The blog of Amon Warmann: Film journalist.


Interview | Divergent Premiere


Divergent opens in the UK this week and my review will be up in the next couple days. The cast and director were in town for the film’s European premiere last Sunday and on behalf of HeyUGuys I grabbed a few minutes with them on the red carpet. Feast your eyes on the interviews below.


Interview | Judith Hill Talks Twenty Feet From Stardom


After winning the Oscar for Best Documentary earlier this month, Twenty Feet From Stardom finally got its UK release last week. Turning the spotlight on the lives of backing singers, it’s an inspiring and hugely entertaining pic that gives well-deserving unsung heroes their due. One such heroine is Judith Hill, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I was lucky enough to sit down with her to discuss what it was like making the film, her burgeoning solo career and, most importantly, her favourite MJ tracks. It’s all been transcribed for your reading pleasure below.


Interview | Emily Watson Discusses The Book Thief

The Book Thief Emily Watson

The Book Thief is the latest in an ever-increasing line of novels to make their way to the silver screen. Based on Markus Zusak’s bestseller, it tells the story of young orphan Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) who is sent to live with her adoptive family Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) in World War II Germany.

I was lucky enough to interview Watson for HeyUGuys ahead of The Book Thief’s UK release this week, and the actress talks about the importance of both the book and the screenplay, whether or not she would consider taking on a role such as this without having read the source material, and making the most out of bad situations on set.

The Book Thief opens in UK cinemas on Wednesday.

Interview | Composer Henry Jackman Talks Captain Phillips, Captain America & more


It only takes a cursory glance at Henry Jackman’s filmography to realise he’s one of the best and most versatile film composers working today, having worked on animated fare such as Wreck-It Ralph, in addition to superhero blockbusters like X-Men: First Class and more recently, the as yet unreleased Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

On behalf of HeyUGuys, I was lucky enough to speak with the composer on the phone for the home entertainment release of Captain Phillips (which he scored), and our conversation touched on his scoring process, epic superhero themes, a ‘treasure chest’ of music no one has ever heard before, and much more. Have a read below.


Interview | Ian McShane Talks Cuban Fury, Acting, and Hercules


The past few years have seen Ian McShane stepping into the fantasy realm of filmmaking, with roles in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Snow White and the Huntsman and Jack the Giant Slayer.

This month sees him swap swords and dwarfing for salsa in Cuban Fury, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I got a chance to chat with McShane ahead of the film’s UK release. Here he speaks about what drew him to the role, how he got into acting, and his experience working on Brett Ratner’s upcoming blockbuster Hercules.

Interview | Joel Kinnaman Discusses Suits and Expectations in RoboCop


Joel Kinnaman is best known to audiences as one of the leads on popular US TV show ‘The Killing’, but this month sees him make the jump to the big screen as the title character in Jose Padilha’s RoboCop remake.

Ahead of the film’s UK release this week, I spoke to the Swedish actor on behalf of HeyUGuys about working in a RoboCop suit, the tough love policy from co-star Michael Keaton, and the differences between action sequences and dramatic scenes.

Interview | Gary Oldman Talks RoboCop, Reboots and Apes


There are few British actors – or any actors, for that matter – who are more respected in the industry than Gary Oldman. With as diverse a filmography as you can imagine stretching back more than thirty years, he has earned his status as one of cinema’s greatest thespians. On behalf of HeyUGuys, I was thrilled to have a chance to speak with him about his latest venture, the Jose Padilha reimagining of RoboCop, in which he plays the doctor responsible for bestowing Alex Murphy with his robotic enhancements.

In the course of our chat, Oldman tells us what he thinks his most challenging role has been to date and what he feels is the reason stories such as RoboCop continue to be revisited, in addition to divulging a few tidbits on his upcoming blockbuster Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Interview | Casey Affleck Talks Out of the Furnace


In Out of the Furnace Casey Affleck plays Rodney Baze, a PTSD suffering military man who finds himself engaging in bare-knuckle fights to pay off his gambling debts. Such an intense role required an actor who was equal to its requirements, and following a compelling turn in David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Affleck gives another impressive performance.

I was lucky enough to catch up with the actor on behalf of This is Fake DIY ahead of Furnace’s UK release this week, and Affleck tells me how he has developed as an actor and the meaning of the tattoos Rodney wears. Additionally, he discusses what it was like working with Christopher Nolan on upcoming sci-fi epic Interstellar. Have a read below.


