Role Call: Wormtail is a Sucker

The former cast of the Harry Potter series never cease to entertain. This week, we take a closer look at the upcoming projects some of our favorite cast have signed on for, including Christian Coulson (Tom Riddle), Katie Leung (Cho Chang), Toby Jones (Dobby), and Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail), just to name a few.

She’s the woman we love to hate – in her role as Dolores Umbridge, that is! Imelda Staunton is a busy woman who still occasionally practices magic. Having already finished filming her portion for the Disney flick Maleficent, all that remained was for us to see what her pixie character would look like.  We finally did get a good look at Imelda in her role as the pixie Knotgrass, who in the animated version of the film was previously called Merryweather and can be seen in the photo below:

Imelda Staunton Knotgrass

Also recently announced is her role in the play Gypsy as Mama Rose during the Chichester 2014 season at the newly-restored Festival Theatre in October, but she can next be seen at the West End’s Noel Coward Theatre in the play Good People beginning on April 10 running through June 14. She plays an unemployed, single-mother named Margie who does anything it takes to pay her bills, including hitting up an old, now successful boyfriend for the money. The play, written by David Lindsay-Abaire, previously won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play of the Year.  Synopsis of the play:

If you were born in South Boston you’ve started life on the wrong side of the tracks, so just making ends meet will need all the energy you can muster. Margie is a sharp-tongued single-mother on the edge. Hearing that an old boyfriend who has made good is in town, she decides to corner him, but when Margie’s plan brings unexpected consequences for her and the unsuspecting Mike, both must look to the past to re-examine the choices and secrets that brought them back together.

Learn more about the play and purchase tickets here.

Veteran actor of stage and screen John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander) will attend the Norfolk and Norwich Festival on May 18 as part of a discussion panel. He is slated to speak on his acting career and the inspiration of varied works from his youth. To learn more about the festival and purchase tickets, visit the website here.

Marks & Spencer recently launched their Leading Ladies campaign, starring Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney). Famed fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the photos for the campaign, featuring ‘influential British women’ in the countryside. A spokesperson for the brand elaborated on the reason each of the featured ladies were chosen for the campaign:

These dynamic Leading Ladies represent the unique and diverse women of a modern Britain. They are united in their extraordinary achievements but confident in their differences. Marks & Spencer is a democratic brand which is relevant to women of all ages and strands of life; it is therefore natural for M&S to celebrate women in this way.”

In addition to the photos, the ladies address how their style is influenced and has evolved over the years in a short video, which you can view here.

Gary Oldman (Sirius Black) tells us…nothing. In his newest role, Gary advertises the new HTC1 Smartphone, and stares us down while doing it. In the first ad, he asks the viewer to form their own opinion of the phone, and in the second…well, let’s just say that he uses an Alan Rickman-esque pause technique that many Harry Potter fans can appreciate. Take a look for yourself!

BBC Two has cast Katie Leung (Cho Chang)  in its upcoming drama One Child in the lead role of Mei, who is adopted by an American mother and British father. Mei struggles with the decision to return to the place of her birth when she is contacted by her birthmother, asking her to help her save her son, a brother she has never met. The drama is set to begin filming in London this May, and will air in late 2014 according to Digital Spy.

From House-Elf to Clown to Stoke City’s kit man – Toby Jones (voice of Dobby) is set to star in a BBC drama called Marvellous, based on the true story of Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin. Baldwin spent his life in a variety of jobs, including circus clown and equipment manager, or kit man, for Stoke City FC, a UK football league. Coincidentally, the UK football club call themselves The Potters, which seems a bit poetic when you think about it – in the HP series, Dobby considered Harry Potter his best friend. According to Baldwin, Jones has already spoken with him regarding his life and even invited him to the set once filming begins. Says Baldwin of the casting choice:

Toby is a great actor. He has been in more than 20 films so I’m very glad he has got the job.”

Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail) has been cast in Sucker, currently filming in Melbourne, Australia. The film centers on a young man named Lawrence, who fails to gain entry into medical school after cheating on his final exams and is forced to spend the summer with his uncle. He meets the conman known simply as the Professor, played by Spall, and his daughter Sarah. The trio take a road trip as the Professor tries to teach Lawrence the art of the swindle. The producer of the film, Robyn Kershaw, explained that for the Professor, they needed “someone with gravitas, from the old school”, and that Spall fit the bill.

E4 announced earlier this week that a new drama series has begun production, with Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown) as part of the cast. The 8 episode series, Glue, is set to air sometime in late 2014. You can read the synopsis below:

When the body of Caleb, a teenage traveller, is found dead underneath the wheels of a tractor, the village’s inhabitants – his friends – are forced to open up their world and watch their secrets spill out.”

Entering the recording studio this week is Julie Walters (Molly Weasley), who has been hired to record the voiceovers for the 2014 Oliviers Awards ceremony taking place this Sunday, April 13 at the Royal Opera House. Walters is a previous Olivier Award winner for her work in All My Sons, an experience on-stage that she describes as special.

That was definitely very very special for me. The writing was amazing, the actors and direction stunning. It was utterly moving, but so accessible. At the end of the evening you could hear crying from all around, people just sitting there in their seats. It was emotionally great. Draining, but very rewarding.”

A kickstarter campaign for an independent film called Peter and John will star Christian Coulson (Tom Riddle), if it raises all needed funds for the film. At the time of this post, the campaign had raised nearly half of their goal with help from over 100 backers. The film brings together both professional filmmakers and students to collaborate in the filmmaking process, adapting the screenplay from a novel of the same title. Christian is set to play the titular character, Peter, a former Civil War medic and physician looking to build his practice and gain wealth on the island of Nantucket. When his brother John is mysteriously gifted with an inheritance, the family dynamic changes. To learn more about the film project, visit the campaign website here, or watch the video here!

That’s it for this edition of Casting News. What do you think about the latest roles and projects announced? Let us know which projects you are most looking forward to by commenting below!

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