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Biographies
Michael Frayn - Howard Davies - Stephen Rea - Francesca Annis - Daniel Craig - Ian Wilson
 

Michael Frayn - Author


Noted British author Michael Frayn wrote the internationally acclaimed play Copenhagen, on which the television adaptation is based. Copenhagen is the third production in the national drama series PBS HOLLYWOOD PRESENTS.

Frayn was born in 1933 in the suburbs of London. After a stint in the army serving as a Russian interpreter, Frayn attended the University of Cambridge. Graduating in 1957 with a degree in "moral sciences," he soon began his writing career as a reporter and columnist for the Manchester Guardian and The Observer. Copenhagen was his sixteenth original work for the stage, and the eighth of his productions to be directed by Michael Blakemore. The London production of the play won the Evening Standard and two other Best Play awards. The Paris production, also directed by Blakemore, received the Prix Molière and the New York production, again directed by Blakemore, won the Tony Award for Best Play.

Frayn has also translated Chekhov for the theatre, including, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull and Uncle Vanya. He has written a number of screenplays, including Clockwise starring John Cleese and four of his plays, including Make and Break and Benefactors, have been filmed for UK television. His ninth novel, Headlong, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and his most recent novel, Spies, was released in the US in the summer of 2002.

Frayn's farce Noises Off, which was originally produced in London and New York in the '80s and directed by Michael Blakemore, won the 1982 Evening Standard Award for "Best Comedy of the Year." Noises Off, a frenetic behind the scenes look at an English theatrical troupe putting on a typical English farce, was revived in 2000 at the National Theatre in London. That production was directed by Jeremy Sams, who directed the 2001 / 2002 Broadway revival at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

Michael Frayn is married to the biographer and critic Claire Tomalin and they live in London.
 

Interview with Michael Frayn

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Howard Davies - Director


Award-winning British director Howard Davies directs Copenhagen for the PBS HOLLYWOOD PRESENTS series.

An associate director of London's famed Almeida Theatre, Davies is widely admired on both sides of the Atlantic for his acclaimed stage productions. His venture, Noel Coward's comedy Private Lives starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan, opened on Broadway in April 2002 after a highly successful run in London's West End. The play has won three Drama Desk Awards and two Tonys, including awards for Best Revival of a Play and Best Actress from both organizations. Davies has also earned Tony, Drama Desk, Laurence Olivier and London Evening Standard Award nominations for Best Director.

Among Davies' numerous recent credits is the acclaimed 1998 production of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh starring Kevin Spacey, which he directed to sold-out crowds at the Almeida Theatre and the Old Vic before bringing it to Broadway. The revival received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Actor (Spacey), Best Director and Best Revival of a Play; the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play; as well as Laurence Olivier Awards, London Evening Standard Awards and London Critics Circle Awards for Best Actor and Best Director. His additional Broadway credits include Translations with Brian Dennehy, My Fair Lady with Richard Chamberlain, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Charles Durning and Kathleen Turner, Good, Piaf, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Davies' first collaboration with Private Lives stars Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan, which received seven Tony nominations.

During the course of his long and distinguished career, Davies has directed more than 40 stage productions and served as an associate director for both the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. At the RSC, he established and ran the Warehouse Theatre where he directed and produced a variety of plays. Among his RSC credits are Les Diaisons Dangereuses, Macbeth, and Troilus and Cressida.

His productions for the Royal National Theatre include David Hare's The Secret Rapture which he also directed as a film, The Shaughraun with Stephen Rea, The Crucible with Tom Wilkinson and Zoe Wanamake, and Arthur Miller's All My Sons, for which he won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director.

Davies' additional credits at the Almeida Theatre include the 1997 production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Diana Rigg and David Suchet, and the 1998 world premiere of Albee's The Play About the Baby. He has produced several operas in the UK, including Idomeneo and The Italian Girl in Algiers. He also directed the BBC television productions of Christopher Hampton's Tales From Hollywood starring Jeremy Irons and Alec Guiness, and Will Boyd's Amadillo starring Stephen Rea.
 

Interview with Howard Davies

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Stephen Rea - Actor


Stephen Rea stars as physicist Niels Bohr in Copenhagen.

After years of outstanding work in the Irish and British theatre and a decade of film roles, Rea achieved stardom and a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his subtle and complex performance as Fergus, a reluctant IRA volunteer, in Neil Jordan's 1992 film, The Crying Game. That same year, he appeared on the West End and Broadway stages as one of three political prisoners in Someone to Watch Over Me and earned a Best Actor Tony nomination for his work in the play.

In the years since these successes, Rea has appeared in many high profile films, including Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire, Michael Collins, The Butcher Boy, In Dreams and End of the Affair; Robert Altman's Ready to Wear; Brian Gibson's Still Crazy; and Audrey Wells' Guinevere.

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and educated at Queen's University, Rea began his acting career at Dublin's Abbey Theatre. In the 1970s and 1980s, he divided his time between fringe theatre, major stage productions, television and film. He has appeared on some of England's most prominent stages, including the National Theatre and the Royal Court, in such productions as Playboy of the Western World, Tales of the Vienna Woods and Endgame. He also performed in or directed all of the productions of the Field Day Theatre, a company he and Irish playwright Brian Friel founded in 1980 to bring theatre to rural communities across Ireland.

