Author Topic: London Spy: Ben Whishaw, dreamy lover/genius Ed Holcroft and sage Jim Broadbent  (Read 168312 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/17/t-magazine/entertainment/ben-whishaw-crucible-broadway.html


ENTERTAINMENT
Ben Whishaw
on His Surprisingly Modern ‘Crucible’ Role
By ADRIENNE GAFFNEY
MARCH 17, 2016





Given that Ben Whishaw first garnered rave reviews as Hamlet at London’s Old Vic a full 12 years ago, it’s surprising to learn that this month marks the 35-year-old actor’s first time gracing a Broadway stage. For admirers of Whishaw’s work in cult favorites like “Bright Star,” BBC’s “The Hour” and the recent series “London Spy,” the wait was worth it: His role as John Proctor in “The Crucible” puts Whishaw’s distinctive British imprint on Arthur Miller’s iconic American role.

If the venue is a new one, the role, at least, is familiar to Whishaw: He played Proctor, a farmer whose affair with a local woman incites the Salem witch trials, in a school production as a teenager in England. “It was interesting to read it when I was 35 again and to discover many layers of things that I hadn’t understood as a teenager,” he says. “It just feels much more complicated now. Much more ambiguous, much more painful than I had understood then. When I was young, the witch-hunt element of it is very exciting and, somehow, for a school kid, accessible. You understand that kind of mentality and the forcing of conformity on people. But there was lots, well, practically everything else, that I didn’t understand.”

After putting the text to rest after his school years, Whishaw thought little of it. “Maybe I had a feeling a little bit like it was very American and slightly inaccessible,” he says. This production, which has a heavily European cast that includes the British Sophie Okonedo as well as Saoirse Ronan and Ciarán Hinds, both from Ireland, addresses this concern uniquely. Its director, Ivo van Hove, focuses on the universal themes of intolerance and rumor in Miller’s play, removing it from its New England setting and conveying no clues to its time or setting through costume or scenery. “We could, in this production, be anywhere,” Whishaw says. “Sophie Okenedo and myself were doing American accents for the whole of the rehearsal period, and then two previews in, Ivo asked us just to do it in our own voices — and that’s really changed things.” (Van Hove achieved a similar effect with his stark revival of Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” on Broadway last fall.)

For Whishaw, this production’s more universal feel makes its parallels to modern life even more striking. ”The fact that we’re in an election at the moment here seems to speak to the play, or the play seems to speak to that situation,” he says. “One of the things that’s very frightening in the play is how something very small, apparently very small, petty, inconsequential can assume an importance for a community — to the point that it’s completely blown out of all proportion and hysteria takes over.”


“The Crucible” plays March 31 – July 17 at Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St., New York, thecrucibleonbroadway.com.

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Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/17/t-magazine/entertainment/ben-whishaw-crucible-broadway.html

Its director, Ivo van Hove, focuses on the universal themes of intolerance and rumor in Miller’s play, removing it from its New England setting and conveying no clues to its time or setting through costume or scenery. “We could, in this production, be anywhere,” Whishaw says. “Sophie Okenedo and myself were doing American accents for the whole of the rehearsal period, and then two previews in, Ivo asked us just to do it in our own voices — and that’s really changed things.” (Van Hove achieved a similar effect with his stark revival of Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” on Broadway last fall.)



Sigh. I saw the very first preview on Tuesday, March 1, and then just less than a week later, Monday 7.


"--and then two previews in, Ivo asked us just to do it in our own voices — and that’s really changed things.”


It certainly did. What a shame. The first night was powerful. The second time--the production, as a whole, was a disappointment. Something I blame entirely on the director--he had made something heartbreaking, and he made it--kind of pedestrian. Even--weak. (I'm pointing at the director, thinking "Goddamn mule!")

I have lots more to say about it--and Whishaw's performances--but it will take some brain processing before I can post it. More than a week later, and I'm not yet up for it. I'm even thinking of going and see it for a third time. But. I will say that, on the second visit, at the very last scene, Whishaw was electrifying. More than electrifying. At one moment, I thought the actor Ciarán Hinds (and NOT his character, Deputy Governor Danforth) looked frightened for his friend Ben Whishaw, not his condemned prisoner, John Proctor.

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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I like Ben with a beard. I think it gives him a more mature look.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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I like Ben with a beard. I think it gives him a more mature look.


Oh, I definitely agree. But remember my own critique review of the production, from the first night of previews (March 1)--and now sigh deeply for the loss of Ben Whishaw/John Proctor's American accent.


 :( :'(



The Crucible on Broadway. First night of previews. Modern dress. (Well, not Puritan drag shown in the poster, that's for sure.) All members of the mixed cast (Brits/Irish/Americans) all use 'American' accents credibly well. There are issues--bit choppy beginning, and Philip Glass score a bit intrusive.

