THE SUPPORTING CAST
Surrounding the triangle of Ronan, Cohen and Gleeson in BROOKLYN is a supporting cast featuring veteran and rising actors from both sides of the pond. In Enniscorthy, the cast includes Jane Brennan as Eilis’ lonely mother Mary; Fiona Glascott as Eilis’ sister Rose, who insists on her going to America; Eileen O’Higgins as Eilis’ Irish best friend Nancy; and Brid Brennan as the judgmental ‘Nettles’ Kelly. The Brooklyn portion of the story features Emily Bett Rickards, Eve Macklin and Nora-Jane Noone as Eilis’ colorful cohorts at her Brooklyn boarding-house as well as “Mad Men’s” Jessica Paré as Eilis’ polished department store boss.
Taking two of the film’s key roles are revered British actors: Academy Award® winner Jim Broadbent (IRIS, MOULIN ROUGE!) portrays the émigré priest, Father Flood, who watches over Eilis in Brooklyn; and Academy Award® nominee Julie Walters (BILLY ELLIOT, EDUCATING RITA) is Mrs. Kehoe, the strict but savvy landlady of Eilis’ Brooklyn boarding-house.
Broadbent’s fervor for the novel was instrumental in his attraction to the role of the man who arranges Eilis’ passage to America, then acts as her mentor when she is nearly laid low by homesickness. “BROOKLYN is a universal story of the search for a better life in all its conflicts,” he says. “It was both heart-breaking and heart-warming, but never sentimental. Very honest about people’s their vulnerabilities and strengths that I also found it gripping.”
He describes Father Flood as “almost a social worker for troubled new Irish immigrants. He steps in to help Eilis when she first arrives, and they become good friends. There’s a real connection.”
Walters was also a big fan of the novel and was thrilled to play the persnickety Mrs. Kehoe in all her shadings. “She has a house full of unmarried young girls and she rules them with a rod of iron,” she muses. “She is motherly but very strict. She allows no giddiness -- as she calls it. I think she wants to be a guide for these young women … but if you cross her, there’s no going back!”
For Walters, whose mother was Irish, the film also hit home. “The voice for Mrs. Kehoe comes from my childhood,” she notes. “It’s a mixture of the nuns I was educated by, my mother, my aunts, my grandmother and people at church. It’s not one specific person, but it’s that memory of all the Irish women that I knew – and they all had such great energy.”
John Crowley watched Walters completely inhabit Mrs. Kehoe’s mix of wit and unwavering values on the set. “I knew Julie had an Irish mother and thus I had a suspicion that she would know that woman inside out, and of course she did,” he says. “She knew who she was, right down to what her hair should look like and what she should dress like. Of course she’s a hysterically funny actress, but here she’s doing comedy in a very real way. It’s beautifully played.”
FROM IRELAND TO BROOKLYN AND BACK AGAIN
Brought to life with the dreamlike shadings of a love poem, BROOKLYN unfolds in two distinctly atmospheric worlds: one amid the cloistered, muted beauty of Enniscorthy, Ireland and the other in the bustling chaos of New York’s Brooklyn, the frequent first stop of many immigrants to America. John Crowley set out to explore both with a team that includes cinematographer Yves Bélanger (WILD, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), production designer François Séguin (LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN) and costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux (AN EDUCATION).
Taking the production to Enniscorthy, a town of 10,000 inhabitants in the heart of County Wexford, was essential to capture the textures and meddlesome neighbors of Colm Tóibín’s story. “This is where I’m from,” says the author. “My parents were from Enniscorthy, my grandparents were from there … and it was lovely to see the film set in the very streets I was thinking about in the book.”
Roaming through Tóibín’s stomping grounds, the place that made Eilis the person she is when she arrives in New York, equally inspired the actors. “It affects your performance when you get to experience the spirit of a place like Enniscorthy,” says Ronan. “Because the characters in BROOKLYN are so Irish and so grounded, it was really great for us to be around people who are like that in real life, who had the Enniscorthy accent and who had grown up there.”
While portions of the American section of the film were shot amidst the iconic brownstone stoops of Brooklyn and on the shores of Coney Island, the filmmakers also found a stand-in for the 1950s version in Montreal, Canada, which also played an earlier vintage Brooklyn in the classic mob drama ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.
