See Tom Cruise’s Script Suggestions & Read Cameron Crowe’s ‘The Jerry Maguire Journals’

Last week, we reported that Rachel McAdams would be joining the cast of Cameron Crowe’s next untitled film—which is said to be a in the heartfelt vein of Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire. The news was a welcome relief after the disappointment of his last few films, features I found terribly unsubstantial, leaving my love for the wonderful writer and director waining. Having grown up on Crowe’s early and middle films, they taught me something profoundly important about creating a narrative that’s both cinematic and deeply emotional—but always honest and unmerciful. And the other day, Cinephilia and Beyond posted the most delightful gem—a photo from the original script for Jerry Maguire, marked up with notes from Tom Cruise himself, advising Crowe as to liken to his own ridiculous suggestions. 

You can see the script page HERE but while you’re into it, you should also read this fantastic article documentating the making of the film written by Crowe for Rolling Stone‘s 1996 December Issue—The Jerry Maguire Journals. See the article in its entirety HERE but tak a look at some what he had to say about working with Cruise:

… He carried the script in a black notebook with multicolored page markers for easy access. Layer by layer, Cruise began to strip down to the part that many had told me he would never play – a loveable, lost loser on the rebound. As he mentioned to me one day, “I have a piece of paper near the mirror, and I see it every day. It says, ‘Relax.’ If I’m loose, I can go places I’ve never been before as an actor. Any time you want, just tell me to relax. It’ll help.” I would have to tell him to relax only a couple of times. Each time he tried something wild and loony. Those takes are not in the movie, but the next ones are.

…Cruise’s process of deconstructing was entertaining to watch. If the scene required him to be out of breath, he would jump rope furiously just before a take and then quickly say, “Let’s go.” If the take required him to cry, he would take as long as necessary, sitting alone, sometimes listening to music on a Walkman, reaching into places that clearly wrenched him to visit. The level of his commitment to the part was constantly surprising to me as a director. As a writer, I was often floored.

“Your words, man,” he said, “You spent three and a half years on this script.”

…Every picture of me directing Jerry Maguire looks pretty much the same: I am holding pages from the script in hand, and the pages are mostly filled with scribbled notes about how each line could be played. My intense devotion to the script was matched, sometimes outdistanced, by Cruise’s. The mirror in his hair and makeup trailer was plastered with photos from each of his previous movies. The idea was to look different, to be different, in Jerry Maguire. A real turning point came early, while we were filming the scene where Jerry has been fired and he rushes back to the office to make phone calls, attempting to win back his clients.

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Watch the US Theatrical Trailer for Terrence Malick’s ‘To the Wonder’

Let me begin by saying that whoever is cutting these To the Wonder trailers deserves an entire award ceremony of his/her own. And although it seems I have already spoken ad nauseum about Terrence Malick’s latest philosophical/emotional masterpiece with word of new trailers, stills, featurettes, etc., I almost forgot that a proper US theatrical trailer had yet to be released. And yesterday, Entertainment Tonight (of all places) debuted the beautiful new preview that has taken my heart and placed it on my lap so that it can absorb my endless tears. Featuring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem, this new trailer allows us to see more stunning moments from his graceful poem of images. And in addition, perhaps the first lovely shot of a Sonic Drive-In featured in a Malick movie, right?

And this idea of "the Wonder," of the abstract beauty inherent in existence, of allowing our eye to deconstruct the way we view the world around us with a spirituality that connects emotion and creation to something beyond, is at the crux of Malick’s work and To the Wonder explores that through the memory of love’s torture. As part of our December/January cover story on Kurylenko, she spoke to us about her process of working on the feature, saying: 

I receive pages every morning, sometimes ten, sometimes more. They’re not exactly a script—whether one exists or not is a complete mystery—but the words are (excuse my poeticism) rather like a breakfast for the soul. And every morning it’s a feast! If I digest the sense of what the pages contain, the nature of Terry’s words will shine through my eyes while we’re filming, and I won’t even need to speak. Every sentence is filled with such deep knowledge of the soul. They force me to think and reflect on my own life, to ask myself questions. Reading Terry’s words makes me realize I’m spending so much precious time on such unnecessary things. (“Why do we often look the wrong way?”) Wonderful pages. I’d like to cover my walls with them. Instead, I’m instructed to burn them.

But more on this closer to the film’s release, which is coming up on April 12th. So in the meantime, check out the US trailer below, as well as, yet another, clip from the film.

