The Last Station
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Helen Mirren Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren is one of the best-known and most respected actresses in Britain and throughout the world. In a career that spans stage, screen and television, she has become renowned for tackling challenging roles and has won many awards for her powerful and versatile performances. This was never more so the case than with her recent role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, for which she won Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards, among many, many others. This was made even more extraordinary in that Helen played Queen Elizabeth I in the same year. This performance accorded Helen both prestigious small screen awards, an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

Mirren’s film career began in the late 1960s with Michael Powell’s Age of Consent playing opposite James Mason. Perhaps her breakthrough role though was in John Mackenzie's iconic film The Long Good Friday. After this Mirren starred in numerous acclaimed films including John Boorman’s fantasy adventure Excalibur and Neil Jordan’s Irish thriller Cal. Her portrayal of an older woman in love with a younger man in the latter film earned her the Best Actress Award at the Cannes film festival in 1984. She continued to push boundaries in films that include Peter Weir’s The Mosquito Coast, Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover, Charles Sturridge’s Where Angels Fear to Tread and Terry George’s Some Mother’s Son, which she also co-produced.

Prior to The Queen, Mirren also played a monarch in Nicholas Hytner’s feature film The Madness of King George, a role for which she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award and won the Best Actress Award at Cannes film festival in 1995. She earned her second Academy Award nomination for her performance in Robert Altman’s Gosford Park and a Golden Globe nomination for Nigel Cole’s Calendar Girls.

Since The Queen, Mirren has appeared in the Jon Turteltaub blockbuster National Treasure: Book of Secrets, New Line’s Inkheart, and Universal’s State of Play. She has also finished work on Love Ranch directed by her husband Taylor Hackford, working together for the first time since White Knights, and Julie Taymor’s film version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Helen Mirren became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2003.

Christopher Plummer Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer has enjoyed 50 years as one of the most distinguished actors in English-language theatre and cinema. A Canadian from Montreal, Plummer made his professional debut on stage and radio in both French and English, and ever has since appeared in well over 100 motion pictures.

Since his New York debut (1954) he has starred in many prestigious Broadway productions, including his Tony winning performances in Cyrano (1973) and Barrymore (1997), and more recently as King Lear at Lincoln Center (2004). In 2007, Plummer starred in the successful Broadway revival of Inherit the Wind (2007), which earned him his seventh Tony nomination. He has been a leading actor at Great Britain’s National Theatre under Sir Laurence Olivier, the Royal Shakespeare Company under Sir Peter Hall, and in its formative years, the Stratford Festival of Canada under Sir Tyrone Guthrie and his mentor Michael Langham. During his career in the theatre he has portrayed most of the great roles in the classic repertoire.

Since Sidney Lumet introduced him to the screen in Stage Struck in 1957, Christopher Plummer has appeared in a host of films ranging from the Oscar-winning The Sound of Music, John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King, to The Silent Partner, Murder by Decree, The Battle of Britain, Fall of the Roman Empire, Inside Daisy Clover, Eye Witness, Star Trek VI, Malcolm X, The Pink Panther, Wolf, Delores Claiborne, Twelve Monkeys, Oedipus the King, The Insider, A Beautiful Mind, Ararat, Syriana, Inside Man and the award-winning Man in the Chair. Prior to The Last Station he played the title role in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which is set to be released worldwide in 2009.

Among his many honours, he has received Great Britain’s Evening Standard Best Actor Award plus one nomination; two Emmy Awards plus six nominations; a Genie Award for Murder by Decree, and Genie nominations for The Amateur, Impolite, and Blizzard. In 1968, sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth II, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, the equivalent of an Honorary Knighthood. He has also received the Governor General’s Life Achievement Award, an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at New York’s Juilliard School and Honorary doctorates from five major Canadian universities. Plummer was elected into the Theatre’s Hall of Fame (1986) and Canada’s Walk of Fame (1999).

James McAvoy James McAvoy
James McAvoy was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1979 and is a graduate of the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He is regarded as one of the UK’s most exciting acting talents and has won awards at the Cannes and Santa Barbara film festivals and at the BAFTAs.

James began his career with small parts in projects like the World War One drama Regeneration, and the successful HBO series, Band of Brothers, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. He came to international prominence when he played Leto Atreides II in the Emmy Award-winning mini-series, Children of Dune. He went on to play the role of Dan Foster in the BAFTA-winning BBC ONE political drama series, State of Play, which became one of the most successful UK TV exports of recent years. In 2004, he starred on the big screen in Stephen Fry’s comedy Bright Young Things. James’ popularity grew with the TV series Shameless, which began in the UK in early 2004, and for which he was nominated in the Best Comedy Newcomer category at the 2004 British Comedy Awards.

