“Side Effects” is due for release February 8, 2013 in the USA.
Latest News & Updates
Welcome to Brilliance
To put it simply, Jude Law is one of the most brilliant and unique actors working today. He never shies away from challenging roles. From the stage to film and television, Jude has amassed an impressive list of roles and has been a welcome breath of fresh air in Hollywood. Since 2000, Brilliance has aimed to be a respectful resource for his supporters and chronicle his incredible career. Over 10 years later, that aim remains unchanged. More »
Jude Law: Leading lad pursues character quest
By Adam Dawtry
December 1, 2012
Jude Law reaches his 40th birthday Dec. 29, after nearly two decades as one of Britain’s biggest movie stars. By coincidence, he’s also just finished shooting his 40th film, the London gangster drama “Dom Hemingway.”
It’s been a remarkably prolific run for an actor — imminent recipient of the Variety Award at the British Independent Film Awards — who first emerged in the early 1990s with roles in low-budget indie pics such as “Shopping” and “Wilde.” His killer combination of precocious talent, gilded looks, easy charm and sharp intelligence quickly caught the eye of Hollywood, and won him legions of loyal fans, many of them female.
But his evolution can be seen in his latest role, that of the middle-age cuckold in “Anna Karenina,” a part that required an actor not clinging to youth or physical vanity. It was a bold choice, which paid off with strong reviews for his self-effacing performance.
“In recent years I’ve found a process and a rhythm that works for me,” Law says. “I like the fear factor, that feeling a couple of months into pre-production of going too far, which probably signals that you’re doing something brave.”
Law’s star quality has attracted such great directors as Clint Eastwood (“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”), David Cronenberg (“Existenz”), Steven Spielberg (“A.I.”), Sam Mendes (“The Road to Perdition”), Martin Scorsese (“The Aviator” and “Hugo”) and Steven Soderbergh (“Contagion” and “Side Effects”). But his most significant mentor was the late Anthony Minghella, for whom Law made “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Cold Mountain” and “Breaking and Entering” before Minghella’s untimely death in 2008.
“The three films I made with Anthony were very important, very different stepping stones in my life and career,” Law says. “It was a very special relationship, which I hoped would go on longer. Because of his passing away, it makes that feel all the more cherished.”
Playing opposite recent Oscar winners Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow in “Ripley,” Law was acutely aware of stepping into the big league.
“It was the first time I had been asked to take part in what felt like a big film,” he recalls. “It felt like a very heavyweight company.”
Yet Law more than held his own in the role of golden boy Dickie Greenleaf, winning a BAFTA and his first Oscar nomination. It was a part few could have pulled off, since it demanded a subtle actor who was convincingly more beautiful than Damon — and there aren’t many of those.
On “Cold Mountain,” Minghella entrusted Law with a bigger responsibility.
“I remember Anthony educating me, not just as an actor in playing the leading role, but also in how to host a set as a leading man,” Law says. “On a big day, with thousands of extras rolling around in the mud and rain, he showed me how to make sure their work was appreciated. That left a real mark on me, which I have tried to carry on in every film.”
Often, however, Law has seemed more comfortable as part of an ensemble, or in hiding his looks under a physical disguise, than in playing the conventional starring role. He’s been described as a character actor trapped in the body of a leading man, which arguably comes from his roots in theater.
Although his stardom is clear to anyone who has stood near him on a red carpet and heard the crowds scream his name, he doesn’t guard this status jealously on screen. He’s willing, even eager, to play bit parts, supporting roles and cameos for filmmakers he admires.
It’s a work ethic driven by a deep love of acting and a curiosity to explore new experiences.
“It’s all about taking risks,” he says. “If the director is interesting and there’s a good group of people, sometimes those small parts are just as challenging for an actor. In ‘Road to Perdition,’ I was only in four scenes, but it was a chance to play a memorable character in a remarkable ensemble.”
In the past, Law has reached the brink of overexposure, as happened in 2004 when he had six films released — “I Heart Huckabees,” “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” “Alfie,” “Closer,” “The Aviator” and “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” — to mixed results. He laughs ruefully at the memory.
“There are many actors who have years when they appear in a lot of stuff, but perhaps it doesn’t get noticed because the films don’t all get seen,” he says. “But if Martin Scorsese calls and asks you to play Errol Flynn, you aren’t going to say no, are you?
“Other people may choose their roles from a different point of view and a different aspiration about what this craft can offer, but that’s just the way I see things. I’m curious, and I like the job, and as much as the media love to talk about big paydays, sometimes I just need the work.”
Law is relishing the challenges ahead, as he enters the next phase of his career. He’s enjoying his bromance with Robert Downey in the “Sherlock Holmes” franchise and continues to switch back and forth between leading and supporting roles.
“When you get to 40, the roles do tend to get a little more meaty in their complexity,” he notes. “The door to playing character roles is more ajar, so I’m looking forward to the next 10 years.”
Projects piling up for prolific peformer
By Adam Dawtry
December 1, 2012
After being part of Steven Soderbergh’s ensemble in “Contagion,” Jude Law plays a more central role in the director’s upcoming “Side Effects.”
“It’s about the overuse of prescription pills in New York,” says Law, who plays a doctor who encourages a young woman (Rooney Mara) onto antidepressants, with devastating effects.
Law just finished “Dom Hemingway” in London, directed by Richard Shepard, about a petty crook just released from prison.
“I’ve never read a part like it,” Law says. “He’s in every moment of the film, he doesn’t stop talking, he has an enormous intake of alcohol, drugs and women, he goes at 100 miles an hour. The film is about him realizing he has to get back in touch with his daughter. And it has the fantastic Jeremy Thomas as a producer, which is great. I can’t believe I have never worked with him before.”
Next come small roles in Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert” and Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Then he’s free between March and September, before starting work on a stage production of “Henry V” for the new company set up by Michael Grandage, former artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse.
Law previously appeared in Grandage’s “Hamlet” in 2009 and “Anna Christie” in 2011, both at the Donmar.
“I did a lot of theater as a young actor, but there was a long period when the right thing didn’t come up, and I really missed it,” Law says. “So I made a conscious decision to go back once every couple of years.”
Law is also developing several projects as a producer and director through his company Riff Raff, which he founded after the demise of Natural Nylon, a partnership with fellow actors Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Sean Pertwee and his ex-wife Sadie Frost.
“There were too many cooks in that kitchen, and our careers were heading in different directions,” he says.
Law superstitiously refuses to divulge details of Riff Raff’s slate, but says he loves the role of producer in “bringing people together, bringing dreams to life, creating stories you’re passionate about, being involved in the eye of the storm.”
He’ll be playing the title role in William Shakespeare’s “Henry V”. Michael Grandage, who directed Jude in “Hamlet”, will be directing.
The production is scheduled to run 23 November 2013 – 15 February 2014. Tickets are already on sale now! There are limited $10 tickets available and those are going fast.
Source: Michael Grandage Company
Magnolia Pictures is releasing the film as a VOD premiere on June 29 and in theaters August 3.