Well! Another Spirit of Ireland Gala has been celebrated. Another Halloween has been survived. Another Autumn is now officially underway. Even though our Mr. Byrne looks a bit solemn in the header image above, it’s only because he has been dealing with an impending apocalypse in War of the Worlds. We, on the other hand, must prepare for the impending HOLIDAYS!
So, take a breath, sit down somewhere comfortable, grab an adult drink of your choice, and read all about Gabriel’s latest doings. This might be the last quiet moment you have for awhile… wink
Irish Arts Center Gala
This year, the man of the hour was Elvis Costello, honoree at the Spirit of Ireland Gala. You must remember that his birth name is Declan Patrick McManus and he is as Irish as he can be (on his father’s side of the family). Gabriel, as always, served as Honorary Chair of the event.
We always wish we could attend on of these annual fundraising celebrations, especially now that the new building project is almost complete and there is so much to celebrate! Here are some pics from the event, thanks to the Irish Arts Center.
Gabriel Byrne, Honorary Chair:
“In front of us is a great sense of possibility for our culture, for Ireland, for New York, and for America. It will be a great building for the development and presentation of great performances like we are enjoying tonight . . .
And it’s also a hub of ideas, a digital platform, a place for us all to come together…and shape who we are and where we want to go as part of this deeply interconnected world.”
Laura Linney Interview
Ms. Linney and Mr. Byrne have appeared in three films together over the years, including one of my absolute favorites, Jindabyne (2006). They are always married in these films and, as she notes in her interview, they are always troubled. I think it would be lovely if they made one more film and their couple got to be happy!
More than 800 guests filled the Omni Dallas Hotel ballroom on October 4 for The Family Place’s 23rd Annual Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon. And while the cuisine and table conversation were lovely, the room was positively abuzz with anticipation for the keynote speaker, actress Laura Linney . . .
…The main event: an onstage chat with the two-time Golden Globe winner, four-time Emmy Award winner, and Academy Award-nominated actress. Linney had jetted quickly to Dallas from Atlanta, where she’s filming the third season of Netflix’ award-winning drama Ozark — and she would jet back to continue work that night, she said.
Linney acknowledged the work of the Family Place and spoke candidly about struggles women face, both in Hollywood and in other work places. She also talked warmly about her life and joked about the “awful” character she portrays in Ozark.
On the best advice she’s been given: “It came from Gabriel Byrne, who’s a wonderful actor who I’ve had three troubled marriages with in film. It was during a rather difficult period in my life. And he said, ‘There’s no way through it but through it. You’ve gotta go through it. Stay present, stay connected, do not abandon yourself.’ And I learned from him that to sit in discomfort is a very important thing to be able to learn how to do.”
On what keeps her relevant in Hollywood at age 55: “A lot of it is luck, hopefully some skill, I work hard, I show up, I get along well with others. I’m really lucky in that … I was born with a really good disposition for the business. … I don’t mind rejection … I just love what I do so much that I don’t take it too personally.”
From Irish Central: New book by Irish journalist Jason O’Toole offers surprising secrets of Ireland’s biggest stars
20 in-depth interviews with some Hollywood icons and character actors, including: Gabriel Byrne, Saoirse Ronan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brenda Fricker, Patrick Bergin, David Kelly, and those with strong Irish roots such as Martin Sheen, and John Boorman.
O’Toole has had unparalleled access to Ireland and Irish America’s greatest actors in the last number of years and his clear talent at making his interviewees feel comfortable in sharing makes for a highly interesting read. Some of the highlights include Gabriel Byrne talking about having a panic attack on set with Robert de Niro and Alan Devlin opening up on his alcoholism.
Hollywood Irish is available at Amazon.
A Simple Twist of Fate Blu-ray
Speaking of Laura Linney:
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of its initial release (yes, back in 1994!), here comes the brand new Blu-ray of this unexpected drama, based on the novel Silas Marner by George Eliot. The star of the show was Steve Martin, in a switch from his usual comedy, with Gabriel and Ms. Linney providing able support as the first of their “troubled husband and wife” teams. It’s a remarkable adaptation of Eliot’s book and deserves more recognition–this is no guilty pleasure, but a fine achievement, with a great cast.
Product Description: Small-town recluse Michael McCann (Steve Martin) lives an isolated existence until unusual events pull him out of his shell. After his beloved coin collection is stolen, an orphaned toddler suddenly appears at his house. Unknown to Michael, who adopts the little girl, she is the illegitimate child of local politician John Newland (Gabriel Byrne), who keeps his secret to protect his reputation. Later, however, Newland decides to go public with his revelation, leading to a custody battle.
This Christmas: A new adaptation of Little Women
Here is another film celebrating its 25th anniversary. This time, though, we’re getting a new version.
Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, this current version of the beloved classic stars a shining array of talent: Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Timotheé Chalamet, Louis Garrel, Meryl Streep, and Laura Dern. It looks like a worthy addition to the pantheon and I want all of the “but Gabriel is Professor Bhaer!” fans to stop crying and just deal with it. Okay. Maybe not. But we should try!
To the rescue comes Little Women: An Oral History, brought to us just in the nick of time by, yes, The New York Times. There is no link because the article is behind a pay wall; a trusted friend has provided these important excerpts about a certain itinerant German philosopher/tutor that I thought we might enjoy. heart
Participants in this extensive oral history included screenwriter Robin Swicord, casting director Carrie Frazier, producer Denise Di Novi, and Winona Ryder, who played Jo.
FRAZIER The only time I felt we’d gone off the rails was when somebody was talking about Hugh Grant to play Professor Bhaer [the older German tutor who courts Jo].
