Sunday, 28 October 2012

David Tennant: project updates

Comedy World Cup
The Channel 4 YouTube page now has episode 6 of Comedy World Cup added, here.
The link for those outside the UK to watch episode 6 of Comedy World Cup is here.
Channel Four's YouTube link to video for the final of Comedy World Cup from last night (UK only) is here.
4OnDemand'a link to video for the final of Comedy World Cup from last night (UK only) is here

Tree Fu Tom
The DVD of the first series of Tree Fu Tom was released in the UK on Monday (22 Oct) - details here

Ebay auction
David Tennant drew and signed a doodle for the Steps For Young People charity which was auctioned on eBay. 

The auction ended earlier today (Sunday) and raised £311 for the charity. Details here.

Secret Universe
The iPlayer link (UK only) for the David Tennant narrated documentary Secret Universe: The Hidden Life Of The Cell is valid for 7 days.
The link for those outside the UK to watch Secret Universe: The Hidden Life Of The Cell is here 
A different link for Secret Universe: The Hidden Life Of The Cell which will play worldwide is here

Seven Stories
Seven Stories in Newcastle have a new exhibition which opens on Saturday and is voiced by David Tennant. A teaser video has been shared by the Seven Stories marketing department, here.

The Spies of Warsaw
BBC America are now listing they will broadcast The Spies Of Warsaw in the Winter of 2013, whereas previously they specified January.

Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger
There will be some charity screenings of Nativity 2! Danger in The Manger on 11th November. All proceeds will go to Children In Need.
Cinemas participating are listed here
The Birmingham Mail report on a competition for children to sing at the première of Nativity 2! Danger in The Manger (plus the winner will appear in Nativity 3). Details here.

Source for all David Tennant news: David Tennant on Twitter

Leading Lights exhibition - Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Drama's famous faces to go on show
Actors Alan Cumming, Elaine C Smith and Billy Boyd are to feature in a new photography exhibition.
The famous faces are among 18 portraits, taken by photographer KK Dundas, going on display next week at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
All of the pictures in the Leading Lights exhibition are of former students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the country's leading school of music, dance and drama.
To mark its 60th anniversary in 2010, the Conservatoire commissioned Glasgow-based Mr Dundas, who specialises in theatre and portrait photography, to take portraits of past and present students from the school of drama.
Other highlights include pictures of actor Bill Paterson, comedienne Ruby Wax, Harry Potter actress Katie Leung and Colin Morgan, star of the BBC TV series Merlin.
The majority of works in the display, donated to the gallery by the photographer, are on show for the first time. Leading Lights opens on Monday and runs until March 3.
Christopher Baker, director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, said: "Leading Lights: Portraits by KK Dundas showcases a series of dramatic photographs of some the most brilliant actors and performers who studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
"It builds on the Scottish National Portrait Gallery's ambition to celebrate the achievements of distinguished contemporary Scots, and to display the finest national and international photography."
Source: IC Scotland

Also reported by Scotsman
The National Galleries website has a full pictorial list of the portraits on display, with biographies and other information. The actors included in the exhibition are:

Beattie was born in Bundorran, County Donegal, but was raised in Glasgow. She studied Dramatic Art at the city’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). In her final year she won the James Bridie medal. Beattie is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Histories Ensemble’, where her roles have included Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester in ‘Henry VI Part II’, and the ‘Duchess of York in Richard III’. However, she is perhaps best known for her television roles which have included the BBC series ‘Casualty’ (1991-3), ITV dramas ‘Taggart’ (1985-2000) and ‘The Bill’ (1990-2003). Maureen Beattie
Boyd is perhaps best known for playing ‘Pippin’ in the film adaptation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. He was born in Glasgow and spent around six years working as a book-binder before deciding to embark on an acting career. He enrolled at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and graduated in 1995. Boyd has since had a varied career, working on stage as well as film and he is also the lead singer in the band, Beecake. Boyd is a patron of the Scottish Youth Theatre. Billy Boyd

Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor from Aberfeldy in Perthshire. After leaving school, Cumming worked for a year as a sub-editor at D. C. Thomson Publishers in Dundee before attending the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow. Graduating in 1985, Cumming went on to work extensively in Scottish theatre and TV, before deciding to move to London. He began performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and it was not long before his film career was launched with Ian Seller’s 1992 film, ‘Prague’.  Cumming has since gone on to star in Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘Goldeneye’ (1995) and ‘X-Men 2’ (2003). In 1998 he won a Tony award for his performance in the Broadway show ‘Cabaret’. Alan Cumming, OBE
Born in Glasgow, Curran studied dramatic art at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Following his graduation in 1993 he rose to fame in the BBC series ‘This Life’ (1997). Since then Curran has starred in a number of film and television roles, including ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ (2003), ‘24’ (2010), ‘The Adventures of Tintin: Secret Unicorn’ (2011) and more recently the role of John Knox in the feature film, ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’ to be released in 2013. Curran also provided the voice of the character Captain MacMillan in the record-breaking video game ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’ (2011). Tony Curran

Scottish actor Emun Elliott is now making a name for himself on the world stage. Raised in Portobello, Edinburgh, he studied acting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow and graduated in 2005. Since then he has appeared in several TV series including ‘Monarch of the Glen’ (2005) and ‘Paradox’ (2009). In 2011 he was cast in the American HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’. On stage he appeared in the critically acclaimed ‘Black Watch’, a role he played for over two years with the National Theatre of Scotland. Emun Elliott 

David Gant studied dramatic art at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire). Following his graduation in 1974 he established himself as a successful actor with roles in theatre, film and television. He has starred in a variety of theatre productions including ‘Coriolanus’ at Chichester Festival Theatre and a world tour of ‘Hamlet’. His credits in TV include roles in the series ‘The New Adventures of Robin Hood’ (1997) and ‘Borgia’ (2011. In film he has landed roles in ‘Ghandi’ (1982) and ‘Braveheart’ (1995). Gant is an Associate and Licentiate of the London College of Music. More recently he has also enjoyed success as a fashion model. David Gant
Born in Glasgow, Hayman studied dramatic art at the city’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), graduating in 1969. He embarked on his acting career at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre. Success came following his portrayal of the notorious convict, Jimmy Boyle in ‘A Sense of Freedom’ (1979). Since then his career has gone from strength to strength with Hayman predominantly focusing on character roles. He is particularly noted for his role in the TV series ‘Trial & Retribution’ (1997-2009). He has appeared in many films including ‘Rob Roy’ (1995) and ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ (2008). In 1992 Hayman was awarded Glasgow’s Gold Medal for outstanding services to the performing arts. David Hayman 
Katie Leung shot to stardom when she played, Cho Chang, the first love interest of Harry Potter in the Harry Potter film series. Leung managed to balance studying at the University of Arts in London with a promising acting career. In 2011 she was cast as Jung Chang in the autobiographical play ‘Wild Swans’. Born and raised in Motherwell, in 2012 Leung began a degree in acting at Drama (Acting) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Katie Leung 

