"I think I’m doing a film straight after Peter and Alice. And another play later in the year. I’d better not say what they are, because I’ll jinx them. But my plan is lots more work, hopefully"
Video interviews from UK premiere of Cloud Atlas. Interview with Ben starts around 3m27 secs. Does a great goofy laugh at the end of his segment.
[EIC: Thanks for submitting, revstan! Haven’t gotten around to posting all the stuff I’ve bookmarked aside lately….]
Not sure when the US and elsewhere will get it but the DVD box set of the Hollow Crown which includes Ben’s Richard II is due to be released in the UK on Oct 1. I’d like to think there will be some great interviews among the extras but I’m not confident.
[EIC: Thanks revstan! Now if only we could get a U.S. airdate….]
Lovely interview with Ben but I particularly like this quote from Goold who directed Richard II:
“I wanted someone who had an ‘otherness’,” he says. “Someone who was poetically distant in their soul. Ben has been described as someone who doesn’t talk to you, but talks to your aura – which is true. He does have a beautiful, spiritual quality. It’s a very spiritual play and Richard has an idea of himself as a Christ figure; Ben also has this slightly messianic quality about him.”
And the Weetabix story from Ben:
He starts off with a crown, dressed in these white robes and he ends up naked in the bottom of a well being pelted with poo.” Except it wasn’t poo, of course – not in real life. Actually, it was Weetabix. “They experimented with various things and for some reason decided that Weetabix was best; apparently it flew through the air better.
[EIC: Thanks Rev Stan!]
‘He’ll still be as much of a maverick as before. Unpredictable. Opinionated.
'And, if it’s possible, even more aggressive and ruthless than we’ve seen so far. There will be more trouble, too, between him and Hector Madden (Dominic West) the front man of the programme he works for. Hector is smooth, posh and charismatic – everything Freddie hates. And without giving too much away, when Hector begins to fall from grace, Freddie is delighted, because he wants his job.’
Full interview here which includes stuff about Richard II but nothing that hasn’t already been quoted elsewhere
[EIC: Thanks Rev Stan! This is one I did quote earlier, but it’s worth bringing up the Freddie business. The thing I continually don’t understand, though, is that everyone is acting like Freddie wasn’t the lead on the show! Of course he is—are they all blind? Look at interviews with cast/crew, the DVD special features, just watch the darn show, people! Anyway….rant over. More Freddie sounds good to me!]
After the showing of Richard II on BBC2 (and in HD) there is a programme called “Derek Jacobi on Richard II: Shakespeare Uncovered”. The Radio Times states:
"The actor revisits the role he played 30 years ago to explore the play’s history and its insightful portrayal of the mechanisms of power. Sir Derek relates how the play - which he doubts was actually written by Shakespeare - could, by depicting the removal of a monarch’s crown, have placed the playwright in mortal danger. With contributions from Ben Whishaw, director Rupert Goold and actors from the Globe theatre.
Looks like another one to watch!
[EIC: Thanks for submitting Terry! Again, any recordings and/or details from those who can watch would be appreciated for us international folk!]
This is the Ben snippet, talking about Richard II, from an interview with all three Kings in the BBC’s Hollow Crown series in today’s The Times (£):
“When someone is that deluded about themselves, it is always slightly comic,” says Whishaw, last seen in The Hour on BBC Two, and, at 31, two years younger than Richard at his deposition and death. “I felt his story was the story of someone who was forced to confront their vulnerability, who has constructed an identity of power and invulnerability and godlike authority, and whose illusions about himself are shattered.”
Whishaw dresses for his sacking in a priestly white gown trimmed in orange. In an earlier beach scene, in which he makes a stage of a rock, he wears his crown over a scarf worn a la Lawrence of Arabia. Mixed in with his divinity is a dessert helping of camp. “What Rupert [Goold] and I talked about was a Michael Jackson parallel. That was our reference in terms of his theatricality, the sense that everything is a performance and everything is about maximising the mystery around him. And like Jackson he is surrounded by people who just say yes to him.”
But there are more mundane parallels for an age of economic uncertainty. Whishaw sees Richard both as a megastar and a bloke who loses the job that defined him. Yet, once reduced to nothing, in his cell, his imagination spring opens and he identifies with others, even his old horse. “When I had finished working on this play — and maybe all Shakespeare is like this — I had the sensation that the play seemed to be about everything in life,” Whishaw says. “It is at once very specific and completely universal.”
[EIC: Thanks for submitting Rev Stan! I’m off at a conference at the moment, so not a lot of time to update. Any more news, send it my way!]
Back in 2004 RADA, where Ben had studied drama, celebrated it’s centenary. A commemorative book was published a year later featuring portraits by Cambridge Jones and interviews by Miranda Sawyer with past student. This is what Ben had to say about his time there. He would have just done Hamlet and filmed Perfume.
[EIC: Thanks Rev Stan! I scanned this page back when I bought the book (for $1.00!!). Highly recommended for theater fans. RADA folks are always the best…. Amazon link here.]
This is a quote from a review by Tim Walker in the Sunday Telegraph but I found it on the National Theatre website review round up of The Seagull
It was 15 minutes into The Seagull, when Ben Whishaw laughed, that I concluded that he cannot act. Whishaw laughed the way you and I would laugh. He just laughs. He did not play the part of Chekhov’s doomed, demented anti-hero. He was him.
That of course is the triumph – and the paradox – of truly great acting.
His Konstantin is every bit as impressive as the Hamlet that made his name at the Old Vic two years ago.
[Thanks again, Rev Stan! Love the quote. Wish I could have seen him play Konstantin.]
Haven’t seen many pictures from when he was in The Seagull at the National Theatre back in 2006. It’s a great play, shame I missed him in it.
[EIC: Thanks for the submission, Rev Stan! I’ve seen some Seagull photos of Ben, and they always look great.]