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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.

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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!

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POP UPDATE: Justin Bieber, “Friends” For Life, And The Critics Choice Awards

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We’re going to be doing some quick video updates whenever we can! Here’s the latest! Justin Bieber begging for streams, (while you can hear him chew – ew), the ladies of Friends reunited, and mother nature. Take a look!

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Courteney Cox’s Instagram Caption Is Every Parent With A Teenage Kid

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Have you heard? It’s 2020 and we’re all supposed to music videos on TikTok. Courteney Cox is no exception. The TV star posted an instagram of her and her daughter Coco dancing it out, with the hilarious caption, “Wanna see your child lose their patience? Do a TikTok with them.”

Also, how long does it take to actually learn one of these routines? It seems very time consuming.

What I was really hoping for was video of her daughter losing her patience, but what we got was a pretty strong routine!

 

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Wanna see your child lose their patience? Do a TikTok with them. #familyaerobics

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Caught On Tape

Former Law And Order Actress Representing Herself In Court? Diane Neal Claims Her Attorneys In Abuse Case Dropped Her, Leaving Her To Fend For Herself

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In an emotional, now deleted instagram post, actress Diane Neal claims her attorneys have dropped her – leaving the actress who once played assistant district attorney Casey Nowak to try her hand at being an attorney in real life.

Neal has been embroiled in a vicious legal battle that has spanned more than two years. It began when Neal filed a lawsuit alleging her ex, magician JB Benn, was a “manipulative and maniacal fraudster,” who had “defrauded her of millions” and “violently inflicted emotional distress,” according to The Daily Beast. She claims Benn subjected her to “a campaign of isolation, terror and (physical and sexual) assault, and destroyed her reputation.” She also claims he once cut her dogs throat. In turn, Benn has a lawsuit against Neal, claiming she owes him money for property they shared, and that she frequently threatened him. Part of his case: a damning recording in which the female voice, which he claims is Neal, threatens him and his dog. Listen to that tape HERE. It’s intense.

The truth is, the story is so full of battling accusations that it’s probably best to read the FULL list chronicled in this Oxygen article.

But today, in an emotional instagram post which she later deleted, (but copies have which have been retained and posted) a dramatic turn. Neal claims her attorneys have dropped her with no warning.

She speaks directly to her camera phone, saying, “So this is my version of hell. And there he is walking right past me right there” she says, referencing a man whose face cannot be seen. “So, I have been put in a situation by my own attorneys who decided to drop me as a client yesterday afternoon with absolutely no warning, wherein I have to represent myself in court. Because this is what happens to victims of abuse. My attorney yesterday accused me of having an inappropriate relation with (unintelligible**), which is not at all even remotely, a thousand times not true. Has done all kinds of things and … saying it was my fault for being abused. So wish me luck. It’s terrifying, but I am doing this for every woman who can’t do it for themselves. I stand for all of us.”

**please note that the words here were difficult to make out. We have our interpretations but don’t want to speculate without confirmation.

It’s unclear what the nature of the current court hearing is intended to cover today.

 

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Right now!

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Neal played Casey Novak on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for five seasons,and continued her acting career on NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Suits and 30 Rock. Most recently she became involved in politics, running as an independent for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York’s 19th congressional district.

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