Lee Pace talks his ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ character

May 23 • by Ursa • No CommentsHalt and Catch Fire, Interviews

In his latest interview, Lee Pace talks to IMDB about technology and his upcoming show Half and Catch Fire. Read below what he has to tell.

IMDbTV: One of my first thoughts upon watching the premiere was that I can foresee people looking at this and saying, “It’s ‘80s Don Draper” – that is, at first blush. But moving deeper into the episode, one can see that your character has a much harder edge. What would you say to someone who might be tempted to compare Joe MacMillan to Don Draper?

Lee Pace: I would say, stick around until episode three, and then answer the question for yourself. I’m such a huge fan of that show [“Mad Men”]. It’s a true, true achievement of fiction. But with this, the subject matter is different and the man is fundamentally different. Yes, it’s a man in a suit in an office who is competent at what he does, and doesn’t necessarily get along with everyone that he’s working with. There are certain similarities.

And I felt the same way when I read [the script] the first time, when I read the pilot. But the more I investigated this guy, and the more I looked for influences not only in the tech world, but within that time, it’s very different. I was looking at not only some of the young hustlers who then became tech titans but, you know… some of those corporate raiders who defined the culture of the ‘80s. Get more. Make more money. Have more sex. Go harder. Go tougher. That’s kind of the path I started down with Joe McMillan.

IMDbTV: You were quite young during this era. … What was your earliest memory of interacting this kind of technology ?

Pace: …I remember video games…Video games play a really interesting part in the role of technology – not only because people our age were playing those video games, but it became such an integrated part of who we grew up, and how we thought. Then video games graduated to [computers] being in school.

…We’re a part of that generation of people that grew up as computers grew up, basically. In a way, those machines have been designed to make our lives happen. Whether it be learning, or playing, or connecting with one another. Our generation, in particular, has a very interesting insight into the world of personal technology, which is specifically what Joe is interested in. Somehow getting this technology into the hands of civilians, for lack of a better word. Out of business.

You have to understand, in the late ‘70s, computers were the size of refrigerators and they served massive companies where people would do their business at terminals that fed into these computers. This is a turning point, where the computers got smaller and smart innovators like Steve Jobs and many, many others…everyone was trying to figure out a personal computer.

That’s what Joe is interested in. Joe is trying to connect the dots between the video games, between Atari and the fact that people want these machines in their homes. Back at IBM, everyone is buying these things. Every year, millions more people are buying them.

In the pilot when I say the line, “The computer’s not the thing, it’s the thing that gets us to the thing”, what Joe is excited about is the change in the culture.

IMDbTV: It’s an interesting series both in terms of its content and, for lack of a better term, stylistically. It’s taking this era that’s seen as very sexy and at the forefront of what will become our modern technological age, and yet, all of these things that we take for granted now are seen at their very beginning, and actually very clunky looking. But Joe, he looks like he could live in the current era and not necessarily be a step behind.

Pace: Well, it’s not that distant a history, really. It’s in our lifetime. Joe McMillan is the same age my father was in 1983, which is the age I am right now. That’s an interesting opportunity, personally, for me to get to play. But here we are in a time when, because of innovators like Joe and his contemporaries, innovation has become one of the most exciting things that we live with. The people who create these technologies – Steve Jobs in particular, because he’s one of the most successful at it and the most exciting ideas came from that man – are rock stars. This little time, I actually found it to be a very unexplored dark zone in our recent history. I didn’t really know much about this turning point in our history, and it’s such a significant change.

IMDbTV: What was the most interesting thing that you learned about the corporate politics going on behind the scenes of this boom, when there was still room for other companies besides IBM and Apple to make their mark?

Pace: Oh God, it’s such a huge subject. But when I mentioned those corporate raiders, that’s something that is in Joe’s blood, that idea that you have to be the winner. That there’s only one winner, and it’s gotta be you. Because if it’s not you, it’s going to be someone else. And nobody really cares how you got there. If you are uncompromising, if you win, then people look back on your actions and judge you as a risk-taker, bold and ahead of your time. If you lose, you’re just an a–hole.

