Interviews

Janelle Monae Interview: Homecoming Season 2 | Screen Rant

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Sam Esmail’s psychological thriller Homecoming is back next week for another season on Amazon, but the story has shifted to focus on newcomer Janelle Monae. Monae's character, Jackie, wakes up in a boat in the middle of a lake with no memory of her identity or origins. As she searches for answers, her story will lead her back to the Geist Group and the minds behind the Homecoming Initiative.

The talented actress spoke with Screen Rant about the challenge of taking on such a unique role, as well as her thoughts on how the show deviates from the podcast on which the first season was based.

This season sets up the viewers to make discoveries with your character, Jackie. Can you talk to me about the mystery at the center of the season?

Janelle Monae: Well, I was a fan of season one and the podcasts, and when I read the scripts for season two, I said, "If they can bring all the things that make the show unique in such an outlier to season two, it's a yes for me." And what I feel like they've done is exceeded my expectations, and I think the fans of season one will think the same thing. They've anted up and elevated the show; they've anted up on the action, on the mystery, on the kind of psychological thriller aspect of it. The score is incredible.

 

I think that the cast - having legends like Chris Cooper and Joan Cusack as a part of this series - just makes it even more special. Working with Hong and Stephan, who killed last season - I think that their characters are even more driven. You'll see different sides of them. And so, getting all of us together, to me makes for something unique in the TV space.

It seems like with each acting role you take, you challenge yourself even further. Can you talk to me about the biggest challenge for this role?

Janelle Monae: The biggest challenge was knowing how you play someone who has lost their memory. Because you don't want to play it one-note, where you're just walking around, confused and disoriented the entire time. So, I had to really do some studying. I watched this movie called Before I Go To Sleep with Nicole Kidman. I watched all of the Jason Bourne films. I watched Memento and looked online at what it was like to have amnesia and deal with trauma with the brain. Then I had to do studying with certain veteran who came back and maybe they didn't have memories.

 

So I did a lot of studying, and one of the things that I think I focused in on with this role was to play her like she hadn't lost her memory, but she knew she had lost her memory. Because then, what that says is, "Okay, I lost my memory, I'm trying to get answers. But I cannot let whoever I'm talking to think that they can take advantage of me." And everyone is a suspect. I don't know who to trust.

 

So, Jackie has her guard up a bit as she's trying to uncover these answers. So it was like, how do I strike that balance of not saying that I completely lost my memory and I'm completely a fish out of water. And also how to protect myself.

Season one is based on the podcast; season two isn't based on the podcast, but it does really open up the world. Were you a fan of the podcast at all?

Janelle Monae: Yes! Yeah, I listened to the podcast and loved it. I think that what they were able to do, to adapt podcasts to TV - they kept integrity there. And I think they got the casting right. It had to be, you know, that waitress. Everything had to make sense and visually match up, or at least elevate that podcast.

More: What To Expect From Homecoming Season 2

Homecoming season 2 is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rob Brydon Interview: The Trip To Greece | Screen Rant

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Michael Winterbottom's journey through various idyllic European cuisines becomes a literal odyssey in the fourth and final film, The Trip To Greece. The series, which started as a British television sitcom in 2010, follows comedic actors Steve Coogan (This Time With Alan Partridge) and Rob Brydon (Holmes & Watson) as fictionalized versions of themselves who have been commissioned to do a restaurant tour of different European countries.

Every season has been edited into a film for overseas consumption, and the latest film will be available on digital and video on demand starting May 22. Not only does The Trip To Greece feel like a true closing of a chapter, it also heightens its literary allusions more than every by paying strong homage to the ancient Greek tale of Odysseus.

Related: 10 British Comedy Shows That Need Worldwide Recognition

Rob Brydon, who plays the fun-loving and impersonation-obsessed version of himself onscreen, spoke with Screen Rant about the experience of the crew's final trip. He shared how much homework he didn't do for the role, which parts felt closest to and furthest from his real self, and where he'd like to visit next on a trip of his own.

You, Steve and Michael have created a whole universe of the fictionalized Steve and Rob which dates back to A Cock and Bull Story in 2005. How have these caricatures of yourselves developed, and how different from you would you say they are?  

