SEPTEMBER 2014 : TOBY NEWS
An unconfirmed source reported that Toby was to join the cast for the BBC2’s new series of ’The Hollow Crown, Part 2.' Confirmed participants are Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The DVD and Blu-Ray of ‘Black Sails’ Series One was released on September 29th.
An extra included in both box sets is ‘Folklore is Finished’ where the stars of the series reveal why it’s “darker” and more edgy than viewers might expect. Toby together with Zach McGowan and Jessica parker Kennedy explain why ‘Black Sails’ is “breaking down the stereotype” of derring-do on the high seas.
The original 8 part series will be followed by a second 10 part run to be aired in 2015.
IN TOBY’S WORDS:
“Not a lot of people know this but I’m very good at cheering myself up when I’m down. I have episodes of Father Ted on my laptop and those work every time. It’s not just the humour that does it – it’s the humanity of that show. “
"It’s not good for my image but I’m no stranger to embarrassment. The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was forgetting my first line in a play. The curtain rose, the lights went up, I entered – and couldn’t remember a thing. I had to ask for a prompt. The audience groaned. It was terrible."
"My biggest fear is my children getting hurt."
“The shop I can’t walk past is Aesop. It’s an Australian company that makes amazing skin and hair products. There’s one near where I live and I always have to go in.”
"The one thing I’d change about myself is that I’m frequently referred to as posh. That really gets up my nose, because it’s simplistic and patronising and it shows how depressingly hung up about class we still are in this country."
“My favourite TV programme is 'House of Cards' – that’s a very smart show.”
"My first kiss was at a school dance, with a girl called Suzy. I probably wasn’t very good."
"If I can, I always try to avoid answering questions about my parents. I wouldn’t want my background to be any other way, but sometimes I do envy actors who just get asked about their work. I’m a 45-year-old man – I don’t need to be talking about my parents any more."
"My greatest weakness is Haribo sweets, which I steal from my children. I’m ashamed of myself."
“My last holiday was “with my wife and kids in St Lucia last Christmas. It was so nice to get away from the rain and long nights of an English December.
"I’m currently reading ’The Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton. The size of the book is a good reason to get a Kindle, but it’s a fantastic read."
"The last time I cried was… recently. I cry all the time. It’s mostly music that does it to me, and I always cry at my children’s recitals."
"The most expensive thing I’ve ever splashed out on was a necklace for my wife. It looks great on her."
"My favourite place in Britain is Norfolk."
"My perfect Sunday is at home with my wife and children. I’ve recently spent a lot of time away, filming in South Africa, so being back here is fantastic. After an extended period abroad, being reunited with my family is very grounding. On a film set, you tend to get tunnel vision and you think work is all there is, especially with the pressure of a big production. So it’s very good to get back into the parental routine and remind yourself that there are other things in the world which are much more important."
Source: James Rampton, Sunday Express, 28 September 2014
SEPTEMBER 2014 : SLOW NEWS MONTH
To help us through the Toby drought, some more pictures from the archives…
AUGUST 2014 : TOBY NEWS
It looks as though ‘Black Sails’ has been signed for a third season. Zach McGowan made reference on LA Combat Radio to “Season 3, which will be coming up shortly….”
Season 2 is due to air in January
THE TOBY DROUGHT
A known phenomenon, the Toby Drought descends periodically, during which time it is perhaps pertinent to look back on more fruitful times. So from the archives, some Toby pictures to keep you tied over until more news appears……
More next month…..
JULY 2014 : TOBY NEWS
“Actor Toby Stephens certainly looks the part of a terrifying pirate captain with his impressive mane of flame-coloured hair pinned behind his head in a ponytail and luxuriant set of matching whiskers. The look is intimidating, to say the least.”
“But as he sits opposite me in the Black Sails production office, the 45-year-old actor is charming rather than cutthroat. Following memorable performances as Gustave Graves in the Bond movie ‘Die Another Day’, Rochester in the acclaimed BBC1 version of ‘Jane Eyre’, Jay in the TV adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’ and Kim Philby in the BBC drama, ‘Cambridge Spies’, Stephens has become one of our most in-demand actors. That status is only underlined by his performance as Captain Flint, as he displays a compelling mixture of magnetism and muscularity.”
