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Entries in casting (98)

Thursday
Jul232015

Rosamund Pike, "Gone" No More

Murtada reporting. Thanks for such kind comments on my first post last week.

Rosamund Pike became a star when she stared blanky at French speaking Carey Mulligan in An Education and calmly said “no you didn’t, you said something completely different”. A new delicious take on the ditzy blonde. She shifted that cool blank blonde vibe to convey ruthless smarts, to grand Oscar-nominated results in  Gone Girl. We’ve been wondering how Hollywood will capitalize on her breakthrough ever since.

Earlier this week it was announced that she will be joining Jon Hamm in the political thriller High Wire Act. This marks the third high profile project for her since that breakout. She’s also been cast opposite David Oyelowo in Amma Asante's Belle follow up, also an interracial romance, A United Kingdom, and alongside Jason Clarke, Jack O’Çonnell and Mia Wasikowska in the World War II drama HHH. Three roles, three leading men, three different genres, three period pieces: a political thriller, a historical drama and a love story taking place during WW II, right after it and in the 1970s. They look great on paper given the collaborators and topics but are they well written or will it be the cool blonde in stock wife / love interest mode?

Here's what little we know about the roles.
In Kingdom she will be Ruth Williams, a British woman who faced controversy because of her interracial marriage to Seretse Khama, Botswanan royal. In HHH she’s Lina Heydrich, wife of Reinhard one of the main architects of the Holocaust. Supposedly she was the one who introduced him to the Nazi  party. We don’t know anything about her role in Wire beyond being a CIA undercover operative tasked with protecting Hamm’s character.

the famous photographer Margaret Bourke White shot this photo of Ruth Williams and Seretsa Khama

She’s not the headliner in any, though Kingdom sounds like a strong two-hander. Hopefully the movies deliver for us and for her. (Announced last year but maybe not happening as things have quieted down, is Hany Abu Assad’s The Mountain Between Us with Charlie Hunnam.) Which of the upcoming projects excites you and who would you most like to see her paired with next? 

Saturday
Jul042015

Halfway: All Hail Alicia Vikander!

½way mark - part 4 of ?
Here's Lynn Lee on 2015's Most Ubiquitous Actress


In the act(ress)ing world, there are rising stars and then there are rockets – the ones whose careers lift off so high so fast it leaves us all blinking a little.  Think Jessica Chastain in 2011, or Jennifer Lawrence in 2012.  2015 looks to be a rocket year for young Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who’s attracted favorable notice here at TFE and by critics and directors on both sides of the Atlantic, though she’s yet to achieve mainstream moviegoer recognition.  

If she keeps going as she’s begun, she may soon have that, too.

I first took note of Vikander in 2012, the year of her breakthrough role in the historical drama and Oscar best foreign film nominee A Royal Affair, as a young queen who helps bring the Enlightenment to 18th century Denmark, and a supporting turn in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina.  Nathaniel nominated her for a Film Bitch Award that year and she’s worth watching in both films, especially the former. But it wasn’t until I saw her back to back in this year’s Ex Machina and Testament to Youth that I really got what the fuss was about. 

And what is it about, exactly?...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun262015

Welcome to the Academy - The Lucky 322

As is their annual tradition now AMPAS has released the list of the names they've offered memberships too. If you're new to the tradition, you'll note in the following list that most of the time a first nomination will results in an invite (but not always) and that generally a few people who weren't nominated but got a lot of buzz the previous season will be invited (hi, David Oyelowo & Gugu Mbatha Raw). Lately the lists have gotten longer and much more surprising too as the Academy attempts to broaden its demographic after years of being dinged for skewing too  'old white and male'

The complete list of 322 potential inductees is below. There's a welcome to the Academy reception in September for those that accept and then the process starts again. The Academy works on a referral basis of sorts so current members can nominated new prospective members and that process (a longer list of names than this - never publicized that I'm aware of) concludes in March each year. Unless they're all "You can't sit with us!" then they end up on this list which comes out in the summer.

So let's look at who was invited.

