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1. J.K. Rowling Tweets Updates on Gold Dagger Award

J.K. Rowling has announced (via Twitter) that Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm has been shortlisted for the The Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award. J.K. Rowling also previously tweeted that the second Cormoran Strike novel had been nominated for the Gold Dagger Award, just a couple weeks ago. It appears that poor Robert has mislaid his twitter password. According to the The Crime Writers’ Association’s twitter, the winners of the Gold Dagger (among others) awards will be presented on September 29, at a special event. We expect both J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith to be in attendance at the special event. These tweets can be seen below.

 

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2. Bottoms Up to Daniel Radcliffe!

This week has been an important one for Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe.  Within days of his invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Radcliffe has signed on to a new film project and received another unique honor.

Swiss Army Man, also set to star Paul Dano and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, will be directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, work on the surrealist film will begin in July.

The film centers around a hopeless man stranded in the wilderness who befriends a dead body with which he begins a journey to get home.

The directors’ past work includes music videos and short films.

In addition, Daniel Radcliffe has won the male Rear of the Year Award for 2015.  International Business Times reports that the voting is done entirely online through Rear of the Year Ltd, with over 10,000 votes for the best backside registered this year.

Past male winners have covered a vast spectrum of people including Michael Barrymore, dancer Vincent Simone, John Barrowman, Ricky Whittle and Graham Norton.

Fifty Shades of Grey star, Jamie Dornan, ranked second this year, while Eddie Redmayne ranked fifth.

See here to read more about Swiss Army Man, and here for more on this year’s Rear of the Year Award winners.

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3. Review: Alan Rickman’s “A Little Chaos”

Alan Rickman has had a prolific career thus far, so it should come as no surprise that his new film “A Little Chaos” highlights him as a Renaissance man of sorts. Rickman directed, co-wrote, and performed the role of King Louis XIV in the film. While the review on ithacajournal.com questions some of Rickman’s artistic choices in the screenwriting of the film, it praises his directorial effort and his portrayal of the Sun King:

“A Little Chaos” is clearly a labor of love for Alan Rickman, Winslet’s “Sense and Sensibility” co-star, who not only directed it and co-wrote the script but has a featured role as Louis XIV. He gets passing marks for two of those three tasks. While he’s frankly wonderful as the king — he channels just the right combination of majesty and humanity — and his direction is perfectly serviceable, the screenplay has some disappointing forays into melodrama that the film would have been far better without.

The film has experienced limited theatrical release, but it will be available on DVD on August 4th.

You can read the rest of the review, which awards the film 3/5 stars, here.

 

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4. Remembering Albus Dumbledore

Today we honor the death of one of the greatest literary characters ever created. Though Albus Dumbledore may have never breathed in real life, he was always alive in our hearts. His great wisdom reminded us that “happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” For “it is the unknown that we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more,” and we “should not pity the dead; [we should] pity the living, and above all, those who live without love;” especially when “[failing] to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been [our] greatest weakness.” Dumbledore taught us how to have the courage to be ourselves, and not pretend to be anybody else: “it is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” Dumbledore talked of love and acceptance; of others as well as ourselves because “differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” We must not forget the power of goodness, forgiveness and love, even in hard times: for even when “dark times lie ahead of us…there will be [times] when we must choose between what is right and what is easy.” We must not get caught up in flights of fancy; we must not dwell on what we want, or do not have, but be grateful for what we do have, because “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Please join us in honoring the bravery, wisdom, and love Dumbldore taught us throughout the Harry Potter series. For even though he lived in our hearts and our imaginations because “of course it is [all] happening inside [our] heads, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”

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5. Alan Rickman talks his career, new movie in New Interviews

A Little Chaos was released limitedly in the U.S. yesterday. In two new interviews, Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) talks about his new film, his career, and what he is up to next. In the recent interview with Buzz Feed, Rickman talked of “strong brilliant women” (specifically Kate Winslet and J.K. Rowling) and revealed how little he knew of what was going on in the world of Potter today: Fantastist Beasts, what’s that? BuzzFeed reports:

“You directed and acted in the film. What were some of the obstacles you faced juggling both jobs?

