"The Book of Eli"- The Cast
Photo right: DENZEL WASHINGTON as Eli in Alcon Entertainment's action adventure film "The Book of Eli," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by David Lee
DENZEL WASHINGTON (Eli/Producer) has been honored with five Academy Award® nominations, winning the Oscar® twice: in 1989 for his performance in "Glory" and again in 2001 for "Training Day." He has earned numerous additional awards and accolades throughout his acting career as well as recognition for his work as a director.
Currently, Washington is in production on director Tony Scott's action thriller "Unstoppable," which is scheduled for a 2010 release. In Spring 2010, he will also star on Broadway in the revival of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Fences."
He most recently starred with John Travolta in Tony Scott's remake of "The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three"; directed and starred in, with Forest Whitaker, "The Great Debaters'; starred with Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's "American Gangster," which grossed $43.6M in its first weekend to mark Washington's largest opening weekend to date; starred in Spike Lee's "Inside Man," with Clive Owen and Jodie Foster; and starred in Tony Scott's romantic thriller "Deja Vu." His other recent film work includes roles in Tony Scott's "Man on Fire," Jonathan Demme's "The Manchurian Candidate," Carl Franklin's mystery thriller "Out of Time" and Antoine Fuqua's "Training Day," for which Washington earned an Academy Award® for his critically acclaimed performance as a grizzled LAPD veteran who shows a rookie narcotics cop the ropes on his first day.
December 2002 marked Washington's feature film directorial debut with "Antwone Fisher." Inspired by the best-selling autobiography Finding Fish, the film won critical praise and earned the Stanley Kramer Award from the Producers Guild of America, as well as NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Washington. Also in 2002, Washington earned an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his role as a down-on-his-luck father in "John Q," which established a Presidents Day weekend opening record.
In 2000 he starred in Jerry Bruckheimer's box office sensation "Remember the Titans," a fact-based film about the integration of a high school football team, and in "The Hurricane," which re-teamed him with "A Soldier's Story" director Norman Jewison. Washington received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and an Academy Award® nomination for his portrayal of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the 1960s world middleweight champion boxer wrongfully imprisoned of murder.
Washington's feature film credits include "The Bone Collector"; Gregory Hoblit's crime thriller "Fallen"; Spike Lee's "He Got Game"; the terrorist thriller "The Siege" and the critically acclaimed military drama "Courage Under Fire" for director Ed Zwick; Penny Marshall's romantic comedy "The Preacher's Wife," opposite Whitney Houston; Tony Scott's underwater action adventure "Crimson Tide," with Gene Hackman; the futuristic thriller "Virtuosity"; and the 1940s romantic thriller "Devil in a Blue Dress," co-produced by the actor's Mundy Lane Entertainment. Another critically acclaimed, Oscar® -nominated performance was his portrayal of the complex and controversial 1960s black activist Malcolm X in director Spike Lee's biographical epic "Malcolm X," hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of the best films of 1992.
Washington took on a different role in 2000, producing the HBO documentary "Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks," nominated for two Emmy Awards. He also served as executive producer on the Emmy-nominated "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream," a biography for TBS. Additionally, he narrated "John Henry," which was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, and he was awarded the 1996 NAACP Image Award for his performance in the animated children's special "Happily Ever After: Rumpelstiltskin."
A native of Mt. Vernon, New York, Washington originally had his career sights set on medicine at Fordham University when a theatrical production during a summer camp counseling job introduced him to the stage. Upon graduation from Fordham, Washington attended the theater program at San Francisco's prestigious American Conservatory Theater and began his professional New York theater career with Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park. This was quickly followed by numerous off-Broadway productions including "Ceremonies in Dark Old Men"; "When the Chickens Came Home to Roost," in which he portrayed Malcolm X"; "One Tiger to a Hill"; "Man and Superman"; "Othello"; and "A Soldier's Play," for which he won an Obie Award. Washington's more recent stage appearances include the Broadway production of "Checkmates" and "Richard III," which was produced as part of the 1990 Free Shakespeare in the Park series hosted by Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York City, and in 2005 he returned again to his theatre roots with a Broadway starring role as Marcus Brutus in "Julius Caesar." The show was well-received by critics and fans alike.
He made his Hollywood debut in the 1979 television film "Flesh and Blood," but it was Washington's award-winning stage performance in "A Soldier's Play" that captured the attention of the producers of the NBC series "St. Elsewhere," and he was soon cast in that long-running hit series as Dr. Phillip Chandler. His other television credits include "The George McKenna Story," "License to Kill," and "Wilma."
