Tag: kate beckinsale
1. Mila Kunis – Max Payne
Because you can’t kill ghoulish bad guys in khaki, Mila Kunis brought out the leather when it was time to bring out the big guns.
2. Kate Beckinsale – Underworld Awakening
No, it’s not just because her movie is about to drop. It’s because her leather catsuit-corset combo fits her like a glove. Perhaps ironically, Kate’s hands are the only part of her body below the neck not covered in skin-tight leather.
3. Carrie Anne Moss – The Matrix
You don’t always have to show skin to be sexy in leather. You just need to be handy with a variety of weapons and spout new-age philosophy from time to time. And so we come to Trinity: Sometimes she saved us, sometimes she confused us, but mostly she just aroused us.
4. Kristanna Loken – Terminator: Rise of the Muchines
In the future, hot chicks will be clad entirely in red leather. And, apparently, they will want you dead.
5. Malin Akerman – Watchmen
Because wearing leather isn’t really about subtlety, we love the yellow on Malin Akerman.
Sony Pictures has released the official synopsis for Total Recall, director Len Wiseman’s remake of the 1990 sci-fi adventure, which hits theaters August 3. Take a look at the official plot rundown below.
Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man.
Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.
With Underworld Awakening bringing Vampires and Lycans into the cold light of the human world, the filmmakers strove to differentiate the Old World fantasy-based Underworld from the modern urbanity in which Selene finds herself. Shooting in Vancouver B.C., they found much they could take advantage of: the city’s modern skyline, the outlying wilderness and the moody atmosphere. “Vancouver is one of the great filmmaking cities,” says Coatsworth. “We embraced both the contemporary and the older aspects of the city to try to create an extension of our European city, while subtly bringing it into the future.”
The damp, overcast streets of Vancouver provided the dark, wet mood the filmmakers sought for their dystopian future, while the modernist architecture provided inspiration for the vast unnamed city.” Underworld is not our world,” says Marlind. “You can’t say it’s Moscow or New York or Rome. It’s Underworld. This was what was very attractive to us, because we were able to explore new ideas.
“If you look around, you will see very hard concrete architectural types,” he continues. “It is very unlike the Gothic style of a place like Budapest, but it has a very cool feel that has been extremely fun to explore.”
The filmmakers gave the fictional city a skyline inspired by the buildings of Soviet-era Eastern Europe. “We went with a very specific look, the architectural style known as brutalism,” says production designer Claude Pare. “Brutalism was the predominant style of the Communist era. It is functional, unadorned and rectilinear. Typically it’s built from stark, grey slabs of poured concrete in bold symmetrical forms. In Vancouver, there are many buildings designed by the architect Arthur Erickson that fit the profile and we were fortunate to be able use of some of these buildings, including Simon Fraser University, which we made our key location, the headquarters of Antigen.”
With a laser technology called LIDAR, the filmmakers were able to reshape the Vancouver skyline based on the specifications of the directors, in essence building an entirely new city for Underworld Awakening’s human world. James McQuaide, the film’s executive producer and visual effects supervisor used LIDAR’s ability to capture the geometry of volume to custom build a completely original skyline for a modern city that isn’t geographically recognizable, because it doesn’t really exist.
“We scanned different buildings from all over Vancouver, then brought those images together to create a kind of composite photo,” says McQuaide. “The buildings may be recognizable, if you know Vancouver well, but they are not situated next to each other except in our cityscape. Once we captured the actual geometry of the space, we recreated what was there practically. Because it’s data, we’re not married to any particular angle, so the camera can move freely in the virtual space.”
Production designer Pare also created a cave-like home for the Vampire coven. Hunted to near extinction, a small group has taken refuge in an underground lair beneath a giant hydroelectric dam. “There just happened to be fantastic hydroelectric dam about a half an hour north of Vancouver,” says Wright.
The lair is a monument to earlier times, filled with relics of formerly luxurious lives. “Everything is dripping and very moldy,” says Pare. “It’s done in tones of ochre, brown, dark green and there’s lots of black.”
It contrasts sharply with the hard geometry of the city, says Marlind. “We wanted the Vampire world to be old and sensual and round,” he explains. “It has a feeling of the womb to it, because that is a theme in the film for Selene.”
