The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke has spent three years getting in shape for his new rugby movie after realising he wasn't fit enough to portray gay sportsman Gareth Thomas authentically. The movie star has been working on the Welsh sports star's life story for five years and now he's just about to start filming after shaping up to look like a rugby player.
He explains, "It's taken about three years of steady training... I went into the locker room and I was looking at these guys and I've never seen such physical specimens as these guys.
"At half-time there were at least four guys getting stitched up and one young kid, he was about 25, was eating a ham sandwich and he had a seven-inch gash (over his eye)... The doctor said, 'Can you sit still?' And he was looking at him like the doctor was nuts; he does it every day."
Welsh singer Charlotte Church has been forced to return to work after admitting her fortune is dwindling. The former child star stepped out of the spotlight to focus on motherhood, but has recently tried to relaunch herself as a credible artist, funding the release of new music herself.
Her worth has also taken a blow, dropping from an estimated $42 million (£25 million) to $18.7 million (£11 million) in recent years, and now Church admits she will be working for the rest of her life to pay the bills.
In a new interview with BBC Wales, she says, "The tax man is looking at my accounts wondering where I'm hiding all my money. But it's exaggerated because it makes a better story.
"I will have to work for the rest of my life. Not because I want to but because I have to. I always understood that all that stuff isn't important and (my career) was not the be and end all. My life is so full and so rich I definitely feel like I've had the good side of the deal."
Welsh singer Charlotte Church, rugby legend Gareth Edwards and politician Neil Kinnock have joined Rhys Ifans for a film adaptation of beloved writer Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood. Thomas' 'play for voices', which is set in fictional seaside town Llareggub, was first performed in 1954. Church will portray Polly Garter, while Kinnock and Edwards will make guest appearances.
The Amazing Spider-Man star Rhys Ifans has been tapped to play poet Dylan Thomas in a new biopic. The Welsh actor is slated to star alongside John Malkovich and Diego Luna in Dominion, a movie which centres on the last days of the writer's life, according to Variety.com.
Steven Bernstein is on board to direct and production is set to begin later this month (May14).
This isn't the only Dylan Thomas project Ifans is working on - in March (14), he was cast in the film adaptation of Thomas' play Under Milk Wood.
Thomas died of pneumonia in 1953.
Veteran crooner Sir Tom Jones, singer Charlotte Church and classical star Katherine Jenkins are to join Hollywood actor Michael Sheen in a new TV adaptation of Dylan Thomas' play Under Milk Wood. A new small screen adaptation of the story has been put together with an all-star Welsh cast to mark the centenary of the poet's birth and 60 years since the BBC radio debut of Under Milk Wood, which focuses on the residents of a Welsh fishing village.
Jones plays haunted seafarer Captain Cat while the cast also includes Sheen, Fantastic Four actor Ioan Gruffudd, and Brothers & Sisters star Matthew Rhys, who ironically played Thomas in 2008 movie The Edge of Love.
Singers Jenkins and Church have also landed roles in the production, along with opera star Bryn Terfel.
Jenkins tells the BBC, "It was wonderful to be involved in a project celebrating such a great Welshman. It's also been such a joy to collaborate with so many other Welsh artists whom I respect and admire. I hope the results are a fitting tribute."
The 60-minute TV feature is due to air in the U.K. in May (14).
A new movie adaptation of the play is also in development staring Welsh actor Rhys Ifans.
Actor Rhys Ifans is set to follow in fellow Welshman Richard Burton's footsteps by starring in a new film adaptation of iconic poet Dylan Thomas' famous play Under Milk Wood. Director/producer Kevin Allen has obtained the movie rights to the 1954 work, which features the dreams and innermost thoughts of the inhabitants of a fictional Welsh fishing village, and is planning to make back-to-back English and Welsh language versions of the project, which was previously tuned into a big screen release by filmmaker Andrew Sinclair in 1972.
Allen has cast Notting Hill star Ifans in the role of First Voice, which was originated onscreen by Burton.
Burton's on/off wife Dame Elizabeth Taylor also starred in the 1972 film.
Producers have promised to "veer away from delivering a one dimensional, literal reflection of Thomas' original work" and instead "explore some of the darker, visceral elements" of "a richly funny, filthily fluid dystopian dreamscape - whilst not stooping to mess with Thomas' original text".
Filming on Under Milk Wood is due to begin this summer (14).
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood and Welsh actor Celyn Jones are teaming up to play poets Malcolm Brinnin and Dylan Thomas in a new period movie. Set Fire to the Stars, which will be directed by Andy Goddard, will explore the relationship between the two writers.
Another Welshman, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, has been commissioned to compose the score for the movie, which will start shooting in Wales next month (Feb14).
Brinnin was a North American poet who was instrumental in introducing Thomas to American readers in the early 1950s.
Brinnin went on to document his friend's final years in his book Dylan Thomas in America.
Fresh Meat does for college what The Inbetweeners does for high school. This British comedy brings together a random hodgepodge of college students and puts them into a dilapidated house. What follow are the awkward, funny, and heartwarming memories that come with freshman year at university.
A random group of freshers at Manchester Medlock University move into a house because they can’t live in the dorms. Josie (Kimberley Nixon) is an unshakably optimistic, heavy drinking Welsh dental student. She makes the mistake of sleeping with roommate JP (Jack Whitehall), a privileged, pompous douche. Meanwhile, she really likes Kingsley (Joe Thomas), who bears a striking resemblance to Thomas’ character Simon in The Inbetweeners. Meanwhile, Oregon (Charlotte Ritchie), a rich poseur, keeps trying to get the respect of Vod (Zawe Ashton), a hardcore party girl with an anti-establishment edge.
Fresh Meat brings a cross-section of the U.K. with kids from different parts of the country and wildly different backgrounds. Their misadventures range from misguided class choices, sexual mishaps, and general poor choices. The ensemble’s chemistry is naturally endearing and entertaining. The humor really writes itself. They all bring unique perspectives that feed each other. What follows is an addictive comedy you can't help but binge watch.
Thomas has proved his comedic abilities before and doesn’t disappoint despite playing a very similar character. Nixon’s Josie is equally endearing, annoying, and bizarrely hilarious. Whitehall has found a way to inject heart into a character who is loathsome yet insanely funny.
Fresh Meat has the brutal honesty about young adulthood of Skins, the offbeat humor you’d expect from British comedy, and the stupid mistakes you remember or will forget about college. Series 1 and 2 are available on Hulu.
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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The Wrestler star has become close friends with the gay sportsman through working together on the currently untitled film, which will document Thomas' career and his place in history as the first high-profile rugby player to 'come out' as homosexual.
Thomas has now revealed he took Rourke on an unusual night out in London to give him an insight into the city's gay scene.
He tells Britain's Daily Star on Sunday newspaper, "When he was in London, I took him to some gay bars in Soho. We planned to go gay clubbing but we didn't want to get pictured going out. We just wanted to go out and have fun and let him experience a gay club."