From new series to memorable guest stars and the film releases that will have you racing to the theatre, Hello! Canada’s weekly report on buzz-worthy movies and TV shows is your all-access guide to the big and small screen. This week, George Clooney helps save the day in Tomorrowland, Bradley Cooper’s Oscar-nominated performance in American Sniper is on DVD and Hello! chats with Big Muddy star Nadia Litz.
On the small screen, the roses are in bloom for the new season of The Bachelorette late night’s king David Letterman says goodbye, plus, the fall TV schedule is shaping up to be spectacular.
Don't forget to check back on Mondays to stay up to date on must-see TV and noteworthy silver-screen news!
THREE QUESTIONS WITH ... Nadia Litz
Credit: Caitlin Cronenberg
Canadian actress Nadia Litz is a woman not to be messed with in the new indie flick Big Muddy (rolling out across theatres this month @BigMuddyMovie). The Winnipeg-native plays Martha, a single mother struggling to stay ahead in an environment that is dangerously alluring. When the arrival of a man from her past puts her son’s life in jeopardy, Martha flees to her father’s farm where she faces old secrets and broken relationships. Here the actress, who steps behind the camera for her next project The People Garden (starring Dree Hemingway, Pamela Anderson and François Arnaud), tells Hello! what she has in common with her outlaw on screen persona, being inspired by Faye Dunaway and Jessica Lange and finding a happy home in the Canadian film industry.
Martha is such a complex character. Are there any parts of her personality that you can identify with?
Well I'm not an outlaw or a mom (Laughs) so in that sense no, but I definitely appreciate her unwavering commitment to being true to herself. I think that's something that I aspire to be. She is trying to really do right by people but is also unapologetically true to herself. I think I relate to that on some level.
Being such a dramatic story, how do you shake all that heaviness off when the cameras stop rolling?
We shot on location outside of Saskatoon for part of it and then very rural Saskatchewan in Assiniboia, so there wasn't a lot to do. At the end of the day I would still be so immersed in it and I watched a lot of movies. Like every Faye Dunaway movie and some early Jessica Lange films. They also play really dark characters but I think there's also a sense of fun, so that it's not ever too heavy for me as an actor or for an audience. There's a sexiness to that darkness and a playfulness at times, so I tried to balance that so it wouldn't get too heavy for myself and my costars.
Why is it important to you to be based here in Canada instead of LA?
I think living in Canada just gives us so many opportunities. I'm also a filmmaker and I think that we have one of the greatest systems here for being able to make films. There is also validity to opening yourself up to the rest of the world and I think it can only bring more attention to the work you do in Canada. If you become more established in the States it can be a really big positive because then you have the ability to get more films made here using Canadian stars. Hopefully that's the kind of career path that I'm on and that I continue to be on.
Tomorrowland: Disney’s latest imaginative masterpiece stars George Clooney and Britt Robertson as a pair of unlikely allies forced to save the world and ignite a revolution of optimistic dreams and believers.
Poltergeist: Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt (Mad Men) star in a remake of the 1982 horror film about a family fighting to save their daughter from the claws of the supernatural.
ON DVD MAY 19
Strange Magic (animated): A grumpy king (voiced by Alan Cumming) determined to cease production of love spells finds himself having second thoughts after he crosses paths with a beautiful fairy (Evan Rachel Wood).
American Sniper : Oscar-nominee Bradley Cooper brings to life the tragic story of Navy SEAL veteran Chris Kyle.
Cymbeline: In this modern take on Shakespeare’s play of the same name, Ed Harris plays the leader of a biker gang trying to retain control over his territory and his family, in particular his daughter Imogen (Dakota Johnson) who refuses to listen to his orders. Also starring Ethan Hawke and Milla Jovovich.
FALL SNEAK PEEK
Summer is on the horizon here in Canada, but over at the headquarters of all the major television networks, fall is in the air. The announcement of new and returning shows means viewers can expect fresh stories, different faces and exciting plots and characters to obsess over. It also means that some of our favourite shows had to be cut to make room. Here is a quick forecast of what you can expect to see come fall.
Green light: The Good Wife, Agent Carter, Madam Secretary and The Flash will all be back next season. As will: Jane the Virgin, Gotham, The Last Man on Earth and Bones. Fox cancelled The Mindy Project but thankfully streaming site Hulu was quick to pick it up for a fourth season. This year’s surprise hit Empire will be back next season with guest stars Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys slated to stir things up for the Lyon family.
Gone but not forgotten: Minnie Driver’s About a Boy, Revenge and The Following starring Kevin Bacon.
New kids on the block: ABC will debut the first ever live-action Muppets series, Jane Lynch is an Angel From Hell on CBS, Rob Lowe joins Fred Savage in the comedy Grinder and John Stamos has his hands full in Grandfathered.
Stay tuned for all the news from the Canadian network upfronts, as they reveal their fall line ups in late May.
THE BACHELORETTE RETURNS! (season 11 premiere May 18, City/ABC)
After failing to find their happily ever after with farmer Chris Soules, former bachelorette contestants Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson are ready to give it another go. And judging by the bios of the men vying for their affection, Kaitlyn, the easy-going beauty from Vancouver and Hollywood-native Britt, will have a wide variety of interesting suitors to choose from. There’s 28-year-old Chris who says his biggest fear is his date eating his food, Chuck Norris super fan Clint and Canadian Sean, a self-professed amateur sex coach who makes a splash on the first night by arriving in a hot tub on wheels.
DAVE SAYS FAREWELL
It’s hard to imagine late night without David Letterman but come May 20th, the man with the sharp wit and infectious laugh bows out of the talk show game following a 22-year-long run. Nine Emmys, thousands of shows and millions of fans later, Dave’s impact in television will always outweigh his achievements. Bill Murray will sit down with Dave for the 44th time on May 19th before an all-star send off on the 20th. The Late Show’s musical director and Toronto’s own Paul Shaffer is also saying farewell to Dave, professionally that is, after working with the comedian for the past 33 years.
2 Broke Girls (season four finale May 18, City/CBS): It’s Sophie’s wedding day and Max ( Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) rush to get her wedding dress to the church on time. Montreal-native Caroline Rhea guest stars.
MasterChef (season six premiere May 20, CTV/Fox): Acclaimed pastry chef Christina Tosi (New York’s Milk Bar) joins the judging panel as forty amateur chefs battle it out in the kitchen.
Rookie Blue (season six premiere May 21, Global) Officers McNally ( Missy Peregrym) and Swarek’s relationship is tested after news of a surprise pregnancy.
The Social (May 21 and 22, CTV): Hosts Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst, Traci Melchor and Lainey Lui broadcast live from the Disneyland Resort in California.
Red Nose Day Live Special (May 22, NBC): Jennifer Aniston , Julia Roberts and Martin Short lead a parade of celebrities banding together to raise money and awareness for children’s charities.