Irish actor Chris O'dowd visits his doctor twice a week after struggling with vocal issues and "various bangs and bruises" during his Broadway run of Of Mice And Men. The Bridesmaids star, who made his Broadway debut in the stage revival of John Steinbeck's classic play, admits he had no idea how tough life on the stage would be and reveals he has really suffered for his art.
He tells the Associated Press, "I definitely have found it harder on my voice and my body than I was expecting. I always somewhat guffawed at the idea that it could be a tiring job to work three hours a day, but I'm going to the doctor twice a week with various bangs and bruises and swollen vocal chords."
O'Dowd portrays the mentally disabled Lennie Small, opposite James Franco's field worker George Milton, and he confesses he based his character on an old acquaintance.
He says, "(Small is based on) a neighbour of mine in London. His name was David. Though I never asked him, I would say he had mild Down syndrome and he had certain tics and stuff."
O'Dowd's dedication to the role has paid off - he has been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play.
The Tony Awards are the biggest night in theater, but they've often struggled to attract viewers who are more interested in TV or movies as their primary source of entertainment. This year, though, they shouldn't have any trouble attracting an audience full of binge-watchers and moviegoers, as the 2014 nominations are filled with familiar faces. Whether you're going through Breaking Bad withdrawal or you haven't been stopped singing the score to Frozen in months or you're just sick of waiting for the final installment of The Hobbit franchise to hit theaters, this year's Tony Awards should cater to all of your interests.
However, it's not all good news for the Hollywood stars who decided to tread the boards this year. Plenty of big name actors were left off the list of nominees, resulting in reactions of shock (Are the Tony voters just not big Harry Potter fans?) and disbelief (No, McKellan and Stewart have to be here somewhere. I'll check again). We've gathered up all of the Tony nominations and snubs for our favorite Hollywood stars into one handy guide, so you'll be ready to place your bets by the time the awards roll around June 8th.
Bryan Cranston We Know Him For: His award winning turn as science teacher turned meth kingpin Walter White on Breaking Bad. He is the one who knocks. Nominated For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role as President Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way Previous Nominations: None This Makes Up For: Being shot full of holes at the end of Breaking Bad; the threat of losing an Emmy to the McConaissance
Chris O'Dowd We Know Him For: Romancing Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids; providing the world's worst tech support in The I.T. Crowd Nominated For: Best Leading Actor in a Play as the gentle giant Lennie in Of Mice and Men Previous Nominations: None This Makes Up For: That time he had to pretend to be disabled during a disastrous night at the theater
Tony Shalhoub We Know Him For: Playing the obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk on Monk Nominated For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for playing theater icon Moss Hart in Act One Previous Nominations: Two Best Featured Actor in a Play nods: in 1992 for Conversations with My Father and 2013 for Golden Boy This Makes Up For: Years of having to clean up after people in the middle of murder investigations
Tyne Daly We Know Her For: Being one half of the most famous female cop duo on television, Mary Beth Lacey on Cagney and Lacey Nominated For: Best Leading Actress in a Play for her turn as the grieving mother of an AIDS victim in Mothers and Sons Previous Nominations/Wins: One Best Leading Actress in a Musical win for 1989's Gypsy and one 2006 Best Featured Actress in a Play nomination for Rabbit Hole This Makes Up For: Not immediately being offered a guest star stint on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Come on, one of Terry's twins is named after her!
Neil Patrick Harris We Know Him For: Playing the legen - wait for it! - dary Barney Stinson on How I Met Your MotherNominated For: Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his in-your-face performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch Previous Nominations: None, but he did host the awards four times. This Makes Up For: That disaster of a How I Met Your Mother series finale. Kind of.
Sutton Foster We Know Her For: Starring in the cult ABC Family hit show Bunheads, playing Brett’s sign-flipping girlfriend Coco on Flight of the Concords Nominated For: Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Violet, a Southern girl travelling to get televangelist to heal her terrible scars in Violet Previous Nominations/Wins: Three nominations and two wins, both for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for 2002's Throughly Modern Millie and 2011's Anything Goes This Makes Up For: The fact that Bunheads was cancelled far too soon. They will never take Khaleesi's dragons!