Scottish actor and writer, Greg McHugh, studied for a Master of Drama (Acting) at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and graduated in 2004. He is the creator, writer and star of the BAFTA award-winning BBC series ‘Gary: Tank Commander’ for which he was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA. McHugh is also known for playing Howard in the award-winning Channel 4 comedy series ‘Fresh Meat’. Greg McHugh 
Born in Elderslie, at the age of eleven Madden joined Paisley Arts Centre’s youth theatre programme. He went on to study acting at the Royal Scottish Academy for Music and Dance (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). In his final year of study he was cast as Romeo in a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the Globe Theatre, London. Following his graduation in 2007 he established himself as a successful actor on stage, film and television.  In 2009 he landed the lead role in the BBC series ‘Hope Springs’. Since 2011 he has starred in the American HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’. He has also appeared in the Channel 4 series ‘Sirens’ and the BBC series ‘Birdsong’. He has been tipped as an upcoming talent and in 2011 was named one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow. Richard Madden

Morgan was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland. He studied acting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow, from where he graduated in 2007. He went on to perform on stage in ‘Vernon God Little’ (2007) and ‘All About My Mother’ (2007). In 2011 Morgan played characters in ‘Island’ and the award-winning Irish film, ‘Parked’. However, Morgan is probably best known for his role as the title character in the BBC TV series ‘Merlin’, which he has starred in since 2008. Colin Morgan
Daniela Nardini is from the Ayrshire town of Largs where her parents ran the well-known ice-cream parlour and restaurant. However, rather than joining the family business, Daniela wanted to be an actor and went to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow, graduating in 1989. Her career was launched in 1996 when she landed a role in ‘This Life’ for which she won a BAFTA actor award in 1998. Since then she has starred in numerous TV shows including the comedy-drama ‘New Town’ (2009), set in Edinburgh. Nardini has also worked in theatre. Daniela Nardini
Born in Glasgow, Paterson studied Dramatic Art at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), graduating in 1969. In 1967, whilst he was still a student, he made his professional acting debut at Glasgow Citizens Theatre. He went on to be a founding member of John McGrath’s theatre company, 7:84. In 1976 Paterson made his London stage debut but began to work more in television, with his first appearances including the 1978 BAFTA award-winning drama, ‘Licking Hitler’. In 1982 he was nominated for a Laurence Oliver Award for his performance in ‘Schweik in the Second World War’. The 1980s also saw Paterson’s career expand into film and he has since gone on to appear in a range of movies whilst continuing to perform on stage and in television. Bill Paterson
Comedienne and actror Elaine C. Smith is best known for her role as Mary Nesbitt in the BBC sitcom, ‘Rab C. Nesbitt’, which began in 1990 and was re-launched in 2011. Born in Baillieston, Glasgow, Smith studied at the city’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh. Her TV career was launched in 1986 with her role in the BBC sketch show ‘Naked Video’. Alongside TV and comedy, Smith has also worked in theatre starring in productions such as ‘Calendar Girls’ (2008) and several pantomimes. Elaine C. Smith 
(not all are Scottish)

Meet Scotland's Top 50 Young Film and TV Stars

From Herald Scotland:
They are the rising generation of the film and TV world.

Scotland can boast more than a few acting legends in the global film and TV industry, notably Sir Sean Connery, the late Deborah Kerr, Ewan McGregor and Alan Cumming.

But now there are new kids on the block: some already familiar faces to many viewers, others who have reached the first rung of the showbiz ladder and are determined to climb.

Everyone has heard about Karen Gillan, of Doctor Who fame, Martin Compston, who's much in demand among directors next year, and Katie Leung from the Harry Potter films.

But did you know there are currently two Scots in TV institution Neighbours - Jordan Patrick Smith and Kaiya Jones; two more in the cult US TV series, Game of Thrones - Emun Elliott and Rose Leslie; and another in the latest teen cult, Beaver Falls - Sam Robertson?

We've rounded up the top 50 names and listed them alphabetically.

See the full list at Herald Scotland - they're inviting comments and suggestions there, too.

Scottish Actors readers and followers - let us know if any of the listed actors are on Twitter! Thanks

Richard Wilson: In Conversation (Festival of Words), 'Straight' interview, local library support

Richard Wilson's secrets from the stage and screen

One of the nation's favourite actors revealed a fascinating insight into his life and career at a special In Conversation event at Sheffield Hallam University on Wednesday evening (17 October).
As part of the Off the Shelf festival of words, Sheffield's long-running literary event, the One Foot in the Grave and Merlin star talked candidly about his career as an actor and his more recent work as an associate director at Sheffield Theatres since 2009.
On 1 November a new play which he has directed, Straight, opens at the Crucible Studio. Straight is based on the American film Humpday, and tells the story of two best friends, Lewis and Waldorf, who make a decision to take part in a film that makes them question their friendship in a whole new light.
On the subject of directing, which Richard began doing after taking improvisation classes, he said: "I'm always looking for new writing.  Rather than take a Shakespeare play and twist it to be about, say, Northern Ireland, why not just write a play about the subject?"
Richard's early career was as a research scientist, and he made the leap to acting at the age of 27, when he moved to London to audition at RADA.
Richard told the audience at the event how lucky he was to get a job as an actor in a version of the TV series, Dr Finlay's Casebook, after completing his course. He said: "I finished RADA on the Friday, and had a television job on the Monday!  I was very lucky in that regard."
Richard’s advice for students looking to embark on a theatre career was to simply go for it, but he also offered a word of caution, saying that acting can be a very unfair profession.
Richard was In Conversation with Sheffield Hallam's director of communications, John Palmer. The event was held at the University as part of the Off the Shelf festival of words.  For more information about other events as part of the festival please visit  Other events are taking place at Sheffield Hallam University, visit for more information.

Source (with audio 'In Conversation with Richard Wilson'): Sheffield University

Wilson plays Straight down the middle
Since being appointed associate director of Sheffield Theatres, Richard Wilson has brought a succession of new or contemporary plays to the Crucible Studio and the latest is Straight.
The comedy by DC Moore is receiving its première in Sheffield and then will transfer to the Bush Theatre in London.
It is based on an American indie film called Humpday in which two college mates agree to a drunken dare that they will, shall we say, get intimate before the cameras in an adult movie.
“Daniel {Evans, Sheffield Theatres artistic director} commissioned David to write a play about sexuality and he had seen the film and thought it would fit the bill and bought the rights.
“I think it’s a better play than the film,” says the director. “It’s funnier, for one thing. It’s interesting in so much as it’s almost farcical at times but when it gets to the nitty gritty it becomes quite serious.”
The play is a lot about relationships, not only male friendships but male-female. One of the men, Lewis, is married, while the other Waldorf has a casual girlfriend, Steph, who is making the film.
“When Waldorf turns up after seven years, Lewis asks him where he is staying and his friend says, ‘Here, at your place,’ because years ago when circumstances were different he promised him that if he needed a place to live he could always come to him. It shows that things can come back to haunt you.”
Once again Richard Wilson finds himself directing a young cast. “That’s because most new plays are written by young people. But I don’t mind that, in fact I like it because older actors can be a little set in their ways,” he observes. “And, of course, it’s exciting when you are discovering new talent.”
As an actor Wilson can currently be seen in the fifth series of Merlin on BBC1, although he only finished on it two weeks ago. “I had to give Merlin two days of this production and go off and do some filming,” he says. “That was agreed beforehand. Merlin has been very handy because it subsidises the other work I do. It’s tough for older actors finding roles and even tougher for older actresses.”
Most of the One Foot in the Grave actor’s other work is directing – next up a play by Richard Bean, Smack Family Robinson, at the Rose Theatre, Kingston – although he is soon off to do a week of lunchtime theatre in Glasgow. He’s appearing with old friend Bill Paterson in something called Astonishing Archie in a programme called A Play, A Pie and A Pint. Sounds the perfect combination.
Straight starts previewing next Thursday, November 1.
Source: Sheffield Telegraph

