September to December 2005
|December 30, 2005
L.A. Times, KOH directors cut, Japan Times
Today's Calendar Live section of L.A. Times has an article on the expansion of the film
market to China. There's not much on The Painted Veil but it does include a
new picture of EN from the film (the same guy always does his promo shots).
Times: Crouching U.S. studios, hidden Chinese market
The Hollywood Reporter (Dec 22) states that the director's cut of Kingdom of
Heaven (includes an extra 45 minutes) will have an exclusive engagement at the Laemmle
Fairfax Theater in Los Angeles. Are there any additional scenes that feature EN? I don't know, but since the HR article
mentioned that the original cut was a "breakout hit on DVD", it seems only a matter of time before a new
DVD release. [Thanks to huihui for the info!]
The Japan Times (Dec 29) included Down in the
Valley as one of the top 10 films of 2005 due to EN's performance. There is no info as to when it will be
released in the U.S. - I don't know whether it even has a U.S. distributor. Below are the excerpts from the article
"Down in the Valley": As a delusional mid-life guy named Harlan who thinks he's a cowboy,
Edward Norton is brilliant. There's something evangelical about the way Harlan tries his darndest to spread
the word: cars are bad and people should ride horses, men should behave like gentlemen but carry handguns
and hone their shooting skills. In another age, Harlan would have been a hero; in this one, he's a crackpot.
Harlan knows it, won't admit it and winds up staging his own inevitable tragedy.
The holidays were not as I had hoped. My lovebird came down with a serious respiratory illness and I
cancelled my travel plans. I've spent a lot of time worrying whether she would get through it. I also had $400 worth of car repairs. Plus my problems with the damaged
air conditioning unit are nowhere near resolved. So I've spent an unhealthy amount of time watching all
13 episodes of Epitafios on HBO on Demand, as well rewatching over and over the Britcom Coupling on DVD, while handfeeding
the lovebird. With all the unexpected expenses, I've had a lot less money to give to charity. If your fortunes
have been good this year, please consider donating to a charity. EN has been a generous donor to several charities
including The Enterprise Foundation, the
Signature Theater Company, and
Friends of the High Line to name a few. A more extensive list of his favorite
charities can be found on the charity page. If your wallet has been overextended this year,
why not do what I did and donate blood. Find a blood drive
Birdie in happier times
(and one of the few times she's actually standing still)
|December 16, 2005
EN is not one of the Headhunters
I just came across an article touting that Nicole Kidman will be going
to China for her upcoming film Headhunters early next year. This article
also states that EN and Ewan McGregor are costaring. I have never heard of EN in
connection with this film. EN just returned from China where
he spent around 3 mos. filming The Painted Veil.
Also, EN already has a film early next year - Pride and Glory is scheduled to start filming in Feb in
New York. The only cast member listed on IMDB.com for Headhunters
is Kidman. When I started looking for more info on this, I found that the synopses were strangely divergent.
From my just discovered article: "The film tells a story of love and betrayal, in which Nicole plays a
schizophrenic who is the lover of the character played by Ewan McGregor." However
the Sep 25, 2005 annoucement of the Headhunters in Variety states the film will be an adaptation
of a comic novel of the same name where "four New Jersey women who jet to Monte Carlo and
pretend to be rich heiresses in hopes of landing wealthy husbands. There, they are targeted by four
down-on-their-luck gigolos trying to pass as wealthy playboys." I usually try to give
the benefit of the doubt, but I'm waiting on something a
little more concrete before believing it. Here is the article
Nicole Heading for China for "Headhunters"
[FLATBROKE's NOTE: It has been confirmed that Edward Norton is not involved with this film]
|December 13, 2005
Pride and Glory update, the unanswered questions
Today's Hollywood Reporter has news on Pride and Glory.
