Friday, March 27, 2009

West End Cat set to get cream

DAILY MAIL ONLINE 13th March 2009
Thandie Newton is being wooed, along with Adrian Lester, to appear opposite
Broadway star James Earl Jones in a production of Tennessee Williams's steamy
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in London this autumn.

Producer Stephen C. Byrd, the New York lawyer, produced a version on Broadway
last year with Jones, a giant of the American stage.

The production also starred Anika Noni Rose, who stole the best notices from
critics; and Terrence Howard, who played Brick, the play's anti-hero (Howard
tried something different every night, which didn't help matters).

Byrd told me he was hoping to begin rehearsals in October, and open at the
Theatre Royal, Haymarket, in November.

So far, no deals have been done - nor are they close to being done, for a
while, at least.

Ms Newton's representatives said it was 'early days' and that nothing had
been decided about her playing Maggie (the Cat of the title), a role made
famous on the big screen by Elizabeth Taylor.

Likewise with Mr Lester, who was far away from confirming he would be in
the play as the alcoholic and 'confused' Brick. Debbie Allen hopes to direct
in London, as she did on Broadway, although different sets would be used and,
it is hoped, the running time would be shorter.

But Mr Byrd was most confident of what he called 'the event' happening.
So much so that he was already looking round apartments he hoped to rent for
Mr Jones.

Byrd gained permission to cast the Williams play with non traditional actors
- ie, black.

'It's a dysfunctional family - it's universal! They don't have to be white,'
Byrd argued.Equally, he wants audiences of all shades to see it.

But a few deals have to be signed first - particularly with the Haymarket,
which may decide to extend Waiting For Godot, which has a £1 million plus
advance and is packing them in on tour before it comes into town.

Byrd said last night that he will go to another theatre if the Haymarket is unavailable.

And he has other actresses in mind if Ms Newton is too busy.

On Set During ER's April 2 Finale

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thandie in Paris

Mary McCartney, Beth Ditto, Thandie Newton, Paul McCartney, his girlfriend Nancy Shevell, Charlotte Casiraghi, Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault attending the Stella McCartney Fall-Winter 2009-2010 ready-to-wear collection show held at the Carreau du Temple in Paris, France. Photograph: Thierry Orban/EMPICS

RocknRolla US dvd Cover

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rachael Ray Show

Thandie Newton felt like she was back in college taking a political science class as she spent six weeks preparing for the role of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Oliver Stone's new movie W. "I went through everything. YouTube, Wikipedia,," Thandie recalls about her research. "I had so much work to do. My posture - the way I held my neck, my shoulders - everything was different."

She plays a very different kind of powerful woman in Guy Ritchie's new film RocknRolla, in which she depicts a crooked accountant who manipulates a group of reckless criminals. "The movie is just peppered with characters that you've never seen before. Unique, hilarious, crazy and it's a group of criminals basically who are all being maneuvered by me," Thandie says. She's certainly no stranger to big personalities, having previously shared the screen with Tom Cruise and Will Smith. "You go to work with – the roster!" Rachael notes. "Your husband must not have a jealous bone in his body." Thandie blushes a bit and sweetly says, "We have a good thing going."

Next up, it’s Thandie Newton at the kitchen table, who has two movies out right now. She plays Condoleezza Rice in the new Oliver Stone movie W, as well as a powerufl woman in Guy Ritchie (the future x-Mr. Madonna)’’s RocknRolla. When told that Thandie is glowing and beautiful - she says that it’s because her husband is backstage, and the lunch was wonderful in the green room.

When asked how long she worked to become Condy Rice - it was an hour and a half in makeup, but there was alot of preparation and research before hand, for about six weeks. She did everything - Youtube, Wikipedia, Amazon, plus recordings of her when she didn’t know she was being watched. That’s how she discovered the postuer, the way she holds her neck, her shoulders, everything was different.

The movie is an overlap of familiar moments, with an Oliver Stone backstory, with all the moments in between. You’d expect it to be heightened, being Oliver Stone directed, but there was so much story there, it’s really quite simply what happened.

In RocknRolla, a movie on the totally opposite side of the spectrum, with a group of unique hilarious crazy characters, a bunch of criminals that she manipulates as their accountant.

She talks about her kids - Ripley is named for Ripley in Aliens, absolutely! Because she was absolutely amazing, and the other girl’s name is Mika. She admits that when she’s away, her husband lets them eat pizza in bed in the middle of the night!

She’s also worked with some of the big wigs. Of Tom Cruise, she says he’s lovely, and she’s never met anyone who tries harder to be a good person. Will Smith is “Ok, Willard.” He’s they type who would just invite you over to bbq. She declares herself very lucky to have worked with all of them. Her husband is extremely supportive, even with the group of hotties she gets to work with, and says Thandie “We have a good thing.”