Actors and Actresses

Surprise, Tom Hiddleston Performs Hank Williams (Twice) at Wheatland Festival

It’s common knowledge that actor Tom Hiddleston is one of the Britishiest Brits around at the moment, so it’s not surprising that people are a bit skeptical about the news that he’s set to play iconic American country music star Hank Williams in an upcoming biopic entitled I Saw the Light. Yeah, that’s really a thing that is happening. (Honestly, you might find it’s something that, the more you think about it, the more intriguing the idea becomes. Or that could just be me, I don’t know.)

Anyway, yeah, the film is set to follow the uber dramatic story of Hank Williams’ meteoric rise to fame in his early teens, his subsequent struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, and his shocking death at the age of 29. And we all know that Hiddleston’s a pretty good actor who’s played a wide range of roles, so what we’re all really curious about is, can he sing?

Luckily, Hiddleston himself seems to be fairly eager to answer that question. Last weekend, the actor put in a surprise appearance at the Wheatland Music Festival in Michigan, and hit the stage to get his Hank on.

Watch him perform two of Williams’ classics below. 

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Adorably Tipsy Awards Acceptance Speech Will Make Your Day

Everyone who enjoys quality television rejoiced when Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch (finally) took an Emmy home for Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries/TV Movie last month. And everyone who loves Cumberbach was emotionally gutted when it was revealed that the actor wasn’t present at the ceremony to pick up his statue due to filming commitments, thereby depriving all of us what was sure to have been a truly memorable acceptance speech.

Luckily, Cumberbatch is an actor who seems to pop up at awards shows with somewhat startling frequency, and fans didn’t have to wait too long for the acceptance speech they were so cruelly denied.  The star was named “Actor of the Year” at the recent British GQ Men of the Year Awards, a doubtlessly worthy honor given that it seems as though he’s involved with practically every movie released these days.   

And, true to earlier prediction, he did in fact give an acceptance speech for the ages, rambling and swearing his way through thanking GQ for the honor of victory. He also namechecks James McAvoy, Tom Hardy and  Michael Fassbender, pokes fun at his own rather posh way of speaking and admits he’s may have imbibed a bit too much before his name was called. 

More Amazing British Actors Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Creative Ways

The online furor surrounding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – an awareness-raising charity event in which you are nominated to dump water over your head and donate to support research and treatment of the neurodegenerative disease ALS – may have settled down to a dull roar over the past week, but the viral event is by no means finished.

A slew of notable British actors have already partaken in the challenge, cheerfully dousing themselves and writing checks for a good cause, and now an even greater number have signed on, including several of the most iconic performers you could possibly think of. (Though, sadly, no Maggie Smith  as yet. At least we still have something to hope for. )

Anyway, here’s a second complication of British ice bucket efforts, including such luminaries as Dame Judi Dench, Sir Patrick Stewart, Dame Helen Mirren, Doctor Who star Karen Gillan and Helena Bonham Carter, among many other familiar faces.

Click through, watch and rank your faves. 

Benedict Cumberbatch About to Become a Waxwork at Madame Tussauds

What’s cooler – the fact that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch recently picked up his first Emmy for playing the great detective, or the fact that he’s about to get his very own wax replica at the world famous Madame Tussaud’s waxwork gallery in London?

Pretty cool, right? The news that the world was getting a wax version of Cumberbatch was announced by Tussaud’s earlier this summer, and the actor has been visiting the waxwork museum to keep tabs on the progress of his figure, provide vital measurements to the team crafting the statue and, it would appear, poke his virtual self in the ear.

Thankfully, the Tussaud’s team was there to document this important occasion on film. 

Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Smith and a Slew of Other Brits Take the Ice Bucket Challenge for Charity

As you’ve no doubt seen on some form of social media at some time over the last week, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral online campaign which encourages people to dump ice water over themselves to raise money and awareness for organizations supporting research into and treatment of the neurodegenerative disease ALS is the biggest thing going on the internet right now. (FYI, ALS is also known as Motor Neurone disease in Britain.) The idea is that you face down the bucket of ice water then nominate three friends to do the same within 24 hours and make a donation.

Pretty much every famous person you can think of has done this – from President George W. Bush to Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates to Chris Pratt. And, of course, everyone’s favorite Brit of the moment, Benedict Cumberbatch. Who, quite frankly, may have done the most epic take on the challenge yet. 

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Jar Jar Binks Impression Will Definitely Improve Your Day

Apparently, even being at Comic Con this year, I missed a lot of Comic Con! There’s simply so much going on at the world’s biggest festival of all things geek that it can seriously take you a week or more after the event concludes just to dig through all the gems – clips, interviews, trailers, whatever – that come out of that four day span. It’s the best kind of crazy.

My latest and best find involves Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who made his first appearance at San Diego’s annual convention this year, supporting his upcoming films The Penguins of Madagascar and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Part of this involves not just appearing on panels for those films, but doing a positive truckload of press, whilst so many entertainment journalists are all in one place. Cumberbatch, like everyone else, did the rounds, speaking to folks from all the major outlets.

He sat down with MTV’s Joshua Horowitz – one of my favorite entertainment writers and, quite frankly, one of the best folks at doing celebrity interviews – and the resultant chat is, to put it mildly, fairly epic, particularly when the two get to discuss nerdy topics, as one does because it’s Comic Con. The two end up discussing Star Wars whether or not the presence of the floppy-eared nightmare known as Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menance can be justified and proceedings devolve into the two doing rather freakishly accurate impressions of the character.

Just watch it. Trust me. It’s the best thing you’ll see today. 

James Corden Named the New Host of CBS’ 'Late Late Show'

Depending on which source you read, it is “reportedly”, “likely” and “confirmed by sources” that Tony-winning English actor, writer and presenter James Corden "has been named” Craig Ferguson’s successor as host of CBS’ Late Late Show. Did you get all that?

This apparently surprising development has prompted media outlets around the US to throw together introductory bios quite quickly; however, around this time last year I wrote a British Actors You Should Know profile on Corden so I won’t bother rehashing that post.

An all-around entertainer, James has a variety of skills and past work experience that would transfer well to his new position. Therefore, what I’d like to focus on are the strengths that I believe make Mr. Corden a good choice for this particular gig. As you might expect, I have compiled video proof to back it up.

Five Benedict Cumberbatch Performances You Can Stream Online - That Aren't 'Sherlock'

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes. But we've all already seen that, right? (Photo: Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE) The actor who plays everyone's favorite consulting detective is turning 38 today (July 19), and but why restrict yourself to celebrating Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch on just one day? (Confession time: I certainly do not.) We’ve already covered Cumberbatch’s extensive acting catalogue in our British Actors You Should Know series (which, honestly, is already a bit out of date thanks to his grueling movie making schedule), so it seemed more appropriate to spend today highlighting the ways you can most easily get your celebratory Cumberfix. Which, of course, means the stuff you can watch on the internet.

[Serious time: If you really want to do something special for Cumberbatch’s birthday besides dehydrate yourself watching Third Star, stop by the Batch of Kindness hashtag on Twitter (#batchofkindness) and take part in a global effort to do something nice for someone else. It’s pretty cool.]

Now, back to binge watching.

But, I’ve seen Sherlock, you say. It can’t possibly get better than that. Well, that’s wrong, and we’re here to give you five options of Cumberbatch-filled films and TV programs that you can stream online right now. (Yes, yes, there are a lot more than this, but they aren’t all online, so they’re not as easy to locate.)

British Actors You Should Know: Michael Fassbender

Ever since Carmen did a post on James McAvoy – and I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past – I’ve been dying to do a post on all the many talented roles of his co-star, Irish actor Michael Fassbender. (General note: Yes, I am aware that Fassbender is Irish and that I’m stretching the definition of “British Actors You Should Know” a tiny bit to include him as part of this series. But, I’m going with it. Don’t yell at me too much.)

Anyway, most of you reading this probably do know who Fassbender is, in one form or another – whether it’s as the young Magneto from X-Men or the psychotic slave owner in 12 Years a Slave, or even the guy who danced with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Golden Globes in that photo that was everywhere the next day.  But he’s turned in several truly phenomenal performances over the course of his (fairly short) career thus far that are well worth your time to watch.

Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

Patrick Stewart, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch Read D-Day Bulletins for the 70th Anniversary

BBC Radio 4 is observing the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasions today by featuring broadcasts of the BBC’s original news reports from 1944, read by such familiar voices as Sir Patrick Stewart, Benedict Cumberbatch and Toby Jones.

The first British and American airborne troops began landing in France shortly after midnight on D-Day, and the storming of the Normandy beaches began around 6:30am. News of the attack did not arrive for several hours, given the fact that there were strict wartime censorship rules to prevent journalists from providing the enemy with sensitive military information.

The D-Day news bulletins will be broadcast at the same time of day as the original transmissions.. The commemoration began this morning with Cumberbatch reading the 8am news bulletin on Radio 4, and will continue through the weekend, as the landings continued, ending at 9pm on Sunday night. 

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