Thursday, 7 November 2013

Exclusive Interview: Christopher Eccleston on Thor: The Dark World. Craveonline.

Scenes that were cut from the finished film and why he would love to play Destro again.

Christopher Eccleston was my first Doctor. In the "Doctor Who" sense, not like he was my pediatrician or anything. I tried to ask him one question about his experience on the show, but he said he was trying to "get away from that" and focus on Thor: The Dark World, which I respect entirely. I moved on. I can't help but feel like it's too bad though; as The Doctor he brought a lot of joy into my life, and his speech about how the one possibility mankind never considered was that we might not destroy ourselves, that we might actually make it, was exactly what I needed to hear at a certain point in my life, performed in exactly the right way to affect me.

My point is, Mr. Eccleston, if you ever read this: thank you. Whether or not that ever happens, I hope the rest of you enjoy my interview with one of the stars of Thor: The Dark World, covering the creation of the villain Malekith, the formulation of the Dark Elves' language, his fandom for Star Trek, his unexpected Anthony Hopkins connection, and why he'd love to return to the G.I. Joe movie franchise as Destro.

CraveOnline: I was wondering if you could talk to me about Malekith, because we don’t really get to go into a lot of depth with Malekith. We don’t get to see him at home with his family or anything like that.

Christopher Eccleston: [Laughs] I like the idea though. Malekith at home with his family.

He has to take a day off once in a while, right?

Yeah, yeah.

What were the conversations about Malekith and where he was coming from?

Well, the first conversation with Alan [Taylor] was about how he wanted to avoid “the cackling fiend.” Alan spoke to me a lot about the Dark Elves’ sense of their own gravitas and aristocracy, and their ancientness. He wanted them to have a sense of entitlement and bearing. He wanted them regal, you know, that they felt that they were the superior beings of the Nine Realms. And of course, as in any film, the script that we shot is not the script that people see. There were various scenes in there, which for whatever reason didn’t make the final cut, which shaded in Malekith’s background. So even though the audience don’t hear about it, I’m hoping that it’s still present in the performance.

His full title, as far as I know, in Norse mythology and in Marvel mythology, is Malekith the Accursed. Which suggests that something tragic has happened to him. So Alan spoke to me about wanting him to have a tragic quality. Whether that’s [effective] or not is up to the audience to decide, but that was the idea. We just didn’t want to be snarling all the time, certainly with that amount of very strong prosthetics, that would be a mistake too.

These scenes that didn’t make it into the film, I hope we see them on the DVD at some point. It sounds like it wasn’t more action, it sounds like it was character-building.

There was a scene where Malekith was in a certain area of Svartalfheim and remembering his children, his wife and children bathing there, and they had been lost to him. And some of the actions of Odin’s father, Bor, also. There was an extended scene with Anthony Hopkins where they discussed what had caused this ancient grievance between The Dark Elves and themselves. That kind of material. More character-related, yeah.

I’m actually kind of disappointed that didn’t make the cut. That sounds like it would have given you more of a connection to Odin.

Yeah, yeah. I would think it’s probably for complex reasons to do with Odin and Frigga’s relationship, I think. And the implications of possibly making Odin more brutal.

Did they invent a whole new language for the Elves, or did they just give you phonetic lines of dialogue?

No, it’s a brand new language. Alan had worked with a gentleman, I’m afraid I don’t know his name, [but] the gentleman who created it worked for Alan on “Games of Thrones.” He created a language for the Dark Elves which was specifically for the Dark Elves. As I understood it there were a number of influences, but one of the primary influences was Finnish. So one of the things I did was I went online and YouTube and watched people – or rather, listened to people – speaking in Finnish to get some idea of the rhythms of the language.

That’s what I was wondering: if it’s a fictional language, would that give you a lot of freedom with inflection? Would you need to base it on a pattern of some kind?

Well, the pattern to a certain extent sort of suggests itself, according to the way the man who has created the language has asked you to stress, you know, where the stress the on each particular word falls. But within that you can play with the music of it, and we didn’t want the music to be overly familiar. You know, if the Elves had sounded vaguely Italian, that would suggest that wouldn’t be great. So perhaps Eastern European or Northern European was [the right] music. So there’s room for play, really, and actually, hopefully we jumped between a few different musics. That was the beauty of it. It was pretty hair-raising doing it, but I was very pleased with the results. I think it does give the sense of an entirely different, ancient race. That was very important for the Dark Elves, was that they have a similar gravitas to Odin and Thor. They belong to the Nine Realms just as much as Odin and Thor do. They have gravitas and history.

It’s that history that’s one of the things I love about this franchise. I grew up very obsessed with Norse mythology.


Even though it has this sci-fi angle to it, it really treats the significance of the characters with a lot of respect.

Yeah. I like that too. It’s interesting to think that Malekith for instance is a product of the Norse mythology, and he’s gone through the Marvel mythology, and there’s probably three Malekiths. There’s the one that belongs squarely to Norse mythology, and there’s the one that belongs square to Marvel mythology, and then there’s the one in the middle which is a synthesis of the two. Yeah, it gives it some mystery I think.

