Melissa Villaseñor to Host This Year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards Ceremony

Melissa Villaseñor has the spirit

The 33-year-old Mexican actress, stand-up comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member is set to host this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony.

Melissa Villaseñor

The show will not be live from the Santa Monica Beach this year due to COVID-19.

Villaseñor, the first Latina cast member of NBC’s long-running SNL, cut her teeth on the stand-up circuit in Los Angeles, and was further propelled to stardom by being a semifinalist on the 2011 edition of America’s Got Talent before landing on the SNL cast.

She is famous for her impersonations of celebrities like Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more.

This year’s show will be airing on Thursday, April 22, on IFC and AMC+ at 10:00 pm ET, breaking tradition as the Spirits typically take place on the Saturday afternoon before Sunday’s Oscars.

Said Blake Callaway, Executive Director, IFC and SundanceTV, “Melissa and the unique circumstances of now will make this year’s ceremony like no other. It will certainly be a departure from the past, but with Melissa, the chances of Dolly, Ariana Grande, Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Julie Andrews and Lady Gaga showing up have skyrocketed.”

“As someone who considers herself a pretty dependent person, I’m truly honored to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards,” said Villaseñor.

Outside of SNL, Villaseñor has provided voiceovers in films like Toy Story 4 and Ralph Breaks the InternetShe also was a guest on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee; and in projects like Hubie Halloween, Barry and Crashing, among others.

She’s currently working on her first book, a creative self-help journal forthcoming from Chronicle Books.

She joins a roster of past Spirit Awards hosts that includes Aubrey Plaza, Nick Kroll, Kristen Bell, Joel McHale, Patton Oswalt, Queen Latifah, John Waters, Samuel L. Jackson and Kumail Nanjiani.

Aubrey Plaza to Star Opposite Jason Statham in Guy Ritchie’s Next Thriller

Aubrey Plaza is ready to thrill

The 36-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress will star in Guy Ritchie’s untitled thriller film, which began shooting in Doha, Qatar, this week.

Aubrey Plaza

Plaza stars opposite British rapper Bugzy Malone, Jason Statham and Cary Elwes in the project, which will also shoot in Antalya, Turkey.

The film reunites Ritchie with Statham, marking their second film together for Miramax following Wrath of Man.

“Guy and Jason have repeatedly impressed audiences with their collaborations, and we’re looking forward to bringing this production to the city of Doha, Qatar, a growing market in the entertainment and media space,” said Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of Miramax-owner beIN Media Group.

“This film marks our third collaboration with Ritchie, adding to our expanding list of nearly 20 projects having been released or currently in production since beIN’s acquisition of Miramax – a testament to our continued success achieving the target goals we set forth for the studio’s evolution while remaining committed to prioritizing investments in innovative and culturally relevant films.”

In the film, MI6 guns-and-steel agent Orson Fortune (Statham) is recruited by a global intelligence agency to track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology that threatens to disrupt the world order. Reluctantly paired with CIA high-tech expert Sarah Fidel, Fortune sets off on a globe-trotting mission where he will have to use his charm, ingenuity and stealth to track down and infiltrate billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds.

Ritchie will direct and produce from a screenplay written by Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies.

STX will distribute directly in the U.S., UK and Ireland.

Plaza’s previous film credits include Happiest Season, Ingrid Goes West and Dirty Grandpa.

Aubrey Plaza to Star Opposite Jason Statham in Guy Ritchie’s Next Thriller

High five to Aubrey Plaza!

The 36-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/comedian is set to star Jason Statham in the Guy Ritchie untitled thriller formally known as Five Eyes. Miramax is producing and financing with STX handling distribution.

Aubrey Plaza

The story follows MI6 guns-and-steel agent (Statham) who’s recruited by a global intelligence alliance to track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology that threatens to disrupt the world order. Reluctantly paired with CIA high-tech expert, Fortune sets off on a globe-trotting mission where he will have to use all of his charm, ingenuity and stealth to track down and infiltrate billionaire arms broker.

 

The film will be produced Bill Block for Miramax, which is also fully financing the film.

Ritchie will direct and produce from a screenplay written by The Gentlemen scribes Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies with revisions by Ritchie.

The news comes after Plaza’s scene-stealing role in the romantic comedy Happiest Season, which earned her critical acclaim and a massive amount of praise across social media.

