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Actors in Frank Empty Actors in Frank

Post by Admin on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:06 pm

Maggie Gyllenhaal to Sing with Fassbender in Rock Comedy 'Frank'

by Ben Pearson
January 3, 2013
Source: Variety
Maggie Gyllenhaal

While Michael Fassbender has taken on a good mix of serious projects and blockbusters since his ascent to the A-list, we're very curious about Frank, his upcoming attempt to step into more comedic territory. We don't know much about the film so far aside from the fact that it stars Domhall Gleeson (Bill Weasley from the Harry Potter series) as a young musician who joins a band full of crazy performers, with Fassbender as the wild title character who is the frontman of the group. Now Variety has a bit more info as they're reporting The Dark Knight star Maggie Gyllenhaal has just signed on as Frank's sidekick. More below!

Gyllenhaal, like Fassbender, tends to stick with more dramatic material, so it should be a lot of fun to see these two shake off the prestige and have some real fun. We'll also be keeping our eye on how director Lenny Abrahamson handles the music in the movie, since we're wondering if capturing the sound live on set (as Tom Hooper did in Les Miserables) will become more of a prevalent thing in Hollywood now. The script from Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan is autobiographical in a way, since Gleeson's character plays a younger version of Ronson in the story, and with a cast like this - along with rising star Scoot McNairy - Frank could end up being a nice surprise when it's ultimately released. Filming starts this month, so we'll be on the lookout for more updates soon.

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Post by Admin on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:45 pm

Gleeson distracted by Fassbender
Sunday 10 February 2013
Domhnall Gleeson told RTÉ Ten at the IFTAs that he is distracted by the giant head Michael Fassbender is wearing on the set of their upcoming movie Frank.

Watch: RTÉ Ten at the IFTAs Chris O'Dowd, Jack Reynor, Saoirse Ronan, Michelle Keegan, Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Domhnall Gleeson, The Hardy Bucks, Bressie and many, many more stars talk to RTÉ Ten at the Irish Film and Television Awards 2013.

Speaking to RTÉ Ten at the 10th annual Irish Film and Television Awards 29-year-old actor Domhnall Gleeson revealed that the giant head Michael Fassbender has to wear in their upcoming movie Frank is very distracting.

He said: "The head is really distracting. I thought we would cover him up and I would get more screentime, but it hasn't worked out that way. He finds a way that Fassbender!"

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson on the set of Frank

Frank tells the story of eccentric electric pop band and also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The Dublin native picked up the Best Supporting Film actor gong at last night's awards for his role in Anna Karenina He told RTÉ Ten as he came off the stage at the Convention Centre: "I feel lovely, it's cool you know."

He added: "I was really proud to be nominated in that group of actors that people put us in because I love all of their work.
I am happy and I am going to have a good night"

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Post by Admin on Sat May 10, 2014 4:50 pm

From zero to hero: the story of Frank's keyboard player
Co-writer Jon Ronson was plucked from obscurity and placed behind a keyboard for Frank Sidebottom's band

Text Stephen Applebaum

Still from "Frank" The "Soronprfbs" band, led by Frank Courtesy of Artificial Eye UK

The kooky, far-out tale of musical genius Frank Sidebottom – the laconic prodigy who hides under a papier-mâché head – is in cinemas today. We're celebrating the musical caper with Frank Day, an in-depth look at how the comic persona and frontman of The Freshies made it to the big screen.

Jon Ronson was the entertainment manager for the Student's Union at the Polytechnic of Central London when he got a call from the manager of the comedian/musician, Chris Sievey. He desperately needed a keyboard player for a gig that night. Did Ronson know anyone? The journalism student said he played keyboards and was immediately drafted in to help back Sievey's surreal, papier-mâché-headed alter ego, Frank Sidebottom. Ronson then played with the band for three years. He has told the true story of his experiences in an e-book, Frank, and a one-man show. The film Frank, co-written by Ronson and Peter Straughan, now brings the dumb luck tale and spirit of Sievey/Sidebottom to the screen in fictional form.

You sold the rights to your book The Men Who Stare at Goats. Did you want to be more involved with Frank?

Jon Ronson: Well you definitely relinquish power at some point, whether you've just sold the books or you've written the screenplay, too. When they started filming Frank, I was as uninvolved as I was with The Men Who Stare at Goats. Unless you're a writer-director, that's always going to happen. So, actually, the two situations were quite similar, in a way.

Some Frank Sidebottom fans online have been angered by Fassbender's American accent, and even his muscles. Why didn't you do a straight biopic?

Jon Ronson: The first reason was the fact that Twenty-Four Hour Party People had just come out when I first started writing this film with Peter, and I didn't want to compete with that. So I never wanted to write a Manchester film because Twenty-Four Hour Party People was exactly the film I would have wanted to have written.

And then Chris made it clear to me that he didn't really want there to be a Chris Sievey character in there. He was quite hedonistic, and I don't think he wanted that on screen. I don't think he would have minded, but I don't think he wanted it.