DI NOVI We all had a huge crush on Hugh. He sent in a self-tape, and he was actually quite good. But it was so important to us to be true to the book in terms of Professor’s Bhaer’s age and what he was like. Hugh was too stunningly beautiful. John Turturro lobbied very hard for that role, too.
FRAZIER I was looking for depth, a little more of a poet, and Gabriel Byrne just had all of that.
Di Novi and Swicord both serve as producers on Gerwig’s 2019 version.
How cool is that!?
DI NOVI In some ways, it feels like the world has not changed very much in terms of the relevancy of this story and how much we need to tell it. It’s probably more important to do it now than it was in 1994, sadly. I do think Greta was able to be a little bit more feminist.
RYDER I think every generation deserves their own “Little Women.”
Read more about the new version at the film’s IMDB page. New adaptations are always chancy, but this one looks like a winner, so give it a try!
PS. If you were planning to watch Gabriel’s Little Women on Netflix, hurry up. It’s leaving at the end of November!
New Blog: The Movie Cubicle
My Twitter friend, Josh, is a writer and film aficionado. We discuss Gabriel movies and a wide array of other stuff, including politics, other movies, film festivals, holidays, nature pictures, etc. Josh has started up a new blog. His very first posting takes a look at Gabriel. Here are some excerpts:
“Byrne after reading: The deliberate obscurity of Gabriel Byrne” published October 18, 2019
Gabriel Byrne is a leading man, he just lacks the ego to go along with it. Unlike the Robert DeNiros of the world, Gabriel Byrne would never demand top billing when playing a secondary character (see Goodfellas).
Despite being Irish, Byrne fits that Canadian stereotype of “just happy to be involved,” and perhaps his art is better for it.
While he has starred in Hollywood blockbusters like Stigmata, The Usual Suspects and End of Days, he has taken secondary roles in classics like Little Women, The Man in the Iron Mask, Enemy of the State, and many others.
At a time when his stock was the highest, starring as Dr. Paul Weston in the classic HBO series In Treatment, for which he won his Golden Globe, Byrne chose not to seek the big paydays and continued to be selective about which projects to get involved in.
2013’s Just a Sigh (Le temps de l’aventure), for instance, is a French romantic-drama where two passengers on a train exchange fleeting glances, leading to an unlikely romantic encounter. While seemingly unrealistic, the film relies on exceptional performances from Byrne and co-star Emmanuelle Devos (Alix) in order to make the plot believable.
The film’s authenticity relies so heavily on mannerisms and body language that, if left in the hands of lesser-talents, it could have easily been an unrealistic disaster. Instead, what develops is a heart-wrenching romance that draws the audience in and leaves you hoping that the two develop a long-term connection against all odds. It’s a film I had intended to watch a few minutes of, with the expectation that I could pick it back up if it seemed interesting. Instead I watched start to finish without interruption – something that happens so rarely it is not even quantifiable – while being left simultaneously devastated and intrigued by the film’s powerful ending.
Thanks, Josh! Congratulations on a great start to your blogging career. smile
Rubberbandits is a musical duo. Blindboy and Mr. Chrome work together, usually wearing plastic bags over their heads, making music and stirring up the shite, as one might say.
These guys make me nervous. I first became aware of them in 2014. A video popped up on YouTube involving an animatronic Gabriel Byrne. The Gabriel Doll (which did, I admit, look something like Gabriel, sadly) sang a song called Fellas, in which he exhorted the young men of Ireland to go out and **** a fella. Heralded as a positive anthem for the LGBT community, some now say it paved the way for the Marriage Equality Act just a year later. The video was funny, quite melodic, and weird as it could be. Still, I refused to acknowledge Animatronic Gabriel’s existence. “It” did not go away, however.
Five years later, these guys are back again. Poor Animatronic Gabriel is now being hauled about, scaring the wits out of unsuspecting taxi drivers, forced to scrunch uncomfortably in ugly chairs, and occasionally treated to the indignity of a blanket thrown over his head. Recently, there was video on Twitter of Animatronic Gabriel kissing a fish. Again, weird as it could be. But also, sorry to say, funny. I protested. One of the Rubberbandits noted that Mr. Byrne knew all about his animatronic self and he was fine with it. So, I stepped back. I’m still not happy, though.
Here’s more. From The Irish Times : Blindboy–Being recognisable is absolute hell
His stories often begin as funny ideas that evolve into something deeper and more unsettling. “I have a long-time obsession with Gabriel Byrne. I don’t know why. It’s that Irish iconography, the fact he’s a bit mid-Atlantic… So for the Rubberbandits video Fellas we made a 2ft version of Gabriel Byrne. Why not?” . . .
“I try not to have magic occur in my universe,” he says. “What I prefer is to tell the story through the lens of someone you can’t truly rely upon, so the magic happens in their interpretation of the universe.”
Read on for more on this creative, boundary-pushing, nervous-making (for me, anyway) guy. There’s a note about Gabriel Byrne’s kneecaps that might interest you. Don’t worry. Not REAL Gabriel’s kneecaps. Animatronic Gabriel’s kneecaps. I think…
Which Gabriel Projects will come our way before the holidays? What’s on the list now?
War of the Worlds hit television screens in Europe and other lucky places in October. USA and others are still waiting. Stay tuned!
Death of a Ladies’ Man has a release date of 2019, according to French film production and distribution company Celluloid Dreams. Here’s the first production still.
Lost Girls will become available at Netflix in January, 2020! No promo art yet. Stay tuned!
ZeroZeroZero will be out on Amazon sometime in 2020. Stay tuned for this one, too!
So, congratulations for making it to the end of this Byrne-ing News! Here’s a Fall treat for your desktop. heart