Monday, September 15, 2014

David Tennant, Anna Gunn interview on making 'Gracepoint'

By James Hibberd on Sep 15, 2014 at 3:46PM   @james_hibberd


Imagine if a Time Lord and Skyler White teamed to solve a young boy’s murder in a small Northern California town? That’s what it’s like for fans of Doctor Who and Breaking Bad approaching Fox’s Gracepoint, which takes David Tennant and Anna Gunn, beloved for playing for iconic cable TV roles, and puts them into a big broadcast prime-time crime series. For Tennant, the role means embracing the unusual, perhaps unprecedented, step of reprising the same character he played in Broadchuch, the U.K. version of the show (though Fox has added a different ending for Gracepoint). For Gunn, it means leaving behind an Emmy-winning performance of a tightly-wound character that was both career-making and fan-divisive. Below the actors take our questions about Gracepoint, which debuts on Fox on Oct. 2.

EW: Let’s start before Broadchurch. What was each of your all-time favorite mystery show?

ANNA GUNN: We always said Cagney & Lacey was our inspiration. That was something that made us laugh nonstop, not because this is like Cagney & Lacey, though we could be a team like that—

DAVID TENNANT: And I’m playing Tyne Daly.

GUNN: Yeah, I’m the blonde and you’re the brunette. So that’s my ridiculous answer.

TENNANT: I’d go with Murder One. That was such a novelty because it was one story told over a number of episodes, like Gracepoint.

GUNN: That was great.

Is there anything you see actors doing in detective shows that you tried to avoid?
GUNN: I interviewed a couple different people and went on a ride-along. They pointed out clichéd things on TV shows, and I think the major thing for me was that so much of being a good detective is watching and listening very carefully and less about putting overt pressure on a suspect. It’s not really the way that’s done in the real world. So much of it was really about watching and listening and being an observer rather than cliché about the hard-boiled detective strong-arming anybody.

TENNANT: Because the story is as much an emotional story as it is a procedural story, and as much about people as murder, hopefully you avoid cliché by being true to that emotional life.

Anna, had you seen the original before you started on Gracepoint?

GUNN: I saw the original and was just head over heels for it. It was brilliant. I know that some of the actors did not watch it because they didn’t necessarily want to be influenced, and was a little worried about having somebody else’s brilliant performance hanging in your head. But in this case [Broadchurch co-star] Olivia Colman and I are so different from each other and I thought it would serve me to watch it. Plus I was just intrigued and I’m really glad I did watch it because its a good show and just watching the choices she made was very helpful for me. It informed a lot of the things I ended up doing.


5 Things To Know About Sophie Hunter, Also Known As Benedict Cumberbatch’s New Girlfriend

Sun, Sep 14 - 9:49 am ET

Benedict Cumberbatch

I am irrevocably and wholeheartedly apologetic for doing this to you first thing on a Sunday morning, fellow Cumberbitches (or Cumber Collective/Cumberbabes if you’re feeling PC), but the mystery of the identity surrounding our beloved Benedict Cumberbatch‘s new girlfriend has been solved. Meaning she actually exists, and this is apparently a real things we must face. Sigh, I know. I know. I’m 29 years old and I’ve actually contemplated hanging a Sherlock poster on my ceiling, so believe me when I say I know the Cumberlove struggle is real. But according to multiple media outlets (British ones, so you know they’re salacious enough to probably be true), his “latest companion” is an actress by the name of Sophie Hunter.

All we knew of her previously was that she possibly possessed a real identity and was maybe part of the matchmaking efforts of a PBS producer, which is kind of weird. Now that we know who she is, let’s see what it is about her that Benedict finds so irresistible. Just allow me to first remove the fist that just swiftly punched me in the gut, and we’ll be on our way.

1. She’s hella smart.
She studied French and Italian at Oxford before enrolling at the Jacques Lecoq school of theatre in Paris. Okay, but I once took a class about the Arab/Israeli conflict back in college. So…yeah. Take that. On a more serious note, Benedict being into smart chicks just makes me even more into Benedict.