“Stephens, who lives with his wife, fellow actor Anna-Louise Plowman, and their three small children in east London, was drawn to the authentically grubby, anti-romantic portrayal of pirates in ‘Black Sails’.”
“It has already established new standards of piratical authenticity. There is just one quibble. The New York Times asked an expert on 18th-century piracy to view each episode of ‘Black Sails’ four times to check for any possible historical inaccuracies. He could find fault with only one detail: all the pirates boasted a full set of teeth.”
Source: James Rampton, The Scotsman
Formerly referred to as ‘Theatre of Dreams’, ‘Believe’ picked up the Winner of the Golden Eye award at the Zurich Film Festival and was released nationwide in UK cinemas on July 25th.
In an unprecedented move, Sky Movies offered their customers the chance to watch the movie in the comfort of their own homes on the same day as the UK release. This represents the first time there has ever been a day/date release on the Sky Movies subscription service. It aired at 7pm and was also made available on demand.
‘Believe’ centres on legendary football manager Sir Matt Busby, restless in the twilight of his life, who discovers a young tearaway on the streets of Manchester with an extraordinary talent for football. Having lived with the game all his life and survived the tragic 1958 Munich plane crash in which eight of his promising young players were killed, Sir Matt is still committed to continue his work of ‘training lads for life’.
“This handsomely-shot, feelgood movie harks back to a time of innocence when kids really did use jumpers for goalposts and a pint of bitter was £1.40.”
Source: Radio Times
IN TOBY’S WORDS - ON ‘BLACK SAILS’:
"It’s great also because I think in the first series Flint is very mysterious. You don’t really understand what’s motivating him or where he’s going. In the second series, it takes us 15 years back to London when Flint is a younger man and shows really the root of what’s driving him. So it answers a lot of questions that are posed in series one.”
“I love the way that wardrobe and make-up make the pirates look as if they haven’t washed in a long time!”
“A lot of people thought I had gone off to do a pastiche pirate series. So when I was filming, I thought, ‘This is not going to be what people expect’. And I was right. No matter how many times I’d told them, ‘It’s very gritty,’ they’d just say, ‘Yeah, yeah, it’s Captain Hook meets Captain Pugwash’. Pirates are such a popular subject and so much part of all our childhoods, but the whole genre is barnacled with clichés. That’s why ‘Black Sails’ is so refreshing.”
“We’ve never seen this side of pirates before. We’ve only ever seen the slightly comic book version. But there is nothing glamorous about piracy. It’s grim. They don’t want to be like that. They do it because they’ve got no other way out.”
“A pirate ship is a very political environment. There is a strange democracy to piracy. If a captain isn’t delivering, the crew can vote him off the ship. The pirates are constantly vying for supremacy and thinking, ‘I’ll have to align myself with that guy I don’t like if I want to get ahead’.”
“They are also constantly troubleshooting. Not every scheme will go according to plan. That’s like the real world. There’s no drama if it all works out fine. Also, there is a constant threat of the English or Spanish coming over the horizon. The feeling is that piracy worked politically for the English government because it created an unseen enemy, much like the War on Terror.”
“In the second season we take the audience to London, which is at the heart of the whole thing. London is where piracy originated and where the authorities came for retribution. We recreate a scene where they hanged pirates by the docks in Wapping as a deterrent.
“Originally, piracy was not discouraged by the English government – after all, it started with Sir Walter Raleigh. As long as it was directed against the French or the Spanish, it was OK. But as soon as it turned against the English, it became a problem. The English government had created a monster, but they didn’t know how to deal with it.”
“There appears to be something romantic about these guys at the borders of civilisation. They were privateers and adventurers on the very edge of society. And they committed incredibly audacious crimes. Look at Captain Blood. He sailed up the Thames and brazenly stole the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. He even bent the coronet so he could stuff it down his trousers! There was a bravura bravado to those sort of acts. The pirates were fighting the system. But the reality is not that romantic, and that is what we’re showing. Piracy may appear romantic, but it’s actually very brutal. It seems glamorous, but then it catches you short. You think, ‘I like Flint – he’s cool’. But then he does something appalling.”
