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- iHaveNet.com: Oscars 2009
During the summer of 1977, the televised David Frost/Richard Nixon interviews attracted the largest audience for a news program in the history of American TV.
More than 45 million viewers hungry for a glimpse into the mind of their disgraced former commander in chief and anxious for him to acknowledge the abuses of power that led to his resignation sat transfixed as Nixon and Frost sparred in a riveting verbal boxing match over the course of four evenings. Two men with everything to prove knew only one could come out a winner. Their legendary confrontation would revolutionize the art of the confessional interview, change the face of politics and capture an admission from the former president that startled people all over the world . . . possibly even including Nixon himself.
Academy Award-winning director RON HOWARD brings to the screen playwright and screenwriter PETER MORGAN's electrifying dramatization of the battle between Richard Nixon (FRANK LANGELLA), the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost (MICHAEL SHEEN), a jet-setting newsman with the interview of a lifetime, in the untold story of the historic encounter that changed both: Frost/Nixon. Re-creating not only the on-air interviews that captivated the nation, but weeks of around-the-world, behind-the-scenes maneuvering and negotiations between the men and their opposing camps, the film explores the long-untold story that led to the ultimate face-off in the court of public opinion.
For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But, in 1977, the steely, cunning former commander in chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the unanswered questions of his time in office and of the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone by selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and reclaim his status as a supreme statesman in the hearts and minds of Americans.
Likewise, Frost's team harbored doubts about his ability to hold his own against Nixon. As cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits ensued. Would Nixon evade questions of his role in one of the nation's greatest disgraces? Or would Frost confound critics and bravely demand accountability from the most skilled politician of his generation? The encounter would reveal each man's insecurities, ego and reserves of dignity as both ultimately set aside posturing in a stunning display of unvarnished truth.
Playing a key role on Nixon's team is KEVIN BACON as his chief of staff, Colonel Jack Brennan, the fierce guardian who guides Nixon through the strategy of the interviews. Two brilliant consultants would prepare in depth research for Frost on the 37th American president. OLIVER PLATT stars as Frost strategist (and executive editor of the interviews), veteran reporter Bob Zelnick, and SAM ROCKWELL plays Frost's acerbic writer and Nixon critic, author and university lecturer James Reston, Jr. Both were motivated to expose the "real" Nixon and operated as the architects of Frost's strategy, while Frost took on the tasks of selling rights to the interviews, securing a broadcaster and studying his adversary.
Supporting players in the cast are a winning assemblage that includes REBECCA HALL as Frost's girlfriend, Caroline Cushing; TOBY JONES as Nixon's agent, Irving “Swifty” Lazar; and MATTHEW MACFADYEN as Frost's British producer, John Birt.
A Universal Pictures release, Frost/Nixon is the creative collaboration between Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Films, with Academy Award winners BRIAN GRAZER and Howard joining BAFTA winners TIM BEVAN and ERIC FELLNER as producers of the drama.
On the technical side, the director has gathered a top-notch crew that reunites many Howard film regulars including cinematographer SALVATORE TOTINO; Oscar®-nominated production designer MICHAEL CORENBLITH; Emmy Award-winning costume designer DANIEL ORLANDI; Academy Award-winning editing team MIKE HILL and DAN HANLEY; and Oscar®-winning composer HANS ZIMMER.
The executive producers of the film are Peter Morgan, MATTHEW BYAM SHAW, KAREN KEHELA SHERWOOD, DAVID BERNARDI, Working Title's DEBRA HAYWARD and LIZA CHASIN and TODD HALLOWELL.
Playwright and screenwriter Peter Morgan was first drawn into the world of Sir David Frost and Richard Nixon in 1992. He had seen a televised biography of the broadcaster and was fascinated by what Frost had been able to accomplish with his infamously canny subject during the 1977 series The Nixon Interviews with David Frost.
As he relayed to Richard Brooks in a Sunday Times piece in July 2006, the writer was “driven by this image I had of these two men. The glamorous Frost, 54,000 feet up in the air, going backwards and forwards over the Atlantic on Concorde. And Nixon, a man living, metaphorically, in a cave, withdrawn and in disgrace.”
Morgan was intrigued by the contrasting lives of the two and believed that their story would lend itself well to a stage-play format. He felt that if he were to design the square-off, he would need to wrap the interviews as “an eminent gladiatorial contest where the only weapons allowed were words and ideas.”
Of his research into the subjects, Morgan observes, “I could see both camps were preparing one another in the way that chess adversaries or boxing adversaries prepare very strategic.”
In studying their social interactions, Morgan discovered something that would serve him exceptionally well as a dramatist: Each man was an opposite of the other in fundamental ways. He reflects, “If you separate Nixon the human being and Nixon the politician, you can’t help but feel for someone who manifestly found life so difficult. In many ways, his misanthropy and suspicion were his political, as well as his social, undoing. Then you look at someone like Frost, who finds life, certainly socially, very easy; he's very naturally gifted at communicating with people, making friends, being liked. Success seemed to come naturally to him.”
The writer believed that the Washington journalistic establishment also underestimated the newsman. “He just wasn’t taken seriously intellectually,” Morgan shares. Of Frost's interviewee, he adds, “The one thing you could never lay at Nixon's door is the charge that he was stupid he was a formidable thinker.” Morgan took these ingredients and “became excited to bring these two people together.”
When creating the play, Morgan engaged in extensive conversations with many who had been involved in the original interviews, including David Frost and others who would ultimately be portrayed on the West End theatrical stage where Frost/Nixon debuted. He offered to Gareth McLean in his interview with The Guardian in August ’06, “Everyone I spoke to told the story their way. Even people in the room [at the time of the interviews] tell different versions. There's no one truth about what happened off camera or behind the scenes during the period covered in our story. Perhaps for that reason, my conscience was clear about bringing my own writer's imagination to the piece.”
Frost / Nixon: About The Cast
Three-time Tony Award winner FRANK LANGELLA (Richard Nixon) is among the American theater world's greatest living actors. Though he gained recognition as a film star in the 1970s, the stage has always been his first love.
His career off-Broadway was launched with an Obie Award in 1965 for his performance in poet-playwright Robert Lowell's The Old Glory: Benito Cereno. His other major off-Broadway productions include Edmond Rostand's Cyrano, Arthur Miller's After the Fall, John Webster's The White Devil, Heinrich von Kleist's The Prince of Homburg, André Gide's The Immoralist and Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Langella's triumphs on Broadway include Tony Awards for Edward Albee's Seascape, for Turgenev's Fortune's Fool and in 2007 for his role as President Richard Nixon in the New York production of Frost/Nixon. He also received a Tony nomination for his performances in Belber's Match and Hamilton Deane's Dracula and has starred on Broadway in productions of Strindberg's The Father, Coward's Present Laughter and Design for Living, Shaffer's Amadeus, Rabe's Hurlyburly, Nichols’ Passion, Marowitz's Sherlock's Last Case, Gibson's A Cry of Players and Lorca's Yerma, among others.
Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Langella studied acting at Syracuse University before beginning his professional career in New York. He got his first break on screen when he was cast in Frank Perry's 1970 drama Diary of a Mad Housewife, co-starring with Richard Benjamin and Carrie Snodgress. The film earned him a Golden Globe nomination and an award from the National Board of Review for Best Supporting Actor.
That same year, he starred in Mel Brooks’ The Twelve Chairs. A successful remake of Dracula, directed by John Badham, brought him to pop-culture stardom at that decade. Langella will next lend his voice to Universal Pictures’ animated film The Tale of Despereaux. Other upcoming projects include All Good Things, with Ryan Gosling, and The Box, with Cameron Diaz. Some of his other past films are George Clooney's Oscar®-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck., the box-office hit Superman Returns and the drama Starting Out in the Evening. He has also starred in Adrian Lyne's controversial Lolita; the hit comedy Dave; Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise; a humorous tribute to summer stock, Those Lips, Those Eyes; the touching drama I’m Losing You; David Duchovny's House of D; and The Ninth Gate, directed by Roman Polanski.
On television, Langella received an Emmy Award nomination for his work on I, Leonardo: A Journey of the Mind. Other major work on television includes PBS’ productions of Eccentricities of a Nightingale and Chekhov's The Seagull; ABC's The Beast; HBO's Doomsday Gun; and Vonnegut's Monkey House for Showtime, which earned him a CableACE Award. He also starred in all 10 episodes of the short-lived but widely praised HBO series Unscripted.
Langella was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2003. In addition to his three Tony Awards, he has won five Drama Desks, three Obies, two Outer Critics Circles and a Drama League Award. Several dozen credits in America's leading regional theaters include Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Anouilh's Ring Round the Moon, Whiting's The Devils, Bolt's A Man for All Seasons, Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady, Shepard's The Tooth of Crime and Barker's Scenes From an Execution.
