Here’s a little ‘flashback’ treat for you, especially the owners of the French and German DVD sets that are being released right now.
Apparently, French journalist Alain Carrazé, who we know from the S2 DVD release, wasn’t the only one to interview the main Malcolm cast (minus Jane) on camera at the 2001 NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) Market & Conference in Las Vegas.
BreakTV.com, “Your Video Streaming Entertainment Magazine”, was also on hand for a brief chat.
Listen how Bryan Cranston calls NATPE “The National Association of Transsexuals and Perversion Exhibitors”, and what they have to say about meeting Bob Dylan and Tom Cruise!
We just found some great, longish old radio interviews with Justin Berfield and Bryan Cranston from 2000, and one with Chris Masterson and a brief one with Bryan Cranston, both from 2001.
They are with host Mark Snyder of PMP Network, based in Randolph, Massachusetts – that’s why you get some references to Erik Per Sullivan coming from the area and such.
They offer some great insights into the early casting procedures, the initial reception of the show, and other productions the actors were involved in at the time. Because they are RealAudio streams, we converted them to mp3, reduced some rumble, increased the volume and compressed the signal here and there, because the interviewees on the other end of the line were often a bit more muffled.
Bryan Cranston interviewed in early 2000:
Justin Berfield interviewed in early 2000:
Bryan Cranston, 2001:
Chris Masterson, 2001:
Justin Berfield (Reese) role as Chief Creative Officer in Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced TV and film production company means he is the one overseeing the creative direction of the company. And clearly he’s been at work, as Virgin Produced presents its first feature release, Limitless, premiering in the US on March 18th, 2011.
Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro star in Limitless, a paranoia-fuelled action thriller about an unsuccessful writer whose life is transformed by a top-secret “smart drug” that allows him to use 100% of his brain and become a perfect version of himself.
His enhanced abilities soon attract shadowy forces that threaten his new life in this suspenseful and provocative film.
Aspiring author Eddie Morra (Cooper) is suffering from chronic writer’s block, but his life changes instantly when an old friend introduces him to NZT, a revolutionary new pharmaceutical that allows him to tap his full potential. With every synapse crackling, Eddie can recall everything he has ever read, seen or heard, learn any language in a day, comprehend complex equations and beguile anyone he meets — as long as he keeps taking the untested drug.
Soon Eddie takes Wall Street by storm, parlaying a small stake into millions. His accomplishments catch the eye of mega-mogul Carl Van Loon (De Niro), who invites him to help broker the largest merger in corporate history. But they also bring Eddie to the attention of people willing to do anything to get their hands on his stash if NZT. With his life in jeopardy and the drug’s brutal side effects taking their toll, Eddie dodges mysterious stalkers, a vicious gangster and intense police investigation as he attempts to hang on to his dwindling supply long enough to outwit his enemies.
Limitless starts Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, The A-Team), Oscar winner Robert De Niro (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver), Abbie Cornish (Bright Star), Anna Friel (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), Andrew Howard (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Johnny Whitworth (3:IO to Yuma) and Thomas Arana (The Bourne Supremacy).
Justin Berfield (Reese) recently gave an interview to Agoura Hills Patch, where he talks about his life and the transition from child actor in Unhappily Ever After and Malcolm to producer in his new role in Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced.
We also hear mention of Virgin Produced’s first feature release, Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro, which opens later this month.
Having starred in two television sitcoms (Unhappily Ever After and Malcolm in the Middle) all before this Agoura Hills native’s 20th birthday, Justin Berfield is undoubtedly one of the city’s most notable hometown stars.
His recent accomplishment of becoming a partner with world-renown mogul Sir Richard Branson at his film and television company VIRGIN Produced certainly solidifies Berfield as one of the reigning forces working in entertainment today.
Although he is very busy traveling and working most of the time, the now Calabasas resident set aside some time to chat with Patch and lend some insight into his life as a young actor-turned-media juggernaut.
Describing himself as a “pretty simple” guy, Berfield, who turned 25 on Feb. 25, has undeniably achieved some “pretty extraordinary” feats. An acclaimed actor, producer, and industry guru, who calls one of the most successful men in the world his “partner,” is not too shabby for having just turned a quarter-century old.
Agoura Hills Patch: Did you enjoy growing up in Agoura Hills?