“We know where Flint ends up, as a totally demented, utterly ruthless pirate. But the journey there is going to be very interesting indeed. I’m so excited about going on that journey. We’re dealing with the Golden Age of Piracy, so we can be sure that the English and the Spanish will do their very best to stomp on him.”
Source: The Scotsman
TOBY ON FILMING ON LOCATION:
“It’s very grounding and very necessary to get back into the parental routine. When you’re away on a long shoot, you feel out of the family loop, and now I really want to be there for them.”
“What can happen on a set is that you get tunnel-visioned about the project. But it is very good to be reminded that there are other things in the world which are much more important. One can think work is all there is, especially in the pressure-cooker of a big production.”
Source: The Scotsman
TOBY ON HIS HERITAGE:
“The only problem has been when it comes to personal stuff. I don’t mind saying it once, but when you have to say it a hundred times … I wouldn’t want my background to be any other way, but sometimes I do envy people who don’t have that baggage because every article is purely about their work.”
“But I really only want to talk about my work. I’m a 45-year-old man. I don’t need to be talking about my parents any more. But generally I don’t have a problem with the press. Most of the stuff I do, I’m very proud of. So I want to talk about it.”
Source: The Scotsman
TOBY ON MOVING TO HOLLYWOOD:
“I’ll go wherever this takes me. I’m so happy doing what I’m doing. I just want to try to do stuff of the same level. But one never knows. I feel incredibly lucky to be in this situation, but I’m not expecting anything. I’ve been in the game too long to think, ‘This is suddenly going to make me a huge star’.”
Source: The Scotsman
TOBY TRIVIA :
- Reliable source reports that Martin Jarvis & Rosalind Ayres are looking to record ‘Diamonds are Forever’ as part of their Bond on the radio series, with Toby once more taking the role of 007.
- A ‘Black Sails’ actor tweeted that the series was to be picked up for a third season - amidst speculation, the tweet was deleted. But an interview on LA Combat Radio suggested this may indeed be the case, though it wasn’t ‘official’.
- Zach McGowan (Toby’s co-star on ‘Black Sails’) talked on radio about how he and Toby both brought their families to Cape Town at the same time. He reported that his “daughter thought Toby’s daughters were her best friends.”
- The Radio Times have been running a ‘TV Champions Award’ with actors being pitted against one another in an online poll. Round 1 saw Toby up against Gordon Ramsey, which he won. He also went through Round 2 winning over Jodie Whittaker, but lost to the might of the Sherlock community with Amanda Abbington snatching the win from Toby. She however went on to lose to Martin Freeman - who in turn lost to Ricky Gervais, who now faces Benedict Cumberbatch in the semi final…….
TOBY FLASHBACK - FROM THE ARCHIVES :
Adam Luck in a Hong Kong paper reported on 1 April 2001:
“The actress-daughter of one of Hong Kong’s leading barristers is to marry into one of Britain’s top theatrical families. Anna-Louise Plowman, whose father, Gary, is a Senior Counsel, has announced her engagement to Toby Stephens, the son of actress Dame Maggie Smith and the late actor Sir Robert Stephens. Dame Maggie is most famous for her role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.”
“Anna-Louise, who was brought up in Hong Kong, revealed that her husband-to-be was very gallant before proposing. From her parents’ home in Repulse Bay, she said: ‘Toby wrote to my father to ask for my hand in marriage, to do it properly. Dad’s like that.’”
“Anna-Louise, 28, went to Bradbury Junior School and South Island School before going on to be educated in Britain. She met Toby at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, where they both trained in 1991. But romance did not blossom until later.”
“’We didn’t really know each other,’ Anna-Louise said. ‘But we met up again in New York a couple of years ago. I was living there and Toby had a part in a play there. We were going to spend our time walking around the city together but Toby asked me out. It was an old-fashioned romance.’”
“They moved to Hollywood but later decided to return to live and work in London. Toby, 32, who has had to live in the shadow of his parents’ formidable acting reputations, is now becoming a leading light on stage and television.”