I wasn’t acting in it too much. So that was the first clever decision I made. I’m not in it too much, so I don’t need to worry about it overly. I think when you’re making a film, especially when a lot of it is outdoors and you’re in England, you’re staring at the sky a lot. And then you’re staring at your watch a lot. And then there are a lot of other people looking in their wallets a lot. So it’s the usual thing. They are the obstacles, and they’re the ones you need to jump over all the time.
Was there a time in your career when you had a major setback? What pushed you through?
You could ask any actor about their early days, and I think you know — if you decide you’re going to do it, and then you train and you’ve committed — you know there are going to be long periods out of work. And I wasn’t different than anybody else. I know there are some lucky young actors now, they get made a star in a minute, and you worry a little for the moment when that gets snatched away. It’s a different world now. I don’t remember it now, but I’m sure the difficult moments made me stronger, or at least that’s what I’ve trained myself to think.

How has your relationship with Kate Winslet changed, and grown, since you filmed Sense and Sensibility together 20 years ago?

She’s still the same great human being, but there’s a lot of life history with her now, and three children. She was 19 — you can write the story really: There’s a 19-year-old girl and here’s a 40-year-old woman with three children and all sorts of dear-diary entries. I am the beneficiary of having a thinking, feeling, strong-minded, brilliant woman on the set. All of those things were true then, but she was 19 years old.

We are very excited about J.K. Rowling’s new movieThe Fantastic Beasts–

See, I didn’t even know what it was called!

What do you think she’ll bring to the table as a screenwriter?

Is she going to write the screenplay? I didn’t know that. Talk about smart, strong-minded, brilliant women — there’s another one, and she’ll make damn sure it’s worth waiting for.”

To read more, and about which wig Alan Rickman preferred (Louis XVI or Snape’s?) click here.
In an interview with Oregon Live, Rickman discussed how he chooses the projects he will take on as an actor/director…or rather, how the projects choose him (similar to the experience of buying his wand at Mr. Ollivander’s). Rickman discussed his different experiences of working in CGI movies and classic theater, as well as what he is working on next. Oregon Live reports:
“How did you get involved in a movie about the construction of a garden at Versailles?

How indeed? I should probably need to be arrested for saying yes to a project like that were it not for the fact that at its heart it’s a love story and a subtle one and a slow-burning one that needed the right context for it to live properly. That’s what I recognized on the page. Then it became kind of a compulsion to do it, really, because less and less time is being taken onscreen with relationship films. It takes a lot these days to get into bed together.

Did you always want to direct it?

I think as time went on, yes. I spent a lot of time working with the writer, Alison Deegan, but I was directing in the theater during that period. I wasn’t free to direct a movie until I finished with Harry Potter responsibilities. I had spent a lot of time with her just kind of being a structural engineer with the script, and then as time went on it slipped into a kind of inevitability.

What about the casting? Did you always know who you wanted to play King Louis XIV?

Certainly not me! (Laughs) As time goes by and you get close to being able to shoot it and Kate is free and her schedule is open … the budget would be helped immeasurably if you have a Louis that you didn’t have to pay (laughs).

Is it a weird feeling to watch yourself onscreen, especially as a director?

It’s awful. I haven’t got any alternative, though. I was saying to somebody else recently that vanity goes out the window very quickly because you have what you have and it’s “Unflattering lighting? Hard luck.” You’ve just got to use it. Working with an editor is the most crucial relationship and you’ve got to become objective about yourself. You sort of become another person.

After so much time working on the Harry Potter movies, were you looking to do something different?

I did do lots of different things the whole time. For example, while I was shooting Harry Potter I was also appearing in “Private Lives” in London on the West End and on Broadway, and I was making things like “Sweeney Todd” and “Love Actually” and “Snow Cake” and other movies. I was directing in the theater as well, Strindberg and a modern play about Israel and Palestine.

In a way, they choose you, projects. I don’t know that I was looking to do something set in the French 17th century but it happened.

What are you working on now?

Well, I’ve done my contribution to the latest Alice in Wonderland film. And now for something completely different, I am the caterpillar again (laughs). I’ve got a film called “Eye in the Sky” which is a film about the moral responsibilities governments face regarding the use of drones.

