GWYNETH PALTROW (Sylvia Plath)
Gwyneth Paltrow received the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, and Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Viola de Lesseps in John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love.
She next stars opposite Jude Law in Kerry Conran’s adventure The World of Tomorrow, which opens in the summer of 2004.
Ms. Paltrow’s previous film credits include Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s Shallow Hal, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming’s The Anniversary Party, Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Duets (in which she was directed by her father, Bruce Paltrow).
Among her other films are Neil LaBute’s Possession (also for Focus Features), Jay Roach’s Austin Powers in Goldmember, Don Roos’ Bounce, Andrew Davis’ A Perfect Murder, Peter Howitt’s Sliding Doors, Alfonso Cuarón’s Great Expectations, Doug McGrath’s Emma, Matt Reeves’ The Pallbearer, David Fincher’s Seven, David Anspaugh’s Moonlight and Valentino (her first collaboration with Sylvia producer Alison Owen), Merchant Ivory’s Jefferson in Paris, Alan Rudolph’s Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Steve Kloves’ Flesh and Bone, Harold Becker’s Malice, Steven Spielberg’s Hook, and Jeffrey Hornaday’s Shout.
In the summer of 1999, Ms. Paltrow received rave reviews for her performance as Rosalind in a sold-out run of the Williamstown (Massachusetts) Theater Festival’s production of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
In the spring of 2002, she returned to the stage and again garnered critical acclaim, this time on the other side of the Atlantic, in the Donmar Warehouse staging of David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof. She was nominated for an Olivier Award, as well as an Evening Standard Theater Award, for her performance. The production reunited her with director John Madden, who will also be directing her in the feature film version of the play, with Alison Owen producing. Principal photography on the movie begins in Chicago in August 2003.
Ms. Paltrow’s father Bruce was a highly successful television writer and producer (his much-honored series included St. Elsewhere and The White Shadow). Her mother is award-winning actress Blythe Danner, who portrays Sylvia Plath’s mother Aurelia Plath in Sylvia.
DANIEL CRAIG (Ted Hughes)
Already well-known to audiences in his native England, Daniel Craig won American acclaim in 2002 for his performance as Connor Rooney, the conniving son of crime boss John Rooney (Paul Newman), in Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition.
He will soon be seen in Roger Michell’s The Mother (which screened at the 2003 Cannes and Toronto International Film Festivals), starring opposite Anne Reid and Steven Mackintosh.
Mr. Craig won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actor for his performance as a schizophrenic in Simon Cellan Jones’ Some Voices. He had been nominated in the same category once prior, for his performance as a WWI sergeant in William Boyd’s The Trench. His performance as George Dyer, opposite Sir Derek Jacobi as Francis Bacon, in John Maybury’s Love is the Devil, brought him an acting award at the 1998 Edinburgh Film Festival.
His other feature film credits include Simon West’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Hugh Hudson’s I Dreamed of Africa; Shekhar Kapur’s Academy Award-winning Elizabeth (his first project with Sylvia producer Alison Owen); and John Avildsen’s The Power of One. He also starred in Michael Radford’s short film Addicted to the Stars, which was part of the Ten Minutes Older series.
Mr. Craig has starred in several notable miniseries that have been seen in both the U.S. and the U.K. These include The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders (starring opposite Alex Kingston and directed by David Attwood); the BAFTA Award-winning Our Friends in the North (with Christopher Eccleston and Gina McKee); Sword of Honour (directed by Bill Anderson); and The Ice House (directed by Tim Fywell). He was most recently seen in Howard Davies’ telefilm version of Copenhagen, adapted by Michael Frayn from the latter’s original play.
He is also an accomplished stage actor, having joined London’s National Youth Theatre while still in his teens. He recently starred in multiple roles (opposite fellow Sylvia actor Sir Michael Gambon) in Stephen Daldry’s West End world premiere staging of Caryl Churchill’s play A Number (for which he received an Evening Standard Theater Award nomination as Best Actor). He previously starred in the Peter Hall Company’s Old Vic staging of David Rabe’s Hurlyburly; and in the London National Theatre production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.
JARED HARRIS (Al Alvarez)
Jared Harris has starred in a series of diverse roles on both stage and screen.
His film credits include Philippa Lowthorpe’s The Other Boleyn Girl (as King Henry VIII), Burr Steers’ Igby Goes Down, Steven Brill’s Mr. Deeds, Greg Pritikin’s Dummy, Michael Rymer’s Perfume, Michael Kalesniko’s How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog, Todd Solondz’ Happiness, Ivan Reitman’s Fathers’ Day, Michael Radford’s B. Monkey, Mary Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol (starring as Andy Warhol), Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans, Ron Howard’s Far and Away, and Damian Harris’ The Rachel Papers. In addition, Mr. Harris has starred in three films for director Wayne Wang (Chinese Box, Smoke, and Blue in the Face).
His stage appearances include Humble Boy (at NYC’s Manhattan Theatre Club), More Lies About Jerzy (at NYC’s Vineyard Theater), King Lear and Henry IV, Parts I and II (as part of New York’s Shakespeare in the Park stagings), A Clockwork Orange and Hamlet (with the U.K.’s Royal Shakespeare Company), and the Colonial Theatre productions of Design for Living and The Glass Menagerie.