CraveOnline: Most of your scenes in the film are opposite Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. You’re both creating characters with a new hybrid mythology and language. Did you have to work together with him on the language, for instance?

Christopher Eccleston: Oh yeah, we worked closely on the language. While we were alongside each other going through the makeup process we would run our lines and make sure that we sounded like we were speaking the same language, in terms of inflection and music, and getting used to each other’s rhythms. Also, we had such a short time to memorize, just running it and running it between us we created a music between ourselves, which we’d then recreate when we got to the set.

Were you a fan of the Marvel movies before Thor: The Dark World? Were you caught up?

I’d seen Iron Man, and I did a bit of catching up once I was cast in the film. I would say that probably, I tend to watch more independent, character-driven cinema. If I go to the cinema, that’s what I do. And I have a young family so I don’t get a chance much to. [Laughs] But I enjoyed the first Thor film very much. The performances, and particularly the humor… I was really gratified to see that humor, as I was with the first Star Trek, and the second Star Trek film. I was a huge “Star Trek” fan as a child, and I thought the first one, the use of character and humor – which we have in Thor – really helps sell the special effects and the CGI and the stunts. If you have that human connection to cling to as well.

As a “Trek” fan, would you like to find a place in that franchise if you can?

Well, listen… a funny story about Thor was that 30 years ago I was an usher at the National Theater, and I used to tear tickets and sell ice creams, and one of the shows that I had to watch again and again was a show called Pravda, and the lead actor was Anthony Hopkins. And then 30 years later I ended up on film with him.

Did you tell him that?

I did tell him that. I did tell him that, because he’s a big hero to me. So the idea that, I mean I was probably five when I watched the first Star Trek film… the idea that 45 years later I could be in Star Trek [laughs], that would be… but it does sound like I’m trying to get myself work, and I’m really not.

No, these movies are making fandom – almost childhood fandom – legitimate in a lot of ways. They allow people to talk about their enthusiasm for things like Norse mythology and science fiction. I don’t think it sounds like you’re trying to get work. I think it sounds like you’re sharing something you love.

Yeah, I did love them. But of course with the original Star Trek films, they were in space and there were aliens and adventure, but really what made them work for me was the brilliant writing and characterization, and the human and Vulcan relationships within it, you know what I mean?

Are you interested in returning to the G.I. Joe franchise? It’s looking like that’s going to continue…

Is it going to continue?

I think it is. They said they were going to do G.I. Joe 3. And they touched on Destro in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. They allowed that you might be around for future films.

Oh yeah, I’d love to play Destro. I would love to.

Did you see the new one?

No, I haven’t seen the second film, no. I have not had a chance to catch up with it yet, but I think Destro, like Malekith, the whole mask thing and all that, I think you can do… One of the beauties of Malekith’s prosthetics, for instance, is that you can still recognize that it was me, and that this was a living, breathing creature as opposed to an automaton. I wonder whether you could do that with the idea of Destro, too.

Because you could go with the idea that it’s a living, breathing, metal face. It could actually be really beautiful to have a reflective surface all over your face.

It was metal, but it was animated, yeah. He could animate it even though he was trapped within it, which is the thing about him isn’t it? He’s trapped. So yeah, I would be interested, yeah.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

When Coal Was King.

A look at the lost world of coal mining and the social and cultural lives of those who worked in what was once Britain's most important industry, using footage from the 1940s to the 80s. With contributions by those who worked underground, lived in the pit villages and people who have been inspired by the coalfield culture, such as Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall. Narrated by Christopher Eccleston

Monday 4th November BBC4.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Thor star Christopher Eccleston: All of my movie heroes as a kid were the bad guys.

ECCLESTON has become a regular 'baddie' in blockbuster films and he admits he's rediscovering his early admiration for the bad guy on cinema.

Christopher Eccleston in Thor

CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON endured hours in the make-up chair and then conquered a tongue-twisting language to be transformed into the most awesome villain to trade blows with the hammer-wielding big screen superhero Thor.

For the latest Marvel Comics movie blockbuster Thor: The Dark World, Christopher , 49, was given the most bizarre physical appearance of his career.

To become Malekith, the cold-blooded leader of the Dark Elves, who wants to plunge the universe into eternal darkness, the actor was given pointed ears, a scarred and charred face, piercing red eyes and a hairdo that looked like an 18th century powdered wig.

It was a look that took six hours to create every day during filming of the big budget adventure, which sees the return of Chris Hemsworth as our hero.

And on top of that, Christopher had to master a complex Elvish language that was invented just for the movie.

Not surprisingly, it was one of the most demanding roles ever tackled by the lauded actor, whose films include Shallow Grave and Let Him Have It and who starred in TV hits that range from Our Friends in the North and Cracker to Doctor Who.

