Pharrell Williams is getting a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame this week, so Variety asked me to consider the singer-songwriter’s already wildly successful career in film music. Hans Zimmer, who has been something of a mentor to the “Happy” tunesmith, offers some fascinating insights into their collaborations in this story — and Williams responds with some thoughtful and gracious comments about his film-composer friend. Along the way they talk about films like Despicable Me, Man of Steel and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Producer Reginald Hudlin also chimes in.
The Academy’s musical choices were all fine in its first staged concert of Academy Award-nominated music. The problems were the host and the interviewer, neither of whom came off well. My editors chose to leave out my recitation of the more ludicrous moments. This is what didn’t make it into the Variety story:
Film critic Elvis Mitchell, enlisted to interview the composers between segments, was hit-and-miss, getting one of the Arcade Fire composers’ names wrong (“William Phillips”? It’s William Butler) and drawing head-scratching and irrelevant parallels with his favorite Western scores (Ennio Morricone for Gravity, Williams’ obscure The Missouri Breaks for The Book Thief, which could not be farther afield from one another).