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News Archive: April 2004
Valhalla Updates
Posted at 9:26 AM (PDT) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Belfast News Letter (Northern Ireland)
April 26, 2004

X-FACTOR SOUGHT FOR FILM

Young hopefuls turned out in their droves at the weekend for the opportunity of a lifetime as auditions were held at Maysfield Leisure Centre in Belfast to find a costar for X-Files actress Gillian Anderson.

She will be in Northern Ireland this summer to take the lead role in the film Valhalla.

The search is now on to find a young actor to play her son.


Daily Star
April 26, 2004

FROM BADDIE TO WORSE; CARLYLE IS VALHAL OF A VILLAIN

By Ruairi O'Kane

Movie baddie Robert Carlyle is set to take on his most evil role to date as a bloodthirsty Irish terrorist.

The Trainspotting star has signed up for the big screen flick Valhalla alongside X-Files beauty Gillian Anderson.

The 43-year-old Scot will play an assassin who is released from prison to find he has a son.

The low-budget project will chart his attempts to bond with his child and the mum played by Anderson.

Movie chiefs revealed the script was written specifically for Carlyle who impressed them with his roles as psychopath Begbie in Trainspotting and Bond villain Renard in The World is Not Enough. Writer Pearse Elliot admitted he never imagined Carlyle would accept the part, but he phoned out of the blue to say he wanted it.

He said: "Robert has a fantastic armoury and can petrify his audience with one glance, but can also show a sensitive side, which was vital for this role. I wrote the script with him in mind, but never expected he would take the part. But he phoned me one day to say he was interested and we talked it through. Robert bowled me over with his performances as serial killer Albie in Cracker and as Begbie in Trainspotting so I knew from the off he was perfect for this role. I'm delighted to have him and Gillian Anderson on side. Both are wonderfully talented actors."

Carlyle is said to be perfecting his Northern Irish accent before travelling to Belfast for filming next month.

The movie is scheduled for release in early 2006.


New Film Role for Gillian
Posted at 11:34 AM (PDT) on Thursday, April 22, 2004

*CONFIRMED*

From Belfast Telegraph:

The talent is out there...
X-Files star due in Belfast for role in new film

By Eddie McIlwaine

X-FILES star Gillian Anderson is heading for Belfast in the summer - to play the mother of a teenage boy caught up in the undercurrent of violence in the city in a big screen movie.

And on Saturday the search will be launched here to find a talented young actor to take the role of her son in the film Valhalla.

Writer Pierce Elliott has a picture in his mind of the kind of 10-14-year-old he sees in the vital part and will be at the Maysfield Leisure Centre (10am-1pm) to help find him from the scores of fledging actors who are expected to turn up.

"It's a heaven-sent opportunity for a youngster to launch a career in acting," he said today.

"Boys with acting experience and lads with no stage background at all, only ambition, will be welcome, we will be turning no-one away," added Pierce, one of Ulster's burgeoning wordsmiths whose Pulling Moves is soon to be seen on BBC television.

Valhalla, the plot of which is being kept under wraps, will also star Full Monty actor Robert Carlyle.

It is being shot on location here by Treasure Entertainments, with support from the BBC.


Two Sales at our Cafe Press Store
Posted at 8:41 AM (PDT) on Thursday, April 22, 2004

Save $2.00 off all tile boxes.

Mother's Day Sale: $4 off orders over $40 with coupon code MOMROCKS. Expires May 3, 2004.






New book recommendations
Posted at 2:12 PM (PDT) on Friday, April 16, 2004

Gillian highly recommends these two books to all her book-loving fans:



CD Cover



Bel Canto

by Ann Patchett



CD Cover


The Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold





If you're using Amazon.co.uk, click here for "Bel Canto" and click here for "The Lovely Bones".



New play pictures (Chicago Tribune)
Posted at 7:27 PM (PDT) on Saturday, April 10, 2004

We've updated the gallery with two new pictures from the Chicago Tribune:



(Click for full-size pictures)

Thanks Stephanie for the scans.


More from Duchovny on TXF2
Posted at 12:32 PM (PDT) on Thursday, April 8, 2004

Duchovny Expects Second 'X-Files' Movie

LOS ANGELES (AP) - David Duchovny expects that Mulder and Scully will ride again one day.

Duchovny said a second big-screen installment of "The X-Files" remains in the works. Though he doesn't know the plot, Duchovny said "X-Files" creator Chris Carter has signed off on the story premise.

"I'm dying to hear it," the 43-year-old actor told The Associated Press in an interview for his new movie "Connie and Carla," starring Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette, which opens April 16. "So now it's just a matter of making sure everybody can get together at the same time and do it."

Duchovny starred as alien-hunting FBI agent Mulder for seven full seasons of "The X-Files," worked part-time for an eighth season and returned for the series finale at the end of season nine.

He and co-star Gillian Anderson, who played Mulder's skeptical partner, Scully, also starred in the 1998 movie version of "The X-Files."

"I'm at the point where I finally miss it," Duchovny said. "I wanted the grind to end, but I never wanted the show just to end. And I'd always had this fantasy and hope that it would be a movie franchise. Hopefully, this second movie will give it a foundation as such."


Hollywood Reporter Review
Posted at 5:41 AM (PDT) on Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Today's Hollywood Reporter has a very favorable review of The Sweetest Swing in Baseball by Ray Bennett. To read it, click here.


Exorcising Her Demons
Posted at 8:25 AM (PDT) on Sunday, April 4, 2004

Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune has written a fascinating article called "Exorcising her demons": Rebecca Gilman's new play about a tortured painter parallels the playwright's own life in Chicago. To read it, click here. Subscription required (it's free).


