Virtuosos Award (Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2015)

Reviewed by Mina Gilbertsson. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2015.

The year of 2015 the Virtuosos Award was given to Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), Logan Lerman (Fury), David Oyelowo (Selma), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) and Jenny Slate (Obvious Child).

Chadwick Boseman did not know where to start when he got the part of James Brown. They started working on the dance moves because if they were not there, there was not a film. Both his family and friends were surprised he even got the part – his sister even said “Boy, you can’t dance. What are you doing?”

One of the first questions Ellar Coltrane answered was ‘Did you ever want to quit filming during the 13 days per year for the 12 year period of time? He explained that he never really wanted to quit. It was only a short period of time throughout the year and considering his lack of previous acting experience, he never thought about it.

Logan Lerman fought for his part in Fury by not taking on anything else. He even humorously told the director that he would starve himself if he did not get the part. The scene when Brad Pitt’s character Don slaps Norman for a good minute or two, Logan told the audience that he figured out Pitt’s weak spot and used it against him before the scene to make Brad slap him harder. Lerman told the audience that he learned alot about his own limits.

The interviewer’s first question was “What did you have for dinner?” to make him answer something fun with the British accent – but his reply was ‘Mahi Mahi wrap’. David Oyelowo talked about his Oscar nominated film, Selma, and how he was relieved that they did not have access to the real speeches Martin Luther King held.

Rosamund Pike was told to keep ‘Gone Girl’ a secret until it was released. Preparing for the film, Pike studied the book and highlighted part of it with post-it notes. During the interview she amusingly told the audience “Yes, I speak like the queen do you have a problem with that?!”

J.K. Simmons read the script of Whiplash and got blown away – it was the most compelling script he had ever read. He also added that if he was in Andrew’s (Miles Teller) situation he would have quit. Simmons did not mind the long slapping scene on Teller. “Oh man, have you met Miles Teller? He need a little slapping around”. He laughed.

Obvious Child was shot during 18 days on a low budget. Jenny Slate shares the story of when the hot water ran out and the crew had to boil water to keep her from getting cold.

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