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Interview: Sir Ben Kingsley Always Steering in ‘Learning to Drive’

  • HollywoodChicago.com
Chicago – The presence of Sir Ben Kingsley – yes, he was knighted in his native Britain – is the first thing that commands a room. The regal and precise actor, who was awarded an Best Actor Oscar for his definitive performance in “Gandhi,” is back portraying a native of India in his latest film, “Learning to Drive.”

The film is a transition story for the two main characters. Darwan (Kingsley) is a Indian Sikh who gained political asylum in America shortly before September 11th. He is a driving instructor, and encounters a new student in Wendy (Patricia Clarkson). The woman is going through a bitter divorce, and is using the potential of learning to drive to gain more freedom. The two disparate souls help each other in essential ways, and at the same time weather the storm of some extreme life changes.

Sir Ben Kingsley as Darwan in ‘Learning to Drive

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Tim Tams and panel vans: Looking for Alibrandi, Australia’s best teen movie

How did some fictional friends from the Sydney suburbs sum up a generation? One film fan pays tribute to Josie, Jacob Coote and John Barton 15 years on

Still Looking for Alibrandi: migrant teens deserve their own Ya fiction

Rewatching classic Australian films: week by week

Fifteen years ago, Josie Alibrandi was walking along George Street in her formal dress when she stopped and looked at Jacob Coote in disgust. “In a panel van?” she said. I may not have actually known what was wrong with a panel van, but I fell immediately in love.

To a specific generation of Australians, Kate Woods’ film Looking for Alibrandi is such a cultural touchstone it’s hard to remove it from our own personal history. Based on Melina Marchetta’s 1992 novel, it was critically embraced for thoughtfully telling an authentic non-Anglo-Saxon coming-of-age story from the perspective of a non-male protagonist, a combination rarely explored.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Oscar-Nominated Actor Biggest Professional Regret: Turning Down 'Doctor Who'

Ron Moody in Mel Brooks' 'The Twelve Chairs.' The 'Doctor Who' that never was. Ron Moody: 'Doctor Who' was biggest professional regret (See previous post: "Ron Moody: From Charles Dickens to Walt Disney – But No Harry Potter.") Ron Moody was featured in about 50 television productions, both in the U.K. and the U.S., from the late 1950s to 2012. These included guest roles in the series The Avengers, Gunsmoke, Starsky and Hutch, Hart to Hart, and Murder She Wrote, in addition to leads in the short-lived U.S. sitcom Nobody's Perfect (1980), starring Moody as a Scotland Yard detective transferred to the San Francisco Police Department, and in the British fantasy Into the Labyrinth (1981), with Moody as the noble sorcerer Rothgo. Throughout the decades, he could also be spotted in several TV movies, among them:[1] David Copperfield (1969). As Uriah Heep in this disappointing all-star showcase distributed theatrically in some countries.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

John Bardon obituary

Actor who appeared in films and musicals but was best known for his role as Jim Branning in EastEnders

When the actor John Bardon, who has died aged 75, took on the role of EastEnders' grumpy grandad Jim Branning, he succeeded in turning the figure of a lazy, selfish and bigoted Londoner into one of the BBC soap's most lovable characters. Jim was a regular in the Queen Vic pub, who had a weakness for gambling but married the fictional Albert Square's gossip and minder of morals, Dot Cotton, until ill-health saw her dispatch him to a care home.

The balding, crumple-faced actor, often seen wearing a cloth cap, first appeared in the serial in 1996, when Jim arrived in Walford for his daughter April's wedding. When she was jilted at the altar, his other daughter, Carol, and her boyfriend, Alan Jackson, got married in their place, but Jim stormed out
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

EastEnders actor John Bardon dies aged 75

Known to millions for his role as Jim Branning in the soap, Bardon suffered debilitating stroke seven years ago

EastEnders John Bardon dies: Jim Brannings best scenes in clips

Actor John Bardon, who was known by millions for his role as Jim Branning in EastEnders, has died at the age of 75.

He is understood to have died in the early hours of this morning, seven years after a debilitating stroke which has left him needing round-the-clock care in recent years. His death was announced by the BBC.

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Ashley Taylor Dawson unsure about Darren and Nancy's future

'EastEnders' actor John Bardon has died aged 75. John - who has starred as Jim Branning in the BBC One soap since the 90s - has passed away at the age of 75 after suffering from a stroke in 2007. Having played Jim - who married Dot Cotton (June Brown) in the drama in 2002 - from 1996 to 2011, he was written out following his stroke as he required full-time care from his wife Enda. However, he has returned to Albert Square on a number of occasions since as it was written into the storylines that Jim himself had had
See full article at Virgin Media - TV »

Christopher Malcolm obituary

Actor and producer who played Brad Majors in the original Rocky Horror Show in 1973 and Saffy's gay dad in Ab Fab

Christopher Malcolm, who has died of cancer aged 67, played Brad Majors in the original production of The Rocky Horror Show in 1973 and, as his life as an actor started to overlap with an interest in producing the shows themselves, he became, after co-producing the West End revival of Rocky Horror in 1990, the executive in charge of all subsequent worldwide productions.

