Alan Tudyk stars as Ben Chapman in the upcoming movie 42, which chronicles the life of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Now, the actor speaks to Hypable about the controversial role.

Hypable has spoken to actor Alan Tudyk both about his upcoming Suburgatory storylines and about his thoughts on a Firefly revival, and now we bring you the final part of the interview. Here, Tudyk previews his role in the upcoming movie 42, which premieres April 12.

42 tells the incredible story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman), who became the first black Major League Baseball player in the United States when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

In the movie, Alan Tudyk plays Phillies manager Ben Chapman – Robinson’s greatest adversary off the field, who actively tries to undermine Robinson’s position and spreads very vocal racial slurs about the player.

Ben Chapman and Jackie RobinsonNaturally, any actor might find such a role hard to take on, but writer and director Brian Helgeland believed that Tudyk was the man for the job. Tudyk, on his part, has nothing but praise for the director.

“I was really excited to work with Brian Helgeland again after working on The Knight’s Tale together,” he says, “and the script was just so brilliantly written.”

It was Helgeland who approached Tudyk about playing Ben Chapman because of the complexity of the character. While Ben Chapman was, in Tudyk’s words, “not a very nice guy, basically the face of the worst racism at the time,” he was also someone who a lot of people really liked. “So Brian had said that he wanted me to play it, because he didn’t want somebody who just comes on and plays a villain,” Tudyk explains.

Helgeland’s vision for the movie included a Ben Chapman who wasn’t just an average bad guy. “He wanted someone to do Ben who could show that he wasn’t just straight-up evil. That he was a ‘good ol’ boy’ who just had this very narrow view of race,” Tudyk says. “Ben was a product of where he grew up – and that’s how I played him. He’s not out there just being a meanie, he’s out there having a good time, he’s having fun.”

Alan Tudyk Ben Chapman 42 quote
In terms of preparing for the role, it helped that Chapman had been so vocal about Robinson to the press, because that meant that Tudyk could go back and read all of his worst statements verbatim. “He had some really twisted logic,” Tudyk explains. “He’d say, well, Jackie wants to be treated like everybody else. This is how I treat everybody else. So I’m showing him respect, why don’t you show him the same respect I am?”

42 poster Chadwick Boseley Jackie RobinsonWhile Tudyk was happy to take on this role, he did have a few reservations going in. “I was a little worried,” he confesses. “People identify actors with their characters, and up until this point it’s been really good for me. I’ve played a lot of really funny, silly characters… so people will be like, ‘oh, I really like that pirate who plays dodgeball, there he is right there!’ It’s a good thing.” Now, there is perhaps a slight worry that people will identify him as, “‘that racist guy who got fired from baseball after being such an ass.’”

At the same time, “the things he’s saying aren’t being said just to make the audience feel a certain way. It’s actually what was being said, and this guy was actually the manager of a major-league team standing out in front of everybody, saying these things.”

Tudyk also confesses that shooting some of the more explicit scenes took a toll on him. “There were some scenes, the scenes where I was just really race-bating Jackie, those scenes were very hard,” he says. “And they put me in a really bad mood. And then I went home, I realised that I was in this terrible mood, basically taking my work home with me.”

Despite having to get into the mindset of this character however, “being a part of this movie is just really fantastic,” Tudyk says. “There’s some laughs in it, too, and some really great performances. Certainly, there’s Harrison Ford like you’ve never seen him before.”

Harrison Ford underwent quite a transformation to play Robinson’s coach Branch Rickey, and even Tudyk admits that, “there are moments within it where you’re like, ‘oh right, this is Harrison Ford!’ He doesn’t look like him, and he’s got this deep voice as the cigar-chomping Branch Rickey – who was also this great, colourful character at the time.”

Chadwick Boseman knocks it out of the park Alan Tudyk
The actor recently had a chance to watch the movie, and is very proud of how it turned out. He was especially impressed with Chadwick Boseman, a relative newcomer to the industry. In his own words, “he knocks it… well, he knocks it out of the park. There you go. Oh boy, that just happened. ‘It’s a home run performance,’ I can see the quotes now!” (But don’t feel too bad, Alan – we can think of much worse puns right off the bat.)

Ultimately, Tudyk says, this movie tells a story which should have been told a long time ago. “It was an important time in baseball, in the United States,” he says. “All the characters who were around at that time, the baseball hall of famers who were just getting their start at that time, they were on that team.”

And more than anything else, “it shows how amazing Jackie Robinson was. That’s gonna come across: what an amazing – not just baseball player – but civil rights leader and human being he was.”

42 hits theaters on April 12. It also stars Christopher Meloni, Lucas Black, and Nicole Beharie.

Major changes coming to ‘Sense8’ season 2

And I'm excited about what happens next.

11:00 am EDT, May 30, 2016

Sense8 is currently in production for their second season, and they’ve gotten pretty far. Here are some important things you need to know about what’s to come for your favorite cluster!

Ever since Sense8 debuted on Netflix a year ago I’ve been obsessed. Not only because it was such a fantastic premise of connecting 8 people, but because it was so immensely diverse and represented so many people from all over the world. Now that we’ve got a season 2, it’s about time to start learning what it’ll be about.

There’s some major things about Sense8 season 2 that are going to be dramatically different, and we’ve gotten an update on what our favorite characters will be up to this season thanks to BuzzFeed.

There’s only 1 Wachowski left

One of the biggest draws of Sense8 was the fact that it was a Wachowski sister production. These sisters have brought us The Matrix and Cloud Atlas so we knew when we heard that last name that this was going to be an epic series.

