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Special Edition: Showbiz Movie Secrets

Aired December 22, 2011 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Now on a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ Movie Secrets: Oscar War." Leonardo DiCaprio versus Ryan Gosling. George Clooney versus Brad Pitt. Which Hollywood heartthrob will be best actor?


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You guys are talking the same old nonsense. We`re looking for Fabio. We`ve got to think differently.



HAMMER: Tonight, the secrets of the battle of the Hollywood pretty boys. Ladies love Oscar. Big buzz for Hollywood`s incredible leading ladies. Meryl Streep, the all-star cast of "The Help," and this shocker, could "Bridesmaids" become the belle of the Oscar ball?


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: What are we doing for the bachelorette party?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: What about like a princess theme? Versace meets the gold rush.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: I`m thinking tanned gentleman that swallow fire and wear sarongs.


HAMMER: Tonight, the secret of how the blockbuster hit could break all of the old Oscar rules.

And the Academy Award goes to "The Descendents," "The Help," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Which of this year`s amazing movies will go home with the top prize? Tonight, secrets are revealed.

A special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Showbiz Movie Secrets," starts right now.


Welcome to this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Showbiz Movie Secrets." I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

And there is big Oscar buzz already surrounding a bunch of Hollywood favorites. Two of the biggest names, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, are in the running for that super-prestigious best actor Oscar nod.

The Hollywood buds and frequent co-stars have been cleaning up with the critics awards this award season. And some people think that Clooney and Pitt, who of course knock over casinos in the "Oceans" movies, are looking to make one more big score at the Kodak Theater come Oscar night.

But you know, not so fast, Brad and George. There are a few more A-list stars who are vying to join Oscar`s top five, not to mention some lesser- known actors who are kind of looking to elbow aside the big boys for their first Oscar nominations. So gentleman, start your engines, because the race for the best actor Oscar is underway.


(voice-over) They`re Hollywood buddies, and on-screen partners in crime in the "Oceans 11" movies.

BRAD PITT, ACTOR: I hope you were the groom.

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I knew you`d call. You want your shirt back.

HAMMER: George Clooney and Brad Pitt may be as thick as thieves, but in this year`s awards season, they`re facing off against each other in the race for a best actor Oscar nomination.

Clooney, an Oscar winner and two-time best actor nominee, is racking up pre-Oscar buzz for his role as a husband and father in "The Descendents".


CLOONEY: Don`t ever do that to me again.

HAMMER: But nipping at Clooney`s heels is two-time nominee, Brad Pitt. He`s getting Oscar buzz of his own for his role as a baseball innovator in the movie, "Money Ball."

PITT: You can start paying your first tonight. You have to start (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HAMMER: Clooney versus Pitt in the battle of the Hollywood pretty boys. For his part, Clooney doesn`t seem to be fazed by all the awards attention. He recently told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he enjoys his time in the spotlight, but realizes it could be a short ride.

CLOONEY: You know, everybody ends up on the sidelines sooner or later. You just - your job is to try and stave that off as long as you can.

HAMMER: Clooney and Pitt aren`t the only A-list pretty boys on the Oscar radar. Hollywood is buzzing that Ryan Gosling could score his second Oscar nomination for one of two movies this year, the violent crime caper "Drive" and the political drama, "The Ides of March," where his director and co- star is his potential Oscar competitor, George Clooney.

RYAN GOSLING, ACTOR: Nothing bad happens when you`re doing the right thing.

HAMMER: And how would Gosling feel about possibly sharing the nomination stage with Clooney? Gosling told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he doesn`t even like sharing the movie`s poster with Clooney.

GOSLING: My worst nightmare is that my face would be compared to George Clooney`s face. He`s like the most handsome guy, you know, in town.

HAMMER: Three-time Oscar nominee, Leonardo DiCaprio, is also in the hunt for another best actor nomination this year for playing FBI legend J. Edgar Hoover in the biopic "J. Edgar."

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: There`s no reason we both can`t get rewards.

HAMMER: Also getting Oscar buzz is Michael Fassbender for his role as a New York sex addict in "Shame," and Jean Dujardin who plays a silent film star in the Art House hit, "The Artist."

This year`s best actor race is shaping up to be a battle of the Hollywood pretty boys.


CLOONEY: Yes. No, I just bit into a pepper.

HAMMER: Hopefully, there won`t be any hurt feelings.


Hey, you know, it`s true. You can`t deny it. They`re a good-looking bunch. So here`s our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint - who`s most likely to win best actor Oscar? We can talk about this already.

With me, from New York, April Woodard, who is the host of BET. In Hollywood tonight, Jerry Penacoli, who is a correspondent for "Extra."

All right, guys. So here are SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s picks for Oscar contenders for best male actor as we see it right now. We`ve got Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Michael Fassbender. April, let me start with you. Who are you putting your money on this year?

APRIL WOODARD, HOST, BET: Man, I`m putting it on Leo. And the reason why is his body of work. You know, Oscar is very fickle. Sometimes, it`s the wonderful performance from two years ago that actually gets you the Oscar this year.