Interview | Director Scott Cooper Discusses Out of the Furnace


It’s been five years since Scott Cooper’s directorial debut Crazy Heart bagged two Oscars, signalling that the young filmmaker was one to be watched. For his sophomore effort, Cooper has once again enlisted a top tier cast for slow-burning American thriller Out of the Furnace, and on behalf of This is Fake DIY I was fortunate enough to chat with him about his latest endeavour.

In the interview Cooper talks about his experience directing such a talented ensemble and the misleading marketing of the film, in addition to future projects. Have a read below.


Interview | Director John Wells Discusses August: Osage County


John Wells is no stranger to working with ensembles. An award-winning producer on a number of popular American TV shows – including E.R., The West Wing and Shameless – he made the jump to director with The Company Men (2010), a patient corporate drama headlined by Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper.

For his sophomore directorial effort, Wells has taken on the ambitious task of adapting Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County to the big screen. The film is chock full of A-List talent and impressive performances, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I got a chance to speak to him ahead of the film’s UK release this week to chat about working with so many talented actors, in addition to some of the challenges he faced.

You can read my review of August: Osage County here.

Interview | Juliette Lewis Discusses August: Osage County


An 18 year old Juliette Lewis first appeared on screen opposite Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear, for which she received both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Debuts don’t come much better than that, and meaty roles in 90’s hits Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives and Natural Born Killers soon followed. Acting isn’t the only string in Lewis’ bow however, and recently she has been focusing on her music career, touring with her band Juliette and the Licks.

On behalf of HeyUGuys, I caught up with the actress ahead of the release of August: Osage County in which she plays the ebullient Karen, one of three sisters who return to their hometown to support their drug-addled mother Violet, played by Meryl Streep. Coming across just as bubbly as the character she portrays, Lewis tells us why Karen was such a perfect fit for her, and what it was like working with her esteemed co-stars.

You can read my review of August: Osage County here.

Interview | Director John Krokidas Talks ‘Kill Your Darlings’

"Kill Your Darlings" - Red Carpet Arrivals: 57th BFI London Film Festival

Directed by John Krokidas, Kill Your Darlings is the previously untold story of how murder brought together a young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) at Columbia University in 1944, providing the spark that would eventually lead to their Beat Revolution.

The film premiered to rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and on behalf of Flicks and the City I spoke to the director John Krokidas about researching his first feature, getting the most out of his actors, and how close Kill Your Darlings came to not getting made.

Read the interview at Flicks and the City here

Interview | Director John Crowley talks Closed Circuit

Closed Circuit

Since conquering London’s West End in the late 90’s, Irish filmmaker John Crowley has gone on to have numerous successes on both stage and screen, with BAFTA-winning dramaBoy A a recent career highlight.

His latest film is Closed Circuit, an international suspense thriller in which two ex-lovers are forced to work together on a high profile terrorism case. The impressive cast includes Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciarán Hinds, Julia Stiles, and Britain’s own Jim Broadbent.

The film hits UK cinemas this week, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I got a chance to sit down with Crowley to discuss the visual palette of the film, in addition to the differences between stage and screen directing.

Interview | Director Nicole Holofcener talks Enough Said

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With four well-received films in 14 years, Nicole Holofcener has established herself as one of the best writer-directors in the business, drawing on her own life experiences to create observant and funny feature films.

Her fifth and latest film, entitled Enough Said, sees single parent and masseuse Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) strike up a romance with Albert (the late great James Gandolfini, in his last leading role). Simultaneously, Eva is becoming fast friends with her latest massage client Marianne (Catherine Keener), who is soon revealed to be Albert’s ex-wife. Unable to turn a deaf ear to Marianne’s constant complaints about her ex-husband, Eva soon begins to doubt her own relationship with Albert.

Holofcener was in London to promote the film for the London Film Festival, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I got a chance to chat to her about working with Gandolfini, and how her relationship with long-time collaborator Catherine Keener has developed.

Interview | Jake Macapagal and Director Sean Ellis Discuss ‘Metro Manila’


British writer-director Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila follows the journey of poverty-stricken Oscar (Jake Macapagal) and his family as they move to the big city of Manila in search of a better life. Unpredictable, moving, and expertly crafted, the film won the audience award at the recent Sundance Film Festival. On behalf of HeyUGuys, I got a chance to sit down with the director ahead of the film’s upcoming UK release.


Interview | Director Daniel Gordon Talks ‘9.79*’ Documentary


25 years after the game-changing events of the 1988 Summer Olympics in which Ben Johnson was stripped of his 100m Gold medal for failing a drug test, the use of banned substances in sport is more rampant than ever. Assembling each of the eight athletes who competed in that fateful 100m final, Daniel Gordon’s apt documentary 9.79* – which was part of EPSN’s 30 for 30 series last year –presents a candid exploration of the bitter rivalry that existed between its participants as well as depicting a period where drug testing was in its infancy.