Lake Bell is in negotiations to join the cast. The most important piece of news that I took
from the article is that filming is now scheduled to start in February in New York. The
casting announcement of EN back in late September stated that filming would begin in Jan. The
cast includes EN, Colin Farrell, Nick Nolte, Samantha Morton and Noah Emmerich.
More on Pride and Glory. Below is a synopsis from today's article
Bell will play Megan, who is married to tough cop Jimmy Egan (Farrell). When she
discovers her husband's complicity in a police corruption scandal that her
brother (Norton) is investigating, she must choose between her husband and her
The delay is probably a good thing since the world premiere of The
Illusionist will be in late Jan at the Sundance Film Festival. Hopefully, that will be a
chance for more interviews and more of an idea of what to expect in the future from EN. Other than the
Vogue Hommes article,
there has been little about EN's upcoming work except announcements in the trades. For as much as
I welcomed the appearance of the Vogue Hommes article, it didn't
address the kind of questions that I have. EN is well-respected in the business and has a wide range
of roles available to him. Each role represents months of work. What is it about each of these
upcoming films that drew EN to them? What experiences making the film had the most impact upon him
(in finding his character or as a person)? He could work nonstop if that's what he wanted. Why
spend so much time away from on camera roles (between Italian Job and Kingdom of Heaven)?
What is it about Motherless Brooklyn that makes EN want to work on it for
over 6 years? Or the Painted Veil (also about six yearas worth of work)?
EN received wonderful reviews for Kingdom of Heaven and the
comments by Eva Green (Sibylla) about working with him were very interesting. But he didn't provide
any enlightenment on his role. Anyone who saw his performance knows that there is so much more to it than just
the James Mason voice. Although, if I were him, I don't know if I would talk about anything that
substantial. After all, his remarks from his September Painted Veil
press conference were misquoted and ended up in wide circulation. Why should he put himself out on
a limb when the press is mainly concerned about superficial items anyway? I guess we'll have to see what
comes out in January.
|December 12, 2005
EN was nominated for a Golden Satellite award for best supporting actor in a
drama for Kingdom of Heaven. Check out all the
nominations. Awards will be presented on December 17 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills
[Thanks to rainbowland and Kamila for the info!!!].
|December 8, 2005
Back to his roots, Girl In Heat, Girl
with no A/C
Toby Orenstein was EN's first drama teacher when he was growing up in Columbia, MD and has
owned Toby's Dinner Theatre there for many years.
According to today's
Sun, EN is expected to attend the opening of a second location, Toby's Baltimore. The opening
will be a fundraiser for the Center for Theatrical Arts, which is an educational, nonprofit arm of Toby's
that tours schools and offers classes and a summer camp.
It's Toby's times two: Theater to open in Canton
I received an email from the Michael Weller Theatre about their upcoming production "Girl in Heat"
which included the following quote from EN - "Nelson Avidon is a terrific actor and 'Girl in Heat' is a
breakout role. This is an edgy, smart, challenging play." There isn't any info on the production on
their website- brokenwatch.org. However,
Theatermania.com has posted
info on the play.
So what am I getting for Christmas? A new air conditioning unit! And why do I need a new air conditioning
unit? Because a 57 foot tree fell on my perfectly functioning 3 year old unit the night before
Thanksgiving during a wind storm. Since I'm in a condo, my insurance company has to review all the condo paperwork to make sure
it's my responsibility (as opposed to the condo management company which stated immediately that it's my
responsibility). Though I won't need it for a while (we're expecting snow tonight), I just want everything
settled as soon as possible.
|December 1, 2005
Illusionist world premiere
The lineup for the 2006 Sundance Film Festival was announced yesterday. The
Illusionist will be making its world premiere at the Festival.
Sundance official site
|November 30, 2005
EN's 10/12/03 interview on Sunday Morning Shootout is included on an
upcoming DVD set Sunday Morning Shootout: The Best of Season 1 DVD.
His interview is on Disc 3:The New Breed of Leading Men. It will be available
December 27, 2005 with a choice of either a 6-pack deluxe set or individual 2-packs.
