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‘A Private War’ Director Matthew Heineman On Getting Close To The Story – The Contenders NY Video

A Private War

With A Private War, Oscar-nominated documentarian Matthew Heineman took on the story of real-life war correspondent Marie Colvin for his narrative feature debut. Onstage at Deadline's first The Contenders New York, Heineman discussed how, with Rosamund Pike giving what he calls an “unbelievable” performance as Colvin, he was able to perfectly blend his documentary-making skills into the experience. "There's a scene in the film where she uncovers a mass grave in Iraq and… Read


How Bradley Cooper Became The Frontman For ‘A Star Is Born’ – The Contenders NY Video

the contenders new york

In a revealing interview at Deadline’s first The Contenders New York event, Bradley Cooper detailed his process in going from playing a tortured country rock singer for his American Sniper director Clint Eastwood to eventually directing the incarnation of a Hollywood classic. “I knew, deep down, I hadn't lived enough and wouldn't play that character," Cooper said when Eastwood approached him about A Star Is Born. Later, when Cooper and Eastwood watched Annie Lennox… Read


Alessandro Nivola’s View Of ‘Disobedience’ From His Corner Of The Love Triangle – The Contenders NY Video


Disobedience follows a woman as she returns to the community in London that shunned her years earlier for an attraction to a childhood friend. Once she is back, those passions reignite. Alessandro Nivola took to the stage at Deadline’s The Contenders New York recently to talk about his role as Dovid Kuperman, the devoted husband who finds himself at the center of a love triangle. Nivola told the invitation-only crowd that Dovid repeatedly advocates for Ronit (Rachel… Read


Jonah Hill On Why Casting Non-Pros In ‘Mid90’s’ Was Key In Keeping It Real – The Contenders NY Video

“Skateboarding is often butchered in movies,” newly minted writer-director Jonah Hill told the crowd as part of A24’s presentation at Deadline’s first The Contenders New York event. That is why for the twice Oscar-nominated actor’s feature directorial debut Mid90s, he wanted to make sure he got it right, hiring a group of skateboarders and turning them into actors rather than the other way around. Speaking to the invite-only audience at the all-day event last month at the… Read


‘The Hate U Give’s’ Amandla Stenberg & Russell Hornsby On Leveraging The Power Of Film – The Contenders NY Video

The Hate U Give

In introducing The Hate U Give star Amandla Stenberg recently to the packed audience at Deadline’s first-ever The Contenders New York all-day awards-season event, I held up the cover of Time magazine, on which she recently appeared, an honor to note her activism outside of acting. During our discussion onstage, Stenberg said that all comes from her belief in leveraging the power of film to make change in the world, which is certainly something she does in this movie… Read


For Michelle Yeoh, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Felt Like “A Little Miracle” – The Contenders NY Video

Crazy Rich Asians

Having starred in both Memoirs of a Geisha and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Michelle Yeoh knows only too well how rare it is that an all-Asian cast film has both studio backing and be included in the awards conversation. But now that situation has been smartly upended by the roaring success of Warner Bros’ Crazy Rich Asians — an outcome that will hopefully bring much-needed industry change. Onstage at the first ever Deadline’s The Contenders New York awards-season… Read


‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ Producer On Logging In To Sequel’s Inspiration – The Contenders L.A. Video

Ralph Breaks The Internet

In the history of Disney Animation, the studio has only made two sequels: 1990’s The Rescuers Down Under and Fantasia 2000. So what provoked Wreck-It Ralph producer Clark Spencer and his team to pursue a sequel to that 2012 film? Why, the last line of the film: “If that little kid likes me, how bad could I be?” “It’s very dysfunctional,” said Spencer about a protagonist to base their self-image off another’s impression of them. In figuring out where to tell that story… Read


‘Vox Lux’ Is Not Just About A Pop Star’s Life, But Us As A Nation – The Contenders L.A. Video

Vox Lux

When Black Swan Oscar winner Natalie Portman takes on a complex character, she submerges herself in every detail of her alter ego. With writer-director Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux, she plays Celeste, the survivor of a high school shooting who is ultimately transformed into a tough-talking pop star, and whose image provokes many of the evils of which young Celeste was a victim. “You have a character that sort of acts as an avatar to represent the defining cultural moments of… Read


Rami Malek Talks Prepping For Queen’s Iconic Live Aid Performance In ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – The Contenders NY Video

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody opens and closes with Queen’s show-stealing performance at the Live Aid charity concert in 1985 in London, a high-stakes moment star Rami Malek recalled as marking the first day of the film’s production. Malek said he spent months preparing for the role of Freddie Mercury, working with a movement coach and researching the rock icon’s influences, which included actress Liza Minnelli and director-choreographer Bob Fosse, and learning to play the piano… Read


‘First Man’ Team On Visceral Power Of Space Travel And Neil Armstrong’s Interior Life – The Contenders NY Video

First Man

The journey to the moon for the creative team behind First Man began with Jim Hansen’s biography of the same name about astronaut Neil Armstrong. Reading the book, producer Wyck Godfrey recalled during Deadline’s The Contenders New York awards-season event last month, “I realized I knew nothing and contextually didn't understand anything.” What stood out most to Godfrey was the stark reality of Armstrong’s early circumstances. “He was a test pilot living in California… Read


Lucas Hedges Says Being Directed By His Father In ‘Ben Is Back’ Ended Up Being A Good Decision – The Contenders NY Video

Ben Is Back

It was a father-and-son moment when Ben Is Back writer-director Peter Hedges was joined on Deadline’s The Contenders New York stage by son Lucas Hedges, who plays the title role in dad’s film about a drug-addicted son who leaves rehab to spend the holidays with his family, among them his mother played beautifully by Julia Roberts. The occasion that brought the pair together was the Roadside Attractions/LD Entertainment portion of Deadline’s first NYC all-day awards-event… Read


‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’s Female Filmmakers Talk About Why NYC Was So Key To This True Story – The Contenders NY Video

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

It was a natural for Fox Searchlight to bring its Oscar-buzzed drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? to Deadline’s first-ever The Contenders New York all-day event at the  DGA Theater. If ever there was a film in which New York City is also a key character it is this one, a true story about a down-on-her-luck author of celebrity biographies who discovers a quick way to make money by forging letters from famous people. The Marielle Heller-directed pic is set in the NYC of the… Read