Ejogo’s Largo!

 

 

Photo via Newscom

Carmen Ejogo

The “It Comes at Night” Interview

with Kam Williams

Ejogo’s Largo!

Carmen Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott King’ opposite David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay’s universally acclaimed SELMA as well as being singled out for her ‘mind-blowing’ lead role as Sister in SPARKLE alongside Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks. Carmen was most recently seen playing the key role of Seraphina Picquery, President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America in J.K.Rowling’s FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM alongside an all-star cast including Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Jon Voigt and Samantha Morton.

Released on the 19th of May, Carmen plays a key role in Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated prequel ALIEN: COVENANT with Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston. The story follows on from 2012’s Oscar-nominated PROMETHEUS as the crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

Carmen is currently filming the second series of Starz’ acclaimed drama “The Girlfriend Experience” from executive producers Steven Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman. In one of two parallel storylines, she will play the role of Bria Jones who, after discovering disturbing information about a regular client, is forced to relocate to a remote location in New Mexico. Unable to shake her desire for risky relationships and the finer things in life, Bria navigates her new penniless and surreal existence by forming eerily intimate transactional relationships. While Bria’s ghosts from the past continue to haunt, her new connections with men redefine the meaning of the Girlfriend Experience.

Earlier last year Carmen won plaudits for her lead role opposite Ethan Hawke in the lauded independent feature BORN TO BE BLUE, depicting jazz legend Chet Baker’s musical comeback in the late ’60s. She made her U.S. film debut opposite Eddie Murphy playing Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Tate in the 1997 comedy METRO. She then went on to star in films such as Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, What’s the Worst that Could Happen? opposite Martin Lawrence, Neil Jordan’s The Brave One opposite Terrence Howard and Jodie Foster, Gavin O’Connor’s PRIDE AND Glory opposite Ed Norton, and in Sam Mendes’ 2009 indie hit Away We Go opposite Maya Rudolph.

Carmen Ejogo, It Comes at Night, Interview, Coretta Scott King, SELMA, SPARKLE, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, ALIEN: COVENANT

Carmen Ejogo in Born to Be Blue (2015)

On television, Carmen garnered the attention of television critics and audiences alike for her portrayal of Sally Hemmings, the title character in the 2000 CBS miniseries Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal. She played the role of Coretta Scott King in HBO’s critically acclaimed film for television BOYCOTT, opposite Jeffrey Wright and Terrence Howard. Her role earned her a 2001 Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a TV film or miniseries. She also starred in HBO’s Emmy nominated Lackwanna Blues where her role as Alean earned her a second Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a TV film or miniseries. Ejogo also starred as FBI agent ‘Becca Sunjata’ in the ABC television series “Zero Hour” opposite Anthony Edwards.

Kam Williams: Hi Carmen, thanks for the interview. I really appreciate this opportunity to speak with you.

Carmen Ejogo: No problem, Kam.

KW: You’re really enjoying a renaissance in recent years, after taking a break to raise the kids. You were in Selma, Fantastic Beasts, Alien: Covenant and now this film.

CE: Yeah, I feel very fortunate to be able to have the kind of career that I want. It’s not always so easy with children.

KW: What interested you in It Comes at Night?

CE: Coming into it, we knew we were going to be working with a visionary director in Trey Edward Shults, having seen his first film, Krisha. It was so striking and original that you just knew that any movie he made was going to have a unique stamp on it. So, it wasn’t that difficult a decision to be a part of this film, although it was still a very ambitious, high-risk experiment in many ways. But that pushing of boundaries was part of the project’s appeal, quite frankly.

KW: How did you manage to produce a masterpiece on a modest budget?   

CE: It wasn’t about money, really. It’s more about a strong script, excellent ideas, and a great application of those ideas. Trey exhibited resourcefulness at its best as a director, and we all became one unit with the same intention. Sometimes, with the right attitude, you can actually be inspired by the absence of a budget.

KW: Your co-star, Joel Edgerton, was brilliant as your husband in this film, as he was in Loving.   

CE: Yes, he’s phenomenal in this. Like so many people, I’m just discovering him in real time. He’s quite a gift and an immense talent: writer, director, actor. He’s quite a special human being in many ways.

KW: Riley Keough is also in this film. Had you worked with her before?