For more info, go to the DVD's official website
[Thanks to Noam for the info!]
|November 26, 2005
Painted Veil Filming Over?
has an AP story on tonight's game between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers. It mentions
that EN was present at the NYC game. So is he on a Thanksgiving break from The
Painted Veil or has filming been completed? I don't know for sure. Over the weekend, I checked the
weekly version of the Hollywood Reporter (I believe it was the edition for the second week of Nov) and
The Painted Veil was still in the production listings. However, a casting
announcement (mentioned in Aug 18 post) requires people through 11/7. Filming apparently started Aug 15
and was scheduled to last 12 weeks. EN probably won't be getting much free time since
filming on Pride and Glory is supposed to start in January. Plus, EN also
would spend time preparing for the role and before filming, there might be rehearsal time.
|November 9, 2005
Pride and Glory casting update
Today's Hollywood Reporter states that Nick Nolte and Samantha Morton
may join the cast of Pride and Glory. In the last info
on this project, EN was in negotiations, but from the wording, it appears that he has
definitely committed to the film
Morton, Nolte show 'Pride' for New Line
Nick Nolte and Samantha Morton are in
negotiations to join the cast of New Line's "Pride and Glory," a generational
drama about a family of police officers, being directed by Gavin O'Connor and
produced by Greg O'Connor. Colin Farrell, Edward Norton and Noah Emmerich
already are on board. Written by Gavin O'Connor and Joe Carnahan, the story
focuses on a three-generation family of officers torn apart by a corruption
scandal. Nolte will play the family patriarch, a New York Police Department
deputy chief of detectives who has spent 40-plus years on the job. He is the
father of Ray (Norton), who is investigating the precinct run by Nolte's other
|November 3, 2005
Painted Veil photo, old fan mail addresses
There's a new Painted Veil photo of director John Curran, EN, and Naomi Watts.
[Thanks to Monica and huihui for the info!]
Ever since I posted the news that EN's talent agency Endeavor is sending back his
fan mail, I've received emails about other addresses. As I wrote on the
fan mail page, the addresses for Banner Entertainment and CAA
are old addresses. These addresses have not been valid since 1998. The problem is not
that the address I posted is outdated. He is represented by Endeavor. The problem is
that Endeavor is not accepting his fan mail - I don't understand this policy.
|October 30, 2005
Vogue Hommes article and photos, Painted Veil photo
EN makes the cover of Vogue Hommes Fall/Winter 2005-2005. Red Dragon director
Brett Ratner took the pictures that accompany the article. Article and scans
The first photo of Naomi Watts in The Painted Veil has
been posted on Sina.com [Source Monkey Peaches]
|October 28, 2005
Down in the Valley trailer and official sites, No Mailbox for Edward?
The Down in the Valley trailer has been posted
[Thanks to Danielle, J, and huihui for the info!] (I reached it before, but at 8:15 AM the link does not
seem to be working- hopefully it's temporary). There's no info as to when it will hit theaters, however the
first of the official sites seems to be up. The official Japanese
site is up with some sections open [Thanks to Danielle for the info!]
I received an email from someone that had sent a fan letter only to have it returned unopened with
the rationale "No Mail Receptacle". I find this very disturbing because there is no reason for it. EN is
still represented by Endeavor and they have an obligation to handle his mail. Fan mail
is the only
opportunity for most individuals to interact with an actor. Therefore, how the fan mail is treated is an
indicator of the value that an actor places on his/her relationship with the audience. The sheer volume of
fan mail precludes the possibility that every person will receive a personalized response. But a response,
even by form letter and autopen, acknowledges the importance of the relationship. It can take a long time
to write a letter that adequately describes the visceral reactions that one can have from a good film. With
box office turnout declining, the relationship becomes even more vital. Even with Charlize Theron toplining,
good reviews, a media blitz, and the requisite Oscar buzz, North Country pulled in only $6.5 million
on its opening weekend. In comparison, if you are bothering to read this entry, chances are pretty good
that you saw Death to Smoochy when it was in theaters and/or you own the DVD. Plus with message boards
and blogs, how an actor treats his/her fans easily becomes
common knowledge. It may not put more people in the seats, but it can prevent the core audience from leaving.
Could this be a one time mistake? It's not. I received another email a while back with
a similar story of having the letter sent back. I chalked that one up to an anomaly. Hopefully, this mistake
will be resolved soon. [ NOTE: Banner Entertainment and CAA are old addresses]
It's been a very busy time. I've been holding back on any panda cub related updates. I did go to the
naming ceremony (his name is Tai Shan which means "Peaceful Mountain") as well as the lecture which included
a video of his birth. I attended a few International
Spy Museum lectures: Engineering Communism and one by Patrick Radden Keefe, the author of
"Chatter". Work has been overwhelming as well. Somewhere in between this chaos, I also celebrated my 33rd bday.
|October 14, 2005
The Ugly American, Mother on Fire
Another non-EN related post. My favorite audiobook by far is 21 Dog Years: Doing Time at
Amazon.com by Mike Daisey. Daisey is a great storyteller, so I was excited to hear his latest
monologue "The Ugly American" which was broadcast on
BBC Radio 4's The Afternoon Play
on Oct 12. You can hear it on their website, but it will only be available for a few more days
(until next Wednesday's play is posted). In "The Ugly American", Daisey describes his experience
learning acting in London by day and acting in fringe theater at night. It is a look in the mind
of the beginning actor.
The Ugly American.
Another of my favorites, Sandra Tsing Loh, is performing
Mother on Fire. She received a
favorable review from Variety in this show where she outlines her efforts in trying to
get her daughter into a good school (a topic she's been talking about in her weekly
monologues The Loh Life). I've enjoyed her books and monologues on
life in southern California
for a number of years and saw her last show "I Worry" when it played at the Kennedy Center.
Mother on Fire is at the 24th Street Theatre in
LA through November 6
|October 12, 2005
Panda Cam Obsession- he crawls
Forgive me for another indulgence of my obsession with the
National Zoo Panda cam. It was a busy morning for
the cub. He's finally figured out crawling and spent time exploring the other areas of the den. He was also
squealing for mom Mei Xiang, who was resting outside and blissfully unaware of this new development that
will soon curtail her free time. He would crawl his way around the den, then return to his regular spot
and nap. He's done this twice this morning. The San Diego Zoo (which has their own panda cam on their
2005 female cub) has a blog entry
that includes a great picture of all the cubs born this year at the
Wolong panda breeding center in China.
panda cub exploring
The Wolong Clan (from San Diego Zoo blog)
|October 10- PM update
EN and Brad Pitt team up again
Today's Variety reports that EN and Brad Pitt will team up on the production of
a 10 part miniseries about explorers Lewis and Clark based on the Stephen Ambrose book
"Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the
American West". EN will direct at least one of the episodes. His comments on the project are
below. More info on the project [Thanks to Danielle and Zazu for the news!!!]
"Lewis and Clark's expedition is as great a story as you could ever hope to
tell, and like so many people, Brad and I have both been drawn to it for years.
We both always agreed that compressing that story into a feature-length film
ruined the spirit of it ... so we sat down and said, 'How can we really do this
justice?' " Norton said. "HBO is really the only company committed to this kind
of long-form storytelling, and so we're ecstatic that they wanted to take it on
with us. With National Geographic in the mix, it's a great team."
|October 10, 2005
Painted Veil filming update
Painted Veil filming has moved to the Guangxi Region of China in
the town of Huangyao. Monkey Peaches has posted three photos. One of them is of
director John Curran and EN praying for good fortune. The other two are of filming in Huangyao.
