Shakespeare at the Movies- The Avengers: Age of Ultron

April 28, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies, Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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The Avengers: Age of Ultron is being released in North America this week, and certainly needs no introduction. One of the biggest film franchises of the modern day, the Age of Ultron cast brings loads of experience performing Shakespeare’s works on screen and in the theatre. Let’s find out who has played what roles!

Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/ Iron Man)

Robert Downey Jr

Appeared in:

  • Richard III (1995) as Lord Rivers

Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch)

Elizabeth_Olsen

Appeared in:

  • Romeo and Juliet (Classic Stage Company, 2013) as Juliet

Paul Bettany (Jarvis/ Vision)

Paul_Bettany

Appeared in:

  • Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1995) as Paris
  • Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1995) as Decius Brutus/Strato
  • Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1995) as Richmond

Idris Elba (Heimdall)

Idris_Elba

Appeared in:

  • Trolius and Cressida (American Place Theater, 2001) as Achilles

Stellan Skarsgard (Erik Selvig)

Stellan_Skarsgard

Appeared in:

  • Romeo and Juliet (2013) as Prince of Verona
  • Den tragiska historien om Hamlet – Prins av Danmark (TV Movie, 1985) as Hamlet

Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue)

Andy_Serkis

Appeared in:

  • Othello (Royal Exchange Theatre, 2002) as Iago
  • King Lear (Royal Court Theatre, 1993) as The Fool
  • Macbeth (Royal Exchange Theatre, 1988) as Porter/Sargeant
  • The WInter’s Tale (The Dukes in Lancaster, 1986) as Florizel
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Dukes in Lancaster, 1986) as Lysander
  • Henry IV Part 1 (Nuffield Studio, Southampton, 1982) as Poins

Julie Delpy (Madame B)

Julie_Delpy

Appeared in:

  • King Lear (1987) as Virginia

Henry Goodman (Dr. List)

Henry_Goodman

Appeared in:

  • Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal National Theatre, 1999)
  • The Merchant of Venice (Royal National Theatre, 1999)
  • Richard II (Royal National Theatre, 1995)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (Royal National Theatre, 1995)
  • Pericles (Royal National Theatre, 1994)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal National Theatre, 1992)
  • Hamlet (Royal National Theatre, 1990)
  • Richard III (Royal National Theatre, 1990)
  • Antony and Cleopatra (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • Cymbeline (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • The Tempest (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • The WInter’s Tale (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1983)

Joss Whedon (Director)

Joss_Whedon

Directed:

  • Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

Which of these roles is your favourite? Did I miss someone? Leave a comment and let us know!

Shakespeare Was a Muggle

March 17, 2015 at 11:50 am | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies, Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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J.K. Rowling is one of the bestselling British authors of all time. Her books are internationally beloved. However, there is another author from England who is equally renowned. That writer is none other than William Shakespeare himself. There may be few apparent connections between the magical world that Harry Potter and his friends live in and Hamlet’s Denmark, Shylock’s Venice, or any of the other characters and settings in Shakespeare’s works. Yet, there is something about the two author’s works that inspire crossovers, if not with plots then with people. The Harry Potter franchise has had some of the world’s best Shakespearian actors and actresses take on the roles of muggles and wizards alike.

Here is a list of some Shakespearian Actors and their connections to Harry Potter:

Kenneth Branagh – Professor Gilderoy Lockhart

gilderoy-lockhartkenneth-branagh

Professor Lockhart may not be the most memorable character from the Harry Potter franchise, but when portrayed by Shakespearian heavyweight Kenneth Branagh on screen, it is difficult not to pay attention. Away from Harry Potter, Branagh is known for his abilities to bring the Bard to the big screen. His film adaptations include Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Hamlet, and Love’s Labour’s Lost. He has also appeared onscreen as Iago in Oliver Parker’s Othello. Aside from his films, Branagh has been connected to countless stage productions.

Emma Thompson – Professor Sybill Trelawney

sybill-trelawney emma-thompson

The former wife of Branagh, Thomson has acted in Shakespeare adaptations on and off the screen. She appeared alongside Branagh in Henry V before taking on a lead role in his Much Ado About Nothing. She has also been involved in several stage productions of Shakespeare’s works throughout her acting career. Though her portrayal of sharp-tongued Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing may make her unrecognizable as the helter-skelter Professor Trelawney, Thompson’s acting can be enjoyed in whatever project she’s involved with.

Alan Rickman – Professor Severus Snape

severus-snapealan-rickman

Though often difficult to love in his role as Professor Snape, Alan Rickman is capable of much more than the monotone portions master. He is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his formal training has involved him in many Shakespearian productions. Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, and Antony and Cleopatra are only a few of the many projects that Rickman has participated in throughout his acting career.

Maggie Smith – Professor Minerva McGonagall

minerva-mcgonagall maggie-smith

Maggie Smith has had a long acting career spanning across the globe from the London stage to Stratford, Ontario. Her work with the Stratford Festival landed her roles as Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra. She has also starred as Desdemona in the 1965 film adaptation of Othello. At eighty years old, Dame Maggie Smith is still acting and will probably appear on stage again.

Ralph Fiennes – Lord Voldemort

lord-voldemort ralph-fiennes

Another Royal Shakespeare Company alum, Fiennes has taken on roles from Hamlet to the one “who must not be named” himself, Lord Voldemort. Since the mid-eighties, he has played many of the great Shakespearian roles from lovesick Romeo, to aging Prospero. He received a Tony Award for his portrayal of Prince Hamlet on Broadway, and made his debut as a director with his adaptation of Coriolanus. Though his role as Voldemort is finished, Fiennes continues to be heavily involved in Shakespeare productions.

Fiona Shaw – Mrs. Petunia Dursley 

petunia-dursley fiona-shaw

It may not be easy to picture tight-lipped Mrs. Dursley as Richard II, but Fiona Shaw has successfully tackled both roles. She has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her most memorable appearance in a Shakespearian production was in her role as Richard the II in 1997 gender bending rendition of the play. She remains one of the top classical actresses working today.

Shakespeare at the Movies- The Oscars 2015

February 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies | Leave a comment
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On Sunday night, Hollywood will celebrate and present the 87th Academy Awards. The nominees this year have given some of the best performances of their careers, but today I want to focus on their accomplishments as Shakespearean actors! Find out which of the acting nominees have Shakespeare included in their bodies of work below!

michael-keaton-birdman Michael Keaton (Actor in a Leading Role, Birdman)

Appeared in:

  • Much Ado About Nothing (1993) as Dogberry

eddie-redmayne-the-theory-of-everythingEddie Redmayne (Actor in a Leading Role, The Theory of Everything)

Appeared in:

  • Twelfth Night (2002, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) as Viola
  • Richard III (2011, Donmar Warehouse) as Richard III

 benedict-cumberbatch-the-imitation-gameBenedict Cumberbatch (Actor in a Leading Role, The Imitation Game)

Appeared in:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2001, Open Air Theatre) as Demetrius
  • Love’s labour’s Lost (2001, Open Air Theatre) as King of Navarre
  • Romeo and Juliet (2002, Open Air Theatre) as Benvolio
  • As You Like It (2002, Open Air Theatre) as Orlando
  • The Hollow Crown- Richard III (2016, TV mini-series) as Richard III
  • The Hollow Crown- Henry VI Park 2 (2016, TV mini-series) as Richard III

marion-cotillard-two-days-one-nightMarion Cotillard (Actress in a Leading Role, Two Days, One Night)

Appearing in:

  • Macbeth (2015) as Lady Macbeth

 eddie-redmayne-the-theory-of-everythingFelicity Jones (Actress in a Leading Role, The Theory of Everything)

Appeared in:

  • The Tempest (2010) as Miranda

ethan-hawke-boyhood

Ethan Hawke (Actor in a Supporting Role, Boyhood)

Appeared in:

  • Hamlet (2000) as Hamlet
  • Henry IV (2004, Lincoln Center Theater) as Hotspur
  • The Winter’s Tale (2009 Stage Production)
  • Macbeth (2013, Lincoln Center Theater) as Macbeth

meryl-streep-into-the-woodsMeryl Streep (Actress in a Supporting Role, Into the Woods)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (1978, Shakespeare in the Park) as Katherine
  • Romeo and Juliet (2012, Shakespeare in the Park Staged Reading) as Juliet

neil-patrick-harris-romeo*BONUS- Neil Patrick Harris (The host this year!)

Appeared in:

  • Romeo and Juliet (1998, Old Globe Theatre) as Romeo

Did I miss someone? Which of these roles is your favorite? Who do you think will walk away a winner on Sunday? Leave a comment and let us know!

CONTEST- Win tickets to a Toronto screening of The Taming of the Shrew!

January 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Friends of SIA, Shakespeare at the Movies, Toronto Happenings | Leave a comment
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Shakespeare at the Movies- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

December 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies, Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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CONTEST: Win tickets to a screening of A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

December 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Posted in Friends of SIA, Shakespeare at the Movies, Toronto Happenings | Leave a comment
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Shakespeare at the Movies: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1

November 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies, Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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Shakespeare Everywhere- Akira Kurosawa

September 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies, Shakespeare Everywhere, Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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Shakespeare at the Movies- TIFF 2014

September 9, 2014 at 11:08 am | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies, Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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Shakespeare Everywhere- Shakespeare in Bollywood

September 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Posted in Shakespeare at the Movies, Shakespeare Everywhere, Shakespeare In Culture | Leave a comment
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