Apart from getting a kick-ass strong character, John Wick’s universe gets a strong emotional backstory too with Halle Berry joining in as Sophia. In an exclusive interview, the Oscar-winning actress and John Wick 3 director Chad Stahelski together talk about being a part of this action franchise starring Keanu Reeves. Excerpts:
What does Halle’s character Sophia bring to the John Wick universe?
Chad Stahelski: I think we get a little John Wick backstory. We have world expansion and we get a kick-ass female character doing something for I think the right reasons and showing the depth of the emotionality we can have in our world. It’s not just plugging an actress into an action role. We get a little bit of emotion behind it.
Were you always a fan of John Wick?
Halle Berry: John Wick One, I saw it in the cinema and I loved it the first time I saw it. I love the world. I loved when I saw Keanu doing everything he did. And I mean he’s gone 300 times further now. But the first movie I was just blown away and I thought, wow, we have all this access to CG and we’re seeing all these superhero movies. But here it was just a guy who was doing this for real. And I got really lit up by that. And then so the second one I got more lit up and when I heard they were making a third one, I was like, okay, wait a goddamn minute. Somebody is putting me in this movie. There’s no way I’m not going to be in this movie. So luckily Chad let me do that.
Chad you wrote Sofia’s character only for Halle Berry?
Chad Stahelski: Absolutely! Well put it this way the character, the character’s name was there before we met Halle Berry and after we met Halle Berry we rewrote the entire character so the character on screen was written for her.
Halle what had you heard about Keanu before getting to work with him?
Halle Berry- What I have heard and what a lot of people heard is that he is the nicest man in the whole wide world.
How does the franchise continue to attract such high quality cast and crew?
Chad Stahelski: It’s a complete mystery to me. Actually I have no idea but I am happy for it. You know hopefully it has something to do with the look that we give it. We try to make action look very pretty like the aesthetic. The fact that we try to bend the rules of filmmaking a little bit. I’d like to think that I offered an environment that is collaborative and creatively open to express a lot of ideas to take it somewhere else.
Halle, you have some extensive scenes with the dogs in the film…
Halle Berry: I loved these dogs. I really did. I spent five months with them. 3-4 days a week going over training with them, learning them and learning me and really getting to understand how they are and they work. That was great. I love animals. I have two dogs and so everything I learned from there, I’ve been able to parlay that into my real life. Like I have these killer labradoodles now.
Chad Stahelski: They wear a bulletproof vest when they deliver the newspaper.
Halle Berry: Somebody comes to the door. I have all these commands for them now. They really could attack somebody. I mean, I don’t know if they’re going to go for the balls, but they could really attack somebody.
How was it filming in Morocco?
Halle Berry: I thought it was beautiful. It was a nice change far away, far from the world. It was colourful. I could smell it through the screen you know it’s palpable.
Chad Stahelski: Same you know with juxtaposition to New York city, an Arabic environment that had such a rich and colourful palette.
The John Wick series redefines action films…
Halle Berry: The John Wick series has brought a revolution in action genre and it is something different from what we are offered today. It’s real life action and it is beautiful. It won’t disappoint it has got Keanu Reeves who I think single-handedly who is one of the only guys in this generation that can really get away with it. I know that’s what I watch for whenever I watch these movies.
Starring Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry, John Wick 3, the third installment of the blockbuster franchise is produced by Erica Lee and directed by Chad Stahelski. The biggest action franchise John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum released by PVR Pictures is currently running successfully in theatres.
Karan Oberoi reveals how a right swipe on Tinder turned his life ‘upside-down’!
In an exclusive interview with CineBlitz, Karan Oberoi opens up about rape allegations, #MenToo movement and how the charges affected him and his family; read on…
TV actor Karan Oberoi – who was arrested in May on charges of rape and blackmailing – was finally granted bail earlier in June. The actor was in police custody for almost a month, and now that he is out, he is trying to bring about a change for men. In an exclusive conversation with us, Karan revisits his ordeal, speaks on the charges against him and also reveals his plans of #MenToo movement
How was it seeing your friends and family support you so steadfastly?
It started with my best friend Pooja Bedi… I feel very blessed. Pooja and my sister are the two Baahubalis of my life. I have come through this ordeal is all thanks to the two of them. The tremendous support they got for me, people who knew me, who associated with me at some point in life have contributed to this.
Did you ever imagine a right swipe on Tinder would put you in so much trouble?
Absolutely no, it came as a shocker to me. For me it was traumatic, horrendous, terrifying, something I am still coming to terms with it. It turned my life upside-down; it was something I never expected would turn this way. But the good thing is that truth is prevailing, the reality has come out. It is sad though that nobody is safe, and to see how anybody can manipulate the law to such an extent.
Pooja Bedi started the #MenToo movement in your support and you are now taking it forward…
Absolutely, I have a social responsibility. Pooja is doing it because she wants to bring in a change that will affect thousands and lakhs of men. I told her the inside story of 600 people that were along with me and 80-90 per cent of them were false cases. They were very similar to mine, but they didn’t have the kind of love and support I had.
Being a celebrity, such strong charges sabotage the image. How do you do the damage-control then?
Yes, but what can one do? This thing is completely out of my control. All I can do is wait for justice to happen. The good part is that anyone who has known me for 20 years was not willing to buy any of these charges. So, that support was overwhelming to say the least, people outside the prison might have believed it. But inside, I was surrounded by 92 inmates in Taluja, not one person was ready to believe this and they didn’t even know me. I couldn’t eat or sleep there, the conditions were appalling and inhumane, so I just went off-food and off-sleep. But these people were such a force, that they were constantly reassuring me that all will be okay. I was very broken by the number of stories I saw there, they were horrifying and all because they don’t have representation. They don’t have a Pooja Bedi in life; I do, so I have decided that I will be their Pooja Bedi now.
The latest update is that the victim is arrested, so how is the matter shaping up now?
I am not very sure, but I believe that law is taking its call. Although, there is bit of a lag in the investigating agencies doing the right thing. Legally, I don’t know how things go from here on, but at least a step in the right direction to correct the wrong has started.
With cases like these do you think the #MeToo movement has its disadvantages?
There are advantages and disadvantages of every movement, but the law has to have more clarity. Anything that can be manipulated to suit conveniences or vendetta has to be looked at all over again. There have been enough citations in Supreme Court and High Court. The judges have been very kind in their assessment of the case. But the law needs to be amended, which is what the #MenToo movement is, it will fight for justice and gender neutrality, which is the need of the hour. What we are saying is to amend the law and not give someone unabashed power. #MenToo affected my mother the most, she was broken and shattered. My sister was affected, Pooja was hurt, they are all women. There were so many women who came together to fight for me, they were all affected by this.
Have people started approaching you with their #MenToo stories?
Too many of them, people are writing to me. We live in a bubble, but when the harsh reality hits you it’s languishing and hurting. If this continues, I am going to start getting very scared of women and it will create a very strange situation in society. Every man will be running scared, not knowing when this unabashed power will hit them.
Have you resumed things on the professional front?
There is a lot happening on that, I have a film called Strawberry Point which is releasing. I was caught two days before we were going to plan the release of the film. I have been approached for a lot of web-series; I am also finishing my book that I started writing in prison. So, professionally I am alright.
Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more updates!
Father’s Day 2019: Nitesh Tiwari reveals why fathers play an important role in his films!
In an exclusive interview, Dangal director Nitesh Tiwari talks about how a man doesn’t need to be a superhero to be a superfather
Unlike the mothers in Indian cinema, there haven’t been as many iconic father characters in Bollywood. However, Nitesh Tiwari is a filmmaker whose films – from Bhootnath Returnsto Dangal – have always had fathers play a key role or the main protagonists. In an exclusive conversation with CineBlitz, Nitesh talks about the characters that have inspired him to sketch his screen fathers and also reveals the films that make him cry each time. Excerpts:
Fathers have been the main protagonist in most of your films, where does the affection for the character come from?
