From the Hollywood Reporter:
Written by Daniela Amavia, who will also direct, Beautiful Now tells the story of a passionate dancer who finds herself mulling an extreme act when she reaches a crossroads in her life. As she hangs on the razor’s edge, crossing between reality and fantasy, her fractured group of friends reunite and embark on a shared journey into intense memories of their past, helping the woman answer the question: “If your life flashed before your eyes, would you like what you see?”
Of course the question on everyone’s lips is whether John Paul’s first love, Craig Dean, is set to make an appearance as well. The boys won legions of fans with their tortured love story - but has their romance gone the distance?
“No, they’ve split up,” sighs James. “John Paul and Craig have had a tough time in Ireland together. Craig has put JP in a difficult situation, and that’s part of the reason he goes back to the village.”
“I love the fact that the fans still want them to be together,” adds the star. “But the only person who knows the answer to whether we’ll see Craig again is Guy Burnet who played him. He’s in the States filming a TV show at the moment, but I’d love to work with him again one day.”
Thank you to backstage.com for this interview with Guy Burnet and his ‘Murder In The First’ co-star Chad Kimball.
Most people know of “Murder in the First” as one of the more serious films in the Kevin Bacon canon. Inspired by a true story and written by Dan Gordon, the film examines the murder trial that shed light on the inhumane treatment of prisoners at the Alcatraz prison.
Gordon has now adapted his film into a play, which will open at 59E59 Theaters on June 6, and is directed by Michael Parva. Drama Desk- and Tony-nominated actor Chad Kimball (“Memphis”) leads the cast as convict Willie Moore, the role Bacon played in the movie, and British actor Guy Burnet (“Hollyoaks”) makes his New York stage debut as Moore’s attorney, Christian Slater’s role in the film.
Despite the play’s weighty subject matter, both actors were full of laughs as they discuss accents, dieting, and Burnet’s odd connection to Slater.
Have either of you ever seen the movie?
Chad Kimball: I’ve never seen it.
Guy Burnet: I meant to see it, but I never did. I’ll probably watch it the night before [Laughs].
So if you’ve never seen the movie, what drew you to take on these parts?
Kimball: I used to do a lot of plays in college, but here in New York I’ve only done musicals. Then I took a nice vacation from “Memphis” for about five months, visited my family, and didn’t really know what was next. I’ve always kind of been blessed to be able to work in musical theater. I don’t differentiate between musicals and legit work, but I thought this would be a really nice change of pace. This is an emotional black hole of a character. There are no up-tempo changes. Plus I get to work with a guy like Guy. We have a really great rapport.
Burnet: What are you talking about?
Kimball: It’s nice to see how they work across the pond. I’m learning a ton about English acting.
Has the role been physically demanding for you, Chad?
Kimball: Only in that I can’t eat the things I want to eat. In a musical, I could burn through 1000 calories, but I’m not dancing here!
Guy, Christian Slater also starred in the film version of “Murder.” You worked with him recently, right?
Burnet: I was telling Chad, there’s a whole story here. I was in England doing “Hollyoaks” and the movie “True Romance” was on TV. And it made me want to go to America. I hadn’t done theater in nine years, and I begged my manager, I told him “Get me to New York!” I wanted to be in a theatrical production. So I came to America and did a film with Christian. I was doing a scene with him and it hit me. I said, “Two years ago I left my job and came to America because I watched ‘True Romance’!” He probably thought I was crazy.
Kimball: Hey, tell him what you did when you came in [to read for the role].
Burnet: Right, I came in to audition and used my American accent, and left. The next time I did the same thing, and they kept asking me all these questions. Finally, I asked, “Is this audition over?” and dropped the accent. They were shocked that that wasn’t how I really talked!
Kimball: Can I toot your horn for a minute?
Burnet: I’ll toot yours if you toot mine.
Kimball: You don’t get it. That’s an expression in America. It means I want to give you a compliment.
Burnet: Oh. [Laughs]
Kimball: When we first met, I knew he was a Brit, but he was talking in his American accent. And then during the intermission, he stopped, and then went back into his accent. Your American accent is too good man. I giggle when I hear your normal voice.
Burnet: Well I’ll tell you something you don’t get much of. A lot of people put on a show of being selfless. Chad genuinely is the least selfish actor I know. He is so considerate of other people. Other actors will try to upstage you, even subtly. Chad is the complete opposite. And he’s just brilliant. He does Willie brilliantly. He’s incredibly engaging onstage.
What do you hope the audience takes away from this play?
Kimball: They’re calling it a drama, but it’s not a dirge. There are a lot of light moments that stem from the drama. And it’s about their relationship. And it’s about equality more than it asks questions about the death penalty.
Burnett: Harry, the central character, fights for a lot of political issues that the show encapsulates. He’s fighting for a lot of issues liberal leaders are fighting for today.
Kimball: That all makes sense except for you calling Harry the central character. It’s a tag team of protagonists. [Laughs] The play isn’t preachy, though. There are subtle undercurrents.
“Murder in the First” opens at 59E59 Theaters on June 6. For tickets and more information, visit www.59e59.org.
