Simply Dolly Wells

August 13, 2020  admin Comments are off Uncategorized

Amazon will co-produce the BBC’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s celebrated novel The Pursuit Of Love, with an eye-catching cast joining Lily James.

Deadline first revealed last December that James will star in the three-part Emily Mortimer-penned series, while we also reported in June that it will be among the first dramas to restart production in the UK. The BBC confirmed today that filming is underway.

Joining James in the Open Book and Moonage Pictures-produced The Pursuit Of Love is Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, Beattie Edmondson, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif and Freddie Fox.

 

 

The story is based on the first book in a trilogy about an upper-class English family between the First and Second World Wars. The comedy deals with issues of growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric. James plays Radlett family daughter Linda, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice.

 

 

Beecham stars Linda’s best friend and cousin Fanny Logan, while Dominic West and Dolly Wells feature as her parents. Andrew Scott is Lord Merlin, the Radlett’s wealthy and eccentric neighbor, and Mortimer has written herself a role as Logan’s mother. Mortimer also directs.

“I’ve always loved Nancy Mitford so when I was asked to adapt The Pursuit Of Love it was impossible to say no. It’s an outrageously funny and honest story, whose central character — the wild, love-addicted Linda Radlett — still reads as a radical,” she said.

Production is underway in the Bristol and Bath area of south-west England. The BBC said producers Open Book and Moonage have created comprehensive production protocols and are working with safety consultants to guard against coronavirus. It is the second major show to go into production in the UK in the pandemic era following War Of The Worlds earlier this month.

The Pursuit Of Love will premiere in the UK on BBC One and iPlayer, while Amazon will stream the series in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Distributor BBC Studios brokered the deal with Amazon. Charles Collier, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady are executive producers, while Rhonda Smith is the producer. BBC director of content Charlotte Moore commissioned the series alongside drama controller Piers Wenger.

May 23, 2020  admin Comments are off Uncategorized

 

Actor Dolly Wells on the benefits of coming in second in a world where everyone wants to be first

 ANTONIA WHYATT
 JEREMY LIEBMAN

“It feels safer when you’re running along on the outside and you’re not at the front,” says actor turned writer- director Dolly Wells, talking about succeeding in her career later in life. “I think I was pretty lazy after university, and when the whistle blew, I was still faffing about, tying my shoes. Even once I started acting, it was hard to get jobs and have children at the same time. My career didn’t take off, and I didn’t exactly encourage it,” she says in her rapid-fire British speech. Wells’ career is now firmly in public view with her HBO series, Doll & Em, and a widely praised supporting role in the highly acclaimed film Can You Ever Forgive Me? And at 47, rather than putting on the brakes, she is entering the next stratosphere, having just written and directed her first film, Good Posture.

Wells married Mischa Richter, an American photographer, at age 28 and at 30, had her first baby, Elsie, followed by Ezra a couple of years later. “I hadn’t come to grips with my career at that age. It was so lovely being a mother and having a child,” she says. “But I do remember thinking those times when they were asleep were so important and I should try to get something constructive done — but mostly I just made banana bread and watched bad TV.” It wasn’t until actor Emily Mortimer, a childhood friend, found a book she felt they should adapt that Wells started writing. “Emily gave me focus. We both had little babies at the time, and we would sit in a café at Queen’s Park in London for hours, just writing. There was so much joy in it for us that it set us up in terms of writing together later.” While Wells happily pottered around in the English acting scene, Mortimer took off for Hollywood and started to become very well-known. “She’s much more disciplined than I am — she’s very clever, and a very good actress. I was much lazier, unambitious.”

Wells says she was subconsciously trying to recreate the laid-back, artistic atmosphere she was raised in. Her father, John Wells, was a British satirist and writer who became popular in the U.K. for his caricature of Margaret Thatcher’s husband, Dennis. “I grew up in a climate of fun, openness and friendliness, and I thought, ‘Oh, acting’s something I want to do,’” says Wells. She also wanted to give her children the same kind of playful, fluid, slightly glamorous upbringing she’d had. “I even brought them to work sometimes. I had a role in Star Stories [a satirical series that took a comedic look at celebrities’ lives]. There was a scene in a church, and I put Elsie and Ezra in the back and told them to be really, really silent. I was so irresponsible,” she says, laughing.