In his cinematography, Yves Bélanger aimed to echo Tóibín’s writing with some of his most creative work to date, using stylized lighting and lyrical framing that speak both to the muted energy of the 1950s and to the ineffable longing Eilis experiences on both sides of the ocean. “Yves did a brilliant job, and I can’t imagine any other cinematographer who could have accomplished the kind of beauty he brought to this in such a short space of time,” says Dwyer.
Likewise, production designer François Séguin honed in on nostalgic details of the 1950s period but also on the different ambiances of an Ireland that still had a pre-war look in furnishings and décor, while Brooklyn was in the midst of rapid post-war change. In both locales, he focused on forging a visceral sense of place. “François is super-talented,” says Dwyer. “Working with a wide range of sets in three different countries, he created a cohesive look that feels like one piece.”
Also helping to recreate the era in the minds of actors were the beautiful clothes sourced and created by Odile Dicks-Mireaux to evoke the inimitable elegance and grace of 1950s New York. She was thrilled to step back into that era. “It was a complete pleasure to work with these characters,” says Dicks-Mireaux, “and there was so much craftsmanship and invention in the 1950s period.”
Tóibín notes that he had very precise reasons for choosing that era, looking to explore that quiet but loaded moment between the tumult of WWII and the rapid social changes of the 1960s. “I wanted this to be a very private world, where I could really throw an intense gaze on a number of people whom might seem otherwise powerless – and put them in the limelight. Of course, no period is truly neutral, but this period is more neutral than most periods,” says the novelist.
The early era of street photography, especially work by the mysterious Vivian Maier and iconic New York shooter Elliott Erwitt, inspired Dicks-Mireaux with their candid shots of transient city moments. However, she avoided even glancing at the couture of the era.
“John’s specific edict was to not look at any fashion magazines because this is a story of real people – of working class girls trying to make their living in New York,” she explains. “In every aspect of the film, John wanted the look to be very natural and real.”
Dicks-Mireaux especially enjoyed contrasting fashionable Brooklyn, of which Eilis is soon a part, with the more austere dress of Enniscorthy. “There was a huge difference between America and Ireland in those post-war years,” she explains. “The styles could not have been more distinct which is perfect for the story we’re telling. In America it was a time of rich color – reds, caramels and yellow ochres, pinks and pale colors – that just did not exist then in Ireland.”
An equal contributor to the film’s transporting atmosphere is the music, led by an aching score from Michael Brook (INTO THE WILD, THE FIGHTER). There is also a transcendent musical moment -- when Eilis volunteers to serve Christmas lunch to downtrodden Irish immigrants, only to be enraptured by one homesick man’s stirring Irish lament.
Colm Tóibín told Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey that the unique voice of Irish singer Iarla Ó Lionáird had been a particular inspiration to him while writing that scene. Inspired themselves, they approached Ó Lionáird and were delighted to be able to bring him to Montreal to perform “Casadh an Tsúgáin” live on the set.
Ó Lionáird fully understood why it would impact Eilis so deeply. “It’s a love song, in which the repeating chorus talks about a man asking the woman to define in what way she’s connected to him,” he explains. “That resonates for Eilis, in that she’s connected to two worlds. In the song, the man is asking the woman ‘if you’re with me, you’re with me’ and he says ‘be with me in front of everybody, show everybody, be clear.’ She has to step into her own future and to decide what that is.”
Ronan was as moved as Eilis is during the scene. “Through this incredible voice, Iarla was able to communicate every emotion that you go through when you’re away from home,” she says.
The entirety of BROOKLYN builds to the life-altering decisions Eilis must make: between Tony and Jim, between Brooklyn and Ireland, between her past and what she wants for her future. Everyone involved knew from the start that the story hinged on the uncertainty of her ultimate choice.
“Some people will agree with her choice and some won’t,” says Amanda Posey. “We knew what we wanted her to do as filmmakers, and John did too, but we also wanted the audience to make their own decisions. One of the beautiful things about the story is that it explores several different kinds of love. With Tony, Eilis experiences first love, yet with Jim there is a more grown up connection. Then there’s the love she has for her sister and mother, which are different kinds of love again. It’s really about how these varieties of love can both tear you apart and buoy you.”
For Posey, Eilis’ decision is necessary if heart-breaking. “A part of growing up is realising that when you decide to go in one direction you’re closing a bunch of other doors. But I think Eilis finds herself finally knowing the right thing for her, even if it’s heart-breaking.”
Adds Finola Dwyer: “At the end of the film, Eilis has a very clear future -- but you come away knowing that her decision was also a major sacrifice.”