CE: No, although she was at the helm of the first season of The Girlfriend Experience, and I’m going to be taking on the role for the second season. We talked about the show on set, but I hadn’t yet signed on. I had much trepidation until Riley and I had some conversations about it. So, she’s part of the reason why I ended up going for it.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from It Comes at Night?

Carmen Ejogo, It Comes at Night, Interview, Coretta Scott King, SELMA, SPARKLE, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, ALIEN: COVENANT

Carmen Ejogo in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

CE: I think Trey’s intention was to leave it enough open to interpretation so that multiple messages might be taken from it. But there was no agenda or particular intention other than the film’s being an examination of human nature at its best and worst, and of what the family unit can descend into when survival and tribal mentality kick in. Personally, I feel the film is deeply relevant to what’s happening culturally at this point in time in terms of people fearing anyone from the outside, and choosing to isolate.

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: You often manage to end up in very interesting movies. How do you recognize a great script?

CE: That’s such a good question, Patricia. I’ve often wondered about that myself. At the end of the day, I really go with my personal taste and with what’s on the page in terms of character. But beyond that, there’s a complexity about the scripts I tend to respond to. I’ve not lost my curiosity about how the world functions. And a script that can embody that and thematically explore bigger questions in a way which seems fresh is likely to get my attention. Frankly, I also have an eye for what will appeal to an audience, as opposed to a self-indulgent exercise that isn’t taking the audience into account.

KW: How did you prepare for the role of Sarah?

CE: I definitely tried to fill her back story, which I don’t do for every role. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel necessary. But with this one, I felt it was important to have a sense of Sarah’s relationship with her husband because where you meet her is a place of such deterioration and lack of communication. I needed to understand how they’d arrived at that point. I also felt it was worth exploring Sarah’s relationships with her father and son. And because Trey wanted the picture to have a sense of timelessness, I felt quite excited by the idea of Sarah’s aesthetic being the subject of a Dorothea Lange, Depression Era portrait. Traditionally, you didn’t see people of color in this kind of movie I was watching while growing up. So, there was something very interesting to me about the idea of a mashup, a reinterpretation of the genre.   

KW: Given that you sing, would you be interested in doing a musical on Broadway or on screen? If so, would you like to do a revival or an original like La La Land.

CE: [Giggles] All of the above. Yeah. Music is so much a part of my being. I haven’t gotten to explore it much in recent years.

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to?

CE: “When I Grow Up” by Fever Ray.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00IMZ87BE/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

 

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?

CE: Far more makeup on the red carpet, and I’m a little shabbier at home.

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

CE: I’m genuinely into so many aesthetics… Comme Des Garcons… Issey Miyake… And I’m also quite fond of designers like Mayle. But I get most excited by emerging, barely-established, avant garde designers.

KW: The Anthony Mackie question: Is there anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet?

CE: [Laughs] No, the fame thing has never influenced what I do or don’t think

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Do you have a favorite movie monster?   

CE: [LOL] The Cyclops in Sinbad.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Carmen, and best of luck with the film.

CE: Thank you, Kam.

Source:  Baret News

For movies opening June 9, 2017

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening June 9, 2017

Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, The Mummy, Megan Leavey,  Big Budget Films, Independent & Foreign Films

BIG BUDGET FILMS

It Comes at Night (R for profanity, violence and disturbing images) Post-apocalyptic suspense thriller about a couple (Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo) with a son (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) who successfully evade the deadly plague terrorizing the planet until, against their better judgment, they decide to share their cabin in the woods with a desperate family seeking refuge from the scourge. With Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough and Griffin Robert Faulkner.

Megan Leavey (PG-13 for violence, profanity, mature themes and suggestive material) Kate Mara portrays the title character in this Iraq War docudrama chronicling the real-life exploits of a Marine corporal who successfully conducted over 100 missions with the help of a combat dog until an IED injures them both. Supporting cast includes Common, Edie Falco, Will Patton and Bradley Whitford.     

The Mummy (PG-13 for action, violence, partial nudity, scary images and suggestive content) Sofia Boutella assumes the title role in this reboot of the horror franchise revolving around an ancient princess entombed for millennia in a crypt buried deep in the desert who is suddenly revived as a terrifying malevolent force. Co-starring Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Courtney B. Vance and Annabelle Wallis.

My Cousin Rachel (PG-13 for sexuality and brief profanity) Adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel about a revenge-minded Englishman (Sam Claflin) who finds himself falling in love with the cousin (Rachel Weisz) he suspects murdered his guardian (Iain Glen).With Holliday Grainger, Andrew Knott and Poppy Lee Friar.   

