Screen Junkies » jason clarke Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:08:29 +0000 en hourly 1 Casting Round-Up: ‘Dark Knight Rises’, ’21 Jump Street’, ‘American Idiot’, And ‘Gatsby’ Tue, 14 Jun 2011 01:03:55 +0000 Penn Collins Ellie Kemper to play an undercover high-schooler in Green Day's remake of 'The Great Gatsby. Hmm. That doesn't sound right.

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Today in random casting news, we’ve got three adaptations and a sequel. And they say Hollywood is running out of fresh ideas! To be fair, though, all four do show promise and pedigree. And if you’re the guy in charge of updating – you’re welcome.

Jason Clarke has closed on one of the remaining key roles in Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby, signing on to play George Wilson, a cuckold husband with several big scenes. Clarke has a whole or two in his schedule since the cancellation of his police drama “The Chicago Code.”

Notable TV actor (not a slam, I promise) Josh Stewart has signed on for an undisclosed role in The Dark Knight Rises. My sources tell me that it’s unlikely he will play the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, but we will of course let you know as soon as possible should that be the case.

Ellie Kemper continues to parlay both”The Office” and Bridesmaids into more high-profile work, scoring a role in the currently-filming-in-New Orleans 21 Jump Street. She will play a sweet chemistry teacher who is also fooled by the identities of several of her students. Let’s all hope the sweet girl gets a happy ending and isn’t used as a human shield in a hostage situation or something.

Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer and guitarist of Green Day, will be appearing in his band’s American Idiot film adaptation, playing the role of drug dealer St. Jimmy. He played the same role on Broadway last fall, then again when it closed, so this is old hat to him. His sneer will look even more punk in Imax.

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Review: The Chicago Code Thu, 03 Feb 2011 17:27:58 +0000 Fred Topel Packs a whole lot of story into its first episode. It’ll either continue at that pace, or settle into a groove based on that foundation. Either way it’s got the potential for some very compelling television.

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The Chicago Code” packs a whole lot of story into its first episode. It’ll either continue at that pace, or settle into a groove based on that foundation. Either way it’s got the potential for some very compelling television.

Chicago PD Superintendent Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals) learned about city corruption as a kid watching her dad pay off thugs for protection and city officials just to do their jobs. Now that she’s in charge, she’s going after alderman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo).

On the street, Det. Wysocki (Jason Clarke) pushes his partner to drive harder in a police chase. It’s pretty good driving for a TV chase, lots of cars weaving in and out on the road. He talks the criminal Luis into pulling over, by allowing him time to propose to his girlfriend before going to jail. Wysocki dumps the partner for being a pussy, though not in as many words.

The comptroller for Fergus Construction informs Alderman Gibbons of a discrepancy. By Gibbons’ reaction, I suspect him already. When the comptroller turns up dead, I really suspect him but that would probably be too obvious. Colvin has a better plan for exposing corrupt officials, who may or may not include Gibbons, but probably include him.

She taps Wysocki to investigate crimes that suggest a link to government corruption. You can feel the trust between Coleman and Wysocki. Together, their conflicts push each other to do a better job. Apart, their respect keeps each one on the mission. They both have so much confidence, they are sure of their characters. I mean on a personal level of one’s character, not just the actors playing a character on TV.

Wysocki doesn’t like swearing, which is a good way to clean up cop talk for primetime television, but it also makes him more badass than if he dropped F bombs. A guy who’s going to beat you for swearing is scarier than a guy who swears. He knows street smart tactics for isolating his witnesses when they can’t talk in public. You do learn one of his flaws by the end of the pilot. Colvin takes out the garbage, sending a corrupt cop to a janitorial closet to get him off the street.

It’s a “pay attention” show with lots of elements to observe. Each character narrates their introduction and hosts an act of the show. Metaphors make sharp dialogue, like cleaning the city plumbing one toilet at a time. Wysocki keeps giving his new partner, Caleb Evers (Matt Lauria) different nicknames based on Fast Times at Ridgemont High because Caleb said something about Phoebe Cates. Cop car banter about top album covers or movie babes make them feel like real guys.

By the end of the first episode, it’s on. Each week Wysocki will pick which call sounds fishy and start busting heads. Colvin’s going to play the system against itself. The big story (allegedly corrupt alderman) and the little story (weekly case) are both exciting so we’re in good shape.

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We Grill ‘The Chicago Code’ Boys Wed, 02 Feb 2011 16:55:53 +0000 Fred Topel Creator Shawn Ryan ("The Shield") and stars Jason Clarke and Delroy Lindo lay down the law of land on their new Fox show.

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At the Fox party for the Television Critics Association last month, I got a few interviews with the men of the new cop show “The Chicago Code.” Jennifer Beals is an important presence too as Superintendent Colvin, but I couldn’t pull her away from the crowd. I got a few questions in with her separately.

But my “Chicago” boys were all ears. First, cop show impresario and Vic Mackey lookalike Shawn Ryan spoke with me after his “Chicago Code” panel. I followed up about the midseason premiere, the multiple narrators each week, and the epic production in Chicago.

Q: Why wait until midseason to premiere this show?

Shawn Ryan: Well, I don’t decide the schedule for Fox. Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly do and they wanted to wait for this. I’m great with that. “The Shield” premiered in March. “The Unit” was a midseason show for CBS and that worked well as a midseason thing so I had no problem with this. It’s a Monday night show, we avoid Monday Night Football as a rival. It really gave us time to figure out what we’re doing on the show and I’m thrilled that with February, they have a real big promotional platform off “American Idol” and off playoff football and this year off the Super Bowl. So you’re not going to be able to watch the Super Bowl this year without being reminded to watch “The Chicago Code” the next day.

