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Young Barack Obama Film Casts Devon Terrell, ‘The Witch’ Star Anya Taylor-Joy

The film sees Obama as a college student exploring the Big Apple.

The story of a young Barack Obama trying to find his way in 1981 New York City has found its two leads.

Devon Terrell and Anya Taylor-Joy, the star of the hit horror movie The Witch, will star in Barry, an indie drama being directed by Vikram Gandhi, a Vice correspondent who made the documentary Kumare.

Black Bear Pictures (The Imitation Game) is producing with Cinetic Media. The movie is expected to begin shooting in April.

Barry explores the time when Obama was a college student in New York City and forged key relationships, including with a fellow student (Taylor-Joy).

The script was written by Adam Mansbach, the author perhaps best known for the adult children’s book Go the F*** to Sleep. He also tackled race with his novel Angry Black White Boy.

Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman and Ben Stillman are producing the pic along with Cinetic’s Dana O’Keefe as well as Gandhi.

Barry is the second young-Obama tale making its way to the big screen. Southside With You, a film about the early years of Obama’s relationship with first lady Michelle Obama, premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Miramax and Roadside acquired the project, which stars Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter as Barack and Michelle.

Taylor-Joy became a bit of a Sundance sensation when The Witch debuted at the festival in 2015. A24 recently released the film in theaters in the U.S., where it took in $8.8 million in its debut.

The actress has already shot lead roles in Morgan, Fox’s sci-fi thriller directed by Luke Scott (Ridley Scott’s son), and M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller Split. Next up for Taylor-Joy is the drama Huntsville opposite Shea Whigham. She is repped by CAA, UK’s Troika and Felker Toczek.

Terrell was discovered by 12 Years of Slave filmmaker Steve McQueen, who gave him the lead role in his HBO pilot, Codes of Conduct, after undertaking an exhaustive worldwide talent search. Barry will be his film debut. The actor is repped by CAA and IMC in Australia.

Gandhi, whose Kumare won the audience award at SXSW in 2011, is repped by UTA and attorney Victoria Cook of Franklin Kurnit. Mansbach is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

March 2, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Articles , News




Hollywood’s Next Big Thing: ‘The Witch’ Breakout Anya Taylor-Joy Goes From Ballet to Studio Thrillers

The actress (and secret rapper) has parlayed Sundance buzz into lead roles and almost-“it” girl status.

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Anya Taylor-Joy became one of those brief Sundance sensations in 2015 with her very first movie role, playing the eldest daughter in a Puritan family threatened by witchcraft in The Witch. A year later, A24 finally is set to release the film Feb. 19. But she’s used the time well. Raised in Argentina and the U.K. as the youngest of six children, the former ballet dancer already has shot lead roles in Morgan, Fox’s sci-fi thriller directed by Luke Scott, Ridley Scott’s son, and M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller Split. Next up is the drama Huntsville opposite Shea Whigham.

What do you love about acting?
I never feel happier than when I’m on set. I never fit in as a kid. I always felt that there was something different about me. And when I’m on a movie set, it sounds cheesy, but I really do feel complete.

How did you get the role in The Witch?
I put an audition on tape. I read the script the night before, which was dumb because I did not sleep. In the script, my character was written as sort of plain, and I thought, “I’m sort of weird looking,” so I didn’t think I would get it. I later found out that I was the first tape [director] Rob [Eggers] saw, but he thought, “It can’t be that easy,” so then he watched 1,000 more tapes before he gave it to me.

What filmmakers would you love to work with?
Everyone? (Laughs.) I would love to work with [Quentin] Tarantino. I’d love to work with the Coen brothers. And Steven Spielberg. E.T. was big for me.

What was your first audition?
Maleficent. As the biggest Disney fan, I was dying. I was so nervous, I was shaking. I cried for a very long time after I didn’t get it.

Whom have you been starstruck around?
Dan Romer, who scored Beasts of the Southern Wild. I listen to that soundtrack all the time. And I would die if I met Saoirse Ronan. When I was 15, I watched all of her movies in one day.