You know, Shakespeare is forever and CGI is very recent. What are the challenges of working in special effects movies like Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland for an actor?

When you’re on set, usually you’ve got some lines or something to say and you’re saying it to someone and it’s being photographed, and your job is to make it believable, to have a real conversation with somebody, whatever the agenda is. Usually the CGI is all going on behind you and it’s green and has orange crosses on it. You’re not looking at it. You’re looking at about 100 people with clipboards and behind cameras and holding meters and lights. In a way, that captive audience is like being in the theater. However sophisticated it gets, you don’t know what it’s going to look like. What you’re looking at doesn’t change. It’s still a film set of people which is a bit like an audience so really what’s happening inside your head is the same.”

Rickman goes on to discuss being recognized in public (or not!) after being in the Harry Potter spotlight, as well as looking back on all that he has done in his career. The rest of the article can be read here.

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6. Happy Birthday Matt Lewis and Dobby!

Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) celebrates his 26th birthday today! Yes, it is today. According to Twitter, Matt said he had been getting many great birthday wishes from the Harry Potter clan and “Emma Watson and Co.” With this remark, J.k. Rowling rushed to giver her wishes…all to which Matt said thank you, but they were all a day to early. Please join us in wishing Matt a happy birthday, on his actual birthday :).

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The Harry Potter universe also honors Dobby, our favorite brave and loyal house elf today. It too is Dobby’s birthday. We are not quite sure how old Dobby would be, but we take this time to remember him and the many times he tried to save Harry (bludgers, brick walls…and of course a rescue from Bellatrix). Pottermore is asking for fans’ favorite Dobby Quotes in celebration of this wonderful house elf. Please join us in wishing Dobby a Happy Birthday.

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7. Leaky Cauldron Restaurant Needs Your Vote

The Leaky Cauldron at Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley needs your vote to be ranked Best Amusement Park Restaurant.  USA Today has nominated 20 restaurants from theme parks across the United States and is asking readers to select their favorite to create a ranked list.  As of this morning, the Leaky Cauldron is ranked #2.

Harry Potter fans will love tasty British fare, such as fish and chips, cottage pie and bangers and mash at this pub located in Diagon Alley. The Leaky Cauldron was carefully-crafted to ensure authenticity after years of studying Harry Potter books and movies as well as typical British pubs. Of course, Butterbeer — the popular wizarding beverage — is available for purchase.

Several of our Leaky Cauldron staff have good things to say about the restaurant.  Emma Pocock says, “The Leaky Cauldron has a great atmosphere, and really adds to the ‘English village’ vibe they’ve got going in this section of the park – the food is great, too! It really feels like you’re walking into the real thing, but the weather’s probably hotter.”

Alysha McLeod writes, “Stepping into The Leaky Cauldron is like being whisked into Harry’s world by a portkey. The atmosphere is incredible, and the food is wonderful. It’s a nice change of pace from most theme park food–everything is so comforting and homemade-tasting. The Yorkshire pudding and minted peas were a particular highlight for me.

Finally, Catherine writes, “When eating at the Leaky Cauldron, I found myself expecting to see Harry, Ron and Hermione, sitting at a table in the corner, huddled away with their glasses of Butterbeer. The extraordinary attention to detail makes one feel as if they have actually stepped into the world of Harry Potter; with every glance around the room I found something new. The family atmosphere, excellent witches and wizard on the wait staff, and good English food made the Leaky Cauldron exactly how I imagined it would be. One of the best parts of my visit to Diagon Alley was enjoying a Butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron (and hugging the cracked Cauldron, of course). On my last night in Diagon Alley, as the park was closing, I specifically bought a Butterbeer from the near-empty Leaky Cauldron restaurant, and sat on the window sill, watching muggles and magical folk trickle back though the brick wall, while the music and the lights remained alive. It was a truly magical experience, and The Leaky Cauldron deserve to be voted America’s #1 Theme Park Restaurant.”