Dangal is a personal experience. It was a story of these girls and their father Mahavir Singh that actually happened in real life. We had to do justice to what he had done in real life. It was not about how we think of him, but how he is in real life. Apart from that yes I create fathers in my movies. I create it on the lines of what I have observed, what I have lived and what I would what them to be. There is a personality that should come into account before creating them and not just be a character.
Who are the screen fathers that you have been inspired from?
I am in awe of three father characters – one is Dustin Hoffman from Kramer vs. Kramer, Sean Pen in I am Sam, and Roberto Benigni from Life is Beautiful. I completely relate to them as fathers because what happens with me is, I cry every time I watch Kramer vs. Kramer.Dustin Hoffman is not sort of involved in his kid’s day-to-day life. After the tragedy, he starts understanding his son and starts building a bond with him and the kind of journey they travel together. In the scene where Meryl Streep has left him and in the climax, the father and son are making the breakfast and he knows that this is the last time that they are together and he will go with his mother leaving the father behind. See you don’t need to be a superman to be a super father, you just need to do the regular things that fathers do and that is what makes you a great father.
It’s the same with I am Sam, how a mentally challenged man turns the whole world upside down for his daughter. Life is Beautiful is one of the most heartwarming story coming out of the World War and Renaissance. How the father makes sure that the son never realises what has happened and that is so beautiful and that is what every father tries to do.
Your story as a real-life father is also unique?
So, me and my wife (filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari) we take turns. When she is travelling around, I am with the kids and vice-versa. And I love spending time with my kids.
Which scene from your films do you relate to as a parent the most?
If I have to tell you a scene that I completely relate to is from Dangal, it has to be by the climax where the father who is this strict person all the while kisses his daughter’s forehead. It is so relatable that we have seen our dads being tough, but they are sweet inside. And that is what makes fathers so special. Even with my kids wherever I need I am tough on them but apart from that it’s always love. I have to do that because kids don’t really know what is right and what is wrong. Also if you ask me about my characters, Pankajji’s (Pankaj Tripathi) character from Bareily ki Barfi is also dear to me. You see him, he doesn’t need to do too many things to prove he is a good father. He takes pride in his daughter in what she is. Even with all the unconventional things she does he allows her to do. Not just allow but he is cool with it.
What do you think has changed about fathers in cinema from yesteryear till now?
Emotions are universal, there is no benchmark as to how a father should be showcased. Different people will showcase their father characters in a different way. So, I don’t think fathers were any different in the past. Fathers were always fathers! It is just the time in which they were made. Looking at the cinema now maybe there is a realistic portrayal which is closer to your life. If you ask me my favourites from the old cinema – it would be Amar Akbar Anthony or a Waqt. Maybe I cannot relate to them but they are iconic.
Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more updates.
Ankit Tiwari and Akansha Ranjan dedicate their romantic number to Alia-Ranbir and Malaika-Arjun
The music video of Ankit Tiwari’s newest song Tere Do Naina features Aparshakti Khurrana and Akansha Ranjan and they talked much about love in an exclusive chat with us – read more
A while ago Ankit Tiwari released his newest song Tere Do Naina and this romantic number has gone on to become an instant hit with music-lovers already. Gourov-Roshin has composed this melodious number that’s sung by Ankit in his soulful voice.
The song’s music video too is garnering many likes. Featuring Aparshakti Khurana, it also marks the screen debut of Akansha Ranjan. While she is seen doing hip-hop in the video, she interestingly told us that it was just one day of learning and practice that we see in the video. But that’s not all. Being Alia Bhatt’s BFF, she even dedicated this romantic number to Alia Bhatt and her beau Ranbir Kapoor. Ankit Tiwari too dedicated the romantic song to the most-talked-about couples in Bollywood currently, Malaika Arora-Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt-Ranbir Kapoor. Watch the video below:
How did you like the song Tere Do Naina and the first glimpse of Akansha Ranjan? Let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more such exclusive interviews and updates.
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