“Anna-Louise, who has run her own theatre company, is now gearing up for a British television series in the summer.”
“The couple will walk up the aisle at a Catholic church, just off Berkley Square, in London’s West End, on September 15.”
“Anna-Louise said: ‘I am the Catholic. Toby has been taking instruction. We have not decided how many guests yet but it will be intimate rather than a grand affair. We don’t even know where the honeymoon will be yet.’”
JUNE 2014 : TOBY NEWS
TOBY SIGHTINGS :
On 11 June, Toby was seen in Monte Carlo promoting ‘Black Sails 2’ at the Television Festival.
23rd June saw Toby looking “buff at the Canali show on Monday, and he credited the fitness regimen for his second season as the pirate Captain Flint in “Black Sails.” It was reported that he was planning to take time off with his wife to vacation in Tuscany and Calabria.
Source: Samantha Conti & Luisa Zargani, Women’s Wear Daily
June 30th saw Toby and Anna-Louise at the Design Museum’s ‘Designs of the Year Award’ at the St Martins Lane Hotel, London.
Make up artist Kirstin Chalmers explains the art of Makeup for variety.com. It reports, “‘Black Sails”’(Starz) is set during the Golden Age of Piracy, so to get a suitably rough-hewn look for its pirates, makeup artist Kirstin Chalmers looked at historical references, including paintings and tribal images. Hair styling was extremely important in shaping the silhouettes of characters. I wanted their silhouettes to be very distinctive and different from each other so you know who they are from a distance.”
For Captain Flint (Toby), Chalmers went for a weatherbeaten look. “We literally painted on all of his different skin tones to give him a tan and weathering that made him look like he was out at sea for a long period of time. We didn’t use conventional foundation.”
James Rampton for the Independent on Sunday writes this critique :
“I am standing behind the wheel on the deck of The Walrus, a mighty, full-scale replica of a 1715 pirate ship that took 300 men six months to construct. Bristling with enough cannons to sink the whole British Navy, the vessel seems to be challenging any enemy man’o’war sufficiently foolhardy to appear on the horizon. The 140-feet ship is kitted out with no fewer than 20 tons of rope and rests on a 15-axle, mobile cradle that can control all its movements. It is floating in an enormous, 10 million-litre, man-made lake at a studio just outside Cape Town, which is standing in for the lawless Caribbean town of Nassau. The Walrus is the grand stage on which ‘Black Sails’, a new pirate drama, is played out. In this prequel to ‘Treasure Island’ set in the Golden Age of Piracy, the ship is commanded by Captain James Flint. Flint is a man who exerts a reign of terror over his crew. He is a ruthless maverick who unleashes war on England after the civilised world declares that pirates are “hostis humani generis”, enemies of all mankind. The renegades in Black Sails don’t just sit around swigging from bottles of grog, singing sea shanties and shouting, ‘Avast, me hearties!’ Black Sails goes to great lengths to avoid prettifying pirates – except on one key point. The New York Times commissioned an expert in piracy to watch each episode of Black Sails four times to check its accuracy. The only thing he could find to criticise was the fact that all our pirates still had their own teeth. They wouldn’t have had any in 1715. Chris Symes, Excutive Producer, said ”I think asking the actors to have their teeth pulled out for this drama would have been pushing method acting too far.”
The Guardian’s Luke Holland writes, “Stephens’s Flint is every inch the modern anti-hero that those accustomed to the moral greys of Tony Soprano or Walter White will appreciate. Is he a righteous man in impossible circumstances, or an evil one prone to the odd good deed? Did he have to strangle that man or did he panic? Did he really mean to kick that dog or was it cramp? (He didn’t actually kick a dog.) His actions suggest elements on both sides, but it’s for the viewer to decide where on the Likert scale of bastardry he falls. The extent to which he’s willing to sacrifice his own men is gradually revealed in parallel to a rich backstory, partially explaining his actions but never excusing them.” He recommends ‘Black Sails’ concluding, “It’s different. It’s tense. It’s rewarding. It’s an underdog. It’s like that footballing team that no one expects to beat the other footballing team because they’re not meant to be as tall, but then they score an unexpected touchdown and checkmate the other team’s scrum. And everyone loves that, don’t they?”
