News for 2/26/2007

The following article appeared in the December 2006 issue of Vogue Magazine

News for 12/23/2006

Pursuing Thandie Newton

Source: Edward Douglas

Actress Thandie Newton must really like yelling a lot, because she's had a lot of chances to do it in her last two movies, the surprise Oscar winner Crash and the upcoming drama The Pursuit of Happyness opposite Will Smith. Smith plays the real-life Chris Gardner, a down on his luck salesman trying to land his dream job as a stockbroker, and Newton is his unsupportive wife. It's a pretty dark and dramatic role for the actress, because in some ways, it makes her the antagonist of the film. talked to the beautiful and talented actresses about the role and about the surprise success of her last movie. Why did you feel you had to have this role?

Thandie Newton: For the story, the overall story, and also I didn't want someone else to play this role and for them to be able to justify what a b*tch is that left her child. I wanted her to be a sad, messed-up woman who committed slow suicide by leaving her child, and I knew that was me that could do that. Once I read it, I knew I had a responsibility. Sure someone else could have done it, but I didn't want to take the risk of this being left.

CS: Did you get a chance to meet or talk to Chris Gardner's real ex-wife before doing the movie?

Thandie Newton: No, she didn't want to have anything to do with the movie. She had other things going on I guess. It wasn't about that family. It wasn't about Chris Gardner making a movie about his life. It's a story that had been bought by 20/20 and that's how it happened. Chris Gardner wasn't looking for a way to have his life made into a movie; it was an accident. The movie is very separate from them as a family, and the character I play, Linda, I don't even know actually what Chris's wife is like, because the character was fictionalized. So we had free reign to create her but place her into this slot that the movie needed. The character, for the purpose of the movie, needs to bring them down so low so that he would have somewhere to climb from for the rest of the film, and that was really hard for me. When I first the script, I thought, "No way" because I would want to explore the sadness that this woman is going through, the pain that she is going through, and what would make someone self-destruct to such a degree that they would leave their child. I think that is a slow form of suicide, and I'm a mom and that's all that there is.

CS: Did you talk to Chris about what happened to his wife and her story? I thought they actually got back together at some point after this movie.

Newton: Well, it was so long ago, so I think they are both still living out their storyline right now. They had another child in a brief interlude. I was around Chris a lot during the rehearsal period, and I didn't talk at all during the rehearsal process. I didn't even want to see him actually. It wasn't a conscious choice. I was finding it hard because I felt I was battling with the story, which wasn't going to allow this woman's story to come out, and also, I just desperately didn't want the character to be this awful woman. I honestly felt like I was there for all of womankind. I was the one opportunity in the story to reveal that there are greater forces at work, deeper, darker and sad things. It's funny on how some people just watch the movie, and they see me playing such a bitch, really unsympathetic; and some people really do feel the pain. It's whatever you bring to it. That's really the best kind of movies, where the character really taps into how you feel. "Crash" was very much like that. People would come out of it raging angry and some people crying and happy. It's whatever touches in your history, your family, your personal history.

CS: Since the character of Linda is fictionalized, how did you go about creating her?

Newton: I read the role in the book, and it doesn't say enough about why a person would do this. There has to be a hint as to why or how she could leave her child and that must be some psychological breakdown depression. I spoke to Gabriele on the phone, and I said, "This is my problem with the story" and he absolutely agreed. We need to rehearse. We need to find moments where we can reveal the depression and the instability. I couldn't believe how much time and energy they were putting into this part of the story. I rehearsed for one week, every day with Will and Gabriele, to try and find the moments where you saw their relationship falling apart, the misunderstandings. There are so many things that had to be involved and I do think we managed to do it. I really do. It's that social situation. It's his lack of work opportunities. It's the fact that they put all their savings …it was a moment in time where it just broke the back of their opportunities as a couple. That was there whether I tried or not. There's one line in the story where I say, "You said it was going to be okay even before I got pregnant". We tried really hard to quickly communicate huge things.

CS: Is it harder to find your character when playing an American?

Newton: Each character I play the accent is going to be quite a different American accent. Just when I thought I can do an American accent, I get a role where the woman is based from San Francisco, so I have to do a whole lot more work now. I come to each one as if it were a whole different country, because when you are in America, there are so many different worlds. To make that believable, I couldn't use my "Crash" accent. It wouldn't have been right. There was a woman working in the costume department who had the most fantastic voice, fantastic accent. She lived in San Francisco all her life, a black American woman, so I just interviewed her over a couple of days and listened to her and talked to her, and that's how I got that accent.(.......Read More)

News for 12/13/2006

In The Future With Thandie Newton

Source: Edward Douglas

Following hot on the heels of her award-winning turn in Paul Haggis' Crash, actress Thandie Newton jumped into another dramatic role, playing Will Smith's estranged wife in The Pursuit of Happyness, the inspirational true story of Chris Gardner, a homeless man who went from poverty to a multi-million stock brokerage.

At the movie's New York junket, she told that she wants to do more comedies after doing so many serious dramas. "It's so funny actually, because I find that I've been working on darker projects that are more reflective of an earlier part of my life, but I sort of got caught doing that. I am quite good at that emotional angst-ridden stuff, but it's more true in my life now to be working on a comedy with Eddie Murphy, 'Norbert' which is coming out soon. That's actually where my spirit is. [It was] the perfect alkaline for me. I really needed to do it."

She told us a bit more about the film. "It's him playing three characters: a very geeky odd guy, playing his 400 pound wife, and Mr. Wong, the Chinese restaurant-slash-orphanage owner. It's hard to describe the storyline, but it is absolutely ridiculously silly, extremely funny. I play an orphan that made good, was adopted, and comes back to the town to take over the orphanage. I'm like the saint, and then I end up competing with Rasputia, the 400-lb. wife over the affections of Norbert, the geeky Eddie Murphy. It's really very, very funny."

It's directed by Brian Robbins, but Newton only plays one character herself. "Eddie could have played me," she joked.

"I just wrapped two days ago in London, this film called 'Run, Fat Boy, Run' with probably our most successful comedian at the moment, Simon Pegg, who's in 'Shaun of the Dead.' I've never had so much fun. It's kind of a romantic comedy, but edgy, and I really got to have some fun and do some comedy."

Before then, you can watch Thandie Newton yell a lot at Will Smith in the upcoming The Pursuit of Happyness, which opens on December 15.

News for 10/17/2006

Thandie's shock at 'black' Angie

Thandie Newton was amazed when she learned Angelina Jolie is to play a black woman in her latest film.

The stunning actress couldn't hide her surprise when she was shown a picture of Angelina as murdered journalist Daniel Pearl's mixed-race wife in the new movie about his life and death.

Thandie told me: "God I'm shocked. She's been blacked up to play a black women.

"I have to say it's surprising, very surprising."

Although the Crash star did confess she was a little jealous that the role in A Mighty Heart hadn't gone to her, she refused to criticise Angelina.

Talking at the Screen Nation Awards on Tuesday night, she added: "It's an absolutely fantastic role, I would loved to have played it.

"But I'm not going to criticise or judge her until I've seen the film, that would be wrong of me."

In the movie, Angelina pairs up with real life boyfriend BRAD PITT again, who is producing the film.

The couple also donated £54,000 to the Daniel Pearl Foundation on Tuesday - which would have been the late writer's birthday.

News for 9/18/2006

The following article appeared in the August 2006 issue of InStyle Magazine

News for 8/21/2006

The following article appeared in the July 2006 issue of InStyle UK Magazine

News for 7/16/2006

The following article appeared in the May 2006 issue of Vogue Magazine

News for 4/19/2006

Four Enter Eddie Murphy's Norbit

Source: Variety

Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding Jr., Eddie Griffin and Terry Crews have joined Eddie Murphy in DreamWorks Pictures' Norbit, reports Variety.

