Golden Man’s Top 10 Films of 2019

2019 was an eclectic year for movies and one I’m kind of sad to leave behind.  This year, the studios threw everything they had at the screen, from biopics to horror films, from dark comedies to three hour epics.  I know I had a good time at the movies this year because it was really damn hard to cut my list off at ten.  And it was hard to rank the ten I chose.  So before I change my mind again, here are my top ten films of 2019.

10. Brittany Runs a Marathon

Jillian Bell has been a supporting player in comedies like 22 Jump Street for a long time.  This year, she starred in her own feature and she knocked it out of the park.  Every summer, I hope for an indie comedy that’s as good as Little Miss Sunshine.  This year, it was Brittany.  Bell makes you fall in love with her character.  It was hard choosing between this movie and The Peanut Butter Falcon as my number ten.  I ultimately had to go with the movie that made me tear up.  It’s funny, it’s inspiring, and it’s been on my mind since August.  Jillian Bell did not get an Oscar nomination for this movie, but I hope she does one day.

9. Joker

One of my all time favorite actors playing one of my all time favorite villains?  Yes, please!  Joaquin Phoenix brought a dark new interpretation to the Joker in this character study, casting him as a tragic figure.  Director Todd Phillips redefined what a comic book movie can be.

8. Rocketman

This Elton John biopic features a terrific cast.  It’s a shame Jamie Bell and Bryce Dallas Howard aren’t receiving more attention for their roles as John’s songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, and emotionally abusive mother, respectively.  Taron Egerton transforms into Elton John in a way I couldn’t have imagined any living actor capable of.  And he does his own singing.  Instead of running through the soundtrack like a greatest hits jukebox, the songs are used artfully and in unexpected ways throughout the film.  The music is used to service the story, rather than as fan service.  The script is excellent.  As my girlfriend pointed out, John’s costume comes apart as he becomes more vulnerable.  It’s always great to have some LGBTQ representation on-screen and this was probably the most positive and most visible example this year.

7. The Irishman

Dare I say it?  This might be my favorite Scorsese film.  It’s definitely a masterpiece.  Watching Pacino and DeNiro together is a treat, two of the greats finally starring together in a movie where they share more than one scene.  Somehow Joe Pesci walks away with the entire film.  The three hour plus running time passes quickly.  I’ve already read the synopsis for Scorsese’s next film and I’m excited for it.  But this, this was something special.

6. Ford v Ferrari

This was the sleeping dragon this year.  Before I could see it, I kept hearing couples gossiping about how good it was, while waiting for other movies to start.  When I finally took my girlfriend to see it, we were both surprised at how right they were.  This movie has a lot more humor and heart than I would have suspected.  I’m not a car guy at all, so I never thought this would end up in my top ten.  Matt Damon and Christian Bale have great chemistry.  The final race is a real nail biter.  I found myself a lot more emotionally invested in this story than I expected.  It’s a fun, thrilling, worthwhile ride.

5. Jojo Rabbit

The ending feels too sudden.  And Rebel Wilson feels wasted.  But everything else works nearly perfectly in this dark comedy.  I find myself rooting for it more and more as awards season goes on.  Director Taika Waititi tells the story of a Hitler youth whose mother is secretly protecting a Jewish girl, and he manages to make it funny.  Scarlett Johansson’s work in Marriage Story has overshadowed her role in this film, but she really shines as Jojo’s mother.  Sam Rockwell gives one of the funniest, most outrageous supporting performances of the year.  Young star Roman Griffin Davis nails a difficult role without being overly cute.  And Waititi is hilarious as a child’s ideal of Hitler.  This is a movie that, on paper, should not work at all.  But Waititi is a genius.  I shall never doubt him again.

4. Avengers: Endgame

I waited for this movie with bated breath and I was very pleased with what I got.  The Russo brothers managed to bring an eleven-year saga to a satisfying conclusion with suspense, action, laughter, and tears.  I wish Rise of Skywalker had felt as satisfying.

3. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Kindness and compassion are rarely the stars in a Hollywood movie.  So it was refreshing to see a film that speaks to our humanity and our basic human decency.  I love the way the movie is structured like an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood for adults.  Tom Hanks embodies the gentle spirit of Fred Rogers beautifully, treating every character on screen with dignity.  This is one of those rare films that makes you want to be a better person.

 

2. Us

Every year, there’s a movie I become obsessed with.  I have to see it at least twice to make peace with it and fully understand it.  This year, it was Us.  Jordan Peele’s sophomore effort dazzles every bit as much as Get Out.  Lupita Nyong’o is stunning in a double role.  The film has layers of meaning and symbolism you can dissect for days.  I’m so bummed this got shut out at the Oscars.  It’s a work of genius.

 

1. Parasite 

My number one took me by surprise.  I was not a fan of Bong Joon-ho’s previous film, Snowpiercer.  However, Parasite is a masterpiece.  This story about two families separated by class affected me more than anything else I saw this year.  The ending stayed with me longer than any other film and still makes me feel emotional right now.  The humor, the suspense, the plot twists, the characters, it’s all masterfully done.  And the cast is excellent.  I see something of my own father in the film, so the story is cathartic for me.  If you still haven’t seen this one, seek it out.

Honorable mentions:  The Peanut Butter Falcon, Toy Story 4, Booksmart, Dolemite Is My Name, 1917.

RunPee Jilly’s Top Ten Movies of 2019

Dan’s top 10 favorite movies from 2019

2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review

The Trouble With Doctor Dolittle

DoLittle

Dolittle is Robert Downey Jr.’s first movie to be released after his triumphant turn as Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame.  (C’mon, Academy.  Don’t let me down.  Nominate him!)  Unfortunately, the trailer looks less than stellar.  In fact, Hollywood doesn’t have the best record when it comes to adaptations of Hugh Lofting’s children’s book character who talks to animals.  So let’s take a deeper look at the trouble with Doctor Dolittle.

Doctor Dolittle (1967)

Rex Harrison starred in this musical movie adaptation.  The production suffered numerous setbacks and difficulties especially because of the large numbers of animals required for the film.  The movie went over budget.  It received mixed to negative reviews.  It bombed at the box office.  Yet due to intense lobbying by the studio, the movie received a Best Picture nomination.  One it does not deserve.  While I’ve never seen the movie, the general consensus from those who have is that it’s a long slog at two and a half hours.  It certainly doesn’t belong in a class with Best Picture winner In the Heat of the Night and fellow nominees Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

Dr. Dolittle (1998)

Eddie Murphy starred as Dolittle in this genuinely funny adaptation.  Along with The Nutty Professor and Mulan, this movie is part of his amazing ’90s comeback.  Critics gave the movie mixed reviews but it was a box office success.  Featuring celebrity voices such as Norm McDonald, Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Jenna Elfman, and Gilbert Gottfried as the animals, the movie was a fun summer romp.

Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)

This one’s un-bear-able.

Eddie Murphy returned for this less funny, less entertaining sequel.  Dolittle tries to help a bear (voiced by Steve Zahn) mate.  Again, the movie received mixed reviews but was a box office hit.

Dolittle Sequels

Kyla Pratt, who plays Murphy’s daughter in the first two films, took over the lead role in three direct-to-video sequels.  I honestly didn’t know they made any more after Dr. Dolittle 3.  With titles like Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief and Million Dollar Mutts, you can probably guess at the quality and target audience of these movies.

Dolittle (2020)

There have been many rumors of a troubled production with the latest adaptation.  Reportedly, tensions became strained between director Stephen Gaghan and Robert Downey Jr. to the point that Downey would only respond to him with monkey noises.  According to a now deleted Reddit post by someone claiming to have worked on the set, the filmmakers began filming scenes before they had planned where the animals would be standing.  According to this same source, Gaghan also wanted to fire the pre-visual animation department and just sort of wing it on the day of shooting.   None of this bodes well for the new film.  Hollywood loves breathing new life into old properties but maybe it’s time to finally close the book on Doctor Dolittle.

From Eddie Murphy to Robert Downey Jr., don’t miss your favorite star’s best movie moments!

Movie review : Zookeeper

Golden Man’s Movie Review – Jojo Rabbit

2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review

 

Who played Alan Parrish in Jumanji?