And because his work has just been so dynamic, he`s transformed into every character. He`s the Optimus Prime of Hollywood. He`s done so much transforming. And I really think this is Leo`s year.

HAMMER: Yes. Even though it wasn`t a favorite movie among a lot of critics, I think you make a great point.


HAMMER: DiCaprio certainly no stranger to transforming himself for a movie. He did it, of course, for "The Aviator" playing Howard Hughes.

WOODARD: Absolutely.

HAMMER: He`s done it again now for J. Edgar. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did ask Leo about making the transformation for this movie. Watch what he told us.

DICAPRIO: Well, it was a challenging role in a lot of different respects. You know, he`s somebody that I`d always been curious about as a historical figure in our country.

Here`s this sort of the grandfather of the FBI, the man that sort of organized modern forensics. He was this bulldog figure, and yet there were all these salacious rumors about his personal life.

Not only his personal life, but his tactics and the way he would manipulate and survey people in our country.


HAMMER: Yes, Leo obviously a big star at the box office. But we do know, it doesn`t always mean you`re a shoo-in for Oscar gold. Jerry, what`s your take? Do you think the academy is going to give Leo his Oscar this year?

JERRY PENACOLI, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": These are all great actors. That`s not an argument, right? Here`s the thing. Leo did transform himself. The academy loves transformations.

However, the academy, I think, loves George Clooney more. They have just had a love affair with this guy. And what`s not to love about George for years and years and years? He won for "Syriana." He`s been nominated.

Now, Brad Pitt - Brad Pitt made a huge turnaround back in 2008 when he was nominated for "Benjamin Button." He had also been nominated years ago for "12 Monkeys." So once "Benjamin Button" came along, the academy has been looking very seriously at Brad Pitt.

So my pick here is actually a split pick. I think it`s going to come down to the friends, Clooney and Pitt. It`s going to be a battle between the two of them.

HAMMER: Yes. What a story that`s going to make, if that`s how it all goes down. But let`s talk about a lesser-known for a moment, because we know there`s been an awful lot of buzz about a guy named Jean Dujardin.

Now, you may not have heard of him before. He plays a silent film star in a terrific Art House hit. It`s called "The Artist." April, what do you think? Do you think it`s possible this guy could sneak in with Leo and with Brad and with George being there, maybe take the Oscar gold himself and just surprise everybody?

WOODARD: Well, you know, anything`s possible. There are times when we`re all like with our mouths open and when we see the Oscars at the Kodak Theater, we`re like, what?

But I don`t have the gut. I don`t have the feeling it`s going to be able to pull through. The silent film is going to really get the Oscar nod. I just don`t think it`s going to happen.

HAMMER: Jerry, very quickly. If it`s not your buddy, Brad or George, could it be Jean?

PENACOLI: You know, I don`t think it`s his year. But I`ll tell you what - what an effort. It was such a beautiful film and something so new. And I would say give it a Golden Globe. I`m sure we`re going to see a lot of it at Golden Globes night.

HAMMER: Yes. I think we`ll see a lot of recognition for him and that film. April Woodard and jerry Penacoli, thank you. I appreciate it.

There`s certainly one time of year when everyone in Hollywood has eyes for just one man - that man is Oscar. So which exceptional actress will go home with him in February?

Who will take him home? Will it be Academy favorite, Meryl Streep? Should we brace for a showdown among the ladies of "The Help"? Could it be the runaway comedy hit, "Bridesmaids"? Will it make Oscar history this year?

We uncover the biggest SHOWBIZ movie secrets tonight. Plus, best picture picks. Our experts are weighing in on which movies will make the cut, "The Descendants," "The Artist," "The Help"? What are your picks? Will yours agree with ours?

This is a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ Movie Secrets." And right now, Oscar winner, Colin Firth, tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that he gets star-struck at the big award shows.


COLIN FIRTH, ACTOR: There are certain things that stick in your mind about the journey towards the Oscars. And some of it, it will just be random things. Obviously, you meet a lot of well-known people along the way.

And it`s not you`re going to get stars-truck every time. But just sitting backstage at the VGA awards, where I was presenting something, and somebody sat next to me, and it was Clint Eastwood.

And I had a brief conversation with him about jazz. That`s one that will stick with me forever, really, you know, because we weren`t surrounded by chaos.




UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: You got food poisoning from the restaurant, didn`t you?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: No, I had the same thing that she had, and I feel fine.




UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Something`s happening.



HAMMER: Yes, the "Bridesmaids" movie was not for the squeamish. Oh, no. So do these ladies have what it takes to get a best picture Oscar nomination?

Welcome back to a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Showbiz Movie Secrets." I`m A.J. Hammer in Hollywood with ladies first.

So who are the ladies courting this year`s golden guy? Will it be Academy favorite, Meryl Streep? She`s going for the gold this year. Or how about the ladies of "The Help."

