Robin Williams

596720c5c313c5fe58bcb38d5f5fc127bb31e957f76ea0c27871dd93482b0e63_largeFrequent New Orleans filmer Ryan Reynolds is back on the big screen with Self/Less, plus Robin Williams last film and more are in theaters today.


New Orleans-shot Self/Less stars Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds. Kingsley plays the man who built New York. He is a self-made man, whose buildings symbolize the strength and power his life once had. When his health begins to deteriorate, he is brought an opportunity of immortality. 116 min. Rated PG-13.


The yellow jelly bean-like tots of perfection get their shot at the big screen. Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob attend Villain-Con and are hired by the super-villainous Scarlet Overkill. Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton and Steve Coogan lend their voices. 91 min. Rated PG.

The Gallows

Twenty years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy – but soon discover that some things are better left alone. 81 min. Rated R.


A devoted husband in a marriage of convenience is forced to confront his secret life. 88 min. Rated R.


Before The Scene With James Madio

by AJ Buckley on July 8, 2015


James Madio is a veteran actor from the Bronx. His long career includes roles alongside Robin Williams in the Steven Spielberg classic Hook, as Pedro in Basketball Diaries and as Sergeant Frank J. Perconte in HBO’s seminal miniseries Band of Brothers.

What made you want to become an actor?

When we were younger, my father used to bust out the video camera and make us do these little funny skits with me and my sisters. He’d make me imitate Elvis or Michael Jackson and we would just have a good time. For family time, instead of watching TV, we’d just pull out the video camera. When I was thirteen, my father [knew of a] manager who represented kids. He said, “Hey, I’d like to bring my son down see what she thinks.” I went in and she had me read a Smucker’s commercial, who are always like, “Hey, I like Smucker’s jam and jelly because it makes me happy!” You’ve got to smile and look like a happy kid. I went in and did it totally like Bronx, New York style. I remember her telling me and my father, “Well, he’s very specific, I’m not so sure that he’s going to work as much as you’d like.” Then, about a month later, we got a call from her saying that I had an audition for a film called Hook that’s a Spielberg film. That was my first audition and I booked it. I just remember meeting Steven and that was it. That was my intro into the business: a lot of luck.

I don’t think any of the kids, or at least the Lost Boys, knew what we were getting into until you got to the set and saw how big it was. Never Never Land and the pirate ship. I just remember a lot of big A-list actors showing up with their kids just to see the set, like it was a theme park. It was pretty cool. It felt like you were at a theme park every day at work. You go get makeup, grab some cool little equipment, go skateboarding, play basketball, shoot darts and water guns and food fights. It was a lot of fun.

I also remember Hoffman talking to my father and saying, “Hey, do you mind if I introduce James to somebody?” My father said, “Yeah, sure, of course.” Hoffman introduced me to these two producers, Laura Ziskin and Joe Caracciolo. He told them, “Hey, I’d like this kid to play my son in my next movie.” And that was it. I went right to my second studio film. No audition. I got a nice intro into this industry.

What’s been your biggest fear?

My family and the future of my family. That’s my recent fear. I just got married three years ago and my baby’s two, so that’s the most recent fear. But before, to be honest, I really didn’t have any fear. I always looked ahead, I always had faith and I always thought that something would come my way and more breaks would happen. If I just kept my nose clean, kept my contacts and was very friendly with people, I’d continue to work. I’d like to tell you that my fear would be never to work again or failure, but I never was really afraid of that. Now with my wife and kid, the stakes are higher because I have to provide for family. To do that, I have to find longevity and stability within this career.

What was your lowest point?

After Basketball Diaries, I did very well in the indie market. That’s when festivals were first starting to come on to the scene. We were at Sundance for Basketball Diaries. After that, I started to take acting a little more seriously. I wanted to work more. This is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I made that decision at nineteen and with it came a lot of rejection. I thought I was going to work a lot more and I thought my career was going to take this shift, and it didn’t. It actually went the other way. I just remember not having representation shortly after that movie and not auditioning. Just hanging out with friends, drinking in the park and doing an odd job. It was one of the first and pretty much only “regular” job that I’ve ever taken. I did plumbing with my brother-in-law and I just remember just working a lot of hours, being dirty and sweating. Which is fine. Some people are built for that and I wouldn’t knock that. I have a lot of friends and family that work very hard. But for me, that was probably the most difficult time. For about a year, I didn’t work and I had to just find jobs and ways to make ends meet. It was just a low time in my career. That’s happened a few times throughout my career. There’s been these lows that were very difficult. Even after Band of Brothers. I came out swinging and went right to a show called Queens Supreme with Oliver Platt and Robert Loggia. But after that, I didn’t work for a year and a half. I lived in Manhattan and I had really high expenses. Then, I had to learn how to budget and manage. That comes with the territory if you want to do this for a long time. It is a marathon. It’s not a race. You’re not trying to win this in a year or two.

What kept you from walking away?

The one thing that I have always known, what I’ve always hung my hat on, is that I believe that I’m good at what I do. As long as I just keep reinventing myself, from being a kid to a teenager to an adult who can now be a math teacher, a father, a policeman – all while staying sharp and focused and loving what I do. That’s what motivates me to keep going. There have been many times throughout the twenty-five years where, although I haven’t thought about quitting and following another path, I’ve slightly second guessed myself and thought, “How I’m going to survive?” But I always just hang my hat on that one hook and go, “Well, you’re good at what you’re doing, so just keep on going.”

