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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

January 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Chatting with the Oscar gang

Here’s today’s best read: Newsweek’s annual roundtable chat with a half-dozen Oscar-buzzed actors. This year’s group includes Frank Langella, Brad Pitt, Anne Hathaway, Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke and Sally Hawkins (who didn’t actually get a nomination; Newsweek did the interview before the Academy nods were announced). You’ll learn plenty about the art of acting from this six-page discussion, and you’ll also learn that Hawkins once shared a screen with Jar-Jar Binks, Downey can make even intestinal distress entertaining, and Langella is one funny guy. Consider this exchange:

Speaking of character, some of you actually stayed in character during your movies. Frank, you asked everyone on set to refer to you as Mr. President.
HATHAWAY: Interesting.
LANGELLA: I’d never done it before. I like to sit around and eat doughnuts, and Kevin Bacon and I like to tell dirty stories. But the minute I opened the door, I told Ron Howard I should stay in character. Because the tension around me will be greater, and if I break character at all and start shooting the s—, I won’t feel that intimidation people feel around a president. So I did for 32 days. It was very lonely and very right for the character. I just stayed the president.
Do you still make people do that?
LANGELLA: Just in bed.

There’s video, too; check it out.

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