Lauren Graham, Queen Latifah, Bruce Willis and David Thewlis are celebrating birthdays this week and we'd like to show off some of their wonderful work. Enjoy clips from the Academy's Best Picture winner, Chicago, the hilarious Bad Santa, the innovative crime thrillers, Pulp Fiction and Sin City and the profound WWII film about the Holocaust, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
Lauren Graham's presence on Parenthood after a lengthy run on the hit show Gilmore Girls showcases her ability to play the mom role with effortless ability. When she earned the role of Sue in Bad Santa, the antithesis to these lovely, quirky, dramatic characters on TV, she had to present a much bolder woman and talked to Vanity Fair about the audition.
I humped a chair. (Laughs.) Among other things. I had to do basically everything that my character does. And a lot of it is very...visual. The script reads pretty dark. And if it hand't been done so well, it could've been much creepier. I know some people find it creepy anyway, but I find it very funny and sweet. And I thought Billy (Bob Thornton) was delightful. It still serves to embarrass my father to this day.
Queen Latifah was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago. Starting out in the music industry as a songwriter, singer, and a rapper, Queen soon started acting and modeling, performing comedy and moved on to be a television producer, record producer, and currently, a talk show host. There's no question her talent is diverse and abundant which is why she won the role of Mama. In an interview with Playbill, Queen talked about her love of the Chicago-type of music.
To me, the songs like the stuff Kander and Ebb write, these Broadway tunes, are interesting; just clever writing, the way they put them together. I've been singing this 'Understandable' for days. There's like a passion, a drama in it, that you just don't get listening to regular songs these days. I love the way the words are put together. I love the way singers back then, use to try to make their voices sound like instruments. You don't get that stuff any more. So, for me to listen to it, and to actually get to sing it, it's fun. People just don't write these melodies just for a regular song, to be able to sing this kind of stuff is fun."
Bruce Willis became one of Hollywood's favorite action heroes but not before he was TV's darling on the short-lived show Moonlighting. As he transitioned to film, landing the role of John McClane in the Die Hard series changed the trajectory of roles to come. He's appeared in over 60 films, including Hostage, Pulp Fiction and Sin City. Watch clips from these films and be sure to wish Mr. Willis a very happy birthday in the comments section below.
You probably recognize English actor David Thewlis from the Harry Potter films as Remus Lupin. His first major role was in Mike Leigh's 1993 film Naked, which he won several Best Actor awards for his portrayal of a rambling street philosopher. His most recent work is in the Oscar-winning film The Theory of Everything. Watch Thewlis in a clip of alongside Asa Butterfield, Vera Farmiga and Rupert Friend in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.