Justin Berfield: I really enjoyed growing up in Agoura Hills, because it was a big enough city that there was always something going on, but it also had the charm where you really got to know the people that worked in the community. It felt like a small town, although it really isn’t.
Patch: At which Agoura Hills establishments would you frequently get stopped to sign autographs or pose for photos?
Berfield: No particular place really stands out to me except for maybe the theaters or at the nearby Calabasas Commons. I think my peers pretty much knew the job I did, and since we all grew up together, it never was that big of a deal for anyone. I think people in our area are used to having actors around. Agoura isn’t that far from Los Angeles and there certainly were and are bigger “names” around town than me.
Patch: Do you have a favorite memory from Agoura High School? How were you involved at school?
Berfield: I was home schooled throughout high school and only got the opportunity to attend classes at Agoura High for a couple months before Malcolm in the Middle took off. Although I wasn’t able to join clubs, I enjoyed going to the football games every Friday. It was always a good opportunity for me to get together with the friends I couldn’t see during the week because of work.
Patch: How would you spend an ideal day in Agoura Hills? Do you come back to visit often?
Berfield: As a little kid, I would spend my days investigating the many creeks and parks around the community. Being so close to Malibu, I would often times head out that way with my dad and go fishing. As I got older, I spent most evenings, as every teenager does, with friends at the Agoura movie theater or around the shopping centers along Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Kanan Road. I live in Calabasas now, so I am back there often.
Patch: Has transitioning from “child star” to a more mature actor and producer been a smooth process?
Berfield: I’d say so, because I got my start behind the camera just before Malcolm in the Middle was ending. Since then, it has gone pretty smoothly. I started a company, J2TV, and now I am a partner in Sir Richard Branson’s film/television company, VIRGIN Produced.
Patch: What have been your personal career highlights?
Berfield: The point when I realized that I had been on two shows that syndicated to over 100 episodes, and that I felt fulfilled as an actor and decided to try my hand at producing. I think people constantly are looking for fulfilment, and nothing is ever good enough, but I feel fortunate enough to have had the journey I have had so far.
Patch: What is your dream project and dream actor or actress to collaborate with in the future?
Berfield: I’d have to say anything that would involve Tom Hanks. He is truly an inspiration, both as an actor and producer.
Patch: A lot of ‘Young Hollywood’ seems to find themselves in trouble more often than not, yet you’ve managed to stay out of trouble and keep a wonderful reputation for yourself. What do you attribute this to?
Berfield: I always had supportive parents and a good group of people around me. It’s really about who you surround yourself with. Too many times, people are surrounded by those on their payroll. Those aren’t the best people to look out for you, because they’ll never tell you ‘no.’ I typically do not take advice from people who I pay, and most people who find themselves in trouble do just the opposite. Living in Agoura and Calabasas has probably helped a great deal as well.
Patch: What advice can you offer Agoura Hills residents who are looking to get into the entertainment industry?
Berfield: Local theater is a great way to get into the business. There are a lot of great opportunities out there locally, but also don’t be afraid to ask questions. Information is power, and the more you know, the more you will be better poised to help yourself deliver on your own personal goals instead of relying on others.
Patch: What do you do in your spare time, when you’re not busy working as an actor and producer?
Berfield: Hiking with my dogs, hanging with my friends, traveling abroad and enjoying time around town with family. I am a pretty simple guy.
Check out the latest flick Berfield worked on with Virgin Produced, “Limitless,” starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert DeNiro, when it hits theatres Mar. 18, 2011.
The Los Angeles Times is reportin that Justin Berfield (Reese) has sold his Calabasas house for $2.5 million. He bought the house from Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey in 2006, tried to put it on the market in August 2009 after slashing the price by half a million from the price he originally paid for it to $3.4 million.
Clearly it has lost even more value since then, selling at $2.5m, and securing a sale has obviously been very difficult. The house itself features 6,483 square feet of space, a home theatre, bar, four sun decks, five bathrooms and even a dedicated wine cellar.
Update: Actor Justin Berfield, the wise-aleck sibling Reese on “Malcolm in the Middle,” has sold a Calabasas house he bought for $3.75 million four years ago for $2.1 million, the Multiple Listing Service shows.