With me right now in Hollywood, Hyla, the co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show, "The Hollywood 5 Countdown." In New York tonight, Megan Alexander, who is a correspondent for "Inside Edition."

Let me kick things off with "Bridesmaids." Finally, on my flight out here to Hollywood, I got to watch the movie. I thought I was going to get Alec Baldwin-ed off the plane because I was laughing so much.

Everybody was great in this film. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just caught up with comedian, Kathy Griffin, at the "Women in Hollywood" event. And she made what I thought was a very important distinction about "Bridesmaids." Let`s watch.


KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIENNE: I think it should be nominated for an Oscar because it`s really groundbreaking. So to get - to make that much money for a female-driven comedy is really a big deal.

And so that`s what the suits, executives, you know, live by and answer to. So I think those ladies finally got their attention.


HAMMER: Now, Megan, she makes a great point, but we know Oscar love not the norm for a film like this. What do you think the chances are that "Bridesmaids" will get any Oscar nods?

MEGAN ALEXANDER, CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Right. Well, look, if you look at the history of people that have won Oscars, usually, it`s for the drama.

But I think many people would argue, A.J., that it takes just as much talent to make us laugh as it does to make us cry. "The Hangover" was not nominated. A lot of people thought "Bridesmaids" was the female equivalent of "The Hangover."

But all of those actresses just gave an A-plus performance. The director Judd Apetow said he believes there should be a separate category at the Oscars for comedies.

I would like to see that. However, I`d like to see the bridesmaids just be nominated no matter what. I think it`s time.

HAMMER: Yes. Yes. Like I told you, I couldn`t stop laughing, and I think anybody who saw the film feels exactly the same way.

Let`s talk about a longtime Oscar favorite. No secret that Meryl Streep is one. She`s been nominated 16 times. She won two Oscars. She`s portraying Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."

I love Meryl Streep. I think she`s terrific. What do you think, Hyla? A shoo-in on the nominee list for best actress this year?

HYLA, CO-HOST, "HOLLYWOOD 5 COUNTDOWN": Absolutely nominated. Remember, this is a Weinstein film, and this is what they do best come award season. They know how to get their people nominated and taking home Oscars at the end of the day.

And I think, especially for the women, it`s going to be an interesting mix, a very eclectic mix of nominees. You`re going to see a lot of older Hollywood like Meryl Streep and Glenn Close.

And you`re also going to see young Hollywood. Elizabeth Olsen`s going to be in the mix this year. So it`s going to be fun seeing all those different types of women on the red carpet.

HAMMER: You know, let`s talk about some of the other women that we should be expecting to see, because you`ve got "The Help." What an ensemble cast. So many talented women in this film - Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney.

You have Sissy Spacek, Emma Stone - that`s just a few. Megan, among them, who do you think has the best chance of perhaps taking home an Oscar from this movie?

ALEXANDER: Well, all those ladies you just mentioned and Octavia Spencer, who places Minnie, who is my personal favorite. A.J., she beat out Queen Latifah and Mo`Nique for this role.

You just listed this powerhouse group of women. I thought this was such an excellent cast. It took over a year to cast "The Help." Normally, it takes a few weeks to cast a movie.

So I would like to see Allison Janney, just because I thought her role was complex and strong. But Octavia Spencer for Minnie, oh, she`s got my nod.

HAMMER: I would like to see Allison Janney just because I think she`s one of the greatest, and I don`t know, under-awarded actresses of our generation. I mean, she certainly has gotten recognition. I would love to see her get some Oscar gold.

All right, Hyla, Megan Alexander, thanks to you both. Well, newcomers are certainly always a fresh of breath air at the Oscars. A lot of excitement, so much exhilaration. And winning an Academy Award - we all know it`s definitely a career boost that can send a young actress into the stratosphere.

So right now, here are some of the talented young stars who could add the title "Oscar winner" to their resume.


JESSICA CHASTAIN, ACTRESS: Johnny doesn`t know I`m bringing in help.

OCTAVIA SPENCER, ACTRESS: And what Mr. Johnny going to do when he come home and find a colored woman in his house?

CHASTAIN: It`s not like I`d be fibbing.

This is a really inspiring film to be a part of. I think this is our female version of the underdog film, like, men get those sports movies where the underdogs win. This is it.

I really need a maid.

CHASTAIN: We love each other. We like - I mean, I think you see that on screen. Even though we just - we met on this movie, whereas I know this is kind of a family movie where everyone`s known each other forever -

SPENCER: She`s a new addition.

CHASTAIN: I think you with see the love on the screen.


ELIZABETH OLSEN, ACTRESS: I don`t know. I should go back.

I just thought it was - it`s just a gift and it`s lucky to be able to, like, actually have something to - solid to work on and try to figure out as a young actor.

Um, I have to go. I can`t stay gone, so -

No one wants to rely on a young, unknown person to carry a film. And I never actually thought of it as carrying a film, so it`s funny for me to say that.