Thank you to callmeadam.com for this wonderful interview with Guy.
Hailing from the London, England, Guy Burnet is a rising actor who’s worked in television, film, and theatre. He is best known for starring on the hit British TV show “Holyoaks.” He has recently completed filming three films, which are waiting release, Tolstoys “Two Jacks,” “Rites of Passage,” and Disney’s “Sonny with a Chance.” No stranger to the stage, London audiences have seen Guy in “Oh What a Lovely War,” “Metamorphosis,” “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern,” and “Sparkleshark.”
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? To be a performer as a profession was never a realistic goal for me; no one in my family or anyone who was in my life was involved in that world. I was obsessed with cinema growing up but It was nothing but a pipe dream for me.
2. Who haven’t you worked with that you would like to? So many. It would be a dream to work with Pacino. I love Pedro Almodovar.
3. What attracted you to “Murder in the First”? I was sent the play by my manager Myrna as a good read. Judy Henderson the Casting Director is a wonderful lady and advocate of mine thought I’d enjoy it. I read it in an hour, loved it, and as much as I’d wanted to play the “Willie” role; I knew I’d be more fitted to “Henry.” I flew out to NYC from LA on a redeye and auditioned straight off the plane.
4. What do you identify most with about your character, “Henry”? Fearless without being conceited. A true sense of risk, justice, and a philosophy of ‘nothing to lose’.
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? To be entertained. I’m sure many morales can be taken but I’m a great believer in the audience having a good time.
6. What excites you about making your US stage debut in “Murder in the First”? I have an endless list of responses to this. I’m incredibly excited to firstly be in NYC (genuinely my favorite city) and feel so honored to be given the opportunity to tread the boards here. It’s not just wonderful for me but all my family in different parts of the world are proud and humbled by affiliation. It also being a great part and great play is a bonus.
7. You were a series regular on the hit British TV show “Hollyoaks.” Looking back, what was the best part about being on the show? It was a huge learning curve for me. I was 19, it was my drama school. I learned so much. It was an experience which allowed me to take risks and make mistakes. I also made great friends there.
8. In addition to stage and television, you have completed 3 films: Tolstoys “Two Jacks,” “Rites of Passage,” and “Age of Heroes” and Disney’s “Sonny with a Chance.” What do you get from film work that you do not get from stage or television? Most my experience is through the film and TV mediums but I genuinely enjoy the freedom of theater the most. It’s a change for me, a challenge, and I’m learning to adapt for the stage. My style, naturally, I feel is more suited to the theater. Michael Parva’s direction is also helping me a lot.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? From the business itself I’ve learned that the ups and downs in every capacity are so extreme that you must be present and humble. As a performer I’ve learned that commitment and work ethic are key. I’m still learning but so far I’ve learned to just be in the specific moment.
10. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Hmm…’there’s nothing wrong in being nice’. - best piece.
‘Any holes a goal’- that’s the worst piece.
11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Me floating through a vortex of Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Mongolia, the African plains and Reykjavik, great soccer stadiums, A Frank Sinatra soundtrack and Marion Cotillard giving me a sly wink.
12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Sleep in. Snuggle. Go boxing. Watch football (soccer) and eat and eat.
13. Favorite way to stay in shape? I love boxing and hence it’s easy for me to enjoy the exercise.
14. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers! Unless the briefs have a union jack on them.
15. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I guess flying would be convenient and save a lot of money.
Tony Award-nominee Chad Kimball (Memphis) will play the Alcatraz convict Willie Moore. British stage and TV sensation Guy Burnet (Hollyoaks; Grease is the Word) makes his NY stage debut as Willie’s attorney Henry Willard Davidson. Larisa Polonsky (Burning for The New Group) plays fellow attorney Mary McCasslin.
Inspired by a true story, MURDER IN THE FIRST is described as “a gripping drama about the murder trial that blew open the deplorable treatment of the prisoners at Alcatraz, the most notorious correctional institution in U.S. history. The stage version of Dan Gordon’s 1995 film explores the unlikely friendship that develops between the young, idealistic attorney and the prisoner that he was brought in to defend.”
As published at nymag.com
Superstition would dictate that it’s not the best idea to step into a packed elevator and joke, “This is overloaded. We might die tonight,” particularly four days before Halloween. Of course, no one ever believes said elevator will then plummet four stories and get stuck. Until … it does. Which is exactly what happened to a merry band of revelers, including Josh Charles and Alessandro Nivola, exiting last night’s premiere party of Tribeca Films Janie Jones, which took place on the sixteenth-floor rooftop terrace of the Gramercy Park Hotel.
