Fast Girl Lily James on the run from the big screen straight into ITV's hit drama Downton Abbey
22:24 GMT, 7 June 2012
Running fast: Lily James is set to join the cast of Downton Abbey after starring in the new film Fast Girls
Lily James spent months training and getting fit to play a world-class sprinter in a film out next week — but soon her moves will be considerably more genteel because she is joining the cast of Downton Abbey.
The actress co-stars with Lenora Crichlow in the movie Fast Girls, which races out of the starting blocks and on to the big screen next Friday. But now she has joined the cast of ITV’s hit drama, where Julian Fellowes has written her in as Lord Grantham’s niece, Lady Rose.
She will shoot most of her initial scenes towards the end of the third series — which is in production now — with Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, who play the Earl and Countess of Grantham in the popular show made for ITV by NBC-Universal. She’s expected to film further episodes when the fourth batch of Downton programmes shoot next year.
‘I’ve been playing a lot of blondes, so I’m pleased to be brunette again — which is my natural colour,’ Lily told me.
In the British-made Fast Girls she plays a young woman who is seemingly confident but has been psychologically damaged by her bullying father.
‘The girls in the film have got ambitions: they’re determined, and they’ve got talent,’ Lily noted. ‘Their priority is to be strong and not to be used in a sexual way.’
She added that for once in a movie ‘women dominate, not men’. Hear, hear to that.
Prepare for the Mormon conquest…
Broadway’s biggest hit show, The Book Of Mormon, has its roots firmly in British humour, according to its creators.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the men behind Mormon and also South Park (now in its 16th season), will be in London towards the end of the month to do further casting on the outrageous musical they collaborated on with Robert Lopez.
The Book Of Mormon is about a mismatched pair of missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are dispatched to spread the word of God in a hell hole of a village in the back-end of Uganda.
The show cleaned up at last year’s Tony Awards, and on Broadway it’s carrying a whopping advance ticket sale of more than $38 million.
And now, as revealed on these pages, it will begin performances in this country, at the Prince Of Wales Theatre on February 25 next year, with a first night planned for around March 21.
Tickets will go on general release from September 13, although South Park fans will be made aware earlier of special preview seats via fan club websites and Facebook.
I spoke to Matt and Trey on the phone, although Trey had trouble with the instructions for the conference call, which required him to press a hash key. I pointed out to him that it wasn’t that kind of hash.
Outrageous: The Book Of Mormon starring Rema Webb, Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad
I’ve seen the show four times and I love it — and its humour — but I told them that the first time I watched it, I did wonder whether it would work here. Trey interrupted me: ‘We’ve always considered ourselves to have a British sense of humour!’
He cited Monty Python, Blackadder and The League Of Gentlemen as comic influences.
Matt said one of the main reasons they took South Park to Comedy Central in the U.S. was because the channel was home to Absolutely Fabulous. To further add to the British connection, three of The Book Of Mormon’s songs were written in London.
Comedy hit: The Book of Mormon was written by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker
During our conversation, we kept coming back to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney — a noted Mormon who is so strait-laced I crack up every time I catch sight of him.
In fact, a lot of my friends refer to Book Of Mormon as ‘the Mitt Romney show’.
‘It’s not unhelpful that he’s running for president,’ said Sonia Friedman, one of the show’s producers, only half jokingly. Fellow producers Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino explained that casting for the Prince of Wales was under way, and that they weren’t seeking stars.
‘The show is kind of the star,’ Ms Garefino insisted. Rudin agreed. ‘What we found in New York is that Trey and Matt are the stars. It’s their first musical and they’re two guys who have a well-loved body of work.’
A few of the show’s numbers will also be stars. One’s called Hasa diga eebowai, which loosely translates into three words, the third being God.
/06/07/article-2156137-0EE6EB8200000578-359_634x519.jpg” width=”634″ height=”519″ alt=”Roger Moore, pictured in the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun, will be giving an in depth interview about his career” class=”blkBorder” />
Roger Moore, pictured in the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun, will be giving an in depth interview about his career
The Moore tour kicks off at the Malvern Theatre on Sunday, October 7, and then plays one-night dates at the Rose at Kingston in Surrey (October 14); the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton (October 16); the Bournemouth Pavilion (October 17); Bath’s Theatre Royal (a matinee on October 19); and the Anvil in Basingstoke (October 23).
The gigs wrap at the Theatre Royal in Norwich on October 26. Moore’s a marvellous raconteur, but let’s hope he won’t be singing.
He famously withdrew from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects Of Love in mid-rehearsal when he — and the composer — realised his voice wouldn’t carry into the balcony.
Hugh Jackman, who will leave the set of the musical Les Miserables tomorrow night to fly to New York where, on Sunday night, he’ll receive a special Tony Award for his considerable charitable work.
‘I’ll probably have to retire,’ he joked of the honour, when we chatted on the Les Miserables set at Pinewood studios, where he’d been working with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, who play the notorious inn-keepers the Thenardiers.
Jackman will return to London on Monday to resume filming with director Tom Hooper on the screen version of the hit stage musical created by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer and Cameron Mackintosh — with a little help from Victor Hugo.