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

As Good as You (Unrated) Bittersweet dramedy about a grieving lesbian (Laura Heisler) who asks her late wife’s brother (Bryan Dechart) to donate the sperm for her artificial insemination, only to subsequently land in a love triangle with her two BFFs (Anna Fitzwater and Raoul Bhaneja). Featuring Annie Potts, Peter Maloney and Karis Campbell.

Beatriz at Dinner (R for profanity and a scene of violence) Salma Hayek portrays the title character in this fish-out-of-water comedy as a Mexican masseuse who is invited to join a wealthy client’s (Connie Britton) family for supper when her car won’t start following a treatment. With John Lithgow, Chloe Sevigny and Jay Duplass.

Camera Obscura (Unrated) Psychological thriller about a war photographer with PTSD (Christopher Denham) who starts questioning his sanity when he is able to forecast imminent deaths from snapshots he’s taken. Featuring Catherine Curtin, Chase Williamson and Nadja Bobyleva and Noah Segan. 

The Hero (R for drug use, profanity and sexuality) Sam Elliott stars as the title character in this bittersweet portrait of an aging star of Westerns who finds himself facing his mortality after being diagnosed with cancer. Supporting cast includes Nick Offerman, Katharine Ross and Laura Prepon. 

The Hunter’s Prayer (R for violence, profanity and drug use) Cat-and-mouse thriller about an assassin (Sam Worthington) who ends up on the run with a woman (Odeya Rush) he decides not to kill. With Martin Compston, Tina Maskell and Eben Young. (In English, German and French with subtitles)     

I Love You Both (Unrated) Sibling rivalry dramedy about a twin brother (Doug Archibald) and sister (Krystin Archibald) whose tight bond becomes strained when they start dating the same guy (Lucas Neff). Featuring Artemis Pebdani, Angela Trimbur and Kate Berlant.

Night School (Unrated) Against-the-odds documentary chronicling the efforts of three students to graduate from one of Indianapolis’ worst, inner-city high schools.

Raising Bertie (Unrated) Coming-of-age documentary chronicling a half-dozen years in the lives of a trio of ambitious, African-American adolescents being raised in rural North Carolina.

 

 Source:  Baret News

Desperate Survivors Lead Spartan Existence in Post-Apocalyptic Suspense Thriller

 

It Comes at Night,  Film Review, Kam Williams, Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, spine-tingler , horrorIt Comes at Night

Film Review by Kam Williams

Desperate Survivors Lead Spartan Existence in Post-Apocalyptic Suspense Thriller

Paul (Joel Edgerton) found a safe refuge for his family far from the rest of humanity in the wake of a deadly plague that’s been decimating the planet. At least that’s what he thought about their remote hideout until his wife’s (Carmen Ejogo) dad somehow caught the disease.

After allowing Sarah and their son (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) to say their goodbyes through germ-proof respirators, Paul put a bullet in his ailing father-in-law’s head before he had a chance to infect one of them, too. While the body was being cremated, traumatized, 17 year-old Travis tried to comfort himself as much as his pet dog, saying, “Don’t worry, Stanley, I’m going to take care of you.”

But as any movie fan knows, such an assurance is ordinarily an ominous kiss of death in a horror flick. And true to form, Stanley’s the next to go in It Comes at Night, a claustrophobic suspense thriller set inside a darkened cabin in the woods.

  The picture is the sophomore offering from writer/director Trey Edward Shults who made an impressive debut a couple of years ago with Krisha. Here, the emerging wunderkind again makes the most of a micro-budget, crafting a harrowing tale guaranteed to make your hair stand on end.

The plot thickens when another family of refugees, desperate for shelter and sustenance, shows up unannounced. Against his better judgment, Paul invites the strangers to share their already meager rations, provided none of them is infected..

Patriarch Will (Christopher Abbott) assures him they’re healthy, but there’s something suspicious about the way that his wife, Kim (Riley Keough), keeps their baby covered up. Anyhow, the six proceed to pass a peaceful enough, if Spartan, existence until things mysteriously start to go bump in the middle of the night.

Whaddya expect to happen in a scary, spine-tingler with such a big hint in the title?

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated  R for profanity, violence and disturbing images

Running time: 97 minutes

Production Studio: Animal Kingdom

Distributor: A24

Source:  Baret News