Actors and Actresses

Before They Were Oscar Nominees: British Stars Up for Academy Awards in 2015

This year five talented Brits have been nominated for an Academy Award. Most of these names are quite familiar to UK film fans; however, before they were delivering inspiring performances and their names appeared on movie theater marquees, they had to pay their dues with small guest appearances in television series and made-for-TV movies.

Let’s take a brief look at their careers before they were Oscar hopefuls…

Watch: Patrick Stewart Plays Every Single Person You Hate on a Flight

It’s already well established that Sir Patrick Stewart is basically a perfect human being, as evidenced by his hilarious Christmas videos, amazing Halloween costumes, and staunch support for American democracy, not to mention his epically glorious friendship with fellow fantastic Brit Sir Ian McKellen.

So, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking that there’s literally no way he could get more awesome. Well, you’d be wrong about that. 

In Memoriam 2014

Another year has rushed by and alas some talented and beloved performers have left us in that time. The following is a list of British entertainers who passed away in 2014. While their departures were, in many cases, far too soon, we will always have the memories of magical screen moments to keep their legacies alive.

Happy Christmas: Let’s Celebrate with Tom Hiddleston and a Puppy

Happy Christmas, Telly Visions readers! (Or Happy Thursday and generally Winter-ish season, if this holiday’s not your particular thing.)  The point is – today’s a day to appreciate and celebrate the people we care about, and we’re grateful that you all choose to stop by and read the blog regularly and comment and chat with us, today and every day. Y’all are awesome, and the best present a girl could ask for. 

So, how best to celebrate such a special day? How about a cute video featuring The Avengers and The Hollow Crown star Tom Hiddleston? There’s really no way to go wrong with that combination, yeah?

So get yourself in the proper holiday spirit – or soothe your irritation that Santa didn’t bring you the properly British gear you were hoping for - by watching the Internet’s Other Boyfriend (Who Isn’t Benedict Cumberbatch) team up with iconic Nashville singer Rodney Crowell to celebrate Christmas in song.

Oh, yeah, and he’s holding a puppy through all of this, in case you didn’t think that the cuteness level was cranked up high enough already. 

Birthday Binge Watch: Five Judi Dench Performances You Can Stream Online

December 2014 holds an important milestone for fans of British drama everywhere as the great Dame Judi Dench celebrates her 80th birthday (December 9).

Dench, a stunningly talented actress who has served as a gateway drug of sorts for several generations of Anglophiles, is pretty much universally beloved, having wracked up untold numbers of BAFTAs, Tonys, Olivier Awards, Golden Globes and even an Oscar for her work and a massive global fanbase obsessed with her general sass and perfection. And, now that she’s officially an octogenarian, she’s even more awesome than ever, with upcoming roles in sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and the second round of Hollow Crown films, in which she’ll play Cecily, the Duchess of York (i.e. Richard III’s – or in this case Benedict Cumberbatch’smom.)

So, to celebrate her special day, here are five classic Dench performances that you can stream online right now.

 

British Actors You Should Know: Timothy Spall

If you’re the type of person who pays attention to film award season, you probably will have heard about the recent accolades for our spotlighted actor, Timothy Spall. A hardworking and versatile performer since the late 70’s, Spall seems to be finally getting the attention he deserves for a career defining achievement.

He won best actor honors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his title role in the biopic Mr. Turner. Spall embodies eccentric English Romantic landscape painter J.M.W. Turner. Director Mike Leigh (with whom Spall has worked four times perviously) is known for his formidable demands on his actors. For this period piece, Leigh insisted Spall not only research the artist he was setting out to play but also to spend two years learning his distinctive painting technique. What resulted was this Oscar buzz-worthy bit of acting. 

Mr. Turner will be out in limited release beginning December 19, presumably to qualify for the Academy Awards race. Here’s hoping it won’t be much longer after that that those of us not living in major metropolitan cities will be able to witness the magic as well.

While all the kudos and glowing reviews are surely very nice indeed, Spall has been putting in memorable, entertaining performances for years. From notable roles in TV series such as Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and The Street to a cameo in The King’s Speech as Winston Churchill,  his talent has consistently been on display. If you’d like a reminder of his range or just want to explore his body of work for the first time, here are a handful of film and TV roles you might want to try. Believe me, Peter Pettigrew from the Harry Potter films is just the tip of the iceberg.

British Actors You Should Know: Eddie Redmayne

The major film festivals have taken place and now Hollywood is releasing the trailers for its 2015 Oscar contenders. If you pay attention to that sort of thing, you may well have heard the buzz around our latest featured actor – Eddie Redmayne.

He’s receiving accolades for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. The film follows the life of the world famous scientist from his days as a student at Oxford through his devastating ALS diagnosis and out the other side to the triumph of his career and his determination to outlive the dire predictions of his doctors. He does all this with the love and full support of his fiancé, and later, wife, Jane (Felicity Jones) by his side.

(Curious about The Theory of Everything? Watch the trailer.)

Long before this breakout lead role, however, young Mr. Redmayne had been getting noticed for his acting skills on both sides of the pond. He’s won the Olivier and the Tony for his supporting role in the play Red as well as other theatre and film award nominations. So if you’re not familiar with this talented performer, here are just a few examples of Eddie’s past television and film work which you can view, in most cases, tonight if the mood strikes you.

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Does Impressions of Literally Everyone

If Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be a bit more, well… everywhere than usual of late, that would be because he’s been out doing the press rounds for the impending release of his buzzy Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game. (Which, if you haven’t watched the trailer for that yet, you can do so right here – and you really should it’s going to be equally everywhere this awards season).

This has led to a veritable avalanche of Cumberbatch-related print interviews, video snippets and Q&As on various social media platforms. It’s so much that even the most die-hard Cumber-enthusiast (such as myself) may have had a hard time sifting through the lot of it. That’s why it’s important to distill all this down to the essentials – which is exactly what this video is. It is awesome and it will make your day.

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Does His Best Beyonce For Graham Norton

It’s official: Benedict Cumberbatch can do anything. Or, even if he can’t, watching him fail at something is guaranteed to be more fun than watching basically anyone else succeed.

So, if you’re having a bad day – today, or tomorrow or six weeks from now – just bookmark this page, so that you can forever have this clip at your finger tips, because it is 100% guaranteed to make you smile.

The Internet’s Favorite British Celebrity – was a guest on The Graham Norton Show this weekend to promote his upcoming Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game. He shared his spot on the red couch with Call the Midwife’s Miranda Hart and Harry Potter’s Timothy Spall, but there’s absolutely no doubt that the Sherlock star is the one who stole the show. 

Benedict Cumberbatch Wax Figure Revealed at Madame Tussauds

It’s official: Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has his very own wax replica at the world famous Madame Tussauds waxwork gallery in London. Given the fact that the basically everyone is obsessed with Cumberbatch at the moment, it may surprise you to realize that he did not actually have one up to this point, but that cruel oversight has thankfully now been rectified.

The official Cumberbatch waxwork was announced during the summer, with Tussauds’ General Manager Ben Sweet referring to the subject as “one of the most in-demand actors” of the moment. Apparently interest in what has been dubbed the “Cumberwax” has been so high that on the day of its announcement the gallery’s official site crashed under the weight of all the interested, eager fans.

And now, at last, the real thing has arrived. 

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