YRB Magazine Interview: Director James Wan

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After making his wildly successful directorial debut with the low-budget horror film Saw, young director James Wan returns with Death Sentence, a revenge-thriller about a family man (Kevin Bacon) who takes matters into his own hands after his son is murdered. I caught up with Wan to discuss Death Sentence and his approach to filmmaking, and here’s what he had to say.

Interview: John Leguizamo & Donnie Wahlberg

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Who needs Jack Bauer when you’ve got… Pittsburgh?

“I love Pittsburgh, I think it’s underrated,” says actor Donnie Wahlberg, who plays hostage negotiator Horst Cali on Spike TV’s new summer miniseries The Kill Point, shot on location in the ‘Burgh.

Joining Wahlberg on set was John Leguizamo in the role of  Mr. Wolf, the ringleader of a team of disgruntled Iraq War veterans who decide to rob a bank.

Wahlberg admits that although he is ostensibly playing the role of hero, “You could just as easily not root for [my character]. I think in the end people will,” he says, “but [Wolf and Cali] are two flawed characters, they’re not perfect. It seems like sometimes the choices they make aren’t always great, but at their core they’re both good guys and they make a connection. They’re both fearlessly determined to get their way, and while they respect each other, it’s like a very good chess match. They find that they have a lot in common but they both want to win, they both want to accomplish their goals.”  Continue reading

Interview: Perez Hilton

Photo by Jeff Forney for YRB Magazine

In the age of the gossip blog, if you still subscribe to the belief that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then chances are you’re not a publicist.

“I’m a polarizing figure,” says Perez Hilton, the self-anointed “Queen of Media” and the creator of the celebrity gossip blog PerezHilton.com. “Some people love me and some people hate me. Some people wanna tell me everything, some people are afraid to even make small talk around me. It depends who you are and how I rub you.”

Every day, close to four million unique visitors flock to Hilton’s site (formerly PageSixSixSix.com) for the inside scoop on the latest Hollywood scandal, juiciest truth-based rumor and even the occasional news byte.  Continue reading

YRB Magazine Interview: Knocked Up‘s Jason Segel and Jonah Hill


Image courtesy of NBC Universal

Knocked Up is about a guy [Ben], played by Seth Rogen, who is starting a website, is kind of a slacker, who goes out to a bar one night and is lucky enough to end up back home with Katherine Heigl’s character [Alison], and what should have been nothing but a one night stand, next thing you know she’s knocked up. So it’s the story of the two of them coming to terms with the fact that they’re sorta stuck together,” says actor Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother), who, along with Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Martin Starr, plays one of Ben’s four roommates in this summer’s Knocked Up.

Jonah Hill offers a somewhat different take on the movie. “The plot is basically like Letters from Iwo Jima. We actually ripped off the same plot, and we just added a few ‘fucks’ every now and then,” he jokes, when asked whether there is more to the story than the title and movie trailer suggest. But Jason and Jonah (whose characters also happen to be named Jason and Jonah) do agree that what makes Knocked Up work so well is largely writer/director Judd Apatow’s approach to movie-making. Both have worked with Apatow before (Jonah had a small but memorable role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Jason starred in Apatow’s television cult classic Freaks and Geeks, among other things) and credit the success of his films with the fact that he trusts his actors enough to let them improvise. Continue reading

Interview: Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

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ONCE UPON A TIME, CHESTER BENNINGTON WAS BEST KNOWN AS THE LEAD SINGER OF LINKIN PARK AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF RENOWNED INK SHOP CLUB TATTOO. NO LONGER, AS HE STEPS INTO THE FASHION ARENA WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF A NEW LINE OF ETNIES SNEAKERS INSPIRED BY HIS LOVE FOR MUSIC, SKATEBOARDING AND TATTOOS. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHAT WITH CHESTER ABOUT HIS LATEST VENTURE, HIS OWN TATS AND THE SOUNDTRACK TO HIS LIFE.  Continue reading

Interview: Director Wes Craven

Photo by Carly Feingold / Courtesy of Fox Atomic

Believe it or not, Wes Craven made quite a few movies before Scream (“You mean Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?!” jokes Wes), including the original versions of The Hills Have Eyes and The Hills Have Eyes 2 in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We recently caught up with Wes to discuss his latest film–a remake of The Hills Have Eyes 2–and his approach to scary movies.

JG: What is required to make a good horror film? Do you just need to have a morbid imagination to make a movie like Hills?
WC: I don’t really have to have a morbid imagination these days – I just have to read the newspaper… It’s basically doing something that’s intriguing to you at the moment that you find frightening. Not that there’s Hills Have Eyes people running around in the United States. But if you nudge that just a bit, you can understand what it’s like, say, for an American soldier in Afghanistan, encountering people that will literally skin you alive or cut your head off in the middle of the mountains. The Hills’ underlying concept is, ‘What do Westerners do when they confront people who would like to kill them, and follow none of the rules they were trained to fight by?’ What does that do to your own sense of personal confidence and morality?  Continue reading

Interview: The Vincent Black Shadow

Photo by Jeff Forney for YRB Magazine

Listen to “Metro.”