His death came just a few days after his latest project, the revival of Oh What a Lovely War at Stratford East, opened to enthusiastic notices, probably sealing a West End transfer. The way the show turned out was a good example of the kind of creative partnerships he enjoyed and nurtured throughout his career. For more than 30 years, he worked as an "insider" producing link between such London
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Christopher Malcolm obituary

Actor and producer who played Brad Majors in the original Rocky Horror Show in 1974 and Saffy's gay dad in Ab Fab

Christopher Malcolm, who has died of cancer aged 67, played Brad Majors in the original production of The Rocky Horror Show in 1974 and, as his life as an actor started to overlap with an interest in producing the shows themselves, he became, after co-producing the West End revival of Rocky Horror in 1990, the executive in charge of all subsequent worldwide productions.

His death came just a few days after his latest project, the revival of Oh What a Lovely War at Stratford East, opened to enthusiastic notices, probably sealing the West End transfer he was hoping for. The way the show turned out was a good example of the kind of creative partnerships he enjoyed and nurtured throughout his career.

For more than 30 years, he worked as an "insider" producing
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

June Brown wants EastEnders romance

June Brown wants a romantic storyline in 'EastEnders'. The veteran actress, who plays Dot Branning in the BBC soap, doesn't feel her character has had a good storyline for several years since her on-screen husband John Bardon was written out of the show due to poor health and hopes soap bosses give her more to do. June says she hasn't been happy with Dot's storylines since 2008, when viewers saw the chain-smoking busybody deal with her husband Jim's stroke. The plot earned June a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress after she carried an entire episode of 'EastEnders' by herself. The actress said: ''I'd
See full article at Virgin Media - TV »

Ant and Dec accidentally wear matching outfits

June Brown wants a romantic storyline in 'EastEnders'. The veteran actress, who plays Dot Branning in the BBC soap, doesn't feel her character has had a good storyline for several years since her on-screen husband John Bardon was written out of the show due to poor health and hopes soap bosses give her more to do. June says she hasn't been happy with Dot's storylines since 2008, when viewers saw the chain-smoking busybody deal with her husband Jim's stroke. The plot earned June a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress after she carried an entire episode of 'EastEnders' by herself. The actress said: ''I'd
See full article at Virgin Media - TV »

Bill Ward joins Emmerdale

Bill Ward has joined 'Emmerdale'. The former 'Coronation Street' actor - who played bad boy Charlie Stubbs in the ITV soap - will play farmer James Barton, the brother of Moira Barton's (Natalie J. Robb) late husband John Barton (James Thornton). He said: ''I'm really looking forward to it. The 'Emmerdale' team are a very talented bunch indeed and I'm extremely chuffed to have been asked to join them.'' James, a single father to three grown-up sons, will make an unexpected visit to the village, much to the surprise of the brunette beauty, and he looks to cause controversy after he
See full article at Virgin Media - TV »

Joe Calzaghe and Kristina split

Bill Ward has joined 'Emmerdale'. The former 'Coronation Street' actor - who played bad boy Charlie Stubbs in the ITV soap - will play farmer James Barton, the brother of Moira Barton's (Natalie J. Robb) late husband John Barton (James Thornton). He said: ''I'm really looking forward to it. The 'Emmerdale' team are a very talented bunch indeed and I'm extremely chuffed to have been asked to join them.'' James, a single father to three grown-up sons, will make an unexpected visit to the village, much to the surprise of the brunette beauty, and he looks to cause controversy after he
See full article at Virgin Media - TV »

Richard Griffiths obituary

Actor of geniality, grace and solemnity, he excelled in playing characters on the margins of society

Richard Griffiths, who has died aged 65 from complications following heart surgery, was a fine actor defined by his largeness of spirit, his comic instinct and his empathy with outsiders, as well as his undeniable physical size. He was the kind of actor whom everyone remembers with affection, whether as the flawed but inspirational Hector in Alan Bennett's The History Boys (first staged in 2004, then filmed in 2006) or as the eccentrically gay Uncle Monty in Bruce Robinson's Withnail and I (1987).

Like most actors who have a thriving career in film and television, he learned his craft in theatre. I first became aware of him in the late 1970s when he rose steadily through the ranks of the Royal Shakespeare Company. I was especially struck by his ability to speak verse with mellifluous clarity.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Richard Griffiths obituary

Actor of geniality, grace and solemnity, he excelled in playing characters on the margins of society

Richard Griffiths, who has died aged 65 from complications following heart surgery, was a fine actor defined by his largeness of spirit, his comic instinct and his empathy with outsiders, as well as his undeniable physical size. He was the kind of actor whom everyone remembers with affection, whether as the flawed but inspirational Hector in Alan Bennett's The History Boys (first staged in 2004, then filmed in 2006) or as the eccentrically gay Uncle Monty in Bruce Robinson's Withnail and I (1987).