Also in 2004, James took his first lead role in a feature film in Rory O’Shea Was Here (UK title: Inside I’m Dancing), directed by Damian O’Donnell. He was nominated in the British Actor of the Year category at the 2005 London Critics Circle Awards for his performance.

In 2005, James McAvoy took on the iconic role of Mr. Tumnus the Faun in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which became a global phenomenon, making over $700 million worldwide. He then played the lead in the award-winning The Last King of Scotland alongside Forest Whitaker. For his portrayal of a Scottish doctor in Uganda who becomes close to the dictator Idi Amin, James was nominated for a BAFTA, a BIFA (British Independent Film Award), a European Film Award and a London Critics Circle Award. In late 2006, James starred in Starter for Ten and he went on to play the male lead in Becoming Jane opposite Anne Hathaway.

James’s next film, Atonement, opened the 2007 Venice Film Festival to a rapturous standing ovation. James’s performance as a Cambridge graduate falsely accused of rape enthused critics and audiences alike and gained him Golden Globe and BAFTA Best Actor nominations and won him Best Actor awards at the London Film Critics Circle Awards and the Empire Awards.

Last year James was seen in the lead role of Wesley Gibson in the big-budget graphic novel adaptation, Wanted, alongside Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie and directed by Timur Bekmambetov.

Paul Giamatti Paul Giamatti
With a diverse roster of finely etched, award-winning and critically acclaimed performances, Paul Giamatti has established himself as one of the most versatile actors of his generation.

After studying English and Literature at Yale University and Drama at the Yale School of Drama, Giamatti appeared in numerous plays, including Kevin Spacey’s Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh, for which he won a Drama Desk Award for Best Supporting Actor. His other Broadway credits include The Three Sisters, Richard Eyre’s Racing Demon and Arcadia. Giamatti was also part of the ensemble cast in The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, alongside Al Pacino.

Giamatti first captured the eyes of America in 1997 in his role as program director Kenny Rushton in Betty Thomas' hit comedy Private Parts, an adaptation of Howard Stern’s autobiography. Supporting roles in films like The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, and The Negotiator followed. In 1999, Paul Giamatti performed his breakthrough role in Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon, a biopic about the comedian Andy Kaufman. Giamatti’s other film credits include My Best Friend’s Wedding, Big Momma's House, Donnie Brasco, Paycheck, Tim Burton's Remake of Planet of the Apes, and the animated film Robots, as well as independent films such as If These Walls Could Talk 2, Duets, and Storytelling.

Paul Giamatti established himself as a lead actor in Shari Springer Berman’s and Bob Pulcini’s American Splendor, an autobiographic film about the comic-strip artist Harvey Pekar. His performances in Alexander Payne’s Sideways and the Ron Howard directed Cinderella Man earned him numerous awards and nominations. His performance in the latter earned him a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2006, as well as Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations in the same category.

In 2006, Giamatti starred in M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in The Water, and in The Illusionist opposite Edward Norton and Jessica Biel. In 2007, he starred as the killer in the action thriller Shoot ‘Em Up alongside Clive Owen, and played Nick ‘Santa’ Claus in the Christmas comedy Fred Claus.

Giamatti most recently appeared as John Adams in the HBO miniseries John Adams, based on David McCullough’s best selling book of the same name. He was also recently seen in the 2008 Sundance debut, Pretty Bird, which he produced through his production company Touchy Feely Films. Giamatti recently wrapped production on Touchy Feely Films’ Cold Souls, directed by Sophie Barthes and Duplicity directed by Tony Gilroy.

Anne Marie Duff Anne Marie Duff
Anne-Marie Duff is an actress whose work spreads extensively over screen and stage.

She became well known to a larger audience through her memorable role as Fiona in the TV series Shameless, for which she received an IFTA (Irish Film and Television Award) in 2004, and was BAFTA nominated the year after. Two years later in 2007 she was again nominated for a BAFTA Award as Best Actress for her remarkable portrayal of Elizabeth I in Elizabeth - The Virgin Queen. Other television credits include Charles II (Joe Wright), Doctor Zhivago (Giacomo Campiotti) and Sinners (Aisling Walsh) for which she won a Best Actress award at the Monte Carlo and Shanghai film festival in 2002.

Anne-Marie took the National theatre by storm in 2007 as the title role in the revival of Saint Joan. She was nominated for an Ian Charleson Award for her Cordelia in Richard Eyre's King Lear and an Olivier for Howard Davies' Collected Stories at the National Theatre. Other notable theatre credits include Days of Wine and Roses (Peter Gill) at the Donmar Warehouse and War and Peace.

