gets cheesy when we are promoting a film like this. She is unbelievable and sexy…

Hayek: Leave it at that.

Banderas: I adore her so much. Every time we see each other, it is like looking back in time and remembering the time when we were unknowns in the United States.

Hayek: The only difference is that he started here (raises her right hand high) and I started here (lowers her left hand). He was so kind to me. I have done nothing at the time and I was so scared, but Antonio and Robert were really kind to me during the making of “Desperado”.

You have adults that look up to you and now you have kids that look up to you. If you can give a pep talk to kids right now, what would you tell them?

Banderas: In some ways, this movie was not just made for kids. It was also made for adults  and different audiences. The movie is complex; but at the same time, it is very a well-crafted movie made by Hollywood, which is the only place in the world where these types of movies can be done like this. In this complicated world filled with violence and unpredictability, it is a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to make both kids and adults laugh, to give them a couple of hours to have a great time together with a bucket of popcorn in their lap, go home with a smile and share some of the values the movie has about friendship, loyalty, honor and a number of things. It is priceless.

Anna Kendrick goes “50/50” with the Cinematic

Posted in Features on October 6, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Directed by Jonathan Levine (“The Wackness”), “50/50” is dramedy about Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a young Seattle native who receives news that he has been diagnosed with a rare case of spinal cancer. As he goes through his treatment, he must rely on his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), best friend (Seth Rogen) and mother (Anjelica Huston) for support. Oscar-nominee Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”) plays Adam’s assigned hospital therapist, Katherine. As Katherine tries her best to get Adam through his treatment via sessions with her, they soon develop a strong bond with one another. I had the chance to sit down with Kendrick at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Brickel when she was in town promoting the film.

 Anna, congratulations on receiving the Spotlight Initiative Award in Toronto.

 Anna Kendrick: Thank you.

 How was the reception for the film there?

Kendrick: The reception was really extraordinary. I’m so proud of the film. At the end of the movie everybody was on their feet looking for Will Reiser to find him. It was just like a standing salute thing; it was sort of really special. I was also really pleased to see how young the audience was. There was a part of me that thought, ‘There’s all these college kids here, and they might be into Seth Rogen making  dirty jokes, but are they going to be into the rest of the movie?’ It went amazingly well, so that was really reassuring.

 There are moments in “50/50” when Katherine was very uncomfortable when she’s dealing with Adam, and I was wondering during those moments, do you feel uncomfortable internally and, if so, what do you do to reach those places?

 Kendrick: I would say this was like tennis in the way that you have a great partner, and it makes you better. In those moments, Joe made me feel uncomfortable because Katherine’s insecurity comes from the feeling that deep down Adam suspects that she is not good at her job, but that she suspects other people can tell too. Joe would be in those scenes and he’d look at me like I was crazy. It would make my stomach turn, so it definitely helped me feel uncomfortable. He was a great partner to have and made my job a lot easier.

 When you were reading the script, and considering doing the role, did it give you an indication that there are feelings between Adam and Katherine as it starts to develop? What did you think about that development when you were first reading the screenplay?

 Kendrick: We knew that it was going to be a tricky balance for so many reasons. You never want an audience to feel like they can see it coming. I think it’s possible to maybe see something coming, but then eventually root for them, and I think that’s what we tried to do, but Joe and I were really nervous about making the first move. As actors, I think we were just as hesitant as our characters were. It was a conversation I eventually had with him where I realized both of us were really fighting to not cross the line, sort of going to the director and saying, ‘I don’t think that character would do that,’ because there was a weird life-imitating-art thing where neither of us wanted to be inappropriate with the other character. I think that was part of it where we were both really careful. As actors, we were being just as careful as we would in real life like if I was really a therapist and he was really a patient. You don’t want to disrespect that person so hopefully people root for us. If they do, I guess all that nail-biting over it worked.

 You’ve worked with great directors like Jason Reitman and Edgar Wright. How are they different, those two in particular, from working with Jonathan Levine?

