Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Bright Side casting news

Screenterrier reported on the casting call for a BBC 3 comedy pilot The Bright Side back in September.

Filming is now underway and 18 year old Georgia Groome, star of Angus Thongs, and who recently wrapped on The Great Ghost Rescue, has been cast in the lead role of quirky Leigh-Ann.

Also cast are original Skins star April Pearson and ex-Grange Hill/Waterloo Road rising star Reece Noi as Jaffers.

The sitcom is described as 'a female version of The Inbetweeners'.

The comedy focuses around three 16 year-olds. Leigh Ann is a quirky teenager who is not the coolest girl in school. Her best friends are goth Clare and nerdy Nousheen.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Horrid Henry casting news

12 year old Theo Stevenson from Essex has landed the lead role in Vertigo Films 3D big screen adaptation of the successful Francesca Simon's books Horrid Henry.

Theo (represented by Independent Talent) is an experienced young actor on stage and screen with roles in Young Vic theatre productions and the feature films In Bruges and Fred Claus. He will also be seen as Jake Rubin in up-coming feature Re-Uniting the Rubins, a comedy about a completely dysfunctional Jewish family.

Horrid Henry is about to start shooting and the all-star cast includes Prunella Scales, Parminda Nagra, Noel Fielding, David Schneider, Jo Brand and Helen Lederer with Mat Horne (Gavin and Stacey) and Siobhan Hayes as Henry's long-suffering parents.

The Little House

Rising star Lucy Griffiths, best known for her role as Maid Marion in Robin Hood, stars in a new two-part drama for ITV The Little House. 24 year old Lucy (represented by Hamilton Hodell), has gone blonde again for the part of Ruth, as she did for her role as Jane in ITV's five-part drama Collision.

The Little House is a compelling two-part thriller exploring the psychological power struggles within one family and the lengths an obsessive mother will go to keep control of her son, based on the best-selling novel by Philippa Gregory. Adapted for television by Ed Whitmore, the drama also stars BAFTA-winning actress Francesca Annis, Tim Pigott-Smith, and Rupert Evans.

"The Little House is a creepy and compelling tale of the power struggles within one family. Ed's script brilliantly captures the claustrophobia and tension in Philippa's novel and constantly plays with your perceptions of the two central women. It's an atmospheric and chilling drama," said Laura Mackie, ITV Drama Commissioner.

The drama follows the story of Ruth (Griffiths), who is married to career minded Patrick (Evans) and is pushed towards the limits of her own sanity when she becomes entangled in the lives of her wealthy but interfering in-laws Elizabeth (Annis) and Frederick (Pigott-Smith).

After falling unexpectedly pregnant, Ruth finds herself swept along on a tide of apparently well-intentioned family gestures which leave the previously independent school teacher detached from her former city life and living in ‘the little house’ at the end of her in-laws’ driveway.

The Little House is produced by TXTV who previously produced the critically acclaimed three part drama, Torn for ITV in 2007 which starred Holly Aird, Bradley Walsh and Jo Woodcock.

The first episode is aired on Monday 1st November 9:00pm on ITV1.

Interview with Misfits' Robert Sheehan

With excitement mounting over the return of Misfits for a second series on E4, here's an interview with Robert Sheehan, the actor who plays motor-mouthed ASBO teenager Nathan, to further whet your appetites:

You were trapped in a coffin six feet under at the end of the first series of Misfits. Are you stuck in it for the whole of series two?

“I would have liked to have been stuck in it for the whole of series two because that would have meant just coming into work every day, lying down horizontally and scratching my arse for 12 hours, but I don’t think it would have made very gripping telly, so yes, I manage to get out.”

Can you tell us how you get out?

“No way. Life is a precious thing. I’d be killed for real if I told you. “

And did you always know that you were going to get out, or were you worried that you might get stuck underground for ever?

“No, I always knew I’d get out. Otherwise what would be the point? I think either kill him, just forget about him, or bring him out of the coffin. I’m pretty sure it had to be the third option.”

And we finally found out at the end of the first series what your superpower was. Will you be using that a lot in the second series?

“Yeah, it kind of unintentionally gets used, in the sense that I get murdered and killed in very imaginative and strange and gruesome ways, but of course the power kicks in, so it’s not detrimental to my survival. And it also serves to make me far more arrogant and annoying.”

It’s not the sort of power you can just choose to use, is it? I suppose you can only use it when you need it...

“Exactly. When it kicks in it’s very much like… it’s like a back-up plan, you know, a nice safety net.”

A get out of jail free card...

“Yeah, to put one’s mind at ease when close to death.”

Would you like to be immortal like Nathan?

“Would I like to be immortal? Erm… You know what, maybe that whole Dorian Gray option could be quite interesting, if that were indeed an option. You could always look upon your painting and see the terrible, terrible aging process, and have a certain feeling of transience in your life while keeping beautifully youthful for the rest of your days, but otherwise no, I wouldn’t like to be immortal.”

Yeah, I think it turned out to be a bit of a curse for Dorian in the end, but it is quite tempting, isn’t it?