Actor to perform library ceremony
Veteran actor Richard Wilson will launch the next chapter in the history of his childhood local library.
Wilson, best known for playing Victor Meldrew in the popular BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave, will perform the official opening ceremony for the renovated South West Library, Barr’s Cottage, Greenock on the afternoon of Thursday, 22 November.
John Rushton, Library Operations Team Leader with Inverclyde Libraries, said: “We're delighted Richard has found time in his busy schedule to perform the opening of our recently refurbished branch as this was his local library when he was growing up in Greenock. Free refreshments will be available and we hope people will come along to meet Richard and take a look at the new facilities on offer.”
The library had a £300,000 six-month refurbishment. Work included a new roof and double-glazing; complete redecoration with new bookshelves, counter and furniture.
There is now a state-of-the-art learning zone with interactive whiteboard; more public access computers with free wi-fi; a bright comfortable children's area; young adult area with study space; a coffee machine and comfortable seating. An induction loop is also provided for the benefit of people with hearing difficulties.
Source: Inverclyde Now

Ken Stott: Uncle Vanya

Multiple spotlights on Chekhov’s darkness
As five stagings of ‘Uncle Vanya’ hit UK theatres in a few months, why does its existential gloom speak to us so profoundly?
In a rehearsal space in east London, actor Ken Stott is poking disconsolately at the contents of a plastic lunch box. He is clearly on a no-frills diet.
“You won’t be able to see me by Monday,” he moans.
It’s a moment that could almost have been lifted from the play he is rehearsing. Stott is playing Uncle Vanya, a grouchy old so-and-so, who, in Christopher Hampton’s version of Anton Chekhov’s 1897 original, even says of himself: “I do nothing except grumble like an old sour grape.”
Stott is in good company: his Vanya will be one of five to grace British theatres within a few months. Indeed the production, directed by Lindsay Posner, opens in the West End within days of a Russian-language performance by Moscow’s Vakhtangov company, directed by the renowned Rimas Tuminas, with leading Russian actor Sergey Makovetsky in the title role.
So why is this self-styled “cantankerous old codger” so much in the spotlight? Is it a coincidence? Or is there something in his grumpiness, self-mockery and frustration that speaks particularly to our time? And if so, why should that be?
Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya is a masterpiece: a humane, funny and heartbreaking study of wasted potential. But boil it down and you end up with something as dull-sounding as suet pudding. It opens on a run-down rural estate painstakingly maintained by Vanya and his niece Sonya. We first meet the local doctor, Astrov, complaining about the tedium of provincial life, and then encounter Vanya who, at 47, is undergoing a mid-life crisis of epic proportions, kick-started by the arrival of his brother-in-law, a pompous professor, and his beautiful wife. Nearly everyone feels sorry for themselves – particularly Vanya. So why do we warm to him so?
Makovetsky thinks the appeal lies in recognition. “All of us are Uncle Vanyas,” he says. “Most people who see the performance say that it is about them.”
Stott agrees. “Most of us spend the vast majority of our time complaining about something,” the actor says. “And everyone reaches the stage where they become preoccupied with what is going to happen in the second half of their lives. In this play everyone is in a crisis about that.”
Vanya’s crisis is specific: he has spent his life maintaining the estate in order to support the professor’s career. But when the tetchy academic arrives in person, Vanya suddenly feels a fool. He senses that he has wasted 25 years servicing an opinionated charlatan. Iain Glen, who played Vanya this spring, suggests that his predicament, though particular, is universally recognisable.
“I think Vanya is particularly poignant for middle-aged people who suddenly think: ‘How do I find myself here?’ ” he says. “Nearly all the characters are suddenly brought to a point where they begin to ask themselves those life questions. ‘Why did I make that choice, why have I ended up with this person, where did the time go?’ ”
What is also important is the fact that this introspection strikes at a moment of enforced indolence. Like most of us, Chekhov’s characters start to brood when they are tipped out of their normal work routine.
“One misconception about Chekhov is that his characters were idle sort of people with not enough to do,” says Glen. “That’s certainly not what Vanya’s about. These are people who are usually very, very busy, and then something happens and they grind to a halt. It’s the arrival of this professor: the way he wants to live his life is completely at odds with the way the house has been run. Everyone is brought to a halt and in that halt starts to look inward to where they are.”
But while the frustration may be general, it is Vanya who is singled out in the title – and as “Uncle” Vanya. It’s an affectionate appellation, but not one designed to confer heroic status. It draws attention to the unfulfilled potential in his life: Vanya is not a father, grandfather, husband or lover.
“He’s only uncle to one person,” says Glen. “But he is that figure within the Russian household who kind of looks after things: the worker, the person who they could all depend on. He becomes unpredictable and undependable and inconsolable and it throws everyone’s world upside down.”
But does the play’s current popularity arise only from its timeless qualities? Or does this emotional tumult feel particularly pertinent for a 21st-century audience facing a precarious future and the loss of old certainties? Tuminas, director of the Vakhtangov’s Vanya, suggests that this might in part be true. “People nowadays are very desperate,” he says.
Tuminas describes a disorientation in Russia: “The main feeling is the loss of a dream. I agree with the great Russian philosopher who said that a country is defined not by its geographical location or by the language of the nation but by whether it has its dream or not. Liberty and democracy were once a dream for us but it hasn’t been eternal.”
Tuminas’s production is groundbreaking. Wildly physical, darkly comic and gleefully absurd, it dispenses with all the usual Chekhov furnishings. His characters rattle about on a near-empty stage, propelled by their feelings. “It’s a physical realisation that time is slipping through your fingers,” he says.
The American Richard Alger is co-director of Theatre Movement Bazaar’s Anton’s Uncles, which toured Britain earlier this autumn. He too feels the resonance of the panic in Chekhov’s play. “I think the idea of not fulfilling your dreams is very big in the Zeitgeist,” Alger says. Anton’s Uncles strips down the original, emphasising its wild fluctuations of mood. “You’re left with something very raw and that’s what’s appealing about his work,” he says.
It’s not just what Chekhov says that feels fresh then – it is how he says it. Recent English productions have shaken off the reverent melancholia of earlier stagings and embraced the emotional rawness and trapped, febrile energy in the play. When the characters soliloquise, we seem to listen in on their thoughts. Stott says this demands truthful delivery: “You have to be doubly careful to try and achieve that nakedness: stripping off a layer and showing the soul.”
Posner, his director, adds: “It’s not the plot that’s dynamic. The journey of the characters is the source of dramatic tension.”
In its earliest form, the play incorporated a suicide and a happier ending. But Chekhov changed this for a failed shooting and a more ambivalent ending: Vanya and Sonya return to their labours in a final scene that contains both solace and aching sadness. His characters may despair, but in the end they keep on keeping on. Less dramatic, perhaps, but far truer to most people’s experience.
In the end it is this profound, sympathetic honesty that speaks to us. “People always have the sense that life is just slightly better over there,” says Iain Glen. “There are very few of us who think, ‘You know what, I’m really happy right here: this is perfect.’ That’s not what we are. And that’s what Chekhov wrote about.”
‘Uncle Vanya’, Vaudeville Theatre, London, to February 16,
‘Uncle Vanya’, Noel Coward Theatre, London, November 5-10, 

