Jan 14 2017
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced the lineup for its upcoming 32nd edition, including its international gala event and opening and closing films.
Running from Feb. 1-11, the festival will open with the world premiere of the documentary “Charged,” and will close on a period note with Lone Scherfig’s comedy-drama “Their Finest,” which stars Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy.
This year’s festival will offer a wide array of films from over 50 countries, and will feature 51 world premieres and 64 US premieres, along with tributes to the year’s top talent, and panel discussions.
47 U.S. PREMIERE FEATURE FILMS
The Journey is the Destination, UK/South Africa/Canada
Directed by Bronwen Hughes
Cast: Ben Schnetzer, Maria Bello, Ella Purnell, Kelly Macdonald, Sam Hazeldine
This is an inspiring recreation of the life of the late Dan Eldon, a photojournalist, artist, and
activist who documented the violence and famine in Somalia and the end of apartheid in South
Dec 3 2016
Comments: Comments Off on 16 Breakout Movie Stars of 2016: From Gal Gadot to Tom Holland
Actors from movies like “Moonlight,” “Loving” and “The Magnificent Seven” topped the list of TheWrap’s 2016 movie breakout stars.
Schnetzer starred in “Warcraft” and “Snowden,” as well as Sundance favorite “Goat,” which was acquired for $2.25 million by Paramount Home Media at the festival.
Oct 6 2016
What do you do for a living?
How do your clothes define a particular character?
I tend to prioritize substance over style, so I usually wear whatever makes me feel most comfortable and easy.
What did your father do for a living?
If someone were to pretend to be you for a day, what advice would you give?
Don’t lock yourself out of the apartment.
Have you ever had a crush on set?
Don’t lock yourself out of the apartment.
Are you ever nervous for a job?
What are you working on next?
Xavier Dolan’s “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan”.
View more of Ben in his latest projects, Goat, Snowden and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.
Sep 23 2016
Comments: Comments Off on What Ben Schnetzer Learned From Being Humiliated and Hazed While Filming Goat
When Goat premiered at Sundance earlier this year, audiences quickly praised its brutal look at fraternity hazing and the way young men express their masculinity in those situations. The film, in theaters September 23, stars Ben Schnetzer as a college student who pledges a frat after dealing with the trauma of a brutal beating. Schnetzer’s character, Brad, tries to reclaim his power and his manhood by undergoing intense hazing rituals by the frat brothers, which include his actual brother Brett (Nick Jonas).
The movie is unflinching and often hard to watch, a reminder that it’s easy for people to get carried away by the group mentality. It raises real questions about what it means to be manly and asks the audience to consider the implications of this long-held tradition. We spoke with Schnetzer, who also currently appears in Oliver Stone’s Snowden, about finding his inner fraternity brother, why men want to haze each other and what sorts of conversations he hopes Goat will start.
Goat is a very difficult watch. What was the hardest part of actually making it?
It was a pretty taxing shoot throughout. Certain scenes were demanding for different reasons. The hazing sequences definitely had their challenges logistically, but also physically and emotionally. I think one of the toughest things about the content and the conflict of the film is Brad, the character I play, struggling with this sense of compromised masculinity he feels he’s thrust upon his as a result of being victimized. Feeling emasculated can be very humiliating. That was a very difficult thing to deal with sometimes, and it’s something that snuck up on me because it’s something I didn’t really expect. There was something about feeling humiliated at certain times throughout shooting, and that was always the toughest thing to deal with. Those were the days where I was like, “I want to go home.” There were a lot of adventures shooting this one.
Before you made the film how much had you thought about fraternities and hazing and the way that’s part of our culture?
I hadn’t really thought a whole lot about it. I didn’t go to a traditional college in the States—I went to a drama conservatory in London. I didn’t have a fraternity-like experience. I mean, I grew up with an older brother and a lot of male cousins and we were very physical with each other. We were very rambunctious when we were kids. But I never thought much—nor did I have reason to think much—about institutionalized hazing. But I think there’s a reason young men are drawn to it.
Rites of passage have been part of many different societies for a long time and I think there’s good reason for that. Once you start playing with those power dynamics and you take away consequences and you mix alcohol into the equation, that’s when things can get a little dangerous. The pack mentality can be a really dangerous thing, especially for young men. So I certainly spent more time thinking about fraternities and hazing while shooting this film than I ever had before.
Sep 23 2016
Ben Schnetzer tells TheWrap the college hazing drama was an obstacle course behind the scenes.
The subject matter of “Goat” — a week of drunken college hazing and humiliation — is no laughing matter.
But star Ben Schnetzer says lot of funny things happened while he worked on the Paramount indie, which opens in theaters this weekend.
In the film, Schnetzer’s older brother is played by Nick Jonas, an established member of the frat who coaches his younger sibling through a barrage of booze and gross feats assigned to so-called “goat” pledges.
