Harry Potter co-stars Sir Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton are reuniting onscreen to help bring beloved children's character Paddington Bear to life in an upcoming movie. Gambon, who replaced the late Richard Harris as Professor Dumbledore in the boy wizard films, will provide the voice of Uncle Pastuzo, while Staunton will play Aunt Lucy.
Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw will take on the title role in Paddington after Colin Firth walked away from the project earlier this year (14).
Another Harry Potter star, Julie Walters, will also be part of the cast, alongside Nicole Kidman, Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville and new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi.
The film, based on the books by author Michael Bond, is scheduled for release at Christmas (14).
Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have added some real thespian star power to a new British BBC TV Shakespeare initiative by teaming up for a televised production of The Bard's Richard Iii. Oscar winner Dench has signed on to play Cecily, Duchess of York opposite the Sherlock star in the drama, which is part of a new series of adapted Shakespeare classics, which will debut next month (Sep14).
As part of the three-film project, titled The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville will take on Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in a two-part adaptation of Henry VI and Hotel Rwanda star Sophie Okonedo will portray Queen Margaret in all three TV movies. Tom Sturridge has been cast as Henry VI.
The venture follows the success of the first The Hollow Crown series, which featured Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston and Ben Whishaw in adaptations of Shakespeare's Richard II and Henry IV.
Scottish actor David Tennant and Bond legend Sir Roger Moore are among the stars who have designed special cards to raise money for a multiple sclerosis charity. The gifts have been put up for sale on eBay.com along with certificates of authenticity to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, which supports patients diagnosed with the disease.
Tennant's card features a sketch of a birthday balloon, while Moore's is adorned with an amusing doodle featuring two fish.
Other celebrities who have designed cards for the charity sale include Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville and actor Richard E. Grant.
Stage play The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time was the toast of the 2013 Olivier Awards on Sunday (28Apr13), taking home seven trophies. The London production, about an autistic boy who tries to uncover who killed his neighbour's dog, landed the title of Best New Play, Best Director (Marianne Elliott), Best Actor (Luke Treadaway) and Best Supporting Actress (Nicola Walker), as well as mentions for sound, set and lighting design.
Dame Helen Mirren was crowned Best Actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience, which also earned her co-star Richard McCabe the Best Supporting Actor prize for his role as late British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton won Best Actor and Actress in a Musical for their stints in Sweeney Todd, which also received the title of Best Musical Revival.
Billy Elliot took home the Audience Award for Most Popular Show, Top Hat was recognised as Best New Musical, Best Entertainment and Family went to Goodnight Mister Tom, and Long Day's Journey Into Night nabbed Best Revival.
The winners were announced during the 37th annual ceremony, hosted by Sheridan Smith and Hugh Bonneville at the Royal Opera House in London.
If you had to choose between Girls, Game of Thrones, and Homeland, which one would you say is your favorite show? We know, this is tough question. The shows are all equally entertaining, but in very different ways. These and other series have been pitted against each other in the 2013 Arqiva British Academy Television Awards (put out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) international category. Up against Danish/Swedish crime drama The Bridge, only one of these four shows can come out the winner. Which one will it be?
See the full list of 2013 BAFTA Television nominees below.
2013 BAFTA TV Nominees:
LEADING ACTOR:Ben Whishaw, Richard II (The Hollow Crown)Derek Jacobi, Last Tango In Halifax Sean Bean, Accused (Tracie’s Story)Toby Jones, The Girl
LEADING ACTRESS:Anne Reid, Last Tango In Halifax Rebecca Hall, Parade’s End Sheridan Smith, Mrs Biggs Sienna Miller, The Girl
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Peter Capaldi, The Hour Stephen Graham, Accused (Tracie’s Story) Harry Lloyd, The Fear Simon Russell Beale, Henry IV Part 2 (The Hollow Crown)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anastasia Hille, The Fear Imelda Staunton, The Girl Olivia Colman, Accused (Mo’s Story) Sarah Lancashire, Last Tango In Halifax
ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE:Alan Carr, Alan Carr: Chatty Man Ant and Dec, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!Graham Norton, The Graham Norton Show Sarah Millican, The Sarah Millican Show
FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAM:Jessica Hynes, Twenty Twelve Julia Davis, HunderbyMiranda Hart, Miranda Olivia Colman, Twenty Twelve
MALE PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY PROGRAM:Greg Davies, Cuckoo Hugh Bonneville, Twenty Twelve PeterCapaldi, The Thick Of It Steve Coogan, Welcome To The Places Of My Life
SINGLE DRAMA :Everyday, Revolution Films/Channel 4 The Girl, Wall to Wall/BBC Two Murder, Touchpaper TV/BBC Two Richard II(Hollow Crown), Neal Street Productions co-production with NBC Universal and WNET Thirteen/BBC Two
MINI-SERIES:Accused, RSJ Films/BBC One Mrs Biggs, ITV Studios/ITV Parade’s End, Mammoth Screen/BBC Two Room At The Top, Great Meadow Productions/BBC Four
DRAMA SERIES:Last Tango In Halifax, Red Production Company/BBC One Ripper Street, Tiger Aspect Productions/BBC One Scott And Bailey, Red Production Company/ITV Silk, BBC Productions/BBC One
SOAP & CONTINUING DRAMA: Coronation Street EastEnders Emmerdale Shameless
INTERNATIONAL:The BridgeGame of ThronesGirlsHomeland
FACTUAL SERIES:24 Hours In A&E, Garden Productions/Channel 4Great Ormond Street, Films of Record/BBC TwoMake Bradford British, Love Productions/Channel 4Our War, BBC Productions/BBC Three
SPECIALIST FACTUAL:All In The Best Possible Taste With Grayson Perry, Seneca Productions/Channel 4The Plane Crash, Dragonfly Productions, MAP TV/Channel 4The Plot To Bring Down Britain’s Planes, Raw TV/Channel 4The Secret History Of Our Streets, Century Films, Halcyons Heart Films/BBC Two
SINGLE DOCUMENTARY:7/7: One Day In London, Minnow Films/BBC TwoBaka: A Cry From The Rainforest, River Films/BBC TwoLucian Freud: Painted Life, Blakeway Productions/BBC TwoNina Conti – A Ventriloquist’s Story: Her Master’s Voice, Nina Conti in association with the BBC/BBC Four
FEATURESBank Of Dave, Finestripe Productions/Channel 4Grand Designs, Boundless/Channel 4The Great British Bake Off, Love Productions/BBC TwoPaul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs, Shiver/ITV
REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL:The Audience, The Garden Productions/Channel 4I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, ITV Studios/ITVMade In Chelsea, Monkey Kingdom/E4The Young Apprentice, Boundless Productions/BBC One
CURRENT AFFAIRS:Britain’s Hidden Housing Crisis(Panorama Special), Genie Pictures Ltd/BBC OneThe Other Side Of Jimmy Savile(Exposure), ITV Studios/ITVThe Shame Of The Catholic Church(This World), BBC Northern Ireland/BBC TwoWhat Killed Arafat?(Al Jazeera Investigates), Al Jazeera English/Al Jazeera English
NEWS COVERAGE:BBC News At Ten: Syria, BBC News/BBC One & BBC News ChannelChannel 4 News: Battle For Homs, ITN/Channel 4Hillsborough – The Truth At Last(Granada Reports), ITV Granada/ITV
SPORT & LIVE EVENT:The London 2012 Olympics: Super Saturday, BBC Sport/BBC OneThe London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony: Isle Of Wonder, Done & Dusted/BBC OneThe London 2012 Paralympic Games, Sunset & Vine, IMG/Channel 4Wimbledon 2012 – Men’s Final, BBC Sport/BBC One
ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM:Dynamo Magician Impossible, Phil McIntyre Entertainment, Inner Circle Films/WatchThe Graham Norton Show, So Television/BBC OneHave I Got News For You, Hat Trick Productions/BBC OneA League Of Their Own, CPL Productions/Sky One
COMEDY PROGRAM:Cardinal Burns, Left Bank Pictures/E4Mr Stink, BBC Productions in association with Bert Productions/BBC OneThe Revolution Will Be Televised, Hat Trick Productions/BBC ThreeWelcome To The Places Of My Life, Baby Cow/Sky Atlantic
SITUATION COMEDY: Episodes, Hat Trick Productions/BBC TwoHunderby, Baby Cow/Sky Atlantic The Thick Of It, BBC Productions/BBC Two Twenty Twelve, BBC Productions/BBC Two
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
MORE:BAFTA Nominations 2012 Homeland Teaser: 5 Questions We Need Answered Making A Case for Homeland
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?
