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Michael Showalter on Working with Kumail Nanjiani and Judd Apatow on The Big Sick

Michael Showalter was a known quantity in the comedy world before he gave feature directing a shot in 2005 with the unassuming indie The Baxter. He started out in the early 90s on MTV’s sketch show The State, which spawned the careers of many talents with whom Showalter has continued to collaborate on shows like Stella and films like They Came Together and Wet Hot American Summer (which stars Showalter and has led to two Netflix follow-up series). Much of this work, as well as Showalter’s excursive, vaguely non-committal standup, is characterized by a warm disdain for the form. In […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Michael Showalter Aims for a Breakout Hit in ‘The Big Sick’

Michael Showalter Aims for a Breakout Hit in ‘The Big Sick’
Fans of offbeat comedy know Michael Showalter well from his years on “The State” and “Stella,” not to mention writing, co-producing and starring in the cult movie-turned-Netflix-series “Wet Hot American Summer.” Now Showalter is winning raves for his work directing “The Big Sick.”

His debut feature as director was 2005’s “The Baxter,” which he also wrote and starred in. Though it grossed less than $200,000 in theatrical release, it showcased Showalter as a director to watch. But he didn’t direct another film until last year’s Sally Field starrer, “Hello, My Name Is Doris.” “It wasn’t like I had a script I was peddling and couldn’t get made,” he says of the break following “The Baxter.” “But I think maybe I was hoping that it would open some doors for me to be in consideration to direct some movies. And that didn’t happen.”

Not that he wasn’t keeping busy, creating shows like “Search Party” and “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” in addition to writing, directing and acting on a variety of programs. He also taught a screenwriting course at Nyu, which eventually led to “Doris”—his cowriter Laura Terruso was someone he met through the college. But in addition, he says he learned about “practicing what I preach in my teaching.”

Producer Judd Apatow says Showalter landed the “Big Sick” directing gig after an impressive presentation, and it helped that he was already a friend to writer-star Kumail Nanjiani. “I always think when people are tight, you can get better work,” Apatow says. “It’s easy to tell your secrets to people you care about.”

With praise for his work on “Sick” rolling in, Showalter promises it won’t be another 12 years before he directs his next feature. “I’m making up for lost time,” he notes. He’s about to shoot Season Two of “Search Party” and already has “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later” in the can. “It’s 1991 and all the characters are in their mid-twenties,” Showalter reveals. “We’ll see what kind of people they’ve blossomed into.”

Related storiesPeek Inside the 'Search Party' OfficeBroadway's 'The Glass Menagerie' With Sally Field to Close This MonthTony Awards Eligibility: Mark Ruffalo, Sally Field to Vie for Lead Acting Nominations
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Michael Showalter’s Second Act: How the ‘The Big Sick’ Filmmaker Reinvented His Career — Sundance 2017

  • Indiewire
Michael Showalter’s Second Act: How the ‘The Big Sick’ Filmmaker Reinvented His Career — Sundance 2017
It took 25 years of working in film and TV, but comedian Michael Showalter has landed what could be his career-defining role: indie filmmaker.

Read More: Michael Showalter on the Origins of ‘Search Party’ and Status of ‘Wet Hot American Summer

Showalter’s third feature as a director, “The Big Sick,” is one of the most anticipated movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. A dramatic comedy written by actor-writer Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon and based on their real-life courtship, the film stars Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, and Anupam Kher.

Produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, “The Big Sick” centers on aspiring comedian Kumail and grad student Emily (Kazan), whose romance causes a rift with Kumail’s traditional Muslim parents. Emily then discovers she has a mysterious illness, leaving Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents Beth and Terry (Hunter and
See full article at Indiewire »

Justin Theroux's Throwback Photo Will Make You Feel Better About Your Awkward Stage

  • Popsugar
Justin Theroux's Throwback Photo Will Make You Feel Better About Your Awkward Stage
A photo posted by @justintheroux on Oct 20, 2016 at 10:01am Pdt When you think of Justin Theroux, you probably think about his extreme sexiness, his cute moments with wife Jennifer Aniston, and his incredible acting ability. What you probably don't think of, however, is a man who went through a serious awkward phase in the '80s (well, sort of). The Girl on the Train star posted one of the best Throwback Thursday photos we've ever seen on Instagram this week. In the pic, Justin and pal Elizabeth Banks pose for the camera while dressed up in hilarious costumes on the set of their 2005 film The Baxter. "Fake #tbt to fake high school sweetheart, for fake set photo with the very real @elizabethbanks," Justin wrote. In the movie, the two play former high school sweethearts who run into each other years later, just two weeks before her wedding to another guy.
See full article at Popsugar »

Justin Theroux’s Brace-Faced Tbt of Him and Elizabeth Banks Is Too Good to Be True

Justin Theroux’s Brace-Faced Tbt of Him and Elizabeth Banks Is Too Good to Be True
Justin Theroux may have just won Throwback Thursday with a vintage photo from a film many may have forgotten about.