In 1982, Washington recreated his role from "A Soldier's Play" for Norman Jewison's well-received film version, re-titled "A Soldier's Story," and went on to star in Sidney Lumet's "Power"; Richard Attenborough's "Cry Freedom," for which he received his first Oscar® nomination; "For Queen and Country"; "The Mighty Quinn"; "Heart Condition"; "Glory," for which he won the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor; and Spike Lee's "Mo' Better Blues." He also starred in the action adventure "Ricochet," Mira Nair's bittersweet comedy "Mississippi Masala," Kenneth Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing," Jonathan Demme's controversial "Philadelphia," and "The Pelican Brief."
Photo: GARY OLDMAN as Carnegie in Alcon Entertainment's action adventure film "The Book of Eli," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by David Lee
GARY OLDMAN (Carnegie) is known to millions as Harry Potter's godfather Sirius Black and Batman's crime-fighting partner Commissioner Gordon, as well as Dracula, Beethoven, Lee Harvey Oswald and Sid Vicious, to name just a few of the memorable roles he has created in nearly 20 years as a worldwide presence in motion pictures.
Oldman reprised the role of Commissioner Gordon in 2008's top-grossing film "The Dark Knight," having first portrayed Gordon in "Batman Begins." In 2007 he appeared for the third time as Sirius Black in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," following "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." He most recently starred with Jim Carrey in Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of Charles Dickens' holiday classic "A Christmas Carol."
Oldman began his career in 1979 on the London stage. Between 1985 and 1989 he acted exclusively at London's Royal Court Theatre and, in 1985, was named Best Newcomer by London's Time Out for his work in "The Pope's Wedding." That same year he shared the London Critics' Circle Best Actor Award with Anthony Hopkins.
In 1986, Oldman made his major feature film debut in "Sid & Nancy," winning the Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer for his portrayal of punk rock legend Sid Vicious. The following year, he starred in Stephen Frears' "Prick Up Your Ears," winning the Best Actor Award from the London Film Critics Circle for his portrayal of doomed British playwright Joe Orton. He has since become one of the industry's most respected actors, appearing in both mainstream hits and acclaimed independent films. Oldman's early film credits also include Nicolas Roeg's "Track 29"; "Criminal Law"; "Chattahoochee"; Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead," for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor; "State of Grace"; "Henry & June"; Oliver Stone's "JFK," playing Lee Harvey Oswald; and the title role in Francis Ford Coppola's "Dracula."
Oldman's subsequent film work includes memorable roles in Tony Scott's "True Romance"; "Romeo is Bleeding"; the Luc Besson films "The Professional" and "The Fifth Element"; "Immortal Beloved"; "Murder in the First"; Roland Joffe's "The Scarlet Letter"; Julian Schnabel's "Basquiat"; Wolfgang Petersen's "Air Force One"; the big screen version of "Lost in Space"; and Ridley Scott's "Hannibal."
In 1995, Oldman and manager/producing partner Douglas Urbanski formed the production company The SE8 Group, which produced Oldman's directorial debut feature "Nil by Mouth," which Oldman also wrote. The film was invited to open the 1997 50th Cannes Film Festival in the main competition, where Kathy Burke won the Best Actress Award for her role. In addition, Oldman won two BAFTA Awards for Best British Film and Best Screenplay; the Channel 4 Director's Award at the 1997 Edinburgh International Film Festival; and the Empire Award for Best Debut Film. He also executive produced and starred in the SE8 Group film "The Contender," which received two Oscar® nominations and brought Oldman a Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
On the small screen, Oldman earned an Emmy nomination for his guest appearance as an alcoholic actor on the hit comedy series "Friends." His earlier television work includes the telefilms "Meantime," directed by Mike Leigh, and "The Firm," directed by Alan Clarke.
MILA KUNIS (Solara) most recently starred in the Mike Judge comedy "Extract," opposite Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. In 2008 she starred in Judd Apatow's hit comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" as Rachel, opposite Jason Segel, Kirsten Bell, and Jonah Hill, and in the action thriller "Max Payne," with Mark Wahlberg.
Kunis will next be seen in the upcoming feature comedy "Date Night," with Ray Liotta, Mark Ruffalo, Tina Fey, and Steve Carell as one of the characters Fey and Carell encounter as a couple on a date gone awry. She will also star in Darren Aronofsky's supernatural drama "Black Swan," opposite Natalie Portman, as the rival character Lilly. Both films are set for a 2010 release.
The Russian-born actress started her entertainment career by landing several television commercials. She is best known for her roles on two of the Fox Network's most successful shows: as Jackie Burkhart in "That 70's Show," for which she earned two YoungStar Awards for Best Actress in a Television Series, and as the voice of Meg on the hit show "Family Guy."
RAY STEVENSON (Redridge) is perhaps best known for his starring role in the HBO/BBC television series "Rome," portraying the legionary Titus Pullo to both critical and public acclaim. Since the series wrapped, he has been working non-stop in a wide variety of feature films.