Rob Brydon: Well, I think they're essentially us, but they're just exaggerated to serve the comedy and to serve the drama. It's just taking it and stretching it here and there. So, it's essentially who we are. You know, Steve is more driven and ambitious, while I'm more easygoing. But then we just exaggerate it for comic effect.

The Trip feels like it could go on forever, with both of you visiting different locations. Why was this the right time to make the fourth installment its final one?

Rob Brydon: I think that, for me, it's always been a concern going back to it. I have a comedian's instinct for getting off the stage while they're still laughing. This was the fourth one, so it was slightly born out of fear about overstaying our welcome. You know, leave them wanting more.

 

And then with this one, because it's Odysseus - we're following Odysseus' journey, and it's about homecoming. It seemed right, and it was a sort of consensus between the three of us that it would be a good time to end it. I can't overstate the importance of leaving people wanting more.

I thought it was fascinating how Trip To Greece broke up the story of Odysseus. Steve's story is that of a son searching for his father and vice, and then Rob is returning to his wife after a voyage. What kind of conversations led to that being the overarching element of the film?

Rob Brydon: Well, no conversations at all. Just Michael Winterbottom saying to us, "This is what we're going to do." Michael is the one who writes the story; Michael decides where we're going. We really do, without being glib, just turn up. Michael has drawn the pictures and we color them in is how I would put it. All the plot decisions and things that happen are entirely Michael, and the literary allusions are his. But then all the riffs and all the funny bits are ours.

In order to keep up with all the literary allusions that like Steve is throwing at Rob, were you assigned any research by Michael that you needed to do? Or did you fly by the seat of your pants since Rob isn't supposed to know as much anyway?

Rob Brydon: He does send the stuff, and Steve read up a little bit. I didn't at all. And generally over the four films, I haven't done the homework that I should have done. This time I said to myself, "I've got time." Let's say it was about four months before we were going to be shooting. I said, "I've got time now. I'll read the Odyssey. I'll really start to know, and then it'll be interesting. It'll be different, because when Steve says things, I'll be able to dazzle him with facts."

 

But, true to form, I just never got around to it. And I think it's probably best, because comedically it just works better if he's trying to impress you with all this knowledge, and he's wearing it so heavily. And I'm just breezing through it, and I know more about Grease the movies than Greece the country.

How would you characterize your working relationship with Steve and Michael? What draws you to making films together?

Rob Brydon: It's probably the most creative that I feel in everything I do, because it's a very small crew. And because we shoot chronologically, that adds another dimension to it. You feel like a wandering minstrel or a troubadour or a player in Shakespearean times, roaming the country. Because wherever we go, we perform. It's a very small crew and because we improvise so much of it, that gives you this huge feeling of creativity which is very, very enjoyable.

 

There's pressure, obviously, in as much as you've got to come up with stuff. You've got to improvise it. It's not all there on the on the page, and sometimes, that's easier than other times. But you do learn with experience that if nothing's coming, then you really just wait. You don't panic; you just relax. That's really important. And eventually something will come.

Is there any improvised banter for this trip or any meal in particular that stands out most in your memory?

Rob Brydon: That interesting; let me think. From this one, I enjoyed the bit right at the beginning. And I think it's in the film cut, because of course, it's a series over here. Sometimes I mention something and it's not in the movie cut, but there's a bit where Steve talks about going out with a blanket into his garden to read a book, and there were flies and he has to go back indoors. I did enjoy that.

 

That was very much my kind of humor. That's right up my street, that sort of thing. I'm impersonating a very famous British talk show host called Michael Parkinson, which I think I did in The Trip To Italy as well, and I like that very much. It's quite a nice device for us, that Steve talks and talks and talks and then I try and pull the rug out from under him. So, I do remember that one being very enjoyable.

I know that Steve's father being ill in the film was probably a sensitive topic in real life as well, and Michael said that he was also inspired by the death of his own father. How was that process for you, both as an actor on the outside of that and the character who support his friend silently through it?

Rob Brydon: Well, that's interesting, because to a degree I've done a lot more comedy than I have tragedy and I feel a lot more sure-footed around the comedy. And then you come into these scenes. So  really, for that sequence in which we're driving to get back to the port together and then we're on the boat together, I'm just trying to feel it. I'm just trying to be instinctive; trying not to do too much; trying just to be. Because, of course, it's very much Steve's story then and we're focusing on him. And I really did just try to think, "What would I do in that situation?"

