Acclaimed as one of the most dynamic and intelligent British stage actors in the last two decades, Antony Sher remains a relative unknown in the USA. He has appeared in several cult films, notably in...
A host of British acting greats have come together to recreate a modern version of Leonardo Da Vinci's biblical painting The Last Supper. Robert Powell, who played Jesus Christ in 1970s mini-series Jesus of Nazareth, takes centre stage in the picture, with Colin Firth on his right and Julie Walters, the only woman in the it, at his left, taking the place of Mary Magdalene.
Other stars recreating the roles of Jesus' apostles are Sir Michael Gambon, Simon Callow, Tom Conti, Peter Eyre, Anthony Andrews, Steven Berkoff, Tim Pigott-Smith, John Alderton and Sir Antony Sher.
Photographer Alistair Morrison, who recreated the 15th Century masterpiece, says, "My first two choices were Robert Powell who had to be Jesus, recreating the famous role played in Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth, and Julie Walters, who was asked to play Mary Magdalene and they both readily agreed. Their enthusiasm and influence helped to bring together this outstanding group of actors."
Prints of the piece, dubbed Actors' Last Supper, will go on sale at the National Portrait Gallery in London, with a percentage of profits going towards new collections.
After being cursed by delays The Wolfman Hollywood’s latest spin on the popular werewolf myth finally bares its ugly fangs in theaters this week. Predictably the film is a train wreck of a debacle -- one would expect nothing less from a notoriously troubled production that saw its original director Mark Romanek abandon ship just two weeks before the start of shooting -- but The Wolfman’s problems stem less from the late-game addition of helmer Joe Johnston who at the very least delivered a terrific looking film (its gorgeously eerie Victorian aesthetic evoking a palpable exquisite sense of dread is by far its best feature) than from the misguided efforts of its producer and star Benicio Del Toro.
The Wolfman is the brainchild of Del Toro an ardent horror fan who conceived the film as an homage of sorts to the low-budget “monster movies” from the ‘30s and ‘40s that he loved dearly as a child. It’s fashioned as a loose remake of 1941’s The Wolf Man a film that both established Lon Chaney Jr.’s performance as the definitive take on the character and introduced aspects of the werewolf legend now considered sacrosanct. The notion that a werewolf can be felled by an item made from silver for example owes its origin to The Wolf Man.
But Del Toro feels all wrong in the role of Lawrence Talbot the prodigal son of a 19th-century English aristocrat whose fateful encounter with a bloodthirsty lycan the same creature that brutally murdered his brother just days prior triggers his unwitting initiation into the accursed tribe of feral man-beasts. Del Toro's resume of low-key understated performances marked by a muttering often imperceptible delivery in films like Traffic and The Usual Suspects suggests a skill set better suited to playing another famous movie monster one significantly less loquacious than his character in this movie. Seriously -- the guy should have remade Frankenstein instead.
Playing an American-bred (but English-born we’re told) character in an 1890 setting looking uncomfortable in period attire surrounded by such “proper” British actors as Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt and fully annunciating all of his line readings for the first time that I can recall Del Toro appears hopelessly out of place in The Wolfman.
Things only get worse unfortunately when Del Toro’s character transforms into the dreaded werewolf. Each time the moon is full the film transitions with increasing ridiculousness from a somber Victorian drama into a hard-core horror flick replete with grisly shots of torn flesh exposed spines and severed limbs. The first overly gruesome attack triggers a kind of nervous laugh more from the shock than anything else. The second invites an amused uneasy chuckle which soon snowballs into an outright belly laugh. And the effect soon spreads to the dialogue the outrageous gore rendering the film's mannered melodrama strangely hysterical.
Of all the Wolfman players only Hopkins seems to get the joke reveling in his manipulative mischief as Talbot's inappropriately glib stoutly aloof father. If only he'd let his castmates in on it.
