Author - Brenda

The Powerhouse Duo Emily and Elizabeth Hinkler

Emily Hinkler and Elizabeth Hinkler are powerhouse twins who are actors, producers and LGBTQIA advocates. They played conjoined twins on two episodes of ABC’s The Good Doctor. Emily recently played a boy (Lee) who is forced to attend gay conversion therapy in Boy Erased. Elizabeth will be on the big screen this spring in the movie Under the Silver Lake. They take on separate projects but do not feel in competition and instead share a strong bond.

They are currently starring in the YouTube Premium series Overthinking with Kat and June. The series chronicles the hopes, dreams and fears of Kat and June, whose thoughts are heard out loud.  Emily and Elizabeth play twin sisters Tessa and Molly, the best friends of Kat. Together the trio hatches plans that are bound to fail and cause hilarious misadventures.

In their spare time, the twins volunteer with foster youth and Trans Lifeline, an organization that works to meet the needs of the trans community and fight the epidemic of trans suicide.

ATM: I grew up an only child and am curious about what it is like to be twins?

Elizabeth:  Every twin relationship is different, just as all types of relationships are.  We do have a close bond, but wouldn’t necessarily credit that to being twins, because any pair of people can cultivate a deeper connection. 

Emily:  We nurture our bond through respecting one another and taking time to support each other’s feelings, thoughts, values, and work, as well as giving the other space to grow individually.  It is amazing to feel so much support from each other in each of our pursuits, and we are incredibly grateful trusting that we will always have each other’s back, and will be the wind beneath the other’s wings.

ATM: I am sure that you support each other; but are there times when there is a healthy competition between the two of you?

Emily:  With both of us being actors, we understand that there can be inherent competition, but we choose to support one another.  We are each other’s biggest fans and encouragers.  When we audition against one another, it doesn’t feel competitive or like a direct comparison because we are both so different, and bring each of our unique intricacies to the audition. 

Elizabeth:  If a director picks one of us over the other, we know it has nothing to do with us personally, and doesn’t mean that one of us is better than the other, but that the director clicked with one of our interpretations more.  When one of us gets a part, it is a win for our team.

ATM: What is the series Overthinking with Kat and June about?

Emily: Overthinking with Kat and June follows the story of an awkwardly blossoming relationship between two new roommates- one a complete anxious introvert, and the other, a bubbly, outrageous extrovert.  We play genderqueer intense thespians Molly and Tessa, the best friends of Kat, and are always scheming up excitingly brilliant, yet failure-prone plans.  We had a blast working on the show. The cast and crew bloomed into a close-knit family, and it was a joy to make people laugh! 

ATM: I know you enjoyed doing an episode of The Good Doctor. Can you share a fond memory?

Emily:  We were recurring guest stars on two episodes of The Good Doctor playing conjoined twins, Jenny and Katie Kunkler.  Working on that show was absolutely amazing- it was like lightning in a bottle.  The story line was incredible and complex, and we really appreciated the opportunity to play.  

Elizabeth:  Not only did we both get to work on the show together, but we each had our own storylines as it is important for us to be seen as individuals. To top it off, the cast and crew were extremely talented and down to earth. The directors for each of our episodes, especially Cherie Nowlan, trusted us impeccably, and allowed us the freedom to explore.  Nick, Chuku, Antonia, Freddie, and everyone welcomed us with open arms and treated us as their honored guests.  They went above and beyond- getting us water, snacks, and giving us neck massages- because we were conjoined at the head and had to stay still for long periods of time.  It was the opportunity of a lifetime and was definitely one of the best highlights to each of our careers.

ATM: (Emily) Boy Erased is such an important film. What do you hope viewers take from this film?

Emily:  I hope people are inspired to take action.  I am so thankful that this film brought to light a piece of the tragic history that the LGBTQIA community has gone through.  Many people don’t realize that conversion therapy still exists today.  In the US alone, 36 states still legally allow gay conversion therapy to take place.  That is disgusting.  This film is so important, and has already been a powerful vehicle to start the conversation and open up the hearts and minds to many… but I know we can go much farther.  I hope this film starts a dialogue about the stigmas of gender and sexual identity and will open hearts and minds to others different from ourselves.