Around midnight, as director David M. Rosenthal describes it, “We’ve all had a couple of drinks and they closed up shop at the Gramercy, and we’re just piling into the elevator.” Just as Rosenthal was thinking, “Oh God, this is getting too full,” British actor Guy Burnet jumped in with one other person, bringing the total to twelve rowdy and tipsy people onboard, including Nivola, Charles, British actress Rosie Fellner, and Seth Herzog. The elevator stopped a few flights down, and when the doors opened, the inhabitants gave a welcoming yell to a rather hefty older gentleman from the Netherlands who was waiting there with his girlfriend. “Everyone is yelling and hooting,” says Rosenthal, “and the guy I’m sure was drunk and thinks it’s a party. So they decide to jump in, and as soon as they jump in, the thing starts plummeting down. His girlfriend is lucky she didn’t get killed because her foot was barely inside the door when the elevator dropped.” The door remained partially open, and they could see floors rushing by through the gap. “I think we fell eight stories before the emergency brake went off,” says Rosenthal. “We initially thought we’d gone all the way to the basement and bounced on the springs.”
They were actually stuck below the second floor. At first everyone was laughing; then people started getting claustrophobic and panicky. Friends who’d taken other elevators and were waiting in the lobby thought maybe the actors had gone into Rose Bar, though, naturally, given the door policy at that place, they couldn’t go inside to look around. After five minutes of confusion, Nivola’s younger brother, Adrian, a painter, started getting suspicious — it would be weird for Alessandro to leave without saying good-bye. So he gave him a call and was the one who alerted the hotel staff, who hadn’t noticed that anything was amiss.
Herzog tried to keep the mood light by cracking jokes, like, “So, who are we going to eat first?” And “We should decide how we’re going to repopulate.” (The crowd of fourteen had three women and ten guys.) He says he was also secretly panicking that he didn’t want to die in an elevator with people more famous than he is: “I was very concerned because I knew I wouldn’t get top billing.” After a while, hotel staffers managed to pry open the elevator doors, which Josh Charles, et al. had been unable to open from the inside. The trapped fourteen could see into the hallway through a two-foot-tall gap at the top of the doors, but, says Charles, “all we saw were legs. We kept asking them what was going on and nobody said anything. I started getting really pissed off because no one would talk to us and no one would show us their face.”
Says Rosenthal, “Josh was getting very frustrated. It was pretty funny. He was like, ‘Somebody put their face in front of the fucking thing and tell us what the fuck is going on!’” Tensions rose. Nivola, along with Rosenthal and film producer Celine Rattray, tried to be the sane voices of reason, though Nivola says he was freaking out on the inside. The hotel staff finally answered Charles and asked everyone to stay where they were. Then a drunk guy in a suit whom no one knew, says Rosenthal, “decided he just wanted out of there, so he dropped his glass, which broke on the floor, and climbed through the gap.” Then, says Herzog, “He turned around and stuck out his in and was like, ‘Okay, who’s next?’”
Eventually, they all climbed out on their own, despite fears that the elevator might start moving in the middle of the rescue, crushing someone in the process. The only thing their worried friends in the lobby could hear was a loud clank again and again, which sounded like the elevator dropping, then stopping, but was really the sound of a person being pulled out. The stuck ones say the hotel staff was of little help, and neither was the FDNY, who had marched into the lobby about a minute before everyone from the elevator poured out of the stairwell and into the lobby. One of the girls cheerily took a photo with the firemen while another was so freaked out she immediately went home. Josh Charles, says Rosenthal, “wouldn’t leave until he gave the hotel staff a serious tongue-lashing.”
They all fled to Knickerbocker for some much-needed drinks. This morning, Gramercy manager Elizabeth Mao sent Vulture the following statement: “Yes, last night, there was an elevator malfunction as guests departed from an event at the Gramercy Terrace. Our security team responded to the incident immediately and within minutes had alerted both he New York Fire Department and the elevator company. All guests were safely evacuated. As the safety of our guests is always a paramount concern, we are ensuring the elevator car in question undergoes a thorough inspection by our maintenance provider, as well as the New York Fire Department, before placing it back in service. We anticipate the elevator car will be fully operational by this afternoon.” But last night, it sounded like it would take a lot more to get Josh Charles to return to the hotel. “Here’s my quote,” he said at Knickerbocker, still fuming. “If anyone stays at the Gramercy, take out insurance before you ride the elevator. If you go to the Gramercy, try not to die. Use the stairs.”
Guy Burnet and his dad Ray
And a cute little clip from an interview with his real mum, Nava, and his then screen mum at Hollyoaks, Helen Pearson:
“I have all of Guy’s episodes on tape, and send them off to all my
relatives,” says Nava. “And I always buy Inside Soap, just in case he’s in it!”
Although the pair are close, Nava, who is divorced from Guy’s dad, admits that her son could be quite mischievous when he was growing up…
“If I had a boyfriend over, Guy would come to us with a tin of biscuits,” she laughs. “He’d want to share them.”
“I’d hang around until it was time for him to go home!” Guy chips in.
Since his final appearance as Hollyoaks’ Craig Dean in November 2008, 27-year-old actor Guy Burnet moved stateside in a bid to pursue his acting dream - to make it on the silver screen. Now based in Los Angeles, California, Guy’s filmography is growing by the year, having recently worked on movie projects with Sean Bean, Sienna Miller and Christian Slater, among others. Digital Spy recently caught up with Guy to learn more about working life on the West Coast and discover what else is in the works for 2011.