Idina Menzel We Know Her For: Voicing Elsa in Frozen, playing Rachel Berry's birth mother, Shelby Corcoran on Glee, her alter ego, Adele Dazeem Nominated For: Best Leading Actress in a Musical for playing Elizabeth, a woman struggling with the different paths her life could take in If/Then Previous Nominations/Wins: One nomination in 1996 for Rent and one win for playing Elphaba in 2004's Wicked This Makes Up For: John Travolta's Oscars flub; everyone having "Let It Go" stuck in our heads for the past six, long months
Stephen Fry We Know Him For: Making up one half of Fry and Laurie, starring in Jeeves and Wooster and Blackadder, being an international treasure Nominated For: Best Featured Actor in a Play for his turn as the pompous, scheming servant Malvolio in Twelfth Night Previous Nominations: Best Book of a Musical in 1987 for Me and My Girl This Makes Up For: Playing the least intimidating villain in The Hobbit films. At least Smaug can breathe fire!
Anika Noni Rose We Know Her For: Voicing Tiana, the first black Disney princess in The Princess and the Frog, holding her own opposite Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls Nominated For: Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance as Beneatha, the activist sister of Walter Younger in A Raisin in the Sun Previous Nominations/Wins: A Best Featured Actress in a Musical win for Caroline, or Change in 2004 This Makes Up For: Having her two most famous characters overshadowed by Beyonce and Adele Dazeem
Daniel Radcliffe We Know Him For: Playing the most famous and most beloved boy wizard of all time, Harry Potter Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his hilarious and heartbreaking performance as Billy, a crippled Irish boy in The Cripple of Inishmaan At Least He's Got: An encyclopedic knowledge of spells and hexes with which to enact revenge
Denzel WashingtonWe Know Him For: His Oscar winning performances in Glory and Training Day, being one of the biggest movie stars in the world Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his take on the iconic role of Walter Younger in A Raisin in the Sun At Least He's Got: His devastating looks to fall back on.
James Franco We Know Him For: His Oscar-nominated performance in 127 Hours, his lackluster Oscar hosting gig, the dreads and grills he rocked in Spring Breakers, being the older brother of Dave Franco Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role as George in Of Mice and Men At Least He's Got: About 50 other slightly pretentious artistic endeavors he can distract himself with
Zach Braff We Know Him For: Playing the goofy daydreamer JD on Scrubs, making Garden State, the movie everyone loves to hate Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Musical for playing playwright David Shayne in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway At Least He's Got: One of the cutest celebrity friendships ever with Donald Faison to comfort him in his time of need
Zachary Quinto We Know Him As: Murderous Sylar on Heroes, the rebooted version of Spock in Star Trek Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his interpretation of Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie At Least He's Got: A new Star Trek movie coming up to keep him busy
Ian McKellan We Know Him For: Playing two of the most iconic and nerdy characters of all time: Magneto and Gandalf Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for both No Man's Land and Waiting For Godot, which ran in rep at the Cort Theater At Least He's Got: Many more exciting New York adventures with Patrick Stewart to cheer him up
Patrick Stewart We Know Him For: Playing two of the most iconic and nerdy characters of all time: Professor X and Captain Jean Luc Picard Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for both No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot, which he starred in opposite McKellan At Least He's Got: Many more adorable New York adventures with Ian McKellan to cheer him up
Michelle Williams We Know Her For: Her Oscar nominated performances in Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine and My Week With Marilyn, playing bad girl with a heart of gold, Jen Lindley, on Dawson's Creek Snubbed For: Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in Cabaret At Least She's Got: Those Dawson's Creek residual checks to make up for it.