 

So, there's an example where it's very much just been ourselves. There's no, there's no edge to that; there's no angle to that. That is, pretty much, how I imagine I would be.

Meanwhile, Rob's scenes with his wife paint a very loving picture of his home life. How would you describe their dynamic?

Rob Brydon: Unrealistic. I'm always saying to Michael - when Rebecca talks to me on the phone and when we have scenes together, it's as if I'm the loveliest person in the world. Which of course what Michael wants to contrast [Steve], but that that is not my situation.

 

Rebecca's delight with my impersonations couldn't be further from the truth. I mean, I don't do them - in The Trip, I even do them in bed. I mean, good Lord, I certainly wouldn't do that in real life. And if I did, it certainly wouldn't be indulged; it wouldn't be met with laughter and delight.

So, I always find those scenes quite difficult to play, because they bear no relation to my reality whatsoever.

I know this is the final series and film, but if you were to work on something else with Steve or Michael, where would you want to go? Once were allowed to go places again, that is.

Rob Brydon: Just before we shot this last year, I had been touring with my stand up show in Australia and New Zealand. So, either of those. I've been to Australia before; I've never been to New Zealand, and I fell in love with New Zealand. I would love to find a reason to go back there at someone else's expense.

More: 15 Best Movies For Greek Mythology Fans

The Trip To Greece is available on digital and through VOD starting May 22.

Writer/Directory Gregory Nava Interview: Selena | Screen Rant

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Selena Quintanilla is remembered as "The Queen of Tejano," a Tex-Mex sound that combines American and Mexican styles to create something truly unique. Her life and music truly captured both sides of the term, "Latina-American." In March of 1995, while recording her crossover album, Dreaming of You, she was murdered by her fan club president, who had been embezzling money from Selena and her family. It was a senseless crime that stuck down a massively talented artist just as she was about to fulfill her destiny as a pop superstar for the ages.

Two years later, Selena's life was immortalized through the film, Selena, written and directed by Gregory Nava (El Norte, My Family). In addition to its status as an incredible tribute to the artist, the movie also turned its young lead, Jennifer Lopez, into a movie star. The film also stars Edward James Olmost, Constance Marie, Jon Seda. Between the true story of Selena's life, the irrepressible power of her music, and a career-affirming performance from Lopez, Selena is remembered as one of the greatest rock and roll biopics ever made. It's as sincere and entertaining as it is triumphant and tragic.

Related: John Leguizamo Writes Article On Need For Latino Superheroes

While promoting the release of Selena on Blu-ray, Nava spoke to Screen Rant about making a movie for Latino-Americans, working alongside Selena's family in telling her story, and shooting the film's spectacular musical sequences. He also discusses the uphill battle he faced when the studio tried to cast a white actress as Selena. Fortunately, Nava and the rest of the filmmakers were able to ensure that a genuine Latina actress would play the role.

Selena releases May 19 on Blu-ray, via the Warner Bros. Archive Collection.

I don't know if I can fully articulate just how important your movie, Selena, was for me growing up. My mom is Honduran, so I'm first-generation Latino-American on her side, and this movie really captures both sides of that term, "Latino-American."

That's what we set out to do. I'm so happy that you love the movie. We worked so hard to capture our culture and to capture Selena's life, and I have to give a shout-out to Jennifer Lopez and the Quintanilla family, and the people of Texas. They all came together to make this film the special film that it is. And the biggest shout-out to Selena herself. There's a magic in the film, and I think it's because the spirit of Selena was with us when we made it.

My mom always made sure I knew Pedro Infante and Celia Cruz in addition to Elvis and The Beatles, and we were definitely a big Selena house, even before Dreaming of You.

It's tough to be a Mexican-American! It just makes us all the richer, as a result.

I feel that way, completely. So, kinda building off that, at one point in the movie, they're watching the concert, and they're talking about the prospect of Selena recording an album in English, and Edward James Olmos has that incredible line, "We've been ready for a long time."

It's a strong statement. No matter what we do, no matter how long we're here... My father fought in World War II. But there's always this journey to, "When are we really going to be accepted?" You see now, in our current administration, they're putting children in cages and separating families, and you go, "When is it going to happen?" There were deportations in the 1930s, where they deported everybody of Mexican heritage – millions of people – to make jobs for "real Americans." And most of these people were citizens of the United States. And one of them was my grandfather, who was deported in 1931, and my family was split up. Despite that fact, my father served in World War II. We're always having this struggle. So when Selena does her English-language album, it's such a great moment, and you know that she's crossed over. We love her, we love Selena in our community, because she had that special light. Her spirit lives on with us, and is an inspiration to us all to this day.

