Tuesday 1st December 2020
The idea for Possessor came from a personal place for writer/director Brandon Cronenberg. "It was a time when things were changing in my life very quickly and I was waking up feeling this sense of absence of familiarity - like I had to scramble to form some kind of identity that made sense in that context," explains Cronenberg. "I don't think that's an uncommon thing to varying degrees. I think a lot of people have those moments where either they feel like they need to play a character to present themselves or something shifts in their lives. So, on a personal and philosophical level, I thought that idea was interesting. I wanted to explore that in a sci-fi way."
"You see people who are detached from themselves and who are dealing with that," adds Cronenberg. "On a more satirical and political level I was interested in the corporate side. Historically, corporations would have their own armies and that was an accepted thing. I think there is a shift back to the corporation as a global power in a way that rivals a state like Google going up against the NSA. That was also part of it. Then there is also the general invasion of privacy. When I first started writing this the Snowden stuff was happening and everyone was very much aware of the degree to which governments are observing people and spying on citizens. Possessor is like the ultimate invasion of privacy - its someone in your life who's actually not a person in your life."
Despite the script going through many drafts, one of the earliest and most important scenes Cronenberg wrote was the scene where Vos wakes up in Colin's body. "Vos wakes up as Colin in his apartment next to someone and has to play this character in the context of a domestic setting. Even though the main plot of the film isn't about that, the seed of it really is about that - the sense of detachment from your own life and identity. That was an important scene for the genesis of the film," says the writer/director.
"Possessor is ripe with fascinating sci-fi concepts and deeply frightening horror," says producer Fraser Ash. "What most spoke to us in the screenplay was the human fragility of the characters. The film's unique exploration of the innate conflict between self-interest, family and responsibility is unlike anything we had ever seen."
In an early draft of the script, Cronenberg wrote Vos as a male character inhabiting another male character's body. "When I read it, I found it almost boring because there are too many stories about men who feel like they're smothered by their domestic life and want to detach from it. Then I found it inherently interesting the idea of someone inhabiting a body of another gender. This became a major element of the film," explains Cronenberg. One of the main components of Possessor that drew Andrea Riseborough to the project was the idea that the character that both she and Christopher Abbott portray transcends gender. "What I found fascinating about the script was that the meeting of two psyches should manifest into something external," explains Riseborough. "I wanted to experience what that felt like and its what's interesting about doing this film now. Society is talking a lot about gender and non-gender, what it means to us and what labels society pastes on us. Its wonderful for two of us to be playing the same part."
"I think the most interesting thing about this movie thematically is identity," adds Christopher Abbott. "Much of the plot is the idea of Vos overtaking Colin's body, hence overtaking a different identity. But the struggles that Vos has throughout the film in dealing with her job and her real life is kind of that struggle for identity, which I believe is a universal struggle. I think it makes it very relatable under the blanket of this science fiction world - which is a nice balance to have." "I love working with Chris," says Riseborough of her co-star. "He's such a kind and generous actor. We're living and breathing next to one another, so it's a really authentic rendition of the other person. But also, it's your character's perception of them as well. There are so many levels. It's been such a fascinating project for this reason. Chris will ask me what Vos might do in a situation. It's the first time that I've been in a negotiation with another person about the same character. Its lovely."
Adds Abbott; "Andrea said something interesting which was 'it's nice to share this part with you'. We are both doing it. Since I'm essentially playing her, I'd check in with her from time to time to see how her character would do certain things. That makes it all fun - to play with that kind of stuff. I love this unique dynamic is between Andrea and I."
"With Chris and Andrea there is a rabbit hole that we could go down in terms of who was going to play who," notes Cronenberg. "From a theoretical perspective there was a lot of back and forth around who was going to take the lead in a sense, who would imitate who. In practice it just happened very organically. There wasn't a rigid system to that. They both just absorbed each other to a certain degree. That was the interesting part because they're each playing each other."
