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Discuss this movie. Filmed April 29-June 30, 2008
Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
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It was a mad scene Monday afternoon at the packed press conference for the new Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor flick "I Love You Philip Morris." Appropriately held at the Queer Lounge, producer Andrew Lazar surprised by saying said the movie isn't about being gay, "it's ultimately a love story."
That may go over well with jittery distributors, but there's no denying it, "Morris" is just as much a gay movie as "Milk" or "Brokeback Mountain." But, it's also an entertaining true story about a con man, Stephen Russell (Carrey), who does anything he can to get out of jail to be with his one true love: Philip Morris.
Here are some highlights of what Carrey and McGregor had to say earlier today.
Carrey on his long relationship with movie producer Luc Besson:
"The day I first met Luc was on the set of 'Ace Ventura,' when we were doing the very first scene in the movie when I was walking down Miami Beach banging the box against the buildings and things like that and I ended up in this film being financed by Luc and shooting on the very same strip of beach."
Why was Carrey attracted to the con man role?
"I loved the fact that I couldn't figure out whether I loved him or hated him. It wasn't a hate thing, it was a polarization thing. From one page to the next, I was attracted to this character and then I was disturbed by how he was behaving."
Is it a "gay movie"? Not according to Carrey:
"I don't think it's a gay movie. I think it's a movie about humanity. For me, for my perspective and the perspective of my character, it's really about the lengths we go to for acceptance or love. If you feel like you haven't been accepted in life and you've been, in fact, rejected, you tend to be a bit extreme in your approach, y'know? I think this character is that. He's relentless about love and that's what attracted me to him."
Carrey on the reaction of people in his circle to his taking the part:
"I think if I were to be honest, there were a few people in my world who were like, 'Are you sure you want to do this?' And that still exists. And I said, 'Absolutely.' Because, sexual prolactivities aside, it's a story about human beings that's so compelling and so interesting and so different. It's just about humanity. It was really just about that. It was really about: you love who you love and love is love an that's the bottom line. And If I were to be really honest, there is a homophobic voice inside me that goes, 'Geez, this is kind of scary. First of all, what will people think? Second of all, will I like it? Will I like kissing Ewan? How will this affect me? And Jenny? those are the kind of thoughts that go through your head."
McGregor on meeting his real life counterpart, Phillip Morris:
"I spent a day and a half with him in Arkansas in Little Rock where he lives. It was an interesting opportunity to meet the person you're gonna play. It doesn't often happen. I have played people who have existed and one guy who was still alive when I played Nick Leeson [in 1999's "Rogue Trader"], but he was in prison at the time so I couldn't meet him. And this time I was able to sit with the person I was about to play. It was very interesting. It's not a case about trying to ask a lot of questions or answers about the particulars in the story, because the particulars in our story are in our script. It was much more about seeing what he would like and how he behaved and what he chose to give away about himself and what he didn't."
McGregor on how the film is meant to enlighten:
"It was important to me reading it that none of the humor came out of it being two men. I was conscious of that reading it. And at no point did I think it was, or I wouldn't have wanted to do it. The joke wasn't that it was a love story about two men. It was the situation and the length that Jim's character would do to go to Philip or the ease he did to get out. It was that, it was humorous. Other than that, it wouldn't have been right."
Carrey on how the film changed his relationship with gay friends:
"Personally, I have a lot of gay people in my life, in my surroundings and everyone was so excited. It was like freedom for a lot of them, because even with them -- some of them work for me -- there was a feeling, I'm sure, there was a feeling they had to be a certain way and present themselves in a conservative manner, or whatever around me. And when I started to talking to them about this film, and pumping them for information, oh, that was an odd choice of words, they got so excited. It was like someone had lat them loose to be themselves and our relationship are much closer after that."
http://www.hitfix.com/articles/2009-1-1 ... s-and-tell
Carrey had fears over gay man role
Jim Carrey has confessed he had some fears about taking on a gay character in his new movie, I Love You, Phillip Morris, in which he stars alongside Ewan McGregor.
"If I were to be really honest, there is a homophobic voice that rises up inside me," the actor confessed at a press conference to promote the movie at the Sundance Film Festival.
"It goes 'that's kind of scary'. First of all, what will people think?
"And second of all, will I like kissing Ewan? How will that affect me and Jenny (McCarthy, his girlfriend]?
"Those are the honest kind of thoughts that go through your head."
The actor plays homosexual con man Steven Russell, who is sent to prison where he falls in love with fellow inmate, Phillip Morris, played by Ewan McGregor.