But--Ben as farmer John Proctor was amazing. When he first walked on--woah. Sexy as hell. No 'bedraggled fragile alien' vibe at all. Small, yes, but contained, compact, lithe, powerful. Lowering, bushy brows. Hot boots. Manly. The American accent was a revelation. It changes his voice--a young, clear tone that travels through the entire theater, cuts through the clutter of the Philip Glass murmuring and the much less distinctive voices of some of the other actors. Towards the end, when he is stripped and barefoot, nearly broken, torn and bloodied, the old Whishaw fragility has definitely reemerged, but as always, he is brave and truthful and believable.






"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Meanwhile--




simonwolfgard:



Saoirse Ronan and Ben Whishaw in rehearsals for The Crucible on Broadway


2 WEEKS AGO   3,539 notes
#ben whishaw  #saoirse ronan  #saoirseedit  #ivo van hove  #the crucible  
#mine  #two more days people  
#woohooooo i roped my friend into coming lololol  
#and i hope she knows we'll try to stagedoor it even though i imagine the actors won't be up for it  
#500 notes  #1000 notes  #2000 notes  #3000 notes  






"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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simonwolfgard:

Ben Whishaw and Saoirse Ronan during curtain call, first preview night of The Crucible on Broadway





• i’ll catch you one day you frail waif


Notes from The Crucible on Broadway first preview night


• big jail-like set
• non-time-specific wardrobe
• beardy Whishaw
• ten feet away from me
• life complete; may now ascend to next dimension
• plenty of people with non-American accents giving it a good attempt
• simmering energy between Ben and Saoirse
• quite a bit of Ben overpowering people to walls or the ground actually
• and unnerving school girl witchery
• everyone’s a witch
• i’m telling you
• you’re a witch
• a communist witch
• think you’re not? bam proof that you’re the devil
• damning poppets
• Sophie Okonedo killing it
• the king beyond the wall was there, he’ll tell you
• plenty of lil’ Proctor kisses with the missus
• Ben wiping away a runny nose that kind of kept on running through act two
• a giant light fell lots of sparky sparks as everything was being devil possessed
• Ben SANG
• musical words
• out his beardy mouth
• much of cast left through stage door, but Saoirse was hurriedly ushered away
• and Ben snuck away through some other exit smh
• i’ll catch you one day you frail waif
• so all in all three hours well spent

1 MONTH AGO   333 notes
#ben whishaw  #saoirse ronan  #saoirseedit  
#the crucible  #broadway  #sorry to spam these tags  
#just in case people want to know about the show  
#about me  #theatre  



http://simonwolfgard.tumblr.com/post/140319417294/notes-from-the-crucible-on-broadway-first-preview
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 09:17:09 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Walked by the Walter Kerr today and lo! The Crucible posters are up, and
they were in the middle of loading in stage equipment! How terribly exciting!

POSTED 1 MONTH AGO WITH 165 NOTES
# BEN WHISHAW # SAOIRSE RONAN # SOPHIE OKONEDO # CIARÁN HINDS
# THE CRUCIBLE # AND PHILIP GLASS HOLY HECK


http://drinkbloodlikewine.tumblr.com/post/138565839860/walked-by-the-walter-kerr-today-and-lo-the
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline CellarDweller

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thanks for the info, John!


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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thanks for the info, John!


You're welcome, Chuck!  :) ;)
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/mar/13/ben-whishaw-soulful-brit-who-charmed-new-york-the-crucible

Ben Whishaw
The Observer
Ben Whishaw
leads the soulful shift in what it means to be a leading man

Broadway audiences are flocking to a new take
on Arthur Miller’s Crucible hero. Does emotional
range now play a bigger role than classic looks?

By Edward Helmore in New York
Saturday 12 March 2016 19.05 EST



Ben Whishaw signs autographs at the London premiere of Spectre last October. Photograph: Jonny Birch/REX/Shutterstock



The buzz outside the Walter Kerr theatre was palpable. The reason: a new production of Arthur Miller’s beloved witch trial drama The Crucible, directed by Ivo van Hove – fresh from David Bowie’s Lazarus – scored by Philip Glass, and starring Saoirse Ronan alongside exciting new British import Ben Whishaw, as doomed farmer John Proctor.

Not just another night on Broadway but casting that seems to point in a new direction for a role that’s traditionally played by actors with a heavier, more overtly masculine presence. Whishaw, theatregoers said, represents an exciting change in the description of the leading man.

“He’s exciting – part of an emerging ideal for male leads – androgynous, malleable, sensitive,” offered New York audience member Chris Hoppus. “He’s nothing like the classic male leads, the Cary Grants or George Clooneys. It’s a new thing – people want to see emotional range from leading men.”

Whishaw’s arrival in Manhattan has been loudly proclaimed. A lengthy story in the New York Times announced him as “one of the most celebrated stage actors of his generation”, adding that “his calling card is a soulful fragility, all faun-like bearing and saucer eyes, with a teenager’s unruly mop mane”.

Well-known to British audiences, Whishaw remains relatively unknown in the US. His civil partner is Mark Bradshaw, an Australian composer, but it is his acting style more than his sexual identity that marks a change. Along with actors such as Eddie Redmayne and Ansel Elgort, Whishaw represents a new dimension of leading men who are finding their place just as Hollywood is attempting to challenge the cliches of typecasting.