Joe knows that, and he comes ready to fight in every way. He’s ready to fight IBM, he’s ready to fight Gordon. He’s ready to push Gordon to make this machine what it needs to be. Because there’s only going to be one machine that makes it into the history books, and that’s the machine that Joe wants to make. This is before the Macintosh came out.

IMDbTV:  Is Joe going to be the kind of guy who people are going to, in some ways, aspire to be? You know how influential television characters can be, for better or for worse.

Pace:  I’ve learned a lot about Joe. I’ve learned a lot about myself, playing Joe. Some of the research I did was looking at leadership theory… And I think Joe, in his blood, has got some very good skills at being a leader and some very questionable skills. But the fact is, he is effective. He is going to reach his goals. He is going to complete the mission he set out to complete at any cost. That is the basic component of Joe. He’s that machine… He will remove obstacles, get around them and change the rules to make sure that the mission is complete. Because he believes in it. He believes in the mission more than he believes in anyone’s feelings. He’s not going to validate someone’s hurt feelings when he’s got a million people who need a computer that’s faster, cheaper and smaller.

…Some part of me responds to me by thinking, “Wow, that guy’s a winner. That guy’s a real leader.” And some part of me responds to him and thinks, “That guy is a sociopath.”

IMDbTV: Yes, there’s an element of Joe that is almost devilishly seductive, especially in his interactions with Gordon. He inspires him to do what he does best and to become the person that he wants to be. But you know that he’s only doing it as a means to an end, and he’s going to ditch him as soon as he can. That must be interesting to play.

Pace: It is. It’s simple. I always think about this computer that they’re endeavoring to make is Joe. He is … designed to add value to your life, just like a computer. He is designed to do the things that you need done to make you more money, to get it done quickly, to operate on all systems. Fully compatible. But there are bugs in that machine, and the program is still new and flawed. It’s in that zone that I believe we found the really interesting story of Joe.

IMDbTV: Let’s step back for a bit, even outside of the series, to talk about what’s been going on with you. You’ve had a really interesting couple of years, bouncing back and forth between some incredibly high profile movies. There was a time when all of the movies that you were in at that moment, that were released and in theaters, was in Top Five [of highest grossing movies at the domestic box office of the day].

Pace:  Oh yeah! That was, not last November but the November before that [2012].  I remember my mother taking a picture of IMDb’s Box Office [listing] and saying, “Lee, this is unbelievable!” I had LincolnThe Hobbit [ An Unexpected Journeyand TwilightTotally a moment when I was like, “Oh my god…I’m going to remember this.”

IMDbTV:  That’s great! So I have to ask, with that experience in movies and this – you’ve done a lot of television, like “Pushing Daisies” and “Wonderfalls”– which process do you enjoy more?

Pace:  I mean…I’ve also done theater. I’ve done a play, like, about every other year. The more I do this, the less difference I see between them all. It all becomes interesting in different ways, but it’s still always playing a character. All the characters are different, obviously. Joe is very different than the elven king, who is different than Ronan the Accuser. I mean, that’s really the fundamental difference.

The difference between TV and everything else is, and I find this fascinating, you’re still making it while everyone is watching it. Like, when you’re doing a play, you’ve got the performance, you’ve got control of the performance, and you’re in the same room with your audience. There’s the immediate kind of communication happening.

Full interview here.

AMC’s new drama Halt and Catch Fire premieres Sunday, June 1 at 10pm.

Gallery Update: ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Premiere

May 22 • by Ursa • No CommentsGallery, Halt and Catch Fire

I added almost 30 high quality photos from Halt and Catch Fire premiere Lee attended in Los Angeles yesterday.

Gallery Links:
Appearances > 2014 > ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ premiere – May 21, 2014
Appearances > 2014 > ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ premiere after party – May 21, 2014

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ second official trailer

May 20 • by Ursa • No CommentsGuardians of the Galaxy

If this doesn’t get you excited, I’m not sure anything will.

The second full trailer finally here. It includes better looks at Rocket the Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), as well as Lee Pace’s intimidating, villainous Ronan the Accuser and a number of other characters and environments.

Coming to theaters August 1.

