Director and producer Steven Soderbergh is one prolific filmmaker responsible for over 25 feature-length films, making Jennifer Lopez a credible actress (see: Out of Sight), and re-inventing the Rat Pack with George Clooney and Brad Pitt in the Ocean’s Eleven series. While he was seemingly in his prime, Soderbergh suddenly announced his retirement in 2011, promising that his films, Liberace and Man From U.N.C.L.E., would be his last.
We don’t have to tell you how psyched we were for Magic Mike. It certainly wasn’t a secret how the interns had to spray us down with a garden hose whenever we blogged about it too much. That being said, even we were shocked by the story director Steven Soderbergh told while introducing Matthew McConaughey at the New York Critics Circle awards. “While we were shooting Matthew’s script sequence, one very impassioned woman extra pulled his G-string off and tried to stick her finger up his butt,” Soderbergh said out loud in front of other people yesterday. “And when I remembered that, I thought, You know, where I come from, you stand up for a guy who brings that kind of game to your movie.” Did we mention Soderbergh said this while welcoming McConaughey onstage to accept his Best Supporting Actor award for Magic Mike and Bernie? Amazing.
Of course, we don’t mean to imply that it’s awesome that an extra would try to stick their finger in anyone’s butt without an explicit invitation. We just think it’s great that Steven Soderbergh would bring it up in front of the New York media elite and Daniel Day-Lewis. “I don’t think she was trying to stick her finger up my butt,” McConaughey clarified once he took the stage “She was trying to put it somewhere, though, and you got it on film. It worked out.” Trying to put it somewhere that wasn’t his butt? What. Does. That. Even. Mean? Oh no, our body temperature is skyrocketing! Someone go get the hose!
[Photo: Warner Bros.]
Steven Soderbergh’s having kind of a crap week, what with disappointing numbers for his latest action flick, Haywire, and the news that Annapurna Pictures backed out of one of his next projects, Side Effects. But we feel more sorry for Blake Lively, as some industry sources are speculating that backers aren’t so sure she can handle the role of a young woman caught in a love triangle with her doctor (Jude Law) and her paroled husband (Channing Tatum). It sounds like a heavy step up from Gossip Girl and Green Lantern, but it wouldn’t be the first time Soderbergh has managed to make a movie star into a serious actress. (One of those actresses, Catherine Zeta-Jones, has signed on for another role in Side Effects, giving ol’ Steven a vote of confidence.) Then again, he’s also had a few misses in that category too. Let’s take a look at what the critics have said about five of his leading ladies’ performances:
1. Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight: “At the center of the film is the repartee between Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney, and these two have the kind of unforced fun in their scenes together that reminds you of Bogart and Bacall. There’s a seduction scene in which the dialogue is intercut with the very gradual progress of the physical action, and it’s the dialogue that we want to linger on.” — Roger Ebert
“Lopez, for all her Latina-siren voluptuousness, has always projected a contained coolness, and this is the first movie in which it fully works for her. As Sisco is lured into a romance with Foley, you can see her resolve melt in spite of itself.” — Entertainment Weekly
Some of us are just getting to know Gina Carano, as she makes her movie debut in Steven Soderberg’s Haywire, in theaters today. In the movie, she plays Mallory Kane, a private security contractor whose boss/lover turns on her. And naturally, to survive and exact revenge, she winds up kicking the ass of some rather delicious foes: Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas and Channing Tatum. She also happens to have done all of her own stunts. (At post-screening Q&A for the movie we attended back in December, she said she loves bruises and had to talk the stunt guys into hitting her for real.) Because before becoming an actress, she was a professional badass.
The Muay Thai kickboxer was one of the hottest MMA fighters in the biz before going on hiatus in 2009. (Here’s a little highlights video put together by a fan.) She was also #16 on the Maxim Hot 100 in 2009 and appeared as Crush on American Gladiators.
After seeing her defy the laws of physics in Haywire, we’re very eager for her to get back in the ring. Then again, it would be a loss to moviegoers if she didn’t stay in the acting game — despite the admission by Soderberg that he altered her voice for the flick; she doesn’t really talk all that much in the movie anyway. But we love seeing a female action hero with real muscle and fire in her eyes. Check out our 20 favorite pics of the lovely and deadly Gina below.
[Photos: Relativity Media]
This is what runs through my mind when I go to read articles about Magic Mike, the stripper movie starring every hot actor you’d ever want to see naked: “Words, words, oooh, preeettty.” Which, my mind has a point there. But also, maybe we shouldn’t objectify these guys. They’re actors, not actual strippers, after all. They don’t exist solely for our viewing pleasure. So, as a service to all the other ladies out there who’ve been too distracted by Joe Manganiello’s abs to notice that there were words in those stories, here’s a roundup of quotes from interviews with the cast of what will surely be Steven Soderbergh’s most important masterpiece since Traffic.
“It’s gonna blow minds.” — Joe to VH1 at the Scream Awards.
“[Everyone is] pretty damn naked, and probably more naked than in True Blood even, if you can believe it. There are some dicey, dicey scenes in there. A lot of girls get naked too.” — Joe to MTV’s Hollywood Crush
“Y’all are incredibly cheap when it comes to giving money for sex!” — Channing on his memories of female patrons from his days as a real-life stripper
Joe Manganiello has the hunk thing down (tall, dark, so very, very handsome), but he’s also really fun to chat with. We caught up with the True Blood actor right after winning Breakout Performance at the Scream Awards, and he filled us in onÃ‚Â Magic Mike, his upcoming project with director Steven Soderbergh. Also known as That Stripper Movie Starring Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum. Rawr.
