Could Joss Whedon be Hollywood’s unluckiest man? The 47-year-old creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which ran for seven seasons from 1997 to 2003, reinvented television and created a cultural phenomenon with his tale of a high school student forced to battle demons both literal and metaphorical. But as subsequent work continues to draw critical praise and committed fans, Whedon’s ability to keep it on the air has been frequently tested.
For many in the public eye, there’s only one question that is certain to puncture the ego: “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” For Dexter Fletcher, however, it’s a challenge accepted enthusiastically. “I have to look at the person and try to figure out what they’ve seen me in,” he says. “If it’s a geezer shouting from a van window, nine times out of 10 it’ll be Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. If it’s a woman with a blue rinse, Hotel Babylon. With cab drivers, it’s usually Band of Brothers.”
In the dying months of 2010, on a sound stage at Pinewood Studios, the boy who was Harry Potter is in the process of proving he has more to offer. There are two sides to Daniel Radcliffe on the set of this new film. The first is in front of the camera: pensive, still, silent. Radcliffe’s Arthur is a desperate man, still beside himself with grief at the loss of his wife, adrift in a creepy village itself all too familiar with death. Off screen, he is alive; high on the atmosphere of the set, to be found gossiping with the crew or reading aloud from a copy of The Timewaster Letters, Robert Popper’s zany correspondence with ever-patient department stores and industry associations. For Radcliffe, the attitude is as important as the acting. “I’ve seen film sets where the actors are playing up and they’re miserable,” he says. “I think you have a responsibility, as a lead actor, to be leading with energy as much as you can. I love my job and, generally speaking, I’m always happy on set.”
Andy Serkis came close to turning down the defining role of his career. When his agents offered him three weeks of voiceover work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he was disappointed. “There must be a dozen good roles,” he thought. “Can’t they get me up for a decent part?” Still, the lure of […]
First Movie I Ever Saw
The one I remember is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but I probably saw something even before that. I remember it being particularly dark for a kid. And there was Fantasia – parts of that were quite terrifying too – which I might have seen even earlier. I don’t remember my first impression of cinema being terrifying, but I do remember those two films.
For a man so preoccupied with exploring neuroses, and the peculiar bad habits of a plethora of characters, Paul Giamatti couldn’t be calmer. It may have a thing or two to do with the busy schedule of press interviews he’s had to deal with, and the late afternoon timing of our encounter. But while Miles […]
Big and Biutiful: The Spanish star opens up… 1. He likes to build backstory “It helps me to know where I am at the start of the movie, to realise what the consequences of what he did in the past were. Alejandro (Gonzalez Inarritu) and I did that together for Biutiful, so we’d be more […]
Helena Bonham Carter has made six films with partner Tim Burton. He’s cast her as an ape, a witch, a corpse bride, a psychopathic baker and a crazed queen with an oversized cranium. “I can never rely on Tim to make me pretty,” she once deadpanned. It wasn’t quite this way to begin with. Her […]
‘Actors should never give interviews,’ Daniel Day-Lewis once told a Guardian journalist. ‘Once you know what colour socks they wear, you’ll remember it next time you see them performing, and it will get in the way. It is not in anyone’s interest.’
It’s perhaps not the most surprising thought to come from the 52-year-old thespian. He’s a famously rare interviewee, but while his schedule for a press tour may not be as packed as most, the popular press image of Day-Lewis as an eccentric recluse seems a few steps away from the truth – that he considers celebrity to have no place within performance.
It’s clear that the actor simply doesn’t engage with the secondary job of promoting a film as much as he does with its production. ‘I really have to be forced,’ he once said. ‘I just want people to go and see the film. I have done my part. And once I’m finished, I always feel a little empty inside. “Is that all there was to it?” I always think.’
On the face of it, David Thewlis is a contradiction. On the one hand he has thrown himself into the creation of many of his characters with such drive and commitment that he’s exhibited an apparent disregard for his own mental or physical health in doing so. But on the other, he’s so self-deprecating about […]