On behalf of HeyUGuys I recently had a chance to chat with Gordon, and in-between sharing some humorous anecdotes of his own, the BAFTA-nominated director discusses his approach to documentary filmmaking and how drugs impact sport today.


Interview | Director Brad Anderson Discusses ‘The Call’

Director Brad Anderson on the set of TriStar Pictures thriller THE CALL.

Perhaps best known for directing 2004’s The Machinist, Brad Anderson has built up an impressive body of work over the past 15 years on both the small and silver screens. His latest effort is The Call, which stars Halle Berry as a veteran 911 operator who takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has been abducted, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I got a chance to chat to the filmmaker ahead of the film’s UK release this week. In the below interview, Anderson talks about the different iterations of the script and what the atmosphere was like on set, as well as giving us some more info on his next project Eliza Graves.


Interview | Sharlto Copley Talks ‘Elysium’


District 9 director Neill Blomkamp returns to cinemas this month with his eagerly awaited follow-up, Elysium (2013). Set in 2159, in a future dystopia where the wealthy live on man-made space station Elysium and the rest of humanity inhabit a ravaged Earth, the film centres on the story of Max DeCosta (Matt Damon). After an accident leaves him with only five days to live, he must hijack his way to Elysium to get the cure before it’s too late. The film also stars District 9’s Sharlto Copley, now on villain duty as the brutal Agent Kruger. On behalf of CineVue, I was recently on hand to ask the actor about reuniting with Blomkamp, how much improvisation he likes to use, and whether heroes are more fun to play than villains.


Interview | Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto and Will Yun Lee Discuss ‘The Wolverine’

Hugh Jackman arrives at The Wolverine premiere in Audi R8

The Wolverine claws its way into cinemas this week in what will be the character’s sixth appearance on the big screen. If you haven’t already, you can read my positive review here.

On behalf of What Culture, I got to chat with Tao Okamoto (Mariko), Will Yun Lee (Harada) and Rila Fukushima (Yukio) on what they brought to their respective roles. Have a read by clicking on the links.

Interview | Drake Doremus and Felicity Jones Talk ‘Breathe In’


After premiering at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and opening the 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival, Breathe In hits UK cinemas next week. The film reunites director Drake Doremus and actress Felicity Jones, who previously collaborated in 2011’s well-received romantic drama Like Crazy, and on behalf of Hey U Guys I recently sat down with the duo ahead of the film’s UK release.

In the interview, we chatted to the pair about the impetus behind the film, as well as the pros and cons of improvisation and scripted dialogue. Jones also talks about working with Doremus again, in addition to showing off some impressive piano skills.

Interview | Pacific Rim Premiere


Last night, London’s BFI IMAX played host to the premiere of sci-fi film Pacific Rim. Out in UK cinemas on July 12 (my review will be live on Monday morning), the film sees monstrous creatures called Kaiju rise from the sea to attack humanity. To combat the threat, Jaegers – massive robots piloted by two humans – are created.

On behalf of Flicks and the City, I caught up with the film’s director Guillermo del Toro – as well as its stars Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Robert Kazinsky, Burn Gorman and Charlie Day – to discuss sequels, upcoming projects, and what it was like working on one of the biggest blockbusters of 2013. Check out the video below…

Interview | Tobias Tobbell talks ‘Confine’


Confine is the latest feature film from up-and-coming director Tobias Tobbell. The film centres around Pippa, a physically and emotionally scarred former model living as a recluse in her upmarket flat.

When a heist taking place in the same building goes wrong, Pippa’s home is broken into and she’s promptly taken hostage.

On behalf of Flicks and the City, I quizzed the filmmaker on cinematography, identity, and strong female characters. Check out the highlights here and watch the trailer below.

Interview | Zal Batmanglij talks ‘The East’


After his impressive 2011 debut Sound of my Voice, Zal Batmanglij returns to UK cinemas this week with The East (2013). The film tells the story of an undercover operative attempt to win the trust of an elusive anarchist collective seeking revenge against major corporations guilty of covering up criminal activity.

On behalf of Flicks and the City, I caught up with the director to discuss the impetus behind his latest film as well as the casting process and how real life is like a spy thriller. Watch the video below.

Interview | Famke Janssen talks ‘Bringing up Bobby’


Bringing up Bobby gets its DVD release in the UK this week, and it marks the directorial debut of former Bond villain Famke Janssen. On behalf of What Culture, I had a chat with the beautiful Dutch actress to discuss the film, what it was like being behind the camera, and much more.

You can read all about it here.