Archives for acting

My Porridge & Cream Read: Jane Lambert

Today I’m delighted to welcome contemporary women’s novelist & actress Jane Lambert, whose Porridge & Cream book is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” When I was about fifteen my mum gave me a copy of her favourite book, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It is my Porridge & Cream read and makes me think of her. The book opens in Monte Carlo, where the heroine (we never know her name) meets and marries widower Maxim de Winter after a whirlwind courtship. He whisks her away to Manderley, his Gothic mansion in Cornwall. The new bride soon discovers there are dark secrets lurking in Manderley and that the memory of the first Mrs de Winter, the beautiful and witty Rebecca, is very much alive. Maxim spends more and more time away on business, leaving the second Mrs de Winter alone with her insecurities and the creepy housekeeper, Mrs Danvers, who resents her taking the place of her adored Rebecca. When the boat in which Rebecca supposedly drowned is raised, we learn that things are not as they seem: the perfect Rebecca was promiscuous and wicked and made Maxim’s life a misery, driving him to shoot
Read More

Categories: Book Love and Porridge & Cream.

Famous people, reading… Gregory Peck

“Inside of all the makeup and the character and the makeup, it’s you, and I think that’s what the audience is really interested in… you, how you’re going to cope with the situation, the obstacles, the troubles that the writer puts in front of you.” Actor, Gregory Peck Is he reading To Kill a Mockingbird do you think? I’m not sure about the pipe, but Atticus Finch regularly appears in those ‘Most Popular Father’ lists which appear around Father’s Day. Peck seems to have been a thoughtful man, here’s another quote: “I’ve had my ups and downs. There have been times when I wanted to quit. Times when I hit the bottle. Girls. Marital problems. I’ve touched most of the bases.” Seems to make him well-qualified to be an actor, or a writer.   ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee [UK: Arrow] Buy now See these other famous people, reading:- Vincent Price Madonna Benedict Cumberbatch And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Gregory Peck: is he reading TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD? #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-15e
Read More

Categories: Book Love.

I agree with… Judi Dench

Judi Dench “It’s essential to have a back story. Essential. I had a whole family life for ‘M’ (in Bond): two grown-up girls at university, not that anybody knew about it, but I knew about it.” [Judi Dench, in an excerpt from The Sunday Times Magazine, February 23, 2014] I do this too. Back in the days when Ignoring Gravity didn’t have a title, I wrote an Excel sheet with details about Rose’s back story: her birth sign [Virgo], what car she drives [a black Mini with a white roof], her most intense dislikes [people who don’t do what they promise to do; unwashed hair]. Her character traits: she avoids confrontations but will speak up if feels wronged; at work, she puts her head down and gets on with the job; a Guardian reader at work, but secretly reads chick-lit at home. To read more about Rose, click here. Judi Dench’s quote made me remember an exercise I wrote as homework for one of the early creative writing classes I attended. It was about characterization: “create a character profile, a list of characteristics, then put that character into a situation and write 250 words about how your character would react.”
Read More

Categories: On Writing.

I agree with Sofie Gråbøl…

Sofie Gråbøl “As an actor you’re always looking for the weak side of a character, for the dark side. It’s because that’s where… the door … opens for me to get into the character. That’s also I think the door for the audience too.  So the more flaws, the more weaknesses, to me the better. And Sarah Lund, there’s a lot of things she’s not capable of.” [talking about developing the character of Sarah Lund, The Killing] I’d just finished watching The Killing II and clicked onto the ‘making of’ extra on the DVD.  A friend of mine is an actor and writer and I’ve always been fascinated by her approach to building a new character. Sofie Gråbøl re-iterates this. This made me sit back and think about my protagonist, Rose, in Ignoring Gravity. What are her flaws? Well she’s very independent and wants to do everything herself, to the point where she cuts out her sister Lily without realising she is doing it. Rose does not exclude others consciously, she simply gets on with the things that have to be done. She’s single-minded, which on the one hand means she is motivated, focussed and determined to find the answers.
Read More

Categories: My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity' and On Writing.