TOBY ON ‘BLACK SAILS’:
“We’ve never seen this side of pirates before. We’ve only ever seen the slightly comic-book version. There is nothing glamorous about piracy. It’s grim. They don’t want to be like that. They do it because they’ve got no other way out.”
Source: The Independent on Sunday
“Three full-size ships were built in a back lot of the studios, which makes it easier as you are not affected by the weather as you would out on the water.”
Source: Samantha Conti & Luisa Zargani, Women’s Wear Daily
TOBY ON TOBY:
“I’m at that age that, unless I’m forced to do it, it all starts to go down south.”
Source: Samantha Conti & Luisa Zargani, Women’s Wear Daily
MAY 2014 : TOBY NEWS
‘ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE’
On Saturday 3 May, BBC Radio 4 broadcast the latest in the Jarvis & Ayres productions of Bond, this time ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ which sees Toby “on top form as 007”. This time we see Bond more interested in gambling at the Casino Royale than tracking down the elusive Spectre chief Blofeld, until he meets the emotionally disturbed daughter of mafia boss Draco, Tracy, played here by Lisa Dillon (who incidentally was also in ‘Cambridge Spies’ with Toby). The stellar cast supporting Toby included Joanna Lumley, Alfred Molina and Alex Jennings.
- XLrator Media announced the Blu-ray of ‘The Machine’ would be released in the UK on June 17th. It is anticipated that the US release will coincide.
- Wrap party for ‘Black Sails’ Season 2 was reportedly Saturday May 17th.
APRIL 2014 : TOBY NEWS
Unbelievably ‘Private Lives’ received a 1 star review from an Australian reviewer for theage.com.au. The reviewer seemed to have entirely missed the point of this comedy writing “it’s a hammy, overblown version of the play that leaves it looking like a period piece.” IT IS! And of Toby writes, “last glimpsed in TV’s whimsical boy-girl cop two-hander ‘Vexed’ - is, on a good day, a superb actor. He’s Maggie Smith’s son and notably elegant and dashing with a dangerous sense of drama and an expert feel for comedy. Here he is oily and overdone, squelching through a role that should be as light as air with just a touch of steel.” Ouch. This may however point to the difficulty of capturing theatre for the screen.
Here in the UK, Anna Chancellor lost out on the best actress award to Lesley Manville for 'Ghosts' and Best Revival of a play also went to 'Ghosts' which took 3 awards on the night.
But for those of us who still want their fill of ‘Private Lives’, it was made available to audiences in the UK and Ireland from 9 April to buy or rent from Digital Theatre.
seenit.co.uk reviewed ‘Black Sails’ as it was made available through Amazon’s Prime Instant Video streaming service.
All in all April was not a good month for Toby reviews, in this instance, the reviewer commenting, “‘Black Sails’ has some beautiful scenery – thanks to the South Africa location filming – and the costumes and replica ships look great, but the visuals is where the production team’s efforts seem to have ended. The whole thing is utterly superficial. The series lacks any sense of danger or menace and is blighted by obvious, telegraphed dialogue and sleepy, languid performances, especially from Toby Stephens who looks he’s suffering from an advance case of heat exhaustion. After three episodes of this nonsense, I’m jumping ship.”
I’ve said it before - you can’t please ‘em all.
The Examiner gave this 4 stars and commented that “‘The Machine’ is deep and impactful and should be a film most enjoy.” And generally thought the film produced some “good performances.” J. M. Willis for shockya.com rated it a B and thought it was original and watchable.
The birthday boy : 21st April, Toby turned 45.
MARCH 2014 : TOBY NEWS
March saw the announcement that Starz’s newest drama series ‘Black Sails’, which has already been renewed for a second season, has found a UK home: Amazon Prime Instant Video has taken the exclusive UK rights.
All eight episodes of the big-budget drama will be available from the 4th April, allowing those with an appetite for the pirate life to immerse themselves completely in the story of Captain Flint and his crew.