Absolutely, and the movie is an important part of that legacy.

I'm so happy that the movie has been able to keep this light alive, you know? And it's not just with the Latino community. It's crossed over completely to the whole country. Young women and people all over the country love her, and now the whole world. The Quintanilla family told me that people come from China, France, Ethiopia, from everywhere, to visit the Selena museum, and it's because they see the movie. I'm so proud that we were able to bring her light to the world.

The movie was controversial for how quickly it was put into development, but it's since been understood that you and Abraham and everyone who made the movie, you needed to be the ones to draw the line, to define her life before the gossip and tabloids took it away from you.

Exactly. That was the family's primary concern. They wanted to have their legacy cemented in a positive, beautiful way. She was a positive beautiful young woman. It was tragic that she was taken from us so soon. The wisdom they displayed in wanting to make that film was, again, I think it was Selena's spirit. And again, here you have the perfect actress to play her, Jennifer Lopez. She had the same journey and is super talented. They're the two greatest icons of our community. Both women, Jennifer Lopez, and Selena, they meet in this film. Something like that has never happened in the history of film. It was very special. I think it's another example of Selena's light being with us, and guiding us.

I know there was some flak because Jennifer is Puerto Rican and not Mexican, but for me, in my house, it was not an issue. We're Honduran, and we lived in the Bronx. And when my parents told me that a Latina from the Bronx could become a movie star and a famous singer, that just took my imagination to a whole new place, it made the world seem more open to me.

It's funny, because I had to fight to get a Latina the part!

What?!

The studio, the way they think is, like, "Well, we've got the hispanic audience because it's Selena, so let's get a white girl to play Selena, and then we can get the Anglo audience!"

Oh boy.

And we were like, oh no. Nooooooo. We were very stubborn. "We're getting a Latina to play Selena, punto final." So then when people say, "You got the wrong kind of Latina," I'm like, "Oh please." People don't understand how hard we had to fight. But they also didn't understand that Jennifer had to fight for that role. We auditioned thousands of young women for that part. We picked twelve and did very in-depth auditions, including Jennifer. And she worked hard. When we saw those auditions, it was clear, this was the actress to play Selena. She channelled her so beautifully. Jennifer is a brilliant actress. She's a great singer and a great dancer, but her greatest talent is as an actress, and you see that on screen. The minute we did that Houston Astrodome concert scene, with 35,000 extras, everybody fell in love with Jennifer as Selena. Then, when the movie came out, there was no question. It's regarded as one of the greatest performances in the history of musical biopics, and it certainly is that.

I'm thinking about how so many of my childhood heroes, all of whom were rock and rollers, were taken down, one way or the other, so long before their time. I'm thinking of Elvis, Selena, John Lennon, Richie Valens, all of these people gave us a fraction of what they had to offer, but I still, with all my heart, believe that it was enough for each of them to change the world. The world would be different without them.

Absolutely. She was such a special young women. She was super talented, but one thing that really struck me, in doing all the interviews... The family and her friends, and her husband, Chris Perez, were so open with me. They shared so much. It was clear that, over and above her incredible musical talent, she had this ability to touch people's hearts in a way that was very special. That really impressed me. I felt, if we could capture that on the screen, and that was our greatest challenge, then she could continue to touch people's hearts throughout the world. I'm so happy that the film was able to accomplish that.

And now a whole new generation can experience the movie in HD.

This Blu-ray is more than just the movie. It has extras. We did an extended version of the film for television with more scenes and more musical numbers. And people are always asking me, how did you do this? How did you make this movie? There's a beautiful documentary that we shot, with interviews with me, with Jennifer, with the Quintanilla family, talking about how we made the film. And all these outtakes of scenes, a whole bunch of scenes that didn't appear in either version of the film. So you can see more scenes with Jennifer and Eddie and everybody. I know, for her fans, this is going to be very special. So, May 19, people can sit at home and once again enjoy the wonderful story of Selena and her family.

