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Helen Mirren Brings The Queen To Broadway In Speculative Drama 'The Audience' [Photos]


Helen Mirren Peter Morgan Stephen Daldry Queen Elizabeth II

Dame Helen Mirren returns as Queen Elizabeth II as she brings her hit West End political play 'The Audience' over the pond to Broadway; and, without exaggeration, once again proves to be the most convincing queen ever seen on either stage or screen.

Helen Mirren at 'The Audience' opening after party
Helen Mirren at 'The Audience' opening after party (Credit: Jemal Countess at Getty Images Entertainment)

Helen Mirren has that kind of noble demeanour that commands respect on entering a room, never mind a stage or film set. So it's no wonder that she was selected to reprise her role as the current Queen of England in speculative political theatre drama 'The Audience' - a show which explores the monarchs varying relationships with different Prime Ministers, including the only female PM Margaret Thatcher, Harold Wilson, Winston Churchill and current PM David Cameron.

Continue reading: Helen Mirren Brings The Queen To Broadway In Speculative Drama 'The Audience' [Photos]

Broadway The Audience Opening Party Arrivals

Rod McLachlan, Peter Morgan and Dakin Matthews - Opening night after party for Broadway play The Audience, held at URBO restaurant - Arrivals. at URBO restaurant, - New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 8th March 2015

Peter Morgan

American Sniper Review


Excellent

Once again, director Clint Eastwood lurks in the background, springing a stunningly atmospheric thriller on audiences when they least expect it. Honestly, for an 84-year-old Eastwood is an astoundingly nimble filmmaker, able to take an audience right into a tense situation while never cheating with flashy movie trickery. This film grabs us without mercy, pulling us into a morally complex situation that gets our head spinning.

It's the true story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the Navy Seal sniper credited with the most official kills after serving four tours of duty in Iraq. Based on his memoir, the film traces him from his religious upbringing, during which he's taught about guns and encroaching evil from an early age. So after the 9/11 attacks, he enlists in the Navy. His sharp-shooting skills are quickly apparent. And as he prepares for his first assignment abroad, he romances local girl Taya (Sienna Miller), a feisty woman who knows what she's getting into. Chris, on the other hand, is instantly thrown into a quandary when his first targets as a sniper are a woman and child who seem to be carrying a bomb. Over the next few years, his marriage to Taya and his moral centre are tested by his military service. And when an Iraqi sniper challenges him, he takes it personally.

Jason Hall's script sticks close to Chris' perspective, which is intensified by Eastwood's coolly efficient direction and Cooper's beefy performance. By putting the audience so tightly within Chris' point of view, we are unable to escape the psychological impact of his experiences, even if real warfare is no doubt much more horrific even than what's depicted here. Cleverly, the film never asks us to judge Chris, merely to see how battle changes him. And Cooper is terrific at finding tiny details that reveal both Chris' altered state and the core stability that never leaves him.

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Premiere of 'American Sniper'

Peter Morgan - Photo's from the red carpet at the Premiere of the biographical action movie 'American Sniper' which Stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. The premiere was held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 15th December 2014

Netflix Confirms New Royal Drama 'The Crown', by Peter Morgan


Peter Morgan Netflix Claire Foy

Netflix has confirmed that it will make an epic royal drama series called The Crown, written by Peter Morgan. The man behind the Oscar winning The Queen will team up with Billy Elliot's Stephen Daldry for a new on-demand series inspired by the recent West End hit The Audience. 

Peter MorganPeter Morgan is writing The Crown for Netflix

Netflix, which is betting big on original drama as it continues to stave off competitors, says the drama will "tell the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world - Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street - and the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century".

Continue reading: Netflix Confirms New Royal Drama 'The Crown', by Peter Morgan

Kristin Scott Thomas to Play The Queen in Revival of 'The Audience'


Kristin Scott Thomas Peter Morgan

Kristin Scott Thomas has been confirmed to play The Queen in a revival of Peter Morgan's classic stage play The Audience. The Oscar-nominated actress, 54 - one of the world's finest - will play the monarch at London's Apollo Theatre next year.

Kristin Scott ThomasKristin Scott Thomas will play 'The Queen' in London's West End

It's an all-star collaboration, with Stephen Daldry - the man behind Billy Elliot the Musical, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - directing the new production. Tickets will go on sale today priced from a very reasonable £22.50, with the play due to begin production on April 21, 2015.

Continue reading: Kristin Scott Thomas to Play The Queen in Revival of 'The Audience'

Rush Review


Excellent

Exhilarating racing action punctuates this true story, which sharply traces the rivalry between two Formula One champs. It's superbly well-shot and edited, with engaging performances from the entire cast. And with only one moment of calculated sentimentality, it's director Ron Howard's most honest movie in years.

The story begins in the early 1970s, when two rising-star F1 drivers clash over their very different styles. Britain's James Hunt (Hemsworth) is a swaggering womaniser, revelling in the rock-star lifestyle. By contrast, Austria's Niki Lauda (Bruhl) is a fiercely detailed technician who loves pushing barriers. They clearly see things they like in each other, so their different approaches on the track develop into a competitive relationship that spurs them to the front of the pack. Over the years, both meet their wives (Wilde and Lara, respectively) and move from team to team as they rise to the top of their sport. And their rivalry comes to a head at the 1976 German Grand Prix when world champion Lauda is involved in a horrific, fiery accident.

Morgan's script is essentially two biopics cleverly woven together to let us see the push and pull between these two iconic figures. Unexpectedly, Bruhl's Lauda emerges as the stronger character, with his grounded approach and sardonic wit allowing Bruhl to play effectively with submerged emotions. By contrast, Hemsworth's Hunt is little more than a gifted good-time boy who isn't worried about his lack of substance. It's a likeable, loose performance (we barely notice the wobbly British accent). Opposite them Lara and Wilde provide solid, subtle support, as do the fine actors who fill out the pit crews.

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World Premiere Of 'Rush'

Peter Morgan - World Premiere of 'Rush' at Odeon Leicester Square - Red Carpet - London, United Kingdom - Monday 2nd September 2013

Peter Morgan

World premiere of Rush

Peter Morgan - World premiere of Rush held at the Odeon Leicester Square- Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Monday 2nd September 2013

Video - Chris Hemsworth And Director Ron Howard Talk About 'Rush' In Short Featurette


The director of 'Rush', Ron Howard, writer Peter Morgan and main stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl discuss the car-racing movie's themes in a short featurette.

Continue: Video - Chris Hemsworth And Director Ron Howard Talk About 'Rush' In Short Featurette

Ron Howard's 'Rush' Focuses On James Hunt, Niki Lauda Rivalry (Trailer & Pictures)


Ron Howard Chris Hemsworth Daniel Bruhl Olivia Wilde Peter Morgan

Chris Hemsworth As James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda in RushChris Hemsworth As James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda in Rush

Following the relatively disappointing 'The Dilemma', Oscar wining director Ron Howard is back with his latest movie 'Rush', an biographical flick about the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauder during the 1976 motor racing season. Set against the backdrop of the 'golden age' of the sport, the story certainly lends itself well to the big screen, with the handsome English playboy Hunt attempting to outdo his methodical, driven opponent Lauda. Off course, there's focus on the driver's personal lives though ultimately Howard's latest movie explores how far each sportsman will push to be hailed world champion in a sport where one mistake could be fatal.

The movie boasts a pretty slick looking cast, with Hollywood favourites Chris Hemsworth (Hunt) and Olivia Wilde (Suzy Miller) in the forefront and the brilliant Daniel Bruhl playing Lauda. The movie was shot on location in the UK, Germany and Austria with some scenes filmed at the former World War II airfield of Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire. Kent racing track Brands Hatch also features, as does Nurburgring in Germany. Howard described the period as a "fascinating, sexy, dangerous time," telling Colldier.com, ".it's based on a true story and it's centered around the 1976 Formula One race season. It operates on so many different levels that I really need to use the medium, in pre-production, production and post-production, to try to immerse the audiences in that world, "adding, "So, while Peter Morgan has written the script, and it's emotional, funny and character-driven, first and foremost, I think that the sense of the time, the place, the world, the speed and the danger of it." 

Continue reading: Ron Howard's 'Rush' Focuses On James Hunt, Niki Lauda Rivalry (Trailer & Pictures)

Helen Mirren Dusting Off Her Crown To Play ‘The Queen’ Once More


Helen Mirren Stephen Daldry Peter Morgan Tony Blair Martin Sheen

Helen Mirren is set to reprise her career-defining role as ‘The Queen’ for a new stage-play directed by Stephen Daldry. The British star – who scooped an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frear’s 2006 movie – will team up with Peter Morgan for ‘The Audience’, a production exploring six decades of the monarch’s weekly meetings with British prime ministers.

Her portrayal of The Queen in a meeting with Tony Blair – played by Martin Sheen – was considered one of the more memorable scenes of the award-winning movie and Daldry is set to build on that in the stage-play. Playing the monarch from her twenties to her eighties will be no mean feat, though Mirren holds the necessary credentials to take on such a role. According to the Guardian, she said, “Her voice has changed, and I can use that –she had a terribly posh voice when she was young…But now even the Queen, while she isn't quite dropping the ends of her lines –though her grandsons do! – there's a tiny bit of estuary creeping in there. I can use all that to signify the age range, and we'll come up with other things.” The drama will be staged at the Gielgud Theatre in London from March 2013.

‘The Audience’ is certainly in good hands; playwright Peter Morgan’s last play ‘Frost/Nixon’ gained universal critical acclaim and featured a standout performance from Michael Sheen.


Dame Helen Mirren To Reprise Her Role As The Queen In New Play


Helen Mirren Diana Princess Of Wales Peter Morgan Stephen Daldry

Dame Helen Mirren is to reprise the role that won her a much-coveted Oscar award by playing Elizabeth II in a new play by Peter Morgan called The Audience. Morgan wrote the script for The Queen that, in 2006, catapulted Mirren to that rarest of acting highs as she scooped the Acadamy's best actress award as she portrayed the head of the UK monarchy.

Morgan's credits on the stage also include the excellently received Frost/Nixon which went on to be made into a feature length film, whilst on the big screen his screenplay credits include The Last King Of Scotland and The Damned United. Following on from The Queen which took place during the days immediately after Princess Diana's death, this new play will convey a series of conversations that the monarch has had with the 12 Prime Ministers to have passed through 10 Downing Street during Elizabeth's time on the throne.

"From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional - sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive," reads a press release re-published by the BBC. The play will be directed by Billy Elliott director Stephen Daldry. The play is due to open in London in February of next year and will run until June.

British Actress Helen Mirren Set For A Return To The Throne


Helen Mirren Peter Morgan

Helen Mirren will be returning to her role as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, it has emerged, when the veteran actress will grace the stage at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End for a new play called The Audience.

According to BBC News, Dame Helen, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the current monarch in 2007, will see herself reunited with Peter Morgan, the man responsible for writing The Queen and now The Audience. Morgan’s latest royal effort depicts the weekly meetings held between Queen Elizabeth and some of the 12 Prime Ministers who have served during her 60-year reign. Morgan, like Mirren, is no stranger to the stage, holding the writing credits to such stage hits as Frost/Nixon and Billy Elliot, with The Audience expected to continue his reputation for good form. The play will begin its run on 15 February 2013 and will play until June 15th.

Dame Helen recently made the news for some less regal reasons of late, after rumours sparked that the 67-year-old actress has had cosmetic surgery. She was spotted wearing a headscarf whilst out shopping but so far she has made no comment on the situation. During an interview with IN Style magazine in 2011, Mirren spoke of her own displeasure at the prospect of going under the knife, branding it as “horrific.”


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