In the delightfully zany and hilarious new comedy, Austenland, Keri Russell plays a woman whose obsession with all things Austen has taken her out of reality and driven her to spend all her money on a fully-immersive Jane Austen experience. The film takes a delightful, yet critical, view of the joys and perils of obsessive fandom. We got a chance to sit down with Russell and her co-stars Jennifer Coolidge and JJ Feild to delve into what quirky things get their hearts a flutter and to ask why Jane Austen has such an enduring pull on people’s hearts.
You don’t have to read too much into Twilight to realize that before she was the creator of books people obsess over, Stephenie Meyer was obsessed with other people’s books. She took that obsession to new levels recently, becoming a producer on the film Austenland, based on Shannon Hale’s book about a woman (played by Keri Russell) who visits a Jane Austen theme park in search of some old-fashioned romance. At the flick’s Sundance premiere, VH1 News asked Meyer and a handful of the movie’s stars what books or authors they’d like to see made into theme parks, a la The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
“[Austenland] is my theme park,” Meyer said. “If this place really existed, if I could go and dress up in Regency attire and hang out all day, reading books in a beautiful library, I would totally … That’s my vacation.”
And no, she doesn’t really see a Twilight World in our future. “There was interest in that, and honestly, what are you going to do?” she asked. “That doesn’t sound like fun. What kind of rides are you going to have? There’s not as much scope for an amusement park there.”
I don’t know, Stephenie, I think a lot of us would love the chance to hop on Edward’s back for a ride through the treetops.
Speaking of Twilight mania, Meyer told us that none of that craziness followed her to the Austenland set, which lived up to its idyllic name in the English countryside:
We’ve already begun squealing about the return of Jim Carrey in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone after the actor’s virtually acting-free 2012…and, um, those other years before that. That’s when we realized that a ton of our favorite celebs will be all over our big and small screens in 2013 (not to mention our internets, with all their interviews and such) after a dry spell. For example, according to IMDb, this year Carrie star Chloe Moretz and Oz the Great and Powerful lead James Franco return in seven and six film projects respectively. Natalie Portman and Rooney Mara have both been off the scene since 2010′s Black Swan and 2011′s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And Michael Cera? More Arrested Development means more sweet, sweet George Michael for your eyeballs.
Of course, some of these celebs seemed like they never left the limelight (see also: James Franco). Did you know Melissa McCarthy was in only one film in 2012? In Vanessa Hudgens‘ and Dwayne Johnson‘s case, it was the same film. (We didn’t know if either of them would bounce back from Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, but here we are.) Check the gallery below to find out more about their respective upcoming projects, and what other celebs we cannot wait to see more of this year.
[Photos: MGM/New Line Cinema/Splash News Online]
Related: Katniss Everdeen, Clary Fray, Melanie Stryder & More: The 13 Heroines Who’ll Make 2013 Kick Ass
If you take stories like The Hunger Games, The Host and Warm Bodies to heart, you might think we don’t have much to look forward to in the distant post-apocalyptic future. But in the more immediate days ahead, like say, the rest of 2013, there’s a whole lot to be excited for — especially if you like ladies who kick ass, stand up for what they believe in and protect their loved ones at all costs. It’s going to be a great year for heroines in movies, on TV and in books — but not necessarily the easy-to-love/worship kind. Jennifer Lawrence‘s Katniss Everdeen (this year in Catching Fire), The Americans‘ Elizabeth (Keri Russell), Beautiful Creatures‘ Lena (Alice Englert) and The Great Gatsby’s Daisy (Carey Mulligan) are complex women and girls who don’t automatically know what’s right, and sometimes they have to choose saving themselves over saving the world. The Mortal Instruments‘ Clary Fray (Lily Collins), Shadow and Bones‘ Aline, Delirium’s Lena and Warm Bodies‘ Julie (Teresa Palmer) have a little self-discovery to do before they become full-fledged heroines. The Legend Trilogy’s June and The Host’s Wanderer/Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) have to navigate between worlds to figure out whom to fight for. And Oz‘s Glinda (Michelle Williams) and Ender’s Game’s Petra (Hailee Steinfeld) are ladies whose strength is obvious, but whose roles in the bigger picture remains to be seen. As for Chloe Moretz’s Hit Girl, who returns in this summer’s Kick-Ass 2 — she’s always going to be in a category all her own.
Whatever your favorite brand of strong female is, we hope you’re looking forward to seeing them in action as much as we are! Check them out in the gallery below, and plan your year accordingly!
[Photos: Open Road Films, Lionsgate, Penguin, Constantin Films]
Former TV teens we love: Keri Russell, Kristen Bell, Katie Holmes, Alexis Bledel, Linda Cardellini and Neve Campbell
Now that we’ve seen how much potential Keri Russell’s upcoming FX series, The Americans, has — thanks to a trailer posted last week and an eerie scene up on Buzzfeed this morning — we are crossing our fingers that she is part of a trend. With former My So Called Life star Claire Danes busting terrorists on Homeland, and Felicity alum Russell working as a Soviet spy living deeply undercover on this new show, the way has been paved for other former TV teens to make huge comebacks in dramas of their own.
Kristen Bell’s been making a career of quirky romantic comedies, but now that she’s expecting her first child, we can imagine her going back to her Veronica Mars roots and settling down into another sassy detective role. (It doesn’t have to be the long-promised grown-up version of VM, but pretty please, TV gods, can it be?) We got all excited for Alexis Bledel’s small guest stint on Mad Men — could the Gilmore Girl have been testing waters for a bigger part on the small screen? Seeing that Vanity Fair Freaks and Geeks reunion made us eager to see more of Linda Cardellini. And though Neve Campbell and Katie Holmes probably got their fill of soapy angst on Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek, we think they could thrive in good procedural mysteries or the like.
What kinds of TV shows would you pick for these ladies? Flip through photos of them in their memorable roles and today, and then share your ideas in the comments below!
[Photos: Getty Images]
Keri Russell was already sort of skirting the edge of the crazy celebrity baby name cliff with four-year-old son River Russell, but we’re not even sure what to think about the name of her new daughter. For a baby’s name, it just seemsâ€¦slightly off. The Running Wilde star and her husband Shane Dreary welcomed little Willa Lou Dreary on December 27, her rep tells People. “Everyoneâ€™s happy and healthy,” Russell’s spokesperson says. Meanwhile…Willa? Lou? Willa Lou? It reminds us both of pop princess also-ran Willa Ford and a surly male busdriver at the same time. Then they top it off with the last name “Dreary”? They better hope baby girl has a sparkling personality, or else Willa’s probably going to end up someone’s kooky next door neighbor. Or a woman who’s constantly standing around the DMV. Or an old-timey ghost.
First Lauryn Hill, Lily Allen, Tori Spelling and now Keri Russell’s pregnant: some celebrities have had a very productive first half of 2011. And here’s us, with a gym membership we used like twice in March. Felicity star Russell is currently expecting her second bundle of joy/amazing hair with husband Shane Deary. “Ker is a couple of months pregnant and she’s thrilled,” a friend of the family reports to Star magazine. “She and Shane have really wanted another baby, and now it’s actually happening.” The couple already has one son, River, and Keri is currently set to star in the upcoming Austenland. Well, we’ve been journaling a lot more, so we guess it all kind of balances out.
[Photo: Splash News Online]
Many of our choices for Worst Dressed at tonight’s Primetime Emmy Awards will make us unpopular. Alas, a lovely personality does not always lend itself to the wisest red carpet styling.
Some of the evening’s most hideous frocks were draped on the stars we’d most like to grab coffee with – we’re looking at you Betty White, Christina Hendricks, and Mindy Kaling. While fashion risks were refreshing in a sea of mostly black, white, and navy gowns, January Jones and Anna Paquin looked more silly than chic. Here are tonight’s 13 worst offenses.
Did we miss any fashion flubs? Let us know in the comments.
Jessica Simpson may be taking time away from her country music career, but judging from her outfit at last night’s Extraordinary Measures premiere in Hollywood, she hasn’t lost that country style; her shoulder-padded suit-jacket over see-through black turtleneck and leggings gave us serious Designing Women flashbacks.
Hope this wasn’t meant to impress professional collaborator Billy Corgan—not all black ensembles are goth. Also attending the premiere were stars Brendan Fraser, Kerri Russell and Harrison Ford, who was joined by fiancee Calista Flockhart. Check out what they wore in the gallery below.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Happy Passover! Today Jews around the world celebrate God “passing over” the houses of the Jews when he killed the first born in Egypt. In honor of this special day, we are republishing our fabulous list of the top Jewish Hollywood Beauties. Maybe you can’t have leavened bread, but there are plenty of hot buns in this gallery to make up for it! L’Chaim!