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Archive for December, 2018

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John Michie

John Michie

John Michie (Wikipedia)

John Michie was born 25 October 1956 and is a Burmese-born Scottish television and film actor, known for his roles as DI Robbie Ross in the STV detective drama series Taggart, as Karl Munro in Coronation Street from 2011–13 and his role as CEO Guy Self in Casualty and Holby City.

John Michie
John Michie

Michie was born in Burma and boarded at Windlesham House School while his family were based in Kenya. The family later settled in Edinburgh, where was sent to study at Glenalmond College from the age of twelve.[1] At the age of nineteen, he worked his passage to Australia on a cargo ship, where he spent a year as a jackaroo herding cattle before returning to Scotland. He took a job as a stagehand at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, where his interest in acting started. He returned to Kenya when he was 22, beginning his acting career in A Private Matter at the Donovan Maule Theatre, Nairobi in 1980.

Michie appeared in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries in 1994, co-starring with Colin Firth. He played a pet shop owner, in the two-part episode “Master of the Moor”.

Michie appeared in Moon and Son in 1992. In 1998, he was given a regular part in Taggart, playing DI Robbie Ross, a dedicated detective not afraid to go about things his own way and fly in the face of authority when he needs to.

John Michie
John Michie

From 2011 to 2013, Michie played Karl Munro in Coronation Street. His character was the partner of Stella Price (Michelle Collins). Since leaving Coronation Street, Michie has played a regular role in hospital drama Holby City, playing Guy Self and while continuing the role in 2014, he has also appeared in its sister show Casualty. Michie left Holby City in November 2016 after Guy hands in his resignation but returned in August 2017, It was announced in the Autumn trailer that Guy will return during the 20th series.

Michie is the voice behind Windfall Films’ Big, Bigger, Biggest and Monster Moves series for Five (TV channel)Big, Bigger, Biggestexplores the engineering marvel of large buildings and sky scrapers,[3] while Monster Moves documents the most daring and dangerous relocation projects ever attempted. Other voice over work has included Channel 4’s The Gunpowder Plot, and six titles in the series Football Stories.

Michie has become increasingly involved in the factual production sector. His first presenting role was for the one-hour documentary Murder Capital, which was produced by STV for The Crime & Investigation Network. It was during filming of Murder Capital that Michie met STV producer Mick McAvoy and together they developed the idea for Michie’s next series Highlands. This six-part historical documentary series focused on the Highland Clearances of the late 18th and 19th centuries. Michie’s most recent presenting work was for STV’s Made in Scotland for which he is also executive producer. This documentary series examines the symbols of Scotland. The final episode saw him unveil a newly designed Michie Tartan.

Michie’s first film role was in the 1989 film Conquest of the South Pole but his first leading role came in the film adaptation, Monk Dawsonin 1998. Based on the Piers Paul Read novel, it gained a good reception from the critics despite only a short run at the UK box office. Michie played the character David Baird in John Madden’s 1996 film Truth or Dare starring Helen Baxendale and John Hannah.

John Michie
John Michie

In 1999, Michie starred alongside Richard Harris in To Walk with Lions, a film based on the life of George Adamson which featured Michie back in his childhood home of Kenya playing the wildlife conservationist Tony Fitzjohn.

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Michie began his acting career on the stage and has appeared in several West End productions. Past roles include playing Arthur in Jean Anouilh’s comedy, Number One, at the Queen’s Theatre in 1984. He also played John in Noël Coward’s play, Easy Virtue, at the Garrick Theatre in 1988–89, before going on to play Walker in Andrew Davies’ Prin at the Lyric Theatre, 1989–90, directed by actor/director Richard Wilson. Michie was directed by Wilson twice more in Michael Wall‘s Women Laughing at the Royal Court Theatre and in Simply Disconnected at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 1996. He played Danny in Breed, a new play from emerging playwright Lou Ramsden, staged at Theatre503 in 2010.

In 2008, Michie publicly backed the Scottish Labour Party in the run up to the Glasgow East by-election. However it later emerged Michie, in a report for the BBC’s This Week programme the previous year, appeared to back Scottish independence, which the Labour Party officially opposes. Michie said, “An independent Scotland would find a new confidence. It would slow down the brain-drain that causes this country to lose so many of its most brightest and most skilled.” The Labour Party subsequently issued a statement on behalf of Michie claiming he did not support independence.