JOHN HAWKES, ACTOR: You look like a Marcy May.

OLSEN: Marcy was my grandmother`s name.

HAWKES: Certainly, Lizzie Olsen, who`s so terrific in the movie, has the same, almost unnerving capacity that Jennifer Lawrence had in working with Jennifer on "Winter`s Bone."

SHAILENE WOODLEY, ACTRESS: I`ve gotten my act together. I was just drinking. I`ve been doing really well, actually. Nobody ever seems to notice that.

Four months in Hawaii exceeded any expectation I could ever have created for myself, and they did. And talking about a film I`m so passionate about is, like, the being cherry on top. There`s nothing that could ever exceed this.

You really don`t have a clue, do you? Dad - Dad, Mom was cheating on you.

This Cinderella moment won`t - like, it will never feel like a Cinderella moment for me. It will always feel like, what? What is happening?


HAMMER: Well, I`m thinking that Cinderella moment could happen for the entire cast of "The Descendents." I can tell you their performances were all Oscar-worthy.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: I`ll be a lot more civil with him around.


CLOONEY: Don`t ever do that to me again.


HAMMER: The road to gold, we know, is a tough one. Who will hear their movie`s name after those immortal words, "And the Academy Award goes to." Next, our experts make their best picture prediction.

This is a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ Movie Secrets." Two-time Academy Award winner, Jane Fonda, told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about the special magic that makes a movie Oscar-worthy.


JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: Getting people in a dark room and then saying, "Come with me. I have a journey to take you on." Now, when that journey makes people think, I`m seeing life slightly differently as a result of that.

It`s hard after all this time that movies have been in existence to do something that`s new and fresh. When that comes along, that`s Oscar- worthy. And there`s quite a few of them this year.



UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Hey, hey! Who do you think you are?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Personal (UNINTELLIGIBLE) your girlfriend. Can I call you Elizabeth? I want you to help me catch a killer of women.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: You`re disgusted me, too. You`re so busy.

CLOONEY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with a guy. What does that mean?

EMMA STONE, ACTRESS: I want to show what it`s like to work for, say, Elizabeth?

VIOLA DAVIS, ACTRESS: You know (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I was telling stories on her.

STONE: Well, I was thinking we wouldn`t have to tell her.


HAMMER: Another year of great movies. Another nail-biting race to see which films will make the cut for the Academy Award best picture nominees.

I know which movies are my favorite this Oscar season, but which ones will the Academy choose as the very best of the best? Well, here with their predictions for the best picture nominees, SHOWBIZ producer J.D. Cargill. He`s here with me in Hollywood tonight. And in New York, entertainment journalist, April Woodard.

Let me start you, April. So many great contenders this year, I actually think it`s going to be a little tough to whittle it down. Give me your top nominee predictions.

WOODARD: My top nominee predictions, of course, is going to be Leo. I think that he`s going to get best Oscar. I think "The Help" is going to be in there, "J. Edgar," and "The Descendents" are going to be the top three.

HAMMER: J.D., what do you think? Are you with April? Do you have totally different top picks?

J.D CARGILL, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT PRODUCER: Well, not totally different. I agree with April on "The Descendents." But "J. Edgar," I don`t know if she`s seen the other movies that are out there right now, but there are way more movies to choose from.

People love good, good movies that make you feel good, make you laugh and cry. "J. Edgar" didn`t do that, but "The Descendents," "The Artist" and "The Help" definitely did.

HAMMER: Yes. I have a feeling "The Descendants" could be - very well be one of those sweet-type movies in so many of the different categories.

But let`s talk about "The Help" for a moment, April. I know you`re a big fan of that movie. We`ve seen Viola Davis on the red carpet before. Is she a lock to be there once again as a nominee this year, would you say?

WOODARD: I would definitely say she`s going to be a nominee. I mean, when you look at her body of work and what she`s doing over the years, she`s been consistently strong, and of course, no different in "The Help." And I just really think that maybe her time has come.

HAMMER: It would be so, so cool to see her. She has been so humbled by all of the recognition that she`s gotten over the years.

Now, J.D., you and I both know, a lot of people are saying that good friends George Clooney and Brad Pitt could wind up in this year`s Oscar race, going head to head, which, obviously, would be a great story for us. What do you think? Do you see it happening?

CARGILL: Yes, definitely. Absolutely. If you love a red carpet filled with major movie stars, the Oscar`s are going to have Brad and George going head to head.

I can`t wait for that night, because the screaming, the intense of the volume is going to be so loud, we`re all going to be deaf for a week.

WOODARD: Oh, yes. Hollywood`s hunks.

HAMMER: Yes, I have a feeling. It`s Hollywood`s hunks, Hollywood`s pretty boys. I think the race is on. J.D. Cargill, April Woodard, thanks to you both.

And here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Showbiz Movie Secrets," holiday best.

One on one with Steven Spielberg. The legendary director spills the beans to me about another "Indiana Jones" movie. Also, Angelina Jolie`s revelation about how Brad Pitt inspired her to direct. SHOWBIZ movie secrets, holiday best, is next.


