Hulu released a trailer for the 4th Season of The Handmaid’s Tale today, and the show’s 4th season debut has been pushed to 2021 due to Covid-19 Pandemic, which caused the production of the show to be stopped in March. Watch the trailer below:
Over 75 composers, songwriters, and musicians will participate in digital event for COVID-19 aid
More than 75 film and television composers and songwriters will participate in an upcoming benefit digital stream with proceeds going toward the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Soundtrack of Our Lives: A Celebration for the Film and TV Music Community will honor the composers, songwriters, music editors, music supervisors, studio executives and others who help to score and create soundtracks for countless Hollywood projects, many of whom have been out of work because of the ongoing pause on film and television production.
In addition to music scoring professionals like Jon Brion, Danny Elfman, Hildur Gudnadóttir, Nicholas Britell, Tim Rice and Hans Zimmer, performers and special guests will include Sting, Catherine O’Hara, Ming-Na Wen, Patti LuPone, William Shatner, Elisabeth Moss, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Marla Gibbs, Jane Levy, Mandy Moore, Richard Kind, Alex Newell, Zachary Levi, Paul Reubens, Kiernan Shipka, Harvey Fierstein, Ginnifer Goodwin, Anika Noni Rose, Kasi Lemmons, Ted Danson, Auli’i Cravalho, Darren Criss, Drew Carey, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter, Reba McEntire, Bob Saget, Ken Page, Lucy Lawless, Mary Steenburgen, Dave Coulier, Kevin Smith, Peter Gallagher, Naomi Scott, Annie Potts, Clive Davis, Jodi Benson, Harvey Mason Jr., Susan Egan, Paige O’Hara, John Stamos, Andra Day and Rita Wilson.
“Thousands of music professionals and creators are struggling during this pandemic and remain in desperate need of assistance,” MusiCares Vice President of Health and Human Services Debbie Carroll says. “The continued support from the music community during these turbulent times has been heartwarming and inspiring. The power of music unites us all and gives us hope for better days ahead.”
The special will stream June 25th at Noon PT/3 p.m. ET on YouTube, Rolling Stone, Variety, and the Grammys’ social channels, as well as on soundtracklives.com.
New Interview with Elisabeth who talks about portraying Shirley Jackson on screen and the halt of The Handmaid’s Tale production.
From director Josephine Decker and screenwriter Sarah Gubbins, the indie drama Shirley tells a story about renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth Moss) that blurs fact and fiction. When the arrival of newlyweds (Odessa Young, Logan Lerman) shakes up her writing routine and raises the tension between Shirley and her husband Stanley (Michael Stuhlbarg), they begin to toy with the couple and push their limits in a way that could have a lasting effect on their relationship.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Elisabeth Moss talked about why she was nervous about playing the brilliant but troubled real woman, the inspiration she got from co-star Michael Stuhlbarg, the research that was key in helping her find her performance, why it was liberating to explore Shirley Jackson, and what she hopes audiences take from watching the film. She also talked about The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4, and how they’re currently trying to figure out how to safely return to work to finish shooting the season.
Collider: I have to say that I just was so fascinated, enthralled and compelled by this film, and you and everyone else in this is just so phenomenal.
ELISABETH MOSS: Thank you. I really appreciate that.
Actors always talk about wanting to find characters that challenge them, and it seems like there are so many challenges with a character like this. What excited you about the challenges with something like this, and in what ways do you feel this character most challenged you, as an actress?
MOSS: This the first time that I’ve ever played a real person, I think. I could be wrong, but I think so. It’s been a long road, so I could be forgetting some poor soul, but it’s the first time that I’ve played a significant historical figure, I should say, that everybody knows. I think that was the challenge for me. It was a little frightening. I was a little nervous about that. I’m not really that interested in doing research and stuff, and I had to do all of this research, all of a sudden, and approach it in a completely different way. Michael [Stuhlbarg] was incredibly inspiring, in that sense, because he’s very good at that and that’s how he works. He really helped inspiring enthusiasm and also literally sent me material to read. I honestly don’t know if I could have done it without him. That was the thing that was new for me, and definitely a challenge.
What sort of research most helped you? Did you read the novel? Did you read her work? What was the key in finding her, for you?