Despite the rest of the 2014 BAFTA Award nominees not being announced until later this week, the five actors who will be competing for the annual Rising Star Award have been revealed. The list includes:
-Dane DeHaan, who played the murderous beatnik Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings-Lupita Nyong'o, who gave a devastating and unforgettable performance as Patsey in 12 Years A Slave -Lea Seydoux, who romanced Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Color-Will Poulter, who costarred in the high-grossing comedy We're The Millers-George MacKay, who starred as a recently-discharged soldier in the British musical Sunshine on Leith
The winner will be determined by the public, and fans can vote for their favorite actor on the BAFTA website.
With all of the end-of-year lists, award nominations, and "breakthrough performance" articles that have been published lately, it's very likely that thesse Rising Star nods will get lost in the shuffle. However, if there's one award that film fans should really be paying attention to, its the Rising Star Award. Why? Well, it's the most exciting award that will be handed out in the coming months. That's right: more exciting than the Best Picture race or the possibility of your favorite, underappreciated television show winning a Golden Globe. And here's why:
Everything About Them Will Surprise YouFrom the moment it premiered at Cannes, Blue Is the Warmest Color has been one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed films of the year, resulting a steady stream of awards and accolades for its leading lady, Exarchopoulos. Despite making every single "breakout performance" list of the year and being a strong contender for an Oscar nomination, she was passed over in this category for her co-star, Seydoux. While Seydoux may have started off as the film's more recognizable name, with years of modeling and acting credits under her belt, she has been all but forgotten in the wake of Exarchopoulos' performance. As such, it was a surprise to see BAFTA name Seydoux on its Rising Star list, when everyone expected Exarchopoulos to be a lock. Perhaps they plan on nominating her for one of the main acting categories, perhaps they feel she has plenty more time to be nominated, or perhaps the panel of judges just wasn't that impressed with her work; whatever it is, it just goes to show that the Rising Star Award is the most unpredictable major film award around. Besides, if you can't even predict the nominees, just imagine what that will do for your awards bracket.
The Winners and Nominees Go on to Lead Huge CareersSince the award's inception in 2006, almost all of the winners have gone on to become blockbuster stars and acclaimed power players. James McAvoy, the first winner, took home the prize amidst awards buzz for his role in The Last King of Scotland, and then went on to star in major films like Atonement and X-Men: First Class. Other winners have included Eva Green, Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart, and Shia LaBeouf, all of whom have enjoyed a great deal of fame and success. But it's not just the winners who are able to make the transition from breakout to bankable movie star; all of the nominees have also seen their star power rise as a result of being placed on the shortlist. With actors like Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan, Michelle Williams, Cillian Murphy, Michael Fassbender, and Jesse Eisenberg all among the many nominees, the Rising Star Award may just be the most accurate indicator of who really is the next big thing in Hollywood. And considering that one of the actors McAvoy beat for the prize is 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor, there's no doubt that everyone on this list will go on to do big things, and you can now say that you discovered them first.
Everything Is Skewing YoungerAt only 20, Poulter is the youngest of the five nominees, and one of the youngest to ever be nominated, but this year, all of the nominees seem to be a lot younger than the usual selection. Because the Rising Star Award prides itself on recognizing great performances, regardless of age, nationality or gender, there has always been a good mix of ages on the list. When Hardy won at 33, his competition ranged from then 21-year-old Aaron Taylor-Johnson to 24-year-old Gemma Arterton to 27-year-old Garfield. However, this year, the oldest nominee is Nyong'o, who is only 30, which seems to recognize that the people who are giving the most incredible film performances are not necessarily the people studios have come to rely on. Sure, there's always a chance that a young performer will be nominated for an Oscar, but the Rising Star Award is the best way to recognize all of the young, talented performers currently working in Hollywood. Need someone to carry your action franchise? Look no further. Want to see a compelling, moving performance from an unexpected source? Consider this award your recommendation list. With so many young nominees this year, it's clear that something is shifting in Hollywood, and its refreshing to see a major film academy recognize that.
It's Anyone's GameWhat makes the Rising Star Award so interesting is that the results are entirely determined by the public, making it almost impossible to predict who will take home this year's prize. While Nyong'o has captured everyone's attention as Patsey, and Lea Seydoux has already won the Palm D'or, their captivating performances might not be enough to guarantee them a win. Often, it helps when an actor has a major film behind them, like with Stewart and the Twilight franchise, or Hardy's work in Inception, which might help sway things in Poulter or DeHaan's favor. While neither of their films have the same kind of following that Stewart and Hardy had, they've both been steadily gaining attention for some time now, and are set to play important roles in big upcoming franchises — The Maze Runner for Poulter and the sequel to The Amazing Spiderman for DeHaan. However, there's still the possibility of a complete surprise, like in 2012, when writer/director/rapper Adam Deacon, best known for his work on Kidulthood and Anuvahood beat out Chris O'Dowd, Eddie Redmayne, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, which means that things could end up swinging in MacKay's favor. There's no telling who will walk away with the title this year, which makes it more thrilling than watching the expected front-runner end up with the prize.
Vote for your favorite rising star online, and find out who will win this and all of the other BAFTA awards when the ceremony airs on February 16.
Actress Leighton Meester is set to make her Broadway debut in a new star-studded stage production of Depression era drama Of Mice And Men. The former Gossip Girl star is set to play the role of lonely farm beauty Curly's Wife in the production, which is based on John Steinbeck's 1937 novel and directed by Tony Award winner Anna Shapiro.
Meester is the latest star to sign up to the project and will appear on stage alongside James Franco, who plays migrant worker George, and Chris O'Dowd, who will take on the role of mentally challenged Lennie in the classic drama.
Boy George is reuniting his 1980s pop group Culture Club to record a new album. The singer, real name George O'Dowd, met up with guitarist Roy Hay in Los Angeles earlier this month (Nov13) to discuss plans to begin working on new material in January (14) with their bassist Mikey Craig and drummer Jon Moss.
Boy George tells Britain's The Sun on Sunday he hopes to recruit top producer Brian Eno for the project, explaining, "There's some interesting ideas about who we want to work with. It's got to be really good...
"It will be a new record, completely new. There's no point just doing it for nostalgia... We're certainly going to do it."
The Karma Chameleon hitmakers had hoped to reform in 2011 to mark their 30th anniversary with a tour, but the trek never materialised.
As part of his quest to adapt every great American novel ever written, James Franco will be making his Broadway debut in a new production of Of Mice and Men. He will be playing the role of George, the uneducated and ill-tempered migrant worker in 1930's California, while his good-natured but simple-minded friend Lennie will be played by Chris O'Dowd, which officially makes this the weirdest pairing since Lady Gaga and the Muppets. Rumors about the production have been circulating for some time now, but Franco finally confirmed them on Oct. 20, during a live Q&A session at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, CA.
The play will be directed by Anna Shapiro, who is best known for directing the Tony Award-winning August: Osage County. There is no set timeframe for the play yet, and so far Franco, O'Dowd, and Shapiro are the only cast and crew to have signed on. Though knowing Franco, we wouldn't be surprised if he decided to take on all of the production roles as well.
There's a good chance this production will either be a smashing success or a terrible failure. While Franco has proved his acting chops in the past with his Oscar-nominated turn in 127 Hours, he's mostly followed that up with career choices that make him seem more like a punchline than a capable actor. And since nobody's forgotten about the terrible job he did hosting the 2011 Oscars, he will have to give a pretty spectacular performance in order to wipe it from everyone's minds. He has recently been winning over audiences recently with his stint on The Mindy Project and his Comedy Central Roast, but with early reviews of As I Lay Dying coming in negative, maybe Franco should have attempted a comedy for his Broadway debut. At least, that's where his trademark squinty-eyed grin seems more at home.
Of Mice and Men will also be a more serious undertaking for O'Dowd, who is primarly known and beloved for his work in comedies like The IT Crowd. Physically, O'Dowd seems to be a good fit for Lennie, and he has a great deal of experience playing characters who are dopey but well-meaning. However, while O'Dowd will definitley be able to nail the charm and kindness of the character, he'll have a hard time with the more phsycial aspects of the character. O'Dowd has also mostly played characters who have a sarcastic edge to them, and it will be interesting to see if he carries that over to his portrayal of Lennie.
