Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eliza Bennett interview

Interview with Eliza Bennett, (Independent Talent Group) star of Inkheart, from Moviesonline. She also discusses how she got started in acting, Nanny Mcphee (and it's new sequel), and her new up-and-coming film From Time to Time.

MoviesOnline: Eliza, you look just like you did in the movie, but wasn’t this two years ago?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, it was.

MoviesOnline: I thought you would have turned into an adult in the meantime. How old were you then? 14?

ELIZA BENNETT: I’m 16 now. I’ll be 17 in a couple months.

MoviesOnline: So what was it like being in this strange world?

ELIZA BENNETT: It was good, it was amazing. We shot about six weeks of it in Italy which was really good because I thought it being a fantasy film that it would be a lot of CGI and stuff and that’s obviously less fun to shoot I think. Iain Softley, the director, was quite keen on going to also the places and making sure that we filmed everywhere which was great for us because it’s less to imagine and it makes obviously the acting a little bit easier.

MoviesOnline: Where did you go?

ELIZA BENNETT: We were on the coast in a place called Liguria which actually inspired Cornelia Funke. She lived there when she wrote the book. So Iain went down to the places and actually saw them and found places that looked like they did in the book. We shot there and we shot up in the mountains in a place called Intraquay (???) where we had loads of fake snow and everything. It was really good fun.

MoviesOnline: Did you have any of those animals on set?

ELIZA BENNETT: Oh yeah, we had live [animals] because obviously Paul Bettany's character, Dustfinger, has a ferret with him. The actual animal is a made up fantasy animal but it was played by a weasel.

MoviesOnline: Was it a nice ferret?

ELIZA BENNETT: It was peculiar. There’s actually 12 of them but they all have a certain trick that they do. So, one of them just sits and doesn’t do anything, one of them crawls up your arm, and the other one fetches things, and then we also had a little dog who played Toto from The Wizard of Oz with us.

MoviesOnline: How many of those?


MoviesOnline: Were you familiar with the book before you did the film?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, I knew about it. I’d heard of it but I hadn’t read it because it was in my school library. So when I got my first audition, I read the first two in the trilogy.

MoviesOnline: What attracted you to this project and made you want to do the movie?

ELIZA BENNETT: I think sometimes you can have a lot of auditions but then you get one and it stands out to you hugely. I read the script and just thought the way it had been adapted to the book was…because I think that’s a really hard thing to do. I just thought they had done it so well. I also really liked the fact – I’m not usually a fantasy reader so I was kind of surprised that when I read it, I really, really liked it. I think it’s because it sort of has one foot in reality and one foot in fantasy. The whole thing is actually based in the real world and fantasy is dragged into it. I loved Meggie’s character and I read it and thought this is something I can really play. It’s always disappointing if you don’t get those parts that you like, but luckily for me I was lucky enough to get it.

MoviesOnline: How was it working with such a great cast?

ELIZA BENNETT: It was amazing! Brendan Fraser had been signed onto it for like 5 years or something like that because Cornelia Funke had based the character on Brendan and the second book was actually dedicated to him. He was always in line for playing the part and then when Iain took the film, Brendan came over and said, “Only use me in the part if you want. You’re the director now.” But luckily Iain wanted Brendan as well. So when I got the part, I knew Brendan was going to be doing it. For me, that was like “Oh my goodness!”

And then slowly the cast got pieced together and I found out that Paul Bettany and Helen Mirren were doing it and all these incredible actors and I was like, “Oh my goodness, I’m kind of like a fish out of water.”

MoviesOnline: You did The Prince & Me?


MoviesOnline: Were you the little sister, Princess Arabella?

ELIZA BENNETT: That was my first ever job.

MoviesOnline: You have grown then?

ELIZA BENNETT: That was my first film.

MoviesOnline: The little sister. Wow!

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, that was years ago.

MoviesOnline: In Inkheart, wasn’t it cool to have a girl be the hero in a fantasy? It’s always the boys.

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah. I think that sometimes things can become male dominated in films like that, but no, it was good. With me and Helen, we were sort of the girls in quite a male cast anyway because we had Paul and Brendan and Jim (Broadbent) and Andy Serkis. It was really good and luckily for me all the cast was so lovely. And they’re so funny as well which means that we were literally laughing from start to finish.

MoviesOnline: What did Helen talk to you about? She started acting when she was just a little bit older than you were.

ELIZA BENNETT: She’s had an amazing career, so especially working with her, because when we were filming, we went through her whole Queen stage where she was obviously picking up awards and it was amazing to share that with her. She’d be filming one day and then she flew and got her Oscar and came back the next day.

MoviesOnline: Did she bring it to the set?

ELIZA BENNETT: She did. We didn’t think she would because you can obviously get so jetlagged from coming back. She came back and Iain said to her, “Don’t worry about coming in for the morning rehearsals. We’ll catch you up in the afternoon and it’ll be fine.” For Helen, acting is her job, so it’s like job first. She comes in the morning even though she doesn’t have to. She has a little bag and we’re all rehearsing and she comes in and goes, “I know this is really nath but …” and she gets out her Oscar and goes, “Yaaayyyy!”

MoviesOnline: Are you much of a reader?

ELIZA BENNETT: I am. Yes. Normally I don’t usually read that much fantasy, because I tend to read more about the relationships rather than all the stuff like that. I think that’s something that helped as well. I related to my character quite well because obviously for her, before she knew about the ability to read in and out of books, she was such a book worm herself and I think that if you do read, you usually find when you’re reading from a book that sometimes things can seem so lifelike when you’re reading a story that you almost feel like it is a real world anyway. And so, for her, the fact that that was and that came to life, I think it’s easy to relate to. If you do, you are a reader yourself.

MoviesOnline: Is there a literary character that you would like to see come to life that you’d be able to interact with or become friends with?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah. If you’ve seen the film and you see Toto in it, I absolutely fell in love with him full stop. I love him. So, if I had the ability, I would be faithful to Toto and bring him out of The Wizard of Oz. But yeah, there are definitely books that you read that you would like to go into that world for a little bit, and then I think some of the old Jane Austen books and The Great Gatsby as well which I’m reading at the moment due to my A levels studying at school -- like sort of the parties they have that you don’t really get them anymore and little worlds like that. But, I’d always want a ticket back home as well.

MoviesOnline: Is there a cartoon character that you had as a favorite as a kid?

ELIZA BENNETT: Actually yeah. When I was younger, I had a small obsession with Winnie the Pooh who I absolutely loved. I had all the teddy bears lined up on my bed. I used to watch all the TV programs and all the cartoons. I’ll probably have to stick with my childhood favorite.

MoviesOnline: How did you start acting? How old were you when you started?

ELIZA BENNETT: My first job was when I was nine. In the West End in London, I was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

MoviesOnline: You haven’t done anything small in your career, have you?

ELIZA BENNETT: I did that for a whole year and a half as well. I think obviously when you’re older, you have 6-month contracts and then you move on.

MoviesOnline: Did you come over to the States with it?

ELIZA BENNETT: No, I didn’t. We were there with the original cast when we did it and then I did that for a year and a half. I think instead of training new kids they always ask certain kids to stay on at the end of every run. And then they asked me to stay on another year at the end of a year and a half, but I thought I should leave on a high rather than…because I was still enjoying it and I think at the end of 2 years you might sort of be growing tired of it.

