Appearing opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Man in the Iron Mask, Laura Fraser was billed simply as "bedroom beauty", and it seemed a fair assessment of her seductive charms and of the extent of the role. She managed to reinvent herself however as a plookey teenager in Kevin and Perry Go Large. And while she might have seemed a natural for the princess-type in the Hollywood medieval romp A Knight’s Tale, she ended up as the blacksmith.
Tim Burton remains one of Hollywood’s most idiosyncratic and unique filmmakers, able to take conventional material and make it his own. His latest project sees him at the helm of one of the most talked-about films of the year, a new version of Planet of the Apes.
Haley Joel Osment is no mere child star. Don’t be fooled by height or age, young master Osment walks into a room with the kind of mature self-composure that most adult celebrities would surely envy.
There is a strange sort of duality about Osment. On the one hand, he jokes about playing video games on the set of A.I. Artificial Intelligence ("The grips were awesome”, he exclaims boyishly).
But when it comes to his portrayal of the deeply human robotic child of A.I, Osment is all business.
Shrek is unlike any animated film you have ever seen. A cartoon for adults, it’s a fractured fairy tale for everyone. The film’s directors, DreamWorks head honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg and director Andrew Adamson, share the inside scoop on the making of Shrek.
“When we started Shrek, we wanted to make a fairy tale come to life,” says New Zealander Andrew Adamson, who directed the film with Vicky Jenson, “as if you opened a storybook and stepped into that world.”
Film anoraks may recall Renee Zellweger starring in films such as Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (alongside the then unknown Matthew McConaughey), but it was not until hit film Jerry Maguire, where as the young woman who wins over the heart of a self-absorbed Tom Cruise, that she was thrown into the limelight.
He is one of America's great actors, and on screen is as intense and ferocious a performer as exists in Hollywood. There's only one De Niro.
On paper, it should have been a cinch reassemble the team that turned Thomas Harris's thriller The Silence Of The Lambs into an Oscar-winning phenomenon and crank out another edition of everyone's favourite cannibal franchise.
In practice, the story of Hannibal's evolution from best-selling novel to blockbuster film unwinds with all the ease of a Gordian knot, the only certainties being that it was a best-selling novel and it will be a box office smash.
Willem Dafoe is that rare breed of actor who glides effortlessly from one role to the other, from mainstream Hollywood like Spider-Man to independent fare, such as his latest film, Shadow of the Vampire. Whether he's Jesus or Nosferatu, he remains credible in the role.
Matthew Arnoldi: Could you first of all briefly describe the role you play in your latest film "In too deep" ?
OE: I play a cop fresh out of Police Academy who goes undercover to trap a drugs lord played by LL Cool J. It’s based on true stories of undercover cops who wage war on drugs. It’s rather like a documentary, you see the story as it’s happening.