Iris, about brilliant British writer Iris Murdoch, her rise to fame and her unfortunate suffering from Alzheimer's disease in last few years of her life, just earned Britain's reigning queen of stage and screen Judi Dench's fourth Oscar nomination in five years.
Is enough ever enough?
"It makes me think a lot of people are saying, 'Oh my God, not again,'" Dench told The Associated Press with a laugh after the announcements were made Tuesday.
She added, "It never ceases to be exciting. And as I've always said, the nomination bit is the exciting bit; it's horrible when someone has to go and win it all."
Dench's past Oscar nominations included Best Actress for her work in 1997's Mrs. Brown and Best Supporting Actress for 2000's Chocolat. She won Best Supporting Actress in 1999 for her small but powerful turn as Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare In Love.
Dench feels particularly gratified by her nomination this year because of the hard work she put into playing Murdoch.
"It was quite hard to get the film put together, so for that reason it's good," she said.
Also nominated from Iris are Kate Winslet in the supporting actress category (for playing Murdoch as a young woman) and Jim Broadbent as Murdoch's long-suffering husband, John Bayley.
The 67-year-old actress said she was sorry that director Richard Eyre and co-star Hugh Bonneville, who played the younger Bayley, weren't nominated as well.
British and Australian talent featured highly in this year's Bafta awards, Britain's equivalent of the Oscars. Moulin Rouge and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring each received 12 nominations, Reuters reports. The two films will battle it out in the best film category against A Beautiful Mind, Shrek and the French romantic comedy Amélie. The stars of Richard Eyre's Iris, Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonneville, each received nominations, as did Ian McKellen for his portrayal of the wizard Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. Dench also received a best supporting actress nod for her role in The Shipping News. Nicole Kidman received a best actress nomination for The Others while fellow Aussie Russell Crowe won a nomination for best actor in A Beautiful Mind.
Britney Spears looking...prim? The pop princess will appear in two Pepsi commercials dubbed "Now and Then" during the upcoming Super Bowl XXXVI wearing period outfits instead of her typical midriff-baring getups and singing jingles from the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s. Internet users will then be asked to vote on their favorite generation. The winning era will be featured in a 30-second commercial shown during the second quarter of Sunday's game.
Playboy Playmate Petra Verkiak, aka Miss December 1989, took a high school teen to his girl-ask-guy winter formal after reading his college entrance essay, The Associate Press reports. Verkiak, 35, said she thought Toby Hawking's essay, which she received from a friend who got it from Hocking's mother, was "really deep." The former pinup showed up at Foothill High School in a limousine with the straight-A clarinet player and exclaimed, "This is like a fairy tale."
Anschutz Entertainment, the company that built the new homes for the Oscars and the L.A. Lakers, has reportedly set its sights on the Emmys. According to Variety, representatives from the company met with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences board of governors and executive committee to sway them into moving their annual primetime Emmy awards show to a venue in downtown Los Angeles. Anschutz Entertainment plans to build a 7,000-seat theater across from its Staples Center, which would be ready in time for the 2005 ceremony.
Last Wednesday's Inside the Real West Wing, an up-close-and-personal look inside the Bush White House that aired on NBC from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., surpassed The West Wing episode that followed it in the ratings race. While the special drew 15.2 million viewers, The West Wing averaged 14.7 million viewers. Perhaps the fact that the episode was a rerun was to blame. Figures show that on average, 18.4 million viewers tune in to President Josiah Bartlet.
Just a few months after CBS announced a full-season order of 22 episodes of The Ellen Show, the network has shut down production of Ellen DeGeneres' struggling comedy. The five remaining original episodes have been yanked through the February sweeps and will air instead in March and April.
Astrid Lindgren, the creator of braided redhead Pippi Longstocking, died Monday at her Stockholm home after several days of illness. She was 94. Lindgren wrote more than 100 works, including novels, plays, short stories and poetry, but her most popular character was Pippi Longstocking, the freethinking freckled girl with mismatched stockings.