Marriage Articles

Vancouver Sun: Brosnan's good humour charms city diners (7-22-06)

Local publicist Holly Carinci was lunching Tuesday with a group, including her five-year-old son, Aiden, on the patio at Cardero's on the Coal Harbour waterfront when she noticed Pierce Brosnan seated nearby. (He's in town for his newest movie, Marriage.)

Aiden's dad suggested to the boy that he should approach Brosnan and tell him how much he loved him in Batman.

"Which, to my horror, Aiden promptly did!" says Carinci. "Laughter erupted at the other end of the patio and Aiden returned, nonplussed."

Later, as mom took her boy the washroom, she noticed Brosnan waving.

"I waved back, sheepishly, and mouthed, 'I'm so sorry', to which he adamantly shook his head, 'No!', pointed at Aiden and gave him two thumbs up. Then, as Brosnan was leaving the restaurant, he came to Carinci's table, shook everyone's hands and introduced himself to each one.

He explained that when Aiden came to his table, he was on the phone with Danny DeVito to whom he explained, 'This young whipper-snapper has just come up to me and told me that he loved me in Batman!"

DeVito's response: "Well, tell him Penguin is on the line!" and according to Brosnan, launched into a long impression of that character.

"This man is just absolutely charming ... not to mention as handsome in person as on the screen!" raves Carinci.

Wall Street Journal: Playing Harder to Get

Hollywood's New Challenge:
Getting Rachel McAdams
To Say 'I Do' to a Role
August 18, 2006; Page W3

Minutes after auditioning Rachel McAdams for "Wedding Crashers," director David Dobkin told the studio executive who had recommended her that she had to be hired. "She plays like a Stradivarius, man," said Mr. Dobkin, who cast her in the 2005 comedy as the young socialite who sets a toxic bachelor straight.

These days, the director might have trouble getting Ms. McAdams to even consider showing up for an audition. Though she has only six major studio films under her belt, the 29-year-old Canadian actress has become a red-hot property. But she is also baffling some in ego-driven Hollywood for rejecting many of the high-profile, well-paying parts that young actresses are expected to jump at.

Ms. McAdams's career-management strategy highlights the pitfalls of being a rising star today in the movie business, where balancing personal priorities with the building of a long-term career can be a tricky business. Hollywood has generated a bumper crop of promising new film talent in recent years only to see insiders write them off after they appear in movies considered either too commercial or crass -- with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck losing some cachet through overexposure or questionable creative calls. Twenty-somethings Jake Gyllenhaal and Scarlett Johansson, meanwhile, have improved their street cred by taking on complex films with respected directors. And then there's Ms. McAdams: Representing the extremes of selectivity, the actress -- whom more than one producer or studio executive has described as "the next Julia Roberts" -- has the town in particularly high dudgeon.

But in an industry where rising stars are also increasingly quick to flame out, Ms. McAdams's caution and patience may be the key to survival.

"She's an interesting case study," says Michael London, who produced last December's dark comedy "The Family Stone," in which Ms. McAdams plays an obnoxious younger sister in a New England family who bedevils her brother's girlfriend, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. "I heard a lot of people say, 'That girl better be careful because that auteur trip she's on is going to hurt her career.' But I swear that girl doesn't have an iota of artsy, auteur baggage in her. She just wants to be involved in movies that she enjoys and likes."

Studio Chiefs Scrambling

Since her Hollywood debut in the 2002 comedy "The Hot Chick" with Rob Schneider, Ms. McAdams has been approached about a plethora of opportunities, ranging from Lois Lane in the recently released "Superman Returns" (the part eventually went to Kate Bosworth) to the love interest in the upcoming James Bond film "Casino Royale" (which went to actress Eva Green). Despite her declinations, studio chiefs all over town continue scrambling to work with her. "She has everything you want in a movie star -- the talent, the looks, the accessibility," says Marc Shmuger, chairman of Universal Pictures, which hasn't been able to sign the actress to a movie. "People are both attracted to her and feel a kinship with her."

Ms. McAdams relies on a small cadre of representatives to oversee her career. On the front lines is her longtime manager, Shelley Browning, who associates say fields many of the job inquiries that come the actress's way, as well as handling her media relations. Although the actress signed on with the United Talent Agency late last year and the agency has presented her with numerous scripts and ideas, she hasn't committed to much so far. Ms. McAdams's representatives declined to make her available for this article.

