Film: "The Spiderwick Chronicles”

Official Movie Production Notes

THE SPIDERWICK Chronicles Cast

Fifteen-year-old FREDDIE HIGHMORE (SIMON/JARED) has worked with some of the industry’s most celebrated directors and has amassed an enviable body of work in his short but illustrious career.

Most recently, Highmore was seen in the title role in Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” opposite Johnny Depp. The film was his second with Depp, previously teaming in Marc Forster’s highly acclaimed “Finding Neverland,” co-starring Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman and Julie Christie. The Oscar®-nominated film was revered worldwide and Highmore not only swept the board for young performers’ awards, but was also double-nominated for SAG Awards and, in the UK, won the Empire Award for Best Newcomer.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” saw Highmore gain the distinction of being voted Best Young Actor by the Broadcast Film Critics for the second year in a row and also reunited him with Helena Bonham Carter as his screen mother, a role she first performed many years previously in “Women Talking Dirty.”

In 2005, Highmore filmed Ridley Scott’s “A Good Year” opposite Russell Crowe, Albert Finney and Marion Cotillard. The same year, he also starred in Luc Besson’s “Arthur and the Invisibles” with Mia Farrow, also filmed in France.

Last year, Highmore took on the title role in his first American picture, shooting “August Rush” in New York with Robin Williams, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell and Terrence Howard.

Previously, Highmore filmed Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Two Brothers” in Cambodia and appeared opposite Kenneth Branagh in “Five Children and It.”

Highmore began his acting career with performances in a number of television productions including, in the U.K., the BBC film “Happy Birthday Shakespeare” and ITV’s miniseries “I Saw You,” as well as TNT’s “The Mists of Avalon” in the U.S.

MARY-LOUISE PARKER (HELEN) is a two-time Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award winner and three-time Tony, two-time Emmy and SAG nominee, with a diverse career in movies, television and on stage.

Parker is currently in production on Season 3 of Showtime's critically-acclaimed hit comedy “Weeds,” from Emmy-winning writer-producer Jenji Kohan. The show centers on a suburban mom (Parker) who turns to selling pot to make a living after her husband dies unexpectedly. Season three began in August 2007.

In film, Parker will next be seen in “Romance & Cigarettes,” written and directed by John Turturro and produced by the Coen brothers. She stars opposite James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet and Mandy Moore. The film premiered at the 2005 Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.

Parker most recently starred on stage at The Biltmore Theater in the Broadway revival of Craig Lucas' “Reckless,” the bittersweet comedy which follows Rachel (Parker) through a bizarre, fantastic and sometimes nightmarish journey as she travels across the country, finding “home” with a succession of intimate strangers. Parker starred opposite Rosie Perez and Debra Monk. The play was co-produced by Second Stage and The Manhattan Theatre Club and directed by Mark Brokaw. Parker received a 2005 Tony nomination for her performance as well as a 2005 Drama League Performer of the Year nomination. The show was also nominated for Best Revival of a Play by the Drama League.

In 2001, Parker starred on Broadway in “Proof,” for which she received the 2001 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, as well as The Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, Obie and New York Magazine Awards. She also earned the 2001 T. Schreiber Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre.

For her role as Rita in the Craig Lucas/Norman René Broadway production of “Prelude to a Kiss,” Parker received a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, Theatre World Award, The Clarence Derwent Award and a Drama Desk nomination. She originated the role of L'il Bit in the critically lauded “How I Learned to Drive” alongside David Morse, for which she received an Obie Award, a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress and a Best Actress nomination from the Outer Critics Circle. Parker followed “How I Learned to Drive” with the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's play “Communicating Doors.” Previously, she appeared on Broadway as Cherie in the Broadway revival of “Bus Stop” and originated the role of Brenda in the Manhattan Theatre Club productions of “Four Dogs and a Bone” and “The Art of Success.”