Mr. Harris’ television work includes portraying John Lennon in the VH1 telefilm Two of Us, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.
BLYTHE DANNER (Aurelia Plath)
Blythe Danner received a Tony Award for her debut Broadway role, in Leonard Gershe’s play Butterflies Are Free. She received subsequent Tony Award nominations for Blanche in Tennesse Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, Emma in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, and Phyllis in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.
She starred as Beatrice opposite Kevin Kline’s Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (for New York Shakespeare Festival). Her other Broadway credits include The Philadelphia Story (Lincoln Center), The Deep Blue Sea (the Roundabout Theatre), and Blithe Spirit. For more than 20 years, she has been a member of the Williamstown Theater Festival, and has also performed at Mark Taper Forum, B.A.M., and the Manhattan Theatre Club. For the latter, she starred in A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia (unrelated to Sylvia and Sylvia Plath).
On-screen, Ms. Danner most recently starred opposite Robert De Niro in Jay Roach’s blockbuster comedy Meet the Parents, for which a sequel is planned. Her other film credits include 1776, The Great Santini (opposite Robert Duvall), Brighton Beach Memoirs (adapted by Neil Simon from his play), Merchant Ivory’s Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (with Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman), Barbra Streisand’s The Prince of Tides, and three Woody Allen films.
Her many television appearances include PBS adaptations of Chekhov’s The Seagull and G.B. Shaw’s Candida. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2002 for her performance in Lifetime’s We Were the Mulvaneys. She received CableACE Award nominations for her performances in the telefilms A Call to
Remember and Judgment. She has a recurring role as Will’s mother on the hit NBC comedy Will and Grace.
Ms. Danner drives an electric car and powers it and her home with solar panels. She highly recommends all alternative energies to one and all.
MICHAEL GAMBON (Professor Thomas)
Sir Michael Gambon started his career with the Edwards/MacLiammor Gate Theatre in Dublin. In 1963, he became one of the original members of the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, under Laurence Olivier. Mr. Gambon appeared there in many plays before leaving to join Birmingham Rep, where he played Othello. Also in repertory, he played the title roles in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Coriolanus, and Othello (the latter this time at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough).
His West End stage work includes Simon Gray’s Otherwise Engaged; the London premieres of three plays by Alan Ayckbourn: The Norman Conquests, Just Between Ourselves, and Man of the Moment; Alice’s Boys (with Ralph Richardson); Harold Pinter’s Old Times; and the title role in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. With the Royal Shakespeare Company, Mr. Gambon played leading roles in premieres of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal and Mountain Language; Simon Gray’s Close of Play; Christopher Hampton’s Tales from Hollywood; and three more plays by Alan Ayckbourn: Sisterly Feelings, A Chorus of Disapproval (for which Mr. Gambon won an Olivier Award), and A Small Family Business. He has also starred in Shakespeare’s Richard III, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge (which transferred to the Aldwych, and for which he won all the major drama awards in 1987), and Ben Jonson’s Volpone (for which he received the Evening Standard Theater Award as Best Actor).
Mr. Gambon opened in David Hare’s Skylight at the Royal National Theatre in 1995, before transferring to Wyndham’s Theatre, and then, in 1997, to New York’s Royale Theatre (marking his Broadway debut). His recent U.K. stage appearances include Yasmina Reza’s The Unexpected Man, Nicholas Wright’s Cressida (directed by Nicholas Hytner), and Caryl Churchill’s A Number (starring opposite fellow Sylvia actor Daniel Craig, under the direction of Stephen Daldry). The latter brought him an Olivier Award nomination.
His work on U.K. television includes the title role in Dennis Potter’s miniseries The Singing Detective (directed by Jon Amiel), for which he won awards from BAFTA, the Broadcasting Press Guild, and the Royal Television Society; and, more recently, the miniseries Wives and Daughters (adapted from Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel and directed by Nicholas Renton).
For U.S. television, Mr. Gambon has starred in John Frankenheimer’s HBO feature Path to War (as U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson) and in Mike Nichols’ highly anticipated HBO miniseries Angels in America (based on Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play).
His films include David Hare’s Paris by Night, Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Mike Figgis’ The Browning Version (1994), Suri Krishnamma’s A Man of No Importance, Nicolas Roeg’s Two Deaths, Stephen Frears’ Mary Reilly, Iain Softley’s The Wings of the Dove, Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s Nothing Personal, Pat O’Connor’s Dancing at Lughnasa, Karoly Makk’s The Gambler, Michael Mann’s The Insider, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Deborah Warner’s The Last September, Conor McPherson’s The Actors as well as his filmization of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Gillian Armstrong’s Charlotte Gray, Robert Altman’s award-winning Gosford Park, and Kevin Costner’s Open Range.
Mr. Gambon will next be seen on-screen in the globally anticipated Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, directed by Alfonso Cuáron. He will be playing the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore, which was originated by his late friend Richard Harris.