HAMMER: Now, on a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, SHOWBIZ movie secrets, holiday best. We are going one on one with the legendary Steven Spielberg. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the question everyone wants answered - is Spielberg teaming up with George Lucas for another "Indiana Jones" movie?


(on camera) Does your gut tell you that, yes, George is going to step up, George Lucas, and he`s going to say, let`s go?


Steven Spielberg reveals big movie secrets to me in a must-see headline-making SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

Holiday showdown. Robert Downey Jr. versus Tom Cruise. Charlize Theron versus Meryl Streep. Tonight, these inside secrets inside the battle of the holiday blockbusters. Who will come out on top?

Sandra Bullock`s secrets revealed. Her emotional film about 9/11. The story of where she was on that fateful day. Tonight, the secrets behind Sandra Bullock`s dramatic role.

A special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Showbiz Movie Secrets" starts right now.


Welcome to this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Showbiz Movie Secrets." Tonight, Spielberg revealed. Steven Spielberg, easily the most prolific director of his generation.

I mean, think about it. He has made some of the most unforgettable movies of all time, "Jaws," "E.T.," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Color Purple," "Schindler`s List," "Jurassic Park," "Saving Private Ryan." Really, I could go on all night.

Well, I had the pleasure of going one on one with Steven all about his film, "War Horse." He reveals to me what it`s like having an entire movie depend on an animal.

I also got Steven to open up about his "schpilka(ph)" - that`s a Yiddish word for "nerves." Believe it or not, even big-time directors get nervous.


(on camera) I love that you told "Entertainment Weekly" recently that your fuel is schpilkas. My grandmother would love to hear, keeping the Yiddish alive.

STEVEN SPIELBERG, MOVIE DIRECTOR: Yes, that has always been my fuel, is, you know, not bringing - everyone expects that I bring nothing but confidence to a set. I get on a set and I know exactly what I`m doing. It`s when I don`t know 100 percent what I`m doing that the good work really happens.

HAMMER: Do the movies have the capacity or power to make you cry? Because you obviously watch them in an entirely different way than we do.

SPIELBERG: There are more things that make me cry that I will ever confess to. So I`m kind of an easy crier in the sense if something honestly moves me, not pushes a button. And I see a figure coming to push it, but it really sneaks up on me from behind, and that to me is an honest cry.

And I think my reaction when I saw "War Horse" on stage was, I think, my tears watching the play were tears based on, you know, this amazing story.

HAMMER: On "War Horse," working with a lead character, Joey, the horse, who has no dialogue. I have to imagine that was daunting.

SPIELBERG: I didn`t really know how we were going to get it out of Joey. And I really realized the entire production was dependent, the emotional resolution of "War Horse" is totally dependent on this amazing character, this horse.

And the horse was going to have to really act. He was going to have to perform. I think the best thing we did was to cast Bobby Lovegren, the horse whisperer who trained Joey. And I think that`s the best decision we made.

They always say that casting is 50 percent of the success of the outcome, is how well you cast a film, and that`s true with the human actors.

But with this horse, the casting of the trainer was really - it gave me a lot of comfort when he began to deliver everything we needed Joey to deliver for the story.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: If Joey`s going, I`m going, too. I`m volunteering.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I see. What`s your name, lad?


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: And how old are you, Albert?


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Is that the truth?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: No, sir, but I look 19 and I`m bigger than most 19- year-olds and I`m strong, sir, and I`m not afraid of anything.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) your qualifications, Albert.


HAMMER (voice-over): Jeremy Irvine was plucked from obscurity to play the role of Albert in "War Horse." Of course, this wouldn`t be the first time Spielberg has taken a young person out of nowhere and made them a star.

SPIELBERG: I`ve always taken chances on new people, you know, young people, especially. I`ve made many movies with actors who have never really acted before, like Christian Bale in "Empire of the Sun" and Drew Barrymore and many actors who have either had very little professional experience or none whatsoever.


DREW BARRYMORE, ACTRESS: Give me a break! You know what`s going to happen.


SPIELBERG: For me, it`s not even really a challenge. It`s just finding and allowing yourself to allow this person to bring authenticity to the part.

And if you find an actor that`s untrained, all they can do is be themselves, and all they can bring to the table is the truth of who they are.

And that`s why I really wanted an unknown actor to play Albert in this story. I just wanted to find a kid that was willing to be honest in front of the camera, without the training.

HAMMER: "War Horse" is just one of two big movies Steven Spielberg has coming out this month. It will be followed by "The Adventures of Tin Tin."

Spielberg told me there have only been two times in his career when he took any significant time off.

(on camera) Is there a time where you see where you want to pull back for a couple of years so you can sail around the world or do something that you`re also passionate about?

SPIELBERG: Been there, done that. You know, I`ve taken - I`ve had two stints of three years off where I didn`t direct, and I hated it. I hated it. So I love working.

