Jude Law celebrates after earning rave reviews for Henry V (but he won't be too happy about all those mentions of his receding hairline)
It's a daunting prospect for any actor - taking on one of William Shakespeare's most famous dramatic roles.
But Jude Law needn't have worried, as his portrayal of Henry V earned him rave reviews on the press night of Michael Grandage's production at the Noel Coward theatre in London's West End on Tuesday evening.
The 40-year-old star was praised widely for his take on the king, with critics commenting on his star quality in the title role.
However, something Law may not be so happy about is that three of the main five reviewers mentioned his receding hairline.
Despite that fact, the father-of-two appeared in good spirits as he attended the afterparty following the press night with his castmates.
The Daily Mail's Quentin Letts praised Law's 'magnetism' and gave the play four stars, writing: 'He is fit enough physically to wear period battledress without looking silly. He glowers beautifully, even if he resembles a slimmed-down Phil Collins.'
Jude Law may look like an unlikely hero, but he doesn't put a foot wrong in Michael Grandage's thrilling production of Henry V
Michael Grandage’s bold, star-studded 15 month season in the West End comes to a rousing close with this admirably fleet and dramatically gripping production of Henry V.
I found his hippy-dippy production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream a touch disappointing, but here he is back in superbly confident form, with a terrific star performance from Jude Law in the title role.
Henry V is England’s dramatic epic, once memorably described as a play in which “Shakespeare got out his largest horn and sounded a sustained blast of patriotism.” But that is only part of the story. The play is often wonderfully funny, as Shakespeare makes sport of national stereotypes, ranging from effete Frenchmen to a hilariously garrulous Welshman. And its account of the famous English victory at Agincourt is not without its darker moments.
In particular there is the chilling line when Henry V commands that every soldier should “kill his prisoners” to prevent the French from regrouping. Earlier, at Harfleur, he threatens that his troops will “defile…your still shrieking daughters” and that “naked infants” will be “spitted upon spikes.” Henry may be a great military hero but he doesn’t exactly play by the rules of the Geneva Convention.
The production, designed by Christopher Oram, is largely staged in medieval dress on a huge whitewashed stockade, to suggest the “wooden O” of the Globe Theatre to which the Chorus refers in the famous opening speech. But the Chorus, who also doubles as the Boy who hangs out with such reprobates as Pistol, Bardolph and Nym, is the one character in modern dress, sporting a Union Jack t-shirt and tacitly inviting us to compare Henry’s exploits with the conflicts of our own times. It is a simple but telling device that proves highly effective, especially since this time-shifting double role is played with such eloquence and wit by Ashley Zhangazha.
Jude Law, relatively short of stature and with a receding hairline, initially looks an unlikely hero, but this is one of the richest and most detailed performances of Henry V that I have ever seen. He combines palpable authority with a ready wit, acts with chilling ruthlessness when he needs to and movingly captures the King’s doubts and the awful burden of his responsibility on the eve of Agincourt. And he delivers the wonderful rousing speeches to the troops with thrilling eloquence.
Yet in the final act, during the wooing scene with the French Princess, deliciously played by Jessie Buckley, he discovers a warmth and good humour that proves hugely endearing.
The supporting cast is superb. The great Ron Cook is in scene-stealing form as the cynical and hilariously choleric Pistol, while Noma Dumezweni as Mistress Quickly delivers the wonderful speech about the death of Falstaff, one of the most moving moments in the whole of Shakespeare, with a magical mixture of humour and depth of feeling. Look out too for Matt Ryan, superbly entertaining as that lovable Welsh windbag, Fluellen, and James Laurenson who plays Exeter with a loyal decency and lack of fuss that somehow movingly suggests the English national character at its very best.
You leave the theatre in no doubt that you have witnessed a production of rare distinction and dramatic depth.
Jude News: We happy few: I’m proud to follow the greats as Henry V, says Jude Law
We happy few: I’m proud to follow the greats as Henry V, says Jude Law
ude Law has spoken of his pride at joining the roll-call of theatrical greats to have played Henry V.
The actor is preparing for his official first night at Noël Coward Theatre on Tuesday, in the part previously performed by stars from Laurence Olivier to Kenneth Branagh.
He said: “There’s a great sense of pride that you’re stepping into the shoes of some really extraordinary actors who have played this part and spoken these wonderful words before.
