Tag Archives: Janet McTeer

Movies For Grownups Awards Achieving Higher Prominence

Sharon Stone plants one on Kathy Griffin

This week’s 2012 AARP Movies for Grownups Awards brought out many of Hollywood’s brightest luminaries — including Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Martin Scorsese, Kenneth Branagh, Janet McTeer, Alexander Payne and still hot Sharon Stone — adding to the elegant event’s distinction as an Awards Season Must.  As the New York Times put it, it seems that “the Movies for Grownups had finally, well, grown up.”

We applaud AARP’s persistent efforts toward breaking through the wall of ageism.  Making those efforts in the ageism capital of the world — Hollywood — is particularly noteworthy.  Here, ageism is not only accepted, it’s not only embraced, it is clung to with a ferocity that speaks of barely-hidden terror.  (Think Demi Moore.)  However, with the graying of the Baby Boom generation and other factors making moviegoers of age 50 and up increasingly important to box office revenue, more filmmakers and stars will be reaching out to the mature crowd.  Next, we’d like to see Movies for Grownups on television.

Speaking of the TV side, the standard ratings classifications are archaic statistically — like using a mortar and pestle when you have a Cuisinart, with today’s technology offering far more sophisticated and meaningful data crunching capabilities.  (David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer of CBS Corp. has long been trying to educate people about this.)  And yet, we continue to see the phrase “the coveted 18-49 demographic” over and over and over again.  (Lazy TV writers really should come up with at least one or two different adjectives besides “coveted.”)  Networks and media continue to quote only the ratings for viewers under age 50.  Yet the 55-plus audience reportedly reached 33 per cent of the adult population last year.  In 2015, it’s expected to reach 36 per cent.  That’s a heck of a lot of ignoring.

Janet McTeer Finding Oscar Spotlight More Fun This Time Around

Janet McTeer on Browadway in Mary Stuart

Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Janet McTeer is enjoying her time in the Academy Awards spotlight for “Albert Nobbs” much more than she did when she was nominated as Best Actress in 1999 for her portrayal of a single mom in “Tumbleweeds.”  The reason:  “It’s easier because it’s a bit less scary,” she explains. 

“I suppose I’m older and wiser so I suppose I can take it more lightly.  I know more people here now.  I’m more likely to bump into a lot of mates.  When I first went to the Academy Awards, I knew not a single person.  You think, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to do the wrong thing, fall over my dress, do something embarrassing and lose every friend I’ve ever met and end up without a dime in my pocket,” she dead-pans. 

Now, she says, her feeling is, “How lovely.  What an honor to be included and see all these wonderful people.”

The RADA-educated, Tony and OBE-awarded actress was quoted in the past, talking about the whole Oscar business as “silly” and noting that the English tend to be embarrassed by the idea of admitting they’d like to win, whereas Americans have been known for declarations about the nominations constituting the best day of their lives and such. 

Reminded of that statement, she says, “I would probably say the best day of my life was the day I got married, as opposed to the day I got nominated.  It’s a wonderful thing, not a defining thing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t mean to sound trollish.  I think they’re wonderful.  I think they’re a great honor.  And it’s absolutely fantastic for the film — how many more people will see it and see what Glenn (Close) has achieved.  I’m grateful for that, and genuinely, hugely flattered.”

McTeer’s awards season whirlwind continues.  She has the big screen chiller “The Woman in Black” starring Daniel Radcliffe opening Feb. 3.  She’s also been busy with projects for the BBC and HBO, and a German film, in addition to her upcoming guest arc on Close’s “Damages.”  She tells us, “I’ve been going back and forth, racing back toMaineto see my family whenever I could.  I live inMaineand work inNew York.  Truthfully, I think when we get to March I’ll vacation for a week.”

Janet McTeer Delighted by ‘Albert Nobbs’ Gay/Lesbian Support

"Albert Nobbs"

Esteemed British actress Janet McTeer, who is up for Independent Spirit Award and Golden Globe honors for her performance in “Albert Nobbs,”  is delighted that she and her character are being embraced by the gay and lesbian community.

“I think it’s awesome,” says the 6’1″ Tony winner and OBE, who wanted her character to be markedly different from Glenn Close’s titular character in the film.  (Warning: the following three paragraphs contain spoilers.)  Albert Nobbs is a woman in 19th century Ireland who took on a male persona in order to get a job and get off the streets, and has lived as a man for 30 years.  Her path crosses with that of McTeer’s Hubert, who also turns out to be a woman passing as a man.

“Albert is very different from Hubert.  With Albert, you’re not sure if he’s gay, straight or whatever, and I’m not sure Albert knows.  Albert is a damaged human being.  What I very much wanted to portray with Hubert is someone spectacularly happy and at peace being themselves,” says McTeer.  And she did.  Hubert, who is happily married, comes off as “a bloke you’d like for a neighbor, or someone you want to go out and have a pint with, and still retains these lovely feminine qualities.”

She’s been told that, “The lesbians and the crossdressers and the transsexuals are all going to want to claim you.’  And I said, ‘Good, because they can all claim Hubert.   Hubert is someone I think of as both a he and a she….I really wanted to play a character like that — one who doesn’t explain herself, doesn’t feel the need to justify herself.   I can’t bear labels.  I couldn’t give a —- about anyone’s sexuality unless I want to sleep with them myself.”

Right now, McTeer and Close are busy working together again — as opposing (female) attorneys who have a history — on the final season of Close’s “Damages.”  McTeer jokes that they’re in each other’s contracts nowadays.  They’ll be breaking from series production on the East Coast to head to Hollywood for the Jan. 15 Golden Globes — where Close is up for Best Actress and Best Original Song.  They’re each up for Screen Actors Guild Awards, too.  And they’re considered by many to be shoo-ins for Oscar nominations.

Gleeson touched by encounter with Churchill’s daughter


Janet McTeer, Brendan Gleeson
Janet McTeer, Brendan Gleeson

With his “Into the Storm” telefilm coming up at month’s end, Irish actor Brendan Gleeson’s portrayal of WWII British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is already drawing advance raves.  The notice that stands out most for him came the other night at a screening in London – from Churchill’s daughter, 86-year-old Lady Mary Soames. 

 “I think she was genuinely pleased,” he happily reports.  “She said I didn’t fall into the usual traps or something of that nature.  Of course for her it was all looking into the past.  She said, ‘This is very emotional for me.’”

 The joint HBO-BBC production, executive produced by Tony and Ridley Scott, picks up where the 2002 “The Gathering Storm” left off – with the war years seen via flashbacks as Winston and Clementine Churchill (Janet McTeer, in a rich performance) await his post-war election results.  “The Gathering Storm” won shelves full of awards, including Emmys for Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Outstanding Lead Actor for Albert Finney — a fact of which Gleeson was quite aware when he took on the job.  Finney’s performance, he says, “had such force and humanity in it, you say, ‘Where do you take it from there?’” 

 

Portraying the iconic figure “was a huge acting challenge” — that included playing 20 years older than himself.  Gleeson admits, “I was a little wary of it being a bridge too far, of miscasting myself, but the people involved were very encouraging.”

He notes, “It’s really important to separate the human being from the history, in a sense.  Then just allow the history to happen to him.”

 

Since completing “Into the Storm,” Gleeson has made Paul Greengrass’ upcoming Iraq war movie, “Green Zone” with Matt Damon, Amy Ryan and Greg Kinnear.  And he has “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I,” his last installment of his role as professor “Mad-Eye” Moody, ahead. 

 

“My part will be limited in that.  I just get finished off, pretty much like the book,” he tells us.  “Those are such a good time.”

 

GETTING UP TO SPEEDMAN:  With Atom Egoyan’s “Adoration” newly in release and the Western “Last Rites of Ransom Pride” in the can, Scott Speedman says, “I’m just trying to get a good job right now.  It’s quite challenging to find the money for a certain type of film at the moment.” 

 

The actor who rose to fame on “Felicity” says he’s certainly not ruling out TV.  “I never say never.  Doing a series is not something that’s a burning desire for me.  I like the nomadic lifestyle of making movies and the challenge of playing different characters.  But if the right kind of thing with the right people came along, I’d be open.  I had such a great experience with TV before.”

 

The right people had everything to do with his role at the caretaker of an orphaned teen (Devon Bostick) fraught with painful issues concerning his late parents – who adopts a disturbing story about terrorists as his own background – in “Adoration.”  “I wanted to work with Atom Egoyan,” says Scott.  “Growing up in Toronto, he’s a legend up there.  I have a list of guys I wanted to work with and he’s definitely on it.  I pictured a quiet auteur director who didn’t talk much and who hung out behind the monitor, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  He was up front and right there beside us as we were working.”

 

PLAYERS:  With a May 18 start date looming on the Robert DeNiro-Edward Norton “Stone,” they’re just wrapping up casting of minor roles in the movie, based on a play by Angus MacLachlan (“Junebug”), in which DeNiro plays a parole officer who develops a friendship with a teaching assistant.  One juicy part is that of Lucetta, a thirtyish preschool teacher described as “sexy, fun, promiscuous, naïve yet unpredictable.”  She sleeps with DeNiro’s character trying to get her husband out of jail. 

With retired Major League Baseball players coming in to do Steven Soderbergh’s “Moneyball” Brad Pitt starrer – and real game footage being used for super verisimilitude — all that’s left is to cast are such off-the-field participants as managers and scouts, and that final casting is what is happening now.  The story of the 2002 Oakland A’s and their general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) already has baseball and computer geeks excited – depicting Beane’s success with a never-before-tried system of team building based on computer statistical analyses.

 With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster