You probably met Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby on long-running sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” but he’d like the chance to re-introduce himself. Radnor’s sophomore feature effort, “Liberal Arts” (out in limited release Friday), concerns the angst of a 35-year-old New York admissions counselor, Jesse (played by Radnor, who also wrote and directed the film), who graduated from college but never really matriculated into adulthood. When Jesse returns to his midwestern alma mater for his second-favorite professor’s retirement, a chance meeting with 19-year-old student Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen) and the blossoming relationship that ensues, force him to decide whether he’s going to grow up or stay stuck in the past.
Radnor explained that Jesse is grappling with some of the same arrested development as his “HIMYM” character, but said that he hopes his movie delves slightly deeper into life, love and early adulthood in New York City than his day job does.
“It’s, to me, a kind of loving but hopefully honest exploration of some really deep questions about nostalgia and aging and growing older, the purpose of reading, of a liberal arts education, of how the kind of analytical mind can both save you and turn on you,” he said. “There’s a lot of things going on in ‘Liberal Arts’ maybe that you can’t quite tackle in 22 minutes on television.”
Radnor spoke with Moviefone on a press day ahead of the film’s release and answered our nagging questions about channeling a teenage girl, being 19 forever and who, exactly, he thinks is “HIMYM”’s titular mother.
For Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo, the experience of making a movie is almost as important as the end result. Take, for example, her new indie, “Why Stop Now,” based on the 2008 short film “Predisposed,” in which she also had a starring role: Leo cultivated an important working relationship during the quick shoot.
“The thing that leaps to my mind about that less-than-a-month last summer: Jesse Eisenberg, Jesse Eisenberg and Jesse Eisenberg,” she told Moviefone during a recent chat ahead of the film’s August 17 release.
“I knew the first time I met him that there was a great hope that he’d play my son in the film,” she said. ”[I would have been upset] if anybody else would have ended up playing that boy, because he was so perfect for it, the maternal instinct I had for him the second I met him, and the respect and the admiration.”
As luck would have it, Eisenberg would end up joining Leo for “Why Stop Now.” The film tells the story of a son trying to get his drug-addicted mom, Penny (Leo), to rehab, and himself to a performing arts college. To get to their happy ending, the mother-son duo must navigate red tape, a dealer named Sprinkles (played by Tracy Morgan) and a sock puppet with a vicious temper.
Leo, who was recently passed over for the role of Mags in the second installment of “The Hunger Games” franchise, spoke with Moviefone about dysfunctional families, cliches that don’t make sense to her and how a little gold man named Oscar changed her life.
The long-awaited “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” has its Mags — and it’s not Melissa Leo.
“Lynn Cohen is Mags!” Elizabeth Banks, who plays Capitol crony Effie Trinket in the popular series, crowed on her blog early Monday morning. Lionsgate confirmed Cohen’s casting late last week.
Cohen, whose previous credits include “Sex and the City” and “Munich,” among others, will play the aging former Hunger Games winner who becomes important to heroine Katniss Everdeen over the course of the series’ second installment.
That was news to Leo, who was rumored to be a contender for the role.
Such is the mess where Elizabeth Banks finds herself in “People Like Us,” which hits theaters this Friday. Here, she plays Frankie, a single mom trying to make ends meet. Starring alongside Banks is Chris Pine as Sam, the half-brother Frankie’s music-producing dad chose over her and her mother. After their father dies, Sam entangles himself in the lives of Frankie and her son, all the while wondering when to reveal his true identity — and the bag of cash he’s been dragging around with him.
Of course, Banks is only playing a part — one of many this year. On top of “People Like Us,” the actress also starred in “The Hunger Games,” “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “Man on a Ledge,” and had a recurring role on NBC’s “30 Rock.”
Banks recently sat down with Moviefone in New York to answer our burning (sorry) questions about “Catching Fire,” “People Like Us,” and reveal the particular set of skills she has that would help her as a Hunger Games tribute.
Elizabeth Banks has been a busy woman this year: she has already appeared in three films and several episodes of “30 Rock,” with “People Like Us” and “Pitch Perfect” coming up. Her schedule shows no signs of slowing down, either, with several projects listed on her IMDb page for 2013.
However, one movie of hers that may notbe coming to a theater near you is “Frank or Francis.” Banks told Moviefone that the highly anticipated film, written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, is currently at a standstill.
“We didn’t get to shoot that movie,” she said during an interview ahead of the release of “People Like Us.” “It was ready to go, and, as many movies do, it fell apart at the last minute.”
Martin Short’s elastic face has morphed into many memorable characters, including Jiminy Glick, Ed Grimley and an impressively passable Katharine Hepburn. The latest persona the comic slipped into, however, required no facial contortion: Short-voiced Stefano, a friendly Italian sea lion who performs in the circus in “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”
Moviefone spoke with Short ahead of the film’s June 8 release about his favorite characters, what you might find in his garage, and his “bitchy sarcastic side.” (Don’t worry, we didn’t pull a Kathie Lee Gifford and awkwardly ask him about his personal life.)