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Archive for the ‘Articles & Interviews’ Category

October 19, 2007   •  Category: "Rendition", Articles & InterviewsComments Off on Witherspoon Takes Dramatic Step in Rendition

Actress’s all-American appeal helps film get message across, director says

Before her latest film, if anyone had asked Reese Witherspoon what the term “extraordinary rendition” meant, she might have answered with a blank stare.

The words could be bureaucratese for something as innocuous as a tax deduction. But as Witherspoon’s Rendition spells out darkly and melodramatically, the term actually stands for a U.S. government practice of transferring terrorism suspects to other countries, where their interrogations could subject them to abuse and torture.

“I don’t think I realized what the term was called,” Witherspoon told The Associated Press at September’s Toronto International Film Festival, where Rendition played in advance of its theatrical release Friday. “The term is not really in the popular vernacular.

“It sounds like public-policy rigmarole. It doesn’t sound like anything that you would connect with the torture and detainment of innocent people.”

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October 19, 2007   •  Category: "Rendition", Articles & InterviewsComments Off on 60 Seconds: Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon made her first film, The Man In The Moon, aged 14. Last year, she won an Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk The Line and later separated from her husband Ryan Phillippe. Her new film Rendition is about the transfer and harsh interrogation of US non-citizens in countries where they are suspected of terrorism.

Did Meryl Streep’s involvement in this film help attract you to the project?
Of course. I was nervous the day I had to work with her. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do it but she was wonderful. She’s completely intimidating, completely professional and had a thousand ideas – but as soon as you cut, she’s the nicest, warmest, funniest person.

Who else has intimidated you on set?
Matthew Broderick when I did Election. I’d grown up watching his films and always thought he was so funny. He had that wonderful wry comic wit. I was more scared to meet Matthew than anyone I’ve ever worked with. He was an icon and I had a crush on him when I was little. I used to think he was so cute.

Did you tell him?
Of course not! And I certainly never told his wife.

Have you ever felt prejudice in your own life, as you and your husband do in Rendition?
Yes, when I went to Stanford University when I was 19. I’d already done several films and I really felt this prejudice against me because I was an actress. Some of the students thought I’d only got in there because I was an actress but I applied the same way as everyone else under my real name, which is not the same as my acting name.

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October 17, 2007   •  Category: "Rendition", Articles & InterviewsComments Off on Reese Witherspoon Walks a Serious Line For Rendition

Smart steel magnolia that she is, Reese Witherspoon is coming home to serious fare after time away from the screen.

The 31-year-old actress – who had big hits in confections like the Legally Blonde movies, Sweet Home Alabama and Just Like Heaven – stars in Rendition as Isabella, a Chicago woman whose husband, an Egyptian-born chemical engineer (Omar Metwally), is suspected by U.S. authorities of having knowledge of a bombing; with no charges leveled, he’s flown to North Africa for a cruel secret interrogation. Through several characters’ viewpoints, director Gavin Hood’s drama, opening Friday, peers unblinkingly into the confusion and conscience-searching that the war on terror has wrought.

For Witherspoon, whose first film, at 14, was The Man in the Moon, Rendition allowed her to continue a professional route that hit a peak with her Best Actress-winning performance as June Carter Cash in 2005’s Walk the Line.

“The film [addresses] an issue you read about, but may not feel connected to,” Witherspoon says. “I’m really lucky that I’m able to do [movies] like this, and that people accept me doing different things.”

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October 16, 2007   •  Category: "Rendition", Articles & Interviews1 Comment

Here is fantastic interview with Reese and the cast mates of Rendition Press Conference from Movies.About.com. Although spoiler phoebes be warned! It does contain quite a few things you may not wish to know just yet! There is a cut off point, so if you’re wanting to remain spoiler free do not read past it, or heck just wait until you’ve seen the film and come back for this one, it will be here. 😉

The term ‘extraordinary rendition’ refers to the U S government’s policy of secretly abducting foreign nationals who are viewed as national security threats and placing them in overseas prisons in order to ‘interrogate’ them. The film Rendition follows an Egyptian-American businessman who’s placed into custody upon arriving back in the US from a business trip and taken to North Africa to be questioned – and tortured. Director Gavin Hood and the film’s stars Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Igal Naor, and Omar Metwally took part in a press conference in Los Angeles to discuss their involvement in the dramatic movie.

