Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.”
Matthew McConaughey hasn’t exactly shut the door on appearing in the third installment of Channing Tatum’s stripper franchise “Magic Mike.” But the actor, who appeared in the 2012 original (but said no to 2015’s “Magic Mike XXL”), is still waiting for his phone to ring about “Magic Mike’s Last Dance.” “Channing Tatum, call me, bro! I haven’t heard from ya!” the Oscar winner said when I recently asked him if he’ll be back in the role of strip club owner Dallas.
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“I don’t know,” McConaughey said. “I’d have to read [the script] first. It was a helluva lot of fun doing the first one.” Tatum announced in November that “Last Dance,” directed by Steven Soderbergh, will be released on HBO Max. Shooting is set to begin next month in London and Italy.
Frieder: Courtesy of Lara Alameddine; Sivan: Courtesy of Gadir Rajab
Not only does Troye Sivan star in the dramedy “Three Months” — he plays a queer Florida high school senior who finds out he may have been exposed to HIV after a one-night stand — but he wrote and performed two numbers, “Wait” and “Trouble,” for the soundtrack. “They are my favorite songs that have ever been written,” Jared Frieder, the film’s writer and director, tells me, laughing. “I’m still in shock. It’s been surreal.” Frieder originally wrote the script, which was inspired by his own experiences, as a TV series. “When I was doing the show,” he recalls, “the first person I had in mind was Troye. Troye is the kid I wish I could have been in high school because he’s just so effortlessly cool.”
Sivan signed on to the film after meeting with Frieder at Soho House in West Hollywood. “I’m so excited for people to see him in this movie because he carries his movie on his back,” Frieder says. “It’s from his POV. He’s in every scene and he has to access the entire emotional spectrum and being effortless and natural, and he’s just such a great actor.”
Frieder did his best to cast queer actors in the queer roles: “It’s important to allow our queer actors, this great crop of them especially that are coming up, the opportunity to get more roles.”
The cast also includes Brianne Tju, Ellen Burstyn, Lou Gossett Jr., Judy Greer, Javier Muñoz and Amy Landecker. “Three Months” premieres on Paramount Plus on Feb. 23. I’ll have more next week from Sivan himself when he’s my guest on the “Just for Variety” podcast.
Courtesy of Clay Enos/Columbia P
With the “Spider-Man” franchise and now “Uncharted,” Tom Holland is well on his way to action-movie stardom. But all those stunts and fight scenes can’t happen without some pain. “I walked away from every stunt, but I definitely limped from a few,” Holland told me while promoting the Sony Pictures’ “Uncharted,” based on the PlayStation video game series of the same name. “But it looks great in the film so I was happy to take the pounding.” Co-star Mark Wahlberg said the only thing he injured was his ego after getting beat up while sparring with Tati Gabrielle, who plays the villainous Jo Braddock. “She really is a martial arts expert,” Wahlberg said. Check out my video interviews with the “Uncharted” cast here.
Get to know Sofia Black-D’Elia! The New Jersey native stars in Freeform’s “Single Drunk Female” as Samantha Fink, a 20-something forced to move back in with her mom (“The Breakfast Club” legend Ally Sheedy) after being fired for assaulting her boss with a phone while intoxicated. “Someone in my family who has a sort of similar experience felt very seen by this show,” Black-D’Elia says. “It made her emotional. She was just so happy to get to see a character like this and to be able to talk about it with her friends and family. That to me is the best-case scenario and best outcome imaginable from the show.”
Even though the show is based on creator Simone Finch’s real-life experience, producers did seek guidance from “sober consultants,” Black-D’Elia says. The series addresses serious issues, but also finds the funny in trying to stay sober. “I think one of my favorite episodes is about Samantha desperately trying to get laid and she’s doing that for the first time sober,” she says. “It was the easiest week of shooting for me because I found that episode really embodied the balance of being serious, but there is also so much funny in that.”
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I caught up with “The Good Place” star Manny Jacinto at the premiere of his Amazon rom-com “I Want You Back,” where we talked about his “Nine Perfect Strangers” co-star Nicole Kidman earning her fifth Oscar nom for her work in “Being the Ricardos.” “Congrats, Nicole!” he said before cracking, “I don’t think you need any more. I think you could share the love! But congrats again. You deserve it.”
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