Filming should continue on into November.
If you haven't taken at EN's interview in Shanghai, it's still up at
Sina.com. The page date seems
to indicate either that the interview was done on Thursday, Sep 29. The date would seem to be correct
since the story in the Shanghai Morning Post came out on Sep 30.
|October 7, 2005
Kingdom of Heaven DVD
The Kingdom of Heaven DVD is due to be released on Tuesday. Edward Norton has a small role
in the film as Baldwin IV, the Christian king of Jerusalem who suffers from leprosy. Although he is in only
about 6 scenes, his performance was consistantly singled out for praise in reviews. The DVD is a two disc set
with numerous special features. I was hoping for a Ridley Scott commentary, but there are no audio commentaries
with the film. They apparently have a text commentary they refer to as "The Pilgrim's Guide" that includes
details about the making of the film and the historical background. Disc 1 includes the film itself, "The
Pilgrim's Guide" option, combo trailer, "Inside Look: Tristan and Isolde" (the KOH DVD site mentions this
feature but does not describe it). Disc 2 - the hyped feature about this DVD set is the interactive production
grid where the viewer can choose which featurettes to watch up to about 125 minutes worth of material.
"There are no less than 16 different ways to experience The Grid." Big fat hairy deal. I'm more interested in
the content, which is not explained in the promotional info. There are additional features mentioned, but
I'm not sure whether or not they are part of "The Grid". I didn't want to write that there is all
this extra material and find out that they were all just a part of "The Grid" . From the
reviews, they would seem to be standalone featurettes. Here they are: "A&E Movie Real: Kingdom of Heaven"
(approx 45 min), The History Chanel's "History vs Hollywood: Kingdom of Heaven" (approx 48 min),
Ridley Scott - "Creating Worlds" featurette, Production featurette, Wardrobe featurette,
Orlando Bloom "The Adventure of a Lifetime" featurette. And more trailers. It's available in two
formats: widescreen and full screen. The packaging on both seems to be virtually identical, so double check
before you buy it. Kingdom of
Heaven DVD (widescreen). Kingdom of
Heaven DVD (full screen)
Here's another look at the National Zoo's panda cub
with mom Mei Xiang. He'll be 13 weeks old tomorrow, weighs over 11 pounds, and is trying to crawl. At 100 days old (Oct 17), he'll be given
|October 3, 2005
Painted Veil video interview
Sina.com has a video of the interview with the Chinese press. You'll have to have a little patience since this
is not like a TV interview - it goes slowly, you can hear the questions in Chinese but not the English translation that
is told to EN, there is a wait while EN's answer is translated into Chinese, and EN speaks a little softly. EN's comments
that went from the Shanghai Morning Post to the Associated press (Sept 30 post) seem to be taken from this
interview. But what he actually says is different that what was reported. For instance, the whole section
about how his character "realizes his mistakes in the end" is completely absent from his comments. He refers to his character
as "slightly arrogant" but talks about it in terms of the attitutes of Westerners in China during the '20s.
He uses the term "fix", the press used the word "force". He does talk about how the story has relevance today which
is probably why the story ended up in wide circulation. Below is a transcript of that section of the interview
(I've highlighted in red portions that seem to be the basis for the comments in the press. The question starts
at around 26 minutes into the video clip.
EN's Painted Veil interview. I found out about this through the
IMDB Painted Veil message board
[I could not hear the question- EN seems to have been asked about how he was able to prepare to
do a period film about China.]
"That's an interesting question. You use anything that's available to you, I think.
Sometimes at the beginning, I just look at photographs. And that's limited as to what you can learn.
But sometimes just to see the textures of all the different things that were going on in that time.
For instance, if you're an American and you don't happen to know about China in that time, just looking
at photographs is very revealing because there was so much change happening in China at that time.
And you had the overlapping of so many different cultural moments. It's very interesting.