“It was my first experience of prosthetics,” Christopher tells 7Nights when we meet at London’s Dorchester Hotel.

“I have a different shaped head, I wear a wig and a cage on top of the wig – it is very elaborate and transforming.”

And a very new experience for the talented and versatile actor.

He added: “In 24 years in the industry, I don’t think I ever spent any longer than 20 minutes in a make-up chair. Then suddenly I’m there for six hours at a time.”

When I say I admire the tolerance that he had to show every time he sat in the make-up chair, Christopher laughs.

“I don’t have that kind of patience. I had to learn it,” says the actor who had to sip his drinks through a straw as make-up was being applied.

Stripping away the layers of latex make-up after filming finished was another ordeal.

“It took 45 minutes to an hour just to take it off,” says Christopher. “There were usually pieces of the prosthetic mask falling off me in the car on the way home from filming.”

The discomfort involved in turning Christopher into Malekith could have been much worse.

The actor was delighted to report that unlike some, he didn’t suffer any nasty reaction to the make-up or the contact lenses.

“I am very fortunate,” he said. “I had worn lenses before when I played John Lennon in the TV movie Lennon Naked – and I never had any problem with them. And I was fine with the red lenses I wore for Thor.”

Understandably, Christopher had some concerns that he might be so submerged under all the brilliantly transforming make-up that he would be unrecognisable.

“But I was pleased that even with the prosthetic make-up, you still see it is me,” he added. “The first time you go through the make-up process and get out the chair to see yourself, you think, ‘Goodness, why did they employ me?’

But on the first day, I had to look on the monitor at the first stuff that I’d shot – and I’m not a monitor monkey, I’m not one for watching myself. Normally, I stay well away from them.

“But when I did look, I saw that it was clearly me and it was clearly a flesh and blood creature – if I can say that about an elf. So I was relieved.”

Another complication was thrown into the mix when it was decided that Malekith and his right-hand elf Algrim (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) would speak in an outlandish tongue that was made-up for the movie.

Christopher agreed that it made sense because the weird-sounding language would help the audience to believe that this was a very different species.

“You are presenting an alternative race and if it sounds like two English guys who just happen to be in prosthetics, then it makes it hard to suspend disbelief,” he said.

“The invented language that we speak is based mostly on Finnish. So I found myself looking on YouTube, listening to people speak Finnish to try and pick up some of the rhythms.”

There was an added pressure because the decision to have an Elvish language was made quite late in the day.

“We were quite panicked because if you are learning English dialogue, then there is the memory of the word,” said Christopher.

“But it was almost impossible almost to remember this language. You had to learn it parrot fashion, just for recall. Then you had to overlay it with pronunciation.

“So it was very difficult but it was worth it. I was really pleased and proud of how it sounded.”

Christopher now takes his place among classic Marvel movie villains like Magneto, Doctor Octopus, Red Skull and Bullseye. Every one of these baddies is an exotic baddie.

But when he was a schoolboy, it was a different, more traditional breed of villain that made a lasting impression on Christopher.

“The first screen villain that made an impact on me was James Cagney in White Heat,” he said.

“I’m 49 now and I was watching all those old films on TV in the late 1960s. And I was, and still am, transfixed by Cagney as an actor.

“Another Cagney performance as a baddie that had a huge impact on me was in Angels with Dirty Faces.

“He was definitely a tough guy in that and then there was the ambiguity of him going screaming to his death in the electric chair after the priest has spoken with him. Was he actually terrified or was he acting it?

“I believed everything about Cagney – what a benchmark he was as an actor.

“If I had to choose one actor who made an impression on me as a screen villain, it would be Cagney. He was amazing.

“I also grew up with Edward G Robinson playing the heavy in films like The Cincinnati Kid or Ernest Borgnine in From Here to Eternity.

“Then there was George Kennedy, who although he becomes the best friend of Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke, he is the bully.

“The fascination with characters like that is all rooted in our memory of being bullied at school.

“Later on, I was a huge James Bond fan and was knocked out by Gert Frobe, who played Auric Goldfinger.

“He was Teutonic, with a sense of humour and delicacy and he cheated at golf – which all the best villains do.

“Then there was Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) in From Russia with Love and Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) in The Man with the Golden Gun and, of course, Donald Pleasence as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice.

“I was brought up on that quite understated villain, the smiling stiletto.”

Making Thor: The Dark World meant that Christopher worked alongside a star who had portrayed another of his favourite villains.

He added: “When I was working at the National Theatre, working as an usher selling ice cream and collecting tickets, Anthony Hopkins was there playing Lambert Le Roux in the play Pravda. Le Roux was a South African media mogul who was like Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch in a car crash.

“I watched his performance many times and what I was struck by was how huge Anthony Hopkins seemed on that stage. He came on in a box suit and with his hair slicked back, he leaned forward on the tips of his toes and moved in a very reptilian way.

