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Bromance between Gyllenhaal and Reynolds filming 'Life'

There's a bromance brewing between actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds.

The Hollywood stars say they hit it off so well during the filming of their new sci-fi thriller called "Life" that a genuine friendship has blossomed. The movie, about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station who find an alien life form from Mars, is premiering Saturday at the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

The "Brokeback Mountain" and "Deadpool" stars were mostly all jokes during rounds of press interviews prior to the film's premier, answering most questions with a back-and-forth comedy shtick. But they turned serious when asked about the connection formed on set.

"You do these films and get to work with really amazing people, really talented people and you think 'oh I'm going to hang out with these people afterward and see them again,'" said Reynolds. "You don't most of the time because you go on living your life. But with this guy, we've stayed friends. That's a lucky thing. It doesn't always happen."

Some of the first signs of the newly-forged bond came earlier this week when Reynolds gave high praise to Gyllenhaal on Good Morning America, calling him one of the most interesting actors currently working in Hollywood. Reynolds said Saturday that his co-star is "one the greatest actors of this generation."

"I loved working with this guy," he said. "I loved spending time with this guy. It's not often you get this experience."

Gyllenhaal was equally complimentary, saying Reynolds's role last year as a foul-mouthed superhero is exactly what he strives for —a performance so authentic that it would be nearly impossible for another actor to duplicate.

"We sort of grew up in this business together without knowing each other until very recently," Gyllenhaal said. "It's hard in a business where ... a lot of times we're pretending to get closer to the truth and to find somebody who you feel is genuine. I feel that way about him, so we're friends."

The movie plot draws some notable parallels to Ridley Scott's 1979 classic "Alien," tracking a team of scientists on a spaceship who encounter an alien life form that wreaks havoc. Their discovery— the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars_turns out to be a threat not only to the crew but to all life on Earth.

But even with the backdrop of a sci-fi heart pounder, Gyllenhaal says he and Reynolds found some levity throughout the filming.

"This experience of what's happening right now was consistent to what it felt like while we were shooting," Gyllenhaal said in between puns served as answers to questions. "We had really scary situations in the movie and scenes that were really tense, but we were laughing constantly and it was so much fun."

Ellen Page, Jennifer Garner to do live reading of 'Juno'

Ellen Page will reprise her pregnant-teen role in "Juno" during an all-female live reading of the film to mark its 10th anniversary and to benefit Planned Parenthood, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The creators will stage the reading April 8 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles to raise money for the women's health organization. Jennifer Garner will also be back in the role of the adoptive mom, but the male leads played by Michael Cera, Jason Bateman and J.K. Simmons will go to actresses, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Jason Reitman, who earned an Oscar nomination for directing the film, once put on a series of live script readings. He stopped last April after five seasons but told the publication that the presidential election inspired him to revive them.

"Considering how much this election has done against women and what Planned Parenthood has done for women, I thought it would be cool to hear this script with an all-female voice," he said.

Reitman said he will announce the full cast on Twitter in the days before the show.

'Beauty's' Beast Dan Stevens breaks out behind the effects

When Dan Stevens met his "Beauty and the Beast" co-star Emma Watson in preproduction, she wanted to get to work analyzing the story and the themes. He just wanted to talk about her U.N. speech about gender inequality.

"It was so impressive and so mighty in its message. I was so blown away by it," Stevens said recently.

He quickly realized that her ideas actually did apply to the film too. Between the spoiled Beast, the sleazy Gaston, the gracious Maurice and others, Stevens began to think about just how many different types of masculinity are on display in the film, which opens in theaters Friday.

"Looking at these little elements of the patriarchy that she can smash through on her quest through the movie and the challenges presented to her as a girl, they tally so beautifully with Emma's project," Stevens said. "I love storytelling and fairy tale and myth and getting to grips with those fundamental elements is something that I really get a kick out of."

At 34, Stevens is perhaps still best known for his role as Matthew Crawley on the PBS period series "Downton Abbey," which he somewhat infamously left five years ago to pursue other things stateside. In the interim, the English actor has found roles in edgy indies, like the home invasion thriller "The Guest," and even in campier family fare like "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" as the overconfident Lancelot.

Now Stevens is on the verge of becoming a household name with a leading role on FX's edgy comic book series "Legion" and, of course, "Beauty and the Beast" — by far his highest profile role since "Downtown." Ironically it's also one where his face is largely hidden for most of the film.