Each person can vote once daily until July 7 to support the Leaky Cauldron restaurant.  Thanks Robert Martinez Jr. and Marianella Zapata Noriega for letting us know that our shared namesake has made this list!

See here to cast your vote.

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8. Emma Watson to star alongside Tom Hanks in ‘The Circle’

Emma Watson is to take a leading role alongside Tom hanks in a film adaptation of Dave Egger’s book The Circle. The satirical New York Times bestselling novel, about the removal of personal privacy at the hands of a large tech corporation,was Egger’s first fictional work. Time reports:

‘The novel follows a young woman named Mae (Watson) who lands a job at a massive tech company called The Circle (think: the power of Google, the influence of Facebook and the machinations of Hooli). It takes a dark turn when Mae meets a mysterious older man (Hanks) and begins to reckon with the deterioration of privacy in a world full of surveillance technology and linked with social media networks.’

According to Variety, director James Ponsoldt said of Watson:

“Emma Watson is one of my favorite actors, and her incredible talent, sensitivity and deep intelligence will bring an electric energy to The Circle…

Tom Hanks will also be producing the film alongside Gary Goetzman, and will start shooting in September.

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9. J.K. Rowling confirms ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

An exciting announcement has been made by J.K. Rowling via Twitter, confirming the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,  a play set to open in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre next year. This announcement was made on the 18th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.

The tweets confirm that the play will not be a prequel, and will be ‘a real treat for fans’ as a new story that was made exclusively for the stage. The writer, Jack Thorne, and director, John Tiffany (Tony award writer of Once) and J.K. Rowling herself will collaborate to produce the play, the content of which the Daily Mail previously reported on:

‘The Cursed Child delves into what happened to Harry’s parents — Lily Evans Potter and James Potter — before they were killed by Lord Voldemort, forcing an infant Harry to be raised in miserable circumstances by his mother’s sister, Petunia, her horrid husband Vernon and their spoiled son Dudley.’

J.K. Rowling’s official Facebook page reported:

‘Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions, tickets for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ will go on public sale this autumn, details of which will be announced summer 2015 and will be shared on the official website, in late July.’

To keep updated on ticket information, you can subscribe to an emailing list on the play’s official website, www.harrypottertheplaylondon.com.

More news to come! See Rowling’s tweets below:

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10. 8th Harry Potter Funko Pop! Figure Unveiled + Contest

It appears that there is a new Quidditch Harry Potter Funko Pop! figure on the horizon. This new figurine is the eighth edition of Funko Pop! figures in the Harry Potter series. It is also a Hot Topic exclusive and cannot be purchased elsewhere (pictured below). Warner Bros.’  Harry Potter Wishlist has a contest you can enter to win all of the figures before they are even available for purchase:

‘The first wave of the Harry Potter POP! release features fan-favorite characters including Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Lord Voldemort, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid and Severus Snape. The Harry Potter figures will hit retail in mid-to-late July, but your friends at Harry Potter Wish List are giving fans the opportunity to win the complete Harry Potter POP! Vinyl Figures collection now, before you can buy them.’

This contest collection will include the Hot Topic exclusive Quidditch Harry Potter figurine. You can enter the contest here. All figurines in the Harry Potter Funko Pop! series will be available to purchase later this summer, July 31, in honor of Harry and Jo’s birthday!

Thanks to our friends over at SnitchSeeker for posting about this!

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11. Evanna Lynch talks about Success and Rejection in Show Business

Evanna Lynch was one of us, a normal Harry Potter fan, when she landed her first role in the world of acting for the big screen. However, she had wanted to be an actress for a while, and went to many auditions. She talked to Jarlath Regan on his podcast (Free to download on iTunes), “An Irishman Abroad,” about facing rejection after a bad audition, and her mom’s advice–“go back to college, maybe it’s not for you.” Goss reported on the podcast episode, quoting Evanna:

‘The Harry Potter actress admitted that rejection never gets easier and her mum would often suggest she “go back to college” when she rang her after a bad audition.

“I do often have auditions where I’m like ‘ugh, what happened there? That was terrible.’ I used to always just call my mum from here, ‘what am I doing? How do I get through this?’” she said.

