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Coverage: D23 Expo – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The cast of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker received a standing ovation as they took the stage at D23 in Anaheim Saturday. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams said the team was hard at work on a new trailer, but weren’t quite ready, so they showed off a sizzle reel.

The footage included a fleet of dozens of star destroyers in the atmosphere of a planet. Rey (Daisey Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) appeared in a later scene, fighting on a downed ship in the middle of the ocean as waves crashed around them. The biggest crowd pleasing shot occurred at the end of the reel, with Rey wearing a dark hood, sporting a double lightsaber. The footage hasn’t been released online.

The presentation also gave a first look at Keri Russell’s mysterious character, who sports a helmet and a red suit. “She’s very cool and a little bit shady. She’s kind of a criminal, and an old friend of Poe’s,” Russell said.

Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe, pretended to comfort his co-star John Boyega. (Online, fans have expressed a desire for the two to have a romantic relationship.) “We were young. Everyone was experimenting,” said Isaac to Boyega, who pretended to be upset.

The Rise of Skywalker is the end of an era for Star Wars and is billed as the conclusion to the nine-picture Skywalker Saga that began with 1977’s Star Wars. The enduring sci-fi franchise will be taking a break from the big screen following December’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with the next feature film not scheduled for 2022.

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– Events D23 Expo Disney – August 24 2019

Categories Articles & Interviews Movies

Star Wars star Keri Russell says Rise of Skywalker script made her cry

Keri Russell may be new to the Star Wars universe, but that didn’t stop her from getting emotionally invested when she read the script for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Russell, who plays the mysterious new character Zorri Bliss in the upcoming film, recently told the Associated Press that she cried when she first read director-writer J.J. Abrams’ version of the script.

“When I read his script that he wrote I cried,” she told the outlet in a recent interview. “I mean who knows what it will turn out to be and I hope it remains true to what he originally wanted.”

She also discussed why Abrams was the right person to direct the film, which is the ninth and last entry in the Skywalker saga. He previously directed 2015’s The Force Awakens, but Rian Johnson stepped in to direct its 2017 follow-up, The Last Jedi.

“He’s not trying to change it to be something else,” she said of Abrams. “He really respects what it is.”

Russell, who is known for her roles in popular television series Felicity (co-created by Abrams) and The Americans, also described her character, who has previously only been revealed to be “a masked scoundrel,” as “bad ass,” but she didn’t provide further details.

The highly anticipated film — which also stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Kelly Marie Tran, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o — hits theaters Dec. 20.

In addition to Russell, newcomers to the franchise include Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie, and more.

Source: https://ew.com/

Categories Appearances Articles & Interviews

Keri Russell to be Featured Guest at Milestones Luncheon

The Junior League of Dallas (JLD) revealed last night that actress and Golden Globe winner Keri Russell will be the featured guest at the annual Milestones Luncheon, which will be held Nov. 1 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. The JLD also announced the 2019-2020 Sustainer of the Year recipient is Bess Enloe.

This year’s Milestones Luncheon co-chairs are Alli Eagan and Connie O’Neill.

Russell was named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World, but it is clear her beauty shines within as well. She is very involved in philanthropic works and credits becoming a mother for what has made her so passionate about charitable work.

“We are so excited to have Keri Russell join us for this year’s Milestones Luncheon. She has mastered being a phenomenal actress and brings a depth of experience spanning Hollywood to Broadway,” said Eagan said. “She is a woman with range, and her heartfelt nature exudes through her on and off the screen.”

The Milestones Luncheon is an annual fundraiser benefiting the JLD Community Service Fund that supports organizations working to combat critical issues affecting the Dallas community. Proceeds from The luncheon allows the JLD to annually grant approximately $1 million to our partner agencies and signature projects and build a stronger community through leadership development, civic education and hands-on service.

Individual Luncheon tickets are $200 and Patron Luncheon tickets are $350. Tables begin at $2,000. To purchase tables or individual tickets, please contact the JLD Development Office at 214-357-8822 ext. 118 or visit the JLD website.

One of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents on television, the silver screen and now Broadway, Russell has proven she can master it all. She was most recently seen on the critically acclaimed FX series “The Americans,” which completed its six-season run this spring.

For the show, Russell received a Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama, three Emmy nominations, one Golden Globe® nomination, and four Critics’ Choice Award nominations.

Currently, Russell can be seen alongside Adam Driver in the first Broadway revival of Landford Wilson’s “Burn This.” The limited engagement play, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, opened in March 2019 and runs through July 2019.

Source: https://www.prestonhollowpeople.com/

Categories Articles & Interviews Career Movies

Star Wars: Keri Russell Is the Roguish Zorri Bliss

The battle between the Jedi and the Sith has been a constant in the Skywalker saga, but there’s a vital third class of heroes and villains that populate the galaxy: the smugglers, scrappers, bounty hunters, and scoundrels who make a living on the edges of a war. The life of a rogue is tough in the Star Wars universe, and the masked Zorri Bliss (Keri Russell)—revealed exclusively in Annie Leibovitz’s new portfolio from the set of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—is no exception.

In The Rise of Skywalker, Russell is reunited with J.J. Abrams—the man who made her a household name when he first cast her as a sentimental college undergrad in the TV show Felicity 20 years ago. Abrams has already transformed Russell’s career once, when he broke apart her innocent image with a short but memorable fight sequence in 2006’s Mission Impossible III. “When J.J. calls so unexpectedly,” Russell said last summer, “cool things happen.”

Many years and six seasons of the Emmy-winning spy drama The Americans later and Russell is not only adept at action, she’s well practiced in the art of keeping secrets. That would be why, until now, the only thing she let slip about her Star Wars character was “I do have the coolest costume. I will say that.”

She’s not wrong. The brass detailing and deep aubergine of Zorri Bliss’s suit invoke the glamour of Laura Dern’s Admiral Holdo, while the familiar silhouette calls to mind the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Even more hardcore Star Wars fans will notice a similarity between Russell’s costume and the one worn by the short-lived female bounty hunter Zam Wesell in Attack of the Clones.

Her mask helps Bliss disguise both her identity and motives—a useful feature for anyone who might want to blend in at a shady cantina or the Thieves’ Quarter of Kijimi. Ever since the balance of power in the galaxy was thrown off by the invasion of the First Order and the destruction of the New Republic, it has become very profitable for scoundrels to avoid picking a side during the escalating war between Leia’s Resistance and Kylo Ren’s forces. If Benicio Del Toro’s The Last Jedi character taught us anything, it’s not to trust a rogue, but we’ll have to see whether Zorri Bliss chooses the dark side, the light, or, most likely, herself when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters.

Source: https://www.vanityfair.com/

Categories Articles & Interviews Broadway Burn This

Keri Russell Makes a “Nerve-Wracking” Broadway Debut

After the sixth and final season of the Emmy-winning spy series The Americans wrapped last year, Keri Russell originally planned to take a break and spend more time with her three children at home in Brooklyn. Instead, she’s making her Broadway debut in the revival of Pulitzer Prize winner Lanford Wilson’s drama Burn This—one of the hottest tickets in New York this spring.

“I couldn’t pass up this opportunity and I feel like it’s the story’s passion that really resonated with me,” Russell said of the story, set in New York City in 1987, about an unlikely and tempestuous relationship between a dancer (Russell) and her former partner’s brother (Adam Driver). “These people are at a time in their life before they have to deal with house payments, kids, and responsibility. They are so passionate about their art and passionate about wanting everything in their life to be the best it can be. They want things to matter. They want their life to feel big and important and creative. I related to this.”

Speaking after her opening-night performance, which received a standing ovation, Russell continued, “In the midst of all the dark things that’s going on in the world and how depressing and hard it is right now politically, a story about passion, lust, desire, love, and all the good stuff you feel when you are young seemed like a nice change and a great escape.”

Russell and Driver will share the screen—or, at least, some part of the galaxy—in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker later this year, but it was Russell’s longtime partner (and Americans co-star), Matthew Rhys, who made the initial connection between them: he and Driver starred together in the off-Broadway play Look Back in Anger in 2012. “Matthew has been enormously helpful throughout this adventure,” said Russell. “He’s supportive and he’s my best critic. He’s seen the show and given me notes.”

In the seven years since his last appearance on Broadway, Driver has been busy working with seemingly every major film director and earning an Oscar nomination for BlacKkKlansman, but Burn This brings him back to his roots in a major way. He first played the role of Pale opposite his girlfriend—now his wife, actress Joanne Tucker—when they were both students at Juilliard. Continue reading Keri Russell Makes a “Nerve-Wracking” Broadway Debut

Categories Articles & Interviews Broadway Burn This

In Burn This, Adam Driver and Keri Russell Find Love in a Hopeless Place

Adam Driver strides into a Brooklyn warehouse wearing black boots, jeans, and a zip-up sweatshirt. Toweringly tall—he’s the rare movie star who appears taller in person—he extends his hand and applies a firm squeeze. He carries himself with confidence, but also a certain caution. (At the briefest mention of Star Wars, he recoils almost reflexively, insisting he can reveal nothing about the plot of the upcoming movie, his third in the franchise.) It’s a stance befitting an actor who has become one of the biggest stars in the world within a few short years, catapulted by his formidable charisma and ambition.

Driver’s magnetic intensity is the primary calling card for one of the most anticipated productions of the spring Broadway season, the Hudson Theater’s revival of Lanford Wilson’s drama Burn This, in which he will perform the part of Pale, the tempestuous restaurant manager at the center of the play. This is a coming home of sorts, not just because Driver first gained some acclaim in the New York theater world, but also because this 1987 work represents important unfinished business for the 35-year-old. During his final year at Juilliard, Driver first played Pale—appearing opposite his then girlfriend, the actress Joanne Tucker, now his wife—in what was the Juilliard equivalent of a senior thesis. It was unusual for a student to take on such a difficult and challenging role, but Driver had so impressed the school’s drama director that an exception was made.

And yet, when Driver is asked about that performance, he shakes his head bashfully. “I am embarrassed at all the things I didn’t understand,” he says. He is referring to the actions of his character, tasks as mundane as making a pot of tea: “I didn’t drink tea growing up in Indiana.” But the work involves nuance that would be hard for any actor in his early 20s to fully absorb, and he’s aware of that too. “You live life a little, and there’s just dynamics you don’t understand until you have a bit more experience.”

Those dynamics unfold in the unlikely romance between Pale and a sensitive modern dancer named Anna, played in this production by Keri Russell. The two are brought together when Pale’s brother, Robbie, a gay dancer who is closeted to his family and close to Anna, dies in a boating accident. Pale barges into Anna’s loft following the funeral, upending her passionless relationship with a screenwriter. Continue reading In Burn This, Adam Driver and Keri Russell Find Love in a Hopeless Place

Categories Articles & Interviews Broadway Burn This

Keri Russell on Conquering Her Broadway Nerves for ‘Burn This’

Keri Russell was terrified to do a play on Broadway. But that was exactly why she wanted to do it. After wrapping six seasons playing undercover Russian spy Elizabeth Jennings on FX’s The Americans, she was looking for a new challenge.

“It’s such a daunting job to take on, and it’s certainly the furthest thing from my comfort zone, which I guess was sort of what was appealing,” says Russell, who stars opposite Adam Driver in Burn This, which opens on Tuesday. “I thought it was just this incredible adventure that I couldn’t pass up, and it has absolutely proven to be that. It’s been so scary, and just getting over having to do this in front of people night after night, that has been a huge exercise for me. It’s not where I live, I tend to be more shy, more of an introvert, so I feel like we’re literally almost finished with previews and I am just now not going to throw up before I go on.”

The last time Russell was onstage was in the off-Broadway premiere of Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig in 2004, and she’s finding the Broadway stage a bigger undertaking.

In Burn This, Russell plays Anna, a dancer whose life is upended when her close friend and dance partner dies in a boating accident and his brother Pale (Driver) shows up at her apartment one night. Lanford Wilson’s play had its Broadway premiere in 1987 starring John Malkovich and Joan Allen. It was revived off-Broadway in 2002 with Edward Norton and Catherine Keener, but this production, directed by Michael Mayer, marks the work’s first Broadway revival. Continue reading Keri Russell on Conquering Her Broadway Nerves for ‘Burn This’

Categories Articles & Interviews Broadway Burn This

Adam Driver and Keri Russell Share The Stage In Burn This

When Pulitzer Prize-winner Lanford Wilson’s Burn This first opened on Broadway in 1987, its four-member cast included a luminous young actress named Joan Allen — already an accomplished stage performer at the start of a film career that would bring her more acclaim — and Allen’s fellow Steppenwolf Theatre Company member John Malkovich, by then celebrated for his work in both movies and theater.

More than 30 years later in the first Broadway revival, another duo carrying both critical cachet and star power – Academy Award-nominee Adam Driver and Golden Globe-winner Keri Russell – will bring Wilson’s modern classic back to Times Square, set to begin previews March 15 and open April 16 at the Hudson Theatre.

Fresh off a six-season run in the hit FX series The Americans, and known for the titular role in Felicity, Russell will make her Broadway debut, like Allen did, as Anna, a dancer and aspiring choreographer who has just lost her roommate and creative partner, Robbie, in a mysterious boating accident.

Driver, whose numerous hit films include BlacKkKlansman and the latest Star Wars entries, along with an Emmy-nominated turn on the hit HBO series Girls, last appeared on Broadway opposite Frank Langella in a 2011 revival of Terence Rattigan’s Man and Boy. Here he is cast as Pale, Robbie’s mercurial, intense older brother, a restaurant manager. Pale’s arrival at the downtown New York loft his brother shared with Anna and Larry (played by Brandon Uranowitz) further unsettles matters, particularly for Anna and her screenwriter boyfriend, Burton (played by Tony Award-nominee David Furr). Continue reading Adam Driver and Keri Russell Share The Stage In Burn This

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

Why The Americans’ Keri Russell deserves a Golden Globe

We live through history unaware of history, carried ever forward through transformative moments we will only recognize in hindsight. Yet there are rare occasions, in rare lives, when human beings get the chance to knowingly alter the course of human events. Consider, say, the beginning of the sixth season of The Americans, when the undercover KGB agent known as Elizabeth Jennings embarks on a rendezvous with global destiny. She’s given a toppest-of-top-secret mission, a late-stage Cold War bit of subterfuge that reaches toward the highest levels of Soviet-American relations. It’s a complicated mission, and the final season of FX’s spy drama kept sharpening its focus on Elizabeth, played with subtlety and rage and existential weariness and so much more by Keri Russell.

And now history is calling to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the voting body behind the Golden Globe awards. There is a profound wrong that must be righted, you see, a collective sin of our species that requires penance. Even though Russell spent six seasons of The Americans soul crunching Elizabeth’s morally ambiguous journey — even as she juggled wigs between espionage characters, sometimes resulting in two or three great separate performances per episode — she’s never won a major award for her work on the show.

Oh, she was recognized, sure. She won this year’s Television Critics Association award for Individual Achievement in a Drama, and critics always know best. And the Emmys nominated her thrice. In fact, this year the Emmys loaded up a few cannons full of trophies and fired a fusillade at everyone on The Americans except for anyone named “Keri Russell.” Showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg took the stage for a writing win. Russell’s costar/real-life partner Matthew Rhys landed Best Actor in a Drama. Continue reading Why The Americans’ Keri Russell deserves a Golden Globe

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The Americans: Keri Russell on Finally Unraveling Elizabeth Jennings

Ahead of the Emmys—Keri Russell’s last chance to win the award for The Americans—the actress tells Vanity Fair about her tough-as-nails KGB spy, and how her own mothering skills match up.

The Americans ended its Emmy-nominated, six-season run this past May. But Keri Russell still jokes that she isn’t sure why creator Joe Weisberg, a former CIA officer, cast her as the drama’s female lead. After all, Elizabeth Jennings is an ice-cold KGB spy who has no qualms about killing countless men and bedding others for intel.

“I thought Elizabeth should be, kind of, Brigitte Nielsen—this cool, sexy, spy lady,” Russell recently told Vanity Fair, deadpanning, “I’m pretty much afraid to answer my phone. My friend Mandy, who was on Felicity with me, used to call me and, after I’d say, ‘Hello,’ she’d say, ‘Why do you sound so afraid? You know it’s me calling!’”

Russell has a point—her first acting role was on the Mickey Mouse Club. Before The Americans, Russell was best known for playing the wholesome title character on WB’s college drama Felicity. When the show premiered in 1998, The New York Times noted in its review that Russell was “immensely likable” as a character “who struggles to stand up for herself.” Fifteen years later, playing Elizabeth Jennings in the series premiere of The Americans, Russell rammed the head of her rapist through a wall during a full-contact fight that left him bloody and struggling for breath. Continue reading The Americans: Keri Russell on Finally Unraveling Elizabeth Jennings