‘Equals’ Press Book from the Venice Film Festival 2015

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‘Equals’ Press Book from the Venice Film Festival

EQUALS
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 photo Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 9.53.40 PM.png

 

DIRECTED BY
Drake Doremus
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PRODUCED BY
Michael Schaefer, Michael Pruss, Ann Ruark, Jay Stern, Chip Diggins
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WRITTEN BY
Nathan Parker
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STARRING
Kristen Stewart as Nia
Nicholas Hoult as Silas
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And .. ..

Guy Pearce as Jonas
Jacki Weaver as Bess

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More … ….
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EQUALS
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“What will love look like in the future?”
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Drake Doremus, director
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Equals, directed by the accomplished US filmmaker Drake Doremus, is an emotionally and visually arresting film from a screenplay by Nathan Parker based on a story idea from Doremus. A nuanced, slow-burning love story, the film is set in a futuristic utopia where emotions have been genetically suppressed in an effort to protect society from the war and strife that has destroyed previous generations. On occasion, the suppression fails and emotions emerge in individuals – the Collective dubs this illness Switched On Syndrome, or SOS. As society is increasingly threatened by this health crisis, all SOS sufferers are heavily medicated or sent to the Den, a corrective facility from which no one returns.

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Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult are Nia and Silas – the film’s star-crossed lovers who encounter each other as colleagues at the science journal, Atmos. As Silas begins to experience the onset of SOS and his own awakening emotions, he finds himself inextricably drawn to Nia, who is hiding her own SOS. The longer they attempt to suppress their palpable connection, the more the tension fans the flames of their attraction. But with this newfound pleasure of intimacy, comes the threat of discovery and consignment to the Den. With the support of a group of like-minded SOS patients, they realize escape is their only option.
The film will compete for a Golden Lion at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.
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THE ORIGIN OF EQUALS

Equals completes Drake Doremus’ trilogy of films about love, also comprised of the
Sundance winning Like Crazy (2011) and Breathe In (2013). Equals began its journey to the screen with a question that Doremus posed to producer, Michael Pruss: “What will love look like in the future… do you think we could potentially evolve away from the thing that makes us most human?”
The question stuck with Pruss, who had career-defining stints as an Executive at Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures and Focus Features before joining Scott Free, the production company owned and operated by Sir Ridley Scott, as Vice President of Production and Development. Pruss says: “We had worked together on Like Crazy and Breathe In. Equals felt like the culmination of those films that explored love, identity, and the human need for emotional fulfilment.”
While Pruss admitted to not knowing what the future held, he told Doremus he “knew a man who has lived in the future.” That man was Nathan Parker, who wrote the critically acclaimed film Moon, directed by Duncan Jones in 2009.
Doremus and Parker instantly clicked and began brainstorming the question and the myriad of ideas it conjured, before landing on the idea of a society where humans are genetically modified to be absent of feeling for the betterment of society. In developing the story, Parker strove to examine not just the positive aspects of love, but also the pain and agony that accompanies caring deeply for another person. “We wanted these two characters, once they discover love, for it to feel like it was a curse,” Parker says. “They don’t want it, they want to run away from it, but are drawn back together because they can’t resist it.”
It would take a little less than three years from the question to the start of principal
photography.

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EQUALS JOURNEY TO SCREEN

While Doremus and Parker worked on the story and script night and day, Pruss and Scott Free strove to assemble the players necessary to push it into production. With the blessing of Scott Free production chief Michael Schaefer, the project attracted a group of heavyweight backers and the project’s journey to principal photography gathered momentum. Putting the project in front of Ridley Scott played a pivotal role in getting Equals made. Pruss says: “Having Ridley Scott as a producer on the film and as someone who is going to present the film, was not just crucial, but very inspiring for us all. Obviously Ridley is someone who knows a thing or two about science fiction and I think you can really feel his imprint on the film.”

Ann Ruark, Jay Stern, and Chip Diggins of Route One, who are also financing the movie, combined their expertise with that of executive producers Ridley Scott, Russell Levine, Lee Jae Woo, and Choi Pyung Ho. New York based producer Ann Ruark has worked with an extensive roster of filmmakers, to include Bill Pohlad (Love and Mercy), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Biutiful, Babel), and Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road). Ruark says: “The project presented so many exciting opportunities to re-imagine the way that a film set in the future could be shot – utilizing unique architecture and environments rather than visual effects.”

Principal photography began in Japan on August 4th, 2014, before moving to Singapore for three weeks, and finally wrapping on September 26th. Chip Diggins is a former Walt Disney Company production chief and founder and former managing partner of Route One Films, the production and finance company in which he retains a minority stake. “I’m very proud to be a small part of the film because it is commercial but it also has artistic ambition. It works across a broad spectrum of taste without letting anyone down,” says Diggins. Jay Stern is also a co-founder of Route One Films who now runs production and finance banner Boone Entertainment and was formally a New Line Cinema high flier.

“When I first read the script, I was very moved,” he reveals. “I thought it was a profound expression of the importance of connecting deeply with another human being. Drake has a real knack for expressing the nuances and details of romantic love. I think he’s the perfect person to capture the actual details of intimacy in the futuristic world that he created.”

The film is being sold internationally by sales and finance company Mister Smith
Entertainment, which introduced the project to buyers during the 2014 Cannes Film
Market. UTA Independent Film Group arranged financing for the project and is selling North American rights to the film.

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FIRST AMONG THE EQUALS

Drake Doremus, a Sundance Grand Jury award winner with Like Crazy, knew he wanted to experiment with a genre that he had never done before in order to grow as a filmmaker. Picking the sci-fi genre was a bold move and making a love story in a world where love doesn’t exist perhaps even bolder.

“For me the film is about long-term relationships, what it means to fall in love, to ride the wave and changes of a relationship, and how by the end of a journey you need to remember what you felt and why you were in that relationship in the first place,” Doremus says. “It’s about trying to maintain what the relationships and love actually mean and love that changes and grows and becomes something else. It fascinates me and I wanted to portray that.”

Doremus uses extensive rehearsals to build trust among his cast, for him and each other, and employs his now established signature use of close-ups and delicately edited cuts of actors when portraying intimate and pivotal emotional moments. Equals represents a step up in scale and ambition for Doremus, while working entirely from someone else’s script.

“It was daunting to figure out how monotone but intellectual and forward-thinking the characters would be. We worked with all the actors in order to find the right tone, because ‘Equals’ are very intellectually stimulated and not robots. There’s just a lack of emotional capacity and empathy. Finding the right gear was difficult, but I think we did it early on in the rehearsal process,” Doremus explains.

Doremus and his principals spent a week in Tokyo doing acting exercises to help embed them in the characters to help take them to a place where they felt extremely comfortable with each other and the journey on which their characters travel.

“The rule was no ‘Equal’ improvises and any person who’s ‘switched on’ can and does…so in a lot of intimate scenes where they’re together, it’s a lot more free,” Doremus reveals.

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CASTING EQUALS

With Silas and Nia on screen in almost every scene in the film, it was necessary to cast two young actors capable of delivering nuanced and subtle turns over a demanding schedule. But it was a familiar pressure for Doremus who had proven adept at drawing out such performances in the first two of his love story films. In both Like Crazy and Breathe In, Felicity Jones provided show-stopping performances while Oscar winning actress Jennifer Lawrence also shone brightly in her cameo in Like Crazy. But it was another in- demand young megastar, Kristen Stewart, who landed the part.

“I only met with a handful of actresses for this role, and when I met Kristen, it was really apparent that she was willing to throw her heart into this and go for it. I thought she had a tremendous amount of range and poise and emotional maturity,” Doremus says. “It was really exciting to watch her slowly ease into it throughout shooting, and at the end really become the character Nia.”

As for Silas, Nicholas Hoult had been the actor in mind from the start. Doremus had met Hoult a few years previously and the character of Silas was conceived with him in mind.

Nathan Parker said the part of Silas was written for the actor from the start.

Says Doremus: “It’s rare to find actors that bring value to a film but also are right for the part, and Nick and Kristen really embody that. I feel really lucky to have them both.” For his part, Hoult was a fan of Doremus’s work and was switched on by the script and its sci-fi future set story. “Drake has got this brilliant touch with films — the way he cuts and edits and gets performances out of people makes him one of the most exciting directors around,” says Hoult. “He has a way of getting a performance out of you but not making it a performance, and instead making it very true and honest. He made me feel very comfortable during the filming.”

For both Hoult (X-Men: First Class) and Stewart (The Twilight Saga), two veterans of global franchise movie series, Equals provided a very different challenge and change of pace from mixing it up with mutants and vampires.

Producer Chip Diggins says: “Kristen and Nick have done what very few actors pull off. They are both part of enormously successful franchises, and yet they have also chosen to challenge themselves with interesting material. Not everyone does that. And this a perfect film because it can be commercial and yet also has artistic aspiration.”

Hoult had never done any sort of rehearsal process before Equals. “We got in a room and were honest for a week, didn’t even touch the script,” says Hoult. “We touched on things lightly, but it was mostly just talking about life and our experiences and came to know each other so when we got to set we were comfortable and felt safe.”

It was also a brave new world for Stewart, who enjoyed throwing herself into the way Doremus operates as a director. “His goal is to have no expectation and have everyone willing to use fear in a productive way,” explains Stewart. “His preparation is very up in the air. If you think you’re going to learn your lines and come to set ready to tell the story, that’s not what Drake wants.”

Doremus says both Hoult and Stewart nailed the parts and his methods of filmmaking.

“They poured themselves into it, and really lost themselves in the improvisation and the flow and the process,” the director says. “They had never done anything like this, so it was new for them. They really owned it by the end.”

The magical screen chemistry between Hoult and Stewart is a testament to the actors and director’s hard work in rehearsal. The two actors would sit in front of each other saying ‘hello’ for an hour. “By the end of it, you’ve fallen into this vacuum of honesty,” Stewart says. “For whatever reason, that acting exercise carried over into the way we addressed each other on set. I knew when he was lying, he knew when I was lying. That alone is scary and bare and very vulnerable.”

Hoult says: “Kristen is incredibly intelligent, and her understanding and passion for this is amazing to see. I find it very inspiring because I can’t quite figure out everything that’s going on, but she explains it and once she’s in the scenes, I believe her.”

Doremus knew that Kristen was initially apprehensive about taking on the role. “It’s a very difficult arc to pull off, but I think after the first day of rehearsals, she was very excited and embraced the challenge, and felt really comfortable.”

Stewart says Doremus simply does what so many people want to do –“to allow themselves the freedom to discover.”

Hoult says: “This is the first time Drake is doing work with a script, so we’ve got exactly what we need and at times what we’ve got on the page is exactly what we do, but at other times, he told us to go off and see what happens. With Kristen as the other lead, that’s very easy to do because she’s able to go anywhere and be honest.”

Screenwriter Nathan Parker describes watching Hoult and Stewart bring his words to life on set in Japan as “thrilling”.

Doremus secured the acting chops of Guy Pearce for a small, yet vital role. Pearce, the male lead in Doremus’s Breathe In, took on the crucially pivotal role of Jonas In Equals, as a man also experiencing SOS who meets Silas and introduces him to a self-help group offellow sufferers who meet in secret to talk about their feelings. And Doremus also cast acclaimed Australian actress Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) in another of the film’s small but essential parts, as Bess. Bess plays a doctor who has SOS but hides it from her co-workers. She works in the “Den”, the corrective medical facility where final stage sufferers go to die, and has seen countless harrowing sights of suffering.

Doremus describes Pearce’s role in Equals as “essentially our Friar Lawrence character from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” The filmmaker describes Pearce as a chameleon who can conform to any world and story. “He plays these cold characters, so it was great to watch him play such a warm, open, and
giving character in Equals,” says Doremus. “He is someone who has gone through what Silas is going through, so he can help Silas through the beginnings of the journey and ultimately ends up sacrificing a lot.”
Parker also used another Romeo and Juliet character, Nurse, as part inspiration for Weaver’s character Bess when writing the script. Bess, an initially skeptical and hardened “hider”, is won over by Nia’s passion and love. “Just as Jonas is a parallel for Silas, Bess is a parallel for Nia,” explains Doremus. “In the end, she opens her heart and it’s a beautiful change for Jacki’s character to go through.”

Weaver believes that most good stories are love stories, whether it’s platonic love or intellectual love or erotic love. “Equals is a love story,” she says simply. “It’s got some serious philosophical ideas behind it, as well as suspense, thrills, and a very tender love story — not just between the two lovers, but also about love of humanity and love of each other. There’s kindness shown in this story that is very selfless, and which says a lot about the human spirit.”

The arrival on set of Pearce and Weaver had an energizing and positive impact on the production. “Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver are brilliant. They’ve got this laid-back Aussie thing going on, and they know what they’re doing,” Hoult says. “It was scary because I felt like ‘I don’t want you guys to think that I can’t do this.’ They were so friendly and warm.”

Stewart says: “People always say that cast and crew shooting a movie is like being in a family, but in this case it genuinely felt like we had each other’s backs in a way that deleted the fear and gave us the desire to succeed.

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LOCATING EQUALS

The look, location and futuristic feel of the film plays as big a part as any of the actors tasked with delivering Nathan Parker’s taut script. Coupled with the film’s fantastically emotive, unsettling and arresting score by Sascha Ring and Dustin O’Halloran, the movie achieves a look that should feel modern to audiences for years to come.

“The idea was to create a minimal, Zen-like palette, for our love story to exist in a world that’s not distracting, but functional,” says Doremus. “It’s futuristic but it isn’t fake futuristic. It’s not dated, it’s very classic, very simple. The idea is that twenty or thirty years from now the movie won’t feel dated, there’s nothing that ties it to 2015…the love story takes centre stage rather than the world taking centre stage. In some sci-fi films, the world is what the movie is about.”

To achieve the look, the filmmaker and producers went to Japan and Singapore to create a futuristic utopia without the resources of a large studio film.

“We wanted architecture that felt not of our world but also very grounded that would calm everybody and keep them productive and focused on things that mattered instead of strong feelings like hate and greed and love.” Doremus says.

Producer Ann Ruark says while many people who read the script thought it should be primarily done via green screen, creating the world in post-production to achieve its futuristic utopian look, she had other ideas.
“When we were location-scouting for the futuristic looks, the question was where to go. I knew there was a lot of beautiful minimalist architecture that seemed to speak to the world Drake was imagining, but that hadn’t been photographed or seen in any international feature film project,” Ruark says.

The filmmakers were specifically drawn to the work of minimalist architect Tadao Ando. “If you look at Ando’s buildings, they’re another aspect of why Japan works for our ‘Equals’ world,” says production designer Tino Schaedler. “All of the buildings are set in a lush environment, none of them are in a city context and that’s what we really needed for telling our story. We wanted this to feel like a new type of a garden city. Everything is embedded in nature, with parks and gardens,”

Schaedler, a Berlin native who trained as an architect before moving into movie design, describes the look as “a very rational and minimal world, very geometric.”

“When I studied architecture, I was a big fan of Tadao Ando, who is probably the best known living architect in Japan,” Schaedler says. “His use of concrete in a poetic way always spoke to me. It was an incredible experience when we went scouting to see his buildings that I’d seen in books. Those buildings were a big inspiration for the movie so I’m glad we got to use some of his buildings.”

The production had locations all over Japan from Tokyo down to south of Osaka, and back to the north coast. It used the conference centre on Awaji, an island in the bay of Osaka, which was the epicenter of the Kobe earthquake in 1995 and the Tadao Ando building at the Sayamaike Museum outside of Osaka as key locations.