Parker’s extensive work in the theater includes both the classics and new contemporary works in such productions as “Throwing Your Voice” at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, “Babylon Gardens” at Circle Repertory Company (of which she was a member), “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the Hartford Stage, “Up in Saratoga” at the Old Globe, “The Miser” at the Syracuse Stage and “Hay Fever” at the Studio Arena. She was a co-founder of the Edge Theater with Joe Mantello and Peter Hedges, where she performed in “The Age of Pie” and “The Girl in Pink,” among others.

Parker was recently seen in Brian Dannelly's dark comedy “Saved!” opposite Mandy Moore, Jena Malone, Eva Amurri and Macaulay Culkin.

Parker began in film with starring roles in “Fried Green Tomatoes” and Lawrence Kasdan's “Grand Canyon.” Other film credits include starring roles in “Reckless,” “Boys on the Side,” “The Client,” “Naked in New York,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” “The Best Thief in the World,” Norman René's highly acclaimed “Longtime Companion,” “Pipe Dream” and “Red Dragon.” She also starred in “The Five Senses,” for which she was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Actress.

Parker recently starred as Harper Pitt alongside Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson in the Mike Nichols production of the highly acclaimed “Angels in America” for HBO. She received a 2003 Golden Globe Award, 2003 Screen Actors Guild nomination and a 2003-2004 Emmy Award for her performance. Parker was also recently in the Oxygen Channel original film “Robber Bride.” Produced by Working Title Television & Shaftesbury Films and based on Margaret Atwood's book of the same name, the made-for-television movie tells the story of three women who have each been robbed of both men and money by a glamorous woman, Zenia (Parker). She also recently starred in the Lifetime Original Movie “Miracle Run,” a triumphant drama inspired by a true story of a single mother's devoted love and perseverance against heartbreaking odds in fighting for her autistic twin sons’ chances for an education in a society that expected them to fail. Parker also starred in the CBS telepic “Vinegar Hill,” based on the Oprah Book Club selection. Parker plays a schoolteacher who is forced to move with her unemployed husband to his parents' home in Chicago. Once there, she discovers his family harbors deep, dysfunctional secrets.

Parker received an Emmy nomination for her role as Amy Gardner on NBC's “The West Wing.” She starred for HBO in John Smith's “Sugartime,” opposite John Turturro, and in the Hallmark Hall of Fame telefilms “A Place for Annie,” “Saint Maybe” and “Cupid and Cate.” She also starred in “The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn” opposite Sidney Poitier.

Parker is currently a contributing writer to Esquire magazine. She recently won the Robert Brustein Award for Excellence in Theater and the Philadelphia Film Festival Award for Career Achievement. Her personal and professional belongings, along with career memorabilia, are archived at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University, where she was recently the youngest person inducted.
Parker currently lives in New York City.

NICK NOLTE (MULGARATH) has, in recent years, successfully added to his credits with performances in top contending films such as director Paul Schrader’s “Affliction,” for which he received Academy Award®, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Actor; Oliver Stone’s “U Turn” co-starring Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez; “Afterglow” produced by Robert Altman; “Jefferson in Paris,” in which he portrayed Thomas Jefferson; Martin Scorsese’s thriller remake “Cape Fear”; and “The Prince of Tides,” in which he starred opposite Barbra Streisand and received an Oscar® nomination for Best Actor and won the Golden Globe as Best Actor from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Nolte was most recently seen in several independent films, including the French ensemble “Paris, je t'aime,” “The Peaceful Warrior” and the critically acclaimed “Hotel Rwanda.” He was also heard in DreamWorks' animated “Over the Hedge” as the voice of Vincent the Bear. He recently wrapped production on the comedy “Tropic Thunder,” directed by Ben Stiller. He starred opposite Julia Roberts in “I Love Trouble” and as a basketball coach in “Blue Chips,” for director William Friedkin. Additionally, Nolte starred in “I’ll Do Anything” for writer-director James L. Brooks, and in the critically acclaimed “Lorenzo’s Oil,” co-starring Susan Sarandon.

Nolte, an Omaha, Nebraska, native, played college football before he discovered theater and began his acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse. He then studied briefly with Bryan O’Byrne at Stella Adler’s Academy in Los Angeles, after which he traveled for several years performing in regional theater.