Robin Williams and Adam Hann Byrd as Alan Parrish in Jumanji
Robin Williams and Adam Hann Byrd as Alan Parrish in Jumanji

Robin Williams played the older version of Alan Parrish, the boy who had been stuck in the game for 26 years. Adam Hann-Byrd played the young version of Alan Parrish.

Little needs be said about the iconic Robin Williams. He graced the screen in over 100 movies/shows and won an Oscar and numerous other awards before taking his life in 2014 at the age of 63. Few people have ever made as many people laugh as Robin.

Adam Hann-Byrd got his first acting gig in the movie Little Man Tate, with Jodie Foster, when he was only 9 years old. Four years later he played the young Alan Parrish in Jumanji. Since then, Adam picked up a few roles here and there, like Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, where he played the character Charlie — but he only has 14 acting credits listed. However, Adam also has 4 writer credits to his name, including 56 episodes of The Morning After.

Who appears in every Star Wars movie?

anthony-daniels-star-wars
The chances of him being in a Star Wars movie is 100%.

Do you know who appears in every Star Wars film?

It used to be easy to answer this: until Solo, R2-D2 and C-3PO were in every film, even if just a short cameo, as in Rogue One. But squeezing them into Solo would have been pure fan-service and narratively unnecessary. We did get a new droid who became part of the navigational unit in the Millennium Falcon. That was cool. But no beloved robotic friends from the past.

So? Want to guess? It’s not Chewbacca, Han, or Lando (in fact, only Chewbacca shows up in  the prequel trilogy — he is around 200, after all). And it’s not Yoda (who is around 900 years old!), although, like Chewie, he manages to hit all three of the trilogy series as a character, albeit a Force Ghost in the latter. I don’t know if we should count Luke and Leia in hitting all  trilogies: they only appear in the conclusion of the prequels as newborns. But while the twins didn’t appear in Solo, Leia has a final moment in Rogue One.

Anyway, none of these characters make an appearance in every Star Wars movie. But someone does.

Then who is it?

This is actually a trick question. No character shows up in every Star Wars movie, but one actor does: Anthony Daniels. Normally he plays our old lovable Goldenrod…but in Solo, Daniels gets to show his face briefly as a human named Tak — a friend of the Wookiee Chewbacca meets on the spice mining planet of Kessel.

Anthony Daniels also plays C-3PO in Ralph Breaks the Internet, which is just awesome, and he gets to interact with more Disney Princesses than just Leia. He’s a protocol droid, after all.

If we’re going to get picky, Daniels plays Threepio everywhere Star Wars abounds: in video games, radio shows, television episodes, and several rides at Disneyland. Daniels even wrote I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story (<-Amazon), an autobiography released on November 5, 2019. (He previously considered using the title Telling the Odds, which I kind of prefer.)

Here’s a last bit of cool trivia: Daniels was the voice of Legolas in the Ralph Bakshi animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (1978).

For an actor without a recognizable face, Anthony Daniels gets around! Will Daniels appear in Rise of Skywalker, the finale to the Star Wars saga? The odds are indeed looking good!

I have a bad feeling about this…

https://runpee.com/obi-wan-kenobi-is-a-lying-liar-who-lies/

 

Tom Hanks and Fred (Mr) Rogers are cousins

Ancestry.com has discovered that Tom Hanks and Fred Rogers are sixth cousins. That’s made all the more relevant due to Tom Hanks playing Fred Rogers in the critically-acclaimed movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. (Bringing a whole new meaning to getting into character.)

“It all just comes together, you see,” Hanks told Access Hollywood when the show informed him of the relation.

According to Ancestry.com, Fred and Tom share a 5x great-grandfather (Johannes Meffert), who immigrated from Germany to America in the 18th century.

At first glance, that seems pretty astounding, but when you consider probabilities of family trees overlapping, it becomes less and less impressive the further back in time you go. For instance, there’s nearly a 100% probability that any two people of European decent share an ancestor from 1,000 years ago.

