Thursday 27th June 2013
When India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) loses her beloved father and best friend Richard (Dermot Mulroney) in a tragic auto accident on her 18th birthday, her quiet life on the family's secluded estate is suddenly shattered. Exquisitely sensitive, India's exhibits an impassive demeanor which masks the deep feelings and heightened senses that only her father understood. Thus acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook's (OldBoy, Lady Vengeance, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) first English-language psychological thriller Stoker comes to life.
India finds herself drawn to her father's long-lost brother, Charlie (Matthew Goode), who unexpectedly arrives for the funeral and decides to stay on with her and her emotionally unstable mother, Evie (Nicole Kidman). While India initially mistrusts her charming but mysterious uncle, he fascinates her as well and she begins to realize how much they have in common.
As Charlie reveals himself to her little by little, India becomes increasingly infatuated with her charismatic relative and comes to realize that his arrival is no coincidence. With her uncle to guide her, she is about to fulfill her unusual destiny.
Stoker stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre), Matthew Goode (Watchmen, A Single Man), Dermot Mulroney (The Grey, J. Edgar), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook), Phyllis Somerville (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro, Beautiful Creatures), Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class), Ralph Brown (Pirate Radio), Judith Godrèche (The Man in the Iron Mask) and Nicole Kidman (The Hours, Moulin Rouge!, The Others).
Park Chan-Wook directs a script written by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break, The Human Stain). The film is produced by Michael Costigan (Prometheus, Brokeback Mountain), Ridley Scott (Prometheus, American Gangster) and Tony Scott (The Grey, Unstoppable) with Executive Producers Steven Rales (Moonrise Kingdom) and Mark Roybal (Doubt). The creative team includes Director of Photography Chung-Hoon Chung (OldBoy, Thirst), Production Designer Thérèse Deprez (Black Swan, High Fidelity), Film Editor Nicolas De Toth (The Sum of All Fears, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Co-Producers Wentworth Miller, Bergen Swanson (Shame) and Wonjo Jeong (Night Fishing), Music by Clint Mansell (Black Swan, The Truman Show) and Costume Designers Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller (Dallas Buyers Club, Out of the Furnace).
Filmmaker Park Chan-Wook has created a singular body of work during his more than 20 years as a writer, director and producer of some of Korean cinema's most innovative and original movies, crafting feverish scenarios that combine lyrical beauty with shattering acts of violence and operatic emotion. Stoker is a dark and disturbing thriller about a mysterious and isolated American family. Even the film's title makes metaphorical allusion to evil, invoking the name of Dracula author Bram Stoker, whose groundbreaking novel is as much about an opportunist who preys on the innocent as it is the supernatural world of the vampire.
Fittingly, Stoker's path to the big screen began with a mystery of its own. Scott Free producer Michael Costigan received a phone call from a top Hollywood agent offering him a new script. "But she wouldn't tell me anything about the writer", he remembers. "And she wouldn't email it to me. I had to pick it up at her office. I was of course very intrigued, so after dinner that night I had to have a look. And as I read, I found I couldn't put it down".
Starting with the script's opening image of a young girl playing a piano as a spider creeps up her leg, Costigan was riveted, shocked and enthralled by the story as it unfolded to its inexorable conclusion. The producer found himself lost in the eerie, improbable and self-contained world of the Stoker family. "These people are completely pure", he explains. "If they have an emotion, they have to follow it through, but they don't fully understand the ramifications of what they're doing. They are brilliant in an overall sense. They're highly perceptive. They see things other people can't see. But they also are obsessed with their own self-preservation and if someone gets in their way, they're going to do whatever it takes to protect themselves and their needs".
The story begins as India Stoker turns 18. India, played by Mia Wasikowska, is introspective and seemingly passive. "But she is about to come into her own", says Costigan. "She shows nothing on the surface, but clearly has an excess of emotion and perception on the inside. She actually sees and hears minute details that most of us miss and it overwhelms her".
Of course the producers wanted to know more about the screenwriter, but the agent who sent the script refused to give more information. "She wouldn't tell me anything", Costigan says. "She said he was out of town. Finally I got a call from him and I thought the voice on the phone sounded very familiar. I was shocked when I realized that 'Ted' was Wentworth Miller and that this was the first screenplay that he had ever written".
Miller, an actor perhaps best known for his work on the groundbreaking television series Prison Break" worked on the script over a period of about eight years. Because he believed that no one would take an actor's first screenplay seriously, Miller convinced his agent to submit his work under a pseudonym. He decided to call himself Ted Foulke. (Foulke is Miller's dog's name). The script eventually landed up on the 2010 Black List, the prestigious unofficial list of the best unproduced films available.
As the script's reputation built, a number of top directors expressed interest in signing on. First choice, though, was a hollywood outsider: Park Chan-Wook. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix in 2003 for OldBoy and the Jury Prize in 2009 for Thirst, "Director Park", as everyone involved with Stoker calls him, is celebrated around the world for his elegant depictions of cruelty, destruction and revenge, as well as for his radiant and jarring visuals. His recent short film, Night Fishing, was shot entirely with Apple's iPhone and won the Golden Bear Award for best Short Film at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.
The script was sent to Park, but Costigan doubted that the auteur filmmaker of some of his favorite movies would read an unsolicited screenplay. "I imagined that he wrote all his own material with a collaborator in Korea and that's just how it was. Then we got a phone call saying that Director Park wanted to speak with us".
During that first phone call, Park offered up unique ideas about the characters and some of the indelible visual metaphors that would come to define the film. "He started talking about the saddle shoes", says Costigan. "He had this idea that Uncle Charlie had been sending India a present every year for her birthday. The box would be left in some remote part of the house or in the garden or in the trees. On her 18th birthday, he arrives and this time it's a pair of crocodile stilettoes. In his mind, she's ready to be who he believes she really is".
"At that point, I knew that we had to have him", says the producer. "Not only did he understand the script, he already had incredible ideas about the characters. It was his movie to direct from that first phone call".
Park, who has said his interest in directing began with Alfred Hitchcock's claustrophobic masterpiece, Vertigo, was drawn to the film's unconventional and tautly woven love story, as well as its severely restricted physical world. "The locations are limited", he notes. "There are a small number of characters and it takes place over a short period of time. The constant tension almost suffocates. Something is about to explode, like a kettle of boiling water with the lid on tight. A story that takes place in a confined space becomes a small universe unto itself.
"I also liked the fact that it was not a story that revolves around dialogue", the director continues. "That was an advantage for my first English-language film. My Korean language films have not been dialogue-oriented either, so I was already comfortable with telling the story in a more visual way".
