- Title: UK: BILLY CONNOLLY STARS IN A NEW FILM "STILL CRAZY"
- Date: 19th February 1998
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FEBRUARY 19, 1998) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) SCENE FROM "STILL CRAZY" BEING FILMED INCLUDING JIMMY NAIL AND BILL NIGHY (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) BILLY CONNOLLY SAYING, "THIS YEAR'S BEEN TERRIBLE. I'VE BEEN BROKEN-HEARTED BECAUSE JUDI DENCH GOT NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR AND I DIDN'T SO I'M INCONSOLABLE. I LIE WEEPING ALL NIGHT. NO, MY LIFE HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY SMASHING. I'VE GOT LOVELY OFFERS NOW I'VE GOT A KIND OF RESPECT THAT I DIDN'T HAVE BEFORE. I WAS ALWAYS RESPECTED AS A COMEDIAN BUT AS AN ACTOR I'VE NEVER BEEN IN A SUCCESSFUL THING. I'VE DONE A COUPLE OF MOVIES BUT I WAS A TINY PART IN THEM AND I DIDN'T REALLY ADD TO THE SUCCESS BUT THIS IS THE FIRST BIG VENTURE I'VE DONE SO I'VE GOT LOVELY OFFERS AND I'M TREATED REALLY WELL BY THE STUDIO CHIEFS WHO CAME TO SEE THIS. THEY WERE TREATING ME SO NICE THEY WERE "OH SAW MRS BROWN IT WAS AMAZING" VERY PLEASANT, VERY NICE." DIRECTOR BRIAN GIBSON WATCHING MONITOR DURING SCENE SCENE FROM "STILL CRAZY" BEING FILMED (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) GARY KEMP SAYING, "THIS SET BROUGHT BACK A LOT OF MEMORIES. I STOPPED PLAYING LIVE SEVEN YEARS AGO, I THINK SPANDAU (BALLET) DID THEIR LAST GIG IN 1990. ALL THROUGH THIS I'VE HAD LITTLE MOMENTS THINKING I'D LIKE TO GET BACK AND DO THIS AGAIN BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT FEELING TO STAND OUT THERE WITH A BUNCH OF PEOPLE AND MAKE A SOUND AND PRESENT THAT TO A HUGE AUDIENCE." (ENGLISH) EXTRAS PLAYING GROUPIES (MUSIC FANS WHO FOLLOW THEIR BAND WHEREVER THEY PLAY) ON SET EXTRAS PLAYING ROADIES (PEOPLE WHO MOVE A GIG FROM ONE TOWN TO THE NEXT) ON SET (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) INTERVIEWER SAYING, "FROM GILLIE TO ROADIE THAT'S A HELL OF A SWING. CONNOLLY SAYING IT'S A LEAP ISN'T IT? IT'S PRETTY GOOD. IT'S SOMETHING THE SAME THOUGH. YOU KNOW WHERE A GILLIE WOULD LOOK AFTER THE HUNTING, THE HILLS AND FISHING AND ALL THAT, THE ROADIE WILL DO YOU EVERYTHING ELSE. HE'LL GET YOU WOMEN AND BOOZE AND DRUGS AND HE'LL GET YOU ON STAGE, WAKE YOU UP, PUT YOU TO BED, SAME THING."
- Reuters ID: LVA332EUYLDGRE328UB0HMIJ2RG
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Duration: 00:03:34
- Story Text: - From highlands to low life, that's the direction comedian Billy Connolly has chosen for his latest role in Brian Gibson's new film "Still Crazy".
Reuters visited the set at London's Pinewood studios to catch up with Connolly and the rest of the cast -- including Timothy Spall, Bill Nighy, Juliet Aubrey, Hans Matheson, Jimmy Nail and Stephen Rea.
"Still Crazy" chronicles the rise and fall of a fictional 1970's rock band, Strange Fruit, as it attempts to make a comeback in the nineties.
The cast make up members of the band and its immediate entourage.Rea, famous for his role in "The Crying Game" and more recently Neil Jordan's "The Butcher Boy", plays keyboard in the band.
Connolly, who recently starred alongside Dame Judi Dench in the acclaimed "Mrs Brown", takes on the part of the roadie.Connolly believes the transition from gillie (gamekeeper) to roadie has been smooth because in some ways, the characters are quite similar.
"You know where a gillie would look after the hunting, and all that, the roadie will do you everything else...women booze and drugs," Connolly said.
Dench has received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her lead in the film Although Connolly didn't receive a nomination, he doesn't begrudge Dench her achievement.
The star says his life has been "smashing" since the film was made and he's now respected as an actor, not just for his work as a comedian.
Spall, best known for his role in Mike Leigh's "Secrets and Lies", plays the drummer in the band.Nail, who has most recently appeared in "Evita", plays bass guitar.
Nighy ("Fairy Tale: A True Story") plays the role of lead singer, while Matheson ("Mojo" and "Les Miserables") is cast as the new member of Strange Fruit, on lead guitar.
Aubrey ("Welcome to Sarajevo") is the band's new manager.
Gary Kemp, formerly of the group Spandau Ballet, was taken on as musical director and has been coaching the cast on how to behave like rock stars.
The musician-turned-actor admitted that taking part in the film has brought back a lot of memories.
"All through this I've had little moments thinking I'd like to get and do this again because it is a great feeling," Kemp revealed.
"Still Crazy" tells the story of how 20 years after Strange Fruit's highly publicised break-up in 1978 (at the Wisbech open-air festival), the band has been persuaded to reunite for a concert, Wisbech 1998.
The film goes on to follow the group's desperate efforts to recapture the magic, the music and the lost opportunities it held in its prime.
Brian Gibson's directing credits include "What's Love Got To Do With It?" chronicling the life of Tina Turner and "The Juror" starring Demi Moore.
The original screenplay for "Still Crazy" was written by Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais who scripted the hit film "The Commitments".
An original repertoire has been written for Strange Fruit by some of Britain's best songwriters including Chris Difford better known for his bitter-sweet songs for Squeeze.
Music was compsed by Mick Jones of Foreigner.
The songs have been produced by the legendary partnership of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley.
They have produced a catalogue of artists over the past 20 years including Madness, Elvis Costello, Morrissey, David Bowie and more recently Blur and Bush.
"Still Crazy" is due to be released in the UK in the autumn of 1998.
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