Saoirse Ronan felt that Eilis’ decision could truly have gone either way. “I can’t say if Eilis makes the right decision – I think they both offered her happiness,” explains the actress. “The beautiful and heartbreaking thing is that both these guys are equally wonderful. Jim is home and Tony is a new life. They’ve both got an awful lot to offer and she knows it.”
Ultimately, Ronan says, she didn’t see the heart of the story as about which life Eilis chooses – but about who she becomes in the process. “To me, it’s all about her being grown up enough and mature enough to actually make her choice and follow it,” she concludes.
Domhnall Gleeson feels similarly. “You often can’t know whether the decisions you’ve made are the right ones,” he points out. “But I think it’s important that Eilis truly has a choice now in her life, which she wouldn’t have if she had never gone to America.”
For Jim Broadbent, the lasting poignancy of Eilis’ decision is that it provokes so many lingering questions. “The best thing about BROOKLYN is that the audience probably won’t know which way things will go -- and they won’t know which way they will want it to go,” he summarizes.
ABOUT THE CAST
SAOIRSE RONAN (Eilis Lacey) is best known for her starring role in the feature film ATONEMENT, directed by Joe Wright, in which she starred opposite Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. Ronan was 13 years old when she earned an Oscar nomination as well as Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for the critically-acclaimed performance.
Ronan is currently in production on the movie adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL directed by Michael Mayer. She stars opposite Annette Bening and Corey Stoll based on the play of the same name.
Recently, Ronan was seen in Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. The film also starred Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Jude Law, Bill Murray and Edward Norton. She also starred in STOCKHOLM, PENNSYLVANIA directed by Nikole Beckwith and also starring Cynthia Nixon which screened at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
In Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, LOST RIVER, Ronan starred opposite Christina Hendricks. The film held its premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. In 2013, she starred in Open Road Films’ THE HOST, the film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s popular novel. She also lent her voice in JUSTIN AND THE KNIGHTS OF VALOUR, an animation film directed by Manuel Sicilia which also stars Antonio Banderas.
She was also seen in HOW I LIVE NOW, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival. Directed by Kevin Macdonald, Ronan played the lead role of ‘Daisy’ opposite George MacKay, Tom Holland, and Harley Bird.
Ronan was also seen in BYZANTIUM starring opposite Gemma Arterton and directed by Neil Jordan which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012. Ronan was seen in 2010 starring in Focus Features’ action-thriller HANNA, directed by Joe Wright. Ronan played the title character, a teenage girl trained from birth to be an assassin. The cast includes Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. She was also seen in THE WAY BACK, directed by Peter Weir and starring Ed Harris, Colin Farrell and Jim Sturgess. Inspired by Slavomir Rawicz’s novel The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, the film tells the story of a small group of multi-national prisoners who escaped a Siberian gulag in 1940 and made their way across five countries.
In 2009, she starred in THE LOVELY BONES, directed by Peter Jackson, and based on the popular novel. Ronan was honored for the performance by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and was nominated for a BAFTA Award in the Leading Actress category. 38
Among her previous credits are VIOLET & DAISY; CITY OF EMBER, starring Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, and Toby Jones; Amy Heckerling's I COULD NEVER BE YOUR WOMAN, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd; Bill Clark's THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY; and Gillian Armstrong's DEATH DEFYING ACTS, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Guy Pearce.
Ronan currently resides in Ireland with her parents Monica and Paul.
DOMHNALL GLEESON (Jim Farrell) is currently working on MENA, directed by Doug Liman. In January 2015 he appeared in Enda Walsh’s THE WALWORTH FARCE, directed by Seán Foley, starring alongside his father Brendan Gleeson and brother Brian Gleeson.
This year he will next appear in THE REVENANT directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and JJ Abrams’ STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS.
Other recent credits include Alex Garland’s sci-fi film EX MACHINA, and the Coens’ adaptation of Louis Zamperini’s memoir UNBROKEN, directed by Angelina Jolie.
His previous lead roles in film include Lenny Abrahamson’s FRANK with Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Curtis’ ABOUT TIME opposite Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, and SENSATION, directed by Tom Hall. He received IFTAs for playing Bob Geldof in When Harvey Met Bob, Levin in Joe Wright’s ANNA KARENINA, and Jon in Lenny Abrahamson's FRANK.