MOSS: The thing that was the most inspiring was reading these letters, between Stanley and Shirley, that we got. That was really rare, that we found them. It wasn’t a biography, it wasn’t her stories, and it wasn’t her reading her stories, which we had a recording of. It was truly them. That’s how we really discovered their sense of humor, their intelligence, how much they loved each other, and how much anger was there. That was the most helpful thing, I think.
Did you approach this as though you were playing Shirley Jackson, the author, or did you approach this as a character that happened to be named Shirley Jackson, who was also a writer, since this is somewhat fictionalized?
MOSS: Yeah, totally. The honest answer is a little bit of both. The research into who Shirley was laid the groundwork. That was the bedrock of it. And then, at one point, I remember saying to Michael, right before we started, “Now, I think we have to let it go. I think we’ve gotta let it all go.” You can get so wrapped up in playing a real person that you care more about that than playing the other parts of them. And so, we both decided that we were going to do our own Shirley and Stanley, and this was gonna be our own version of them. You have to forgive yourself a little bit. It’s the only way that you can actually proceed without fear. I think that was really helpful for us to do, at a certain point. It’s not an exactly accurate story of Shirley Jackson. I think that it’s important to mention she was incredible mom. She was wonderful to her kid and a great cook. I’ve spoken to her son, and she was a great mom. Obviously, that’s not included in the story. So, it’s a slice of this woman.
Shirley is a blend of madness, loneliness, depression, sadness, despair, and all of these emotions. Is that fun to explore, as an actor, or do you have to learn to pace yourself through all of that?
MOSS: I love it. I love that kind of work. I am very fulfilled by it. I am not afraid of it. I’m not a method actor. Part of the reason why I’m not a method actor is because I do think that would be exhausting and maybe I’m just lazy. Maybe I’d be a better actor, if I was a method actor, but it’s just not quite my style, so I don’t get exhausted by it. I love it. I find that all characters end up being a facet of your personality, and I have a lot of Shirley in me. I loved exploring that. It was liberating.
Is there a challenge in playing someone whose mind is something of a mystery, or do you just try to be present in each moment?
MOSS: I think that you do the latter. I remember talking to Sarah Gubbins, the writer, and for me, this was a story about a writer and their process, how difficult and challenging that process can be, and the places that you have to go in your imagination, in order to get the story, and to be that brilliant. That’s what I focused on. So, as far as the parts that were maybe not real, or maybe they were in her imagination, or maybe her mind was taking over, she did have a fair amount of drinking happening and she did have a fair amount of, unfortunately, a reliance on pills and diet pills, and that kind of thing, and I think that really was messing with her mind, quite a bit. I think the only way to do that, though, is to play it like it’s real because it’s real to her, and that’s all that matters.
What do you hope audiences take from this film?
MOSS: I love her so much. I have so much admiration for her. I think she was brilliant, and I think she was a good person, and I think she had a great sense of humor, and I hope that people see that. She was troubled, and she had substance abuse problems, and she was bit troubled in her mind, but I think that she was a brilliant woman. She was so ahead of her time and she inspired so many people that came after her. And so, I hope that people get that little bit of her. I hope they take that away.
You were only two weeks into shooting Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, before production shut down due to COVID. As a producer on that series, have you been a part of the conversations about how to get back into production safely? What are your biggest hopes and fears, in that regard?
MOSS: Yes, we have a production call, every week, and we have a producer call, every week. There have been a lot of emails, a lot of Zooms, and a lot of conversations. One of the great things that our line producer has done is basically gone to every single department and talked to them, and picked their brain and tried to figure out what their daily process is, and what they’re looking for and what they need, in order to feel safe, which I think is a really important part of it. There’s a lot of stuff that’s above my pay grade and above my head, that we’re all reading about in the Hollywood Reporter. But for us, as producers, and for most producers, it’s about, how do you do it and be safe? That’s all. Human life is not worth making a TV show for. Everyone wants to go back to work because we love what we do, and there’s also people that need to support their families and themselves. The producers contributed to a fund for our crew, that is out of our own pockets and has nothing to do with our larger corporation. We put a lot of money into it, and we’ve been keeping our crew going through that and supporting them being out of work. But we’ve gotta do it safely, and we’re just trying to figure that out. It’s all new territory, and we’re all in the same boat here.
Shirley is available at Hulu and on VOD.