Fans may be forced to wait a long time for Of Mice and Men to hit the Great White Way, however, as Franco has 14 films in the works in addition to his recently published book, Actors Anonymous, and he'll most likely be picking up a few more doctorates in between. O'Dowd is also pretty busy himself, with 5 films on his plate, inlcuding a lead role in an upcoming Lance Armstrong biopic and a part in Thor: The Dark World. On the bright side, the longer it takes for the play to open, the longer the rest of us have to come up with a clever way to work IT Crowd jokes into Steinbeck.
James Franco has confirmed reports suggesting he will make his Broadway debut opposite Bridesmaids star Chris O'dowd in a new stage production of John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice & Men. Franco will play savvy migrant worker George to O'Dowd's mentally challenged Lennie in the latest revamp of the Depression Era drama, which will be director by Tony Award winner Anna Shapiro.
Announcing the news, the 127 Hours star says, "I am going to do Of Mice And Men with Chris O' Dowd, directed by this amazing director, Anna Shapiro, who won a Tony for the stage version of August: Osage County. So that will be my Broadway debut."
Pop star Boy George credits a German self-help book with helping him to turn his life around. The Culture Club frontman, real name George O'Dowd, famously struggled with drug addiction in 80s and relapsed a decade ago. He hit a new low when he was handed a 15-month custodial sentence in December 2008 for the assault and false imprisonment of a Norwegian male escort.
The singer is now drug-free and claims German spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle's book The Power Of Now changed his life.
He tells Britain's the Sunday Times Magazine, "(It) sounds like quite an extreme thing to say about a book, but it took all the stuff that I've read - because, you know, I've been on various spiritual journeys in my life, read all the books, done the courses and the therapy - and it just contextualised everything for me.
"It made sense of everything that I've read before and everything I wanted to understand.... The great thing about the past is that it's always behind you. Tolle encourages very, very strongly to live in the now. Not next week. Not last week. Now."
Bridesmaids star Chris O'dowd is in talks to make his Broadway debut opposite James Franco in an upcoming stage revival of John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice And Men. Oscar nominee Franco announced his participation in March (13), revealing he will play intelligent field worker George Milton, who travels around California in search of work with his mentally disabled best friend, Lennie Small.
Irish actor O'Dowd is currently the frontrunner to portray Small in the new stage adaptation, which will be directed by Anna D. Shapiro, who won acclaim for her production of August: Osage County in 2007.
Of Mice and Men originally ran on Broadway in 1937 and was revived for the New York stage in the 1970s, with Kevin Conway and James Earl Jones leading the cast.
The new production is expected to begin previews in March (14) and open in April (14). It will also mark Franco's first time on Broadway.
Irish actor Chris O'dowd stumbled across a shocking family secret while researching his ancestry after a two-year search revealed he might be related to Culture Club singer Boy George. The Bridesmaids star was looking to buy a house in his homeland when he found a dilapidated castle in need of renovation, and he was intrigued when he found out the building's name.
The actor then began researching his family history to find out if he had links to O'Dowd Castle.
He tells Britain's The Independent. "Weirdly, I... started looking into my family history in the last two years because I wanted to buy a castle. It was a basic two-up, two-down Irish castle with no roof - it was a wreck. Irish castles aren't that fancy. The only reason I was interested in it was because it was called O'Dowd Castle. But in the end I didn't buy it."
However, O'Dowd reveals he discovered a shocking family secret while he was researching his ancestors: "I found out that my great-grandfather was a bigamist. He was a travelling salesman and had a second family in Birmingham (England). Apparently that strand of the family gave birth to a George O'Dowd."
The actor is now convinced he is related to British singer Boy George, whose real name is George O'Dowd, and he has even shown his findings to the pop star, adding, "I've mentioned it to Boy George and he's quite into the idea that we might be cousins."