Source: Financial Times (Theatre & Dance) 

Elaine C Smith: 'Mum and Me' radio series

Mum and Me - radio series hosted by Elaine C Smith
1/6 How would you react if your 16 year old daughter told you she was pregnant? In this new BBC Radio Scotland series, Mum and Me, Elaine C Smith hears some heart felt stories about the unique relationship between a mother and her child. This programme looks at the issues that surround being a teen mum. Elaine C Smith talks to Lois Beaumont as she reflects back on her teenage pregnancy and how it changed her life and the relationship with her own mother.
First broadcast BBC Radio Scotland, 2:05PM Thu, 25 Oct 2012
Available until 1:32PM Thu, 1 Nov 2012
Duration 30 minutes
Listen to the programme at BBC

Ewan McGregor: new movie project, and more 'Porno' speculation

Exclusive : Ewan McGregor, Evan Rachel Wood in Marina Nemat Biopic
From Movie Hole:
Ewan McGregor and Evan Rachel Wood are in talks for “The Prince of Tehran”, a Kari Skogland-directed piece that’ll be a fat focus at AFM in a week’s time.
We’re told the script, which sounds like an engrossing cross between “Midnight Express” and “Bangkok Hilton”, is based on a harrowing, super-emotional true story set after the 1980 Iranian revolution where a 16-year-old Christian schoolgirl named Marina Nemat was, in 1982 after being arrested for leading a protest against the requirement to study the Koran , sentenced to death at the infamous Evin prison.
Salvation came for the girl in the form of Ali, a young guard that falls in love with the girl, ultimately proposing they get married – which would involve her adopting Islam – to save her life. The tale has a rather tragic end, but Marina’s story has emerged a heroine with an important, much-heard voice.
Read more at Movie Hole
Also reported by Films News and (as "The Prisoner of Tehran") by 

McGregor denies ruling out return as Renton
Ewan McGregor has denied turning down the chance to
reprise his role as Renton in Porno, the new film based on an Irvine Welsh book.
The Scottish actor’s starring role in Trainspotting is one of his most iconic parts.
It had been widely reported that McGregor turned down the chance to star in a movie version of Porno – which is set nine years after Trainspotting.
However, writing on Twitter, the actor insisted he had not been approached.
After a fan asked why he had turned down the role, the 41-year-old said: “I’ve never been offered Porno. Never seen a script.
“Never had a call from anyone to make that film.”
His comments prompted fans to tweet novelist Welsh, urging him to get McGregor on board.
One follower, Shane Campbell, wrote: “It would be a blockbuster! Make it happen!”
Danny Boyle, who directed Trainspotting and has been lined up for Porno, said: “I’d love to do another movie with him.”
Other actors from the original film, including Robert Carlyle and Jonny Lee Miller, have publicly stated they would like to take part in the project.
Carlyle, who played Begbie in the film, said he would “jump through hoops of fire backwards” for the filmmaker and would “do Porno tomorrow for nothing”.
Source: Scotsman 

James McAvoy: 'Wanted 2' update, 'Transcendence' casting

Wanted 2' Update: No Jolie, But New Female Character — EXCLUSIVE

From Hollywood:
Fans of the 2008 action movie Wanted have been waiting patiently for word on a sequel since the film hit big at the domestic box office (grossing nearly $134.5 million), but now it sounds like Wanted 2 may finally on the horizon.
Talking to about his new novel spy novel, The Right Hand (set for release in November), Wanted screenwriter Derek Haas revealed that he and his writing partner Michael Brandt are readying to deliver their second draft of the script. Arriving at this point nearly half a decade later was a bumpy ride Haas was happy to take.
"After the first movie came out, we were supposed to write the sequel," says Haas. "For various reasons, we didn't connect with what Universal wanted to do creatively. A little bit of what Timur [Bekmambetov, director] wanted to do. So we just sort of bowed out gracefully."
Universal hired multiple writers to tackle the Wanted 2 script after Haas and Brandt departed the sequel. But in 2011, the studio reapproach them for the job. "We got that call that you always love as a screenwriter. 'Can you guys please come back?' We loved the world. That experience was great. We said, 'Well here's what we want to do with the sequel.' And they said, 'Okay.'"
Haas says his time away from Wanted 2 has strengthened his interest in the project, and will actually serve the story. "After four years, from a creative standpoint, it's almost better, because we can pick up the story four years later," says Haas. "It's 'Where is Wesley four years after the events of the first movie?'" Rumors surrounding the plot of Wanted 2 have come and gone with the various attached screenwriters (including possible prequel ideas that could open the door for the return of Angelina Jolie), but Haas insists the goal is not to undo anything presented in the original film. "Angelina Jolie gets shot in the head and everyone's like, 'Oh, are you going to bring back Fox?' I said, 'Did you see the bullet go into her head?' And they say, 'Oh, she can take one of those milk baths!' We never wanted to do that movie."
What Haas and Brandt are working on sounds much more interesting: "The only thing I can tell you is that Wesley [James McAvoy] is now, four years later, recruiting a young woman who is in his situation in the first movie. She's got a sh**ty life. He's sort of in the Fox role. This new girl is brought into the world."
After penning a novel and cooking up a TV show that debuted this season (Chicago Fire), Haas says he's thrilled to be back in the comic book universe of Wanted 2, where his imagination can really run wild. "The world is a blast. Timur is awesome. You get to go nuts. As writers it's really freeing to bend physics and natural laws."
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]
Source (including photo): Hollywood

Also reported by:
Digital Spy 
Spinoff Online
Splash Page 

James McAvoy, Noomi Rapace, Tobey Maguire & Christoph Waltz linked for Transcendence
A few more names besides Johnny Depp have been linked for Wally Pfister's Transcendence via THR. They include Noomi Rapace (Dragon Tattoo, Prometheus), James McAvoy (Trance), Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds). Included is the first bit of story on the project which is in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Inception.

The story centers on a man who creates a computer that develops a malevolent awareness. Depp will play a husband who gets sucked into the computer, contigent on changes Pfister is making to the script, sources say.
Source (including image): Celluloid & Cigarette Burns

Douglas Henshall: '55 Days' interview, reviews, Press Night

Douglas Henshall in 55 Days (Photo: Catherine Ashmore)
Q&A: Douglas Henshall
From the cult 90s series Lipstick On Your Collar to sci-fi favourite Primeval, the critically acclaimed Scottish actor Douglas Henshall is rarely off our screens. Luckily for us, he’s also a stage favourite and following his last outing opposite Kristin Scott Thomas in 2011’s West End production of Betrayal, he’s back at the Hampstead theatre in a very different role, this time portraying infamous politician and soldier Oliver Cromwell in Howard Brenton’s 55 Days, a drama set during one of the most turbulent periods of English history.

