My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown
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My Left Foot (1989) More at IMDbPro »My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (original title)


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Harvey Weinstein Stripped of Academy Membership

14 October 2017 1:15 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Board of Directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has stripped disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of his membership in the organization.

The move comes after a New York Times report that alleged decades of sexual misbehavior by Weinstein, and a New Yorker story that brought more disturbing details to light, including allegations of rape. Further accusations surfaced throughout the week.

In its statement, the Academy emphasized that its decision was about more than just Weinstein.

“We [have voted to expel Weinstein] not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over,” the statement reads.

As Academy standards go, it was a very swift response. But it leaves the question of other members like Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby, whose behavior »

- Kristopher Tapley

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Film Academy Responds to Harvey Weinstein Allegations: ‘Repugnant, Abhorrent’

11 October 2017 12:54 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein are “repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement Wednesday.

The organization, which annually hosts the Oscars ceremony, further announced a special meeting of the Academy’s Board of Governors set for Sunday, Oct. 14, “to discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the British Academy suspended Weinstein “indefinitely,” noting that the organization “considers the reported alleged behavior completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values.”

Weinstein’s films have been a mainstay on the Oscar circuit, from “My Left Foot” in 1989 to “Lion” last year. He himself has been nominated twice, for best picture, including a win for “Shakespeare in Love” in 1999.

The New York Times broke the first story last Thursday, detailing “dozens »

- Kristopher Tapley

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Academy Governors Debate Revoking Harvey Weinstein’s Membership — Exclusive

11 October 2017 10:27 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Two Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences governors told me that Academy board members are discussing whether Harvey Weinstein should continue as a member. An impromptu board meeting is expected sometime this week. It’s worth noting that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors is now one-third female, with members who include Whoopi Goldberg, Kimberly Peirce, and Christina Kounelias.

This would be a stunning reversal: By the count of The Weinstein Company’s website, his companies earned 303 Oscar nominations and 75 wins over three decades. Harvey could be the butt of Oscar jokes, but historically was the second most-thanked person in acceptance speeches, after Steven Spielberg.

Read More:The Academy Board of Governors is Now 38% Female

Membership in the Academy is by invitation of the Board of Governors. It has the right to bestow and revoke memberships, but that’s rare. There are precedents for the Academy »

- Anne Thompson

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Academy Governors Debate Revoking Harvey Weinstein’s Membership — Exclusive

11 October 2017 10:27 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Two Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences governors told me that Academy board members are discussing whether Harvey Weinstein should continue as a member. An impromptu board meeting is expected sometime this week. It’s worth noting that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors is now one-third female, with members who include Whoopi Goldberg, Kimberly Peirce, and Christina Kounelias.

This would be a stunning reversal: By the count of The Weinstein Company’s website, his companies earned 303 Oscar nominations and 75 wins over three decades. Harvey could be the butt of Oscar jokes, but historically was the second most-thanked person in acceptance speeches, after Steven Spielberg.

Read More:The Academy Board of Governors is Now 38% Female

Membership in the Academy is by invitation of the Board of Governors. It has the right to bestow and revoke memberships, but that’s rare. There are precedents for the Academy »

- Anne Thompson

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Harvey Weinstein Is Done: After 30 Years of Abusive Behavior, the Mogul Lies in the Bed He Made

9 October 2017 2:17 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

How are the mighty fallen. I first met Harvey Weinstein at Cannes in 1986, where he had a tiny room at the Majestic Hotel and ran around the festival looking for movies for Miramax Films to acquire. The former Buffalo concert promoter was an anxious and eager hustler. He eventually picked up Lizzie Borden’s realistic look at New York hookers, “Working Girls,” out of Director’s Fortnight and took it to Sundance, where it won a 1987 jury prize. Even back then, as Peter Biskind reported in “Down and Dirty Pictures,” while the Weinsteins did a good job releasing the movie ($1.7 million domestic), the producers audited Miramax’s books and found some inappropriate expenses that the Weinsteins were forced to reimburse.

Read More:Harvey Weinstein’s Firing: What Happens to TWC, the Movies, and Harvey

That was the template. Stories about dodgy business practices continue to this day, as vendors complain »

- Anne Thompson

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Harvey Weinstein Is Done: After 30 Years of Abusive Behavior, the Mogul Lies in the Bed He Made

9 October 2017 2:17 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

How are the mighty fallen. I first met Harvey Weinstein at Cannes in 1986, where he had a tiny room at the Majestic Hotel and ran around the festival looking for movies for Miramax Films to acquire. The former Buffalo concert promoter was an anxious and eager hustler. He eventually picked up Lizzie Borden’s realistic look at New York hookers, “Working Girls,” out of Director’s Fortnight and took it to Sundance, where it won a 1987 jury prize. Even back then, as Peter Biskind reported in “Down and Dirty Pictures,” while the Weinsteins did a good job releasing the movie ($1.7 million domestic), the producers audited Miramax’s books and found some inappropriate expenses that the Weinsteins were forced to reimburse.

Read More:Harvey Weinstein’s Firing: What Happens to TWC, the Movies, and Harvey

That was the template. Stories about dodgy business practices continue to this day, as vendors complain »

- Anne Thompson

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Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities

25 September 2017 2:31 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Triumph over adversity is drama defined, and Oscar nominations often go to actors whose characters find victory over physical or mental afflictions. The earliest example goes back to 1947; that was the year that non-pro Harold Russell won Best Supporting Actor and a special award for “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Russell was a WWII veteran who lost both of his hands while making a training film. Of note: Of the 59, 27 of these nominations went on to a win. This year’s roster of stars playing afflicted characters includes Jake Gyllenhaal as bombing victim Jeff Baumer in “Stronger,” Andrew Garfield as polio survivor Robin Cavendish in “Breathe,” Bryan Cranston as a millionaire quadriplegic in “The Upside,” and Sally Hawkins in two roles, as an arthritic painter in “Maudie” and a mute lab worker in “The Shape of Water.” 

Check out Oscar’s rather astonishing legacy of afflicted contenders below.

Blind »

- Anne Thompson

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Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities

25 September 2017 2:31 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Triumph over adversity is drama defined, and Oscar nominations often go to actors whose characters find victory over physical or mental afflictions. The earliest example goes back to 1947; that was the year that non-pro Harold Russell won Best Supporting Actor and a special award for “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Russell was a WWII veteran who lost both of his hands while making a training film. Of note: Of the 59, 27 of these nominations went on to a win. This year’s roster of stars playing afflicted characters includes Jake Gyllenhaal as bombing victim Jeff Baumer in “Stronger,” Andrew Garfield as polio survivor Robin Cavendish in “Breathe,” Bryan Cranston as a millionaire quadriplegic in “The Upside,” and Sally Hawkins in two roles, as an arthritic painter in “Maudie” and a mute lab worker in “The Shape of Water.” 

Check out Oscar’s rather astonishing legacy of afflicted contenders below.

Blind »

- Anne Thompson

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‘Stronger’: Jake Gyllenhaal’s Moving Performance as a Bombing Victim Could Finally Mean an Oscar

25 September 2017 1:59 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Just as Oscar voters rewarded Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, and many others for roles that demanded body-shifting training or weight change, they also lean into performers who limit their mobility or twist themselves under duress. Perhaps the most infamous example is Daniel Day Lewis’s shoot-long stint in a wheelchair as cerebral palsy victim Christy Brown in “My Left Foot,” which earned Lewis his first Oscar and cost him two broken ribs.

Eddie Redmayne could barely articulate his dialogue as Als survivor Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” and took home the 2015 Oscar. Mental hardship counts, too: Tom Hanks won as a mentally disabled hero in “Forrest Gump” and Julianne Moore won as an early-onset Alzheimer’s victim in “Still Alice.”

Now, joining a rather weak Best Actor field so far, here’s Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, the 2013 Boston marathon survivor »

- Anne Thompson

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‘Stronger’: Jake Gyllenhaal’s Moving Performance as a Bombing Victim Could Finally Mean an Oscar

25 September 2017 1:59 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Just as Oscar voters rewarded Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, and many others for roles that demanded body-shifting training or weight change, they also lean into performers who limit their mobility or twist themselves under duress. Perhaps the most infamous example is Daniel Day Lewis’s shoot-long stint in a wheelchair as cerebral palsy victim Christy Brown in “My Left Foot,” which earned Lewis his first Oscar and cost him two broken ribs.