Final ‘Hobbit’ film renamed

Apr 24 • by Ursa • No Commentsthe Hobbit

The upcoming Hobbit film has a new title, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Peter Jackson gave an explanation for the change on his Facebook. He says calling the third film There and Back Again doesn’t make sense when you consider that’s how Tolkien referred to the entire story of Bilbo’s journey to the Lonely Mountain and back.

He also revealed that editing on The Battle of the Five Armies is nearly wrapped up, as is work on the extended cut of Desolation of Smaug, which will include an extra 25 minutes of footage.

Read his full post:

Inside Information…
Our journey to make The Hobbit Trilogy has been in some ways like Bilbo’s own, with hidden paths revealing their secrets to us as we’ve gone along. “There and Back Again” felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived “there” in the “Desolation of Smaug”.
When we did the premiere trip late last year, I had a quiet conversation with the studio about the idea of revisiting the title. We decided to keep an open mind until a cut of the film was ready to look at. We reached that point last week, and after viewing the movie, we all agreed there is now one title that feels completely appropriate.
And so: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” it is.
As Professor Tolkien intended, “There and Back Again” encompasses Bilbo’s entire adventure, so don’t be surprised if you see it used on a future box-set of all three movies.
Before then however, we have a film to finish, and much to share with you. It’s been a nice quiet time for us—Jabez and I happily editing away in a dark cave in Wellington—but those halcyon days are quickly coming to an end. It will soon be time to step into the light. Expect to see and hear much about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in the coming months.
And there’s also The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Cut, which we’re in the process of finishing, with over 25 mins of new scenes, all scored with original music composed by Howard Shore.
It’ll be a fun year!

Warner Bros., the studio behind the Hobbit films also confirmed the title change.

‘Halt and Catch Fire’ trailer released

Apr 1 • by Ursa • No CommentsHalt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire premieres 9 p.m. June 1 on AMC.

Happy Birthday, Lee!

Mar 25 • by Ursa • 3 CommentsLee News

Lee is celebrating his 35th birthday today. I’d like to wish him all the very best in his career and personal life.

Gif set by leepacepacing. Reblog here.

Gallery Update on March 17, 2014

Mar 17 • by Ursa • No CommentsGallery, Halt and Catch Fire, Lee News

The site is now fully up to date. I added several new photos from SXSW Film Festival Lee attended last week (Thanks to Claudia for helping me out with these), two scans from World Screen magazine Issue 332 (thanks to Juxi) and two HQ stills from Halt and Catch Fire.


Gallery Link:
Magazine Scans > World Screen Issue 332 (March 2014)
Appearances > 2014 > Arrivals at SXSW Film Festival – March 8, 2014
Appearances > 2014 > Press at SXSW Film Festival – March 8, 2014
Television Series > Halt and Catch Fire (2014 -) > Episode Stills > 1X01: Pilot

Lee Pace and Mackenzie Davis talk ‘Halt and Catch Fire’

Mar 16 • by Ursa • No CommentsHalt and Catch Fire, Interviews, the Hobbit

My apologizes for this short and unexpected hiatus. I’m working on fully updating the site.

As previously reported, new AMC drama about the dawn of the personal computer industry was screened at the South by Southwest Film Festival a week ago. Crave Online interviewed Lee Pace and Mackenzie Davis about the upcoming show (set to premiere June 1, 2014).

Lee Pace Halt and Catch Fire
CraveOnline: What are your roles in “Halt and Catch Fire” as they pertain to the PC industry?
Lee Pace: I’ll start about Joe MacMillan. Joe is someone who comes from IBM. There was this phrase that our advisor told me about, The Wild Ducks. The Wild Ducks are the ones who left IBM and tried to start something else. There were a lot of them. So that’s what Joe is. He’s someone who’s leaving the corporate structure because this technology is such an exciting, fun wave.

He’s looking down the road and seeing the potential of this technology. In the pilot I have a line that sticks out. “Computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets us to the thing.” I just need to get people to build the computer that I want that I’m going to bring to the world. That’s why I get together with Gordon Clark and Cameron, so they can build my computer. So we’re making a computer. It’s really simple.

We’re just trying to make an awesome computer because in the world of tech, you’re either the most awesome or you’re out of business. Either you’ve got something that people want to spend your dollars on because everyone’s trying to fight for the same dollars.