She can be seen next in Lawrence Levine’s Black Bear on December 4th.  The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and garnered Plaza rave reviews for her performance.

She recently recently wrapped production on Lina Roessler’s Best Sellers starring opposite Michael Caine. Plaza most recently received critical acclaim for her role in Ingrid Goes West, which she produced and won the 2018 Independent Spirit Award for “Best First Feature.” Additionally, she recently starred in Noah Hawley’s television series, Legion on FX.

Hulu Releases Trailer for Aubrey Plaza’s Holiday-Themed Rom-Com “Happiest Season”

Aubrey Plaza is ready to ring in the holiday season…

Hulu has released the first trailer for Happiest Season, a holiday-themed romantic comedy starring the 36-year-old actress/comedian and former Parks and Recreation star.

Aubrey Plaza, Happiest Season,

“This is why I avoid Christmas — it brings out the worst in everything,” says the trailer for the film, which also stars Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis.

Here’s the logline: Meeting your girlfriend’s family for the first time can be tough. Planning to propose at her family’s annual Christmas dinner — until you realize that they don’t even know she’s gay — is even harder. When Abby (Stewart) learns that Harper (Davis) has kept their relationship a secret from her family, she begins to question the girlfriend she thought she knew.

Plaza, Stewart and Davis are joined by Alison Brie, Daniel Levy, Mary Holland, Burl Moseley, Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen in a film that captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family’s acceptance, being true to yourself and trying not to ruin Christmas.

Sample dialogue: “I’m scared that if I tell them who I really am that I will lose them,” Harper tells Abby. “Do you know how painful it is to watch the person I love hide me?” she replies. Harper: “I’m not hiding you — I’m hiding me.”

Clea DuVall directs from a script she wrote with Mary Holland.

Hulu will premiere the holiday rom-com on Wednesday, November 25 — the day before Thanksgiving.

Momentum Pictures Acquires Rights to Aubrey Plaza’s Suspenseful Meta-Drama “Black Bear”

Aubrey Plaza’s latest project is gaining momentum

Momentum Pictures has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to the 35-year-old half-Puerto Rican’s film Black Bear, co-starring Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon.

Aubrey Plaza

The suspenseful meta-drama was written and directed by Lawrence Michael Levine.

The film, which premiered earlier this year at theSundance Film Festival, follows an expecting couple confronted with an out of town guest. Suffering from writer’s block, the guest seeks solace in the woods but instead finds herself at the center of a twisted love triangle.

The release date will be announced at a later date.

Levin talked about the impetus of the film with Deadline.

“I wanted to do something more unusual and spontaneous,” Levin told Deadline, sharing that he was inspired by his artist sister’s spontaneous approach when it pertains to her creative process.

Aubrey Plaza to Appear in NBC’s Special “Parks and Recreation” Reunion Episode

Aubrey Plazais going back to Pawnee, to Pawnee…

The 35-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/comedian and her fellow Parks and Recreation cast mates will return to Pawnee, Indiana, for a one-time special amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Aubrey Plaza

The half-hour scripted special to benefit Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fundis set to air on Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 pm ET/PT.

All of the original characters from the series will return in the Universal TV-produced special, played by original cast members Amy PoehlerRashida Jones, Aziz AnsariNick Offerman, Plaza as April Ludgate, Chris PrattAdam ScottRob LoweJim O’Heir, and Retta.

Parks and Recreation

 

Several guest stars from the Pawnee universe may pop in as well.

The story comes from the events of the day – Pawnee’s most dedicated civil servant, Leslie Knope (Poehler), is determined to stay connected to her friends in a time of social distancing.

 “Like a lot of other people, we were looking for ways to help and felt that bringing these characters back for a night could raise some money,” said executive producer Michael Schur. “I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes. Our old ‘Parks and Rec’ team has put together one more 30-minute slice of (quarantined) Pawnee life and we hope everyone enjoys it. And donates!”

The special comes five years after viewers said farewell to the iconic comedy series.

“In such uncertain times, we can’t think of anyone better than Leslie Knope to unite our country with her unbridled enthusiasm and compassion,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. “A huge thank you to Mike Schur and the cast of Parks and Recreationfor putting this wonderful special together and bringing a smile to all our faces while raising money for such a worthwhile cause.”

State Farmand Subaru of Americawill each make matching donations of $150,000 and, combined with NBCUniversaland the writers/producers/cast of Parks and Recreation, a total of $500,000 in matching donations will be made through May 21. 