Eddie Redmayne could barely articulate his dialogue as Als survivor Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” and took home the 2015 Oscar. Mental hardship counts, too: Tom Hanks won as a mentally disabled hero in “Forrest Gump” and Julianne Moore won as an early-onset Alzheimer’s victim in “Still Alice.”

Now, joining a rather weak Best Actor field so far, here’s Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, the 2013 Boston marathon survivor »

- Anne Thompson

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Woman Attacked By a Venomous Copperhead Snake At LongHorn Steakhouse

25 September 2017 12:26 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

A Virginia resident was bitten by a venomous snake inside a LongHorn Steakhouse before she even made it to her table.

Rachel Myrick and her family were heading into the foyer of the restaurant for dinner earlier this month when she suddenly felt a sharp pain in her foot. “My left foot felt a bee sting, a hornet sting — something similar,” Myrick told Washington’s Top News. “So, I reached down to brush my foot off to keep walking.”

Once she did so, she was bitten a second time and immediately began screaming as she dropped her cellphone, wallet, and »

- Collier Sutter

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Rooney Mara Experiences Romance and Hardship in U.S. Trailer for ‘The Secret Scripture’

20 September 2017 6:18 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Rooney Mara may not have any new premieres this year, but a pair of films from last year’s Tiff will finally be hitting U.S. theaters. Just a week after Una arrives, The Secret Scripture, directed by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father), will get a release. The story follows Vanessa Redgrave as an older version of Mara’s character, reflecting on her traumatic life in Ireland through writing a diary alongside a cast including Jack Reynor, Theo James, Aidan Turner, and Eric Bana.

We said in our review, “The result falls flat and all too conventional for the talent involved. The problem lies more in Sheridan’s direction than in Mara’s acting, which is to say that she does deliver another good performance here, but everything else does her talent a major disservice. Redgrave is also a stand-out, but the film feels »

- Jordan Raup

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‘Artemis Fowl’: Everything You Need to Know About Disney’s Adaptation of the Beloved Young-Adult Series

18 September 2017 4:32 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

After more than a decade stuck in development hell, “Artemis Fowl” now has a confirmed release date: August 9, 2019. That’s sure to come as good news to the sci-fi/fantasy series’ many fans, who number in the tens of millions. Here’s everything you need to know about the long-gestating adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s books:

Read More:‘It’: Everything You Need to Know About What Could Be the Scariest Movie in Years It’s been described as “‘Die Hard’ with fairies.”

That appealing description comes courtesy of the author himself, who’s written eight novels in the long-running series; though it’s been compared to “Harry Potter” as well, Colfer disagrees with that comparison. That could be because the books revolve around their title character, a 12-year-old criminal mastermind who kidnaps a fairy because times are tough and the Fowl family isn’t as rich as it once »

- Michael Nordine

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Daniel Day-Lewis 'Is Fine' After Breaking His Arm in a Motorbike Accident

7 September 2017 11:56 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Daniel Day-Lewis is recovering from a motorbike accident.

The actor’s representative confirmed to People that he broke his arm but assured that “he is fine.”

The Oscar winner appeared to be wincing in pain as he made his way to his New York City home on Wednesday, according to Page Six. He was spotted wearing a cast and a hospital bracelet. He also sported a shaved head and donned a purple t-shirt with striped pants.

A source told the outlet that Day-Lewis was wearing a helmet and that the crash “wasn’t his fault.”

Related Video: Daniel Day-Lewis Quits Acting

The London-born star, »

- Stephanie Petit

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Scottish Government to Help Fund U.K. Film School Outpost in Scotland

25 August 2017 2:15 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Scotland leader Nicola Sturgeon has announced funding of £475,000 ($608,000) to support plans for a Scottish hub of the U.K.’s National Film and Television School. Nfts Scotland would be based at BBC Scotland’s facilities in Glasgow and Dumbarton Studios.

“This is an exciting development for our screen sector, which is already an area of growth for Scotland,” Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said in a keynote address at the Edinburgh Intl. Television Festival on Friday. “We have seen a rise in high-profile film and television productions being made in Scotland….We must ensure people can gain and update the skills they need to capitalize on the opportunities ahead.”