“Then I would see him in the National Theatre canteen eating beans on toast. It was a really important lesson for me, to see the smoke and the mirrors of the whole thing.

“You could see that this was a man who saw Laurence Olivier’s work. He had that kind of command on the theatre.”

Unfortunately, Christopher’s scene with Oscar winner Hopkins who plays Odin, the king of the Norse gods, finished up on the cutting room floor. “Hopefully it will be on the DVD, it is certainly on the DVD in my soul,” said Christopher.

There is more dark drama coming up for Christopher. He plays gambling club host John Aspinall in the television movie Lucan – about the British peer who mysteriously vanished after the murder of the family nanny and an assault on his wife.

He also stars in the powerful US-made TV series The Leftovers – which is about those left behind after The Rapture takes place and millions disappear from the Earth.

Christopher said: “I play an evangelical reverend, a guy who more importantly than having lost his God, is completely convinced that his God exists and he doesn’t want him. So I’d imagine he is going to be quite complex.”

- Thor: The Dark World is released on October 30

Friday, 25 October 2013

New Chris video.

I’ve jut uploaded Chris’ excerpts from the ‘Oh For A Muse of Fire Shakespeare documentary which was shown last night on BBC4, it can be found in the Videos section of my Chris website.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Time Lords United In Doctor Who Special Picture Released To Mark Show's 50th Anniversary

To mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of 'Doctor Who', all the various incarnations of the popular Time Lord have been brought together in a special picture by the BBC.

Compiled by Matt Burlem of BBC Pictures, this image is from the BBC Archives of the show, and not, it has been made clear, from the special 50th anniversary episode coming our way at the end of November.

doctor who

The picture shows William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and the latest Doctor, Matt Smith, who will be leaving the show soon, to make way for Peter Capaldi.

The BBC have prepared a whole feast of festivity to celebrate the half-century of this most enduring sci-fi favourite.

Although there are bound to be some surprises along the way, TV specials will definitely include:

  • A 75-minute special episode, The Day Of The Doctor, starring the current incumbent of the Tardis, Matt Smith, along with his predecessor David Tennant
  • A BBC Two lecture by Professor Brian Cox on the science behind the hit show and the drama
  • An Adventure In Space and Time, written by Mark Gatiss, a one-off drama telling the story of William Hartnell's playing of the first Doctor in 1963, his part to be taken by actor David Bradley (Filch in Harry Potter films)
  • Re-run of the first ever Doctor Who story, starring William Hartnell himself, shown over four episodes on BBC4
  • 'Me, You and Doctor Who' - a Culture Show special into the cultural significance and fascination of the BBC's longest-running TV drama
  • 'Who Is The Doctor?' - a 90-minute documentary on Radio 2, using new interviews and archive material
  • '12 Again' - a CBBC special inviting stars who've participated in the show to share their memories. These will include the seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, Tommy Knight, who played Luke Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Warwick Davis, who played Porridge in a Doctor Who episode and Louise Jameson, who was the fourth Doctor Tom Baker's companion Leela.
  • A Blue Peter competition - viewers aged between 6 and 14 will have the chance to design a new gadget that will appear on the show, and Matt Smith will be on the Blue Peter sofa answering viewers' questions
  • Doctor Who: Monsters and Villains Weekend - a BBC Three special

Danny Cohen, BBC director of television, said: "It's an astonishing achievement for a drama to reach its 50th anniversary.

"I'd like to thank every person - on both sides of the camera - who has been involved with its creative journey over so many years."

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch & Christopher Eccleston Join LIVE FROM THE NATIONAL THEATRE: 50 YEARS ON STAGE; to be Broadcast in Theaters on Nov. 2

Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch and Christopher Eccleston have joined the starry cast for The National Theatre of Great Britain's 50th anniversary celebration "LIVE FROM The National Theatre: 50 YEARS ON STAGE," directed by Nicholas Hytner. This special event will be broadcast by National Theatre Live to cinemas internationally on Saturday, November 2, 2013 (with many encore dates in U.S. cities). From Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to The History Boys, from Antony and Cleopatra to Angels in America, from Guys and Dolls to London Road, this will be a thrilling evening of live performance and rare glimpses from the archive, featuring many of the most celebrated actors who have performed on their stages over the past five decades.

From its early golden period under the leadership of Laurence Olivier at The Old Vic Theatre to its now iconic building in the heart of London, The National Theatre has been home to Britain's finest theatrical talent, premiering works by renowned writers such as Harold Pinter, Peter Shaffer, Tom Stoppard, Alan Bennett and David Hare, and staging celebrated performances by Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and the rising stars of today.

A cast of 100 will perform live on stage, including Olivier Award winner Roger Allam, Olivier Award winner Simon Russell Beale, Olivier Award winner Benedict Cumberbatch, Tony and Olivier Award winner Frances de la Tour, Tony and Academy Award winner Judi Dench, International Emmy Award winner Christopher Eccleston, Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes, Olivier Award winner Michael Gambon, Tony and Olivier Award winner DerekJacobi, Olivier Award winner Alex Jennings, Olivier Award winner Rory Kinnear, Olivier Award winner Adrian Lester, BAFTA award winner Anna Maxwell Martin, Academy, Emmy, Golden Globe & Olivier Award winner Helen Mirren, Olivier Award winner AnDrew Scott, Tony & Olivier Award winner Maggie Smith and Olivier Award nominee Penelope Wilton, with more to be announced soon.

The next National Theatre Live broadcast will be the premiere of the Manchester International Festival's production of MACBETH, directed by Rob Ashford & Kenneth Branagh. This "Captured Live" Broadcast will launch on October 17, 2013(with many encore dates in U.S. cities following the October 17 re-broadcast). Kenneth Branagh returns to the stage for his first Shakespearean role in over a decade, taking the title role in Manchester International Festival's production of Macbeth, with Alex Kingston ("Dr. Who," "ER") as Lady Macbeth. This tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church. Macbeth from Manchester International Festival marks National Theatre Live's first festival partnership and fourth broadcast from outside The National Theatre. This production of Macbeth was commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival, where it played in July 2013.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Hollywood support for Read for RNIB Day

Celebrity support for Read for RNIB Day

Actor Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) has continued his support for this year’s Read for RNIB Day campaign with a signed letter to the editors of newspapers up and down the country. Christopher has previously taken time out of his busy schedule to lend his voice to the Read for RNIB Day exclusive performance of “Now That You’ve Died” at the Camden Roundhouse.

Following the recent success of Richard Madeley’s letter to the editor on behalf of Read for RNIB Day, it is hoped that Christopher’s profile as a Hollywood regular can help build further awareness of our signature fundraising campaign.

Dear Reader,
In the UK there are almost two million people who are blind or partially sighted. The sad fact is their choice of books is significantly limited, just seven per cent of all books are fully accessible to them.
That’s why I am supporting Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) Read for RNIB Day on October 11 as I believe that reading should be a right and not a luxury.
I find it hard to imagine what my life would be like without being able to read books and scripts or enjoy a bedtime story with my little boy. For many blind and partially sighted people, reading is even more important, it can be a lifeline.
RNIB’s National Library Service sends out millions of books in braille, giant print and in talking book audio format every year. It’s a service that thousands of blind and partially sighted people rely on and your support could make all the difference. Just £10 helps a parent continue to cook for their children with RNIB’s range of giant print cookery books while £70 will enable a person with sight loss to enjoy talking books for a whole year.
So, join us to celebrate the joy of reading and whether it’s a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, book sale or sponsored reading relay, every penny you raise will fund RNIB’s vital reading services for blind and partially sighted adults and children.
To find out more, simply call 0845 345 0054 or visit
Christopher Eccleston
RNIB Supporter

Monday, 23 September 2013

Saturday, 21 September 2013

See the Cast of ’28 Days Later’ Then and Now.

Christopher Eccleston, Major Henry West

20th Century Fox/BBC

Then: The British star of ‘Shallow Grave’ and ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds’ lent his talents to ’28 Days Later’ as Major Henry West, commander of the not-so-friendly military unit that takes our protagonists hostage. Along with co-star Cillian Murphy and screenwriter Alex Garland, Eccleston co-wrote the scene in which he lays out his plans for Hannah and Selena.

Now: In 2005, Eccleston filled the legendary shoes of ‘Doctor Who‘ for the first season of the re-vamped BBC series. He also starred in ‘Heroes’ and ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,’ and you can catch him next as the evil Malekith in ‘Thor: The Dark World.’

Friday, 13 September 2013

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Doctor Who at 50: the ninth Doctor speaks — a message from Christopher Eccleston.

Finally, in something of a coup for the BFI, Justin Johnson read out a special message from Christopher Eccleston: “I love the BFI. I love the Doctor and hope you enjoy this presentation. Joe Ahearne directed five of the 13 episodes of the first series. He understood the tone the show needed completely – strong, bold, pacy visuals coupled with wit, warmth and a twinkle in the performances, missus.

“If Joe agrees to direct the 100th anniversary special, I will bring my sonic and a stair-lift and – providing the Daleks don’t bring theirs – I, the ninth Doctor, wow to save the universe and all you apes in it.”

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Christopher Eccleston On Malekith's Motives And More Filming In THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Describing his first day of filming, Christopher Eccleston talks about the motives and backstory of his dark elf general Malekith the Accursed, what it was like filming in costume and more. Check it out!

