Saturday, August 23, 2014

Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville and Keeley Hawes join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC2's The Hollow Crown

By Ellie Walker-Arnott
Thursday 21 August 2014 at 11:55AM

A host of famous faces will be joining Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch in the second run of Shakespeare adaptations The Hollow Crown.

We already knew that Cumberbatch was poised to play Richard III in The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, a three-parter which will consist of Henry VI parts 1 and 2 and Richard III, but the BBC has now confirmed that he'll be acting alongside stars such as Judi Dench, Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville and Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins.

In Richard III, Judi Dench, Sophie Okonedo and Keeley Hawes will star as Cecily, Duchess of York, Queen Margaret and Queen Elizabeth respectively.
Cumberbatch is sure to be pleased that Dench has signed on, after he asked her if she'd join the drama during a live Q&A at Hay Festival.

Henry VI parts 1 and 2 will see Hugh Bonneville play Humphrey, the Duke of Gloucester and Sally Hawkins take on the role of his wife Eleanor, while Tom Sturridge will play an unknown role.

"To have the chance to work with some of Britain’s most talented actors is a dream come true. We couldn't be more delighted to have them on board," said executive producer Pippa Harris.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Shirtless Benedict Cumberbatch puts celebrity pals to shame by doing the ice bucket challenge an impressive SIX times

August 22, 2014

Up close and personal: A shirtless Benedict Cumberbatch gets soaked in the shower to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association

Since the ice bucket challenge went viral earlier this month, everyone from Justin Bieber to David Beckham has taken part in the stunt.

But now Benedict Cumberbatch has upped the ante by stripping off and getting doused with ice-cold water a whopping six times, all in the name of charity.

The Sherlock star has teamed up with the British version of the ALS Assocation, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, in order to encourage people to raise money for sufferers of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

He said: 'My name's Benedict Cumberbatch and I've been nominated to take the ice bucket challenge by Tom Hiddleston, Juno Temple, and Adelaide Clemens... three times!

'So here I am, about to take it. I'm a day late as well, but I'm just going to take the one.

 'Now it's in order to raise awareness for ALS, which is a form of Motor Neurone Disease, which has a devastating effect on people's lives, so please text and donate generously. Bring on the bucket.'

Benedict initially appeared calm and collected, but The Star Trek: Into Darkness actor couldn't help letting out a low bellowing noise as the freezing cold water hit his head.

He then revealed his own nominations - movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, pop princess Kylie Minogue and Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton.

But the torture didn't end there, since Benedict was then subjected to a further FIVE ice-cold baths.

The camera followed him into the shower as he stripped completely naked, jabbering away about how cold he was.

'Oh God! So cold! Why the hell isn't this [shower] working? What's going on? What are you guys doing?', he cried.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Michael Fassbender's big head in 'Frank,' a counterpoint in TMZ era

August 21, 2014

(not from the movie)

Modern movie stardom is dependent on many things, but perhaps none more so than well-known, good-looking faces appearing in new films.

So what would make a high-profile actor decide to spend most of a movie wearing a cartoon face that renders him unrecognizable? And apart from a sense of masochistic mischief, what would prompt someone to make a movie with just that

(nope, this isn't from the movie either)

It's a question that will be running through your head with Magnolia Films' release Friday of a new indie dramedy "Frank," directed by the Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson and starring Michael Fassbender.

"Head" is a key word, since Fassbender — of course famous as Magneto in the "X-Men" series and in rigorous dramas such as "12 Years a Slave" — spends most of the film in a giant one, a fully concealing apparatus that looks like a cross between a Lego mini figure and one of those inflatable replicas of Edvard Munch's "The Scream."

(ok, now I'm just being silly)

If you see the movie, you may find yourself furtively checking your phone halfway through wondering if you misread Fassbender's billing — or, perhaps, calming a zealous spouse who wants to rush back to the ticket window asking for a refund. But it's indeed Fassbender under there, speaking in an American accent, as a character inspired by Frank Sidebottom, a real-life musician who, in the tradition of the Residents and Daft Punk, was almost never seen performing without the disguise.

"Frank" actually takes this character one step further, since the Daft Punk duo presumably takes its masks off in private. Fassbender's Frank keeps it on all the time--even, as another of his bandmates matter of factly notes, when showering and brushing his teeth.

Oh, and technically he's not Frank Sidebottom but a character named Frank who's inspired by him. In fact, Frank Sidebottom wasn't even Frank Sidebottom — he was a character played on-stage by the musician Chris Sievey in late-1980s England.(Sievey died in 2010.) The journalist Jon Ronson, at the time an aspiring rock keyboardist, was recruited rather spontaneously into Sievey's band, and he co-wrote this script in part based on that experience.

There are, then, layers of irony. Figuratively. But also literally.


Sean Bean: (spoilers) LEGENDS: "CHEMISTRY" REVIEW

AUGUST 20, 2014 Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow...

While still maintaining a fair amount of rough, rudimentary elements ("No more of that cowboy s***!" Larter's Agent McGuire scolds), "Chemistry" improved upon the pilot episode by not only keeping Sean Bean's Martin Odum mostly out of the undercover game, but also by focusing more intently on the larger conspiracy arc started last week with the murders of Bobby and the homeless man.

In fact, a whole new character - in Morris Chestnut's Agent Rice - was introduced to the series specifically to deal with the conspiracy side of the story. He's not even a part of Odum's usual team and exists, now, just to follow up on Odum's initial side investigation. Which, at this point, only serves to make Odum suspicious in Rice's eyes.

Also, by having the "case of the week" get drawn out over (who looks like) two episodes, it helps blend the show together into a much more serialized affair. And it also helped make Odum's undercover work seem more vital and important. Because hearing that he's the best undercover agent over and over gets tiring very quickly. And so "Chemistry" worked to show us just how important the decision is for Odum to go back into the field, calling upon one of his established identities, so quickly after the "Founding Father" events of the premiere. The show is making sure that the psychological dangers are evident and ever-pressing.

Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at


Benedict Cumberbatch and the ice bucket challenge: We’re still waiting…

Amanda Keats
Wednesday 20 Aug 2014 1:16 pm

Tom Hiddleston made Benedict Cumberbatch fans go crazy with excitement yesterday when he took up the ALS ice bucket challenge and nominated the Sherlock star to do it next.

As yet, there appears to be no sign of Cumberbatch having taken up this challenge so, while all our fingers are crossed, here are some possible ways for you to pass the time until said video (hopefully) appears.

1. Look up funny things online that will make you smile

Cats, dogs, babies being funny, all the other celebs who’ve already taken up the ice bucket challenge.

2. Prepare your reaction for the moment that video appears You’re going to be excited. But just how excited?

3. Work on looking clever Contain your inner geek. For now at least…

7. Share a joke with a buddy That’s what friends are for.

We can't stop thinking about Benedict Cumberbatch covered in ice water

8. Basically just do everything you can to stop thinking about Benedict Cumberbatch all covered in ice water…