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Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell Talk Starring in New Dylan Thomas Play and Praise Taylor Swift for Introducing the Welsh Poet to a ‘New Generation’

Mathew Rhys has been an “unabashed” fan of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas for as long as he can remember.

He cemented his love of the writer — best known for his poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” — when he portrayed him in the 2008 biopic “The Edge of Love.”

“When you tell most English people that you love Dylan Thomas, they go, ‘Grrr,’ because it’s such a cliché,” Rhys says. “But I’m unabashed that I’m a lifer.”

He’ll play Thomas once again on May 14 in a one-night only stage reading of “Dear Mr. Thomas: A New Play for Voices,” a production by Christopher Monger about Welsh’s time in New York in the 1950s when the 92nd Street Y organized four U.S. tours for Dylan. He wrote the play “Under Milk Wood” during that time while also becoming a rock star-like celebrity known for his drunken escapades and womanizing. He famously stayed at the Chelsea Hotel before dying at a nearby hospital in 1953 when he was just 39.

Keri Russell will play Welsh’s assistant and mistress Liz Reitell. Rounding out the cast are Kate Burton, Gopal Divan, Betsy Zajko and Taylor Trensch.

I caught up with Rhys and Russell over Zoom from their New York home to talk Thomas, Taylor Swift referencing him in the title track of “The Tortured Poets Department” album and what other plays they’d like to collaborate on. Continue reading Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell Talk Starring in New Dylan Thomas Play and Praise Taylor Swift for Introducing the Welsh Poet to a ‘New Generation’

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Universal Sets True Story ‘Cocaine Bear’ for 2023 Release

Universal Pictures will release the new film “Cocaine Bear” on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 in theaters wide, the studio announced on Monday.

Wild as it may seem, the film is inspired by the 1985 true story of a drug runner’s plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it. Per the official synopsis, the thriller finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500- pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow… and blood.

Elizabeth Banks directed “Cocaine Bear” from a screenplay by Jimmy Warden (“The Babysitter 2: Killer Queen”). The cast includes Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kristofer Hivju (“Game of Thrones”), Kahyun Kim (“American Gods”), Christian Convery (“Sweet Tooth”), Brooklynn Prince (“The Florida Project”) and newcomer Scott Seiss.

This is Banks’ third feature directorial effort after making her debut with 2015’s “Pitch Perfect 2,” followed by Sony’s 2019 reboot “Charlie’s Angels” starring Kristen Stewart.

The February release date for “Cocaine Bear” puts it one week after the release of the Marvel sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and one week before Paramount’s “Dungeons & Dragons” movie.

“Cocaine Bear” is produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”) and Aditya Sood (“The Martian”) for Lord Miller, by Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman (“Pitch Perfect” franchise) for Brownstone Productions, and by Brian Duffield (“Spontaneous”). Robin Fisichella (“Ma”) and Nikki Baida executive produced.


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‘Antlers’ Gets Digital, Blu-Ray, and DVD Release Date

For those that didn’t get quite enough jumps during the Halloween season, Searchlight Pictures has announced that Antlers is on its way to Digital on December 21, followed by a Blu-ray and DVD release on January 4, 2022 for all of your thriller needs.

The film, which is based on a short story by Nick Antosca, centers around a small town in Oregon that is filled with dark secrets and urban myths surrounding a horned beast called a wendigo. The secrets begin to come to light when they are uncovered by a teacher (Keri Russell) and her sheriff brother (Jesse Plemons) as they attempt to give aid to a disturbed young boy. When the brother and sister duo start to dig deeper into the at-home goings-on of the boy’s household, they stumble further into the darkness towards a supernatural entity.

The film was directed by Scott Cooper (Hostiles), who also wrote the screenplay alongside C. Henry Chaisson and Antosca. Scare king Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) served as producer for this spine-chilling, monster-centered horror flick.

Along with Russell (The Americans, Felicity) and Plemons (Jungle Cruise, Breaking Bad), the film stars Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves), Scott Haze (Old Henry), Rory Cochrane (Dazed and Confused, Empire Records), and Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams, Uncle Buck).

Be sure to get your hands on Antlers when it comes out on Digital December 21 with a Blu-ray and DVD release to follow on January 4, 2022. Check out the Blu-ray box art as well as the full list of special features below:
– THE EVIL WITHIN: Co-writer/director Scott Cooper gives us a glimpse of the many complex layers at play in his approach to making Antlers, a horror film about very human concerns, and his most ambitious film to date.
– AN EXPLORATION OF MODERN HORROR WITH GUILLERMO DEL TORO: Producer Guillermo del Toro traces the lineage of elevated horror in cinema. Employing his encyclopedic knowledge and passion for the horror genre, he discusses the connection between mythology and human behavior.
– ARTIFACTS AND TOTEMS: The filmmakers discuss how they created this world of a small, tight-knit Northwest community of working-class Americans in bringing Scott Cooper’s vision to life.
– GODS WALK AMONG US: An in-depth exploration of the digital and practical effects used to create the film’s primal creatures.
– CRY OF THE WENDIGO: Discover the fascinating folklore behind the wendigo from the film’s First Nations consultants. Learn about the creature’s mythic origins and about its connection to man’s betrayal of the land.
– METAMORPHOSIS: At the center of Antlers is a transformative performance by Scott Haze. Hear about the actor’s preparation for filming, including how he lost some 70 pounds in order to play a deeply tragic character.
– COMIC-CON @ HOME WITH SCOTT COOPER AND GUILLERMO DEL TORO: Steve Weintraub moderates this candid Comic-Con@Home 2020 Panel interview with Guillermo del Toro and Scott Cooper. Hear the filmmakers describe their process, and learn who some of their filmmaking heroes are.


