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Penn Badgley Sings in Serious Role for Greetings from Tim Buckley
For the past few years, he’s played brainy Dan Humphrey on the CW series Gossip Girl, but now, Penn Badgley is ready to take on more serious roles – and be a part-time musician.
In his new film, Greetings from Tim Buckley, Badgley, 25, plays (and sings as) late singer Jeff Buckley.
“For the first time I can say that I’m incredibly excited to be an actor and have done something creative that I’m proud of,” Badgley tells PEOPLE from the Toronto International Film Festival. “I really want to focus on is the fact that this is a movie where I’m acting.”
But there is no denying his singing chops – and musical background.
“Up until this film, ironically, music was always more important to me,” he says. “The reason it’s ironic is because I thought, finally I can do music, but then it was like: ‘Wait a second, finally I can act. It was a really beautiful experience for that reason.’ ”
And now his hobby is also evolving into a side job. “I’m playing with a lot of friends right now for the first time,” he says. “And I’m going to be playing a lot of unannounced shows and opening for friends who play.”
We can see the ladies lining up for the front row now!
Moth, the short film produced by Penn and Hilton Carter will be premiering on HBO ZONE February 5th at 2:45pm(PST) and 9:45pm(PST).. It will be showing 18 times in February and will be On Demand for the entire month! This is fantastic news for Penn, Hilton and all those involved! Be sure to check it out if you can! Thanks to Hilton for sending this info to us!
Two days before its premiere, J.C. Chandor’s economic-crisis thriller “Margin Call” has a distribution deal.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions announced that they are partnering up to release the movie, which has its premiere on Tuesday night at the Eccles Theatre.
The movie follows the players at an investment firm over a 24-hour period in 2008, at the start of the financial crisis. It boasts a big cast: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, and Stanley Tucci.
The other day I Tweeted some anger towards the people behind “Margin Call” for releasing a face-free poster despite their film starring a cadre of PopWrap’s favorite fellas (Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany and Stanley Tucci).
Thankfully they more than made it up to me today by releasing a two clips, featuring the faces I so longed to see.
The movie, which takes place in the high-stakes financial world, was smart to cast actors that I like leering at because I barely understand half the jargon coming out of their mouths as they banter about stocks, bonds and trading the two. Or at least I think that’s what they’re talking about.
“Margin Call” will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday, January 25th
If you’re a fan of ‘Gossip Girl,’ you know Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey, the guy-next-door. In smart teen flick ‘Easy A,’ he’s not that far off. He plays nice guy Todd (otherwise known as high-school mascot Woodchuck Todd), who is the failed-first-kiss of Emma Stone’s character, Olive. While he doesn’t get much screen time, Badgley manages to bring a comedic zing to the film that we weren’t expecting.
Moviefone caught up with Badgley at the Toronto Film Festival — and all we can say is thank goodness for tinted glass; otherwise we would have had legions of screaming girls on our hands. He spoke about being part of ‘Easy A,’ what it was like working with Emma Stone, and whether or not the mascot outfit smelled like…well, pee.
This was different than your average “teen” film. It seemed smarter.
Thanks, man. Not that I don’t have faith in my own projects, but I’m still shocked at how broad the audience seems to be, or at least the kinds of people giving it a great response. I’m pleasantly surprised.
How was it on set?
It was a blast for me. I think I only did about eight days, and I was flying back and forth for ‘Gossip Girl.’ But for me, it was a nice departure from what I’ve normally done. It was off-beat, a little strange … especially with the mascot stuff.
What was it like wearing that costume?
There were points where it was kind of awful.
Did it smell like pee? I hope not. You know how those things smell.
[Laughs] I think that’s only after a lot of use. Thankfully, mine was clean. It probably didn’t smell very good after I wore it, though, since I was wearing full body paint underneath the costume. I shot the mascot stuff all in one day, so the paint was dripping. Man, it was a mess.
You didn’t do your own stunts, did you?
I wanted to, but of course couldn’t. One thing that I wanted to do was the belly flop from the trampoline. It doesn’t sound that bad, but the stunt double broke two ribs doing it. Well, he broke one rib, didn’t say anything, and then did it again in another take, where he broke another rib. They really give their bodies to it. It’s a matter of pride for them. It’s crazy.
Were there any pranks or anything on set? It seems like a cast of funny people.
I bet you there were between Emma [Stone] and Will [Gluck, the director]. But, as I said, I wasn’t on set for very long, so I don’t know.
Emma Stone is hilarious in this movie. What was it like working with her?
Emma is great. She’s super-talented. I hope she gets all the attention she deserves from this film. I hope she goes to the top. She’s able to deadpan.
And Amanda Bynes playing the far-right religious wingnut — that was great.
Seeing her play that role, since she normally plays the “straight” girl, was fantastic to see. I know for her it was lot of fun. She basically got to play a total bitch!
Who is your favorite character in the movie, besides yourself?
Hmm … every single one of my mascots. [Laughs] I would say Stanley Tucci’s and Patricia Clarkson’s characters. Olive’s parents together are so good. To me, they just elevate the movie to a whole other level. They are astounding.
What was your high school experience like? You were acting from a young age.
I was. I tried to avoid having set tutors … rather than having to do the requisite three hours a day on set, I took the general proficiency and then took college courses at Santa Monica. So I guess I never really had a high school experience. I went for about a month, and on the first day one of my friends got punched in the eye. It was Southern California Public High School. Needless to say, I wasn’t there for long.
Teenagers in the audience were cracking up at this movie.
That’s good. I’m glad. I feel a bit awkward about ‘Gossip Girl’ sometimes, though, when young teens come up to me to talk about the show. Sometimes I just want to ask them, “Why are you watching?” I feel that maybe they’re too young. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that they spend their time watching what we do, but I feel in some cases it may be too much for them.
Maybe they don’t get 100 percent of it.
Oh, I think they get it, man. That’s the bad part. I don’t think anything is going over their heads.
Any ‘Gossip Girl’ tidbits for the fans?
I really can’t. There’s a baby. That’s all I can say. Someone has a brush with death and we’re in Paris. That’s it.
What’s next for you after this film is released?
I have another movie that’ll hopefully come out next year. It’s the most adult thing I’ve done. I’m by far the youngest person in it. It’s about the financial collapse, called ‘Margin Call.’ It’s got an amazing cast – Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore. I’m very glad to be a part of it.
Finding humanity on Wall Street, some might say, can be a little like finding a good mortgage in a bundle of C.D.O.’s. Traders, after all, tend to pride themselves on their dispassionate objectivity. They resist introspection, and find drama in numbers flickering across a screen.
Oh, and they aren’t exactly held in high esteem these days.
This was the challenge facing the stars of “Margin Call,” an independent film that deals with the high-stakes choices a group of traders must make during the financial crisis.
“I am trying to humanize bankers,” said Kevin Spacey, the Academy Award-winning actor, who plays a veteran trader. “Everyone talks about facts, figures and debt. I was more interested in what they were feeling.”
Mr. Spacey spoke about the research he did for his role late on Thursday night between takes on the film’s set, a recreated trading floor high above Midtown Manhattan, on the 42nd floor of One Penn Plaza. To prepare, he said that he searched for clues like a psychological sleuth.
Mr. Spacey toured investment banks, ferreted out nuggets from newspaper articles about the financial crisis and from the book “Too Big to Fail,” and even dug up old speeches from Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman.
Some of his deepest insights, he said, came from conversations with senior Wall Street bankers and traders. During the discussions, he asked: “What was it like to be at a friend’s wedding, or a bar, when you knew that the whole house of cards was about to collapse?”
“I listened with some degree of surprise about the weight of having knowledge that others don’t, how that shifted relationships — what guys couldn’t even tell their wives at the height of the turmoil,” Mr. Spacey said. Many of the traders, he discovered, were angry about some decisions that helped assure the survival of their firm but also destroyed longstanding bonds of trust between them, their clients and their colleagues.
Other cast members found revealing clues elsewhere. Simon Baker, the star of TV’s “The Mentalist,” who plays an ambitious trader in the film, pulled out a copy of the “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis and said he listened to podcasts from the Mad Hedge Fund blog.
Penn Badgely of “Gossip Girl” said a trip to Citigroup’s trading floor helped prepare him to play a junior analyst. He observed how young traders sported “nice clothes that were not terribly tailored,” took in Wall Street tropes like using “bucks” to signify millions, and parsed the unofficial pecking order of the desks based on who fetched coffee and eggs for their bosses.
Demi Moore was cast as a chief risk officer just before the cameras started rolling, leaving her less time for extensive research. “We got her up to speed, but she is certainly not going to be out there crunching numbers anytime soon,” said J. C. Chandor, who both wrote and directed the film.
Demi Moore just joined the cast of Margin Call, an indie drama that begins filming Monday. She’ll play the chief risk management officer at a firm. The film tracks the desperate maneuverings of eight people in a 24-hour period during the early stages of the Wall Street financial crisis. Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, and Stanley Tucci also star, with J.C. Chandor directing his script. It’s the first feature Quinto is producing with his Before The Door Pictures partners Neal Dodson and Corey Moosa. Michael Benaroya and Rob Barnum of Benaroya Pictures also produce with Joe Jenckes. Myriad Pictures has been selling foreign territories since Cannes.
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