Played major supporting role of psychiatrist evaluating the lead in "The Young Poisoner's Handbook"
Moved to London to study at Webber-Douglas Academy
Born and raised in South Africa
Feature film debut as a solider in the film "Yanks"
Starred in title role of "Gengis Cohn"
Wrote first teleplay "Changing Step" (BBC)
Directed by companion Gregory Doran in "The Winter's Tale"
Had first major film role, the title role in "Shadey"
Made Broadway debut reprising London role of "Stanley"
Appeared in title role in the British TV drama "The History Man"
Offered cameo as the apothecary in "Shakespeare in Love", directed by Madden
Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company; appeared as the Fool in "King Lear" and in the title role of "Tartuffe", among others
Co-starred in the ITV/A&E production, "Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War"
Won plaudits for interpretation of title role of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus"; toured South Africa
Published first book, "The Year of the King", a diary of his performances as "Richard III"
Played composer Gustav Mahler in Ronald Harwood's play "Mahler's Conversion", staged by Doran
Played title role of "Cyrano de Bergerac" at the RSC and in the West End
Published first novel "Middlepost"
Played lead role in the West End production of Harvey Fierstein's "Torch Song Trilogy"
Had lead role in Athol Fugard's play "Hello and Goodbye" at the Almeida Theatre
Enjoyed a stage success in title role of "Tamburlane the Great"
Co-wrote script for and starred in "Mark Gertler Fragments of a Biography"
Created title role of "Stanley" in London production of Pam Gems play about British painter Stanley Spencer
Gave a fine supporting turn as British Prime Minister Disraeli opposite Judi Dench's Queen Victoria in "(Her Majesty) Mrs. Brown", directed by John Madden
Starred as "Macbeth" at the Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Doran; toured Japan in production; filmed for British TV and aired on New Year's Day 2001
Acclaimed as one of the most dynamic and intelligent British stage actors in the last two decades, Antony Sher remains a relative unknown in the USA. He has appeared in several cult films, notably in the title role of "Shadey" (1985) and "The Young Poisoner's Handbook" (1994).
involved in early 1980s; Sher identifies him as his "roommate" in "The Year of the King"
together since 1986; has directed Sher in several productions
sister of Isobel Horwitz, mother of playwright Ronald Harwood
emmigrated to South Africa from Lithuania in late 1890s
Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
Sher received an honorary doctor of letters from Liverpool University in 1998.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in December 2000.
Sher was in the running to portray Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's film biography, but the role went to Robert Downey Jr.
In his 2001 memoir, "Beside Myself", Sher admits to having battled an addiction to cocaine.
While performing in "Stanley", Sher actually drew onstage and recreated a Spencer mural. Of the sketchbooks he filled, "once in a while, we're asked to give them to charity, and there disperses the curious oeuvre." --From "Antony Sher: A Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist" in New York, March 17, 1997.
"His theatrical protrait gallery is more like a rogue's gallery with his 'Richard III' at the center, surrounded by Titus Andronicus, the murderer in 'The Revenger's Tragedy', Tamburlane and Arturo Ui, among many others. Although the characters would seem distant fromthe actor--from any actor--[Sher] confesses to a connection, acknowledging that each probably represents 'the monster within.' He adds that he is lucky; he can release his aggressions on stage or 'by writing a book'." --From "Master of Many Methods: Actor, Author and Artist" by Mel Gussow in The New York Times, February 22, 1997.
"I was very tight and closed and shy, and I didn't like myself very much [growing up], which is why I found it so liberating to become someone else. What people find hard to believe about actors is that we have the gall to stand up in front of one and a half thousand people and say: 'I AM INTERESTING TO WATCH.' It's quite weird if you think about it, a sort of sexual exhibitionism: all these people sitting in the dark, watching these other people, brightly lit, doing strange things, even taking their clothes off without being arrested. If they did this 50 yards away in the street, everyone would be shocked and run away." --Sher in a 1988 interview
"I was terribly attracted as a young actor to disguise. I hated myself as a young man. I felt I'd been born on the moon. Not just in the wrong country, but on the wrong planet. I just didn't seem to fit in to that very macho, rugby-playing, extrovert, outdoor-living South African society. I was this sensitive little nerd." --Sher quoted in The Daily Telegraph, January 5, 2001