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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

1-20 of 57 items from 2014   « Prev | Next »


Natalie Portman Says Mike Nichols Saved Her Career After 'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace'

18 December 2014 8:23 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Let's say you're an actress who has just landed one of the key roles in a new "Star Wars" trilogy. Before that, you had turned some heads as a kid in "Leon: The Professional," and had small appearances in films by directors like Michael Mann ("Heat") and Woody Allen ("Everyone Says I Love You"). But "Star Wars" was your key to the big time, and the future looked bright. But that's not quite how it turned out for Natalie Portman. And she reveals that the late, great Mike Nichols was the one who saved her career from a possibly skidding off the rails before the entire trilogy had hit theaters (Portman later starred in his 2004 effort "Closer").  " 'Star Wars' had come out around the time of [her performance in 'The Seagull' in Central Park], and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Natalie Portman: “No director wanted to work with me” after Star Wars prequels

18 December 2014 6:00 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

As Disney and J.J. Abrams looks to restore some pride in the Star Wars saga following George Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy, Natalie Portman has told New York Mag that “everyone thought I was a horrible actress” after her role as Padme Amidala in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and that “no director wanted to work with me”. Fortunately, the late Mike Nichols – who directed Portman in Closer – managed to help her get her career back on track…

Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike Nichols wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. »

- Gary Collinson

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Natalie Portman: 'Star Wars nearly ruined my career'

18 December 2014 1:45 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Natalie Portman has said that appearing in the Star Wars prequels had an adverse effect on her acting career.

The Oscar-winning Black Swan actress recalled her struggles with George Lucas's sci-fi series in a tribute to her Closer director Mike Nichols, who passed away last month at the age of 83.

Portman first worked with Nichols in an all-star production of Chekhov's The Seagull in 2001, while she was in between Star Wars movies.

"Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress," she told NY Magazine.

"I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me.

"Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, 'Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her'. And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis."

Portman also credited Nichols »

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"Star Wars" Nearly Ruined Natalie Portman

17 December 2014 10:38 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Being a part of a major franchise is not always a good thing, in fact it can almost become a career killer for some.

In a new feature piece for New York Magazine, actress Natalie Portman spoke about the late film director Mike Nichols whom she worked with on "Closer" and received rave reviews for her performance. However, she claims that at the time no-one wanted to hire her because of a certain franchise she was involved with:

"Star Wars had come out … and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis."

After the prequel trilogy ended, Portman ended up »

- Garth Franklin

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Natalie Portman Remembers How Mike Nichols Saved Her from 'Star Wars'

17 December 2014 8:31 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Vulture has an article featuring Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Eric Idle and Natalie Portman remembering the late Mike Nichols and the effect he had on their lives and careers and an interesting passage comes via Portman who remembers how Nichols helped her find work after starring in George Lucas' Star Wars prequels. Star Wars had come out around the time of 'Seagull', and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, "Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her." And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. Portman, of course, would later star in Closer for Nichols, for which she won a Golden Globe and would be nominated for an Oscar, but to the point »

- Brad Brevet

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Bart & Fleming: On ‘Birdman,’ Sony PR Tsuris, Mike Nichols And Bill Cosby

23 November 2014 12:26 PM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. 

Bart: Critics don’t like to admit it, but the conditions under which you see a film strongly influence your opinion. Birdman is a good example: If you see a film like this with a pack of cinephiles like at Telluride, everyone gets every inside joke, and you instinctively go along with the crowd. I made it a point to see Birdman with a paid civilian audience and it was like screening it in a mausoleum. No laughs, just occasional grunts and lots of walkouts. Some reviews predicted Birdman “will captivate arthouse and multiplex crowds alike and send awards pundits into orbit” (the Variety review). Well that ain’t happening with the audiences; we’ll see about the awards. »

- Mike Fleming Jr

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‘Angels in America’ Cinematographer on Working With Mike Nichols

21 November 2014 11:42 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Stephen Goldblatt, who was the cinematographer on Mike Nichols’ last three screen productions — including HBO’s “Angels in America,” which Nichols considered to be the crowning achievement of his career — spoke to Variety at the Camerimage Film Festival on Friday about his friend, who died Wednesday.

Goldblatt has worked with some of Hollywood’s leading directors, included Francis Ford Coppola, Alan Pakula and Joel Schumacher, and recently lensed Tate Taylor’s “The Help” and “Get on Up.”

Like Goldblatt, the majority of Nichols’ cinematographers were not American-born. German director of photography Michael Ballhaus, who worked on three of Nichols’ movies, said that Nichols — who was born in Germany — valued the outsider’s eye when directing films about American society.

“He liked how I brought a fresher view to these very American stories we were doing, and encouraged that,” Ballhaus told Variety in 2010.

Goldblatt, who was born in South Africa and moved to the U. »

- Leo Barraclough

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Ten Great Performances from Mike Nichols' Films

21 November 2014 7:00 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Amir here. Mike Nichols was a true giant of show business, with a career that lasted more than six decades and sprawled across many different media and genres. Nathaniel's heartfelt eulogy already highlighted the dreamy number of classics he directed and the collaborations with Meryl Streep that resulted in some of her most memorable roles; but Meryl wasn't the only performer whom Nichols guided to career-best work.

