Lord Richard Attenborough's grandson is set to follow his family into the theatre when he makes his West End debut later this year (14). Will Attenborough will star in an updated version of Julian Mitchell's play Another Country at the Trafalgar Studios in March (14).
He will play student Tommy Judd in the production, which is set in a 1930s English boarding school rocked by scandal.
The original 1981 run starred then-unknowns Rupert Everett and Sir Kenneth Branagh, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Firth later joining the show, and Attenborough hopes the play can help boost his profile in the same way.
The 22 year old tells the London Evening Standard newspaper, "They are phenomenal parts for young people, which maybe had something to do with giving those guys a really great push."
Attenborough's Oscar-winning grandfather began his career on the stage before finding fame in Hollywood, while his father, Michael, is the former artistic director of London's famed Almeida Theatre. His grandmother Sheila Sim was also an actress.
Bond icon Sir Sean Connery has topped a new poll to find the most popular British actor in the U.S. The 83-year-old Hollywood veteran has seen off competition from Colin Firth and Daniel Craig to take first place in this year's (13) Q Score chart, based on opinion polls conducted in America.
Silence of the Lambs' Sir Anthony Hopkins comes in second and Liam Neeson third, while David McCallum and Daniel Day-Lewis rounded out the top five.
Henry Schafer, executive vice president of Q Scores Company, says, "Awareness of Sean Connery and his appeal was strong across the country and with all ages. He was not working so much but he had already transcended in the way people felt about him."
These actors have shaken us to the core with their gravitas on screen, but they've also shaken us with laughter. While they normally play kings, soldiers, gangsters and Shakespearean characters, once in a while they'll play best friends to teddy bears and over-the-top agents with intense arm hair. And they play both ends of the spectrum just as convincingly. Just think about how Steve Buscemi played Nucky on Boardwalk Empire and magician sidekick Anton Marvelton in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone at the same time and nobody batted an eye. In other words, these might be the perfect actors.
Sir Patrick Stewart may be best known for playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, or for his stage roles in Shakespearean classics like MacBeth, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Recently, however, Sir Stewart has emerged as somewhat of a viral video darling, wowing us with his quadruple-take acting lessons and endearing us by sharing his first experience with pizza. In 2005, he made one of the funniest and most memorable cameos on Ricky Gervais's Extras, in which he's obsessed with seeing women naked.
When you think Tom Cruise, you probably first think action star, and then maybe dramatic actor (and then maybe crazy Scientologist), but before 2008's Tropic Thunder, you probably would have never thought overweight, balding, sleazy studio executive. But he played exactly that in the Ben Stiller-directed comedy, and he played it to perfection. His character Les Grossman spouts such lines as "First, take a big step back...and literally f**k your own face!" and "A nutless monkey could do your job," making Ari Gold look like Mister Rogers.
Mark Wahlberg has steadily starred in Oscar-winning dramas like The Fighter and The Departed during his career, but peppered throughout are movies like Ted and Date Night. Wahlberg's gruff Boston attitude gives him weight in more serious roles, but also lends an edge to his comedic roles. His performance in David O. Russell's quirky, surreal, philosophy-heavy comedy I Heart Huckabees is perhaps one of the most underrated comedic performances of all time. Seriously, go watch it if you haven't.
Colin Firth first rose to fame playing Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and recently he was nominated for an Oscar for A Single Man and won one for The King's Speech. That said, let's all stop kidding ourselves and admit it: our favorite Colin Firth role was in Love Actually. Don't be ashamed. Every single other person secretly feels the same way.
There are few actors in Hollywood who can do stoner movies (Airheads), Tarantino classics (Reservoir Dogs), rom-coms (The Wedding Singer), dark comedies (Fargo), iconic stoner movies (The Big Lebowski), and still terrify us as TV's meanest gangster. Steve Buscemi is a rare gem of an actor. If he played an old Asian grandma, we would probably believe it, and be impressed.
Oscar-winner Matt Damon has made a career out of carefully-chosen film roles, most of which are of the dramatic or action variety. But the actor's inherent charm truly comes out when he dabbles in comedy, even in less-than-successful movies. His turn as bumbling and dense Mark Whitacre in The Informant! is subtle but spot-on. When he pairs up (literally) with Greg Kinnear in Stuck on You, his performance may not have won over critics, but it's a refreshing contrast to the usually serious Damon. And let's unearth a little-known ditty, shall we? Here's Damon as the lead singer of a pop-punk band in the 2004 comedy EuroTrip (you're welcome):
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In a spectacular combination of all that is British and bumbling, Colin Firth will soon be voicing the computer-generated Paddington Bear. The movie, based on the children's book, will be directed by Paul King, known primarily for The Mighty Boosh, and produced by David Heyman, known for producing that mightiest of children's stories that is Harry Potter.