Who was your closest ally?

I’ve had a few close allies. I’ll give you two. The one that’s always been there in this business for me, always checked in and given me great ideas and insight, and has driven me, is my father. My father’s always been behind me and pushed me to do more. Another one of my allies is AJ Buckley. We definitely push each other to do better and be better. To focus on the work. The only way you’re going to succeed for a long time is to be good at what you do. You’ve got to practice and continue to work on material, read scripts and collaborate with people who are hungry and putting out good material. AJ is one of them. We definitely push each other.

Outside of those two, the whole Band of Brothers family are tremendous allies to me. We’re still friends. We have our Bands of Brothers reunion once a year and we check up on each other and check each other. We make sure that everyone’s focused and taking care of each other and being there for each other’s family.


What were you doing before an audition that changed your life?

Before Hook, I was this thirteen-year-old kid on the street just playing some handball and cutting up in school, probably chasing girls. Before Diaries, it was pretty much the same thing. I was hanging out in the park and not focusing and not worrying about my studies. Before Band of Brothers, that’s when I was probably the most focused. I was taking the time to really read the book, work out, get educated on the history of it all. I wanted to physically and mentally just be there for that audition. And for Band of Brothers, I actually had made the decision to move out here [to Los Angeles], so I was actually out here auditioning. I was in the grind, in the mix around actors, working on stage on some stuff and in acting school. I was ready to go out swinging. I took it very seriously.

Jim-&-Robin-webWhat were the words that kept you going?

Something Robin said to the Lost Boys one time. He said to me on set, “Make sure that you spend less time in your dressing room and more time on the set learning the craft and learning the trade. Spend more time listening.” Those are words I’ve always remembered. Spend more time listening. And that’s what I did. I didn’t spend much time in my dressing room. I listened to what Robin said, which is basically “just pay attention.” That’s the honest truth. I’m not saying that because he’s not with us today. I say that because that’s the truth.

How do you think you have changed?

I’ve become more patient and more understanding with the process. I take rejection much better than I ever have. I understand it. I don’t wish any bad luck to anybody if someone wins the job over me. When you’re first starting out, it’s competitive. And it should always be competitive: that’s what’s going to make you better at what you do. I’ll always enjoy that part of it, but I’m definitely more understanding, more respectful and the rejection doesn’t get to me anymore at all.

What words do you have to inspire others?

In this business, you’ve got to be hungry. You’ve got to want to do this. Rely heavily on your instincts because they are going to be your best friend. If you struggle with false moments, and you don’t know how to rely on your instincts, it’s going to be a little bit of a ride for you. And I’m not sure that this business is for you.



The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

Peter Jackson continues the journey to the middle of the earth as JRR Tolkien’s story comes to life. Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and Ian McKellen star. 144 min. Rated PG-13.


Louisiana native Quvenzhané Wallis stars as Annie in the new reboot of the classic musical. The film with a new urban twist also stars Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. Will Gluck directed the film. 118 min. Rated PG.

Night At The Museum: Secret of The Tomb

Late night adventures in a museum are always a good time. This time around Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) and his pack of historic heroes head to work at a British museum in order to investigate the disintegrating tablet of an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh. 97 min. Rated PG.


RIP: Robin Williams

by Arthur Vandelay on August 11, 2014


Oscar winner Robin Williams, one of the most gifted actors of his generation, has passed away. He was sixty-three years old. Born in Chicago, his mother Laura McLaurin was a former model from New Orleans, Louisiana.

Born in 1951, Robin McLaurin Williams was a versatile and gifted performer whose career spanned standup comedy to television to features and more. Nikkie Finke is reporting that he was found dead at his Tiburon, California home, where it is suspected that he took his own life. In late June 2014, Williams checked himself into the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota to battle his longtime foe, an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Williams gifts were many. He won an Academy Award in 1997 for his portrayal of a psychologist in Good Will Hunting. He also portrayed characters that inspired in films like Dead Poets Society, Awakenings and The Fisher King. He was nominated for Best Actor three times.

Williams also brought laughter to children with films such as 1991’s Hook, Disney’s animated film AladdinMrs. Doubtfire, Popeye, Jumanji, Happy Feet and Night at the Museum, and to adults with films like The Birdcage.

His successes on the big screen are too many to mention. He was truly one of the greats and the loss his friends, family and fans are experiencing is great.

UPDATE: His wife Susan Schneider issued this statement: “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

The Marin County Sheriff has issued this statement: ““On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin County Communications received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.”

Source: Nikki Finke


Robin Williams cast to play Ike Eisenhower in ‘The Butler’

by Morgan Charlesworth on July 24, 2012

Director Lee Daniels has added Robin Williams to the cast of The Butler which will begin shooting in New Orleans, Louisiana, later this July. Williams has been given the role of President Ike Eisenhower. He joins the elite cast of Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Redgrave, Terrence Howard, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda and Colman Domingo.

The Butler follows the life of white house butler Eugene Allen as he serves under eight different presidents in three decades.

Williams will also be staring in Phil Alden Robinson’s comedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn which will begin filming in Brooklyn this September. The film is about a stand-in doctor who misdiagnoses a patient giving him only 90 minutes to live. It also stars Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo and James Earl Jones.

Source: TheWrap