Sturgeon’s remarks came a day after the BBC announced at the festival that it had ordered two Scottish dramas for flagship channel BBC One. The pubcaster has also committed an additional investment of £40 million ($51.2 million) a year in Scotland, proposing to launch a new channel in 2018. And »

- Robert Mitchell

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Scottish Government to Help Fund U.K. Film School Outpost in Scotland

25 August 2017 2:15 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Scotland leader Nicola Sturgeon has announced funding of £475,000 ($608,000) to support plans for a Scottish hub of the U.K.’s National Film and Television School. Nfts Scotland would be based at BBC Scotland’s facilities in Glasgow and Dumbarton Studios.

“This is an exciting development for our screen sector, which is already an area of growth for Scotland,” Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said in a keynote address at the Edinburgh Intl. Television Festival on Friday. “We have seen a rise in high-profile film and television productions being made in Scotland….We must ensure people can gain and update the skills they need to capitalize on the opportunities ahead.”

Sturgeon’s remarks came a day after the BBC announced at the festival that it had ordered two Scottish dramas for flagship channel BBC One. The pubcaster has also committed an additional investment of £40 million ($51.2 million) a year in Scotland, proposing to launch a new channel in 2018. And »

- Robert Mitchell

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How Alec Baldwin's casting in Blind is part of a catch-22 for disabled actors

6 July 2017 12:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

There are no big names who have disabilities, critics say – but casting directors won’t give unknowns a chance

From Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything to Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot, non-disabled actors playing disabled characters is not only accepted, but often seen as the celebrated peak of their career.

However, the casting of Alec Baldwin as a visually impaired man in the upcoming film Blind has caused outrage among disability campaigners and disabled actors.

Related: Disability rights group criticizes casting of Alec Baldwin as blind character

Related: From braille to Be My Eyes – there's a revolution happening in tech for the blind

Continue reading »

- Hannah Ellis-Petersen

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The Unbearable Rightness of Daniel Day-Lewis Retiring (Even if He Doesn’t Keep to It)

25 June 2017 9:32 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

When Daniel Day-Lewis, the greatest screen actor of his generation, announced this week that he would be retiring from acting, I had the same initial thought that, I assume, most everyone else did. After a few befuddled seconds of “Why?” I prayed that his announcement wasn’t the euphemism for a health crisis. Once I decided that it probably wasn’t (this is, after all, the actor who took an open-ended sabbatical to build furniture), a conviction began to settle over me. While I had no clear idea why an artist as passionate and celebrated as Daniel Day-Lewis would want to cut his ties to acting (I was going to add “when he’s at the top of his game,” though when has Daniel Day-Lewis not been at the top of his game?), every bone in my body told me that he’d be back. At some point. In some eccentric Daniel Day-Lewis fashion. He »

- Owen Gleiberman

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‘The Big Sick’: How Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon Brought Their Real-Life Love Story to Screen

21 June 2017 9:45 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

July 14 marks a special occasion for Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Not only is it their 10-year wedding anniversary —  it’s the day the film about their courtship, “The Big Sick,” opens nationwide.

The movie, directed by Michael Showalter and starring Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan as Emily and Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as her parents, premiered to rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Written by Nanjiani and Gordon, the film also sparked a bidding war, with Amazon Studios acquiring the rights for $12 million. “The Big Sick” manages to be both broad in its comedy (Judd Apatow is one of the producers) and intensely personal, tackling topics not usually seen in summer comedies, like illness, religion and race relations. And, of course, it’s a passion project for the couple, whose real-life story lent itself to good cinematic material.

In many ways, their anniversary shouldn’t be happening. For starters, Nanjiani had promised his parents he would enter into an arranged marriage with a Pakistani woman. Then, three months before what would prove to be Nanjiani and Gordon’s wedding date, Gordon was placed in a medically induced coma after abruptly falling gravely ill.

Prior to the coma, Nanjiani and Gordon were casually dating, both thinking the relationship could ultimately go nowhere. Everything changed when she became sick and Nanjiani found himself thrust into the role of caretaker, along with her visiting parents, whom he had only briefly met once before. Time by her bedside changed the nature of the relationship between Gordon and Nanjiani, who proposed shortly after she recovered. Or, as Gordon jokes, “I went to sleep with a casual boyfriend and woke up with a guy ready to be married.”

When the pair wed a decade ago, it was an informal event.