"It's still my face driving it," Stevens said, insisting that his friends and family have said they can definitely tell its him behind the facial capture technology that turns the blonde-hair blue-eyed human male into a horned and hairy beast.

Besides, it allowed him to focus on the performance in the eyes — something he studied in Jean Marais' performance in Jean Cocteau's 1946 version of "Beauty and the Beast" to prepare.

"It was very important to me to preserve the beast's soul through the eyes," Stevens said. "It's kind of the last human quality that he has shining through."

As a father to three children with wife and singer Susie Hariet — Willow (7), Aubrey (4), and Eden (10 months) — Stevens has an added interest in balancing hard R-rated genre work with more family-friendly fare.

"I almost certainly would have said yes to this whether I had kids or not, but it is a big factor and informs some of my choices for sure these days," the actor said.

He would often bring his kids to the "Beauty and the Beast" set to see him in action.

"I love it when crew members or other cast members bring their kids on," he said. "It helps you remember why you're making it and who you're making it for."

It also made for some amusing observations from his children. Stevens' costume consisted of stilts and a cumbersome grey muscle suit that the visual effects people would eventually use to morph him into the Beast in post-production.

"My daughter said I looked like a hippo," he said. "It helped with that Beast feeling of feeling monstrous and like he didn't fit in."

With four other projects in various stages of post-production, from a role in a historical drama about Thurgood Marshall to the rom-com "Permission" and "Legion's" renewal for a second season, Stevens is doing what he's always wanted.

"I'm having a great time just exploring a number of different areas that I never dreamed I'd get to explore," Stevens said. "And, hopefully, slipping into some quite unrecognizable roles."

The Beast isn't a bad start.


Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter:

Director Jia Zhangke to host film festival in northern China

Chinese director Jia Zhangke, known for films exploring China's wrenching social changes, will host his own festival to showcase the work of young directors and movies from developing countries.

Jia announced Thursday that the Pingyao International Film Festival will be held Oct. 19-26 in the ancient city in the northern province of Shanxi, from where Jia hails.

He told The Associated Press the festival aimed to present outstanding work from around the world and help promote talented young directors.

"During my time at film festivals, I was able to see many very good films from different countries and different cultures, and to consider people's lives, human nature and societies from different angles," Jia said. "These films are brilliant, but they badly need to be introduced to Chinese audiences."

He added: "We mainly hope the films come from regions such as Asia, Latin America and Africa because there is less chance for them to be seen by Chinese audiences," as opposed to films from Europe and North America.

Swiss-Italian producer Marco Mueller, whose works include the Oscar-winning 2001 Bosnian film "No Man's Land," will be the festival's artistic director.

Jia's credits include "A Touch of Sin," nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Many of his most acclaimed films failed to gain censors' approval to be shown in China.

A company founded by Jia will host all film festivals in the city in conjunction with the local government.

Pingyao was once a famous center of trade and finance and boasts an architectural heritage dating back 2,700 years.

Orson Welles mysterious unfinished masterpiece to be completed by Netflix

One of the most famous unfinished films in cinema history is about to get an ending, a restoration and “wide release” by Netflix when it’s completed

The movie, “The Other Side of the Wind,” starring John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, and Dennis Hopper among others, was the last film by legendary producer, director and actor Orson Welles, but he died of a heart attack in 1985 before he could finish it.

>> Read more trending news  

It was supposed to be Welles’ comeback movie when he returned to Hollywood after spending years in Europe, Vanity Fair reported.

Although the movie is about a director who returns to Hollywood after years away to make a comeback movie, Welles said the movie was not about himself.  

Netflix announced this week it had acquired the global rights to the film.

“Like so many others who grew up worshiping the craft and vision of Orson Welles, this is a dream come true,” Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos said in a statement about the company’s plans for the film.

“The promise of being able to bring to the world this unfinished work of Welles with his true artistic intention intact, is a point of pride for me and for Netflix,” Sarandos said. 

Netflix has acquired global rights to Orson Welles' unfinished final film.Posted by Variety on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The original production manager on “The Other Side of the Wind” in 1970 was Frank Marshall. Marshall has led the effort to finish the film for the past four decades and will now act as producer in overseeing its completion.

“I can’t quite believe it, but after 40 years of trying, I am so very grateful for the passion and perseverance from Netflix that has enabled us to, at long last, finally get into the cutting room to finish Orson’s last picture,” Marshall said.

No word, yet, on when the film will be completed.