And of course, if you want to get pedantic about it, that banana you had for breakfast was your 108-cousin. 🙂

Movie Review – A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Movie Review – Won’t You Be My Neighbor

The 5 Best and Worst Films of Tom Hanks

Disney announces release dates for upcoming MCU Phase 4 movies and Disney+ shows

Marvel StudiosOkay, deep breath. Thanos is snapped away along with his minions, and Ironman (luv u 3000) is hanging out with his daughter in the Soul Stone.

That’s the past. It’s time to create new stories, heroes, villains and get the MCU Phase 4 underway.

Here’s the movie/TV lineup Disney has announced:

2020

black-widow-may-2020May 1st, 2020 – Black Widow

What we know so far: the story takes place between the events of Civil War and Infinity War.

Stars: of course, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, and also introducing Florence Pugh (Angela in Malevolent, Saraya Knight in Fighting with My Family) as Yelena Belova, David Harbour (Jim Hopper in Stranger Things, Dexter Tolliver in Suicide Squad) as Alexei Shostakov / Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff…and oh yeah, this guy named Robert Downey Jr. may have a cameo as Tony Stark.

eternalsNovember 6, 2020 – The Eternals

What we know so far: It introduces the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations.

Stars: Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden (Robb Stark in GOT) as Ikaris, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Gemma Chan (Astrid Young Teo in Crazy Rich Asians) as Sersi, Kit Harington (Jon Snow in GOT) as Dane Whitman, Kumail Nanjiani (Stu inStuber, in Silicon Valley) as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff (Connie in The Walking Dead) as Makkari, Barry Keoghan (George in Dunkirk) as Druig, Brian Tyree Henry (Jefferson Davis in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) as  Phastos, Lia McHugh (Jessica Nolan in American Woman) as Sprite, and Dong-seok Ma (Sang-hwa in Train to Busan) as Gilgamesh.

falcon-and-winter-soldier-show-disney-plusNovember 12, 2020: The Falcon and Winter Soldier on Disney+

What we know: Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale) will direct all six episodes of the series.

Stars: Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will officially reprise their roles as Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Daniel Bruhl and Emily VanCamp will both be joining the cast — reprising the roles they played in Captain America: Civil War.

2021

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsFebruary 12, 2021 – Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

What we know: an introduction of the Marvel Comics character Shang-Chi the Kung-Fu Master. In the comics Shang Chi’s main power was really just a skill: the ability to rapidly master forms of combat. Although in later years, he did gain the power to replicate himself, which could come in handy. It’s unknown if the MCU will duplicate that power from the comics.

Stars: Simu Liu as Shang-Chi and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung as The Mandarin.

wandavisionSpring 2021: WandaVision on Disney+

What we know: There will be six episodes that follow after the events of Avengers: Endgame. It’s unknown how they will explain Vision’s return after he was killed/unstoned by Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. We do know that the events of WandaVision will cross over into the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which premiers around the same time.

Stars: Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will reprise their roles of Maximoff and Vision. They will be joined by Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis from the Thor movies and Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man. In addition Kathryn Hahn (Afternoon Design, Bad Moms) will also be joining as a “nosey neighbor.” Teyonah Parris is cast to play the role of Monica Rambeau — the young girl introduced in Captain Marvel.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessMay 7, 2021 – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

What we know: the plot is unknown but it will involve a crossover with the Disney+ show WandaVision.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer (Strange’s girlfriend from the first Dr. Strange movie), Benedict Wong as Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, and a To-be-confirmed actor as Nightmare.

Who is Nightmare, you ask? In Marvel Comics, Nightmare is a Class 3 demon —equal to Dormammu, Shuma Gorath, and Cthulhu — who rules the Nightmare World, located within the Dream Dimension. Nightmare feeds off humanity’s collective psychic dream energy, and terrorizes humans and superheroes alike.

Loki on Disney+Spring 2021: Loki on Disney+

What we know so far: Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as Loki, even though Thanos killed him in the first scene of Avengers: Endgame. But remember, later in the movie the Avengers go on their time travel adventures —  and Loki ends up holding the Tesseract and disappearing with it.

Hiddleston said: In the years since Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which came out this Spring… Two questions I’ve been asked are ‘is Loki really dead?’ and ‘what’s Loki doing with that cube?’ It’s always the cube somehow. And this series will answer both of those questions.