Both the coven and the Antigen interiors had to be custom built for the shoot. “Vancouver has a number of sound stage facilities that allowed us to spread out and build all of these sets,” says Wright. “Vancouver also has very, very highly skilled set construction people, which came in handy. We were creating a medieval crypt-like coven and then we were doing very high-tech concrete and glass interiors for Antigen and those are two completely different finishes.”
Selene’s iconic costume had to be recreated down to the last detail by Academy Award-nominated costume designer Monique Prudhomme. “The first time I saw her in the costume, I thought, she’s back!” Prudhomme says. “The challenge was to find a fabric that would give the same feel and comfort. The costume is very simple, but it was critical to get it right. The latex suit has absolutely no hanger appeal, but because Kate is so beautiful and athletic, she fills it out and makes it look fantastic. The detail in her costume comes from the leather corset that is boned and embroidered. It’s like her armor.”
Giving the actress added panache is her oversized death dealer coat. “It’s a leather coat that is elaborately embroidered on the shoulders, in the front and on the sleeves,” says the designer. “That coat gives her a big ‘swoosh’ of movement, and also brings the Vampire tradition to her look.”
Putting on the costume the first time was like coming home, says Beckinsale. “Just the sound it makes is very specific. I was very intimidated by the costume in the beginning, but I trust it now. It actually gives me a help, if anything.”
Special-effects makeup designer Todd Masters was entrusted with the task of creating an original visual concept for Eve, the first Vampire-Lycan hybrid. “It was a really great honor to be handed this mantle,” says Masters. “The technology and artistic technique have developed so quickly that the bar is very high. The Eve hybrid went through quite a few developments. It was important to be able to see India inside, so she isn’t just a monster when she goes through this dynamic transformation. We wanted to see a lot of performance. We made some really cool teeth for her, as well as contact lenses and amazing ruby nails.”
Eisley says the elaborate makeup completed the character for her. “I just loved it. I got the Lycan fangs which are very big and gnarly and just very, very intense, plus blood red, very long claws. The contact lenses are a unique mix of black and ice blue, because Eve’s not full Lycan or full Vampire. The contact lenses were very comfortable, but the claws were very painful. They were glued onto my fingers and it felt like they were going to rip my nails off, so it wasn’t too pleasant. But it looks great!”
In addition to introducing new characters and a new setting, Underworld Awakening reaches a new level of action for the franchise. “For the first movie, we had no real budget at all,” says Wright. What made it work was the atmospherics and story points and acting. This is the most wirework I’ve ever done on any film. You’ll see Selene jumping over fences and making impossible leaps. The bar has been raised so high and I think we have elevated the game.”
Brad Martin, who began as a stunt coordinator on Underworld, served as second unit director as well this time out. “Brad knows the Underworld franchise as well as anybody, so we had tremendous good fortune in getting him to play a directorial role in the second unit action sequences of the film,” says Lucchesi. “He’s also a great friend of Kate’s, so he had her confidence in terms of asking her to perform some pretty impressive moves. Kate did a lot of her own stunts because Brad made her feel comfortable.”
Related Link: Read Full Production Notes for Underworld: Awakening >>
In 2008, writer Arnaldur Indriðason and writer/ director Óskar Jónasson crafted the Nordic heistthriller Reykjavik – Rotterdam, developed and financed by the film’s star and its primary producer, Baltasar Kormákur. The thriller follows a security guard named Kristófer as he is reluctantly drawn back into the world of alcohol smuggling when he takes a job on a container ship that departs Reykjavik, Iceland, and heads to Rotterdam, Holland.
A labor of love for Jónasson, Indriðason, Kormákur and their entire team, Reykjavik-Rotterdam was wellreceived in its home country of Iceland and throughout Europe. Two years later, Kormákur brought the idea of reimagining the film for English-speaking audiences to one of his agents. In turn, this led to British filmmakers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner deciding to develop the project as an English-language thriller under their production banner, Working Title.
Reflects Fellner: “It’s not uncommon for a film to be reimagined for an entirely new audience. But what was interesting about the development of Contraband is that the original film’s star, who was also one of its producers, wanted to change things up by directing the remake. Balt has long been known in Europe as a rising-star director. After seeing his other films, we had the utmost confidence in his ability to helm this project and tell a story that was a parallel to the one he had helped to create in 2008. With greater resources, we knew he could expand upon that world and create a thriller that audiences will thoroughly embrace.”