Team Experience decided to make a list of ten great performances from Mike Nichols' films; we were truly spoilt for choice. If you want a testament to the man's sheer brilliance and chemistry with his actors, look no further than the missing names from our list. An equally long, equally illustrious alternative list can be made of the likes of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War, Jude Law and Natalie Portman in Closer, »

- Amir S.

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Natalie Portman Pays Tribute to Director Mike Nichols: "He Saved Me Again and Again"

20 November 2014 7:33 PM, PST | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Mike Nichols left a rich legacy on the stage and screen—and the actors he collaborated with were left all the better after having worked with him. Natalie Portman, who was a teenager when Nichols directed her onstage in a revival of Chekhov's The Seagull and then reteamed with him in 2004 for the film Closer, was one of many to pay tribute today after hearing that he had died suddenly last night at the age of 83. "There's nothing good enough I can write that would do Mike justice," the actress said in a statement released to E! News. "He was the one who had the best words, the right hug for hard times, the funny comment to diffuse your pain," Portman continued. "He saved me »

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An Intimate Conversation With Mike Nichols

20 November 2014 2:52 PM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Two years ago, on the eve of his eagerly awaited Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, I sat down with Mike Nichols to look back on his remarkable career. During those two-plus hours together at the Mark Hotel in Manhattan, the legendary director, then 80, reminisced about a life of highs and lows that began as a bright-eyed young boy who fled Nazi Germany for America. "I remember everything about getting on the boat in Germany in 1939," Nichols said. "I was 7, my brother was 3, and my father was already in New York setting up his practice as a doctor. German Jews couldn't leave the country, »

- Chris Nashawaty

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A celebration of legendary director Mike Nichols and his masterpiece-studded career

20 November 2014 1:25 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

If I had to make a list of the ten film directors who I think most influenced my own standards of what filmmaking can be and should be, Mike Nichols would be on that list, if only for the first two films he made. And it may seem strange to say that I admire how he survived making those masterworks, but early success can destroy even the greatest talent because of the expectations it creates, and Nichols somehow managed it in a way that many other talented people have not. That is not to say that the rest of his work is not worth that kind of consideration and discussion. It's just that Nichols came out of the gate with two genuine, no-debate masterpieces, two films that crackle with life, two films that are so visually adept that they are humbling, two films packed with performances that go beyond good »

- Drew McWeeny

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'The Graduate' Director Mike Nichols Passes Away at 83

20 November 2014 11:57 AM, PST | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Renowned director Mike Nichols died suddenly on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the age of 83.

The director is part of the Egot club, having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. He has created some of the most iconic work in film, television and theater, including The Graduate, Working Girl, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Closer, Charlie Wilson's War, Annie, Spamalot, The Birdcage and Angels in America.

Photos: Stars We Lost

Nichols received an Oscar for directing The Graduate and earned his eighth Tony two years ago for his revival of Death of a Salesman. His last film was Charlie Wilson's War in 2007, starring Tom Hanks.

He was most recently working on Master Class with Meryl Streep for HBO.

The acclaimed director was born in Berlin, Germany as Michael Igor Peschkowsky in 1931. He got his start in entertainment performing on stage, and co-founded the Chicago-based comedy troupe Second City in the 1950s. This troupe »

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Julia Roberts Remembers Mike Nichols: He Was 'Like No Other'

20 November 2014 11:30 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Julia Roberts has joined the film community in remembering Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols, who died Wednesday at the age of 83. "There are so few heroes in our world. So few impeccable craftsmen, so few people who personify unconditional love and friendship. Mike Nichols was like no other. In every way he was remarkable and amazing," the actress, 47, tells People in a statement. Roberts worked with Nichols in his last two directorial feats, Closer (2004) and Charlie Wilson's War (2007), both of which earned Academy Award nods. "His musings were like pearls, his jokes were timeless and perfectly placed, his stories - detailed and wholly entertaining, »

- Jeff Nelson, @nelson_jeff

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Julia Roberts Remembers Mike Nichols: He Was 'Like No Other'

20 November 2014 11:30 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Julia Roberts has joined the film community in remembering Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols, who died Wednesday at the age of 83. "There are so few heroes in our world. So few impeccable craftsmen, so few people who personify unconditional love and friendship. Mike Nichols was like no other. In every way he was remarkable and amazing," the actress, 47, tells People in a statement. Roberts worked with Nichols in his last two directorial feats, Closer (2004) and Charlie Wilson's War (2007), both of which earned Academy Award nods. "His musings were like pearls, his jokes were timeless and perfectly placed, his stories - detailed and wholly entertaining, »

- Jeff Nelson, @nelson_jeff

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Recounting Mike Nichols' climb from comedian to Egot-winner