In August 2014, Michie was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independencein the run-up to September’s referendum on that issue.

Michie has three children with his partner Carol, a former Hot Gossip dancer. He is a keen swimmer and player of squash. His nephew is actor Jamie Michie, who has appeared in The IT CrowdGame of Thrones and alongside John in one episode of Taggart in 2010.

In September 2017, his 24-year-old daughter, Louella, died at the Bestival music festival in Dorset. A 28-year-old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder and was questioned by police.  In February 2019 the man appeared at Winchester Crown Court charged with manslaughter. On 28 February 2019, the man was found guilty of manslaughter.

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Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

 

Johnny Depp is an American actor, painter, character actor, comedian, singer, director, song-writer, author, screen-writer, film producer, art director, Discjockey, rock bassist, and musician. He started his film career by playing Glen Lantz in the 1984 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street. He also appeared in the 1986 film Platoon with Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Willem Dafoe. In the 1990s, he starred as the title characters in the films Cry-Baby (1990), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Arizona Dream (1993), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Benny & Joon (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Don Juan DeMarco (1995), Dead Man (1995) and Donnie Brasco (1997). He also starred in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Hunter S. Thompson (1998), The Ninth Gate as Dean Corso (1999), and Sleepy Hollow as Ichabod Crane (1999).

In the 2000s, he was in the films Chocolat (2000), Blow (2001), From Hell (2001), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), Finding Neverland (2004), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), and Public Enemies (2009). He has played Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, starting with 2003’s The Curse of the Black Pearl, and going on to reprise the role in Dead Man’s Chest (2006), At World’s End (2007), On Stranger Tides (2011) and Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). For his roles in The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Depp was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.

In 2010, Depp was cast as the Mad Hatter in the live-action film Alice in Wonderland. The same year, he went on to star in The Touristwith Angelina Jolie and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy. He has starred in The Rum Diary with Amber Heard (2011), Dark Shadows with Michelle Pfeiffer (2012), The Lone Ranger with Armie Hammer (2013), and Transcendence (2014) with Morgan Freeman.

His television work includes playing Officer Thomas “Tom” Hanson, Jr. in the crime drama 21 Jump Street from 1987 to 1990. He has also lent his voice to the animated series King of the Hill in 2004, SpongeBob SquarePants in 2009, and Family Guy in 2012.

Depp has been described as one of the most versatile and prolific actors of his generation.

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Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine (Wikipedia)

Matthew Modine was born March 22, 1959) & is an American actor, activist and filmmaker, who rose to prominence through his role as United States Marine Corps Private Joker in Stanley Kubrick‘s Full Metal Jacket. His other film roles include the title character in Alan Parker‘s Birdy, the high school wrestler Louden Swain in Vision Quest, Drake Goodman in Pacific Heights and Dr. Ralph Wyman in Short Cuts. On television, Modine portrayed Dr. Martin Brenner in Stranger Things, the oversexed Sullivan Groff on WeedsDr. Don Francis in And the Band Played On and Ivan Turing in Proof.

Modine has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for his work in And the Band Played Onand What the Deaf Man Heard and won a Special Golden Globe for him and the rest of the ensemble in Short Cuts.[2] He was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for And the Band Played On.

Modine, the youngest of seven children, was born in Loma Linda, California, the son of Dolores (née Warner), a bookkeeper, and Mark Alexander Modine, who managed drive-in theaters. He is a nephew of a stage actress Nola Modine Fairbanks, and the great-grandson of the prospector and pioneer Ralph Jacobus Fairbanks. Modine lived in Utah for several years, moving every year or two. The drive-in theaters his father managed were being torn down because the land beneath them exceeded the value of the theaters. The Modine family returned to Imperial Beach, California where Matthew attended and graduated from Mar Vista High School in 1977.

Modine’s first film role was in John Sayles‘ film Baby It’s You. His performance caught the eye of director Harold Becker, who cast him in Vision Quest, based on Terry Davis’ novel. Modine appeared in the sex comedy Private School, co-starring Phoebe Catesand Betsy Russell.