Landing a breakthrough role in the legendary television series “Rich Man, Poor Man” marked the beginning for Nolte, launching him into international fame. Following its success, he made his feature film debut starring in “The Deep” opposite Jacqueline Bisset. Nolte has never looked back.

Diversity of character became Nolte’s signature in his early film career, with roles as a drug-smuggling Vietnam veteran in “Who’ll Stop the Rain”; a disillusioned football star in “North Dallas Forty,” which he developed with author Peter Gent; free-spirited beat-era writer Neal Cassady in “Heart Beat”; and a reclusive marine biologist in “Cannery Row.”

Nolte continued to challenge himself with such character roles as the vagrant in “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” a tough cop in “48 Hrs.,” an American photojournalist in “Under Fire” and a determined lawman in “Extreme Prejudice.” He created another unique character in “Weeds”: an ex-con turned playwright.

Other Nolte film credits have included “Three Fugitives,” “Farewell to the King,” Scorsese’s segment of “New York Stories,” Karel Reisz’ “Everybody Wins” and Sidney Lumet’s “Q & A.”

JOAN PLOWRIGHT (AUNT LUCINDA) was born in Lincolnshire and educated at Scunthorpe Grammar School, followed by the Laban Art of Movement Studio and the Old Vic Theatre School.

Her early London appearances included Orson Welles’ production of “Moby Dick.” She joined the English Stage Company at the Royal Court in 1956 and appeared in her first starring role as Wycherley’s “The Country Wife.” A variety of roles followed in plays by Shaw, Brecht, Arthur Miller and, most notably, Arnold Wesker (“Roots”) and John Osborne (“The Entertainer”). She married Laurence Olivier in 1961.

Plowright acted in the opening seasons of the Chichester Festival Theatre, and joined the National Theatre Company where she played many leading roles. Her performance as Shaw’s “Saint Joan” earned her the Evening Standard Best Actress Award. West End appearances brought other awards and, on Broadway, she received the New York Critics Award and the Tony Award for Best Actress in “A Taste of Honey.” In the West End, Plowright starred in two productions directed by Zeffirelli, “Saturday, Sunday, Monday” and “Filumena” (which transferred to Broadway). She worked with Lindsay Anderson on “The Seagull,” “The Bed Before Yesterday” and “The Cherry Orchard.” Her latest stage production was again with Zeffirelli, “Absolutely! (perhaps).”

Plowright has also appeared in numerous television plays and films and is a firm favorite with younger viewers in “Dennis the Menace” (with Walter Matthau), “101 Dalmations” and “Return to the Secret Garden.” She also voiced characters in “Dinosaurs” and “George and the Dragon.”

Plowright was nominated for an Oscar® for “Enchanted April,” and she won Golden Globes for both that film and “Stalin.” Her other films include “Equus” (directed by Sydney Lumet), “Tea with Mussolini” and “Jane Eyre” (again with Zeffirelli), “I Love You to Death,” “Avalon,” “Drowning by Numbers” (directed by Peter Greenaway) and, most recently, “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.”

DAVID STRATHAIRN (ARTHUR SPIDERWICK) won the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival and earned nominations for the Academy Award®, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA Award and Independent Spirit Award for his compelling portrait of legendary CBS news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow in George Clooney’s 2005 Oscar-nominated drama “Good Night, and Good Luck.” He was most recently seen in “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

His 2005 Independent Spirit Award nomination was the fourth in a stellar career that dates back to his 1980 motion picture debut in John Sayles’ first film, “The Return of the Secaucus Seven.” Strathairn subsequently collaborated with Sayles on seven titles, winning the IFP honor for his supporting performance in “City of Hope,” while collecting two additional nominations for “Passion Fish” and “Limbo.”

Strathairn’s early screen efforts included supporting roles in Mike Nichols’ “Silkwood,” Fred Schepisi’s “Iceman,” James Foley’s “At Close Range” and Robert M. Young’s “Dominick and Eugene,” as well as Sayles’ acclaimed dramas “Matewan” and “Eight Men Out” and his 1984 satire “The Brother from Another Planet.”

