Sundance: Guillermo del Toro gets teased about 'The Hobbit' | EW.com

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Sundance: Guillermo del Toro gets teased about 'The Hobbit'

Before the 2009 Sundance Film Festival began, the talk was that, thanks to the economy, this year’s fest could be the most sedate in years. Actually, “relaxed” might be a better word for the
fest so far. “I just love how relaxed it is here,” said Emma Roberts while lounging at the busy-but-not-bustling EW Loft. “You’re going to the
premiere of your movie, and you can just wear jeans and a T-shirt.” The premiere in question was for Lymelife, a 1970s coming-of-age drama about kid (Rory Culkin) dealing with his dysfunctional family while his best friend (Roberts) watches her father
(Timothy Hutton) get ravaged by Lyme disease. But Roberts is having a busy month: Her studio film (remember those?) Hotel for Dogs is in theaters now, and with two films at Sundance – Lymelife and The Winning Season (premiering on Monday) – it seems Roberts has been bitten by the indie bug. “I have a soft spot for independents lately,” she said, “just because there’s so much more heart in them.”

Costar Jill Hennessy was also digging the quieter vibe of the fest this year, with less emphasis on partying, swag, and big media events. “People just seem intent on seeing the films and talking about independent moviemaking,” she said. For Dominic Monaghan, promoting his Slamdance grave-robber-confessing-his-sins horror comedy I Sell the Dead, the challenge was keeping his energy up for the marathon of press interviews. “You’re forced to be on all the time,” he said, which caused him to slip into a superciliously silly voice during the interview, which Monaghan described as “an old man who’s just over most things.”

Kevin Bacon, however, wasn’t buying the notion that the festival was more muted. There to screen Taking Chance – based on a true story about a Marine charged with bringing the remains of an Iraq soldier home – Bacon recounted the story of how, as newlyweds in 1989, he and Kyra Sedgwick could stroll up Main St. and slip into a screening with nary a bother from a passerby. This year, the couple couldn’t cross the street from their car to a restaurant without getting mobbed. However, Bacon did note that the festival was less of a market for distribution than in years past, in part because of the rise of a pseudo-black market in DVD screeners of Sundance films that circulate before the festival, which tamps down the bidding-war fever after a film screens for the first time in the thinner air of Park City. (Fortunately for Bacon, his film is set to debut on HBO next month.)

One group of guys who had no problem at all keeping their spirits up: The amigos of Rudo y Cursi, a comedy about brothers and Mexican soccer produced by cinema heavyweights Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo Del Toro, written and directed by Alfonso’s brother Carlos Cuarón, and starring Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal. Luna couldn’t make the festival due to a commitment in Mexico, but the rest of the crew happily plopped down in the loft to talk about the welcoming, easy-going community of movie lovers that makes Sundance so appealing for indie filmmakers. Mostly, though, the group just reveled in taking the piss out of Del Toro for his next gig: Cowriting and directing a little movie called The Hobbit. (Del Toro had left working with Peter Jackson et al on the script in New Zealand specifically to promote Rudo y Cursi.) But rather than describe just how charming and hilarious these four were, I’d like to show you. Last night, I hopped in the van with them as they drove to the Rudo y Cursi premiere after a dinner in which the wine flowed freely. [UPDATE: To be clear, no one was drinking and driving – we were all driven by a driver who was very much sober.] Below, the result:

One group of guys who had no problem at all keeping their spirits up: The amigos of Rudo y Cursi, a comedy about brothers and Mexican soccer produced by cinema heavyweights Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo Del Toro, written and directed by Alfonso’s brother Carlos Cuarón, and starring Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal. Luna couldn’t make the festival due to a commitment in Mexico, but the rest of the crew happily plopped down in the loft to talk about the welcoming, easy-going community of movie lovers that makes Sundance so appealing for indie filmmakers. Mostly, though, the group just reveled in taking the piss out of Del Toro for his next gig: Cowriting and directing a little movie called The Hobbit. (Del Toro had left working with Peter Jackson et al on the script in New Zealand specifically to promote Rudo y Cursi.) But rather than describe just how charming and hilarious these four were, I’d like to show you. Last night, I hopped in the van with them as they drove to the Rudo y Cursi premiere after a dinner in which the wine flowed freely. [UPDATE: To be clear, no one was drinking and driving – we were all driven by a driver who was very much sober.] Below, the result: