The Paley Center
The FX original limited series Fargo started its 1o-episode run this week, dontcha know? We caught up with stars Colin Hanks, Keith Carradine, Martin Freeman, and Billy Bob Thornton, plus showrunner Noah Hawley on the red carpet of the show's preview panel at the Paley Center New York. Here's what they had to say about successfully adapting a beloved cinematic masterpiece, the "golden age" of TV, and the show's frigid Calgary set.
Hanks on the allure of the limited series:"I think now, with the way some shows are being made now, you have this luxury of not necessarily having to make a TV show that will last for 100 episodes. Now it's really more about letting the story dictate how many you do."
Hawley on what attracted him to the project:"I wasn't being asked to copy something, I was being asked to create an homage really, which then forced me to say, 'Well, what made that movie that movie and how do I tell a story that feels the same, but doesn't play the same?'"
Carradine on how the pilot script turned skepticism into enthusiasm:"I said, 'Oh my gosh, how are they gonna do that?' And then I got the script and I said, 'Oh, okay. That's how they're gonna do it.' It's brilliant. It takes where [the Coen Brothers] started, and it kind of ramps off from there. And it takes into account where we as an audience have come in the last 18 years since that film was made. There's no other film like it, and yet, in those 18 years, the audience has become more sophisticated and, I think that what we're doing here reflects that."
Hanks on the show's pitch-black humor:"Violence isn't necessarily played for laughs, but maybe what happens just prior to it or just after it, in its aftermath, is sort of a way of releasing that tension that violence brings to the plot."
Hawley on the show's heavyweight cast:"The network and I really wanted to cast it like a movie, and aim for a sort of caliber of actor. Knowing that it was only a 10-episode commitment, why settle?"
Carradine on the cultural landscape of TV:"If you really want to do incisive, progressive storytelling, television seems to be the place now. It's kind of a new golden age."
Freeman on how the location helped him find his character:Freeman: "If we're pretending to be in a very cold, snowy place, it helps if we're in one. And Calgary was white on the ground for the entire four months that we were there."Us: "Well, it was here in New York too. You could've filmed here."Freeman: "Oh, don't tell me that!"
Thornton on another Coen Brothers film that'd make a great miniseries:"Blood Simple. Let's do it."
The Hollywood actress is back in her native country for the holidays with her husband, Keith Urban, and their daughter Sunday Rose.
And Kidman is busy preparing their home in Bunya Hill, New South Wales, ahead of her sister Antonia's nuptials, which are expected to be held there at the end of the month (Dec09).
The star has taken extreme measures to help safeguard their privacy on the big day, erecting a green nylon fence and surrounding the property with fast-growing cypress leylandii saplings, which can reach up to 20 metres (65 foot) high.
But the added security measures, which are reportedly a tactic to keep prying camera lenses away during the ceremony, have infuriated the star's neighbours.
Local residents are unhappy with the "ugly" fence and the newly-planted trees, which many fear could blight the landscape in years to come.
Neighbour Greg Barnsley says, "We respect that Nicole wants her privacy but if she wants trees, let them be Australian ones. She could be gone in a couple of years and then we will be left with them forever. They grow to an enormous height. Yes these ones are small now but they are going to be huge."
TV presenter Antonia Kidman will exchange vows with Craig Marran after accepting his proposal in September (09) - she has four children from her 11-year marriage to Angus Hawley which ended in 2007.
Nicole Kidman celebrated her troubled husband Keith Urban's 39th birthday with her favorite girls--best friend Naomi Watts and sister Antonia Hawley.
Pregnant TV presenter Hawley jetted to Hollywood from her native Sydney, Australia, to help her sister cope with what should have been a big celebration yesterday--the first birthday the couple would have celebrated as husband and wife.
Urban checked himself into a rehab center earlier this month after revealing he was battling alcoholism.
The Kidman sisters spent the day at pal Watts' Hollywood home, for what is being dubbed a "tea and tissues session" by insiders.
Hawley's young son Hamish, who accompanied his mother on the trip, helped lighten proceedings--he was seen in Kidman's arms as she left Watts' home for a waiting car late yesterday.
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This film is based on Elegy for Iris literary critic John Bayley's biography of his late wife the brilliant writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch. Iris is unconventional in the sense that it does not adhere to a structured plot or story line but instead focuses on their relationship by flashing back and forth between the present and 40 years ago when the two first met. In the sequences taking place in the past Kate Winslet plays a young confident Murdoch in her formative years a woman revered by men and openly bisexual. Hugh Bonneville plays the young and apprehensive Bayley hopelessly pursuing her. The present however reveals a drastic role reversal for the couple: We see Murdoch in her 70s as played by Judi Dench and witness her descent into Alzheimer's disease and the toll it takes on her husband played by Jim Broadbent. The once-subservient husband has been thrust into a caretaker position and painfully tries to cope with his beloved wife's illness and loss of sanity.
Dench deservedly received a best actress Oscar nomination for the fabulous job she does as the older Murdoch. She is convincing as a brilliant thinker and even more believable as her condition worsens--check out the heartbreaking scene when Bayley locks himself in the study to get away from her irrational behavior and she scratches the windowpane on the glass door like a cat while looking at her husband with utter helplessness. Dench conveys her character's vulnerability in a single glance. As an older Bayley Broadbent is as impressive as Dench especially as he struggles to be assertive yet avoid being too harsh. Bonneville as a young Bayley could almost be Broadbent's clone. At first glance he looks like the same actor made to look older through some sort of makeup or special effects wizardry. Bonneville skillfully hatches the young Bayley's traits and tics later perfected by Broadbent. Winslet also Oscar-nominated for Iris (in the supporting actress category) well plays Murdoch's early audacity and boldness.
Director Richard Eyre does a beautiful and seamless job flowing from the past to the present throughout the film. Although the film barely delves into Murdoch's work the importance of her writing is established with scenes from a BBC interview or a luncheon given in her honor. Eyre also does an exceptional job conveying Bayley's hopeless predicament: he fusses over Murdoch like an overprotective parent intermittently lashing out at her only to apologize sobbing afterward for having done so. It's sweet and pitiful especially since Bayley believes that the Iris he fell in love with is still in there somewhere. But while the film is visually exquisite and convincing the subject matter is not necessarily entertaining. We know Murdoch will eventually succumb to her illness but it's even more dreadful to have to watch every agonizing step. By the time Murdoch was reduced to playing in the dirt and watching Teletubbies I found myself wondering When is she going to die already?