And then my big reason, I think, was I didn't want to write about comedy and music. I thought there was so much more to lose, so much more narrative possibilities, if the band took themselves incredibly seriously and cared, and for that to happen the music couldn't be Frank Sidebottom's music. Those were the main reasons, I think.

“I was called in at the last minute because their keyboard player had dropped out for some mysterious reason. So I turned up at the sound-check and there was nobody there but his own band, and he was wearing the head!”

You appear to have wanted to avoid the idea that mental illness and creativity are linked in Frank.

Jon Ronson: Peter felt really strongly that he didn't want the film to perpetuate this notion that the mentally ill were somehow awesome. That came mainly from him, but I totally understood what he meant when he said it. So, even if there is a relationship between mental illness and creativity, none of us wanted our film to say it.

When you were drafted in to play keyboards in Chris Sievey/Frank Sidebottom's band by his manager, did you meet Chris or Frank first?

Jon Ronson: Frank. I was called in at the last minute because their keyboard player had dropped out for some mysterious reason. So I turned up at the sound-check and Chris was there as Frank. There was nobody there but his own band, and he was wearing the head! That was kind of a breathtaking moment.”

“I never wanted to write a Manchester film because Twenty-Four Hour Party People was exactly the film I would have wanted to have written”

Was there an element of escapism to it?

Jon Ronson: Whenever I think about that question, I imagine Mark Radcliffe (another of the band's keyboard players) hovering over my shoulder and saying, 'It was just an act. Don't f#%@#&! over-psychoanalyse it.' But I like the idea of over-psychoanalysing it and thinking it was like a safe space. That's sort of what I think.

Did you like one of the personalities more than the other?

Jon Ronson: Frank was quite hard work in long stretches. Chris was an interesting mix of people. On one hand he was quiet and unassuming - There was this time when these girls broke into the dressing room and said, 'We're not going to leave until the real Frank reveals himself.' And they went around the room saying, 'It's you, isn't it?' and they didn't say it to Chris – but then on the other he was quite hedonistic and quite chaotic.

What was being on the road with the band like?

Jon Ronson: I loved it. Well, I loved it until he decided to go more mainstream and then he brought in these professional musicians, one of whom, the bass player, took this completely baffling dislike to me. The old band had a kind of avant-garde loucheness to them, and then the new band I felt like I was on a college sports team. But in the early days it was brilliant. We'd turn up at venues like the Bury Met or the Sheffield Leadmill and there were 500 people. It was bliss.

Who were the influences on the music in the film? I told Michael Fassbender I thought he sounded like Jim Morrrison at the start of the final song, "I Love You All".

Jon Ronson: Yeah, I think there's a bit of Jim Morrison. Did he say Iggy Pop as well?

He didn't.

Jon Ronson: Oh, because I wondered Iggy Pop. We really had the easy option, me and Peter, because we just said, 'The music has to be beautiful and ridiculous at the same time.' And then in meetings I would say I wanted it to be serious. So, serious, beautiful and ridiculous. Which is a f&#! of a lot easier to write than it is to enact. So, in my head, the influences were actually very different from what they ended up being. For me it was Daniel Johnston, Captain Beefheart, The Shaggs. Daniel Johnston more than anybody. At one point we asked Daniel Johnston to write some songs for the film. In the end we went with his childhood friend, Stephen Rennicks, who did a really incredibly good job. "I Love You All" is brilliant. Brilliant!

Frank is in cinemas today

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Post by Admin on Sat May 10, 2014 5:49 pm

Domhnall Gleeson gets Frank about working with Michael Fassbender

Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson discusses Frank, working with Michael Fassbender, and starring in Angelina Jolie’s sophomore feature, Unbroken.


Prior to the announcement that Domhnall Gleeson was cast in J.J. Abrams reboot of the Star War, we sat down with the Irish actor to discuss his role in Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank. Gleeson stars alongside Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal in this outlandish comedy-drama. The story concerns Jon, a young man with aspirations of being in a band. When he encounters an eccentric pop group fronted by the mysterious Frank (Fassbender) who insists upon wearing a giant papier-mâché head, he joins them on creating their experimental first album. Soon enough, Jon soon realises that his dream of being in a band is rapidly become a nightmare.

We sat down with Gleeson for extended interview to discuss working with Fassbender, his love of improvisation, coming from a family of actors and his role in the upcoming Olympic drama Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie.

F3S: How did you become involved with Frank?

DG: I met Lenny (Abrahamson) years ago, and I was always a fan of his. I auditioned for Frank and About Time, the Richard Curtis movie, on the same day. I heard that I got both parts and that I had a week to prepare. I went to meet Lenny and the meeting went really well, we both have similar ways of thinking about work. He had loads of ideas of how we could do things. Throughout the entire process, we talked through everything and we worked very closely. The film is very much his, but he is tremendously collaborative.

F3S: How was it acting opposite Michael Fassbender wearing the head?