In the movie, I love that there's so many complete musical performances. I find that to be such a crucial element of a rock and roll biopic, and so many of these movies drop the ball and speed through them and cut away after just a few seconds, and that is always such a waste to me. In Selena, there's that incredible Como la Flor sequence, with the, I don't know if it's supposed to be a Woodstock homage, but that triple split-screen, it's just beautiful, very much like the classic Woodstock movie. I love that so much. The movie really lets the music speak for itself.

I'll tell you why the film is done that way. I conceived of the musical numbers differently. In those musical biopics, it's like you see the story, and then it stops to do a musical number, and then they start with the story again. I went, I don't want to do it that way. To me, all of the music parallels emotional changes in her life, and her development as a person. All the musical numbers, I saw as a continuity. They're all dramatic scenes. You see her, that first big number with Jennifer, where she takes her jacket off and the bustier, and then the first big moment, that Monterey concert, where she has to calm the crowd and she becomes one with her audience. That's where she becomes a superstar, because she rises to the occasion in that moment. Each musical number is dramatic. And then the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom scene is her independence. She has now become an independent woman. She's married Chris, she's gotten her family to accept it, she's gone against the will of her father and become her own person, and Bidi Bidi Bom Bom is a celebration of that. All these musical numbers are part of her life, and they're dramatic scenes, so the continuity is absolutely smooth throughout each one. Cinematically, I wanted to find ways in order to make the audience feel those changes. So we did that beautiful triptych in the Monterey concert, with her and the fans around her. So you can really feel her and the sun and moon, the elements were with her, and the fans were with her, and they all become one, and then it finishes with that blossoming flower, Como la Flor. We wanted to use each cinema in order to underlie the drama of what was happening with Selena's life in that time. I'm so happy you noticed that, because we really worked hard at doing those musical numbers. I think they're very important. Each song meant something to her development as a woman.

Finally, take me back to the beginning. What was it like when the movie was first brought to you, were you apprehensive, or like, "Let's go!"

I had a big hit with Mi Familia (My Family), and people thought I was the right filmmaker to do this. I had to make the decision whether or not to do it, but many people, including my representation, were advising me against it. So I was thinking about it. I thought it was a very important film to make for our community. So, I was walking in my neighborhood in Venice, California, where there are a lot of Mexican-Americans, a lot of Chicanos like myself and Mexicanos. And I encountered these two young girls, Mexican-American girls. One was eight, and one was ten years old. And they had Selena t-shirts. And I asked them, "Why do you love Selena?" And they said, "Because she looks like us." And that really touched me deeply, and I thought, at that moment, I would make this film. I knew that our young people needed to see themselves on the screen. They needed their princess. So I said, I'm going to make this movie for these young girls. It was a really powerful moment for me. And then we had a 20th anniversary screening a couple of years ago, and six thousand people came! And I saw all these grown-up girls with their own daughters, all dressed up like Selena. And everybody danced with the film, they knew all the dialogue. It was a total celebration, and I thought, oh my goodness, we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The film is more popular today than when it was first released. Again, I think that's due to the spirit of Selena that was with us.

More: Every Upcoming Music Biopic

Selena releases May 19 on Blu-ray, via the Warner Bros. Archive Collection.

Writer/Directory Gregory Nava Interview: Selena | Screen Rant

0

Selena Quintanilla is remembered as "The Queen of Tejano," a Tex-Mex sound that combines American and Mexican styles to create something truly unique. Her life and music truly captured both sides of the term, "Latina-American." In March of 1995, while recording her crossover album, Dreaming of You, she was murdered by her fan club president, who had been embezzling money from Selena and her family. It was a senseless crime that stuck down a massively talented artist just as she was about to fulfill her destiny as a pop superstar for the ages.

Two years later, Selena's life was immortalized through the film, Selena, written and directed by Gregory Nava (El Norte, My Family). In addition to its status as an incredible tribute to the artist, the movie also turned its young lead, Jennifer Lopez, into a movie star. The film also stars Edward James Olmost, Constance Marie, Jon Seda. Between the true story of Selena's life, the irrepressible power of her music, and a career-affirming performance from Lopez, Selena is remembered as one of the greatest rock and roll biopics ever made. It's as sincere and entertaining as it is triumphant and tragic.