The recent controversy over the lack of racial diversity in Hollywood films is only one aspect of the changes taking place across film and theatre. One of those is to do with leading men, say casting directors, and what audiences want to see in them.

For Whishaw to play Proctor, said theatregoer Terrence Anderson, was a casting choice that runs against type. “The part is usually portrayed by a sturdy, solid man. Liam Neeson was in the previous adaptation, Daniel Day Lewis in the film. Ben Whishaw could not be more opposite.”

The emergence of actors like Whishaw, who played the lovelorn John Keats in Jane Campion’s Bright Star, Sebastian Flyte in the 2008 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, and appeared in the BBC series London Spy, poses a dilemma for film-makers.




Ben Whishaw as Q in Skyfall. Photograph: Sony Pictures/Allstar



With recent discussion about who might play the post-Daniel Craig James Bond focusing on the required components of masculinity, sexual orientation and ethnicity, Whishaw has already blown through the long-running franchise, playing Q in the last two movies, Skyfall and Spectre. “He’s utterly charming and vulnerable, yet he’s the smart one who will figure everything out,” says Hoppus. “James Bond definitely stepped up his global profile.”

While the sensitive leading man is not unique in Hollywood – Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda and James Stewart come to mind – casting directors say they are being asked to present more choices to directors and producers.

“Times have changed. We’re no longer just looking for the typical handsome leading man,” says New York agent Liz Lewis. “People want more character and life behind the eyes, and not just a pretty face without a lot of depth.” But that’s just one aspect of the changes. At the other extreme, says Lewis, are ultra-males like Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt who find their parts in comic book action films. “The male hunk is still the male hunk, but instead of looking for pretty faces we’re looking for range and depth. People are open to much more diversity and they want something new and different.”

The diversity crisis at the Academy Awards last month has acted as a wake-up call for the industry, Lewis says. Over the past month, a slew of diverse stories and what are now called “colour-blind castings” have increased, among them the young Barack Obama movie, Barry, and Disney’s immigrant story Dr Q. Kathryn Bigelow is set to make a film set during the 1967 Detroit riots; Fox Studios is making Hidden Figures, a film about the female African American mathematicians who helped Nasa launch its first space missions.

In other instances, non-white actors have been cast in roles written for white actors, among them Idris Elba, who is set to star in the romantic drama The Mountain Between Us that once looked to be going to Charlie Hunnam. Puerto Rican actor Lin-Manuel Miranda will play the Dick Van Dyke role in a sequel to Mary Poppins, while black actor Michael B Jordan will take the lead role in MGM’s remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, previously played by Steve McQueen and Pierce Brosnan.

Casting directors say they are expecting a huge shift in the range of actors they are being asked to present to directors and producers. “The Oscars controversy was a wake-up call to examine our role in expanding opportunities,” Star Wars director JJ Abrams told the Hollywood Reporter last week. “It’s good for audiences, and it’s good for the bottom line.”

The shift is not merely to do with colour or questions of masculinity. Gender, too, is up for grabs. Casting directors point to the astonishing casting of comedian Louie Anderson as a midwestern housewife in the television comedy Baskets.

“Three years ago the Casting Society of America had a meeting about what we could do to make casting more diverse,” recalls New York casting director Allison Twardziak. “We talked about casting people with physical disabilities, and different body types, age. So we’ve been looking at what can we do and trying to come up with other ideas.”

At the same time, it has been widely noted, the push for diversity could be leaving American actors out in the cold. In a widely circulated article in The Atlantic last year, The Decline of the American Actor, Terrence Rafferty asked if it was time for US actors to take a hard look in the mirror because they are routinely losing out to British and other non-American actors. Michael Douglas, Rafferty noted, had described “a little crisis going on among our young actors”.

“There’s no such thing as an American male lead actor,” said one theatregoer. “Even the ones who you think are American are probably Canadian.”

In its profile of Whishaw, the New York Times noted how, as an actor, he rejects the idea of type and has a “slippery way of inhabiting heroes and antiheroes alike, of seducing women and men on screen and on stage with equal ease”.

At The Crucible performance, audience members said they were struck by how questions of sexuality are now almost unremarkable.

“Things have changed so much in the last five or 10 years,” said Hoppus’s partner, Craig Stekeur. “It’s gone from being freakish and career-killing to something people don’t even bat an eye about. Now, it’s oh, OK. That’s great …”

Of course, acting on Broadway in New York is different from Hollywood. Given the recent controversy over the possible casting of a black Bond, a gay Bond is hardly likely either. But what about a bisexual or sensitive Bond? Twelve years ago, Rupert Everett was asked if he’d play Bond. “It won’t happen because Bond fans would burn down MGM if the studios got a gay actor to play James Bond. There was never going to be an alternative gay Bond either.” Possibly it’s still too soon, but the casting of Whishaw as the all-American John Proctor is a significant advance. “He’s beautiful and he seems very sensitive,” said Anderson. “There’s a new male lead and it’s a reflection of the times.”


« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 05:50:27 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"