For more than two decades, Robert Carlyle has been a familiar face in projects on both sides of the ocean, becoming one of the most reliable players on TV and in the movies. Of course, he's likely best known for playing the deliciously deranged Begbie in Trainspotting, but roles in 28 Weeks Later, The Full Monty, Angela's Ashes and more have solidified him as a true talent. And while it's not often that we seem him in a lead role, when the opportunity arises it's likely one worth checking out, and you'll get a chance soon with California Solo.
Premièring at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the film from writer/director Marshall Lewy (Blue State) finds Carlyle playing a former Britpop rocker living in the United States, who finds himself facing deportation.
Here's the full synopsis for the picture: "LACHLAN MacALDONICH (Robert Carlyle) is former Britpop rocker who has settled into a comfortably numb existence in farm country just outside Los Angeles. By day, he works on an organic farm and travels regularly to the city’s farmers’ markets to sell produce. By night, he retreats to his crummy apartment to record "Flame-Outs," his podcast that recounts the tragic deaths of great musicians. The only spark in his humdrum existence is BEAU (Alexia Rasmussen), a lovely struggling actress and amateur chef who frequents the Silver Lake farmers’ market. One night, Lachlan gets pulled over for a DUI, a charge that dredges up his past drug offense and threatens him with deportation. Lachlan’s only hope of staying in the U.S. is proving that his removal would cause “extreme hardship” to a U.S. citizen spouse or relative. Lachlan contacts his estranged ex-wife and daughter, raising past demons that he must finally confront. CALIFORNIA SOLO is a touching, human story about post-fame life and personal redemption."
California Solo will hit New York and Los Angeles on November 30th courtesy of Strand Releasing, with more cities and dates to follow.
Once Upon a Time fans bid to help with Kids Glasgow
Calling all Once Upon a Time fans! You have a unique opportunity this week to acquire some one-of-a-kind Once memorabilia and help out a cause supported by Once Upon a Time star Robert Carlyle. The British Once Upon a Time fansite, Once Upon a Fan has teamed with With Kids Glasgow to auction some fantastic items this week, including fan art, rare DVDs, a signed script and more.
In fact, Mr. Carlyle has donated a very special Once keepsake to the auction—Rumplestiltskin’s treasured chipped cup, used in last season’s “Skin Deep.” The cup is autographed by both Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin, who, of course, plays Belle in the series.
Carlyle tweeted about it yesterday, including a photograph of him holding the Rumple’s treasured memento of Belle.
Begun last year as a single page blog, the Once Upon a Fan site has grown into a huge world-wide fan community. In addition to the main fan site, the group has a Facebook page with 11,000 "Likes," as well as 11,500 followers on Twitter. Site creator Gareth Hughes proudly noted to me that, “we recently celebrated a million site visits! It’s all non-profit and the writers work extremely hard and give up their own free time so I am very grateful to them for all their input. Big shout out to them.”
I recently “spoke” with Gareth, as well as Suzy Blair, community development coordinator of With Kids Glasgow via email to talk about the auction and the U.K. based charity. Gareth told me that he’d initially learned of the organization from Oncers who had sent him links to video interviews Carlyle had done as a With Kids ambassador. Here's Part 1 of that video interview:
“I was quite inspired by his passion for the project,” Gareth told me, “and could relate to his tales about growing up in Glasgow. I was born in quite a poor area of Merseyside. I know my parents struggled to make sure we had the best of everything so I could really relate to the difficulties that disadvantaged families go through and the idea that everybody deserves a chance, or a happy ending.”
With the fan site growing in popularity, Gareth believed it was an ideal time to “really do some good. The fans have just been amazing in the way they have sent in items for the auction or donated to the appeal. It really reinforces your faith in humanity to see what people have done.”
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