This New ‘Man of Steel’ Trailer Needs to Cool It

Good lord, people. Remember when superhero movies weren’t so satisfied with themselves? I get that Zach Snyder, auteur behind overblown green-screen epics like Watchmen, 300, and Sucker Punch (he’s really the thinking man’s Michael Bay, huh?), doesn’t want to be known solely for making the least subtle genre films ever, but in his attempt to make what appears to be a very serious drama featuring a man in tights and a cape is looking more and more like the least fun thing in the world. And also, prettttty gay. I mean, tights and a cape and that dude’s jaw. Come on. This is basically a Terrence Malick film but with explosions and a familiar plot mixed in with all the soft-focus shots of wheat. 

Linkage: A Successful Golden Globes, a Zack Snyder ‘Star Wars,’ and New Natalie Wood Evidence

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but last night’s Golden Globes were a big hit. The combination of nominated movies that people actually saw and liked as well as the pairing of beloved stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as the co-hosts brought in the biggest ratings in six years. Maybe that’ll be a lesson to the honchos who were sure that a surly British man who has had success in his homeland and on American cable might not have the biggest draw compared to two funny ladies who have captured our collective hearts for years. [EW]

No matter how you feel about Jodie Foster, Anne Hathaway, or Fey and Poehler appearance at last night’s Golden Globes, let’s all agree that Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig could probably knock the socks off all of us if they ever got the chance to host an awards show. [Hypervocal]

“Sure, it’s fine to joke about Meryl Streep always winning everything, but announcing, "I beat Meryl"? When you’re 22 and you’ve been in Hollywood for, like, a minute? Not very classy, Jen.” Seems like someone didn’t catch Jennifer Lawrence’s subtle First Wives Club reference last night. [Fox News]

My apologies to Star Wars fans, particularly those who prefer subtlety over slow-motion bouncing boobs (I’m sure there are maybe four of you): Zack Snyder, who is responsible for 300 and that giant blue penis we had to look at in Watchmen, is developing a project for Lucasfilm that will be a “Jedi epic loosely based on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai.” [Vulture]

Woody Allen, who prefers the term “alarmist” over “hypochondriac,” might be one of the few people in history who has written personally about hickeys in The New York Times. [NYT]

Last year, investigators reopened the case of Natalie Wood’s mysterious death, and it seems that there may be new evidence to support the claim that the actress was assaulted. [CBS]

It’s pretty obvious that Andy Cohen is perhaps the only person who can name all of the songs that fit into the Real Housewives genre of music, right? [Gawker]

AV Club offers a fantastic look at A Different World, which began as a Cosby Show spin-off and settled on its own as a top-ten primetime hit. Why hasn’t a predominantly African-American sitcom performed nearly as well in years since? [AV Club]

It’s finally time to throw out those dusty boxes of Rid you’ve been hiding under the sink, ladies. The rise in Brazilian waxes has, in turn, brought a decline in pubic lice. [Jezebel]

Do you like great writing and intelligent thoughts? Do you appreciate it when those things are delivered right to you, via your smartphone? Might I suggest you subscribe to Maura Magazine, the new product from former Village Voice music editor and brilliant badass Maura Johnston. [The Awl]

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Actor Rodrigo Santoro Talks Soccer, Shaving And Starving Himself, And His Twitter Impostors

You may recognize Rodrigo Santoro from his roles in movies like Love Actually, 300, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, and Che, among others. The Brazilian-born international talent has a range of films under his belt, from comedy to drama, action to foreign. His latest subtitled flick has the 37-year-old actor playing the part of Heleno de Freitas, a 1940s-era soccer superstar hailing from the same place, albeit during a very different time.

Heleno, which opens today in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, is a black-and-white biopic about the thrilling yet tragic life of de Freitas. de Freitas, as portrayed in the movie, was a man of great passion—for both beautiful women and, of course, his sport—who died at the age of 39 from syphilis, which he refused to treat. de Freitas, the story goes, dubbed medicine as making men weak, so he gradually and then exponentially declined, retiring to a sanatorium far from the sandy beaches, nightclubs, and stadiums of his glory days. His self-destructive behavior—defined by an addiction to ether, estrangement from his wife and child, and a hot temper with his team—cemented de Freitas as a living myth of sorts. Perhaps this is how he earned the nickname Prince Cursed.

Santoro, on the other hand, couldn’t be farther from de Freitas when it comes to fame, fortune, and disposition. The opposite of cursed, he’s accomplished a lot and has much more to look forward to. In Heleno, we witness Santoro take command of the character in an award-caliber performance, one that is raw, yet respectful of its subject.

For the feature, Santoro dropped nearly thirty pounds in order to appear as sickly ill as de Freitas actually was when at his worst. This among other things the sunny Santoro opened up about earlier this week when I sat down with him at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, where he was cheerily upbeat and far from withering away. Read on for more, from drastic dieting to head-to-toe hair removal to why he worships the female sex even more than before.

What initially drew you to this film?
I got involved with the director [José Henrique Fonseca] at the very beginning. We just started to talk about the story, the character, the script. That’s the reason I became a producer on the film.

And how did you prepare for the role?
When we finally got financing, we hired a professional soccer player. He’s [currently] coaching [but] used to be an amazing player in the ’80s and ’90s. I always played soccer. Being Brazilian, you gotta do it. But always for fun with my friends. I wanted to go through the routine of a real soccer player. I was looking for somebody that had the same characteristics as Heleno: Heleno was known for head-striking and receiving the ball on his chest, which is something very hard for players to do. It doesn’t matter how fast the ball comes, they have the ability to “kill the ball.” So, we hired this guy. We also did research. We have photographs, a biography, and a lot of interviews. We spent almost a year interviewing people all over Brazil. 90-year-old guys that saw [Heleno] play or knew some story about him; this lady whose neighbor had an affair with him—she used to see [Heleno] come in. All these crazy stories.

And you lost a bunch of weight…
I dropped 28 pounds because we were portraying his last days. We shot the first part of the movie, the glamour and the heights of his career, and then we broke for two months. I dropped the weight, I came back, and we shot the last part.

How’d you do it? Just starve yourself?
You do starve. The diet is very strict. I do not recommend it. I had two doctors. This is the third time I went on a strict diet. This is the most extreme I’ve been on. I was eating very, very little. Just sufficient to work, because you gotta work. I felt weaker, more fragile, but my mind was clear. It was incredible. It was intense, though. It wasn’t fun.

Besides calorie restriction, what did you do?
A lot of cardio. And just discipline. That is the key. You teach your body and your body adapt[s] to that reality.

Did Heleno really eat paper?
Not paper, newspaper. From our interviews, that’s what they told us. He wanted to chew stuff. Mainly paper. That was his thing.

Is it more challenging to take on the role of someone who actually existed?
I wouldn’t say more challenging. The challenge is different. We decided to do this film because he’s such an important character in Brazilian soccer history. You have to respect that there’s an image. You cannot try to imitate that person. There’s a lot of little risks and it’s tricky. But also, you have a lot of information. If you’re playing a character that did not exist, you’re totally free to create, but there’s no reference. It’s just different.

After the entire endeavor, did you come away liking or disliking Heleno? The film itself doesn’t make him terribly likeable…
As an artist, you cannot judge the character. You have to be able to suspend judgment. I wouldn’t say I like or I dislike. I just tried to portray his humanity.

What do you think you’d be doing if not this?
I think I would be traveling the world, working at Discovery Channel. I love nature. I would do something in the wild, like a journalist or documentar[ian]. Or surfing.

Ha. What was it like working with Arnold Schwarzenegger?
It was great. He was Conan the Barbarian, he was Terminator. I was a teenager at that time. He was an icon. [On set], there was part of me being like, That’s the Terminator and he’s backing me up. He was nice, very accessible, great humor. We had a good time. I saw a cut two weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. It’s fun.

Do you have a favorite film you’ve been in?
It’s hard to choose because I believe it’s like kids. You cannot choose your favorite son. But, I was never so involved with something [as] Heleno.

So, I’m intrigued—and impressed—that you shaved and waxed your body for 300
It’s the second time I’ve done this. Not the first time, okay? I perfected my techniques. I did not wax, because the first time I tried it—I have a deep respect for women. I already had it before, but now I worship you guys. It is very painful. It is not fun. This time we shaved everything. It was a process. I had to shave my head every day. Arms, legs, everything.

A taste of a lady’s life. Now that you’re done shaving, what are you working on?
Right now I’m working on my holidays.

Makes sense. Say, did you know you have, like, six fake twitter accounts?
Even more! I gotta tell you, I don’t have Twitter, I don’t have Facebook. But, according to my friends, there’s one [Twitter account] that is really good at portraying me.

No kidding. So, what’s your stance on our fine city?
I love New York. It’s a place that every time I’m about to come here, I get excited.

What do you do for fun while you’re here?
I just walk. That’s my favorite thing to do. It’s very simple, very basic, but I love the fact that [this city is so] condensed. It’s perfect in that way. You can do whatever you want. I love the cosmopolitan quality. I love to go to Central Park and get lost there. My favorite thing to do when it’s sunny is sit down in the grass and watch the grass grow. Things are so fast and people are moving all the time, so my favorite thing is to stop and watch it. 

‘300’ Prequel Snags Eva Green

For a certain type of aggro moviegoer, Zak Snyder’s 300 was the cinematic high point of the last 25 years, loaded with muscles and stabbing and sex and slo-mo. The beige-heavy blockbuster made gobs of money, but considering how basically everyone died at the end (spoilers!), it seemed like there’d be unlikely territory for a sequel. 

But rather than advance the story, why not go backwards? That’s the line of thinking for the 300 follow-up, which will reportedly be a prequel showing the steps leading up to the Battle of Thermopylae. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Eva Green is in negotiations to take over the lead role for the film, tetnatively titled 300: Battle of Artemisia. She’d be the titular Artemisia, "a ruthless, gold-covered goddess who persuades Xerxes to amass his army and helps lead them into battle."

As he’s busy helming the new Superman film, Zak Snyder will only produce. They’re looking to start shooting in the first quarter of 2012, so Green’s got to decide how much further she wants to go down the rabbit hole of nerd desire. Playing Bond’s girlfriend, a witch, and a CGI colorized goddess? Oh my, oh my. 

Itinerary: Michael Fassbender’s Life in the Fass Lane

European actor and recreational archer Michael Fassbender, of 300 and Inglourious Basterds, has just moved to Los Angeles. Now he’s taking aim at Hollywood. “I miss all the things about London that I hated when I was there,” says 32-year-old actor Michael Fassbender, when asked to compare his old stomping grounds to his new home in the City of Angels. “I miss the Tube, my motorcycle and my friends. But I love the weather here.”

Public transit and bouts of loneliness aside, Fassbender, who landed his first break in the Steven Spielberg-produced war miniseries Band of Brothers, has few regrets about his Hollywood migration.“The time was right for me to come out here. With Hunger and Inglourious Basterds, I felt like I had enough ammunition.” Fassbender stars in this month’s Fish Tank, a jury prizewinner at Cannes, about a troubled high school girl who develops an illicit relationship with her mother’s boyfriend. He will next star opposite Megan Fox in the 2010 western, Jonah Hex. “I love horses,” he says of the training required for the role. “Any opportunity I get to do a film with a horse, I jump on it—no pun intended.”

image Rancho Park Archery Range 2459 Motor Avenue I’ve done archery at an amateur level since I was a boy. The first bow I had was made from bamboo, and I used it at home with a straw target. My Pilates teacher reintroduced me to archery, so I’ve been coming down here. It’s like riding a bicycle—I’m not brilliant, but I’m comfortable. It’s a Zen sort of experience. All you’re thinking about is the target and the fluid motion. I go with my girlfriend, my Pilates teacher and her husband. It’s a strange double date. The joke is that we’ll soon start hunting each other.

Venice Beach Recreation Center 1800 Ocean Front Walk Venice is special to me because I spent two months here by myself, in a bungalow by the ocean, losing weight for Hunger. I love the outdoor exercise area—the boxers and dancers, the basketball and handball courts, the rings and the pull-up bars. It’s accessible, has a creative vibe and it’s great for people watching.

image Book Soup 8818 Sunset Boulevard I love browsing here. It’s such a peaceful place to get away and just take a moment. One of my favorite writers is Hunter S. Thompson. I like his journalistic style, which takes away the sentimentality in the writing. I just started The Road so I’ll probably come back to pick up more of Cormac McCarthy’s work after I finish this one.

image Jim Wayne Salon 9555 Santa Monica Boulevard If I need a trim, I come here. It’s relaxed and friendly, and I end up chatting with everyone. The owner, Jim, who cuts my hair, likes to talk cars and motorcycles. A lot of guys like it here because it’s low-key. B.J. Novak [Fassbender’s co-star in Inglourious Basterds] gets his hair cut here, too.