“It used to always be, ‘ah sure maybe go back to college, maybe it’s not for you,’ and it’s like, that’s not what you want to hear.”

While the Louth native knows her mum has her best interests at heart, she admitted it changed their relationship.

“It changes your relationship. My mum used to always be the person I would go to. Rejection doesn’t get easier,” she told An Irishman Abroad podcast.

“When you get that no, that’s the most cutting thing and you just want to go home and curl into a ball and be told ‘it’s ok’.

“I realised I wasn’t hearing what I wanted to hear. I would be inclined to believe what my parents said about me because they know me best and they have my best interests at heart.”

“But you don’t get any better by quitting. I love it, it’s what I want to do, I wont get any better if I quit and agree with my parents and take the safe option,” she said.’

Evanna’s new movie, Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale, will be released in the U.S. as Dynamite: A 60’s Love Story. In a new press release, it was announced that the independent film had been sold to Breaking Glass Pictures. The Wrap reports:

‘Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the indie drama “Dynamite: A 60’s Love Story,” which stars Ian Harding(“”Pretty Little Liars”) as a heroin addict working in the illegal porn industry. Breaking Glass announced it is planning a theatrical release for Oct. 2015.

Tate Steinsiek made his feature directorial debut with “Dynamite,” which also stars Evanna Lynch (the “Harry Potter” franchise) as Bornstein’s wife, Carol Kane (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Brendan Sexton III (“The Killing”) and Chaske Spencer (“Twilight”).

Set in New York City in 1968, the story follows Bornstein, a part-time father and full-time dope fiend working within the underground, illegal porn industry. Even in the wake of a federal investigation, Max’s bigger concern was his family.’

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12. Hogwarts Houses Correspond To Real Psychological Personality Traits, New Study Finds

A new study has determined that there is a correlation between a person’s personality traits and the house in which they are sorted on Pottermore. Bustle.com reports:

In the study, which is due to be published in the journal Personality and Individual Difference, researchers looked at the sorting quiz on the official Harry Potter site Pottermore and gauged personality measures among fans who had undergone sorting. Specifically, the researchers were looking for what are referred to as the “Big Five” personality traits — extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness — as well as the need to belong, the need for cognition, and the so-called Dark Triad traits. That’s a real psychological term, by the way; the Dark Triad consists of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

There has been some speculation amongst fans that Pottermore’s test–which functions as a virtual sorting hat–is rigged to equally distribute members throughout the four houses. The idea is that this will make competition for the house cup more fair; however, this study helps to disprove that notion by shedding light–or perhaps casting a Lumos charm?– on just how accurate Pottermore’s algorithm seems to be.

You can read the full article about the study here.

 

 

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13. Win the Chance to Meet Jason Isaacs and Bonnie Wright at ‘Supanova’ in Perth

Over 18, live in Western Australia, and free on 27th June?

Enter Brisbane Times’ competition to win tickets to Supanova – a VIP event in a secret location in Perth, Australia. Members of the Harry Potter cast such as Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) will be there, along side many others, as Brisbane Times reports:

‘Reminisce with Brady Bunch stars Susan Olsen and Mike Lookinland, flex your Futurama knowledge with Billy West and John DiMaggio or have a pint of butterbeer with Harry Potter’s Jason Isaacs… or any other star you can find.’

The full list of stars attending is here and features many exciting names, such as Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Dr Horrible, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the people behind Mad Max: Fury Road and so many others! Brisbane Times’ detailing of the competition are as follows:

‘If you could ask any of the Supanova guest stars (the full list is here) any question you like, what would it be?

Email your answer, along with your name, age, address and contact number to competitions@watoday.com.au. Please include the word PARTY in the subject line.

Competition closes at 4pm Thursday 25 June 2015 and terms and conditions apply.’

Definitely worth a try if you meet the entry requirements!

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14. J.K Rowling reveals new content on the Dursleys via Pottermore

J.K. Rowling has taken to Pottermore to release new content about the Dursleys in celebration of Dudley’s 35th birthday today. This was in line with the reveal of new content in Deathly Hallows chapters on the interactive reading website. Time reports:

‘Rowling gave insight into the backstory of Vernon and Petunia, including the origin of their names, both first and last, and their relationship to Harry’s parents James and Lily.’

