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POP INTERVIEW: Matt Brady on Working with Jessica Biel and Sundance 2013

Matt Brady produced Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, a 2013 Sundance selection about a woman’s increasing curiosity when a neighbor resembles her deceased mother. Before he headed off to the film festival, mingling with fellow filmmakers and countless goodie bags, he chatted with Pop about his uniquely captivating first feature film.



Matt Brady produced Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, a 2013 Sundance selection about a woman’s increasing curiosity when a neighbor resembles her deceased mother. Before he headed off to the film festival, mingling with fellow filmmakers and countless goodie bags, he chatted with Pop about his uniquely captivating first feature film.

Matt Brady, producer, Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes

The obsession theme has been done time and time again in cinema. For every “Match Point,” there are a million disastrous scripts in the works. So, how do you make “Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes” fresh?
When we got the script for “Emanuel,” our project coordinator, Dee Farmand, read it and said, “You have to read this script! We have to make it. It’s the best script I’ve read in years!” – then I read it and knew she was right. We had to make it. With most scripts, people always have things they bump against, but with Emanuel, the whole team at MRB unanimously loved Francesca’s writing and her script.

This is your first foray into producing feature films. Primarily, you have a commercial production background, having produced countless sports spots and other commercial content. How has the transition been into film?
When we started “Emanuel,” we were just coming off the heels of producing Stephen Gyllenhaal’s indie “Grassroots” starring Jason Biggs and Cedric the Entertainer. It was a similarly low-budget movie, so the transition wasn’t hard at all; we’d already done it before! The biggest challenge with film versus commercial is the length of time involved (two years versus two months) and the proportionally smaller budget. But of course, you still need to deliver the same quality.

You started your production company, MRB Productions in 2001 and have already won two Emmy Awards. How did it feel to win the first one? When you found out you won, what was the first thing you said, and who was the first person you told?
I couldn’t believe it when she called our name at the Emmy Awards! I was 26 years old and running my company out of an office that used to be a coat closet for another company. It was a huge moment of pride! I immediately called my parents and they couldn’t believe it. I went to the Emmys with my best friend from high school, Deborah Snell, who worked at NBC and also won an Emmy that night. We ended up being featured in our hometown paper, The Source. Having a story in your hometown paper can be much more rewarding than a story in Variety!

How do you work on a film meant to be so mysterious and pull it off? How do you tease the audience in the right increments?
The film has a magnificent mysterious and magical quality to it that is largely thanks to the way Francesca wrote and directed it. She and our editor have a rich background in music which helped them build tension in all the right places that really gets you hooked into this magical other world.

For the worst sticks in the mud in the universe, and you know these people are out there in the world, why should people who might only watch big budget releases like “Men in Black” give indie cinema a chance?
Indie film gives film-going audiences a chance to see something they would never see from a big studio. If you look at films like “Transamerica,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “The Crying Game” – you get the chance to cover topics that would never have mass appeal, yet are stories that need to be told. And when these stories are told, audiences loves it. Popcorn blockbusters are great, but indie films that demand a two-hour coffee discussion afterwards are my passion, and “Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes” is one of those films.

Jessica Biel once said people do not give her powerful roles because she is pretty. How did you challenge her as an actress in this movie, and how will her character affect theatergoers?
This movie is a win for both Jessica Biel and for us. It’s a chance for her to step outside of the role she traditionally plays, and she knocks it out of the park! As a viewer, you immediately forget you are watching Jessica Biel and you see her as Linda, the mysterious neighbor. For me, watching a movie I worked on – it’s very hard to forget what happened that day on set and actually get into the story. But, our cast is actually so good that they immediately draw you in. I’m very proud of this film and very impressed by Jessica Biel’s diverse talent.

You had “The Confession” made exclusively for Hulu. What is this new medium like for both the viewers and the production team? Have you noticed any shocking things that may eventually make web releases on par with a traditional cinema release?
The work from a production standpoint is the same across all mediums, Internet, TV, and film. Just because something is made for digital doesn’t mean the quality needs to suffer. In fact, the quality of “The Confession” was so well done that it was purchased by Sony after its run on Hulu and sold on DVD as a full-length feature. There are some people that like to watch movies on their TV or iPhones, but there is still a big community that wants the social experience of seeing a movie together in a theater. I watch a ton of programming on Hulu, but there’s that special something about the atmosphere of the cinema.

What are you looking forward to doing at Sundance this year other than work related to your movie?
I’ll be on the slopes!


Chatting With Charo: The “Hair” Edition



Brace yourself! There is a lot you don’t know about Charo’s hair! Listen, learn – and laugh your ass off – all along the way!

I got to visit Charo at her home just a week ago (I’ve known her wonderful family for many years) and we started out chatting about food (which explains all the tapas on the table!) But not so shockingly, we got sidetracked! This conversation about her hair had me laughing until I was crying!

Catch more chatting with charo! Follow her on Twitter! 

Follow her on Instagram!

And Hey, why not follow me too! On twitter and instagram!

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Lizzo Is An Icon In The Making – And Here’s Why



Mirror, mirror on the wall don’t say it ‘cause we know Lizzo cute. And by cute I mean extremely talented, gorgeous and totally inspiring!

A few months ago I was watching The Ellen Degeneres Show when I witnessed one of the most fun, exciting and awe-inspiring performances I’ve ever seen. Lizzo popped onto the screen in a sparkly, pink getup and began singing what would become her big hit song, “Juice,” – I was immediately hooked (more like obsessed). During this performance she also jammed out on her flute alongside her plus-sized backup dancers and suddenly I knew I had been changed forever. I did some more research on the rapper/singer and found out I had been sleeping on this gem! Lizzo has been doing bad all by her damn self for years, having already released two albums in the past. I am suddenly mad at every single person who neglected to tell me to jump on the Lizzo train sooner! If you’re like me and need a bit of catch up, I’m going to break down exactly why you need to know this icon in the making.

You can throw a stone in any direction and hit a triple threat nowadays. Lizzo’s brings talents we have yet to see in the mainstream music industry.

If singing, rapping and dancing make Lizzo a triple threat, what does flute playing making her?!? A STAR THAT’S WHAT! Lizzo has displayed her abilities as a talented flautist, which is not an instrument you would necessarily think of in conjunction with the rap genre making this talent all the more extraordinary. Lizzo even used her flauting skills to compete (and defeat IMO) with Ron Burgundy. Not Will Ferrell, but Ron Burgundy.

Oh, and she can also twerk while playing the flute. 

As if playing the flute wasn’t impressive enough, Lizzo can also twerk while playing. I really hope some high school kid is deciding to take band just so he/she can flutwerk their way around campus like their fav flautist, Lizzo.

Lizzo uses her platform to inspire and raise up everyone around her.

Lizzo uses her voice for more than just creating fire music, ya know. She uses her platform to defend the belief that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Her Twitter is filled with positivity and strong messages about acceptance.


Uhm…she’s straight up gorgeous. 

We cant forget to mention that Lizzo is a straight up beauty queen. She is known to switch up her look but I’ve never seen a bad pic of this queen. To solidify my point, she is now officially the first, plus sized black woman to be featured in Playboy magazine!


Move over Avenger’s, Lizzo has been in a comic book too!

Ok indulge the nerd in me on this one…Lizzo was even featured in a comic book!!! That’s right, she has become so influential that even Marvel comics wanted a piece of the Lizzo-pie. Check out this shout-out in Unstoppable Wasp #4!


So now that you have become as obsessed as I have, you are probably wondering how you can get even more Lizzo in your life. Well lucky for you, her new album dropped TODAY! Her third studio album, Cuz I Love You, is available anywhere you listen to music and let me tell you, YOU WILL LOVE IT. The album is varied and showcases all of Lizzo’s incredible range with some songs being upbeat and funky, and others being slowed down and heart wrenching. For a taste of what to expect, click below to listen to the title track of the album. If the new album still doesn’t satisfy the hunger for more Lizzo, she’s also on tour! You can click here for more info on tour dates.

Oh Lizzo…you are most definitely 100% that bitch.  

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz on Twitter and Instagram

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Cher Slapped, Sang And Lip-Synched Her Way Through Her ‘Tonight Show’ Takeover



If I could turn back time, I would watch Cher take over The Tonight Show again and again.

Give me a rapid vibrato and a strong hair flip and I am just about the happiest man on earth. There isn’t much the iconic Cher can’t do as proven by her lengthy career as an actress, singer and now broadway producer, so it was no surprise when she became one of The Tonight Show‘s most memorable guests in history last night. Cher wasted no time diving into the fun, giving host, Jimmy Fallon, a helping hand with his opening monologue. And by helping hand I mean she slapped him…not once but twice! I am now twice as jealous of Jimmy Fallon. The slap was of course a recreation of Cher’s legendary slap from her Oscar-award winning role in Moonstruck. All these years later and it is still a very effective way of shutting people up.

The Cher-takeover didn’t stop there! Cher hit the couch to answer some burning questions that fans (me) wanted to know about life as a living legend. During her chat she opened up about how painfully shy she was and is despite growing up in show business. She revealed that she was actually so afraid to sing in intimate settings that she lied about disliking “I Got You Babe” when Sonny Bono first introduced it to her just so she wouldn’t have to sing on the spot. It’s hard to imagine the showgirl being so shy but she confirmed that “it was really terrible, I was so shy.” During the chat Cher also confessed that she’s never actually heard a good impression of her! Even though she has to be one of the most impersonated celebrities of all time, she said she struggles to find any inkling of herself in all of the weird facial expressions and “bullish*t”!!! God I love her. The hour then segued to Cher’s new, autobiographical, hit Broadway musical The Cher Show which prompted a performance of “I Got You Babe” by the musical’s Sonny and young Cher, Jarrod Spector and Micaela Diamond. The audience nearly fell out and I audibly gasped when Cher herself joined Spector to finish the performance.

Of course a Tonight Show takeover would not be complete without a little lip-sync battle. This lip-sync battle was different than any other, however, as both Cher and Jimmy lip-synched to drunk bar patron renditions of Cher’s “Believe.” That’s right, Jimmy sent a camera crew to a karaoke bar at 1am and filmed their takes on the classic hit and used those vocals as the source of the lip-sync! Everything about this is hilarious!

The hour seemed to fly by and things only got more exciting as Jimmy brought the three leads from The Cher Show to the couch. Stephanie J. Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond cozied up next to Cher and gushed about what an incredible experience it has been working with such an icon. All four ladies closed the hour with an incredibly performance of “If I Could Turn Back Time” and how I wish I could just to be able to relive this hour over and over! I do believe this hour will go down in books as one of the best Tonight Show moments in history.

Like what you read? Follow @ChrisSiretz in Twitter and Instagram




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