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26 July 2013 @ 08:01 pm
Meme (About Actors!)  
Taken from somewhere on Tumblr:

Pick an actor or actress you like and answer these questions. All questions are in reference to their work, not personal life.

I went with Ben Whishaw.


What works of theirs have you seen?
Criminal Justice
Brideshead Revisited
Perfume
Bright Star
Enduring Love
Layer Cake
Love/Hate (short film)
The Tempest
The Hollow Crown: Richard II
Cloud Atlas
Skyfall


Their best work?
I personally think it's Bright Star. Director Jane Campion's depiction of poet John Keats as sensitive, clever, a little emotionally overwrought, passionate, and not exactly physically robust felt like a role tailor-made for Whishaw. I can see why some people got bored during this film as it is slow going at times, but I really got swept into the love story of Keats and Fanny Brawne. Never has letter writing seemed so sexy and glorious. The film itself is beautifully shot and really makes the most of the landscape as well as its time setting of when two people who aren't really allowed to demonstrate their love in public can do so through more secretive means. I've seen a handful of Whishaw's work now and as much as I like him, I never found him attractive in a romantic way. Except in this film. I don't know if it's a combination of the acting, poetry reciting or what but I genuinely found him all levels of attractive as Keats. I completely understood why Fanny Brawne was head-over-heels, heart-ripped-from-chest, Bella-Swan-level-of-obsessed in love with him.

Their worst work?
I firmly hated The Tempest. I adore the play and it's not to say that anyone's acting in it was bad, including Whishaw's. But I find Julie Taymor to be extremely overrated and pretentious. And the look of this film with the massive amounts of CGI (most of them involving Whishaw's Ariel) looked awful and tacky rather than lush which is what I think Taymor was going for. Based on some behind the scenes stuff, I got the feeling that Whishaw spent most of the filming in a green screen studio by himself, interacting maybe once or twice with Helen Mirren. The result is that his acting was, in the words of Douglas Richardson, "Not bad. Not good, though."

Their special skill?
He's very good at evoking sympathy for the most unsympathetic of characters. Let's face it: Richard II was a narcissist, Sebastian Flyte was a spoiled drunk, Sidney was pathetic, Frobisher was a selfish user, and Grenouille was a straight up serial killer. And it wasn't like Whishaw didn't show us these things. However, he managed to convey his character's point of view well enough that to a certain extent, I could understand and feel some pity toward whatever conflict he was wrestling with.

Their weakness?
I'm not entirely sure if this is a real weakness or just a case of not being given a real opportunity, but from what I've seen he's not exactly inspiring in the action sequence department. But again perhaps he's yet to play a character who needs to get into an honest brawl. Though I also just have a hard time imaging Whishaw landing an effective punch since he looks like he's made of pipe cleaners. I saw a short snippet of him in The Hour getting into a scuffle with Burn Gorman's character and that didn't exactly fill me with confidence.

Most noticeable feature?
Physically? I tend to almost always notice his hair in just about every thing he's done. The styles change but I'm always struck by how much hair he's got cascading out of his head. One journalist described it as "Mr. Whippy Hair" and that's about as accurate as it gets.

Their upcoming work you're looking forward to?
I'm really excited about Lilting and hope it gets a US distributor. This film has several elements I love in a story: two characters making a connection despite a gap in age, two characters making a connection despite a language barrier, two character wrestling with a joint tragedy...that no doubt helps them make a connection.

I'm also looking forward to his next appearance as Q in the new James Bond film. Maybe this time he'll be in it for longer than 15 minutes since those 15 minutes made him wildly popular in Skyfall.