The film is currently shooting in Los Angeles with Brian Robbins at the helm. John Davis is producing along with Robbins' business partner Mike Tollin and Murphy.

The comedy stars Murphy in the title role, a meek guy pressed into marrying a monstrous woman (also Murphy), only to meet the woman of his dreams (Newton).

Gooding takes the role of Newton's boyfriend, while Griffin will star as a retired pimp. Crews (Everybody Hates Chris) is in as one of Norbit's in-laws.

News for 2/23/2006

Thandie Newton's unhurried success

Thandie Newton has won the best supporting actress Bafta for her role in Crash after developing her film career over 16 unhurried years.

Newton's portrayal of the forthright Christine, whose racial prejudices are challenged in Crash, further develops upon her arresting debut in 1991's Flirting.

She was born Thandiwe Newton in November 1972 in Zambia, to a Zimbabwean mother and a British father.

She has been known as Thandie - pronounced "tandy" - throughout her acting career.

Newton lived in a "cosmopolitan hippie community" in Lusaka, Zambia, until her family moved to Penzance in Cornwall when she was five.

"When we moved to England there were very few black people in the town," she told the New York Times. "We were almost a novelty."

Nevertheless Newton said she "never really experienced racial hassle" and went into the arts "where difference is celebrated".

At 11 she studied modern dance at Hertfordshire's Arts Education School.

However, a back injury prevented her from pursuing a dance career and she won her first film role in Flirting after auditioning on a whim.

Set in 1960s Australia, it was the sequel to director John Duigan's The Year My Voice Broke.

It co-starred 19-year-old Newton as a student who arrives from Uganda and embarks upon a problematic romance with Noah Taylor's Danny.

A surprise hit, Flirting also featured Nicole Kidman as Newton's school friend Nicola.

Cambridge degree

Newton then moved to Los Angeles to try to break into Hollywood but returned to England after being turned away from roles because of her English accent.

After appearing in TV action movie Pirate Prince, Newton studied anthropology and architecture at Cambridge University, continuing to appear in movies during her holidays.

These included the poorly-received Young Americans, teenage drama Loaded and a small part in Interview with the Vampire.

Newton completed her degree in 1995, when she co-starred in Merchant Ivory production Jefferson in Paris, playing the slave of ex-US president Thomas Jefferson.

Despite her growing celebrity, Newton said she was in no hurry to establish herself as a Hollywood star.

"Publicists are ringing up, saying 'come on, let's get you on magazine covers,'" she said in 1995. "Then I thought 'whoa, no, I have all the time in the world.'"

Two years later Newton starred alongside rapper Tupac Shakur in Gridlock'd but her performance was overshadowed by his death shortly before its release.

That year also saw Newton star as student Clare in BBC date rape drama In Your Dreams. A year later she married its writer, Oliver Parker, with whom she has a daughter.

In 1998 Newton also played Beloved in the movie of Toni Morrison's acclaimed novel of the same name. Oprah Winfrey's film adaptation was not as well received, however.

After starring in Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged, Newton played jewel thief Nyah in the John Woo-directed action movie Mission: Impossible II, which co-starred Tom Cruise.

She appeared in another action movie, The Chronicles of Riddick, before joining the cast of Paul Haggis' ensemble drama Crash.

In addition to a Bafta, her performance earned Newton a London Critics Circle award and a shared Screen Actors Guild prize.

The acclaim and exposure will no doubt add extra momentum to her measured acting career.

Thandie Newton crashes to Bafta win

By Louise Jury
Arts Correspondent

The actress Thandie Newton snatched top honours at the Orange British Academy Awards last night from under the noses of honours veterans Frances McDormand and Brenda Blethyn in what proved to be a rare triumph for the British.

The 33-year-old actress, who was born in Zambia but raised in Britain, was named best supporting actress for her searing performance in the American film Crash, about fraught racial tensions in Los Angeles. It also won best original screenplay.

"I did it for very, very little money, huge support from the people making the film, but really it was very, very tight," Newton admitted at last night's ceremony, the most prestigious film honours in the UK.

Newton, a mother-of-two who originally trained to be a dancer, gave it up for acting and then did an anthropology degree at Cambridge University, said her victory was the highlight of her career so far - "and probably the highest high ever. I'm full to the brim with gratitude and respect [for the other nominees]."

She was the only Brit in a cast of Americans and played a woman who suffers sexual harassment at the hands of a racist police officer. It was her most acclaimed performance since her appearance in Jefferson in Paris a decade ago.

But the rain-soaked ceremony in Leicester Square, London, was a disappointing night for most British nominees with several hot favourites leaving empty-handed. The Constant Gardener, a story of drug company corruption in Africa, had led the field with 10 nominations, but walked away with just one award. Brokeback Mountain, the Western romance about two sheepherders in love, dominated.

The film, which is widely expected to win at the Oscars in America next month, took four awards, including best film and adapted screenplay. Its director, Ang Lee, was named best director while Jake Gyllenhaal, who starred alongside Heath Ledger, was named best supporting actor.

Gyllenhaal said the film meant even more to him for its social message than artistically. "I had a lot of people saying to me, to my surprise, thank you for making it."

Rachel Weisz, the lead in The Constant Gardener, was beaten to the best actress award by Reese Witherspoon for her barnstorming performance as the wife of Johnny Cash in the biopic Walk the Line.

And Weisz's co-star, Ralph Fiennes, was beaten to best actor by Philip Seymour Hoffman for his performance in another biopic, Capote, about the writer Truman Capote.

There was also bitter disappointment for Hollywood star George Clooney who took home no honours despite high hopes for his film Good Night, and Good Luck, about journalism in the McCarthyite era in America, which he wrote, directed and starred in. He was also nominated for his performance in Syriana.

But David Puttnam, being awarded a Bafta fellowship, paid tribute to him for his politically impassioned style of movie-making. "What you've done to this industry is remarkable," he said.

Lord Puttnam admitted he gave up producing films eight years ago because he feared the industry would no longer support the type of films he wanted to make, but this year's nominations had proved him wrong. "This group of committed, decent films which absolutely have something to say give the lie ... that there's a dichotomy between informing and entertaining."

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was named the outstanding British film. Nick Park, who has previously won Oscars in animation categories, said: "I was just so thrilled to be nominated alongside all the proper films tonight."

Pride and Prejudice, whose star Keira Knightley was snubbed by the 6,000 members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts who vote for the awards, took home one honour, for achievement in a first movie for its director Joe Wright. He lamented Knightley's absence but wished her well for the Oscars, where she has been nominated.

James McAvoy, the star of television's Shameless and seen recently in the Chronicles of Narnia, won the new rising star award sponsored by Orange against competition from Chiwetel Ejifor, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rachel McAdams and Michelle Williams.

The winners

Best film: Brokeback Mountain
Best British film: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit
Best direction: Brokeback Mountain
Best original screenplay: Crash
Best adapted screenplay: Brokeback Mountain
Best film not in English: De Battre Mon Coeur S'est Arrete (Beat My Heart Skipped)
Best actress: Reese Witherspoon
Best actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Best supporting actor: Jake Gyllenhaal
Best supporting actress: Thandie Newton
Best music: John Williams for Memoirs of a Geisha
Best production design: Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire
Best editing: The Constant Gardener
Best short film: Antonio's Breakfast
Best effects: King Kong
Best cinematography: Memoirs of a Geisha
Best sound: Walk the Line
The Academy fellowship: David Puttnam

She's Sweet As Humble Pie

The Voice

As red carpets roll, Thandie Newton keeps her feet on the ground There are three things that you must know about Thandie Newton.

The British actress, best known for her role in special effects blockbuster Mission Impossible II and hospital drama ER, is incredibly humble and praises everyone but herself.

Second thing – she tends to pepper her sentences with effervescent superlatives like amazing and fabulous and lovely. Oh, and she is one of the nicest women that I’ve ever met.

When I meet her at the Dorchester she looks radiant but bird-like in a peach-pleated chiffon creation by designer Louisa De Panier (I memorised that!) and has just received a best supporting actress award from the London Film Critics’ Circle for her role in the independent movie of 2005 Crash.

The 33-year-old actress is waxing lyrical about actor Terrence Howard, who she starred alongside in Crash and who is up for a best actor award at the Oscars later this month.


"Look at Terrence Howard, you can see what happened to him, he's just exploded," she enthuses.

"I think he is terrific, he's amazing. He reminds me of Gerard Depardieu. He has an amazing sensitivity, almost a kind of femininity. He's not afraid to show that vulnerability but at the same time he is incredibly strong. He has a very sexy presence."

Crash, set in LA, follows six different people as their lives collide over a period of 24 hours with sometimes extreme consequences, and lays bare some of the innate preconceptions that we all have. Filmed on a shoestring budget of 6m and lasting just a few months, this was one independent film that was unlucky from the beginning.

First of all, producers found that raising money for a film about racism and bigotry in Hollywood was, predictably, quite hard. But rescue came in the unlikely figure of feted character actor Don Cheadle who agreed to act in the project and take on the role of co-producer.

Then the director Paul Haggis keeled over from a heart attack halfway through filming, leaving Thandie's co-star Sandra Bullock wracked with guilt. This meant that many indoor scenes were filmed in Haggis' LA house with him resting in between takes.

Most of the cast, including Hollywood heavyweights like Don Cheadle, Ludacris, Sandra Bullock and Laurenz Tate, had to buy their own flights to LA and were underpaid by any standards.

But for Thandie and co, the public response and the six Oscar nominations including best picture and best director, has made the hardship well worth it.

"It didn't feel like a low budget film at the time, I didn't feel restrained by the lack of money. We were all really passionate about the movie," she explains quietly, not quite drowning out the din of the baying mob of photographers trying to capture the perfect image for the next day's front pages.

She is first to admit that Crash was one of the most interesting projects that she has worked on in a long time and it certainly does make uncomfortable viewing. Especially the scene where she is sexually assaulted up against her husband's fancy car by a racist cop, a scene, which she admits, she never thought she could do.

"Whether it's rage or shared displeasure, Crash has prompted discussion among a lot of people. It's got people feeling. It's aggravated something, and isolated prejudices that we all have but would never admit to."

Right now she is girlie and giggly, excited about choosing outfits for the awards season. Later this month she will be attending the Baftas for her first time as a nominee, (best supporting actress in Crash) and she hopes to make an appearance on the red carpet at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Born in New Zealand to a Zimbabwean mother and an English father, Thandiewe Newton lived in Zambia as a child, and discovered boys and first kisses in Cornwall.

A back injury wrecked her hopes of becoming a professional dancer (she trained in modern dance), but she discovered her second trade when she was cast alongside Nicole Kidman in Flirting when she was only 16, playing a Ugandan girl who comes to an Australian boarding school in the 1960s.

Off screen, a tumultuous affair with Australian director John Duigan, then 41, ensued. But when things went wrong she suffered a nervous breakdown and battled anorexia. In fact she recently condemned him in the press for abusing her trust at such a young age.


"I was hooked like a fish, trying to swim away and being tugged back. I think the film business is a really dangerous place for young people. It's about exploitation. I'm not angry with him anymore. I just feel very fortunate that I've come through all that," she said.

She credits her early years in Africa for giving her a very multicultural view of the world and did not become personally aware of racism until Flirting. Since then she has been very outspoken about the difficulties of British black actresses finding roles in this country and in Hollywood. She says: "I have encountered clumsiness with racial stereotypes in Hollywood.

"I remember having a meeting with a studio head and talking about a role. She said: 'Yeah, Thandie, but are you black enough for this role? Is it believable that this character has a degree?' I said: 'Yes, I am black enough and have a degree myself.' And she said: 'But you are different.'

"I have also met black filmmakers who think I do not have enough street cred. They ignore the fact I am an actress and can play anything."

After winning a place at Cambridge to study anthropology, she combined her studies with auditions and screen testing.

Her big break came when she played a devil child who comes back to haunt her murdering mother in Beloved. By the time she cinched the lead role alongside Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible II she was a household name.

But it doesn't stop her from craving meatier roles.

"To be honest my preference would be for a film that is centred around the performance of the actors rather than around the performance of the technology. I'm not saying it's not valuable, the technology, but I like the idea of taking theatre into film."

Her next cinema outing will be in family drama Pursuit of Happiness released this Christmas. She plays the estranged wife of Will Smith, a man who wins custody of his sons after his divorce but then becomes homeless. With two young children herself, how difficult did she find filming the scenes?

"It was emotionally gruelling and the man who the story is based on, Christopher Gardner, was on the set every day. To actually confront him, when we were shooting films that were inspired by his's humbling when you are confronted by what he went through."

Then, in typical Thandie fashion, she enthuses about the film's leading man.

"I loved Will Smith, even before I met him, for his integrity and the fact that he is not afraid to be seen as a family man. For someone like that, who you think you know, to surprise you is amazing. I was privileged to witness him in a completely different light. He is a massive talent and he is very committed to a true portrayal of the real man behind the movie. We had a bit of fun in the makeup trailers."

Fun? What kind of fun?

"We were trying to ease the tension..but mainly it was really sweat and tears. It was a very serious subject and I became close to the people on the film. You'll see when you see it, it's not something that you can watch without becoming very affected."


Thandie admits that she is very affected by human suffering, and is saddened by the increasing tension between Islam and the West, most recently played out in the violent slogans of Muslim cartoon protesters. Despite her phenomenal success, she remains a down-to-earth homebody who prefers hanging out with her young children aged one and five and her husband, up-and-coming screenwriter Oliver Parker.

He seems to reciprocate an equal amount of devotion and they hold hands, almost desperately, all the time.

"My idea of a great night out is actually staying in... Or going to a nice restaurant where my husband and I can talk and hold hands and be together," she says.

Her husband grabs her some champagne and they head off to socialise, his hand thrown protectively over her shoulder. You can't help but feel that Thandie is clinging on to him and to a normal life in the crazy world of Hollywood- for dear life.

News for 8/17/2005

Newton Finds 'Happyness' with Smith

LOS ANGELES ( Thandie Newton has signed on for a female lead in "The Pursuit of Happyness," a drama set up at Columbia Pictures.

Will Smith stars in the film with the quirky spelling. The former Fresh Prince plays Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who becomes homeless at the same time as he wins custody of his son and at the same time as he begins a soon-to-be-lucrative internship at a stock brokerage. According to the industry trade papers, Newton will play the character's estranged wife and the mother of his son.

Steve Conrad ("The Weather Man") wrote the film, which will mark the English-language directing debut of Gabriele Muccino ("L'Ultimo bacio").

It seems that Newton has spent the past decade on the verge of A-list stardom with credits including "Mission: Impossible 2," "Beloved," "The Chronicles of Riddick" and "The Truth About Charlie." Newton has also done an extended guest run on NBC's "ER" and was part of the ensemble in the summer sleeper "Crash."

Columbia hopes to have "Happyness" in production in the near future for a 2006 release.

News for 5/1/2005

Thandie Admits 'Crash' Role Her Toughtest To Date

By Paul Fischer

Relaxed, quietly elegant and tired after her recent round of interviews, Thandie Newton has reason to be enthused, both professionally and personally. She has a four-month old baby, her second child, and she is winning early Oscar buzz for her riveting performance in Crash. "It's nice to be talking to you about a film I actually love," she says, laughingly. Crash, an ensemble drama delving into the cultural divide of Los Angeles, casts Newton as Christine, the beautiful light-coloured wife of TV producer Thayer (Terrence Howard). Christine is subjected to a humiliating body search by a bigoted cop (Matt Dillon), who is channelling all his anger for the lack of medical treatment his ill father is getting, into his job. Though a film tat explores the dark underbelly of Los Angeles, Newton says that she was attracted to this film, far beyond her American character. "I was affected by the script on such a gut level, and I don't feel like it was (particularly Christine anyway) specific to L.A. or any country," the actress explains. (Read More...)

News for 7/26/2004

The following article appeared in the July 2004 issue of Town & Country Magazine

News for 4/6/2004

The following article appeared in the November 2002 issue of InStyle Magazine

News for 12/17/2003

'ER' Flirts with Thandie Newton

LOS ANGELES ( NBC is hyping the big helicopter crash in Thursday's (Nov. 20) "ER," but the episode will also mark the return of one of its stars and the debut of a new character. Thandie Newton ("Mission: Impossible 2," "Flirting") will join the cast in a recurring role as Makemba "Kem" Likasu, an administrator in the Democratic Republic of Congo's health ministry who works with Carter (Noah Wyle) and falls in love with him. Wyle is returning to the show after some time off with his family.

Kem will also accompany Carter back to Chicago when he returns to County General.

"I've been a fan of Thandie Newton's work for many years," says "ER" executive producer John Wells, who wrote Thursday's episode. "She's a remarkable young talent, and we're delighted she agreed to join us for several episodes."

Newton's role on "ER" will mark her first appearance on a U.S. series. Her only previous TV work had been on a couple of movies in England, where she grew up after being born in Zambia.

Her other credits include "The Truth about Charlie," "Beloved" and "Jefferson in Paris."

News for 11/16/2003

Ensemble Cast Joins Paul Haggis' Crash

Source: Production Weekly

Heath Ledger, Brendan Fraser, Eva Mendes, Don Cheadle, Forest Whitaker and Thandie Newton will star in director Paul Haggis' crime drama Crash.

The film, written by Haggis and Bobby Moresco, follows a multi-ethnic cast through the streets of Los Angeles as they careen in and out of one another's lives. The film begins with the discovery of a man's brutally murdered body on the side of the road and tracks the previous 24 hours in the lives of the eight people connected with the killing.

Shooting is scheduled to begin on December 9.

News for 10/27/2003

The following article appeared in the September 2003 issue of InStyle Magazine

News for 4/4/2003

Newton and Urban In Talks for 'Riddick'

HOLLYWOOD ( - Thandie Newton ("The Truth About Charlie") and New Zealand actor Karl Urban ("The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers") are in talks to join the cast of the sequel to "Pitch Black," titled "The Chronicles of Riddick," starring Vin Diesel.

The Universal Pictures project, directed and written by David Twohy ("Pitch Black," "Below"), begins production June 9 in Vancouver. Judi Dench and Colm Feore have also signed on to star in the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Riddick" follows the first movie's villain, and sole survivor, who is now a hunted man. Feore plays Lord Marshal, a warrior priest who leads a sect that is waging the 10th, and perhaps final, crusade 500 years into the future. Dench is Aereon, an ethereal being who helps the intergalactic prisoner unearth his origins. Urban is in talks to play Vaako, a military commander under Lord Marshal's command, while Newton would play Dame Vaako.

Urban, who also appeared in the horror film "Ghost Ship," can next be seen in the "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," which is slated to open this November. Newton's next film is "Shade," opposite Sylvester Stallone and Melanie Griffith.