Michael Sheen had to become a master of mixology for his role in the new feature film “Passengers.” It’s more than knowing the difference between a Tom Collins and a Shirley Temple. In playing an android bartender, Sheen has to pour the drinks without looking at the glasses and while being pulled back and forth behind the bar at glass-breaking speeds to create the illusions of the android.
Director Morten Tyldum says if you don’t think being able to pour drinks without looking is difficult, you should give it a try.
Sheen’s character is aboard the spacecraft transporting 5,000 passengers to a new world. He becomes a friend and someone to talk to when two of the travelers – played by Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence – wake up 80 years before reaching their destination. He looks human from the patron’s side of the bar, but behind the bar has full robot parts from his waist to the floor.
Sheen jokes that he went to an extreme to play the role.
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“I had my legs amputated six months before we started filming,” an obviously joking Sheen says.
Sheen has played a broad collection of roles that had him appear in a different form in films like “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” and “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue.” He was excited on his first day of filming “Passengers” because as an android bartender, he got to wear “a spiffy” outfit. He was sure his look would impress his co-stars.
There was only one problem.
“I got my costume and some green tights that I had to wear all of the time,” Sheen says.
The tights killed his plans for a fancy look, but they were necessary for the special effects to make him look like he has a mechanical bottom half.
Back to work
Liza Snyder spent six seasons (yes, six seasons) playing Christine Hughes on the CBS comedy “Yes, Dear.” But, after starring on the comedy for the 122 episodes, she all but vanished from the TV world.
Over the past decade, she did a guest appearance on “House” and “Raising Hope.” She’s back to work playing Andi Burns, the wife of Matt LeBlanc’s character on the CBS comedy “Man with a Plan.”
Snyder only says of her time off that it wasn’t entirely voluntary.
And, her return almost didn’t happen as she replaces Jenna Fisher (“The Office’), who left the show soon after “Man with a Plan” was announced as a new fall series for CBS.
Snyder to be back to work in a situation comedy.
“The thing sitcom is, it’s such its own beast as opposed to any other kind of medium. It’s just more alive. It’s so fast moving when you’re shooting, and you get a chance to rehearse and discover things,” Snyder says. “I got back on that sound stage, and it just felt like this is my jam. This is where I want to be.”
The addition of Snyder to the cast at such a late date, coupled with her time away from work, made her first night a struggle. She calls it “an absolute debacle of epic proportions.”
She got through it and found the rhythms that she had used in “Yes, Dear” for so many years. That’s when the process became more comfortable.
“Shameless” plug: Showtime has ordered an eighth season of “Shameless.” One of the network’s longest-running and most successful series ever for the premium cable channel, “Shameless” season seven ranks as its highest-rated season to date. Production on twelve new episodes will begin in 2017.
The series stars Oscar nominee and Emmy winner William H. Macy and Golden Globe nominee Emmy Rossum.
Heroes welcome: Adult Swim kicks off the new year airing the stop-motion animated comedy series “SuperMansion.” The series, created by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the team behind Adult Swim’s animated series “Robot Chicken,” will begin airing season one at midnight Jan. 1.