The script fits well into the director's existing oeuvre, according to co-producer Wonjo Jeong. "Director Park's films are very reflective", he says. "They deal with right and wrong and where the line lies between them. His characters are torn between their choices. And every choice has consequences. He subverts the conventions of narrative and in doing so, draws us into the questions about social class, ethics, morality and religion".
Park also cites the influences of filmmakers such as David Lynch, David Cronenberg and the sleek, sexy stylized world of Brian De Palma as well as writers Edgar Allen Poe, M. R. James and Wilkie Collins.
"In Stoker, which is a microscopic observation of these people and their universe, he tells a bigger story about the world at large", continues Jeong. "The characters are flawed, much as we are all flawed. By putting them in such extreme circumstances, he's reflecting experiences that everyone goes through in life, but in such a vivid and dark mirror that we want to look more closely".
Over the past two decades, Park Chan-Wook has established a rotating troupe of actors with whom he works regularly in Korea. He has developed an intensely collaborative method of working hand-in-hand with his favorite performers to flesh out and fully define the unusual and original characters that people his films. For his first American movie, he had to put together a new creative family of actors with the same kind of sensitivity, intelligence and talent.
"I am especially excited for audiences to see this film for the performances by these wonderful actors", says the director. "They are each at different stages of their lives and careers and are rather different kinds of actors from each other. Seeing how they come together so successfully is worth experiencing".
For Park, Stoker is primarily a coming-of-age story for India. "She is an introverted girl confined in a suffocating house, unable to mix with anyone outside", he says. "She is very rebellious as she bears the pains of adolescence. Her father's death, her uncle's arrival, as well as the conflict with her mother and her peers, bring her to a realization about her true identity".
Finding an actress who could embody the contradictions of the character while making India's transition to womanhood graceful and natural was critical to the film's success. Park selected Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, whose delicate beauty and solemn serenity had already won the 22-year-old leading roles in films including Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Cary Fukanaga's Jane Eyre. "Mia has the natural liveliness of a young woman", he notes. "But she is also composed and has internal maturity. To portray a girl who is neither a woman nor a child, but at an awkward in-between stage, Mia was the most suitable actor. She has a level of restraint surprising for someone her age. She is almost completely still when she is acting. But when you watch her on film, you realize that all the necessary emotion is there. She is very subtle and skillful in a way that I expect only from older actors".
For her part, the actress says she found much to like about the project. "It is such a strong piece of writing. Director Park and the creative team are brilliant. The story is something I have never seen before. The dynamic between the characters is quite mysterious. India is a really complex young woman. Without her father, she is completely disconnected from the world. She's an outsider by nature, closed off from the rest of the world. She is still a young girl, but she's becoming a woman with dreams and fantasies, although they're of a different nature than other girls' dreams".
When India's Uncle Charlie, her father's brother, arrives, it's the first time she even realizes he exists. "It's completely confusing and really intriguing", Wasikowska says. "She's trying to figure out what role he has in her life and it's far bigger than she ever imagined. She's not sure what he wants from her at first and as she slowly finds out how much alike they are, it's both terrifying and appealing. There's a definite sexual tension between Charlie and Evie, as well as Charlie and India, so it's up in the air as to who and what he's really there for. You are never really sure-until you are".
Working with Park was a constantly evolving and always stimulating experience for the actress. "Even on weekends, we would meet for lunch and continue discussing the character and the story", Wasikowska says. "Ideas would snowball, becoming more and more complex and interesting. During shooting, he let us sit for long moments in silence where seemingly not much was happening, but there was always strong underlying tension. The longer we were there, the more it built. He is way ahead of the audience. Time and time again, the rug is suddenly pulled out from underneath our feet in a way that changes our perspective on what's going on. That approach was perfect for this material".
The enigmatic man at the center of the family conflict is played by Matthew Goode, a British import previously seen in Tom Ford's critically acclaimed A Single Man, opposite Oscar® winner Colin Firth and as the Greek god-like super hero Ozymandias in Watchmen. "Matthew is just so much fun", says Wasikowska. "Our relationship off-screen was the polar opposite of what it was on screen. He can be really goofy, so it was a challenge to keep a straight face working with him".
Uncle Charlie is shrouded in mystery throughout the film. His motives remain hidden until nearly the end. "The audience never knows for sure what goes on in his mind", says Park. "He loved his brother so much and his love for his brother is transferred to India. Allegorically, I saw Uncle Charlie as John the Baptist. He is a mentor figure who turns up to complete India. Matthew matched the image I had in my head-the innocence, humor, elfishness. He has the mischievous sparkle and elegant delicacy of someone who can't hurt a fly. These are all the perfect qualities for Uncle Charlie".
Goode was equally certain that he wanted to be part of Park's English language debut. "This is an example of Hollywood drawing on the best talent from all around the world, which I think is a brilliant thing", Goode says. "Director Park is a master of psychology, which is one of the reasons his films are so intelligent and believable".
"This kind of script doesn't come around every day", Goode continues. "It has all the right ingredients to move an audience, as well as to scare and provoke them. It's a beautiful love story, in a twisted way. Charlie has been waiting for years, keeping in touch with Mrs. McGarrick, the housekeeper, to learn all about India. At first you think you know who Charlie is, but as the story evolves, you realize he's extremely complicated and dangerous", he says. "Nothing is what it appears. He wants to be around his family, so he uses Evie. He can't really stay there unless she is attracted to him. But Charlie is extremely unbalanced and he has feelings for India that are not at all uncle-like. The challenge for me was that rather than being simply evil, he has to have a center to him that we like, which is disorienting and quite scary".
Academy Award® winner Nicole Kidman plays Evie, India's fragile, affection-starved mother. "I never expected that I would have the good fortune to be working with an actor of Nicole's caliber on my first English language film", says Park. "But this dream-like situation became a reality. Her presence had a synergizing effect and I was able to expand the role of Evie and shape a character that comes across as almost a fairytale stepmother. But in fact, she is the character in the film with the most humanity".
A glance at Kidman's extensive resume reveals that she has a long history of signing on to ambitious projects helmed by auteur directors, from Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) and Gus Van Sant (To Die For) to John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole). "I thought the combination of Director Park with this material was really exciting", she says. "He is a filmmaker who is particularly revered amongst other filmmakers. I love supporting artists who have a unique way of expressing themselves and are willing to take chances. I certainly have done many mainstream movies, but to be able support filmmakers who embrace a different way of looking at the world is my greatest joy as an actor".
