Sunday Worship in Any Human Heart

Aller en bas

Sunday Worship in Any Human Heart

Message  Matthieu le Ven 19 Nov 2010 - 17:10

Par Liz Hoggard (Evening Standard, 19 novembre 2010).
Fans mourning the end of Downton Abbey need not despair. Starting this Sunday, C4's four-part adaptation of William Boyd's Any Human Heart is the next must-see drama. Not only does the 91-strong cast include the cream of British acting talent (Matthew Macfadyen, Jim Broadbent, Kim Cattrall, Gillian Anderson, Hayley Atwell), it's made by Carnival Films, the people who brought us Downton.
Expect sparkling dialogue, sumptuous period settings, beautiful women and lashings of decadent sex. Like Downton, it's TV for grown-ups. But it's also highly ambitious — following the complex life of a flawed but charismatic writer, Logan Gonzago Mountstuart, from 1920 to 1990.

Adapting his best-selling novel for TV, Boyd knew he needed an actor with charm to hold our sympathy. Macfadyen, 35, was the obvious contender. “Logan has a fabulous life really. He lives through every decade of the 20th century,” Macfadyen says.

After playing Darcy opposite Keira Knightley in Joe Wright's film version of Pride and Prejudice, Macfadyen is a bona fide leading man. His portrayal of a paedophile in the C4 drama Secret Life won him a Royal Television Society Award. On stage he was Hal to Michael Gambon's Falstaff in Henry IV at the National. More recently he was an unusually rugged Elyot opposite Cattrall in the acclaimed West End production of Private Lives.

On screen, for all his good looks, there's an air of melancholy. He can do brooding and he can do vulnerable. You feel there's a huge tidal wave of backstory going on. And he's passionate about Boyd's book. “I read it last summer, unaware of the proposed TV version, and just loved it. I was passing it around to everyone on location and saying, You have to read this'.”

The drama starts with Brideshead-style scenes at Oxford, then we watch as Logan gets interned as a Second World War spy, meets Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII (played by a hilariously creepy Anderson and Tom Hollander), gatecrashes the New York art scene of the Fifties and Sixties, then joins a cell of West Germany's anarchist Baader-Meinhof gang.

Macfadyen takes Logan from his late twenties to his fifties. Newcomer Sam Claflin is the young Logan; Broadbent plays him as an older man. “We talked about whether we should incorporate a Logan-ish tic or idiosyncracy but we thought it would be hard to do that. But I'm sure it will be fine. The story is so well told that you'll just go on to the next incarnation.”

Macfadyen tells me he based his performance on English screen idol David Niven and loved Logan's habit of tallying up his achievements and failures every year. “Little bit fatter, drinking a bit more, smoking a bit less — unless I go out,” he recaps knowingly. “I'm really persuaded by the idea that life is luck, actually. It's quite a relief. You can do your best, and you ought to do your best. But ultimately you can't control things.”

His own personal life has been turbulent in the past. Macfadyen is arguably best known for playing MI5 agent Tom Quinn on BBC drama Spooks, where he met his wife, Keeley Hawes. At the time Hawes was newly married to cartoonist Spencer McCallum with a baby son, Myles. They divorced and she went on to marry Macfadyen in 2004. Today they have two children, Maggie, five, and Ralph, three, and live with Myles, now 10, in Strawberry Hill. Myles's father lives around the corner.

“It's not an unusual thing — families that make it all right for the sake of the kids,” says Macfadyen.

I meet this handsome bear of a man at his publicist's office in Soho. He looks almost unrecognisable from Any Human Heart, with a beard and henna rinse. (He's currently shooting Three Musketeers with Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich). “I was getting fish and chips the other day, and this woman said, What have you done to your hair? You used to be quite good-looking in Spooks',” he mock-groans. He has a reputation for being “notoriously difficult” in interviews but I find him funny and modest, with a nicely subversive streak. He jokes that it's his pudding face and cow eyes that make him appear naturally sympathetic on screen.

The son of an expat oilman and a drama-teacher mother, he grew up in the Far East before being sent to board at Oakham school in Rutland, where he nursed an ambition to be an actor, and secretly auditioned for Rada. He worked with the RSC, before television opened up with the BBC Balkan drama Warriors and Stephen Poliakoff's Perfect Strangers, and then came Spooks. Darcy, in Working Title's Pride and Prejudice, took him into another league. He won Best Newcomer at the 2006 London Critics' Circle Film Awards and more recently he's been in Criminal Justice (which won him a Bafta for Best Supporting Actor), Enid and Little Dorrit. He's thrilled at the chance to camp it up in Three Musketeers.

Meanwhile, there are more domestic problems to think about.

“Myles is 10 and the other day he said: Can I have a key?' I went: Er, really?' And he went: Yeah, Josh has got one.' Of course, I used to walk home at 10. But he suddenly looks bigger and more grown-up.”

He tells me with glee that his friend, fellow actor Eddie Marsan, has solved the eternal children's party nightmare. “This birthday party company drives up in a bus. All the kids run on, have a party and the parents just watch from the house,” he collapses, laughing. “Isn't that fantastic?”

Any Human Heart starts on C4 on Sunday at 9pm.
The hero: Logan (Matthew Macfadyen) drinks too much, sleeps around, is hopelessly self-involved, but you can't help loving him.
The wife: newcomer Emerald Fennell plays Logan's first wife, Lottie.
The mistress: Freya (Hayley Atwell)
is Logan's one true love.
The vamp: Kim Cattrall is sex bomb Gloria.
The veteran: Jim Broadbent takes over in episode 3 as the older, impoverished Logan.
The new male eye candy: introducing talented newcomer Sam Claflin, who plays Logan at Oxford in episode 1.
The confidantes: Sam West and Ed Stoppard are Logan's best friends.
Duchess of Windor: a hypnotic, snakelike Gillian Anderson.
Duke of Windsor: a bearded Tom Hollander kicks off all traces of Rev.
Ian Fleming: novelist and gentleman spy, played by a wonderfully cryptic Tobias Menzies.
Ernest Hemingway: a handsome, boozed-up Julian Ovenden.
The anarchist: Green Wing's Julian Rhind Tutt heads up the Angry Brigade.
The Sixties love child: Lydia Wilson is the underage teen.
Fan libre

Nombre de messages : 6917
Age : 57
Localisation : Lorraine
Date d'inscription : 17/12/2008

Revenir en haut Aller en bas

Revenir en haut

Permission de ce forum:
Vous ne pouvez pas répondre aux sujets dans ce forum