Watch More Behind-the-Scenes Footage From Terrence Malick’s ‘To the Wonder’

In a recent review for Little White Lies, David Jenkins said that Terrence Malick "doesn’t make films anymore, he builds cathedrals.” And as a sublime and beautiful companion piece to The Tree of Life, his latest emotional epic To the Wonder tackles the same questions of existence as his last film, but this time through the eyes of love and the confounding complexities within ourselves that hold us captive and barricade us from connection to our own spirit and that of others. Yesterday, we showed you a new French TV spot for the film with a first behind-the-scenes featurette the day prior. But now, all three exclusive clips have made themselves visible online and it’s your choice to choose whether or not you’d like to dive into the making of the film.

Malick’s films are painfully stunning, captivating, and bewildering because they seem to exist so effortlessly, like you’re watching a graceful and delicate ballet never imagining that the dancers performing could possibly be sweating or having their toes ripped to shreds. So if you’ve already lucky enough to have seen To the Wonder, then perhaps you’ll find these featurettes very enlightening—it’s always interesting to hear Ben Affleck talk about the shooting process is stream metaphors. But if you’ve yet to immerse yourself in the picture, let’s save this one for later. Now if someone can find me the original behind-the-scenes footage of Days of Heaven, then we’ll be in business.

Take a Look at the Newest Beautiful Images From Terrence Malick’s ‘To the Wonder’

Terrence Malick’s films aren’t much different from Chris Marker’s un photo-roman. The poetic wisdom and ineffable beauty are presented in images and snapshots of moments that speak volumes above dialogue. And what remains are the feelings provoked by the way the camera slying weaves through the emotional trails of his characters with grace. And in for his latest, To the Wonder, we’ve already been given a sizable amount of images thus far, setting the tone for what audiences can expect in the story of love’s natural ebb and flow—from manic passion to the emptiness of sorrow. 

The latest set of stills to arrive comes courtesy of The Telegraph, giving us a look at tortured lovers Olga Kurylenko and Ben Affleck dancing wistfully in a field at dusk, the lonesome and beautiful Rachel McAdams on a horse ranch, and Javier Bardem as the priest questioning his own spiritually. If you’re lucky enough to be in the U.K., the film opens on the 22nd of February; those of us in the U.S. will have to wait until its April 12th release.

Check to the new images below.

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Check Out the Stunning New Stills from Terrence Malick’s ‘To the Wonder’

Terrence Malick’s sprawling poem of images To the Wonder lives inside his magic hour moments of pain and splendor. Mainly, the stills we’ve seen from the film thus far have been of Ben Affleck and Olga Kuryleko—the tortured lovers whose relationship flows in and out of love and lust. But now, there’s a new batch of images for you to begin salivating over, featuring Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.

McAdams plays a former lover of Affleck, a painfully beautiful woman yearning for love and security, whereas Bardem plays a priest whose faith wanes as he questions his own existence. Opinions on the film are sure to mixed, but there is no doubt that Malick works his magic yet again to create something that speaks to the basic human desires, emotions, and challeneges we all face when it comes to connecting with the world around us, all framed in a physical world that heightens the mundane reality of the nature surrounding our everyday lives into a magestic setting. 

Check out the new stills which present, as expected, losts of wistfully gentle touching, starring, and prancing around wheatfields.

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Watch The First Stunning Trailer For Terrence Malick’s ‘To the Wonder’

The trailer for Terrence Malick’s latest poem of images, To the Wonder, has found its way online this morning, and until a domestic preview is released, I will be watching this or hell, just listening to it on an endless loop. Premiering back in the fall on the festival circuit, Malick’s followup to the enigmatic The Tree of Life, opened to a smattering of boos and criticism—most likely audience members with residual frustration from his last. But rather than focusing on creation, To the Wonder—which stars Olga Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem—appears to meditate on the ineffable qualities of love and love lost.

Staying true to his cinematic style, the trailer features his signature voiceover that’s not quite narrator, not quite character but more of an omnipresent figure to the film. The Film Stage called it, "a beautiful account of love through memory," which sounds promising, knowing that Malick’s work exists inside the world of memory. When we think back on the moments that have awakened our lives or back on love, it’s never the words that we remember but a series of images or a touch with feelings attached—and that’s what his films aim to encapsulate, that magic hour of the mind, remembering the way someone’s mouth moved when they yelled or the way the wind hit the trees rather than the narrative that brought them there.

