Waltz: ‘Basterds wouldn’t have happened without Pitt’

The movie has already picked up a string of accolades and is nominated for eight Academy Awards at the upcoming Oscars in March (09), including Best Picture and Best Director.

Waltz, who is up for a Best Supporting Actor prize at the Oscars, has already picked up a London Critics’ Circle Film Award for Actor of the Year for his role as Colonel Hans Landa in the 2009 movie.

But he’s convinced Quentin Tarantino’s critically-acclaimed film would never have happened if Pitt hadn’t signed up, because Waltz believes the Fight Club star is responsible for making it such a success.

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Brad’s Beard Getting Him Into Character?

No, he’s not auditioning to play a billy goat. Instead, perhaps Brad Pitt has been sporting his long, scraggly beard to get into character for a new movie role: that of British explorer Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon in 1925.

But there are a couple of modern-day mysteries surrounding the story, too. First, a Paramount source says the film, called The Lost City of Z, doesn’t have a script yet and no date to start production has been set. In addition, Fawcett didn’t have a beard, but a handlebar moustache.

There is no film-related explanation I can give you as to why [Pitt] has the beard,” the Paramount source tells PEOPLE.

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Brad Pitt And Josh Brolin May Go Like Hell

Jay Leno isn’t the only Hollywood celebrity with a hanger full of cars. Los Angeles is full of closet gear heads and, they’re lining up to do 20th Century Fox’s new racing movie, Go Like Hell.

The film is based on recently optioned book called “Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans”. Set in the 1960s, the book is the true story of the Ford motor company’s attempt to beat the exotic Euro auto manufacturers at their own game by hiring a crack team to beat them in European racing. It’s the 60s by the way which manes safety took a back seat to speed and race car drivers were as much daredevils as they were professionals. Blowing up halfway down the track wasn’t out of the question.

What’s most interesting about this project are the number of big names who may be involved. Producer Lucas Foster appeared this week on the Adam Carolla Podcast and talked endlessly about his plans for the film, including who might star in it. Lucas says, “I have a lot of interest from big actors. It would shock you the telephone calls that have come in from people.” In particular Foster says, “There’s a lot of conversation with my good friend, Brad Pitt.” He further confirmed that they’ve spoken to Josh Brolin while mentioning that he’s also interested in Russell Crowe, Matt Damon (for the role of Phil Hill), Eric Bana, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

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Thanks intothegrinder.

Interview with Kevin Macdonald, director of State of Play

How did you get involved with the project?

A: I was actually contacted originally by Brad Pitt who at that time was starring in the film and they were looking for a director of the movie. I had an association with his company and somebody suggested my name in association with this, so I met Brad, I spoke to Universal about it and that was how I got involved. So it was bizarre that I ended making the film even though the actor ended up not doing the film, which was quite strange, as he invited me to the party, as it were.

You also had to contend with Brad Pitt leaving the film just before you were due to start shooting. What was that like?

A: Right from the very beginning we had different views on what the film was going to be and I assumed because of the way that he kept going and was involved with the film until a week before we started shooting that was just the way that he was and that he would disagree with you about things and that you would argue about it. And I think that is the way he is, I think he gets himself involved with things and then gets cold feet and argues a bit and it’s sort of backwards and forwards, it’s the way he gets himself to be ready to be in the film. I think that’s what happens, from what I understand, on a lot of his projects. I didn’t think he was not going to do the movie until a week before we were ready to start shooting.

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“Baby Fae”-Inspired Film “Untamed Heart” Might Have Starred Madonna, Brad Pitt

With all the news today about “Baby Fae,” the California baby who was given the world’s first baboon heart transplant in 1984 and lived 21 days, Speakeasy’s memory was jogged into thinking about the film “Untamed Heart.” We have a soft spot for the 1993 romantic drama, which starred Christian Slater as a sensitive busboy with, yes, a baboon’s heart, because it was the first PG-13 movie we ever paid good allowance money for. The film co-starred a pre-”My Cousin Vinny” Marisa Tomei as Caroline, a waitress who falls for Slater’s character after he rescues her from an attempted rape by a couple of thugs.

Speakeasy tracked down “Untamed Heart” screenwriter Tom Sierchio to talk to him about his inspiration for the film.

As for Adam, the part that went to Slater, Sierchio says he met “quite a few times” with Woody Harrelson about the part (who would later do a popular sketch on “Saturday Night Live” with Dana Carvey that featured the line: “The sun feels good on my baboon heart!”) and that Brad Pitt was “dying” to do the movie. But, says Sierchio, Slater’s 1992 film “Kuffs” had just come out and had a $10 million weekend, so MGM “didn’t have the foresight and went with the sure thing with Christian.” (Reps for Madonna, Harrelson and Pitt couldn’t be reached for comment.)

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Thanks intothegrinder.

‘Inglourious Basterds’ Oscar campaign gets off to a roaring start

After running up a huge gross of more than $250 million worldwide since its late August opening, director Quentin Tarantino’s WWII epic “Inglourious Basterds” is now shifting gears from its initial marketing phase as a “popcorn picture” to serious Oscar contender.

Thursday that campaign seemed to begin in earnest for the Weinstein Co. when Tarantino was honored with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Kirk Douglas Award for excellence in film at a black-tie gala at the Four Seasons Biltmore resort in Montecito, a voter-rich area with close to 100 Academy members in residence at various times.

Festival organizers threw a lavish cocktail party and sit-down dinner featuring generous clips of such Tarantino landmark movies as “Reservoir Dogs,” “Jackie Brown,” “Kill Bill” and of course “Inglourious Basterds.” Among those in attendance were Douglas and wife Anne, who were seated next to the honoree, star Diane Kruger and the film’s producer, Lawrence Bender. Festival director Roger Durling and board President Jeffrey Barbakow (former MGM/UA head) both made amusing and well-received remarks. Comedian and Santa Barbara resident Dennis Miller shared a table with “Basterds” co-star Samm Levine along with the entire Barbakow clan, including wife Margot and sons Bennett and Max.

A consultant working on the film told me this campaign is a fun one so far, as the pressure is off. The film is already more successful than even their wildest hopes, so awards are just the icing on this particular cake. Considering the strong response the film seems to be getting in the industry, nominations for screenplay, directing, supporting actor (Christoph Waltz, maybe even Brad Pitt, too), editing, cinematography, sound, costumes and best picture are realistic goals in a wide-open season so far, especially if the film’s occasionally graphic violence doesn’t turn off queasy voters. With Oscar maven Harvey Weinstein calling the shots anything is possible, even with internal competition from other expected Weinstein contenders, including the still unseen “Nine,” “A Single Man” and perhaps “The Road” (at least for Viggo Mortensen).

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Christoph Waltz on Brad

When you first heard Brad Pitt’s accent for [Aldo] Raine, what do you think? Your characters, their encounter at the end, it’s a very strange relationship. His accent seems incredibly risky to me, but I think it works in the end. Your opinion?

Christoph Waltz: Well, I read the words on the script, and in a way, when I heard Brad Pitt speak like that, it was 100% congruent with the words. Right now, I can’t separate one from the other. Even when I go back to the written word, I hear Brad say it. So, apparently, that is how it was written. And when we worked together, I learned something from Brad, something that I really admire in him, how generous he is. And I really learned how generosity on a set, how it can actually change…how generosity has an influence on everyone who is there and working on the film. Everyone who is around him. And he has a professional calmness and he’s just such a cool guy. He’s not impersonal, and he’s immensely generous. And this generosity allowed me to rise to the occasion, I feel.

Source/discuss. Thanks Gabriella.