For those unfamiliar with the kids' stories, they are an adorably illustrated series written by Michael Bond about a Peruvian bear who gets adopted by a British family ("I will speak his lines with, I suspect, a slight Peruvian flavour," Firth told The Daily Mail.) The bear keeps emergency marmalade sandwiches under his floppy yellow hat and is very proper and British. He will also be the only animated character (and let's hope that he doesn't turn out creepy); so far Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, and Hugh Bonneville have signed on for live-action rolls. Firth and Kidman recently worked together on the World War II retribution flick The Railway Man, but we get the feeling that this is going to have a different vibe. It will be released sometime in 2014, so be prepared to overdose on adorable.
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Country star Taylor Swift is set to show off her martial arts skills onscreen after reportedly landing a role opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Matthew Vaughn's new spy film The Secret Service. The Pulp Fiction icon will portray the movie's villain, who kidnaps Swift's character, only for her to escape and exact revenge, according to Britain's The Mirror.
A source tells the newspaper, "She will be required to have some heavy-duty martial arts training in order that her character convincingly kicks Samuel L. Jackson's butt."
The Secret Service, based on Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar's graphic novel of the same name, will also feature Colin Firth and Sir Michael Caine, while soccer superstar David Beckham was recently linked to a cameo appearance too.
Production is set to begin in London and the south of France later this year (13), ahead of a November, 2014 release.
Swift has already started building up her acting resume - she's previously starred on hit U.S. TV shows New Girl and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as ensemble romantic comedy Valentine's Day.
Soccer superstar David Beckham has been targeted for a villainous new movie role in The Secret Service. Director Matthew Vaughn and producers of the film are hoping to persuade the recently retired player to make his proper character acting debut in the film alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth and Michael Caine.
A source tells The Sun newspaper, "Becks was asked by Colin Firth if he'd like to be in the movie but he is yet to fully commit. He loves movies and fancies appearing on the big screen - but just as a one-off, not a full-time career."
The movie is based on Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar's graphic novel of the same name.
Samuel L. Jackson is set to play the villain again in director Matthew Vaughn's new movie The Secret Service. The Django Unchained star will join Colin Firth, Michael Caine and newcomer Taron Egerton in the film adaptation of Mark Millar and David Gibbons' comic book series, according to Variety.
The plot follows a veteran MI6 spy's efforts to straighten out his nephew, who finds himself mixed up in the world of street crime.
Firth has signed on to play the spy, while Caine will portray his boss.
Woody Allen likes Louis C.K.. A lot. Not only was he enough of a fan of the standup comic's slice-of-life FX series Louie to cast him in Blue Jasmine (out July 26) Allen came to appreciate C.K.'s gifts so much while making the movie that he's determined to act opposite him in a future film. "He's clearly such a sweet guy," Allen told The New York Times. "I'd love to do a movie with him and me, a comedy. I'm looking for some idea that would work, for the two of us to do." Even more remarkable, he's also considering a return to standup, which he hasn't actively been involved in since the Jack Paar '60s.
Those who think of Woody Allen's latter-day efforts as primarily nostalgia pieces — crammed with moth-eaten euphemisms like "making love" to describe any sexual encounter and scored by his personal collection of crinkly jazz LPs — may be surprised that he'd find such a kindred spirit in Louis. Sure, there's a generation gap there. Allen is 77, and C.K. is 45. But Allen's shown an admirable openness when it comes to casting his recent films. Who would have thought that Owen Wilson would prove his jittery avatar in Midnight in Paris? Or that Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz would become his recurring, post-millennial muses? In the Times piece, Allen even says that his next project is "the perfect movie for Colin Firth and Emma Stone." If you stop to think on it, C.K. is really the perfect partner to complement Allen's vision. Certainly much more so than Larry David, whose neo-Borscht Belt attitude hearkens back to Allen's "earlier, funnier movies" but felt out of place amidst the existential musings of down-and-dirty Big Apple character study Whatever Works.
Louie is, at heart, a study of futility, which is also Allen's primary theme. Much of what C.K.'s FX alter ego experiences could be described as "Anhedonia," the original title of Annie Hall — a movie also about a standup comic dealing with a parade of exes and relationships that go nowhere. C.K. doesn't have many of Allen's iconic nebbish-isms, but the slice-of-New-York-life structure and sensibility of Louie makes each 20-minute episode feel like a mini Annie Hall. Whether dealing with rude fans or shallow showbiz types, Louie's trying to keep his head above the muck in a city he simultaneously loves and finds sullied and discover somewhere in it a lick of truth. Louie's failed sitcom pilot from Season 1 — complete with much younger, overly hot wife — feels like the lazy sketch show Woody works on in Manhattan. The Matthew Broderick-starring Godfather remake he's cast in could have been made by Alan Alda's "if it bends, it's funny!" producer in Crimes and Misdemeanors. You could argue there's no comedian today who bottles literacy and raunch the way Allen always has as effectively as Louis C.K..