The Mediterranean home, on a half-acre in a gated community, had been listed as “approved for short sale at $2.5 million.” The 6,483-square-foot house has travertine floors, a home theater, a wine cellar, a bar, four sun decks, five bedrooms and seven bathrooms. A soundproof room can be used as a recording studio. The grounds include an infinity pool, an outdoor dining area and a built-in barbecue.
Berfield, 24, bought the house in 2006 from Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Since playing Malcolm’s second-oldest brother from 2000 to 2006, he has become a producer of films and shows such as “Sons of Tuscon” (2010).
Sue Walsmith and Melinda Feldman at Ewing & Associates, Sotheby’s International Realty, handled both sides of the transaction, according to the MLS.
The film, currently known only as ‘Untitled Comedy’, is set to feature a whole host of stars and be in the format of a series of risqué comedy sketches that will be connected with a ‘unifying storyline’. Actors already on board include such big names as Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Anton Yelchin, Gerard Butler, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Johnny Knoxville and many more.
Relativity Media, LLC (RML) announced today it has begun production on the UNTITLED COMEDY project. In January, Relativity Media came aboard to co-finance and co-produce the project, and will arrange distribution through one of their studio partners. Production will continue thru late May.
Peter Farrelly, Charles Wessler, GreeneStreet Films’ John Penotti and Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh are producing the project. Executive producers are Tim Williams of GreeneStreet Films and Tucker Tooley of Relativity Media. Co-producers are Tom Gormican and Marc Ambrose. Rocky Russo and Jeremy Sosenko also serve as associate producers. Witness Protection Films also serves as a production company partner.
Originally set up at Overture Films, the project kicked into high gear after the producers met with Relativity Media last December. The brainstorming session lead to a revamp of the central premise of the film. The new team created the template for a unifying storyline for a series of sketch comedies in the vein of the 1970s hits Kentucky Fried Movie and Groove Tube.
“Relativity has been the perfect partner through the extraordinarily complicated process of putting this movie together. We are thrilled to be underway,” commented Farrelly.
The filmmakers who have already completed their work are Peter Farrelly, Brett Ratner, Elizabeth Banks, Bob Odenkirk, and Griffin Dunne. Additional directors will be announced shortly.
The growing cast includes, Elizabeth Banks, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Sean William Scott, Tony Shalhoub, Emma Stone, Matt Walsh, Patrick Warburton, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet. The producers will announce additional cast members as further deals are solidified.
“We all sat down and came up with what we think is a hilarious through-line for the movie,” said Wessler. “Given the amount of pot I had smoked, at least I think it is hilarious.”
Penotti added, “This has been one of the most fun and challenging projects we have ever undertaken. We are completely blown away by the caliber of talent that this project has attracted. It is a testament to the quality of Charlie and Pete’s original concept.”
Farrelly and Wessler are long time collaborators, working on many of the classic Farrelly Brothers comedies including There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber and Shallow Hal.
Production on “Untitled Comedy” is reportedly ongoing: 14 of the sketches have been shot, with 5 to go. It is expected to be in cinemas this year.
The first film that gets Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced film shingle off the tarmac–it was innocuously mentioned as an untitled Peter Farrelly film in the announcement of Branson’s joint venture with Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity–has a bigger concentration of first class cabin-caliber actors than any under-$8 million film I can remember. And the cast is still growing. Deadline was first to reveal the Kentucky Fried Movie-style laffer when Kavanaugh replaced Overture Films as financier and the film started production. They had a good cast then, but the filmmakers keep bolstering by showing prospective talent the raucous segments shot so far, especially the Farrelly-directed seg with Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet that is especially outrageous and R-rated. Aside from Jackman and Winslet, the cast now includes Richard Gere, Anton Yelchin, Gerard Butler, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Johnny Knoxville, Julianne Moore, Liev Schreiber, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jack McBrayer, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Uma Thurman. 14 segments are in the can, with 5 to go. Steve Brill, Steve Carr and James Gunn have joined a director roster that already had Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Brett Ratner, Banks and Griffin Dunne. The pic, a co-production between Greene Street and Relativity, is produced by Kavanaugh, John Penotti, Peter Farrelly and Charlie Wessler. Tim Williams and Tucker Tooley are exec producers.
In more Justin news, Berfield will guest star on tonight’s episode of Sons of Tucson, in the season finale, and likely the last ever episode of the whole show, ‘Ron Quits’.
He will play ‘Barry’, a character who we are told bears more than a passing resemblance to Reese, the character he spent several years as on Malcolm. This is also the first time we will have seen Justin in front of the cameras since the final episode of Malcolm in the Middle.
SONS OF TUCSON “Ron Quits” Episode 13 – When Ron starts spending too much time with his girlfriend, the boys get upset and Ron decides to quit. The boys then hire their bully neighbor, Barry (Justin Berfield), as their new live-in caretaker. But when the boys discover they’re out of money and realize that Barry isn’t working out, they come to the conclusion that Ron was a better fake father than they thought in “Ron Quits,” the series finale episode of SONS OF TUCSON, airing Sunday, Aug. 1 (7:00-7:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Tune in to Sons of Tucson tonight, August 1st 2010, at 7pm on FOX.
Justin Berfield (Reese) has for the past few years been working with Jason Felts to run his own production company for TV and films, J2TV. It was announced today that J2TV will close its doors and Justin and Jason will lead a new TV and film production company, Virgin Produced, with the backing of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
LOS ANGELES, July 30, 2010 – Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group announced today the launch of Virgin Produced, a film and television development, packaging and production company which has entered into a joint venture with Relativity Media’s Rogue Pictures to develop, produce and market films.
The Los Angeles-based Virgin Produced is led by former J2TV / J2 Pictures producers Jason Felts and Justin Berfield. Felts serves as Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the company’s entire operation, and Berfield, Chief Creative Officer, will oversee the development team.
“For 40 years, Virgin has pushed the envelope.” Felts said. “At Virgin Produced, we look to break some old molds while providing talent a place where they know their work will be embraced and supported. With Rogue’s boundary breaking approach and Virgin’s entrepreneurial strength, the brands are perfectly suited for each other. We’ve got a great opportunity to provide a collaborative experience and produce amazing results.”
“Virgin has always been about doing it your way, expressing oneself through innovation,” said Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh. “It dares to be different. We believe that their approach to film is suited to do just that and pairing the Virgin and Rogue brands together to create innovation couldn’t be more natural.”
Deemed one of the most exciting brands in the world, with a culture of innovation and fun across its diverse range of businesses, Virgin’s mission is clear: to enter markets with opportunities to shake things up and offer a better experience.
“Entertainment has long been a focus of the Virgin brand, and I’m excited for the chance to further grow in this space,” said Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson. “Jason and Justin’s approach is very entrepreneurial, very Virgin. We share a passion for creating and nurturing communities of talent and fresh material. The Rogue and Virgin brands seem an obvious fit for each other.”
In addition to developing and producing original films, it is anticipated that Virgin will co-produce two to three motion pictures a year with Relativity/Rogue, which allows the studio to utilize Virgin’s marketing capabilities to reach millions of consumers within the Virgin and Rogue target audience. The first film is Peter Farrelly’s Movie 43.
“There is real opportunity to provide a great, collaborative experience for talent to hone and shape their ideas and to reach a valuable, cutting-edge, media-hungry audience that enjoys interacting with the Virgin brand,” said Berfield. “We look forward to working with the Virgin family to strategically tap into the vast Virgin network of loyal brand fans, allowing Virgin Produced projects to be enjoyed by a broad audience.”
The relative stability and certainty of the production world, compared to being an actor, has been something that Justin has cited in the past for why he was always interested in the production side of the TV and film worlds. This new venture, with the big-gun backing of the Virgin Group, seems to be consistent with that.
But it seems there is more to this than merely getting a big brand behind Justin and Jason’s business — the marketing copy refers to innovation a lot, even wanting to “break the corrosive mould” of how ‘Old Hollywood’ works. The company seems keen to want to connect directly with talent and create community around it, in a way that perhaps really is different to the way that many production companies are run today. It will certainly be interesting to see how this vision of doing things differently evolves as Virgin Produced gets into its first projects.
Virgin Produced is a new kind of production company. One that is creative, not controlling. One that refuses to cut corners and doesn’t use money to buy your love. One that has faith in its projects. Virgin Produced very simply has balls, and we’re not afraid to show them. In fact, we’re gonna go ahead and apologize ahead of time. You might see our balls. Our bad.
We will certainly be following this new development as we hear more!