New Cafepress Plush Bunnies
Posted at 6:23 PM (PST) on Saturday, April 3, 2004

The Easter Bunnies have arrived! Hop on over to our Cafe Press store to see these new plush cuddly toys. On behalf of NF, Inc. and all the NF families it serves, thank you very much to everyone who has purchased our Cafe Press items over the past few months.




New "Sweetest Swing" Pictures
Posted at 3:23 PM (PST) on Saturday, April 3, 2004

Click here to view our updated photo gallery for The Sweetest Swing in Baseball.

Many thanks to GAuk for some of the new pictures.

We have also added some reviews of the play.


Theatre Show and a Meal Special Offer
Posted at 8:39 AM (PST) on Saturday, April 3, 2004

The Sweetest Swing In Baseball & lunch at the Royal Court Theatre - £4 off

Price: £20.00
Location: Royal Court Theatre, London
Availability: from 10 Apr 2004 to 15 May 2004

For more info and bookings click here.


SSIB Text at Amazon.co.uk
Posted at 8:57 PM (PST) on Friday, April 2, 2004

The text of The Sweetest Swing in Baseball is now available to order at Amazon.co.uk for £8.99.


Sweetest Swing in Baseball Caps Update
Posted at 8:19 AM (PST) on Friday, April 2, 2004

The Royal Court Theatre bookshop is now offering a limited edition of 100 quality brushed black cotton baseball caps with "The Sweetest Swing in Baseball" on the front and "The Royal Court Spring 2004" on the back, all printed in white embroidery. Cost per cap is £15 plus shipping and handling fees if applicable.

Please do not call the theatre for information or purchase requests. The theatre staff is in charge of sales to walk-in customers only.

For queries about delivery and shipping, please contact ssib_caps@yahoo.com.

All proceeds from the theatre sale will benefit The Neurofibromatosis Association. Thank you for your support!



"Sweetest Swing" Reviews
Posted at 3:29 PM (PST) on Thursday, April 1, 2004

Click here to read full reviews of The Sweetest Swing in Baseball from the British Theatre Guide, Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, Metro Life, the Evening Standard, The Express, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, Theatremonkey, The Times, and What's On Stage.


Critics Praise Gillian's Performance
Posted at 6:58 AM (PST) on Thursday, April 1, 2004

BBC Radio 4:Front Row (Matt Wolf of Variety and International Herald Tribune):

"I thought she was much better than the play, to be honest. You have to applaud anyone who can convince the audience in the 2nd Act that her career is resurrected by being able to paint a baseball-playing chicken, which is not an easy thing to do. She is actually, like a lot of American actresses who go on to film and television, somebody who began on stage. I remember her off Broadway many years ago with Brenda Blethyn in an Alan Ayckbourn play called "Absent Friends" in which she was terrific. The stage is her natural home. The Michael Weller play eighteen months ago didn't convince you of that. This play does and I hope the next time she does a play in London, it's really worthy of her."

The Guardian (Michael Billington):

"What gives Ian Rickson's production its emotional drive, though, is Anderson's astonishing performance. She starts out looking strained but seems transformed by assuming another identity. You see her becoming more and more resilient, wary and determined by the minute as she realises that the only way to survive in America is to create a protective other self; and while the argument is Gilman's, it is Anderson who gives its memorable flesh."

Daily Telegraph (Dominic Cavendish):

"Gillian Anderson swung back into the frame as a serious stage actress last night. After the disappointment of her west end debut in Michael Weller's atrocious What the Night is For, and after years of being known here only for her part as Agent Dana Scully in X-Files, her winning performance as yet another Dana - this time the tortured artist at the centre of Rebecca Gilman's latest play - suggest she's capable of batting away doubts about her talent once and for all. To be blunt, she is quite the best thing about The Sweetest Swing in Baseball."

The Evening Standard (Fiona Mountford):

"It was brave of her to come back for more. Gillian Anderson, fated to have her name forever suffixed by Agent Scully from the X-Files, has return to the stage after a less than auspicious debut in 2002. Fans will be relieved to hear that whearas What the Night is For was almost universally panned, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball is a whole new ball game, even if Anderson's character is, like Scully, named Dana.

Two hours worth of playing time in Ian Rickson's chic, stripped down production, sees Anderson leave the stage only once, for about 30 seconds, and to her immense credit, she is missed even then.

When we first encounter her, Dana is a woman desperately trying to hold it all in, because of the consequences of letting it all out would be cataclysmic. Anderson, with her brittle gestures, staring eyes and suppressed tears, perfectly conveys the scarcely hidden panic of the depressive.

There can be no denying what this particular night is for: the triumph of Gillian Anderson."

The Independent (Paul Taylor):

"Dana is convincingly played by the X Files star, Gillian Anderson, with the fevered glow of a sick person who make you understand why "hurting" has, in our age, become a intransitive verb".

The Times (Benedict Nightingale):

"Rebecca Gilman's Sweetest Swing in Baseball gives Gillian Anderson the opportunity to play a livelier role than she performed in What the Night is For in the West End in 2002, and she seizes it with some style."

Whatsonstage.com (Terri Paddock):

"Undoubtedly, this is a striking performer and, in the opening scenes in particular, face gaunt, eyes shimmering on the verge of tears, she makes a strong impression as an artist in the grip of self-doubt."

Evening Standard Metro Life Magazine:

"...she triumphs in this one. ...Anderson is better than her part: for a play concerned with the rehabilitation of identity, Danaís characterisation is slight. Yet Andersonís racked intelligent performance finds real depth and personality in Gilmanís lightly sketched pathology of mental illness. Ian Richarsonís fluent production and Hildegard Bechtlerís poignant set design, littered with blank canvases, elevate the play further, but it is Anderson who makes you feel."





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