Three-time BAFTA nominee MICHAEL SHEEN (David Frost) has gained a prominent place among the talented new generation of British actors on stage and screen.
He earned a BAFTA nod for Best Supporting Actor in The Queen and garnered two more for Best Actor in the television comedies Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa! and Dirty Filthy Love. The Queen also brought him the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Sheen was most recently seen on screen in Music Within, the story of Richard Pimentel, an early champion of the rights of the disabled and a primary activist behind the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sheen portrayed his best friend Art, a wheelchairbound genius who suffers from cerebral palsy and uses his wit to deflect the prejudice associated with his twisted form.
Prior to that, he was seen in Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou, and as Prime Minister Tony Blair in Stephen Frears’ The Queen. The Queen marked Sheen's third collaboration with Frears. He first played the British prime minister in Frears’ television feature The Deal and made his feature film debut in the director's Mary Reilly, playing Dr. Jekyll's footman.
Sheen's other feature film credits include Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven; Laws of Attraction, starring with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore; Timeline, directed by Richard Donner; Underworld; Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things; Shekhar Kapur's The Four Feathers; Heartlands, directed by Damien O’Donnell (East Is East); and Wilde, with Stephen Fry and Jude Law.
Sheen trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London where, in his second year, he won the coveted Laurence Olivier Bursary for consistently outstanding performances. While still a student at RADA, Sheen landed a starring role opposite Vanessa Redgrave in 1991's When She Danced, which marked his West End debut.
Sheen has since earned Olivier Award nominations for his performance as Mozart in Peter Hall's revival of Amadeus, Look Back in Anger and Caligula, for which he also won a London Critics’ Circle Award and a London Evening Standard Theatre Award.
He has received acclaim for his performances in such plays as Romeo and Juliet, Peer Gynt and Henry V. In 1999, Sheen made his Broadway debut, reprising the title role in Amadeus.
Most recently on stage, Sheen received a Distinguished Performance Award nomination from the Drama League, among other accolades, for his Broadway stage origination of the role of David Frost in Peter Morgan's play. This followed the sold-out run in London, where Sheen received nominations for Best Actor from the Olivier Awards and Evening Standard Awards.
At the beginning of this year, Sheen completed production in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, in which he reprises his role as the dark Lycan master Lucian. The film marks the directorial debut of special-effects wiz Patrick Tatopoulos and stars Sheen and Bill Nighy.
Sheen most recently completed shooting The Damned United, which chronicles the larger-than-life soccer manager Brian Clough's turbulent 44 days in charge of Leeds United in 1974 (then one of England's most successful soccer teams). The film stars Sheen as Clough and is directed by Tom Hooper (John Adams), with a screenplay by Peter Morgan, based on David Pearce's novel.
Sheen is currently shooting the suspense thriller Unthinkable, directed by Gregor Jordan. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss and Sheen, the story centers on a seasoned FBI agent (Moss) in charge of investigating suspected terrorist organizations with Muslim ties. When the FBI brings her in to help a black-ops interrogator (Jackson) with the interrogation of an American-Muslim man (Sheen), she must face the moral consequences of how far one should go to extract the truth from a prisoner.
Born in Wales, Sheen grew up in Port Talbot, the industrial town renowned for producing Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins.
KEVIN BACON (Jack Brennan) has appeared in more than 50 films over the past 30 years, encompassing both mainstream hits and acclaimed independent features.
He most recently starred in the thriller Death Sentence and completed filming My One and Only, with Renée Zellweger, New York, I Love You and the HBO feature Taking Chance, the true story of marine officer Michael Strobl, a military escort assigned to accompany the body of a soldier killed in Iraq on his journey to his hometown. Bacon earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance in the controversial 2004 drama The Woodsman, which he also executive produced. He also shared in a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Motion Picture Cast as part of the cast of 2003's Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood. He previously garnered a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role in Curtis Hanson's 1994 thriller The River Wild. The following year, he received a SAG Award nomination and won a Critics’ Choice Award from the Broadcast Film Critics for his work in Murder in the First. In 2000, Bacon became the first honoree of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Young Friends of Film.
A native of Philadelphia, Bacon was the youngest student at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York. His early efforts on film included memorable performances in the comedy hits National Lampoon's Animal House and Barry Levinson's Diner. However, it was his starring role in Herbert Ross’ smash hit Footloose that propelled Bacon to stardom.
