Credit for these images to various sources: IMDB, Celebrity Chatta, Getty Images, Wired Images
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Credit for these images to various sources: IMDB, Celebrity Chatta, Getty Images, Wired Images
“Watchmen” star Jeffrey Dean Morgan is set to join his “Texas Killing Fields” co-star Chloe Moretz in Karyn Kusama’s gritty indie drama “The Rut.”Kevin Caruso wrote the script, which is described as a cross between “Winter’s Bone” and “Into the Wild.”
Story follows a teenage girl who aims to win her father’s approval by surrounding herself with danger and adventure as she journeys into the wilderness alone to hunt the greatest of deer.
While Morgan played a father figure to Moretz in “Texas Killing Fields,” he’ll play her actual father in “The Rut.”
Aaron Magnani will produce through his Water Bear/Aaron Magnani Prods. banner along with Martha Griffin, Kusama’s producing partner.
Moretz’s mother Teri Moretz and brother Trevor Moretz will exec produce via Treetop Prods.
Morgan will soon be seen in Open Road’s “Red Dawn” remake, Lionsgate’s horror-thriller “The Possession” and Bruce Beresford’s “Peace, Love & Misunderstanding.” Thesp also toplines Starz’s upcoming series “Magic City,” which debuts April 6.
Morgan is repped by UTA, while WME and 3 Arts rep Chloe Moretz. ICM reps Magnani and Kusama, as well as the project. Caruso is repped by ICM and managers Frankie Lindquist and Mary Cybriwsky of Scooty Woop Entertainment.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan who is busy shooting for ‘Magic City’ tells Ian Spelling about his career plans
Air? Who needs to come up for air? Certainly not Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The actor has wrapped four films that will have been released by the end of 2011: The Resident, Texas Killing Fields, Peace, Love & Understanding and The Courier. The long-delayed Red Dawn remake will finally open in 2012, as will The Possession. And right now Morgan is shooting an upcoming cable-television series entitled Magic City.
‘’I spent a lot of years doing nothing but breathing air and not working,’’ the actor says. ‘’So, when everything took off in 2005, I sort of grabbed onto it and I’ve not let go. I have got white knuckles trying to hold onto what’s going on right now, but I have been lucky enough to go from project to project, and to do different projects, completely different characters. It’s been a mix.
‘’It’s been a lot,’’ Morgan continues, ‘’but I don’t know what else to do now. You’re not going to see pictures of me in Hawaii with my girlfriend and kid. I work. It’s what I do, it’s what I like to do. I figure my vacation was the first 38 years of my life, so I’m going to take advantage of this now.’’
The ruggedly handsome Morgan had been acting for nearly 15 years, logging numerous television guest shots and appearing in films barely anyone ever saw, when in 2005 he landed memorable recurring roles on two high-profile television series: He played the father of Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles’ characters on Supernatural (2005-2008), and almost simultaneously melted hearts as Denny Duquette, the doomed lover of Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) on the then-runaway hit Grey’s Anatomy (2006-2009). He went on to a number of big-screen roles, most notably as the murdered superhero the Comedian in Watchmen (2009).
‘’I’ve learned a lot since then,’’ the 45-year-old Morgan says. ‘’It’s tricky, exceedingly tricky, to pick the right roles. I’ve learned some valuable lessons in the last couple of years, and mostly that is that you can have a script that reads good but, if you don’t have the right director, the right editor, the right cast, whatever you read that initially attracted you to it can turn into a complete and utter disaster over which you have no control.
‘’I’d always made decisions on projects thinking that they’d be good, that they’d turn out,’’ he continues. ‘’I’ve never once gone into a movie thinking, ‘Well, this is going to be a turd.’ I’ve always thought there was something redeeming and good about these projects. And then, sometimes, you see the final version and it’s disappointing. But that’s the nature of this business.