Production on “The Other Side of the Wind” -- which would have been Welles’ 28th feature film -- began in 1970 and continued sporadically until 1976, after funding had run out.Posted by CBS News on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

'Matrix' reboot? Some say studio should choose another pill

A reboot of "The Matrix" is said to be the works, but many fans would rather see Warner Bros. choose a different pill.

The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday reported that Warner Bros. is developing a relaunch of the 1999 film, which spawned two far less beloved sequels. Any new "Matrix" film is in such an early stage that it may — like countless other projects in development — never amount to anything. Warner Bros. declined to share any details on its plans on Wednesday.

But the report was enough to stoke a backlash on social media over any tampering with the Wachowskis' trench-coated, slow-motion bullet-flying science-fiction creation. Reboots, you may have noticed, are a tad common for Hollywood these days. And while repaving old favorites often causes consternation among fans, the possibility of a new "Matrix" touched a nerve.

On one hand, the dystopian vision of "The Matrix," about a rebellion against machine-controlled rule, would seem ideal for today. After all, many have recently suggested the world has tipped into a simulated reality of its own. The time may be ripe for the deep "rabbit-hole" diving Laurence Fishburne's Morpheus advocated.

Also, initially wounded fan feelings have been known to soften under the right conditions. Get the right talent involved, secure the necessary blessings, talk about "mining" the story's boundless "universe" and you could — come opening weekend — have a "Matrix" version of the "The Force Awakens" on your hands.

But there's also reason to believe moviegoers are increasingly saying no to cash-grab reboots. The reasons for their demises were various, but last summer was a graveyard of underwhelming redos, including "Alice Through the Looking Glass," ''Independence Day: Resurgence" and "Ghostbusters."

Still, remakes and sequels remain, overwhelmingly, the biggest box-office hits. Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," another refashioned '90s fairy tale (albeit one with fewer sunglasses), is expected to open with more than $130 million in ticket sales this weekend and may ultimately gross $1 billion worldwide.

So why is the prospect of more "Matrix" particularly jarring? Here are a few reasons why:

— No Wachowskis. Though they could, of course, get involved in some capacity in the future, they aren't currently attached as directors for the new project. For many, a "Matrix" without Lana and Lilly Wachowski — the writers and directors of all three films — is anathema. Though their subsequent movies — the "Matrix" sequels, "Cloud Atlas" and "Jupiter Ascending" — have been largely received as misfires, they've never lacked for ambition, daring or imagination. That goes double for their Netflix series "Sense8." Keanu Reeves has said their involvement is necessary for his participation in any new "Matrix" movie. Yet despite Reeves' action-hero bona fides in still sterling condition (see "John Wick" and its sequel) and the Wachowskis continually churning out sci-fi, Warner Bros. is said to be exploring a different filmmaker and star. "Avengers" scribe Zak Penn may write the script.

— Originality was the main thrill of "The Matrix." The disappointing sequels notwithstanding, "The Matrix" was for fans exhilaratingly current, even futuristic, in its special-effects innovation, distinctive visuals and philosophical underpinnings. A remake goes against the movie's defining quality. Something of a gamble, "The "Matrix" was released in March but went on to win four Oscars and make $463.5 million worldwide. Among the many to decry a reboot was "Full Frontal" writer Travon Free, who said: "An original masterpiece called 'Get Out' made $113M on a $4M budget and Warner Bros is rebooting 'The Matrix.' Spend that money on new ideas!"

—Too Soon. Though quick reboots have happened before ("Spider-Man" may have set the record at a mere five years) "The Matrix" doesn't yet feel especially dated at 18 years old. But as Hollywood begins veering into the '90s for remake-ready intellectual property, Generation X is beginning to experience what has long been a constant for baby boomers. (1999's "The Blair Witch Project" was also reborn last year.) As Hollywood edges closer to today to plunder evermore recent remakes, it might need Neo to find some kind of time warp, too.


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at:

'La La Land,' 'Beauty' herald more Days of Sun for musicals

But if every cloud has a silver lining, this one might be called golden: The Emma Stone-Ryan Gosling musical, which did win six Oscars, has been racking up box office numbers remarkable for a musical — nearly $417 million globally so far, according to comScore — and even more for an original one with no previously known songs or story. Damien Chazelle's eye-popping, toe-tapping creation ranks third in all live-action film musicals, behind the 2008 "Mamma Mia!" and the 2012 "Les Miserables," neither of them original.

"That's big-time money," says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. "At times, the musical genre has been marginalized or not taken seriously. But this is serious business."

