- Title: UK: BILLY CONNOLLY STARS IN A NEW FILM "STILL CRAZY"
- Date: 19th February 1998
- Summary: SCENE FROM "STILL CRAZY" ON SET VARIOUS OF ACTORS WAITING TO SHOOT STAGE SCENE/ JIMMY NAIL WITH GUITAR/ TIM SPALL ON DRUMS (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) CONNOLLY SAYING, "AND THE FIRST DAY OF SHOOTING, WELL THE FIRST DAY OF REHEARSALS, WE WENT TO A RECORDING STUDIO WITH THE BAND. THE ACTORS AND I WENT FOR A LAUGH. THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE REALLY TERRIBLE AND THEY WENT INTO ONE OF THE SONGS AND I THOUGHT IT WAS REAL. YOU KNOW BILL NIGHY WAS DANCING AND SINGING AND DOING ALL THE MOVES AND OF COURSE JIMMY NAIL COULD PLAY BASS AND BEHIND STEPHEN REA WAS PLAYING THE KEYBOARDS. YOU COULDN'T REALLY SEE HIM BUT THE DRUMS WERE GOING AND THE SINGING, THE GUITAR WAS HAPPENING AND I THOUGHT MY GOD THEY'RE DOING IT, THEY'RE AMAZING BUT THEY WERE JUST MIMING AND I THOUGHT THEY WERE JUST SPLENDID. YOU WERE LUCKY OF COURSE TO HAVE GARY KEMP, INTERVIEWER ASKS. CONNOLLY SAYING OH GARY KEMP GIVES THEM ALL THE MOVES. YOU KNOW ALL THOSE FLASH SHOWBIZ MOVES BUT WHEN YOU SEE THEM ON STAGE YOU WILL SWEAR THEY'RE PLAYING BECAUSE I DID AND I'M A PLAYER I KNOW. BUT I THOUGHT MY GOD THEY'RE IMPRESSIVE." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) KEMP SAYING, "I THINK ALL ACTORS WANT TO BE MUSICIANS AND ALL MUSICIANS WANT TO BE ACTORS IT SEEMS TO ME. AND A COUPLE OF US HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO TRY BOTH BUT YOU ARE MEANT TO BE YOURSELF AS A MUSICAN ON STAGE, PRESENTING YOURSELF THROUGH YOUR LYRICS AND BEING COMPLETELY AWARE OF YOUR AUDIENCE. ALL OF THESE GUYS HAVE WORKED ON STAGE AS ACTORS AND SPENT THE WHOLE EVENING PRETENDING THERE WASN'T AN AUDIENCE THERE SO THAT'S A BIG DIFFERENCE FOR THEM AS WELL. THE KIND OF SEXUALITY OF BEING A ROCK MUSICIAN AS WELL AS OPPOSED TO, THAT DOESN'T EXIST AS AN ACTOR ON STAGE."
- Reuters ID: LVACVHW0JL3ZNBB0MGZY6P1CODU
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Duration: 00:02:07
- 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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