What is also interesting about the actors' roles in this film is the idea that Colin really isn't Colin for most of the film. "For me the character of Colin is almost non descript. 90 percent of when you see Colin its not really Colin at all. Then there is a struggle of identity that happens. The point is there's not much to go on in terms of Colin and that's okay," explains Abbott of his character. "Even when Vos is in Colin, I always wanted to demonstrate how good Vos was at her job. I never wanted him fumbling around. Part of the fun is making the audience forget that there is someone else in his body. That's been fun to toy with. He's a vessel in a lot of ways."
"I really wanted to cast Chris and Andrea because they are fantastic actors," recalls Cronenberg. "If you get two very interesting people together tackling the same character you're going to get something fantastic."
Sean Bean plays John Parse, one of the victims in the film. "When I first spoke to Brandon he outlined the plot and character," explains Bean. "John Parse is a techy guy who is trying to hang on to his youth. He's a ruthless, sarcastic, powerful businessman but also sort of a Guru or cult leader. He scolds his friends then laughs with him. He's intelligent and manipulative and has a curious relationship with his daughter, Ava. He's so self-centered and oblivious that he's not even aware of the danger he's in."
"Possessor taps in to people's psychology and mentality - how people's minds can be molded for other purposes. In this case it's for taking out people, like the character I play," says Sean Bean.
Tuppence Middleton plays the Ava Parse, daughter of John Parse and girlfriend to Colin. "When I read the script there was the idea of losing your identity and not really knowing who you are - the idea of inhabiting someone else's body or losing yourself, with the popularity of social media and being able to create your own identity and live a version of a perfect life on line. I found that interesting. I love the way it feels timeless in that respect," notes Middleton.
"Brandon and I were both keen to make sure Ava wasn't the typical girlfriend character who gets killed off in the end and has no substance," continues Middleton. "I like the idea that she's the daughter of a rich CEO who has a sort of hippie part of his personality and isn't your typical corporate guy. Therefore, I wanted Ava to not be the typical spoiled rich girl. I wanted her to be a little more interesting than that. We wanted the relationship between Ava and Colin to feel genuine - like they really loved each other."
As Possessor exists in an alternate timeline, an alternate 2008, it would take the vision of Cronenberg, Director of Photography Karim Hussain, and Production Designer Rupert Lazarus to adapt this concept for the screen. "We started experimenting with cameras, lighting, projections, and scientificallyinspired photography, which is unusual for a mainstream feature film. We started discovering things that no one had ever done in a mainstream movie before in terms of different projection vortexes. It took years of research," explains Hussain. "Every effect in Possessor is in camera. That's one of the exciting things about this film - its very organic. Photographically it was very challenging. The techniques we employed are unusual."
"All the colour in the film is done practically. Its not a grading trick," notes Cronenberg. "One colour idea that Karim and I found through experimenting was looping a gel over the lens and then flaring the gel with a different colour flashlight would give it this kind of eerie 2-tone effect that we really liked. It's a simple effect but it looks really good."
"The red room scene was interesting as there was not one red light on the set," adds Hussain. "That effect is done with a red gel over the camera lens with yellow flares coming into the side of the lens. It was all shot under white light in the studio. For Dan, our Prosthetics Supervisor, to do the colouring for the prosthetics, he had to create glasses with red gels to get accurate colouring on the prosthetics that would otherwise differ under white lights. The blood had to be a bit greener for it to read against the red gel on the lens. If he had just coloured everything red, it would have disappeared against the red gel."
"In terms of production design, the idea was that Brandon and I wanted everything off-kilter. We wanted to create a world that we don't currently live in. It's as if 20 years ago, we went in a different direction," says Rupert Lazarus. "Tastes were different and technology surpasses where we are in some ways and in different ways is behind. In that respect, you get to fool around with the look. In every situation we tried to make things a little unusual." "We didn't go the usual, techy route that you typically see in sci-fi movies. It's nothing you've seen before - no clean lines, a mixture of styles, a mash up," adds Lazarus. "We are doing a lot of big screens - in Vos' apartment, in Michael's house, and in Rena's apartment. For them that's normal."