Time also includes information on how to get to the new content:

‘In order to access the latest information on Pottermore, fans must first head to the Cupboard Under the Stairs, where the Dursleys kept Harry at number four, Privet Drive. As alohamora won’t work to unlock the new text, fans might want to look at the side table outside the cupboard first.’

Rowling comments on Petunia’s parting words to Harry:

‘Although some readers wanted more from Aunt Petunia during this farewell, I still think that I have her behave in a way that is most consistent with her thoughts and feelings throughout the previous seven books … Nobody ever seemed to expect any better from Uncle Vernon, so they were not disappointed.’

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These are very exciting additions to Pottermore, which still continues to expand. If you don’t fancy the hunt, read in more detail about the additions in SnitchSeeker’s article here.

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15. Alan Rickman talks about his Acting Nerves

Even the professionals still get stage fright. In a recent article from the New York Daily News, Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) talked about the “risks” that come with acting, and why those “risks” are the reason he acts. Rickman said that he gets nervous when taking on roles that are further outside his natural character and comfort zone. Playing King Louis XVI in his new film, A Little Chaos, was one of those more challenging and nerve-racking roles. He talked of the particular challenges that come with playing someone of a different nationality, as well as a different time period. He also discussed roles that he is more famous for–such as his characters in Die HardRobin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Buttler, CBGB, as well as Severus Snape in Harry Potter. The NY Daily News reports:

 

‘EVEN THE man who portrayed the formidable Prof. Snape can get frightened.

Alan Rickman feels that way when playing men drastically different from himself.

One of stage and cinema’s preeminent purveyors of complicated characters, he mentions roles like New York music-club king Hilly Kristal in “CBGB,” and President Ronald Reagan in “The Butler.”

One more intimidating part could be French monarch King Louis XIV in “A Little Chaos,” opening Friday, which Rickman also directed.

“It’s always hard when you play someone from a whole other country and background,” says the English actor.

“But real terror, frankly, is standing in the wings of a theater about to go on for three hours, and no one says ‘Cut!’ if you screw up. Being frightened is good, though. Acting should be about risky projects as much as it can be about entertaining. The risk is what makes you want to do it.”

“Die Hard,” a smash hit and one of the greatest action films ever made, was Rickman’s first Hollywood movie. His purring menace and catlike calm made terrorist Hans Gruber memorable.

“That was theater training, I suppose,” he says. “I didn’t play him as bad; as far as I’m concerned, in the film, I’m a great guy! Hans is very polite — he’s warning people he’ll kill them if they don’t do as he says, and he says it very nicely until they piss him off!”

Then came the eight “Harry Potter” films, and Rickman’s fate was sealed. His rich portrayal of Professor Severus Snape earned him a new legion of fans.

“The good news with Snape is that he was a surprise for everybody,” Rickman says. “People think that I knew (the character’s arc), but I didn’t. All I had was a tiny image Rowling gave me that made me know I had to play in two directions at once. But there was something in him that indicated he wasn’t all he seemed.”

The art of creating characters depends, Rickman says, on a balance between order and confusion.’

 

Alan Rickman talked more of his project, A Little Chaos, which he starred in and directed. He also talks about working with Kate Winslet–her prepared performance and gumption as she filmed through pregnancy. The rest of the article can be read hereA Little Chaos will be released in limited US theaters this Friday, June 26.

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16. Young Tom Riddle Actor Featured in ‘Fear the Walking Dead’

Frank Dillane, best known for playing Young Voldemort/Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, stars in a new promotional video.  According to E!Online, Dillane, along with actors Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, and Alicia Debnam Carey, will be in a new The Walking Dead spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead, premiering August 2015.

The first season will be six episodes, and AMC has already ordered a second season to premiere in 2016.

The new AMC trailer shows Dillane running from something terrifying.

Perhaps it is poetic justice for Tom Riddle to be chased by zombies.

To read more, see here.