It is the pop star’s most serious film to date. But Schnetzer said Jonas’ legions of fans didn’t exactly leave him alone to focus on the role.
“You would see girls hiding behind cars, literally hiding behind trees with their cell phones out,” Schnetzer told TheWrap.
Directed by Andrew Neel, “Goat” also features young actors Gus Halper, Danny Flaherty and Jake Picking. There is a cameo by James Franco — who also produced.
Sep 23 2016
Comments: Comments Off on Nick Jonas And Ben Schnetzer On Their Hazing Movie ‘GOAT,’ Masculinity, And Campus Violence
In the world of Phi Sigma Mu, the violent, toxic fraternity that Andrew Neel’s new film GOAT examines, a “goat” is a new recruit, a target of abuse and humiliation. GOAT pulls no punches in depicting the horrors of hazing, but for a film written by the director of Pineapple Express, it’s a surprisingly subtle dissection of the fragility of masculinity. After being beaten, robbed, and humiliated in the summer before college, Brad, played by Ben Schnetzer, is determined to prove he’s not a “pussy” (the insult most commonly lobbed by the film’s bro clique), and attempts to join his brother Brett, played by Nick Jonas, in Phi Sigma Mu. The results are startling. We caught up with Jonas and Schnetzer earlier this week to talk about shooting some of the movie’s more disturbing scenes, violence on campus, and what it means to be a man.
What attracted you guys both to GOAT?
Ben Schnetzer: The screenplay, I think, was the first thing that really captivated me. The script was super tight and very compelling. It was like a charged battery; it was packed. And so, that really kind of launched everything, and then I read the book a little bit, met with Andrew [Neel], and I really liked where Andrew was coming from. He’s pretty fearless as far as filmmakers go. He’s not concerned about pleasing anybody, and that’s really exciting.
Did you both aim to play the characters that you ended up playing or were you torn between Brett and Brad?
BS: When I first read it, I just wanted to be in it, so the first meeting I had with Andrew, I was pretty keen on, like, Dixon, Chance, Brett, Brad, whomever. And then when I went into audition for it, I got the scenes maybe four or five days before the audition, and for the first couple of days, I wasn’t sure which of the two brothers I was going go in to read for. And then about two or three days before I went in, they were like, “We want you to read for Brad.” All the characters in the film were so well fleshed out in the script, it was kind of a, “Hey man, I’ll just take whatever.”
The hazing scenes themselves are really visceral and horrible. How did you guys prepare for that on a physical and emotional level?
BS: Andrew did a great job of setting the scene for those days of filming. He kept the actors playing the pledges and the actors playing the [fraternity] brothers separated from the very beginning of the day. I don’t know exactly what he said to the brothers, but to us, he said, “You’re not going to know what they’re going to do to you. You’re going to be uncomfortable physically and psychologically, but we’re going to be there to make sure everything is safe. But we’re going to just kind of let it roll.” We had a safety word just in case, as an actor, you were hurt or you were uncomfortable with something.
Do you feel like you learned a lot making this film about masculinity?
BS: I think, what I took away from the film was just kind of reflecting more on my relationship with my own brother, and making that transition from having a literal fraternal relationship with someone as children, as adolescents to being brothers as young men. Nick and I have chatted about this before. Obviously, this film, it’s one man’s story and one man’s experience within a fraternity. Outside of that, I think a lot of good can come from a sense of brotherhood. We’re pack animals, and it’s a natural thing to want that, to have that feeling to belong. But, you need to know how much it’s worth to you. And, you need to know whether what you want to belong to is something that you actually want to belong to.
Sep 22 2016
Comments: Comments Off on ‘Goat’ Star Ben Schnetzer on Punching James Franco and What ‘Drunk History’ Can Teach You About Acting
Ben Schnetzer has played an NSA hacker (Snowden), one of the most powerful wizards in Stormwind Kingdom (Warcraft) and a fraternity pledge enduring the various hells of Hell Week in Goat — and that was this year alone. Only the latter gave him the chance full-on punch James Franco in the stomach, though.
In Goat, out Sept. 23, the 26-year-old actor plays a college freshman navigating the world of cocaine, threesomes and gentlemanliness to prove he’s worthy of joining his big bro’s (Nick Jonas) house. As for the “Based on Actual Events” hazing at the center of the film, it’s likely exactly as you’d imagine — though that does little in the way of making it easier to stomach. “It’s definitely pretty relentless and uncompromising. But that’s the movie we all set out to make,” Schnetzer excitedly explains during a conversation with ET. “We knew it was going to be–” He pauses a moment, choosing his words carefully. “Fierce.”
ET: This is a movie really sticks with you. Some of those scenes are just so tough to watch. Is there one scene that you remember being particularly intense to film?
