June 20, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
It’s got Oscar bait written all over it but this newly released first trailer reminds us why “Anna Karenina” can already be found on potential awards season winner lists. Director Joe Wright showcases his skills as one of the great auteurs with absolutely gorgeous visuals, taking the audience from one stunning scene to another by apparently using just the one tracking shot.
Star Kiera Knightley, who has already garnered two Oscar nominations from her work with Wright (“Atonement“, ”Pride and Prejudice“) looks right at home in this period drama, based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy. In the film, Knightley’s titular Anna marries Jude Law’s high-ranking official before meeting and falling in love with Vronsky, played by Aaron Johnson – for whom this role may just be the one to kick his career up a notch.
Among the supporting cast are Kelly Macdonald, Alexandra Roach, Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Emily Watson and Olivia Williams.
Click below for an official synopsis, the trailer and full size poster. “Anna Karenina” is set to hit screens in September for Europe and November in the US.
February 3, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
It’s been nearly a year since the news broke that Dakota Fanning had joined the cast of “Girl’s Night Out”, Michael Hoffman’s film based on the true story of how the future Queen of Britain, Princess Elizabeth, and her sister Princess Margaret celebrated VE Day in 1945. Alexandra Roach joined the cast back in November, but as with all films long in gestation, it looks like Fanning has dropped out of the project – allowing British actress Juno Temple to jump into the role.
When the film was first announced back in February 2011, the plot details weren’t too specific, stating ” When [Princess Margaret] and her sister Elizabeth are allowed out from Buckingham Palace for one night to join in the celebrations, the night encompasses thrills, romance and danger.” However Britain’s Daily Mail now have further information, “Elizabeth has an innocent romance (this bit is totally fictional, folks!) with a recently returned soldier, who doesn’t realise he’s hanging out with a princess. The pair even go dancing at the Ritz.”
Temple was one of our Faces to Watch in 2012, and this year alone will see her in dark comedy “The Brass Teapot” opposite Michael Angarano, and filming thriller “Magic Magic” opposite Michael Cera. This is a great coup for the actress however, who will get her first big breakout in perhaps the most anticipated film of the year, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”.
Filming on “Girls’ Night Out” is set to start this Fall on location in London.
January 6, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
The BAFTA Awards are Britain’s Oscar equivalent, and the release today of the 2012 Longlist is an exciting look at which actors, films and directors the BAFTA members have enjoyed this year.
The usual suspects have turned up in the categories of Best Film, Director, Original and Adapted Screenplay, but the big surprise comes in the form of Steve McQueen’s exclusion in the Best Film and Director categories for “Shame”, his stark and frank look at sex addiction.
One pleasant surprise however is the inclusion of Mia Wasikowska for her leading role in “Jane Eyre”, a performance that UpandComers have been championing.
Other surprise rising stars that have been included are Alexandra Roach (“The Iron Lady”), Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”), Eddie Redmayne (“My Week With Marilyn”) and Bryce Dallas Howard (“The Help”), alongside those we have come to expect – Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Jessica Chastain and Shailene Woodley.
Final nominations will be announced on Tuesday 17 January, along with hopefully the BAFTA Rising Star shortlist, and all winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Sunday 12 February.
Click below for BAFTA’s announcement and explanation for how voting works amongst members, as well as the full longlist of acting nominations. Click here for the entire PDF longlist.
November 9, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
One name that’s still flying somewhat under the radar but that everyone should be keeping an eye on is Alexandra Roach. The 24 year old Welsh actress graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts only last year, but has already been cast in five feature films, some of which involve extremely high profile and well respected talent both in front of and behind the camera. The Guardian reports Roach has joined the cast and is currently shooting Joe Wright’s new adaptation of “Anna Karenina”, starring Keira Knightley and Aaron Johnson, and has also landed the role of Princess Elizabeth opposite Dakota Fanning as Princess Margaret in “Girls Night Out”, about the young royals who were let out of the Palace to celebrate the end of WWII.
But first, Roach will be seen as the young Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd’s “The Iron Lady”, a biopic of the former Prime Minister who will be played in her adult years by none other than Meryl Streep. Roach’s scenes won’t be a quick flashback either. She will play Thatcher from her teen years all the way into her thirties. “I’m mostly responsible for the storyline for Margaret Roberts, the Grantham girl that worked in the shop, got into Oxford and studied chemistry, and met Denis,” Roach tells The Guardian. “I’m the grounding to get people to understand why she was the woman we all know.” Joining her in Thatcher’s earlier years is “Game of Thrones” actor Harry Lloyd, who plays the younger Denis Thatcher. Jim Broadbent plays him opposite Streep.
In addition to such starmaking high profile roles, Roach also stays rooted in British independent filmmaking. She has completed work on “Trap for Cinderella”, a psychological thriller written and directed by Iain Softley, and also on “Private Peaceful”, the WWI drama directed by Pat O’Connor and adapted from the novel by the author of “War Horse.”
October 28, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Jeremy Irvine is set to break out in a big way when he headlines “War Horse”, adapted from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, so are three of his fellow young British thesps headed down a similar path to success? Ok, sure, Irvine was directed by no less than Steven Spielberg on an epic blockbuster with a “catering budget [that] would have more than covered the total cost of shooting” the second Morpurgo adaptation, starring Jack O’Connell, George MacKay and Alexandra Roach, but filmmakers are hoping its similar themes of youth and war will resonate just as deeply with audiences. British newspaper The Daily Mail has the first pictures of O’Connell and Roach from the set of the currently-filming “Private Peaceful.”
Morpurgo’s 1982 novel centers around two brothers, Charlie and Tommo, who enlist to fight in World War I, but one of them ends up being court-marshaled for cowardice. “It highlights the iniquity of us shooting our own men during the war,” producer Guy de Beaujeu tells the London newspaper. Simon Reade, who also wrote the screenplay, is co-producing. Pat O’Connor will direct a cast that also includes Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour and three young actors playing the lead trio as children: Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Samuel Bottomley and Izzy Meikle-Small. Roach, soon to be seen as the younger Margaret Thatcher in Meryl Streep’s “The Iron Lady”, plays Molly, the girl both brothers love.
As for those inevitable comparisons to “War Horse”, De Beaujeu says, “Simon got the idea of doing Private Peaceful as a film years before Spielberg had seen the National Theatre’s War Horse in London. However, our poster is going to say ‘From the writer of War Horse’ — and why shouldn’t it?” Touché.
August 22, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Young British up and comers Jack O’Connell and George MacKay will star as farmer brothers turned WWI soldiers in an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel “Private Peaceful”, according to The Daily Mail. The young men will be joined by fellow British rising star Alexandra Roach, who will be playing the girl they both love.
Morpurgo’s 1982 novel centers around two brothers, Charlie and Tommo, who enlist to fight in World War I, but one of them ends up being court-marshaled for cowardice. “It highlights the iniquity of us shooting our own men during the war,” producer Guy de Beaujeu tells the London newspaper. Simon Reade, who also wrote the screenplay, is co-producing. Pat O’Connor will direct a cast that also includes Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour and three young actors playing the lead trio as children: Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Samuel Bottomley and Izzy Meikle-Small.
Mackay made his feature film debut as a Lost Boy in 2003′s “Peter Pan” and has since appeared alongside Clive Owen in “The Boys are Back” and Daniel Craig in “Defiance”. He’s currently filming BBC miniseries “Birdsong” opposite Eddie Redmayne and Clemence Poesy. O’Connell, probably most well known for his role as fan favorite Cook on popular UK series “Skins”, had been attached to unfortunately titled cyberbullying pic “uwantme2killhim?”, but it has been pushed back, allowing him to take the “Private Peaceful” role. Roach, recently named one of Screen Daily’s Stars of Tomorrow, will make her feature film debut playing a young Margaret Thatcher opposite Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady.”
July 11, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
in Features, General News, Lists
William and Kate have met and mingled with BAFTA’s inaugural class of British actors to watch for, but there’s plenty more talent where they came from. Screen Daily released recently their annual list of UK Stars of Tomorrow, names less known than the ones BAFTA chose, but who have shown incredible promise for a bright future in acting both in the UK and internationally. And Screen Daily’s got a good track record, having discovered in recent years the likes of Carey Mulligan, Dominic Cooper, Rebecca Hall and Aaron Johnson.
“As usual, our UK Stars Of Tomorrow comprise a dazzling, diverse group of talented young actors and filmmakers who will go on to do great things,” said Mike Goodridge, editor of Screen International. “As our Stars from years past have proved, golden futures here and in Hollywood await those who make it. In the year of The King’s Speech, when British cinema is at a high premium, we are excited to present the next generation of faces and names who will represent the nation on the world’s cinema screens.”
So who will be following in the footsteps of Stars of Tomorrow from years past like Gemma Arterton, James McAvoy, Andrew Garfield and Emily Blunt?
March 18, 2011 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Back in November, we announced that British up and comers Felicity Jones and Imogen Poots had signed on for Iain Softley’s indie production Trap For Cinderella. Since then, both Jones and Poots have been gaining significant buzz around them – Jones gained critical acclaim for her role in Sundance hit Like Crazy, and previews for this summer’s Fright Night are suggesting an excellent performance from Poots.
And it doesn’t seem to have paid of for Softley, as The Daily Mail (via The Playlist) that both Jones and Poots are out, and are replaced by two relatively unknown British actors, Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach.
Middleton is perhaps best known for her role in UK flick Skeletons, but Roach, a graduate of the famous RADA school, will soon be getting her big break alongside Meryl Streep in Iron Lady. Roach will be playing a younger Margaret Thatcher to Streep’s famous 80′s Thatcher, nicknamed the Iron Lady for her tough determination.
Filming on Trap For Cinderella, which is based on the novel by “A Very Long Engagement” by Sebastian Japrisot and “involves a girl, Micky, who wakes up badly burned after a fire in which her best friend, Do, died”, is due to begin next month, with a tentative release date for 2012.
March 1, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
in Casting, Images
She graduated from drama school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts only a few months ago, but newcomer Alexandra Roach is already set to have a big breakthrough moment as she films “The Iron Lady”, playing famed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in her 20s. Not only that, she’ll essentially be playing a younger version of the actress portraying Thatcher later in life: Meryl Streep. Not bad for a feature film debut. Joining her in the flashback scenes and playing her future husband Dennis Thatcher as a young man is Harry Lloyd, known to most audiences as Will Starlet in BBC series “Robin Hood”. Jim Broadbent portrays him opposite Streep in their later years.
The first official photo of Streep as Thatcher has already been revealed, astonishing the internet with her uncanny likeness to the former Prime Minister, and there’s already buzz for Streep to receive her 17th Oscar nomination for the role. The film is being directed by “Mamma Mia!’s” Phylidda Law, with a screenplay by Abi Morgan. Today The Daily Mail gives us our first look at Roach as the young Thatcher/Streep, filming in front of a recreation of her parent’s grocery shop in Grantham.