We all know what an Anglophile Tom Cruise is — and who can forget how assiduously he courted Prince William and Kate, who shone at the UK premiere of Top Gun: Maverick.
But it seems the A-list star won’t be at the Baftas on Sunday — and nor will any of his Top Gun team.
In what some are seeing as a pointed snub, actor Cruise, Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Cruise’s producing partner and best friend Chris McQuarrie are going to stay away from the ceremony, which will be held at the Royal Festival Hall and broadcast. They have not RSVP’d to Bafta, and representatives for all the men declined to comment to the Mail this week.
Top Gun: Maverick was one of the most successful films of the year, tempting audiences back into cinemas in their millions, and the big-budget studio picture was unusually also met with virtually universal critical acclaim.
Tom Cruise attends the 95th Annual Oscars Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton on Monday
Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.
A senior film source tells me that there was ‘disappointment’ over a perceived ‘lack of love’ for the film at Bafta, where it was not nominated for Best Film; nor was there a nomination for Cruise himself. It is still shortlisted in four categories — cinematography, editing, sound and special visual effects. Representatives of the film in these categories will be at the awards do.
Cruise, 60, is, incidentally, thought to be back in the UK filming Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part Two, along with McQuarrie.
Top Gun 2, which stars Cruise as test pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, has been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, which are held next month, and for a time there was even talk that Cruise might snag a Best Actor nomination, although that did not happen.
He did, though, show up at the Oscars nominees luncheon this week in Los Angeles, in effervescent form.
The Bafta ceremony, hosted by Richard E. Grant, will still be extremely starry.
Presenters include Catherine Zeta Jones, Rege-Jean Page and Lily James, and nominees attending include Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell, Austin Butler, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danielle Deadwyler and Carey Mulligan.
Helen Mirren will introduce a tribute to the Queen.
Top Gun 2, which stars Cruise as test pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, has been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars
High-flier: Tom Cruise with Prince William and Kate at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in May
But Andrea Riseborough WILL be at the Oscars
Andrea Riseborough, whose Oscar nomination for To Leslie caused global debate (and a few uncomfortable moments for the Academy), was absent from the nominees lunch, leading to speculation she will miss the main event. But I am assured ‘she is planning on attending the ceremony’.
Andrea Riseborough will be at the Oscars
It seems she missed the lunch because she was in London filming a series, The Palace, opposite Kate Winslet.
In the show, Winslet is an authoritarian dictator, and Riseborough plays her right-hand woman.
The two are making a habit of working together, having recently completed Lee, about photographer Lee Miller — Riseborough plays Vogue Editor Audrey Withers.
The actress has been keeping a fairly low profile, although earlier this year she was spotted at a party in a London hotel for Guillermo del Toro’s film Pinocchio.
The holiday before Aftersun was the secret of its success
Paul Mescal — Oscar and Bafta nominated for his performance in the indie film Aftersun — was delighted to be reunited with his young co-star Frankie Corio, 13, at an awards ceremony last weekend.
The film’s producer Amy Jackson says the pair have a special bond, having gone on holiday together before shooting the drama about a father and daughter . . . on holiday.
She said: ‘They spent a fortnight before shooting at a resort: in the swimming pool and eating ice creams, playing pool and getting to know each other. It’s a testament to Paul — he’s such a warm person and he appreciated that this was Frankie’s first acting role.’
Mescal received rave reviews recently for his compelling performance as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre in North London. The show ended earlier this month, but it will get a West End run at the Phoenix Theatre from March 20 — conveniently after the Baftas and Oscars are over.
Suki Waterhouse takes to the stage with rock ‘n’ roll royalty
Suki Waterhouse in the upcoming musical drama series Daisy Jones and The Six
Model and actress Suki Waterhouse is currently touring after releasing an album last spring. And she returns to music in the prestige Prime Video series Daisy Jones And The Six, which follows a band in Los Angeles in the 1970s.
Waterhouse, exclusively pictured here in the show, plays keyboardist Karen; while Elvis’s granddaughter Riley Keough takes the lead role as troubled singer Daisy Jones, who struggles with drink and drug addictions. The fashions are to die for and the show — based on the bestselling book by Taylor Jenkins Reid — is a diverting watch.
Keough, Waterhouse and the actors playing the other members of the band practised together for six months before filming, and their efforts are included in the series’ music.
The show has been produced by Reese Witherspoon’s company Hello Sunshine and streams from March 3.
Sheridan Smith’s performance in Shirley Valentine in London’s West End has already received a ringing endorsement from the public, with the initial run at the Duke of York’s extended by three weeks, until June 3.
But the actress and singer admits there’s one part of playing the bored housewife who jets off to Greece to add some spice to her life that’s required serious coaching: her character’s cooking skills.
‘I can’t make meals to save my life,’ says Sheridan. ‘The production company literally had to send round a cookery expert, to my home, to teach me how to rustle up basic stuff like egg and chips, so that it looks like my character’s been providing meals for her husband for years.’
Shirley Valentine starts previews today and will open on March 1.
Colin Farrell’s bit of trouble with his grumpy wee donkey
The scenes between Padraic Suilleabhain, played by Colin Farrell, and his ‘wee donkey’ Jenny are some of the most affecting in Martin McDonagh’s Bafta-nominated The Banshees Of Inisherin.
But the director revealed that they came at a price. ‘All the animals kicked or bit Colin. It was a Colin issue. It was! Jenny only kicked one person.’
While Farrell may have suffered for his art, McDonagh loved having animals in his picture. ‘The horse really liked being in the house; and I liked the weirdness of the horse and calf wandering around the set — it looked like an Old Master painting. We added the horse into scenes because she was so beautiful.’
Colin Farrell (right) has confirmed that he was kicked by the donkey (left) in Martin McDonagh’s Bafta-nominated The Banshees Of Inisherin
Producer Graham Broadbent was less convinced. ‘Martin loves animals and it was all: ‘Can I use some more donkeys?’ The trouble is that you can’t train donkeys. They are actually untrainable. Horses are more malleable.’
Farrell has confirmed that he was kicked by the donkey, pictured; and also bitten by the collie playing Brendan Gleeson’s dog. He says that even the horse took against him and tried to back him off a cliff when he was driving the cart.
His experience was so negative that he confidently predicts it will be Jenny’s final film. ‘She’s a ‘one and done’,’ he said. ‘She’s like, ‘feck showbusiness, you are welcome to it!’
Both McDonagh and Broadbent were rocked by the huge cost of the ‘fake rubber donkey’ who played the deceased Jenny in later scenes. ‘It cost £75,000!’ exclaimed Broadbent.
McDonagh retorted: ‘Yeah, you wanted the real (lethal injection) version, which would have cost ten quid.’
Colin Farrell and Cate Blanchett will triumph at the Baftas on Sunday night, according to the bookies, with The Banshees Of Inisherin pipping Everything Everywhere All At Once to the top spot.
Three weeks later, though, on Oscars night, the bookies think there will be a turnabout: with Everything Everywhere triumphing and Brendan Fraser edging out Farrell.
Blanchett is tipped to win both an Oscar and a Bafta, although she is only narrowly ahead of Michelle Yeoh, who has waited 40 years to be nominated.
With Martin Freeman (The Office, The Hobbit, Fargo) as a father and Amanda Abbington (Sherlock, and West End hit The Unfriend) as a mother, it is probably no surprise that Joe Freeman is starting a career in acting.
The 17-year-old is currently treading the boards in a production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in Tunbridge Wells, and is apparently set to follow in their footsteps professionally.
How does a writer who doesn’t speak any German end up with a credit on a film that is entirely in the German language? That’s the riddle which athlete-turned-screenwriter Lesley Paterson (a Scot!) explained to me this week.
Olympic triathlete Paterson bought the rights to the classic German book All Quiet On The Western Front, and spent 16 years trying to get the film off the ground, all the while having to raise money to keep renewing the deal.
Felix Kammerer (right) in a scene from Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front
‘I did the script in English and (writing partner) Ian Stokell and I did a lot of historical research, which is how we came up with the Armistice storyline. We approached a lot of German directors and didn’t get anywhere,’ she told me. ‘Eventually we got the script to Edward Berger, who said he wanted to do the German story in the German language.
‘He made changes to the script in English, taking it back closer to the book — and then Edward himself translated the whole thing into German.’
She added: ‘As a film it has an unusual perspective, both inside the conflict and outside it, and I think that is what helps it to be so powerful.’
When we spoke, Paterson was just leaving the house for the Oscar nominees lunch and was looking forward to then flying to the UK for the Baftas. ‘Heck, of course I’m coming,’ she said. ‘Are you kidding me?’