Wright, who is married to the Indian musician's daughter, Anoushka, was left devastated when Shankar passed away in December (12) at the age of 92.
The moviemaker has been busy working on his stage debut, directing a production of Arthur Wing Pinero's comic play Trelawny of the Wells, and he is convinced the material has helped make him happy again.
He tells the London Evening Standard newspaper, "It is not profound in any way, not at all heavy. It makes me happy as a piece, it's very warm and when I read it, it made me laugh. The characters in it are genuinely kind to each other...
"(Shankar's death) was quite intense and very sad and we miss him a lot. He was a tiny man with a big, big, big soul, and however natural the process is, it doesn't make it any less sad. He is very, very missed. I find it amazing how life works really: I couldn't be doing a better play. If I was doing something about death or sadness or darkness at the moment I think it would be dreadful."
Wright's production, which tells the story of an actress attempting to give up the theatre for love, opens at London's Donmar Warehouse next month (Feb13).
The world has lost a musical wonder. Ravi Shankar, sitar master and composer, was admitted to a San Diego hospital last week after complaining of shortness of breath and then passed away on Tuesday, Variety reports. He was 92 years old at the time of his death.
Shankar, best known as the "Godfather of World Music" after The Beatles' George Harrison gave him the nickname, was a great composer of film scores, including Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy. In 1983, he won an Oscar for best original score for Richard Attenborough's Gandhi along with George Fenton.
Shankar may have departed this world, but his legacy lives on, especially through the musical talents of his children, Grammy-award winning singer Norah Jones and Grammy-nominated sitar player Anoushka Shankar.
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The Atonement filmmaker, who called off his engagement to actress Rosamund Pike just weeks before they were due to wed in 2008, tied the knot with Ravi Shankar's daughter on 26 September (10) in London.
Shankar's sister, singer Norah Jones, was a guest at the secret ceremony and sang at the couple's wedding reception.
The sitar player, who has been dating Wright since last year (09), has now spoken out about the ceremony, revealing they are planning more celebrations in the U.S. and in India, and confirmed she is expecting her first child with her new husband.
She tells the Times of India, "We planned very quickly. So yes, many family members and friends couldn't be there, which is why we will do celebrations later in the States and in India. But we chose a date for which our parents and siblings could be present, which was very difficult with all the touring performers in our combined families! Norah was obviously there, and hosted my mehendi (pre-wedding) party and was my maid of honour in a sense. She was a wonderfully supportive and loving sister through the whole process."
Shankar adds, "I want him to be the father of all my babies! It's such a cliche, but honestly, I could see myself having children with him within the first week of our relationship. Joe is the most wonderful and extraordinary man, he makes me feel cherished and safe, and it's easy to see what a loving, imaginative father he will be."
Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge) and Jim Carrey's (The Majestic) new untitled project has been pulled by Universal from its March shooting date, Variety reports. The comedy was to star Carrey as a widower who begins dating, only to be haunted by Kidman, who plays his dead wife. Variety cites Kidman's tight schedule as a reason for the delay; she's currently busy haunting Tom Cruise.
Regis Philbin is keeping his original day job. The beleaguered Who Wants To Be a Millionaire host has declined to headline the syndicated version, even though the prime time gig may disappear. And, yes, that's his final answer.
Forget Mork. Forget Patch Adams. The usually cheerful Robin Williams is developing his dark side, and will play mentally disturbed characters in each of his next three films. Actually, we'd like to forget most of the roles we've seen Williams in. Jumanji, anyone?
Movie fans lined Leicester Square in London to catch a glimpse of favorite son Ewan McGregor and other stars of Black Hawk Down at Britain's premiere of the Ridley Scott flick Thursday night. Meanwhile, down the street, fans of the three-piece suit fans lined the aisles at Harrods.
"Out, out damned spot." Monica Lewinsky--yes, that Monica Lewinsky--was at a press conference Wednesday to promote HBO's documentary Monica in Black and White, set to debut March 3. Lewinsky told reporters the biggest misconception people have of her is "that I sought this celebrity by seducing the president and going to the White House with an agenda." And here we thought she went to the White House to make a big change in our trade policy with China.
NBC has filled its drama production slate for the fall 2002 season, ordering six hour-long dramas--including Kingpin, a drug-syndicate Sopranos--and asking for scripts on three other possible series. In related news, ABC has informed CBS and FOX that it gets first dibs on any shows that NBC doesn't work into its lineup. (That's a joke, folks.)
We didn't think anything could make Emeril look good. But NBC's replacement, the Hank Azaria starrer Imagine, has been squashed after just two episodes, after pulling in the same dismal ratings the ill-conceived cooking show did. Bam! In related news, ABC has optioned both Emeril and Imagine. (That's a joke, too.)
Steven Bing, famous for producing Get Carter and for having dated actress Elizabeth Hurley without knocking her up (or so he says), is now suing England's Daily Mail newspaper for libel. The Daily Mail reported that Bing hired a private dick (oh, now we get it) to dig up dirt on the pregnant Hurley in an attempt to ruin her reputation. We've said it once, and we'll say it again: those goofy British.
The Price Is Right celebrated its 30th anniversary in style: with cops, cops and more cops. An estimated 5,000 people showed up for the gala taping in Las Vegas, though there were only an estimated 900 tickets for public consumption. Which means an estimated 4,100 people got mad. The police made no arrests, but did leave with some nice parting gifts.
It's now known that Lani O'Grady, Mary from Eight Is Enough, passed away last September from "multiple drug intoxication." The L.A. County Coroner said that the two drugs in her system, Vicodin and Prozac, were more than enough. The coroner did not say whether or not her 1994 appearance on Geraldo had anything to do with her demise.
From the world of sitar comes this shocking development: Ravi Shankar's daughter wants to make a name of her own. Anoushka Shankar, 20, understood that having a famous dad meant she "didn't have to work to get an audience," but she admits she's developing her own style. As for a name of her own, we suggest Uma Zeta-Jones.
Phil Collins and his wife have set up a charity for aspiring Swiss athletes and entertainers aged 4 to 16. Collins will be performing Saturday in Geneva to raise funds for said charity. There's been no official release on the "Face Value" of tickets or the dress code or, But Seriously even if it's not "A Hot Night in Paris" we bet "No Jackets" will be "Required." We're also waiting (for 17 years now!) for an explanation of the word "sussudio."
Co-creator of CD technology Philips has blasted the major record labels, which are now producing a "new" type of CD that will prevent buyers from ripping songs into the easily traded MP3 format popularized by Napster. Philips GM Gerry Wirtz stated, "We worry [the labels] don't know what they're doing." That makes an entire planetful of audiophiles who wonder the same thing.