"One of the things we talked about was having large wall screens instead of televisions. So we ended up using both front and rear projections," explains Cronenberg. "We also decided on old cars. Additionally, everyone vapes in the film and the vapes are covered in stickers. Its full of weird touches that aren't really about our 2008 - things are familiar but slightly different." In addition to the off-kilter feel and practical style of shooting, there were also design considerations in relation to all the blood that was used in the film. "We had many blood conversations," notes Lazarus. "They found a blood that was the right colour and texture and that could be cleaned off fairly easily. We had to do tests as blood is everywhere in this movie. It definitely was a consideration."
An interesting and one-might-say unusual aspect about Possessor is that all off the effects were done practically. In an age where CGI-loaded films dominate the box office, this detail makes Possessor unique. To ensure his vision was properly executed on screen, Cronenberg enlisted the talents of acclaimed Prosthetics Supervisor Daniel Martin of 13 Finger FX to bring his vision to life. "There are two things I like about practical effects," explains Cronenberg. "The first is I think they have a particular weight to them on screen and the second is there is a tangible process with them. When you are involved in that kind of hands on way, you discover things by accident and by process."
The method of creating the prosthetics for Possessor was very synergetic. "Brandon is very collaborative and generous with ideas. He sets a tone and ideal and then will ask for suggestions. He's very open with the people he works with to bring ideas to the table," says Daniel Martin. "Brandon always wanted stylized and representative ways of showing the experience of Colin and Vos's fighting for control of the body. I suggested building a head that has a rear projector screen for a face - so that we could have one character and then project the other character's face onto that. He liked that idea so he took it and progressed it."
Another way to exhibit the melding of Vos and Colin was to experiment with wax. "Vos melts away and reforms as Colin. We made hollow wax shell versions of the actors' heads, painted them up and subjected them to heat so they slowly break down on camera. It shows one of them melting away to nothing and the other one rebuilding," explains Martin.
One of the other impressive prosthetics in Possessor is the John Parse head, which is used in a gruesome attack scene. "Sean Bean sat for a live cast and we did two separate live casts. One expressive which we used to make a puppet of the character and one passive that we sculpted prosthetics onto," explains Martin. "We had prosthetic versions of all the wounds that he would suffer. A lot of that action was done with a rod-controlled puppet. It had removable teeth and soft removable eyes. Then we had about 3 gallons of blood pumping through it." One of the most impressive prosthetic gags in the film takes place in the red room where there is a big battle. "The red room is a very stylized place. It will look as though it was shot under red lighting but actually it was shot under bright white lighting with a red gel in front of the camera so that it could be very carefully controlled," says Martin. "When Karim, the DP, told me they were shooting it this way, I needed to get a pair of sunglasses with red gels on them so when I painted things I could see them as the camera was going to see them. We had to sort of reinvent everything - all the gore was painted with green tones instead of red because the red would have vanished under the gels."
"One of the great things about working with Dan is that he has a catalogue of ideas that he's always wanted to try so a few of the effects came from that," adds Cronenberg in delight.
Andrea Riseborough (Tasya Vos) An immensely talented actress with a true gift for transformation, Andrea Riseborough continues to captivate audiences and earn critical acclaim with each role.
Upcoming, Riseborough will next star in Nicolas Pesce's reboot of The Grudge opposite Damian Bichir and John Cho. Sony is slated to release the film on January 3, 2020. Following, she will be seen in Stefano Sollima's ZeroZeroZero, Amazon's true-crime series focusing on the cocaine drug trade. The show, which begins streaming in 2020, premiered two episodes at the 2019 Venice Film Festival. Also upcoming, Riseborough will be seen in Lone Scherfig's The Kindess Of Strangers opposite Zoe Kazan and Bill Nighy, which opened the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, Brandon Cronenberg's thriller Possessor and Zeina Durra's drama Luxor, both of which are set to premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
She is currently in production on BBC Film's Here Before, and recently completed production on Louis Wain opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy. Riseborough is also attached to star in a variety of projects including, Amanda Kramer and Noel David Taylor's Please Baby Please, Stuart Ford and Glendon Palmer's Geechee and Michael Morris's To Leslie.
Most recently, Riseborough starred in Nancy, which premiered in competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the prestigious Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. The film was also nominated for two Film Independent Spirit Awards in the categories of Best Supporting Female (J. Smith Cameron) and Best First Screenplay (Christina Choe). Riseborough earned momentous critical praise for her performance in the title role opposite Steve Buscemi, Ann Dowd and John Leguizamo in the film, which she also produced under her production banner, Mother Sucker.
Prior, she starred in Armando Iannucci's The Death Of Stalin, which premiered to rave reviews at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. It was later released by IFC in March 2018. Riseborough's performance garnered a 2017 British Independent Film Award nomination and, more recently, the film was ranked as one of the Top Ten Independent Films of 2018 by the National Board of Review. Additionally, she starred in Mandy and Burden, both of which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Mandy previously appeared in the Director's Fortnight at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
Previously, Riseborough starred in Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' Battle Of The Sexes alongside Emma Stone and Steve Carell, which tells the true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Earlier, she starred in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance), which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Riseborough's additional film credits include Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals; Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go; Nigel Cole's Made In Dagenham; Rowan Joffe's Brighton Rock; Madonna's W.E., as Wallis Simpson; Amit Gupta's Resistance; Henry Alex Rubin's Disconnect; Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion opposite Tom Cruise; Eran Creevy's Welcome To The Punch; Corinna McFarlane's The Silent Storm; the Duffer Brothers' Hidden and James Marsh's Shadow Dancer, opposite Clive Owen, for which Riseborough won the British Independent Film Award (BIFA), the Evening Standard British Film Award, and the London Critics' Circle Film Award for Best Actress.
On the small screen, she appeared in Paramount Network's six-part limited series Waco alongside Taylor Kitsch, Michael Shannon and John Leguizamo. The series is based on the true story of the 51-day standoff that began when the FBI and ATF seized religious leader, David Koresh's, Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in the spring of 1993. Riseborough also recently starred in an episode of the fourth season of Netflix's critically-acclaimed drama Black Mirror.
Prior, she starredan episode of the fourth season on Netflix's critically-acclaimed drama Black Mirror, and Hulu's four-part mini-series National Treasure alongside Robbie Coltrane and Julie Waters and written by BAFTA®-winning writer Jack Thorne, Netflix's drama Bloodline, Julian Jarrold's TV movie, The Witness For The Prosecution, based on Agatha Christie's play of the same name and Party Animals, which marked Riseborough's first leading role in a television series.
Growing up in the U.K. seaside resort of Whitley Bay, she wrote and created her own worlds. At the age of nine, her drama teacher recommended her for an audition at the People's Theatre (home of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Newcastle), and she appeared in her first public production there. While still attending the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts (RADA), she began taking external acting roles in telefilms and theatre productions. After leaving RADA, she starred the Oppenheimer Award-winning play A Brief History Of Helen Of Troy at the Soho Theatre, directed by Gordon Anderson, and was nominated as Best Newcomer at the 2005 Theatre Goers' Choice Awards. Riseborough's first feature film role was in Roger Michell's Venus (2006), starring her good friend Jodie Whittaker and Peter O'Toole. She starred for six months at the National Theatre, in Deborah Gearing's Burn, Enda Walsh's Chatroom and Mark Ravenhill's Citizenship, all directed by Anna Mackmin. She was honored with the Ian Charleson Award for her performance in Peter Hall's Royal Shakespeare Company staging of Measure For Measure.