Rea landed his first leading film role in Angel, Neil Jordan's directorial debut which was released in the US as Danny Boy. His numerous additional film credits include Jordan's second feature, The Company of Wolves, Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet, Martha Coolidge's Angie, Princess Caraboo, Citizen X, The Musketeer and the 2002 films FearDotCom with Stephen Dorff, and Evelyn starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianna Margulies.

On the small screen, Rea's performance in HBO's Crime of the Century earned him a Golden Globe nomination in 1996. His extensive work in television includes roles in more than two-dozen productions, including such BBC dramas as Armadillo directed by Howard Davies, Hedda Gabler, Endgame, Four Days in July, The Plough and the Stars, and Professional Foul.
 

Interview with Stephen Rea

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Francesca Annis - Actor


Francesca Annis stars as Margrethe, the wife of eminent physicist Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen.

Annis is one of England's most successful and accomplished actresses. Long admired for her work in British film, theatre and television, she is best known to US audiences for her acclaimed performances on PBS as legendary stage star Lillie Langtry in Lillie; Flaubert's Madame Bovary; Kitty O'Shea in Parnell and the Englishwoman; Robson Green's forbidden mistress in Reckless; and the controlling stepmother in Wives and Daughters. She is also known to fans of science fiction and fantasy films for her performance as Widow of the Web in the sci-fi epic Krull and her role as Lady Jessica in David Lynch's cult classic Dune.

Born in Brazil and raised in England, Annis made her motion picture debut at age 16 as one of Elizabeth Taylor's handmaidens in Cleopatra. Hailed as one of Britain's most promising young actresses, she made a smashing Broadway debut in 1969 as Ophelia to Nicol Williamson's Hamlet and went on to appear as Roman Polanski's sensuous Lady Macbeth in his film version of the Shakespeare classic.

During the course of her distinguished career since then, Annis has enjoyed dozens of starring roles in film and television, ranging from stylish detective Tuppence Beresford in Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and The Secret Adversary to Jackie Kennedy in Onassis: The Richest Man in the World. Her additional feature film credits include Prince's Under the Cherry Moon in which she played the pop singer's older lover, and Onegin, a film version of Pushkin's classic story starring Ralph Fiennes.

Annis has also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the National Theatre, and in the West End playing some of the great classic stage roles. In 1994, she won rave reviews as Gertrude opposite Ralph Fiennes' Hamlet on Broadway and last year, she starred with Anthony Andrews in the West End production of Ibsen's Ghosts. Among her many other theatre credits are Romeo and Juliet, Troilus and Cressida, Month in the Country, Three Sisters and Hedda Gabler.
 

Interview with Francesca Annis

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Daniel Craig - Actor


Daniel Craig stars as the German physicist Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen.

Craig recently co-starred with Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law in Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition. In the movie, he plays gangster Connor Rooney, the main suspect in the murders that drive the film. He also starred on the big screen as Angelina Jolie's love interest and fellow adventurer in the hit action feature Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Craig has earned several awards for his work in film, including a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in Some Voices, and an earlier nomination in the same category for his work in The Trench. His other honors include an acting award at the 1998 Edinburgh Film Festival for his role in Love is the Devil, the critically acclaimed portrait of English painter Francis Bacon in which he starred with Derek Jacobi and Tilda Swinton. Among his additional film credits are Hotel Splendide, I Dreamed of Africa, Love and Rage, Elizabeth, Obsession, and The Power of One.

The acclaimed British actor has also been seen on the small screen in a variety of long-form television projects, both in the United States and England. His TV credits include Sword of Honor, The Ice House, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, Our Friends in the North, Kiss and Tell and Sharpe's Eagle.

An accomplished stage actor as well, he has performed leading roles in such plays as Hurlyburly, with the Peter Hall Company at the old Vic, and Angels in America, presented at London's National Theatre.

Born in Chester, England, Craig trained at the National Youth Theatre and is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
 

Interview with Daniel Craig

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Ian Wilson B.S.C. - Director of Photography


Ian Wilson was educated at Nottingham School of Art studying fine art, graphic design and photography. He went on to study at the London International Film School after which he worked for the United Nations in Greece and then entered the film industry. His first film as a Director of Photography was Tell Me Lies for Peter Brook, based on his play US. He subsequently went on to direct a short film for Peter Brook about the making of Brook's production The Tempest at the Round House in London.

In the early eighties he worked almost exclusively on commercials in Europe and the United States as director and cameraman, then collaborated with David Leland on his first feature Wish You Were Here with Emily Lloyd. Thereafter he photographed Edward II for Derek Jarman, Backbeat for Iain Softley and The Crying Game for Neil Jordan. After this he photographed Emma for Miramax and The Secret Rapture directed by Howard Davies, who also directed Copenhagen. Other credits include Savior, Island on Bird Street, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and A Christmas Carol directed by David Jones, for which he received an Emmy nomination for best cinematography. Recently he was Director of Photography on the submarine movie Below for David Twohy and of course Copenhagen for the BBC. He has just completed principal photography on Craig Ferguson's film The Family Business for Morgan Creek.

 

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