ATM: (Elizabeth) Tell me about your upcoming movie Under the Silver Lake.

Elizabeth: Under the Silver Lake is releasing this April and was in competition at Cannes this past year.  It’s a neo-noir film by David Robert Mitchell, starring Andrew Garfield.  “Under The Silver Lake” was the first role I booked on my own- and I am so excited for it to finally come out!  The film is creative, surreal, and magical- I wore bejeweled makeup and a pink bob!  The script alone was even an imaginative masterpiece- adorned with drawings and pictures to further enhance the words themselves.

ATM: Can you talk more about the work you both do for Trans Lifeline.

Elizabeth: Translifeline is a national trans-led organization that gives support to trans members (including non-binary and gender non-conforming persons) in our community, specifically in fighting the epidemic of trans suicide.  We have volunteered our time with a lot of LGBTQIA youth, but were looking to get involved in other volunteer opportunities, and Translifeline felt like a perfect fit.  The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is an essential place for many people to get the crucial support they need, but for many trans persons, in reaching out for help, they struggle with being misgendered, wrongly profiled, and judged.  This organization was created to support, raise awareness, and specifically understand and address the needs of the trans community, and we are humbled to help support this cause.

ATM: Are there any projects in the works with your new production company?

Elizabeth:  We recently started our own production company, called The Hinklers.  It had always been a goal of ours to start a company where we create and share stories that we are passionate about, but it was assumed that that goal was sometime down the line… whenever we felt “ready”.  Not too long ago, our mentor, Jay Duplass, encouraged us to take the steps and start our dream now.  We never realized that by simply having a hunger to bring our community together through story was the necessary fuel we needed to get started.  Our passion for our company has brought so many amazing people and resources into our lives.   

Emily:  Since then, we raced off creating three short films in three months. This process has helped us solidify each of our artist missions: creating a loving connection from a fearful world, and furthermore, to embody that in our production process with our filmmaking family.   Right now, I am developing a TV show, and Elizabeth is writing a feature.  There is something so exciting about combining our values of trust, connection, compassion, collaboration, and creativity into what we do and make, and we are ever grateful for Jay to ignite that spark in us. 

Family Classic “Prehysteria” Comes to Blu-Ray/DVD

Full Moon Features is best known for its catalogue of horror films which include the horror classic, The Puppet Master. Founded by director/producer Charles Band in the late 80s, Full Moon Features has a little known secret – Moonbeam Entertainment. During the 1990s Moonbeam Entertainment was the outlet for Band’s science fiction, family friendly movies. Now Full Moon Features will be releasing several of these films to DVD for the first time. The classic 1993 movie Prehysteria has been remastered from the original 35 mm negative and will soon be available to a whole new generation of dinosaur lovers.

Jerry Taylor (Austin O’Brien) is a 12 year old boy whose dog accidently brings home a cooler filled with rare dinosaur eggs that were recently found in the rain forest by an evil museum curator named Rick Sarno (Stephen Lee).  The eggs hatch and the Taylor family find themselves care takers of a group of prehistoric animals.  The family names the dinosaurs after their favorite rock and pop stars (Elvis, Madonna, Hammer, Jagger and Paula.)  Parenting baby dinosaurs is not easy and all types of mishaps and hilarity ensure.

Every great story (and movie) has an evil villain. Rick Sarno will do anything to get his priceless eggs back. When he discovers they have hatched, he schemes to put the animals on display.  The Taylor’s don’t want their precious pets to be locked up in cages and fight Sarno for the safety and survival of the dinosaurs.

Prehysteria arrives October 9th and can be ordered here.

 

“The Angel” Explores the Labyrinth Life of Double Spy Ashraf Marwan

Ashraf Marwan was a double spy for both Israel and Egypt during the 1970’s.  He was the son-in-law of Gamal Abdel Nasser.  His relationship with Nasser was filled with strife. Western educated Marwan thought it was a mistake for Egypt to ally with Russia and should instead find a way to make an ally of the United States.  It was not long before Nasser died and his second-in-command Anwar Sadat took power.  Marwan soon became a confident and advisor to Sadat.