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Keri Russell Cast in ‘Extrapolations’ at Apple

Apple TV Plus announced that Edward Norton, Indira Varma, Keri Russell, Cherry Jones and Michael Gandolfini have been cast in “Extrapolations,” Scott Z. Burns upcoming climate change anthology series.

Russel, who has starred in “The Americans” and “Felicity,” plays Olivia Drew, a gun for hire. She is repped by WME, Burstein Company, Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern and Viewpoint.

The new additions join previously announced cast members Meryl Streep, Matthew Rhys, Marion Cotillard, Eiza Gonzalez, Tobey Maguire, Forest Whitaker, Kit Harrington, Sienna Miller, Gemma Chan, Tahar Rahim, Daveed Diggs, David Schwimmer and Adarsh Gourav, with more cast members yet to be announced. Over eight episodes, the series will tell stories of how upcoming changes to the planet will affect day-to-day life including love, faith, work and family.

“Extrapolations” is now in production, produced for Apple TV Plus by Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res. Executive producers include writer/director Burns, Ellenberg, Greg Jacobs, Dorothy Fortenberry and Media Res’ Lindsey Springer.


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Keri Russell and Director Scott Cooper on ‘Antlers,’ Disneyland, Guillermo del Toro, and Keri Russell’s Bon Jovi Video

With Antlers opening in theaters this weekend, I recently was able to speak with director Scott Cooper and Keri Russell about their horror-thriller. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film is based on Nick Antosca’s short story “The Quiet Boy” and it follows a small-town Oregon teacher (Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, who discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences. I don’t want to say too much more, except if you have seen the trailers, you know a creature is involved. Antlers also stars JT Corbitt, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, and Amy Madigan.

During the very fun interview, they talked about making Antlers, how the film is talking about what’s going on in the world without being preachy, why they wanted to make the film, and if someone has never seen any of their work before where they should start. In addition, last time I spoke to Scott Cooper it was with Guillermo del Toro and del Toro offered to take Scott to Disneyland for his first visit. I asked if he made the trip, which leads to a fun exchange.

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The Americans Star Keri Russell Weighs in on a Possible Revival

Premiering in 2013, FX’s The Americans became one of the most acclaimed dramas of the 2010s and, while it might not have set viewership records, it was spotlighted by a number of awards organizations, with the series earning acclaim for its story, performances, and filmmaking techniques. After six seasons, the series concluded in 2018, though the inherent premise of Russian spies posing as a suburban American family is rife with potential, leading fans to wonder if the concept could be revived or continued in some capacity, but star Keri Russell confirmed that, given how satisfying the series finale was, she doesn’t see how a future adventure could match the story’s sendoff. Russell can next be seen in Antlers, which hits theaters on October 29th.

“I don’t know that you can beat that ending,” Russell confirmed with in regards to the series somehow making a return. “That was a good ending, I don’t know if you can beat that. I wouldn’t want to mess with that. That was so wrong what happened, but so right. That’s my only … I mean, it would be [interesting] maybe to see what the kids do and they could do something, like a subversive payback somehow, but I don’t know, it was such a good ending. I don’t think I would mess with that one.”

Over the course of the series, Russell herself was nominated for multiple awards, including three Emmys and two Golden Globe Awards. For its final season, The Americans won both the Emmy and the Golden Globe for best TV drama. Russell’s co-star Matthew Rhys would also earn an Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in the final season.

In Antlers, a small-town Oregon teacher (Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences. The new trailer reveals that dangerous secret to be that someone close to the young boy, perhaps his father, is possessed by none other than Wendigo, with the boy bringing them their meals (the other people in the town).


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Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Announces New Board Members Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy (Conservancy) is pleased to announce the election of Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell, and Jennifer Votaw to the organization’s Board of Directors. The election took place at today’s Conservancy September 21 Board Meeting.

“As longtime supporters of the Conservancy and advocates for our cultural, recreational, and educational programming, we are delighted to welcome Matthew, Keri, and Jen to the board,” said Chris Coffey, Conservancy Board Chairman.”

“Matthew and I are excited to join the Conservancy board,” said Keri Russell. “We are here practically every day enjoying the Park’s amazing amenities and participating in the Conservancy’s extensive program lineup.”