The infectious lead single off The Vincent Black Shadow’s debut full-length, Fear’s In the Water (Bodog Music), will turn metalheads and grunge enthusiasts alike into instant fans of the pop-punk rockers.

The Vancouver-based quartet, which pounced onto the scene in recent months, is fronted by Cassandra Ford (lead vocals) and the Kirkham brothers – Robbie (guitar, vocals), Chris (bass, vocals) and Anthony (drums). Continue reading

YRB Magazine Cover Story: Jared Leto & 30 Seconds to Mars

It is a cold, gray, fall afternoon in suburban Maplewood, Minnesota, where, in just a few hours, 30 Seconds to Mars will kick off its Welcome to The Universe / MTV $2 Bill Tour at Myth Nightclub. The venue is curiously situated off a highway, betwixt a shopping complex and a cluster of chain restaurants, and the massive parking lot is already beginning to fill.

Yes, the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars is also a successful actor. And yes, Jared Leto may still be better known for his roles in American Psycho, Requiem for a Dream, Fight Club and lest we forget My So-Called Life than for his rock band. But with a record that recently went platinum, a huge international following, and three singles and music videos in heavy rotation, it is time to get over the fact that 30STM is a band with a famous frontman.

So get the snide Jordan Catalano remarks out of your system now, and if you’re only reading this in the hopes that it will provide details about Leto’s love life, go pick up a copy of Us Weekly. But if you’re interested in the story of a remarkable band that has relied on the quality of its music rather than its Hollywood connections to earn success, then read on.

Interview: Lukas Rossi & Rock Star Supernova

Photo by Odessy Barbu for YRB Magazine

After 15 years of struggling to make it in the music biz, Lukas Rossi is finally a household name – at least in Canada. But for the rest of us, Lukas (a Toronto native) was the winner of Rock Star: Supernova, a CBS reality show in which hopeful rockers vied to become the lead singer of a new “supergroup.” Also called Supernova, the band consists of guitarist Gilby Clarke (formerly of Guns N’ Roses), Metallica’s Jason Newsted on bass, and drummer Tommy Lee, best known for his work with both Mötley Crüe and Pamela Anderson. Continue reading

Interview: Dax Shepard

Photo by Chris Fortuna for YRB Magazine

“I feel like the Jude Law of comedy this fall. Prepare to get Daxed-out,” says actor Dax Shepard, who stars in three movies this year – Employee of the Month, Idiocracy and Let’s Go To Prison – all released between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

Dax is perhaps best known for his role as a field agent on the first season of MTV’s celebrity prank series, Punk’d, but how does a dude with a degree in Anthropology from UCLA wind up getting paid to make Justin Timberlake cry on national television? Continue reading

Interview: Nick Cannon

Photo by Robert Chamorro for YRB Magazine

He arrives at Universal Motown’s artists lounge rocking dark denim, a gray hoodie and a N.Y. Yankee’s hat and jacket – never mind that he’s from the Left Coast. Ever the dignified baller, he doesn’t seem to be a man of excess. Today, at least, he wears only two pieces of bling – an iced out watch and a relatively modest gold chain – and it’s all he needs. He is, after all, Nick Cannon, and at just 25-years-old, he has already conquered the worlds of stand-up comedy, television, film, music and even fashion, after he “kinda’ just purchased” the PNB clothing line. It’s enough to make even the most ambitious among us feel like slackers. It seems that anything you can do, Nick Cannon can do better, and he probably already has. Continue reading

Interview: Jamie Kennedy


Best known for his work in The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, the Scream movies and Malibu’s Most Wanted, actor Jamie Kennedy is now trying to add Professional Rapper to his resume. In his new reality show, Blowin’ Up (which premieres May 16 on MTV), Kennedy and friend Stu Stone (a.k.a., “Stu the Jew”) will try to convince everyone – from veteran members of the hip-hop community to Jamie’s agents and even his parents – that they have what it takes to be rappers. I sat down with Jamie to discuss Blowin’ Up and his quest to get a record deal and release a “quadruple triple platinum album.”  Continue reading

Interview: SNL’s Andy Samberg

Photo: Seth Kushner for YRB Magazine

Ever since Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell bade farewell to Saturday Night Live, the weekly sketch comedy show has been driven by veteran cast members like Darrell Hammond, Tina Fey, Chris Parnell and Amy Poehler. But with the remarkable success of the SNL Digital Short “Lazy Sunday,” which aired last December, a rookie cast member has been catapulted into the spotlight: Andy Samberg, 27.

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last few months, you’ve probably seen the two-and-a-half minute rap video, which follows Samberg and Chris Parnell as they quench their “snack-attacks” with pink frosted cupcakes from New York’s famed Magnolia Bakery, load a backpack with Mr. Pibb and Red Vines purchased with less-than-crisp $10 bills at the local deli, and cab it to the Upper West Side to catch an afternoon showing of The Chronicles of NarniaContinue reading