“Yeah, yeah, you know, and plus if you were immortal you’d have to watch all your pets die – and of course, all your friends…”

Yeah, but mostly the pets...

“Yeah, you know, goldfish, tortoises. You know, they live for ages, but you’d outlive every tortoise you have. You know why they’re not good pets to have? Because tortoises apparently generally outlive their owners, I mean what is a tortoise supposed to do after his owner dies?”

For most of the first series we didn’t think Nathan had any superpowers. Did you always know that he was going to have one or did you worry that you were going to be left out?

“I knew that he had one, but I think the running gag in the first series was the build-up to and anticipation around the eventual reveal. For whoever was a fan of the show that was their main curiosity as the show went on, it was ‘well he definitely has one, what’s it going to be?’ you know? But yeah, I knew what it was at the beginning.”

And of course, Misfits won the BAFTA for best drama series. How did that feel?

“It felt quite… tingly… other than that, there’s not much memory involved due to all the adrenaline. It was a lovely experience, mainly because I’d convinced myself we wouldn’t win at all. I was just so very happy that we were nominated and to be there glitzing around and ponceing about in a suit. The win itself was an amazing added bonus, of getting to go up on stage and ponce around for a few more minutes and then celebrate for the rest of the night.”

And did you expect Misfits to be so popular?

“I knew the scripts were brilliant; Howard had written some brilliant scripts, but you can never really tell until it goes out; and I think it’s difficult to be entirely objective because you live it for four months. It’s tricky to know whether it’s going to be good or not or how people are going to react to it or what people might find wrong or indeed right with it. You just kind of throw it out there and hope to God it works, like a piece of dodgy bait on a fishing rod.”

I suppose the success of the first series puts a weight of expectation on the second. Are you confident that second series will live up to the first?

“Yeah, well, thankfully Howard and his very strange but wonderful brain and the rest of the development team were bubbling with ideas and already had a lot laid out for the second series, which only helped heighten and expand the whole world of Misfits, I suppose. So there was never any trouble of ‘ooh, what’s this second difficult album going to be?’ because it was already really sorted before the first series even ended filming.”

You said that Nathan’s going to get a chance to use his immortality power a few times in the second series. Can you let us know anything else we can expect from the second series?

“You can expect to see Iwan’s nipples – who plays Simon – he gets his nipples out a lot. I won’t tell you in what context. All I’ll say is that you see his nips. “

And finally, you probably get asked this all the time, but if you could have any superpower yourself, what superpower would you have?

“I think I would like to have a heightened, super level sense of smell. So that when you’re in a restaurant you can impress your friends and family by, you know, picking up a glass of wine and being able to determine the ingredients of that particular glass of wine, and in that way look like a connoisseur, but you’re actually a phoney because you have a smell superpower.”

Yeah, that sounds good. But it could be a bit of a curse as well if you’re smelling less pleasant things…

“Good point, ok, let’s say we can switch it on and off as well.” 

Misfits returns to E4 at 10:00pm on Thursday 11th November.

Tati's Hotel opens for business

Screenterrier reported back in September on the casting of 7 year old Mya Lecia Naylor from London as Tati, in Tati's Hotel, a new TV children's drama for CITV and TV Ontario, which is being filmed by Machine Productions and Screen Door in Cardiff from November 1st until Christmas.

"During the casting process for Tati's Hotel, Mya-Lecia
Naylor walked in the room and we knew instantly we had our
star. Teamed with a gymnastic Bopper, a dancing Dizzee, a
grumpy Mr Snapweazle and an array of brilliantly realised puppets, we think Tati has the 'Magic Factor'", said Jane Steventon, producer.
Also starring in the series, described as a ‘magical Fawlty Towers comedy for 4 to 7 year olds’, are 12 year old Yaari Magenheim, a young actor from Toronto and

18 year old Elinor Crawley from Cardiff.

Tati's Hotel is  an original 26 part series from Jane Steventon and Jane Dauncey, who met working on The Story of Tracy Beaker and worked together on Casualty, before setting up their own production company in Wales.

A converted warehouse near Penarth Road in Cardiff is the filming location for "the newest luxury hotel in Cardiff, complete with chandeliers, revolving doors and every guest has a room specially decorated to suit their personality. It also has a talking telephone, a blue-striped cat and is run by a seven-year-old girl!"

Each week, a different guest comes to stay – an alien, a princess, a strongman, a magician. Tati and her friends have to adapt to dealing with each remarkable guest.

“The show is all about empowering the audience and giving them a wide range of people and stories to enjoy. Hopefully Tati will become a character that inspires and delights family audiences around the world.”

For CITV, it’s a very significant commission at a time when it’s hard for a British commercial broadcaster to finance childrens’ programmes.

“It’s Machine’s first international co production,” said Jane Steventon, “ And we’re looking forward to welcoming some top Canadian acting talent. The camera team and the puppetry have been arranged by our co-producers, Screen Door -– the puppet designs are really sophisticated, but sweet and funny.”

The 26-part series is due to be screened next spring on CITV.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Misfits Series 2 return date confirmed

The BAFTA-winning E4 drama Misfits returns to our screens for a second series on Thursday 11th November.