Multiple Branches
Damien Chazelle (Writer/Director) Whiplash
Malcolm D. Lee (Writer/Director) The Best Man Holiday
Paweł Pawlikowski (Writer/Director) Ida
Abderrahmane Sissako (Writer/Director) Timbuktu
Damian Szifron (Writer/Director) Wild Tales
Andrey Zvyagintsev (Writer/Director) Leviathan
Mathilde Bonnefoy (Documentary/Editing) Citizen Four

Damian Szifron, WILD TALES writer/director

These eight people must decide which of the two branches that invited them they will join. While members can be on more than one branch -- I imagine Warren Beatty, for example, is on a few since he's been nominated in four different categories -- they can't join two in one year. You'll notice that four of the Foreign Language Film nominees are accounted for though weirdly not the director of the Estonian film Tangerines

Actors and Actresses are in the same branch but I've separated them just for fun as befits the Oscar categories and also to point out that they invited way more men than women, more than twice as many! Hey, I thought they were working on the diversity thing! They also invited both men who got crying closeups at the ceremony earlier this year.

315 more people after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun092015

Cara Seymour on Playing Sister Harriet in "The Knick"

Cara Seymour (Adaptation, American Psycho, The Savages) is Guest Blogging all day today! - Editor
 

-by Cara Seymour

Getting to work on "The Knick" has been one of the greatest experiences of my career. I screamed with joy when I got the part and I'm not a big screamer of joy.  Amazing director, talented and really fun cast and all round impeccable team of super talented people in every department.  I'm madly appreciative of this.

Michael Begler, Jack Amiel and Steve Katz wrote this extraordinary character of Sister Harriet - she leapt off the page. But I wanted to know more about nuns in 1900 when The Knick takes place, so I ordered nun books.

"Through the Narrow Gate,"  by Karen Armstrong was an unflinching account of her life as a nun in a convent pre Vatican II -- read every word of that!

Didn't read them all from cover to cover. Not quite that crazy!

(more on The Knick after the jump)

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun022015

Q&A Pt. 1: The Queens (by which we mean RuPaul, Helen Mirren, Best Actresses)

Ask Nathaniel column time. You ask. I answer. Herewith seven recent reader questions. Since last night was the finale of RuPaul's Drag Race, we'll end with two similar questions about that show but first, more typical actor questions. You're always asking them. Not a complaint. Just a fact.

PAUL OUTLAW: Which directors would you most like to see work ASAP with these performers (it can be someone new or a former collaborator): Tilda Swinton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Fassbender & Tom Hardy?

Tilda: Anyone. I'd even watch her in a Michael Bay movie though I'd prefer her in an Olivier Assayas. Oh wait, that's my answer.

Gugu: Anyone. She's new enough that we don't know what we have yet other than GREAT POTENTIAL.

Fassbender: We know he can do intense heightened drama and various masculine genres with the best of them, but I'm wondering if he has something more low-key naturalistic in him or how he'd fare in more typically feminine genres. One of my favorite performances of his is Inglourious Basterds which I know is neither of those things but I like how arch and cerebral he seemed as opposed to physical. It was a different mode for him. So a little more of that. I'd be curious to see him in an Alexander Payne style dramedy or Joe Wright in swoony romance mode.

Tom Hardy: It's time for something really erotic. Filmmakers keep covering up his beautiful face and this must stop. We know from Bronson that he's completey unafraid of gratuitous nudity so I wanna say Jane Campion and/or another A lister who is ready to dabble in an erotic drama, their own Ang Lee Lust, Caution type detour if you will.

TYLER: There are four women who are winners of the Cannes Best Actress prize twice over: Barbara Hershey (USA), Isabelle Huppert (France), Helen Mirren (UK), and Vanessa Redgrave (UK). What do you think of this group? Your favorite performance from each?

To  help readers catch up if they didn't know this statistic, those women won for the following films

Vanessa Redgrave - Morgan! in 1966 and Isadora in 1969
Isabelle Huppert - Violette Noziere in 1978 and The Piano Teacher in 2001
Helen Mirren - Cal in 1984 and The Madness of King George in 1995
Barbara Hershey - Shy People in 1987 and A World Apart (shared with co-stars) in 1988

More Questions after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May272015

Tilda, The Ancient One

Tilda Swinton has said that had she not met the avant-garde filmmaker Derek Jarman in the 1980s she might never have become an actress. He was unorthodox enough to understand her unusual path...

brilliant news after the jump

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