Mike Leigh offered her a place in the company of his film Happy-Go-Lucky. She made the movie and then starred at the Royal Court Theatre in Bruce Norris' The Pain And The Itch, for which she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress at the 2007 Theatre Goers' Choice Awards. Later, she starred in Dorota Maslowska's A Couple Of Poor, Polish-Speaking Romanians, at The Soho Theatre; and in the Donmar Warehouse production of Ivanov, opposite Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hiddleston. She made her U.S. stage debut in Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Pride, directed by Joe Mantello.
Following, Riseborough starred as Margaret Thatcher in the telefilm Margaret Thatcher - The Long Walk To Finchley, directed by Niall McCormick, for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination; starred in the short film Love You More, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and written by Patrick Marber; starred in Avie Luthra's independent feature Mad Sad & Bad; and played the lead role in the miniseries The Devil's Whore, about the 17th Century English Civil War, directed by Marc Munden.
Christopher Abbott (Colin Tate) Acclaimed stage, screen and television actor Christopher Abbott can currently be seen starring as the lead opposite George Clooney and Kyle Chandler in Hulu's limited series, Catch-22. The series is adapted from Joseph Heller's acclaimed 1961 novel and was released on May 17, 2019. As a result of his critically acclaimed performance, Abbott received individual nominations for both a 2020 Critics' Choice and Golden Globe Awards.
Abbott recently completed production on Jerrod Carmichael's directorial debut On The Count Of Three as well The World To Come opposite Casey Affleck, Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby. The film is based on a short story of the same name and will be directed by Mona Fastvold.
Abbott will next be seen in Brandon Cronenberg's thriller Possessor, opposite Andrea Riseborough, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Sean Bean. The film follows an agent who works for a secretive organisation that uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, ultimately driving them to commit assassinations for high-paying clients.
Additionally, Abbott completed production on the suspenseful meta-drama, Black Bear, opposite Aubrey Plaza and Sarah Gadon. Written and directed by Lawrence Michael Levine, the movie centers on an expecting couple (Gadon and Abbott) who are confronted with an out-of-town guest 'Abigail' (Plaza), a filmmaker suffering from writer's block who seeks solace in the woods but finds herself at the center of a twisted love triangle.
In October 2018, Abbott appeared opposite Ryan Gosling in Academy Awardwinning director Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic First Man for Universal Pictures. Abbott also stars in Nicolas Pesce's Piercing, opposite Mia Wasikowska, in February 2019 and Sebastian Silva's Tyrel, opposite Jason Mitchell, which both premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
In 2015, Abbott was named by Variety as one of the "10 Actors to Watch" following his portrayal of the title role in Josh Mond's award-winning film James White which was released by The Film Arcade. His performance garnered him "Best Actor" nominations from both the Independent Spirit and Gotham Awards.
Other film work includes Trey Shults's It Comes At Night with Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo and Riley Keough, JC Chandor's A Most Violent Year with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with Tina Fey and Margot Robbie, Katie Says Goodbye, Mona Fastvold's The Sleepwalker, and Jamie Dagg's Sweet Virginia opposite Jon Bernthal, Imogen Poots, and Rosemarie DeWitt.
Abbott's lead role in Oscilloscope's Hello I Must Be Going earned him the Sundance Film Festival's "Fresh Face In Film" recognition in 2012. His first film role was opposite Elizabeth Olsen in Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene, for which he was nominated for a Gotham Award in the "Best Ensemble" category. On stage, the Connecticut native made his Broadway debut in John Guare's The House Of Blue Leaves. Other theatrical work includes The Rose Tattoo with Marisa Tomei at The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Lucy Thurber's Where We're Born at The Rattlestick Theatre, Annie Baker's John at The Signature Theatre and Sam Shepard's Fool For Love at The Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Michael Vos (Rossif Sutherland) Rossif Sutherland had his unexpected acting debut in a short film he directed while studying at Princeton University, after his lead actor was a no-show on the first day of shooting. Since then, he has built an impressive career in both film and television.
On the big screen, Sutherland was recently seen in Atom Egoyan's latest feature, Guest Of Honour, which played at both Cannes and TIFF this year. Sutherland is often recognised for his dramatic roles including: Paul Gross's wartime feature Hyena Road; as well as River, directed by Jamie Dagg, both of which premiered at TIFF, in 2015. He also had lead and supporting roles in films such as: the award-winning Trench 11, from director Leo Scherman; Hellions, directed by Bruce McDonald (Sundance 2015); Big Muddy, directed by Jefferson Moneo; I'm Yours, opposite Karine Vanasse; the crime comedy High Life, opposite Timothy Olyphant and Joe Anderson, for which he was nominated for a Genie Award; and the critically acclaimed Clement Virgo feature Poor Boy's Game, opposite Danny Glover, all of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Other film credits include: Backstabbing For Beginners, alongside Ben Kingsley and Theo James; Edge Of Winter, with Joel Kinnaman; Timeline, a Paramount feature directed by Richard Donner; as well as the independent feature film Red Doors, directed by Georgia Lee.
For Television, Sutherland was a lead in the hilarious French remake of the Amazon/Channel 4 hit British comedy series, Catastrophe. He had series regular roles in the period drama Reign, for The CW; as well as the crime drama King, for Showcase. Other TV credits include recurring guest spots on shows such as: The Expanse for Syfy; Crossing Lines for NBC; Copper for BBCA; Covert Affairs for USA; as well as guest spots on: Flashpoint for CBS and CTV; Being Erica and Cracked for CBC; and Monk for USA. Sutherland also had a pivitol recurring role in season 10 of NBC's hit series, ER. He recently wrapped a very dark role for the upcoming TV movie Believe Me, about the true story of the horrifying abduction of Lisa McVey, and will be seen next in the CBC anthology series, The Detectives. In the last few months, Sutherland has been incredibly busy. He shot: the upcoming WWI film, Liberté: A Time To Spy, for director Lydia Dean Pilcher; the film Possessor, for writer/director Brandon Cronenberg; and The Retreat for director Pat Mills. He is currently shooting The Middle Man for director Bent Hammer, in both northern Ontario and Germany.
Tuppence Middleton (Ava Parse) Tuppence is currently shooting in David Fincher's Netflix feature Mank opposite Gary Oldman. She was recently seen as the new lead character "Lucy Smith" in Julian Fellows' box office hit, Downton Abbey, for Focus Features. The film grossed more than $183M worldwide.
She has the BRON Studios/Studio Canal mini-series, Shadowplay, alongside Michael C. Hall and Taylor Kitsch in the can. Additionally, Tuppence has Brandon Cronenberg's film, Possessor, opposite Christopher Abbott, Andrea Riseborough and Jennifer Jason Leigh set to premiere in 2020.
Disappearnace At Clifton Hill, a film in which she stars with David Cronenberg, premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and will be released by IFC in 2020. She was also recently seen alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Holland in the long-awaited The Current War from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
Tuppence was previously seen in the Amazon anthology series Electric Dreams opposite Timothy Spall. She also starred in the BBC/Big Talk Productions TV film Diana And I, which focuses on the emotional impact surrounding Princess Diana's death and was directed by Peter Catteneo. She also has a major role in the epic BBC series War And Peace with Lily James and Paul Dano, as well as Dickensian for the BBC. She perhaps is best known for the Netflix series Sense8 executive produced by The Wachowski's.
Tuppence hit the big screen in the critically acclaimed feature The Imitation Game opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, as well as Warner Bros feature Jupiter Ascending opposite Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. She also starred opposite Kit Harrington in Bharat Nalluri's independent feature Spooks.
John Parse (Sean Bean) Award-winning actor Sean Bean has enjoyed a 35-year career that spans across theatre, radio, television and film. Having graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in 1983, Sean began his career on stage in productions such as the RSC's Romeo and Juliet (1983), appearing as Romeo, and Killing the Cat (1990), as Danny.
After becoming a household name due to his portrayal of Richard Sharpe in the 'Sharpe' series, an array of major international film roles followed, including his portrayal of super-villain Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye (1995) and Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), a role for which he received an Empire Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Sean also notably appeared in Patriot Games (1992), Troy (2004) and subsequently The Martian (2015).
Sean received critical acclaim for his role in the award-winning series Game of Thrones (2011), starring as protagonist Eddard "Ned" Stark. In 2013, Sean won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of transvestite "Tracie" in BBC1's Accused. In 2017 Sean won a Leading Actor BAFTA for his role as Father Michael Kerrigan in the BBC1's Broken.
Most recently Sean was seen in BBC1's World on Fire opposite Helen Hunt & Lesley Manville. Sean will also star in upcoming American sci-fi horror film Possessor, which will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020.
Sean is currently working on the second season of Snowpiercer for TNT, based on the critically acclaimed Bong Joon Ho film of the same name.
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Girder) Oscar Nominated, Jennifer Jason Leigh is an actor known for her fierce, honest and risk-taking performances. Leigh has received six separate career tributes: at the Telluride Film Festival in 1993, a special award for her contribution to independent cinema from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 2002, and a week-long retrospective of her film work held by the American Cinematheque at Los Angeles's Egyptian Theatre in 2001. A weeklong tribute in 2016 American Cinematheque at the Aero theatre in Santa Monica and a two-part retrospective in 2017 at the Alamo Drafthouse in New York.
She has worked with many of our most brilliant and independent directors, including Robert Altman, Short Cuts and Kansas City, the Coen Brothers, The Hudsucker Proxy, Alan Rudolf, Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle, David Cronenberg's, eXixtenZ, Sam Mendes Road to Perdition, Jane Campion, In the Cut, Todd Solondz Palindromes, Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, and Anomalisa, Quentin Tarantino The Hateful Eight, Rob Reiner, LBJ, the Safdie Brothers, Good Time, and most recently Adam Garland's Annihilation. In 2016 Leigh Starred in Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. Leigh's performance received multiple awards and nominations, including her third Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1990, Leigh made a significant career breakthrough when she was awarded New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayals of two very different prostitutes: in Last Exit to Brooklyn, and Miami Blues. In 1994 for her work in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, she received a Golden Globe Award nomination and a National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress, as well as Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress. In 1995 for the Film Georgia, directed by Ulu Grosbard and produced by Leigh, and penned by her mother, Barbara Turner, Leigh won New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress and Best Actress from the Montreal World Film Festival, as well as an Independent Spirit Award nomination.
In 2001, Leigh co-wrote and co-directed The Anniversary Party, with Alan Cumming. Leigh and Cumming jointly received a citation for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review, and were nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
In 2016 Leigh broke history becoming the first actor to receive an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for a voiced performance in an animated film, Anomalisa, by Charlie Kaufman, and also received an Annie Award Nomination. Anomalisa was first performed as a radio play at Royce Hall in 2005.
Leigh recently starred in the TV adaptation of the Edward St. Aubyn novel series, Patrick Melrose, starring opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, White Boy Rick with Matthew McConaughey, and Annihilation with Natalie Portman. Currently, Leigh stars in the Netflix dramedy Atypical. She recently wrapped shooting Brandon Cronenberg's sci-fi thriller, Possessor and is set to star in the Netflix drama Awake.
Other films include Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Barbet Shroeder's Single White Female, and Taylor Hackford's Dolores Claiborne, Lili Fini Zanuck's Rush, Ron Howard's Backdraft, Christopher Guest's The Big Picture, Brad Anderson's The Machinist, Agnieszka Holland's Washington Square, Noah Baumbach's Margot at the Wedding (spirit award nomination Best Supporting Actress, muse award 2007) and Greenberg which she also co-wrote and produced, The Spectacular Now, Hateship Loveship Friendship.
Theatre credits include: Broadway, Sam Mendes Cabaret 1999, and David Aubum's Proof, 2001, House of Blue Leaves 2011, Off Broadway: in the American premier of Mike Leigh's Abigails Party 2005 Lucille Lortel nomination, and Sunshine at Circle Rep.