So how do you get to be the guy who gets them? The show is very much about how now these phones in our pockets are such ubiquitous parts of our lives, and they’re great. They give us so much freedom and do the things that we need them to do but someone made that happen, lots of people working very hard together and fighting and collaborating to turn the mainframes into these.
Mackenzie Davis: I think Cameron represents a sort of intuitive next wave into the computer industry moving away from computers just being functional machines and starting to have a little bit more personality and anticipate the needs of the user.

I think a lot of her journey in the first season is about trying to apply herself and her ideology into this sort of nondescript box and trying to get it to interact with the world the way she knows it has the potential.

We think of computers as very technical. Do people realize how much drama there is in the industry that produces them?
Mackenzie Davis: They will now. It’s like any industry I would think.
Lee Pace: They will now. It’s an extraordinary thing, a computer, really. It’s electrons moving down those passages and somehow that equals information. As much as this show is a show about computers, because the people in the show care about computers so passionately, love computers, love computational thinking, love the programming of it, love the potential of it, it’s really a show about these people. They’re going into the wild west. That’s what they’re doing with this endeavor.

There’s a great innocence to the show that I really love. There’s an innocence to innovation in a way because you just don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know what’s going to happen to these people. They have high hopes to build this impossible machine but they don’t know if they’re going to succeed, and it takes an insane person to enter into that proposition. That’s Lewis and Clark trying to break into the west.
Mackenzie Davis: They’re unbelievable idealists. They’re going into this project thinking that they’re unleashing something purely beautiful into the world. It’s a very, in their minds, noble pursuit.

It’s going to take the public a lot longer to see the beauty of it, so is there a conflict between these creators and the public?
Mackenzie Davis: Yeah, I think that’s some of the struggle as a creator of a technology that’s really hard to access as a layman, is to try and create something that you’re so passionate about and are so moved by and have such an emotional connection with and try to infuse your personal experience of that machine into the machine so that it can then be transferred to your audience.

Just like “Mad Men” is about advertising but not entirely, and “Breaking Bad” was about drugs but so much more, is technology a launching point for “Halt and Catch Fire?”
Lee Pace: This season is about computers. We’re about making this one computer but it’s about innovation, which is one of the issues of our time. The computer is important to him but there’s a personal drive to be a significant man in this world. He’s looking towards the millennium, 2000, and the possibility of that future as his life’s work, bringing that about.

There were a bunch of guys at the time who were hustling to get into this incredible industry and the ones who succeeded are now very, very wealthy and have influenced our culture in a profound way. Joe wants to be among them. Joe sees the potential of the technology, and forging ahead with that is insane.

What we do with this company, this maneuver I pull with IBM, is insane.

Because it’s fictional, is there more license with that or limitation within the real history?
Lee Pace: The scripts that are coming in are pretty hot. I don’t feel that the writers feel [limited].”
Mackenzie Davis: I feel like the pilot episode is the tamest episode of the season. It’s just so sweet. We are monsters after this. Not really.

Do you get any cool props to play with on “Halt and Catch Fire?”
Mackenzie Davis: Yeah, the computers are amazing. It’s like a playground. That set’s amazing.

Do they work?
Mackenzie Davis: No. Some things do.
Lee Pace: No, because I tried to turn on the Osborne that they brought in and it didn’t work. Actually, I have this picture of my mother in ’83 sitting behind an Adam Osborne that my father bought and she thought it was a big waste of money and a fad. There she is, sitting in front of this. It was luggable basically, a portable computer, but it weighed 28 pounds. It had a big boob tube in the middle of it, two disk drives.

The one they brought on set, the quality of it is so poor. My mom’s got the programming book open next to it because that was when if you wanted your computer to do anything, you had to program it yourself. There was some software that you could buy but most of the time you’d have to input the code yourself. Yeah, there’s fun stuff around. I love it.
Mackenzie Davis: I feel like you’re always touching the individual things. You can interact with a lot of stuff.
Lee Pace: A cool car.

What kind of car does Joe MacMillan drive?
Lee Pace: Porsche 911.

What are the personality conflicts within the team?
Mackenzie Davis: I think at least for Cameron, she is somebody who does not take kindly to being told what to do but she’s working for a very old school corporation so obviously drama is going to come out of an anarchist existing in a corporate world.