Alongside Working Title’s Liza Chasin and Evan Hayes, two of the thriller’s executive producers, Kormákur brought up-and-coming screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski onto Contraband to create another chapter in the tale. “Other companies and studios were interested, but I liked Working Title,” Kormákur compliments. “It’s a fantastic company, and I’ve loved many of their films over the years. They put their hearts into what they’re doing. At the same time, they have had much commercial success. Alongside Aaron’s fantastic script, I had everything I was looking for, so it was a happy marriage.”
When considering their new setting, the team reflected upon Louisiana’s role as a sizable gateway to the world’s waterways, and the volume of the U.S. smuggling trade that passes through this region. Consequently, Kormákur, Guzikowski and the producers scouted the locale and decided that Contraband should be set in New Orleans, rather than Kormákur’s native Iceland. “The story is universal,” explains the director. “It has nothing especially to do with Iceland or Rotterdam. Smuggling in America is more relevant than what we have in my home country.”
When producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson were given a copy of Reykjavik-Rotterdam, the two men quickly responded to the material and set up a meeting with Kormákur, Guzikowski and Working Title to discuss the possibilities of a partnership. Levinson walks us through Contraband’s development: “Balt was attached because he produced the original film. I thought it was interesting that he produced and starred in the original but that he wanted to direct this version. He said that he only saw Mark playing the role that he originated, and that was a big endorsement.”
Wahlberg offers: “I loved Reykjavik-Rotterdam, and Balt and I hit it off instantly. He starred in and produced the original, so he knows the story inside and out.” As they agreed to the terms and began preproduction, Wahlberg knew that working with independent filmmaker Kormákur meant there would a unique energy on set. Says the actor/producer: “Balt had the same approach with Contraband that he’s had with his movies that were a fourth of this budget. He was on set the whole time…jumping, running, showing me how to climb up things. He covers all the bases, and he’s smart about the performances. I like his style.”
As his British and American counterparts partnered with him for the new thriller, Kormákur says that he didn’t consider this iteration of the film to be a retread of his previous project. “It’s a journey,” he offers. “I don’t think of this film as a remake, but as an adaptation. I see it as one that has a story that has been used for another film. We created a new story out of Reykjavik- Rotterdam, and we used that as our inspiration for Contraband.”
Birth Name: Kathryn Romany Beckinsale
Date of Birth: 26 July 1973
Birth Place: Finsbury Park, London, England, UK
Height: 5′ 7″ (1.70 m)
Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard Beckinsale, born in Nottingham, England. He starred in a number of popular British television comedies during the 1970s, most notably the series “Rising Damp” (1974), “Porridge” (1974) and “The Lovers” (1970). He passed away tragically early in 1979 at the age of 31.
Kate attended the private school Godolphin and Latymer School in London for her grade and primary school education. In her teens she twice won the British bookseller W.H. Smith Young Writers’ competition – once for three short stories and once for three poems. After a tumultuous adolescence (a bout of anorexia – cured – and a smoking habit which continues to this day), she gradually took up the profession of acting.
Her major acting debut came in a TV film about World War II called One Against the Wind (1991) (TV), filmed in Luxembourg during the summer of 1991. It first aired on American television that December. Kate began attending Oxford University’s New College in the fall of 1991, majoring in French and Russian literature. She had already decided that she wanted to act, but to broaden her horizons she chose university over drama school. While in her first year at Oxford, Kate received her big break in Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (1993).
Kate worked in three other films while attending Oxford, beginning with a part in the medieval historical drama Prince of Jutland (1994), cast as Ethel. The film was shot during the spring of 1993 on location in Denmark, and she filmed her supporting part during New College’s Easter break. Later in the summer of that year she played the lead in the contemporary mystery drama Uncovered (1995). Before she went back to school, her third year at university was spent at Oxford’s study-abroad program in Paris, France, immersing herself in the French language, Parisian culture and French cigarettes.
A year away from the academic community and living on her own in the French capital caused her to re-evaluate the direction of her life. She faced a choice: continue with school or concentrate on her flourishing acting career. After much thought, she chose the acting career. In the spring of 1994 Kate left Oxford, after finishing three years of study. Kate appeared in the BBC/Thames Television satire Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV), filmed in London and East Sussex during late summer 1994 and which opened to spectacular reviews in the United States, grossing over $5 million during its American run. It was re-released to U.K. theaters in the spring of 1997.