MoviesOnline: You’re doing another fantasy, aren’t you? From Time to Time?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah. I just finished that in December. It’s sort of a fantasy. It’s a fantasy in the sense that it does have an element which is not reality. It has time travel in it. My character is set in two times. It’s set in 1809 and it’s also set in 1944 and it switches. So, it’s the war and it switches between the two. It was quite challenging because I had to play a blind girl which was something I’d never done before. It was more challenging as well because usually I thought we’d be using contacts or something, but the director, Julian Fellowes, said “Actually I don’t want it to look like something from Alien 4 with that weird eye thing. I want it to be done really naturally and almost in a sense if you looked at her straightaway, that you wouldn’t be able to see that she was blind.” The thing that I was dealing with was the sense that my character sort of wanted freedom and almost that my blindness wouldn’t affect what I could do, so I was still climbing trees and running around. But no, it was a different thing. I like doing different characters and stuff so I didn’t feel like I was doing two fantasy films in a row.

MoviesOnline: Are you working on something now or do you have something coming up?

ELIZA BENNETT: No. I don’t have any exams this January which I’m very lucky for. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.

MoviesOnline: Warner Bros. could get you out of that.

ELIZA BENNETT: (laughs) They can do anything. I’m going to go to school. I think I’ve just caught up with everything now.

MoviesOnline: Why did you want to act? What was the compulsion or propulsion at age 9 that got you started?

ELIZA BENNETT: I think ever since a young age I’ve always been one of those children that sort of had known what they wanted to do. I’ve always been quite determined and so even at that young age. I was from a family and a place where no one ever went into that industry. It’s like a far off land. I didn’t even know that you could do anything. And so, I just enjoyed doing school plays and then my teacher said “Why don’t you do it as a hobby on the weekends?” So I did and I was working toward a LAMDA exam (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) which is a drama exam in London and a teacher that was helping me do that knew of an agency and got me an interview. Then I got in and you sort of don’t get most of the auditions you go for just because either you’re not right for it or … But then if you get one, it makes it slightly easier to get the next one and slightly easier to get the next one. It sort of all happened by chance. I was very lucky.

MoviesOnline: What did you do after Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

ELIZA BENNETT: I did The Prince & Me. The day I left Chitty, the next day I had an audition for The Prince & Me.

MoviesOnline: And then you got it. Were you excited?

ELIZA BENNETT: It’s always the ones…you go out on auditions and you go, “I think that went really, really well,” and you don’t get it. And then I walked into The Prince & Me and I was so upset for leaving Chitty because it was a big family and it was really sad and I was so upset. And I had the audition and I went, “Oh, it went really badly. I’m just so sad.” And then I ended up getting it and I was really surprised because I didn’t get most of the ones that I really, really tried for.

MoviesOnline: You got Nanny McPhee too, didn’t you?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, I think I did that straight after I did The Prince & Me.

MoviesOnline: Who is nicer, Emma Thompson or Angela Lansbury?

ELIZA BENNETT: You know, I worked mainly with Emma Thompson obviously because she’s in all my scenes, and Angela Lansbury is so lovely and so sweet, but I only had one area of the film where I was doing it with her.

MoviesOnline: Was that when you were throwing pies in her face?

ELIZA BENNETT: Exactly. Throwing pies at her face.

MoviesOnline: Maggie Smith is in the new one, right?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yes, Dame Maggie Smith is in the new one.

MoviesOnline: Are you in the new one?

ELIZA BENNETT: I’m in From Time to Time. I’m not in Nanny McPhee 2.

MoviesOnline: Is there a sequel to Nanny McPhee?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yes. Apparently there is, which of course Emma Thompson is in and she’s written it, but obviously our family is already sorted. We’re all flying now so Nanny McPhee doesn’t need to come back. So, I think it will be a new family. I’ve heard rumors they’re setting it in a different time.

MoviesOnline: What are you going to do when you write your book, you know, the struggling actress phase? You won’t have any mention of that.

ELIZA BENNETT: No, for me, I’ve been really lucky that the times I haven’t got work have been the times where I’ve needed to go back to school. So, for some reason, I’ve been lucky that everything has fitted in quite well. After Inkheart, I had a time where I had to go back to school and do my exams for my GCSE’s. Sometimes you have really quiet patches where everyone’s kind of like “Nothing’s really happening.” It was one of those patches straight before my exams, so I did all my revision and then I did my exams. So I’ve just been lucky that when I haven’t been working it’s fitted in perfectly.

MoviesOnline: Do you have tutors on the set?

ELIZA BENNETT: I do. I’ve had the same tutor for everything I’ve done.

MoviesOnline: Do you live in London?

ELIZA BENNETT: I live about an hour outside of London which I quite like. Although, however much I love London, I’ll probably live there later.

MoviesOnline: What city?

ELIZA BENNETT: I don’t live in a city. It’s in Berkshire. I actually live in a village which is very weird but it’s right…you can go straight into shops and stuff. It’s a 25-minute train to London.

MoviesOnline: What does your family say? Unlike this character, is your mother around?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, I have my mum, a dad, a brother and a sister. We’re quite a close family. My brother is at university studying medicine and my sister is studying film and video production and my mom and dad have nothing to do with the acting industry either.

MoviesOnline: Do you have fans at home that write you letters?

ELIZA BENNETT: It’s quite peculiar. It’s quite strange. It’s really nice to have that. No, I do. It’s nice and you sort of write back and give them something.

MoviesOnline: Is acting something you want to pursue for the rest of your career?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, definitely. I’ve seen as I’ve done stuff how much I’ve enjoyed it and how much fun it’s been. I am quite shocked that it can be a job and you can actually get paid for doing something that you love so much.

MoviesOnline: Working with all these great actors and actresses, did any of them give you any advice on how to continue on in this career or what to be careful about?

ELIZA BENNETT: Yes. It’s not in the sense that Helen would sit you down and go, “Here’s all the tips of the trade right here. Here’s a piece of paper.” It’s more that when you work with people like that, you can learn off what they’re doing and obviously every actor has their own techniques and you can sort of watch and pull what you think for yourself. I also find as I’m going through things now and going into different stages it’s nice to ask someone who’s on your side of the camera, which is people like Brendan and Paul, rather than say if you’re doing something by agents, obviously they’re all going to say the same thing, and so it’s nice to have somebody who’s had experience. It’s like a family for me and the fact that Brendan will always be like, “If you need help on this, just give me a ring or something.” And to have that is just amazing because you sort of feel like you have a support network which is really nice.

MoviesOnline: How did you deal with the dress at the end? That was worse than a wedding dress.

ELIZA BENNETT: Oh my goodness, it’s so long as well and we used to have this bag – we called it the sausage – you literally stuffed the dress into it. When we first had the dress, it was beautiful and white and silky soft on the table, then they ripped it to make it look all Gothic. I’m surprised you don’t notice it in the film – the change of dirt. It was like 3 weeks to shoot it, and it would pick up twigs on the way around. I’d say we had like a bird’s nest in there. It was so bad.

MoviesOnline: What was it like watching the final film after only seeing the various parts of it? What surprised or gratified you the most?

ELIZA BENNETT: Especially if you do a fantasy film, the things like The Shadow which is CGI’d you obviously don’t see when you’re filming it. When you’re watching the film for the final time at the end, the nicest thing is to see all the bits that you didn’t see when you were filming it. So, it’s not like watching the same thing over and over again. And to see how they did The Shadow was incredible, because for me I was just looking at a tall man on stilts with a stick and a tennis ball on the end of it. So I was just looking at a tennis ball. And the scenes with Dustfinger and Brendan that I wasn’t in are really interesting to see how they did it and lots of times you watch and go, “Oh, that’s why I said that line.” Like you don’t get it, like it’s a joke between scenes. So yeah, I really loved watching it. They always say that editing can make or break a film and you can turn a film into something completely different just by two edits and so it is like watching another film.

MoviesOnline: What country did you shoot most of Inkheart in?

ELIZA BENNETT: Six weeks in Italy and then the rest in England in the studios.

MoviesOnline: How would you compare this to Harry Potter?

ELIZA BENNETT: I think because Potter is so massive, every fantasy film will now be compared to what Harry Potter is like. It’s kind of like the stone that everything gets linked to. I guess it’s similar to Potter in the way that it’s got sort of a Harry Potter and Meggie relation to two characters from reality that have been dragged into another fantasy world. I think Harry Potter obviously has a lot more special effects and it’s amazing what they can do nowadays. Whereas with ours, it’s very much based on…it’s quite real and we went to the real places and it’s got kind of a European feel to it if you see all the scenes that we set in. I think there’s something great about Harry Potter and about Inkheart as well, and most things that are related from books that have been written, is that they encourage so many people to read now because you look at a film and go, “Oh wow! And it’s a book. Maybe I’ll read the book.”

MoviesOnline: I’m interested to see if kids are going to respond to it. It seems like Bridge to Terabithia more than Harry Potter.

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, Harry Potter has definitely got a taste of its own.

MoviesOnline: It seems awfully scary for young kids though. There are some horrible things that are going on.

ELIZA BENNETT: At the end, it’s quite scary as well with The Shadow and I think it was something that Iain talked about.

MoviesOnline: It looked like a Nazi rally.

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, it was. They sort of purposefully put in a bit of Italian fascism, like propaganda and stuff, and I think that’s obviously stuff that younger kids won’t pick up but something that adults can.

MoviesOnline: They’ll just be scared to bits.


MoviesOnline: How old do you think kids should be?

ELIZA BENNETT: I don’t know. I think that Iain’s daughter, who’s about 7 or 8 years old, loved it. Sometimes people forget that kids don’t mind being scared and I think that they almost enjoy the thrill of fear, and sometimes films can be so dumbed down. Of course, this is going to be a scary time and I think sometimes people underestimate how children are quite aware of the fact that you would be scared in a situation like this, although obviously you don’t want to take a four-year-old to it because the scene at the end is quite scary. I’m glad it hasn’t been dumbed down because it almost has sort of a Gothic feel to it at the end and I think that it is something that kids will appreciate. I think kids kind of like to go, “Oh! That’s quite scary!” and they feel a little bit grown up that they’ve seen sort of a bit of a scary film. So I’m glad The Shadow isn’t a big marshmallow man that smiles.

MoviesOnline: He’s like the cousin of the shadow of the monster from Lost.


MoviesOnline: Was it challenging for you to act with CGI?

ELIZA BENNETT: For me, I was lucky that we didn’t use as much as I thought we would. It wasn’t like loads and loads of green screen, but The Shadow was challenging and we had a lot of flying monkeys in it, that kind of fly in, and we had unicorns and stuff.

MoviesOnline: Weren’t the monkeys real for some parts like in the cages?


MoviesOnline: What about the unicorn?

ELIZA BENNETT: That was a horse with a thing stuck on it.

MoviesOnline: I used to love those Flying Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz.

ELIZA BENNETT: Yeah, when I saw the film again after that, that was one thing I went, “Wow! That’s so cool.”

MoviesOnline: As an actress, how do you watch things that aren’t real and are CGI’d?

ELIZA BENNETT: Well Angus Bickerton, who was the CGI guy, already had plans of what The Shadow would look like. When you’re doing the rehearsals for the film, they show you storyboards of what they want things to look like. We were shown on our laptop what The Shadow should vaguely look like. For me, I didn’t realize how much he towers over the whole thing. And he got lots of influences from lots of artists of towering giants. I think you just do the best you can. I mean, the scene is so manic and Meggie’s got loads of things going on anyway and I’m trying to write and read and talk while flying monkeys are going over her head and her mum’s nearly getting killed. For me, lots of that stuff was being shouted all the time like “Flying monkey over there!” The hecticness of the scenes sort of helped me because I was so hectic anyway that it helps probably acting wise.

MoviesOnline: Did the ferrets ever bite?

ELIZA BENNETT: No. I think Paul had the worst of it. But I think they were quite well behaved actually for the majority of the film.

MoviesOnline: Thank you so much.


Friday, January 30, 2009

The Graveyard Book

One to look out for:

Author Neil Gaiman, who was awarded the John Newbery Medal by the American Library Association for his new book The Graveyard Book earlier this week, has revealed to the world on the Today Show that the book will be adapted for the big screen by screenwriter/director Neil Jordan.
Gaiman’s best-selling (and award-scooping) tome follows a young lad named Nobody "Bod" Owens whose parents are killed and is raised by the ghostly inhabitants of a graveyard.
Gaiman will produce the live-action film and Framestore, the UK studio that handled the The Dark Knight Harvey Dent/Two-Face work, will handle the visual effects for film, which has yet to be renamed. The author had said that he hopes the cast will be filled with well-known British actors, similar to the Harry Potter franchise, but the lead role of Nobody Owens — the little boy who’s raised by the inhabitants of a graveyard — will probably be played by several unknown actors at various ages. He ages from 2 to 16 throughout the book, which means that several actors may be needed to play the role. There is also a five year old girl in the book called Scarlett Amber Perkins, her mother thinks that her daughter has found an imaginary friend. Scarlett returns to the story nine years later.

Coraline , the animated adaption of another of Gaiman's fantasy novels is to be released this year with the main character voiced by Dakota Fanning.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nanny McPhee casting

ScreenTerrier has already reported on the new "Nanny Mcphee and the Big Bang" film here:

Rumour has it that they've cast Maggie Gyllenhaal (a mum herself) as the overwhelmed mum whom Nanny McPhee comes to help this time.

Filming is scheduled to start in the next month or so but no news on the children's casting yet...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jamie Bell is Tintin

Screenterrier first asked the question here

but now it has been answered.

Jamie Bell, who became a child star at the age of 14 when he appeared as the title character in Billy Elliot, has been cast as the lead in Steven Spielberg’s big-screen adaptation of the Tintin comic books.

He will provide the voice and movement for the bequiffed Belgian journalist in Spielberg’s computer-generated animation, The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. The film is the first of a possible three Tintin adventures created by Spielberg in collaboration with Peter Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings films.

Bell’s appointment to play the world’s most famous Belgian coincides with the announcement that Daniel Craig will play Red Rackham, one of the villains of the story. Craig, known around the world for his portrayal of James Bond, recently starred opposite Bell in Defiance, an action-drama set during the Second World War.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Faces to Watch in 2009

Olly Alexander (represented by Curtis Brown). This eighteen-year-old Brit looks a little like Tim Burton ("I could play him in a film," Olly says. "I've got the hair for it"), so it's fitting that his roles tend toward the eclectic. "That's my card: being a bit mad and crazy onscreen. I like weird characters who have some kind of story to tell," he says. Olly's story so far has been short but sweet. He began his career at seventeen in the CBBC drama Summerhill, (along side Jessie Cave who was also in her first TV role) and he has worked steadily ever since. In 2009 we'll be seeing a lot of him as he has four films coming out: Jane Campion's biopic of John Keats, Bright Star; "drug thriller" Enter the Void; indie horror flick The Tormented, (with April Pearson from Skins) and post-apocalyptic drama Dust. With heroes like Burton, Gus Van Sant, and Sofia Coppola, it's clear that Olly has a specific path in mind. "I'd love to go down the indie route," he says. "Because those are the films I love to watch."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where are they now?

Victoria Shalet - "Harmony" from "The Queen's Nose".

"Having driven my parents loopy on a daily basis, they decided to send me to an after-school acting/singing/dancing class to expel some of my energy. I attended these classes weekly and after a couple of months, Tony Boden, the agent who ran the classes sent me for an audition for a BBC screenplay called Testimony of a child. I landed this role and then snowballed into a career mainly in television and film, including Ball Trap on the Cote Sauvage, Jim Henson's Greek Myths, The Maid, Shining Through, Natural Lies, Goggle Eyes, Haunted and Getting Hurt. At the age of thirteen, I was offered the lead role of Harmony Parker in The Queen's Nose, a children's series that I was to be part of for five series. After completing A'Levels at school, I decided to jump straight into work... I continued predominantly with television and film, firstly playing Ken Stott's daughter in The Vice, followed by parts in The Affair of the Necklace, The Quest, The Bill, Jonathan Creek, Eroica and Midsomer Murders. During this time I have played Kirsty in Philip Ridley's Fairytale Heart at The Hampstead Theatre and more recently, Lucy in Dan Muirden's The Things Good Men Do at The Old Red Lion. Interspersed with readings at The Hampstead Theatre and The Royal Court and plays for Radio 4."

She is now represented by Theresa Hickey at MacFarlane Chard

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dakota Fanning in Push

At the age of 14, Dakota Fanning is already one of Hollywood’s most bankable young actors, thanks to roles in blockbusters such as “War of the Worlds” and “Charlotte’s Web.” However, her starring role in “Push,” the upcoming, comics-inspired thriller about government-trained psychics on the run from a shadowy agency, offers up a decidedly more mature part for the teen to play.

In an interview with MTV, “Push” director Paul McGuigan said he had few doubts about Fanning’s talent and her ability to play Cassie Holmes, a snarky, teenage “watcher” who can glimpse images of the future. In fact, McGuigan told MTV, he insisted on working with the actress.

“When I read the movie, the character that stood out was her character,” said McGuigan. “I said to everyone, I can’t do this movie unless Dakota Fanning’s going to do it, because to me she was perfect for the role.”

McGuigan, whose previous films include the flashy thrillers “Lucky Number Sleven” and “Wicker Park,” caught on to Fanning’s potential early on.

“I saw her in movies that were kind of homely movies and quite sweet films, but I knew when I met her that she had a bit of an edge to her, and I went for that,” said McGuigan.

The director added that he was particularly impressed by the actress’ chemistry with co-star Chris Evans, who plays the telekinetic “pusher” Nick Gant.

“Her relationship with Chris is a really beautiful relationship,” said McGuigan, “and it really grows on you.”

The director said he’s confident that Fanning’s performance in “Push” will draw in audiences, and change their perception of her as an actress.

“She comes to this movie as a teenager rather than a little kid,” reasoned McGuigan, “and I think that’s what people will be interested in.”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Secret Of Moonacre

Based on the novel 'The Little White Horse' by Elizabeth Goudge, The Secret Of Moonacre will be released in UK cinemas on 6th February 2009.

The film follows the quest of thirteen-year-old Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards) who is left orphaned after the death of her father. Dying penniless, her father leaves her with only her loyal governess Miss Heliotrope (Juliet Stevenson), to care for her and a huge, musty, old, leather bound book: “The Ancient Chronicles of Moonacre Valley”.

Perplexed by her father’s mysterious legacy, Maria is told she must leave London and go to the country where she will live with her uncle, Sir Benjamin Merryweather, (Ioan Gruffudd). It is there Maria uncovers the dark truth of the ancient curse that has nourished the feud that has been destroying Moonacre Valley for centuries...

Watch the trailer here....

Film Trailers by

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

'Oliver' child star returns to acting

Oliver! actor Mark Lester will return to film after a 30-year absence to star in the medieval epic 1066.

Lester, whose last big screen appearance was in 1977's Crossed Swords, will portray King Harold II in the historical drama. Lester's son Felix will also appear in 1066 as Harold's son Godwin.

Director and co-writer Robin Jacob said: "The rapport between father and son will add great authenticity to the film."

Ian Whyte (Alien vs. Predator), Martin Klebba (Pirates Of The Caribbean) and Gary Daniels (Tekken) are also among the cast.

The film will centre on events that unfolded on October 14, 1066, when the Norman and Anglo-Saxon armies fought the decisive Battle of Hastings which saw the Normans conquer England.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Britannia High Axed

Britannia High has been axed after just one series.

ITV1 has decided to discontinue the musical drama, which failed to be a ratings success for the channel.

The show, which cost £2 million to produce, was created by Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips and Take That singer Gary Barlow.

"We thought Britannia High would be an all-singing, all-dancing success - especially having the top names in dance and music on board," a source told The Sun.

"Sadly, the stories of these youngsters vying for their dreams didn’t seem to capture viewers’ imagination.

"The credit crunch is affecting everything, not least TV. A second series of Britannia High was just not viable."

The programme opened to a disappointing 3.31 million viewers in October and later fell to a low of just 2.4 million in its third outing.

Britannia High was the second TV outing for young Skins newcomer Mitch Hewer (represented by United Agents ).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Faces to Watch in 2009

Who? Mia Wasikowska

18 year old Australian actress Mia is the name in the looking glass mirror for 2009, after bagging the lead role in Tim Burton's movie adaptation of Alice In Wonderland. So not only does she get to schmooze with the likes of co-star Johnny Depp, she's also transformed from unknown to major starlet within one shake of a Mad Hatter's tail.

She's also got a part in Daniel Craig's new movie Defiance, out this month.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Skins Series 3 - Meet the Characters

Screenterrier has already posted about the new series here

But here's a further opportunity to meet the new characters and actors before it starts on E4 on Thursday January 22nd at 10:00pm.

Played by Jack O’Connell

Oozing charisma, James Cook pulls off daring and dangerous stunts, knowing Freddie will always be there to bail him out. When his dark side emerges there’s no act, no matter how selfish or destructive, that Cook won’t consider. There’s no saying how long Freddie will stick around to save Cook from himself.

Jack says :“It was the first job I moved towards myself. I’m usually told about parts from my agent but I approached him about Skins. To get the part of Cook is such an achievement.”

“My character, James Cook, is Jack the lad. He’ll bring humour first and foremost. The fact that there are no limits will be exciting as you can literally go any where with him – there’s no holding back – everything excusable. He’s very extravagant; it’s going to be interesting to see where he goes.”


Played by Luke Pasqualino

Freddie Mclair’s got bags of potential but no va va vooom. He’s happily travelling through life on his skateboard, smoking weed with his mates and staying cool. But will Freddie be forced to stand up to Cook and assert himself for the first time in his life?

Luke says: “Freddie is a bit of a deep character really. Freddie lost his mum so his dad is his only parent. His sister uses his mum as a sympathy vote because she is so obsessed with being famous – this gets to Freddie. He’s got a lot going on in his head. And to top it all off, he fancies a girl he can’t have!”

“He’s a bit of a challenge to play, as I don’t relate to Freddie - I’ve still got my mum and a sister that doesn’t annoy me. Also he hides behind his skateboarding and I can’t skateboard at all! I’ve had intense training though from the head of the 50/50 skate team in Bristol. It’s been great but I did tear some ligaments in my left foot only a couple of weeks before my big skateboarding scene!”

JJ (Jonah Jeremiah Jones)

Played by Ollie Barbieri

Master illusionist JJ’s got a huge imagination. With child-like excitement, he dreams up entertaining schemes, Cook carries them out, and Freddie acts as their conscience. They are the best trio in town. What could come between them?

Ollie says: “JJ is a loser, a real loser. He’s the best friend of Cook and Freddie and is dragged through a lot with them. He gets into situations he’d never get into on his own, but I hope he grows as a character through this. He doesn’t know how to deal with people or talk to them, except Cook and Freddie. He thinks girls are a different species! He uses his magic to bridge a gap between himself and other people. Doing magic means he can take on a different persona and hide behind it.”

“I’ve modelled JJ on myself – he’s a more extreme version of me and I really enjoy playing his part. I read the scripts and I just relate a lot to what he does. I can understand the way he can see things. But I think I have a lot more common sense then JJ, and my social skills are better!”


Played by Kaya Scodelario

Enigmatic and elusive, Effy’s the queen bee - attractive to all around her, utterly in control of herself and totally independent. But as her home life starts to fall apart, she is torn between new friends too – suddenly Effy has more to deal with than ever before.

Kaya says: “The new cast are a lot closer to my age which is nice - it’s also great to work with new people. The new cast are in the position I was two years ago, so I relate to them. We all help each other out and although we’re here to do a job, we’ve all bonded really easily and love what we’re doing.”

“In the first series Effy didn’t speak and was a background character. In series 3 Effy is the powerful person who watches over everyone sussing them out. She has a sense of control about her and she sees her best friend Pandora as someone she can befriend, but also use and mentor in a way. She’s very intelligent, and although her intensions don’t always seem good, she always means well.”


Played by Lisa Backwell

An adorable innocent, Pandora’s found a best friend in Effy. With a sweet tooth for naughtiness, Pandora is sweet, quirky and warm-hearted, and helps keep this new group of friends glued together. Pandora is desperate to lose her virginity, but might just find love instead.

Lisa says: “I got into the show via open audition last year. My drama teacher had received a poster about it and told my class to go along, so I did. It was really intense – I went to the open audition on the Monday and then had further auditions over the next three days, before getting the part on the Thursday. I cried when I got it! I was walking to school telling my friends that I didn’t get it and then I got a phone call asking me how I did - and I thought rubbish - but then they said I got it!”

“Pandora says the most wacky things – she’s a bit of a loopy! Most people will see Pandora as simple, but what I like about her most is that she’s actually quite clever. She’s a little bit naive and her silliness makes her seem as if she has no idea, but there’s a lot more to her than people think. She’s just very innocent and honest.”


Played by Megan Prescott

Super smart Katie Fitch is shedding her identical twin skin, and establishing her individuality. She’ll try anything to gain status, and relies on her looks to help her succeed. Only Effy sees her legs furiously paddling under the water as Katie tries to make the surface appear calm.

Megan says: “On the very first audition there were seven other sets of twins that we saw. It was strange as we all knew we were going for the same part!”

“There’s a reason why Katie is so in your face, and there is a reason why Emily is so quiet and subdued. Throughout the series you find out why they are different and how they are different. It’s weird because Katie and Emily have a bit of me and a bit of Kathryn in both of them. But I definitely think me and Kat are different in that we’re not as extreme.”


Played by Kathryn Prescott

Emily Fitch likes being a twin. She’s crippled by her own shyness and depends on her sister to be the dynamic one. But what if her twin abandons her – who will she turn to?

Kathryn says: “My character is called Emily and she is completely over powered by her sister. Her sister is the popular one who gets all the boys, and Emily is in her shadow. She’s really individual and passionate about stuff, but she never gets a chance to shine because Katie is always there being the first one you notice, and the one that everyone likes.”

“Series three’s start is the first day at college and this shows Emily trying to break from the shell she was in at school, but Katie completely ruins it leaving her stuck in a rut - again.”


Played by Lily Loveless

Naomi Campbell is a beautiful idealist. Passionate, political and principled, no one believes in anything anymore - except for her that is. She finds a friend in Emily, but it’s complicated.

Lily says: “I’m quite laid back; I’m not as intense. I’m more easygoing and relaxed – very relaxed!”

“Naomi is a very head-strong individual person, who doesn’t think she needs anyone, but I think underneath she does – she’s a bit lonely. She’s a passionate person caring about what she believes in, as no-one else does.”


Played by Merveille Lukeba

Thomas is a good, honest, honourable soul. But finding your feet in a new country is hard and Thomas needs to support his family. He needs money, and friends, but his mum is on his case.

Merveille says: “I find it easy to identify with Thomas. He’s African - I’m African, he’s from the Congo - I’m from the Congo, he speaks French and I speak French. I found Thomas within me. He has a very distinctive accent and luckily the producers were happy with the accent I did in my audition. It’s hard to do his African accent well, as Thomas is innocent and nice, you can’t do the stereotypical masculine African accent.”

“Thomas is a character who has just moved from Africa – from the Congo. He is very poor and has come to Bristol to find a better living. He arrives and doesn’t know where to start. He meets two young ladies at a bus stop and they introduce him to the circle of friends that are the Skins characters.”


Played by Klariza Clayton

Karen Mclair, Freddie’s older sister, dreams of being famous. She’s certainly not going to let her little brother, or his mates, knock her off course. The big hole in the Mclair family, since the death of their mum, isn’t going to be easily mended though, especially with these two at each others’ throats.

Klariza says: “Karen is a spoilt brat. She gets everything that she wants and is a big Daddy’s girl. She’s Freddie’s older sister and she wants to be a pop star. She’s very theatrical and a big drama queen - she’s a good character to play!”

“I do have some similarities to Karen but I’m not a spoilt brat! I get spoilt because I’m the youngest and have three older brothers, but I earn my own money as I have a very bad shopping habit, which I have to fund excessively!”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saoirse Ronan is in demand

14 year old Irish teenager Saoirse Ronan (represented by MacFarlane-Chard in Ireland) continues to be in demand. It's reported by Variety that she's just been cast in the long-awaited new film The Way Back from acclaimed director Peter Weir, alongside Colin Farrell. Saoirse, who has been acting since she was 8, swept to fame on her performance in Atonement which earned her an Oscar nomination. Although her latest release City of Ember has not fared so well with the critics, this year's release The Lovely Bones, in which she stars as Susie Salmon, looks set to rocket her even further into the Hollywood stratosphere.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Golden Globe winner Kate Winslet started young...

Kate Winslet, (represented by United Agents) who last night won two Golden Globe awards is a shining example of how to rise from UK child actor to global star.

Kate trained at Redroofs Day School from the age of 11 to 17. She worked fairly consistently as a child, particularly in her last few years at school. At 15, Winslet was a lead in Dark Season, a BBC children’s science-fiction series written by Russell T Davies. It was through the Redroofs Agency that she secured her first starring role in a feature film (Heavenly Creatures) which took her to New Zealand for 11 months. From here her career literally took off. In 1997 Titanic made her an international star.

Did you always know you wanted to be an actress?

Always. It was a matter of fact: that's what I will do. I imagined that I'd be very much a jobbing actor, a strolling player. Because to this day a lot of the members of my family work very intermittently and are always looking for work. And sometimes have to earn money in other ways – such as waitressing. We've all been there! No one was more shocked than me when I was suddenly in a movie when I was 17. And the level of excitement that I feel when I get a job that I really want is still present in me today. When Alan called me, there were tears and joy and dancing and immediately calling my mum! I'm still like that.

What would you say if your daughter decided to be an actress?

I would support her in whatever she decided she wanted to be. I think she will be an actress. You can already tell which way your child is going emotionally and she's got a wild imagination on her.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nowhere Boy

Seen here in The Thief Lord, and more recently the male star of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging , fast-rising star Aaron Johnson (who attended Jackie Palmer stage school and is now represented by Hamilton Hodell) will portray John Lennon in a film about his teenage years, and the two women who dominated and shaped his early life - his mother and his aunt - will be played by Anne-Marie Duff and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Aaron, 18, has signed a contract to portray one of the world's most celebrated and influential rock artists.

Hundreds of teens were auditioned the length and breadth of the country but it was felt that Aaron, who sings and plays guitar, had the acting talent to bring the Lennon depicted in Matt Greenhalgh's screenplay to life.

Aaron just wrapped as the central lead in Matthew Vaughn's 'Kick Ass', alongside Nicolas Cage. Prior to that, he shot a major supporting role in 'The Greatest' with Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan, which premieres in Sundance, and played the romantic lead in Gurinder Chadha's 'Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging'.

The film, Nowhere Boy, will begin shooting on locations in and around Liverpool in March, with Ealing Studios being used for interior scenes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thomas Turgoose, star of Somers Town

From the BAFTA award-winning director of This Is England and Dead Man’s Shoes, Somers Town will be released to own on DVD on 12th January 2009.

Tomo (Thomas Turgoose) has run away to London from a lonely, difficult life in the Midlands. Through a chance encounter he meets Marek (Piotr Jagiello), a Polish immigrant living with his father in Somers Town, central London. Unknown to his father, Marek begins hiding Tomo in his flat and the two boys go on little adventures, stealing clothes from a launderette and earning money from an eccentric neighbour, Graham (Perry Benson) while sharing a growing obsession for Maria, the French waitress at their local café.

Thomas Turgoose (represented by Troika) was the young skin-head star of This Is England. It's director, Shane Meadows has described watching the first casting tape he saw of Tomo for ‘This Is England’ as like looking in a mirror 20 years ago. Does Turgoose see the similarity? ‘I suppose I’m a bit like Shane. He was always the small one who wanted to be involved in a lot of stuff.’ Meadows has said he was terrified of Turgoose, a lippy kid plucked from a Grimsby youth club, who charged the casting director for ‘This Is England’ a fiver to audition (it was a tenner for the second reading). ‘I thought I’d be lucky to get five days out of this kid, never mind a whole shoot,’ Meadows said afterwards.

For his part, Turgoose found the first few weeks of ‘This is England’ hard going. He nearly pulled out. Meadows bluffed him, telling him he had another boy in Manchester waiting to fill his shoes. ‘Shane said to me, this other lad is going to get all the money. And I said no, I’m going to.’ After seven weeks, he says he realised that this was what he wanted to do with his life.

Today, now aged 16, Turgoose is still cheeky – in an eager-to-please, youngest-child sort of way – and who wouldn’t be with such a brilliantly urchin-like, Dickensian name? More than that, he’s now a professional actor. Whereas before he was making it to school about once a week, this morning, a Saturday, he got up at the crack of dawn to come down on the train from Grimsby – where he lives with his dad and stepmum – for a casting session. If there was ever an example of what a bit of opportunity and self-esteem can do for a talented kid from an estate, it’s sitting right here in a Bloomsbury café.

He’s still friends with Meadows, who sounds proud talking about his young pal. ‘I decided to look out for him after “This Is England”.’ He says that Turgoose had to audition like anyone else for ‘Somers Town’ but turned out to be the best for the job. ‘He’s still cheeky, but he’s grown up a lot.’
As well as his films with Meadows, Turgoose had a part in a BBC drama, ‘The Innocence Project’, and is also in the upcoming Brit horror ‘Eden Lake’. There are other perks – parties and free Champagne are top of the list. Boris Johnson was at the launch for ‘Somers Town’. ‘I met him, he was cool. He was just stood there, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.’ Turgoose turns to the woman from the film company. ‘He did watch the film?’ She nods. ‘I think so.’

It goes without saying that his life has changed? ‘Yeah, completely. I never had my own money. My mum always gave me money for anything I wanted and I was quite spoilt. Having that money came as a bit of a shock and I wasted a lot of it.’ He adds quickly, ‘But I saved a lot too.’

Nearly – but not quite – all grown up, then.

When did you first hear about ‘Somers Town’?

Thomas Turgoose: Well, I was on a set of a feature film that was filming at Pinewood Studios, ‘Eden Lake’ that was called. I was filming for six weeks and I think about four or five weeks in, Shane had rang me himself and said he was doing this film and he said it’d be interesting if I could do a bit of a workshopping with him, see how I work with the character and I did this and Shane says can I do a final interview with you. That was on the night I took my last day of shooting with this ‘Eden Lake’ and I did this audition with Shane, I think Shane was really impressed with how I connected with my character Tomo. So, that’s basically how we were going into it by like, keeping in touch with Shane and just like, keeping close with Shane, being in contact with him, so...

Piotr Jagiello: I was in school and one woman called me and told me that there is a casting for ‘Somers Town’ directed by Shane Meadows. I wasn’t so, you know, I didn’t know who is it, honestly, but, Ok I can go, but she told me you need to talk English by the perfect way and I said no I’m going because my English isn’t perfect. She called me three times and I said Ok I go but I know I’m gonna lose. So I went there and I won. I was completely surprised and scared because it’s English film and I didn’t know if I can speak English as well as they want to - as they want me to speak.

Can you describe Tomo’s character traits and motivation?

TT: Basically like me, I mean, in so many ways he’s a good lad, he’s a good kid but I think he always try to be hard and he’s trying to impress people who is around which is basically what I do, really. I mean I’m always the louder of the group and I’m always like, I always try to be clever. I mean, Tomo, he always wants to impress people but deep down he is a good kid and he’s always trying to find ways of making money. He’s a typical teenager, into his women and his magazines, if you know what I mean, all that kind of thing. I mean, he’s into all that, he’s like basic, any other teenager really. He’s a good kid but he wants people to think he’s bad, but he doesn’t want to be bad, if you know what I mean.

Can you describe Marek’s character traits and motivation?

PJ: He’s from Poland. He’s a Polish boy who is really really quiet. He loves taking pictures and he feels lonely because his father works a lot and he hasn’t got time for, you know, playing with son. So they move to England because his father found work. Marek takes pictures and met Tomo who is, in Marek’s opinion, rude and in one scene pervert but their friendship is really special because they’re completely different but they can speak...

TT: ..they sort of bond don’t they - it’s like come together and become really good friends.

PJ: ...Yeah.

Did you do any preparation for the scenes?

TT: Shane always works. He’ll give a scene and say: “this is what’s happening.” Marek’s gonna go into the shop for some booze. Do it how you’d do it. And we’d do it one or two times and Shane would say: “No that’s not right, do it like this.” And if we feel uncomfortable with what Shane told us to do, he says: “Tell me”. And we’ll try an work round it. Cuz’ I think what Shane wants is natural as possible, which is... He wants, he likes natural, natural actors and actresses in his films, so...

The scene where you get drunk seemed like it would be fun to film, was it?

TT: That was really funny, I mean, wrecking the flat and throwing crisps everywhere. There was a scene where I actually cut my face down here and it cut down there. We was like...

PJ: Yeah, I hit him.

TT: Come on. You tell him.

PJ: Yeah, we had an accident because we had a bottle. Tomo was drinking and we were pulling and pushing and I hit it here...

TT: He let go and I was pulling it towards me and I went whack and smack meself straight in the face and the make-up was well worried about because I had a massive cut going down my nose, down here. I mean. But it was fun, it was fun. Best time I ever had to do, act drunk and it was funny. And Shane said it was funny. When I’ve watched bits of the film, Shane said it looks amazing. It does look funny, so...

What do you think of the boys love affair?

TT: Well the boys like, both really really like Maria. They’re both in love with her and I think Maria is stuck in this sort of triangle because I know, she knows it’s never gonna happen between these two kids. Because they are kids.

PJ: She’s older than... Marek and Tomo.

TT: She’s older. She’s what, twenty, twenty-fivish and these two boys are fifteen, sixteen and...I think she just like thinks it’s funny these two boys are arguing over and they’re trying all they can and they’re doing the best to try to impress her. So yeah.

Somers Town will be released to own on DVD on 12th January 2009.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Advice for child actors

It's not easy to remain in showbiz when you are a child actor. One day, you grow up and outgrow your cute role. As they said, “Once in demand, they find more doors closed than opened as attention shifts to the next 'It' Kid.”

Haley Joel Osment was a phenomenal child actor way back in the 90s. He was famous for portraying the role of a child who sees ghost in the "Sixth Sense," where he won an Oscar nomination. It was in the film where he spoke the famous quote, “I see dead people!”

Now at 20, not many people (especially the younger generations) are familiar of Haley Joel Osment. It does not mean though that he has leave acting for good. Two years ago, he enrolled at New York University's theater program to hone his craft. And today, Haley Joel Osment made his Broadway debut in a revival of David Mamet's "American Buffalo."

Unlike some movie stars who struggled to act in live audience, he was well-praised by critics who sees him as a "a phenomenally gifted actor,” instinctive, smart, one who asks the right questions and takes risks. The former child star has found also the theatre experience invigorating.

"There's so much to learn about acting and performance in general. ... I mean, acting is a very complex art, and there are a lot more theories and methods and techniques to it than I think anybody would think. ... Some of our best respected film and stage performances come from people like (Marlon) Brando and everything, and they studied their entire lives.”

Once compared to Daniel Radcliffe who made an edgy shift to theater performance in “Equus” from his lovable “Harry Potter” character, the grown-up Haley Joel Osment was quoted as saying he was "never interested in the business of promoting myself. I really don't care if people know who I am or what's said about me. I'm just here to do a job.” “He's got it a lot tougher than I do, 'cause there's merchandise out there with him on it," he added with a laugh.

Haley Joel Osment believes that good film roles are scarce for actors in his age group. While he dreams of directing someday, he seemed to be complacent with his acting career at the moment. His advice to grown-up child actors:

"You always have to avoid working for the sake of putting yourself out there. I've been very happy with the way things have gone throughout my life, and I have my dad (actor Eugene Osment) to thank for this, because the standard has just been, `Is it a good story? Is it something that I care enough about doing to do? And is it the right type of character, too?”

Friday, January 9, 2009

What do these former child actors have in common?

What do these former child actors have in common?

Actor........................................................... First Job

Kate Winslet . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Honey Monster” (Commercial), age 11

Leonardo DiCaprio . . . . . . . . . “Romper Room” (TV), Age 5

Anne Hathaway . . . . . . . . . . . . “Get Real” (TV), Age 17

Ron Howard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Frontier Woman” (TV), Age 18 months

Johnathan Rhys Meyers . . . . . “War of the Buttons”, (Feature) Age 17

Christina Applegate . . . . . . . . . “Playtex” (commercial), Age 5 months

Kiefer Sutherland . . . . . . . . . . . “Max Dugan Returns” (Feature), Age 17

Neil Patrick Harris . . . . . . . . . . . “Clara’s Heart” (Feature), Age 15

Laura Dern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “White Lightening” (Feature), Age 6

Anna Paquin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “The Piano” (Feature), Age 11

Kevin Connolly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Rocky V” (Feature), Age 16


They were all nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

No Divas in Harry Potter

The next Harry Potter film "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)" is due to start filming next month.

But Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, (ARG) Rupert Grint ( represented by Hamilton Hodell)and Emma Watson (presumed to be ICM) aren't allowed to put on any "airs or graces" during filming.

The movies' producer David Heyman insists the trio haven't been allowed to become divas since they made the first money-spinning film back in 1997.

"On the Harry Potter set we have a lot of crew from the first film," he explained at the premiere of his new movie Yes Man in LA. "You can't get away with anything there, you get joshed and played with. You can't have any airs or graces."

David insists he's been incredibly lucky to get such grounded young stars for Harry Potter.

"You cast for the moment, you have no sense of how someone is going to survive or how they're going to develop. I've been very fortunate with the kids. There are so many cases of young kids being damaged by the experience or going off the rails and fortunately with Dan, Rupert and Emma that hasn't happened to them... yet!"

Click here!

He continued: "I don't think its going to happen to them, they're pretty together, really good kids, well - young adults now."

David revealed work is about to begin in the new year on the seventh movie in the series.

"We finished the sixth film which'll be coming out next summer and we start filming the seventh which we'll be breaking into two parts for a 54 week shoot starting in February."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Who's to play Tintin?

British comic actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have been cast as the bumbling detectives Thompson and Thompson (aka Dupont and Dupont if you are in France) in the upcoming Tintin movies from Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg. The movies are being co-financed by Sony and Paramount. Pegg and Frost have worked together on other movies including Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, as well as on TV in the UK. No word as of yet who will play Tintin. 17 year old Thomas Sangster (Stig of the Dump, Nanny McPhee) (represented by Curtis Brown) had been set to play the lead, but dropped out when the production dates shifted when Universal stepped out of the ring. Andy Serkis is still in to play Captain Haddock. Production begins in a month.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Casting New CBBC Drama

THIS CASTING IS NOW CLOSED. Candid Casting are currently casting for an exciting new BBC series and are looking for undiscovered talent to play the following LEAD ROLES

HADLEY ---> 15 - 17 He's a real guitar hero and a too-cool-for-school rising star.

TOYAH ---> Aged 13 - 15 supercool and knows her own mind - think Juno - a modern day , cello playing Myleene Klass

ISAAC ---> Aged 13 – 16. will be acting as an African American (so you'd better start getting your accent ready NOW) A drummer who drops some serious beats.

ARETHA ---> Aged 13 – 15 she's Isaac's sister, so will also be acting as African American (so start watching 'Gossip Girl' to get your accent up to scratch). A singing sensation... move over Beyonce!

- Saturday 10th January 2009
- Saturday 17th January 2009
- Saturday 24th January 2009
- Saturday 31st January 2009

- your name & contact details
- name of parent/guardian & contact details
- a recent photo
- and let us know why you should be cast!

You will need the approval of your parent or guardian, so talk it through with them before getting in touch.

Paradise Cafe

Another new CBBC drama series "Paradise Cafe" hit our screens this week, hot on the heels of "Half-Moon Investigations". It looks like being the stronger of the two, with a wonderful blend of comedy, scary ghosts, and an awesome scenic backdrop of an island paradise.

Two excellent young British actors lead the otherwise New Zealand cast.

17 year old Telford heart-throb Pax Baldwin (ex Sylvia Young theatre school, now represented by Bloomfields Management) plays Robbo. Multi-talented Pax starred in The Snow Queen in 2005 and more recently appeared in Disney's As the Bell Rings and The Disney Channel Games. He is also a talented musician and singer, check out his MySpace.

His kid sister, Megan is played by 13 year old rising star Holly Bodimeade (A&J Management). She was the adorable Maddy in CBBC's stand-out drama of last year "Summerhill" , starring along side Jessie Cave (soon to be seen as Lavender Brown in the next Harry Potter film) and Eliot-Otis Brown-Walters (Central Junior Television Workshop), winner of the Kids BAFTA award for Breakthrough Talent in 2008.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

M.I. High

A new series of CBBC's M.I. High starts this week.

Young actress Rachel Petladwala returns as the brilliant spy Rose.

She is joined by new sidekicks newcomer Charlene Osuagwu, as wise cracking, high-kicking gymnast Carrie, and the gorgeous Ben Kerfoot (represented by Wings) as master-of-disguise Oscar, who is harbouring a dark and mysterious secret.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Diary of Anne Frank

Look out for a major new star in 18 year old Ellie Kendrick (represented by Curtis Brown)who plays Anne Frank in the new BBC dramatisation. Ellie previously starred as Zoe in the CBBC programme "In 2 Minds" where her co-star was a dog named Sykes (playing Syrius), and was previously represented by Abacus children's agency. Here's what producer Elinor Day said about the casting process.
"Casting was scary because we had no idea if there was a young actress out there to play Anne. She needed to appear 15, look something like Anne Frank and be able to convey her cheeky character and precocious cleverness. After some weeks and an open casting session, Ellie Kendrick walked in and answered our prayers."

Her sister, Margot, is played by Felicity Jones who has been acting since she was 12 (auditioning through the Central Junior Television Workshop in Birmingham) with early appearances in The Treasure Seekers and The Worst Witch).

Anne Frank is an iconic and well known figure to millions of people across the world.

Ellie Kendrick, the young actress who plays the role of Anne describes what it meant to her to play the part.

"Anne is this fascinating combination of immature teenager and deeply contemplative, inspiring thinker – and she had such constant, unfailing hope.

"There's a real wit and verve that comes across in her diaries in the face of all her hardship, which no reader can help but like. That's something that I think has been reflected really well in the scripts; there's a playfulness and vivacity to each episode in spite of that crushing sense of claustrophobia which must have been almost unendurable."

Eighteen-year-old Ellie was 17 when she filmed the series but feels she could have been friends with Anne, who was 13 when she first started writing her diary: "I think most teenage girls would love to be friends with the Anne Frank that we get to know in the diaries, and, hopefully, in the series.

"She's so open, chatty and familiar, and so full of life and mischievousness as well. It feels as though she's speaking directly to you.

"So, in a sense, I think many people who have read the diaries almost feel like they're friends with her already, because the way she wrote was so captivating and direct that it feels as if she's writing just to you. And girls from about 11 to 17 can really identify with her as a person, because, at the bottom of it, she was just an ordinary teenage girl going through very extraordinary events.

"Saying that, Anne Frank was much more of a girly teenager than I am: even when she was in hiding she manicured her nails and curled her hair almost every day – I just roll out of bed looking like a state!"

Millions of people around the world have read Anne's diary but Ellie confesses that she hadn't until she got the role: “Funnily enough, I had never read the novel before I got the part. I find that very odd because almost every teenage girl has done, at least once!

"Perhaps that's one of the reasons why it worked for me, I was able to look at the diaries in a new way because they were fresh to me, as opposed to re-working something that I'd read a hundred times. But as soon as I started reading it, I was really hooked. I'd never realised how fascinating Anne's accounts of her life were; it's amazing how engrossing she manages to make the tedium of annexe life.

"Something that struck me was how little things have really changed since her lifetime: us girls still have spats with our families, worry if they're pretty or not, become somewhat dangerously fixated upon boys, and have a tendency to fly off the handle just like Anne."

Ellie thinks that Anne would have enjoyed all the attention the diary has generated since it was first published: "I expect she'd enjoy the attention, because, like me, she was a little bit of a show-off. But I don't think even she could have anticipated how enormously successful her story would be.

"Perhaps she'd be a little embarrassed, because the diary is so private – I certainly wouldn't want millions of people across the world to be reading all my secrets.

"But, then again, even in her lifetime Anne wrote that she longed to become an author and to have her diary published, so I'm sure she'd be thrilled. I think she would have been astonished that so many people were so interested in her life."

Ellie feels strongly that Anne's words still has a strong message to her generation today.

"The main message is one of tolerance and hope. It was through lack of tolerance that millions of Jewish people like Anne were forced to go into hiding, and later sent to concentration camps – and many, like her, never saw the end of the war.

"The story is so personal that it humanises the appalling numbers you read in history books, it makes the suffering so much more real than reading the figures, which can be hard to comprehend in their enormity.

"I say 'hope' because that was what kept her going and allowed her to continue enjoying her life as much as possible. It should be a lesson to us that Anne Frank could have such optimism with such dark prospects ahead of her. It really puts into perspective how insignificant our day-to-day problems are."

For a younger actress playing such an iconic figure carries a lot of responsibility and Ellie admits to being slightly intimidated by the task: "Definitely – I was absolutely terrified. At one point I almost started crying down the phone to my mum about it! I promised myself that I wouldn't watch any of the other films that had been made about her because it'd be too off-putting. I did a lot of research into her life, though, so I could get as full a picture of her as possible.

"But all that responsibility was something that I had to try very hard to put behind me when filming, because the pressure would be too much to cope with.

"That was one of the most difficult parts of the process for most of the actors involved, I think: to peel back the layers of idolisation and celebrity that surround the whole story, and to think of the characters just as real, normal people.

"Because that's what they were in their lifetime – no one except Anne's father, Otto, survived the war and saw how legendary they were to become.

"I really hope I've done justice to her, though, because Anne Frank is such a fantastic character. She just leaps off the page."

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Skins returns…

E4’s home-grown drama series is coming back in January, but with just two of the original cast returning Skins 3 introduces a gang of new faces.

“We're very excited about series three of Skins and feel that our new cast are shining in roles, stories and characters which have been created by young people to a greater extent than ever before,” said executive producer Bryan Elsley.

The Class of 2009 is headed up by the beautiful and elusive EFFY (Kaya Scodelario), returning as the new queen bee.

Kaya's life reads like a Hollywood script: A sixteen-year-old Londoner is cast in an unknown TV show after attending an open call, and her life is forever changed. "I hadn't done much acting," she says of things prior to signing onto the hit U.K. series Skins . Kaya is represented by Curtis Brown.

She’s joined by sweet and kooky best-friend, PANDORA (Lisa Backwell) who keeps the gang together.

The guys are led by the irrepressible and irresponsible COOK (Jack O’Connell - This is England, Eden Lake) a daring and charismatic leader of the gang. His best mates are FREDDIE (Luke Pasqualino) who’s the skateboarding, weed-smoking ‘cool’ one, and JJ aka Jonah Jeremiah Jones (Ollie Barbieri), the master illusionist.

The twins KATIE (Megan Prescott) and EMILY (Kathryn Prescott) are pulling in different directions. One wanting to shed her twin and gain status, the other hanging on, crippled by shyness. Completing the girls is passionate, political and principled NAOMI (Lily Loveless). Finally, THOMAS (Merveille Lukeba), good and honest, he travels from the Congo to set up home for his family, and has to find his feet in a new and strange country.

Together the gang bond as they fall in and out of love and lust, fight one another, compete against each another, and also unite as one.

Series 3 will see guest stars Harry Enfield and Morwenna Banks return as the Stonem parents, alongside new guest appearances from Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, and actors Mackenzie Crook, Sally Phillips and Geoffrey Hughes.

The ten brand new episodes are written by a young British writing team, headed up by Executive Producer Bryan Elsley. Chris Clough is series producer, while series 3 is directed by Charles Martin and Simon Massey. Skins is made by Company Pictures and commissioned by Camilla Campbell for E4/Channel 4.