“That’s part of the reason I enjoy taking on this type of role — the fear factor and the pressure factor. It forces you to raise your game.”
Law said he had seen the famous film versions of Shakespeare’s play with Olivier and Branagh, as well as stage productions including those starring Adrian Lester, and Jamie Parker at The Globe — not to prepare but because “I’m a fan of theatre and film”.
To explore the qualities of leadership demonstrated by Henry as he leads the English forces into battle against the French, he drew on conversations with former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio, and read books on everyone from President John F Kennedy to Winston Churchill.
Yet he admitted not much had rubbed off on him: “I don’t particularly see myself in that role other than when I’m shepherding my kids across the road.
“It’s my job to try and get as much information to feel like what it might be to be that man. But with something as well-written as this, an awful lot of what I have to do is on the page.”
The 40-year-old, currently on the big screen as foul-mouthed safe-cracker Dom Hemingway, said he was “absolutely thrilled” to be back in the West End, where he played Hamlet in 2009, and has since appeared in Eugene O’Neill’s drama Anna Christie.
“We’re heading towards Christmas and the lights are twinkling and it’s terribly exciting and romantic coming to work every day,” he said. “Being on stage is intoxicating and special. Out there is when it’s the most thrilling.” He said it was great to be part of director Michael Grandage’s year-long season at the theatre in St Martin’s Lane, starring Judi Dench, Sheridan Smith and Daniel Radcliffe.
It has offered £10 seats at every performance to encourage new audiences. “Being part of a company championing cheap seats is very important,” Law added.
People had “an affinity” with Henry V, with its famous lines such as “Once more unto the breach” and “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”, he said. “Most people know a piece of it or have seen it before or studied it at school. But Michael is incredibly good at talking about the piece as if it’s a brand new piece of writing.”
Hey Jude, don't be afraid: Mr Law is mobbed by fans outside the theatre doors as he completes his preview performance in Henry V
As one of the world's prominent actors, Jude Law is used to being mobbed by fans.
And true to form, a mob were waiting to pounce on the 40-year-old star following his performance in Henry V at the Noel Coward Theatre on Friday evening.
Jude, who plays the lead role of Henry V, looked slightly overwhelmed at first but slowly appeared at ease with the mob as he patiently signed autographs for his adoring fans.
ude made sure to wrap up warm for the chilly London night, and was kitted out in a long black wool coat with a shearling collar, a pair of black trousers, black boots and what appeared to be a V-neck red T-shirt beneath all the layers.
And it was a good idea that he did wrap up warm as it appeared he was out in the cold for quite a while whilst tickets, theatre programmes and pieces of paper were all held up for Jude to sign.
Talking to The Telegraph about his new role, Jude said: 'I’ve always been curious about changing direction and trying parts I’ve never tried before.
'As soon as I’ve felt I was getting shepherded into a corner, I’ve wanted to come out and show another side. In this industry, people can think you’re only suitable for one type. I’ve wanted to show that they were wrong.'
After Jude signed all the autographs and took photos with the fans, he decided to celebrate his success with a night at the Groucho Club in Soho.
Jude was seen leaving the club dressed in the same gear as when he left the theatre on St.Martin's Lane, looking particularly pleased with himself.
The Talented Mr. Ripley actor has been working non-stop recently with his popular new film Dom Hemingway out, rehearsing for Henry V and plans for Sherlock Holmes 3 already in the works.
He told Digital Spy: 'We had a meeting earlier this year, the three of us, and I think it's being written now.'
The film hasn't officially been confirmed as yet, but the 40-year-old hunk is optimistic that Warner Bros. - who produced the last two films - are keen to green light a third film.
He added: 'Warner Bros. have still got to agree to pay for it... I think they want to!'
Robert Video: Iron Man: storyboard animati con scene e dialoghi inediti di Robert Downey Jr.
Iron Man: storyboard animati con scene e dialoghi inediti di Robert Downey Jr.
Film Sketchr ci propone alcuni storyboard inediti animati da James Rothwell e realizzati dagli artisti Richard K. Buoen, Michael Anthony Jackson, David Lowery e Eric Ramsey per il primo film del franchise di Iron Man (2008).
Si tratta di sequenze piuttosto simili alla versione presente nel film anche se con qualche differenza e alcuni dialoghi inediti registrati da Robert Downey Jr. e T).
Courmayeur 2013: anche nella Desolazione di Smaug piovono polpette
Nonostante il Venerdì 13 incomba con la sua giornata tutta dedicata all'horror tenuta a battesimo da Dario Argento, il Courmayeur Noir in Festival deve avere degli angeli Custodi di un certo calibro per continuare a mantenere in vita una delle manifestazioni cinematografiche più interessanti della stagione invernale. Così, pur affrontando le restrizioni economiche che hanno penalizzato la sezione del documentario e quella dedicata ai più giovani, la ventitreesima edizione della manifestazione, che si terrà dal 10 al 15 dicembre, è riuscita a costruire un programma di prestigio in cui l'autorialità di alcuni prodotti si fonde con la commercialità di altri. Un risultato che si deve anche e, soprattutto, alla partecipazione di major come la Warner Bros e la 20th Century Fox, pronte ad offrire delle anteprime ambite distribuite equamente tra le dieci pellicole in concorso, le tre fuori concorso e i vari eventi speciali. Ad aprire la selezione ufficiale è Devil's Knot, diretto da Atom Egoyan e interpretato da Colin Firth e Reese Witherspoon. Il film, riproponendo i temi della brutalità, del mistero e dell'infanzia violata tanto cari al regista canadese, ha diviso l'opinione pubblica americana per aver portato sullo schermo "il caso dei tre di Memphis". Negli anni '90, dopo il ritrovamento di tre bambini di otto anni morti in circostanze misteriose, vennero accusati degli adolescenti come esecutori di probabili riti satanici e omicidi rituali. Il processo riuscì a spaccare in due il paese per l'assenza di prove evidenti a loro carico.
Dall'America redneck si passa ad ambientazioni britanniche con Dom Hemingway di Richard Shepard che decide di non utilizzare le sfumature più dark del genere, ma preferisce concentrarsi sulla costruzione di una personalità criminale intelligente e istrionica. Sarà per questo che ad interpretare Dom, delinquente di Londra specializzato in furti con scasso, è stato scelto un Jude Law in grado di mettere a servizio della storia la sua ambiguità carismatica.
Continuando a parlare di interpreti che sembrano caratterizzare con decisione la visione di un regista, Jake Gyllenhaal torna a collaborare con Denis Villeneuve in Enemy dopo l'esperienza di Prisoners. Questa volta il film, ispirato al romanzo O homem duplicado dello scrittore portoghese Premio Nobel Josè Saramago, porta sullo schermo il viaggio metafisico di un uomo alla ricerca dell'altro da sé. Accanto a queste pellicole dal respiro internazionale, tra cui anche i danesi The Keeper of Lost Causes e I Lossens Time - The Hour of the Lynx, rispettivamente firmati da Mikkel Norgaard e Soren Kragh-Jacobsen, il Concorso mostra con un certo orgoglio due noir tutti italiani. Si tratta di Neve, di Stefano Incerti, e Vinodentro, con il quale Ferdinando Vicentini torna al racconto di fiction unendo il crimine e la sua conoscenza vinicola. " Il mio è un noir diverso, potemmo definirlo trasversale. Questo per dire che non muore nessuno - chiarisce Incerti - Volevo fortemente realizzare quello che sulla carta era un piccolo film in una formula nuova, almeno per me. Ho pensato il tutto come se fosse una pellicola svedese dove l'ambientazione ha il suo peso. Per questo motivo possiamo dire che nel viaggio di Donato e nelle disavventure di Norah, inseguita da un piccolo gangster, la neve si impone come terzo protagonista."
Totalmente diversa, invece, è l'ambientazione creata da Vicentini, deciso a lasciar commettere ogni delitto possibile nella cornice del Trentino e tra gli esperti del collezionismo enologico. " Per oltre dieci anni mi sono dedicato al documentario, per questo sono molto emozionato all'idea di ritornare alla cinema di finzione. L'idea di questo film risale al mio primo cortometraggio. Dopo venti anni, la storia continuava a girarmi in testa, così ho pensato di ampliarne le possibilità narrative. Tutto si sviluppa intorno ad una donna misteriosa che, categoricamente, si rifiuta di dare qualsiasi informazione sulla propria identità al suo accompagnatore. Questo, però, si trasforma in un problema quando l'uomo dovrà procurarsi un alibi."
Orgoglio italico a parte, non si può negare che l'attenzione del pubblico e degli esperti del settore sia concentrata tutta sul Fuori Concorso e sugli Eventi Speciali per delle anteprime da non perdere. La prima è The Counselor - Il procuratore che, come se non bastasse la regia di Ridley Scott e un cast stellare composto da Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt e Bruno Ganz, si garantisce l'eccezionalità per tenere a battesimo l'esordio dello scrittore Cormac McCarthy alla sceneggiatura. Secondo Il regista " si tratta di un racconto straordinario, una vera corsa sulle montagne russe. Nella sceneggiatura sono presenti situazioni e personaggi epici e un senso d'ineluttabilità per qualche cosa di orribile che sta per capitare senza che nessuno lo possa evitare. I personaggi sono merce avariata. Sono in gamba, ma si barcamenano nel loro lavoro."
Al noir di Scott, però, risponde l'anteprima de Lo Hobbit: la desolazione di Smaug che, accompagnato da una vera e propria maratona- Hobbit in cui viene riproposto anche il capitolo inaugurale, si aggiudica senza dubbio il titolo di film più atteso della stagione, da ammirare, finalmente, con una proiezione in 4k grazie all'intervento della Sony. Un'innovazione tecnica che Courmayeur si vanta di aver accolto per prima e che gioverà anche alla visione dell'animazione Piovono Polpette 2 e all'europeo Il castello magico, realizzato dai creatori de Le avventure di Sammy.
Jude News: Jude Law Talks 'Wonderful' West End Return In Shakespeare's HENRY V
Jude Law Talks 'Wonderful' West End Return In Shakespeare's HENRY V
Stage and screen superstar Jude Law illuminates his participation in the new Michael Grandage-directed production of HENRY V in London's West End as well as his wishes for his ultimate legacy as a performer as part of a new interview.
Shedding some light on the title character of Shakespeare's historical drama himself, director Michael Grandage observes, "One of the things a good Henry needs to have is the ability to show the men around him that he can pull it all together even if the odds are heavily stacked against them. In the middle of that mix is charisma. And Jude naturally brings that to the role."
He humorously adds of his current die-hard commitment to nailing the part while in ongoing rehearsals, "I'm in an 18-hour-a-day relationship with Henry,"
Furthermore, Law astutely says of the preparation that playing Hamlet provided in his taking on Henry, "There was a little part of me - and I'd be a liar if I didn't say this - that thought 'Well, I gave Hamlet a good stab, I can go into Henry with a little bit of confidence.' Of course what you forget is that it's a completely different part, completely different demands, you're starting from scratch again - none of that held water whatsoever."
Law recounts, "Prior to rehearsals, I was thinking I was going to 'find' a character - who he was. And it has become apparent that, similarly to Hamlet, he has to be you. You've got to find that man in you, be truthful in the moment, and allow those moments to culminate into an arc."
Additionally, Law concludes he loves returning to the West End as much as possible and that theatre is his true love, relating, "It's a wonderful way to spend a few months, it really is. I love film but ultimately in my heart I'm a theatre actor. I'm tentatively optimistic about it."
Check out the original article on the matter here.
Forest Whitaker admires the way Jude Law can look good in casual clothing and a cap.
The 52-year-old actor always looks dapper in suits on the red carpet, most recently to promote his latest movie The Butler.
When it comes to fashion Forest looks up to Jude, who has achieved heartthrob status during his time in Hollywood.
"Jude Law dresses really well. Every time I see him, even when he's casual and with his cap, he looks good," he told gq-magazine.co.uk.
As Cecil Gaines in The Butler, the actor wears a great deal of sharp suits and black bow ties.
He revealed his top tip for looking good in real life.
"I think I like to have something that has a little bit of life, a warm quality. Something that gives a little bit of a breath of your other experiences, something personal that has age to it..." he mused.
This is a little like his character, who ends up wearing a tie pin from Lyndon B. Johnson and a tie gifted to him by John F. Kennedy.
Forest let fans in on his preparation for the scene.
"That scene was one of the first things I did some research on, because there are photos of Eugene Allen [the butler who inspired the film] putting on his suit, so everything I'm doing was part of how I was working out the part - putting on the tie and the suit. It was from Eugene Allen really doing it," he explained.
The Butler also stars Mariah Carey and Alex Pettyfer and is directed by Lee Daniels.
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