Turning the decade, Strathairn continued a busy screen career with co-starring roles in several critically acclaimed films, including Tim Robbins’ directorial debut, “Bob Roberts”; Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own”; “Losing Isaiah”; Sydney Pollack’s “The Firm”; “Sneakers”; Taylor Hackford’s film “Dolores Claiborne” - an adaptation of the Stephen King novel; and Jodie Foster’s “Home for the Holidays,” as well as two projects with Curtis Hanson, “The River Wild” and the Oscar®-winning “L.A. Confidential,” in which Strathairn shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with the all-star ensemble cast. His additional movie credits include “Memphis Belle,” “A Map of the World,” “Simon Birch,” “Lost in Yonkers,” “Missing in America,” Michael Hoffman’s film version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Philip Kaufman’s “Twisted” and “The Notorious Bettie Page.”

Strathairn has also maintained a high profile in the theatrical world, with roles at such venues as the Manhattan Theatre Club, the New York Shakespeare Festival, SoHo Rep, the Hartford Stage Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Seattle Repertory.

SETH ROGEN (HOGSQUEAL) had a memorable year in 2007, starring in two of the summer’s most critically acclaimed comedies, “Knocked Up” and “Superbad.” Rogen re-teamed with longtime collaborator Judd Apatow to star in “Knocked Up” for Universal Pictures; it has, to date, grossed over $165 million worldwide. Rogen donned a multiple role as co-writer/executive producer and co-star of the hit comedy “Superbad” for Columbia Pictures. The film opened #1 at the U.S. box office and broke records in its wake, opening to a record $33 million. It starred Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Bill Hader.

Rogen’s other film credits include “You, Me and Dupree,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which he also produced, “Donnie Darko,” “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and “Shrek the Third.”

Rogen co-wrote, with Kris Brown, “Drillbit Taylor,” which Paramount will release in March 2008. The comedy stars Owen Wilson. Rogen recently completed production on the action-comedy “The Pineapple Express,” which he co-wrote with his writing partner Evan Goldberg for Columbia Pictures, and in which he stars. In addition, Rogen and Goldberg will write and produce “The Green Hornet” for Neal Moritz at Columbia, with Rogen also attached to star in the title role of the classic comic book hero.

Rogen lends his voice to characters in the upcoming “Kung Fu Panda” for DreamWorks Animation and “Horton Hears a Who!” for 20th Century Fox Animation.

Rogen’s television credits include “Undeclared” and “Freaks and Geeks.” Rogen and Goldberg wrote for the popular “Da Ali G Show,” and Rogen also wrote for “Undeclared,” a Judd Apatow-produced show.

Rogen began his career in stand-up comedy at the age of 13 in Vancouver, Canada.

MARTIN SHORT (THIMBLETACK) was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and he began his career on Canada's “SCTV Comedy Network,” where his work garnered three Emmy Awards. Short's proven ability as a comedic chameleon and his host of hilarious impressions brought him to the attention of “Saturday Night Live.” After only one season, Short was instantly recognized for his standout performances and on-the-mark impressions of such characters as Ed Grimley, Jackie Rogers Jr., legendary songwriter Irving Cohen and lawyer Nathan Thurm. With the tremendous exposure he gained on “Saturday Night Live,” he was on the Hollywood fast track and quickly crossed over into feature film work.

Short made his big screen debut in “Three Amigos,” where he worked alongside former “Saturday Night Live” colleagues Chevy Chase and Steve Martin. Over the years he has continued to land plum comedic roles in theatrical releases such as “Inner Space,” “Three Fugitives,” “Clifford,” Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!,” “Jungle 2 Jungle” and “The Big Picture,” among others. Perhaps his most memorable role was that of the scene-stealing Franck the wedding planner in “Father of the Bride.” He later reprised the hilarious portrayal for “Father of the Bride Part II.”