Created by Howard Overman, the Clerkenwell Films series centres on five teenagers caught in a freak storm, who are subsequently endowed with superpowers. All the main cast, Iwan Rheon, Antonia Thomas, Lauren Socha, Nathan Stewart Jarrett, and Robert Sheehan, are set to return for Series 2.

It'll be screening once again on E4, and presumably will be repeated on Channel 4 in the near future as well.

Watch the promo teaser:

And check out the synopsis for Episode 1 (contains spoilers!)

With Kelly, Curtis, Alisha and Simon still mourning the apparent death of Nathan, a mysterious masked man leads the gang to Nathan’s grave, where Kelly hears his thoughts and realises that he’s still alive. The gang dig Nathan up...

Although Nathan’s officially dead, the gang’s new probation worker Shaun gets him back into the community service system. With the gang reunited they meet Lucy, a patient on day release from a psychiatric ward to do an art therapy class at the community centre. Unbeknownst to the gang, Simon knows Lucy: he used to be a patient at the psychiatric unit too, where she had become obsessed with him.

After Simon publicly snubs Lucy, strange things start to happen around the community centre: most notably, Alisha gives Simon a blow-job. The gang soon realises that Lucy, who was also struck in the storm, has a strange power and she uses it to play them off against one another as she wreaks revenge on Simon. What follows is a bloody cat-and-mouse game of hide-and-seek as the gang hunt for Lucy around the community centre...

Unbeknownst to the gang, a mysterious masked figure follows their every move from the roof of the community centre...

Ben Smith stars in The Accused

A relative newcomer, 20-year-old Ben Smith takes on the leading role of Frankie Nash, a young lad from Manchester, who ends up in the dock in deep trouble, in the second of a series of six new dramas from the pen of Jimmy McGovern about crime and punishment, made by RSJ Films for prime-time BBC One.

Each story is about an ordinary person who ends up in the dock. But should these men and women be there? Are they innocent or guilty or somewhere in-between? As each hour long episode unravels we see how these people became the accused and finally whether they walk free or go down...

Ben (represented by Independent Talent) stars alongside Mackenzie Crook in the story of two friends (Frankie played by Ben, and Peter played by 24 year old  Ben Batt (Shameless)) who join the British army and discover not obeying orders has deadly consequences

A born and bred Londoner, Ben Smith's youthful good looks belie his 13 years of professional acting experience – a career he came to by chance when his mum suggested he join Sharon Harris's drama workshops to help bring him out of his shell. He's not looked back and has been seen regularly on television since he was seven.

Probably known for his role as Damien Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, Ben is also recognisable as Teg from EastEnders and he played Clive Owen's fictional son, Sam Tanner, in the hit television thriller Second Sight. More recently, he's appeared in Teachers, Doctor Who, The Bill, Skins and the Bafta-winning Misfits.
Clearly not an actor to rest on his laurels, he says he was desperate to get the role of Frankie, describing Jimmy McGovern's script as genius.

"I knew I had to get Frankie but the audition process gets more nerve-racking as you get older – the pool of talent is so much bigger and better. You have to keep raising your game. I always feel privileged to be up for the same roles as up there trained RADA actors!
"It's a seriously challenging part to play about a young lad who has to make impossible moral choices once he's a soldier. He wants to be loyal to his best mate who is a championship boxer – who he's always been two steps behind, as well as do right by his comrades and everyone back home.
"The choice he makes changes the course of his life forever. Frankie starts a boy but by the end of the story he's definitely a man.
"A mate told me that RSJ Films were looking for a Manc for Frankie; so I put on the accent the whole way through the audition and it must have worked. But I didn't want to risk anything; so didn't actually speak in my normal London accent until the read-through. I don't think I was sussed, but I'm still in complete shock that I got Frankie – it's the best job of in my life."

Ben says: "Ben Batt, who is my mate Peter McShane, is totally brilliant in the part and the scenes I had with Bob Pugh, who is Peter's screen Dad, had me on the edge.
"Mackenzie Crook has been my idol for since The Office; so working with him was fantastic. We did have some laughs filming – you need to when the story's so intense!
"There's no denying that Mackenzie plays Buckley with total conviction: he makes you believe Buckley is right to go all out to protect his men. In the scene when Buckley justifies his actions I'm with him – thinking 'yes, Buckley's undeniably right'. But then I pull back and think from Frankie's perspective and then Buckley's methods are unforgiveable."
Summing up Ben says, "Finding right and wrong in this story is not easy. It's about believable people in extreme circumstances, and for me Frankie's story has been an unforgettable experience.

Becoming Human

An exclusive online extension of hit BBC Three drama Being Human has been commissioned by BBC Drama Multiplatform in association with BBC Three.

Becoming Human is set in a fictional college and will follow a new group of characters over nine episodes.

Following events that unfold in the forthcoming third series of Being Human, vampire Adam, played by Craig Roberts (star of Submarine) is at college trying to get himself back on the straight and narrow.

It's here he meets the beautiful, cool Christa, played by Leila Mimmack (who recently starred in ITV's Married, Single, Other) - who just happens to be a werewolf.