What role would you most like to see them in?
If they were to make a film version of The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke, I'd like to see Whishaw play the role of Finn. In the novel, Finn is described as pale, thin, dark-haired and dark-eyed. And while Whishaw meets 3 out of the 4, I feel like he more importantly could play Finn who has to ultimately fall in love with a girl he's known since she was 5, in a non-creepy way. Finn is an android who meets Cat when she's a child and goes from being her tutor to her lover when she gets older. There's a lot about this plot that struck me as a little problematic but was buffered by the fact that as an android, Finn himself was a bit child-like at the start despite his adult-looking appearance. Still, this would be a difficult role to play on screen without it tipping over into the slightly disturbing arena. Good thing Whishaw's special skill is that he excels at garnering sympathy for his characters.
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The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 27th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
I loved Bright Star as well. I loved how quiet and soft it was. The story just meandered along but without being boring. I can totally see why some people found it slow, but I just thought it was pretty.

I think Ben's hair might be sentient. It seems alive, like he doesn't do anything and it just goes where it feels it's needed.

Edited at 2013-07-27 01:55 am (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 27th, 2013 02:11 am (UTC)
I think Ben's hair might be sentient. It seems alive, like he doesn't do anything and it just goes where it feels it's needed.

Perhaps it can also do things like sense danger and spring up as a warning.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 27th, 2013 03:10 am (UTC)
I think that was Cleolinda's theory on Robert Pattinson's hair--it warns him of approaching fan girls.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 27th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC)
He's another one whose hair seems quite alive.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 27th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
This is true, though I feel like his is more from lack of washing than artistic temperament.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 27th, 2013 04:07 am (UTC)
I'm giggling at the idea that Ben Whishaw has so much artistic temperament, it's actually making his hair sway.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 27th, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
I feel a little like he's art personified, like just made up of art in a human shape. He's one of the most boheme looking men I've ever seen. He even smokes like a boho.

Of course, he is also a woodland creature, so perhaps his hair is just made of magic.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 27th, 2013 04:13 am (UTC)
Have you seen Simon Amstel's parody of Ben Whishaw on his show? He freely admits his crush on Whishaw as well as his belief that he must be some sort of otherworldy creature.

And then he saw him one day eating chocolates and the illusion was shattered.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 27th, 2013 04:15 am (UTC)
I have not!

Was he eating chocolates in a non-woodland creature way or are woodland not supposed to eat chocolates?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 27th, 2013 04:18 am (UTC)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyq4G2yWYO4

There's also a random!Innocent sighting in the snippet.

Was he eating chocolates in a non-woodland creature way or are woodland not supposed to eat chocolates?

I think it was the former. Like very obviously out of a Tescos bag sort of thing.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 27th, 2013 04:29 am (UTC)
That is lovely! Incidentally, I have the same problem not being able to hear Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hiddleston in most of their interviews. It seems a British actor trait to trail off in the middle of sentences as though you're embarrassed about being asked things.

Also, I find it weird seeing Simon Amstell now, because due to the lights on Buzzcocks, I was convinced he was a ginger for a number of years, and he isn't and I feel confused.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 27th, 2013 04:37 am (UTC)
I kept raising the volume whenever Ben Theodore spoke and then quickly lowering it when everyone else spoke at normal volume.

Also, I find it weird seeing Simon Amstell now, because due to the lights on Buzzcocks, I was convinced he was a ginger for a number of years, and he isn't and I feel confused.

Did he ever at any point dye his hair ginger? Even for one run of Buzzcocks?
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 27th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)
I think it was just the lights over the host's chair. I can't find any pics of him without brown or black hair except for pics from Buzzcocks. Maybe his hair is really reflective?

This is why I can't be a British celebrity, my hair has no magical properties.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 27th, 2013 04:50 am (UTC)
My mother and I always talk about whether or not someone has "British Man's Hair." By this we mean hair that's fluffed up and swooping, seemingly without any sort of assistance.

Compared to that it feels like we all have non-magical hair.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 27th, 2013 04:54 am (UTC)
Well, clearly you guys gave up the right to magical hair when you had your revolution, but us Canadians are still part of the commonwealth. Why must we be punished also?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 27th, 2013 04:56 am (UTC)
Perhaps it's less punishment and just one country's determination to horde all the Hair Magic.
The Writer They Call Tay: BB: Oh No!awanderingbard on July 28th, 2013 02:55 am (UTC)
Wait, does that mean if I go there, my hair might become magical? Or is it something imbued at birth?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 28th, 2013 03:06 am (UTC)
My guess is that it's a birth thing. Your mother had to have been breathing in the British weather and eating its food.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 28th, 2013 04:04 am (UTC)
It must be something in the fog and fish and chips.

In related news, I now have a mental image of Q walking around his flat with his hair all askew whenever he's not at work. Like it frees itself as soon as it knows it no longer has to be dignified.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 28th, 2013 04:12 am (UTC)
Like it frees itself as soon as it knows it no longer has to be dignified.

It barely manages dignified when it has to at work.

I need to get a copy of Skyfall and rewatch it. I have a half-built crossover fic idea but I need to see if I can actually write James Bond. I half-watched Casino Royale a long, long time ago and never watched Quantum of Solace so it dawns on me that I have no real clue how Daniel Craig plays the character.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 28th, 2013 04:25 am (UTC)
Bond is hard to write, because Craig!Bond is all facial expressions, or lack thereof. He doesn't actually use words to convey anything. Everything he says is formality or a lie, and what he really means is in his eyebrow twitch. And if you go the easier route of being inside his head so you knot what he's thinking and feeling, you have to deal with all the messed-up shit going on in there. I'm still figuring him out. Oddly, he works best with John.

Casino Royale is honestly one of my favourite movies of all time. I, unlike a lot of people, enjoyed Quantum, but I do think it's the weaker of the three. I understand that due to the writer's strike, Craig and the director were forced to write a lot of the script to get the film made when the studio wanted it. There's decent character stuff there, but it lags a little.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 28th, 2013 04:33 am (UTC)
I fell asleep during Casino Royale but this was jetlag's fault, not the film's. I just never got around to watching it again for real. I probably should since this was Mads Mikkelsen's claim to international fame before he turned up as Hannibal Lecter.

Bond is hard to write, because Craig!Bond is all facial expressions, or lack thereof.

Oh, great. This isn't even an option since all of Bond's appearance will be via his ear piece with Q. Hm. Well, maybe I'll try writing their dialogue first and if that doesn't wash I'll try and think of something else.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 28th, 2013 04:42 am (UTC)
Actually, I find it easier to do dialogue when he's not present than when he is, but I find dialogue the easiest thing to write for anyone. I like dialogue. If you just need banter by earpiece, you should be fine. There's a cut scene from No Rest where Q was helping Bond out of somewhere, and it was fairly easy to write. It's getting inside his head or conveying what he's saying vs conveying that's hard. I also have the same problem with him and Q as I do with Sherlock and Q: deciding who's going to win the verbal battle.

If it helps, I totally believe in you!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 28th, 2013 04:46 am (UTC)
Thanks!

It'll probably help that this will be less banter and more Q trying to do his day job while having to leave the office due to an urgent text from Mycroft.

Bond: Are you outside?
Q: Quick stroll.
Bond: I'm wrist deep in a bomb!
Q: Hold, please.
Bond: ?!

The actual thing will be better than that, obviously (hopefully).
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 28th, 2013 04:55 am (UTC)
Hehe! Sounds good to me. Bond's main character trait is that everything he says is basically in some way sarcastic or untrue. I can only think of a handful of occasions where what he's saying is the truth with no hidden meaning. So, if he's being sarcastic and badass, you should be good to go.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on July 28th, 2013 05:02 am (UTC)
Bond's main character trait is that everything he says is basically in some way sarcastic or untrue.

Sounds like classic!Bond but with swatches of more depressing, disturbing darkness.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on July 28th, 2013 12:41 pm (UTC)
Yep! He's classic Bond but with emotional turmoil. Have fun! :-p