Although Park used a translator to communicate with the actors on set, he felt that Kidman instinctively understood what he needed from her. "Nicole can modulate the tone and quality of her performance at will", the director says. "I would say only a few key words and she would readily adjust her performance. She is an actor who truly showed me what being a pro is all about".
Stoker's eerie elegance and complex relationships made the film an irresistible proposition for the actress. "There's nothing generic about it", Kidman says. "It's got an unusual cadence to the dialogue. The pacing is not typical. When I read the script, I was unsure of what was going to happen next, which I liked".
The desperate, needy Evie was a character Kidman felt she hadn't played before. "We start the film with her husband's funeral", she says. "It's obvious the mother-daughter relationship is already fraught with resentment and anger. She's in a very raw state when we meet her and Charlie fills the void.
"Matthew is compellingly attractive as Charlie", she adds. "That's really such a good thing for Uncle Charlie to be. You believe that Evie would desire him and want his attention. He's the first person for a long time to give her attention. And then Matthew, of course, has such talent. I expect to see him become a huge star".
Another Aussie import, Jacki Weaver, plays the pivotal role of Auntie Gin, India's father's aunt-as well as Charlie's. Disturbed to learn that Charlie is living in the family mansion with India and Evie, she arrives to assess the situation herself and is shaken by what she finds.
"Only Charlie knows for sure what he wants from India", Weaver says. "But Auntie Gin is a wise old bird and she knows that there's something sinister in the air". Weaver shot to international prominence with a 2010 Oscar nomination for her performance as Smurf, an unlikely criminal mastermind, in the searing independent drama, Animal Kingdom. "We learned that Jacki was working in Los Angeles while we were casting", says Costigan. "We had all had seen and admired Animal Kingdom, so we met with her and realized immediately how right she was for this role".
The actress also compares the script's ever-twisting plot to a classic Alfred Hitchcock film. "It's a quality thriller, a psychological study of very unusual, disturbed people", says Weaver. "That's what makes this compelling. There are a million things going on simultaneously. And the characters are fascinating and sharply delineated: the high-strung Evie, the silently watchful India, the anxious aunt who knows that something wicked this way comes. And, of course, the very bad Uncle Charlie".
A single highly charged scene in the movie featuring all four powerhouse performers in an almost silent confrontation is a highlight of the film for Costigan. "That was one of the most fun scenes to shoot", the producer says. "We had a virtuoso cast of actors assembled and watching them interact was such a pleasure especially during the family dinner scene. Just the slightest movement or glance from Evie could cut across Auntie Gin in the film. Watching Uncle Charlie subtly observing the action, you start to realize he's playing a giant ruse on the family. India observes The Others and just one glance speaks volumes. Watching these incredible actors work together was thrilling".
Radiant imagery, an omniscient camera and carefully conceived visual metaphors are the hallmarks of a Park Chan-Wook movie. Director of photography Chung-hoon Chung has now worked with the filmmaker on five films, including OldBoy, Lady Vengeance, I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok and Thirst. Together, they created Stoker's dreamlike, erotically charged atmosphere, moving characters in and out of the frame in a game of hide-and-seek with viewers, using long camera set-ups, unique camera angles and intricate sound design to delineate hunter from hunted among the characters.
The pair used the same time-tested approach for Stoker as they did on their previous collaborations. "We always start working together in preproduction, so we share the same vision", Chung says. "As we amend the script, we talk about reference pictures, photos or screen captures from other films. But deciding how to shoot each scene is minor compared to understanding the characters' emotions in the script. Right from the start, we thoroughly analyze the script the same way the actors do".
Chung, who is considered one of the master cinematographers of contemporary Korean cinema, worked hand-in-hand with Director Park to conceive meticulously detailed storyboards for the film. "Creating the look for a film like this is similar to building a house", he observes. "It is not until a certain amount of time passes that the film takes shape. The more detailed the storyboard is, the easier it is to predict how the film will come out.
"Stoker has a very different feel from the other projects we have worked on together", continues Chung. "It's not just the subject matter. There is a progression to the story that is reflected in the cinematography. It starts out very normal, but as the story advances, the characters reveal themselves and the relationships become quite complex. The most exciting and challenging part of my job was to show that progression visually. Whatever Evie or Charlie is feeling, the camera is observing. That helped me determine how close the shot should be or if the lights needed to be hotter or cooler".
The constrained location of the story was a departure for the pair, but Chung quickly discovered he could exploit the house's nooks and crannies to good advantage. "The majority of the story takes place in the Stoker mansion", he notes. "Normally, we would build a set for the house to accommodate camera and lighting. Because the Stoker house is a real location, I was concerned the angles and lighting might be repetitive. But I discovered that because the space was so limited, I was able to understand its characteristics better. Just as some actors photograph differently from certain angles, I learned that the house could look gloomy or hopeful, depending on the perspective".
Creating the intricate dance between lens, actors and environment was only possible because of the tremendous thought that goes into a Park Chan-Wook production before the director ever sets foot on set, says Costigan. "He is so detail-oriented and Chung is an essential part of it. They are able to create character and story through visual language and camerawork. Director Park does so much preparation. He prepares meticulous storyboards".
Park's extensive preparation makes it easier for him to shoot quickly and precisely. "My style of filmmaking involves very specific camera movements", he explains. "I edit the film in my head well in advance, so working in the conventional manner, with long masters and lots of coverage, does not work for me".
The film's shooting schedule was abbreviated compared to the customary pace in Korea, which also affected the way the camera was used. "Having to capture the scenes so quickly made it difficult to use the long elaborate camera movements I am known for", Park says. "But this may have a better effect on the film. When such shots are used only in the most memorable way, it increases the tension".
Production designer Thérèse DePrez, who was responsible for the surreal visual style of the Oscar®-nominated psychological thriller Black Swan, says, "There's a great ebb and flow between the unsettling and the beautiful in this film. There is nothing in the design that doesn't have a reason. It's meticulously done. Director Park's previous movies have all included cinematic elements that I'd never seen before and that stayed with me. One of my initial questions for him was 'how stylized are we going?' And he really wanted me to push it. It is a true Park Chan-Wook film in that sense".
Knowing that there would be a language barrier between designer and director, DePrez prepared an extensive book of visuals that represented her ideas on the tone and mood of the film. "He was enamored with it and those initial images became an important part of the look of the movie", she says. "We talked about it being a fairytale with an ethereal quality. We spoke about the idea of the hunter and the hunted. These characters are very much circling each other and the hunting motif became a major theme in the movie".
