TRIBECA — Don't expect to see a 7-Eleven cup in a Brett Ratner film anytime soon.
"When I was doing 'X-Men,' the brands went to the studios and the studio marketing man came to me and said 'We need to see a 7-Eleven cup in Magneto's hand,'" the producer/director said. His reaction — he wanted to throw the guy off the set.
Ratner's not against product placements, per se, but it has to make sense. "In 'Risky Business,' the Porsche was integrated as a character in the film," that a film-goer could identify with — not simply a prop in an actor's hand, he explained.
Ratner was joined by the Norman Lear Center's Johanna Blakley, Chipotle's Mark Crumpacker, GE's Judy Hu and American Express' Rich Lehrfeld on a panel discussion of “Film and Brands” that was moderated by Jon Patricof of Tribeca Enterprises at the SVA Theater in Chelsea Friday.
And after the presentation, Ratner greeted friend Katie Lee with a big hug — "How'd I do?" She appears to like his brand.
In “The Girl,” Abbie Cornish plays an American who smuggles Mexicans across the border and the Aussie actress had to learn Spanish to play the role. “The biggest challenge was just to get it under my skin so it wasn’t in my head, but was coming from an emotional core,” she explained. “As a character, you want it to be instinctual.” She said working on the film “was a life-changing three months.” As for making more films in Spanish, “I would love to.” Pedro Almodovar, are you listening?
Speaking of foreign countries, when English singer Natasha Bedingfield comes to New York, she really enjoys — of all things — English food. “My favorite restaurant is the Spotted Pig,” which serves English-style food, she shared. “It’s funny that I have to go away to find home.”
Bedingfield makes an appearance in John Forte’s concert tour film “The Russian Winter,” and she loved visiting that very cold country. “My name is Natasha and I’ve always had a thing for Russia even though I’m not from there.”
The cold was the one thing Forte didn’t like about Russia, though it has its charms. “It was the coldest I’ve ever experienced,” Forte said. “I burned layers off of my skin, but I’ve lived to tell the tale.” And his skin is as smooth as glass.
Finally, “Boardwalk Empire’s” Vincent Piazza promises a roaring good time in the series’ upcoming season. “We fast forward a year and a half to 1923. It’s the season of the gangsters,” he shared, alone on the red carpet for the film “Supporting Characters,” as girlfriend Ashley Simpson was “home with her son Bronx tonight,” he shared. “The whole flapper age is coming on.” We can’t wait.