Monday, July 24, 2017


Van Dyke and Julie Andrews in the original Mary Poppins
  It's about time! Dick Van Dyke has finally apologised for his abysmal attempts at a cockney accent as Bert the chimney sweep in Disney's 1964 Mary Poppins. 
  Amazingly no one told him at the time that he sounded ridiculous.
  "'I was working with an entire English cast and nobody said a word, not Julie Andrews, not anybody said I needed to work on it, so I thought I was alright," he says. 
  The American actor, 91, who has been chosen by Bafta to receive The Britannia Award For Excellence In Television adds: "I appreciate this opportunity to apologise to the members of Bafta for inflicting on them the most atrocious cockney accent in the history of cinema."
Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the lamplighter
 Van Dyke has a cameo role in the Mary Poppins sequel, which stars Emily Blunt as the famous nanny with Van Dyke playing Mr Dawes Jr. 
  The role of Bert the chimney sweep has been replaced by Jack the Lamplighter, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda who has been living and working in London while preparing his musical Hamilton for the West End.  So his cockney accent is near perfect.
The film is due for release next year.. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Krysten Ritter on the set of Jessica Jones
   It took Wonder Woman 76 years to make it from her first appearance in 1941's all Star Comics to the screen this year. 
   Jessica Jones has made it a lot faster than that. The super-heroine first appeared in Alias #1 Comic in 2001 and now the second series of her Jessica Jones TV series is filming with the super-actress Krysten Ritter in the title role.
   I met the delightful Krysten on the set of the series in a studio in Long Island City where Jessica's apartment and her Alias Private Investigations office have been meticulously constructed. 
   For those who aren't up on super heroines, the mysterious Jessica Jones is one of the darker Marvel characters whose short-lived career as a super-heroine ended in tragedy. Suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome,she opens her own detective agency but her primary interest isn't in saving the world but just getting through each day. Based on a graphic novel it is certainly not a super-heroine story for kids.  
Krysten as Jessica Jones
  But 35-year-old Krysten is anything but dark. Lively, vivacious and funny she grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania and started her working life as a model after being discovered in a shopping mall when she was 15. After turning to acting she appeared in numerous television series and movies and as Jessica Jones, she also appears in the new TV series The Defenders.
  When she is not being Jessica Jones she sings and plays guitar in a band called Ex Vivian and, she says, she "dates musicians."

    "Jessica Jones is kind of a misfit superhero and she's not very good at it," says Krysten. "She is strong and tough and she kicks ass, but she is also very vulnerable at times and funny at times and she has meaningful relationships and she is trying to survive in a very dark world.

  "The tone of the show is very sort of dark noir and it’s really more of a psychological thriller than anything else Marvel has done. It’s a strong drama, but then I also get to do all these really fun stunts and action sequences. 
  "I get to be vulnerable and I get to have sex scenes with a beautiful man and then I get to kick ass. It really covers a lot of boxes."

Monday, July 10, 2017


  Beautiful bisexual Cara Delevingne is in a happy, upbeat mood.

Cara in Valerian
  The 24-year-old party going socialite/musician/actress, who has been been romantically linked with both men and women, tells me:  "I love love. I'm a hopeless romantic and I think love has the power to save the world and save all of us."
  We are talking in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills shortly before the world premiere of Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets, the 150 million pounds sci-fi epic from Luc Besson in which she stars as a special operative investigating a dark force which threatens Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets. 

   Her hair is cropped in a buzz cut for the movie she has been filming, Life in a Year, in which she plays a cancer victim. 

with crew-cut Cara
  "I'm in the short hair club and I  think that I look like a 14 year old boy, which is not bad but definitely not something that you want to go for as a 24 year old woman," she laughs. "I wouldn’t have done it without having to do it for a film, so I am glad I got that opportunity." 
   She says she was "sober, clean and clear-headed" during the six
weeks she was filming Life in a Year.

   "It was so important to be as focused as possible because it was  definitely the most intense and difficult role I have ever played and it was very important to spend most of my time trying to learn about what it would be like to have cancer and putting myself in those situations," she says.

Cara and Dane DeHaan in Valerian
  " It was a very dark six weeks because to really understand what it’s like to have cancer, I thought about death every second of every day and every morning when I woke up.  So if I wasn't completely clear headed it could have got very dangerous and I could have gotten sucked into massive depression."

   Cara originally opened up about her sexuality back in 2014, when she revealed she first fell in love with a woman at the age of  20.

  "I think you should be allowed to be who you are and not have to explain anything," she tells me. "More and more, not just young girls but young boys too, grow up struggling with being labelled and for them to understand who they are we have to completely demolish labels to stop them being put into a box or being someone they are not. 

 "Connecting emotionally, I think is the most important thing."



  It's always a pleasure seeing Nicole Kidman, whom I first met 21 years ago on Batman Forever. A lot of water under the bridge si...