Reese and Jake, why do you think people would want to see a movie about this policy?

Reese Witherspoon: “Why wouldn’t they?”

Why would they?

Gavin Hood: “I think your answer was good: why wouldn’t they?”

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October 14, 2007   •  Category: "Rendition", Articles & InterviewsComments Off on Witherspoon Shows Serious, Socially Aware Focus In Rendition

What’s a nice girl like Reese Witherspoon doing mixed up with government-sanctioned kidnapping and torture?

“I think it’s really easy to think about (awful) things in the abstract,” says the Oscar-winning actress of her role in the new movie Rendition, “but when you have an emotional, human experience that connects you to the people affected by these things, it can really change your perception about whether or not they’re … ethical? Constitutional? Certainly it raises awareness about (extraordinary) rendition and whether or not it is those things.”

Despite looking a little tired on another day of publicity at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, she appears every inch the gracious, well-mannered woman of Southern upbringing she is reputed to be. Witherspoon shot to the top of the box office rankings with her two “Legally Blonde” films (in which she played Elle Woods) and a handful of romantic comedies that polished her all-American-girl image. Not to be pigeonholed, however, she followed those with her widely lauded turn as June Carter in the drama about Johnny Cash, Walk the Line. Defying social expectations of women has been a theme of the Nashville native’s life and career.

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October 7, 2007   •  Category: "Rendition", Articles & InterviewsComments Off on A Testing Time for Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon is sitting on a dais in a ritzy Beverly Hills hotel with Jake Gyllenhaal and some of the other stars from her latest film, Rendition, along with the director, Gavin Hood. They’re answering questions about the film, a dramatic thriller about one of the most controversial aspects of the “war on terror”, the practice of “extraordinary rendition”. That’s the heavily criticised procedure used by the CIA to secrete suspected terrorists to countries such as Egypt and Morocco, where they can be interrogated – and tortured – without being subject to US law.

Witherspoon plays the wife of an American-Egyptian chemical engineer who disappears after boarding a flight from Cape Town. She gradually learns that her husband is suspected of being a terrorist, and has been “rendered” by the CIA to a North African country, evidently Morocco. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the CIA analyst charged with overseeing her husband’s interrogation, who becomes troubled by the morality of what he and the US government are doing.

As they answer questions, I find I’m not really listening. I am transfixed by Witherspoon, whom I am going to be meeting in person in a few minutes. She’s the only woman on the panel of six, and, even at a distance, her very blonde hair and very blue eyes, sitting within exquisitely tiny features, are quite mesmerising among the heavy-set, dark-haired men up there. It’s incredibly hard to grasp that this tiny creature, who looks as fragile as a miniature porcelain doll, is by far the most successful, most powerful and best-paid person in the room.

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October 7, 2007   •  Category: "Rendition", Articles & InterviewsComments Off on MoviesOnline Interview

MoviesOnline features a fabulous Rendition interview with Reese, Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, which includes all kinds of interesting things about the flick.

MoviesOnline caught up recently with director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) and the cast of Rendition at the Los Angeles Press Conference to promote their new film. Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Igal Naor, Meryl Streep, Peter Sarsgaard and Alan Arkin star in this edgy and thought-provoking thriller about an Egyptian-born chemical engineer, Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), who disappears on a flight from South Africa to Washington.

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September 30, 2007   •  Category: Articles & InterviewsComments Off on Pretty in Pink

I interviewed Witherspoon earlier this month at the Toronto filmfest. She talked about how she formerly rated her comedies lower than her dramas, despite kudos she earned for her light touch. But Witherspoon, like the hero in the classic screwball comedy Sullivan’s Travels, evolved.

“I just recently realized the power of laughter and how it changes people’s lives,” said Witherspoon, who is raising two youngsters alone after splitting from Ryan Phillippe.

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Current Projects
Sing (2016)
Role: Rosita (voice)
Genre: Animated musical comedy
On DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD now
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Big Little Lies (2017)
Role: Madeline
Genre: HBO TV Series - Drama
Available on Digital HD download now
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Home Again (2017)
Role: Alice
Genre: Romantic Comedy
In US cinemas now
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A Wrinkle In Time (2017)
Role: Mrs Whatsit
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
To be released March 9th 2018 (US)
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Luckiest Girl Alive
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In A Dark, Dark Wood
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The Thing About Jellyfish
All Is Not Forgotten
Cold
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