They strike up a friendship with Matt, played by Josh Brown (represented by Linton Management, known for his role in Grange Hill), and the three of them become embroiled in a mystery that leads to more than they bargained for...

Online audiences will be encouraged to interact with the story as it unfolds, with daily clues and materials posted on a new website linked to the Being Human blog.

Becoming Human will launch online at, midway through transmission of series three of Being Human, which begins on BBC Three in January 2011.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life of Pi casting news

Director Ang Lee has cast newcomer Suraj Sharma to play the lead role of 16-year old Pi Patel, in Life of Pi, the up-coming film adaptation of Yann Martel's Mann Booker Prize-winning novel.

Casting director Avy Kaufman conducted a worldwide talent search, auditioning up to 3000 youngsters for the role. Sharma, a 17-year old student from Delhi, India, has never acted before.

Now with the lead in place, principal photography for Life of Pi is scheduled to begin in January. The entire film will be shot in Taiwan and India.

The story follows Pi, who gets stranded for 227 days in shark-infested waters. He survives on a small 26-foot lifeboat with only a Bengal tiger, a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, and a seasick orangutan as shipmates.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Children's BAFTA nominations

CBBC's Tracy Beaker Returns and The Sarah Jane Adventures go head to head in the nominations for the Best Drama in the British Academy Children's Awards 2010. The Sarah Jane Adventures has been nominated for the last three years but so far been beaten to the title each year.

The other nominations in the Drama category are The Boy From Before, the story of a dispossessed boy who unknowingly befriends the ghost of a boy from the 1940’s and Roy, about the animated son of a real life family settling in to his new school.

In the new Performer category both Dani Harmer who plays Tracy Beaker and popular co-star Richard Wisker who plays Liam in Tracy Beaker Returns are nominated.

In the Feature Film category,  Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang goes head to head with Fantastic Mr. Fox and two animated films from Disney/Pixar: Toy Story 3 and Up.

The BAFTA Kids’ Vote where children get to have their say across a whole range of entertainment media in a nationwide poll to choose their favourite Film, Television Programme, Website and Video Game is also now open. Children aged between 7 and 14 years can place their votes via Last year over 425,000 votes were received.
Voting for the BAFTA Kids’ Vote opens today (25 October 2010), and closes at 18.00 on Friday 26 November 2010.

The Awards will be hosted by popular children’s presenter Barney Harwood and will take place on Sunday 28 November at the London Hilton, Park Lane.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Peter Mullan's feature film Neds has made its UK debut at the London Film Festival.

The film stars 17-year-old Scottish newcomer Connor McCarron. He plays John, a teenager in Glasgow in the 70s, who shines at school but falls in with a gang of "Non-Educated Delinquents". Director Peter Mullan plays his violent alcoholic father.

Mullan hopes the film, about youths who drop out of education and turn to violence, will deter young people from such behaviour.

Speaking at the film's premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, Connor said: "Hopefully real Neds can watch it, real Non-Educated Delinquents can watch it and learn from it. They can say 'What's the point?'."
But the young teen confessed he had enjoyed filming the violent scenes in the dark, gritty drama.
He said: "The reality of fighting is terrible, but the fight scenes, to film, they were pretty good, they were really fun."

Connor won the best actor award for his performance at the San Sebastian Film Festival and he has also been nominated for Best British Newcomer at the London Film Festival.

This is the first time McCarron has acted - he went along to the audition after his dad read an interview with Mullan in the local paper, in which the director said he was looking for kids for a new film. Almost all the young cast were picked up from the 300 or so who showed up, and their audition photos flash up during the end credits.

We Bought a Zoo casting news

The deadline for the open casting call for We Bought A Zoo has now passed and according to Pajiba, experienced young actor 14 year old Colin Ford has been cast to play Dylan Mee, in the up-coming Cameron Crowe feature We Bought a Zoo.

“We Bought A Zoo” is based on the Benjamin Mee memoir of the same name. It tells the story of how Mee, the former Guardian columnist, moved his family to Dartmoor Wildlife Park after buying the place with an ambitious plan of renovating it and helping the animals that live there.
While Mee successfully pulled off the job, he was struck by tragedy as, in the middle of his efforts, his wife Katherine learned she had terminal cancer.

Matt Damon will play Benjamin with rumours that Amy Adams may be in line to play his wife.

Other casting still to be announced is for Rosie Mee, Benjamin's 6-year-old and extremely lively daughter and Lily the 15 year old local girl who befriends Dylan.

Filming is scheduled to start in Thousand Oaks, California in January.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Restless trailer

Watch the trailer of Gus Van Sant's Restless starring Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper (son of Dennis Hopper). The story of a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Coming of Age Series 3

Shooting is about to start in London on the third series of BBC Three’s youth sitcom Coming Of Age.

Although hated by reviewers, the college-based comedy attracts decent ratings on BBC Three, with the first series winning an average weekly reach of 1.2 million.

All the main characters return for the eight-episode new series, including Joe Tracini, Anabel Barnston, Tony Bignell, Hannah Job, and Ceri Phillips.