Wells and Mortimer met through their fathers, “the Johns,” who had parallel careers — John Mortimer was an English barrister turned ultra-successful dramatist and playwright. “We met when we were four, but we were more like cousins, doing skiing lessons and family holidays and things. It wasn’t until we’d both graduated from university [Mortimer from University of Oxford, Wells from Manchester] that we bonded. We stayed up all night once, talking about how we had both been monumentally dumped by boyfriends,” laughs Wells. “Just through the recounting, the stories of the breakups became more pleasurable than the hurt of what had happened.”

Both women were extremely close to their fathers, but Wells’s relationship with hers was far from conventional. She was brought up as Dolly Gatacre, the youngest of six children from her mother’s first marriage. It wasn’t until Wells was in her late teens that her parents revealed that her stepfather, John Wells, was her biological father. She remembers saying at age 10, once her mother and John had married, that if they had children, she would get jealous. “And my mother said, ‘Well, we sort of have.’ My first thought was, ‘That might be me.’”

Wells changed her surname soon after she found out. “Knowing the truth was a relief. But it was quite a lot to carry. Before I knew he was my dad, I felt so guilty because I was crazy about him — I felt badly that it was so easy with him,” she says. Tragically, six years after she was able to start calling him “Dad,” John died at age 61 of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “It was a weird, horrible, sad time,” says Wells. “There were some articles in The Guardian and other publications that suggested I could jump on his fame. I didn’t feel I had anything to be proud of, or talk about. I was quite in denial about his dying. I hid and lay low for a bit.”

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April 14, 2020  admin Comments are off Uncategorized

EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a positive news story in challenging times. Filming is underway on a charitable, filmed-from-home pilot starring Brian Cox (Succession), Claes Bang (The Square) and journalist-presenter Mariella Frostrup, among others.

UK producer Maggie Monteith (Swimming With Men) has enlisted an all-female, transatlantic team of writer-directors for whodunnit The Agoraphobics Detective Society, whose proceeds will go to UK and U.S. film and TV freelancers impacted by coronavirus.

The pilot for the eight-episode show will see a distraught group of patients band together to find a renowned expert psychiatrist who disappears without explanation.

Also among actors filming their parts digitally from home during the lockdown are Ian Harvie (Transparent), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits), Antonia Campbell-Hughes (Kelly + Victor), Grace Van Patten (The Meyerowitz Stories), Nicole Ansari-Cox (Remember Me), Simon Kunz (The Parent Trap) and Josephine Butler (Doctors).

 

The pilot will be available to view later this month at the Pinpoint Presents site and viewers will be asked to donate what they can afford to view. Funds will go to the UK’s Film And TV Charity and the Motion Picture & TV Fund in the U.S.

The writer-directors of the pilot comprise Dolly Wells (Doll and Em), Suzi Ewing (10×10) and Heidi Greensmith (Winter).

The Souvenir and Swimming with Men’s David Raedeker is undertaking cinematography duties, Connor Hamill is looking after camerawork and Anousha Payne and Ryan Thomas are providing production design. Denise Coombes and Karen Bertellotti are handling costume design and Mandi Anderson is providing make-up and hair consultation.

Adelina Bichis and Gideon Gold are editing, and post-production services are provided by Pat Wintersgill at Film Shed and Nick Baldock of Art4Noise. Walter Mair is composer and is due to shortly reveal collaborations with U.S. artists for the soundtrack.

Producer Monteith told us about the project she originated, “The logistics of filming where people are sheltering in place was the toughest logistics problem to solve outside the mystery of international time zones. A bespoke solution was found for each actor, according to their phones, laptops and computers. A combination of downloadable apps and enhancements, and help delivered in the form of props, wardrobe, hair and makeup products and tech items, made it possible to get usable takes.”






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