Park also emphasized that he wanted a feeling that India and her mother exist outside of time and place, even though the film is set in present-day America. They seem mysterious, staying close to the confines of their home, establishing a sense of timelessness in the house and within "the family" in an almost otherworldly way. "We could do that because it's really a small character piece", DePrez says. "There are only a few actors and most of the action takes place in the house. I saw the environment as timeless, austere and very stylized, with the focus always on the characters. It has only very subtle references to the era that we are in".
The first and biggest challenge was to find a house for the Stoker family that would embody their isolation, alienation and social milieu. "The house is a character", says DePrez. "It's an otherworldly place. The original idea was a large, stone Gothic castle. We probably looked at 80 different homes in numerous styles and sizes, but what we had envisioned didn't exist in Nashville".
They selected an expansive 1920s estate for the Stoker mansion, set on open, rolling hills with a creek and extensive gardens for India to lose herself in. Even so, the house was significantly smaller than what Park originally had in mind. He saw Evie and India as a fairytale queen and princess, trapped in a sprawling castle. "But this house had the right amount of antiquity and elegance and the more I looked at it, the more appealing it became", the director says. "It had all the elements we needed, including a cellar and a garden all in one location, so we could film everything there once we fixed it up the way we wanted".
Most importantly, it had an impressive staircase for a scene that Park saw as central to establishing the nuanced balance of power between Charlie and India. "In his mind, this whole movie revolved around a subtle dance that takes place between the two of them on that staircase", says Costigan. "It all has to do with who is in control and that scene is the starting point".
For six weeks, the production designer and her team worked to transform a traditional home into the Stoker mansion with a top-to-bottom renovation. No detail was neglected, including color and style, details in wallpaper, items on Richard's desk and even bathroom toiletries.
"Richard Stoker put his family in this house to set them apart from the outside world", says Costigan. "Finding a house that had the right aesthetic for an architect and a member of an old-money American family was very specific and challenging. It's sparsely furnished with impeccable elements that represent the wealth of the family. Each element was carefully chosen, because Director Park's attention to detail is so acute. There's a philosophy behind every element".
The hunting trophies India and her father collected together, many of them avian, are on display in the house and add to DePrez's concept of the house as a diorama. "We often talked about the house as an unraveling nest and the characters as birds", she says. "Evie is a peacock. Uncle Charlie becomes the mother hen and India the baby chick. They are all caught in this diorama of a house. It goes back to the idea of the hunting motif and to Director Park's image of India as a fledgling coming out of her shell".
The interior walls of the main floor are painted varying shades of icy green to make the viewer feel slightly unwelcome. "We also decided not to hang framed photographs or paintings on the walls", says Park. "It makes the house seem larger with big empty walls creating the sense of isolation and loneliness of our characters".
"Director Park wanted it to destabilize the audience a bit", says DePrez. "It's quite elegant, but it has the feeling of a prison as well. In the downstairs rooms, the colors are quite cold. To add the idea of them being imprisoned, there are a lot of linear elements in the wallpaper and panel molding".
The bedrooms in the upstairs of the house reflect more of each of the Stokers' individuality. "India as a character is very much about symmetry, order and pattern", the designer explains. "Evie is the opposite. She is asymmetrical, unraveling, a bit more chaotic. The rooms could not look any more different. India's room has yellow-patterned wall paper with things lined up perfectly, while Evie's room looks like an overgrown greenhouse".
The costume designers, Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller, pulled DePrez's unusual palette into the wardrobe, as well. At the beginning of the film, India is in pale yellow, which symbolizes her innocence. India's costumes were inspired by the artist Balthus. "He captured all of these paintings of little girls in cardigans and skirts, falling asleep and cat napping on couches and this was our inspiration for India", says Mueller.
Evie is a peacock trapped in a cage during her mourning period, dressed in a tight silhouette with everything formfitting and sleek. Her feathers open up with Uncle Charlie's attention until she becomes completely vulnerable at the end, skin exposed and hair loose and messy.
Meanwhile, Uncle Charlie's dapper style recalls Cary Grant circa 1950. There's a precision to his casual elegance right down to his cashmere sweater and, of course, his saddle shoes.
The end result is a look that is both oddly familiar and a bit disorienting; completely contemporary, yet dislocated in time and place. "What was most exciting for me as a fan of Park Chan-Wook is that this has a different look from his other films", says DePrez. "It is similar in the way he approaches the characters and his impeccable compositions and framing. But the setting is different from anything he's ever done".
Stoker's haunting, evocative score was created by Clint Mansell, who received a 2012 Grammy® nomination for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the psychological thriller, Black Swan. Director Park was impressed with Mansell's work on that and other films, including Moon, Requiem For A Dream and Pi. He was offered the job after the director attended a performance at the legendary Los Angeles nightspot, Largo.
Mansell had seen Director Park's previous films OldBoy and Thirst and was aware of his renown within the film community. "I took the gig, because I wanted to work with Director Park", he says. "I look for different sensibilities and different experiences than might be found in many movies. Stoker has these".
Mansell holds Director Park in high regard, both as an artist and a collaborator. "He is very relaxed, yet very focused. Even when his notes were quite small, they had a big impact on the score. He knows what he wants, but is open-minded about new ideas, so working with him was extremely fulfilling".
"My number one goal is always to create music that serves the film", adds the composer. "But I feel I do my best work when I connect with the film in a way that the music I create is very personal to me".
Director Park has long been enthralled by Clint Mansell's music. "When we were making the trailer for Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, I heard a piece of temporary music that the editor had put in on his own and I was thunderstruck. It was because this music, the kind that I heard for the first time in my life, was shockingly beautiful. I was told it was music from an American film, p, but I didn't think to memorize the composer's name. We didn't have enough money to afford the rights".
"Clint exquisitely brings alive the texture of each and every instrument", says Park. "He doesn't forcibly impose any one single emotion. The piano, the strings, vocals and percussions, each seemingly singing about different emotions, come together to create a new emotion which is so complex it's difficult to describe with words. And this music, in the end, is beautiful. Exciting, but beautifully exciting, sad but beautifully sad, terrifying, but beautifully terrifying".
Park continues, "Our minds met not only on doing all of this, but also on bringing out a sense of movement while doing so. Just like dancing, gracefully moving forward, then back, turning, jumping, landing to immediately roll, then stomping while getting up, then forwards and back again... Graceful, like a cat".
Music plays a key role in a scene that Park says was essential to his vision of the film. India and her uncle are seated at the piano together. Charlie, who has previously professed no musical ability, joins her for a complex, soul-stirring duet, a hypnotic piece written for the film by trailblazing contemporary composer Philip Glass. By the time they have finished, India has been transformed and there is no longer any doubt who he has come all this way to see.
"I had long dreamed of working with the maestro", Park says of Glass. "I was a bit nervous, but he was very kind and warm. Even when I dared to ask him to change a part here and there, he was never bothered or annoyed. The resulting piece is dramatic and beautiful and I believe the piano scene is a true gem".
Mia Wasikowska had never played piano before this film and took a three-month crash course to prepare. "The scene took one whole day to shoot even though it had no lines", she says. "It's a powerful and emotional piece of music. I could just let the music wash over me and that was the scene. That was the best day of filming for me".
Stoker is a fitting addition to Park's acclaimed canon of work, according to Costigan. "Like all of Director Park's films, it is primal, but also poetic and human. It's about overwhelming emotion and its intersection with violence. He was able to craft Wentworth Miller's riveting script into something even scarier, surprising, beautiful and lush, even funny at times. Everyone involved with the film feels very proud to have been able to help director Park make a true 'Park Chan-Wook film' in America".
In a short amount of time, Mia Wasikowska (India Stoker) has established herself as a rising star of the big screen. A trained ballerina turned actress, Wasikowska has been challenging herself as a performer since the age of nine.
Wasikowska made her debut to US audiences as the tormented and suicidal teen 'Sophie' in HBO's series In Treatment. Directed by Rodrigo Garcia, In Treatment focused on the relationship between a therapist (Gabriel Byrne) and his patients. In recognition of her performance, Wasikowska was honored by the Los Angeles based organization Australians in Film (whose Host Committee includes Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, among others) with the 'Breakthrough Actress' Award. The series was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award® for 'Best Drama Series'.
In January 2009, Wasikowska was seen in a supporting role in the film Defiance. Based on a true story, three Jewish brothers (Daniel Craig, Liev Schrieber and Jamie Bell) escape from Nazi-occupied Poland into the Belarusan forest where they encounter a village of Russian resistance fighters. Wasikowska plays 'Chaya', a young villager who builds a relationship with one of the brothers. The war film, directed by Ed Zwick was distributed by Paramount Vantage.
In October 2009, Wasikowska appeared in a supporting role in Fox Searchlight's film, Amelia starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere for director Mira Nair. Wasikowska portrayed 'Elinor', a young fan of Earhart whose motivations for building a relationship with Earhart are questioned by her reliable friend 'George' (Gere). During the same month, Wasikowska shared the screen with Hal Holbrook in the independent picture That Evening Sun directed by Scott Teems. Wasikowska earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for 'Best Supporting Actress' for her role as a naïve Tennessee teenager.
On March 5, 2010 starred as the title character in Tim Burton's retelling of the Lewis Carrol novel, Alice in Wonderland. The Disney live and 3-D animated film co-starred Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen and Alan Rickman. The same summer, Wasikowska co-starred in the Academy Award nominated film The Kids Are All Right with Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. The Lisa Cholodenko film was also recognized with an Independent Spirit Award and Golden Globe Award for 'Best Film'. In the Focus Features film, Wasikowska portrayed the teenage daughter of lesbian parents who sets out to find her sperm donor father.
In September 2011, Wasikowska tackled the lead role in Jane Eyre in director Cary Fukunaga's screen adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel. The film released to worldwide critical acclaim, praising the performances of Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender (as 'Rochester').
In May 2011, Wasikowska starred in another lead role in the Gus Van Sant directed film Restless alongside Henry Hopper. Produced by Imagine Entertainment with Bryce Dallas Howard, Wasikowska is 'Annabel', a terminally ill girl who falls in love with a death-obsessed teenage boy. The script was penned by first-time screenwriter Jason Lew. An official selection of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, Restlesswas released by Sony Classics.
Wasikowska ended the year co-starring opposite Glenn Close and Janet McTeer in the Roadside Attractions drama Albert NobbS. The period drama gave Wasikowska the opportunity to re-team with her In Treatment director Rodrigo Garcia. In August 2012, Wasikowska can be seen in a supporting role in the Weinstein feature, Lawless opposite Shia Laboef, Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain. The film is based on the non-fiction novel by Matt Bondurant during Prohibition in rural Virginia.
This summer, Wasikowska filmed The Double, which she starred opposite Jesse Eisenberg. The comedy, directed by Richard Ayoade and inspired by the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel, tells a story of a man driven crazy from an appearance of his doppelganger. Also this summer, Wasikowska completed production on the Jim Jarmusch film entitled Only Lovers Left Alive alongside Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and Anton Yelchin. The story focuses on two vampires whose love has endured over the course of several centuries.
Wasikowska is currently in production on the John Curran film Tracks shooting in rural Australia. Based on a true story, Wasikowska portrays 'Robyn Davidson', a young woman who embarks on a 1,700 mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with her four camels and faithful dog. Adam Driver (HBO's Girls) will play the photographer assigned to document the adventure.
In addition, Wasikowska will make her directorial debut (with individual but connected segments) in The Turning - is an adaptation of Tim Winton's best-selling short story collection and will release in spring 2013.
Wasikowska began her acting career in her home country of Australia, landing a recurring role on the popular medical drama All Saints. Upon securing her first major role in the independent film Suburban Mayhem, Wasikowska was recognized by the Australian Film Institute Awards for 'Best Young Actor'. She followed up these projects with acclaimed performances in Lens Love Story, Skin, September and in the Australian horror film Rogue alongside Michael Vartan and Radha Mitchell.
In 2013, Matthew Goode (Charles Stoker) will star alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and John Goodman in the five-part series Dancing on the Edge, (a BBC/ITV co-production), which will air on Starz in the United States. Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Stephen Poliakoff, the miniseries follows the Louis Lester Band as they find fame amongst the parties and performances of the upper class. Initially shocked by black musicians performing in polite society, many recoil, but London's progressive socialites take the band under their wing. Goode will also appear in BAFTA Award-winner Amma Asante's sophomore feature Belle (CinemaNX in the UK), the tale of a mixed-race girl (Gugu Mbatha Raw) raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th century England. Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson and Emily Watson co-star.
In the spring, Goode begins work on the thriller Destroyer, a film about the sinking of the warship HMS Coventry during the Falklands War. Paul Bettany co-stars and Tom Shankland directs.
Goode most recently played the title role in Jonathan Teplitzky's Burning Man (Toronto International Film Festival premiere), a provocative independent Australian drama about an out-of-control English chef who's trying to put his life and relationship with his son back on track. Immediately prior, Goode portrayed George's (Colin Firth) lover Jim in Tom Ford's critically acclaimed drama A Single Man and Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, "the world's smartest man", in Zack Snyder's Watchmen.
In 2007, Goode garnered critical attention for his turn as ex-convict Gary Spargo in Scott Frank's The Lookout with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels and Isla Fisher. In Woody Allen's Match Point, he portrayed the posh friend and eventual brother-in-law of the tennis pro played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Goode first gained wide attention for his performance in Chasing Liberty, opposite Mandy Moore.
His screen credits also include Brideshead Revisited (2008), directed by Julian Jarrold, Leap Year, Ricky Gervais' Cemetery Junction, Agnieszka Holland's Copying Beethoven and Ol Parker's Imagine Me & You. He made his feature film debut as celebrated Spanish speaking writer Gerard Brennan in Fernando Colomo's cult biopic South From Granada in 2003.
For television, Goode currently stars in ITV1's two-part psychological thriller The Poison Tree, an adaptation of Erin Kelly's novel, directed by Marek Losey. His credits also include Birdsong, an adaptation of the Sebastian Faulks novel, in which Goode portrays commanding officer to Eddie Redmayne's young WWI solider. With Imelda Staunton, Goode co-starred in the BBC telefilm My Family and Other Animals, (which aired as part of PBS' Masterpiece Theatre series in the U.S.) as well as the English crime drama Marple: A Murder is Announced, Tom Vaughan's He Knew He Was Right for the BBC and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: A Suitable Vengeance.
Raised in the city of Exeter, England, Goode studied drama at the University of Birmingham and later, classical theater and stage acting at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. His stage credits include the roles of Ariel in Shakespeare's The Tempest and Moon in Lorca's Blood Wedding at the Mercury Theatre Company.
Dermot Mulroney (Richard Stoker) has been seen in over 65 films over the 25 years he has spent in front of the cameras. This upcoming year he can be seen starring in a number of big projects.
Dermot is currently shooting August Osage County for John Wells opposite Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Before that he shot the independent film Jobs opposite Ashton Kutcher. He also recently wrapped shooting the films Space Warriors and The Rambler. and later this year he will be seen in Chris Colfer's Struck By Lightning.
In 2011, he was seen in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar for Warner Brothers. The film tells the story of J. Edgar Hoover and his life in law enforcement. Mulroney plays 'Colonel Schwarzkopf' to Leonardo Di Caprio's J. Edgar. He was also seen in the TNT movie Silent Witness. The film shows a prominent defense attorney 'Tony Lord' who returns to his hometown to defend an old friend, a teacher accused of murdering one of his students. Mulroney also starred in the action film The Grey starring opposite Liam Neeson for director Joe Carnahan. The film tells the story of an oil drilling team who struggles to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild while being hunted by a pack of rogue wolves. In February 2012, he was featured in the Universal family film Big Miracle directed by Ken Kwapis, opposite Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell and John Krasinski. The film was about a small town newspaper reporter who writes about three California gray whales trapped in the Arctic Circle.
Mulroney has also recently a completed a number of other films. He starred in the independent films Beyond opposite Jon Voight, about a detective team that uses a psychic to track down a missing child and in Chris Colfer's debut feature, Struck By Lightning opposite Chrsitina Hendricks and Allison Janney, about a young man who recounts the way he blackmailed his fellow classmates into contributing to his literary magazine after he is struck by lightening.
Some of Mulroney's film credits include the following: Inhale with Diane Kruger; Flash Of Genius with Greg Kinnear; Zodiac, directed by David Fincher: Gracie, directed by Davis Guggenheim and starring Elisabeth Shue; the Coen Brothers' Burn After Reading; The Family Stone with Diane Keaton; Georgia Rule with Jane Fonda; Must Love Dogs with Diane Lane and John Cusack; The Wedding Date with Debra Messing; David Gordon Green's UNdErtow with Jamie Bell and Josh Lucas; Alexander Payne's Amount Schmidt with Jack Nicholson; The Safety Of Objects with Glenn Close and Patricia Clarkson; My Best Friends Wedding, opposite Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz; Nicole Holefcener's Lovely and Amazing; Where The Money Is starring opposite Paul Newman and Linda Fiorentino; Robert Altman's Kansas City with Jennifer Jason Leigh; Copycat opposite Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver; Tom DiCillo's Living In Oblivion; Young Guns with Kiefer Sutherland; Point Of No Return with Bridget Fonda; Bad Girls opposite Andie MacDowell, Madeline Stowe and Drew Barrymore; the Blake Edwards comedy Sunset; and Career Opportunities opposite Jennifer Connelly.
Mulroney is a classily trained cellist who has been playing since he was 7 years old. He has worked on numerous projects with Academy Award winning composers such as James Newton Howard and Michael Giacchino
In 2011, Jacki Weaver (Gwendolyn Stoker) was nominated for an Academy Award for 'Best Supporting Actress' for the film Animal Kingdom. She won 'Best Supporting Actress' from the National Board of Review in New York, also winning Los Angeles Film Critics, San Francisco Film Critics, Virtuoso Award, Satellite award and nine other American nominations including a Golden Globe®.
Weaver made her professional debut in1962 while still a schoolgirl, playing Cinderella at Sydney's legendary Phillip Theatre. Since then, she's performed in more than 100 plays and many films and television programs.
Her most recent stage work includes Uncle Vanya with Cate Blanchett, (Sydney Theatre Company, Kennedy Centre Washington DC, Lincoln Centre NYC), Let the Sunshine, Prisoner of Second Avenue (Queensland Theatre Company), Death of a Salesman, Derrida in Love, (Sydney Ensemble Theatre), Entertaining Mr. Sloane (South Australian Theatre Company) and the musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Recently, Weaver played seven different characters in the one woman play The Blonde the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead as part of a 65 venue national tour, winning her the Touring Legend Award.
Weaver's other on-stage leading roles include Six Degrees of Separation, The Real Thing, Born Yesterday, The Three Sisters, Love's Labour's Lost, A Streetcar Named Desire, Shadowlands, Fred, Old Masters, A Hard God, Soulmates, Emerald City, Blithe Spirit, Joe Egg, The Sisters Rosensweig, Daylight Saving, Last Cab to Darwin, Ruby's Last Dollar, The Seagull, The Removalists, Tom, After Magritte and Rockola.
Weaver film roles include Cosi, Caddie, Picnic At Hanging Rock, The Removalists, Stork Petersen, The Perfectionist, Polly We Love, The From Moonooloo, Squizzy Taylor, 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Award-winning film Animal Kingdom. On television, Weaver starred in the ABC series House Rules and Trial by Marriage, both series written especially for her.
Weaver won many 'Best Actress' awards including a Best Actress Logie for Do I Have to Kill My Child, three AFI awards for Animal Kingdom, Caddie and Stork, a Mo for Old Masters, a Glug for Last of the Red Hot Lovers, two Variety Heart awards for Shadowlands and They're Playing Our Song in which she starred with John Waters for 3 years, also winning a Gold Record.
In 2011, Weaver appeared in The Five Year Engagement as Emily Blunt's mother and in 2012, the Academy Award nominated Silver Linings Playbook as the wife of Robert De Niro, with Brad Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Weaver's bestselling memoir Much Love, Jac was published by Allen & Unwin in 2005 and re-released in 2012.
Nicole Kidman (Evelyn Stoker) first came to the attention of American audiences with her critically acclaimed performance in Phillip Noyce's riveting 1989 psychological thriller Dead Calm. She has since become an internationally-recognized, award-winning actress known for her range and versatility.
In 2003, Kidman won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BATFA Award and a Berlin Silver Bear for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in Stephen Daldry's The Hours. In 2002, she was honored with her first Oscar nomination for her performance in Baz Luhrmann's innovative musical, Moulin Rouge! For that role and her performance in writer/director Alejandro Amenabar's psychological thriller, The Others, she received dual 2002 Golden Globe nominations, winning for 'Best Actress in a Musical'. She was awarded her initial Golden Globe for a pitch-perfect, wickedly funny portrayal of a woman obsessed with becoming a television personality at all costs, in Gus Van Sant's To Die For and has been nominated three additional times for her performances in Jonathan Glazer's Birth, Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain and Robert Benton's Billy Bathgate.
In 2010, Kidman starred opposite Aaron Eckhart in Rabbit Hole, for which she received Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild® and Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Actress. From David Lindsay-Abaire's own screenplay adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize®-winning play, Rabbit Hole was developed by Kidman's Blossom Films production company and is directed by John Cameron Mitchell. The cast includes Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard, Sandra Oh, Giancarlo Esposito and Jon Tenney. Kidman was most recently seen in HBO's Hemingway and Gellhorn with Clive Owen, for which she has received a 'Best Actress' Emmy® nomination.
In October 2012, Kidman was seen staring in Lee Daniel's The Paper Boy with Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and John Cusack and in 2013, Kidman will be featured in The Railway Man, which stars Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard. She will next begin filming Grace Of Monaco in the role of Grace Kelly with Tim Roth and Frank Langella.
Kidman's additional film credits include Noah Baumbach's Margot At The Wedding; The Golden Compass with Daniel Craig; Academy Award winning animated musical Happy Feet; Just Go With It with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston; Rob Marshall's film adaptation of the musical Nine with Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard; Baz Luhrmann's World War II love story, Australia, with Hugh Jackman; Steven Shainberg's Fur: An Imaginary Portrait Of Diane Arbus with Robert Downey, Jr.; Sydney Pollack's The Inerpreter with Sean Penn; Nora Ephron's Bewitched with Will Ferrell; Robert Benton's The Human Stain with Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris; Lars von Trier's Dogville with Paul Bettany and Lauren Bacall; Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut with Tom Cruise; Jez Butterworth's Birthday Girl with Ben Chaplin; Mimi Leder's The Peacemaker with George Clooney; Jane Campion's The Portrait Of A Lady with John Malkovich; Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever with Val Kilmer and Jim Carrey; Harold Becker's Malice with and Alec Baldwin; and Ron Howard's Far and Away. She also narrated the documentary release (Sundance Grand Jury Award and Audience Award-winner), God Grew Tired Of Us and also narrated the film biography of Simon Wiesenthal, I Have Never Forgotten You.
Kidman made a highly-lauded London stage debut in the fall of 1998, starring with Iain Glenn in The Blue Room, David Hare's modern adaptation of Schnitzler's La Ronde, for director Sam Mendes and the Donmar Warehouse. For her performance Kidman won London's Evening Standard Award and was nominated in the 'Best Actress' category for a Laurence Olivier Award. The Blue Room moved to Broadway for a sold-out, limited run from November of 1998 through March of 1999.
In January of 2006, Kidman was awarded Australia's highest honor, the Companion in the Order of Australia. She was also named and continues to serve, as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UN Women, whose goals are to foster women's empowerment and gender equality, to raise awareness of the infringement on women's human rights around the world and to end violence against women. Kidman has also lent her voice in support of the Women's Cancer Program at Stanford with Dr. Jonathan Berek. Along with her husband, Keith Urban, she has helped raise millions over the years for the Women's Cancer Program which is a world-renowned center for research into the causes, treatment, prevention and eventual cure of women's cancer.
Phyllis Somerville (Mrs. McGarrick), daughter of a Methodist minister and a librarian, was born in Iowa City, Iowa. Her acting dreams came early when she started singing songs and reciting pieces at holiday pageants and covered dish dinners. This dream was expanded at age four when her father took her to New York City where she remembers Yankee Stadium, the subway and Radio City Music Hall. She decided to be a Yankee, a New Yorker and a Rockette.
In high school, she was a cheerleader and a baton twirler, taking a slight detour from acting. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and attended Wayne State University. Her first paid acting job was in Buckshin Joe, Colorado, a restored mining town. She played an ingénue in melodramas at night, a bar singer after the show, a saloon girl in afternoon gunfights and a church organist on Sunday morning, but her first Equity job was at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
Most treasured roles include, 'Wilma' in Over Here (Schubert), 'Hannah' in The Spitfire Grill (Playwrights Horizons), 'Helen' in Happiness (Lincoln Center), 'Jesse' in Night Mother (National Tour), 'Andromache' and 'Athena' in The Greeks (Hartford Stage) 'Roxie O'Neill' in Lateline, 'Dorothy Russell' in NYPD Blue, 'Mrs. Raimes' in Life on Mars, 'May McGorvey' in Little Children, the Pawnbroker in Lucky You, 'Grandma Fuller' in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, 'Ruby' in Forgetting The Girl, 'Marlene' in The Big C and the upcoming House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey for Netflix.
Phyllis is a member of the LAByrinth Theatre Company and loves doing the kids' plays at the 52nd Street Project (once got to play a New York Yankee). So she's been a Yankee and she's been a New Yorker 40 years, but Ms. Somerville is not a Rockette... yet.
Alden Ehrenreich (Whip) began acting at the age of four in various school and summer camp plays, as well as community children's theatre groups. Throughout junior high and high school Alden began writing, directing and starring in student films, one of which lead to his discovery by Steven Spielberg, who saw one of the short films at Alden's friend's Bat Mitzvah.
On stage at Crossroads School, Ehrenreich has starred in numerous plays including Our Town, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Three Sisters. Professionally, Alden has appeared on the CW's Supernatural as well as CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Early on, Ehrenreich had a distinct vision for the kind of career he dreamed of. That vision came true in 2009 when Francis Ford Coppola made him an offer he couldn't refuse... playing the lead role in Coppola's semi-autobiographical film Tetro. Alden spent several months in Buenos Aires shooting with Coppola.
22-year-old Ehrenreich attended the prestigious Gallatin School at New York University. While there, he created The Collectin, a group which focusses on the creative process in which films and performances might be built around the specific qualities of an actor. They created six original plays and five short films during their time in New York. In December Alden shot The Collectin's first feature film, Running Wild.
Alden recently wrapped production as the lead role in Warner Bros. film Beautiful Creatures due out in February 2013.
Ehrenreich was in the Focus Features film Somewhere, directed by Sofia Coppola and he continued his friendship with director Francis Ford Coppola, starring in Twixt opposite Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Ben Chaplin and Elle Fanning.
Lucas Till's (Pitts) career started in James Mangold's Walk The Line, playing the young 'Jack Cash'. From there, he landed the male lead in Hannah Montana: The Movie for director Peter Chelsom, opposite Miley Cyrus. He's best known for his portrayal of 'Havok' in X-Men: First Class and is set to reprise that role later this year in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Till is currently filming Paranoia opposite Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman for director Robert Luketic.
Ralph Brown (Sheriff) is an English actor and writer, known for playing 'Danny' the drug dealer in Withnail And I, the security guard 'Aaron' (aka '85') in Alien 3, 'DJ Bob Silver' in The Boat That Rocked, 'Del Preston' in Wayne's World 2 and the pilot 'Ric Olié' in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. He won The Samuel Beckett Award for his first play Sanctuary written for Joint Stock Theatre Company in 1987 and the Raindance and Sapporo Film Festival awards for his first screenplay for the British film New Year's Day in 2001.
Other film roles include Dil's on-off boyfriend 'Dave' in the Academy Award-winning film The Crying Game, the great train robber 'Ronnie Biggs' in Buster, teacher and rugby league player 'Phil' in Up 'n' Under, prison guard 'Captain Mr. Burton' in Mean Machine, 'Sgt. Major Harris' in the Paul Schrader film Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist and CIA renegade 'Mr. Collins' alongside Wesley Snipes in The Contractor. In 1995, Brown appeared in Steven Spielberg's slavery epic Amistad. In 2007, he filmed Caught In The Act, an independent British film and appeared in the series Cape Wrath for Channel 4/Showtime as the moustachioed policeman 'Wintersgill'.
Brown's other television appearances include Dennis Potter's "Karaoke" in 1995, the BBC's adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe in 1997 as 'Prince John' and a memorable turn as shaven-headed gang-boss 'Miami Vice' in the 2000 series Lock, Stock...
In 2005 he appeared in "Coronation Street" as 'Barney', roadie to Status Quo and with Julia Davis in the cult TV sitcom "Nighty Night". He appeared in the final two episodes of Life on Mars as Frank Morgan, an interim DCI in 1973 sequences and Sam's (John Simm's) surgeon in 2006 sequences.
In 2009 he made four films: The Kid directed by Nick Moran, Huge directed by Ben Miller, Mission: London a Bulgarian comedy directed by Dimitar Mitoviski which premiered in Sofia on April, 13 2010 and Sus, written by Barrie Keeffe, writer of The Long Good Friday, which premiered April. 24 2010 and ran in the West End for several weeks.
In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Brown has worked on the BBC Three comedy Him & Her. In 2010, he worked on the film Killing Bono and shot the feature film Dark Tide in Cape Town opposite Halle Berry. In 2011, he filmed I, Anna with Gabriel Byrne and Charlotte Rampling. Then, he went on to work on Jack The Giant Killer directed by Bryan Singer and Tower Block in London. In 2012, he has worked on Inspector George Gently with Martin Shaw, The Poison Tree for ITV and The Mimic for C4. Brown is currently directing his first film Red Light Fever.
Brown was born in Cambridge, England and he has been married to Jenny Jules since 1992. He is a member of a Brighton-based Beach Boys tribute band, The Brighton Beach Boys.
Critically acclaimed International actress Judith Godrèche (Doctor Jacquin) has been recognized with several Cesar Award nominations for her outstanding and varied performances over the last years.
Godrèche was last seen in François Ozon's Potiche opposite Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu, which screened at the 2010 Venice Film Festival and the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is set in 1977 in a provincial French town. Suzanne Pujol (Catherine Deneuve) is a submissive housebound 'trophy housewife' ("potiche") who steps in to manage her wealthy and tyrannical husband Fabrice Luchini's (Gérard Depardieu) umbrella factory after the workers go on strike and take him hostage. Godrèche plays Suzanne's daughter, 'Joëlle' - a character that is not what she always seems. The film was released by Music Box in the states on March 25, 2011.
She recently completed L'art D'aimer (The Art Of Love) opposite Gaspard Ulliel and directed my Emmanuel Mouret. The film is currently in post-production.
Godrèche first made her mark in the United States starring opposite Leonardo Dicaprio in the Man in the Iron Mask, wowing audiences and critics alike. Other film credits include L'Ete Prochain, Les Mendiants, La Meridienne, Les Saison Du Plaisir, Un Éte D'Orage, Son's, La Fille De Quinze Ans, La Desenchantee for which she received a Cesar Award Nomination for 'Most Promising Actress', Ferdyduke, Paris S'Eveille, La Nouvelle Vie, Tango, Grande Petite, Beaumarchais, Ridicule, Bimboland, L'Homme Au Masque De Fer, Entropy, Quicksand, Parlez-Moi D'Amour, L'Auberge Espangnole for which she received a Cesar Award Nomination for 'Best Supporting Actress', South Kensington, France Boutique for which she received a Cesar Award Nomination for 'best Supporting Actress', Tu Vas Rire Mais Je Te Quitte, Tout Pou Plaire, Papa, Je Veux Pas Que Tu T'En Ailles, Home Sweet Home, Fais Moi Plaisir, Toutes Les Filles Pleurent and Holiday.