The pandemic has disrupted so many regular features of award season – the screenings, the parties, the red carpets, and perhaps even the major award shows themselves. The Independent Spirit Award nominations are happening today. Typically the Spirit Awards are held on Saturday, the day before Oscar Sunday, in Santa Monica and it’s an afternoon event. This year the Spirit Awards will take place on Thursday, April 22 at 10pm ET. They’ve not yet specified whether or not it’ll be virtual; while the COVID situation is trending slightly in the right direction in LA, there hasn’t been enough dramatic improvement, the vaccination process isn’t going all that smoothly and there are still many unknown variables with the new variant of the virus.
To go back to award season, there are some features that can still move ahead despite the pandemic and may work if not better than just as well in the current reality. The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtables have continued and Variety’s Actors on Actors series, I would argue, is actually stronger this year. One of the reasons may be because if not for the pandemic, both actors have to show up to the same set, and get into hair and makeup and think about wardrobe, and there’s a crew and producers in place shooting their conversation… which already sets up some level of artifice. Now, though, they’re just interviewing each other on Zoom. There are, probably, others on the call who remain muted and off-camera, but since they’re in their own homes, and the setting lends to a more casual vibe, they can tap into the intimacy that a video chat can offer. Also, this year in particular where film is concerned, Variety did a great job with the combinations. They’ve given us reunions and randoms.
Like Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. And George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer, which I’ve watched because I love One Fine Day and my God, Michelle has barely changed. George talks about showing up hungover to work on that movie and how Michelle could smell the alcohol on him when they were shooting. They also talk about how he busted up his eye playing basketball with the crew during a break from filming. And of course about the bet they made that he would never get married or have children.
The random, of course, is Glenn Close with Pete Davidson, and I’ve watched that too – highly recommend. They’re adorable together. They admire each other. They relate to each other. Whoever came up with this inspired pairing deserves a bonus. You can read the transcript of the discussion here but if you have the time for the video, it’s worth your 40 or so minutes.
I also really enjoyed the chat between Daniel Kaluuya and Tom Holland. Because as much as we’re curious about actors, actors are curious about each other. And that definitely comes through between these two who deep-dive on each other’s careers. There’s a funny moment here when Tom talks about wanting to impress his father, Dominic Holland, the renowned comedian. And then Tom turns into one of us when he asks Daniel about his Oscar-nominated experience: what was that like, was there a dinner, who did you talk to at the dinner?! Which tells you that for all the hyping we do about the Oscars, no one else hypes them up more than the actors themselves.
You know which combination I’m getting ready to eyeroll though? John David Washington and Jared Leto. For Jared Leto, obviously. Jared is costarring opposite Denzel Washington in Little Things and from interviews I’ve seen of him promoting the film, he hero-worships him, as he should. But in, like, the most contrived performative way possible. And I can’t even imagine what energy he’s bringing to his conversation with JDW, especially for the “Actors on Actors” feature which, if there’s anyone who will turn it into an exercise in pretension, to the point where it’s almost a skit, it would be him. At the time of this writing, they haven’t posted that interview yet. For more on Variety’s Actors on Actors series, head to their main page here.
Yours in gossip,