Reviews have on the whole been positive with tv.com remarking that “Toby Stephens has been amazing all season. Bravo, sir.”
ign.com wrote, “Strong performances from Toby Stephens and Mark Ryan as Flint and Mr. Gates, all the more noticeable at the end. One of the strengths of Black Sails was the show’s ability to make you care about Flint despite all he’d done.”
TOBY ON ‘BLACK SAILS’:
"Whenever I talk to anybody about doing a pirate thing they go, ‘So you’ve got parrots and peg legs and you all go around going, ‘Ooo! Aah!’’ And there’s none of that in there, it’s very stripped down, it’s kind of like a Western really."
"It’s set 20 years before ‘Treasure Island’ took place, it’s the golden era of piracy and Flint is the most successful pirate around the Bahamas. But he’s fallen on hard times, he’s not really earning money for his crew and they’re beginning to get discontented. So my character is trying to cling on to his captaincy."
"It was fantastic. What I particularly enjoyed about it was trying to recreate a form that has become pretty tired and hackneyed."
"I once read a couple of stories on CBeebies which they loved. It would be great if they could watch some of this, but it really isn’t for kids and I think that’s where people will be surprised."
“When they first said it’s a pirate show, I was like: ‘Oh, Jesus.’ I thought pirate stuff was just for kids. Things like ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ totally leave me cold. But ‘Black Sails’ is very gritty, very well written, very adult. It’s stripped out all the clichés such as treasure troves – it’s a version of piracy you’ve never seen.”
Reviews for ‘The Machine’ were ongoing, and mixed. Whilst Contact Music commented that “Stephens is terrific as he grapples with his own internal demons”, Front Row remarked “The acting performances are below average and don’t engage the audience or inspire sympathy in the characters. Stephens’ character is an emotionally-challenged perfectionist and work-a-holic who is troubled by his brain damaged daughter. Unfortunately he comes across as wooden, bored and apathetic rather than the complex and morally conflicted scientist he could have been portrayed as. A disappointingly hollow film, ‘The Machine’ failed to do justice to a deep and fascinating theme with under-developed and badly acted characters and an overly clinical cinematography.”
Well, you can’t please ‘em all.
TOBY ON ‘THE MACHINE’:
“This script came through and it blew me away. It’s not about football violence, it’s not about gangsters, it’s not about some depressing estate.”
Source: The Telegraph
"It’s a no-budget sci-fi movie dealing with really interesting ideas about where we’re headed. We will one day create a machine with something akin to human consciousness. When we do how are we going to treat them, and how are they going to treat us - and what does it mean for us as a species? I loved the idea - it had echoes of not just ‘Blade Runner’ but also ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Metropolis’."
"I remember going to the cinema to watch ‘Blade Runner’ when I was 14 or 15. It was a huge flop when it came out. The cinema was almost empty. I was blown away by it. I liked that kind of sci-fi: ‘2001’, ‘Alien’, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Silent Running’ - you could kind of believe them. I don’t like total escapism."
"It’s a weird hybrid. It’s like an arthouse but it’s also a sci-fi film. It was also seemingly ridiculously ambitious. It had no budget. It was a bit of a punt really."
“‘The Machine’ is a really good example of people thinking outside of the box.”
Source: The BBC
“The way it’s working out where it’s supposed to be happening in this subterranean place and that it is very claustrophobic, but the idea of this complex that’s disused, decommissioned, it’s very ad-hoc. It seems to be grounded in a physical world, it’s quite real, it’s not some sort of futuristic place where everything is pristine, clean, like in a lot of sci-fi movies where everything is immaculate white. This is more like it would be, slightly dusty, slightly ad-hoc, bits of old equipment and bits of very very new stuff.”
“I’m quite selective about what I like. I do like escapism, and I do like certain kinds of sci-fi, as I say the ones that I grew up with were ‘2001’, ‘Blade Runner’, the original ‘Alien’. Unfortunately what happens, and what’s working in our favour, is when you’re working within the limits, you’re slightly constrained. Imaginatively you have to come out, you can’t just throw money at things, let’s just create everything for our audience. What I love about ‘Alien’ is there’s a lot of what you didn’t see, there’s a lot left up to your imagination, it’s used very sparingly, and what was more interesting was the ship itself, the architecture, the design, which I thought was beautiful, the sets and the atmosphere.”