Related: John Leguizamo Writes Article On Need For Latino Superheroes

While promoting the release of Selena on Blu-ray, Nava spoke to Screen Rant about making a movie for Latino-Americans, working alongside Selena's family in telling her story, and shooting the film's spectacular musical sequences. He also discusses the uphill battle he faced when the studio tried to cast a white actress as Selena. Fortunately, Nava and the rest of the filmmakers were able to ensure that a genuine Latina actress would play the role.

Selena releases May 19 on Blu-ray, via the Warner Bros. Archive Collection.

I don't know if I can fully articulate just how important your movie, Selena, was for me growing up. My mom is Honduran, so I'm first-generation Latino-American on her side, and this movie really captures both sides of that term, "Latino-American."

That's what we set out to do. I'm so happy that you love the movie. We worked so hard to capture our culture and to capture Selena's life, and I have to give a shout-out to Jennifer Lopez and the Quintanilla family, and the people of Texas. They all came together to make this film the special film that it is. And the biggest shout-out to Selena herself. There's a magic in the film, and I think it's because the spirit of Selena was with us when we made it.

My mom always made sure I knew Pedro Infante and Celia Cruz in addition to Elvis and The Beatles, and we were definitely a big Selena house, even before Dreaming of You.

It's tough to be a Mexican-American! It just makes us all the richer, as a result.

I feel that way, completely. So, kinda building off that, at one point in the movie, they're watching the concert, and they're talking about the prospect of Selena recording an album in English, and Edward James Olmos has that incredible line, "We've been ready for a long time."

It's a strong statement. No matter what we do, no matter how long we're here... My father fought in World War II. But there's always this journey to, "When are we really going to be accepted?" You see now, in our current administration, they're putting children in cages and separating families, and you go, "When is it going to happen?" There were deportations in the 1930s, where they deported everybody of Mexican heritage – millions of people – to make jobs for "real Americans." And most of these people were citizens of the United States. And one of them was my grandfather, who was deported in 1931, and my family was split up. Despite that fact, my father served in World War II. We're always having this struggle. So when Selena does her English-language album, it's such a great moment, and you know that she's crossed over. We love her, we love Selena in our community, because she had that special light. Her spirit lives on with us, and is an inspiration to us all to this day.

Absolutely, and the movie is an important part of that legacy.

I'm so happy that the movie has been able to keep this light alive, you know? And it's not just with the Latino community. It's crossed over completely to the whole country. Young women and people all over the country love her, and now the whole world. The Quintanilla family told me that people come from China, France, Ethiopia, from everywhere, to visit the Selena museum, and it's because they see the movie. I'm so proud that we were able to bring her light to the world.

The movie was controversial for how quickly it was put into development, but it's since been understood that you and Abraham and everyone who made the movie, you needed to be the ones to draw the line, to define her life before the gossip and tabloids took it away from you.

Exactly. That was the family's primary concern. They wanted to have their legacy cemented in a positive, beautiful way. She was a positive beautiful young woman. It was tragic that she was taken from us so soon. The wisdom they displayed in wanting to make that film was, again, I think it was Selena's spirit. And again, here you have the perfect actress to play her, Jennifer Lopez. She had the same journey and is super talented. They're the two greatest icons of our community. Both women, Jennifer Lopez, and Selena, they meet in this film. Something like that has never happened in the history of film. It was very special. I think it's another example of Selena's light being with us, and guiding us.

I know there was some flak because Jennifer is Puerto Rican and not Mexican, but for me, in my house, it was not an issue. We're Honduran, and we lived in the Bronx. And when my parents told me that a Latina from the Bronx could become a movie star and a famous singer, that just took my imagination to a whole new place, it made the world seem more open to me.

It's funny, because I had to fight to get a Latina the part!

What?!

The studio, the way they think is, like, "Well, we've got the hispanic audience because it's Selena, so let's get a white girl to play Selena, and then we can get the Anglo audience!"

Oh boy.

And we were like, oh no. Nooooooo. We were very stubborn. "We're getting a Latina to play Selena, punto final." So then when people say, "You got the wrong kind of Latina," I'm like, "Oh please." People don't understand how hard we had to fight. But they also didn't understand that Jennifer had to fight for that role. We auditioned thousands of young women for that part. We picked twelve and did very in-depth auditions, including Jennifer. And she worked hard. When we saw those auditions, it was clear, this was the actress to play Selena. She channelled her so beautifully. Jennifer is a brilliant actress. She's a great singer and a great dancer, but her greatest talent is as an actress, and you see that on screen. The minute we did that Houston Astrodome concert scene, with 35,000 extras, everybody fell in love with Jennifer as Selena. Then, when the movie came out, there was no question. It's regarded as one of the greatest performances in the history of musical biopics, and it certainly is that.

I'm thinking about how so many of my childhood heroes, all of whom were rock and rollers, were taken down, one way or the other, so long before their time. I'm thinking of Elvis, Selena, John Lennon, Richie Valens, all of these people gave us a fraction of what they had to offer, but I still, with all my heart, believe that it was enough for each of them to change the world. The world would be different without them.

Absolutely. She was such a special young women. She was super talented, but one thing that really struck me, in doing all the interviews... The family and her friends, and her husband, Chris Perez, were so open with me. They shared so much. It was clear that, over and above her incredible musical talent, she had this ability to touch people's hearts in a way that was very special. That really impressed me. I felt, if we could capture that on the screen, and that was our greatest challenge, then she could continue to touch people's hearts throughout the world. I'm so happy that the film was able to accomplish that.

And now a whole new generation can experience the movie in HD.

This Blu-ray is more than just the movie. It has extras. We did an extended version of the film for television with more scenes and more musical numbers. And people are always asking me, how did you do this? How did you make this movie? There's a beautiful documentary that we shot, with interviews with me, with Jennifer, with the Quintanilla family, talking about how we made the film. And all these outtakes of scenes, a whole bunch of scenes that didn't appear in either version of the film. So you can see more scenes with Jennifer and Eddie and everybody. I know, for her fans, this is going to be very special. So, May 19, people can sit at home and once again enjoy the wonderful story of Selena and her family.

In the movie, I love that there's so many complete musical performances. I find that to be such a crucial element of a rock and roll biopic, and so many of these movies drop the ball and speed through them and cut away after just a few seconds, and that is always such a waste to me. In Selena, there's that incredible Como la Flor sequence, with the, I don't know if it's supposed to be a Woodstock homage, but that triple split-screen, it's just beautiful, very much like the classic Woodstock movie. I love that so much. The movie really lets the music speak for itself.

I'll tell you why the film is done that way. I conceived of the musical numbers differently. In those musical biopics, it's like you see the story, and then it stops to do a musical number, and then they start with the story again. I went, I don't want to do it that way. To me, all of the music parallels emotional changes in her life, and her development as a person. All the musical numbers, I saw as a continuity. They're all dramatic scenes. You see her, that first big number with Jennifer, where she takes her jacket off and the bustier, and then the first big moment, that Monterey concert, where she has to calm the crowd and she becomes one with her audience. That's where she becomes a superstar, because she rises to the occasion in that moment. Each musical number is dramatic. And then the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom scene is her independence. She has now become an independent woman. She's married Chris, she's gotten her family to accept it, she's gone against the will of her father and become her own person, and Bidi Bidi Bom Bom is a celebration of that. All these musical numbers are part of her life, and they're dramatic scenes, so the continuity is absolutely smooth throughout each one. Cinematically, I wanted to find ways in order to make the audience feel those changes. So we did that beautiful triptych in the Monterey concert, with her and the fans around her. So you can really feel her and the sun and moon, the elements were with her, and the fans were with her, and they all become one, and then it finishes with that blossoming flower, Como la Flor. We wanted to use each cinema in order to underlie the drama of what was happening with Selena's life in that time. I'm so happy you noticed that, because we really worked hard at doing those musical numbers. I think they're very important. Each song meant something to her development as a woman.

Finally, take me back to the beginning. What was it like when the movie was first brought to you, were you apprehensive, or like, "Let's go!"

I had a big hit with Mi Familia (My Family), and people thought I was the right filmmaker to do this. I had to make the decision whether or not to do it, but many people, including my representation, were advising me against it. So I was thinking about it. I thought it was a very important film to make for our community. So, I was walking in my neighborhood in Venice, California, where there are a lot of Mexican-Americans, a lot of Chicanos like myself and Mexicanos. And I encountered these two young girls, Mexican-American girls. One was eight, and one was ten years old. And they had Selena t-shirts. And I asked them, "Why do you love Selena?" And they said, "Because she looks like us." And that really touched me deeply, and I thought, at that moment, I would make this film. I knew that our young people needed to see themselves on the screen. They needed their princess. So I said, I'm going to make this movie for these young girls. It was a really powerful moment for me. And then we had a 20th anniversary screening a couple of years ago, and six thousand people came! And I saw all these grown-up girls with their own daughters, all dressed up like Selena. And everybody danced with the film, they knew all the dialogue. It was a total celebration, and I thought, oh my goodness, we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The film is more popular today than when it was first released. Again, I think that's due to the spirit of Selena that was with us.