The director Robert Altman propelled Modine to international stardom with his film adaptation of David Rabe‘s play Streamers. Modine played Mel Gibson‘s brother in Mrs. Soffel and starred with Nicolas Cage in Alan Parker‘s Birdy; the film was awarded Gran Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. The actor also famously turned down the role of LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun (the role that Tom Cruise made famous), because he felt the film’s pro-military stance went against his politics.

Modine may be best known for his role as Private Joker, the central character of Stanley Kubrick‘s Vietnam War movie Full Metal Jacket (1987). Subsequently, Modine played the dangerous young criminal Treat in Alan Pakula‘s film adaptation of Lyle Kessler‘s stageplay Orphans. Modine played the goofy, earnest FBI agent Mike Downey in Jonathan Demme‘s screwball comedy Married to the Mobopposite Michelle Pfeiffer. In 1990, he led the cast of Memphis Belle, a fictionalized account of the famous B-17 Flying Fortress.

Modine and his fellow castmates won an unprecedented Best Actor prize from the Venice Film Festival for the tragic story of young American soldiers about to be shipped to Vietnam in Streamers. Modine has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award: first, for his performance in And the Band Played On (an HBO Emmy award-winning film about the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic), and then for the dark comedy What the Deaf Man Heard. In 2017, he and his Stranger Things castmates won the prestigious Screen Actors Guild Best Ensemble Award.

In 1995, he appeared opposite Geena Davis in the romantic action-adventure film Cutthroat Island. Modine made his feature directorial debut with If… Dog… Rabbit…, which came after the success of three short films debuting at the Sundance Film FestivalWhen I Was a Boy (co-directed with Todd Field), Smoking written by David Sedaris, and Ecce Pirate written by Modine.

His dark comedy, I Think I Thought, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film tells the story of a Thinker (Modine) who ends up in Thinkers Anonymous.

Other short films include To Kill an AmericanCowboy, and The Love Film. In 2011, he completed Jesus Was a Commie, an avant garde-dialectical conversation about the world and the prominent issues of modern society. Modine co-directed the short film with Terence Ziegler, the editor of I Think I Thought. Modine’s short films have played internationally.

In 2003, he guest starred in The West Wing episode “The Long Goodbye”. He portrayed the character Marco, who went to high school with C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney) and who helped her deal with her father’s steady mental decline due to Alzheimer’s disease. Modine agreed to take the role because he is a longtime friend of Janney’s. (The two appeared together in a theatrical production of the play Breaking Up directed by Stuart Ross). That same year, he played Fritz Gerlich in the CBS miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil.

In 2004, Modine appeared in Funky Monkey as ex-football star turned spy Alec McCall, who teams up with super-chimp Clemens and his friend Michael Dean (Seth Adkins) to take down the villainous Flick (Taylor Negron). The film was critically panned, yet has gained a cult status.

In 2005, Abel Ferrara‘s Mary won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. In the film, Modine portrays a director recounting the story of Mary Magdalene (Juliette Binoche). The following year, he guest-starred in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode “Rage” as a serial killer of young girls.

In 2010, Modine appeared in The Trial, which was awarded the Parents Television Council‘s Seal of Approval™. The PTC said: “‘The Trial’ combines the best features of courtroom drama, murder mystery and character story. ‘The Trial’ is a powerful drama which shows the power of healing and hope.”

Modine played a corrupt Majestic City developer named “Sullivan Groff” throughout Season 3 on Weeds. Groff has affairs with Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) and Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins).

In 2010, Modine appeared in HBO’s Too Big to Fail, a film about the Wall Street financial crisis. In it, Modine stars as John Thain, former Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch, who famously spent millions decorating his office.

In 2011, Modine completed two independent films, Family Weekend and Girl in Progress, opposite Eva Mendes.

In 2012, he appeared in Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises as Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley, a Gotham City police officer and peer to Gary Oldman‘s Commissioner James Gordon.

In February 2013, Modine was cast in Ralph Bakshi‘s animated film Last Days of Coney Island after coming across the film’s Kickstartercampaign online.