As the cast prepares for a hopefully less turbulent period, the show’s official opening tonight, we challenged Henshall to our quick-fire quiz and discovered a secret kitchen habit, how his mother is responsible for the proudest moment in his career and why a pink palace always wins him over.

What first sparked your interest in performing?
Watching my friends who were in a youth theatre in my home town of Barrhead [in Scotland] and it looked like fun so I went along to audition.

In 55 Days you play Oliver Cromwell who famously supported the trial of King Charles I. If you could put anyone dead or alive on trial now, who would it be? 
Margaret Thatcher for all the obvious reasons, closely followed by Tony Blair.

If you were in politics, which law would you pass straight away and why?
That all big corporations should pay their fair share of tax.

Have you done a lot of research for 55 Days and the period it is set in?
The play is incredibly well researched and I took almost everything I needed from the play. Most biographies of Cromwell are very dry and fact-based and aren’t based on him as a man.

Are you taking inspiration from anyone in particular to play the role?
Cromwell is inspiring enough.

Stage or screen? 
They are both equally attractive in their own way.

What is your favourite city in the world? 

Buenos Aires. Anywhere where the presidential palace is pink has to have something going for it.

What has been your proudest moment of your career so far?
Being at the RSC was a very big deal for my mother. She was delighted that I was in Stratford-upon-Avon and thought I had finally made it. So for the amount of pleasure that it gave my mum, I would say that would be one of the best moments.

What advice would you like to impart on the world?

What could you not be without?

My wife.

Do you have any passions people might be surprised to hear about?
Cooking. I make the best chicken soup this side of Golders Green.

Where do you head after a performance? 


How would you like to be remembered?

Over a drink.

What would you choose as a last meal?
My mother in law’s sea bass.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

A tennis player.

What ambitions do you have left to achieve? 
Too many to mention…
  • 55 Days - Hampstead Theatre
  • Age Suitability: General
  • Genre: Play
  • opening night:
  • box Office: 020 7722 9301 
Source (including photo above): Official London Theatre

The Arts Desk
Rev Stan's Theatre Blog 
London Evening Standard 
What's On Stage
The Times (full article here)

55 Days - Press Night photos and reviews
Douglas Henshall and Mark Gatiss
Wednesday (24 Oct) was Press Night at Hampstead Theatre for 55 Days. Guests included Penny Smith, Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Fry.
★★★★ The Guardian
‘The real pleasure lies in seeing a pivotal moment in English history presented with such fervent dramatic power’
★★★★ The Times
‘Douglas Henshall, gives us a still, burning, troubled Cromwell, part politician, part zealot, jabbing at Bible verses. Mark Gatiss, beaky and disdainful with a camp Morningside diction, beautifully delivers Brenton’s 17th-century rhythms, especially in Charles’s authentic lines’
★★★★ The Telegraph
‘At its considerable best, the play depicts the political process with clarity and vigour’
★★★★ Independent
‘The only figure in seventeenth century costume is Charles I, rivetingly played by Mark Gatiss with a Scots burr, an ironically edged sense of total entitlement, and a gasping stammer of revulsion and fear whenever he has to pronounce the words “people” and “parliament”’
★★★★ Financial Times
‘Absorbing and rich, 55 Days is a rewarding warning against revolutions that turn 360 degrees’
★★★★ Daily Mail
‘Douglas Henshall’s Cromwell is an unexpected creation. Mr Henshall makes him almost a male model at times, fussing about his own blond hairdo and turning up his jacket collar to look just so’

Source (including photo above, and more): Hampstead Theatre 

Karen Gillan: 'Oculus' wraps in Alabama

‘Oculus’, starring Katee Sackhoff & Karen Gillan, filming underway in Alabama
Karen Gillan and Katee Sackhoff are currently in Alabama for Oculus, a horror film about a woman who believes her family was killed by an antique mirror and not her brother who was charged with the crime.
The movie, which has only been filming in Baldwin and Mobile Counties for about three weeks, already celebrated their wrap party and will complete lensing on Saturday, according to Alabama Film.'

Karen recently took an impromptu road trip from Alabama to New Orleans with one of her other co-stars, Brenton Thwaites. She shared some of the adventure with her Twitter followers, writing, “Crazy night in new Orleans. Got back to the ritz by donkey. I love that sentence.”

Source: On Location Vacations

Kate Dickie: soul searching interview

Soul Searching: Kate Dickie
When I was seven ...
We lived in a cottage on a country estate near Cupar, Angus, and I could always be found in the garden with my dad, who was the gardener. I remember running about in my shorts, digging in the garden and climbing trees.
My dad would tell amazing stories – all from his imagination. One was about a baker called Mr Bun who made magic cakes. If you happened to make a wish when you took a bite, it would come true.
He would hide Opal Fruits in the greenhouses and I would go looking for them, believing fairies had left them.
The first time my heart was broken ...
I was seven and my best friend Gary Harrison moved away. We had known each other since we were toddlers and went everywhere together. I have always wondered what happened to him.
The wisest thing my grandmother told me ...
Always be true to yourself.
The biggest adversity I have overcome ...
I have bunions so probably having to get my bare feet out on screen.
My motto for life ...
"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a song bird will come." It's from a little book of Eastern wisdom I carry about everywhere with me.
My soul mate is ...
My partner Kenny. We have been together for 14 years. He is so special, kind and handsome and has always been there for me. I love him to bits.
Not many people know that ...
I've been arachnophobic since I was two or three. My sister was in the top bunk in our bedroom and there was a spider on the ceiling. It suddenly dropped on to her face and she flipped out. I got upset too and was screaming and crying. The fear has got worse as I've got older.
The most inspiring book I've read was ...
The Horrific Sufferings Of The Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot: His Wonderful Love and Terrible Hatred by Carl-Johan Vallgren. It's about two children born at the same time in 1813. One is a beautiful woman and the other a deformed monster that people can barely look at. It's an amazing and strange book that has always stuck with me.
If ever I feel lonely I ...
Get a cuddle from my daughter, Molly, eight, and Kenny.
What I look for in a friend is ...
Kindness, someone I can talk to easily and who understands how bonkers I am.
The first person I ring when I'm upset is ...
Kenny. He is always good in a crisis.
I believe the secret to a strong relationship is ...
Compromise, always remembering why you fell in love in the first place and making time to listen to the other person.
Something I wish I'd done earlier ...
Learned to play a musical instrument. My dad played the accordion as does my sister. I had lessons when I was six, but we couldn't afford a child's accordion and I was too small to see over the top of the normal one. I got sent home and cried all the way.
My childhood hero was ...
My mum and dad were both wonderful. There are no other actors in my family, but my dad was a dramatic guy. He told great stories and had such a fantastic imagination. When I decided I wanted to do acting, they were both so supportive of me, and told me to follow my dreams.
The place I most like to call home ...
Wherever Kenny and Molly are.