Kendrick: Jonathan is the most collaborative director that I’ve worked with. I’ve worked with some really specific directors and Jonathan pulls a really great trick on people. I think he’s an evil genius. He makes you feel like you don’t have to do anything or think about anything. You’re just doing so great that you’re making his job so easy. I don’t think that’s true because he certainly made everybody feel that way and I think he’s a mad genius. The great thing about this set was the feeling that your opinion was not only allowed but expected. When we were changing things and scenes, it was never someone disappearing over lunch and coming back with new pages. It was really collaborative and it made me feel so relaxed that I think you’re more receptive to direction. You’re more receptive to your other actors with this no-pressure environment that he created. It made us feel like we were making a movie without adult supervision.

 How would you describe “50/50” to people?

 Kendrick: It is a tricky thing. I guess what I try to say is, ‘This is just one guy’s experience, and this is what he found so perverse and bizarre that you have to laugh at it.’ It’s not like it is sick, inappropriate humor. It’s just one person’s experience with surviving and the humor that he found in it. It’s easy to just say that Seth Rogen is in this movie. It’s not a bummer. I guess I’m still working on exactly how to get people to see it, but I wish I could have the people who have seen it on speed dial because they’re better at that than I am.

The Grim Reaper’s greatest hits: the ten best “Final Destination” deaths

Posted in Features on August 10, 2011 by Steve Mesa

For nearly a decade, the Final Destination movies have taken the premise of Death haunting unfortunate souls and turned it to a money-making franchise. The formula for these movies is this: person has premonition of a horrible accident, person freaks out that causes other people to follow him, accident happens and horrible things happen to the survivors. The excitement of the franchise is not the acting or script, but the elaborate Rube Goldberg-like ways that the survivors are killed off to make it look like an unfortunate occurrences or freak accidents. With “Final Destination 5” ready for wide release on Friday in all its 3D glory, I thought it would be appropriate to recount the ten most elaborate and best deaths in the “Final Destination” franchise.

#10 Hunt: “The Final Destination”

Let’s all agree that “The Final Destination” was the weakest entry in the “Final Destination” franchise, even though the 3D experience in the theater saved it from being an overall horrible film. The only death that was worthwhile was the death of male bimbo Hunt (Nick Zano), who loses his life in a horrifying way. When he is at the town swimming pool, his lucky coin falls into the water. He dives in to retrieve his coin, except he ends up getting sucked, ass first, on the pool’s drain. When the pressure escalates, he ends up getting his intestines sucked out in geyser of blood.

#9 Ian: “Final Destination 3”

Still stunned from witnessing her girlfriend’s death, Ian (Kris Lemche) looks for payback and planned on killing Wendy. His plan did not succeed as he confronted Wendy at their town’s centennial celebration and they were nearly get incinerated by stray fireworks. As it seem like the fireworks did not do the trick, the nearby cherry picker with McKinley’s name on it (he was named after the town) surely did Ian in as it dropped down upon him, splitting his body in half. Originally, Wendy was supposed to squashed by the cherry picker, but Ian inadvertently took her place instead.

#8 Frankie: “Final Destination 3”

Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Kevin (Ryan Merriman) narrowly escape the “drive-thru from hell” when a runaway semi crashes into Kevin’s truck, which was sandwiched between a convertible and a beer truck. The semi crashed into his truck, causing Kevin’s truck engine to propel into the head of the convertible’s driver. Unbeknownst to them, the driver was their classmate Frankie (Sam Easton). In the end, all Frankie got was a REAL bad headache that resulted in his brains being splattered all over the drive-thru window.

#7 Evan: “Final Destination 2”

This “lucky” bastard not only avoided dying in a highway pileup, but also won the lottery. When he arrives in his apartment after a spending spree, Evan’s (David Paetkau) apartment catches on fire after his microwave malfunctions when was trying to retrieve a newly bought ring in his sink. After nearly escaping a fiery demise, he climbs down an escape ladder and slips on some spaghetti he threw away earlier. In classic fake out fashion, the ladder comes close to hitting him in the face with a resounding “Oh S–t” from Evan. However, his luck runs out when the ladder does fall and impale Evan’s right eye socket.

