Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just ring a doorbell and say "Pizza" — Newsweek magazine's 2012 Oscar roundtable

I love listening to professional actors talk about their working experiences, the training and processes they develop to do their job, the work and structure behind their performances. 

Newsweek magazine's 2012 Oscar roundtable delivers a gathering of actors whose heads I want to crawl inside of.

Via The Daily Beast:
Newsweek's annual Oscar roundtable always feels like a cozy A-list dinner party. Since 1998, we've hosted the actors who gave some of the best performances of the year for a raw discussion about their craft. And this year, the conversation was at its best: fast, funny—and sexually charged. We should have known that it would be, given our lineup of George Clooney (The Descendants), Viola Davis (The Help), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Michael Fassbender (Shame), Charlize Theron (Young Adult) and Christopher Plummer (Beginners). (See our essay about the day in this week’s Newsweek).
David Ansen's feature write-up on the roundtable is here.
I should have known that the talk would quickly turn to sex. Although my fellow moderator, Ramin Setoodeh, and I had decided we’d open the discussion with a generic question—“Was there a movie or performance you’d seen as a child that inspired you to be an actor?”—Swinton is quick to remind me that she and I had just been discussing our first erotic memories in the cinema. She’d recently shown her 14-year-old twins Vertigo, the most sexually obsessive of Hitchcock movies. So our opening question is revised, by popular demand, to everyone’s first cinematic sexual revelation.

Ten clips from the roundtable are here. Points of interest include: 
  • George Clooney recalling his "worst job," which involved rubbing powder on the corns of women's feet (some of which had a toe removed).
  • Tilda Swinton on why she gave away her 2008 Oscar.
  • Viola Davis on Hollywood's condescension regarding race. Allison Samuels has some words on Theron's well-intentioned but "thoroughly misguided" contribution to that discussion. Andrew Sullivan provides some reader pushback toward Viola Davis, and then some pushback against the pushback.
  • Michael Fassbender on onscreen pissing.
  • Clooney: "I was in Batman 4." Theron: “What up, Nipples!" 
  • the whole bunch on What Actors' Production Trailers Mean to Me.
  • Charlize Theron on wanting to be Kristen Wiig.
  • Christopher Plummer on his exasperation with Terence Malick.
  • Clooney on "selling out" — "You know what, fuck you."
  • Davis and Fassbender on their process as actors to find their characters, even a character such as Magneto in X-Men.