“In many ways Tadao Ando’s Sayamaike Museum building defined the society that we were dealing with in Equals, because many people would have thought of the Den as this grim, dark, forbidding place, and Drake chose a place that was beautiful, light, and peaceful for their end-of-life scenario, which told me a lot about the compassion of the collective,” Ruark says. “The interaction of minimalist architecture in this lush reborn world was very important to Drake. The Japanese architecture has very elegant refinement, and when we laid out the photos, it was clear that this was the future, a utopian society.”

The other component was Singapore, which provided the lush greenery for location work and the film’s key studio work and set construction.

Shooting on location in these spaces of visual contrast between cold minimalism and lush greenery, Doremus was able to capture spontaneous moments with his two lead actors whenever inspiration struck.

“Once we knew that it was feasible to shoot in Tadao Ando’s buildings, it changed and transformed the whole look of the movie to make it cohesive and minimal,” Schaedler says.

The film’s lack of normal city markers helps steer the viewer into the future. “When you go into a regular city, streets are dominated by cars and retail spaces, and the Equals world doesn’t have any of that,” says Schaedler. “It was great to shift our thinking; if we don’t need that, then it’s all about living, so how can we make that as beautiful as possible? Embedding the city into the natural landscape was part of that.”

Chip Diggins hopes that Equals will become essential viewing for everyone, especially anyone with an interest in Japanese architecture. “Equals works through the boundary of architecture as art, but also as a representation of inner emotion,” he suggests. “What’s spectacular is, the filmmakers have used what exists in Singapore and Japan, but have also managed to augment it through camerawork to almost give an individual presence to the architecture itself, so that it’s almost another character in the film.”

Producer Michael Pruss says: “I feel we could only ever have made this movie in Japan, because it feels like the future there in some ways, with the architecture and buildings.”

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ACHIEVING THE EQUALS LOOK

Interiors also play a vital role as another of the film’s components. Tino Schaedler spent a lot of time designing the interior of the apartment. An elegantly minimal white box, the room provides everything as it is needed. So when Silas needs to sleep, a sleep pod emerges from the wall. When he decides to eat, a kitchen pod emerges. And all of it is played out in a box that has a giant window offering a panoramic view of the city.
“The idea of the apartment was, we wanted to create a moment where Silas walks in and it’s an empty box. In the script, it talked about his room being like a hotel room, very impersonal, and we wanted to push that even further and show that it’s completely empty,” says Schaedler. “He doesn’t have any personal items. It’s very rational and programmed in such a way where you press a button and your couch pops out. It allows us to make the apartment really small and optimized in its footprint.”

The team used a rear projection technique out of the window now seldom used create an imaginary landscape of a beautifully conceived elliptical city. Using a trio of giant projectors from within the set, the image was projected onto a colossal 70 ft by 30 ft screen that was directly outside the set. It was a technical challenge and an optical illusion but in the finished scenes it plays very evocatively.

A lot of time and work also went into the design of the film’s Razor train, another Japanese inspired element for the film’s world where there are no cars. The Razor train that goes to a very deserted area on the outskirts of the Equals world was a variation on the same method as the main set with massive windows in it to allow for the projection of countryside rolling by.
All passengers are facing a screen, whether at the front of the carriage or on the windows, which also serve as screens for digital data transmission. “When they come onto the train since they don’t have emotions, they’re more interested in screens than socializing. It made sense to orient the seats facing the screen,” Schaedler says.

The utopia of Equals also features no cars and humans with no cell phones or tablets. “Instead of them having tablets and cell phones we wanted to recess and integrate everything into the buildings or the train wherever we could so ‘Equals’ could wander around without carrying anything,” says Schaedler.
Fellow production designer Katie Byron, who has worked on all Doremus’s previous
films, says a big challenge for Equals was to create a world where each of these characters had a workspace that felt different from anything we’d experienced before.
“One thing we wanted to stay away from was the Minority Report swiping-finger world. So we came up with this world where we use these digi-pens for the illustrators and writers played by Stewart, Hoult and company,” Byron says.