Supporting roles in film and television include John Michael McDonagh’s CALVARY, Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror” on Channel 4, Mark Romanek’s NEVER LET ME GO, Joel and Ethan Coen’s TRUE GRIT, the role of Bill Weasley in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (I & II) directed by David Yates, and Martin McDonagh’s Oscar-winning short SIX SHOOTER. He also appeared in DREDD directed by Pete Travis, SHADOW DANCER directed by James Marsh, Ian Fitzgibbon's PERRIER’S BOUNTY, A DOG YEAR for HBO films opposite Jeff Bridges, Paul Mercier’s STUDS, Stephen Bradley’s BOY EATS GIRL, and John Butler’s YOUR BAD SELF, for which he co-wrote sketches with Michael Moloney.
Domhnall’s work onstage includes Now or Later at the Royal Court, American Buffalo and Great Expectations at the Gate, Druid’s production of The Well of the Saints, Macbeth directed by Selina Cartmell, and Chimps directed by Wilson Milam at the Liverpool Playhouse. Domhnall was nominated for a Tony Award for the Broadway production of Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore. He received a Lucille Lortel Nomination and a Drama League Citation for Excellence in Performance for the same role. He earned an Irish Times Theatre Award nomination for his role in American Buffalo.
Domhnall wrote and directed the short films NOREEN (starring Brendan and Brian Gleeson) and WHAT WILL SURVIVE OF US (starring Brian Gleeson). Domhnall also created Immatürity for Charity, comedy sketches shot with family and friends in aid of St. Francis’ Hospice. They're pretty weird and they're on YouTube.
New York City native EMORY COHEN (Tony Fiorello) is one of Hollywood's fastest rising young stars. His stand-out roles include the troubled teen AJ in PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, starring alongside Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling, and in BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY as Casper, a loyal friend who finds himself caught up in the illegal prescription drug trade in northern Maine, which screened at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
Cohen was most recently seen in THE GAMBLER in the role of Dexter opposite Jessica Lange, Mark Wahlberg and John Goodman. The film centers on a literature professor with a gambling problem who runs afoul of gangsters. The film was released in the U.S.A in December 2014.
In 2015, Cohen will be seen in STEALING CARS opposite John Leguizamo, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman in the role of Billy Wyatt. The film centers on a rebellious teenager who navigates his way through the juvenile court system. He will also be seen in BY WAY OF HELENA, in the role of Isaac, opposite Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth and Alicia Braga. The film is about a Texas Ranger who investigates a series of unexplained deaths in a town called Helena.
His past film and television credits include: NBC’s “Smash,” playing Leo, the son of Debra Messing’s character for two seasons, and FOUR, reviewed as “a remarkable and moving portrait of solitude.” The cast won “Best Performance in the Narrative Competition” at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2013. Additional credits include TESS AND NANA, AFTERSCHOOL, LUCKY DOG, NOR’EASTER and HUNGRY GHOSTS.
JIM BROADBENT (Father Flood) is an Academy Award, BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning theatre, film and television actor, best known for roles in IRIS (for which he won Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes in 2001); MOULIN ROUGE (for which he was awarded the BAFTA for performance in a Supporting Role in 2001) and the International phenomenon the HARRY POTTER franchise. He was BAFTA nominated most recently for his role alongside Meryl Streep in THE IRON LADY (Phyllida Lloyd, 2011).
He has since continued to appear in an eclectic mix of projects, including John S. Baird’s scurrilous Irvine Welsh adaptation FILTH; Roger Michell’s romantic comedy drama LE WEEKEND (for which he was nominated for a British Independent Film Award as Best Actor); and THE HARRY HILL MOVIE, in which he appeared in drag as a three-armed cleaning lady.
More recently Jim has starred in Christopher Smith’s Christmas comedy GET SANTA; and Paul King’s critically acclaimed PADDINGTON, based on the beloved children’s books by Michael Bond. Jim also appears in Jalmari Helander’s action adventure Big Game, starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Since his film debut in 1978, Jim has appeared in countless successful and acclaimed films, establishing a long-running collaboration with Mike Leigh (LIFE IS SWEET, TOPSY-TURVY, VERA DRAKE and ANOTHER YEAR) and demonstrating his talents as a character actor in films as diverse as THE CRYING GAME (Neil Jordan, 1992), BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (Woody Allen, 1994), LITTLE VOICE (Mark Herman, 1998); BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY (Sharon Maguire, 2001); HOT FUZZ (Edgar Wright, 2007); THE DAMNED UNITED (Tom Hooper, 2009) and CLOUD ATLAS (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, 2012).
Also honored for his extensive work on television, Broadbent most recently received a Royal Television Award and BAFTA nomination for his leading performance in “Any Human Heart” (based on William Boyd’s novel of the same name), and had previously been recognized for his performance in Tom Hooper’s “Longford,” winning a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, and his performance in “The Street” for which he won an Emmy. His earlier role in “The Gathering Storm” (2002) had earned him Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.
Other selected credits include “Birth of a Nation – Tales out of School” (Mike Newell, 1983); “Blackadder” (John Lloyd, 1983); “Only Fools and Horses;” “Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV;” “The Young Visiters” (David Yates, 2003); “Einstein & Eddington” (Philip Martin, 2008); “Exile” (John Alexander, 2011); “The Great Train Robbery” (James Strong, 2013). Broadbent recently completed filming alongside Ben Whishaw and Charlotte Rampling “London Spy,” an original production by BBC America.
Having studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Broadbent has also appeared extensively on the stage, notably with the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. His work on the stage has seen him appear in acclaimed productions ranging from Our Friends in the North at the RSC Pit (directed by John Caird and written by Peter Flannery) and A Place with Pigs at The National (written and directed by Athol Fugard), through to Habeas Corpus at The Donmar (directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Bennett) and The Pillowman at The National (directed by John Crowley and written by Martin McDonah).
JULIE WALTERS (Mrs Kehoe) is an award-winning British actress, who came to international prominence in the title role in EDUCATING RITA in 1983 opposite Michael Caine. This won her an Oscar® nomination as well as a BAFTA and Golden Globe award for Best Actress. Walters received her second Oscar® nomination and won a BAFTA for her supporting role as the ballet teacher Mrs. Wilkinson in BILLY ELLIOT, directed by Stephen Daldry in 2000. Julie is perhaps best known internationally to young audiences for her role in one of the most successful franchises in big screen history, playing Mrs. Weasley in seven of the eight HARRY POTTER films.
Most recently, Walters has started production on the second season of “Indian Summers” and starred as Mrs. Bird in Paul King’s critically acclaimed PADDINGTON, based on the beloved children’s books by Michael Bond.
Over 30 years, Julie has appeared in countless British film productions, both highly successful and critically acclaimed, such as Roger Michell’s TITANIC TOWN in 1998 , CALENDAR GIRLS (Nigel Cole, 2003), Richard E. Grant’s WAH-WAH in 2005, DRIVING LESSONS (Jeremy Brock, 2006), BECOMING JANE (Julian Jarrold, 2007) and MAMMA MIA! (Phyllida Lloyd, 2008).
Walters has also been honoured for her extensive work on television, recently coming fourth in the ITV network’s poll of the public’s 50 Greatest Stars in the UK. One of her first stand-out acting roles on TV was in the classic “Boys from the Blackstuff” (Phillip Saville,1982) and was followed by a string of significant dramatic and comedic roles, including and “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole,” “GBH,” “The Wedding Gift” and “Pat and Margaret.”
Through the late 1990s, productions included “Brazen Hussies” (Elijah Moshinsky, 1996), “The Ruby in the Smoke” (Brian Percival, 2006), as well as WGBH / PBS’s “Oliver Twist” (Renny Rye, 1999) “The Canterbury Tales” (Dermot Boyd, 2003) and the lead role of outspoken politician in “Mo Mowlam.” Julie is perhaps best known to British television audiences for her collaborations with Victoria Wood, appearing with her in the award-winning sitcoms “Wood and Walters,” “Acorn Antiques,” “Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV” and “Dinnerladies.”
Having studied at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre, Walters has also appeared extensively on the stage; in regional theatre, stand-up comedy and cabaret. Educating Rita (Mike Ockerent, RSC Donmar Warehouse) launched her into the limelight earning her Variety and Critics’ Awards for Best Newcomer, she then went on to play Lady Macbeth (Leicester Haymarket Theatre), Judy in Last of the Haussmans (Howard Davies, The National Theatre), May in Fool for Love (Peter Gill, NT Cottesloe) which won her an Oliver nomination for Best Actress and Kate in All My Sons (Kate Keller, NT Cottesloe) for which she won the 2001 Olivier Award for Best Actress.