In 2014, he co-starred with Olivia WilliamsRichard Dillane, and Steve Oram in the horror mystery film Altar.

In 2016, Modine played Dr. Martin Brenner in the Netflix original series Stranger Things.

In 2017, Matthew Modine was featured in the music video for “1-800-273-8255“, a song by American hip hop artist Logic.

Modine was part of Speed Kills released in November 2018 as well as several upcoming films such as Foster BoyMiss Virginia, and The Martini Shot.

Modine appeared in Arthur Miller‘s Finishing the Picture at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, in Miller’s Resurrection Blues at London’s Old Vic, and in a stage adaptation of Harper Lee‘s To Kill a Mockingbird (as Atticus Finch) at Connecticut’s Hartford Stage. This production of To Kill a Mockingbird became the most successful play in the theatre’s 45-year history.  In 2010, he starred with Abigail Breslin in the 50th Anniversary Broadway revival of The Miracle Worker. at the Circle in the Square theatre.

In fall 2013, Modine starred in a self-parodying comedy, Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas, at Los Angeles’ Geffen Theatre.

Cycling has been Modine’s main mode of transportation since moving to New York City from Utah in 1980. He heads a pro-bike organization called “Bicycle for a Day” and was honored for his work on June 2, 2009, by the environmental arts and education center on the East RiverSolar 1.


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Valene Kane

Valence Kane

Valene Kane (Wikipedia)

Valene Kane is best known for playing Rose Stagg, the ex-girlfriend of serial killer Paul Spector, in The Fall on BBC Two and for her role as Lyra Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  She is also known for her role in the BBC drama Thirteen. She starred as DS Lisa Merchant, described as “superb” by The Radio Times: “The former star of The Fall‘s scenes […] are among the show’s most intriguing, simmering with sexual tension and professional frustration.”

Kane won the BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Supporting Performer for her role in The Stroma Sessions and her film Profile (in which she played a struggling undercover journalist who connects with a Jihadi through Facebook) won the Panorama Audience Award at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.

She is the daughter of Val Kane “successful Down county Gaelic footballer and coach”and was raised in Newry, County Down. From the age of 15, she was part of the National Youth Theatre, most notably starring in their production of 20 Cigarettes. She left Northern Ireland for London at 18 and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Kane was cast in The Fading Light by the director Ivan Kavanagh after he spotted her in a short film, July, that was posted on YouTube.  She was chosen partly for her successful experience with improvisation in the short film. 2013 saw her play Rose Stagg in the BBC‘s TV series The Fall, and Dara in the comic Irish thriller Jump. Also in 2013, Kane played the title role in Strindberg‘s Miss Julie at the newly founded Reading Rep.

Other film work Still Early, a short film which premiered at the Galway Film Festival. Kane’s work for the BBC in 2016 includes taking the lead in BBC3 drama Thirteen, the third series of The Fall, and an episode of Murder. Also that year, she played Lyra Erso, the protagonist’s mother, in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Kane has been seen on stage as Nance, in the Finborough Theatre‘s production of Autumn Fire, The Love in Punchdrunk‘s production The Black Diamond, which sold out “in mere minutes” and Lady Lydia Languish in The Rivals. She also played Girleen in Martin McDonagh‘s The Lonesome West in which one reviewer said “Kane gives Girleen a schoolgirl reality, her confident swagger and challenge covering the only genuine feelings for anyone else that the play possesses”.

Kane’s radio drama work for the BBC includes The Demon Brother and Stroma Sessions for which she won Best Supporting Performer.

In 2018 Valene Kane played journalist Amy Whittaker who investigates the recruitment of young European women by the ISIS in the 2018 thriller film Profile by Timur Bekmambetov. The film takes place entirely on computer screens. It premiered at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Panorama Audience Award.

2019 saw Kane in Anne Sewitsky‘s Sonja: The White Swan which premiered at Sundance Film Festival and in BBC TV Movie Counselin which she played the “an alpha female barrister [who] complicates her professional and personal life when she takes on a young client” 

Kane could also be heard on the Monobox Speech Share podcast reading from Marina Carr‘s “Portia Coughlan” 

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Scott Hylands

Scott Hylands

Scott Hylands (Wikipedia)

Scott Hylands was born 1944 and is a Canadian actor who has appeared in movies, on television, and on the stage. Because of his longevity and versatility, critics have called him “one of Canada’s greatest actors.”

Hylands was born in 1943 in Lethbridge, Alberta, but his family left there when he was still an infant. His mother Ruth was a science teacher, and his father Walter died during World War II.  Hylands was raised and educated in VancouverBritish Columbia, where he attended Shawnigan Lake Boys School;  he then attended the University of British Columbia and graduated in 1964. at first studied zoology, but when the university began a theater arts major, he transferred into that program.  Upon graduation, he left Canada to pursue an acting career in New York City, where his first role was as the lead in an off-Broadway production of the comedy Billy Liar. 

After that 1965 debut role, he spent several years in San Francisco, acting with the American Conservatory Theater. Then, in 1968, he was asked by Hollywood director Mark Robson to audition for a movie role. His first movie appearance was in the 1969 suspense film Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting. He got good reviews, but his movie debut was overshadowed by another film that came out at the same time: Midnight Cowboy.

In August 1975 Hylands appeared onstage as Mercutio in the Los Angeles Free Shakespeare Society production of Romeo and Juliet at the Pilgrimage Theatre in the Cahuenga Pass.

He won some critical praise, both for his acting skill and for his good looks. He was even compared to Paul Newman. And while he did not become famous, he worked regularly, appearing in a number of movies, as well as in some American television shows. Among the TV shows in which he acted were “Cannon,” “The Waltons,” “Baretta,” and “Ironsides.”  On American TV, he became well known for playing tough guy characters and villains: as he noted in an interview, if an actor is not the leading man, he generally plays a “heavy.”

In the early 1980s, Hylands returned to Canada, settling in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.  He also got an opportunity to play a good guy, the role of Detective Kevin “O.B.” O’Brien on the television series Night Heat, Night Heat was a police drama, produced in Toronto; it aired on both Canadian (CTV) and American (CBS) TV, from 1985 to 1989. This was his first starring role on any TV program.

After Night Heat was canceled, Hylands continued to live in Canada, with his wife Veronica, a nurse, and their two children.;  but he worked in both American and Canadian productions. He appeared as Father Travis in the ABC-TV series V. He was seen on numerous other programs, including the 1992 TV movie To Catch a Killer, a 1995 episode of the hit cop drama NYPD Blue, and on four episodes of the remade version of the Outer Limits from 1996-2001. He also returned to the Canadian stage, playing leading roles in such productions as Waiting for Godot (2015), and The Tempest (1994), among others. He produced and directed a 2008 version of Waiting for Godot, and performed in a solo version of A Christmas Carol. In addition, he directed, as well as performed in, a 2006 production of Under Milk Wood that was staged in Victoria BC. In his early 70s, he has expressed no interest in retiring, and continues to be involved with theater.


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Lorraine Pilkington

Lorraine Pilkington

Lorraine Pilkington (Wikipedia)

Lorraine Pilkington was born 18 April 1974 & is an Irish actress from Dublin, who is best known for her role as Katrina Finlay from Monarch of the Glen

Born in Dublin, Pilkington grew up in the affluent suburban village of Malahide, and attended Manor House SchoolRaheny.

Trained at the Gaiety School of Acting, Pilkington began her career at the age of 15 when she appeared in The Miracle directed by Neil Jordan. She appeared onstage in the plays The Plough and the Stars and The Iceman Cometh

At age 18 she moved to London where she was given a part in a Miramax film which eventually fell through. After returning to Dublin, Pilkington appeared in films including Human Traffic and My Kingdom, a retelling of King Lear

In 2000, she was cast as Katrina Finlay, a schoolteacher in a Scottish village in the BBC television series Monarch of the Glen. After leaving the show at the beginning of the third season, she appeared in various other television productions such as Rough Diamond and Outnumbered

She married Simon Massey, the director of Monarch of the Glen, in 2001. They have three sons, Milo, Luca and Inigo.

In 2008, she appeared in a short film by Luke Massey Within the Woods, with James Chalmers.

In 2016 she voiced the lead role in a Paramount animation, Capture the Flag.