Kate Dickie stars in Stronger, directed by Peter Mackie Burns, which has its world première in Glasgow tonight [25 October]. Tickets are free. For information, visit

Source: Herald Scotland

Alan Cumming: Making A Difference award, BAFTA Britannia host, 'Beautiful' song vid

Alan Cumming Receives the Making a Difference Award
Published on Oct 19, 2012 by
Judy Shepard presents Alan Cumming with the Making A Difference Award from the Matthew Shepard Foundation at the 11th Annual Bear to Make a Difference Gala and Celebrity Teddy Bear Auction.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.
To learn more about the Matthew Shepard Foundation and their work, please visit and http://www.Matthew'

Source: YouTube

Alan Cumming to host BAFTA's Britannia Awards
Scottish actor Alan Cumming is to return for a fourth time as host of the 2012 Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., organizers announced.
Presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles, the event is to take place Nov. 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
"I'm so happy to be back hosting my fourth Britannia Awards," Cumming said in a statement. "It's 15 years since I first came to Hollywood and what better way to commemorate that than to be hosting a celebration of the best of British and Tinseltown. I'm excited to see old friends and raise a few glasses to the best in our business -- and be a bit mischievous too of course."
"We're so pleased that we were able to secure Alan to host this year's awards. We owe thanks to the producers of 'The Good Wife' who were kind enough to rearrange their production schedule to allow for Alan to be with us," said Britannia Chairman Nigel Lythgoe, referring to Cumming's television legal drama, which shoots in New York. "We're grateful that we can do justice to the extraordinary caliber of talent represented in this year's honorees with our esteemed host and presenters."
Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and Josh Gad will be among those presenting awards at this year's show.
The Britannia Awards are to be broadcast Nov. 11 on BBC America.

Read more: Entertainment News 

Peppard: See Alan Cumming’s *&%# Beautiful Two by Two encore
With his semi-regular appearance at Dallas’ Two by Two for AIDS and Art, Scottish singer-actor-director Alan Cumming gives more entertainment per pound than anyone since Judy Garland. Appearing as Eli Gold on the hit show The Good Wife, Cumming is a hot commodity. His act is not for the squeamish who mind jokes about vibrators. “That’s right, I said vibrator,” he told the Saturday night Two by Two crowd at the home of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky.
And his encore song, “Beautiful” did include one really profane word—repeated 28 times in less than two minutes. If you think that word might offend, don’t watch the attached video.

Source: Dallas News

Any Day Now interview
The Huffington Post has an interview with Alan about Any Day Now here

Brian Cox: a viewer's guide

From Empire Magazine:
Brian Cox: A Viewer's Guide
The highs (and lows) of the actor’s career
Brian Cox has many things to commend him. A proven character actor with a gift for lighting up films like Spike Jonze’s Adaptation, David Fincher’s Zodiac and Spike Lee’s 25th Hour in even short bursts, the Scotsman is equally accomplished in meatier on-screen roles, and on stage.
His political leanings mean he’s capable of taking academics down a peg or two.
We think he’s also a nuclear physicist and may have also been in D:Rream, although that may need checking (ED: Are you perhaps thinking of Professor Brian Cox?).
Read on for our guide to his finest film moments.
Source: Empire Online

Alan Cumming selling Billy Connolly's suit

Billy Connolly's Signed Suit VERY RARE!
Here is your chance to own Billy Connolly's one of a kind suit, signed by Billy!!
This suit was worn during his famous Albert Hall performance in London. BID NOW!!

This item is part of a series of items being auctioned off by Alan Cumming and friends to raise money for good, social change.
Source: Ebay

A full list of items in the auction is available on Alan's blog

Billy Connolly: 'Quartet' trailer

Trailer for Dustin Hoffman's Quartet
The trailer for Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, Quartet, is now online and you can check it out in the player below, courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.

Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Sheridan Smith star in the December 28 release.

Quartet tells the story of Reggie (Courtenay), Wilf (Connolly) and Cissy (Collins) who reside in Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Each year they stage a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday, which also raises funds for the home. Reggie's ex-wife Jean (Smith) arrives at the home and creates tension, playing the diva part but refusing to sing in the concert.
Source: Coming Soon

Martin Compston: 'Sister' review, Commonwealth Games ambassador profile

Review: 'Sister'
'Sister' tells the story of a 12-year-old thief who steals from wealthy patrons of a ski resort, has a healthy seam of mischief to cut through the social commentary, writes Tim Robey

4 out of 5 stars 
15 cert, 97 min
Dir: Ursual Meier; starring: Kacey Mottet Klein, Léa Seydoux, Gillian Anderson, Martin Compston.
Sister is a switch of name for the lovely new film by Swiss director Ursula Meier (Home), whose original French title, L’Enfant d’en haut, translates roughly as “The Kid From Up Above”. Said kid is Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein), a 12-year-old kleptomaniac who earns his crust stealing equipment from an Alpine ski resort.
The implications of “en haut” aren’t just topographical but also ones of class. The wealthy types up there, Simon claims, can’t care overly about their purloined stuff, because they instantly pay to replace it. We needn’t agree, of course: Meier withholds judgment, merely filling us in bit by bit on the hard-knock life Simon has been forced to live.
Taking the cable-car back down the mountain to where he stays with his broke, promiscuous and generally bedraggled sister Louise (Léa Seydoux), Simon is very much the breadwinner, selling stolen gloves and shades to other local kids for pocket money and trying to get the best price on the high-end skis he’s also managed to waddle off with.
The milieu provides a built-in disguise: wearing wraparound googles and head-to-toe outdoorwear, he’s a miniature Raffles in polyester. He cajoles his way in everywhere, and we needn’t trust the story he tells about the death of his parents in a car crash, but he’s also a bright spark, hard to dislike, and hugely vulnerable beneath it all.
In a year set to be studded with great child acting – think Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Tom Holland (The Impossible) – it would be a mistake to neglect Klein, who’s a marvel of puckish naturalism throughout this. Seydoux, too, does capable work as a scrounging sexpot in tight jeans, building a boisterous but fraught relationship with her co-star that keeps revealing unexpected layers. It perhaps sounds a little like a Dardennes brothers film – last year’s The Kid with a Bike comes readily to mind. But it outshines that one, because a healthy seam of mischief helps cut through the occasionally rote social comment. Meier, working with the great French cinematographer Agnès Godard (Beau Travail), finds a lonely quality in the thin mountain air, a climate that thrill-seekers inhale and evacuate to leave this invisible boy behind, converting their blessings into his loot.
Source: Telegraph