Do you have any secret talents?
I’m a surprisingly good rapper. I was hanging out with the director of my next film [Huntsville’s Eric England], and he put on “Rap God” by Eminem, and I rapped the fast bit. I love it. It wakes my brain up in the morning.

What are you looking for in the future?
I’ve been very lucky with the roles that I’ve played in that they were wonderful roles for women. They’re incredible, flawed characters that I really gravitate toward. I just never want anybody to be able to put me in a box.

Vital Stats
Age 19
Born Miami
Big break Sundance 2015 hit The Witch (Feb. 19)
Reps CAA, Troika and Felker Toczek

“I never fit in as a kid. I always felt that there was something differ­ent about me. And when I’m on a movie set, it sounds cheesy, but I really do feel complete,” says Taylor-Joy

“I’m a surprisingly good rapper,” said Taylor-Joy of her secret talent. I love it. It wakes my brain up in the morning.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

February 21, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Articles , Interview , The Witch , Videos




February 21, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , The Witch , Videos




It’s rare that a movie these days has the power to truly terrify—with so much real-life horror happening every day, it feels like we’ve become accustomed to it. We’ve grown into unnatural terror in the past few decades like an evolutionary adaptation.

So when a film like The Witch comes along—a story with such palpable horror and brutality—it’s a big deal.

The indie movie (which won the Directing Award in the U.S. Dramatic Category at Sundance), has received universal acclaim from critics.

The story centers on a 17th century family that’s moved alone to an uncharted area on the edge of the New England wilderness; they’ve willingly left their Puritan plantation over a religious disagreement.

Self-righteous patriarch William, with his wife Katherine, and their children: daughter Tomasin, son Caleb, twins Mercy and Jonas, and infant son Sam, in tow, is eager to start a fresh on this new unscathed and blessed farmland.

Things soon worsen after the baffling disappearance of baby Sam, and the family becomes convinced of an evil presence lurking in the woods, just outside their property; an evil that soon infects inward, with the blame falling on Thomasin.

Though the setting is nearly 400 years ago, The Witch’s writer and director, Robert Eggers, taps into the same violence, repression/oppression, and paranoia that is in the very DNA of our country (and most countries around the world); we were born out of this ignorance and bloodshed—something that continues today.

The Witch, which is in theaters nationwide as of last night, is truly a horror movie of the present, while reveling in the past.

Its breakout star, 19-year-old Anya Taylor-Joy, is a revelation on screen.

Her gut-wrenching, naturalistic performance of Thomasin has her poised as one of the top rising young stars in the game, with lead roles in buzzed about projects from M. Night Shyamalan, and alongside Kate Mara in upcoming sci-fi movie Morgan (directed by Ridley Scott’s son, Luke).

PAPER caught up with Anya to discuss the intense experience making this movie, her love of Thomasin, roles for young women in Hollywood, and the daunting reality of rising stardom.

Interview with Anya Tyalor-Joy for Paper Magazine:

PAPER: Just from the terrifying content alone, did you have any reservations about the script—and especially when you got the role?
ANYA: What you just said is probably the intelligent reaction to approaching the script, but I’m a very instinctual person, and I don’t really rationalize thing.

I’d only been acting for a short amount of time, and I hadn’t read many scripts, so I just went into it fully.

I will say, though, that the feeling I got when I read the script is a feeling I will be chasing in future roles for the rest of my life.

Just in general, I always read scripts the night before the audition, and I learn the lines 10-15 minutes before, just to keep it fresh.

But when I read The Witch, it was late at night, in my bed, alone—which was very smart!

I turned the final page, and I swear my body collapsed on me and I inverted. I felt like ghost hands had strangled me with this overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety that I didn’t understand.

On my way to the audition I remember calling my mom and asking her, “Why am I so nervous about this?”

PAPER: Was it hard getting used to the dialogue?
ANYA: After page one, I never questioned that the dialogue was in Jacobean English; it didn’t seem odd. Obviously because of when it was set, but it was so lyrical and poetic and beautiful—it had a rhythm to it.

