It’s time, one again, for a cruise ’round the current interview circuit. The San Francisco Bay Guardian, never ones to give the high hat to a novelty film, has Duncan Scott Davidson and Cheryl Eddy looking up and interviewing Bill Allen (not that he’s hard to find), the actor who played Christopher "Cru" Jones in 1986 BMX extravaganza "Rad":
I’m sure a lot of people ask you about the bicycle boogie scene.
Oh god. [Pause] It’s [like] being beaten over the head with an ’80s stick. It’s just very indicative of that time period, and that’s not always a great thing, if it’s the ’80s we’re talking about.
What about the ass-sliding? Another classic Rad moment…
It was really cold, and they gave us these wetsuits which did zero good if you’re just gonna be in and out of the water. It was one of the less glamorous parts about the job.
At the Herald Sun, Claire Sutherland talks to a somewhat dour Rowan Atkinson, who’s prepping for another press go-round for his next film, "Mr. Bean’s Holiday" (not due out in the US until August). Atkinson claims it’s "reasonably unlikely" he’ll make another Bean movie.
Making movies is something Atkinson endures rather than enjoys.
"That’s absolutely true. So why do it? I sometimes think it’s like bashing your head against a brick wall. It’s just nice when you stop, and you can’t get that satisfaction of stopping unless you start."
"Oui, Bob Mar-lay," he chants, an enormous grin spreading across his face. The details of the biopic are still vague – Bouchareb denies industry gossip that Jamie Foxx has been cast in the lead role – but in securing the official stamp of approval from Marley’s widow Rita, Bouchareb has already succeeded where many others have failed.
"Marley is the only global superstar ever to emerge from the developing world," he says, when asked to explain his fascination with the singer. "Go to any poor neighborhood on the planet – to the suburbs of Paris or Kingston, Jamaica – and you’ll find a poster of Marley on the walls and hear his music on the stereo. He was a carrier of hope for so many people. He used singing as another way to change the world."
I think that there is a market for good movies, for trueâ€”I hate to use the word, because people will think I’m pretentious or something, butâ€”"art." I think you can make money. If you look at all the great movies that have made tons of money, almost all of them are great movies too. Even Titanic. I think Titanic is a great movie. I recently watched it, and I thought it was fucking great.
And with Andrew O’Hehir at Salon:
Given your recent performances, you’re going to get offered parts in films that are a little bit more black and white in terms of their structure and that maybe also pay really, really well. Are you really going to be able to say that you don’t want to do those kinds of movies?
I just want to do good movies, and by the way, "The Lookout" paid really well.
Well, good. I’m glad to hear it.
I’m so lucky to have a job like this. It’s funny to me when I hear actors talk about "littler" movies like "The Lookout." "The Lookout" is a huge movie! It cost like $20 million to make! Come on. The point is not how much it cost to make or what corporation backed it, the point is that it was a good script and that the people making it loved what they were doing.
So there are unwritten scripts? "Oh yes! Scorsese tried to get Michael jobs as a director so some of the projects could get made but there were always problems with insurance, even though Scorsese offered to direct if anything happened to Michael, and so did Coppola. Unfortunately, sometimes Michael would get annoyed at a potential backer they had found and insult him if he said something insensitive. Marty, you see, has learned how to function in the studio world, he’s learned how to walk that tightrope between commerce and art and work with studio people. But Michael never learned that."
Yes, Iâ€™ve seen that although funnily enough he never told me that. Heâ€™s very good at changing the reality, and altering the parameters. When he writes about me, either negatively or positively, Joe is very amusing. He makes things up sometimes, or adds to it. Heâ€™s done that all along. He did this when he was a journalist.
In all of Eszterhasâ€™ references to you in his book, he would refer to you as â€œmy friend Paul.â€ So are you friends?
We have very much a love-hate relationship, I would say. Heâ€™s written things that are completely untrue. I know because I was there. This may also be the case when he writes about others as well.
"I was only supposed to do a couple of weeks on The Departed so I was able to grow my hair for Invincible. But then the schedule changed and four months later I’m still working on The Departed so I wouldn’t cut my hair and Marty was pissed off," he says, remembering their expletive-filled exchanges. "He was like, ‘You’ve got to cut your f***ing hair,’ and I was, ‘I don’t give a f***.’
"He was, ‘I’m Martin Scorsese… da-dee da.’
"I said, ‘Well, I’m not getting paid for this… da-dee-da. What the f***?’"
+ To Helltrack and back (SF Bay Guardian)
+ The Atkinson diet (Herald Sun)
+ Forgotten war of Africa’s heroes (Telegraph)
+ Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Onion AV Club)
+ "Life’s not simple" (Salon)
+ Thelma Schoonmaker: Life on the cutting edge of film (Independent)
+ Vulgar Moralism: Paul Verhoevenâ€™s Black Book (Cinema-Scope)
+ My battles with Scorsese (Telegraph)