Since Marwan is no longer living (he died in 2007 under suspicious circumstances) we can only guess at why he became a double spy, selling Sadat’s secrets to Israel for cash. It could have been a need for money (Marwan’s education was on the line after his father-in-law’s death), to prove his worth, to prevent war; or all of the above. But what is known is that the information he provided Israel is credited with stopping bloodshed in a Sadat planned coup.  He paid for this with his family and ultimately his life.

Simon Istolainen produced alongside Antoine Stioui. Together they recruited Academy Award-nominated screenwriter David Arata to write the script.  Danish actor Marwan Kenzari (Murder on the Orient Express) portrays Ashraf Marwan with an intensity that is captivating.

The complexities of the Middle East are confusing, and this does not help The Angel.  The film must be watched with attention and even then, it merits more than one watch to understand.  Adding to the confusion is that the film is in three languages with subtitles; English, Arabic and Hebrew.

However, the Middle East is as important today as it was during Marwan’s time in 1973.  This is an important film that merits watching and understanding.  Accolades to Netflix for supporting the makers of this film and to the creators for having the courage to create a human Sadat and not a caricature evil villain.

Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer Find Forgiveness on the High Seas in “Like Father”

Be prepared to cry a lot and laugh a lot while watching Like Father.  Rachel (Kristen Bell ) gets left at the alter when  her fiancé realizes he can’t compete  with

Like Father

her first love – her job. Along comes her estranged father (Six time Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer) whom she hasn’t seen since she was 5 years old.  After an all-night binger she wakes up on her honeymoon cruise – with her father in tow. Trapped together at sea, it doesn’t take long for the two to discover that they suffer from the same affliction – they are both workaholics.  Lucky for them one of their table mates is a recently licensed therapist.  It doesn’t take long for Rachel’s much wiser father to realize that she is making the same mistake he did – putting her career first at the expense of losing those who love her.  It takes a lot for Rachel to find forgiveness but some hilarious misadventures help. Seth  Rogen plays a recent divorcee who reads too much into his one night stand with Rachel.   Rachel finally gets in touch with her true emotions after their Jamaican tourist guide gives out more than local history.

Lauren Miller Rogen, who  wrote the screenplay, directed and co-produced Like Father could have taken the easy route and made a movie with a lot of  corny jokes and false sentimentality. Instead, Rogen created a tale filled with raw emotion and truth. Every daughter and father should watch this film together.  Just remember to bring the tissue box because even laughter can bring tears.

 

Spider Man Into the Spider Verse

Sony Pictures Animation has released the second, but  first full length, trailer to the animated  Spider Man movie, “Spider-Man Into the Spider Verse.” Miles Morales (Shameik Moore)  has recently discovered his spider powers. He is being mentored by a seemingly witless Peter Parker (Jack Johnson), who explains to him there are many spider universes and more than one Spider Man.

The screen play is written by Phil Lord, who also co produced the film with Christopher Miller. (Both produced “21 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie.”)  The animation style is said to be  “ground breaking and the first of its kind.”  In a joint statement released by Lord and Miller, they said that  the story of Miles Morales will be told, “…through a revolutionary visual style (that) makes for a totally fresh cinematic experience that, if we may say so, is freaking amazing.”

The full cast was recently announced. Liev Schreiber portrays the evil villain Lord Kingpin. Hailee Steinfield plays the free spirited female spider named Gwen. Oscar winner Mahersala Ali plays Miles’ uncle Aron.  Miles’ police officer father is played by Brian Tyree Henry.  Miles’ mother Rio is voiced by Luna Lauren Valez. Movie icon Lily Tomlin lends her voice to Aunt May.

Commenting on the cast, producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller said, “We are lucky to have such an amazing cast of funny, genuine creative souls to populate the Spider-verse. They have generous minds and great big hearts. And they have very talented throats.  Which is where their delightful voices come from.”

