Sacha Baron Cohen On The Ryan Seacrest Urn Dumping

One could reasonably assume that Sacha Baron Cohen was tossed off the property, while dressed as General Aladeen from his movie The Dictator, after he dumped an urn filled with fake ashes all over Ryan Seacrest’s suit on the Academy Awards red carpet. But what happened next? His agents got a scary phone call from the Academy and they even tried to get Martin Scorsese to blackball him.

Cohen explained what happened to Deadline Hollywood in an interview this week:

The Academy did ban me from the awards and I was. In fact the head of the Academy called up my agents and said if I was to turn up within a half a mile of the Academy he would have me arrested by 200 FBI agents.

He also confirms that poor Ryan Seacrest (I can’t believe I just said that) was completely taken aback.

Well, I mean, Ryan Seacrest, was not in on it at all. He was told about an hour beforehand that he would get an interview with me, but he had no idea what was going to happen. He was very excited at the time.

But the most absurd part is when Sacha Baron Cohen revealed that some members of the Academy tried to get Martin Scorsese — his director in Hugo — to denounce him. Which is pretty ridiculous, considering Martin Scorcese is like, BRB, winning all the Oscars, and doesn’t give a shit. Cohen explained:

[I]n terms of ill will, I’m sure there are Academy members that would not want me back. But, no I haven’t received anything negative at this time. At the time they actually threatened Marty (Scorsese) and said that if he didn’t convince me to not turn up, that it would jeopardize the chances of Hugo winning; which is absurd. And by the way Marty responded, “Sacha does what he wants and if you think I can control him, you’re wrong.

Hugo ended up winning five Oscars later that evening … which Cohen presumably watched from at home on his couch.

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Martin Scorsese Calls Discrimination on Golden Collar Awards Snub

Who knew?  Martin Scorsese is apparently the kind of pet owner who thinks his dog is the best and he’s pretty funny about it. Today, he wrote a tongue-in-cheek op-ed in the LA Times discussing Hugo star Blackie the Doberman’s snub by the first Annual Golden Collar Awards. He’s calling foul.

As Uggie, the adorable four-legged star of The Artist hobnobs at the Golden Globes and poses for press atop the Empire State Building, Blackie has been left without a bone. Hollywood is a a dog-eat dog world.

"OK, let’s lay all our cards on the table. Jack Russell terriers are small and cute. Dobermans are enormous and — handsome,” Scorcese writes of the pup who plays a villain in the film. "We all have fond memories of Rin Tin Tin and Lassie, the big stars, the heroes, but what about the antiheroes? We have learned to accept the human antihero, but when it comes to dogs, I guess we still have a long way to go.”

The editors of Dog News Daily, who are holding the contest, have responded, agreeing that if Blackie receives 500 write-in votes by Monday, February 6th, on their Facebook page they’ll request that the panel of 14 judges add him as the 6th Nominee in the Best Dog in a Theatrical Film category. Get on it! A vote for the Doberman is a vote for equality. 

2011 Oscar Nominations Go More or Less as Expected

With the speed of a lumbering engine powered by critical hubris and self-importance, the 84th Academy Awards nominations dropped into our newsfeeds this morning with predictable result. Did you know that people liked The Descendants this year, The Artist as well? Brad Pitt and George Clooney scored the requisite Hollywood heartthrob acting votes (they will lose to the no-name French guy who doesn’t talk), while Meryl Streep got her due for sticking around. Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese were also nominated, just like they always are. It’s another Oscar ceremony, y’all!

But not to sound cynical or anything. It’s somewhat surprising, though definitely nice, to see Terrence Malick get official recognition for The Tree of Life, even if there’s almost no way the hype-happy Academy will give their highest awards to a movie with more than a handful of inscrutably artsy scenes. Equally surprising on the other end is the inclusion of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a movie that no one seemed to like but not for any inscrutably artsy reasons, simply because it’s kind of schmaltzy and not very good. Why not give the spot to something innocuous like Bridesmaids or even the last Harry Potter movie, if they’re trying to go commercial? Madness, it’s all madness. (I won’t even get started on Albert Brooks’ snub for Drive.) You can look at the important nominees below, or go to the Academy’s website for the full list.