As one of the youngest CEOs within the Virgin Group of companies, producer Jason Felts was born in 2002 (everyone knows you don’t give your real age in this town). At the ripe age of 2, in Hollywood years, he and his business partner Justin Berfield co-founded J2 Pictures & J2TV proving quickly to have a keen eye for concept, story and talent. More importantly was their priority of fostering a creative environment for writers, directors and actors. First out of the gate was some trainwreck reality tv and then ROMANCE & CIGARETTES, the John Turturro motion picture in which they co-produced and helped finance. Not a bad bet, since the film starred James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Christopher Walken and others. As J2, Felts then went on to package and produce a few more films and television including FOX’s latest Sunday night sitcom, SONS OF TUCSON. Although the show was highly regarded by the critics, it was ultimately cancelled as good shows often are. Don’t worry, Jason dusted himself off, had a shot and is now leading the Virgin charge into Hollywood.
Actor/Producer Justin Berfield starred in or has produced over 250 episodes of television before he even grew a whisker. That’s right, we’re talking six shows before puberty. As an actor, Justin is best known for portraying the role of the rebellious ‘Reese’ on FOX’s Emmy Award winning series MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE. In 2004, Justin moved behind the camera, co-founding J2 Pictures & J2TV with his much goofier-looking producing partner. Together, they created and executive produced several unscripted pilots and series including E! Entertainment’s FILTHY RICH: CATTLE DRIVE starring Kourtney Kardashian, Animal Planet’s THE PET DETECTIVE, and CMT’s IN THE PITS starring Nascar’s Richard Petty. Oh yeah, and although you could say TV is within Justin’s DNA, he has produced a few films as well. As Chief Creative Officer at Virgin Produced, Justin watches over the brand and ensures that we don’t produce DRIVING MISS DAISY 2.
As the Chief Calculator, Ted Vidmar, CPA graduated Magna Cum Laude from some fancy college that makes us all look rather stupid. This is why Ted and his team of certified public accountants oversee all things financial and strategic. If Ted sounds important, well that’s because he is.
Virgin’s main legal eagle, Darin Frank is around to keep us creative types on the straight and narrow. No, he is not exclusively ours, because he has his own practice and a much fancier office somewhere in Beverly Hills. Besides, if he was, it would cost a friggin’ fortune because this guy is Chair of his firm’s entertainment department, and represents lots of others who probably pay him more than we do. He did go to law school at UC Berkeley but we’ll forgive him for that.
Rebecca, aka The Glue, serves as Director of Operations for Virgin Produced. She’s the adhesive that keeps this place together. Rebecca oversees every aspect of everything that’s important and nobody messes with her, mainly because she is a former rugby player from back east. Prior to joining Virgin Produced, Rebecca worked for J2TV & J2 Pictures where she did the same job without the business card to prove it.
We looked around and no company has an online profile on their assistants, and we think that is just rude. After all, everyone knows that they do everything. Our incredibly talented, sexy (can we say that?) and hardworking support team consists of some wonderful individuals that you will meet when we invite you over!
Justin Berfield’s new show Sons of Tucson has unfortunately not been popular enough and it has been confirmed by FOX (via Variety) that the show will be removed from its current time slot. Effectively, the show has been cancelled.
Thankfully, the remaining episodes will air in the summer, in a process known as ‘burning off’ (where the network just seeks to fill less popular time slots). From June 6, the remaining 9 episodes will air on Sundays at 7:30pm.
This is a big disappointment for the show as well for those who worked on it and means almost certainly that there won’t be a second season.
It’s no consolation, but perhaps fans should be glad that the show got this far — it sounds obvious, but getting a TV show on US national television is very hard. The fact that Sons of Tucson got this far genuinely is an achievement. While the viewing numbers weren’t enough for FOX to want to keep it in its slot, let us not forget that several million people did enjoy watching it.
We look forward to seeing the rest of the episodes in the summer and wish Justin luck in his future projects!
Justin Berfield (Reese) recently had a ‘live tweet’ event where he shared behind-the-scenes information and photos from the set of Episode 3 of the new show he is producing, Sons of Tucson. The live tweet event is now over, but you can follow him on Twitter — @justinberfield.
“those were Tylers glasses in the 1st scene.The sun was killing him and we thought they looked Snuffkin like.”
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