Ben Schnetzer: The first hazing sequence, where they bring us down into the basement, that was really intense to film. Because there were two big hazing sequences: there’s one out in the woods and then there’s one where we get brought to the basement. We shot the one in the woods first, which was weird and it was very challenging, but we got through it and at the end of the day, we felt like, “Oh man, we just accomplished something!” There’s a scene at the end of it too, where the brothers all break into the room and they cheer for us, so it felt like, triumphant once we finally got through it.
But shooting that basement hazing sequence was one of the last days of filming and I think maybe there was just something about being underground and feeling claustrophobic, but it was just psychologically really difficult. It wasn’t the physical stuff. It wasn’t the yelling. It was… There are just certain moments when you feel humiliated, and that was the toughest part to get through.
The whole time I was watching, I kept thinking, “I know you’re filming a movie and you’re on set, but you’re still kind of getting hazed! You’re still getting stuff poured on you, you’re still getting screamed at.”
Yeah, it’s really interesting to hear [director] Andrew [Neel] talk about it. But looking back, it was kind of like performance art. Our director of photography on the film, Ethan Palmer, was really in the trenches with us from the beginning. They did a lot of handheld work, so we’d do 25-minute takes and it was shot kind of documentary-style. Andrew would call “action” and we would freeform and improvise for 25 minutes during these sequences, with Ethan just roaming and filming. After the first 45 seconds, you forget that the camera is there and it really gives you time to give over and let your self-consciousness go. You get out of your own way, and it’s a really lovely feeling as an actor. Even if you are getting, you know, non-alcoholic beer shoved down your throat.
Sep 22 2016
Comments: Comments Off on ‘Goat’ Will Make You Think Twice About Greek Life, Say Stars Nick Jonas & Ben Schnetzer
One of the most talked-about movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is coming to theaters on Sept. 23, and its impending release is guaranteed to keep the conversation going. Goat, a new drama starring Ben Schnetzer (Pride, Snowden) as a college freshman and Nick Jonas as his frat-member older brother, is a harrowing look at the dark side of campus culture, and its searing depictions of hazing, violence, and the terrifying truth of what “brotherhood” can truly mean are stirring up plenty of chatter — not to mention more than a few stunned gasps. Yet that’s exactly what the film’s stars say they had in mind when they signed on to their roles.
“It’s a pretty relentless film, and we know that it’s not gonna be an easy film to watch, but that’s what we set out to make,” says Schnetzer, sitting down beside Jonas at New York’s Soho Grand Hotel on a mid-September morning. “We set out to make something uncompromising.”
Adds Jonas, “We hoped to make a great film and do something that would challenge people’s thinking, and I think we accomplished that.”
Upon the film’s Sundance debut, both Schnetzer and Jonas won acclaim for their performances, with Schnetzer, especially, earning raves for his powerful turn as a teen recovering from assault, only to enter a new world of violence when he pledges his brother’s fraternity. What happens to him is not to be spoiled here, but suffice to say that it’s oftentimes impossible to watch, a hugely affecting — and terrifying — look at Greek life gone out of control. The film tackles that concept head-on, exploring the notion that frat life can encourage dangerous, uber-masculine behavior, creating a culture in which the idea of “brotherhood” means inflicting both emotional and physical pain in order to prove loyalty. For Schnetzer, the film’s real-life implications are what make the movie’s plotline so interesting, and so important.
“Rites of passage, these kind of quests for manhood, it’s a natural thing, everybody feels it,” he says. “But when you add in an unnatural kind of pack mentality power dynamic to it, that’s when things change a bit. The stakes are higher.”
No one film is going to completely alter the way centuries-old college systems are run, of course, but both stars are optimistic that Goat will at least have an impact. “I’m hopeful that the film starts an even bigger conversation, maybe even becomes a tool for people to see what the dark side of fraternity culture looks like,” Jonas says. Due to the success of his music career, the star never went to college himself, but knowing what he knows now, he says that if he had, he’s not sure if he would’ve ever joined a frat. Still, he adds, with his interest in sports, hazing is “something I think I would’ve been exposed to on some level.”
And as Goat makes all to clear, that’s a truly terrifying prospect — one that, until now, has rarely been showed in such unflinching light on-screen.
Aug 19 2016
Comments: Comments Off on 15 Fall Movie Stars Poised to Break Out
TheWrap looks at 15 of Hollywood’s up and coming actors, from indie stars to Tupac’s doppelganger.
Ben Schnetzer, “Snowden” and “Goat”
Why He Looks Familiar: He played gay activist in the British indie “Pride.”
Why He’s About to Break Out: In addition to his role in Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic, Schnetzer has earned acclaim as a fraternity brother conflicted about the hazing of his real sibling (Nick Jonas) in “Goat.”
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