Like most actors who have a thriving career in film and television, he learned his craft in theatre. I first became aware of him in the late 1970s when he rose steadily through the ranks of the Royal Shakespeare Company. I was especially struck by his ability to speak verse with mellifluous clarity.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Joanna Page welcomes baby daughter

Joanna Page has become a mother for the first time. The 34-year-old actress - who portrayed Stacey Shipman in BBC One sitcom 'Gavin & Stacey' - and her actor husband James Thornton welcomed daughter Eva Madelief Russell into the world on Friday morning (15.02.13) at The Lindo Wing, the private maternity unit at London's St Mary's Hospital. Joanna wrote on Twitter: 'We are delighted to announce that Eva Madelief Russell was born 15th Feb,10:58am,weighing 6lbs 8ozs at The Lindo Wing. She's adorable! (sic)' James - who played farmer John Barton in 'Emmerdale' for three years until departing in 2012 - tweeted: 'We have had a baby girl! We are over the moon!' Eva's middle name Madelief is a
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Tom Kilbey buys Lydia Bright 298 roses

Joanna Page has become a mother for the first time. The 34-year-old actress - who portrayed Stacey Shipman in BBC One sitcom 'Gavin & Stacey' - and her actor husband James Thornton welcomed daughter Eva Madelief Russell into the world on Friday morning (15.02.13) at The Lindo Wing, the private maternity unit at London's St Mary's Hospital. Joanna wrote on Twitter: ''We are delighted to announce that Eva Madelief Russell was born 15th Feb,10:58am,weighing 6lbs 8ozs at The Lindo Wing. She's adorable! (sic)'' James - who played farmer John Barton in 'Emmerdale' for three years until departing in 2012 - tweeted:
See full article at Virgin Media - TV »

BBC turns its back on period glitz with gritty look at working-class Manchester

Social realism to the fore in planned adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell novel about Victorian hardship

Television is turning its attention to the industrial working class as an antidote to recent period drama focusing on upper-class glamour. The BBC is looking to adapt Elizabeth Gaskell's Victorian novel Mary Barton, the story of a young woman trapped in the appalling housing conditions and social inequality of 19th-century Manchester.

Heidi Thomas, the creator and writer of the BBC1 hit Call the Midwife, is working on the draft script of the first episode for BBC Wales. Call the Midwife has been the biggest BBC drama hit for a decade, and this is encouraging a move towards bolder social realism.

Thomas said: "I think it is important the working classes have their story told and history brought to life. I am keen to see that on screen. The novel is all about the rights of workers,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

'EastEnders' June Brown has emotional on-screen John Bardon reunion

'EastEnders' June Brown has emotional on-screen John Bardon reunion
EastEnders legend June Brown weeps as she reunites with John Bardon for a TV show screened later this week. The 85-year-old actress's ill-stricken former co-star, who played her character Dot's on-screen husband Jim Branning, suffered a stroke in 2007 which has left him unable to walk or speak fluently. When Brown asks her former colleague how his condition makes him feel, 73-year-old Bardon can only respond by whispering: "Oh dear." Bardon's wife Edna says of Bardon's current state: "He's going the wrong way now. His main pleasure in life is when his grandson Harry visits." (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

'EastEnders' June Brown visits John Bardon "regularly"

'EastEnders' June Brown visits John Bardon
EastEnders legend June Brown has revealed that she pays regular visits to former co-star John Bardon. Bardon, who played Jim Branning in EastEnders until May 2011, suffered a major stroke in 2007. Dot Branning actress Brown - Bardon's on-screen wife - spoke about Bardon's physical condition in an interview with What's on TV. "I visit John regularly - his wife Edna has been marvellous," she said. "I feel for him because he can't write, paint (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Shakespeare and me: Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen, who played Coriolanus at the National Theatre in 1984, on what Shakespeare means to him

As a 45-year-old Coriolanus at the National Theatre, I worked hard to grow a credible warrior's body.

The fighting area was a sand pit. Some of the audience sat on the stage among the actors. There were problems! Irene Worth as my mother was one of the answers.

I grew up in postwar Wigan, in a theatre-going family, so it didn't seem odd that my big sister Jean should take me to my first Shakespeare when I was only seven years old. It was Macbeth at the local amateur Little Theatre. Seven decades on, I can still see the dried-up rhododendron branches through which Macduff's soldiers unconvincingly impersonated Birnam Wood.

By the time I was 12 I'd made my Shakespearean debut as Malvolio in Twelfth Night at Bolton School. Theatre-going was my hobby; acting was a by-product.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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