Role Call: Apes and ninjas and nuns, oh, my!

Luckily for all of the Harry Potter fans out there, our favorite cast members are a talented lot and are very much in demand for new projects gracing the screen and stage.

Released only in Europe thus far, The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet is a film that tells of a twelve-year-old cartographer (someone who studies and makes maps) who is honored by the Smithsonian Institute and makes his journey alone across the United States to accept his award. While little is known about her character, Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) is a credited cast member in the role of Dr. Clair. Images from the film suggest that Dr. Clair may actually be the titular character’s mother, but we will have to wait and see! The film has no scheduled release date for the US at this time, but there is a very interactive French site you can visit to learn more about the film… if you speak French, that is.

As reported yesterday, new images of Gary Oldman‘s (Sirius Black) Child 44 emerged this week, but that’s not all that’s new! Four new posters for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have been released according to Monsters and Critics, just ahead of the first trailer release date, scheduled for tomorrow, December 18 at 6 AM PST. We hope that when the new trailer is released, we’ll get our first glimpse at Gary as Dreyfus. The film itself will begin premiering this July in both the US and the UK. You can view each of the posters here.

From monkeys to ninjas, our cast never disappoints! Actress Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout) has once again joined the Disney family. Previously, she voiced a part in the Disney feature film Mulan as the voice of The Matchmaker. Now, she is set to voice the part of Nana Sheila in the Disney Junior show Nina Needs to Go, airing in February. Says Margolyes of her new role,

I am delighted to be part of Disney Junior’s Nina Needs to Go. Having voiced a Disney character many years ago in Mulan, it feels so good to return to the Disney family, voicing Nana Shelia who is a rather fabulous ninja granny!

Keeping in the spirit of the holidays, The Grand Budapest Hotel, starring Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), has released a winterized and motion version of its movie poster. Day turns to night, and the snow begins to fall before all the lights of the hotel go dim. To view the poster, visit the Coming Soon website. You can also view the trailer at the film’s website, found here.

Currently staying in New York for her run in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley) shares her love of the city and talks about her experiences as a tourist. In an interview with The L Magazine, Shaw reveals her favorite place to stay when she’s in the city, her favorite theater to perform in, and her shopping habits.

When I arrive, I always run to Bloomingdale’s for the sheer shopaholic potential. I don’t shop in London. I also love Saks and Bergdorf Goodman; however, I go to Banana Republic for jeans. Oh, I would buy everything in Restoration Hardware, if only I could fit a sofa in my suitcase.

As for all the tourist spots, Shaw visits the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), takes the subway whenever possible, and recently visited the Cloisters.

This medieval gift is there to ‘escape you’ for all of NYC. It’s only a subway ride away, and it’s another world: woods and the views of the palaces makes you feel miles from the city.

Shaw will remain in New York at least through December 22, when her run with Ancient Mariner ends.

In a very personal interview with the Daily Mail, Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) explains how a nun at her primary school influenced her decision to become an actor.

I wasn’t a girly girl, and the nerviness was influenced by the nuns at my primary school, who were pretty terrifying. I liked to perform from very young. A very strict, bad-tempered nun called Sister Patrick did a lot of shouting. I don’t know what I did, but I made her laugh; she bent down and said, ‘You should go on the stage’. I’d never been to the theatre, but I knew what she meant. I felt that incredible power of being able to make someone laugh.

Walters also talks briefly about her time on the Harry Potter sets.

The Harry Potter sets are unbelievable. I used to walk around with my mouth wide open. In the Weasleys’ house, there were no special effects. The pans stirred automatically, and the knitting needles knitted themselves. It was just amazing.

To read the complete interview, click here.

Turner Classic Movies released a stirring tribute to film industry stars who passed away in 2013. Included in the tribute is Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley) at about 3:20. A small clip of Griffiths as Vernon Dursley is used, as well as a clip from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, where all the students raise their wands in respect and honor of a fallen Dumbledore. Also included in this tribute, directly after Griffiths, is Harry Potter set decorator Stephenie McMillan. You can watch the video here.

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