Jas and Ollie are still separated, but it won't be for long if Ollie has anything to do with it. There are tensions growing between Matt and Chloe as she begins to question just how manly her Mattington really is and there is a surprise in store for DK when his estranged dad, Jim turns up.

The new series features a new character, Robyn Crisp, to be played by 20-year-old actress Minnie Crowe (represented by The Narrow Road Company). Described as ‘a bit of an oddball’, she is said to harbour ‘a big secret’. Minnie is a graduate of Central and also filmed a guest role (Harriet) in CBBC's MI High this year.

Tickets are still available to be in the audience during filming of the show in November and December.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Africa United

Foreman George (Yves Dusenge), Beatrice (Sanyu Joanita Kintu), Celeste (Sherrie Silver), Fabrice (Roger Nsengiyumva), Dudu Kayenzi (Eriya Ndayambaje)

Africa United, which has it's premiere at the London Film Festival on Sunday, 17 October 2010, before going on general release across the UK five days later, features a cast of children aged 11 to 15 who had never acted before, a writer producing his first script and a director, Debs Gardner-Paterson, making her first feature film.

It has already been compared favourably to Slumdog Millionaire and won a standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival last month.

Africa United is a road movie about five children who travel 3,000 miles to reach the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the continent – Fabrice, a middle-class football protégé; Dudu, a Rwandan Aids orphan with a true sense of determination; Beatrice, his God-loving and gentle little sister; Celeste, a proud teenage sex worker; and Foreman George, a traumatised former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The former Sudanese child soldier turned rap star Emmanuel Jal, who plays a villain, is the only name audiences may recognise, and for him it was an acting first.

One of the most remarkable twists the production of the film took was during the search for the boy who would play Fabrice. The role required remarkable footballing skills along with the acting.
With just five weeks to go before shooting began, the original choice pulled out, and producer Mark Blaney was in Norwich for Christmas when his mother-in-law handed him a newspaper cutting. A local boy whose mother had fled the 1994 genocide in Rwanda was trying out for Norwich City.
“It was a complete fluke. Luckily there weren’t too many Rwandan surnames in the Norwich phone book,” said Roger Nsengiyumva,aged 16.
His mother Illuminée had been a bride for only two days when violence erupted. Within a month, her Tutsi husband John had been murdered by the same Hutu neighbours who had toasted the couple’s future. By 1996, she had found her way to Norwich with her baby son.
Within weeks of Blaney finding him, Roger was on a flight back to his homeland and struggling to learn an African accent and work out how to act.
He said that before he was approached, he was focused on studying for his A-Levels at college in Norwich and thinking about a career in the Army. Like his character Fabrice, he also had a passion for football and had even tried out for Norwich City Football Club.
"I have always loved acting but didn't really know what to do to get in to it. There aren't many film auditions going on in Norfolk. I'm just so incredibly lucky that they came to me."

“It was scary, but once I got into the swing of it I loved it and it’s definitely what I want to do,” and Roger has already gone on to complete another acting role in a BBC drama.

“In Africa United I was playing who I might have been if I’d stayed in Rwanda, although my character Fabrice is really quite well off, but I do think about who I might have been without the education I’ve been able to get in England.”
Fabrice is spotted by a football scout looking for young players to represent Africa at the World Cup ceremony in Johannesburg and told to turn up at an audition in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. A wrong bus leads to the epic journey.

Sherrie Silver, 15, (represented  by Waring and McKenna) who brings sass and glamour to the role of child prostitute Celeste, was also born during the Rwandan genocide and now lives with her mother in south-east London, where she says her favourite sport is shopping. Her regular haunt is Westfield, London’s gigantic shopping centre.

The casting has brought other splendid inversions. Yves Dusenge, 15, who is magnetic as the ex-child soldier Foreman George, all high, wide cheekbones, taut movements and a capacity to speak volumes just by gazing into the lens, is in reality a cheery middle-class boy at boarding school in Uganda (his father is a church leader; his mother is doing a masters in counselling). Sanyu Kintu, 11, from Uganda, resembles Beatrice being sweetly serious, but her parents are very much alive: her father works in microfinance and property.

The biggest surprise is Eriya Ndayambaje (Dudu), who although Rwandan is neither Hutu nor Tutsi, but Twa, pygmy; his parents still live in the forest on the Uganda/Rwanda border. 'They are the third tribe and totally despised by everyone,’ Gardner-Paterson says. 'So it’s brilliant, totally brilliant, the lowest of the low is the star of the film.’ Eriya, now aged 15, has a high old time as the orphan Dudu: beaming, unflappable, wise beyond his years. In a film where the punches are meant to hurt, he keeps wiping the smile back on to your face.

Eriya is the most experienced performer, having been in a dance troupe since the age of seven.

But they all blossomed under Gardner-Paterson’s benign attention. 'This woman is doing great things,’ Eriya said during the shoot, 'She tells me, OK, bring out yourself, show what Dudu is supposed to show. And when she sees my face is getting somehow kaput she says, Eriya, what do you need?’