HAMMER: But also from the outside looking in, it seems like you`re in a prolific period. That`s how we see it. Do you see it that way?

SPIELBERG: Yes, I do. I feel like I`m in a really good time in my life. A lot of my kids are grown. They`re in college or they`re the professional world. I`ve got two young girls that are still, you know, in school, and I love still taking them to school.

I still do the carpools, but in at the same time, I`ve got more free time because my kids are older. And I feel like this is a good time to work.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Put down the gun.

HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: You got it, pal.

HAMMER (voice-over): Spielberg has made four movies in the "Indiana Jones" series and there has been much speculation about a fifth, working again with George Lucas. I asked him to set the record straight on all the rumors.

(on camera) Well, I know everybody wants to know and everybody`s been asking you, will we see another "Raiders"? And I know you`ve said before, when George is ready and he has something, we`ll do it.

What does your gut tell you? Does your gut tell you that, yes, George is going to step up, George Lucas, and he`s going to say, let`s go?

SPIELBERG: Yes, my gut tells me that George Lucas will find the McGuffin he needs to find to trigger a fifth movie. I hope he does because I can`t wait to make one.


HAMMER: And we can`t wait to see it. In case you don`t know, "McGuffin" is movie talk for a plot element that catches the viewer`s attention.

Moving on tonight to extremely Sandra Bullock. Sandra Bullock reveals her showbiz movie secrets from the film, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."

Now, this is the story of a young boy`s life after his father dies in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Tom Hanks and newcomer, Thomas Horn, star along with Sandra. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Sandra to talk about what it was like to make this powerful film.


SANDRA BULLOCK, ACTRESS: What`s he looking for?

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: When he finds it, let him tell you. Going to send him all over the park. You don`t have to talk to every single person that he meets. It will be the greatest reconnaissance expedition ever.

BULLOCK: Don`t make it so hard on him.

HANKS: It`s easy. It`s going to be worth-finding. What kind of adult is he going to turn into?

BULLOCK: I don`t know. That`s what I have you for.

HANKS: He`ll be one of those guys who falls in love with the very first bossy, I mean, beautiful -

BULLOCK: Beautiful?

HANKS: Flaxen-haired lady who tells him what to do.

BULLOCK: I read the script and saw a 9/11 movie being made through the eyes of a child, an innocent child who asks all the questions that we should be asking, but we know there are no answers for, which is why, when this happened, "Why would someone take my father," and you don`t have an answer for it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: How come you don`t speak? Are your vocal cords damaged or something? Or did something scare you to death?

BULLOCK: I was here. I saw it. It`s never left. I think if you were here in New York and you saw and you felt and you heard, it doesn`t leave. I mean, you can sort of quiet it, but you hear a sound. You see an image. Look up at the clear blue sky and you see a beautiful building, it doesn`t go anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Are you sure you didn`t know him? Thomas Shell?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: He was in the building, on 9/11.

BULLOCK: I think it`s going to strike people in so many ways, this film, not just people who, you know, experienced 9/11, but people who just experience loss and family. They`re going to pick up phones, call people they love, hug your child harder.

You know, just make the now count, because as we know, life - you don`t know when you`re going to be sort of - I`m not going to use that word - whacked upside the head with tragedy. And it`s not if, it`s when, and you`ve just got to soak it up now.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Why amateur everything?

HANKS: It`s a compliment.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Amateur pacifist?

BULLOCK: From the moment we started shooting, there was never a doubt in my mind I was working with a seasoned amateur, and we had to tread some very tricky waters.

And even as adults, those are hard waters to trust, and to have faith and feel safe with another actor - but he was unbelievable. Unbelievable. There are really no words to describe how extraordinary he is.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Finding what this key fits would be a miracle.


HAMMER: Such a powerful film. And we move now to blockbuster holiday movie secrets. Robert Downey Jr. returns in "Sherlock Holmes."

But can he unlock the mystery of how to beat Tom Cruise at the box office? Tonight, the secrets inside the battle of the holiday blockbusters.

Angelina Jolie`s secrets revealed. Angelina reveals to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the secrets inside her directorial debut for "In the Land of Blood and Honey."


ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTOR: You spend obviously a lot of time in front of the camera. You`re spending a little bit of time now behind the camera. Any interesting rituals or secrets that you have in terms of prepping for a film?


HAMMER: And Angelina tells us what she thinks her late mom would think of the film. This is a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ Movie Secrets" holiday best.

Josh Duhamel reveals to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the details of his glittery new year`s ritual.


JOSH DUHAMEL, ACTOR: You know, write a list specifically, personally, or professionally about what I want to accomplish in the next year. And that`s pretty much how - I guess, if there`s a tradition, it`s that.

That and I`ve got a glittery thong that I wear in my pants. A glittery man thong, yes.





TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Yes. Commit, jump.


CRUISE: And I catch you. Now.


HAMMER: Tom Cruise goes to some sick extremes in his new movie, "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol." But can he climb to the top of the box office this holiday season?