"If I were to be honest, there were a few people in my world that were like 'are you sure you want to do this?'," said Jim.
"I said 'absolutely', because sexual proclivity aside, it's still a story about human beings that's so compelling, so interesting and so different.
"It's about humanity. There's nothing bad for me about the story."
http://www.peterleemail.co.uk/latest-en ... 4893858.jp
Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor lock lips in Phillip Morris
PARK CITY, Utah – Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor were an item at the Sundance Film Festival, where their gay romance "I Love You Phillip Morris" premiered.
Carrey and McGregor steam up the screen with some hot and heavy necking.
What was it like for Carrey to lock lips with McGregor?
"A dream come true. I mean, look at the guy," Carrey said, gesturing at McGregor during a question-and-answer session with the audience after the film's Sundance premiere Sunday night.
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, "I Love You Phillip Morris" is based on the true story of a con man (Carrey) who meets the love of his life (McGregor) in prison, then concocts elaborate escapes and masquerades to free himself and his man.
Carrey and McGregor make a nice couple, their characters' love story playing out with sweetness, passion and devotion.
The actors said playing gay was all in a day's work.
"It's the same as playing any other kind of man, any other kind of character," said McGregor, saying there was nothing awkward in their kissing and cuddling scenes. - AP
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/144999/Jim- ... lip-Morris
Jim & Ewan talk up the tall tales in 'Phillip Morris'
"I Love You, Phillip Morris" is the true story of a career con man named Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) who falls in love with blond blue-eyed fellow prisoner Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). And there begins the topsy-turvy tale of their romance, in which Steven provided a high-end lifestyle for his boyfriend by passing himself off as a lawyer and CFO unbeknownst to Phillip -- crimes for which he'd be thrown back in jail.
But the ever industrious Steven sprung himself out more than once, at one point getting out by posing as an undercover cop dressed as a male prostitute in hot pants and fishnet stockings.
"The most outlandish things in the movie are the true things," director Glenn Ficarra told the early risers who got up to see the Monday morning screening. He guestimated that 85% was the real deal. "We had to make up the mundane parts."
"Just to drive you guys crazy," Carrey added.
"The hot pants escape was absolutely real," co-director John Requa said.
Carrey said he didn't get to interview the real Steven Russell, who is still serving a life sentence in Texas. "They weren't crazy in Texas about us making this film," he said. The actor made do with recordings of interviews Russell had given. "I felt like this was a guy who needed significance because his [mother] had abandoned him.
"I've always said, beware the unloved. They always go to extremes," Carrey said. "I'm probably a good example of that."
McGregor said most of the film was shot in real prisons and that the inmates were actual prisoners -- some with acting aspirations.
"There was this large guy with an afro and a comb who leaned in and told me, 'I think there should be a scene where I fight Jim for you,' " McGregor said. The directors didn't take the suggestion, but the inmate does appear in the film.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sundanc ... -phil.html
Exclusive: New gay prison romance movie is just about love, says Jim Carrey
HOLLYWOOD superstar Jim Carrey was scared that kissing Ewan McGregor in a movie would leave him totally confused.
The rubber-faced star of such comedies as Ace Ventura and The Mask has a screen relationship with Star Wars actor Ewan in new film I Love You Phillip Morris.
But while Ewan has pretended to have gay sex in movies Velvet Goldmine and The Pillow Book, it was all new for Canadian-born Jim.
The father of one, who is dating Playboy favourite Jenny McCarthy, admitted: "If I were to be really honest, there was a homophobic voice that rose up inside me that said, 'Gee, this is kind of scary.'
"First of all, what will people think, and second of all, will I like it?
"Will I like kissing Ewan? How will that affect me?
"There were a few people in my world who said, 'Are you sure you want to do this?' And that still exists.
"I said 'Absolutely' because, sexual preference aside, it is a story that is so compelling and interesting and different.
"It's about humanity. It is about you love who you love. And love is love. And that's it."
Inspired by a true story, I Love You Phillip Morris is a comedy drama about an ex-cop with two kids who has a car accident and reveals he's gay.
To keep up his new high-living lifestyle, he becomes a conman who ends up in a Texas prison.
There, he falls in love with his cellmate Phillip Morris, played by Ewan, who is inside for not returning a rental car.
The Scot has called the film, which has yet to get a UK release date, a "gay prison romance story".
During a chat at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah after the film's world premiere, Ewan is more circumspect about the gay role.
The married dad of three from Crieff, Perthshire, said: "It's not terribly much of a big deal because my character's situation is that he's in love with Jim's character.
"I'm playing a man who is in love. As an actor, you are in there.
"So to be kissing the man you love isn't strange or unusual."
For Ewan, whose career has included independent films, such as Young Adam and The Pillow Book, in which he not only had sex but showed off his private parts, the task of kissing another man seems to be just another acting role.
What he sees in the film is a love story.
"I looked at a scene where we were dancing and singing in the prison cell and it struck me as being terribly romantic and lovely," he said.
"And that's watching myself and Jim. I thought this was really lovely."
But still, how was it kissing each other?
"Ewan was a bit prickly," Jim laughed.
"I think we have some great sexual chemistry on screen. I think there is definitely a lot of smouldering,'yum, yum, eat-him-up' vibe."
But the Scots Trainspotting star, who had a gay sex scene with Batman actor Christian Bale in Velvet Goldmine, seemed less enthusiastic.
He said: "I've played gay characters before, so I've kissed men.
"And we did all of the kissing on our first day of filming.
"We had scenes where we kissed and held each other. It was getting on with it, right from the word go. It was strangely unusual."
While Brokeback Mountain had a gay love story between Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, they weren't the huge stars that Jim and Ewan are.
Ewan may have played gay characters in small, art-house films, but worldwide he is best known for Star Wars, while Jim Carrey is one of Hollywood's leading comedy actors.
IT was no wonder that, when the movie was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and the pair kissed, there was an audible gasp from the audience.
Jim describes having two Hollywood leads kissing and having gay sex on screen as "evolution".
He said: "Who would have thought we'd have an African-American president. It's evolving. I'm sure a lot of people in the gay community think it's evolving a little too slowly.
"But it's evolving. Back on TV years ago, Dick van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore slept in different beds.
"It's evolution. Generally, it's about 10 years behind real life.
"Personally, I have a lot of gay people in my life. Everyone was so excited when I agreed to do this film. It was like freedom for a lot of them.
"Some work for me and probably felt like they had to present themselves a certain way to me, or act in a certain conservative manner around me.
"And when I started talking to them about this film and pumping them for information - that was an odd way of saying that - they got so excited. It was such freedom.
"It was like someone had let them loose to be themselves. And our relationships are better after that. It was very liberating for a lot of people who work for me."
Being a true story, the film involves real people. The subjects of the movie, Steven Russell and Phillip Morris, are still alive.
Russell was a con-artist, who variously posed as a chief financial officer, a Virginia millionaire and other powerful business figures to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.
After being arrested for insurance fraud, he was sent to a Texas prison, where he met and started a relationship with Morris, who has now been released.
Russell is still in jail, having been sentenced to 144 years, and has tried to esacape four times.
Jim and Ewan filmed in a real New Orleans jail with real inmates as extras.
Ewan admitted he found the experience difficult at first. He said: "I had never been in a prison before.
"I had an idea from movies what it would be like, but the intensity was quite shocking from the moment I arrived in the morning through bars and barbed wire.
"A lot of the prisoners live in dormitories and are quite calm. It took us a couple of days to get used to the fact our extras were real prisoners."
Jim added: "We had 100 people in this prison and we are in the centre of them.
"I asked the warden, 'What are these guys in here for? Infractions?' He said, 'They're rapists and murderers.'
"I guess we were kind of fun. We were something to do for them.
"They talked to me. I would find myself between takes surrounded by 20 guys just talking and laughing. I don't know what I did, but somehow I could see the most hardened person's face turn into a kid. And go, 'Hey, man'.
"They were their best selves around me, maybe. It was nice. It was a great atmosphere. It really was.
"There was no air-con in there. New Orleans is hot.
"And you start thinking about when we leave, what those guys have to do to survive in there."
While Jim has never met Russell, Ewan spent a day and a half with Morris in Arkansas, where he now lives.
"It was interesting to meet the person you are going to play," he said.
"I've played guys who have existed and I've played a guy who was still alive when I was Nick Neeson in1999's Rogue Trader. But he was in prison at the time, so I couldn't meet him."
Russell and Morris still write to each other in code and now have code names for Jim and Ewan. A gay film with two straight stars was always going to be controversial.
Jim admitted there had already been some backlash, with one person yelling at him: "What are you doing for the gay community?"
But he's circumspect and added: "That was a tough one. Here's a movie about love and tolerance.
"And that's something.
"And I just see it as an internal job. I think people are changing internally. So we all learn to love ourselves, we will love each other.
"We are a bunch of mirrors out there.
"If something bothers me about this guy in the front row, it's me."
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainm ... -21060272/
Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color, choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable!
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