The actor raved about the film —Ã‚Â “It’s gonna blow minds” — and his co-stars. “It was like Spring Break,” he said of their time together. “They are the greatest group of guys.” When I asked if the Pec Posse (you like that?) visited any strip clubs while shooting in Tampa, Joe told us, “I didn’t, but a lot of them did.”
He wouldn’t name names, but we have some guesses. Who are yours? Watch the video below the jump.
So, Michael Douglas. He was kinda funny in “Romancing the Stone,” we guess. And he had to have had a sense of humor to agree to “The In-Laws” and “Me, You & Dupree” (we can’t even remember what he did in that movie, having successfully erased it from our damaged brains). But there’s really not anything in the man’s filmography to suggest that he’s the perfect man to play the most fabulous piano player of all time, Liberace. Close your eyes and picture Gordon Gekko getting out of a mirrored Rolls. If that’s difficult, we can’t even get to the 200-pound “King Neptune” costume and rhinestone-encrusted Baldwin grand (Liberace Museum, R.I.P.).
But maybe this is all proof of the genius of Steven Soderbergh, who has also cast Matt Damon(!) as the showman’s live-in lover for the HBO film, Behind the Candelabra, according to Deadline. (Surprising casting aside, maybe VH1 deserves some royalties for that name.) We shall see. In the meantime, watch Liberace deliver the best sign off music of all time.
Who knew it would be the promise of Channing Tatum‘s thrusting pelvis and meticulous pole work that could keep Traffic director Steven Soderbergh out of retirement? Despite what the directorÃ‚Â of Erin Brockovich claimed earlier this spring, he isn’t going to end his filmmaking career with Liberace with Michael Douglas and Man From U.N.C.L.E. with George Clooney. He instead will be shooting the greatest movie ever made: Channing Tatum’s stripper film.
Deadline is reporting Soderbergh with team up with Tatum for Magic Mike, a story about a stripper who must teach a younger dancer how to succeed on and off the dollar bill-covered stage; the story is based on Tatum’s stripping experience before he broke into acting.Ã‚Â “When Channing talked to me about this, I thought it was one of the best ideas I’d ever heard for a movie. I said I wanted in immediately. It’s sexy, funny and shocking. We’re using Saturday Night Fever as our model, so hopefully we’re on the right track,” the director said in a statement. Tatum is also enthusiastic about the partnership, adding “This was a wild and pivotal time in my life and I couldn’t be more thrilled to go down the rabbit hole with Steven.” Did we mention Soderbergh is an Academy Award winner? We always knew it would take someone with an Oscar to make the all-male version of Showgirls we’ve been dreaming about for years.
It’s one thing to take a break from your marriage to clear your head and figure out your relationship, but it’s unfortunate when your soul-searching sojourn results in having a baby with the other woman who helped clear your head over…and over…and over. That’s the situation director Steven Soderbergh finds himself in at the moment. Soderbergh separated from wife Jules Asner briefly in 2009 and moved to Australia to direct a play. While there, he began a relationship with a woman named Frances Lawrencina Anderson who says that the pair hooked up on numerous occasions and ultimately, Anderson became pregnant with Soderbergh’s child.
Anderson has filed a paternity suit against Soderbergh, and says that the pair engaged in “sexual intercourse on many occasions covering all possible dates of [conception]…and as a result thereof, she became pregnant.” Soderbergh, to his credit “has acknowledged that he is the father of the child verbally and [offered] to pay various medical and other expenses incurred by [Anderson] in relation to the pregnancy.” Soderbergh and Asner are back together and he reportedly accepted full responsibility for the child and the as soon as he learned about the baby. Considering they were already separated in 2009, we’ll be impressed if they manage to work through this situation.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Sasha Grey is only 20 years old, and yet she’s accomplished so much. Not only is she a fast-rising porn star (Los Angeles magazine dubbed her the next Jenna Jameson), but her Wikipedia page says she’s a “film and stage actor, writer, photographer, performance/transgressive artist and experimental musician.”
We’re not sure if Grey legitimately excels in all of the above, but she’s apparently a good enough actor to snag a role in Steven Soderbergh‘s next movie, “the Girlfriend Experience.” The plot, admittedly, shouldn’t be a big stretch for Grey: It’s about a high-end call girl. But we’re sure this role will be more challenging — artistically, at least — than some of her previous films, including Freaks of Cock and 18 Years Old (we’re guessing this one was made two years ago?).
In addition to the Soderbergh gig, Grey’s resume is full of eclectic achievements. She appeared in a video by the Roots (Birthday Girl), sang on a Lee “Scratch” Perry track (“Pum Pum”), modeled for American Apparel, and starred in a movie directed by Dave Navarro (Broken). She’s also in the process of making a documentary about the last four years of her life and is a member of a fledgling art band called aTelecine.
Citing French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard and David Bowie as her biggest influences and pondering the relationship between pornography and existentialism, this renaissance girl is either one very confused young lady or a new breed of ultra-confident feminist. Either way, if she were to ever win an Academy Award, we’re sure she’d be the only Oscar winner in history to have also won AVN Awards for categories like Best Three-Way Sex Scene (Fuck Slaves) and Best Oral Sex Scene (Babysitters). [Source: New York Post]
Related Content: More on Sasha Grey at BuzzFeed