#6 Lewis: “Final Destination 3”

In the moments that lead up to the death of Lewis (Texas Battle), there are several objects that give hints to the audience on what the weapon of choice would be. A domino effect occurs that causes the loosely mounted swords hanging above Lewis to cut the wires on his weight machine. As the arrogant jock defiantly curse off Death and finishes his last shoulder row, the weights on the machine crushes his skull like a tomato.

#5 Billy: “Final Destination”

After Alex (Devon Sawa) and Claire (Ali Larter) save the life of Carter (Kerr Smith) from being crushed by oncoming locomotive in his car, Billy (Seann William Scott) stands by the rails of the train and scolds Carter. A piece of scrap metal from what was left of Carter’s vehicle flies off the train tracks and brutally decapitated Billy through his mouth. Alex realized that in Death’s design, if someone is saved by another person, it skips the lucky person (Carter) and moves on to the next person (Billy).

#4 Erin: “Final Destination 3”

You would think working at a Home Depot-like store would not have any deadly consequences on their workers. This unfortunate soul met her end at the end of nail gun after her boyfriend, Ian, is saved by Wendy and Kevin from falling debris. This act causes Death to skip Ian and move on to the next person, which was Erin (Alexz Johnson). As one of the debris penetrates a bag full of sawdust, this caused Erin to be blinded by the dust and slip on slip on some nearby liquid, causing her to fall backwards and headfirst into the nail gun. The nail gun ends up giving Erin eleven skull-crushing piercings from the back of her skull that penetrates through her cheek, hand, wrist, nose and eye. 

#3 Kat and Rory: “Final Destination 2”

It is not enough for people being dispatched in weird ways, Death also happens to literally kill “two birds with one stone”. After getting into a near fatal accident, the remaining survivors escape unscathed except for Eugene (T.C. Carson), who was sent to the hospital. Bitchy career woman, Kat (Keegan Connor Tracy), was nearly impaled by a plastic pipe and is stuck in the driver’s seat. With fire rescue arriving on the scene, they use the Jaws of Life to rescue Kat. Irony strikes here as the Jaws of Life activates the car’s airbag, which causes Kat’s head to retract her into said pipe and impale her through the head. As Kat’s lit cigarette falls from her hand, it ignites a gas leak that triggers an explosion that propels a barbed wire fence towards the direction of stoner Rory (Jonathan Cherry), which goes through him and causes him to fall to pieces.

#2 Terry: “Final Destination”

Not only is this one of the most shocking moment in the original, but it is also one of the most unexpected movie deaths of all time. As Terry is scolding his boyfriend, Carter, she makes the mistake of crossing the street backwards without looking. A few seconds later, her face and body has a meeting with an oncoming bus that just shows up out of nowhere and looks like it is going 150 miles per hour. I would think that Alex’s premonition of the reflection of the bus on a store front would have clued him in on what was to come.

#1 Tim: “Final Destination 2”

After nearly choking on a toy fish in the dentist’s office, Tim walks out the dentist office with his mother to see Officer Thomas Burke (Michael Landes) and Kimberly (A.J. Cook) waving at him. Unfortunately, his short attention span draws his attention to some nearby pigeons that he wants to chase. The flying pigeons causes a construction worker to lose control of an enormous piece of glass which ends up dropping on poor little Timmy, folding his body up like a bloody accordion.

It is all about “Beats Rhymes & Life” for Michael Rapaport

Posted in Features on August 5, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Directed by actor Michael Rapaport, “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Calles Quest” follows the band A Tribe Called Quest they go through some serious and tumultuous drama while on tour for the 2008 “Rock the Bells” concert series. The film also explores the Tribe’s past from their earlier days as the pioneers of alternative rap to their big public breakup in 1998.

I was able to sit down with Rapaport at the Lowes Hotel in South Beach when he was in town promoting the film.

Hialeah Movie Examiner: First off, congratulations on your film winning the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival. What was your reaction?

Michael Rapaport: I was just flattered, humbled and excited for the movie and for everyone who worked on the movie. It is a very nice to win anything.

HME: What lead you to direct this documentary?

Rapaport: Obviously, I am a fan of this group. When they broke up in 1998, I was curious into why and if they will ever record another album. Whenever I would see Q-Tip or people around the group, I would always ask if A Tribe Called Quest is ever going to make more music. That sort of curiosity about that and me being a fan of the group is what led me to wanting to make this movie.

HME: How many hours of footage during the production of this movie?

Rapaport: We shot over a hundred hours of footage. During the concert tour, we shot with multiple cameras. We also used a lot of b-roll. We had at least over a hundred hours of material.

HME: How long did it take to edit this movie?

Rapaport: We edited for two and a half years. We didn’t edit for two and a half years straight. We would start, stop and shoot. We would look at stuff and take a little perspective. It was a two and a half year process to finish the movie and by the time it took me to come here to Miami, it would be three years in total.

HME: How hectic was it going from project to project as an actor while still working on the documentary?

Rapaport: This movie became a part of my life that grew and grew and grew because of the reality that it was happening and the work overhaul. It became a full-time job doing this movie that I wasn’t getting paid for. It was like a side project, almost like a secret thing that I was doing.

HME: I read in your director’s statement that you had the most highs and lows in your life during the making of this movie. Could you elaborate on that?

Rapaport: The highs were the making of the film, the shooting of the film, being on stage with cameras knowing I’m shooting a movie about A Tribe Called Quest, that I am actually getting the opportunity and that I’m actually directing this film, the excitement of that, the excitement of talking to the group and how enthusiastic everyone was about the film. The lows included the editing process because it was extremely intimidating, overwhelming and frightening. Getting music clearances were scary at times because you edit scenes around certain music. With that, dealing with the band and the disjointedness of the group was sometimes hard to deal with.

HME: Some documentarians like to be in front of the camera and some don’t. Did you originally just wanted to stay behind the camera?

Rapaport: I did not want to be in front of the camera. I didn’t want this to be Michael Rapaport’s journey with A Tribe Called Quest. I love what Michael Moore does, but I wanted to focus on Tribe. I know I had some kind of presence, but I didn’t want to ham it up like “Alright guys, let’s knock on Phife Dog’s door and see what happens”. I just wanted it to be exclusive and about them. I wanted it to keep focus on A Tribe Called Quest because I didn’t want to be in front of the camera for this. I just wanted to be a director. I really truly wanted to be the director and this was my chance to be a director. I think it would have invalidated me as a director to constantly be in front of the camera. I knew this was an opportunity and I wanted to direct a movie for a long time so I just wanted to be just an ordinary filmmaker.

HME: What is your favorite Tribe album and song?

Rapaport: It is hard to just pick one album. The first three albums are so good and told with such perfection, but I would say “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” because it is such an innocent album. They would talk about many different things, as told through a youthful point-of-view. “Footprints”, which is off that album, is my favorite Tribe song because I love the sample they use for that song and the way the song this build within.

HME: With an episode of “Boston Public” under your belt as a director, did you carry any previous knowledge of directing as you got ready to make this film?

Rapaport: I wanted to direct film for a while. I’ve been on hours and hours of sets as an actor on films and television show. I asked a lot of questions to see how directors work, talk to cinematographers about lenses, how they work and why they use certain lenses. I was always curious about filmmaking. In the back of my head, I would ask questions because I knew I wanted to make a movie.

HME: Following your experience on this documentary, would you direct again?

Rapaport: Absolutely. I would love to do another documentary. It would have to be something I was compelled to do emotionally because it is such a hard process and such a grueling task whether it is financially or technically. I would love to do a narrative film. I’m always going to act and I’m going to always love acting along with the excitement about acting. This movie gave me the confidence to know that I have all the skills to make some sort of film.  

HME: What do you want people to take away from this film?

Rapaport: What I want people to take away from this film is a story about friends, relationships, the struggle to keep those relationships and the story of the golden era of hip-hop. I want people to be revisit or maybe, if you have been living on another planet, get introduced to A Tribe Called Quest because they are one of the most influential and exciting bands to ever do it.

“Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest” opens at Regal South Beach 18 tomorrow.

Film critics on the web

Posted in Features on April 10, 2011 by Steve Mesa

As par tof a project for school, I interviewed three different film critics:  the Infamous Billy the Kidd from InfamousKidd.com, Dan Hudak from HudakOnHollywood.comwho  and Steven Lebowitz from Examiner.com. They either write for a website or they write for their own website.

The stars of “Battle: Los Angeles” ban together to talk about their roles

Posted in Features on March 29, 2011 by Steve Mesa

You can expect Black Hawk Down meets Aliens in the latest science fiction/action film Battle: Los Angeles, which was the #1 movie this weekend with $36 million.

A group of Marines (that includes Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Ramon Rodriguez) are on a mission to rescue civilians that are located in a desolated police station in Santa Monica after aliens invade the coast of California.

Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez and Michael Pena were in Miami two weeks ago promoting the movie and getting ready to appear on the red carpet later that night at Regal Cinemas South Beach 17. I was able to sit down with the actors as part of three different roundtables at the Ritz Carlton in South Beach.

Both Michelle and Ramon were attracted to the project when director Jonathan Liebesman showed them a five-minute short that starred Aaron Eckhart and it was the genesis for the film.

“When I saw the video, I thought this was going to be really cool and different,” Ramon Rodriguez says. “I’ve always been interested in playing some type of soldier or some sort of military character so that was fun. Also, it’s a combination of two worlds that I love: I love both genres, I love sci-fi movies and I do love war films, especially with the style Jonathan uses to do it, documentary/hand-held.”

Michelle said she was fascinated with Liebesman’s perception of how he wanted to his film to be shot and completed with a documentarian style that she has never seen before.

“He wanted it to be more of an intimate experience between you and the chaos,” Rodriguez said. “I think that what really made everything real because it was less green screen and it was really all about that experience.”

There were a number of things that attracted Pena to Battle: Los Angeles, but the relentless action and the pacing of the story is what attracted him the most.

“I wanted to have a meeting with the director, Jonathan Liebesman, and he showed me on his little laptop what the aliens were going to look like and I wanted to have a meeting with him,” Pena said. “I have to be honest, even if the actors are amazing, but the aliens suck, I don’t want to see this movie. That why I had the meeting and he showed me something that was awesome. It was not super glossy, like some weird metal skin. It is actually pretty damn real and the things that he showed caught my imagination like when I was a kid.”

Michelle and Ramon play soldiers in the film and as actors playing soldiers who were fighting aliens in California; they had to shoot some crazy and difficult scenes.

For Ramon, the most difficult scene to shoot occurred on the first week of filming was “that redeeming scene with the bus”.

“It’s difficult when you are shooting a moment like that and you have to have the levity and the weight of what your character has been through up until that point or else it doesn’t fit,” he said.

The craziest scene Michelle had to shoot was the last action sequence of the film in which she called it “pretty freaking gnarly.” She said the scene involved unloading 20 magazine of bullets in one night and shooting the scene from different perspectives.

According to Michelle, the most difficult scene to shoot for her was the bus sequence because it involved twenty people in a bust with no air conditioning and the Louisiana weather, which was humid and 110 degrees.

“A bunch of smoke going up your nose that you blow out at the end of the day and it’s all black,” Rodriguez said. “There was lots of running and I got knee issues because I have no ACL on this knee so it kept popping out of place.”

Battle: Los Angeles is in theaters now.

Topher Grace and Teresa Palmer are all about the 80s in TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

Posted in Features on March 4, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Set during the summer of 1988, Take Me Home Tonight is a raunchy comedy about three friends (Topher Grace, Dan Fogler and Anna Faris) that have one of the craziest nights of their lives complete with stolen cars, cocaine and sex. This movie is one of the most enjoyable comedies this year that does not take make fun of the 1980s like last year’s comedy that was set in the 80s, Hot Tub Time Machine.

I was able to sit down with Topher Grace, who is the star, writer and producer of the movie, and his beautiful Australian co-star Teresa Palmer at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for a 2-on-1 interview to talk about the film

Hialeah Movie Examiner: Topher, what inspired to create the story for this film?

Topher Grace: I was so bummed that I missed the John Hughes era of the 1980s. It was a great time for actors and those kind of films with young cast ensembles to be able to work with each other before they became big movie stars. I love working with huge movie stars. I have done that a couple of times and it is a great way to apprentice someone who are masters of their craft. For me personally, I also wanted to work with someone like Anna, who I have known for many years and Dan, who I saw on Broadway. I wanted to bring one of those kind of groups together for a movie. My producer partner (Gordon Kaywin) said “American Graffiti was shot in the 70s and set in the 50s and Dazed and Confused was shot in the 90s and set in the 70s. We can do that for the 80s”. We wanted to make the first movie about the 80s that wasn’t a spoof of the era. It is very hard to not make fun of the 80s. I have see movies and TV shows where someone would say “Cell phone…they can’t get any smaller” or “They will be hovercars in the year 2000”.

HME: Did you planned to be the one of the producers for this film?

Grace: I had this idea with my friend who is now my producing partner and he is the one who said what if we look back 20 years like Dazed and Confused. We did not want to spoof the 80s like other films and have “Rock Me Amadeus” or songs like that were obviously from the 80s. We went with songs that stood the test of time like Duran Duran. We went to Ron Howard, who was in American Graffiti, and Brian Grazer to produce the film. They liked the idea and then we hired writers to write the screenplay. By that point, I was already a full-time producer for the film.

HME: What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

Teresa Palmer: To shoot together? I think it would have to be the sex scene. I found it to be very traumatic. What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

Grace: Yes, the sex scene. Shooting that scene with her was a little difficult to do compare to other scenes I had to do.

Palmer: After finished wrapping up that scene, we ended up partying a lot that night. I had fun shooting this movie every day I was on set. I had one of the best times during the making of this movie. I was very lucky to be part of it.  

HME: I read that this movie was shot in 2007 and it took four year to release the film. Did Anna, Dan or Teresa ever run into you after shooting and asked you about when it was getting released?

Palmer: We all became friends after we shot this movie.

Grace: We remained very close. What happened was we screened the movie two years ago and it went very well. However, the original studio that was going to release the movie had a real problem with how much cocaine was in it and how much cocaine Dan was doing. Our feeling was that if you do a movie about Prohibition, you have to show alcohol. If they are kids partying in Beverly Hill in the 80s, there is going to be cocaine. We were really lucky to have Ron and Brian as our producers.

Palmer: They are the best producers of our time.

Grace: They said “Why don’t you just chill and we will find another studio to put this movie out for what it is”. I was so nervous about it because I was afraid they we had to cut the cocaine scenes out. It would be weird if Dan was acting strange for no reason. Ron and Brian showed the movie to Ryan Kavanaugh (CEO of Relativity Media) and we were lucky to get a bigger release then what we originally had thanks to Ryan. He was not one of those studio executives who are their 60s or 70s. He was actually three years older than me. He said he thought it was great and didn’t feel we had change a thing.

Palmer: He definitely saved the project from being neutered.

Grace: I am so glad that I am getting to talk to you because I was with this movie since its inception and it is exactly what we wanted to put out.

Take Me Home Tonight is in theaters everywhere starting today.