Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master Becomes Hot Industry Ticket − But Will Katie Holmes See It?
Glowing reviews and powerhouse performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams have made Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master a hot ticket among actors and industry operatives — with the exception of Tom Cruise's ex-wife Katie Holmes.
Celebrity spotters tell us that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Susan Sarandon, Steve Martin, Sam Rockwell, and filmmakers Spike Jonze and Quentin Tarantino are among the famous faces who've caught the movie during its limited release in New York and Los Angeles. On Sept. 16, One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush tweeted: "If you don't go see The Master, there is officially no chance we'll ever [be] friends. What. A. Movie! Brilliant performances."
That same day, Hello I Must Be Going cast member Melanie Lynskey tweeted "Joaquin Phoenix's performance in The Master makes me want to quit acting, keep acting, destroy things, kiss his face, cry for a day." (I've never wanted to act, Melanie, but that's kind of how I felt, too — especially the part about destroying things.)
An industry source also tells Movieline that the movie is also a hot ticket among executives at the major studios, Paramount, Fox, Warner, Disney and Universal. "The requests for DCPs are off the hook," says the source, a reference to Digital Cinema Packages, in which the digital equivalent of a 35-millimeter screening of the film is delivered online to a bigwig's DCP set-up with a code that gives the recipient a limited time to view the feature.
One interesting footnote to the high celebrity demand to see The Master: A source close to the Sept. 11 New York screening of the film at the Ziegfeld Theater in midtown Manhattan says Katie Holmes was invited but sent her regrets. Her spokeswoman Leslie Sloane did not respond to Movieline's request for comment on speculation that Holmes did not attend because her appearance would have created a media feeding frenzy that could have riled her ex-husband, Scientologist actor Tom Cruise.
Although The Master focuses on the relationship between Phoenix's troubled seaman Freddie Quell and Hoffman's cult founder Lancaster Dodd, Anderson has said the latter's character is based on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and the movie does portray Hofman's movement, The Cause, in a derisive light. At one point, Dodd's son tells Quell: "He's just making it up as he goes along." Dodd's wife Peggy, played by Adams, also delivers the line: "The only way to defend ourselves is to attack," a version of which has been attributed to Hubbard. And a skeptic who tells Lancaster, "Good science allows for more than one opinion. Otherwise you really have the will of one man, which is the basis for a cult," gets his ass kicked by Quell and Dodd's son-in-law.
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