2. She likes horses and pianos.
According to her IMDB page, she is a “highly skilled pianist and equestrian.” YES BUT CAN SHE PLAY THE PIANO WHILST RIDING SIDESADDLE? The world may never know.

3. She’s starred in a few movies but is primarily a theatre actress.
She had a role in Vanity Fair alongside Reese Witherspoon, but has spent most of her career touring Europe, the Middle East, and parts of the United States with different theatre companies. She even won the Samuel Beckett Award for writing and directing back in 2007, which is a pretty big deal.

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Hugh Bonneville: BBC2 mockumentary W1A to return in 2015

Tara Conlan, Monday 15 September 2014 08.00 EDT

Hugh Bonneville in W1A

Hugh Bonneville has signed up to reprise his role as Ian Fletcher in the second series of BBC's acclaimed mockumentary W1A. Photograph: BBC/Jack Barnes
BBC mockumentary W1A is to return for a second series next year with Hugh Bonneville’s head of values, Ian Fletcher, facing the thorny issue of the corporation’s charter renewal.

Downton Abbey star Bonneville has signed up for another outing of the follow-up to writer John Morton’s acclaimed Olympics comedy Twenty Twelve.

The new four-part series of W1A will begin with a 60-minute episode, followed by three 30-minute ones. It is being produced by BBC in-house comedy.

After the success of the first series of W1A – which featured BBC presenter Clare Balding and creative director Alan Yentob and drew 1.6 million viewers for its opening episode on BBC2 – the corporation was keen to let the cameras into New Broadcasting House for a second time.

Further casting details, storylines and cameos are still being discussed.

Jessica Hynes and Olivia Coleman, fleetingly, reprised their Twenty Twelve roles in W1A. There was speculation that BBC director general Tony Hall – referred to as “Tonyship, Lord director general” in the show – might appear in future episodes.

The BBC said in a statement on Monday: “Until the cameras roll it won’t be known exactly what crisis will be averted or indeed where Ian’s desk will be.”

However, in the second series there is an indication that charter renewal will be covered as the BBC added that “with charter renewal in 2016 getting ever closer, Ian’s job as Chair of the Way Ahead Task Force will be even more important than ever”.


Benedict Cumberbatch takes top TIFF prize

September 15, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch takes top TIFF prize

A Second World War codebreaker drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch has won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Director Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game claimed the coveted Grolsch People’s Choice Award.

Sherlock star Cumberbatch plays British codebreaker Alan Turing, alongside Oscar nominee Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode.

Three of the past six People’s Choice Award winners have gone on to win the Oscar for best picture, including The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and last year’s victor, 12 Years A Slave. © Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Martin Freeman: Director drops goldfish from West End production of Richard III after accusations of animal cruelty

12 September, 2014


Theatre bosses working on a production of Shakespeare's Richard III starring actor Martin Freeman have dropped live goldfish from the show after accusations of animal cruelty.

A person in the audience at Trafalgar Studios in London's West End is said to have complained about the treatment of goldfish in the play to animal rights campaigners at PETA.

In a press release issued this morning, the charity said: "[The woman] reported that from her vantage point, it appeared that the fish was "ground up with the gravel and pushed up against the sides of the tank" when a cast member submerged himself in the tank and 'thrashed around wildly"".

The controversial scene sees the Duke of Clarence drowned in a bowl of live goldfish on the orders of his younger brother Richard, who wants to take the crown ahead of him.

PETA subsequently called on director Jamie Lloyd to remove live goldfish from the production, saying their use "puts the animal at risk of injury and even death".

.@peta You've declined to see #RichardIII. The goldfish are thriving & well looked after. But, as a vegan, I've followed your recommendation

— Jamie Lloyd (@lloydjamie) September 12, 2014

Announcing its decision to follow the charity's advice, the play's producers insisted in a statement this afternoon that the "safety and welfare" of the goldfish had remained a "top priority".