Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

Remembering Actor-Director Richard Attenborough (12 HIGHLIGHT CLIPS)

Thompson on Hollywood By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood August 25, 2014 at 1:21PM

I was lucky to interview Attenborough twice, and I found him gracious and inspirational. He talked about capturing the psychopathic ventriloquist played by Sir Anthony Hopkins in the underrated "Magic"; the necessity of using star cameos for dramatic emphasis in the even more underrated "A Bridge Too Far"; and his acute understanding of the acting profession that made him more than qualified to tackle the celebrated "Chorus Line" musical. Judge the work, fair enough, but don’t judge me as being unqualified to make a musical, he lamented.
0
Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough

By sheer coincidence, I interviewed Sir Ben Kingsley on Saturday and the first thing we discussed was "Gandhi" and Lord Richard Attenborough. I explained that he was the first director I interviewed when I was still in college and how lucky I was to start off with this prince among men. Although the interview was ostensibly about "Magic," Sir Richard regaled me with plans for his lifelong pet project, "Gandhi," explaining how it starts off with this riveting scene in which the young British-trained lawyer is thrown off a train in South Africa for sitting in a first-class compartment, thus beginning his legendary path as the leader of Indian independence, and how this amazing young actor, Ben Kingsley, was going to dazzle us and become a major star.

Sadly, the beloved actor-director and two-time Oscar-winner died on Sunday, five days short of his 91st birthday. “Wonderful man,” Kingsley beamed. “And it’s interesting that he alluded to that scene because, for me, that was the engine of the whole performance. And after he’d seen the film, Peter Brook, a colleague and another great director, said to me, ‘That’s the angriest performance I’ve ever seen on screen.’ And I shook his hand and said, ‘You got it.’”

Richard Attenborough in "Jurassic Park'
Richard Attenborough in "Jurassic Park'


I was lucky to interview Attenborough twice (the second was on the occasion of "A Chorus Line"), and I found him gracious and inspirational. He enjoyed the fact that I was a passionate cineaste who appreciated his craft and sense of humanity — and the fact that I was more open and less prejudicial than my more seasoned journalistic colleagues. He talked about capturing the psychopathic ventriloquist played by Sir Anthony Hopkins in the underrated "Magic";  the necessity of using star cameos for dramatic emphasis in the even more underrated "A Bridge Too Far"; and his acute understanding of the acting profession that made him more than qualified to tackle the celebrated "Chorus Line" musical. Judge the work, fair enough, but don’t judge me as being unqualified to make a musical, he lamented.

Read the rest of this piece including Attenborough's own film picks of his best films here. 


A selection of 12 highlights from Attenborough performances as well as films that he directed is below: 

This article is related to: Richard Attenborough, Obit, Ben Kingsley


E-Mail Updates