Empire's Best Interviews Of 2013

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Over the course of the past 12 months, there are been literally a lot of interviews carried out by the various members of Empire Online. Collating all of them into just one feature would be an impossible task, so the sensible decision of just picking the best of the best was taken, and here is the result, including our world famous (we like to think) podcast spoiler specials and that time Henry Cavill was really very awkward indeed.


Some films are bigger than others. These films demand discussion and analysis beyond the boundaries of spoilers, and in Empire’s spoiler specials, we talk to the people who made said films, and grill them on why they did things the way they did. Normally, these interviews are followed by a general discussion amongst the team, and that’s when things get really obscure. If you haven’t already, have a listen to them all now – but only if you've watched the relevant films...

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Spoiler PodcastMartin Freeman and Jimmy Nesbitt
Best bit: Martin Freeman discovering what the phrase “tripping balls” means.

The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy Special Empire PodcastEdgar Wright and Simon Pegg
Best bit: Pegg and Wright revealing the secret to making it in the movie business: "noshing off tramps".

Iron Man 3 Spoiler PodcastShane Black and Drew Pearce
Best bit: Shane Black revealing that at one point in the writing stage, Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian was meant to have slept with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts. Worse than that, he recorded it, then decided to play it in a store Pepper and Tony were in, the dastardly fiend!

Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness Spoiler PodcastDamon Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Best bit: When Damon Lindelof mentions that his mum listens to the podcast.

Thor The Dark World Spoiler PodcastTom Hiddleston and Kevin Feige
Best bit: Hiddleston talking about the snugness of one of his costumes. Best leave it at that.

Arrested Development Spoiler PodcastMitch Hurwitz
Best bit: An on-form Hurwitz discovering that Ali the podcast editor was hiding under the desk the whole time.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad Finale Spoiler Special
Not technically an interview, but as it’s so chock-full of meth-related facts, it was impossible not to include it here. Come for the in-depth discussion of this year’s finale to end all finales, stay for the weird impressions.


Some interviews in the regular weekly podcast need to be cut down for length reasons. Others are just so interesting that readers have asked for them to be written out. Whatever the reason, sometimes a bit of transcription is called for, and here below are those podcast chats deemed worthy of textual transference, from Nic Cage to John Cleese (and back again).

Nicolas Cage, The Frozen Ground

Nic Cage
Best bit: Cage on working with poisonous snakes, what his Superman movie with Tim Burton would have been like and just how many dinosaur skeletons he owns.

John Cleese
Best bit: Cleese waxing lyrical on his love of lemurs. He'd marry one if it were allowed, he claims.

Jason Statham
Best bit: Forgiving Empire for dubbing him with the whole “The Stath” nickname back in the day.

Wprld War Z

Max Brooks
Best bit: Explaining how he was adamant about not letting his World War Z publishers put Brad Pitt's Gerry Lane on the cover of the book (because he's not actually in it).

Ryan Reynolds
Best bit: Dropping details on what the planned Deadpool standalone movie would have looked like. "The script is one rewrite away from Deadpool jumping across the desk at the studio executive and attacking him."

Mark Wahlberg
Best bit: Confessing his all-consuming love of Arnie's Pumping Iron. That, or explaining what a "Wahlburger" tastes like.

Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington
Best bit: The two film legends comparing notes on each other's favourite movies.


Occasionally, it’s time for an extra-special celebration of a certain movie, TV show, actor or director. Typically a week or so long, they’re interview-filled jamborees designed to delight uberfans who just can’t get enough of X-Files / Breaking Bad / Movie Soundtracks, and here are the best of the best below.

Empire's X-Files Celebration

Empire's X-Files Celebration
Exclusive interviews and features celebrating the 20th anniversary of the classic TV show.

Empire’s Unsung Heroes Of The Year
Everyone from Sidekick Simon to younger Pegg and Frost.

The Greatest Movie Soundtracks: A Celebration
Featuring 100 decade-defining soundtracks, exclusive interviews, playlists, features and more.

Empire's Breaking Bad Bonanza
The cast and crew on the final season (and much more…)

Empire’s Comic-Con Coverage
The best videblogisode this side of Cannes.

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Empire's Cannes Coverage
La Croisette, on the net.

Jameson Empire Awards 2013

The Empire Awards 2013
Acceptance speeches, red carpet interviews and the winners themselves.


The Hobbit - Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly
Best bit: Martin Freeman explaining the finer points to flipping the bird – and why he’d never say "flipping the bird".


