Pete Postlethwaite was one of Britain's most respected and well-loved actors, who made memorable appearances in everything from Jurassic Park and Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet to The Usual Suspects and Brassed Off. But he is perhaps most well-known for his Oscar-nominated role as Gerry Conlon's father in In The Name of the Father. Steven Spielberg called him "the best actor in the world", to which Pete responded, "I'm sure what Spielberg actually said was, 'The thing about Pete is that he thinks he's the best actor in the world.'"
Pete died of cancer on January 2nd 2011. We are honoured to have known such a wonderful person and humbled by his immense skill and immeasurable contribution to both Age of Stupid and 10:10. Our thoughts are with his wife Jacqui and their children, Will and Lily.
PICTURES - click on image for larger version
Pete on the Stupid set
Pete (on chopper bike in centre) with drama crew
Pete with (very happy) Director Franny & Producer Lizzie
HOW ON EARTH DID YOU PERSUADE PETE POSTLETHWAITE TO STAR IN YOUR LOW-BUDGET DOCUMENTARY?
Director Franny writes: The original plan was for a straight documentary, but when that wasn't strong enough, we decided to introduce a drama strand. First it was going to be two kids in the future, looking back at us. How will they feel? They'd b****** hate us. So that wasn't very appealing, being lectured by some future teenagers. Next we thought it could be our generation in the future: how will we feel, knowing we stood by and let climate change happen? Guilt, regret, sorrow, much better. So then we needed an older British actor. To me, there's only one, but he is clearly out of our league. But I googled him on the off-chance that he is into climate change and I found this article. Not only was he fighting his local council to get planning persmission to install a turbine at his home, but he thinks everyone has to do everything they can in the fight against climate change. Is it a coincidence that Britain's greatest living actor is also passionately committed to world events? Does someone's personal integrity shine through in everything they do? Would a shallow person be able to play Giuseppe Conlon? So we contacted his agent, and apart from a small miscommunication where Pete understood it was only a voiceover and so was a bit puzzled when we requested a costume fitting, the whole experience was a delight from start to finish.
Pictures of the drama shoot with Pete here.
WHAT DID PETE THINK OF THE FILM?
Pete saw the film for the first time at a special screening held for the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group in the UK Parliament. See full report here.
He said, "To pack that much information into a film that is exciting, moving, keeps you engaged all the way through is phenomenal. It’s an extraordinary achievement. It’s Spielberg, eat your heart out."
Full interview here or watch the video below:
We had an indication of the level of interest in the subject matter - and Pete's involvement - when Channel 4 came along to our drama shoot and then put their report on the main evening news. "Some people are making a film...." shouldn't really be news, should it?
- Pete as himself: At the end of the day, acting is all about telling lies. We are professional imposters and the audience accept that. We've made this deal that we tell you a tale and a pack of lies, but there will be a truth in it. You may enjoy it, or it will disturb you."