“He’s very sure about what he wants, how he wants to shoot it, I really like that. When you’re working with a director who knows what they want, rather than sometimes you go on set and they’re not quite sure how they want to shoot it or they do loads of coverage which you don’t need because they’re nervous about ‘oh shit, what if we get to the edit and I’m missing something’. Caradog knows, and within the time constraints that we’re under, it’s just brilliant. We don’t have to worry about all of that stuff, let him get on with that and we get on very well. He’s very good with me as an actor, I really relate to his notes, it’s easy to read what he want,s sometimes it can be very difficult to understand what a director wants you to do, but he’s very specific. I’m really enjoying it.”
Toby is asked about the possibility of robots replacing actors at some point:
“I hope I’m not around when they do, that’s all. They do pretty much everything else.”
Source: Andrew Jones, Hey u Guys
"It was very odd, because I’d be doing scenes with Caity where she’d be naked but she was playing a machine and somehow it totally altered how the scene would be if she was playing a human being. Because her nakedness was totally immaterial, because I was dealing with a machine. It was desexualised in a way. And she was so convincing and she would remain in the role. Because it’s not one of those things you want to switch on and off.”
Source: Fan Carpet
“Most British scripts you get sent are just so awful, it’s depressing, but with ‘The Machine’, I was just like ‘wow’”.
“When we make a machine with consciousness, what will that mean to us as a species? Is this some evolutionary step, that we will be facilitating something that will outrun and out-think us? I thought it was brilliant but it was a gamble: British sci-fi on a micro budget? It could be s***e. How can you back that up visually? But, as far as I’m concerned, it does so in spades.”
TOBY ON SCRIPTS & ACTING:
“Generally, when I get sent British scripts – and this isn’t a generalisation – nine times out of 10 my heart sinks after about three pages. We need to stop trying to imitate America. We need to stop trying to do the same movies over and over – the gangsters and football violence.”
“We do these intelligentsia movies about married couples in Hampstead or whatever. I think there’s a place for all those things but we can’t keep on repeating ourselves.”
“We need to start writing cleverer and better scripts. I read a lot of scripts and I find there’s a paucity on quality.”
“Whenever I’ve been sent American scripts they tend to be much better. I don’t know why that is, because we’ve got a lot of good writers here.”
“When we make good movies we make really good movies. We’ve got fantastic writers, actors and crew here. We need to start being a bit more brave about the kind of films that we make.”
Source: The Telegraph
“As a British actor in a country overrun with actors it got to the point where I thought: ‘I don’t know how I’m going to survive.’ We actors are a dime a dozen, so TV companies over here are slashing what they pay us.”
“I had years of lying awake at night panicking – how am I am going to make ends meet with three kids? I was doing all right but there are only so many Poirots you can do without it being soul destroying. Then ‘Black Sails’ came along with amazing production values, a great script, a vast budget and a really cool part.”
Was he ever tempted to try and ‘mockney’ it up?
“Yah, I tried desperately to do that in the 1990s and it just didn’t work. I never got any of the movies I tried for, though I came very close to doing Nick Moran’s part in ‘Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels’. Luckily for me, I didn’t do it. Luckily for them, as well.”
“I hope to God that endless superhero movies don’t take over the world, but I would love to do a Marvel film.”
Source: The Metro
TOBY ON FAMILY:
"They knew it was a really risky profession to get into and there’s no guarantee that you’re going to make a living out of it, or that just because your parents are very successful that you will be. I could have been a total dud.”
"We both had mixed feelings about doing it, because it’s always a bit of a risk. It’s never guaranteed that it’s going to be an easy experience, but it was really lovely to spend some time together.”
"We’re not going to become The Lunts. I don’t think we’re going to make a habit of working together, it just worked out really well for that occasion.”
"Technology is amazing. Earlier on this year when I was away in South Africa filming my new TV show ‘Black Sails’ I spent a lot of time using Skype and Facetime with my family. Mostly watching my children pull faces at themselves!Still it is amazing that I can be in Cape Town and yet I can look at my family in real time. It’s amazing and one can very quickly loose sight of how amazing technology is."