Parks and Recreationreceived a Peabody Award for excellence in television programming, an AFIhonor as one of the Top 10 Television Shows of the Yearand several Emmynominations including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing and lead actress for Poehler, who won a Golden Globe for her performance in 2014.

Aubrey Plaza to Star in the Romantic Comedy “Happiest Season”

Aubrey Plaza has found her Happiest place…

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican actress and Parks and Recreation alum has joined the cast of the TriStar Pictures and Entertainment One romantic comedy Happiest Season, starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis.

Aubrey Plaza

Plaza joins a list of newcomers that includes Mary SteenburgenVictor GarberAlison Brieand Dan Levy

Directed and co-written by Clea DuVall, and co-written by Mary HollandHappiest Season follows a young woman (Stewart) whose plan to propose to her girlfriend (Davis) while at her family’s annual holiday party is upended when she discovers her partner hasn’t yet come out to her conservative parents (played by Steenburgen and Garber). 

The film is set to hit theaters on November 20. eOne will distribute the film in UK and Canada.

Filming is currently underway in Pittsburgh, PA.

Plaza’s film credits include Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldMonsters University,Dirty GrandpaIngrid Goes West and Child’s Play.

Aubrey Plaza to Star in “Best Sellers”

It’s the Best of times for Aubrey Plaza.

The 35-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress has joined Oscar winner Michael Caine in Lina Roessler’s feature directorial debut Best Sellers.

Aubrey Plaza

The story follows a has-been author, played by Caine, who is on a wild book tour with a young editor, Plaza, trying to save her father’s boutique publishing house. Caine’s miserable and sharp-witted author just wants to live out his days in peace with a bottle of scotch, a cigar and his orange Tabby cat, but Plaza’s hopeful editor pulls him out of his reclusion.

The project is based on Anthony Grieco’s original screenplay, which won a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwritingaward, and will be an official Canada-UK co-production.

Shooting on the film is expected to begin this month.

Plaza recently wrapped production on the feature Black Bear, a suspenseful meta-drama that she produced and stars in opposite Christopher Abbottand Sarah Gadon

Next up for Plaza is the Netflixfeature Hopefrom New Zealand duoJackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami

The Parks and Recreation alum’s other feature film credits include last summer’s Child’s PlayMatt Spicer’s Ingrid Goes West (which she produced and received a 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awardfor Best First Feature), Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours (also producer), Hal Hartley’s Ned RifleColin Trevorrow’s Safety Not GuaranteedEdgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the Worldand Judd Apatow’s Funny People, among others.

On television, Plaza most recently starred in Noah Hawley’s Legionon FX. Additionally, she hosted the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Aubrey Plaza to Star in the Meta-Drama “Black Bear”

It’s a bizarre love triangle for Aubrey Plaza

The 35-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress and former Parks and Recreation star will star opposite Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon in Black Bear, a suspenseful meta-drama written and directed by Lawrence Michael Levine

Aubrey Plaza

The thriller centers on an expecting couple (Gadon and Abbott) who are confronted with an out-of-town guest Abigail (Plaza), a filmmaker suffering from writer’s block who seeks solace in the woods but finds herself at the center of a twisted love triangle.

Black Bear is a thriller that depicts broken characters wrestling with a seemingly shattered world that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats” said Levine. “I am thrilled to have such a talented trio of actors on board.”

Currently shooting in the Adirondack Mountains in Long Lake, NY, the film hails from Productivity Mediaand Oakhurst Entertainment.

Plaza, who stars in Noah Hawley’s FX series Legion, recently was seen in MGM’s Child’s Play reboot. 

Aubrey Plaza to Star in MGM’s “Child’s Play” Remake

Aubrey Plaza is ready for a little child’s play

The 34-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress will star in MGM’s Child’s Play remake for Orion Pictures.

Aubrey Plaza

Plaza will appear opposite Gabriel Bateman and Brian Tyree Henry in the film.

Bateman will take on the role as Andy, Plaza will play Andy’s mom Karen, and Henry is Mike. Those characters originated in the 1988 version, which went on to gross $44 million worldwide, spawned six sequels, and created one of the most well-known characters in the horror genre.

Polaroid helmer Lars Klevberg is set to direct the film, which will mark Klevberg’s second feature.

The plot, based on the original, follows a mother (Plaza) who gives her son (Bateman) a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.

Filming is currently underway in Vancouver.