DG:I very quickly got used to him wearing the head. Everyone has something going on in their head that they won’t say out loud. Even when you are saying, “I love you,” what you actually might be asking is whether they will love you back. There is always something else going on. So, in terms of Michael, his body language was very expressive, and it was interesting because you could feel his character coming through. It was like working with Bill Murray, because he had a deadpan approach to the character; try as you might, even when you look closer, to see what is going on, you face a brick wall.



F3S: Was that at all frustrating?

DG: I didn’t find it frustrating, and it allowed Michael to stretch a little bit. He would do things on the spur of the moment when you really didn’t expect it. There was no flicker in the eyes to warn you, and when he jumps up he would just spring into action, and you would be so surprised. This made it weirdly easy to react to, which is something I loved.

F3S: You have mentioned spontaneity, was there a lot of improvisation?

DG: I had this conversation with Michael early on where we talked about spontaneity versus planning. We said that spontaneity is a great thing, because you want to be surprised. Look at something like The Big Lebowski (1998), that film is incredibly spontaneous, but there is also an incredible level of detail that was clearly planned. With Frank, Lenny had a strong sense of the story and script, but there was also a sense of playfulness. We agreed that once the camera was set up, and the frame was set, everything within that space was ours.

F3S: Your character Jon desperately wants to be creative but actually isn’t capable of being imaginative. How was it playing a person like that?

DG: For the movie I had to learn to play the keyboard. Being creative on a keyboard when you have just learned it is not easy, especially for this film, when you are in the room with Carla, the drummer, and François (Civil) the bassist, there was this sense of frustration as well, because I can’t just jam. The other thing of course is that Jon is the least inventive person there, and the limits of his imagination. Michael can break down walls, Maggie can scream at you, and Jon, well Jon can’t do much and is just frustrated. At times, I was just wishing I could be crazy for a bit and go wild, but that sense of frustration helped with my character.

F3S: The film is very off the wall, what was the atmosphere like on set?

DG: You were kind of removed from it. I was the closest living to set as I moved into a place about a 15-minute drive away, but the other guys were in a hotel about 40 minutes away; it was a slog to get to, especially when the weather wasn’t great. Once we were there, there was scrabble, knitting and a hoop game that we became very competitive about [laughs]. There were musical instruments lying around so we all wrote s$#! songs together and it was a really tight group. That’s pretty much as it was, along with a lot of smoking outside huddled up over heaters. I remember having a really good time – it was cold – but really good atmosphere.


F3S: Were you at all worried that balancing the humour with the more serious aspects of the film wouldn’t work?

DG: I have to say that was where spending time with Lenny ahead of time really paid off. I really understood the sort of film that he wanted to make and there are some films that you work on where you really have to challenge the director and the film; this is one film where I had to be so in tune with what the film was doing, otherwise the veering between weird, sad and large physical comedy wouldn’t work. These things are quite big, and contrast with serious scenes as well. All of the conversations about these elements took place ahead of time where we asked, ‘can I go this far?’ When I would ask: ‘are you OK with us really pushing it on the day?’ Generally, Lenny would say, “yeah, let’s find out”, and some of that ends up in the finished film, and some of it doesn’t. Also, because we rehearsed all of the music ahead of time that really helped, as well. Because the music is kind of bats [laughs] it really helps you understand what the film can be. Steven [Rennicks] really captured himself in some songs as well: the first song can be quite somber and the last can be quite uplifting. All are quite weird and out there, but they’re funny and so matching all of those things up were Lenny’s brilliant strengths.

F3S: Off the topic of Frank, I was wondering if you ever had concerns about going into actor because of your dad (Brendon Gleeson) is?

DG: I’ve always wanted to write and direct, because I love being involved in telling stories. It probably didn’t occur to me, the acting, so much because of my dad. I saw how much it took out of him. Plus, you don’t want to be defined solely by your parents; you want to be your own person.. I got to play a cool part in Calvary recently opposite my dad. I was only there for a day, but I got to do something truly unusual. I hadn’t played a pedophile, cannibal, rapist, mass murderer before [laughs]. But you just hope that you’re able to mix them up.

F3S: You have some very exciting projects coming up as well such as Angelina Jolie’s film, Unbroken, how was that?

DG: I don’t remember the first bit; that was the weight loss bit. I had to lose a lot of weight so there are bits that are a bit blurry to me, but it was amazing. She was seriously impressive as a director and person. Her first movie In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011) is a really well made film. It’s a difficult subject matter, but she is just superb; she’s so human and very intelligent. And Roger Deacon was shooting it, which was fantastic. I have been really lucky over the past few years; Angelina Jolie, Michael Fassbender, Lenny Abrahamson, Richard Curtis, are all people that I’ve admired and been fortunate enough to work with. I didn’t think that this would all be possible when I started out as an actor. The trick is to take it step-by-step and remember that you don’t know how long it’s going to last. This could all be over very quickly, but you hope that it works out.

Frank is released in cinemas nationwide May 9, 2014.

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