The actor posted an epic picture of him and costar Elizabeth Banks from their 2005 film The Baxter, in which they played teenagers in love.

“Fake #tbt to fake high school sweetheart, for fake set photo with the very real @elizabethbanks. #og #badombres #whiteturtlneckanddenimpoppedcollarsosweetdudeyeahiknow #baxter,” Theroux, 45, captioned on Instagram.

And as the Leftovers star duly noted he’s wearing a white turtleneck and denim jacket that has its collar popped. Noticeably, young Theroux donned faux braces and modeled an
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Hello, My Name Is Doris – The Review

Sally Field plays Doris Miller, a 60-something accountant with a Walter Mitty-like imagination who becomes fixated on a younger new co-worker John Fremont (Max Greenfield), in Hello, My Name Is Doris. The comedy from director/co-writer Michael Showalter (“The Baxter”) has plenty of indie film quirkiness but what makes the film work is Field’s performance as Doris, a character who in lesser hands could have gone so very wrong.

Doris is a data entry worker in accounting working at a hipster fashion magazine who is suddenly smitten when she meets a handsome young new co-worker named John Fremont, a nice Midwestern who is new to the city. But Doris is no sexy cougar; she is an oddball character that would have been out of his league even if she were 20 years younger.

Hello, My Name Is Doris reverses the gender of the standard movie male fantasy of an older
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Sally Field Gets Eccentric in Trailer For Michael Showalter’s ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’

One of the break-out hits of this year’s South by Southwest Festival was the latest film by Michael Showalter and his first in a decade, Hello, My Name is Doris. Picking up the audience award there, it stars Sally Field as an eccentric Brooklynite who finally finds friendship and more. Also starring Max Greenfield, Natasha Lyonne, Kumail Nanjiani, Peter Gallagher, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tyne Daly and Beth Behrs, the first trailer has now landed ahead of a spring release.

We said in our review, “The second feature directed by Showalter, adapted from a short film by Laura Terruso, the director marries themes previously explored in his 2005 feature The Baxter with a more nuanced character study. Masterfully portrayed by Field, Doris Miller is out of place despite harboring tenancies and wardrobes that the 20/30-something hipsters of Williamsburg around her aspire to have. Simply put, she fits in more easily than the
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Wet Hot American Summer’: Oral History Details False Starts, Faking Camp Firewood

Creators and co-writers David Wain and Michael Showalter, members of ’90s MTV sketch group “The State,” premiered “Wet Hot American Summer” — featuring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks and Amy Poehler — at Sundance in 2001. The summer-camp satire, set in 1981, floundered in limited release. But word-of-mouth, special screenings and the ever-rising profile of its cast cultivated a rabid fanbase.

Rumors about a sequel and other ways to revisit the source material circulated for years. In May 2014, Variety exclusively confirmed Netflix’s interest in returning to the fictional Camp Firewood. Now, with the July 31 debut of an eight-episode prequel series, the talent and execs recount 15 years of false starts, creative hurdles and scheduling snafus leading to “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.”

Wain (director): It first came out in New York. It grossed seven thousand dollars that weekend and we were like, “That’s not bad!” because it was only in one theater.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

SXSW 2015 Interview: Michael Showalter Talks Hello, My Name Is Doris

Anyone familiar with Michael Showalter's work - be it his groundbreaking comedy troupes, The State and Stella, or his widely cherished cult films which he co-wrote with David Wain - is well aware that Showalter is a comedic mastermind; a true original in an era where the word original is growing harder to use. But what fans of Showalter's penchant for hyper irony are perhaps less aware of, is his soulful flair for heartfelt, comedic storytelling, as evidenced by his two directorial credits.His first film came in 2005 with the Tribeca hit, The Baxter, in which, Showalter himself plays an out of step romantic, too pure for the modern dating world. Now 10 years later, Showalter returns to the big screen with Hello, My Name...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Meet the 2015 SXSW Filmmakers #20: Michael Showalter Lets Sally Field Shine in 'Hello, My Name is Doris'