Recalling his first day of filming for Thor: The Dark World as the Dark Elves leader, Malekith the Accursed, Christopher Eccleston says, “It was when the Ark crashes into Asgard. I come off the ship, blow up the throne and then stride through to have my confrontation with Odin,” he says. “Pretty good first day, destroying Asgard. That’s what it says in Malekith The Accursed’s diary: ‘Tuesday. Destroyed Asgard,” he says. According to Empire magazine, it "took six hours of make-up and 45 minutes in wardrobe" for Eccleston to get into character as the villain. Describing acting in the prosthetics and costume as “like washing your feet with your socks on,” Christopher Eccleston explains that he most enjoyed bringing alive a “magnificent design,” sharing scenes with Anthony Hopkins and working Alan Taylor, who he praises as “a magician with performance and with actors…For a film which is so beholden to the technicalities, that’s a magical thing to bring.” As for Malekith's motive in the Marvel sequel, Eccleston says, “There is a kind of tragic quality to his quest. Because he’s lost his wife, he’s lost his children. He’s lost everything. And he returns for revenge. And the agent for his revenge is the Aether. If he gets hold of that, he is omnipotent.” Even Empire wasn't informed of the nature of this Aether, but according to ancient & medieval science (per Wikipedia), it's the material that “fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere.” Hmmm
While set photos & videos offered a glimpse of Thor and Malekith duking it out at Greenwhich in London last year, it seems their battle in Thor: The Dark World will carry over to London’s famous skyscraper 30 St Mary Axe - “you know, sliding up and down The Gherkin, being flown here and there, scrabbling in mid-air, trying to get to each other’s throats,” says Eccleston. Furthermore, it's revealed that Malekith's race, the Dark Elves, were banished by Odin’s father 5,000 years earlier and "confined to a vast vessel known as the Ark." Director Alan Taylor describes them as “otherworldly and creepy, but also kind of beautiful - not just monsters…and not orcs!”

Friday, 28 June 2013

More added to my Chris website.

I’ve just uploaded some interesting articles/interviews plus several 3D photos to my Chris related website. The articles can be found on the Interviews page & the photos found on the Miscellaneous photos page.

To view the 3D photos you’ll require the ‘red & blue’ anaglyph glasses rather than the passive/active 3D glasses.

Monday, 24 June 2013

BFI screenings- Ninth Doctor stories announced.

The BFI will be showing the episodes Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways to mark the Ninth Doctor's era for its Doctor Who At 50 season.
The two stories, written by Russell T Davies and directed by Joe Ahearne (who, coincidentally, was born on Saturday 23rd November 1963 - the date the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast), first aired on Saturday 11th June and Saturday 18th June 2005 respectively. They comprised the Series 1 finale, which saw Christopher Eccleston hand over control of the TARDIS to David Tennant after an epic battle against the Daleks.
The screenings are being held on Saturday 24th August from 2pm at BFI Southbank. The special guests for the accompanying panel session are yet to be announced.
Tickets are being issued via a ballot system through the members' section, with BFI Champions able to enter the ballot from Monday 1st July and members from Tuesday 2nd July. The ballot will close on Friday 5th July and be run over the weekend of 6th and 7th July, with all entrants to be notified on Monday 8th July if they have been successful or not.
All tickets reserved for Champions and members through the ballot will be held until 8.30pm on Friday 12th July, and any that are unclaimed by then will be released for public sale on Saturday 13th July.
Although all the screenings in the season so far have been immediate sell-outs, returns and stand-bys are a strong possibility, so it's always worth checking back with the BFI.
The organisation is skipping from the Seventh Doctor's era to the Ninth Doctor's because of guest availability, with the Eighth Doctor event currently planned to be held sometime in September. The precise date plus guests are still to be confirmed and announced.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

(Another) Five minutes with: Christopher Eccleston

Salfordian Christopher Eccleston, 49, has starred in some of the most critically acclaimed projects of the past 20 years, including Cracker, Our Friends in the North, and Doctor Who. ?But the highlight of his career so far was playing Hillsborough campaigner, Trevor Hicks

Christopher Eccleston Christopher Eccleston

It's good to see a London-set film like Song For Marion, in which you play the son of a grumpy old man, who joins his wife’s choir, being shot in the north

We found great locations, expertise and personnel in Newcastle and Durham. The spirit of the places infuses the film. As for the difference between low budget and high budget, it’s a general rule of life, never mind the film industry, that people behave better the less money and power is around to be “had”.

Was there any one thing that attracted you to the project?

It was a good role; they were paying me; the film was about performance rather than special effects, and I’ve always been interested in the father/son dynamic.

Do you think films such as Song for Marion, and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are the start of a trend aimed more at a mature audience?

The industry is missing a trick if it doesn’t exploit what is undoubtedly a growing market. Culturally it’s very, very depressing when everything is about “youth” and “physical beauty”. To quote The Smiths, “It says nothing to me about my life...”

You're no stranger to working with movie legends, but how was it working with Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave?

I loved working with both of them; it was an honour. Terence and I share a passion for table tennis.

Can you tell us anything about your work on Thor: The Dark World?

I play Malekith, a Dark Elf, the film’s villain. No smiling allowed.

If you could go back 20 years and offer the young Christopher Eccleston a piece of advice, what would it be and would you listen to your 40-something self?

I’d tell him that by the time he was 49, Manchester United would have won The Premiership 20 times and he would quite rightly think I/he was in mid-life crisis.

Career-wise, where and when were you happiest and why?

In 1996 I played Trevor Hicks in the drama/documentary Hillsborough. It is the most important piece of work I’ve been involved with, and the start of a great friendship with a very, very brave man. I hope this year Trevor and all the families will finally have justice.

Christopher Eccleston stars in Song For Marion, released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Norton safe web added to Bad Wolf site.

Finally, after many years of being verified I have finally added the Norton safe web icon to my Chris related fan site, basically this shows that my site has been thoroughly checked by Norton for viruses, malware & other unwanted nasties & has been found to be free of any & all of these & therefore classed as ‘safe’ by them.
To ensure visitors can check the listing for for themselves there is a link within the Norton verified icon which lists everything the site has been checked for or you can visit here:

Visitors have now no need to feel any apprehension about downloading anything from the site.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Christopher Eccleston joins the cast of HBO pilot The Leftovers.

The former Doctor Who star will join Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd and Amanda Warren in an adaptation of the best-selling novel from Star Trek Into Darkness writer Damon Lindelof

Christopher Eccleston joins the cast of HBO pilot The Leftovers
Written By
Susanna Lazarus
5:50 PM, 10 June 2013

Christopher Eccleston has joined the cast of HBO pilot The Leftovers. The new drama – based on Tom Perrotta's 2011 novel of the same name – will see the former Doctor Who actor unite with Jennifer Aniston's fiancĂ© Justin Theroux, Ann Dowd (Compliance), Tony-nominated Carrie Coon and Amanda Warren (The Closer). Eccleston will play Matt Jamison, a reverend-turned-editor self-publishing his own tabloid in a community that has undergone the Rapture – the ascension to heaven – but not quite as expected. While those deemed worthy have disappeared, the residents of Mapleton who have been left behind are struggling to deal with the remnants of their lives.  Theroux has signed on to appear as the novel's protagonist Kevin Garvey – a police chief and father of two who is struggling to maintain a semblance of normality in a world that is losing its grip on what "normal" is. Coon – who was nominated at last night's Tonys ceremony for her role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – will play Nora Hurst, a wife and mother who suddenly finds that she is neither and strikes up a friendship with Kevin. Dowd will portray Patti Levin – the leader of homegrown cult Guilty Remnant – and Warren will take on the part of Lucy Warburton, the town's "take-no-prisoners" mayor. The adaptation will be co-written and executive produced by Perrotta and Damon Lindelof (Star Trek Into Darkness, Prometheus), with the pilot directed by Peter Berg (Battleship, Friday Night Lights).

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Doctor Who - Danny Boyle Opens Up About Christopher Eccleston Mortuary Fears.

Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston was so afraid of getting locked in a real-life mortuary for a scene in Shallow Grave, director Danny Boyle had to ask a crew member to stand in the shadows and comfort the nervous actor.

The future TV time lord hated the idea of being shut in the final resting place, surrounded by dead bodies, so Boyle came up with a plan to make him feel more at ease.

He explains, "It was a real mortuary and there were real dead bodies in there. Christopher, who went on to be a future master of the universe said, 'I can't do this!'

"Eventually we agreed that we'd put one of the prop guys in there, so when the door is closed and it goes dark he wouldn't be alone with the dead.

"In fact, on the soundtrack when the door is closing and the lights go off, you can hear this guy going, 'It's alright Chris!'"

Thursday, 21 March 2013

‘1984’ audio.

Just discovered that the link for this audio was incorrect, my apologies to anyone trying to listed/download, this has now been corrected.

Friday, 1 March 2013

New Award Announced for Emerging Theatre Directors.

The Royal Exchange Theatre Hodgkiss Award offers a theatre maker of outstanding promise the chance to direct a new piece of work – by a writer of their choice – in a production fully supported by the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in 2014.
Actor Christopher Eccleston and award-winning playwright Rona Munro will be joined by Bush Theatre Artistic Director, Madani Younis and Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Sarah Frankcom on the judging panel. Also on the panel will be Sue Hodgkiss, local business woman and philanthropist, whose support has made this inaugural award possible.
Royal Exchange Theatre Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom said: “The creation of new work and the collaboration between the director and writer is at the heart of the theatre-making process. The Royal Exchange Theatre is excited by the potential of this award to introduce new voices, explore new ways of making work collaboratively and engage with the modern world.”
Judging panel member Madani Younis said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to be one of the judges for the inaugural Royal Exchange Hodgkiss Emerging Directors Award. This award offers a unique opportunity for theatre-makers to be bold and imaginative, and potentially to work with the Royal Exchange Theatre and I am looking forward to joining my fellow judges in discovering and supporting new theatre-makers.”
Click here to meet the judges


Applications can be submitted online from Monday 8 April until Saturday 18 May.

To register your interest in applying, please email
(Please note application forms will not be available before 8 April 2013.)