Stevenson most recently starred in the fantasy thriller "Cirque de Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," directed by Paul Weitz and based on the best-selling children's series by Darren Shan. In 2008, he was seen as the lead in "Punisher: War Zone," about the Marvel comics anti-hero Frank Castle and his quest to rid the world of evil after the death of his wife and daughter.
He will next be seen in director Jonathan Hensleigh's "The Irishman," as the title character in a true crime story of notorious mobster Danny Greene, with Christopher Walken, Vincent D'Onofrio and Val Kilmer, set for 2010. Hensleigh & Jeremy Walters wrote the screenplay based on the book To Kill the Irishman: The War That Crippled the Mafia, by Rick Porello. Also set for 2010 is Adam McKay's action comedy "The Other Guys," set in the world of the New York City cops, in which Stevenson stars with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Among his upcoming projects, Stevenson will play Volstagg, one of the leads in Marvel Comics' "Thor," inspired by the Shakespeare's Falstaff and described as being over 1,000 pounds of muscle and the life of the party. This will reunite him with director Kenneth Branagh, who acted opposite him in "Theory of Flight" for director Paul Greengrass.
Stevenson's film work includes Antoine Fuqua's "King Arthur," for producer Jerry Bruckheimer; the cult favorite "Outpost," for director Steven Barker; "The Return of the Native," opposite Catherine Zeta Jones; and "Some Kind of Life."
His stage work includes playing Christ in the York Mystery Plays in 2000 at York Minster. In 2001, he played Roger in "Mouth to Mouth," by Kevin Ely, at the Albery Theatre in London, and, in 2003, appeared as Cardinal in "The Duchess of Malfi," by John Webster with Janet McTeer, at the Royal National Theatre.
Born in Northern Ireland, Stevenson grew up in England. He studied acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
JENNIFER BEALS (Claudia) most recently appeared in the French film "Joueuse," which made its American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Beals was twice nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series by the NAACP Image Awards for her role in the acclaimed Showtime series "The L Word," which wrapped its sixth and final season in 2009. Her work on "The L Word" has earned numerous accolades and appreciation from groups including the Power Up Award, the GLAAD Golden Gate Award and the Golden Satellite Award for Outstanding Actress. The L Word Book, Beals' highly anticipated photographic journal, takes an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the groundbreaking Showtime series and is set for release in January 2010. More information is available at www.lwordbook.com.
Beals recently joined the cast of the Fox Network series "Lie to Me," in a recurring role as the ex-wife of series lead Tim Roth.
Among her most memorable roles, Beals starred opposite Campbell Scott in the critically acclaimed film "Roger Dodger," winner of the 2002 Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival and Best First Film at the Venice Film Festival. She earned rave reviews for her role in VH-1's "They Shoot Divas, Don't They?" and was seen in the acclaimed "The Anniversary Party," written and directed by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cummings. In 2001, Beals starred in two Showtime features: the adaptation of Anne Rice's praised "A Feast of All Saints" and the WGA-nominated "A House Divided," in which she starred opposite Sam Waterston and Lisa Gay Hamilton and earned a Golden Satellite nomination as Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries. For her extensive research for the film in Sparta, Georgia, where the story is based, she received an honorary Key to the City.
Originally from Chicago, Beals began her career after high school with a role in "Flashdance" that earned her a Golden Globe nomination and an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress. She then entered Yale University to study American Literature and graduated with honors. Beals went on to make an indelible impression in Carl Franklin's drama "Devil in a Blue Dress," opposite Denzel Washington, and in Alan Rudolph's "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle."
In recent years, she has starred in a myriad of film roles, including the lead in "Twilight of the Golds," for which she earned a Golden Satellite Award. Her film credits include "The Grudge 2"; "My Name is Sarah"; "Runaway Jim"; "Catch That Kid"; Whit Stillman's "The Last Days of Disco"; Alexandre Rockwell's "In the Soup," which won the 1992 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at Deauville; "Four Rooms"; "Vampire's Kiss," with Nicolas Cage; Claude Chabrol's "Doctor M"; Nanni Moretti's "Caro Diario," which won the Director's Prize at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival; and Samuel Fuller's "The Madonna and the Dragon." On the small screen, she has appeared in the critically acclaimed ABC series "Nothing Sacred."
Beals is a winner of the 1999 Maverick Award from the San Jose Film Festival and, in 2004, was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.
FRANCES DE LA TOUR (Martha) won a Tony Award for her performance as Mrs. Lintott in Alan Bennett's multi award-winning play "The History Boys," directed by Nicholas Hytner, and was also nominated for a BAFTA in the 2006 screen version of the stage play. She has earned three Olivier Awards: in 1980 for Best Actress in Tom Kempinski's "Duet for One," for which she also won the Evening Standard Best Actress Award; in 1984 for Best Actress in a Revival for "A Moon for the Misbegotten"; and in 1992 for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for "When She Danced."