As unnerving as this film is, hearing our characters speak is semi-soothing, the cadence was almost like a Fairytale or nursery rhyme.

PAPER: The movie was filmed in the wilderness (Canada, though it’s set in New England.) What was the hardest thing about filming?
ANYA: We had a week of rehearsals that was unbelievably important. Rob picked very good cast of people, very intelligently, because the second we all met, it was like, ‘Let’s skip the awkward stage of not knowing each other, and go right to being friends forever.’

We loved each other instantly. And you need that support when you’re literally out in the middle of nowhere, no connection to our real lives or support network; we became each other’s support network.

The atmosphere on set was remarkably light because of this bond we had.

We’re still tight, I was in Venice recently living in a one-bedroom apartment recently, and the five of them all stayed with me; we’re intensely close now.

PAPER: The wardrobe was immaculate, and looked painful. What was it like wearing those restrictive outfits?
ANYA: The wardrobe was done with such incredible period accuracy; it changes the way that you move, eat, walk, and stand.

The first time I put on my costume, I thought, ‘How did women dress themselves?!’ I needed three people to help me.

By the end of filming, though, I could dress myself in a few minutes.

But really, with the clothes back then, your arms and legs could move in only one direction; it was like Barbie stewardess (motions with stiff, locked arms).

The Puritanical mindset was to go against everything that makes you human—even your clothes. They had children in these outfits—children who were meant to move and be free.

It was training them from a young age to not be human.

Thomasin questioned this more than most; she saw the “Why?”

Why were they doing these things? Wearing these things?

PAPER: What was your mission with portraying Thomasin?
ANYA: I see Thomasin as this beautiful flame that has a bucket of ice-cold water poured on it again, and again, and again.

I love my character. All of my characters feel real for me and I deeply care—probably too much—about doing right by them, and giving them a voice.

Something that made me so empathetic toward Thomasin was her burgeoning sexuality. Sexuality is something that everyone fears so much, and especially in the 17th century, when they didn’t talk about it.

PAPER: So Thomasin’s awareness of her body and her feelings made her a threat?
ANYA: Kids today are fortunate to have the explanation of, “Oh, honey, it’s just puberty,” when they’re going through weird things.

For Thomasin, she didn’t have that, and was dealing with these hormones and self-awareness, and becoming more vocal.

In the story, that threatens her family; they start to not trust her, and fear her.

I thought what that would be like: you don’t understand what’s happening, either. So back then, what kind of position what that put you in? What would your frame of mind be?

PAPER: Do you feel there’s an overt feminist statement in the script?
ANYA: When Rob (Eggers) wrote this, he didn’t set out to make anything other than a Puritanical horror movie.

When you read the script, however, feminism just jumps off the page—it’s just natural.

It’s not only in the script, but the documented accounts during this time period.

People feared outspoken women—accusing them of witchcraft wasn’t just a means of shutting down women who stood up for themselves.

For these people, witches were real, and they were an amalgamation of all these concepts of femininity that both men and women feared.
It turned these accused women into fairytale ogresses.

Though your acting has been universally praised, what’s been the most frustrating thing you get asked by the press?

PAPER: When I get asked if I’m “struggling to find another role this good.” Am I just getting girlfriend roles? Hot girl #1?
ANYA: I always say, “No, actually.”

Every single script that I have read is for a gritty, flawed, human being who happens to be a woman and owns it. But I should not be an anomaly. I should not be strange for getting these roles; they’re out there.

Every girl should have this opportunity.

People like to put things in boxes, and with actresses, it’s like “So, what’s her type?” “Is she a virgin, or is she a whore”

We’re all human beings; none of us are one thing; we are very complicated and it doesn’t change according to gender.

PAPER: Does it ever feel daunting to be on this cusp of stardom?
ANYA: I was in very deep denial about it for a while, and it got exhausting to pretend like something big was happening in my life. The most important thing that will always save me is that I would be acting if no one ever saw one of my movies. I can’t not act, I love the work too much; the work is all that matters.

Unfortunately, I’m a very private person and not into this idea of “celebrity,” but the attention does allow you to work with people you’ve always wanted to work with, and tell the stories you want to tell; movies you want to make. The pros far outweigh the cons for me.

I’m the luckiest girl, and I will never complain about any of this because it’s a dream come true.

Source: Paper Magazine

February 21, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Articles , Interview , News




February 16, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        The Witch , Videos




February 16, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        The Witch , Videos






February 16, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Interview , The Witch , Videos




Anya Taylor Joy arrives at the Premiere of A24’s ‘The Witch’ at ArcLight Cinemas on February 11, 2016 in Hollywood, California. I’ve added pictures to the gallery. Enjoy!


Gallery Link
Public Appearances > Public Appearances from 2016 > February 11 | A24’s “The Witch” Premiere

February 12, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Appearances , Photos , The Witch




Anya Taylor-Joy attends Saint Laurent at Hollywood Palladium on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. I’ve added photos to the gallery. Enjoy!


Gallery Link
Public Appearances > Public Appearances from 2016 > February 10 | Saint Laurent At The Palladium

February 12, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Appearances , Photos




A burning talent at the core of Hollywood’s new season of horror. Taken from the 10th Birthday Issue of Wonderland.

When I catch up with 19-year-old Anya Taylor-Joy, the trailer for her first feature film, The Witch, is blowing up online. The new England folktale, written and directed by Robert Eggers, was dubbed one of the standout films at this year’s Sundance Festival, where it not only won him the Directing Award in the US Dramatic category, but also saw Taylor-Joy being hailed as a breakout star and one to watch.

Shot over just five weeks, the film follows a devout Christian 17th century family, whose newborn son disappears without a trace, inciting rumours that Taylor-Joy’s character, Thomasin, is practicing witchcraft. While the theme may be one we see lazily churned out Halloween after Halloween, critics across the board are agreeing that this movie is a mustwatch – with Time Out New York calling it “One of the most genuinely unnerving horror films in recent memory.” God knows we’re overdue one.

Taylor-Joy claims never to have even seen a scary movie before The Witch, but as I chat to her about my decreasing faith in Hollywood horror, she’s surprisingly well aware of the formulaic approach to the genre that seems to have been adopted by so many. “Look, I’m very green to the industry, but that’s something that’s always bothered me about movies in general; once there is, as you said, a formula, or something that’s obviously successful, people emulate it again and again. In doing so we’ve forgotten the true faces of fear… and that’s what this film really plays upon; the fact that real fear is something deeply rooted in all of us – that’s why so many people are genuinely unnerved by it.”

The storyline had a true resonance with Taylor-Joy, who was raised Catholic between London and Argentina. She recalls not sleeping a wink the evening before the audition, because she was so gripped with fear after having first read the script.

“It just got to me, man. Whatever my religious beliefs are now, a lot of it really freaked me out because I could one hundred percent understand why incredibly pious people would feel such guilt, shame and isolation in that situation because of how I was brought up. Rob’s just an incredible creator, and the words he’s written are horrible… completely horrible.”

The youngest of six, Taylor-Joy’s taste in films is a quirky mix of 90s kids classics and both Spanish and Argentine cinema. “I grew up watching a lot of Spanish movies… and one of my all-time favourites is an Argentinian romcom called Un Novio Para Mi Mujer… I feel like Argentina feels somehow really far away from the rest of the world, and it results in a really unique sense of humour… you have to watch it. But so far as the films that made me want to act, it was the stuff I watched with my brothers and sisters when they were growing up, like Richie Rich and Free Willy. I was like, I don’t know what that kid is doing but he got to ride a whale, and that’s awesome! How do I do that?”

While her role in The Witch may be a far cry from Jesse’s in Free Willy, Taylor-Joy’s fast proving that she’s capable of mastering pretty much any character thrown at her. She’s just wrapped another lead role in a movie, this time playing an artificial human/robot in a fuck-off budget sci-fi thriller directed by Luke (son of Ridley) Scott. It certainly hasn’t been a bad year.

Source: Wonderland Magazine

February 12, 2016        Posted by Ann        0 Comments        Articles , News




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