Spider-Man-3July 16, 2021 – Spider-Man 3

What we know: not much. The good news is that Spider-Man is returning to the MCU at all. The bad news is this is likely his last solo movie in the MCU. The plot is unknown, but will likely pick up on the ending of Far From Home, where Spider-Man was revealed to the public to be Peter Parker. And since Sony and Disney aren’t playing very well with each other, this movie might reveal why Spider-Man won’t be continuing as an Avenger. Unless Disney buys Sony and makes this whole mess go away.

MCU What IfSummer 2021: WHAT IF…?

What we know: this is the first animated adventure in the MCU. The first season will have 23 episodes that explore what would have happened in previous MCU stories had things gone differently.

Stars: Jeffrey Wright (West World as Bernard, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as Beetee ) stars as the Watcher, who narrates the series.

Thor Love and ThunderNovember 5, 2021 – Thor: Love and Thunder

What we know: Director Taika Waititi, who did Thor: Ragnarok, is back. So is Natalie Portman as Jane, only this time she’s going to level up and gain the powers of Thor herself. (50/50 odds that she cries at some point.)

Stars: Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Brunnhilde/Valkyrie, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor, Taika Waititi (the director) as Korg.

hawkeyeFall 2021: Hawkeye on Disney+

What we know: The show will act as a passing of the baton as Clint Barton ( Jeremy Renner) passes the title of “Hawkeye” to a new character: Kate Bishop. Kate is rumored to be played by Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Enders Game, Bumble Bee), but that is not yet confirmed.

Note: Disney+ series for Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight are also in the works, and will debut after Hawkeye.

2022

October 7 – untitled movie

I’m going out on a limb to speculate that there will be more than one MCU movie released in 2022.

2023

February 17 – untitled movie
May 5 – untitled movie
July 28 – untitled movie
November 3 – untitled movie

Marvel Phase 4 Predictions – Some MCU Sure-Fire Guesses

Ray McKinnon in Ford v Ferrari – where have I seen him before?

Ray McKinnon - Ford v Ferrari
Ray McKinnon as Phil Remington in Ford v Ferrari

The actor Ray McKinnon plays Phil Remington in Ford v Ferrari — Le Mans ’66 for those on the right side of the Atlantic.

Ray McKinnon may not be a household name — I had to look him up myself — but I recognized him straight away when I saw him because he plays a very similar character in Apollo 13. Which coincidentally enough takes place at roughly the same time period — Ford v Ferrari takes place in 1966-67 and Apollo 13 takes place in 1967-1970.  I guess Ray just has that “I’m an engineer look,” about him — whatever that might be like.

Ray McKinnon - Apollo 13
Ray McKinnon as Jerry Bostick – FIDO White – in Apollo 13

Ray has quite an extensive filmography, including 83 actor credits, from Sons of Anarchy to The X Files.

Check out this interview with Ray discussing his work in Ford v Ferrari.

Watch the trailer for Ford v Ferrari.

Read my movie review of Ford v Ferrari (Grade: A+)

What happened to Pete Miles – Ken’s son in Ford v Ferrari?

The Essential Kristen Stewart – Her Best Films

The Charlie’s Angels reboot comes out soon, starring one of my favorite actresses: Kristen Stewart.  She began acting at age eight and has nineteen years of experience under her belt, giving her quite a resume.  So for anyone who wants to catch up on her career before the new movie, or who just wants to worship at the shrine of Kristen, here are her most essential films.

Panic Room

From a young age, Kristen Stewart had the chops to be an actor.  She gave a memorable performance in one of my favorite thrillers as Jodie Foster’s daughter.  The two of them are terrorized by three robbers and have to hole up in a panic room (an impenetrable room designed to keep homeowners safe).

Speak

At age 13, Stewart gave a mature performance in this made-for-TV-movie based on the popular YA book.  She plays a teenage rape victim who becomes an outcast and stops talking.  It’s heavy material that’s handled very well.

New Moon

This is easily the best of the Twilight films.  Stewart’s heartbreak as a lovelorn Bella is palpable.  This also has the best soundtrack of all the films….and the funniest scenes with Anna Kendrick’s Jessica.  This is probably the movie where Bella is most active in pursuing both Jake and Edward.

Adventureland

Stewart plays the girl next door in this comedy about a run down amusement park.  A welcome break from Bella Swann, Stewart is the more mysterious and unattainable object of Jesse Eisenberg’s affections.  This was their first pairing together.

The Runaways

Stewart went against type to play bad girl rocker Joan Jett.  Her performance helps to anchor this rock biopic, featuring Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie.  Michael Shannon steals scenes as manager Kim Fowley.

Snow White and the Huntsman

This is one of Stewart’s most commercial and best known roles outside of the Twilight films.  This dark take on the classic fairy tale doesn’t really get good until towards the end.  But once Stewart’s Snow White finds her power and begins to lead a revolution, you’ll find yourself wanting more.

Clouds of Sils Maria

Kristen Stewart became the first American actress to ever win a César Award (the French Oscar) for her performance in this film.  Stewart plays the personal assistant to Juliet Binoche.  Binoche plays an actress cast as the older character in a lesbian drama, who wrestles with jealousy and insecurity while preparing for the role.  There is some sexual tension between her and Stewart.

Still Alice

This weepie isn’t one of my favorite films (Julianne Moore should have won her Oscar for Freeheld instead), but Stewart gives a solid supporting performance as the daughter.  Her scenes with Moore feel authentic.

American Ultra

This is Stewart’s second pairing with Jesse Eisenberg.  This unexpected action film goes a little bonkers with the violence, but it’s a fun ride.

 

Personal Shopper

 

Stewart teamed up with Clouds director Olivier Assayas again for this haunting drama.  She plays a personal shopper, trying to make contact with her twin brother who has passed away.

—–

Kristen Stewart hasn’t garnered an Oscar nomination yet.  However, she keeps choosing interesting and surprising roles.  And she continues to play characters from all walks of life.  So it’s probably only a matter of time.

Don’t miss your favorite actress in her best scenes.  Get the RunPee app and you’ll never miss the good parts of a movie again.  We always have Peetimes for the hottest movies including Terminator: Dark Fate, Zombieland: Double Tap, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and Joker.  You can also keep up with the latest movie news and reviews by following us on Twitter @RunPee and liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RunPee.

 

Movie Review – Charlie’s Angels

Interview with Actress Laura Stisser

Laura StisserI serendipitously ran across RunPee fan Laura Stisser, who it turns out is an actress. Laura was kind enough to put some thought into a few interview questions — below — that I hope you’ll enjoy. Even if you’re not in the movie industry, as a general movie fan Laura provides some interesting information. And if you’ve ever thought about getting into acting, then maybe Laura will be an inspiration for you.

Actress Laura Stisser was born in Chicago, Ill and raised in the Syracuse area of NY. Laura attended Oswego High School and then graduated with a BA from Oswego State University. Laura began acting in 2016 by performing in local theater productions. She then broadened her horizons and was privileged to act in various film productions and commercial work.

Laura’s first role was as the character June in 12 Days with God — now streaming on Pureflix.  You can also see her as the rehab receptionist in Big Time Adolescence, starring Pete Davidson and Griffin Gluck — now streaming on Hulu Canada. She also had the opportunity this year to play the role of Whitney, in the TV Pilot, Sticks which filmed in the Central New York Area.
Laura has been happily married for 21 years and the mother of two teens.

Laura Stisser at IMDb.com
Laura Stisser’s professional website
Laura Stisser’s Vimeo reel
Actors Access
Backstage

Dan: I know that you got into acting late in life. What was the thing that finally pushed you to go all in and try and make this happen, verses just wondering if you should?

Laura: I am and have always been a very insecure person. Of course, life lessons always make you stronger and you then you start to create the proverbial bucket list. One of my bucket list items was to audition for theater. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. It was also the biggest adrenaline rush I had ever experienced. No drug or rollercoaster had even come close to that feeling. And then…I got a call back. One call back led to another one, then roles. Roles for theater, student films, then Indie films. Not only did my confidence soar, but I have met the most amazing people who have literally taken me under their wing and helped me not make as many mistakes as people can in this crazy business. I also have the most amazing family support system which are my husband, daughter and son. Without their confidence in me and pep talks I don’t think I would have kept going in the beginning.

