Director Michael Mann mentions at the end of this recent interview that he wants to make medieval film, Cornwell's 'Agincourt'
Did you ever read something that explained to you exactly why you had had an unsettled feeling about someone or something and couldn't exactly identify why? That's what happened as I read the following review of last night's Golden Globe awards. First, the only awards show I watch is The Oscars, therefore, I’ve never had reason to become aware of the recent host of the Golden Globe awards(last year's and last night). As a result, I didn’t realize he had skewered most of Hollywood during last year’s show. Woe is me that I missed that golden moment in time, because most of what the following reviewer says about ‘Hollywood types’ echoes my opinions of that irrelevant community. The reviewer is right on about speculating that Meryl Streep’s agent/producer/pusher is buying all these awards for her. Neither the woman, nor her dramatic vehicles, are interesting enough to merit so much attention - unless it has been manufactured in the first place. Box office results for her films definitely confirm that conclusion. IMHO, the only audience watching her movies - and the majority of others out of Hollywood - are the members of the Motion Picture Academy Arts and Sciences themselves (those earning their living in LaLaLand).
EXCERPT from review: ”..That must be what all the stars were promised this time around: ‘You can use Ricky this time as your punching bag’, and NBC guaranteed it won’t be the other way around.”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
MERYL STREEP – THE IRON LADY
Seriously? Another win for The Weinstein Co? What did Harvey do: get every member of the HFPA green cards and/or permanent U.S. citizenship? (Well, he is a bundler for the Democratic party/Obama re-election campaign.) This is a movie that many Britons hated (not unlike Madonna’s W.E.) Shouldn’t that make it an anathema to the foreign press? Nope. “I want to thank everybody in England who let me trample all over their history,” Streep said.
Meryl wasn’t just joking when she thanked “my agent Kavein Huvane and God — Harvey Weinstein. The Punisher. Old Testament, I guess.” Harvey tried to act humble. Still, it’s an astonishing night for him. Two years ago he was down and out. Now he’s The Don again. The fact is he’s just so much better than other moguls at seducing these awards voters and swanning the clueless media.
In a comment by Sally, she speculates that RA could perhaps finally appear in the play 'The Rover' during his filming break from The Hobbit - last half of 2012. Scroll to end of page for specific posts on The Rover..
MTV: The Ones to Watch Interview
This winter, director Peter Jackson will deliver the long-awaited return to Middle-earth. "The Hobbit," which will unfold across two films, begins with "An Unexpected Journey," as Bilbo Baggins leaves to win back gold stolen from his companions. But these are not just any friends. Bilbo is accompanied by 13 dwarves, each with a larger-than-life personality.
The leader of these adventurers, Thorin, will be played by Richard Armitage, who made a brief appearance in "Captain America: The First Avenger," but will get his biggest Stateside break in "The Hobbit." The British actor played a key role in last month's trailer and will soon join the illustrious ranks of Tolkien alumni, alongside Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean and Orlando Bloom.
We spoke with Armitage about traveling to Middle-earth, the difficulty of working under pounds of makeup and leading a band of treasure-seeking dwarves.
MTV: Congratulations on being named to MTV's Ones to Watch!
Richard Armitage: Thank you very much!
MTV: Where are you currently in the filming schedule?
Armitage: We just finished up our second block, so we start again at the end of January, and then we go — we think it's the end of July. Then there's a bit more in 2013, we reckon.
MTV: What's it like being on a single project for so long?
Armitage: It's really weird because when we started it was just this enormous mountain to climb, but actually, it's going so fast. I think we've gotten to the halfway point now. It's been really intense but so exciting. We literally just finished our location shoot that we've been out on the road seeing most of New Zealand. It's been the best thing I've ever worked on in my life, by far.
MTV: Is it easy to forget you're acting? Do you get lost in the world the production creates?
Armitage: The soundstages they made in Wellington, [New Zealand], most of the time it doesn't feel like we've been working on a set. Even when there's a green screen there, Peter's vision of it is so clear and his description of it is so clear. The pre-production CGI that they've already created really fires up your imagination. That was the shoot we started with. On location, it's just theirs to program these amazing images into your head, so we can now take them back into the studio.
MTV: Will it be hard to leave behind once you've wrapped?
Armitage: It don't think it will be possible to leave it behind me. I think this is one of those characters that always stay with you because you spend so much time with him and it's such a transformation. I'm in the character every day, and I've become so familiar with him. I sort of know how he thinks. I feel really close to the character, and he will continue beyond this job , [spoiler ahead] even though, he dies at the end of the movie. I think he is a fascinating character. I will probably wake up in six years' time and be inspired to think about him again. It's really exciting.