20 November 2014 11:29 AM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

When people pass away, we often praise them with, "What couldn’t they do?" Exaggeration. With Mike Nichols, there’s really no answer to the theoretical. A seasoned comedian, a pillar of New York City theater, a successful film director — earning a Best Picture nomination, four Best Director nominations, and one win in the latter category — and one of only 12 people to successfully collect the coveted Egot, when it came to the entertainment industry, there really wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He went out on a high. Thursday morning, we learned that Nichols passed away at the age of 83. Fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany in 1938, Nichols wound up in New York City and called the city home for nearly his entire life. Attending college in Chicago, he became part of the theater and comedy scenes, joining Second City and forming the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with actress Elaine May. »

- Matt Patches

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R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014)

20 November 2014 11:19 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Mike Nichols, the Academy Award-winning director of The Graduate, has passed away aged 83.

Born in Berlin in 1931, Nichols began his career as a comedian in the 1950s and first gained fame as part of the comedy duo Nichols and May with Elaine May, winning a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 1962. Beginning his directing career in theatre in the 1960s, Nichols made his feature film debut with 1962’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, following this up with 1967’s The Graduate, which saw him receiving the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Director.

Nichols would spend the rest of career alternating between stage and screen, winning a host of Tony Awards for his Broadway work, and directing films such as Catch-22, Working Girl, Postcards from the Edge, Wolf, The Birdcage, Primary Colors, Closer and Charlie Wilson’s War. He would also win Emmy Awards for Wit and Angels in America, »

- Gary Collinson

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Whoopi Goldberg Breaks Down Sobbing Over Director Mike Nichols’ Death

20 November 2014 10:40 AM, PST | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

The sudden death of renowned director Mike Nichols is being felt immensely in Hollywood.

Nichols, whose many accolades include The Graduate, Working Girl, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Closer, Charlie Wilson's War, Annie, Spamalot and The Birdcage, passed away at age 83 on Wednesday.

The award-winning director/producer is credited with launching Whoopi Goldberg's career when he brought her one-woman show to Broadway. On Thursday's The View, Goldberg broke down in sobs as she attempted to pay tribute to Nichols. Unable to speak, her co-host Nicolle Wallace chimed in, "This man meant the world to her."

Photos: Gone Too Soon -- Stars We've Lost

ABC

The show then flashed back to when the director appeared on the program in 2012 and Goldberg was able to thank her mentor for all he'd done for her. "Whenever I'm with you, I know I'm okay," she said to Nichols at the time, getting teary-eyed during the interview.

Goldberg is just »

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Whoopi Goldberg Breaks Down on "The View" Over Death of "Mentor" Mike Nichols

20 November 2014 9:30 AM, PST | TooFab | See recent TooFab news »

Hollywood is in mourning after the sudden death of Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols.The man behind such masterpieces like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", "The Graduate," "The Birdcage" and "Closer" passed away Wednesday at the age of 83. He leaves behind wife Diane Sawyer and three children.Nichols is credited with helping Whoopi Goldberg launch her career, after giving her her own one-woman show on Broadway. And it's clear the news was still raw for the comedian this morning on "The View," where she became overcome with emotion as she tried to address the audience."This morning ..." she said, before choking up. Cohost Nicolle Wallace stepped in and finished eulogizing Nichols, as Whoopi cried into her hands. She went on to call him her "mentor."Many celebrities have taken to Twitter to also share their condolences. Read those below. We lost the legendary Mike Nichols today. A pioneer of stage and film. »

- tooFab Staff

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Mike Nichols Passes Away at Age 83: Stars Remember the Acclaimed Director

20 November 2014 9:16 AM, PST | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Hollywood is paying tribute to one of the most beloved directors in show business, Mike Nichols. The 83-year-old, who passed away suddenly Wednesday evening, was described as a "true visionary" by the president of ABC News, James Goldston. Nichols' acclaimed career earned him an Emmy, a Tony, a Grammy and an Academy Award—putting him in a league with only a few others. He had been married to Diane Sawyer since 1988 and while the two had no children together, he had two daughters and a son from previous marriages. During a 2012 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Natalie Portman gushed about working with Nichols on Closer and The Seagull. "He has an eye and an ear »

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Mike Nichols Remembered By Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks as ‘Irreplaceable Man’

20 November 2014 9:15 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Mike Nichols, the Oscar-winning director of “The Graduate” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” was remembered by friends and colleagues as an artist, a mentor and a constant source of laughter and inspiration.

Condolences and remembrances from across the entertainment industry poured in after news broke that Nichols had died suddenly at the age of 83.

“An inspiration and joy to know, a director who cried when he laughed, a friend without whom, well, we can’t imagine our world, an indelible irreplaceable man,” said Meryl Streep, who worked with Nichols on “Silkwood,” “Heartburn” and the HBO adaptation of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.”

Over more than five decades, Nichols moved seamlessly between Broadway, television and movies, becoming one of the only people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony — achieving “Egot” status. His notable films include “Working Girl,” “Primary Colors” and “The Birdcage,” and »

- Brent Lang

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