Meet the 2015 SXSW Filmmakers #20: Michael Showalter Lets Sally Field Shine in 'Hello, My Name is Doris'
Read More: Sally Field on Going Raunchy for 'Hello, My Name is Doris' and Why She's Never Felt Like a Great Success Directed by "Wet Hot American Summer" alumni Michael Showalter, "Hello, My Name Is Doris" puts Sally Field right where she belongs: Front, center and in the spotlight. Showalter's second feature film (his first was "The Baxter") follows Doris (Field) through a misguided attempt for the heart of her much-younger colleague. Her real-retro know-how gets her in with his hipster crowd, but as with the coming-of-age stories that inspired the film, Doris must discover what's truly right for herself -- regardless of what the popular kids think. What's your film about in 140 characters or less?After the death of her elderly mother, a reclusive and eccentric woman named Doris becomes romantically infatuated with a younger co-worker. Antics ensue. Now what's it Really about?It's about many things really. It's about finding your true family.
See full article at Indiewire »

SXSW 2015 to Open With Russell Brand Documentary, Premieres Include Ex Machina and A Brave Heart

The first wave of titles screening at the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival were announced today, and the batch has us very excited indeed. First of all, the event will open with the latest documentary from Ondi Timoner, who directed the masterpieces Dig! and We Live in Public. This one is called Brand: A Second Coming, and it’s about comedian Russell Brand‘s rebirth as a “self-proclaimed revolutionary” following a bout with addiction and his rise to fame. Even if you don’t care for her subject, Timoner is the kind of filmmaker who can keep you intrigued anyway. Her past few films have also dealt with big, fascinating egos, from hot shit rocker Anton Newcombe to exhibitionist Internet pioneer Josh Harris to “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg. Timoner returns to SXSW following last year’s debut of her short Obey the Artist, on Shepard Fairey. Among the fiction selections is one of our most anticipated
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Natasha Lyonne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kyle Mooney, Kumail Nanjiani Join Indie Comedy (Exclusive)

Natasha Lyonne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kyle Mooney, Kumail Nanjiani Join Indie Comedy (Exclusive)
Four of the hottest stars on TV are joining the cast of Michael Showalter's new indie comedy “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” including Natasha Lyonne (“Orange Is the New Black”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and Kyle Mooney (“Saturday Night Live”), TheWrap has learned. The comedic quartet join fellow TV stars Max Greenfield (“New Girl”), Beth Behrs (“2 Broke Girls”) and Rich Sommer (“Mad Men”), as well as fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff and two-time Oscar winner Sally Field, who stars as the title character. Showalter, who made his directorial debut with the underrated 2005 comedy “The Baxter,” co-wrote.
See full article at The Wrap »

Amy Poehler & Paul Rudd in Hilarious 'They Came Together' Trailer

After splitting sides at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the romantic comedy parody They Came Together starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, is finally coming to theaters this summer, and the first trailer has arrived to show off the goods. Along with some huge laughs, there's also glimpses of the incredible supporting cast that includes Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, Christopher Meloni and a whole slew of hilarious cameos. Director and comedian David Wain has hit a home run with a parody that calls back to classics like Airplane and Young Frankenstein. Watch the trailer! Here's the first trailer for David Wain's They Came Together, originally from BuzzFeed (via Film Stage): They Came Together is directed by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer), who co-wrote the film with Michael Showalter (The Baxter). The film tells the love story of Joel (Paul Rudd), a
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Max Greenfield boards Michael Showalter's Hello My Name Is Doris

Max Greenfield boards Michael Showalter's Hello My Name Is Doris
Max Greenfield has confirmed that he will star in writer-director Michael Showalter's new comedy Hello My Name Is Doris.

The New Girl actor revealed that the movie will centre on his character beginning a romance with a much older woman.

"It's a story about Doris, this character, she's an older woman," Greenfield told The Wrap.

"Her mother passes away and she's then forced to kind of find a new life in the city, and she meets this younger guy and thinks that he's the answer."

Greenfield added that the screenplay is "very funny", and also disclosed that the female lead has yet to be cast.

The actor earned a Golden Globe nomination this year for playing womaniser Schmidt in New Girl, and also recently reprised his role as Leo D'Amato in the Veronica Mars movie.