Welcome back to a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Showbiz Movie Secrets." I`m A.J. Hammer. And tonight, star showdown.

So what is the secret to a blockbuster holiday movie? And who has the secret superpowers to be tops at the box office over the holiday stretch? Is it Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes or will Tom Cruise make that impossible for him when he opens "Mission Impossible 4."

And when these fierce females, Angelina, Sandra, Charlize and Meryl all face off, who`s going to come out on top?

With me in New York tonight from "Entertainment Weekly," senior editor, Missy Schwartz. Congratulations on the great double issue of "E.W."

So here, we have Robert Downey, Jr. playing Sherlock Holmes. We`ve got Tom Cruise scaling the tallest building in Dubai, doing all of his own stunts. Who`s going to win this showdown between two of the biggest action stars?

MISSY SCHWARTZ, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": Well, conventional wisdom would say "Sherlock Holmes," because the last one made almost twice what the third "Mission Impossible" made in 2006.

But the "Mission Impossible 4" is getting such great word of mouth. Critics are loving it. It`s a great movie. I think that one might inch up there and become a blockbuster word-of-mouth hit.

HAMMER: I have a feeling. I can`t see how it would even be stoppable. It just looks so amazing, those aerial shots that we see of him jumping off the building.

And if course, Robert Downey, Jr. looking great in "Sherlock Holmes." Interesting battle to look out for. Let`s move on to the ladies right now though. We`ve got Angelina behind the camera for "In the Land of Blood and Honey."

Angelina revealed her secrets to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT at the premiere for the movie. She told us how her man, Brad Pitt, inspired her. Watch this.


ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: I didn`t know it was going to become a film when I started working on it. I sat down alone to just kind of write something, and I did it in script form as an experiment, as a way of writing.

And then one day, Brad saw it on my desk, and he said, "Can I take it and read it?" And I said OK. And he called - because he was in Japan, I think. And he said, "You know, honey, it`s really not that bad. You should show it to some people."


HAMMER: Yes. Nice seeing Brad encourages Angelina. Of course, you would expect that, but it`s nice to actually hear it happens.

She does have some stiff competition. You have Charlize Theron playing a woman who returns to her small hometown to win back her high school boyfriend. This looks great to me.

Watch what Charlize revealed to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about her crazy new role.


CHARLIZE THERON, ACTRESS: It`s the most ambitious film I`ve ever been involved in. It`s huge in scale and I`ve never really - yes, it`s been really fun.

It`s a bit - I feel a bit like a 12-year-old who gets to play on a big massive set with thrones and castles and beautiful dresses and I get to behave so badly again.


HAMMER: Yes. Charlize loves behaving badly. I guess that`s something she`s so happy, it sounds, to have been able to do once again.

Missy, what do you think the secret is to Charlize`s ability to transform into a raging maniac on screen? She seems to do it so well.

SCHWARTZ: I think maybe in this case, she`s thinking back to al the mean girls she went to high school with. But I think in generally, Charlize is just a really amazing actress.

HAMMER: Spectacular.

SCHWARTZ: And she can tap into that maniac inside her, the demon inside her, like she did a monster, and just nail it.

HAMMER: Very quickly, I need to talk to you about Meryl Streep in the biopic, "The Iron Lady" as Margaret Thatcher.

Then, you have Sandra Bullock in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." She plays a mom whose son just lost his father on 9/11. A definite tear jerker. Which of these ladies has the secret to be a success at the box office? They`ll both be successful, but who do you think comes out on top in this?

SCHWARTZ: I think it`s going to be Sandra. It`s only because she`s in the bigger movie. It`s a more accessible movie. It`s based on a really great, bestselling book. And she`s got Tom Hanks there. Two huge stars.

The Meryl Streep movie, everyone will be looking out for another transformative performance by Meryl Streep. She`s playing Margaret Thatcher, but I think Sandy`s got the edge on this one.

HAMMER: All right. Missy, great to see you. Thanks as always.

SCHWARTZ: Thank you.

HAMMER: Appreciate it. Still have to wait and see who will win in the box office in that race. But Angelina may have a leg up. The actress has been pretty buzz-worthy with her directorial debut in her controversial film, "In the Land of Blood and Honey."

This is a love story set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War back in the `90s. She`s gotten some flak over it, but Angelina is pressing forward.

Tonight, she reveals to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT her movie secrets. Here`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter.


KAREEN WYNTER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT CORRESPONDENT: This is a new role, of course, for you. So what did you do differently with your cast?

JOLIE: I think I - well, this is such a different situation, because it wasn`t my story and my cast. It`s their story. It`s their history.

They`re all from different sides of this conflict and they`re all from the region. They`re all born Yugoslavians. So it was a very different thing.

It was an exchange and we all just talked and shared and became a family. And I think the best films are done when everybody has the same intention, which we all did, which was to show unity together and to do a film that caused a dialogue about all of these themes, intervention, mass atrocities, violence against women and what happens to human beings when they`re living inside conflict for so long and how it transforms them.