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17. Waterstones ‘Career of Evil’ Competition

Waterstones is holding a very exciting competition to win one of three signed copies of J.K. Rowling’s upcoming novel Career of Evil. The website states:

We have managed to secure a small number of signed copies of Career Of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling). Anyone who pre-orders a copy of the book on Waterstones.com will be in with a chance of getting a rare, signed edition.

Simply pre-order the book before 9am on 19th October 2015, and a signed copy could be yours. Don’t worry, if you’ve already pre-ordered a copy from us, you’ll be in with a chance too.’

For only £10.00 on the Waterstones website, we think this sounds like a worthwhile deal!

Career of Evil is due for publication on 22nd October 2015.

Thanks to SnitchSeeker.com for the heads up!

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18. Emma Watson on HeForShe Campaign

Recent tweets by Emma Watson demonstrate her continuing passion for her role as leader of the HeforShe Campaign for gender equality. Emma tweeted that she felt ‘speechless’, followed by another tweet thanking those supporting the campaign. The Time article she posted with this stated that:

‘Big companies like Twitter and Vodafone and major universities like Georgetown and Oxford have all pledged to take concrete steps towards gender equality as part of the final installment of UNWomen’s IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, released Thursday. The initiative is part of the HeForShe movement unveiled by Emma Watson at the UN last fall, designed to encourage 10 CEOs, 10 University Presidents, and 10 world leaders to commit to advancing the cause of women’s equality.’

You can see the tweets below:

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19. Sir John Hurt Fighting Cancer

Sir John Hurt, who played the role of Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter movies, has announced that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Mr. Hurt said that he has always been open about his life, and the diagnosis of early stages of cancer won’t stop him from working and creating films. At 75 years old, he says that he is very optimistic that his battle with cancer will be a successful one. Times reports:

In a statement to PEOPLE, Hurt, 75, said: “I have always been open about the way in which I conduct my life and in that spirit I would like to make a statement. I have recently been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. I am undergoing treatment and am more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome, as indeed is the medical team.”

He added: “I am continuing to focus on my professional commitments and will shortly be recording ‘Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell’ (one of life’s small ironies!) for BBC Radio 4.”

Please join us here at Leaky in giving support and well wishes to Sir John Hurt.

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20. Robert Galbraith’s “The Silkworm” Nominated for an Award

J.K. Rowling was happy to share (Tweet) that her friend, Robert Galbraith, has been nominated for a CWA Dagger Award for The Silkworm. A CWA award is given to the best crime novel of the year. The Silkworm was nominated for the first round of nominations. A short list of nominees will be released June 30. Robert Galbraith’s website shared a quote from the CWA award chair:

CWA chair Len Tyler said: “Our judges have had a wonderful time reading all these brilliant books. What a year for crime fiction. These long lists are a great demonstration of how diverse and fascinating the genre is right now. No wonder it’s the most popular type of fiction with UK readers.”

Join us in congratulating Robert and Jo!

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21. Jim Broadbent Art on Display in London

Jim Broadbent, the actor known to Potter fans as Professor Slughorn, has his first art exhibit this summer.  “The People,” a collection of wood-carved figures, are now on display at London’s Southbank Centre as part of the Festival of Love until August 31.

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According to The Guardian, Broadbent began carving the figures out of found wood six years ago.  What started as a hobby that he stored in his shed has grown to a collection of 21 painted, clothed figures.

Some people will find them fun. Some, a bit creepy. “Disarming” and “remarkable” were descriptions used by early visitors on Friday. All of those are OK, said Broadbent. “They are not claiming to be anything other than what they are. If people don’t like them that’s all right but it is obviously nice if they do.”

If in London, have a look, or see here to read more and see photographs of Broadbent’s work.

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22. Katherine Waterston cast as the female lead for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’

Katherine Waterston, previously seen with Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, has been cast to play Tina (short for Porpentina), a witch operating in the U.S. A report by  The Hollywood Reporter and the announcement made by Warner Bros. state the following:

“Porpentina meets magizoologist Newt Scamander (Redmayne) when he stops in New York City on his travels to find and document magical creatures.”