In our December/January cover story, Kurylenko spoke about working with Malick, saying, "It’s so amazing to be a part of his work. I think we had a connection, and his writing is so simple and beautiful," and that each morning on set, script pages would arrive but "never before because he doesn’t want you to rehearse too much and overthink it…they always tried to recuperate the pages, and what they didn’t get back Terry or his assistant instructed us to burn." Certainly a vivid image: the thought of the ashes of Malick’s scripts floating off somewhere in one of those wheat fields he’s so fond of.

Former Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko Digs Deep In Terrence Malick’s ‘To The Wonder’

Olga Kurylenko—the Ukraine-born, Paris- bred, London-based model-turned-actor who made a big splash as the combustible, revenge-seeking Camille Montes in the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace, and who stars in the upcoming Terrence Malick film, To the Wonder—will never be cryogenically frozen.

It’s not that she doesn’t trust the science—though she doesn’t—it’s that she doesn’t trust human nature: “What if they forget to unfreeze you?” she asks with Slavic sincerity. “Who’s giving you a guarantee that they won’t throw you in the garbage? I don’t trust anybody. There’s no way I’m going to trust that someone will unfreeze me. There’s no way.” She follows up with a soft, wistful punctuation to her train of thought, an endearingly peculiar feature of her conversational style: “But it would be nice to never die.”

We’re seated at a shadowy corner table at French brasserie Plein Sud in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. After settling in and ordering oeuf dur mayonnaise (“I love mayonnaise,” she says), I present her with a small token of appreciation for re-arranging her schedule and taking the time to fly up from Miami, where she’s currently shooting the second season of the Starz series Magic City. It’s a copy of Alan Lightman’s small and magical Einstein’s Dreams—a book about a young, woolgathering Albert Einstein that imagines a series of bell-jar worlds where time moves backwards, in circles, in waves, and not at all. We discuss the book for a few minutes and, perhaps through its subtle suggestion, our conversation over the next hours bends backwards, rolls in circles, and jumps fitfully between topics, as any good conversation should.

Earlier in the evening, my first interaction with Kurylenko comes via text message while I wait in the lobby bar of her hotel. She’s stuck in traffic and running late. Then comes the more revealing, “I’m hungry, tired, and I need a massage!” It sounds enough like a command to allow my slightly lubricated imagination to momentarily get away from me, but she follows up quickly with an abating “LOL” that put my head back between my shoulders.

She arrives shortly after, apologizes again for being late, and shoots up to her room to drop off her bags, giving me a moment to jot down my first impressions: “She’s tall [5’ 10”], long, lithe, and comfortably dressed in jeans and a light, loosely fitting gray cardigan. She’s a natural beauty, her hair pulled off her face into a ponytail, and her green eyes are filled with energy despite protestations to the contrary.”

Actually, let’s start at the very beginning…

Kurylenko was born on November 14, 1979, in Berdyansk, Ukraine, a small port city located on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov. When she was born, the Ukraine was a Soviet republic. She was 12 years old when Ukraine passed a referendum on a declaration of independence, which became a leading factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991. “Suddenly we were poor and we couldn’t eat,” she recalls. “My mother’s salary would run out and the envelope would be empty. And it was always an envelope, never a bank. There was no point in a bank.”

The experience had a profound effect on her, and to this day she always pockets little snacks to carry with her because she’s afraid of being hungry. “It’s a psychological fear,” she says. “I loved birthday parties because they had food in abundance. I would just eat. Up to here,” she says while she snaps her hand to her jawline. “But I was still hungry. The very first years when I immigrated to France I had to learn not to do that. I had to learn how to live with money.”

But before France there was a trip to Moscow, with her mother, when she was 13. An agent approached her on a subway platform about a modeling opportunity. Her mother was hesitant, but fortuitously allowed the young Kurylenko to later travel back to Moscow and learn how to be a model.

She was 16 when she left Ukraine for France, and it wasn’t long before she signed with a modeling agency and began working steadily, eventually securing commercial work with Campari, Bebe, Kenzo, and Victoria’s Secret and landing on the covers of Vogue and Elle.

“From the moment I got to Paris I never struggled,” she says. She tells me that it was watching Emily Watson’s performance in the 1996 film Breaking the Waves that made her want to be an actor. When I suggest she was setting the bar pretty high, she bites back, “Hey! Otherwise what makes you dream? Of course it’s the big things that make you dream.”