A virtual panel with Deadline and The Handmaid’s Tale tomorrow, info on Deadline’s tweet:
Deadline Virtual House Presents:
An Evening with @HandmaidsOnHulu
The event kicks off with a screening of Episode #306 — followed by a panel discussion
THURSDAY, June 25, 2020
5 PM PST
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) June 22, 2020
Elisabeth’s new project “Run Rabbit Run” gets a distributor! Read below:
STX Entertainment has secured worldwide distribution rights to psychological thriller “Run Rabbit Run,” from Emmy-nominated “Handmaid’s Tale” director Daina Reid (“The Outsider”) and starring Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss (“The Invisible Man”).
While STXfilms will directly distribute “Run Rabbit Run” in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, STXinternational will introduce the project to buyers at the ongoing virtual Cannes market. The deal was negotiated by Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films on behalf of the producers on the eve of the market.
Moss will play a fertility doctor who is frightened by her young daughter’s inexplicable memories of a past identity. The film is written by novelist Hannah Kent, who wrote from an original idea developed with Carver Films (“Relic”). Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw of Carver Films are producing the film, and Moss will also produce alongside her partner Lindsey McManus. Principal photography is expected to commence on location in Australia in 2020.
XYZ Films (“Mandy”) will finance in collaboration with Finland’s IPR.VC and executive produce the project. “Run Rabbit Run” is a Carver Films production, with major production investment from XYZ and Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria and the South Australian Film Corporation. 30WEST will also serve as executive producers. Umbrella Entertainment will distribute in Australia and New Zealand.
Adam Fogelson, chairman of the STXfilms Motion Picture Group, said: “Elisabeth’s outstanding performance and the huge success of ‘The Invisible Man’ make her a theatrical force to be reckoned with. A genre film that reunites Elisabeth with ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ director Daina Reid is an incredible opportunity and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this film together.”
Moss will next be seen in Wes Anderson’s Cannes Official Selection “The French Dispatch,” as well as Taiki Waititi’s “Next Goal Wins.”
Moss is represented by WME, Independent Talent Group and Ribisi Entertainment Group. Reid is represented by RGM Artists and ICM Partners.
STX recently merged with Indian studio Eros International. The STX-Eros combine has plans to set up a base in China to tap into that giant market, and also leverage the existing Eros capacities in India. Eros also has a well-established distribution network around the world, and the combine is looking at maximizing synergies there. Post-theatrical, “Run Rabbit Run” could also benefit from access to streamer Eros Now, that has 187 million registered users and 26 million paying subscribers. Eros Now will imminently launch a premium, English-language tier, featuring content from NBCUniversal and STX content.
Shirley is now out on VOD, and its a must see. Elisabeth delivers another brilliant performance. Here is the review from Collider:
Lauded author Shirley Jackson was a mad genius. Her macabre stories like “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House captured the imaginations of people the world over, but Jackson herself was considered an odd duck. Rumors swirled that she never left her house, and she was beset by illnesses that finally claimed her life at the far-too-young age of 48. But until the end, Jackson was crafting crackling stories that not only pushed the boundaries of horror fiction, but of what was considered “proper” for a woman in her day and age.
Given the madness within Jackson’s work, and the stories about the woman behind the words, it stands to reason that any movie made about her life should probably be a little strange and offbeat itself. In that regard the new film Shirley, which uses the fictionalized account of two houseguests staying with Jackson and her husband to peer into the unique life of the celebrated author, is a success. Creepy and macabre, intimate and inappropriate, Shirley lets us whirl around in Jackson’s head for a couple of hours. And while the film’s offbeat style may not be for everyone, it highlights the continued relevance and sad nature of Jackson’s life by telling a story about confident, complex women being “othered” by society.
Based on the novel of the same name by Susan Scarf Merrell, Shirley opens—appropriately enough—with a young woman getting horny by reading Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.” Rose (Odessa Young) and her professor husband Fred (Logan Lerman) are moving to a small Vermont college town to continue their collegiate studies, with Fred having been tasked with helping Shirley Jackson’s husband Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg) with his research. Stanley counters with an agreement of a different sort: he will provide free room and board for Fred and Rose at his home if Rose agrees to help around the house, admitting the previous housekeeper up and quit on account of Shirley’s cantankerous nature. Fred readily agrees, while Rose is more reluctant—this means Rose has to drop out of college for the time-being, when she was under the impression she and Fred would be studying as equals.