The British-born Waterston made her feature film debut in 2007 in Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton. She will portray Chrisann Brennan, the girlfriend of Steve Jobs, in Danny Boyle’s upcoming Jobs biopic Steve Jobs (currently in post-production according to IMDb).

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J.K. Rowling  tweeted about the announcement, sharing her support for the casting of Waterston along with a link to a Vanity Fair article regarding the casting news.waterston

Two pivotal roles remain to be cast: Queenie, Tina’s younger sister, and Jacob, Scamander’s rival. According to Variety, Warner Bros. “is said to be looking for more established faces for the spinoff” instead of newcomers, as was done with the original Harry Potter franchise.

J.K. Rowling will make her screenwriting debut with Fantastic Beasts and the film will be directed by David Yates.

The film is set to premiere on Nov. 18, 2016.

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23. Imelda Staunton interviewed for her new Broadway stage production, “Gypsy”

Broadway.com has released an interview with Imelda Staunton (the actress who portrayed Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films) about her current performance in the Broadway production “Gypsy.”

In the interview, Staunton speaks to some of the unique challenges involved in acting in a Broadway production. She previously won Olivier Awards for her Baker’s Wife in the London debut of Into the Woods, and as Mrs. Lovett opposite, Michael Ball, in the 2012 West End revival of Sweeney Todd.

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You had great success on the West End several years ago in another landmark musical, Sweeney Todd, but that must have felt altogether different.
It really did. For one thing, Sweeney really is a shared assignment between the two leads [Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney] and it’s a different sing altogether. In a way what was far more helpful to me was doing Good People in between Sweeney and this: that’s another show about a mother who will do anything she can to help her child.

Interestingly, this is the first major production of Gypsy to be done since the death in 2011 of its co-creator Arthur Laurents, who directed the LuPone revival.
Yes, and I don’t know what [Laurents] would have made of it. In a funny way it feels as if our production has been released from him and from what’s gone before. The dance for Tulsa, for instance, has been re-choreographed. I’m not saying that’s good or bad; it just is.

Does the production feel as if it’s moved to an altogether different level on the West End?
I suppose it does, and I do think we’re starting from a better place. I’ve taken my own preparation pretty seriously, which is to say that I didn’t want people going, “Yeah, good actress, can’t sing” [laughs].

Not much chance of that. One wonders what you could possibly do for an encore?
Part of me thinks, “I’d like to never set foot in a theater again,” but that’s just because this feels so decisive. People ask me what’s next, but I have a pretty boring radar with not a lot on it.

You can read the full interview here.

Thanks to our friends over at Mugglenet for posting about this!

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24. Alan Rickman on ‘The Tonight Show’

The BBC reported, Alan Rickman appeared on The Tonight Show to ‘confront’ Jimmy Fallon regarding his ‘Rickman-Off’ with Benedict Cumberbatch in 2013. Hilarity ensued as Rickman presented two ‘truth-telling machines’ (helium balloons) to Fallon, leading to them conversing in comically high-pitched voices.

You can watch the segment below:

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25. Lumos Receives Award

Lumos tweeted that they have been awarded the Charity Award of International Aid and Development for their work in Moldova. Lumos is working in Moldova to create an Inclusive Education program. This program works to ensure that kids with disabilities have equal access to “universal services,” such as education. Lumos believes that this is a crucial step in ending the institutionalization of children. Lumos discussed their work in an article on their web page a couple of years ago:

During a conference in November 2013, Lumos and the Ministry of Education in Moldova were able show that developing these much-needed services is achievable.

The conference brought together 200 policy makers, teachers, government officials, education specialists and professionals from non-governmental organisations to highlight not only the achievements made in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, but highlight the crucial link between inclusive education, deinstitutionalisation and the reform of services for children and families.

Participants were also able see the services for themselves and were able to take part in the inaugural opening of two resource centers for inclusive education in Ialoveni region.  They also heard from a number of the 570 children who had left residential institutions, who are now growing up within families and are now accessing education in their community and alongside their friends and peers.

 

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If you would like to donate, or support Lumos in any way, please visit Lumos’ website. Please join us here at Leaky in congratulating all those who dedicate their hardwork and efforts to Lumos, as well as J.K. Rowling.

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