De la Tour trained at the Drama Centre in London in the 1960s before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company. Through 1971, her work there included the roles of Hoyden in "The Relapse" and Helena in Peter Brook's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." For the National Theatre, her credits include "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "Les Parents Terribles," the title role in "St Joan" and "The Good Hope." Her additional theater work includes Matthew Warchus's "Boeing-Boeing," Tennessee Williams' "Small Craft Warnings," "Hamlet," Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women," "Anthony and Cleopatra" for the RSC and Noel Coward's "Fallen Angels," for which she received a Variety Club Best Actress Award. De la Tour can currently be seen on stage at the National in the limited engagement world premiere of "The Habit of Art," which reunites her with playwright Alan Bennett and director Nicholas Hytner and also stars Michael Gambon.
De la Tour's filmography includes the comedy "Rising Damp," based on the popular television series, for which she won the Evening Standard's Best Actress Award. She more recently appeared as Madame Olympe Maxime in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and as Frau Eva in Andrei Konchalovsky's fantasy "Nutcracker: The Untold Story." She will next be seen alongside an all-star cast including Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," set for a 2010 release.
Her television appearances include the 1970s sitcom "Rising Damp," "Duet for One," for which she received a BAFTA Best Actress nomination, the BBC's "Waking the Dead," "Poirot: Death on the Nile," "Miss Marple: The Moving Finger," BBC's "Sensitive Skin" and, most recently, the CBS-TV series "3 lbs."
MICHAEL GAMBON (George) started his career with the Edwards/ Macliammoir Gate Theatre in Dublin. He joined the National Theatre for its inaugural season under Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic in 1963 and appeared there in "Hamlet," "Saint Joan," "The Recruiting Officer," "Andorra," "Philoctetes," "Othello," "The Royal Hunt of the Sun," "The Crucible," "Mother Courage," "Love for Love," "Juno and the Paycock" and "The Storm."
In repertory, principally at Birmingham Rep, Gambon played title roles in "Othello," "Macbeth" and "Coriolanus."
In the West End, he has appeared in Simon Gray's "Otherwise Engaged"; Alan Ayckbourn's "The Norman Conquest"; "Just Between Ourselves"; "Alice's Boys," with Ralph Richardson; Harold Pinter's "Old Times; the title role in "Uncle Vanya"; "Tom and Clem" and "No Man's Land."
With the Royal Shakespeare Company, he spent a season at the Aldwych and later played the title part in "King Lear" and Antony in "Antony and Cleopatra," opposite Helen Mirren, both at Stratford and the Barbican.
For the National Theatre, Gambon has appeared in the premieres of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal," Simon Gray's "Close of Play," Christopher Hampton's "Tales From Hollywood," Alan Ayckbourn's "Sisterly Feelings," and "A Chorus of Disapproval," for which he won an Olivier Award, as well as "A Small Family Business," "Richard III," "Othello," "Tons of Money," the title role in "The Life of Galileo," "Volpone" and "Skylight." He recreated his starring role in the latter on Broadway in 1996 for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Also for the National Theatre, Gambon played Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge," which transferred to the Aldwych Theatre and for which he won all the major drama awards of 1987.
He was in Harold Pinter's "Mountain Language," "Cressida," at the Almeida, and Pinter's "The Caretaker," for which he earned an Olivier Award nomination. Gambon also directed the Platford Performance of Richard Harris' "Visiting Hour."
His television appearances include the BBC's first adventure series in color, "The Borderers," "Eyeless in Gaza," the series "The Other One," with Richard Briers, "The Seagull," "The Holy Experiment," Oscar," "Ghosts" and the Dennis Potter series "The Singing Detective," for which he won a BAFTA Award, a Broadcasting Press Guild Award and a Royal Television Society Award. He also starred in "The Heat of the Day," scripted by Harold Pinter from Elizabeth Bowen's novel, and was Archie Rice in John Osborne's "The Entertainer." More recently, he portrayed Lyndon Johnson in the HBO film "Path to War" and starred in HBO's "Angels in America," directed by Mike Nichols.
Gambon's film credits include "Turtle Diary," David Hare's "Paris By Night," "A Dry White Season," with Marlon Brando, "The Rachel Papers," Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover," "The Gambler," "Mobsters," "Clean Slate," "Toys," "Indian Warrior," "Wings of the Dove," "The Innocent Sleep," "Dancing at Lughnasa," "Sleepy Hollow," "The Insider," "Gosford Park," Open Range" and four of the Harry Potter films: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and 2009's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
In 1998, Gambon was awarded a KBE in the Queen's Honour List.
© 2010 Film Entertainment Magazine / EMOL.org. All rights reserved.
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