Like Slumdog, the makers of Africa United have been very conscious of the issues of working in a developing country and insist all of the children, none of who come from destitute or slum backgrounds, have been carefully looked after. Pathe is donating 25 percent of the film’s net profit to Comic Relief. So Africa United stands to change not just the mindsets of British audiences and the fortunes of its talented cast, but will also put back into the places from where the story sprang.

As Dudu says in the film: “Impossible is nothing.”

Africa United goes on general release on 22 October.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Young Peter Parker Spiderman casting call

Screenterrier reported on the speculation back in January over who should play the young Peter Parker in the upcoming Spiderman reboot. The role went to top British rising star Andrew Garfield (Boy A, Never Let Me Go).

Now Sony is reportedly on the hunt for an even younger Peter Parker, and also for a child actor to play the son of The Lizard, Billy Connors.

According to Moviehole, Sony launched auditions this morning in search of  the young actors.

Sony want a dark-haired Caucasian boy to play Peter Parker at age 4 to 6 years old. Ideally, the boy should presumably look a little like Andrew Garfield.

In addition, the studio's on the hunt for an 8 to 11 year old actor to play Billy Connors, the son of Dr. Curt Connors (to be played by Rhys Ifans, announced earlier this week).

Shooting will begin in December 2010 in Los Angeles and Spiderman 2.0 is scheduled to hit theatres in July 2012. The studio plans to release this film version in 3D.

Pillars of the Earth

After premiering on the Starz channel in the US, medieval drama The Pillars of the Earth hits UK screens this Saturday 16th October at 9pm on Channel 4.

The eight-part mini-series is based on Ken Follett's 1989 hit novel set in 12th-century England and stars a host of British names including Rufus Sewell, Matthew Macfadyen, Ian McShane, Sarah Parish, Eddie Redmayne and Hayley Atwell as well as Hollywood veteran Donald Sutherland.

Joining the all-star cast are a number of up-coming young British talents including:

24 year old Sam Claflin, currently shooting the young male lead role in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and soon to be see as the younger Logan Mountstuart in Channel 4's adaptation of William Boyd's acclaimed novel Any Human Heart.

20 year old Skye Lourie, one of Screenterrier's Faces to Watch, recently wrapped on thriller The Holding plays Elizabeth.

18 year old Douglas Booth, rumoured earlier this year to have been cast alongside Miley Cyrus in Lol, as Eustace.

19 year old Freddie Boath (represented by Sascha Leslie at Allsorts) as Henry II. Freddie made his film debut in The Mummy Returns and more recently starred as Jack in acclaimed ITV drama The Children.

15 year old Skye Bennett plays Young Martha. Skye also has a role in up-coming Any Human Heart, and starred alongside Bill Milner in children's drama Skellig.

9 year old Sidney Johnston, who has had a busy year filming on The Awakening, and currently The Woman in Black , plays Brother Jonathan.

Meet the new Ben Mitchell

Jacqueline Jossa, announced back in August as the new Lauren Branning, has now started in Eastenders. And the new Ben Mitchell is set to join her.

Young actor Joshua Pascoe (Italia Conti) has been cast as the new Ben Mitchell in EastEnders, it has been announced.
He replaces 14 year old Charlie Jones who has played the part of Ben since 2006.

Later this year, viewers will see Ben get released from juvenile detention after six months locked away - and it's not long until he's at the centre of more family drama on Albert Square.

As he tries to readjust to life in the outside world, Ben becomes caught in the middle as his release reignites old animosities between his dad Phil (Steve McFadden) and half-brother Ian (Adam Woodyatt).

Newcomer Joshua commented: "I was so excited when I got the call to say I'd got the part of Ben Mitchell. I've always watched the programme and it will be great to work with fantastic actors such as Steve McFadden and Linda Henry. I'm really looking forward to this fantastic opportunity and making the role of Ben my own."

Never Let Me Go - LFF Premiere

The young stars at the premiere of Never Let Me Go held at The Odeon Leicester Square on October 13, 2010 in London. Carey Mulligan and Isobel Meikel-Small who play Kathy, and Keira Knightley and Ella Purnell who play Ruth. Charlie Rowe, the younger version of Andrew Garfield's character Tommy was unable to attend as is still busy filming Neverland in Ireland.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rules of Love

Filming is about to commence in London on Rules of Love (previously known as 'A League of Our Own'), a feature-length teenage musical 'Rom-com' for BBC2.

The film follows the story of two teenagers from very different backgrounds who share the same hopes and dreams as they hit 18 and try to work out what life and love is all about.

Written by Sarah Counsell and Simon James Green, it includes eight original R&B pop tracks.
He's just a kid from the wrong side of town with no money and some big dreams. She's a boarding school girl with the world at her feet and a head full of ambition. When their worlds collide at swanky ad agency Passion, the fireworks are inevitable.
As the battle to successfully pitch for a big fashion contract heats up, Matt and Daisy are thrown together to work on the project, much to the annoyance of Daisy's boyfriend and co-worker Tarrant.
Daisy wonders if she can trust Matt when she discovers all her hard work has been sabotaged and the evidence suggests he's nothing but bad news. And what chance does Matt have with someone like Daisy when he's struggling just to keep him and his little sister together after their parents abandoned them, let alone trying to impress a girl and win his agency a new client?

19 year old Daisy Head (sister of Inbetweeners star Emily and daughter of actor Anthony Head) stars as Daisy. Daisy (represented by Gordon and French) recently filmed the Danny Dyer movie The Last Seven.

Amongst the rest of the cast are Sydney Rae White (represented by United Agents) as Jess. Sydney, who attended Sylvia Young Theatre School, is a talented singer and musician who recently toured in the stage show of Quadrophenia.

Madeline Duggan (represented by Debi Allen Associates) as Emily, in her first role since leaving Eastenders where she played Lauren Branning.

Jake Roche (now represented by ARG), another talented singer who was  recently seen in Emmerdale playing Hannah Barton's love interest Isaac Nuttall, stars as Matt.

And The Sarah Jane Adventures star Daniel Anthony (represented by A&J Management) as Jack.

Ryan Hawley (represented by CAM), a Central drama school graduate,  plays Daisy's boyfriend Tarrant.

The feature length musical rom-com is due to transmit on BBC2 on the 18th December.

Summer in Transylvania - Meet the Characters

Nickelodeon's new comedy drama series Summer in Transylvania starts on Saturday 23 October at 8:30am on Nick. Previously known as The Freaky Farleys, lead girl Summer introduces the rest of the characters:

19 year old Sophie Stuckey (now represented by Curtis Brown) takes the lead role of Summer Farley. Sophie is currently filming the role of Stella in The Woman in Black.

I’m Summer Farley - just a normal girl – which around here makes me a total freakazoid.
This is my first blog and, believe me, there’s LOTS to chat about when your dad suddenly gets a new job and you move to Transylvania! Like most girls my age, I go to school. Unlike most girls my age – my classmates are vampires, werewolves and zombies. ACTUAL zombies, not just people who’ve stayed up too late playing World of Warcraft.

Her best friend Heidi, a zombie girl, is played by 20 year old Amy Wren (now represented by Waring and McKenna). Amy also played the lead role of Chloe in Disney's Life Bites series, and is currently filming the role of Frances Earnshaw in Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights.

Heidi’s my BZFF – Best Zombie Friend Forever – even if she is mega-cautious and always expects the worst to if it would! She’s supercool, she’ll zing you with some REALLY sarcastic put-downs if you’re not her friend - also if you are! - but I like that, and I’d be lost without her!

Bobby, a wereboy, is played by 17 year old Kane Ricca (represented by Kelly Management) from St Albans, who was recently seen on Sky's Got To Dance. Multi-talented Kane, attended Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, and teaches Hip Hop, Tap and Commercial at Pineapple Dance Studios.

Bobby’s the nicest werewolf I know and he’s always offering to save me a spot in the lunch queue, carry my books, help me with homework and stuff. Last week I told him I love him like a brother and he was so happy, he cried! At least, I THINK that’s why he was crying...

15 year old Eros Vlahos plays Summer's younger brother Jake. Eros starred as Cyril in the latest Nanny McPhee film and is about to film the role of Lommy Greenhands in HBO's Game of Thrones.

Jake’s a fool. I mean. He can’t help it. He’s quite sweet and charming and a lot of people seem to like him but honestly, if it wasn’t for his BRILLIANT, CARING and utterly FANTASTIC big sister, he’d like totally be vampire food by now.

P.S. He’s my brother.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Skins Season 5 - Meet Sebastian De Souza

Sebastian De Souza, aged 17, from Boxford, near Newbury, was picked from 8,000 hopefuls to join seven other young actors as the third generation of the E4 teen drama Skins , which follows them through two years of sixth form.

Sebastian said: “I feel very honoured to be given the opportunity.”

In July, he began the audition process for the BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 show, after his agent (Waring and McKenna) put him forward for the role. Filming is now nearing completion and and the eight-episode series is due to start on E4 in January.

He said: “My character was cast a week after everybody else. At the final audition, there are only usually about two people but there were five at mine.

“Because Skins is such a raw and realistic representation of being a teenager they expect you to come along and sort of be yourself.

“They cast you on who you are as a person. I’m not very similar to my character but I think there are qualities in me that I share with the character.”

Sebastian’s father, Chris De Souza, is a broadcaster and composer which meant he grew up with the arts and discovered his love of theatre at a young age. 

At 13, Sebastian won a music award to St Edward’s School, Oxford in 2006 as a pianist, clarinetist and singer where he has also taken lead roles in productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream playing Puck, Great Expectations as Pip, Good as Maurice and Henry V as Henry. He also joined the National Youth Theatre in 2009.

He said: “I feel comfortable on stage – I think it’s possibly an inadequacy in myself that I feel more comfortable playing someone else.”

Sebastian will continue his A-level studies at St Edward’s School. He added: “I have always cruised along in education but I want to prove to myself that I’m able to get really good grades and give a really good performance on television.

“I have prepared myself for the fact that things might change – I’m not particularly interested in the fame this might bring.

“I think things might change but I’m keen that they won’t change in my head, I will still be level-headed. I feel so very grateful and I feel excited. I just hope the fans like it.”

Friday, October 8, 2010

New trailer for Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Watch the new international trailer for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader starring Georgie Henley, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter and Skandar Keynes.

Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their pesky cousin Eustace Scrubb -- find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to a fantastic Narnian ship headed for the very edges of the world. Joining forces once again with their royal friend Prince Caspian and the warrior mouse Reepicheep, they are whisked away on a mysterious mission to the Lone Islands, and beyond. On this bewitching voyage that will test their hearts and spirits, the trio will face magical Dufflepuds, sinister slave traders, roaring dragons and enchanted merfolk. Only an entirely uncharted journey to Aslan's Country -- a voyage of destiny and transformation for each of those aboard the Dawn Treader -- can save Narnia, and all the astonishing creatures in it, from an unfathomable fate.

Daniel Radcliffe's son

21 year old Daniel Radcliffe plays the 24 year old Arthur Kipps in Hammer Films The Woman in Black which is currently shooting. In an interview with Baz Bamigboye he announced that his child in the film is played by 4 year old Misha Handley, who in real life is his godson.

Misha's the son of Thea Sharrock, a theatre director who directed Daniel in his stage debut, Equus.
'It's very hard to fake the relationship that me and Misha have. There had to be a sense that we were close.'

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Faces to Watch in 2010 - Jayd Johnson

19 year old Scottish actress Jayd Johnson has been cast in the lead role of  Paddy Meehan in BBC Scotland's adaptation of Field Of Blood which starts shooting in Glasgow this week.

Since leaving Scottish soap River City where she had played Nicki Cullen (from 2004 - 2009), Jayd has been living in New York and studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Jayd's career began with the Live & Loud Stage School in Glasgow.

"I am thrilled to be given the chance to work with such an amazing cast including Peter Capaldi, David Morrissey, Jonas Armstrong and Ford Kiernan – I know I will learn a lot from them all. The character of Paddy Meehan is amazing, she's so feisty and fierce and passionate about her work which I love about her. She's got such a good heart and just wants to do good and make a difference."

Adapted from the popular Denise Mina novel, crime drama Field Of Blood is set in Glasgow, 1982, and centres on would-be journalist Paddy Meehan (Jayd Johnson), a young copygirl working in a newspaper office.

Stuck in an almost exclusively male-dominated world of limited opportunities and cynicism, Paddy dreams of becoming an investigative journalist - believing that in miscarriages of justice, reporters are sometimes the only hope. Funny, smart, and feisty, she seizes an opportunity to kick start her career and becomes embroiled in a dark murder case. For Paddy, it's the opportunity of a lifetime but comes at great personal cost.

Filming on Field Of Blood starts this week on location in Glasgow until early November. The drama will transmit on BBC One Scotland in 2011.

Short film casting call

C&B Productions are looking for deaf and hearing actors to take part in a new drama called "My Song" (working title).

This is a powerful and moving story about a deaf girl caught between two worlds. This will be a 27 minute drama directed by William Mager and written by Charlie Swinbourne, who have an award winning track record. The drama is funded by the BSLBT, and will be shown on the Community Channel in 2011 followed by various film festival screenings. We are currently casting the following main characters:

17yrs old
Rosie is severely deaf, brought up in a mainstream school and with a hearing family. Rosie communicates through speech, but has recently started learning how to sign.
This role will suit a deaf actress with a playing age of 17-25.

Aged 17
A fashionable teenage girl with attitude - one of Rosie's closest friends. She dresses in fashionable clothes but with a slight sense of ‘street’ scruffiness to them. She’s the kind of person who walks into a room and attracts a lot of attention.

Aged 17
Another friend of Rosie's - less confident than Holly, and competes with Rosie for Holly's attention. Is nicer to Rosie when Holly is not around.

Aged 18-20
Rosie's boyfriend. A good looking young man who's a bit of a cheeky 'wide boy' and loves a joke.

Aged 19 to 25
Ben is a Deaf BSL user who works in the theatre, organising performances and deaf events. Young, charming, a confident signer.

Aged 13-16
A cheeky teenage boy who dotes on his mum, and teases his older sister but deep down is very protective of her.

Casting sessions are being held at the end of October.
Filming will commence in London towards the end of November.
Please email C&B Productions on with a recent photograph, CV and contact details (mobile phone and email).
The deadline for sending us this information is FRIDAY THE 22nd OCTOBER.
We will then be in touch if we would like to audition you. Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you!

Violet & Daisy set pics

Screenterrier reported on the casting of Saoirse Ronan in Precious screenplay writer Geoffrey Fletcher's directorial debut "Violet & Daisy" back in September. Saoirse has moved straight from wrapping on playing teen assassin Hanna, to filming on another teen assassin film: Violet & Daisy centers on a pair of teenage assassins who are lured into what is supposed to be just another quick and easy job, only to find complications as the man they're supposed to kill is not what they expected.
Playing her partner in crime, in a role once rumoured to be going to Carey Mulligan, is age-defying 29 year old American actress Alexis Bedel.

The film is currently shooting in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.