‘’So I kept plugging away and thinking that eventually all these worlds you need to be in sync for a great project are going to collide,’’ Morgan says. ‘’It’s happened a couple of times, and you just keep hoping.’’
Morgan is speaking by telephone from Miami, where he is shooting Magic City, to talk about Texas Killing Fields, the next film in his release queue. Set to open on Oct. 14, the fact-based drama casts Morgan and Sam Worthington as Heigh and Souder, two cops trying to crack the case of a vicious serial killer who is dumping bodies in a small-town Texas marshland dubbed The Killing Fields. The cast also includes Jessica Chastain as another cop on the case and Chloe Grace Moretz as a young local girl who vanishes even as the killer switches tactics and begins to menace the cops themselves.
‘’Don Ferrarone wrote an amazing script,’’ Morgan says. ‘’It’s a real dark look, and a real look, at a couple of homicide cops. It’s based on a true story, which will always intrigue me. And first I met with Michael Mann, the producer, and then I met his daughter Ami, who directed this. She was so prepared and passionate that I was immediately drawn in.
‘’Then I did ride-alongs – the real deal, not the actor BS kind of ride-alongs – with the sheriff’s homicide department of Los Angeles,’’ the actor continues. ‘’Then I went and spent time in Texas City with the guy I’m portraying. Once I saw the ‘Texas Killing Fields,’ which is a real place, and stood where bodies had been recovered, and once I saw the crime-scene photos, everything came together for me then. And it was a film I had to do.’’
His conversations with Brian Goetschius, the inspiration for his character, proved invaluable, he says. Morgan describes Goetschius as an unusual man to find in his kind of job – happily married, raising six kids and stopping at church every day on his way to work.
‘’How he’s able to do that was the most intriguing part to me of the whole story,’’ Morgan says. ‘’The real Brian is such an amazing person. It was an honour to step into his shoes, and I took it really seriously. Doing a movie like this, you have to be so true to it, to the victims, to their families and to the guys that we’re portraying, and that’s all I wanted to do. That was the key for me on this movie, being as true as we could be and as respectful as we could be to these people.
‘’It’s a good little movie,’’ he concludes, ‘’and I’m glad people will get a chance to see it. It’ll start out as a limited release and go wider. I don’t know if it’s for everyone – it deals with stuff people don’t generally like. There’s no glossing of fairy tale over this film at all. It’s as much real stuff as you can jam into an hour-and-45-minute film.’’
Morgan has yet to see any of the other films he’s completed. While he speaks positively of both The Possession, a horror movie in which he co-stars with Kyra Sedgwick, and Red Dawn, which went before the camera in 2009 and finally will be released early next year, he seems most jazzed about Magic City.
The upcoming Starz series follows the exploits of Ike Evans (Morgan), a Jewish hotel boss contending with mobsters, his family and all manner of guests at his Fontainebleau-like hotel in Miami, circa 1959. Olga Kurylenko plays Evans’ wife and Danny Huston co-stars as a mob figure.
‘’It’s like nothing that’s ever been on television,’’ Morgan says. ‘’From what I’ve seen, and I’ve only seen parts of it, we’re doing an eight-hour movie. The sets that have been built are the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on anything, on television or film. Mitch Glazer, who wrote every episode that we’ve done, is maybe the smartest, coolest guy I’ve met in my life, and this world that he’s had in his head has now come to life, and it’s a spectacle.
‘’This will be the most amazing thing television has seen in years,’’ Morgan says. ‘’That’s how confident I feel about it, and I never say that (blarney) about my projects.’’
Whatever hours he doesn’t devote to his career are spent with his family. He and his girlfriend, White Collar o-star Hilarie Burton, have been together since 2009, and are the parents of Gus, born early last year.
‘’Hilarie is a superhero,’’ Morgan says. ‘’I don’t know how she’s able to raise my little boy, take care of me and have a job. She’s the most amazing woman in the world, and how she puts up with me, we’ll never know.
‘’They’ve both been here most of the time,’’ he adds, ‘’because her show is wrapped for the season. So it’s been such a great time. Life is grand, my friend.’’
Credit for this find to Cricket.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a late bloomer. The Seattle-born actor was in his late 30s when he was cast in his breakthrough role, as a “Grey’s Anatomy” heart-transplant patient who falls in love with intern Katherine Heigl. Since then, the now 45-year-old actor has lent his manly presence to a number of films, including “The Losers” and “Watchmen.” In “Texas Killing Fields,” opening Oct. 14, Morgan plays a real-life homicide detective investigating a series of killings in a down-and-dirty oil town. Lewis Beale spoke with the huge Seattle Seahawks fan by phone from Miami, where he is currently shooting a series for Starz.
Your character in “Texas Killing Fields” is a New York transplant and devoted Catholic. Was it the interesting religious aspect that intrigued you?
I found it to be one of the foundations of this character. I’m playing a real guy, Brian Goetshius. I went and spent some time with him in Texas City; he’s a guy who gets up in the morning, he has six children and is happily married, which is amazing for a homicide detective. He goes to church every day. There are parts in the movie where he prays over the victims. This is the one guy I met in this world that somehow had a normal family life, and I think a lot of it had to do with his faith.
You were actually an athlete in high school, and then worked as a graphic artist. How did you get into acting?
It was an accident. My friends were all musicians and actor types in Seattle during the big grunge movement. I was an artist; I would sell paintings in coffee shops and bars, then I started doing graphic art. I had a friend who was an actor who moved to L.A., and I volunteered to drive the U-Haul. I met a casting director who said you should give it a go, and I went on auditions for a lark, and I got a Roger Corman film right out of the gate. I loved it, and that was it for me.
Since you didn’t really make it for years, I assume it was tough going for awhile.
The key for me was sticking with it. I had always worked just enough to stay in the business. Just before everything hit in my life, I was ready to quit. I was living on unemployment, building decks for people, every few months I’d get guest-star spots. Then, everything changed in one year, I got “Supernatural” and “Grey’s Anatomy” within three months of each other. I was 38 years old, had no education to fall back on, I couldn’t continue living from paycheck to paycheck. And then out of the blue, my life changed.
So what was it about the “Grey’s Anatomy” character that put you over the top?
Everyone responded to the character. At the height of it, this was a guy who was a man’s man, but he was a sensitive guy; he was dying, but he put that aside for love. The audience was mostly women, and here was this guy that not only women responded to but they dragged their men who thought, “he’s not that bad.” It was catching lightning in a bottle.
You’ve also attracted a lot of attention for playing The Comedian in “Watchmen.” That must have gone over big with the Comic-Con crowd.
“Supernatural,” “Watchmen” and “The Losers” have played big at Comic-Con. Wherever I go, I get “you’re the Comedian,” and I’m flattered by it. This crowd is really passionate about their movies. And the experience of Comic-Con is something I’ll never forget. Walking through it, you hear these screams, and it’s like you’re Mick Jagger, and it’s these 35-year old men making these sounds.
You’re currently filming “Magic City,” a series for Starz. Tell me about it.
A lot of it is based on The Fontainebleau hotel, and Ben Novak, the character I play, owns a hotel that would have been the Fontainebleau in 1959. The “Rat Pack” was there, so much was happening — Cuba, the Cold War, mobsters trying to legalize gambling.
I’ve heard that you’ve also attained a certain Web celebrity because of your startling resemblance to the Spanish actor Javier Bardem. Do you see it?
I’ve seen some side-by-side comparison photos that are eerily similar. I get it in weird places, when people come up to me and speak in Spanish, and insist I am lying about not being Javier Bardem.
and @WinchesterBros on twitter for the link
|Texas Killing Fields Trailer (Exclusive)|
|Description:||In the Texas bayous, a local homicide detective teams up with a cop from New York City to investigate a series of unsolved murders.|
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