Michael Shannon, Michael Kelly and Armie Hammer Interviews
Clint Eastwood was Michael Kelly's
Tell me about being a part of the 10 to Watch group. What's that mean to you?
Michael Shannon: "It means I better do a good job from now on."
Everybody will be watching.
Michael Shannon: "Yeah, everybody's going to be watching me. Before, I could kind of slip under the radar. It was kind of a surprise when I did something good, but now I've got to be good. No, but it's fun. I have a friend who got this honor last year and I watched her go through the whole process of the award season and all that. It's funny because we're talking about it now, comparing notes and everything. Amy Ryan, she was for Gone Baby Gone. So, yeah, it's fun having her to bounce it off of."
And you've got Revolutionary Road which is looking like an Oscar-type movie coming up. Tell me about working on that.
Michael Shannon: "Well, it's based on an extraordinary book that I recommend everybody read. But I've seen the movie. Sam invited me, the cast, to a screening, and he's done such an amazing job with kind of channeling this book. It's always hard when you make a book into film because you have to condense it, you have to streamline it, but he's really conjured up the essence of this movie in a very, very powerful way. So I'm very excited for it to come out and people to get to see it."
You were familiar with the book before you even took on the project?
Michael Shannon: "Yeah. Actually my girlfriend, the first gift she got for me in our relationship was this book. She went out and got it for me and I said, 'This is one of the greatest books I've ever read.' I don't know if you want to give it to your boyfriend. It's not exactly the most romantic thing I've ever read, but it's certainly one of the most powerful books I've ever read. For sure, yeah."
And working with that high-powered cast?
Michael Shannon: "Oh yeah, but also so sweet. I mean some of the sweetest people I've ever worked with, particularly Kate Winslet was just so… She could see how nervous I was and she always went out of her way to come over and check on me to say, 'You're doing a good job.' But all of them were just really sweet people."
10 to Watch…
Michael Kelly: "Wow!"
Michael Kelly: "Yeah."
So what do you do when you hear something like that?
Michael Kelly: "I went and had beers with my manager and we went and got pretty drunk. That's what I did, yeah. I was floored. I feel so blessed. These nine other actors – it's a real honor."
Definitely a huge honor. And you've got Changeling which is getting a lot of buzz about it.
Michael Kelly: "Yeah. The film's beautiful. I just saw it and I think it's an incredible movie. I feel honored to be a part of that as well. It's just been an incredible year for me."
Were you at all familiar with the true story of Changeling before this?
Michael Kelly: "No. I knew nothing about Changeling before reading the script for the first time. In fact, I'm flipping the pages of the script and right about the time when I was like, 'Come on! No way!' the writer had cleverly inserted actual copies of the newspaper clippings from the day. You read the news and you're like, 'Wow, it really did [happen].' Because even watching the film you're like, 'How could this be?' because a woman did not have the same rights as she has today. So I think people have such a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that a woman in the '20s was treated that way, or could be treated that way."
And working with Clint Eastwood as a director, what was he like?
Michael Kelly: "Clint's the coolest guy in the world. A real honor. I feel so blessed. He's an amazing man and he's been my mentor. You know, you grow up wanting to be him and you're not going to be that so you might as well work with him. It's pretty cool."
Is he real collaborative?
Michael Kelly: "Yeah, oh totally. Totally. He really lets you kind of do your own thing. A couple times he would be like, 'I kind of want this,' or 'I kind of want that.' But really, for the most part, I think he watches the tapes and lets people go to work."
10 to Watch – that's fantastic. When you heard that, what did you think?
Armie Hammer – "'What?!' That was pretty much about it. And then sort of just knocked me a little loose for a little bit. But as soon as I found out I was nominated I couldn't...it was just such an honor to be chosen. It was incredible considering how many talented and phenomenal actors there are out there. It's just amazing to be there."
And you've got a couple of projects coming up. 2081, what is that?
Armie Hammer: "That is a short film that we shot. It's Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron that we adapted into a short film for now."
And the Batman rumors… What's happening with that Justice League movie?
Armie Hammer: "You know just as much as I know. As an actor, my job is putting film in the can and doing the best job I can. Other than that, the only thing I can do about that kind of stuff is get ulcers. So I try to stay out of it as much as possible."
If they greenlight it again, you'd be back involved?
Armie Hammer: "Hopefully. I mean I haven't really kept up to date with any of the producers. You know, this is a very interesting time right now. I think they're a little hesitant. On a project like that the wheels are so big, once they stop spinning it's sort of difficult to get them spinning again. So, we'll see what happens and we're knocking on wood. But if it doesn't happen, that's okay. We're moving on to bigger and better things."