Dan: What do you do between gigs to improve your skills?

Laura StisserLaura: I absolutely love taking scene study classes and training with Breadcrumbs Productions in my local city of Syracuse. I also will drop into Improv classes occasionally, which is great training because it literally makes you react with no script or preparation. I also follow Bonnie Gillespie, who is a former actor, current casting director and also a self-help guru who wrote a book called, Self Management for Actors. This book covers everything from having the perfect headshot that best identifies your brand, to perfecting your demo reel, and in her own words, “to surviving and thriving in the business, and everything in between.”

There is also an app called Scenebot that is phenomenal. The app gives you brand new scripts every month that you can record and perform with a talk back-track of an actor they have pre-recorded for your own personal scene partner. Not only is this great for improving your skills, but you can also submit these recordings, and actual casting directors view and give you feedback via email. If people are really lucky, they may be contacted personally by an agent who may be interested in signing them.

Dan: What sort of roles excite you?

Laura: Any role where I can be completely out of my comfort level. I have played an alcoholic, victims of bipolar disorder and dementia, right down to a Zombie getting clubbed and dragged off.

Dan: How do you prepare for a new role?

Laura: If it is a role that deals with any type of addiction or mental disorders I always research by watching/reading biographies or documentaries. It’s so important to me to get true perspective and stay away from the stereotypes.

Dan: What do you do with dialog that is poorly written?

Laura: I have been very lucky with well written dialog, but there have been a few scripts where I was thinking, “No one says that”. In that case I will ask the writer/director if I may paraphrase that line. I haven’t met a Diva writer yet where they refused my request. They have all been pretty chill as long as you get their point across and do it well.

Dan: Regarding the scenes that you have on your highlight reel, do those usually go down in one take, or does it take a few tries to get it right?

Laura: You NEVER do a scene in one take. I pride myself in knowing my lines…not saying it doesn’t happen from time to time. Regardless of the actor being perfect, the director will always do rehearsal takes, a wide shot take, close up takes, takes for safety, etc.

Dan: How does it feel when you have a deeply emotional scene and you get through it thinking you, and your co-star, nailed it, but the director wants you to do it again for some reason. Is it hard to recreate deep emotions, or even humor, over and over?

Laura: Sometimes it’s very hard to recreate emotional scenes over and over. One of my skills that I am pretty confident in is my ability to cry on cue. Now with that being said, the director does need multiple takes for one reason or another, and that does get difficult for the actor doing the scene. Not only do you start to run out of tears but it takes a lot out of you physically and mentally. A good, — and if you are lucky — compassionate director will recognize that and give you a break from it, so you can muster up those emotions again for a good solid take.

Dan: Half serious question here: How would you feel if you were in one of the movies we did Peetimes for and one of your scenes was chosen as a Peetime? (Not that we would ever do that. You’re one of our Peeps!)

Laura: If my scene got selected for a Peetime, that would mean I have made it to the big screen and movie circuit. That would be a dream come true. How can anyone complain about that?

 

 

The Cast of Voices for Arctic Dogs

The cast of voices in Arctic Dogs. Photos and characters appear on top, while their actor information is listed below:

James Franco


Lemmy
Nominated for Best Actor Oscar for 127 Hours

Jeremy Renner

Swifty
Nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for Hurt Locker, and Hawkeye in the Marvel Universe. Among other great roles, like in Mission Impossible and The Bourne saga.

Alec Baldwin

PB
Best known for the television sitcom 30 Rock

Laurie Holden

Dakota
Played Andrea in the top rated television drama The Walking Dead for two seasons

John Cleese

Otto Von Walrus
Best known for Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda

Omar Sy

Leopold
Known for Jurassic World, The Untouchables, X-Men: Days of Future Past

Heidi Klum

Jade / Bertha
Best known for creating and hosting Project Runway for 17 seasons, and currently is a judge on America’s Got Talent