Role Call: Old Roundup, New Tricks
Since our Harry Potter alumni have so many projects, we have decided to split our roundup posts into two categories: One post will focus on the younger actors from the series, and the other will focus on the older actors. This post is the latter, and you can rest assured that we still have plenty of news for you!
First up is John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick), who is set to appear in his first BBC sitcom since Fawlty Towers! Although the Guardian writes that the actor had vowed never to work with the BBC again, he will be appearing in the series Edith.
Cleese expressed his enthusiasm to work with costar Alison Steadman again:
These are the most enjoyable scripts I’ve been sent in the last 100 years. It will also be particularly nice to work with Alison again since we joined forces in ‘Clockwise’ all that time ago.
Additionally, it has been announced that Cleese will be speaking at the Oxford Union this Thursday, April 20, to discuss “Why is there no hope?” The Oxford Union is the University of Oxford’s debating society, which has previously hosted guests including politicians, sports figures, and other notable individuals.
Next on our list is actor Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn), whose film The Sense of an Ending was reviewed by Paddy Kehoe of RTÉ.
Describing the film, which was released on April 14, as being “Broadbent’s movie,” Kehoe praises:
[T]he man is superb, at the top of his game with sardonic wisecracks and a weary world-view.
The Daily Express also posted an exclusive clip from The Sense of an Ending, which it describes thus:
The new drama […] stars Broadbent as an elderly divorcee who receives a letter that re-opens memories of a relationship he had in the 1960s.
Meanwhile, Gary Oldman (Sirius Black) took part in the Bombay Beach Biennale this past weekend, screening The Carnival of My Dreams. Oldman both acted in and helped to produce the short film, which was shot in the area.
Women’s Wear Daily explains:
For the film, they turned a house in Bombay Beach into a giant camera obscura with the world’s largest wet plates.
Another one of Oldman’s latest roles is in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which also stars actors Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Lionsgate has released a restricted teaser trailer for the film. Oldman does not appear in the trailer, and the language in it is not safe for work; however, you can watch it here.
Actor Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) will be appearing in the World War II–era film Their Finest, in which he plays a fading actor named Ambrose Hilliard, who is tapped to join a film to boost American morale.
Empire has posted a clip from the film, which sees Nighy acting opposite Eddie Marsan. You can watch it here.
If the idea of a faded talent rings a bell, it might be because of Nighy’s role in Love Actually. There, he played the musician Billy Mack, who attempts to rise to the top of the charts on his Christmas cover song. The film also featured the late Alan Rickman (Professor Snape) and Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney).
Ahead of the US premiere of the short sequel Red Nose Day Actually on May 25, Entertainment Weekly has provided fans of the film with “Love Actually is all around: An oral history of the rom-com classic.” In the piece, Nighy reminisced about his role:
When I was young, I used to be in a band, and I got terribly self-conscious because I thought I had to throw shapes that might suggest I was good in bed or something. Which counted me out. But then I got older, and I loved shaking a leg and being a rock idiot because it was so ironic. People are so affectionate about old rockers – and me doing lively gyrations in front of beautiful women was so ironic and so stupid that it was enjoyable.
At the 2017 Star Wars Celebration, Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick and Griphook) revealed an old letter that he had sent to George Lucas when he was still a boy. In the letter, he requested Star Wars toys:
I hope this is not too rude of me to ask you, but would it be possible for you to send me the latest figures and walkers — I was hoping very much that there may be an ‘Ewok’ or ‘Jabba the Hutt.’
While Davis had appeared in the series only as an Ewok then, his role in the franchise has only expanded. It has been announced that Davis will be voicing a character in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, according to IGN. He will play Rukh, which, within the Star Wars canon, holds importance:
Rukh, a Noghri warrior who serves as Admiral Thrown’s bodyguard in the Timothy Zahn ‘Heir to the Empire’ trilogy that introduced Thrawn, has never been seen before in the series, and this marks his move from a ‘Legends’ character into official ‘Star Wars’ canon.
The Irish Independent has written a piece on Little Bird, an upcoming short film starring Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) that is set to premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Irish actress Emily Taaffe wrote and produced the film, in which she also stars, about the mysterious disappearance of her great-aunt.
Finally, Variety has reported on additional casting news for the upcoming Steve McQueen thriller Widows, which is set to feature Colin Farrell (Fantastic Beasts’ Percival Graves). Joining him in the ensemble cast is actor Robert Duvall.
The film is based on the British miniseries of the same name, which was penned by BAFTA award–winning writer Lynda La Plante (‘Prime Suspect’). The pic opens with four armed thieves being killed during a robbery. Their surviving widows come together to try to finish the failed job.
Duvall will play Farrell’s father who may help the widows complete the gig.
That’s all for this week’s casting news in older actor updates! Be sure to read the Role Call post for our younger alumni, too!