Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thandie The Hospital Club Awards, 27th September London

Kuro black screen party 25th September London

Pioneer has announced the UK launch date for its latest KURO high-definition plasma TVs. The new products will be launched at a ‘Black Screen Party’ at Claridges Hotel in London.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Besieged poster from Yugoslavia

Independent 24th September

Want to meet the creatives? Join the club
One of Britain's leading 'members-only' establishments is opening a 'walled garden' website for those who make the grade. Ian Burrell learns its first rule: no 'suits' social networking the hospital
Published: 24 September 2007
Those countless office hours spent by Britain's media workers usefully "contact building" on Facebook and MySpace may be coming to an end – for another social networking platform is being constructed in Covent Garden that claims to be tailor-made for all their needs.
And seeing as it's being organised by the Hospital Club, which is accustomed to seeing such names as Sienna Miller, Jude Law and Renée Zellweger pass through its portals, who knows who you might get to poke or befriend?
The Hospital is where The Who came to launch their new album and Radiohead chose to record theirs. It's where the comedian Catherine Tate and Atonement's director Joe Wright became mentors to young members after being given awards for their creative work. And it's where a recent exhibition juxtaposed the art of Banksy and Andy Warhol and apparently led to the guerrilla graffiti artist spray-painting a stencil of Marilyn Monroe on the pavement outside the club, hiding under the cover of his baseball cap.
The difference between the Hospital Club Online and the likes of Facebook is that the former is what the club's CEO, Will Turner, terms "a walled garden": in order to join up you either have to be a member of the club (at a cost of £600 a year), or you have to be signed in by a member, each of whom is allowed up to four invitees. Members are advised to make every attempt to avoid inviting the dreaded "suits", according to Turner.
"We want to ensure that people who join are the right people, that they are in the creative industries and that they are truly creative. This is not about adding hundreds of thousands of people each day, it's about adding tens of people who we have checked out," he says. The site, he says, will allow media people the "opportunity to promote yourself and your services to a community of your peers".
To many outside of the industry, the idea of being in an enclosed space with a mob of media types would probably be appalling. But according to Turner, whose own background is in the television and film industries, there are many suits out there who would relish the kudos of Hospital membership. "People are allowed in on recommendation, but if they turn out to be, say, the financial director of a large telecoms firm, then they will be found out. We have to be careful to make sure we don't become full of suits," he says, acknowledging that he is wearing a suit himself, though it's an orange-checked number that would cause panic in an accounts department.
A certain elitism is necessary, Turner believes, to preserve the creative energy of the club. The paradox is that the ethos of the Hospital is to encourage its members not to stand aloof but to put something back into the creative industries, particularly by mentoring Britain's up-and-coming talent. So the social networking site, which will also be home to some 30 blogs divulging gossip on all sectors of the creative industries, is designed to allow members under 30 (who get half-price subscription) and other young invitees to target the more well-known and successful in their sector and to seek from them "insight and intelligence".
Turner, 39, says: "We don't want to be for people who are sitting there smugly having made their fortune. We want people who are actively engaged, who are excited about hanging out and interacting with people who have yet to make it, and who are younger, frankly."
This week is one of the biggest in the Hospital Club calendar, when it distributes its annual awards to those deemed to have made the biggest contributions in television, publishing, journalism, interactive media, advertising, film, art, design, theatre and fashion. The judges include the actress Thandie Newton, the fashion designer Tom Ford and the journalist Jon Snow. The event is being hosted on Thursday by Mariella Frostrup. Turner says: "We say to the winners, 'If you are going to say "yes" to winning this award, then you have to commit to spend some time mentoring during the year.' I have been pleasantly surprised that everyone so far has agreed."
The mentoring commitment is part of what Turner sees as the "philanthropic" element of the club's philosophy. "It can sound worthy but it's supposed to be celebratory and fun. We see no contradiction between being commercially run by a private-equity company out of Seattle and being philanthropic. There's a virtuous circle with these two elements." The club's owner is Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, who runs it through his private equity firm Vulcan Inc.
Based on musician Dave Stewart's vision for a creative melting pot in the heart of London, the club had something of a traumatic start. Opening in 2003 in a seven-storey former Victorian maternity hospital, it ran up debts and soon became in need of intensive care itself. Turner, a former head of Sky Pictures who later became BSkyB's head of content strategy, joined as CEO in September 2005 with the task of resuscitating it.
The club, which played host at this year's Hay-on-Wye and Glastonbury festivals, is now expanding overseas, with a new outpost set to open in the fashionable Hackescher Markt district of Berlin. Further Hospital clubs are being planned in New York, where it will rival Soho House as a home-from-home for British ex-pats, and Shanghai. These overseas clubs will not simply replicate the mothership but will attempt to champion the local creative industries.
To outsiders, the Hospital might be just another one of London's private members's clubs, a newcomer to rival the Groucho, Soho House and the rest. Turner, though, insists that exclusivity is not the point. "We don't view ourselves as a private members club," he says. "We are a club for creative entrepreneurs. We are for people who make stuff and people that make stuff happen." Just leave the whistle and flute in the wardrobe.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Man of mystery returns in SoHo New York

This man was last spotted with Thandie in Soho, London, pictures are on Rex Features. A few years back

Must be a friend its not her father.

More New York pictures

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How Thandie gained a love for humanity

How Thandie gained a love for humanity
"IT MADE me more compassionate", says Thandie Newton when the Newsasks what she gained most from studying anthropology in Cambridge. "I'm really tolerant of people's behaviour, and how all kinds of things can motivate people to act in ways which, on the surface, we think of as negative or damaging."
Chatting to the petite star at the premiere of her latest film, Run, Fat Boy, Run, it's hard to imagine her poring over dusty library books in Cambridge, where she was a student in the early 90s. And it's even harder to picture her looking less glamorous than now, despite her recent confession to dressing "more like Obi-Wan Kenobi" than a trend-setting starlet while at university.
Cambridge graduate and film star Thandie Newton
Today (Thursday, 20 September), as Thandie stops to sign autographs for fans and pose for photographers on the red carpet, she looks every inch the star, clad in a simple but eye-catching designer dress, hair elegantly slicked back in a long ponytail, and groomed to perfection.
Though it's more than a decade since she graduated, Thandie still remembers her Cambridge days as an "amazing" experience. And she has her Zimbabwean mother - a Shona princess - to thank for encouraging her to continue her education, despite having already embarked on a flourishing movie career. "I think partly because acting wasn't something I'd studied for years, my mum just wanted me to keep my feet on the ground and always have something I could fall back on, and for her that's education."
Thandie had already had a taste of showbiz in her teens, studying dance at Hertfordshire's Arts Educational School, and, when a back injury put an end to that, making her acting debut alongside Nicole Kidman in the Australian coming-of-age film Flirting. And her big screen appearances didn't stop there. While at Cambridge, Thandie successfully juggled her degree with roles in films such as Jefferson in Parisand The Journey of August King.
So, unlike many of her fellow students, Thandie didn't spend her time at Downing College joining societies and socialising - she was busy hanging out with the likes of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, her co-stars in Interview With The Vampire, instead.
"I worked intensely at college," she is quoted as saying recently. "I wouldn't go to the bar or to parties so I probably ended up working as hard, if not harder, than the others. And I got a 2:1, which I was pretty pleased with." Not bad for someone who studied for her finals at the Cannes Film Festival!
Thandie admits it was her time at Cambridge that helped her find an unhurried route to acting success. "It allowed me to just stop for a second . . .
it just slowed me down . . . because, you know, with Hollywood and the acting industry, it's not just the work, there's a lot of other stuff that goes on, which is useful - the parties, the social networking and so on - and that's the stuff I didn't get to do. But I think, being so young, I'm really grateful that I didn't do that, because you can burn out so fast."
These days the 34-year-old balances shooting in Hollywood opposite the likes of Eddie Murphy (Norbit) and Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness), with filming at home in England. "It's very nice to go home every night!"
admits Thandie, who lives with her two young daughters and writerdirector husband, Ol Parker, in London.
While filming in London was a bonus, it certainly wasn't the only thing that attracted Thandie to her latest role in romantic comedy Run, Fat Boy, Run. It was actually eight little words in the covering letter that arrived with the script that sold Thandie on the idea: "directed by David Schwimmer and starring Simon Pegg".
"I didn't really know Simon at the time which is why I leapt at the chance to do it," she tells the News. "I hadn't met David either, but I had heard about his work in theatre and he just sounded like a completely lovely person and very talented, so I wanted to do it on that basis.
Actually," she adds, laughing, "David is too well-adjusted, he's too down-to-earth. I need to get a private detective on him because I don't believe someone like him can be so normal!"
Although the film sees Schwimmer at the helm of his first feature, it's clear that Thandie rates the former Friendsstar as a director. "He's a real visualist, as well as being completely in touch with the characters," she reveals. "And the great thing about having a director who's not from a place coming to direct is that they can almost introduce you to somewhere you thought you knew so well and take for granted."
And it seems Thandie will be enjoying life at home in London for some time yet. "I've just finished making a film with Guy Ritchie called RocknRolla, which was also shot in London and comes out next year," she says.
"And then it's been a busy year, so I'm just taking a bit of a chill out."
■ Run, Fat Boy, Runis in cinemas now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

US Trailer for Run Fat Boy Run

I tried to embed this here but it kept killing the page.
source is
Trailer is more focused at US market and features Thandie
more, there is a HD version in the above link.

The Pursuit of Happyness Premiere

I know it old but Thandie is featured twice

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Production notes for Run Fat Boy Run

Thandie Newton

BAFTA Award-winning Thandie Newton is not only one of the world's great beauties, but an actress of uncommon talent and range.

Newton was recently seen in Gabriele Muccino's critically acclaimed box office hit ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, opposite Will Smith as Smith's estranged wife and in Brian Robbins' comedy ‘Norbit’ opposite Eddie Murphy.

Newton was praised for her work in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture of 2006: ‘Crash’, the story of a multiracial group of characters whose lives interconnect following a car accident in Los Angeles. For her performance Thandie received BAFTA (Supporting Actress) and SAG (Best Ensemble) Awards.

Born in London to a Zimbabwean mother and an English father, Thandie was raised in London and Zambia until she was three years old. Due to political unrest in Zambia, her family then relocated to England permanently.

At age 16, while studying modern dance at London’s Arts Educational School, she won the lead role opposite Nicole Kidman in John Duigan's critically acclaimed 1990 coming-of-age film, ‘Flirting’, playing a Ugandan girl isolated in an Australian Ladies Academy who begins a romance with a teenage boy from a neighbouring boarding school. After completing the film, Thandie returned to England to continue her education, earning a B.A. (Hons) in anthropology at Cambridge University, while also acting in feature films for some of Hollywood's most acclaimed directors - including Neil Jordan's ‘Interview with a Vampire’ and James Ivory's ‘Jefferson in Paris.’ Newton also appeared as a troubled singer opposite Tupac Shakur and Tim Roth in Vondie Curtis-Hall's comedy-drama, ‘Gridlock’d’ and won critics' praise as the exiled wife of an African leader in Bernardo Bertolucci's ‘Besieged.’

Other credits include Jonathan Demme's contemporary romantic thriller ‘The Truth about Charlie’, inspired by Stanley Donen's 1963 film ‘Charade’ and the John Woo-helmed action film ‘Mission Impossible 2.’

Thandie received rave reviews for her astonishingly original and bold performance as the title character in Jonathan Demme's 1998 adaptation of Toni Morrison's novel, ‘Beloved,’ co-starring Oprah Winfrey.

On television, Newton made recurring guest appearances as Kem, a Congolese Aid Worker on NBC's hit drama ‘ER’, opposite Noah Wyle. It marked Thandie's American television debut.

Thandie Newton resides in England with her husband, writer/director Ol Parker, and two children.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Thandie talks


Friday, September 14, 2007

Thandie Newton interview

Run, Fat Boy, Run - Thandie Newton interview

Interview by Rob Carnevale
THANDIE Newton talks about the pleasure of appearing in Run, Fat Boy, Run and establishing a believable mother-son relationship with her young co-star…
Q. Was it nice to do something closer to home after roles in Crash, The Pursuit of Happyness and Norbit?Thandie Newton: Yeah, I was sent the script but it was the cover letter actually. I didn’t need to read it [the script]. It was directed by David [Schwimmer] and starred Simon Pegg. I didn’t know Simon at the time, which was why I leapt at the chance to do it. That was a dream come true. I’d also heard about David’s work in theatre and a few of my friends knew him and he sounded like a completely lovely person and incredibly talented too. I’ve admired Simon’s work for many years, so I wanted to do it on that basis.
Then when I met David and he talked about how he wanted to portray London and how he didn’t want to play the film for laughs, but with an authenticity and have the humour come out of that. I think that’s one of the strongest things about the film – it’s hilarious but everything is rooted in realism.
Simon Pegg: Well, I think that’s the least believable moment… it’s the moment in the film that requires the most suspension of disbelief – that I would jilt you at the altar [laughs]. Hang on a minute, Lord of the Rings is more convincing than that!
Thandie Newton: [Laughs] I genuinely think that what’s so lovely about the film is that you realise he [Pegg’s character] does that because he’s motivated by his lack of self worth. I think that’s really sophisticated and it’s very modern to have that kind of predicament in a film.
Q. Did you envy the physical element of the film and not being able to get out there and run with them?Thandie Newton: No, not at all. In fact, before we started shooting David, very reasonably, said: “We want these characters to be real, how can we make you a girl next door?” So we looked at costumes and hairstyles and he said: “Just get friendly with puddings!” I can’t remember exactly what he said but something like that! So I did and that was easy. Simon got prosthetic breasts, bum and tummy. I thought it was quite unfair really.
Q. How did you go about establishing a maternal bond with Matthew?Thandie Newton: A couple of times he came over to my house with him mum and hung out with my kids. He’s lovely and we’ll continue doing that. I get on very well with his mum. He was so much part of all of us – the cast and the crew. At the beginning of the movie as well, David gave Simon and Matthew really cool light sabres and I was really jealous. I got a beautiful candle but I would have loved a light sabre. But I think the presence of him mum there all the time was also really important. They’re just a lovely, down to earth family – they were grateful for the opportunity and were proud of Matthew. He had a tutor on the set as well, so in breaks he’d go and have lessons. It was a really great set-up.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stills from Toronto Film Festival

Thandie stabs Simon Pegg

Toronto International Film Festival

Run, Fat Boy, Run (David Schwimmer) 6/10

Relentlessly conventional, though better than it has any right to be, thanks to Simon Pegg and Dylan Moran, who give completely committed performances. David Schwimmer pulls off one particularly nice scene towards the end (Pegg finally hitting the runner's wall), but plays it safe throughout, which works for the film. Bonus points for the best Q&A of the festival so far, with a funny Pegg, a drunk Thandie Newton, an outburst from Nick Frost, and the Mayor of Toronto, the single most obnoxious audience member I've seen this year.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Run, Fatboy, Run Q and A

Director David Schwimmer and stars Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton, on London marathon comedy Run, Fatboy, Run By A Gent

David, In terms of coming to direct the movie, why this film, and why now in particular in your career?
David: Well I've always wanted to direct a feature film, I started doing a lot with theatre and then was doing and directing some episodes of friends and some other television. I always wanted to direct a feature but as you know it takes more than a year of you life so I kinda had to wait until the show [Friends] was over. So I started looking for scripts and was reading many, many scripts and this was just the funniest thing I've read and I was really moved by it. I was just really excited about the challenge of trying to capture the tone of that script on film.
The script originally was set in America, tell us about the transformation, and Simon in terms of making it a British story as well.
Simon: Yes it was set in New York so I had a crack at it to anglicise it, or 'Briticise' it, I don't know what the word is! But it was a combination of things, just cultural translations and also, just linguistic stuff obviously and words. Not just "sidewalk" and "pavement" but there is also rhythms in speech that were interesting to eke out. And I think it was just a little more sentimental the English one wasn't it, which is ok I think in an American context because I think Americans are more ok with emotion and not so ashamed of their emotions as we are, we are obviously a little bit more reserved and less inclined to emote. There was a little kind of shift to the timing as well to make it, not more cynical because I think cynicism is negative but perhaps a little more British. Which is an interesting process and we added a few more scenes and some swearing, which I love.
David: We also changed the character of the land lord character. It also used to be is wife but we made it his daughter just because we found it more interesting.
Simon: He was actually an Italian character in the American version called Mr Giacometti and I went on to a website of Indian names to find a Hindi names that began with G which was long, and I found Goshdashtidar which is a lovely name. And Harish is one of the funniest men isn't he? I'm so glad I worked with him. David worked with him already didn't you?
David: Yeah we became friends when I directed him in a pilot for NBC and I just thought he was, he was like the Indian Walter Matthau. I mean his timing was the funniest timing I had ever seen.
Simon: He's the closest human being to a perfect circle as well. He's like a walking orange.
Thandie, your recent run of films have been "In Pursuit of Happiness" and "Crash", was it nice to do something a bit closer to home?
Thandie: yeah, I was sent the script and it was the cover letter actually, I didn't even need to read it, it was directed by David and starring Simon Pegg, I didn't really know Simon at the time which is why I leapt at the chance to do it. But that was just a dream come true and I kinda knew David, we had not met but I had heard about his work in theatre and he just sounded like a completely lovely person and very talented and I had admired him for many years, his work, and I just wanted to do it on that basis. And also being in England and working here. I mean when I met David he talked about how he wanted to portray London and how he wanted to play it with an authenticity and the humour came out of that and I think that's one of the strongest things about the film. I mean it's hilarious but everything is routed in realism. So it was very easy yes.
And nice to go to work on a travel card?
Thandie: Yes! Very nice to go home to my bed every night
Simon: I think it's probably the least believable moment. It's the moment in the movie that requires the most suspension of disbelief. That I would jilt you (Thandie) at the alter! Hang on a minute.... Lord of the Rings is more convincing than that.
Thandie: No but I genuinely think that what's so lovely about the film is that you realise he does that, that he his motivated by his lack of self worth. I think that's a very sophisticated, very modern predicament to have in a film.
Simon: It's a hell of an awful thing that he does at the top of the film and one of the challenges of rewriting the script was trying to solidify why the hell we should ever stand beside him. I mean he does an awful thing, especially for the female audience who are thinking "why the hell do I like this guy? he's an arsehole and jilted a pregnant woman" but the point that we were trying to get across was that he feels that if he was to go through with marrying her he would ruin her life. And in his bizarre, skewed, silly way thinks that, as he said "ruining her day is better than ruining her life".
From another point of view, why did she stand by him even though he abandoned her?
Simon: Absolutely, it's kind of what makes Libby a loveable character, despite what he does, she commits him to be part of her son's life, which is an incredibly selfless thing to do and the trick is with the film was to make the audience believe that even though he had done this awful thing, he had done it in a bizarre way for an unselfish reason.
David, you said you loved the script when you first read it, what was the point that you decided to anglicise it?
Yes, I had been attached to this script for a while. And I don't know whether it was me or someone else who suggested it. But I spoke to Simon and said "what do you think about re-writing it, anglicising and starring in it?" We had such a good time together before that we thought it would just be fun and kinda easy.
Did you two know each other from Band of Brothers?
David & Simon: Yes
Simon: He didn't talk to me in those days. Band of Brothers was crazy it was like all the actors in the UK between 18 and 30 all pretending to be soldiers; you could smell the testosterone in the air. But that was a really big role for you because it was so different to what you were known for. I imagine it was quite a nerve racking time in some respects.
David: Yeah well, I didn't make too much of an effort to get know people at the time because I was kind of in my own little world and just because my character was really ant-social.
David, what are the main differences that you've come across working in the UK as opposed to the USA?
Again, I haven't made many films so I can't speak to that. I didn't notice many differences, in both instances the crews have all been top notch. I mean I mostly worked in LA, worked a little in Chicago and again I find that on that side of the camera it works great. Then again, I think it depends on the tone set by the producers and the directors and of course, the stars of the movie. And a lot of the crew really picked up on that and they feel that we have a good time and all get along because we are all friendly. There are some actors that aren't and some directors that aren't but I think Simon and I, and Thandie for sure, are all kinda friendly so I think you just have to make it a team effort and maybe that's why we've had good experiences so far.
Simon, we were talking about it between ourselves earlier, and we couldn't find anyone that enjoyed running. Are you one of the rare people that actually enjoys running?
It's an odd human thing that we should put ourselves through something that is essentially tiring and annoying, for no other reason maybe that it makes us fitter or something. I don't know. I do enjoy running... I love running...On a treadmill... Slowly. But the idea of doing a marathon is bizarre I think. But I suppose it's testing yourself, it's pushing yourself to the limit so you can complete something that's almost insurmountable. But it is a weirdly human thing. I mean obviously cheetahs and that lot do it, but they do because they are chasing gazelles... We don't really chase gazelles. I don't really know where I'm going with this. Did I mention I was hungover?
Thandie, to help you get into character were you quite physical, did you go running?
Thandie: No, no not at all. In fact in the beginning, before we started shooting David said very reasonably that I really want these characters to be real, how can we make you a sort of girl next door as possible? So we looked at costume and hair etc. And so I did and then that was easy. And Simon got prosthetic breasts and tummy, which I was a bit unfair really.
Simon: It wasn't fair when you were going to the toilet believe me! The thing didn't come off!
Thandie: No but Simon is very very fit. You're very fit aren't you?
Simon: Yes I'm incredibly fit yes. I need to chase all the gazelles. But running a marathon is nothing compared to child birth?
Thandie: Well I haven't run a marathon but I'm sure there are similarities.
What was it like working with Hank?
Thandie: Oh he's lovely. He's quite self possessed isn't he? He kept himself pretty well to himself on shoot.
Simon: Yeah he's incredibly funny, I mean most of my time with Hank was spent, because we are both such comedy geeks just quoting Python. I mean he's a massive fan of Python, our first night out together he took me to see Spamalot. But because I'm such a big Simpson's fan he would do voices for me like that. He had no problems doing it, he wouldn't say "No I'm not a performing monkey", he just did it.
His character is interesting as well because one of the things I'm sure Michael would have done if he had re-written it was to make Whit a little more complex. Because when you first meet him you don't necessarily know he's the bad guy, we thought it would be nicer if he seemed quite a nice proposition; he's nice with Jake, he's funny, he's good looking, he's built well. He didn't wear a modesty patch in that scene either, I was face to face with 'little Hank' for quite a long time that day... I don't know why I mentioned that. And so it's not until later on that you realise that he is the bad guy, and the archetypes start to fall into place.
Did Hank do voices for Matthew on set?
Simon: Yes he did. Bu then again Matthew just took everything in stride. Matthew is this kinda weird, adult child. Not least last night when he stood on stage and waved as if it was his ninth premiere. But he used to love hanging out with us on set and Hank was always more than willing to do Mo or Apu or whatever.
