Chris and Chris can't stop laughing...

Chris and Chris can’t stop laughing…

It was a seemingly quiet Saturday morning in Burbank, but inside the Walt Disney Studios the walls were pulsating with excitement as the earth’s mightiest heroes were gathering to share stories with the HFPA about their action-packed new movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Stories and a lot of laughter. Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Paul Bettany (The Vision) along with James Spader (the voice of Ultron) and Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill).

The two Chris’s – Number 1 and Number 2 as Chris Evans dubs them (him being Number 1 of course) are full of fun but get serious when they talk about why they love the franchise. “It’s storytelling, isn’t it?” says Hemsworth. “And for all existence we love telling stories in one form or another. And this is a heightened reality with stories about heroes and justice and injustice and so on. This captures the imaginations of kids and adults and all of us and myself included can’t help but get swept up in it. And I certainly feel like a fan with this whole phenomenon.”

“And it’s a great time,” adds Evans. “It’s enormous amounts of fun and if you are not having fun, why are you doing it? I mean, there have been some jobs that have felt a little more like work than others but there is room for that as well and some jobs where you really have to and I am sure Chris can attest to that, where there are certain jobs where you really have to go to maybe a dark place and maybe your character requires it and maybe the entire atmosphere of the set is more conducive to an artistic platform where you really have to get personal and intimate and movies like this, where it’s a superhero movie, you are playing larger than life characters, so inevitably you are going to have this kind of, it’s fun, I can’t even think of a better adjective, but it’s just fun. So this one is kind of like Summer Camp.”

Photos and text – Vera Anderson



A helicopter hovers over a Dia de los Muertos parade as part of an action scene

For the first time the HFPA have been invited onto the set of a James Bond movie. Forty members spent two days in Mexico City watching the filming of action scenes for SPECTRE, the 24th Bond film and Daniel Craig’s fourth.

From a balcony overlooking the city’s historic Plaza de la Constitucion, members watched as a helicopter buzzed over a parade of bizarrely costumed extras dressed as skeletons and zombies for a scene in which Bond chases an assassin through wild Dia de los Muertos celebrations.

Later members were shown a trailer of  footage that has been shot so far in London and Austria.

It is a huge production and Craig and the movie’s cast, crew and 1500 extras have taken over parts of Mexico City, including the Plaza de la Constitucion, for three weeks of explosions, chases, fist fights and virtually non-stop action.

Gigantic skulls and skeletons have been built in the square in front of the National Palace for a scene in which Craig chases an assassin through more than a thousand extras dressed in macabre costumes revelling in the festivities of Dia de los Muertos and then leaps into a helicopter. Spectators lined the sidewalks to watch as he dashed frantically through a carnival parade of inflatable skulls and skeletons.

Spectre, directed by Sam Mendes, is due to be released on November 6. It features the re-introduction of the global terrorist group

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The centrepiece for the carnival festivities

SPECTRE—-the Special Executive for Counter-Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. Christophe Waltz and Monica Bellucci costar with Craig along with Mexican actress Stephanie Sigmund and MI6 allies Tanner (Rory Kinnear), quartermaster/gadget man Q (Ben Whishaw), fellow agent Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and the new M (Ralph Fiennes).The official synopsis on IMDB reveals ‘A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation.’

‘While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.’

Although plot details are being kept under wraps it has emerged that
something from his past has come back to haunt Bond.

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Members talk with Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson

Producer Michael Wilson told the HFPA: “We have put a lot of money  on the screen and this will be the biggest and best Bond so far.

“We use a lot of locations because Bond has to go to different places to put pieces of a puzzle together.”

After three weeks in Mexico the cast and crew will move on to Morocco.



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A Dia de los Muertos parade enters the Plaza de la Constitucion



Four years after the TV show went off the air the cast of Entourage have reunited for a feature film based on the award-winning HBO series.entourage 2

And the stars of the movie, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrera and Kevin Dillon, along with the show’s creator and writer Doug Ellin, stopped by the Beverly Hilton hotel before an HFPA meeting to chat with members about the movie.

In it movie star Vincent Chase (Grenier) and his boys, Eric (Connellly), Turtle (Ferrera) and Johnny (Dillon) are back in business with super agent-turned studio head Ari Gold (Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed but the bond between them remains strong as they navigatge their way throught he often cutthroat world of Hollywood.

Also starring are Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment as father and son Larsen and Travis McCredle.

entourage  The movie is due to be released in the U.S. in June.




shailene wShailene Woodley has become a heroinel for teenagers through her roles in the young adult movies The Fault In Our Stars and the Divurgent series.

But the 23-year-old actress told Hollywood Foreign Press members she is currently working on a much  more adult film. In Snowden, which is being directed by Oliver Stone, who has insisted on keeping details secret, she is playing Lindsay Mills, the girlfriend of whistleblower Edward Snowden..

“I can’t say too much about it but I will say that it is based on the true relationship that Edward Snowden and Lindsay Mills actually had throughout their lives together,” said Shailene, who met HFPA members at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Snowden is being portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Shailene’s new film, the Divergent sequel Insurgent, is being released on March 20 and she is contracted to two more in the series as the final book in the trilogy, Allegiant, is being split into two films.



    It made her one ofJULIE the most popular stars on the planet and earned her a Golden Globe. Now Julie Andrews celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music with a newly-remastered, special recording.

    The score from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s movie musical will be available  on an expanded two disc version on 180-gram vinyl (!). The original 16-track RCA Victor soundtrack album will also be available on 180-gram vinyl and super audio CD (SACD), and include the eight-page booklet which accompanied the original vinyl release. All releases will be available on March 10.

    Her Golden Globe for the leading role in the musical was one of her three Golden Globe wins over the span of her long career. The HFPA nominated Julie Andrews ten times for her performances and awarded her four special awards.

    Besides Julie Andrews the director of the musical, Robert Wise, was awarded a Golden Globe (1966).

    As part of an extensive half-century celebration, The Sound of Music – 50th Anniversary Edition will feature previously unreleased orchestral cues from the score, and all vocal performances in one set for the first time. Led by Julie Andrews, the soundtrack rings out with heartwarming, iconic standards. From the title composition, “The Sound of Music,” to “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss,” “So Long, Farewell,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” and “My Favorite Things,”

    The Sound of Music stands as the most successful movie musical of all time. The soundtrack is a classic in its own right, having spent its first four years on the Billboard Top Albums chart, including fourteen weeks at number one. It has subsequently sold over 20 million units to date.




    DOM_3986Forty HFPA members braved a day of pouring rain in the English countryside to visit Highclere Castle, where many scenes of the hit series Downton Abbey are filmed.

    Members were greeted  by Lady Carnarvon and then watched filming before talking with Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter, who plays the deep-voiced Carson the butler.

    They were joined at lunch by more cast members, including the show’s writer and creator, Julian Fellowes, and two Golden Globe winners , Dame Maggie Smith (Countess Violet Crawley) and Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates).



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