Friday, May 22, 2015

Michael Fassbender on making 'Macbeth': 'the Scottish film'

By Jake Coyle AP Film Writer
POSTED:   05/22/2015 05:22:09 AM MDT

CANNES, France (AP) — Michael Fassbender doesn't know if the "Macbeth" curse carries over to movie adaptations, but he'd rather not test it.

"The Scottish film" is what Michael Fassbender calls his "Macbeth" adaption, which is set to premiere Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival. He's maintaining the theatrical superstition of not speaking the name of Shakespeare's play — at least he wasn't in an interview ahead of the festival.

"Sometimes I say it, sometimes I don't," Fassbender said. "It depends on the day."

"Macbeth," usually referred to by the euphemism "the Scottish play" by actors wary of its legendary spell, will be the final film to screen in competition at Cannes. Directed by Australian director Justin Kurzel and co-starring Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, it has been eagerly awaited as the blood-soaked finale of the French Riviera festival, which concludes Sunday with the presentation of the Palme d'Or top prize.

Although interpreting Shakespeare is a traditional rite of passage for any British Isles actor of ambition, it wasn't a priority for Fassbender, the Oscar-nominated actor of "12 Years a Slave," ''Shame" and the "X-Men" films. The film marks the first entry into Shakespeare, on stage or screen, by the German-born, Ireland-raised Fassbender.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Highland flings and time travel: have you been watching Outlander?

Sarah Hughes
Wednesday 20 May 2015 06.00 ED

Scots miss… Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in Outlander

Scots miss … Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in Outlander. Photograph: Starz! Movie Channel/Courtesy//Starz! Movie Channel/Courtesy/

When the US cable channel Starz first announced it was adapting Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling Outlander novels, I was conflicted. On one hand, I tore through Gabaldon’s high-octane mix of love, war, time travel and 18th-century Scottish history in two feverish days as a student in the mid-90s. On the other, it was hard to imagine how its inimitable mix of hot Highland flings and deep peril was going to play out on screen.

Like Winston Graham’s Poldark novels, these are books you read at a gallop, caught up in the story and, yes, I’ll admit it, somewhat in the grip of lust, for Gabaldon’s strapping Highland hero Jamie and for the woman he loves, the straight-talking, no-nonsense former second world war nurse, Claire Randall.

Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) with Jamie Fraser (Sam Heugan). Photograph: Ed Miller/2014 Sony Pictures Television

While the opening credits – scenic shots of Scotland accompanied by a mournful rendition of the Skye Boat Song – initially reinforced fears that this would be heritage TV by numbers, complete with skirling pipes, scenic ruins and brave lads and lassies battling evil redcoat troops, the reality has been clever and more complicated.

Adapted by Ronald D Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame, the Outlander TV series manages to be faithful to the source material while building on it to create a fully realised world in which you swiftly accept the (admittedly slightly ludicrous) central premise that Claire manages to slip back in time to 1743 while visiting some old standing stones on her honeymoon. Stuck in the past, our heroine falls in with a ragtag bunch of Jacobite rebels while unintentionally attracting the wrath of the English captain of dragoons, Black Jack Randall, a man who (in one of the series’ more remarkable twists) turns out to be an ancestor of her mild-mannered husband Frank (both are played by Tobias Menzies).


Benedict Cumberbatch supports best friend at milestone freedom of speech ruling

Hanna Flint
Thursday 21 May 2015 7:52 am

Benedict Cumberbatch supports best friend at supreme court ruling

He might be a top Hollywood movie star, newlywed and soon-to-be father, but Benedict Cumberbatch has proven he’s still a good friend.

The Oscar-nominated actor was by his best friend James Rhodes side as the Supreme Court ruled in his favour to allow the classical pianist to publish his autobiography which detailed the abuse he suffered at an early age.

The judge overturned an injunction petitioned by his ex-wife who had wanted to keep the book from publication as she thought it would impact her and James’ 12-year-old son.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Colin Firth and Livia Giuggioli make a seriously stylish arrival in Cannes on their elegant yacht

PUBLISHED: 11:07 EST, 15 May 2015 | UPDATED: 14:53 EST, 15 May 2015

We've arrived: Colin Firth and Livia Giuggioli arrive in Cannes on a Sunliner X Yacht on Friday morning

The Cannes Film Festival tends to bring out the best in red carpet stars.

But straight from disembarking their docked yacht on the Riviera, Colin Firth and Livia Giuggioli put on an exquisite display.

Handsome gentleman Colin, 54, and his beautiful counterpart Livia, 45, looked stylish as they stepped off the luxury sunliner in sunglasses on Friday morning in the sunshine.

Colin may be the moviestar but this was the time for Livia to shine in the movie world.

On the red carpet and on the big screen in Cannes, she will have a big role to play because she is a keen purveyor of ethical fashion.

Livia is the executive producer on The True Cost, a new documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet.

Inside the yacht, the couple posed for pictures with the film's director Andrew Morgan and producer Michael Ross as well as fellow female producer Laura Piety.

All aboard: It was a busy morning for the couple, who were only just arriving in Cannes

Colin has already received some good Cannes news, since his new film Genius - starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney - has been acquired Lionsgate.

The Michael Grandage-directed film will chronicle the work of scribe Max Perkins when he was book editor at Scribner, overseeing works such authors as Thomas Wolfe.

The film explores the complex relationship between Max and Thomas Wolfe, played by Jude Law, and Ernest Hemingway, portrayed by Dominic West, who are both authors whose work Perkins oversaw.


Aidan Turner: I put a stone on after Poldark ended and I'm too fat and hairy to get my top off

15 May, 2015

Poldark heart-throb Aidan Turner has revealed he put on a stone as soon as the show ended and is now “too fat and hairy” to get his top off.

The actor, who stripped off for the now infamous scything scene, also said he knew his technique was wrong but stuck with it to add to the drama.

Aidan, 31, said the effort that went in to creating his renowned six-pack was enormous. “It’s quite hard work to get into that sort of shape.

“Towards the end, I was so sick of it - I wanted to stuff my face. I think I put on a stone straight away.”

He claimed that fans would be “so disappointed” if he bared his torso now.

“I’m way too hairy,” he laughed. “If I went to the beach right now, people wouldn’t recognise me. I think keeping my top on these days is probably a good idea. I’m in nothing like the shape I was.

“People are just, ‘Hey - where’s your six-pack?’ I’m like, ‘I’m fat now - what are you talking about?’”

But the hunky star plans to hit the gym once again before filming on the second series starts in September.

Aidan entirely agrees with the scything experts who criticised his efforts. For the episode, he took lessons from a pro who said it should be more of a gentle twisting motion than massing slashing.

But he laughed: “Can you imagine if that was the scene? I was getting f***ing stuck in and every time I was doing it, I could see him shaking his head and turning away.