In 2013, Julie Walters was awarded the Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor at the Moët British Independent Film Awards, celebrating her extensive contribution to the British film industry. This was followed in 2014 by the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship Award.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
With a background as an award-winning theatre director, JOHN CROWLEY (Directed By) received critical acclaim and his first awards in film in 2003 with his first feature INTERMISSION, which starred Colin Farrell. His subsequent work includes BOY A (2007, starring Andrew Garfield and Peter Mullan), IS ANYBODY THERE? (2009, starring Michael Caine) and, most recently, episodes five and the finale of TRUE DETECTIVE season two, starring Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell. He is currently directing Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh in an adaptation of Chekov’s THE PRESENT for Sydney Theatre Company.
Oscar-nominated producers FINOLA DWYER & AMANDA POSEY (Produced by) produced AN EDUCATION, written by bestselling author and screenwriter Nick Hornby, directed by Lone Scherfig and launching its star Carey Mulligan. AN EDUCATION was nominated for three Academy Awards (including Best Film), nine BAFTAs (including Best Film and Best British Film, winning Best Actress), six BIFAs (winning Best Actress) and won Best Foreign Film at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Recently produced films include the feature documentary MY NAZI LEGACY which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April 2015 to outstanding reviews. Made in association with the BFI and BBC Storyville, the documentary follows international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands as he explores the family background of two sons of senior Nazis and the legacy of their fathers’ actions in WW2. It will be released in the US and UK this autumn.
They are in pre-production on THEIR FINEST HOUR AND A HALF, a co-production with Number 9 Films that will shoot late summer 2015. Based on Lissa Evans’ novel, it has been adapted for the screen by Gaby Chiappe with Lone Scherfig directing a stellar cast that includes Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy and Sam Claflin. A romantic drama with a difference set in the early 1940s THEIR FINEST HOUR AND A HALF combines the quick-fire repartee of a screwball battle of the sexes with the reality of filmmaking under threat of imminent invasion and London in the Blitz.
Dwyer and Posey produced A LONG WAY DOWN the adaptation by Jack Thorne of the best-selling novel by Nick Hornby. The film was directed by Pascal Chaumeil (HEARTBREAKER) and stars Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Rosamund Pike and Sam Neill, and had its world premiere at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival.
Dwyer produced Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut QUARTET under her Finola Dwyer Productions banner, from a script by Oscar-winner Ronald Harwood starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon and Sheridan Smith. The film took over $60m globally.
Dwyer’s previous producer credits include Iain Softley's BAFTA-winning debut BACKBEAT; Stephan Elliott's cult favorite WELCOME TO WOOP WOOP; Chris Menges' THE LOST SON; Sandra Goldbacher's award-winning and BAFTA-nominated ME WITHOUT YOU, starring Michelle Williams and Anna Friel; Antonia Bird's EMMY-nominated THE HAMBURG CELL; Stephen Woolley's feature debut STONED; Golden Globe, EMMY-nominated and BAFTA-winning “Tsunami: The Aftermath” by Abi Morgan, directed by Bharat Nalluri, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Roth, Sophie Okonedo and Toni Collette which Finola produced for HBO/BBC. Finola has made films all across the globe, shooting in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Jamaica, the USA, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, and Hungary.
Dwyer made her theatre producing debut with Elling, starring John Simm. The sell-out West End run culminated in a Best New Comedy award and Olivier Award nominations including Best New Comedy and Best Actor. The Broadway production starred Brendan Fraser and Denis O’Hare. Dwyer is also the former Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee and a BAFTA Trustee.
Posey’s previous producer credits include FEVER PITCH, based on Nick Hornby’s best-selling memoir, which Hornby adapted, starring Colin Firth, as well as the US remake of FEVER PITCH for Fox 2000, adapted by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, directed by the Farrelly Brothers starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon; and FIVE SECONDS TO SPARE starring Ray Winstone and Andy Serkis. Amanda’s earlier credits include working with Stephen Woolley on Neil Jordan’s Oscar-winning THE CRYING GAME and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt) followed by heading up film development at Scala Productions, for Stephen Woolley and Nik Powell.
Dwyer and Posey also spearheaded The Story Works 2010/2011, an innovative screenwriters' initiative for ten UK writers, in conjunction with script editor Kate Leys and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, supported by Skillset. Masterclass speakers and mentors included Jane Campion, Ronald Harwood, Paul Greengrass, David Mamet, Christopher Hampton, John Madden, Will Davies, John Mathieson and Pietro Scalia.
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