Acting on the stage consumed the first part of 1995; she toured in England with the Thelma Holts Theatre Company production of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull”. After turning down several mediocre scripts “and going nearly berserk with boredom”, she waited seven months before another interesting role was offered to her. Her big movie of 1995 was the romance/horror movie Haunted (1995), starring opposite Aidan Quinn and John Gielgud, and filmed in West Sussex.
In this film she wanted to play “an object of desire”, unlike her past performances where her characters were much less the siren and more the worldly innocent. Kate’s first film project of 1996 was the British ITV production of Jane Austen’s novel Emma (1996) (TV). Her last film of 1996 was the comedy Shooting Fish (1997), filmed at Shepperton Studios in London during early fall. She played the part of Georgie, an altruistic con artist. She had a daughter, Lily, in 1999 with actor Michael Sheen.
Special effects supervisor John Hartigan claims that although there are many challenges for his department when working on a Happy Madison project, it is always a great deal of fun. In one scene, a toy helicopter has to fly at Sandler’s character and hit him in the head. Hartigan had to figure out how to make that happen. “We decided to make the helicopter out of a very soft foam and then find a way to fly it toward Adam and smack him in the head. The best way to do that was to use a wire, so we could control the motion of the helicopter. It turned out to be a pretty funny visual gag.”
The special effects department used big cranes and big one-hundred-foot rain bars for a location shot outside a hospital set in Thousand Oaks. Hartigan and his crew brought in a couple of 300 ton cranes in order to rain across the entire expanse of the location. Another challenging scene for Hartigan was turning an entire city block in Glendale into an East Coast winter wonderland. Working all night and through the morning, Hartigan and his crew flocked all the trees and snow blanketed the streets and rooftops and added icicles to the eaves.
About 100 tons of real crushed ice were mashed and turned into real snow, some of it plowed into snow banks. “You have these 300-pound blocks of ice, 40-foot trailers and five tons of ice blocks and we use big blowers to shoot the snow 40 or 50 feet into the air. When it falls to the ground, we shoveled it and made it look like it was the product of a recent storm.”
For another scene, Hartigan and his special effects crew wired the character of Morty (Christopher Walken) in a “harness gag,” which is to magically transport him to the beyond. “We used the harness gag again when we get into green screen. We built a rig to travel along the floor and go up and down with Christopher and composited scenes in the background. We wanted Morty to look like he was floating and what he’s wearing was flowing. So we had to shoot him in green screen so that his clothes looked like they were floating down the street and chasing Michael (Sandler’s character).”
Special make-up effects designer Rick Baker was taking some time off to be with his kids when executive producer Barry Bernardi (with whom he’d worked on Haunted Mansion) called and asked him to read the script Click. “The script really touched me,” says Baker. “It was very much about appreciating the people around you while you have them.” Taking on Click was a real challenge for Baker, because “The hardest kind of make-up to pull off is realistic old age. Those are the kinds of things that fail most often.
It’s much easier to do an alien or some kind of monster because you don’t see that everyday. But you do see old people and the movie covers the whole course of a person’s life.” Sandler’s character must age from 17 to old age, and his parents (Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner) also move from young, middle age, to senior citizens. “We do this with a number of the characters who you see at different times and different ages. Fortunately, I have a great group of truly talented people I work with who’ve had a lot of experience doing these kind of movies on people who have to age,” says Baker.
The first step in the process was to collect photographs of all the characters he was working on. “We then take a life cast, from which we make a sculpture. We get video of them in motion and how their faces move and fold,” says Baker. “From where the folds are, we try to predict where the future sags and wrinkles are going to be when they age. We then make PhotoShop designs of what we think they should look like and give the actors several choices.”
“With a great beauty like Beckinsale,” Baker continues, “Even at her oldest, she is still beautiful. The change is subtle. But there’s definitely something there and she does look older.”
“One of the biggest challenges was Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner, who had to look older and younger at different times,” says Baker. “You see them when Adam’s character is born and we had to make them look like young parents again. So we took two different casts of them, one a normal life cast and one with lifts, for which we taped them up, almost like a surgical facelift.”
“The process was very uncomfortable for the actors because their skin was pulled tight around the neck and face,” he continues. “We actually glued the skin under their eyes to just under the eyelash line. Then we carefully made them up and they had wigs and hairpieces and such. I was pretty impressed with what we achieved. They definitely looked a heck of a lot younger. It was pretty dramatic. It’s too bad that Henry’s old and young scenes aren’t right next to each other. It’s a pretty amazing change.”