Hello My Name Is Doris writer-director Showalter was a cast member of the influential sketch comedy group The State.
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Max Greenfield to Star in Michael Showalter Movie

  • Vulture
Max Greenfield to Star in Michael Showalter Movie
Talking to the Wrap, Greenfield revealed he will be starring in a new film written and directed by Michael Showalter. Greenfield — who first worked with Showalter on They Came Together, the David Wain rom-com parody Showalter co-wrote — described Hello My Name Is Doris as a dramedy about an older woman who is “forced to kind of find a new life in the city” after the death of her mother, and the younger guy (Greenfield) whom she thinks is the answer. This will be Showalter’s second feature, after 2005’s The Baxter, in which Showalter has remarked that he wishes he could’ve had a different actor star, instead of himself. Watch out, Paul Rudd, it appears these guys might’ve found their new handsome surrogate.
See full article at Vulture »

Paul Rudd & Amy Poehler in First Factual 'They Came Together' Poster

If you checked Our 11 Most Anticipated Films We Can't Wait to See at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, then you already know a bit about They Came Together, and you know that it's the film I'm most excited to see. Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain returns to the indie festival with his loving, romantic comedy parody that stars Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler in a You've Got Mail love story situation. The first poster takes the space usually reserved for accolades from film critics and replaces them with simple facts from a story that Deadline wrote about the film. Ed Helms does indeed star in the film. Here's the first poster for David Wain's They Came Together from BuzzFeed (watch a clip there too): They Came Together is directed by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten), who also co-wrote the script with comedy cohort Michael Showalter
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Love Letters Pt. 1: Zachary Quinto, Ahna O'Reilly, Chris Messina

© Nick Stepowyj[Editor's Note: Melanie Lynskey (Hello I Must Be Going) is guest blogging. We love her. And now there's a lotta love to go around. - Nathaniel R]

After my love letter to Noah Taylor I thought it might be kind of fun to write to some people for The Film Experience and ask Them who they'd want to write a love letter to. Hopefully this is making some kind of sense. So I made a little dream list of people I respect and admire beyond all reason and I sent them a little e-mail saying:

I've seen you do work that has made me want to write you a love letter because it's moved me so deeply. Who or what would you like to write a love letter to? What piece of art or artist or feeling has moved you in this way?"

Here are a few amazing responses I got from these talented and passionate individuals!

To the magnificent & unique Zachary Quinto "my love letter to you is mostly me obsessing about: Angels In America!
See full article at FilmExperience »

Paul Rudd & Amy Poehler as Ben Franklin in 'They Came Together'

Wait, what?! We already know that Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd are leading a romantic comedy parody called They Came Together from Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain from a script he co-wrote with fellow comedian and The Baxter director Michael Showalter. The story follows Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler) who meet and have nothing but contempt for each other as Joel's big corporation is the one that threatens to shut down Molly's quirky knick-knack store. But we're not sure where these first look photos of the romantic duo dressed up as Benjamin Franklin come into play. Look! Here's some first look photos from David Wain's They Came Together via BuzzFeed: We're really not sure why both Rudd and Poehler are dressed as Benjamin Franklin, but it's a pretty amusing image. The film is essentially a parody of You've Got Mail (if you can't tell
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Cobie Smulders Snaps Up Two New Roles

She recently featured in one of the highest grossing blockbusters of all time, The Avengers Assemble (as if it needed to be confirmed), and has been much admired for her portrayal of Robin Scherbatsky in How I Met Your Mother, so it is no surprise that Cobie Smulders has already been confirmed for at least two more film roles. She will star in the upcoming projects, Safe Haven and They Came Together.

Safe Haven is based on the novel of the same name, by Nicholas Sparks, and follows protagonist, Katie (Julianne Hough) as she settles into a new life in a small North Carolina town. However, Katie has a dark past that initially puts up a barrier between her and the townsfolk. Soon she must decide whether to move on and continue her transient ways, or to face her demons. The film, which is being directed by Lasse Hallström (Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
See full article at The Hollywood News »

'New Girl' Star Max Greenfield Joining 'They Came Together' Parody

Easily my favorite new show of the last television season was "New Girl," and it's not just because of the quirky charms of Zooey Deschanel. The series also has a phenomenal supporting cast making up her roommates. There's the hilarious Jake M. Johnson, who can be seen in Safety Not Guaranteed this summer, Lamorne Morris in his biggest TV role yet, and finally Max Greenfield, who steals plenty of scenes from the rest of the cast as Schmidt. Now the latter actor will be working with some great comedic talent on the big screen in the romantic comedy parody They Came Together starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. David Wain (the director of Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer) is at the helm of the film which he also co-wrote with fellow comedian Michael Showalter (the director of The Baxter). The story follows Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler) who
See full article at FirstShowing.net »
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