“We walked into a courthouse in Chicago and got matching tattoos because we didn’t have money for wedding rings,” Nanjiani reveals. Today, they share a home in the Hollywood area with their cat, Bagel. Nanjiani is best known for his role as computer programmer Dinesh on HBO’s heralded series “Silicon Valley.” Gordon, who was a therapist when they met, has been published in The New York Times and The Atlantic and has written for “Another Period” and “The Carmichael Show.”

Jose Mandojana for Variety

The process of scripting “The Big Sick” began in 2012, after Nanjiani appeared on a live taping of the podcast “You Made It Weird” alongside Apatow.

He pitched Apatow several ideas for a script, and the producer homed in on the true story of the unusual relationship between the then struggling stand-up comic and his wife. “It was one of those stories you can’t believe happened,” Apatow recalls.

Though Gordon had executive produced Nanjiani’s show “The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail” and they’d shared a podcast, the pair had never worked together as writers. “We would split up scenes and write our own version of the scene and then swap it and rewrite and rewrite,” Gordon says. Nanjiani adds that his wife’s work ethic helped spur him on. “I’d be playing video games and would get an email from her with completed scenes and go, ‘Oh man, she’s showing me up. I have to get on this.’”

They knew from the start that since the project wasn’t a documentary, certain elements would be invented or changed. “It’s not really exciting when you hang out at the hospital all day,” Nanjiani notes. “You show up in the morning, get coffee, then plan to meet the hematologist at 2 p.m., then the pulmonologist — it’s a lot of waiting and sitting around.” Echoes Gordon, “Nobody wants to see that movie.”

Another significant alteration: In the film, the pair break up before Emily goes into her coma. Notes Gordon, “It’s interesting to be at your casual girlfriend’s side when she gets sick. But it’s even more interesting to be at your recent ex-girlfriend’s side.”

They also took creative license with both sets of parents in the film. Gordon says her mother and father are quite different from the characters played by Hunter and Romano, though they’re thrilled with their doppelgangers. “My family’s favorite movie is ‘Raising Arizona,’ so they could not believe it,” Gordon says with a laugh. “They love the movie — they watched it five times in one day.” And while Nanjiani’s parents did expect him to enter into an arranged marriage, they were living in a different city when he gave them the (still difficult) news.

The pair took pains to present such cultural practices in a fair light. “For a lot of people, arranged marriage here is taken as a joke,” notes Nanjiani. “But it’s a very real thing. All my aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents are in arranged marriages. So we tried to show how it really does work for people.” Gordon adds that before she met Nanjiani, she had a friend in grad school who was entering into an arranged marriage. “I was glad I had a framework of someone who was super happy, not coerced into it,” she says. “And they’ve been together 12 years now.”

For three years, Gordon says, she and Nanjiani kept at the script. “We would work on drafts, take them to Judd every few months, and Judd would rip them to shreds. And then we would go back and rewrite. He is brutal in the best way.” Nanjiani adds that Apatow never pressured them to turn in drafts. “I think he develops a few things, and the ball is in your court to keep it going,” he says. “Though right before we started shooting, he did say, ‘You guys really stuck in there. Most people would have quit!’”

“We aren’t exactly alike, but we really are so similar. She instantly felt like someone I knew and would be friends with.” Zoe Kazan, on meeting Emily V. Gordon

To hear Apatow tell it, the script needed time to develop, much like his films “Bridesmaids” and “Trainwreck,” which also had long gestation periods. “If written badly, it would have been a rough movie to get through,” Apatow admits. “But they found the sense of humor and the warmth to bring it to life. And a lot of that came from bringing on Michael as director and casting Zoe, Ray and Holly.”

Showalter had known Nanjiani for 10 years from the New York comedy scene, and had even cast him in a small role in his feature “Hello, My Name Is Doris.” When he signed on to direct “The Big Sick,” he was also active in helping with the screenplay, which he notes was not traditionally structured. “There aren’t a lot of examples that I could look to where one of the main characters goes missing for the second act,” Showalter points out. “It would be like if in ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ Sally just disappears for an hour.”

Kazan seems to have been a natural choice for Gordon. The playwright-actress had been in films similar to the genre like “What If” and “Ruby Sparks,” the latter of which she also wrote. “I really wasn’t looking to do another romantic comedy, but when I read the script it was so smart and so good,” Kazan admits. “It’s not unlike falling in love; I had a chemical feeling where it just felt like the right fit. Very rarely do I walk out of an audition thinking, ‘Yeah, I fucking nailed that!’ But I was going to be sad if I didn’t get it.”

To hear everyone tell it, Kazan did indeed nail it. “She just blew everybody out of the water,” says Gordon, who concedes that casting was the only time things felt slightly surreal seeing her story play out. “It basically consisted of him flirting with women — literally so many hot actresses,” Gordon recalls. “It was the only time I had to get myself together and remember to be cool with this.”

As it turns out, Gordon and Kazan have much in common. Both are in their 30s, are writers and are in long-term relationships with artists (Kazan has been dating actor Paul Dano since 2007.) They instantly hit it off, with Kazan noting, “I felt a chemistry with her as much as I did with Kumail.” But Kazan didn’t feel the need to do an imitation of Gordon. “We aren’t exactly alike, but we really are so similar. She instantly felt like someone I knew and would be friends with,” Kazan says.

Once Kazan was cast, the hunt began for the parents, and Romano and Hunter had long been on the writers’ minds. When they said yes, there was extra pressure on Nanjiani as an actor; he had been attached to star even before “Silicon Valley” hit TV screens. Yet there was never any question he would play the role. “This is by far the biggest part I’ve ever had in a movie, and Emily and I had never written a movie, and from the start Judd was like, ‘Yeah, you’ll write the movie and you’ll be the guy,’” Nanjiani recalls. Admits Gordon, “You were a gamble.”

Gordon adds that Nanjiani did the most prep she had ever seen him do. He worked with an acting coach, Myra Turley, for the first time ever. “I was starting from scratch,” he says, adding that he practiced with monologues from movies where characters were in a coma, such as “The Fisher King” and “Awakenings.”

Apatow says he was never concerned. “This might be delusional, but when someone is fun to watch in broader comedy or stand-up, I always think they’ll be able to give a great performance in a movie they care deeply about,” he explains. “And he loves his wife so much, and they’re just the best couple, and I knew that that would shine through.”

Concurs Kazan, “Kumail worked really hard, and I think he’s going to surprise people. He prepared as if he was Daniel Day-Lewis prepping for ‘My Left Foot.’ I even said, ‘I don’t know that you need to prepare this much; you’ve lived it.’ It was really beautiful to watch him on set stretch his wings and feel his own power as an actor.”

Now it remains to be seen if a smaller romantic comedy can find an audience in the land of “Transformers” and superheroes. Nanjiani and Gordon had input on the trailer, which leans heavily on the comedy. “If you describe it as ‘Muslim guy falls in love with a white woman, then she falls into a coma,’ it sounds so serious,” Nanjiani says. Adds Gordon, “It sounds pretentious. As a movie lover, I would not want to watch a movie described to me the way that our movie is. So I wanted to make sure the trailer communicated it’s a comedy.”

Apatow, who has shepherded his share of hits, says that at the end of the day, it’s impossible to predict if the film, which Lionsgate will distribute for Amazon, will connect. “I don’t know if any of us understand why people leave their houses and go to the movie theater anymore,” he says. “We have one thing going for us: The movie is wonderful. It just completely works. Is that enough to get people to put down their remote control? We’ll find out.”

Related stories'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Trailer Teases Many Battles to Come (Watch)Damon Lindelof to Develop 'Watchmen' for HBORiley Keough Joins Al Pacino in HBO's Joe Paterno Film »

- Jenelle Riley

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Daniel Day-Lewis retires from acting

21 June 2017 9:35 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Three-time Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis has decided to bring the curtain down on his illustrious career, announcing that he will be retiring from acting following the release of his final film, an untitled collaboration with director Paul Thomas Anderson which is set for release on December 25th of this year.

Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor,” reads a statement from Day-Lewis’ spokesperson Leslee Dart. “He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject.”

Having made his screen debut in 1971’s Sunday, Bloody Sunday, Day-Lewis went on to earn a reputation as one of the finest actors of all-time and is renowned for being extremely dedicated to his craft, often remaining in character off-screen during his roles. He is the only person to win three Best Actor Oscars – for My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood and Lincoln – and was nominated for two further Oscars for Gangs of New York and In the Name of the Father. »

- Gary Collinson

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