David, you said earlier that you couldn't think of much difference between working in Britain and America but how did you find working in London? Did you find there was much red tape to cross?
David: I meant in terms of crew mostly, but I mean the big difference I guess was the expense in shooting, mostly because of location. We were on a modest budget and we had over 50 locations throughout the city, and each one you had to deal with security, police, traffic...
Simon: Nutters.
David: It's true. But also because we were shooting right in the city rather than outside. The unions are incredibly strong, and rightly so, but it meant with extras, we could have had 50 or 100 extras out side the city, but for the same price you could only get 10 here. So there were challenges throughout the film.
Simon: London is expensive though isn't it?
David: But the producers were great, they tried to keep that stuff out of my way as much as possible.
David, you were quoted as saying "at the end of the day Friends was just a job". Would you work with any of them again?
I wouldn't rule out working with any of those guys again, they were all incredibly talented and I wouldn't hesitate, I mean we all got on great and I directed all of them on the show as well. I would never do that show again but I wouldn't hesitate. They were all terrific actors.
We talked about Matthew [Fenton], when you were playing his parents what particular steps do you have to take to bond with him. Are you (Thandie) the more sensible maternal figure and Simon just teaches him the words "shit head"?
Simon: He came around your (Thandie) house didn't he, you did that?
Thandie: He did that's right. A couple of times he came round with his mum and came out with my kids, it was lovely, and we will continue doing that. I got on very well with his mum. But he was so much part of all of us, the crew and I think I'm even caught on camera swearing in front of Matthew, just constantly forgetting that I'm the mother figure. So I didn't do very well with that.
Simon: We took him up to the park to play football didn't we? Thandie and I had a running battle on set of just trying to out joke each other. I used Matthew in a joke once that I had to make work without in any way damaging him or berating him. So I got him and said "Wow Matthew your hands are amazing, show me your hands, show me every one of your fingers". So I photographed every finger, and sent Thandie the middle finger!
Thandie: And I literally thought Oh my God! What are we doing to this poor child!
Simon: But he never knew... That I was exploiting him.
What did you think of the audience's reaction last night?
Thandie: Fantastic. Really great.
Simon: It's always nerve racking, I don't like being in those situations really. Premieres are really odd occasions because it's a mixture of adrenaline and genuine unease in every part of it. But then you can relax at the party, but even then you're still being pulled around. But the actual watching the film, I think "I'm having a heart attack what's going on?" My heart was really racing but it's always nice to be validated by the response of the crowed. Premiere's can sometimes be a little stiff you know, it's not like a paying audience. But last night they were lovely and it was a great vindication for us I think.
How did you manage that wonderful relationship with Matthew?
Simon: I just talked to Matthew as a grown-up, I never soft of babied him, I would drop swear words in front of him because it made him laugh and then pretend that I was sorry. Never anything too bad. The whole "shit head" thing was kinda like, well you know what kids are like, they laugh at stuff like that. I sort of met him in the middle, he's very together. On one hand he's a complete whirlwind of a child, you can't keep his attention for more than two seconds, he's off talking about something else. But it was just a case of him coming out and doing his magic.
Thandie: At the beginning of the movie David gave you (Simon) and Matthew cool lightsabers. I was actually really jealous. I got lovely things, but would have loved a lightsaber.
David: Simon and I were both very aware that it was absolutely necessary that the audience believed that you're his father. Because otherwise the film falls apart. The only way for the audience to forgive this character was to see what a good dad he was. We talked a lot about films like Kramer Vs Kramer and that unique relationship that Dustin Hoffman has with his son, I think the bar was set very high for that father-son relationship in that film. We did everything we could to get to know Matthew, to make him feel comfortable, play with him, and make friends, really, make him feel safe. But again it's all him, he's wonderfully mature, in some ways he's a kid but at the same time he's a professional. He showed up with every single one of his lines learnt, and everyone else's as well.
Simon: He prompted us.
David: He was a pro. He would play with us and joke, but when it was time to work and to take direction he would immediately focus. He was amazing.
Thandie: I think the presence of his mum there all the time was really important as well. The most lovely family, really down to earth, really grateful for the opportunity that they had been given and very proud of Matthew. He had a tutor as well on the set, so on breaks we go away with him and work, the guy would help him learn his lines. It was a really great set up.
Simon: It was weird last night because I saw him last night and thought, "he looks a bit different tonight", then I thought "ahh he's got teeth!"
Run Fat Boy Run is out now

