Role Call: A Flirty February

Maggie Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio shared a kiss on Valentines Day?! Say What?! A lot of projects are in the works this week with Stephen Fry, Toby Jones, Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon, and so many more stepping in front of the camera. See what our favorite Harry Potter alum are up to in MuggleNet’s weekly Role Call!

The Daily Mail recently reported that John Hurt (Mr. Ollivander) and Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) will play father and son in the upcoming production of The Entertainer. Hurt will play the role of Billy Rice opposite Branagh, who will star as Archie Rice. Branagh mentioned in the interview that John Hurt is

one of his acting heroes. Billy Rice is a legendary performer: spry and sexy. He’s fit, fiery and ready for anything. So is John Hurt.

The Entertainer is a three-act play by John Osborne that follows a failing stage performer who tries to keep his career going as his personal life falls apart. The production will begin August 20 as part of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s first season at The Garrick.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Chris Columbus (director of the first two Potter films) talked about his newest film, The Young Messiah, which is based on the book Christ the Lord by Anne Rice. Columbus has yet to be a part of a faith-based film, but he admits in the interview that he simply was just drawn to the story.

If you look at my work, the stuff I’ve done, it’s kind of all over the place. Different genres whether it’s comedy or fantasy, drama… We just fell in love with this story.

The Young Messiah, which tells the story of Jesus during his seventh year, is technically not canon, as the story of the film does not take place in the actual Bible, but Columbus ensures that the film is still a movie based on the Christian faith.

To make absolutely certain that we were not going to get into any sort of testy waters, we had several theologians working on the film to make sure that we stay true to the time and the place… It is correct in terms of whether or not we can actually believe that this might have been something that happened to Jesus.

In the interview, Columbus goes into more detail on his past projects, including the surprisingly successful Home Alone, and he also discusses what it was like training at the foot of Steven Spielberg. See The Young Messiah in theaters March 11 and watch the full interview below.

Billy Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) attended the BFI Chairman’s Dinner last week in support of Hugh Grant being awarded the BFI Fellowship. It was an unofficial Love Actually reunion as not only Hugh Grant and Billy Nighy were in attendance, but also Martine McCutcheon. A whole host of famous faces showed up to support Hugh Grant, including David Heyman (producer of the Potter films), who has worked with Grant on countless occasions.

If you have not yet seen Clémence Poésy in The Ones Below, you are missing out on a fantastically suspenseful film. In a recent interview with Stylist magazine, Clémence admits that she was attracted to the film because of its plot and that she would have been turned off if the story had more gore.

For me it was about the storytelling. I was really interested in the way this story was constructed, the way you never really know if what you think is real actually is. Especially with a moment of someone’s life [post childbirth] that can be quite blurry. I like thrillers when nothing gets bloody, when it’s about what’s happening in the mind.

She also told interviewers that, even though she has been in a variety of films throughout the years, she never watches her performances for fear that she will become self-conscious.

I’d just be thinking of all my mistakes and how I hadn’t done it the way I wish I had… I don’t want to be conscious of the things I need to change. I never look at the monitor when I’m filming because of the self-awareness.

Catch Clémence Poésy in the upcoming second series of The Tunnel and in her recent role in Stanley Tucci’s Final Portrait.

Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) recently did an interview with Radio Times where he discussed his shock at being asked to portray Sir Winston Churchill in the upcoming ITV drama Churchill’s Secret.

It was a shock when the director said, we want you to play Churchill. I thought, Oh Christ almighty. I know of him! I said I’d think about it.

In the interview, Gambon also spoke about giving up theater and instead, taking on more film roles. He loves the theater, but screen projects offer the possibility of retakes, and as he is 75, he tends to forget his lines more than he used to. That being said, Gambon still loves acting and has loved being able to portray different characters in his career.

I look at the director to see if he’s happy and he gives me a few notes. That’s how I get through it. It’s the only way, isn’t it?

Churchill’s Secret is set in 1953 and follows the former prime minister in his final years in office as his health declined. The drama premieres tonight, February 28, at 8:00 p.m. on ITV and will also be broadcast on PBS in the US.

Michael Gambon is also set to attend the Omnibus art centre’s Patrons’ Launch Night on Wednesday, March 16. There, he will discuss his life and career alongside several other famous faces. The event will launch the campaign to raise money for Brighter Futures, a scheme to help South London locals develop a career in the arts. If you are one of our UK fans, check out the website for more information and to get tickets.

Emma Thompson is almost as unrecognizable playing Cemolina in Barney Thomson as she was playing Professor Trelawney in the Potter films. The film, which is set to release March 11, follows an eccentrically dark plot.

A Scottish barber whose ordinary mundane life gets way too interesting when he accidentally kills a guy and gets on the radar of a detective (Ray Winstone) on the hunt for a serial killer.

In the newest clip, we see Barney confide in his mother, played by Emma Thompson, as his situation becomes out of hand. Check out the clip below and catch Barney Thomson in theaters this March.

We previously reported that Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) was to star alongside a full fledge of actors in Steve McQueen’s Codes of Conduct; however, HBO has recently stated the show has ceased production. Not much is known about why production has stopped, but HBO admits that the channel has hit a rough patch in recent months with several shows premiering with lower ratings. We will let you know if any news changes regarding the program.

This week, Katie Leung (Cho Chang) lent her voice to Hazel in the audiobook for Jolly Foul Play. Jolly Foul Play is written by Robin Stevens and is the fourth book in the Wells and Wong series.

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have returned to Deepdean for a new school term, but nothing is the same. There’s a new Head Girl, Elizabeth Hurst, and a team of Prefects – and these bullying Big Girls are certainly not good eggs.

Excited after hearing Katie read for Hazel, Robin Stevens took to Twitter, giving hints to her fans on the unknown voice behind the character.

Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall) recently had a conversation with NPR, discussing her latest movie, The Lady in the Van, and her ongoing insecurities in front of the camera.

I have such admiration for film actors, I can’t tell you. At the BAFTAs the other night, I was there and I just thought, ‘My goodness.’ Leonardo DiCaprio was there and you think, ‘God, what he must have went through in “The Revenant”.’

Listen to the whole NPR interview below!

Speaking of Leonardo DiCaprio, Smith reminisced about her recent kiss with the hunky star at the BAFTA awards. When asked about the kiss, Smith giggled excitedly.

He did indeed, and that was the thrill for me. A real thrill because I think he is a terrific actor. And I’ve been rootin’ and votin’ for him since ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’. He was so amazing in that when he was so young—really a very young boy, wasn’t he?

Watch Stephen Fry (voice of the UK Potter audiobooks) introduce the kiss cam to the audience at the BAFTA awards and several unsuspecting stars embracing one another.

Stephen Fry and Toby Jones (Dobby) will star in the upcoming The Man Who Knew Infinity, a film that tells the true story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, whose work in number theory changed the world’s perception of math.

Colonial India, 1913. Srinavasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) is a 25-year-old shipping clerk and self-taught genius, who failed out of college due to his near-obsessive, solitary study of mathematics. Determined to pursue his passion despite rejection and derision from his peers, Ramanujan writes a letter to G. H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), an eminent British mathematics professor at Trinity College, Cambridge. Hardy recognises the originality and brilliance of Ramanujan’s raw talent and despite the scepticism of his colleagues, undertakes bringing him to Cambridge so that his theories can be explored.

If math brings you great joy and numbers are your forté, this film is for you. Even if the sight of math causes you to cower with irrevocable fear, the incredible performances of Stephen Fry and Toby Jones are enough to see this surely incredible film.

There has yet to be news of a US release date, but The Man Who Knew Infinity will open in the UK on April 8. Check out the trailer below!

That’s a wrap on this week’s Casting News! A lot of exciting things are in the works this year! Which upcoming project are you most excited to see?