Collaborating with the discerning Ms. McAdams can be a delicate matter. She threw a wrench in Vanity Fair magazine's plans for its vaunted Oscar-season cover by walking away from the photo shoot last November after discovering the participants would be nude (though strategically obscured) -- leading to a revamp of the cover and a parting of ways with her publicist. Ms. McAdams's penchant for art-house films has made it hard to sell her on commercially driven projects, associates say, that could potentially boost her box-office clout and command a salary that some filmmakers now peg at $5 million or more.

Rich Silverman, a manager who has worked with young stars including Jennifer Garner and Tyra Banks, points to actors such as Meryl Streep and Keanu Reeves as ones who are focused on the long-term game. "They're two different kinds of actors, and yet, they both have amazing career longevity, because they're quality-driven," says Mr. Silverman, who now runs his own firm, Edge Talent Group. "And so I think that Rachel McAdams is following that model, and is smart to do so. She's not just relying on her looks, but is distinguishing herself as an actor."

And her reluctance to engage in traditional movie publicity junkets, particularly where the press may ask personal questions, made the marketing of "The Family Stone" awkward at times. "She's uncomfortable with the notion of exploiting her celebrity," says Mr. London, the producer. "But from a more obliging artist we wouldn't have gotten the performance we got."

She's also not shy about promoting the work of her boyfriend, actor Ryan Gosling, who appeared with her in the 2004 romance "The Notebook." For a planned movie version of the best-selling novel "The Time Traveler's Wife" in which Ms. McAdams may play the title character, she suggested to her representatives that Mr. Gosling might want to direct, say people familiar with the matter. (No decision has been made about the film's director.) She also has agreed to play the part of a nun in a gritty drama he co-wrote and plans to direct. Called "Lord's Resistant Army," it's adapted from a book about child soldiers in Uganda who are kidnapped and forced to fight. Mr. Gosling asked New Line Cinema executives to read the script this summer, and an official says the studio is considering making the film.

Takes the Bus

Supporters of Ms. McAdams say her willingness to prioritize her personal life makes her a breath of fresh air in such a work-obsessed industry. Despite the need to spend time in Los Angeles for meetings, for instance, she has refused to abandon her Toronto home. During her recent film shoot for "Marriage," a low-budget, 1940s period drama, she's been photographed waiting for a public bus. And rather than take a high-profile new film role to capitalize on the success of "Wedding Crashers," which took in more than $200 million at the domestic box office, Mr. London says she spent a good chunk of last fall in Louisiana pitching in on Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Ms. McAdams is "trying to live a life first," says J.C. Spink, who produced "Red Eye," last summer's airline-kidnapping thriller in which she starred. He adds that he could tell she was down to earth from her behavior on the set. Moments before an important scene was to be shot, Ms. McAdams took the time to chat with Mr. Spink's mother, who was visiting one day, he recalls. "Rachel is a really nice person, which is half the battle," he says.

So how does a frustrated studio executive win over the reluctant star? With a colorful script or a seasoned director. Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, the production company making "Marriage" for under $20 million, didn't have a fat salary to offer, but it did have an intriguing script and an offbeat director of art-house films, Ira Sachs. So to persuade Ms. McAdams to make the film early this year, Mr. Sachs flew from New York to Los Angeles and made the sell over dinner, emphasizing the project's Hitchcockian flavor and suggesting she screen old movies like the 1945 noir thriller "Leave Her to Heaven" and Hitchcock's 1958 "Vertigo" to get a feel for the tone he was seeking. "We all sat on pins and needles for about a week or two," says William Horberg, Kimmel's president of production, "and then got the call back that she wanted to do it."

Next up, according to people familiar with Ms. McAdams's plans, could be "The Time Traveler's Wife," if the right director and co-star can be arranged, or possibly a Warner Bros. movie version of the 1960's television series "Get Smart," alongside comedian Steve Carell, who has agreed to do the film. But even as new and more compelling offers flow in, associates say her choosiness is unlikely to abate.

"She's only going to pull the trigger when those things show up for her that are the right things," says Mr. Dobkin, the "Wedding Crashers" director. "I don't think she's a career jockey." th attracted to her and feel a kinship with her."

Variety: A Very Long Engagement
Big-name 'Marriage' cast holes up in Vancouver for suspenser shoot
By Don Townson
September 11, 2006


TORONTO -- On the Vancouver set of "Marriage," a neo-noir drama about love, deception and murder, it's supposed to be pouring rain as the young seductress Kay (Rachel McAdams) tells her adulterous older lover, Harry (Chris Cooper), "You look a little bit off. Why don't I put up some soup? Go and sit by the fire."

Actually, it's an unusually hot August summer day outside and even hotter under the lights inside the soundstage of First Avenue Studio. And Cooper, beneath his pale makeup, is in the pink of health, despite a hectic schedule this summer that has him going back and forth between this film and the Peter Berg-directed thriller "The Kingdom."

"I'd rather help you," Cooper replies wistfully.

In a way, the physical discomfort lends an extra edge to the period suspenser about a man (Cooper) who attempts to leave his faithful but cold wife (Patricia Clarkson), for the passionate and much younger Kay. Afraid of the shame divorce will bring, Harry plots to poison Kay, which he reveals to his best friend, Richard (Pierce Brosnan). In the noir tradition of whatever can go wrong will go wrong, the plot thickens when Richard falls in love with Kay, becomes Harry's rival and tries to foil the murder.

The long-gestating project, with its starry cast and Sundance prizewinner Ira Sachs at the helm, represents somewhat of a coup for a new studio complex known primarily for its commercial shoots.

"I'm still awestruck," says First Avenue Studio owner David Switzer, as he watches carpenters dismantle the main set, a meticulously crafted, 1930s-style house erected inside his 9,000-square-foot building in Burnaby, a Vancouver suburb.

"We just opened last year, and a 'Marriage' location scout saw our sign and knocked on the door," says Switzer says. "So this has been one amazing experience."

It's taken four years for the on-again, off-again "Marriage" to march down the aisle this far. In the end, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment came onboard to finance the $17.5 million pic.

Homegrown star

The first 22 days of shooting have gone smoothly, and the crew is in a good mood. They are clearly enamored with McAdams, a homegrown star on the rise who is the daughter of a truck driver and a nurse. Earlier in the week, McAdams -- who was raised in St. Thomas, Ontario -- was named No. 8 on Canada's Celebrity Power list by Canadian Business magazine (after Avril Lavigne and before Matthew Perry). Brosnan has almost achieved local status, having made thriller "Butterfly on a Wheel" in Vancouver earlier this year.

With the bulk of the shooting over, production manager Simon Abbott has just circulated a memo to the crew on behalf of the producers extending their "heartfelt thanks for a job well done." Most of them are looking forward to an Indian summer vacation before returning to finish filming in October. Not returning are McAdams and Brosnan, who have completed their scenes.

"This is only my 74th day as a director in my life," says Sachs. "But people are willing to take a risk with me because creatively, 'Marriage' is full and rich."

Screenplay, penned by Sachs and Oren Moverman, is based on a 1953 novel by John Bingham, first published in the U.K. as "Five Roundabouts to Heaven" and then Stateside as "The Tender Poisoner." Sachs brought the project to exec producer Geoff Stier, who introduced it to SKE's production prexy Bill Horberg last year. Stier worked with Sachs on "Forty Shades of Blue," which won the 2005 Sundance Film Fest's grand jury prize.

"Marriage" is being produced by Sachs, Sidney Kimmel, Steve Golin and Jawal Nga.

"The opportunity to work on a film so performance-driven is refreshing," says David Nicksay, one of the seven credited executive producers involved with the film. "This kind of picture is the new wave for North American filmmaking. They're able to attract better casts than ever before. Indies are the place for movies with content and ideas."

Cooper was the first actor inked for "Marriage." "He had seen the script," says Nga, who produced Sachs' Sundance winner. "Then Ira and I went to Boston in 2005 and showed him 'Forty Shades of Blue.' He's been completely dedicated to the project."

Nga, a NYU grad who grew up in Tripoli, Libya, and London, says he's looking forward to people seeing "Marriage."

"You can win all the awards, but you can't get four people to see it," he says. "Nobody went to see 'Forty Shades of Blue.' Distribution adds legitimacy to your project." MGM will distribute "Marriage" Stateside through its arrangement with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, and Kimmel International is handling the film overseas.

