Olivia Colman, Rowan Atkinson and Sally Hawkins have joined Warner Bros’ Wonka as production got underway in the UK on Wednesday (September 29).
The trio join Timothée Chalamet in the lead role as Willy Wonka in the studio’s Roald Dahl spin-off. New cast include Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Tom Davis, Simon Farnaby, Rich Fulcher, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Paterson Joseph, Keegan-Michael Key, Colin O’Brien, Natasha Rothwell, Rakhee Thakrar and Ellie White.
Paul King of the Paddington films directs and Harry Potter universe producer David Heyman produces alongside Luke Kelly, who produced the recent feature adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches as well as the upcoming Matilda, and Alexandra Derbyshire, who was executive on the Paddington films.
Wonka takes place prior to events in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and imagines the origins of the young inventor. King wrote the screenplay with Paddington 2 co-writer Farnaby (with prior writers including Simon Rich, Simon Stephenson, Jeff Nathanson, and Steven Levenson). Michael Siegel and Rosie Alison are executive producers.
Wonka is scheduled to open on March 17, 2023. Warner Bros handles global distribution.
Comedian Matt Lucas and actress Olivia Colman have joined forces with Great Ormond Street Hospital’s play team to launch their new Power of Play hub – a new free online activity resource for children.
The hub came about following research by GOSH Charity, which discovered that two thirds (66%) of parents polled were concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on how children play will have long-term impacts on their child’s wellbeing.
Three-quarters (74%) of parents said that play has “helped their child cope” as the world around them has changed beyond recognition.
The Power of Play hub provides an outlet for children to express themselves and their emotions, with brand new stories, audio recordings, activities and ideas that use play to help children (and their parents) cope with all types of childhood challenges.
Actress Olivia Colman voices a TV advert to support the campaign, while Little Britain star Matt Lucas narrates a poem featuring Tweedledee and Tweedledum about the pair being separated due to illness.
Matt Lucas said: “What is Tweedledee without Tweedledum? As we discover in this beautiful new poem, he is worried and anxious at being far away from his much-loved brother. It was a moving experience to step back into the characters of Dee and Dum once more, and share their feelings with other children and parents who might have struggled with being far away from their loved ones, especially during the last 18 months.
“I hope the raucous, playful game that Alice introduces them to in this poem will inspire parents and children alike to turn to play as a way of coping during times of sadness.”
The online hub also has a new Peter Pan story, in which Peter feels lonely but Tinker Bell devises a game to give Peter the confidence he needs to tackle his worries and make new friends.
Beano fans will gain support from the website’s exclusive comic, where Dennis and Gnasher use play and pranks to come to terms with a cancer diagnosis. And there’s new animation of Hey Duggee, who uses play to help Frog when her new siblings arrive, and things feel different.
Coming soon to the hub in October is a new Horrid Henry animation and an audiobook from CBeebies’ JoJo & Gran Gran.
The free animations, audiobooks and activities are designed to help parents and children deal with themes including loss, loneliness, sadness, illness and isolation, which many children have experienced during the pandemic.
Laura Walsh, Head of Play at Great Ormond Street Hospital says: “Play is a superpower at the fingertips of all children, and it’s especially important at times of change or worry, when building our children’s resilience can help them to cope with life’s challenges.
“While the last 18 months have seen children adapt to circumstances none of us could have imagined, this September they’ll also have the ordinary childhood experiences likes starting school and making new friends.
“Using our years of experience as play specialists at GOSH, we have teamed up with GOSH Charity and some much-loved children’s characters to create our Power of Play hub and bring to life the transformative power of play. We’re really proud to offer parents free, trustworthy, practical tips and resources to help their children embrace play to overcome their worries and discover all that life has to offer them.”
Suited and booted for her latest red carpet appearance, Olivia Colman looked absolutely regal on Friday as she attended the 78th Venice International Film Festival. Donning a statement two-piece suit from Armani Prive, The Crown star’s velvet jacket certainly turned heads thanks to its glittering silver panels and military-style buttons.
Accessorised to perfection, Olivia added a hint of sparkle to her outfit as she stepped out in metallic silver heels and dangly diamond earrings. Sweeping her brunette hair back into a sleek updo, the actress opted for natural and dewy makeup as she combined a grey smokey eye with a honey-hued blusher and a berry-kissed lip gloss – divine.
In love with Olivia’s elegant ensemble? You might be surprised by just how easy it is to recreate her designer look for less.
Retailing at a total of £338, Reiss’ luxurious velvet blazer, £268, looks so chic teamed with the high-waisted ‘Poppy’ trousers, now reduced to £70 in the sale. A timeless and versatile outfit that’ll never go out of style, the brand recommends accessorising with strappy sandals and a shimmering silk vest.