Allen even went so far as to say that he's considering a return to standup. That's something he hasn't actively done in decades, though he does continue to perform live as a clarinetist with his jazz band. In the Times he said that he was inspired to give standup another try after seeing the 85-year-old Mort Sahl do it. "Since I saw him, I’ve just been toying with the idea," Allen said. "I would love to see if I could. Just getting together an hour of stuff to talk about would be a lot of work." It's hard not to think, though, that his working friendship with C.K., arguably the finest practioner of the form today, also encouraged this idea. Far from being a stodgy, talky filmmaker for old folks, Allen's always shown his capacity for synthesizing the new. But if he does return to standup, if he does star in a film opposite C.K., it'll show something else: that at 77 he's still a risktaker too. And we'll be the ones to share in the reward.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
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The actress was awarded the 2,488th star and was thrilled when she realised who she'd be sharing the sidewalk with.
She joked, "I couldn't be prouder and more happy that I'm actually going to finally lie next to Colin Firth, something I've been wanting to do for a very long time.
"I think it's very good for the British monarchy that here on Hollywood Boulevard, the King and the Queen are going to actually sleep together, for the rest of history."
Firth played King George VI in The King's Speech.
She added, "I'm so very, very proud to be henceforth walked upon, have fries dropped upon, maybe even be peed upon by future generations of tourists, Angelenos and their dogs. But please, please no chewing gum."
Writer and director David Mamet, the actress' husband Taylor Hackford and their sons Rio and Alex joined fans who cheered Mirren on as she unveiled her star.
There is one scene in Hyde Park on Hudson where it's apparent how sharp and layered Billy Murray's portrayal of the 32nd President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt is. The film centers on the historic meeting of King George VI and the president at FDR's titular compound — a culture clash that worried both parties to no end. After their first lengthy meal FDR takes Bertie into his study for another round of drinks. Roosevelt sits him down to talk about his recent appointment as the King of England and the potential for war overseas. Bertie stammers out his concerns aware that his country has lost faith in him. FDR is nothing but comforting while he lifts his polio-stricken legs out of a wheelchair and maneuvers across the room. "If I were your father I'd be proud of you " he says with a grin.
Murray has always been a charmer dating as far back as his first season on Saturday Night Live and that demeanor makes him a perfect fit for America's only four-term President. But Hyde Park on Hudson wastes the opportunity of hiring Murray for the gig which opts not to hone in on the FDR/Bertie relationship in favor of another angle: Roosevelt's habit for mistresses.
Laura Linney plays Margaret Suckley a distant cousin of FDR's in whom the sitting President randomly decides to take a fancy. He calls her up out of the blue and immediately the two start finding romance in each other's company. A car ride out into the middle of a lavender field (and an impassioned sexual act) seals the deal. Margaret is infatuated with Franklin and the POTUS reciprocates.
And that's about it. The film is based on diaries discovered later in history and as far as the events of the movie are concerned their scandalous relationship went fairly uninterrupted. Alluded to in Hyde Park on Hudson Roosevelt's wife Eleanor had an understanding with her husband that allowed her to live on her own (and quite possibly have uncouth relationships herself) and for him to seek comfort with whomever he pleased.
The success of the other recent Bertie story The King's Speech may be cause for the meandering focus of Hyde Park on Hudson never quite confident to dive deep into any of sides of Roosevelt. But the film is at its richest when the spotlight is on King George. Actor Samuel West lives in the shadow of Colin Firth's Oscar-winning performance but he's still the most interesting character in the film struggling to shake off his commanding wife and become his own man. But Hyde Park on Hudson always goes back to the Margaret/Franklin relationship a vapid core idea that only offers the filmmakers an opportunity to shoot dynamic driving scenes through scenic upstate New York.
There is little conflict in Hyde Park on Hudson the greatest hurdle being Bertie's will-he/won't-he-eat-a-hot-dog predicament which sends the Brits into a tizzy. After an hour (and approximately 18 stamp collecting conversations) into the Hyde Park on Hudson it's apparent that the film is content with reenacting the events of the famous King and Queen visit and letting Murray's vibrant performance do the talking. Linney's intriguing mistress role fizzles out — it wasn't a big deal for FDR back 1939 and it hasn't gained any weight 70 years later.