Maria Elena Fernandez wrote:When Netflix and creator Peter Morgan approached veteran stage, film, and TV actor John Lithgow about taking on Sir Winston Churchill for their new series, The Crown, out today on Netflix, Lithgow says he felt nothing but “sheer terror.” But the story of how Queen Elizabeth II unexpectedly came to power at 25, soon after Churchill was elected prime minister for the second time at 78, proved irresistible to the actor, who’s often come close to being an EGOT winner.
“You don’t say no to something like this, even though you’re terrified,” Lithgow told Vulture. “The prospect of being an American playing the ultimate Englishman was very intimidating to me, especially when you consider all of the theater and film actors available in England.”
But playing Churchill in his later years as a non-British actor “shakes people of that mental image we all have of him,” Lithgow said. “What people mostly know about Churchill is that famous figure from history — his speeches. It’s fascinating to look behind that, and it’s the reason I ignored the terror and went for it.”
At a Television Critics Association panel in July, Morgan (Frost/Nixon, Rush, The Queen) credited casting director Nina Gold with the “startling and imaginative” suggestion to hire Lithgow. The producers immediately loved the idea “because it stopped us having one of our own lovies phone it in. It gave us dividends and benefits from minute one. The very first table read, everyone was like, Oh, my God! It was such a relief and a blessing.”
Ahead of The Crown’s premiere, Lithgow spoke with Vulture about his physical transformation, why he’s usually a “lazy” actor, and working for Netflix.
The Crown’s John Lithgow Remembers Making Fun of the Golden Globes. . .at the Golden Globes
Lithgow received his fifth nomination Monday morning, for playing Winston Churchill on Netflix’s The Crown.
Gary Oldman's Winston Churchill From 'Darkest Hour' Wows CinemaCon
Rebecca Ford wrote:At a lunch for Focus Features at CinemaCon on Wednesday, Gary Oldman took the stage to introduce Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour. He told the audience that he spent hundreds of hours in the makeup chair, and in the footage the audience was shown, he's unrecognizable, taking on the shape and voice of the iconic Winston Churchill.
"Once I started to find out who the man was, I never enjoyed something so much in my life," said Oldman of playing Churchill in the film. The story takes place over five weeks in 1915, the first weeks of Churchill's time as Prime Minister. In the trailer, he's seen giving the "victory at all costs" speech.
"I know you're going to hate when I say this, but that has Oscar written all over it," the event's host told Oldman.
Focus' lunch at CinemaCon, celebrating the company’s 15th anniversary, had an emphasis on seeing movies in theaters, with the topic coming up more than once.
"You should see all movies in a theater," said director Colin Trevorrow, who was at the presentation at CinemaCon to introduce the first trailer for his film The Book of Henry. "Don't get cocky, home video."