WEST END GOIN' HOLLYWOOD TONIGHT?
| By London Theatre Direct
Eva Mendes wants to, R-Patz is wary and Gwyneth can't right now. A load of Hollywood stars are talking the talk about getting onstage in the West End, but will they also walk the walk?
A glut of Hollywood stars are itching to tread the boards in the West End but some are having to bide their time before their dream becomes a reality. Successful runs in London have given a shot in the arm as well as a layer of credibility to what seems an endless stream of celebrities over the last few years. Kathleen Turner and Christian Slater's agents' telephones began ringing again after well received turns in The Graduate and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Kim Cattrall, Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley and Josh Hartnett have all helped put bums on seats whilst giving their careers a gravitas boost. A spell in the West end is win win for these stars - if they get rave reviews they can happily let their publicists crow about it whilst their celebrity helps attract a larger audience, pleasing producers. If they are mauled by the critics they can always retreat to Hollywood and knock out another movie to take the sting away.
Sultry screen siren Eva Mendes has sizzled in 2 fast 2 Furious, Hitch and Ghost Rider but reveals she is "actively pursuing a play in London. It has not happened yet but I am hoping it will. To do something in theatre would be a dream come true." Mendes has recently been announced as the new spokeswoman for Thierry Mugler's Angel fragrance and has appeared in Revlon campaigns for a number of years. As her roles start to move away from simply being eye candy, a West End stint would no doubt aid her quest to win more challenging and interesting movie parts.
Twilight heart throb Robert Pattinson, whose celebrity has exploded since the vampire film series was unleashed in 2008, has also expressed an interest in hitting the London stage, however he is not sure the timing is quite right. Ranked as one of Forbes' most powerful celebrities in the world in 2010, Pattinson has struggled with the massive media spotlight thrust upon him and is all-too aware that a number of his fans aren't yet ready to dis-associate him with his breakthrough role of Edward Cullen. "I'd really, really love to do a play in London but I'd just be afraid it would turn into an N*Sync concert, or people would come along expecting it to be like Twilight ", he is quoted as telling femalefirst.
Sliding Doors actress Gwyneth Paltrow's reservations are more traditional - her family is currently her priority. When questioned on tv show Something For The Weekend whether she would like to hit the London stage, the Glee star confessed "Yes I'd love to. But not right now. My kids are still at that age where I want to be home for bedtime and on weekends and if you do a play you're out when they're home. So it doesn't make sense now, but maybe, someday." Paltrow has two children with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, six year old Apple and Moses, five.
Luckily for us there are some celebrities who won't let anything stand in the way of their thespian dreams. Antipodean legend Dame Edna Everage has been confirmed for her UK panto debut in Dick Whittington at the New Wimbledon Theatre this December. The gladioli-loving alter ego of comedian Barry Humphries developed over the years from self-proclaimed "Housewife and Superstar" to "Megastar" and finally "Gigastar". She described her hugely successful chat shows as "an intimate conversation between two friends, one of whom is a lot more interesting than the other" …meaning of course, herself.
We hope that dipping her toe will whet Dame Edna's appetite for a longer West End stay - surely she's perfect for Legally Blonde's take-no-prisoners lawyer Elle Woods!
[posted by James, 12/05/2011]