Martin's profile at Carnaby Films
Carnaby Films - Martin-Compston 
Commonwealth Games Ambassador by Carnaby Films
The actor Martin Compston has played a diverse range of characters in his time, but his latest role is something quite unlike anything he has done before. Compston, whom Carnaby Films say hails from Greenock, will be seen on television screens all over the country in the upcoming weeks, in the first advertisement for the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Glasgow in 2014. Compston has been appointed as an ambassador for the Games although he has admitted that the offer took him by surprise.
According to Carnaby Films, Compston initially believed the offer to be a ‘wind-up’ but when he eventually realised it was genuine, was delighted and accepted it immediately. Having seen this summer, the transformative effect the Olympic Games had on London, Compston is said to be very excited about the upcoming Games in Glasgow. He remarked that the entire city of London had been given a ‘real lift’ during the Olympics and the Paralympics, and he hoped that the Commonwealth Games would have a similarly positive effect on Glasgow. It is set to be a world class event, with Mo Farah, Rebecca Adlington and Tom Daley participating.
Compston has seen some great success in front of the camera in recent years, Carnaby Films explain, particularly with Line of Duty, a police drama by the BBC. He is currently in the midst of filming a drama for ITV called The Ice Cream girls, which tells the tale of two women, who are accused of having murdered a school teacher when they were younger. Compston will also be starring with James McAvoy in Filth, a film adaption of the famous book by Irvine Welsh.
His next project is a role in The Wee Man, a film by the production company Carnaby Films, which tells the story of Paul Ferris, a gangster from Glasgow, and is due to be released in 2013. The film has already caused controversy, with some critics arguing that the way in which the characters are portrayed idealises the criminal underbelly of the city. Compston commented that he found the amount of interest in the film quite surprising, adding that he hoped that it would live up to the audience’s expectations.
Source: Carnaby Films

Peter Capaldi: 'The Thick Of It' finale

The Thick of It: good news, minister, the show is over
The stars, writers and producers tell the story of the award-winning political satire which made a household name of spin doctor Malcolm Tucker and ends on Saturday 
The Thick Of It
Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), Olly Reeder (Chris Addison), Helen Hawkins (Rebecca Gethings), Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front) in a scene from The Thick of It.
Photograph: Des Willie/BBC/Des Willie

Award-winning political satire The Thick Of It comes to an end on BBC2 on Saturday. The show, which made foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker a household name first appeared on BBC4 seven years ago. Here we look back on the origins of the show, its big-screen spin-off, and how it became part of the political lexicon.
Armando Iannucci had already made The Day Today and I'm Alan Partridge, with Steve Coogan, when he was inspired to create The Thick Of It after arguing the case for Yes Minister in a 2004 Best British Sitcom poll for BBC2. It was commissioned for an initial three-part run by BBC4.
Armando Iannucci Armando Iannucci "One of the lucky offshoots [of the BBC2 show] was that I could sit down and watch every episode of Yes Minister and it made me think we need something like this now. The terrain was very different – it was not about the civil service but about advisers and the whole Campbell-Mandelson communications thing. I spoke to [Yes Minister co-creator] Antony Jay and he said 'go for it'."
Adam Tandy (producer) "When Peter Capaldi [who went on to star as Malcolm Tucker] came to the casting session he had already been for an audition that day. I don't think he had been working an awful lot and was in a slightly off-colour mood. We did an improvisation session and he channelled all his frustration into it. That could be what got him the part. He was born to play the role."
Iannucci "I knew within the BBC there was a buzz about it and I felt it myself shooting it. In the very first scene Malcolm Tucker comes in and fires the incumbent minister; Malcolm looks at him and whatever light there was leaves his eyes. I remember looking at the monitors thinking, we've got something here."
Critics said the show could "scarcely be more topical", with Andrew Marr describing it as the "angry, rampaging bastard child of Yes Minister". It was commissioned for another three-part run, but the faux-documentary filming style was not to every viewer's taste.
Chris Addison Chris Addison (special adviser Ollie Reader) "It's calmed down a bit now but if you look back one of the biggest complaints wasn't the swearing but the camerawork. It used to make people feel sick."
Tandy "We shot it in the old Guinness brewery in Park Royal, west London. We were literally the last people to leave before the bulldozers moved in and if you listen to the soundtrack on the second group of three episodes you can hear the lorries."
Days after beating Ricky Gervais to win best TV comedy actor at the British Comedy Awards in 2005, it was revealed star Chris Langham (who played the bumbling minister Hugh Abbot) had been arrested by police as part of an investigation into child pornography on the internet. A planned series was replaced by two specials, with Langham's character absent "in Australia", while the case came to court. He was subsequently jailed in 2007 for downloading images of child abuse and did not return.
Iannucci "We chose not to leap to judgment, something we are still seeing to this day in terms of government by newspaper headline, mob rule and so on, and said we would wait."
Tandy "The hiatus was not great because we lost momentum but we knew the show was good and knew there was still enthusiasm to make it. We managed to keep the show in production even though we were not officially making a series."
The show's writing team, including Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Sean Gray, included Ian Martin in the unusual role of "swearing consultant".
Ian Martin "I hadn't seen a script when the first ones came over and Armando, who I had worked with on a couple of things, said just shit all over them, do whatever you like. I still wasn't sure what he wanted but I remember changing a line, when Malcolm was on the phone, from 'he's fucking useless' to 'he's as useless as a fucking marzipan dildo'. I sent them back and said is this the sort of thing you're after. He said, yeah, yeah, brilliant."
Sean Gray "The first draft of the script will go to Armando and he will feed in notes – 'less shits', 'too fucky' or just 'funnier' written in the margin. It motivates you. It then goes to the other writers. By the time of shooting you are on draft 20 or more."
The Thick of It transferred to the big screen with film spin-off, In The Loop, in 2009, starring James Gandolfini.
Iannucci "I had been thinking about the fallout from the war in Iraq and thought it would make an interesting film. I already had a repertory company in place in terms of people who could do it."
Tandy "We were very lucky BBC Films came to us. We thought about it for about 12 seconds before saying yes. We heard James Gandolfini was a fan so he was very pleased to come on board."
Joanna Scanlan Joanna Scanlan (press chief Terri Coverley) "I know Tony Soprano was in it so it should have felt like a huge deal but whatever Armando does is very grounded, you never have a sense of not being safe or things being out of control. It brought a new audience to the TV show and made a huge character out of Malcolm Tucker."
Addison "On the third day of shooting one of the assistant directors turned to me and said 'is it always this nice on the telly show?' Because it isn't always this nice in film."
When The Thick Of It returned to the small screen in 2009, it switched from BBC4 to BBC2, and Hugh Abbot had been replaced as minister by the hapless Nicola Murray, played by Rebecca Front, who had worked with Iannucci on shows such as The Day Today.
Rebecca Front Rebecca Front "I sat down at a writers' meeting with some of the cast members and at that time they had no character, no name, no script. Armando said 'Do you want to start improvising?' It was terrifying – that was the first time I was Tuckered. Peter transformed into Malcolm Tucker, pinned me against the wall and started shouting at me."
Roger Allam Roger Allam (Peter Mannion MP) "My character just emerged really as someone who is behind the new Tory party – although of course we never say it is the Tory party – behind the whole Cameroon thing, get down with the kids and hug a hoodie, all that shite."
Front "I sincerely hope my character doesn't put women going off into politics. I would hope women would want to go into politics because they think they can do better than Nicola Murray. Nicola screws up not because she's a woman but because she's a human being."
Life imitated art when Ed Miliband described George Osborne's latest budget as an "omnishambles". It was a word coined on The Thick Of It by Tucker.
Martin "That was Tony Roche's elegant phrase, it was utterly astonishing. I remember someone sending me a screengrab from Newsnight and there was #omnishambles against the back wall of the studio. It looked like a scene from The Day Today. I suppose it's part of politicians wanting to appropriate the satire, as a way of making it less harmful to them."
Iannucci "When people in real life politics start quoting elements of it to attack opponents, that line between reality and stupidity has been crossed. You kind of think they really ought to be getting on with their own lives. It's not the reason I decided to stop doing it, it's just an interesting point we've arrived at."
This year's fourth series played out against the backdrop of a Leveson-style inquiry. Incidents on the show began to eerily pre-empt similar real-life events, such as a storyline about a government proposal to cut school breakfast clubs, followed the next day by reports of a real-life equivalent. A select committee report this month warned the government against Thick Of It-style special adviser appointments. The public administration select committee warned that the BBC series had "more than a grain of truth".
Gray "We have a consultant [BBC political reporter Kate Conway] who helps us get the more mundane, important details right, like the layout of Ed Miliband's office, but we don't have moles per se. We spend the majority of our time working on jokes and funny lines, not policies."
Front "Every single episode has presaged something that was coming. I sat on a panel with David Cameron the other day and he was forced to acknowledge that, yes, it is basically exactly like what is happening to his government."
A former coalition special adviser "Certainly among the special adviser community it is seen as spookily close to real life. Not quite a fly on the wall documentary but each and every situation that they depict is experienced by special advisers and other people in government on a pretty much daily basis. What it has done so brilliantly is demonstrate that behind the scenes of what might appear an impressive government machine (although not recently) are a bunch of people just like in any other office, with all the clashing egos, fights over territory and pitfalls that go with it."
Ben Bradshaw Labour MP and former culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw "The macho laddish aggression and anger is nothing I ever experienced in government with special advisers or anyone. Tempers frayed very rarely, if at all; maybe I was moving in the wrong circles. That doesn't mean to say that some of the storylines haven't been pretty prescient and prophetic. One of the problems is the reality is much more interesting and extraordinary than the fiction."
Iannucci has said Saturday's episode of The Thick Of It will be the last. He is working on a big-screen adaptation of Alan Partridge and the second series of his West Wing satire Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for HBO.
Iannucci "It's definitely the last series. I've known from past experience to never say never. I don't think it's going to change politics. In terms of comedy hopefully it will inspire someone in the same way that I remember listening to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or watching Not the Nine O'Clock News and thinking, I want to do something like that. You end up making something not like that, but it gives you the impetus to set out on that road."
Gray "It's a shame to stop but it also makes sense because hopefully we haven't outstayed our welcome. It's great to leave at a point where people are hopefully wanting more. That's the best way."
Tandy "Has it changed anything? I think it has. It's brought the way politics functions in this country out into the open. Its shows the government needs a bit more transparency, but it also helps you feel for the politicians sometimes. They are just ordinary people trying to do a job."
The Thick Of It, BBC2, Saturday, 9.30pm