As a child her dreams were neither of acting nor modeling; they were of Bach and ballet. “I was so good,” she says of the seven years she spent studying piano as a child. “I played so much Bach, Mozart, Prokofiev, Schubert, Beethoven… and I’ve forgotten everything!” And then talk turns to her youthful love of dance.

“I loved ballet,” she says. “It’s such a pity I had to stop.” After a moment I ask why. “I got hit by a car and my leg was broken. Badly.” She puts her hands together and then pivots them apart at the palm and says, “One piece was sticking this way and the other was going that way.” It wasn’t compound, but she could still see the break. “I was 11 and I freaked out. I thought, ‘This is it,’ and I looked at it and I didn’t think someone could put that back together,” she says. “I was traumatized. I thought that was the end of me.” When the cast came off, she remembers, “I had to re-learn how to walk because the muscles had atrophied, and one leg was much skinnier than the other, and my knee wouldn’t bend anymore.” She tried to return to dancing, but was so far behind she got discouraged and stopped.

But she’s returned to dance recently with vigor. “I don’t go to the gym! I take dance classes,” she says. Her character, Vera Evans, on Magic City—about a Miami Beach hotel in the early 1960s—is a dancer, “so it’s partially for the role,” she says. “It’s so much fun though. To feel your body moving. I’m like, what have I been doing all these years?”

We talk about Magic City for a moment. The show also stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as her embattled husband, Ike Evans, and her current beau, Danny Huston, as a sadistic mobster named Ben “The Butcher” Diamond. “I don’t like that they film so fast. We’re shooting episodes in nine days, but I love doing it,” she says. “You never know where the story is going. And we’re a family now.”

For years she’s kept a journal, and when I ask about her writing she says she’s sadly been too busy to keep up with it. “I think about it all the time,” she says. “There are so many things out there that aren’t true. I always think about the day when I write something real and people will be truly shocked.” She gets excited and her back straightens: “It will be nothing like the image people have of me,” she says, adding that she’s storing her life for an eventual memoir. Wait a beat. “If I survive.”

I ask if survival is a concern. She takes a delicate sip of New York City tap water and says matter of factly, “I’d like to live until I’m 200 years old.” (New York City tap water is good, but not that good.) Kurylenko is shooting for Ponce De Leon numbers, for 2179. Back in 2012 we continue to talk about life and death themes, and before we know it we’re returning to Berdyansk. “My grandfather died right in front of me,” she says. “I was eight or nine. I saw his last breath. It was disturbing, but I grew up in someplace so rural that by eight I had seen lots of dead people. You leave the coffin out and people come by. So I would go and look at every grandfather and grandmother that had died.” She pauses. “I’m glad I saw him die because I was there in his last moments. He wasn’t alone. He knew we were there.”

She starts to cry, but gathers herself quickly. I apologize for the dark turn our conversation has taken, but she says, “No. It’s good because I’m so busy that I never think about him or my grandmother. They’re a part of my life, but I forget to think about them. Now I’m remembering them. It’s good.”

And now we’re touching on the kind of dreamy poeticism that pervades the upcoming Terrence Malick film, To the Wonder, which stars Kurylenko as Marina, an independent woman struggling to understand the capricious nature of love. To the Wonder premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September to conflicting reports of boos and standing ovations—as Malick films are wont to do. Some stars, including Rachel Weisz and Michael Sheen, were unknowingly edited out the film, but Kurylenko was less concerned about ending up on the cutting room floor. “Terry told me that it was Marina’s story,” Kurylenko says, “but he’s done that before where the actor who was the main character didn’t even end up in the movie. He kept his word though. It is Marina’s story.”

The atmospheric film is pure Malick. Kurylenko stars alongside Ben Affleck, who plays her cold, distant lover, Neil; Javier Bardem as the wandering priest Father Quintana; and Rachel McAdams as Jane, one of Neil’s old flames. Marina experiences love and its dissolution, vacillating between free-spirited joy and uncontrollable fits of despair, and the film makes the suggestion that love is like the lens flares that flicker in the corners of so many of Malick’s films—or like the quicksand at Mont Saint-Michel that Marina and Neil dance on during the height of their adoration for one another: you have to catch it just right.

“I miss Terry,” she says. “It’s so amazing to be a part of his work. I think we had a connection, and his writing is so simple and beautiful.”