Q: Have you relocated to Chicago?

SR: No, the writers still work in L.A., do the editing out here but all the writers spent time in Chicago prior to production. All the writers were in Chicago for prep and production of their episodes so there were always at least a couple writers in Chicago, myself included. I think I made at least four trips out there during the filming of the 13 episodes.

Q: How much does the more sweeping camera work add to your production schedule?

SR: Well, it adds at least a day because we’d shoot “The Shield” in seven days and we shoot this show in eight days. This sort of adds some hours to the work. It takes a little bit more time for the lighting. It is definitely a more composed filmic look and that was something that I intentionally wanted. I wanted to differentiate this from “The Shield.” That was very down and dirty. This show I think is very cinematic. But we’re able to fit it into an eight day production schedule.

Q: Will we hear from every narrator each week?

SR: I think I just finished the first episode that doesn’t have any narration. So there’s one episode that doesn’t have any. We had some scripted and it didn’t work for me and the episode was long, I ended up cutting it, it works fine without it. We eventually do hear from everyone. There’s one episode that I really love where you actually hear a voiceover from Jarek’s ex-wife about what it’s like to be married to the police. So we explore that and some of them deal with their childhoods and how they were brought up and others sort of deal with historical things in Chicago. I like doing that.

Q: Were you surprised “Terriers” didn’t make it?

SR: I don’t know that I would say I was surprised. I was certainly disappointed. It’s hard when you make a show that you think is really good and a lot of critics agree and just never get an audience to show up and never really be able to increase it. But there have been other examples of that in TV so I knew it was certainly a possibility. I thought it was more likely that we’d sort of be in the middle and that we’d be able to get a pickup based on creative success but it didn’t turn out that way.

I’m actually lucky Jason Clarke still talked to me. I knew he was Jason, but I confused him with Jason O’Mara from “Terra Nova,” another upcoming Fox show. They’re both British too. Luckily, I had seen “The Chicago Code” and I proved it to Clarke with some really specific questions. For example, Wysocki comes down on his partners for swearing. A good trait for prime time TV, but also very defining of his character.

Q: Isn’t it more badass for Wysocki to come down on people for swearing than to just be a swearing tough guy?

Jason Clarke: It’s badass just to come down on people, kick a door in, throw them over the hood. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, a dude that likes to be rough but he’s very polite as well, particularly around women.

Q: Don’t you see that in the greatest tough guys, some politeness before they kick ass?

JC: Yeah, John Wayne, Gary Cooper, somebody quite old fashioned and gentlemanly but manly about it as well I think.

Q: Do you confer with Superintendent Colvin every week or are you on your own now?

JC: A bit of both. She’s always got something for me to do and I’m always doing my own thing as well. We stick pretty close together as well. There’s always a common goal of what we want to do.

Q: Do the voiceovers give you more insight into your character?

JC: Yeah, but we’re still trying to find that language which is in the voiceovers, that Scorsese got so right in Goodfellas, that you want to find where you’re not just giving information. It’s who you’re speaking to, not just what are you talking so that it becomes part of the character and you can let the audience into another side of you without giving away too much of what’s still to come in terms of what we filmed.

Q: Do you think Jarek’s ex-wife is actually a loving connection or could that be dangerous and unhealthy?

JC: It’s a loving connection. It’s probably dangerous and unhealthy, particularly for her though. They’re childhood sweethearts that love each other, somebody he probably loved his entire life. Whether or not it works, whether or not he’s good for her anymore is probably not in my character’s mind.

Q: What’s coming up that you’re excited about for Wysocki?

JC: You see a lot of Jarek’s relationship with women and something to do with his dead brother but a lot of it with his wife and Teresa.

Q: Isn’t it also interesting he can work so well with a woman, but not when it’s personal?

JC: Yeah, he makes a mess. Not to say he doesn’t care. Maybe he cares too much.

Q: Do you get to give any good beat downs?

JC: At least every episode, every single episode, I smack somebody down.

Delroy Lindo plays Alderman Gibbons, a politician Colvin suspects of corruption. She enlists Det. Wysocki to bust the underlings who could lead her to real evidence on Gibbons. Of course Gibbons is such a smooth talker he may make you believe he’s innocent. At least that’s what Lindo tried to do.

Q: How illuminating will this show be for people who may not know what an alderman does?

Delroy Lindo: You are not from Chicago obviously. I just spoke with somebody in the other room who was from Chicago and she got it. But you’re right, in general if you’re not from Chicago you will not know about what an alderman does, what an alderman kind of represents. Anybody from Chicago, they know.

Q: I know that it’s a local position, but what do they represent?

DL: They represent districts which are called wards. Their jobs are to look out for and procure services for their ward, for the constituents in their district. But somebody made a really interesting comment about aldermen. They also have their hands in business so there’s a potential conflict of interest in terms of how they go about doing what they do, but in a nutshell, it’s a political position and the mandate is to look out for the people, the individuals, your constituents in your ward. Make sure they get services, make sure the garbage gets picked up, make sure the schools are superior if it comes to that. All social services to make sure that your ward and the constituents in your ward are wel taken care of.

Q: Does it have just as much potential for corruption as any political office?

DL: All right, to the extent that there’s always money involved and in some instances large amounts of money, and there is the aspect of getting results. It’s a result oriented business. If you don’t do well for your constituents, you’re probably going to be out of work, so it becomes a situation where you’ve got to produce results. On some level, the ends justify the means. I don’t care about how you got it done, just get it done.

Q: No to say Gibbons is corrupt right away, but in theory the position could be.

DL: Sure, sure. I don’t disagree.

“The Chicago Code” premieres Monday Feb 7 at 9PM on Fox.

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