She needs the corporate world because she has a great vision for something she wants to create and doesn’t have the funds or the material to do it by herself. She also does not tow the company line. She’s not taken under Joe’s wing as he’d like her to be.
Lee Pace: Really?
Mackenzie Davis: Yeah.
Lee Pace: It’s nothing but conflict. It’s actually nothing but conflict. What they’re so good about is that conflict pits us against each other. This endeavor is so shaky from the beginning. I’m pinning my hopes and dreams on Gordon Clark, this alcoholic who presented a losing computer two years ago, to make this happen. I plucked her out of the back row of a classroom because there’s something about her that I can’t make this computer without. I don’t know what it is but my instinct tells me that you’re what I need. I need courage to make this thing happen.

Were the early ‘80s a heyday for the anarchist movement?
Mackenzie Davis: It was a huge time for punks and the anarchist thing comes about from bucking social norms and the late ‘70s bleeding into the ‘80s. There was a huge punk scene in Dallas and Texas that was very distinct from the punk scene in New York, the punk scene in California in the ‘80s.

So yes and no. I think there’s always a very vocal, if unseen, anarchist movement. It just depends where you look and this show does look to that.
Lee Pace: I think Joe’s got a little bit of that too.
Mackenzie Davis: We want to write our own rules.
Lee Pace: He’s coming in to burn the house down. Innovation is about destroying what was not working, and that’s IBM, those rich white guys in suits who call the shots, is part of what Joe wants to dismantle. That’s why he’s chosen the Silicon Prairie. It’s isolated, there’s a lot of money out here in Texas.

There are a lot of smart, smart businessmen and that’s what Joe’s trying to take advantage of and it’s isolated. It’s not a part of Palo Alto, it’s not a part of the east coast tech world. It’s its own microcosm and I think that’s what Joe is taking advantage of. He knows Steve Jobs is over on the west coast working on something very, very cool and I want to beat him. I think we can. All it takes is a good idea and good execution. That’s all we have to do. We have to connect the dots.

For one Guardians of the Galaxy question, is your Ronan the Accuser based on any specific era of the comic books?
Lee Pace: It’s a character that has changed so much through the years and a character that the readers of the comic books love and love to watch him change. That’s the quality of Ronan I think we’re [going to see]. It’s a very cool character.

Did you have to do any additional shooting for The Hobbit: There and Back Again?Lee Pace: Not yet. Summer’s not over. Not yet, not yet. We did quite a bit last year so we shot a lot of very, very cool stuff.

Based on the original plan, it would have been finished as a two-parter by now. Are you excited another whole movie is still coming?
Lee Pace: Yeah, it’s such a special movie that people connect to. It’s such a great thing to be a part of and I’m very excited once this final piece falls in place of seeing all of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as one movie.

Does it connect up at the end?
Lee Pace: I’m not going to tell you that. [Laughs]

Source

AMC announces ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ TV premiere date

Mar 5 • by Ursa • No CommentsHalt and Catch Fire

Get your pens ready to mark your calendars. AMC finally given a premiere date to Halt and Catch Fire, its upcoming drama series about the computer industry in the early 1980s. The series, starring Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Kerry Bishé, Mackenzie Davis and Toby Huss will debut on Sunday, June 1 at 10 p.m.

The pilot will also be shown at the SXSW Festival in Austin on March 8. More about that here.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ first official trailer

Feb 19 • by Ursa • No CommentsGuardians of the Galaxy

In case you are searching for Lee – he IS in the trailer. Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) can be seen around 01:58, grabbing Drax the Destroyer (Dave Batista). We can’t see his face, though.

Update: James Gunn, the director of GOTG, discussed the first trailer with PointlessPod.com. Gunn says he’s “saving” some things for the next trailer. “Glenn Close is in the movie. I’m saving some people for the second trailer, which I like better than the first trailer, frankly. The main people, I think, we’re saving are Ronan, played by Lee Pace; Yondu…” He also confirms Pace’s brief appearance in the first trailer. “That is Ronan holding Drax. Yondu played by Rooker, and Nova Prime played by Glenn Close.”

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