WYNTER: You`ve spent, obviously, a lot of time in front of the camera. You`re spending a little bit of time now behind the camera. Any interesting rituals or secrets that you have in terms of prepping for a film that would perhaps surprise your fans out there?

JOLIE: The surprise for all of us is how - we had a very fast prep. We didn`t have a lot of money. We didn`t have a lot of days, how fast this film was put together. And they all had to rehearse and be prepared in both languages.

So that was, I think, surprising, what we attempted to pull off. And if you reflect on it now, maybe we were all a little crazy.

WYNTER: You know, you`ve had such a close relationship with your mom. She was an actress. she put her career on the backburner to raise her family. What do you think she would say about this beautiful project that you not only wrote, but directed?

JOLIE: Well, she`s my mom, so she`s -

WYNTER: A little prejudiced?

JOLIE: She doesn`t criticize. I wish she was alive today. I wish she could be here.

WYNTER: But what do you think she -

JOLIE: I think she would have been proud.


HAMMER: That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter with Angelina Jolie. So from Angelina`s movie secrets to Zac Efron`s secret crush.


ZAC EFRON, ACTOR: I`ve always had a crush on her. I`ve worked with her on "Hairspray," but I was so young. I didn`t know what to say to her, so I would clam up I went to try and talk to her.


HAMMER: Zac stars with some Hollywood heavy-hitters in "New Year`s Eve," so which of his co-stars gave him butterflies? What does she think of Zac`s revelation?

This is a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ Movie Secrets," holiday best. Lea Michele tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about her bizarre New Year`s Eve ritual with her mom.


LEA MICHELE, ACTRESS: We have this one tradition that we don`t do anymore, because I think we finally realized that it`s absolutely absurd.

But we would write down three wishes or one wish on a little piece of paper, crumple it up, and as the ball is dropping, you light a match. Five, four, three, two, one, burn it, and put it in champagne and down it as -




EFRON: Went out for a slice of pizza and you may have run into the one.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Who you`re going to kiss at midnight?

EFRON: You know what that is?


EFRON: No, serendipity.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: The countdown begins.


HAMMER: Oh, yes, the countdown is on to "New Year`s Eve." Everyone`s excited about "New Year`s Eve," right? Well, I`m not talking about 2012, guys. I`m talking about the movie.

Tonight, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sarah Jessica Parker and the rest of the "New Year`s Eve" cast are revealing secrets from the set to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

I love New Year`s Eve. It is, after all, the most festive night of the year, not just here, but all over the world. And now, there`s an all-star movie set against the backdrop of the big night.

The all-star cast of "New Year`s Eve" came straight to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with their on-set secrets, secret surprises, even secret crushes. But don`t expect anyone to tell you about the secret ending.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals the startling secrets behind "New Year`s Eve," before the clock strikes midnight.


MICHELLE PFEIFFER, ACTRESS: I bought you for the day.

EFRON: Bought me for the day, huh? Uh, Ms. Withers, I think I should be offended, but I`m just too intrigued.

My biggest thing about working in this movie was definitely working with Michelle. She`s an icon, one of the most talented actresses of our generation.

And I`ve always had a crush on her. I worked with her on "hair Spray," but I was so young. I didn`t know what to say to her, so I would clam up every time I went to try and talk to her. I would literally be like -

PFEIFFER: Zac and I didn`t have any secrets. Well, he`s not in love with me. He was adorable. If he was feeling awkward, he never let on. He sort of kept his cool really well. So this was - I was sort of really actually surprised to hear that.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Get your noisemakers ready!


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Is it new year`s eve? Is it?

GARY MARSHALL, DIRECTOR, "NEW YEAR`S EVE": I don`t want to shock you, but I have a secret code in acting. If there`s a problem, we have a word and they say it and then I talk to them, so we know there won`t be any trouble.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN, ACTRESS: I don`t know. I didn`t get a secret word. I didn`t get a secret word. I didn`t know about this.

JESSICA BIEL, ACTRESS: I`m feeling really left out. What are you talking about? Secret word. He talks to me a lot about high heels. Maybe that`s our word and I just didn`t know it. Honestly, that could be it.

PFEIFFER: I didn`t have a secret word. I know he did with Zac, but not with me.

MARSHALL: Zac, who kind of tells his on television. Zac Efron was from San Luis Obispo, but I didn`t have to use it. He was pretty comfortable.



UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: This is not a training bra!

BRESLIN: I think people will be surprised at the end to see kind of how everything ties together. So I don`t want to give anything away, because even watching it and reading the script to myself, I was shocked by the end.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS: I really spent a better part of my time with Garry, and you know, secretly hoping that he would share one of his many stories about his life in cinema and theater.

So if there were secrets to be had, I was not privy to them, with the exception of the ending. You`re certainly not going to get that out of me now.


HAMMER: It`ll still be a happy new year. That is it for this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "SHOWBIZ Movie Secrets." Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer.