Actors and Actresses

Karen Gillan’s “We’ll Take Manhattan” Premieres This Weekend in the US!

Heads up for fans of Doctor Who Companion Karen Gillan, her latest project, the BBC Four docudrama We’ll Take Manhattan, finally has an official American airdate! The film will premiere here in the States this weekend, on March 3 at 8pm ET on the Ovation channel. The 1960s biopic features Gillan as the famous former top model Jean Shrimpton.

The Ovation channel is not available everywhere in the US, but you can see if you have access to it in your area by checking their website. I looked up my own address and we do seem to get it here in Northern Virginia, though I have to admit this isn’t exactly a network I’ve heard of before? But, you know, check your DVRs and program accordingly – since I’m sure you’ll be watchin Doc Martin with us on Saturday!

Click through for more details on the film, a trailer and a short scene clip. I’m very curious to see what Gillan can do in a role that appears to be very different from Amy Pond!

Rumor Has It: Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch to Play The Master for Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary?

This is just a rumor. It is clearly the Best Rumor Ever but it is still only a rumor, so take everything that follows with a mountain of salt. The Express reported this weekend that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is being lined up to play Doctor Who arch-villain The Master for the iconic series’ 50th anniversary next year.

[Insert pause here for everyone to get the initial freakout out of their systems. I’ll wait.] Better? Okay. Breathe, and click through for more details.

Shirley MacLaine Joins the Downton Abbey Cast for Series 3

If you follow our Friday News Roundup posts at all, then you've probably seen the persistent rumors that mention virtually everyone in the entertainment industry as possibly taking part in the upcoming third series of mega-popular period drama Downton Abbey, from Judi Dench to Joan Collins to Harrison Ford. Well, finally some confirmed casting news has emerged about Downton Series 3, which is slated to go into production next month.

You may have heard a bit about this already, but yes, it’s true and official: Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine has signed up to enter a cage match with Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess join the Downton cast in the new season. MacLaine, who has starred in many great films such as Terms of Endearment, Postcards from the Edge, Guarding Tess, The Apartment and (my personal fave) Steel Magnolias, will play Martha Levinson, the mother of Lady Grantham.

"Shirley MacLaine is a great actress and she's as American as the day is long," says MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton. "I can't wait to see her go toe-to-toe with Maggie Smith's Lady Violet."

It’s been a personal wish of mine for a while to learn more about the Crawley family background and how Lord and Lady Grantham’s marriage came about, so the introduction of American family for Cora is extra exciting, if you ask me.

Plus, I can only imagine the vitriolic sniping that’s sure to ensure when Martha and Violet face off. Get the popcorn ready.

Source: PBS

Britwatch: Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Doctor Who’s Noel Clarke Join Cast of Star Trek 2

J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek sequel just got a lot more interesting for Anglophiles. According to industry mag Variety, Benedict Cumberbatch and Noel Clarke have been cast in two significant roles, joining fellow Brits Simon Pegg and Alice Eve.

Fresh off his recent film appearances in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse, Cumberbatch is apparently trading in his Sherlock coat for a black hat, as he will be playing the sequel’s main villain. Nothing further on who or what that villain may be (and how entertaniing is it that we actually have to add in the “what” here, as he could be playing any variety of alien, I suppose?), though if you’re interested in a good bit of incredibly detailed speculation, the internet is more than happy to provide that sort of thing for you.

Clarke is probably best known for his role as Mickey Smith, the boyfriend to Billie Piper's Rose Tyler on Doctor Who, though he has written, directed and starteseveral films (Kidulthood and Adulthood) since his time in the TARDIS. No word yet on what character he will be playing for Abrams’ film, though Variety reports the role is a “family man.” (I don’t know enough about the Star Trek world to hazard a guess, unfortunately!)

The Trek sequel is slated for release on May 17, 2013. And writing it out like that makes it seem very far away indeed, doesn’t it?

Scotsman Ewan McGregor Joins HBO's The Corrections

Scottish film star Ewan McGregor is officially set for his first major television role. He’ll be starring in HBO’s upcoming adaptation of the 2001 Jonathan Franzen novel The Corrections, which tells the story of three decades in the lives of the highly dysfunctional Lambert family – a Midwestern couple and their three children. The novel culminates in a final Christmas visit in which the children learn that their father is losing his mind to dementia.

McGregor is known primarily for his performaces in popular film roles, including the Star Wars prequels, Moulin Rouge, Velvet Goldmine, and more. He will play middle child Chip, an academic who has an affair with a student, to disastrous results (he ends up working for a crime boss). The Lambert parents will be played by Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest, so this is already shaping up to be an all-star cast with at least two big roles still left to be filled - eldest son Gary, a depressed banker, and Denise, an unlucky-in-love chef.

Admittedly, I’m curious about how Franzen’s story will adapt to the small screen. The Corrections is an exceptionally dense novel, so it should definitely work better as a series than a one-shot feature film, but I also don’t know how long I think it’s necessarily viable, in terms of multiple TV seasons, without going a bit past the parameters of the story.

The project is still in the pilot stage, which means it may never actually see the light of day as a full series, but with a cast already full of “names” (with likely more to come), it seems to have a pretty good shot.

Happy Birthday Martin Clunes!

Happy birthday to Doc Martin star Martin Clunes, who turns 50 today! Best known for his portrayal of the curmudgeonly, cranky Doctor Martin Ellingham in the ITV comedy/drama, Clunes has also starred in Men Behaving Badly, William and Mary, and Reggin Perrin, among other things. He was seen most recently in the fifth series of Doc Martin, which just wrapped up its run across the pond a few weeks ago and will be airing here in the States in 2012 – most likely in the spring. (WETA viewers who love this show to pieces: the minute we know a confirmed airdate, we’ll share it. Pinky swear. But it’s coming, promise!)

Clunes is one of the few British television actors where virtually everyone seems to absolutely love him to bits – so he must be doing something right. We’ll be doing our best here at Telly Visions to make the wait for new episodes interesting for you – join me in the coming weeks as I confront a rather significant personal lapse (embarrassing Anglophile confession alert), namely that I’ve never really seen Doc Martin. Well, an episode or two, here or there. But, still. Most of the series = complete, unforgiveable gap in my British TV knowledge base. Obviously, this means it’s time for a viewing party.

So, whether you’d like to take a walk down memory lane in Portwenn with me while we’re waiting for the new series, or just laugh at my reaction to a surprise character or storyline that everyone knows about except yours truly – stick around! Feel free to leave a rundown of your favorite episodes in the comments, just to give a sense of which you all might have the most interest in revisiting.

Britwatch: Catherine Tate to Return to The Office

Doctor Who alum and fantastic funny lady Catherine Tate is set to return to NBC’sThe Office this season.

Tate, who appeared briefly on the series last May, will return as Nellie Bertram, one of the candidates who interviewed to replace Michael Scott. If you didn’t catch her original appearance back when it aired, click through and watch the video below, because Tate’s performance is quite hilarious. (Apparently, she so impressed The Office producers that she was one of their top choices to permanently replace the departing Steve Carrell, though obviously that didn’t work out at the time.)

Britwatch: Karen Gillan to Make West End Debut

Doctor Who Companion Karen Gillan will make her theater debut this month in London’s West End, starring opposite Douglas Hodge in a revival of John Osborne’s 1964 play Inadmissable Evidence.

Dame Eileen Atkins (most recently of Upstairs Downstairs) played Gillan’s role in the original production, proving once and for all that there are way less than six degrees of separation between basically every British actor/actress you like.

Unfortunately, if you’re going to happen to be in the UK during the play’s run and would like to check it out, you’re out of luck. Tickets sold out in a record-breaking fashion, thanks to what the Telegraph calls “the Doctor Who effect.” (This production actually sold out faster than their last effort starring Jude Law. Well done, Karen!)

Pages