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Empire's Interviews Of The Year

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From barbershop quartets to Bond, we had a lot of fun talking to people about all manner of subjects in the service of film this year. So we decided to round up our favourite bits so you can enjoy them once again…

One hotel room, a movie star - sometimes two - and your humble correspondents armed with a list of weird and, just occasionally, wonderful questions. These are the raw materials that go to make the entity that's known best as 'The Video Interview'. The terminology is bland but the reality is far from it, as this lot revealed...

The Expendables 3Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham
Best bit: Can The Stath name all the characters?

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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - Gary Oldman and Keri Russell
Best bit: On appearing in Monkey Planet with Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill.

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Noah - Russell Crowe
Best bit: Maximus takes the IMDebunker. Are you not entertained?

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Captain America: The Winter SoldierChris Evans and Scarlett Johansson
Best bit: The duo attempts to name Cap’s barbershop quartet.

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Muppets Most WantedConstantine
Best bit: Ricky Gervais’s DVD demand.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesWill Arnett
Best bit: Advice on doing the Batman voice.

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Exodus: Gods And KingsChristian Bale
Best bit: Bale on Dougal, Florence, Ermintrude and co…

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Brian Cox meets Brian Cox
Best bit: The universe does not explode.


Hollywood stars wish Empire a happy 25th birthday
Best bit: George Clooney tells us what we can now legally do.

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It’s not all podcasts and videos, you know. Sometimes we like to sit our subjects down and grill them for a lengthy print interview. And we got a few revealing answers this year…

Mr Turner

Mr. Turner- Mike Leigh
Best bit: Explaining what his James Bond film might look like. “I have said before that I think it would be great to make a James Bond film which is all about Bond going to see his mother in the suburbs.”


PaddingtonPaul King
Best bit: Talking up the “storm in a teacup” that was the ratings controversy. “The only real sexual content is Hugh Bonneville in a dress, which I can see might be disturbing.”


PrideMatthew Warchus and Stephen Beresford
Best bit: Enlightening American actor Ben Schnetzer in the ways of Norn Iron:
“We sent him for a drink with eight Northern Irish actors and it took him an hour and he said ‘Okay, I get it’. It’s the way they talk to each other. Everyone’s calling everyone else a cunt and fucking this and fucking that.”


The Babadook

The Babadook – Jennifer Kent
Best bit: Keeping things practical. “I was inspired by [Georges] Méliès, the grandfather of special effects. I wanted it to feel like the world of a pop-up book. The book is the way that this energy enters the house, and it grows from that, so I was very clear from the get-go that I wanted to do stop-motion for any effects of the Babadook, or I wanted to do it in camera at the very least – and we did! We stuck to that.”


Obvious ChildJenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre
Best bit: On how farts can save the world. “I think farts are universally funny. I think that’s what’s going to bring peace to the Middle East.”


How To Train Your Dragon 2Jay Baruchel
Best bit: On the sequel going further. “When he first starting telling me about How To Train Your Dragon 2, it was clear that – and being a filmmaker myself I knew this already, and I need to put this in quotations – the sequel would be ‘the darkest’ one of the series. And when I say ‘the darkest’, there are no decapitations, or necrophilia, there’s nothing fucking awful. No-one’s mouths are being sewn to strangers’ anuses.”


X-Men: Days Of Future Past

X-Men: Days Of Future PastEvan Peters
Best bit: Whether everyone from Kick-Ass will end up playing Quicksilver: “Yeah, Nic Cage is going to play him as well.”


Calvary - John Michael McDonagh
Best bit: Memories of meeting M. Emmet Walsh. “He said, ‘Oh, I just met your wife; you have very good taste’, and I said, ‘Oh, thank you’, and he goes, ‘I wish I could say the same for her.’”


LucyLuc Besson
Best bit: Dismissing Internet rumours. “I’m a little fed up, especially with the internet now, that people can say anything and afterwards they want you to comment. ‘Fuck you!’, that’s my answer. There’s no control of anything and afterwards you’re obliged to comment and it pisses me off.”

The Podcast hit 100 episodes this year – we can hardly believe it ourselves, especially as it doesn’t look a day over 72. Once again we brought in some of the best people to talk about their films, and then asked them very silly questions on a range of topics. 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.

Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville
Best bit: Bonneville’s place in the Bond universe.


Phil Lord And Chris Miller
Best bit: Santa Claws.


James Ellroy
Best bit: Insults! And howling.


Sam Neill
Best bit: Having a chicken called Sean Connery. Do you see?


Terry Crews
Best bit: How pec-popping can be harmful to shirts.


Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan
Best bit: Why he won’t be in The Expendables.


Elijah Wood
Best bit: Quoting his own films in real life.


Barry Norman
Best bit: Barry ‘the Datchworth Destroyer’ Norman vs. Bobby ‘Raging Bull’ De Niro


Imogen “Pooter” Poots
Best bit: Sam Neill naming a pig after her.


Ice Cube

Ice Cube
Best bit: Cube talks xXx.


Gary Oldman
Best bit: Oldman reminiscing about sharing “a bottle of pop” with David Bowie.

Sometimes we like to dive deep and talk about movies in outlandish detail. Ever aware of spoilers, we reserve plot-heavy discussions for these special podcasts, where we dragoon in the people who made the movie to talk about it. The usual caution: listen to them only if you’ve watched the relevant films (or in the case of Sherlock etc., TV shows)…

Sherlock

Sherlock Series 3 Spoiler Special
Best bit: Messing with fans.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier Spoiler Podcast
Best bit: How the Community cameos came to be.


Godzilla Spoiler Special
Best bit: Gareth Edwards shares his favourite Easter eggs.


X-Men: Days Of Future Past

X-Men Days Of Future Past Spoiler Special
Best bit: Undoing X-Men: The Last Stand.


Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Spoiler Special
Best bit: Matt Reeves on directing with pneumonia.


Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians Of The Galaxy Spoiler Podcast
Best bit: Hiding the final credits sting.


Gone Girl Spoiler Podcast
Best bit: David Fincher on meeting Tyler Perry.


Interstellar

Interstellar Spoiler Podcast
Best bit: Brain-twisting physics questions.


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Spoiler Special
Best bit: The story behind Katniss’s cat in the bag.

There are some films, and genres, that deserve a little extra treatment, so here is our round-up of the themed interviews we did this year, including taking the Empire Podcast to Scotland…

Empire West Wing Celebration

The Definitive History Of The West Wing
Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing turned hit 15 this year. To mark the occasion in style, Empire reassembled the entire cast for its huge oral history of the definitive political drama.


Empire At EIFF
As the Podcast turned 100, we took it to the Edinburgh International Film Festival to talk to icons, actors and more.


Freddy Krueger

Monster Week
We talked to the cast behind some of horror’s most terrifying creations, including Doug Jones (Pale Man) and Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger).


Gremlins Week
We reunited the cast and creators responsible for the little beasts in a big celebration of the Joe Dante comedy-horror’s 30th anniversary.


Empire Future Of Film Interviews

The Future Of Film
One month, 20 features, an array of film industry bigwigs and one ginormous crystal ball added up to a must-read look at the future of the medium we all love so much.

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