In that period, you still see people with the Manchu queue. Then you see people who are in
Western dress. Then you see Westerners. You see Sun Yat-sen in his military uniforms. And there are
still the warlords wearing grand ceremonial dress. It was a time when there were so many things
overlapping. Just looking at pictures makes you realize this was a very complicated time.
Beyond that, I think we've all been reading the histories of that period, about what life was like.
I was very fortunate that when I was in university, one of my professors was one of the really great
Western historians of China. One of the books that specifically was really useful was a book that he
wrote about Westerners who came to China either to try to change China or give China assistance and
what happened to them. Because my character, I think he's a prototypical Westerner in that era in
China. He's slightly arrogant. He thinks he can come in and sort of fix some things in China.
He doesn't have a very broad view of Chinese culture or Chinese politics or Chinese history.
His ignorance of that ends up being his downfall because he has too arrogant an assumption that he can
just come in and fix things. And I think this particular book was very illuminating about people who
kind of fell into that trap in China. The interesting thing is that I think that sort of resonates
for now. That's a part of the story that I thought was relevant with what's going on in the United
States. We're still doing that. We're still sending people into other countries on this notion that
we can fix other people's problems without really understanding the depth of the cultural forces
that are at work there. I think that even though this story takes place in the '20s, the messages
in it are very relevant, especially in the United States right now."
|October 1, 2005
First Painted Veil photos
The first three production photos from The Painted Veil has been posted on
Monkey Peaches (they credit Sina.com but I can't find them there).
They really give you an idea of the look and feel of the film. "The film is exclusively shot in China. Even
the replicated old Shanghai streets, built inside Shanghai Film Studios' production facility in
Chedun, is used to double streets in England."
|September 30, 2005
EN did an interview in the Chinese language Shanghai Morning Post and a few of
his remarks made it into the China Post's story
Naomi Watts in Shanghai to shoot "The Painted Veil"?. I hope he chose to qualify his remarks this time.
[FLATBROKE's note: His actual comments seem to have been different- see Oct 3 post]
Edward Norton says his latest movie role as an arrogant British doctor out to
change the world is a little like today's America.
"In fact, the United States today keeps on making the same sort of mistakes,"
the American star of the upcoming film "The Painted Veil" was quoted as saying
by the Chinese-language newspaper Shanghai Morning Post.
"We force those methods we think are useful on a few countries, hoping to
make a few changes. The good thing is that, in the movie, I realize my mistakes
in the end," the critically acclaimed 36-year-old actor said in the interview,
|September 27, 2005
Pride and Glory in Variety
Pride and Glory seems to moving a little closer to reality. Today's Variety
states that Edward Norton, Colin Farrell and Noah Emmerich are in negotiations to star in the film
with shooting to begin in January in New York. "Norton is poised to play a homicide detective who is assigned to investigate
the precinct run by his older brother (Emmerich). Farrell plays the
investigator's best friend, a cop in that precinct who might be dirty
himself." Pride and Glory
|September 6, 2005
Passes to Painted Veil premiere
In order to contribute to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, celebrities have been
offering items up for auction at Charityfolks.com with
the proceeds going to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
One of the current auctions is "Two Passes to the Premiere and After Party of The
Painted Veil staring Naomi Watts and Ed Norton in Fall, 2006 (location
TBD)". The current bid is $1400.00. Because The
Painted Veil is currently filming, there is no info as to exactly when and where the premiere will
take place. The auction ends on September 16. Also of note, the winning bidder and their guest must
submit to a background check.
Charity Folks: Painted Veil auction
Last updated on Thursday, April 17, 2008
Background by Hee Yun's Graphics
If you have new information on Edward Norton (and you can provide a
verifiable and reputable source), please email me-
Note: Articles and images have been posted without permission for noncommercial and nonprofit use
with no intention of copyright infringement. The purpose of this reprinting is to disseminate correct information about the
actors, films, and studios. I have included author names and links to sources whenever possible.