If you’re searching for something with an even lower price point, then Nasty Gal has you covered. Priced at an affordable £33, this velvet padded blazer is almost identical to Olivia’s with its statement pointed shoulders and tailored fit. While the jacket is a stand-alone piece, there are plenty of velvet trousers available on the high street; you could even mix and match with Reiss’ high-waisted pair.
While fans of The Crown prepare to watch Imelda Staunton take on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in series five of the hit Netflix show, Olivia has been seriously switching up projects. Set to play a fantasist murderer in the upcoming Sky drama, Landscapers, the actress’ latest role is a far cry from her critically acclaimed portrayal of the British monarch
Back in 2019, Olivia told HELLO! of her great respect for the Queen, having played her during some of the darkest days of her reign, including the Aberfan tragedy, the oil crisis and miners’ strikes, along with her own family conflicts in the run-up to the Silver Jubilee.
Speaking ahead of the premiere for the third series of The Crown, Olivia said: “Having never really considered what I thought of her and now having played her, I think she is extraordinary. She said she would serve her country and that is what she has done – and she is now in her 90s and still serving her country. I think she is amazing. I would have definitely retired by now!”
UK charity Choose Love has banded together a group of celebrities to raise money for Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban.
A host of stars, including Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, Game of Thrones stars Lena Headey and Wilf Scolding, author Dolly Alderton, Bastille singer-songwriter Dan Smith, Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan and TV presenter Ben Fogle, have joined the charity and personalised video platform Cameo. They will donate 100 per cent of their videos’ profits to the non-governmental organisation.
Fans will be able to buy custom video messages from each of the stars, with Colman selling clips from $750. Coughlan’s start at $500 and Headey’s $325. Also on board are Homeland star Nazanin Boniadi and James McVey of The Vamps, both with videos going from $100.
“We are so excited to be partnering with Cameo and some of our favourite supporters, who will bring you exclusive personalised video messages for you or your loved ones! And we can’t wait to share with you the rest of the supporters who are also joining,” Choose Love wrote on Instagram.
“All proceeds will go to support projects providing vital aid and services to Afghan people who have fled the country, such as clothes, shelter, support for children and groups protecting women and children’s rights.”
You can opt to pay more than the stated amount, if you wish to donate more money.
Choose Love is a UK NGO, which advocates for and provides humanitarian aid to refugees around the world.
The charity’s target was £250,000 ($340,630) and at the time of writing, it had raised £259,342.95.
The Crownstar Olivia Colman appears in the first-look photos for Sky and HBO’s new crime drama Landscapers.
Teaming up with David Thewlis (Harry Potter and Fargo) as mild-mannered criminal couple Susan and Christopher Edwards, Colman’s new project fuses together murder and fantasy in one of the weirdest love stories you’re likely to see.
According to the limited series’ synopsis, Landscapers follows this on-the-surface ordinary pair who “become the focus of an extraordinary investigation when a couple of dead bodies are discovered in the back garden of a house in Nottingham.
“Husband and wife Susan and Christopher have been on the run from reality for over 15 years. When Christopher makes a startling call home to his stepmother, their role in a terrible crime that remained undiscovered for over a decade begins to emerge into the light. As their relationship is subjected to the glare of a full police investigation, the devoted couple are separated for the first time in their marriage.”
Cue the spectacular, cinema-infused chaos of their minds as they look to escape their guilt.
Excited to get started, Thewlis previously shared at the time of his casting: “This is without doubt the very finest project I have worked on for many years.
“Everything about Landscapers is magical, there is nothing like it, and I’m impatient to get to work so that its brilliance can be shared with the rest of the world.”
Landscapers will air on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic/NOW in the UK later this year.
“Olivia apparently does a dance class — in the area that she lives with a bunch of friends — on a regular basis. And the last time she did the class, they had danced to that song,” Gillian Anderson, who played Margaret Thatcher in season 4 of the Netflix historical drama, said on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Wednesday, January 27. “She asked if we would happen to be interested in maybe doing it.”
Well, so much for that. With a sly laugh, Seth Meyers cued up the video, which was recorded between takes of a funeral scene, and played it for his late-night viewers.
In the hilarious clip, Colman, 46, enthusiastically busted a move in her Queen Elizabeth II costume as Menzies, also 46, Bonham Carter, 54, O’Connor, 30, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty and other costars followed her lead. They ended the dance with a perfectly in-sync glide to the right (“Cha Cha Slide” style) and a collective “Woo!”
Meyers, 47, called the choreography “really good,” but Anderson was visibly mortified.
“So humiliating,” she said, shaking her head. “I mean, that look on my face. I don’t even know. There’s such delight and shame all at once.”
The TV host tried to lighten the mood, telling the Chicago-born actress that she “did a better job than Margaret Thatcher would have done.” He also acknowledged that it was “a pretty low bar,” however.
Anderson only played the late British prime minister in one season of the streaming hit, but she had a blast doing so. She shared several photos and videos with her castmates via Instagram and Twitter in 2020 as they enjoyed some rare downtime on set. In one particularly funny video that she tweeted in December, Colman reversed her car out of ditch while looking like the spitting image of the queen.
How does one sum up 2020 in fashion? It was a year in which red carpets were called off, celebrities let us inside their wardrobes at home and awards ceremonies went virtual. Fashion’s biggest night of the year, the Met Gala, was cancelled, since the Metropolitan Museum of Art itself had to close its doors—the only days that the museum has had to close to the public previously were the day after 9/11 and the day that hurricanes Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012) hit New York.
We got to see our favourite celebrities and fashion icons in a whole new way; we witnessed the royals doing work-from-home style, street style stars working a protective face mask into their outfits and the likes of Zendaya releasing their red carpet looks via an Instagram GIF instead of debuting them on an actual red carpet… it was a year the fashion industry won’t forget.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that in January, February and March, award season went ahead as if the whole world wasn’t about to change forever. The Oscars and the Golden Globes, as well as the BAFTAs and the SAG Awards all took place before global lockdowns. Fortunately, this gave us insight into which stars were primed to make 2020 their year.
As always, this year’s best dressed list isn’t only about the red carpet moments that blew us away with their glamour. We like to say it’s also a nod to the people serving us style every day, and in every way. And this year, that was more important than ever. Scroll on to see Vogue Australia’s best dressed of 2020.
Olivia Colman The Queen herself was also our queen of fashion this year. The English actor was here to reign over each red carpet she attended for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in season three and four of The Crown and her regal looks would have made the monarch herself proud.
Clearly, this is a woman who knows how to get under an audience’s skin with raw, emotive and inherently believable storytelling.
So it’s music to our ears to hear that Coleman’s performance in a new film about a father’s struggle with dementia is being hailed as one of her greatest yet. The trailer for the drama has just been released, offering a glimpse of what the film critics are so excited about.
The Father, based on an award-winning French play of the same name, sees Colman play Anne, the daughter of larger-than-life Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), who is suffering a slow and baffling decline from dementia.
Anthony’s battle with the degenerative illness is all the more gut-wrenching because of the kind of charming, cantankerous and ebullient person that he is. The audience sees first-hand his frustration at the worried reactions of those around him, including his daughter (Colman), his nurse (played by Imogen Poots) and a third woman (Olivia Williams) who appears to become his daughter.
“The way you keep looking as if something is wrong, everything is fine,” he snaps at his daughter at one point, as she herself is heard saying: “I saw it in his eyes, he didn’t know who I was. It was like I was a stranger to him.”
The new film is written and directed by French novelist Florian Zeller, who also wrote the play. But those expecting a one-dimensional drama about the tragedy of memory loss are in for a surprise.
As well as drawing back the curtain on the more heartbreaking aspects of dementia, The Father brings moments of farcical comedy in the mix – along with a thriller-esque feel of unreality. The viewer is invited to experience dementia from an inside perspective, so they are never really sure whose version of reality is correct, or where/in whom danger lies.
Amid this creeping sense of unease, Colman takes commanding lead as a woman who is struggling to balance the demands of her increasingly erratic father with her own life, and her relationship with husband and maybe-bad guy Paul (Rufus Sewell).
The play on which The Father is based won the prestigious Molière award; an honour that the film version now seems likely to emanate. After airing at Sundance earlier this year, several critics tipped Zeller’s adaptation for Oscar success next year (LA-based critic and writer Donny Sheldon hailed Colman’s performance as “the most empathetic, heartfelt work of her career”).
Just under a million people suffer from dementia in the UK according to Alzheimer’s Society, and that figure is set to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.
With the condition still widely misunderstood and coated in confusion – not least from the perspective of those who have it, and their loved ones – The Father plays an important role in driving the narrative around dementia forward (and in that sense, it’s not dissimilar to Emma Healey’s hit thriller novel Elizabeth Is Missing, which was also based on a protagonist with dementia).
One thing’s for sure: with the powerhouse duo of Colman and Hopkins at the helm, this twisty and harrowing film is sure to be top of your watch list when it comes out in 2021.
Do you need support with a loved one suffering from dementia? Get expert help and guidance at DementiaUK
Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman have welcomed a donation from Amazon Prime Video to a fund which the actors launched to help support theatre professionals whose livelihoods have been threatened by the pandemic.
Amazon said it would give $6m to support the European film, TV and theatre production community get through the crisis.
The first awards are £1m to a Covid-response fund created by the film and TV charity; and £500,000 to the theatre community fund spearheaded by Waller-Bridge, Colman and their Fleabag producer Francesca Moody.
In a joint statement the three women said: “We’re utterly blown away to have such an extraordinary level of support from Amazon.
“Our theatre community has never been more threatened or fragile and this donation, alongside those from other industry individuals, is a game changer for its future. On behalf of the theatre community fund we extend a huge thank you to Amazon for the acknowledgement of the value and power of UK theatre and how we as an industry will survive anything when we hold each other up in times of crisis.”
Waller-Bridge is a hugely powerful figure in the film and TV industry whose career began, like countless others, in live performing arts – one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Fleabag, her breakthrough, was first performed at the Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013.
The fund was launched at the end of July with a £1m pledge of donations by its founders and from other star names including Gillian Anderson, James Corden, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daisy Ridley, Daniel Radcliffe and Meera Syal.
The Amazon money will help in the fund’s two strands offering grants of up to £3,000. The first is hardship grants to freelancers in immediate need. The second is innovation and creation money to help artists produce work.
The other donation, of £1m, will go to the film and TV charity, which has so far distributed more than £3.3m in financial support to thousands of workers in the industry. The Amazon money will, it said, “kick-start a second wave of support including a major new grants scheme that will focus on supporting diverse talent as the industry recovers and production resumes”.
The donations can arguably be traced back to an intervention made by Sam Mendes in June. In the Financial Times he wrote of the irony of Netflix and Amazon Prime “making lockdown millions from our finest acting, producing, writing and directing talent, while the very arts culture that nurtured that talent pool is allowed to die”.
He called on the streaming giants to use “a fraction of their Covid-19 windfall to help those who have been mortally wounded”.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “The creative community in Europe has been vital to our success in producing high-quality Amazon original TV series and movies for our global audience, and it is essential for us to help that community through this pandemic.”
The money was welcomed by the UK government. Caroline Dinenage, culture minister, said: “We recognise that the last few months have been difficult for many people in the performing arts and screen industries given the impact of Covid-19.
“This donation from Amazon adds to the unprecedented support from the UK government to help secure these brilliant industries’ future and help them thrive once more.”
The 2020 BAFTAs had an emphasis on sustainability this year. The academy went to great lengths to ensure that all aspects of the evening were as eco-conscious as possible – from a fully recyclable red carpet to the organic, locally-sourced dinner served to guests in the evening – in an effort for the event to be carbon neutral. BAFTA also requested that guests make “sustainable choices” when it came to dressing for the ceremony – suggesting that they might like to rent a dress, buy vintage or rewear something they already own.
Olivia Colman adhered to the sustainable sensibility of the evening by partnering with Atelier Swarovski on some beautiful bespoke jewellery created from lab-grown diamonds – widely considered a more eco-friendly option than using labour-intensive mined diamonds. The actress debuted Swarovski’s first pink created diamonds on the red carpet, in the form of a striking pink cocktail ring.
The piece featured a 2.03-carat cushion cut Fancy Purplish Pink Swarovski Created Diamond with an intensity of colour and style of cut that is rare in a lab-created diamond of that size. The hero stone was surrounded by Cabochon Star Rubies and pink Swarovski Genuine Topaz.
On her other hand, Colman wore a stunning blue cocktail ring consisting of a 42-carat antique cushion-cut Swarovski Created Sapphire.
When she stepped out on the red carpet, the actress added a third ring, calling for equal representation for actresses, with “50:50” written in the middle.
“I share the same passion for conscious luxury and sustainability as Atelier Swarovski,” Colman told us, of her decision to partner with the brand. “It is a true pleasure to debut these bespoke jewels featuring the first pink Swarovski Created Diamonds, which prove that beautiful fashion choices can still be kind to people and planet.”
The rings were complemented by sparkling cluster and droplet earrings, featuring eight Swarovski Created Sapphires totalling over 28 carats, enhanced with additional Fancy Purplish Pink Swarovski Created Diamonds.
Colman’s stylist, Harper’s Bazaar contributor Miranda Almond, worked closely with Swarovski on the design of the jewellery, to ensure that it perfectly complemented the actress’ floral-embroidered Alexander McQueen dress.
“We wanted the shape of the earrings to be an addition to the style of the neckline and not compete against it,” Almond explained. “I think they add a sense of playfulness and look super cool, too.”
The droplet part of the earrings were designed to be detachable, so they also could be worn as simple clusters, allowing Almond to make a call on the night as to which version of the jewellery looked better. The stylist added that it’s vital more high-profile stars highlight sustainable practices on the red carpet.
“The more sustainable we can be with fashion and jewellery production the better for everyone,” she told us. “To shine a light on those brands that do is an important step to making it the norm rather than the exception.”