Quickly Fred and Rose learn that Shirley and Stanley aren’t exactly a traditional couple. Shirley—played by Elisabeth Moss in a straight-up haunting performance—is prone to bouts of depression, sleeping all day, drinking all night, refusing to eat, etc. Stanley, meanwhile, is an outgoing man who values originality above all, and while he thinks his coaxing to get his wife out of bed is for her benefit, it’s not hard to see he’s really mostly trying to get her cracking on her next popular story while he does whatever the hell he wants.
As Fred and Stanley spend the days away from the house, Rose and Shirley strike up a most complicated relationship. At turns contentious, friendly, and sensual, this is a truly odd dynamic and one brought to the screen with vigor by Young and Moss. These two women, each ambitious in her own way, have been all but sidelined by their husbands and asked to keep their interest in the macabre to themselves. It’s in this relationship that director Josephine Decker and writer Sarah Gubbins draw clear parallels to the expectations put on women, and how society treats those who dare to be different. And God help you if you’re different and brilliant.
As the story progresses, Rose is further and further pushed into the “wifey” role as Stanley calls it, and while she’s reluctant, she falls in line. Because that’s what society—especially in the 1960s—expects of her. Shirley, too, is put in a box, albeit a different kind. Stanley fully appreciates and even encourages Shirley’s brilliance, but only on his terms. He wants to see the pages she’s supposedly churning out during the day, not to give input, but so he can put some kind of stamp on her brilliance. He views his caretaking of Shirley (despite the fact that he’s basically hired someone to do the caretaking for him) as a favor, and in return she owes him. Nevermind the fact that he’s constantly stepping out on Shirley—his affairs are an open secret.
But Shirley and Stanley oftentimes make the perfect storm, as they intentionally rile up or stoke problems between Fred and Rose merely for their own amusement. They use those they deem “lesser” for entertainment, and indeed Stanley remarks that there’s nothing he disdains more than mediocrity, which puts a target on Fred’s back.
Decker most recently helmed the head-trip Madeline’s Madeline, and she brings a similar oddball quality to Shirley. The cinematography is dizzying and intimate and messy and sweaty, illuminating the madness within Jackson’s house and mind. It’s effective, but could test the patience of some. Indeed the story seems to wander a bit, as the film is less about the narrative and more about getting a feel for who Shirley Jackson was as a person, and how the stories of hers that we take for granted came at a cost. Which is worthwhile to be sure, but at a certain point your mind may begin to wander.
Stuhlbarg gives an inspired performance and Young plays her character’s dynamic arc with intensity, but this is Moss’ show and she does not disappoint. The madness of Shirley Jackson is there to be sure, but Moss brilliantly layers in the loneliness, sadness, and despair of the character all while keeping a façade of “I DGAF.”
Shirley is a welcome respite from cradle-to-the-grave biopics, and this fictional account offers an interesting pathway to understanding a bit more about Jackson’s somewhat tragic life. And while the film itself wears a bit as it goes on, Decker’s larger points about the marginalization of women remain striking, and Moss’ terrific performance is reason enough to seek this one out. This story is certainly not a traditionally told one in any sense of the word. But you can imagine Shirley Jackson herself probably wouldn’t have had it any other way.
New Project for Elisabeth:
Even with her duties on The Handmaid’s Tale, Elisabeth Moss has found time to keep her film career ticking over, including with this year’s successful The Invisible Man. She’s going to work with Tale director Daina Reid on a new Australia-set thriller Run Rabbit Run.
XYZ Films and Carver Films are producing the new film, which has a script by novelist Hannah Kent developed from her original idea. Moss will star (and produce) as Sarah, a fertility doctor, with a firm understanding of the cycle of life. When she is forced to make sense of the increasingly strange behavior of her young daughter Mia, she must challenge her own beliefs and confront a ghost from her past.
Given Australia’s relatively lower Covid situation, it’s quickly becoming a destination for filmmakers, who can get back to work on movies. Moss, who last appeared in Josephine Decker’s Shirley, will be seen in Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch.
Shirley, starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg will be released straight on VOD and Digital on June 5th. Here is the trailer:
On Tuesday, Elisabeth went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to talk about The Invisible Man, The French Dispatch, Bill Murray and Jennifer Aniston. Watch it below: