Do actors ever say no to indie directors? Offered a role in a small movie based on a well-known novel, do they read the script before diving into what may be an empty pool? It’s nice that established and emerging stars agree to appear in ambitious low-budget films. Such pro-bono work gives the movie a higher profile and the actors a potentially more distinguished résumé. But what proved a brilliant career choice for, say, Matthew McConaughey — whose switch from major-studio romcoms to risky indies like Killer Joe, The Paperboy and Mud paid off with a Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club — doesn’t necessarily benefit every mainstream name.
This week’s object lesson: Shailene Woodley in Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard.
Following the lead of YA-movie star Kristen Stewart, who took a break during her Twilight films to play it serious, and often naked, in
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