Bacon's long list of film credits also includes John Hughes’ She's Having a Baby, Martin Campbell's Criminal Law, Christopher Guest's The Big Picture, Ron Underwood's Tremors, Joel Schumacher's Flatliners, Oliver Stone's JFK, Rob Reiner's A Few Good Men, Barry Levinson's Sleepers, David Koepp's Stir of Echoes, Jay Russell's My Dog Skip, Paul Verhoeven's Hollow Man, Luis Mandoki's Trapped and Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies.
In 1996, Bacon made his directorial debut with the Showtime movie Losing Chase, starring Helen Mirren, Beau Bridges and Bacon's wife, Kyra Sedgwick. The film received three Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture Made for Television, and also screened at the Sundance and Toronto International film festivals. Bacon more recently directed and produced the 2005 feature Loverboy, in which he also appeared with Sedgwick, Campbell Scott, Matt Dillon, Marisa Tomei and Oliver Platt. Bacon has also directed two episodes of Kyra Sedgwick's hit TNT series The Closer.
Bacon's television credits include the movies The Gift, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, the 1984 remake of Mister Roberts and the American Playhouse production of Lanford Wilson's play Lemon Sky, which first teamed him with Sedgwick.
On the stage, Bacon made his Broadway debut in 1983's The Slab Boys, with Sean Penn. Three years later, he starred in Joe Orton's acclaimed play Loot. In 2002, Bacon returned to Broadway to star in the one-man show An Almost Holy Picture. His stage work also includes such off-Broadway plays as Album, Poor Little Lambs, Getting Out and Spike Heels.
Teamed with his older brother Michael, Bacon is one half of The Bacon Brothers, a successful band with a sound they describe as Forosoco (a combination of folk, rock, soul and country), which was also the title of their debut CD. The Bacon Brothers have since recorded three more CDs and also released a concert CD. Their new CD, “New Year's Day,” will be released in November. At the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Bacon launched SixDegrees.org, a new Web site that encourages online donations to a variety of worthwhile causes, creating a philanthropic social network.
REBECCA HALL (Caroline Cushing) is one of the world's most intriguing young talents. She currently stars opposite Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz in Woody Allen's critically acclaimed hit Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The Weinstein Company release involves a painter who enters into a relationship with two American tourists.
Upcoming projects include Nicole Holofcener's untitled new film, co-starring Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt and Amanda Peet (Sony Pictures Classics, 2009), as well as Oliver Parker's Dorian Gray, with co-stars Colin Firth and Ben Barnes (2009). Hall also co-stars alongside Andrew Garfield and Paddy Considine in Red Riding (2009), based on David Peace's novels about the real-life Yorkshire Ripper.
In 2007, Hall starred opposite Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Hugh Jackman in Christopher Nolan's The Prestige, a tale of two turn-of-the-century London magicians whose rivalry jeopardizes the lives of everyone around them. In Tom Vaughan's Starter for 10, a coming-of-age comedy about university students struggling to find themselves while learning the differences between knowledge and wisdom, Hall starred opposite James McAvoy.
Currently, she is in rehearsals with Simon Russell Beale and Ethan Hawke for a yearlong tour of Sam Mendes’ The Bridge Project (January 2009). In the rotating plays, she will portray Varya in The Cherry Orchard and Hermione in The Winter's Tale. The Bridge Project is a co-production between Neal Street Productions, The Old Vic and Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. Previews begin January 2, 2009, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Hall received widespread acclaim for her performance as Rosalind, Shakespeare's love-conflicted heroine, in Peter Hall's production of As You Like It, which began at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2003 and continued with an international tour. It was revived in 2005 at the Rose Theatre in Kingston and subsequently ran at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre and the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. In summer 2004, she starred in three productions at the Theatre Royal Bath: as the title character in Timberlake Wertenbaker's Galileo's Daughter, directed by Peter Hall; as Elvira in Simon Nye's version of the Molière comedy Don Juan, directed by Thea Sharrock; and as Ann Whitfield in Shaw's epic Man and Superman, again under the direction of Peter Hall.
In summer 2003, she starred as Barbara in D.H. Lawrence's Fight for Barbara, directed again by Thea Sharrock at the Theatre Royal Bath. For her West End debut as Vivie, the tough-minded daughter in Mrs. Warren's Profession, at the Strand Theatre in October 2002, Hall garnered an Ian Charleson Award. In 2003, she was again nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for As You Like It.
While studying English at Cambridge, she played Miranda in The Tempest and Martha in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? and directed productions of Cuckoo by Giuseppe Manfredi and Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound.
Hall's television credits include Brendan Maher's Wide Sargasso Sea on BBC 4, Einstein and Eddington and Joe's Palace for HBO/BBC Films, Peter Hall's acclaimed adaptation of Mary Wesley's novel “The Camomile Lawn” for Channel 4 and Don’t Leave Me This Way, directed by Stuart Orme.
TOBY JONES (Swifty Lazar) won the London Film Critics’ Circle Award for his role as Truman Capote in the critically praised 2006 biopic of the author, Infamous. He is currently starring with Bill Murray and Tim Robbins in the fantasy-adventure City of Ember. He recently co-starred in the British comedy St. Trinian's with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, as well as the thriller The Mist, directed by Frank Darabont.
Jones’ other recent film credits include Peter Greenaway's Nightwatching; Michael Apted's biography of abolitionist William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace; and the widely praised dramatization of W. Somerset Maugham's “The Painted Veil,” starring Edward Norton and Naomi Watts.
The son of actor Freddie Jones won the 2001 Laurence Olivier Award as Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the West End comedy The Play What I Wrote, directed by Kenneth Branagh. He has performed regularly on the British stage, including a recent production of Measure for Measure on the West End.
After making his film debut in the 1992 film adaptation of Orlando, starring Tilda Swinton, Jones has alternated between stage and screen over the last 15 years. Among his other film credits are Ladies in Lavender, with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith; the 2004 Oscar®-nominated Finding Neverland; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as the voice of Dobby the House Elf; Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc; the romantic comedy Ever After; and a film version of “Les Misérables,” directed by Bille August. Jones has also appeared on British television, including a 2005 role as Robert Cecil, the first earl of Salisbury, in the HBO/Channel 4 production Elizabeth I.
Jones has recently signed on to two more films: Jon Amiel's Creation, based on Charles Darwin's great-great-grandson Randal Keynes’ biography of his famed progenitor, and Steven Spielberg's motion-capture film Tintin, based on the classic series of comic strips by Belgian artist Hergé.
MATTHEW MACFADYEN (John Birt) was most recently seen starring in the dark comedy Death at a Funeral, directed by Frank Oz and also starring Rupert Graves.
He previously finished filming Incendiary, with Michelle Williams and Ewan McGregor, in a contemporary drama about the emotional aftermath of a suicide bombing in London, and in BBC's Little Dorrit, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel.
Earlier last year, Macfadyen returned to the stage in The Pain and the Itch at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Dominic Cooke. On television, he has recently been seen in the Channel 4 drama Secret Life, for which he received outstanding reviews as a convicted pedophile newly released from prison.
In 2005, Macfadyen won critical acclaim for the lead role of Mr. Darcy in Joe Wright's Oscar®-nominated adaptation of “Pride & Prejudice.” The Working Title film also starred Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn and Donald Sutherland. In the same year, he was nominated as Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards for his role as a disillusioned war journalist in In My Father's Den, directed by Brad McGann.
Macfadyen's other film credits include Middletown, with Daniel Mays and Eva Birthistle; The Reckoning, with Tom Hardy; Michael Apted's Enigma, also starring Kate Winslet and Tom Hollander; and Maybe Baby, directed by Ben Elton.
He is well known on British television for his role as Tom in the second series of Spooks, starring alongside David Oyelowo. He also starred in the role of Paul Tibbenham in The Project, directed by Peter Kosminsky, and as Sir Felix Carbury in The Way We Live Now, directed by David Yates. Other U.K. television credits include Perfect Strangers, Bloodline, Warriors and Wuthering Heights.
Macfadyen has appeared onstage in such prestigious productions as Henry IV parts 1 & 2; Battle Royal for the National Theatre/Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford; The School for Scandal at the Barbican; the West End staging of Much Ado About Nothing; The Duchess of Malfi on both the West End and Broadway; and A Midsummer Night's Dream for the RSC.
OLIVER PLATT (Bob Zelnick) has enjoyed great success in film, on television and on stage. He received his first Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor for his work on Broadway in Conor McPherson's Shining City, which was also nominated for Best Play. Other accolades include a Golden Globe Award and back-to-back Emmy Award nominations for his portrayal of Russell Tupper in Showtime's Huff, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of White House Counsel Oliver Babish on the popular political drama The West Wing. This year, he was nominated again for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his recurring role on Nip/Tuck, playing the flamboyant TV producer Freddy Prune. Platt can be seen in the following upcoming films: the Harold Ramis comedy The Year One, opposite Jack Black and Michael Cera; an untitled Nicole Holofcener film, opposite Catherine Keener; and Roland Emmerich's epic 2012, opposite John Cusack, Thandie Newton and Amanda Peet.
Platt's recent features include Casanova, directed by Lasse Hallström, and The Ice Harvest, with John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. Other film credits include Funny Bones, Bulworth, Married to the Mob, Working Girl, Flatliners, Postcards From the Edge, Indecent Proposal, The Three Musketeers, A Time to Kill, Doctor Dolittle, Simon Birch, Lake Placid, Don’t Say a Word and Pieces of April.
Platt made his producing debut on the indie film Big Night, which was co-directed by actors Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott. He would later reteam with Tucci in The Impostors.
On television, Platt was seen playing the role of George Steinbrenner on the hit ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning, opposite John Turturro and Daniel Sunjata. His performance earned him a SAG nomination.
Platt graduated from Tufts University with a degree in drama and immediately began working in regional theater, as well as off-Broadway, in such productions as The Tempest and John Guare's Moon Over Miami. He also starred in the Lincoln Center production of Ubu and Jules Feiffer's Elliot Loves, directed by Mike Nichols, and received rave reviews for his performance as Sir Toby Belch in Brian Kulick's Twelfth Night.
SAM ROCKWELL (James Reston, Jr.) has emerged as one of the most dynamic actors of his generation by continuing to take on challenging roles in both independent and studio productions.
Rockwell can currently be seen in Clark Gregg's adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel “Choke,” which was released by 20th Century Fox. He has recently completed the lead and nearly solitary character in the extraterrestrial British film Moon, directed by the highly regarded commercial director Duncan Jones; Gentlemen Broncos with the director of Napoleon Dynamite, Jared Hess; and Everybody's Fine, with Robert De Niro and Drew Barrymore.
Rockwell has created memorable characters in several films, including Andrew Dominik's critically acclaimed film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, starring opposite Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck; David Gordon Green's acclaimed film Snow Angels, opposite Kate Beckinsale; the Russo brothers’ comedy Welcome to Collinwood, opposite George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, Jennifer Esposito and William H. Macy; David Mamet's Heist, opposite Gene Hackman, Rebecca Pidgeon and Danny DeVito; the blockbuster Charlie's Angels, with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu; and Frank Darabont's Oscar®-nominated The Green Mile, opposite Tom Hanks. Rockwell also appeared in DreamWorks’ box-office hit Galaxy Quest, opposite Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Tony Shalhoub.
Additional credits include Joshua, opposite Vera Farmiga; The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, opposite Zooey Deschanel, Mos Def and Martin Freeman; and the Warner Bros.’ comedy-drama Matchstick Men, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Nicolas Cage. He has also appeared in Woody Allen's Celebrity; Michael Hoffman's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Kevin Kline and Michelle Pfeiffer; John Duigan's Lawn Dogs; John Hamburg's Safe Men; Saul Rubinek's dark comedy Jerry and Tom; Tom DiCillo's Box of Moonlight, opposite John Turturro; Peter Cohn's Drunks, with Richard Lewis, Parker Posey and Faye Dunaway; Paul Schrader's Light Sleeper, with Willem Dafoe; Uli Edel's Last Exit to Brooklyn, with Jennifer Jason Leigh; and his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola's Clownhouse, while he was still a student at San Francisco's High School of the Performing Arts.
Rockwell won critical praise, as well as the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Berlin Bear Award and Movieline's Breakthrough Performance of the Year Award, for his portrayal of Chuck Barris in George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. He starred opposite Clooney, Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts in this adaptation of Barris’ memoirs. Other awards include Best Actor at the Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia for his performance in Joshua and the Decades Achievement Award from Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival.
On stage, Rockwell was seen in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, opposite Eric Bogosian, at The Public Theater. Philip Seymour Hoffman directed the LAByrinth Theater Company production. Rockwell has appeared in Face Divided as part of the EST Marathon series, as well as the off-Broadway production of Goose-Pimples, which was written by noted film writer/director Mike Leigh. He has also appeared in The Dumb Waiter and Hot L Baltimore for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, both of which were directed by Joe Montello.
FROST / NIXON ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Academy Award-winning filmmaker RON HOWARD (Directed by/Produced by) is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 to the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films. Most recently, he directed the big-screen adaptation of the international best seller The Da Vinci Code, starring Oscar® winner Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany. Prior to The Da Vinci Code, Howard directed and produced Cinderella Man, starring Russell Crowe, with whom he previously collaborated on A Beautiful Mind, for which Howard earned an Oscar® for Best Director and which also won awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. The film garnered four Golden Globes as well, including the award for Best Motion Picture Drama.
Additionally, Howard won Best Director of the Year from the Directors Guild of America (DGA). Howard and producer Brian Grazer received the first annual Awareness Award from the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign for their work on the film.
Howard's skill as a director has long been recognized. In 1995, he received his first Best Director of the Year award from the DGA for Apollo 13. The true-life drama also garnered nine Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. It also received Best Ensemble Cast and Best Supporting Actor awards from the Screen Actors Guild. Many of Howard's past films have received nods from the Academy, including the popular hits Backdraft, Parenthood and Cocoon, the last of which took home two Oscars®. Howard was honored by the Museum of the Moving Image in December 2005 and by the American Cinema Editors in February 2006.
Howard's portfolio includes some of the most popular films of the past 20 years. In 1991, Howard created the acclaimed drama Backdraft, starring Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell and William Baldwin. He followed it with the historical epic Far and Away, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Howard directed Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise and Delroy Lindo in the 1996 suspense thriller Ransom. He worked with Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Kathleen Quinlan on Apollo 13, which was rereleased recently in the IMAX format. Howard's other films include the blockbuster Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carrey; Parenthood, starring Steve Martin; the fantasy epic Willow; Night Shift, starring Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton and Shelley Long; and the suspenseful western The Missing, starring Oscar® winners Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones.
Howard has also served as an executive producer on a number of award-winning films and television shows, such as the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and FOX's Arrested Development, an Emmy Award winner for Best Comedy, which he also narrated.
Howard and longtime producing partner Brian Grazer first collaborated on the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash. The pair co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 to create independently produced feature films. The company has since produced a variety of popular feature films, including such hits as The Nutty Professor, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Bowfinger, The Paper, Inventing the Abbotts and Liar, Liar. Howard made his directorial debut in 1978 with the comedy Grand Theft Auto.
Howard began his career in film as an actor. He first appeared in The Journey and The Music Man, then as Opie on the long-running television series The Andy Griffith Show. Howard later starred in the popular series Happy Days and drew favorable reviews for his performances in American Graffiti and The Shootist.
Howard is currently in post-production on the big-screen adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling novel “Angels & Demons” and just finished production on Universal Pictures’ recently released Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie.
After nearly two decades paying his dues by writing television projects, screenwriter PETER MORGAN (Screenplay by/Based on the Stage Play by / Executive Producer) emerged as the top talent in his field in 2006 thanks to the successes of two critically acclaimed films, The Queen and The Last King of Scotland. He demonstrated a gift for portraying public figures as real human beings involved in interesting and complex relationships, which he continued in the award-winning play Frost/Nixon.
Morgan grew up in the London suburb of Wimbledon with a Polish Catholic mother and a German Jewish father who had fled Dresden in the thirties. He went on to study English at the University of Leeds, but found the department's curriculum uninspiring and switched to the fine art department, where he eventually earned his degree. While at Leeds, Morgan began (unsuccessfully) acting in student dramas, but soon decided to focus on writing and directing instead.
Morgan found a writing partner in fellow student Mark Wadlow, and the duo's first play, Gross, performed at the Edinburgh Festival, brought them a level of instant recognition. Afterward, Wadlow and Morgan wrote for several years in London, before getting a break working on the script for John Schlesinger's Madame Sousatzka in 1988.
Several more years of work followed (including the Academy Award-nominated short film Dear Rosie), before Wadlow moved on to write for the British soap opera Coronation Street, while Morgan went his own way and wrote Mickey Love (later rewritten for Fox 2000). Morgan also penned the TV courtroom drama The Jury in 2002 and the 2003 TV movie Henry VIII, starring Ray Winstone and Helena Bonham Carter, which earned an international Emmy for Best Drama.
With Morgan's 2004 TV script, The Deal, which centered around the codependent relationship between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown, Morgan started gaining recognition for his exploration of the psyches of public figures. The project also marked the beginning of Morgan's working relationship with director Stephen Frears and the opportunity to move toward feature films.
He was soon hired to write the screenplay adaptation of Giles Foden's novel “The Last King of Scotland” in 2006, a feature film exploring the relationship between Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and a young Scottish doctor, for which he won the BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay. Months later, Morgan and Frears teamed up again to create the biggest hit of their respective careers, The Queen. The film focused on the impact of the 1997 death of Princess Diana on the Royal Family, and how, along with the arrival of Prime Minister Tony Blair, it signaled a new era in Britain.
The Queen earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Performance by an Actress and duplicated these four at the 2006 Golden Globes. Morgan won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, as well as awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, The British Independent Film Awards and the Venice Film Festival.
In 2006, he returned to playwriting with Frost/Nixon. The play moved from the West End to Broadway and played to packed houses on both sides of the Atlantic. Morgan has most recently written an original screenplay, Hereafter, to be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg and directed by Clint Eastwood, and the third part of his Blair trilogy, The Special Relationship, also to be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Pathé Pictures International and BBC Films. He is currently writing an adaptation of John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy for Working Title.
Producer BRIAN GRAZER (Produced by) has been making movies and television programs for more than 25 years. He most recently produced Ridley Scott's box-office smash American Gangster, starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington, and produced Universal Pictures’ drama Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie. Grazer is currently in post-production on the big-screen adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling novel “Angels & Demons” and in preproduction on Nottingham, directed by Ridley Scott and staring Russell Crowe.
As both a writer and a producer, he has been personally nominated for three Academy Awards®, and in 2001 he won the Best Picture Oscar® for A Beautiful Mind. In addition to winning three other Academy Awards®, A Beautiful Mind also won four Golden Globe Awards (including Best Motion Picture Drama) and earned Grazer the first annual Awareness Award from the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign.
Over the years, Grazer's films and TV shows have been nominated for a total of 44 Oscars® and 91 Emmys. At the same time, his movies have generated more than $13 billion in worldwide theatrical, music and video grosses. Reflecting this combination of commercial and artistic achievement, the Producers Guild of America honored Grazer with the David O. Selznick Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. His accomplishments have also been recognized by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which, in 1998, added Grazer to the short list of producers with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On March 6, 2003, ShoWest celebrated Grazer's success by honoring him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. On November 14, 2005, the Fulfillment Fund honored Grazer in Los Angeles. In May 2007, Grazer was chosen by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
In addition to A Beautiful Mind, Grazer's films include Apollo 13, for which Grazer won the Producers Guild's Daryl F. Zanuck Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award as well as an Oscar® nomination for Best Picture of 1995; and Splash, which he co-wrote as well as produced and for which he received an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Screenplay of 1984.
Other feature film credits include the big-screen adaptation of the international best seller “The Da Vinci Code,” starring Tom Hanks and directed by Oscar® winner Ron Howard; the tense drama Inside Man, directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster; Flightplan; Cinderella Man; the Sundance acclaimed documentary Inside Deep Throat; Friday Night Lights; 8 Mile; Blue Crush; Intolerable Cruelty; Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas; The Nutty Professor; Liar, Liar; Ransom; My Girl; Backdraft; Kindergarten Cop; Parenthood; Clean and Sober; and Spies Like Us.
"Frost / Nixon" Academy Award Nominations
Frost / Nixon - Best Picture Oscar Nomination - 81st Academy Awards 2009
- Slumdog Millionaire Leads the Way
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Frost / Nixon
- The Reader
- Slumdog Millionaire
Best Animated Feature
- Anne Hathaway in "Rachel Getting Married"
- Angelina Jolie in "Changeling"
- Melissa Leo in "Frozen River"
- Meryl Streep in "Doubt"
- Kate Winslet in "The Reader"
2009 Best Actor
- Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor"
- Frank Langella in "Frost/Nixon"
- Sean Penn in "Milk"
- Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
- Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler"
Best Supporting Actress
- Amy Adams in "Doubt"
- Penelope Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
- Viola Davis in "Doubt"
- Taraji P. Henson in "Benjamin Button"
- Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler"
Best Supporting Actor
- Josh Brolin in "Milk"
- Robert Downey Jr. in "Tropic Thunder"
- Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Doubt"
- Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight"
- Michael Shannon in "Revolutionary Road"
2009 Oscar Nominated Movie Reviews
- The Class
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- The Duchess
- Frost / Nixon
- Happy Go Lucky
- Iron Man
- Kung Fu Panda
- Rachel Getting Married<
- The Reader
- Revolutionary Road
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Tropic Thunder
- Waltz With Bashir
- The Wrestler