Anne-Marie's unforgettable portrayal of Margaret in Peter Mullan's The Magdalene Sisters helped the film win the Best Film award in Venice and the Critics Choice at Toronto. Last year in Dominic Savage's Born Equal Anne-Marie played Sophie, a heavily pregnant woman fleeing from her violent partner. This year she has recently finished filming the soon to be released French Film alongside Hugh Bonneville and Douglas Henshall and she has just completed filming the John Crowley film Is There Anybody There? with Michael Caine.

Kerry Condon Kerry Condon
Kerry Condon is an Irish actress born in 1983 in Tipperary. Having studied at the Dublin Theatre Arts School, she made her TV debut in a two-episode arc of the BBC series Ballykissangel in 1999, and her film debut later that year with a role in Alan Parker’s Academy-Award nominated adaptation of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes.

At the age of 19, she became the youngest actress ever to play Ophelia for the Royal Shakespeare Company, in Steven Pimlott’s staging of Hamlet. Her other stage work includes Wilson Milam’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Paddy Kineen’s The Lonesome West and a role in Garry Hynes recent New York run of The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Following Angela’s Ashes, Kerry appeared alongside Imelda Staunton in the Steve Barron film Rat. In 2001, she starred in How Harry Became a Tree by Goran Paskaljevic, and in 2003 she played Kate Kelly alongside Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom and Naomi Watts in Ned Kelly. In 2005, Kerry Condon appeared with Jet Li, Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins in Unleashed and also made her first appearance in the hit HBO/BBC series Rome. Kerry appeared in all 22 episodes of the acclaimed show between 2005 and 2007, playing the role of Octavia of the Julii, As well as appearing in The Last Station this year, Kerry will also be back on our screens in the J.J. Abram directed series Anatomy of Hope for HBO.

John Sessions John Sessions
John Sessions is a Scottish actor and comedian known for his comedy improvisation and work as a character actor in numerous films, both in Britain and Hollywood.

He attended RADA, and in the early 1980s worked on the small venue comedy circuit with largely improvised freewheeling fantasy monologues, as well as securing a number of small parts in films including The Sender in 1982, The Bounty in 1984 and Castaway in 1986.

During the 1980s and 1990s he appeared in a series of one-man TV shows, as well as voicing several characters in the puppet satire show Spitting Image and co-creating the surreal TV ‘soap opera’ comedy Stella Street, about a fantasy suburban British street inhabited by celebrities like Michael Caine and Al Pacino.

During this time, Sessions also returned to more formal acting, with parts ranging from James Boswell (to Robbie Coltrane's Samuel Johnson) in the UK TV series Boswell and Johnson's Tour of the Western Isles (1993) to Doctor Prunesquallor in the BBC adaptation of Gormenghast (2000). He has also appeared in several film adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, playing Macmorris in Kenneth Branagh's Henry V (1989), Philostrate in the 1999 film of A Midsummer Night's Dream by Michael Hoffman and Salerio in 2004's The Merchant of Venice, with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.

Other recent film roles have included parts in The Good Shepherd with Robert De Niro, Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, and in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York with Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo Di Caprio.

In between his regular film and TV roles, Sessions has made appearances on Have I Got News for You and, more recently, as a semi-regular panelist on QI hosted by Stephen Fry.

Patrick Kennedy Patrick Kennedy
Patrick Kennedy trained at LAMDA. His most recent television appearances include Harry Sinclair in The 39 Steps and Gerald Mills in Consuming Passion, both for the BBC.

Other television credits include: Einstein & Eddington, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Cambridge Spies and Spooks, all for the BBC; The Somme for Channel 4 and Richard Carstone in the BBC’s 2006 BAFTA Award-winning Drama Serial Bleak House.

As well as appearing in The Last Station, his extensive list of film credits includes: Leon Tallis in Atonement (2008 BAFTA Award winner for Best Film), Me & Orson Welles, In Tranzit, A Good Year, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Munich, The Tulse Luper Suitcases and Nine Lives.

Patrick’s numerous theatre roles include: Lucio in Measure for Measure for Plymouth Theatre Royal and National Tour, Camille in Therese Raquin for the National Theatre, Jonathan in Everything is Illuminated for Hampstead Theatre, George Holly in Suddenly Last Summer at the Lyceum Sheffield and Albery London; Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Danceny in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, both for the Bristol Old Vic and Charles Perrault in Maps of Desire for Southwark Playhouse.

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