Source: The Guardian

Gerard Butler: UK poster for 'Playing for Keeps'

Playing-for-Keeps-UK-Quad-Poster 799599
From I Need My Fix:
Today we have a new UK poster and a UK trailer as well as a few more new images from that other Gerard Butler movie due out in the next couple months, Gabriele Muccino's Playing for Keeps with Jessica Biel Timberlake and Catherine Zeta Jones, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman, Judy Greer and Noah Lomax as Lewis. The trailer announces that the UK release date has been moved up from 1st February to 1st January. 
See more at I Need My Fix

Billy Boyd: 'Space Milkshake' interview

Space Milkshake - Billy Boyd & Robin Dunne interview

London Comic Con MCM Expo – 26 October 2012
Published on Oct 26, 2012 by RedCarpetNewsTV
Source: YouTube

John Barrowman: 'Hollow Earth' signings, Attack of the Show schedule

John in Arrow

Public appearances
Hollow Earth
(US release 30 October)
30 October - 7.00pm The Skokie Public Library, Skokie, IL 60077
31 October - 7.00pm Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL 60540
2 November - 7.00pm Alverno College Wehr Hall, Milwaukee, WI 53234
3 November - 6.00pm The Red Balloon Bookshop, MN 55105
24 November - 4.00pm Just Fabulous, Palm Springs, CA92262
Source: John Barrowman (official site)
Review of Hollow Earth at Star Tribune

Attack of the Show
As G4 finalizes plans for a channel makeover in 2013, the young male-skewing network will conclude the runs of its two signature series, Attack of the Show and X-Play. Both long-running shows will wrap up production at the end of this year.
Attack of the Show and X-Play will continue to roll out new episodes through December. Leading up to their finales, a rotating lineup of guest co-hosts will join Attack of the Show hosts Candace Bailey and Sara Underwood, including John Barrowman, Michael Ian Black, Josh Myers, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel and Horatio Sanz. Various stars are also expected to join X-Play hosts Morgan Webb and Blair Herter on their show.
Read more at TV Guide 
John Barrowman's official site has a full schedule of John's appearances in November

Scottish BAFTA nominations

Edith Bowman will host the awards
Scottish BAFTAs 2012 nominations revealed, with Edith Bowman set to host
Radio presenter Edith Bowman will host this next month's Scottish BAFTAs ceremony, with Ken Loach acclaimed film The Angels' Share leading the way in the nominations.
The film, which saw Loach receive the Jury Prize at the Cannes festival earlier this year, is up for four awards. The winners will be announced in Glasgow on Sunday November 18.
The Angels' Share is up for best feature film, with Paul Laverty nominated for best writer. Meanwhile Paul Brannigan – who hosted Born To Lose? for the STV Appeal – and Siobhan Reilly are up for best actor and actress respectively.
Meanwhile Antiques Road Trip, which is made by STV Productions, is nominated in the features/factual entertainment category.
Fife-born Bowman said: "The event is a brilliant showcase of the moving image industries and highlights the wealth of talent here in Scotland.
"Over the past year Scotland has cemented its reputation as a leading player in film, TV and game production. So much fantastic work has been produced and I'm very excited to see who wins from the list of nominees."
Kevin Bridges's show What's The Story? is among those nominated for best comedy/entertainment programme, while the funny man is also up for best writer for the series.
There may be some marital strife as Gregor Fisher and Elaine C Smith go head to head in the best television actor/actress category. They’re nominated for their husband/wife roles in Rab C Nesbitt.
Jude MacLaverty, director of Bafta in Scotland, said: "The British Academy Scotland Awards is all about rewarding excellence in the industry, and this year's nominations reflect the sheer breadth of talent, creativity, and originality here in Scotland."
Source: STV

The acting nominees are...
  • Paul Brannigan: The Angels’ Share
  • James Cosmo: Citadel
  • Siobhan Reilly: The Angels’ Share
  • Iain De Caestecker: Young James Herriot
  • Gregor Fisher: Rab C Nesbitt
  • Elaine C Smith: Rab C Nesbitt

Also reported (with full nominations list) by Scotsman  BBC Scotland and Daily Record

Photo of Edith Bowman: Scotsman
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