Mike Tyson and Steven Seagal Star in China Salesman

At first you may think that Mike Tyson versus Steven Seagal in a movie makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.  China Salesman is said to be a true story about corrupt business dealings over Africa’s budding mobile telecommunications industry.  Mike Tyson plays an African tribesman named Kabbah who comes up against a mercenary named Lauder (Seagal).  It is said that the movie cost $20 million to make and it seems likely that the majority of the money was spent on high impact action scenes featuring
explosions and fights.  It definitely didn’t go to the make up department, which tried very hard but failed to make Seagal look like he is Chinese. Instead, he comes across as some creepy one-a-be. China Salesman is a result of U.S. and China movie makers collaborating.  It was produced by China’s Wanda Corporation and written and directed by Chinese filmmaker Tan Bang. The film was made primarily for a Chinese audience and the viewer must keep the cultural differences in mind when viewing this film.
To us westerners, it seems unlikely that the explosions and dead body count could go unnoticed by any of the 24 hour cable news outlets.  It seems even more unlikely that the whole bloody mess was resolved with a fight to the finish between Kabbah (Tyson) and Lauder (Seagal).

China Salesman was released in China in 2017. Opens in U.S. theaters June 15, 2018.  VOD and DVD formats released June 26th, 2018

Production has begun in Utah on The Night Clerk

Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One) portrays a highly intelligent but  autistic night clerk who becomes entwined in a murder mystery taking place at the hotel where he works. When a beautiful woman is murdered the police suspect night clerk Bart Bromley (Sheridan).  Bromley has fallen for another beautiful woman staying at the hotel named Andrea. He soon realizes that Andrea may be the murderer’s next victim. The only way to save Andrea and prove his innocence is by catching the murderer  himself.

 

Co-starring are Ana De Armas (Blade Runner 2049) , Golden Globe Nominee John Leguizamo (John Wick 2)  and Academy Award Winner Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets).

Sheridan is co-producing along with WulfPak Production’s David Wulf and Highland Film Group. Santosh Govindaraju, Dan Reardon and Robbie Brenner are executive producers. The Night Clerk is being financed by Convergent Media LLC.  Highland Film Group and The Gersh Agency are handling US sales.

Forest Whitaker and Johnny Depp Want to Know Who Killed Biggie Smalls in CITY OF LIES Trailer

Based on the book by the same name, CITY OF LIES, is the true story of journalist Jack Jackson’s (Forest Whitaker) investigation into the decades old cold case of the murder of Biggie Smalls.

In his search for the truth he teams up with Detective Russell Poole (Johnny Depp). Poole was the lead investigator in the murder and has still not come to terms with the fact that the case still remains unsolved and is still open Jackson wants to know why Poole thinks it is because the L.A.P.D. have something to hide.  “A murder like that only goes unsolved, if the police don’t want to solve it.” says Poole. “As long as it is an ongoing investigation, that evidence remains in the dark.”

 

Scott Eastwood Joins Morgan Freeman in The Manuscript

Scott Eastwood will co-star alongside Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman in THE MANUSCRIPT.The cat and mouse thriller centers around an imprisoned evil genius (played by Freeman) who sends Eastwood a manuscript about $100 million in stolen diamonds. Intrigued with the possibility that the story is true, Eastwood sets out on a high stakes game to recover the diamonds.
Nick Cassaveles (THE NOTEBOOK) directs the script written by Louis and Joe Rosenburg. MANUSCRIPT is being produced by Paris Films Inc. alongside Mike Witherall and Mark Williams. Principal photography begins late April in New Orleans.

The Spaghetti Western Moves to Ireland for New Western Thriller

In the golden age of Hollywood the great American western was not filmed  on the great American frontier. They were filmed in Italy and were thusly nicknamed “the spaghetti western”.
The spaghetti western has moved to Ireland for the filming of Ivan Kavanagh’s NEVER GROW OLD.
Starring John Cusack and Emile Hirsch, NEVER GROW OLD is about a family of undertakers in a small frontier town. A ruthless gang of gunslingers moves into town. The bloodshed brings business to the family, but then the outlaws target them.
Saban Films has the North American rights and NEVER GROW OLD is slated for release in late 2018.
Other films on the Saban slate include THE YELLOW BIRD starring Jennifer Anston, THE FORGIVING starring Forest Whitaker, and DARK CRIMES starring Jim Carey.