Date in print: Mon., Sep. 11, 2006, Weekly On 'Marriage" (9-13-06)

By: Pierce Brosnan

Summer has come to a close and I have just wrapped my latest film called Marriage written and directed by Ira Sachs. I am in the very fine company of actors whom I have the greatest admiration for; Christopher Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Patricia Clarkson. The work went very well, long hours with a number of night shoots thrown in for good measure. The film, set in Seattle 1949, has a grace and an elegance, and is a story we can all relate to, one of love and marriage, time lost, secrets and sorrows. I have been in the beautiful city of Vancouver, a wonderful place to make movies, for several weeks. I was previously here this year with my production company Irish DreamTime filming Butterfly On A Wheel, co-starring Maria Bello and Gerard Butler, a psychological thriller directed by Mike Barker and written by Bill Morrissey.


Vancouver Province: Brosnan's just looking for a good role (Excerpt)

By: Glen Schaefer
September 24, 2006

POST BOND: He looks for roles that can make him a surprise

TORONTO -- Pierce Brosnan is lounging at a restaurant table at the Hotel Intercontinental, nursing a breakfast coffee. Just off a spring and summer spent mainly in Vancouver making two movies, and doing the festival rounds for yet another movie, he's laid back, stylish -- a relaxed-fit version of that character he played in those spy movies. He doesn't mind admitting that those movies gave him the clout to do whatever he wanted, but the routine got to him.

"In the early days of my career as Bond, I realized I could make films anywhere in the world," Brosnan says, in a meandering conversational mood after premiering his new western Seraphim Falls for a festival crowd the previous night. That movie opens in theatres later this year. "But I kind of painted myself into a corner there with suave and debonaire."

Point out the contrast between Seraphim Falls's shaggy civil-war veteran and the chatty 1940s bon vivant he just finished playing in the Vancouver-filmed thriller Marriage, and Brosnan leans back in his chair.

"So what does that say? It just means I'm an actor looking for a good role, looking for a good job, just like any actor is," he says. "You want to be, hopefully, an unexpected surprise. At this point, that would be a mantra to live by, having played somewhat the same . . ."

He trails off and ponders for a moment.

"One was educated and taught and led to believe that if you want to play a character you must transform the physical being, the physical speech. Then you find yourself coming to America and you kind of play the same. You get into a style -- not a rut, but you find a groove for yourself. You go off and do a big movie, they say 'do it again.' You do it again, but within that comes a certain ennui. You're not scared anymore, where you used to scare yourself."

All of which led Brosnan from 2002's Die Another Day on the career track that ultimately landed him in Vancouver last March as star and executive producer of Butterfly on a Wheel. Maria Bello and Gerard Butler are also featured in a close-quarters contemporary thriller.

"It's a toughie, really, thrillers are always tough to pull off," says Brosnan, who got to play scary for British director Mike Barker and Vancouver producer Bill Vince. "It's about this husband and wife who get waylaid by this crazy, horrid psychotic guy. I'm the psychotic guy. For one day I hold them ransom with their child -- it's not until the end that you find out why."

Almost as soon as that movie wrapped, Brosnan signed on to stay in Vancouver for the summer making Marriage, a quite different thriller set in a 1940s American small town. Both movies hit theatres in 2007. American director-writer Ira Sachs resumes filming Marriage next month with Chris Cooper and Patricia Clarkson, while Brosnan finished his role in August as the questionable confidant to Cooper's married man.

"I just loved the character, it was so well-written," says Brosnan. "It had such a lovely Hitchcockian tone to it -- film noir, thriller, romantic, whodunit. We talk a blue streak, we just talk and talk, lots of dialogue."

Cooper's character meets his friend for lunch and tells him that he must leave his wife (Clarkson) because he's met another woman (Rachel McAdams).

"I look over my shoulder, and here she comes," Brosnan says. "God she's beautiful. She sits down and thus starts the story. It's really quite delightful. I'm the narrator of the story."

Is he also the story's conscience?

"No, not really. The burden of conscience does not weigh heavily on my shoulders, because I'm a rogue. But a sincere rogue."

Sounds like a fun way to spend the summer.