BAZ BAMIGBOYE: "I"m too old to be a lothario", says Jude Law
BAZ BAMIGBOYE: “I”m too old to be a lothario”, says Jude Law
1:19 AM on 13th May 2011
Jude Law is mentally preparing himself to play the spurned husband in Anna Karenina opposite Keira Knightley.
That’s not a role Jude has ever played on screen — and certainly not off it.
‘I’m the cuckold. I’m the husband she discards,’ the actor joked as we chatted at the official opening night dinner for the Cannes Film Festival, adding ruefully: ‘I can’t play the dashing young blade in films any more, those parts don’t come to me.’
At Cannes: Jude said: “I can”t play the dashing young blade in films any more, those parts don”t come to me”
Jude is sitting on the festival’s jury with the panel’s chair Robert De Niro and fellow Hollywood star Uma Thurman.
He told me he was excited to be working with director Joe Wright and that Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel was a masterpiece in itself.
‘It’s an excellent screenplay, you just want to be a part of it,’ he added.
Starring role: Keira Knightley will play Anna Karenina in the film
As I revealed when this column broke news of the project last November, Keira will play the eponymous heroine, who humiliates her husband Karenin when she falls for handsome army officer Count Vronsky.
Aaron Johnson will play Vronsky. And Wright told me he’s hoping to also cast Saoirse Ronan, who was in his adaptation of Atonement alongside Keira, and can be seen on screens now in his scorching psychological thriller Hanna.
‘Everyone wants Saoirse now, but I’m hoping she’ll be available to play a role in the film,’ Wright said.
He added that Working Title were also hoping to persuade Benedict Cumberbatch to be in the film, but that the actor is being offered projects almost on a daily basis.
Jude won’t start work on Anna Karenina until after he has completed his run in Eugene O’Neill’s play Anna Christie opposite Ruth Wilson.
He said the play is a powerful piece of theatre and that he’s looking forward to performing on the Donmar Theatre’s stage for the first time.
He played Hamlet for Michael Grandage, but it was for the Donmar’s West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre and on Broadway.
Director Rob Ashford will start Anna Christie rehearsals in late June.
Jude has several films coming out this year, including Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes sequel, A Game Of Shadows.
Tilda and the film we”ll all be talking about soon
Ezra Miller is 18 and was yesterday on the Moet Beach in Cannes posing for a snap with his screen ‘mother’, Tilda Swinton.
Tilda bravely staggered through the sand in her Roger Vivier stilettos and Ezra hugged her. Ezra’s on-screen ‘father’, John C. Reilly — who waswearing a smart straw hat — soon joined them.
One to watch: Ezra Miller on the Moet Beach in Cannes posing for a snap with his screen “mother”, Tilda Swinton
They are blissfully happy off-screen, but when you see them in Lynne Ramsay’s cinematic masterpiece We Need To Talk About Kevin, inspired by Lionel Shriver’s best-selling novel, you realise there’s a problem in this family unit.
The BBC Films production — the only British movie in competition — has become a festival sensation and is already being tipped as a major contender for the Palme d’Or.
It’s a visual feast of a picture, with Swinton on magnificent form as the mother, Eva, who can’t bring herself to love her son. She doesn’t even have to say it — it’s written on her face.
When she’s carrying the boy, the lines of irritation are in every crease. When she goes into labour, a doctor tells her: ‘Eva, stop resisting.’ But she doesn’t. She keeps resisting the boy, and as he grows older he picks up on this and punishes her.
Or, as Ezra put it to me yesterday: ‘He just wants his mother’s love and attention and he hits on a particular way of doing it.’
Those who have read Shriver’s novel will know how Kevin gets Eva’s attention, and it’s pretty traumatic.
Director Ramsay takes care not to over-exploit what it is that Kevin does. However, the colour red is evident throughout, as if to signpost that something shocking will happen.
I’m not sure I’ve seen a screen performance better than Swinton’s in a long time, while Miller — who I saw at the Sundance Festival and at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival — is one to watch.
He told me he got sent the script two years ago and ‘freaked out’ over it. ‘I started chasing it like an animal, then it dropped off the scene for a while. Then it came back, and I went after it again,’ he said.
Ezra had to prove to Ramsay he could capture Kevin, and she was right to pick him. ‘From the day a child is born, that child is hyper-aware of stuff going on and often it’s way beneath the surface. That’s why child development is a very delicate process. When it goes wrong, it can be devastating,’ Ezra told me.
He also added that all of us have the potential to become a Kevin. ‘To my horror, I do feel a little connected to Kevin — always did. It’s a little scary.’
Well, that’s why he’s so good in the role. Thankfully, he has a lot of culture to occupy his mind. As well as acting, he sings and plays drums for indie band Sons Of An Illustrious Father, and their second album, Big Brown Barn And other Short Tales, is due out soon.
We Need To Talk About Kevin opens in the UK in the autumn.
Meryl has Maggie down to a T
Mrs Thatcher was on the auction block yesterday as American film studios began bidding for the film that stars Meryl Streep as the former prime minister.
The film is called The Iron Lady, and what’s immediately apparent from the three minute and 50 second trailer, which I watched twice yesterday, is Ms Streep’s extraordinary ability to assume Mrs Thatcher’s tone of voice and pattern of speech.
The new Thatcher: American film studios began bidding for the film that stars Meryl Streep as the former prime minister
It’s more than mere mimicry — it’s the ability of a great actress to capture the essence of Britain’s only female prime minister.
Director Phyllida Lloyd had been due to shoot the film last September, but it was delayed until January, which gave Ms Streep four extra months to work on her portrait of Mrs Thatcher.
It’s impossible to judge from a trailer how the finished film will look and whether it will be any good. But I have to tell you I was completely knocked out by what I saw. I found it fascinating, extraordinary, brilliant — so much so I asked to view it a second time.
The montage of scenes include the young Mrs Thatcher, played by Alexandra Roach, insisting to husband Denis — the young version portrayed by Harry Lloyd, and the older by Jim Broadbent — that she ‘never meant to be one of those women who stay pretty and silent on the arm of her husband’.
Later, when her ‘look’ is being designed, Mrs Thatcher — now portrayed by Ms Streep — insists that while she may be persuaded to change ‘the hat’, she is adamant on keeping the pearls.
Then there’s a shot of the Brighton hotel bomb blast during the 1984 Conservative Party conference, with Mrs Thatcher emerging through the smoke and rubble.
You hear the word ‘cowardice’, and you’re not sure if that comment is meant for the bombers or for the members of her Cabinet who are featured in the scene that follows. The Falklands are touched on in the trailer, and you hear Streep as Mrs Thatcher declare that the ‘Falkland Islands belong to Britain and I want them back’.
Al Haig, who was then President Reagan’s secretary of state, patronises her when they discuss Britain going to war with Argentina.
Mrs Thatcher gives Haig a withering look and tells him: ‘With all due respect, Sir, I have done battle every day of my life.’ She then declares: ‘Shall I be mother’ as she holds a teapot a tad too close to him.
American distributors were shown the footage in a screening room at the Palais des Festivals for one hour, with the trailer running on a continuous reel.
‘The bidding is today, and they can come in and react to what they’ve seen,’ Cameron McCracken, managing director of Pathe UK, the studio selling the picture, told me.
So far the film has cost 11.25million. It’s contracted to be completed by early September, and the plan at the moment is for The Iron Lady to open in the UK in early January. However, an American distributor could open it before then in the U.S.
As I was leaving McCracken’s offices, Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company was on his way in to parry with Pathe.
Carey Mulligan in New York, not Cannes
Carey Mulligan is in New York doing a play off-Broadway, but she’s very present in Cannes with one film in competition and another being sold to overseas buyers.
The actress is getting an education working with Steve McQueen, the prize-winning artist who made a stunning directorial debut with Hunger.
Not at Cannes: Carey Mulligan is in New York doing a play off-Broadway
They’ve just finished shooting a film called Shame, which stars Carey — pictured in my exclusive shot from the film — and Michael Fassbender as American siblings Sissy and Brandon.
It’s an intense, full-on drama with the kind of powerful imagery that’s become McQueen’s screen signature. Brandon goes through life with relationships for ever falling apart, while the opposite is true of Sissy, who gives herself fully to her lovers.
‘It’s an honest look at modern life and how we’re connected, yet somehow disconnected,’ said producer Iain Canning.
It’s due to be released later this year by Momentum Pictures.
Meanwhile, Carey appears with Ryan Gosling in Drive, which opens in Cannes next week, and she is in previews in the play Through A Glass Darkly at the off-Broadway Atlantic Theatre Company.
And the award for getting changed quickly goes to…
Party piece: Rachel in the aqua-marine dress
Rachel McAdams can certainly take home the Cannes Film Festival award for best quick-change artist.
I went to chat with her at the festival’s official opening night dinner, which she attended as one of the stars of Woody Allen’s witty romantic comedy Midnight In Paris.
We’d all eaten the marinated lobster, filet de veau and a chocolate dessert (too rich for moi) created by celebrated chef Alain Ducasse.
Rachel gathered up the train of her embroidered red silk gown and said she would head over to the after-party a couple of hundred yards away on the Majestic beach.
Five minutes later, I spotted a woman with blonde hair styled exactly as Rachel had worn hers. But she was wearing a completely different dress.
She came closer and I saw it was Rachel, this time wearing an aqua–marine satin dress with a neckline plunging to her navel.
‘The other dress wasn’t party friendly, and I didn’t want to cradle the train all through the night,’ Rachel explained to me.
Watch out for…
Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, who have great chemistry together — even though they play enemies in the rip-roaring fourth instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean film series, On Stranger Tides.
I thought the third episode was stretching the franchise, but with Rob Marshall taking over as director, the movie has a freshness about it.
The writing’s sharper and funnier, while Depp and Cruz are on such good form.
Soon Depp’s swinging and running through the streets of London trying to evade the King’s men, bumping into the likes of Judi Dench, who makes a most delightful cameo appearance.
Basically, Deppy, Cruz and mean old Captain Blackbeard (Ian McShane), plus Geoffrey Rush’s peg-legged Barbossa, are after the same loot — a fountain of eternal youth.
Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper star in Restless
Along the way, they encounter zombies, scary mermaids and ruthless crew members.
Pirates has a special gala in Cannes tomorrow and opens in the UK next week. It’s the best fun of the summer so far.
Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper, who star in Gus Van Sant’s touching movie Restless, about two teenagers — one of whom is suffering from a terminal illness — and how they cope with love and death.
The two leads charmed me into going along with this mystical tale, which opened the Un Certain Regard section of the film festival last night.
Ms Wasikowska was Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, and in the autumn she will be seen as the title character in Cary Fukunaga’s gripping screen version of Jane Eyre opposite Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench and Jamie Bell.
New director starting work…
Anthony Wilcox started work on his first film as a director after having a pretty awful time working on a movie with a royal theme that hasn’t yet come out.
He was a much-in-demand first assistant director. Now he just wants to direct — and having seen his short film Hello Carter, with Dominic Cooper and Jodie Whittaker, it’s clear he has a rare, delicate touch. Hello Carter has been playing in the market at Cannes.
A new warrior king…
Tom Hiddleston, who plays Thor’s evil brother Loki in the movie Thor and superhero ensemble feature The Avengers, will be returning to his Shakespearean roots when he plays the warrior king Henry V in a BBC TV film version of the play that Richard Eyre will direct at the end of the year.
Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris are producing it as part of a Shakespeare season. Tom also appears as Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, plus movies The Deep Blue Sea and War Horse.