Star of Career Girls
Katrin Cartlidge is facing a dilemma. ’The question has been posed to me,’ she says, ’would I consider doing a couple of episodes of ER?’ Most actresses wouldn’t have to think twice before lining up beside George Clooney, but for Cartlidge — star of Mike Leigh’s new drama Career Girls — intergrity is all.
’For two episodes of ER, I would probably be paid the same as the whole of a Mike Leigh film,’ she muses. ’The problem is always earning a living. The films I’ve done have all been low budget movies where I’ve been paid the minimum they can get away with. When you get to my age and you’ve done fifteen years of hard graft, it’s painful that you’re still in a situation where you don't own the flat you live in and could still be thrown out at the end of the month.’
It’s a cruel industry that doesn’t reward its best workers. Cartlidge caught the public eye as the abused Sophie in Leigh’s Naked (which won her the European Actress Of The Year award in 1993) and as English incomer Dodo in Breaking The Waves. In Career Girls she plays Hannah, whom we see as a successful, but lonely, working
Katrin Cartlidge in Career Girls
woman in the 905 and a charged-up, defensively aggressive student in the 805.
’I certainly shared a lot of Hannah’s anger and aggression about student life,’ says the 36-year-old. 'l was very distainful of students because I wasn’t one. My attitude was that they had it easy, they were being spoon-fed, they had each other for company and support. I felt there was intellectual cotton-wool around them.’
Cartlidge spent three years at school in a remedial group, thought by teachers to be ‘educationally subnormal’ due to an undiagnosed mild dyslexia which stopped her from keeping up with the required amount of reading. She based Hannah’s hyperactive intelligence
on other girls in her remedial class who were ‘witty and sharp as razors’.
It’s not often that an actress has the opportunity to play the same character at two distinctive points in their life. ’You have to evolve the character almost from birth,’ Cartlidge explains. ’You have to know when they lost their virginity, every boyfriend, every trauma. The more detail you bring, the richer the character is. That’s the philosophical aspect of working with Mike: you realise that people are a kind of Russian doll of experience, layer upon layer. The same inside, but each layer is a different fagade.’ (Alan Morrison)
E Carter Girls opens at the Glasgow Film Theatre and Edi/2i.)urgf‘ Carrit'PO on Fri 79 Sep. See review
Toby Stephens Star of Photographing Fairies
Look of love: Emily Woof and Toby Stephens in Photographing Fairies
22 THE lIST l2 Sop—75 Sep 199/
Trying to sumrnanse the plot of the new British riiovie Photographing Farr/es is an almost iinpyssihie task Even its star, Tony Stephens, admits that
'l've been trying to (lestrihe it to friends, and it was gust l‘i‘lit'lti'SS,’ he confesses period f:l:n, then yet/re catapulted lI‘i't) a thriller, then yt-ti'w |l‘.i-’i a fantasy titlllij, next you're :n this '.',t"'(.i :Itur; experiente so many different ingredients III :I that I think, for an audience, ‘.‘./l‘.('ll‘i(_'l they like it or don't like it, they'll be wrong-footed by it arid very lllillfl‘.l(."i by z'rirat happens next '
Behind its frankly tinappetisnti title when i tell itilll l iiitln't know (that to expect from a (alletl Photograph/ht; Fairies, Stephens dehghtedly suggests 'it tout/i have l)f?t‘ll gay porn" I‘, ll dark—toned
'One illtlitllt‘ you're in a
fantasy that tare. as if: the 1920‘. fa‘.-::!: iiit"l swath fairiv‘ and other t-xaint‘iles .if outrt- ‘)[,ii'illtlfli‘/ Along the .‘xay, the film explores the nature obsession to the gallows anrl l)("y’ii.'l'i After four years It'ilIIllltll‘; it up .it the RSC', lill‘, i'. Stephen's first leatliii'i film role The sun of .ittinq parents
of tirief ,iltfl f'iii’)‘.’.’5 an
Robert Stephens and Maggie Smith — he is already a familiar screen face through roles in the TV adaptation of The Tenant Of Wi/(lfe/l Hall and Trevor Nunn's tinenia version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but Stephens is quu'k to argue that Photographing Fairies is not Just another period piece.
'You can't run away from the period, but at the heart of it, it's very modern and it's dealing wrth things we're experiencing now. There’s this obsesSion at the moment \‘JIili the otcti!t anti LJFO-ology because we're in this state of flux where a lot of people don't believe in traditional religion and they're desperately looking for other answers as to why we're here ‘
Although he has nothing lined up at the moment, Stephens is keen to keep workinri in the Cinema and a few tontenipoiary roles wouldn't go amiss. 'l'in a relatively young actor and Still filillt‘ a lllWItt', and rather than fall into a stemztype, I'd rather be able to do as many different things as possible betazise that‘s what atting's about '
So gay porn isn't ruled out yet7
No, l’:n up for it, I'm up for it' lierltly Janiiesonl I Se/i't lerl release from f'll l9 Sty) See
NEWS Ideal World
A new Scottish film company is to be one of the first beneficiaries of a pilot scheme designed to encourage film production north of the border.
Ideal World Films — an offshoot of TV production company Ideal World Productions (Ride On, Wild Harvest) — has been awarded a £25,000 loan by Scottish Screen and Scottish Enterprise as part of their Producer Support Programme. The scheme encourages proven Scottish talent to develop a slate of projects and gives producers working capital to kick-start viable ideas.
While £25,000 may seem a modest amount, producer Angus Lamont, who is heading up Ideal World Films, argues that such seedcorn money can be vital.
'lt's not a lot of money,’ he admits, ’but given the starvation economy of most Scottish film producers, it can help you to survive until the production starts to happen.’ It can go towards a salary for the producer, Lamont suggests, pay office overheads, hire script editors or finance trips to markets to sell the projects.
In an attempt to encourage a broader base in Scottish film production, the scheme requires companies to have three proiects in development, an idea that Lamont welcomes. 'One of the problems wrth the Scottish scene is that it’s normally very small companies who can only do one film every two or three years, and that’s no way to do busmess,’ he explains.
On Ideal World's slate is Eye Of The Tiger, a comedy featuring the worst shinty team in Scotland. Lamont sums it up as Slap Shot meets Local Hero’. He remains tight-lipped about other ideas.
Two other production companies, Bronco Films and Freeway Films, have been awarded half shares of £12,500 in the first tranche of the scheme. Alan Cumming is to star in and direct Young At Heart for Bronco, the story of Glasgow man Brian MacKinnon, who faked being a teenager to go back to school. Among Freeway’s projects is John McGrath's adaptation of Neil Gunn’s novel, Silver Darlings formerly staged by Wildcat theatre company. (Teddy Jamieson)
Nick Nairn’s Wild Harvest: Ideal World move from TV to film