MTV: How did your previous knowledge of the story change how you approached Thorin?
Armitage: I read it quite a few times when I was young. I think going back to it as an adult is really interesting because it is a book that was, I think, was written for Tolkien's children, but when you're creating a piece on this scale, you have to really visualize it for a much broader audience. I think that's the beauty of Tolkien. He does create very well-rounded, quite dangerous characters to play his protagonists. He risks scaring kids. He's the original fantasy creator, and I think you have to invest those characters with the same gravity as if you were making a piece for adults. It was interesting coming back to it as an adult, re-reading it again, because it did have a simplicity to it, which I really like. I felt we could take those characters and really develop them beyond the book.
MTV: You ended up with middle ground in terms of the amount of makeup. Did you feel lucky?
Armitage: It did evolve. We all started with quite an extreme version of ourselves. I think because my character does spend a lot of time onscreen and you really have to understand what he's going through emotionally, it became clear that if we started make the prosthetic as close to my features as possible but still make him a dwarf, it would be much easier to read the character. He has to go on such a journey, it was really important to do that. I grew my own beard after the first block because I felt that it was restricting my face. The jaw is so connected to emotion that I wanted to have that free. It made such a huge difference.
It's really weird now because I can't play the character when I haven't gotten everything on. It's very hard to rehearse when you're not in costume, when you haven't gotten the prosthetics on, but I look in the mirror when it's all finished and I don't see it. I can't see where it starts and where it ends. I just see the character. I've never had that before. It's such a unique experience. It's a face that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to WETA workshop and the people that created it.
MTV: How was it on set with so many actors playing the dwarves?
Armitage: I love it. I absolutely love working as an ensemble member, and we really are an ensemble. There's great camaraderie among all the guys. There is such a diversity of culture and background. We're working with a lot of Kiwis, and there's real mixture of British actors who come from television and theater and film. It's exactly as the dwarves are. When Thorin assembles the quest, he pulls dwarves from all different places to go on this quest. That's mirrored in who we are as actors.
Oh No! They've paired An Unexpected Journey with Daniel Radcliffe's Woman in Black - Current Results:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 50.88% V O T E !
The Woman In Black 49.12%
Will we allow the boy wizard to steal Thorin's thunder? Of course not ;) VOTE at link above
For many years, I've so admired Bernard Cornwell's respect for historical facts in his writing; therefore, it was gratifying to read the following excerpt during a discussion between the Lords of the North writer and Game of Thrones author, GRR Martin. As a history buff, I cannot muster as much respect for fantasy pieces as for historical fiction/drama. That's probably because the creative guidelines are much looser - there's no need to keep within the truthful framework that I, for one, find commendable in well written historical novels and drama.
EXCERPT: GRRM: Historical fiction is not history. You're blending real events and actual historical personages with characters of your own creation, like Uhtred and Richard Sharpe. How much "poetic license" should a novelist have when dealing with the events of history? How accurate is he obliged to be? Where do you draw the line?
BC: I can't change history (if only), but I can play with it. The answer slightly depends on what I'm writing. I did a trilogy on 'King' Arthur and there's almost no real history to rely on, so I could do more or less what I wanted. With the Saxon books I have a skeleton history thanks to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and few other sources, but there's not much meat on those bones so I have a lot of freedom. If I'm writing about the American Revolution then I have almost no freedom because I'm trespassing on the high ground of American legend and I must stick to the real history if the book is going to persuade the reader of the story's viability - so in Redcoat I changed only one event by bringing it forward 24 hours. And then I confess my sins in an historical note at the book's end. Occasionally I change more drastically; Sharpe's Company tells the story of the dreadful attack on Badajoz and, in brief, a feint attack that was only intended to draw French defenders away from the breaches succeeded in capturing the city while the main attacks, on the breaches, failed disastrously. It seemed to me that the drama of that night was in the breaches, so Sharpe had to attack one of them, and if Richard Sharpe attacks, he wins (he's a hero!). So in the novel I allow the attackers to get through a breach (which didn't happen) because otherwise the story wouldn't work. But again, I confessed the sin at the book's end.
** Cornwell also mentions in above chat that a Uhtred tv series might be a possibility, although he added he's not holding his breath.
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During an interview RA has said his favorite city is Rome - the Eternal City