Source: Belfast Telegraph
TOBY ON TOBY (AND BEING MISTAKEN FOR DAMIEN LEWIS! REALLY????):
“We have this running thing of being mistaken for each other. It’s less often now that I have the long hair and beard. But when he did ‘Homeland’, there were times when it was just relentless. Every time I’d walk down the street, I’d get: “All right Damo?”’
TOBY ON DIE ANOTHER DAY (AGAIN!!!):
‘It was totally insane. The director told me: ‘Your character is a North Korean who has been genetically changed into a Caucasian.’ It was great fun and about as ridiculously camp as Bond could get. Then Daniel Craig took over and it all got very serious.’
“I am not being ungrateful but the fact I did the Bond film hampered me.”
“I didn’t want to carry on playing Bond villains in other guises or the posh British villain in American movies – and I got offered a lot of baddie parts. We are so obsessed with class in this country.”
“After Bond I can’t stick to doing one thing, that’s what they wanted me to do, I was offered various villains and I didn’t want to do that. I felt that would be career suicide, you’d just end up playing the same thing over and over again, so I went away and did other things. I’ve been doing a lot of other things to get back, because it’s such a huge impact, those movies, and once you’ve played that, that’s what you are in people’s heads. So it’s taken me about 10 years to get back to a point where I can do other films which are totally different and playing different parts from that. And people can see you as that, there’s a distance between that and now. It serves you as people say ‘oh yeah, it’s that guy’, but they’re not going ‘yeah, but he only plays villains’ which I think would have happened if I continued doing what I was doing.”
Source: Andrew Jones, Hey u Guys
OTHERS ON TOBY:
John Giwa-Amu, Producer ‘The Machine’:
“Toby plays a character called Vincent McCarthy who’s daughter has got something called Rett syndrome, which is on the Autistic spectrum. I’d seen him in the Bond film ‘Die Another Day’ so I wasn’t expecting the warmth that he came across with. After seeing him, it was like ‘wow, i think he’s the guy, it’s settled’. He just had an energy, that’s how he comes across, and he is just warm. That’s exactly what I had in my head, was that a sneer. He didn’t do that at all, he did something completely different.
Source: Andrew Jones, Hey u Guys
Director Caradog James :
“This film will change people’s opinions of Toby, I think he’s been typecast totally unfairly, he’s an incredibly gifted actor with a massive range and I think it’s one of those things, Bond made him a villain, and because he’s such a good actor he was a good villain so everyone thought he could just play a villain. I had that initial concern, but after I met him, he understood the character and this was one of the best decisions we’ve made in the casting process, he’s just fantastic.”
Source: Andrew Jones, Hey u Guys
“Yeah, it was fantastic with them, they had agreed to rehearsals so we had time to really build a unit between us, a team moving forward and a team between themselves; Toby and Caity really hit it off, and that helped their friendship in the movie. I’d never worked with Toby or Denis before, and Toby I had only really seen him play villains on screen, I hadn’t seen any of his theatre work, so you have a sort of preconception of what people are going to be like, but he’s just the nicest guy, so down to earth, very, very hard working, funny and clever, it was a wonderful experience working with him because he’s so experienced and understands his craft so well, so it was wonderful having someone of that level of experience on such a short shoot because we were able to do more I think with someone like him at the centre of the story.”
Source: Fan Carpet
The Radio Times began promotion of the new Radio 4 adaptation of the fourth Bond novel, ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ with Joanna Lumley to be broadcast on 3 May.
‘Private Lives’ continues to be screened across Australia, and is brought back for a second run in cinemas worldwide. The re-release marks the first time U.K. exhibition giant Cineworld has brought back an event cinema production under its “Take 2” strand, which was set up to bring big films back to cinemas for a second run. They plan to re-screen the play in 76 theatres across the U.K.
Digital Theatre head of cinema and screenings Rachael Castell said: “The nationwide screening of ‘Private Lives’ reached number three at the U.K. and Ireland box office on the day of its release, so it’s wonderful the British public have another opportunity to watch the production at their local cinema.”