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Channel 4 Run Fat Boy Run Special 8th September

Its on Channel 4 at 12:55 on Saturday coming
T4 Movie Special
Run Fat Boy RunSteve Jones presents a behind-the-scenes special, taking a look at the latest hilarious British comedy, starring Simon Pegg and The Simpsons' Hank Azaria

Independent 7th September

The truth about Thandie
Two years ago, a mystery "heavy breather" called Pandora to complain about that day's column. It emerged, on teatime telly, that the aggrieved reader was none other than the subject of that article, David Schwimmer.
I worried, then, about criticising the Friends actor's new film, Run Fat Boy Run. Would my Batphone tinkle in the night, Schwimmer announcing a writ?
It turns out, instead, to be the father of the flick's lead actress, Thandie Newton. "Dear Pandora," writes Nick Newton. "Thandie is not Zambian, she is British. I, her father, am British, her mother, my wife, though born in Rhodesia, is also British. Following Thandie's birth at Charing Cross Hospital, we spent three years in Zambia, after which we returned to Cornwall, where we still live. Thandie, of course, now married and with children, lives in NW London. I read this and other errors frequently. They persist, like warts!
"Sorry you didn't like the film, I've yet to see it. Nick Newton." Good man!

Thandie on BBC Radio 1

Thandie talks about Run Fat Boy Run

Thandie mentioned is a blog at GMTV

Love Life

A blog about identity and difference: the path to discover who I am, understand my addictions and the madness of the years Out There. A blog with a good heart that will seek to educate, inform and entertain (a bit like the BBC but not so straight).
Thursday, September 6, 2007
A Pound of Flesh

TV is a funny old game.

Although I worked in it for 7 years, I'd forgotten just how surreal it can be.

Being picked up by a limo; at 5am.

The feeling of fear and nausea-inducing nervousness that builds in anticipation.

Arriving at the studio and meeting an ecletic range of people: Thandie Newton-> a couple talking about problems getting pregnant.

Being a very small cog in a large machine that is creating this strange varied menu, that is breakfast TV, day-in-day-out.

The Green room at GMTV has to be one of the weirdest gathering places of humanity on earth.

It is overseen by a lady in enormous red heels: who looks like she has seen it all (she has); and won't tolerate any nonsense.

If I hadn't worked in TV and encountered this kind of strange scene many times at The Big Breakfast, I think I may have done a runner straight back to Surrey; and my relatively "normal" life.

The first challenge was What To Wear.

I had two options- ironed, on hangers- and consulted the lady in the heels about what would look best on the set.

I put on option a) a long-sleeved shirt: only to discover that my recent enforced bed-rest has put on a few pounds and this favourite Hawes & Curtis shirt is now in danger of popping open- and revealing extra-ample cleavage, live of TV.

Not something I was prepared to risk; look at the problems such an event created for Janet Jackson.

Option b) a short-sleeved white and pink Gant top felt much more relaxed (and safer). A little less formal than usual but as this is GMTV- that may be a good thing?

The next hurdle- hair and make-up.

Simon, a lovely man, did great make-up but when he straightened my hair he asked do I want to "curl out" or "under".

I'm new to hair H straightening- H has got me on to it: so I didn't really know the correct answer. I guessed at "out". Wrong answer.

When I put my glasses back on it turned out that my hair was really flickey- like Madonna in the Hung-Up Video.

It was only 3 or 4 minutes until my first appearance- so I had to smile and say "lovely" (whilst saying the serenity prayer to myself- "accept the things I cannot change").

I needed to use those last few moments to ask for my intro to be changed from the vague "works for drugs charities" to "works for the drugs charity, In-volve".

This first slot went well. I liked what came out of my mouth (it's like sitting back and watching sometimes- I really don't know what will flow out).

I got a text straight after, from H, saying "call me" and knew immediately that the hair needed some adjustment!

The second slot was an hour later- plenty of time to build-up extra nerves (and tiredness).

And to "curl hair under".

Thandie Newton was the guest before us- me and Paul Stokes from the NME- so we had to wait just off camera for her to say her goodbyes and then hot-seat it with her.

Thandie is so beautiful and charming.

But SO thin.

She is the epitome of what women are told by fashion to strive for but in the flesh (lack of it) I felt slightly sick looking at her.

The camera does add 7 pounds (at least)- as I saw to my cost later in the day- but even so, she would look so much better (I think) if she wasn't so tiny.

I'm not judging her.

In fact I felt great empathy for all people working on-camera today.

When I watched back GMTV and Channel 4 a couple of shots really affected me.

It's difficult enough looking at yourself- in private snaps- but when you look even fatter than reality and millions of people are seeing you- it does start up the "lose weight- fast! voice".

If your career depends on how you look and you are being constantly judged by producers, I can totally understand why these actresses are tempted to stay dangerously underweight.

I had my own difficult discussion with the producer today- to try and get Frank's website details on screen.

GMTV have their own website that they trail- which has a link to Frank on it.

After a very good debate about addiction issues: we reached a compromise and she put a question into the script about young people and the impact of the bombardment of pictures of Amy and other famous addicts.

This gave me an opening to crow-bar in a Frank reference- with an encouragement for parents to access the site too- to get the facts to talk to their children

Job well done.

Glad TV's not my day-job anymore.

Posted by SarahOneDayAtaTime at 4:59 AM

Heard the one about Thandie, the Marmite and the Y-fronts?

Emine Saner
Thursday September 6, 2007
The Guardian
It turns out that Thandie Newton has more in common with Jeremy Beadle than you might at first suspect. While promoting her new film Run Fatboy Run this week, she revealed how she played a series of practical jokes on its star, Simon Pegg. "I put Cellophane over the loo," she reveals. Amateur! But she continues: "I got a king-sized Mars bar, squished it into a turd shape, left it in the loo in his trailer, and then got a pair of Y-fronts and rubbed Marmite skid marks and left that on the floor, so it looked like he'd done his business and left." Hilarious. Newton is 34.

Would it have been less surprising if the scatological prank had been performed by Pegg rather than the demure, poised Newton? There is no reason why women should not partake in practical jokes, but it is just as unfunny when they do. And it is usually men - from Candid Camera's 1940s star Allen Funt to Ashton Kutcher via Noel Edmonds, Beadle and other TV sociopaths. Let's not forget Rio Ferdinand's World Cup Wind-Ups, in which the footballer filmed "jokes" on Wayne Rooney (believing he'd killed a dog - priceless!) and David Beckham (a kidnap attempt - my sides!).

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

Premiere of Run Fat Boy Run and interview

Thandie is a 'prankster queen'
Monday, September 3, 2007
Actress Thandie Newton has told how her co-stars had fallen foul of her practical jokes on the set of new film, Run Fat Boy Run.

The actress, dubbed "the queen of practical jokes" by actor-turned-director David Schwimmer, said the main target of her tricks had been comic actor Simon Pegg, who stars alongside her in the film.

Newton revealed how she had filled all Pegg's water bottles with vodka at the media event set up to promote the film.

She also covered the toilet with cellophane, she said.

"He is so extremely easy to do these things to. Today at the press junket, I brought in two litres of vodka and replaced his water with it.

"I got him, what a sap," she said.

Newton was speaking at the world premiere of the film at the Odeon West End in London's Leicester Square.

It is the first feature-length film directed by Schwimmer, best known as Ross in hit US sitcom Friends.

In the film, Newton plays Libby, a pregnant woman who is jilted at the altar by Dennis, played by Pegg.

Five years after the aborted wedding, Dennis regrets his decision, especially when he discovers Libby has got together with rich, handsome go-getter, Whit.

In a desperate bid to win her back, he enters a marathon to show he is more than a quitter and that the new man in her life is wrong for her.

The diminutive star, who turned up in an eye-catching black and white dress, said she had put on a stone for the role by not exercising and eating puddings.

"I didn't go crazy. It wasn't required, but they just wanted me to stop exercising. That was easy," she joked.

"And then I turned up having done that and Simon had prosthetic tits and a and I thought: 'That's not fair, I could have done that'."

Pegg, who also stars in Shaun of the Dead, said he had never run a marathon and his way to a woman's heart was by buying her bags and shoes.

"That does it most times. If you get into trouble, buy a nice little bag," he said

Sunday, September 02, 2007