See all our Hobbit interviews

Trance - James McAvoy
Best bit: “Jimmy Mac” referring to Professor Xavier as "Chucky X".

The Bling Ring - Emma Watson
Best bit: Emma Watson discovering the truth about Santa.

Savages - Salma Hayek and Benicio del Toro
Best bit: Watch the video for just two seconds and tell us what the best bit is for yourself.

Red 2 - Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker
Best bit: When you realise that Bruce Willis is wearing a bathrobe.

The Heat - Sandra Bullock
Best bit: Aside from all the swearing, the moment when she demands her Razzie back.

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Saving Mr. Banks - Tom Hanks
Best bit: If you don’t think the best bit of this interview is Tom Hanks remembering all the lyrics for the Dragnet rap, you’re lying.

About Time - Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson
Best bit: Domhnall Gleeson realising the reason why his About Time director, Richard Curtis, got him to rerecord some lines featuring the name "Bernard".

Arrested Development - Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross, Tony Hale, Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat
Best bit: Everyone but Tony Hale – AKA Buster Bluth – not enjoying their Ribena juice boxes.

Man Of Steel - Henry Cavill
Best bit: The sheer awkwardness of everything.


See all our Man Of Steel interviews



Sherlock - Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Best bit: The entirely serious discussion of Disney's Basil The Great Mouse Detective.

Hollywood's VFX crisis - Ex-ILM FX legend Scott Squires on the situation after the Oscars
Best bit: "Best" doesn't seem a fair adjective, but when you realise that some people at VFX companies like Rhythm And Hues can work 90 or 120 hours a week, it puts your bread-and-butter blockbuster into perspective.

A Good Day To Die Hard - Director John Moore
Best bit: The fifth Die Hard movie was not popular in the Empire office, even ending up as the editor's worst film of the year. That said, its director, John Moore, gives a good interview, and what he reveals in this piece is genuinely eye-opening, especially when talking about the movie's unexpected twist.

Jennifer Lawrence

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Jennifer Lawrence
Best bit: Lawrence's use of the words "PSHYOOOOOV!" and "NYEEEEAR".

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Clark Gregg
Best bit: On being asked where the Captain America playing cards are, saying "I know that they VANISHED but I cannot confirm where they might be."

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - Steve Coogan
Best bit: Explaining that "Jurassic Park" and "Back of the net" were catchphrases dreamt up just to make people say them. See also: our interview with Bill Oddie.

House Of Cards

House Of Cards - David Fincher
Best bit: Hearing the great director reveal that he doesn't hate Francis Underwood. "You can't help but pity him, but he's also so watchable."

A Career Retrospective - Christopher McQuarrie
Best bit: Explaining what it was like in the Hollywood wilderness after The Way Of The Gun.


These are the funniest and/or most insightful interviews on this year's Empire Podcast – aside from the spoiler specials coming up shortly, or the transcribed one-offs. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and be sure to subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks
Best bit: The incredibly sweary introductions.

Jude Law
Best bit: The use of the phrase "cock sock".

Tom Hiddleston
Best bit: Loki's impromptu musical moment.

Harrison Ford and Stephen Merchant
Best bit: Ford's extra-mumbly answer to the obligatory Star Wars question, Merchant's excuse for appearing in Movie 43.

Dexter Fletcher
Best bit: That wheelchair anecdote on the set of Doom takes some beating, but the farting cameo story just about makes it.

Luke Treadaway and Matthew Lewis
Best bit: The "shrine".

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl
Best bit: The pair realising that they both first got started in soaps. Also, the repeated use of the word "Asshole" in an Austrian accent.

Jason Sudeikis and Amanda Seyfried
Best bit: Sudeikis's ‘tache and its journey around the New York sewer system, and Seyfried's unrelenting love of clouds.

Neil Gaiman
Best bit: The writer of the Sandman graphic novels revealing movie producers' original plans for a film adaptation. It's pretty scary stuff.

Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon
Best bit: The Avengers writer-director casually revealing that Tom Hiddleston's Loki won't be in the sequel.

Best bit: It's all interesting, but when it comes to video nasties in the ‘80s, it's extra-interesting.

Danny Boyle
Best bit: The Man Who Saved The Olympics on his "love" of Star Wars.

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy
Best bit: Bateman refusing to confirm or deny whether Arrested Development Season 4 might have a "Who Shot JR?" plot...