Costume designer Abby O’Sullivan describes the process of creating a look for the
inhabitants of this utopia: “What we did for our costumes is something functional but also stylish, sleek, and in a way, slightly asexual. Both the men and the women are wearing the same costumes. There are only subtle differences where it adheres to their bodies.”
Doremus and costume designer Alana Morshead brought the idea of a beautiful white suit to their collaboration with O’Sullivan, who sought to make that idea a unified costume, but at the same time individualize the characters.

“I did that through texture. Kristen and Nick both have small subtle texture differences in their clothing, which brings me back to the lush green environment,” O’Sullivan says. “The beauty of having one suit tailored to each person, is that you can play with textures and very subtle colors within a limited palette in order to individualize people. For me, I think a lot of creativity comes from limitation. If you’re given a complex world, it’s not as much
fun.”

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CAST BIOGRAPHIES:

NICHOLAS HOULT/SILAS

Named one of Variety’s “10 Actors To Watch” in 2010, Nicholas Hoult is best known for his work on the hugely successful TV series Skins in the UK and his breakout role in 2002 when he was only 11 years old in the film About A Boy opposite Hugh Grant where he played Marcus Brewer, a young boy who will do whatever he can to make his chronically depressed mother happy, even if it causes himself grief.

Hoult was recently seen as Nux in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road alongside Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy. Distributed by Warner Bros., the film was released on May 15, 2015. Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth installment of the popular Mad Max film series. He was also seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past where he reprised his role as Hank McCoy. The film followed the X-Men as they travel in time to change a major historical event that could globally impact man and mutant kind. Fox released the film on May 23, 2014. XMen: Apocalypse will begin production later this year where Hoult will once again portray McCoy. He was also seen in Young Ones directed by Jake Paltrow and also starring Elle Fanning and Michael Shannon. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Later this year, he will be seen opposite Felicity Jones and Anthony Hopkins in Eran Creevy’s Collide where his character gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers as their driver and winds up on the run across Munich’s high-speed freeways. Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, Hoult was also seen opposite Charlize Theron in Dark Places. Also starring Chloe Grace Moretz, the film follows a woman who survived the killing of her family as a child and is forced to confront the events of that day by a secret society obsessed with solving notorious crimes.

Hoult will also be seen in Equals opposite Kristen Stewart which is a futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated. The film will premiere at the 2015 Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival. He wrapped production on Owen Harris’ Kill Your Friends which also stars James Corden, Craig Roberts and Tom Riley. The film follows an A&R man who is slashing and burning his way through the music business, looking for the next hit record. It is based on John Niven’s debut novel of the same name and will premiere at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival.

In 2013, Hoult played the zombie character R in Warm Bodies which was distributed by Summit and released on February 1, 2013. Directed by Jonathan Levine, the film stars Dave Franco, Teresa Palmer, and Analeigh Tipton and follows the story of a zombie who becomes involved with the girlfriend of one of his victims. He was also seen in Bryan Singer’s Jack The Giant Slayer which was released on March 1, 2013 and stars Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, and Stanley Tucci. Hoult played Jack in this modern day fairy tale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened as a young farmer leads an expedition into the giants’ kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess.

In 2011, Hoult was seen in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class for Fox opposite James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt. Hoult played the young Hank McCoy in this film which took viewers back to when Professor X and Magneto were allies who had discovered their powers for the first time. In 2009, he was also seen in Tom Ford’s directorial debut A Single Man opposite Colin Firth and Julianne Moore for the Weinstein Company. In the film, Hoult plays Kenny Potter, a student who eventually prevents his professor played by Colin Firth from committing suicide after the death of a loved one.

In 2010, he was seen in Clash Of the Titans opposite Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson for Warner Bros. In 2009, Nicholas made his West End debut in New Boy to outstanding reviews and sold out performances. New Boy, adapted and directed by Russell Labey, tells the story of a schoolboy crush and its devastating consequences. Hoult also appeared alongside Mel Giedroyc and Ciara Jason in this stage adaptation of the novel.

In 2007, Hoult starred in Julie Anne Robinson’s television movie Coming Down The Mountain where he played the lead as David Philips. The film is an original drama by novelist Mark Haddon about two teenage brothers, one of whom has Downs Syndrome.

In 2006, Hoult was also seen in Kidulthood which was directed by Menhaj Huda and
distributed by Image Entertainment. In 2005, Hoult was in Richard E. Grant’s Wah-Wah opposite Gabriel Byrne and Emily Watson, which is set at the end of the 1960s as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain. In the same year, Hoult was also seen in Gore Verbinski’s The Weather Man opposite Nicholas Cage, Michael Caine, and Hope Davis. The film tells the story of a local weatherman whose career is going well while his personal life begins to spiral downward.

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KRISTEN STEWART/NIA

Kristen Stewart is one of the most accomplished, talented and in demand young actresses in Hollywood. She recently became the first American actress to be awarded a Cesar Award in the best supporting actress category for her role in Olivier Assayas’s Clouds of Sils Maria, in which she starred alongside Juliette Binoche.

Stewart is currently in production on two films: The Untitled Woody Allen Project in which she will star alongside Bruce Willis and Jesse Eisenberg; and Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper. Most recently, she wrapped production on the Untitled Kelly Reichard Project and Ang Lee’s War/Drama, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

Stewart will next be seen in the Drake Doremus directed film Equals which will also star Nicholas Hoult. Stewart can most recently be seen alongside Oscar winner, Julianne Moore in Still Alice, Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival as well as Camp X-Ray.

Stewart starred as “Bella Swan” in the hit franchise The Twilight Saga. The series has grossed over $3.3 billion in worldwide receipts and consists of five motion pictures. On top of that she starred in Universal’s box office winner Snow White and The Huntsman; and in Walter Salles’ screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. Introduced to worldwide audiences in 2002 with her gripping performance alongside Jodie Foster in Panic Room, Stewart’s star continued to rise, hitting a milestone when she garnered the number one spot on the Forbes list of highest paid actresses in 2012.

Kristen’s career has displayed a challenging assortment of characters in films including: Adventureland, Into the Wild for director Sean Penn, starring as Joan Jett in The Runaways, Welcome to the Rileys, The Cake Eaters for director Mary Stuart Masterson, The Yellow Handkerchief alongside William Hurt, What Just Happened, In The Land of Women, The Messengers, Zathura, Speak, Fierce People, Catch That Kid, Undertow, Cold Creek Manor, and The Safety of Objects. Stewart resides in Los Angeles.

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GUY PEARCE/JONAS

Born in England, Guy Pearce moved with his family to Australia when he was seven. He attended The Geelong College and participated in the GSODA Junior Players, the country’s premier youth theatre company. Pearce starred in several theatre productions when he was young, and graduated to television when he was cast in the Australian soap opera Neighbours in 1985. Pearce also found roles in other television series such as Home and Away and Snowy River.

Director/producer/writer Frank Howson cast Pearce in his first three movies, including
1991’s Hunting, which premiered at Cannes. He made his first major film breakthrough with his role as a drag queen in 1994’s The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and subsequently appeared in several major U.S. films thereafter, including L.A. Confidential, Ravenous, Rules of Engagement, Memento, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Time Machine. Pearce continued to perform in Australian films like The Hard Word (2002) and the critically lauded The Proposition (2005). Pearce portrayed pop artist Andy Warhol in 2006’s Factory Girl and magician Harry Houdini in 2007’s Death Defying Acts. Other films include 2008’s Traitor, Winged Creatures, and The Road. He was one of the stars of 2009’s

The Hurt Locker, which won six Academy Awards including best picture. In 2010, he was seen in four films: Animal Kingdom, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, The Hungry Rabbit Jumps and best picture Oscar-winner The King’s Speech (as King Edward VII).

Additionally, in 2011, Guy won the Emmy for his portrayal of Kate Winslet’s lover “Monty” in Todd Haynes’ HBO film remake of Mildred Pierce. In 2012, Guy was seen in the Luc Besson-produced action film Lockout, the John Hillcoat period drama Lawless, and as the 114-year-old mogul in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. In 2013, Guy filmed Drake Doremus’ Breathe In, followed by the final installment in Marvel’s Iron Man franchise, opposite Robert Downey, Jr. He is currently shooting the dramedy Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, opposite Kristen Wiig. In 2014, Guy was seen in The Rover directed by David Michod and he shot Results by Andrew Bujalski. He will next be seen in Michael Grandage’s Genius and Drake Doremus’ Equals. He is currently shooting Martin Koolhoven’s Brimstone.

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JACKI WEAVER/BESS

Jacki Weaver is an Australian theater, film and television actress well known in her home country for more than 50 years. She is best known outside Australia for her performance in David Michôd’s Animal Kingdom (2010), for which she was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also received a National Board of Review Award, her third Australian Film Institute Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama.

Most recently, Weaver received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook, co-starring alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. It was the first film since 1981’s Reds to score Oscar nominations in all four acting categories.

Up next for the actress is the raucous television comedy Blunt Talk, in which Jacki will star with Sir Patrick Stewart. Also on the film horizon are the futuristic love story Equals, opposite Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hault, crime-drama The Voices, co-starring Anna Kendrick and Ryan Reynolds; drama Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, co-starring Gena Rowlands and Julian Sands; and Haunt, an indie horror film.

Weaver made her Hollywood debut with the comedy The Five-Year Engagement, alongside Emily Blunt and Jason Segel. She then went on to co-star in Park Chan-Wook’s English language debut Stoker, alongside fellow Australian actors Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska.

Weaver’s film debut came with 1971’s Stork, for which she won her first Australian Film Institute Award. In the 1970s, Weaver gained a sex symbol reputation thanks to her sizzling performances in the likes of Alvin Purple (1973). Other notable films during this time include Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), often seen as one of Australia’s greatest films, and Caddie (1976), for which she won her second Australian Film Institute Award.

Weaver’s extensive television experience includes two situation comedy series written especially for her, Trial by Marriage and House Rules. She has starred in more than 100 plays in Australian theatre. She starred in iconic plays “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “Death of a Salesman” and most recently, a Sydney stage production of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” alongside Cate Blanchett. The production received so much praise that the cast reprised their roles for a run at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and then again for the 2012 Lincoln Center Festival in New York City.

She has recently starred in Woody Allen’s latest film Magic in the Moonlight with Colin Firth and Emma Stone in French Riviera.
Weaver resides in Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles, California.

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CREW BIOGRAPHIES:

DRAKE DOREMUS/DIRECTOR

Born in 1983, in Orange County, California, USA, Drake Doremus broke through in 2011 with Like Crazy starring Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence and Anton Yelchin, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was released by Paramount Pictures the following October. In addition to feature films, Doremus directed a short film series called The Beauty Inside which went on to receive an unprecedented three Grand Prix awards at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and a 2013 Emmy award. Doremus also co-wrote and directed the feature film Breathe In starring Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones and Amy Ryan which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, as well as Douchebag which was at Sundance in 2010. He is a graduate of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, CA.

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NATHAN PARKER/SCREENWRITER

Nathan Parker was born in London in 1974. He received his B.A. from Bennington College where he studied creative writing and theater, and went on to receive an M.F.A. from Columbia University’s graduate program in playwriting. His first screenplay, Duncan Jones’ Moon, received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. Nathan won best screenplay for Moon from the Sitges Film Festival, a 2010 Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation, and a best first-feature length screenplay from the Writers Guild of Great Britain. In addition Nathan was nominated for a British Independent Film award for best screenplay, and received a BAFTA nomination for best British film, which he shared with Duncan Jones, Stuart Fenegan, and Trudie Styler. Nathan has also written the screenplay for Blitz, starring Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, and David Morrissey, released in the U.K. in May, 2011. Projects in development include The Cup of Tears for Working Title; 2:22 with Lightstream Pictures (starring The Social Network’s Armie Hammer); and Costa Rica with director Gabriel Range. Nathan is a member of the WGA and BAFTA . He lives in Los Angeles.

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Source  : Via Gossipgyal Via kstewartfans

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