It's enough to make a musical fan break into sudden, joyful song — and as musical fans know, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that! — perhaps on the way to the multiplex, where this weekend Emma Watson's "Beauty and the Beast" is expected to have a huge, $120 million-style opening.

And if a Disney tale featuring a Harry Potter-caliber array of top British actors isn't your thing, you need only wait; there's a slew of other live-action musicals in the works, a combination of originals, sequels and remakes. This Christmas, we'll have Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum in "The Greatest Showman," with music by "La La Land" lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a year later the high-profile "Mary Poppins Returns" with Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Meryl Streep, among others. Also reportedly on tap: a Will Ferrell-Kristen Wiig original musical about the little-known world of corporate musicals, and a Josh Gad musical with songs by Broadway luminaries Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. A musical version of the Broadway megahit "Wicked" is also coming down the pike.

And there's more yet to come. "Good movies beget other good movies," says Marc Platt, a producer of "La La Land," not to mention the upcoming "Mary Poppins Returns" and "Wicked" films. "So when a movie captures the imagination and hearts of people around the world, it's going to have a positive influence on similar genres getting made."

In a broader cultural sense, is the musical undergoing a renaissance, or at least a major moment? Or is it all just a happy coincidence? Certainly, it's been a great time for musicals on Broadway, where Miranda's "Hamilton" has been breaking all kinds of records (and bringing with it a hugely enthusiastic, youthful audience) since it opened in July 2015. And on TV, there's been the trend of live musicals like "Grease," ''Peter Pan" and "Hairspray."

"I don't think it's a coincidence," says Mandy Moore, the choreographer of "La La Land," who's also worked extensively in television. "I think it went away for a while, that style of storytelling, and that style of music, and it's like anything — bellbottoms were cool, and then they were not cool, and then they were cool again. People throw it away for a while and then come back to it and remember, oh, that was really cool, and why don't we reinvent it?"

To Menken, who composed the music for "Beauty and the Beast" (and many other musicals), the moment for musicals has been happening "for quite a while."

"Look at the box office," he said in a recent interview, listing "Hamilton" and a slew of other Broadway shows, by him and others. "It's just an explosion of musicals. And this new generation coming up who were sort of weaned on our influence, and they're kicking butt."

Platt and Moore, of "La La Land," also point to the younger creative voices injecting life into musicals in various forms; Chazelle is 32, and Miranda 37.

"It's part of the evolution of the art," says Platt. "You have new young voices who grew up seeing the world in a certain way, and hearing the world in a certain way. And what's really interesting is ... they're all steeped in the history of the genre. Lin-Manuel and Benj and Justin can tell you every piece of musical theater history, the way that Damien can tell you the history of great American and French New Wave musical cinema. And so they're taking from the past, drawing on what they've learned and studied, but putting it through the lens and the filter of their very contemporary world."

"Beauty" director Bill Condon credits animated musical films with getting audiences comfortable with the simple act of a character breaking into song.

"And then if you let it happen, it turns out that the audience actually loves that," Condon says. "There's a wider audience for it, for just the joy of breaking out into song. It feels like the audience has caught up again."

They may have caught up, but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy for future screen musicals to capture the "La La Land" magic, says Dergarabedian of comScore.

"It's not going to happen every year," he says. "That was lightning in a bottle."


AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

'T2' director Danny Boyle talks about going back

It's been over 20 years since "Trainspotting" took audiences deep inside the alluring, unsettling world of young, Scottish, Iggy Pop-loving heroin junkies and director Danny Boyle is feeling reflective. Since his massively successful second feature film, Boyle has won an Oscar, directed the Opening Ceremony of the London Summer Olympics and made a point not to repeat himself.

But "Trainspotting" was different. It not only launched his career, but boosted that of his actors — Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle. And after two decades, author Irvine Welsh, screenwriter John Hodge and Boyle knew they had something tangible to work with: Mortality.

Boyle talked to The Associated Press about getting the gang back together and how "T2" is even more personal than the first.

AP: Why do a sequel now?

DANNY BOYLE: "Trainspotting" was a big hit, but there was no talk about making a sequel then. I don't know if the business was a bit more naive, because now if you have a hit, everyone would be going, "Can you do another one, maybe set it in Amsterdam?"

Irvine wrote a book seven years later after the film. We did look at that and we did try to adapt that. We didn't do very well with it. And then 20 years later loomed on the horizon as a possible last opportunity for an anniversary and we got together and something more personal emerged.

AP: Why more personal?

BOYLE: It's a much more personal film than the first film, because it's about aging and men aging. In your 20s, you don't care about consequences. It's reckless. They get to their mid-40s and they have to atone for what they've done and realize that time doesn't care about them.

AP: Sick Boy (Miller) even has the same bleached hair.

BOYLE: That was me. Jonny wanted to have a shaved head. I said, "I literally can't make the movie unless Sick Boy has the same hair." It's a distillation of why men are so bad at aging. They will do anything. Women get such flak about age and time, but women age much more sensibly than men. They understand. Men just ignore it. "I am 25. I am still attractive!"

AP: Was it difficult to get the original actors on board?

BOYLE: No, I knew when we got the script. I sent it straight to them and I knew they'd do it. I said, "Look, we're going to do it like we do the first film. You'll all be paid the same. I don't want any agents or managers involved in any discussions. You come back and you make this because the original did so much for all of us individually and we owe it to the town, Edinburgh, where the stories originate, and you will not get a better script than this anyway in your other careers." And they all agreed. I knew they would.

AP: Did going back make you realize anything about your own career?

BOYLE: I have a philosophy of trying to do something different every time, which is stubbornly awkward and deliberate. I'm not sure how natural it is but that's what I do. I try to do something different, a different tone, a wildly different subject matter. But this you have something that you have to refer to. And it cross breeds with this other obsession I have, and I think that the tendency to try to do something different is a product of this, which is: I think your first film is your best film always. And I look at other directors and think they'll never be that good again. You don't know all the skills. It's such a cunning, technical medium, film, and once you access those skills you become a technician. And when you don't have them you're just a wanderer. And it can go badly wrong, but if you're lucky and it works, it's magical.

AP: Finally, why "T2"?

BOYLE: When we started, everybody said, "It's going to be called 'Trainspotting 2.'" And I was like, "No, this is its own film. I don't want you just deciding it's a sequel. We're going to not even have 'Trainspotting' in the title." You could see them going, "What the ... how are we going to market that?"

The original title was a terrible title. It was called "The Least Unfamiliar." You want the film to have its own identity, so if you want to move away totally from the first film, you can. You don't want to be chained to the first film, even though you are. You know you're going to have to give in eventually and we did give in at some point. I said, "Well, if you ask these characters what they would call their sequel, they would call it 'T2' because their favorite sequel is 'Terminator 2' and they are the type of people who would love to both honor James Cameron and piss him off at the same time. So we called it "T2." And they added "Trainspotting," of course, because, they could.


Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter:

'Beauty and the Beast' aims to enchant a new generation

In 1991, Disney struck gold with "Beauty and the Beast." The film enchanted audiences and critics alike, and raked in several hundred million dollars along the way, but also upended expectations of what an animated film could be.

Not only did the New York Times theater critic controversially call it the best Broadway musical score of the year (spurring an actual Broadway show three years later), it also was the first-ever animated film to be nominated for a best picture Oscar.

Over a quarter century later, the legacy endures but times have changed, and there's a new "Beauty and the Beast" on the block. Out March 17, the film is a lavish live-action reimagining of the "tale as old as time" with state-of-the-art CG splendor, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's classic songs and score (and a few new tunes with Tim Rice), and a modern social consciousness.

The film stars "Harry Potter's" Emma Watson as the bookish heroine Belle, who yearns for adventure outside of the confines of her "small provincial town" and "Downton Abbey" alum Dan Stevens as the cursed and cold Beast. Their supporting cast is a coterie of veterans, including Kevin Kline (Maurice), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Audra McDonald (Madame Garderobe), Stanley Tucci (Maestro Cadenza) and Ewan McGregor (Lumiere).

That Disney's specific vision for "Beauty and the Beast" has lived on is no surprise, and its 13-year run on Broadway helped keep it in the cultural consciousness.

"It's genuinely romantic, a genuinely beautiful story," Menken said of its lasting appeal.

And then there's the nostalgia aspect. For many (including the cast), this was a seminal childhood film.

Luke Evans (Gaston) saw it when he was 12, Josh Gad (LeFou) when he was 10, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Plumette) when she was 8. Suffice it to say, they all knew the lyrics to the songs before they were cast.

The remake is also part of the Walt Disney Company's ongoing strategy to mine their vaults for animated fare worthy of live-action re-creations. "Mulan," ''The Little Mermaid," ''Aladdin" and "The Lion King" are just a few already in the works.

But that doesn't mean there weren't worthy updates to be made in "Beauty and the Beast." Director Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls") delighted in rooting the story in a specific time and place — 1740 France — and adorning every last corner of the production with Rococo and Baroque details.