Five candidates will be shortlisted and will be asked to attend an interview and work-sharing day on Saturday 29 June at the Royal Exchange Theatre. The successful Director will be announced at 7.00pm that evening.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Monday, 11 February 2013

Interview: Christopher Eccleston

Photo: Steel Mill Pictures

Best known for playing the Doctor in Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston stars in the upcoming comedy drama Song for Marion.

Eccleston, who plays James in the film, described the subject of Song for Marion as a “spiritual awakening done in a very light comedic style.” He explained: “It’s a little bit like A Christmas Carol in a way. It’s about the awakening of a miserable old man to the possibilities of life.

“Arthur (Terence Stamp), my father in the film is married to Marion (Vanessa Redgrave). His wife is in a local community choir that get together and sing popular songs poorly. He’s very disapproving of this and distant from it as he’s been with his son all his life. I play the son.”

He continued: “During the course of Marion being involved in the choir, she realises that she’s got cancer and that she’s dying. This has a massive emotional impact on Arthur and his son, and increases the tension in their relationship, but Marion is increasingly involved in the choir.

“When she’s gone, there’s a gap and the young woman who runs the choir, played by Gemma Arterton, pursues Arthur to become involved, in order to help him deal with his grief and in order for him to shed some of his misery really.”

Eccleston, who has also appeared in Elizabeth, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and The Others, said that working with Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton was a beneficial experience: “I looked at Terence’s character and I looked at Vanessa’s character and I had to decide how much each of them had influenced the psychology of my character James.

“I think it’s probably very difficult if your father’s distant, cold and unemotional. However, it seems that his mother was the complete opposite of that, which is often the case in couples, and she was very warm, very expansive, inclusive and optimistic. Based on this, I think I decided that my character was far more like his mother than his father.”

He added: “I only had one scene with Gemma but it was great to be around her obviously.”

Despite being set in London, Song for Marion was filmed in Newcastle and Durham, where the local community were “hugely supportive” of the film. Eccleston, who was born in Salford, explained: “You know you get a very specific generosity and warmth in the North of this country.

“It’s fact that people voted the Geordie voice as the friendliest on the telephone. We’ve got great locations. We were made to feel very welcome. It was a very positive experience up there.”

Song for Marion, also known as Unfinished Song, closed the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and has already received a “very positive” response. Eccleston explained: “You never get universal approval but generally people have responded really well to Gemma, Vanessa and particularly Terence’s performance, because he anchors the film.”

Song for Marion is released in cinemas on February 22nd, 2013.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Christopher Eccleston receives 'substantial' hacking damages.

Actor Christopher Eccleston received a public apology, "substantial" damages and his legal costs.

David Sherborne, representing the star, told the judge that the star was "repeatedly targeted" by News Group Newspapers (NGN) in 2005 and 2006 "not only because of his successful acting career, but also because his private life was apparently of significant interest to the News of the World".

He said Mr Eccleston was a "private individual who has always taken care to keep his personal life out of the press".

Christopher Eccleston has received a public apology,

Christopher Eccleston has received a public apology, "substantial" damages and his legal costs Credit: Yui Mok/PA

The News of the World "targeted" him as "part of their unlawful activities, to obtain private information belonging to him, and then sought to publish articles about his personal relationships and private life".

Counsel told the court: "The claimant was deeply angry and upset to discover that, owing to the deliberate destruction of documents by the News of the World, he will never find out the true extent to which his privacy, and that of those close to him, was invaded."

He said NGN now accepted responsibility for its unlawful actions and agreed to apologise to the actor.

Friday, 1 February 2013

9th Doctor eBook.

9th Doctor eBook is in the works. Puffin is releasing the eBooks - one for each Doctor - for the 50th anniversary.

Virginia is mobile.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Christopher Eccleston on the central human message of Nineteen Eighty-Four

Duration: 01:28

Christopher Eccleston says the central message of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is "the strength of humanity".
Christopher plays Winston Smith in Radio 4's dramatisation of Orwell's dystopian novel which was originally published in 1949.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

My apologies.

Unfortunately my site went down recently due to the domain name being renewed, I apologise to those visitors who received error message upon visiting the site, hopefully there’ll be no crossover next renewal.  Open-mouthed smile

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Trailer for Unfinished Song/Song for Marion.

The Weinstein Company has brought online the trailer for Unfinished Song, which was previously titled "Song for Marion." Starring Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton, Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Eccleston, the Paul Andrew Williams film opens on February 8.
Unfinished Song is a London-set comedic drama about grumpy pensioner Arthur (Stamp) who is reluctantly inspired by his beloved wife Marion (Redgrave) to join a highly unconventional local choir. At odds with his son James (Eccleston) it is left to choir director Elizabeth (Arterton) to try and persuade Arthur that he can learn to embrace life. Arthur must confront the undercurrents of his own grumbling persona as he embarks on a hilarious, life-affirming journey of musical self discovery.