Not limiting himself to acting, Short has also written, produced and starred in three highly acclaimed comedy specials for television. For these efforts, which included “Martin Short's Concert for the North Americas,” for Showtime, “I Martin Short, Goes Hollywood” for NBC and “The Show Formerly Known as the Martin Short Show” for NBC, he won two Cable Ace Awards and an Emmy Award, respectively. Short's work in television also includes his co-starring, Emmy-nominated role in the NBC miniseries “Merlin,” one of the highest-rated programs in the network's history. Following that, he co-starred in the critically acclaimed “Alice in Wonderland” for NBC, as the Mad Hatter.

A veteran of the theater in Canada and on Broadway, Short has received accolades for his varied work on the stage, earning a Tony Award nomination, a Theatre World Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for the 1993 Broadway production of “The Goodbye Girl.” In 1999, Martin won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his work in the Broadway production of Neil Simon & Cy Coleman’s “Little Me.”

In fall 1999, Short brought his comedic and musical talents, versatility and improvisational genius to the television medium when he hosted King World’s daily one-hour talk/variety entertainment program, “The Martin Short Show.” The program garnered seven Emmy nominations, two of which were for “Best Show” and “Best Host.”

In 2001, Short created and starred in “Primetime Glick” for Comedy Central. Jiminy Glick was a fictitious character, a ‘Hollywood legend and celebrity interviewer’ he derived from “The Martin Short Show.” In its third and final season, the show garnered an Emmy nomination for Best Performer in a Musical, Comedy or Variety Show.

In 2003, Short starred in Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” with Jason Alexander at The Pantages Theater.
In 2005, Short starred in the film “Jiminy Glick in La La Wood,” which he also wrote.

In August 2006, Short opened on Broadway in his critically acclaimed musical-comedy “Fame Becomes Me.”

Short's incredible career has been recognized by the public and critics alike, and by his Canadian homeland. In 1994, Short was awarded the “Order of Canada” (the Canadian equivalent to British Knighthood) for his contribution to Canadian culture, and he was inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame in June 2000.

SARAH BOLGER (MALLORY) was born in 1991 in Dublin, Ireland, and is already a veteran of the acting profession. Bolger won a place at the Young Peoples Theatre Co. at just five years of age. Less than a year later, she was chosen to star alongside some of Ireland’s leading actors in the poignant real-life story “A Love Divided,” directed by Sid McCartney. Thereafter followed the role of Helena in the movie “A Secret Affair,” based on the Barbara Taylor Bradford novel.

It was in 2001, when selected by Oscar®-nominated director Jim Sheridan to star alongside her real-life sister Emma Bolger in the major motion picture “In America,” that Sarah came to worldwide critical acclaim. Her portrayal of Christy, a young girl holding her emotionally drained family together, won a ten-year-old Bolger rave reviews around the world, and brought with it nominations for “Best Newcomer” at the Independent Spirit Awards and “Best Cast Ensemble” at the Screen Actors Guild, along with many other nominations for best actress and best newcomer in various award ceremonies around the world.

Bolger has had roles in many acclaimed television dramas, such as “The Clinic” (RTE 2005) and the controversial drama “Stardust,” nominated for the acclaimed Prix Europa Television Awards.

Recently, Bolger starred alongside Andie McDowell in the motion picture “Tara Road” for director Gillies MacKinnon and, in 2006, she was seen in “Stormbreaker” starring alongside Mickey Rourke and Bill Nighy in the role of the sassy vixen Sabina Pleasure. She is currently playing Princess Mary in the second season of the Showtime production “The Tudors,” which will be broadcast on the BBC later this year.

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The Spiderwick Chronicles (Boxed Set): The Field Guide; The Seeing Stone; Lucinda's Secret; The Ironwood Tree; The Wrath of Mulgrath

Author: Holly Black, Tony DiTerlizzi

It all started with a mysterious letter left at a tiny bookstore for authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Its closing lines: "We just want people to know about this. The stuff that has happened to us could happen to anyone." Little could they imagine the remarkable adventure that awaited them as they followed Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace and a strange old book into a world filled with elves, goblins, dwarves, trolls, and a fantastical menagerie of other creatures. The oddest part is in entering that world, they didn't leave this one!
Five captivating books! One thrilling adventure!
• Reading level: Ages 9-12
• Hardcover: 672 pages
• Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (September 21, 2004)
• Language: English

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