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Love & Mercy director Bill Pohlad made a bold choice with his Brian Wilson bio-pic: he cast both Paul Dano and John Cusack to play the legendary Beach Boys co-founder at different points in his life. He tells us why he went with that approach and why this was the movie that pulled him back to directing after many years of producing.

Photo: Bill Pohlad on the set of Love & Mercy (Francois Duhamel)

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker

Hollywood News Banter 7 MIN, 7 SEC

Matt Belloni, executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • The question of 92-year-old Sumner Redstone's mental competence and ability to run his companies is up for debate as his ex-girlfriend files court papers claiming he is mentally incompetent and she should return to overseeing his health care.
  • In October, a group of entertainment leaders met to discuss how to improve gender parity in Hollywood. Ideas included a "gender parity stamp" for films and TV shows that had more women in front of and behind the camera and creating more fellowships for female directors.

Guests:
Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter, Billboard (@THRMattBelloni)

Bill Pohlad: Love & Mercy 20 MIN, 6 SEC

Love & Mercy director Bill Pohlad made a bold choice with his Brian Wilson biopic: he cast both Paul Dano and John Cusack to play the legendary Beach Boys co-founder at different points in his life. It was a risky plan, but it worked. Pohlad's uniquely structured bio-pic is one of the few summer releases now in the Oscar race.

Dano plays the 1960's "Pet Sounds" era Brian Wilson, while Cusack plays Wilson in the 1980's -- during a time when abusive therapist Eugene Landy controlled almost every aspect of his life. The person who helped Wilson break free was Melinda Ledbetter, played in the film by Elizabeth Banks. Both the real Brian Wilson and Melinda Ledbetter served as consultants on the film.

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This is Bill Pohlad's second movie to direct, but he's no stranger to the industry. Pohlad spent the past decade primarily as a producer. He's got a nose for award-winners -- including Brokeback Mountain, Into the Wild, The Tree of Life, and 12 Years a Slave.

Bill Pohlad is the son of Carl Pohlad, who became a banking billionaire and owned of the Minnesota Twins baseball team until his death in 2009. Son Bill is still on the team's board but he didn't go into the family business. Instead he fell in love with film at an early age and of course, what he really wanted to do was direct.

His first attempt, Old Explorers,was a bomb. It took 24 years for Pohlad to try again with Love & Mercy. He tells us why he waited, and what it was about this project in particular that compelled him to jump back into directing.

Guests:
Bill Pohlad, film producer and director

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