Technology advances allowed the production to render household objects that look believable when brought to life. The Beast's look, meanwhile, was achieved by combining performance capture and MOVA, a facial capture system, meaning Stevens throughout production walked on stilts and sported a prosthetic muscle suit with a gray body suit on top. (Yes, he danced in this getup).

The characters are more fleshed out as well. The Beast gets a backstory. As does Belle, whose independence looked refreshingly radical in '91 and goes even further here.

"She's a 21st century Disney princess. She's not just a pretty girl in a dress," Evans said. "She's fearless and needs no one to validate her."

That the woman behind the character is also the UN women's goodwill ambassador only adds to its resonance.

"I think Emma's an incredible role model for young girls, as somebody who has two daughters but also has a young son who I want to grow up with these values instilled," Stevens said.

And, in a tribute to Ashman, who died of complications relating to AIDS at age 40 before the '91 film came out, the production even unearthed forgotten lyrics from his notes, which they've added to two songs in the new film — "Gaston" and "Beauty and the Beast."

While many of the beats, and even lines, remain the same as in '91, the world looks more diverse from the very first shots. Faces of all races can be seen both in the grand castle and the country town.

"(Condon) wanted to make a film that was resonant for 2017, that represents the world as it is today," said Mbatha-Raw.

Much has been made, too, of LeFou's subtle "gay moment," which put the internet in a tizzy far ahead of anyone actually seeing the film. On one side, GLAAD was applauding, on the other, a Facebook page apparently belonging to the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in Henagar, Alabama, announced that it would not be showing the film.

Many in the production have backed away from the topic entirely.

"To define LeFou as gay ... nobody who sees the movie could define it that way. He's enthralled with Gaston," Menken said. "I'm happy that LeFou is getting so much attention. But I pray that this stupid topic goes away because it's just not relevant with any respect to the story. Even the one moment that's being discussed is just a silly little wink. It's nothing."

For his part, Gad thinks it's been "overblown," too, and that the story is more about "inclusiveness" and not judging a book by its cover.

"It's a story with a lot of wonderful messages, and, really once you watch the film, anyone who is wondering what it's all about will understand that it's a beautiful story, inclusive of everyone. It's a legacy that I'm proud to be part of," Evans added.

"But you can judge Gaston by his cover," he said with a smirk. "That's exactly who he is."


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Alfonso Cuaron wraps filming on 'Roma' in his native Mexico

For Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron, returning to film in his native Mexico was an itch that took 16 years to finally scratch.

Ever since Cuaron found international success with the movie "Y Tu Mama Tambien," commitment after commitment, among them "Children of Men" and "Gravity," delayed his plans for a more personal project back home.

"Movies are like a cereal box — at the bottom there is the promise of a toy," Cuaron said Tuesday at a news conference in the Mexican capital, paraphrasing friend and colleague Guillermo del Toro to describe why he filmed his latest in Mexico.

"'Gravity' was that cereal box and I got that little toy, which usually leads to a bigger film with more production, with more stars," Cuaron told reporters. "But I decided to return to Mexico City to make this movie with the resources I had always dreamed about."

Cuaron has now wrapped shooting on "Roma," a 1970s period piece about a year in the life of a middle-class family that is infused by the director's experiences as a child and his Mexican identity.

"I can live abroad, but my head keeps thinking in Mexican, in 'chilango,'" Cuaron said, employing a local slang referring to denizens of the capital. "I am very much up on the happenings of my country, and I miss where I am from."

Cuaron, who kept quiet on details of the plot of "Roma," was accompanied by production designer Eugenio Caballero, who won an Academy Award for his work on "Pan's Labyrinth" and is art director for the new film.

Both thanked Mexico City authorities and apologized to locals for the inconvenience of several main streets being shut down. Among those was a thoroughfare where they recreated the 1971 Corpus Christi Massacre of dozens of student protesters by a paramilitary group known as "Los Halcones," or "The Hawks."

"We weren't thinking about this frivolously," Cuaron said. "We did this to re-create a historic moment in Mexicans' consciousness. ... For that very reason it was essential to film this scene where the events happened.

"By the nature of the project, being a period film, we had to close streets," Caballero said. "In addition to the support from the authorities, the people understood what the project was about and it was interesting to talk about that city for which many people were stirred by nostalgia."

Cuaron, whose credits also include "A Little Princess," ''Great Expectations" and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," will spend the rest of the year on post-production for "Roma" ahead of its expected premier in 2018.


Natalia Cano on Twitter:

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