More: Every Upcoming Music Biopic

Selena releases May 19 on Blu-ray, via the Warner Bros. Archive Collection.

Will Forte Interview: Scoob! | Screen Rant

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Few animated characters are as instantly recognizable as Scooby-Doo, the iconic mascot of Mystery Inc., a troupe of meddling kids who fight crime and investigate perplexing mysteries. Since the franchise made its debut back in 1969, Scooby-Doo has been a staple of children's television programming, with the misadventures of Scooby and the gang entertaining children of all ages for over 50 years.

The latest revival of the long-running franchise arrives in the form of Scoob!, a new CGI animated movie that sees Mystery Inc on its biggest adventure ever. Old-school fans of Hanna-Barbera cartoons will appreciate the presence of many surprising characters, from Dick Dastardly, best known as the mischievous villain from Wacky Races, and the delightful pairing of Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, as well as a few other surprises we won't spoil here.

Related: Scoob! Voice Cast & Character Guide

For Scoob!, the heroes have been given new voice actors (though series veteran Frank Welker returns to play Scooby-Doo), including MacGruber's Will Forte as Shaggy Rogers. While promoting the digital release of the jolly family film, Forte spoke to Screen Rant about working on the film. He talks about the profound responsibility of playing Shaggy, a role made famous by Casey Kasem and carried forward by Matthew Lillard, and discusses the process of recording his lines in a booth with writer/director Tony Cervone.

Scoob! is now on Video on Demand.

I know we only have a couple of minutes, but how are you holding up during quarantine?

I'm doing good. I got engaged at the end of the year last year, right around New Year's... Well, on Christmas Day. So it's been a real test of the relationship, and she's a very patient woman, so... (Laughs) I'm doing well. I'm lucky to get to spend this time with her.

That's fantastic. So, I watched Scoob! and I loved it. My brother, he moved to Ukraine a couple of years ago because it's a lot cheaper than living here, but Scooby-Doo was his 100% favorite cartoon growing up, and I got emotional a few times because it was so true to the spirit that I wished I was watching it with him. Can you talk a little about the responsibility of being Shaggy?

Yeah, I mean, that's a great word to use. Immediately, when hearing that I was gonna get to be Shaggy, you're overcome with... It's just a real honor to get to do it. But then it becomes... It's a daunting task. It's a character that meant so much to me growing up, Shaggy and the whole gang. And I know how much it means to so many people. I mean, I was born in 1970, so Scooby-Doo is a year older than me. And then, to think, how much the show meant to me and then how many generations after me feel that same connection, you're like, "Oh, geez!" I wanted to do a good job because these... Casey Kasem, what an iconic voice. And Matthew Lillard, I thought was awesome. And my voice just is different from theirs, so it's going to sound a little different. And hopefully, people are okay with that, and it was a real honor to be part of it. But yes, certainly, I was aware... For a neurotic person, it was easy to overthink some stuff.

When you're recording, I imagine it's just you and Tony in the booth, right?

Yeah.

From what I understand, comedy people – and I'm not funny at all so I have no idea – they feed off the energy of their audience. Is that the case for you, and is it tough when it's just you and Tony in the booth?

Well, Tony is awesome. A sweeter man does not exist. He's also really smart and funny. And, like my fiance, very patient. I could not have found a more supportive boss. He was great and patient and helped nurture me and helped me find the voice we settled on for Shaggy. So, yeah, certainly, there are so many different things to feed off, and an audience is one of them. Obviously, when you're recording sound, you don't want any... You don't even want... You almost don't want to blink, because those microphones are so hot and heavy, they pick up everything. But Tony does great voices, so even though you're the only actor recording lines, he does such good impersonations of the different characters, that you would always feel like you were reading with the person who you were speaking to, if that makes sense.

More: Screen Rant's Scoob! Review

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