During filming, script pages would arrive every morning, “first thing, and never before because he doesn’t want you to rehearse too much and overthink it,” she says. “They always tried to recuperate the pages, and what they didn’t get back Terry or his assistant instructed us to burn. Nice fire,” she says, rolling her eyes. “It’s the most horrible act that can be done. Burning those pages.”

When asked about working with Ben Affleck, she surprisingly says, “It was awful. He had to be Neil, this cold person, and I assume he was instructed to stay in character on the set. I don’t know, but I assume because I just realized that’s what he did to all of us.” I suggest that it sounds like a form of psychological torture. “It was!” she says. “I went nuts. There are moments that, as Marina, I went completely crazy, but Terry didn’t put that in the movie,” she says. “Apparently it was too terrifying. People saw it and they freaked out, so it was cut. He drove me to that state though.”

Her voice slows and softens one last time as she sums up the experience of working with Malick. “It’s because of experiences like working with Terry that I feel like my life has been worth living and that my life makes sense,” she says.

It’s getting late and our night winds down. I walk her to the elevator bank in her hotel and she thanks me for the conversation, and I thank her in return. She wonders if I have enough material. I assure her that I do. As the elevator doors open she steps in and says, “Well… if you need more there’s always tomorrow.”

First Look On the Set of Terrence Malick’s New Drama

Enigmatic director Terrence Malick is known for his signature style of filmmaking that unites sight and sound (and usually a wheat field during magic hour) to create something highly cinematic while being virtually dialogue-less (save some sweeping philosophical voiceovers). That, and the fact that his films are almost always made at least half a decade apart. At least until last year, that is, when he surprised everyone with the news that The Tree of Life was to be followed by not only To the Wonder but two other films to be rolled out in the next two years.

His latest effort, To the Wonder, premiered at Venice and Toronto to mixed reviews, and although the film is slated to star Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck–the two providing the main image released for the film–apparently it’s ex-Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko, who garners most of the screen time. Dealing with themes of love and abandonment from God, it seems audiences are not digesting this one well, and U.S. distribution remains to be seen. His next drama, Knight of Cups, which is said to star Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Cate Blanchett, is currently in post-production with a new log line released that reveals the film as “a story of a man, temptations, celebrity, and excess.”  With a description that vague, we could assume he’s basing this off a Bret Easton Ellis novel. But whatever, there’s still more coming. Now that he’s got that one in the can, his next elusive project, previously titled Lawless, seems to be in full swing with Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara in starring roles. 

Last fall, photos of Mara and Gosley frolicking around Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas, began circling around with buzz about another Malick picture in the works. And as one could deduce, those shots were tests for what is now known as Untitled Terrance Malick Project. The only word revealed on the film is that it involves “two intersecting love triangles," and is "a story of sexual obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.” Not too much can be gathered from these new on-set photos, but we can tell the film looks to feature bridges, puppies, Gosling behind the wheel (as usual), and Rooney Mara sans Lisbeth Salander harshness. Principal photography appears to be going swimmingly (and Terrence seems to be looking like he’s on a safari), but again, it’s Malick so, who really knows?

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Afternoon Links: Eva Mendes Goes To The Movies With Mama Gosling, Omar Little Arrested In Baltimore

● Eva Mendes chaperoned Ryan Gosling’s movie date with his mother. [People]

● Isiah Silva says of his mostly hush relationship with Frances Bean, "We’re eachother’s everything…We don’t go out to clubs so you won’t find us stumbling out of them with Lindsay Lohan. We stay at home, read books and watch Arrested Development." [People]

● First things first, everyone needs hair cuts: A sneak peak at Jersey Shore‘s return to Seaside, just ahead of Thursday’s Season 5 premier. [HuffPost]

● Rachel McAdams worked at McDonalds for three years before she was famous, but she was too busy washing her hands to be any good of an employee. [Us]

● Russell Brand is taking his divorce from Katy Perry as you might expect anyone to take a divorce: not well. Word has it that, not "up for celebrating," he spent New Year’s Eve alone with takeout in his hotel room. [Page Six]

● Things got a little confusing on the internet when a man named Omar Little — but, no, not that Omar Little — was arrested in Baltimore over the weekend. [Baltimore Sun]

● MTV believes that 2011 was dubstep’s biggest year yet, and they’ve got a colorful infograph to prove it. [MTVHive]