Best Picture
The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse

Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir – A Better Life, George Clooney – The Descendants, Jean Dujardian – The Artist, Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis – The Help, Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady, Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Michael Hazanavicius – The Artist, Alexander Payne – The Descendants, Martin Scorsese – Hugo, Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris, Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branaugh – My Week with Marilyn, Jonah Hill – Moneyball, Nick Nolte – Warrior, Christopher Plummer – Beginners, Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Actress in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo – The Artist, Jessica Chastain – The Help, Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids, Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs, Octavia Spencer – The Help

Asa Butterfield on ‘Hugo,’ Bonding with Chloe Moretz, & His Dream Role

When we caught up with the extremely articulate Asa Butterfied, the young star had yet to be cast as the lead in the highly anticipated sci-fi adaptaion, Ender’s Game. Back then, he was merely the star of Martin Scorsese’s dazzling 3D fable, Hugo, currently in theaters. Expect big things from this kid. Here he is on relating to his characters, bonding with costar Chloe Moretz, and learning about film from the master.

You’ve already worked with so many great actors from Emma Thompson to Anthony Hopkins, and now Scorsese. How does that feel for someone still quite young?
Honestly, I really don’t think about it. Quite a few of those names I hadn’t even heard of when I first worked with them, Marty for example.  It was only other peoples reactions that alerted me to just what big a deal it was. And the brilliant people I have worked with have just wanted to be helpful and are really good fun. And after the first day of filming, you don’t think about them as celebrities, just as friends.

How did you get involved with Hugo?
There were a couple of auditions for Hugo, which were in London but the last audition was when I flew out to meet Marty and work with him and the two possible Isabelles, one of which was Chloe of course. Within a day or so of getting back to London I heard that I got the part, it was an amazing feeling. Hugo’s character is similar and different to all the other characters I’ve played. Similar in the sense that he is innocent and is unaware of the harshness of the world, but different in the sense that he is more mature than the other characters I’ve played, and knows what consequences his actions will lead to.

How did you relate to Hugo?
Because Hugo’s life was so different to mine, I couldn’t really relate to him through experiences. I had to come up with ideas of what his life would have been like and imagine how that would affect his emotions and the things he did. I don’t think I’m like Hugo particularly.  I mean we’re both boys and the same sort of age.  I suppose I’m like him in that Hugo is adventurous and wants to learn more about the world than what’s in front of him.  I like to think I’m like that too, and being an actor does give me the opportunity to do and see things I wouldn’t otherwise be able to.  Come to think of it, I’m also like Hugo in that he can be on his own.  I would hate to be always on my own, but sometimes it’s good just to sit and read or paint and make models. 

What was the filming process like? Was it a really physical shoot?
There were a lot of emotional scenes and a lot of physical scenes but all of it was a great experience. There were lots of times when I was being chased by the Station Inspector and his dog, we would often do lots of takes and different camera angles so it was very tiring by the end of it, but it was great fun. There are also a few scenes where I had to be in a harness, these were great as in-between takes I could fly around the set.

How was Scorsese as a director?
Marty really is an amazing director.  I know that’s an obvious thing to say but the way he set up shots and the detail that he attends to is quite something.  I could see that early on when watching bits of playback in his tent.  And now I’ve seen the film I can see how that attention to detail has really paid off – it’s so beautiful. He’s not a director that tells you to do it in a particular way, instead he suggests different ways and he was always so encouraging. This lets you come up with your own ideas of how to play the scene and that in turn affects the other actors performances. The other thing I’ve come away with is a real appreciation of film.  All through shooting, he’d suggest films for me to watch.  I’m now really in to Kurosawa, and before I met Marty I’d never heard of him.  Marty also shared with me some of the early films he enjoyed as a boy and young man, I’ve got to see some of them now and can see what inspired him to be the great film maker that he is.

How was it working with Chloe Moretz?
Working with Chloe was great, because were both the same age we got on really well and had a good time working with each other. As she is more experienced in the industry she gave me lots of tips throughout filming. Although she is American, her British accent was amazing so I wasn’t distracted by it. 

Do you have any dream roles?
I’m looking forward to playing characters that have a bit more world experience. I do have a dream role, so if anyone wants to make ‘Young Bond’, I’m your guy.