amie Bell has eome along way sinee making

his dynamie dehut as Billy lilliot in 2()()(). A

long way literally: the ('ounty Durham-horn lad‘s eurrently in New Xealand working on Peter .laekson‘s lollow-up to The Loni o/‘I/n' Rings trilogy. a hloekhtisting remake ol the ttltintate ereature lealul'e. King Kong.

Bell’s also eome a long way in terms ol matttrity. .ltist l—l years old when Bil/y li/lioi propelled him to interttational stardom. Bell only turned l‘) this Mareh. and yet he sounds hoth older than his teenage years and smarter ahout the lilm husiness than anyone who‘s heen in it less than the years has any right to he. l)oes. lor example. this sottnd like a young aetor who. until last year. hadn‘t made a tttoy ie outside ol the l'K. let alone in llollywood'.’ 'I start shooting something in the weeks.‘ he says down the line lrotn Wellington. 'so they had to lly me in so I eould shoot all my ADR y'ery quiekly' and then start piek-ups when the rest ol the east arriy’e.’

ln ease you need Bell‘s lilm speak translated. ’they' are New Line (‘inema. the mini-major stttdio that produeed The Lord (ill/1v RUng and is linaneing lying Kong. New Line llew Bell to New '/.ealand lrom l.os Angeles. where he had heen lilming the suhurhan satire 'I‘ln' ('lninist'rn/i/n'r with an ensemhle east ineluding (ilenn (‘lose and Ralph l‘iennes. ;\l)R is the recording ol dialogue that wasn’t eaptured clearly on the day of lilming. l’iek-ups are newly lilmed seenes that are inserted into the existing seript as a way ol relining a story line. .»\nd Bell‘s heen llow'n haek (haying already eompleted prineipal photography on King Kong earlier in the year) ahead ol lellow east memhers Noatni Watts. .laek Blaek attd Adrien Brody so lte eat) linish his work and he released in time to jet oil to leeland in order to hegin lilming the World War II epie I’ll/gs of ()nr l'ill/It'liy. w'hieh is heing direeted l)_\ (‘ltttl l'.ll\I\\t)t)tl.

ll that working itinerary isn't enough to eonyinee you that Bell has outgrown Bil/y lil/io/ then eonsider that he will next he seen in Near lli'Inly'. the lust liltn eollalmration hetween internationally renowned Danish lilmmakers l.ars \‘ott 'lrier and 'l'homas \"interherg. In the lilm. Bell plays the leader ol a group ol youngsters in an Ameriean mining town who are hoth paeilists and. hi/arrely. gun worshippers. Working with yon 'l‘rier and Vinterherg. lounders ol l)ogme ()5 the haek-to-hasies lilmtnaking manilesto that prioritises eharaeter and perlormanee oyer all else would he any aetor's dream. ‘I had neyer wanted to do anything as hadly.’ Bell says. his aeeent a mix ol north ol lingland and west ol the Atlantie. "l’he eharaeter that has eome lrotn l.ars yon 'l'rier‘s mind is so unique. so envy and waek'y'. It immediately jumped oil the page and into my mind. I eould yisually see eyerything that l.ars was trying to say. and that doesn’t happen ollett to tne. l'y'e heen hlessed with these ama/ingly well eralted seripts lor. well. the last two years really.’

'l'hose last two years also itteltlde Bell‘s lit‘sl overseas aeting joh. in ('nili'rluw. a Southern States set thriller (and loose reworking ol 'I‘/n' Nix/n oft/iv Hunter) direeted hy the Ameriean independent



einema w underkind l)a\’id (iot'dolt (ireen. I'm/erron- tnarked Bell’s lirst leading role sinee Bil/y" li/liol. and he made good on the opportunity. turning in a eony'ineing perlormanee as a white trash kid on the run lrom a psyehotie unele. Prior to that. howeyer. Bell hardly set the sereen alight. taking yery tentatiye steps alter li’i/ly' l:'//i'(n with supporting roles in two

underwhelming British lilms. an adaptation ol

l)iek'ett.s’ .Vii'hii/(ls .\'I-('/\/('/).\' and [he \Vol'ld \Vat‘ l supernatural thriller /)(‘(ll/I)t'(lI('/l.

.-\round this time there was less talk ahout Bell‘s aeting dey'elopment and more speeulation ahout his relationship w itlt Stephen l)aldry. the direetor ol Bil/y l:”//iol. l)aldry heeame Bell’s surrogate lather (he ney er knew his own) alter he moy‘ed otit ol the home he shared with his mother and sister to liye with the older (and hisexual) man. You ean imagine the tahloid leeding lren/y that moye prompted. (‘omhine that with news reports ahout Bell heeoming last lriends w itlt the likes ol Russell (‘rowe and the media image ol the still only l5—year~old was that ol a pt'eeoeiotts ht‘al who wastrl expeeted to make good on his early aeting promise. Bttt Bell managed to mold the pitlalls ol early lame. Where other young aetors hay e gone oll the rails. either partying themselyes into drug-addled hreakdowns or by making a eareer-ruining stream ol had moy ies. Bell‘s pt‘olessiottitl Ittoyes hay e heen smart. Instead ol moy ing to l..-\ the tried it hrielly and hated it) he‘s liying in London in the eompany ol lriends tw hen he‘s not hopping on international llights hetween l.:\ and N/). lnstead ol eashing in his lame to make lorgettahle llollywood rom-eoms. Bell has ehosen and lottgltt (and heett lueky. as he’s the lirst to admit) to work with lilmmakers he admires. "Right how. all I

loetts on is [he

'l'hat’s important. otherwise you heeome too ohsessed with it. It's not ahout how many you do it's ahout the quality ol the one you‘re doingf Bell says eaeh lilm he makes is a learning experienee. ()It /)('(l/' lli’llr/l'. lot‘ instanee. he learned a \aluahle lesson lrotn Vinterherg: to he eomlortahle knowing what his eharaeter is doing all ol the time. most partieularly when he’s not saying anything. ‘()nee you‘ye ligured that out.‘ Bell says eonlidently. ‘you know eyerything elsef

Beyond deyeloping his eralt. he says he‘s learning ahottt the world and ahout himsell. '.'\ projeet ean make you ehange and grow.‘ he says. 'lt‘s a ehanee to get out there in the world and open your eyes attd your mind a hit. With ('m/vrlmr l was in (ieorgia and experieneed l)eep Sollll) eulture. Here it) New /.ealand they hold the Maori eulture \ery elose.

A long eareer is what Bell wants. The oetogenarian star Paul Newman is his model. '.lesus (‘hristl’ Bell exelaims. ‘lle‘s still going. 'l‘hat's ama/ing. .-\nd that’s heeause he made some great lilms in the heginning. when he was young. I want to dig in. httild tip a lilelong eareer.~


Dear Wendy is on general release from Fri 5 Aug. King Kong is scheduled for release in December. See review, page 24.


Jamie Bell’s new film is written and directed by the founders of Dogme, but it’s not a Dogme movie. Miles Fielder explains. Some limo alter Danish (,‘llliilil {emote and ‘y’aSKflliily filmmaker-r Lari; von lire." made the pro l)ogme Brink/rig tho Mat/cs no (l(}(;|(l(?(l lit-3 war-ted to give H‘.l(~}r.":éi’i()l)£i3 (:zoeina a Kick 2:: {710 pants. So iii;- asked follow Dane lttotitas; Vurtttzilitno to )toép to krone)! a new wave tor: Cinematic (2()tttt‘ut£il)(lli‘tfltlSS that u'xouizl out-urn.) a Vow of Chastity to he} Sftzttltyl adhered to Ul‘thl the banner tit-:2 Manifesto ol l):)g;r)‘t3 E35)’.

llttz- totes. V's/liltif" )tttiltttlt,‘ demands; for the use 0‘ liandhoio came-rats and natural tight or». were ooti‘poseti :rt ()!'(l(}t‘ to l)!.()l'-llS(? character (1"(1 poriorina'mc- over mot and action "a reaction to modern. tr. liXIlf. eo' (Ii'i(}l‘.l£i). According; to Vittttnixzi'o. lit? aod y-ot‘. i'tor wrote the l!!£i!‘.i(38l() to ; Ai) initiates.

lhe- two men mimic the last two l)ogme flirts. lesion art-:1 [/70 /(/l()lii. and so! the trend for (Illiill(?llg_)ll‘-yl. (I(il‘~l"()'.’£.‘l8i£ll ‘;’ttl)j£?(‘.l :itattei not necessarily (w (let-u: Ii‘. ll“.?l.’ timintetsto. As; ill-1} i¥><)\.'<>tu(3!‘~t am. the turns; Doria.” tltilttr’éiltf‘t} hypo. filmmakers; across two world started making; their own l)ogme l-itt‘t; :n:itrpurttitzi‘fty' o‘ the Danes. Acetirtltttgi lo Uzi;- r:>".‘w:;:;‘: l)ogt‘iO y-‘Jtz'osailti t’wxwi (ltronwéioxlku 5m ldrhs‘ to (taut:- )tziyo l)(?(?!) ay'izirtimi C(N‘I'iltlziitfié of an; )'()‘.’{i1.

Recently time's; l)(3(2‘l‘. talk of tho (ttEElIl‘. of l)ogme. on: wet-Io it‘s; Uh? vol). l::<3r nod Vzr‘utt-ztooro have mot/(3t: on do eoiiipicttr it not) l)ogtitt: ‘Jru eoriatmratteo, DUI]! li'./(,>.')tly’; (Jilttrt filmmakers stall soon) «our. to 7.10 thermos-hos; to the (EVKlUHIly‘ :osotnno Vow of (Eliastty'.

lint; :itotttlt's l timotirgh ll‘iUlliéllliNlétl i ll!!! i (knew)! premieres; ilK-B first Biztsslt l)ogttuo l'ltt)_(iy’t)()it1titt)l)(3t:i/‘l (it‘tl there {in} ilVO lltOlt‘: Urinal: l)()(_;l“€(? fill“5§ to the (Ian. Mmowhflo. l oxori‘troaig; has produced a l)ogmo film. (Bl/(2s Sue/«5;. aiortgsado :ts soittioi. Michel/t). (Lt/(3s. Kin) {numbers :18 and 49?. wextao Naples; based tttininiilstz' (iristzztt‘o (Imitflio Knock-3o (1:17. the two most tiKTt’E'fl l.)()1lltlt? llllilfi. 5):.) and 5,3,, (Solon

illltl I). l)ogme lit/(3:3?