This year, only Lana Wachowski is staying on to direct the show. Lilly Wachowski is taking the much-deserved time off after having just come out as transgender in March, and is using the time to focus on herself. Should the show return to Netflix for a third season then she’ll probably return.

The return of only one sister isn’t something that should affect the show too much, and I’m sure if it does then any changes will be welcome and give the show a fresh vibe — not that it needs it.

Sense8 Nomi Amanita

Capheus has been re-cast

For those who enjoyed Capheus’ story in Kenya the most prepare yourselves for a major change. Due to disagreements between Lana and Aml Ameen, who portrays Capheus in season 1, Ameen left the show before production began.

Capheus’ story isn’t one you can just replace and end so suddenly, so instead of writing him out Wachowski opted instead to re-cast him. Toby Onwumere will now play the part.

For those of you concerned with any disagreement between Ameen and Wachowski being over her being transgender, Jamie Clayton, who plays Nomi, was adamant about stopping that rumor.

The good news is that Onwumere has been completely welcomed by the cast and he felt immediately connected to them upon meeting them at dinner for the first time. This makes me more confident that his chemistry with the actors will show on screen, which is one of the reasons I love Sense8 so much – the chemistry has been fantastic in every episode with all 8 actors.

But these changes can be amazing!

Even though they’re major changes from how the show operated last year, I feel like the new single director and the new actor is going to bring a welcome fresh take for the new season.

Every show can use something new in each season they come back just to keep it interesting and unique every year. I feel like, thanks to these changes made to the cast and crew, the story isn’t going to have to change too drastically just for the sake of change. Obviously it’s going to probably take to places we don’t expect, but that will be because the story is naturally progressing, instead of them trying to change actors and plots already set.

Are you excited for season 2 of ‘Sense8’

Hollywood reacts to ‘Begin Again’ director’s candid criticism of Keira Knightley’s acting skills

Should the trust between actors and directors ever be broken?

10:33 am EDT, May 30, 2016

After Begin Again director John Carney’s candid comments about Keira Knightley’s acting went viral, Hollywood has taken to Twitter to defend the British actress.

In case you’ve somehow not heard the story, here’s the sitch:

Over the weekend, The Independent released an interview with Irish director John Carney, in which he had some harsh words for former colleague Keira Knightley.

The pair worked together on the 2013 musical rom-com Begin Again, where Knightley starred opposite Mark Ruffalo as a promising young folk singer recovering from a broken heart.

Carney evidently wasn’t satisfied with Knightley’s performance, claiming she “always has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done.”

Related: Exclusive: Keira Knightley, Joe Wright talk Anna Karenina and the choice to set it in the world of theater

Going on to praise both Ruffalo and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s performances, Carney said, “I think that that’s what you need as an actor; you need to not be afraid to find out who you really are when the camera’s rolling. Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that.”

“I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars,” he continued. “I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.”

Carney concluded, “I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.”

Now, Carney clearly had a frustrating experience working with Knightley on this film, and his distinction between ‘proper film actors’ and ‘movie stars’ may be legitimate in theory. Begin Again certainly wasn’t the great critical hit that Carney’s Once had been, and at the time of the movie’s release, Keira Knightley herself admitted that she struggled with the material, not being a singer-songwriter herself and having no great appreciation for music.

“It’s terrible. I know nothing about music whatsoever,” she told The Guardian. “I was always more into reading and drama. I was such a geek. … There’s often a huge link between music and memory. And I’ve got such a bad memory.”

But the issue Hollywood professionals have with Carney’s comments seem to have less to do with Knightley’s specific performance, and more about the fact that Carney made these comments at all.

Ava DuVernay certainly makes a great point about why Carney should have stayed silent:

Both industry professionals and notable journalists have joined DuVernay in speaking out against Carney. Here are some of their reactions:

All the same, there are some that find Carney’s candidness refreshing.

What do you think? Should John Carney have held back his criticism of Keira Knightley out of professional courtesy? Or was he right to share his negative experience?

John Carney rose to international fame with Once in 2007, and this year he’s coming out with a musical drama titled Sing Street.

Spectre director Sam Mendes is officially not returning for more James Bond movies.

While we wait for (almost certain) confirmation that Daniel Craig won’t reprise his role as 007 in the next James Bond film, we can at least contend with the knowledge that Sam Mendes will not direct Bond 25.

The two-time James Bond director came on board the franchise for the wildly successful Skyfall, but his follow-up Spectre was not considered as great of a success.

Even before Spectre‘s release, Mendes was talking about quitting the all-consuming franchise, saying at the time, “I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.” But it was only during a Welsh literature festival that he finally confirmed his departure.

Related: Quantico’s Priyanka Chopra doesn’t want to be a Bond Girl, she wants to be Bond

“It was an incredible adventure. I loved every second of it, but I think it’s time for somebody else [to direct],” said Mendes, as quoted via The Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”

Bond 25 is likely to be completely new chapter of the franchise, with Daniel Craig set to follow Mendes’ lead and officially announce his departure soon. Everyone’s been expecting him to bow out ever since his controversial promotional campaign for Spectre, and it’s even more likely now that his two-time collaborator has called it quits.

On the speculation about who might replace Craig, Mendes says, “I can guarantee that whatever happens next it will not be what you expect.”

“[Bond producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who is going to be the next Bond, end of story. And without that there would have been no Daniel Craig because public support for Daniel was zero. It was her saying: ‘That man over there, he’s going to change the whole tenor, I’m going to cast him.’ That turned the whole thing on its head,” says Mendes.

Rumor has it that Tom Hiddleston is in talks to be the next James Bond, but until we learn more, we can speculate away as we wish! It’s also time to start making those Bond 25 director wishlists. Anyone know if Ava DuVernay is available?