Rick Bentley

Hollywood Notebook: Bill Hader picks Pixar; Jordan Gavaris key part of ‘Orphan Black’

Tatiana Maslany, portraying Rachel, and Jordan Gavaris, portraying Felix in a scene from “Orphan Black.” Now in its third season, the highly acclaimed series has won the 29-year-old Maslany a special brand of cult adulation, even something bordering on celebrity.
Tatiana Maslany, portraying Rachel, and Jordan Gavaris, portraying Felix in a scene from “Orphan Black.” Now in its third season, the highly acclaimed series has won the 29-year-old Maslany a special brand of cult adulation, even something bordering on celebrity. AP

Bill Hader was determined he was going to be part of the Pixar animation family. The huge animation fan went so far as to show up at the company headquarters in Emeryville without an invitation in 2010.

“I kind of stalked them. I went to them. I said, ‘I wanna take a tour of Pixar,’” Hader says.

His impromptu visit proved beneficial for both him and the team making the new animated movie “Inside Out.” Hader started helping with the script of the movie about the inner workings of the mind of an 11-year-old girl. Then he was cast as the voice of Fear.

There’s a scene in the movie that deals with TV production and the Pixar team needed to see what that looks like. Hader arranged for them to hang out on the set of “Saturday Night Live” to do research for their movie.

As an animation fan, Hader was well aware of the work of “Inside Out” director Peter Docter before showing up on the Pixar doorsteps. That’s because Hader is a big fan of Docter’s animated film, “Up.”

“An old man who ties balloons to his house and is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen,” Hader says. “That’s what so great about Pixar is that they trust their vision.”

Hader’s happy he made his trip to the studios and is now part of the Pixar family. It’s even better that “Inside Out is getting such a favorable response.

“What’s so great about this movie is that they chose to make a film about a time in your life that we all have to go through — when you go from being young and then you start to go — when you’re an adolescent. Things start to change and things start to get a little hard for you and a lot of normal movies don’t talk about that,” Hader says. “I wish I had that growing up because I would go through that and you look for answers and you think you’re the only one going through this thing and they did in this film in such a beautiful, fantastical way and that’s why you have to see it.

“My life would have been a little easier I think if this movie existed when I was a kid. How was that for an answer?”

Too good to be overlooked

It’s the old “good news-bad news” situation for Jordan Gavaris.

Any actor would be happy to be connected to a show like the remarkable “Orphan Black.” He’s now in this third season of playing Felix Dawkins on the BBC America series.

Through all three seasons Gavaris has been asked to be the comedy relief, the serious mentor, the tone setter, the hooligan and the hero. He’s responded to every challenge with great skill.

But there is still that pesky bad news.

He’s on a series where two of the actors — Tatiana Maslany and Ari Millen — play multiple characters because of the story line about clones. Gavaris is an equally good actor. But it’s hard to compete with an actor who is playing everything from a soccer mom to a crazed killer.

No one fully appreciates the demand put on Gavaris, who often has to do a scene multiple times so that the other characters can be filmed playing different characters.

Focusing on the process kept Gavaris in the acting moment for two seasons. Now, the demands are getting a little more draining.

“I was really focused, when I first started the show, on being a bit brash and pushing the envelope and finding ways to be ostentatious. This season, now we’ve settled into the characters so much that I thought, ‘God.’ I started to feel the wear of the show,” Gavaris says. “The last couple years have been a little crazy. They’ve been a bit of a roller coaster, and my body is feeling the wear of it. I’m a little more tired than I used to be.

“But instead of trying to hide that, I thought this is great. This is something I can really use, because the characters have been through a lot, Felix in particular.”

The big change is that Felix is continuing to support Sarah and all of the other female clones, but he’s starting to think for himself, make his own decisions, ask his own questions.

That’s made his work as worthy of note as any of the other cast members.

Other news from Hollywood

Think about it: All new episodes of National Geographic Channel’s series “Brain Games” return 9 p.m. Sunday, June 28, and Monday, June 29, during a two-night premiere event. Host Jason Silva hits the streets of New York and Las Vegas with new social experiments that reveal mysteries of the human mind.

A moment on the lips: VH1 switches up the rules of dating with the network’s newest series, “Love At First Kiss.” The eight-episode series, from “The Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss, is slated to premiere in Fall 2015 and will bring together two strangers, both single and looking for love, who use just a kiss as their initial greeting and first and only impression.

House calls: “Million Dollar Listing San Francisco” airs at 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, on Bravo. The fourth installment of the “Million Dollar Listing” franchise follows the lives of three ambitious real estate agents — Justin Fichelson, Andrew Greenwell and Roh Habibi — as they strive to outsell one another in a cutthroat market filled by young tech millionaires.

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