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Posts Tagged ‘Brenda Blethyn’

Twitter UK logo

Twitter UK logo

It’s been five years and a few months since I started my Twitter account.   A slow and frustrating process, I’ve learned by trial and error what and how to tweet. I like to think I’ve got a handle on this social media medium by now despite the fact I’ve only amassed 328 followers thus far. It’s definitely a two steps forward one step back sort of proposition.  I don’t know if being on Twitter has driven previously unreachable readers to my blogs, but I have found it to be rewarding as means of communication with all sorts of people.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk to published authors about their books. I found @LissaKEvans to be particularly gracious and approachable.

I was sent movie stills for a library screening of Tell Them of Us (@ww1Film) though Twitter contact.

I have voted to rescue talented young people from being eliminated from TV singing competitions. (#VoiceSaveOwen)

Mostly I can discuss British telly and culture in instantaneous and verbally economical exchanges with a subset of people who know who and what I’m talking about. They’re my witty, supportive virtual friends and they include bloggers such as @FrivolousMonsta and @LukeCustardtv.

But if the fan girl in me is honest, I have to admit the possibility of celebrity contact is what brings me back to check my feed time and again. I follow mostly British comedians and other creative types because, above all, I want my Twitter life to be more sparkling and clever than my real one. While one can never be certain, it’s painfully obvious in some cases that the feed isn’t maintained by the actual celebrity. Some like the tweets of Noel Fielding (@noelfielding11) are obviously being generated by the man himself. Besides all the photos he’s sharing from his North American tour, who else would say something like this?

In a way, Twitter has become, for me, a sort of metaphysical autograph book if you will. What follows are examples of some of my close encounters with luminaries across the sea.

Chris O’Dowd aka @BigBoyler – Mr. O’Dowd follows me on Twitter which, in my universe anyhow, is a huge deal. I’m not sure how it happened, but my best explanation is that I was reading a tweet by Chris followed by the resulting replies when I came upon a spoiler for a movie O’Dowd was featured in called Calvary. I called the guy out for ruining the ending before people in the US had seen it and next thing I know, I get notified that Chris is following me! I like to think he liked my chutzpah, but he probably was trying to make up for the rogue tweeter’s faux pas. No matter, since then I’ve had no interactions with the lanky Irishman whatsoever, but at least he’s stayed around silently in the shadows, reading my tweets and smiling.

Chris O'Dowd twitter

 

Brenda Blethyn aka @BrendaBlethyn – More exciting than having this amazing actress follow me on Twitter (which she does) is the fact that I got to conduct a phone interview with her last year. When I tweeted about my experience, she kindly acknowledged our meeting. A classy lady and a judging by her tweets, an avid theater and arts supporter to boot.

Brenda Blethyn twitter

Count Arthur Strong aka @Arthur_Strong – I’ve had the great fortune to have several exchanges with Arthur (or the actor who created him, Steve Delaney). His tweets make and his sitcom make me laugh like nothing else. We’ve discussed trouser fires, show rankings and his  aversion to Game of Thrones. But my favorite was the very Arthurian answer he came up with below.

Count Arthur Strong twitter

Miranda Hart aka @mermhart- I never could have imagined I’d ever achieve Twitter communion with one of my British comedy idols, but it finally happened about a year ago. And just so you know, I kept my promise and went to see Spy in the theater. No lie, Miranda was in it quite a lot.

Miranda Hart twitter

 

Chetna Makan aka @chetnamakan- I have had likes and brief replies from several GBBO contestants including Richard Burr, Iain Watters and Luis Troyano. But I’ve found Chetna to be the most responsive of the former TV baking show contestants. She responds promptly and her appreciation of your interest and support feels so genuine.

Chetna Twitter

Reece Shearsmith aka @ReeceShearsmith- Now with Mr. Shearsmith I had to work a bit harder. I’d been tweeting complimentary remarks about his work in hopes of getting him to acknowledge my presence. Finally I pestered him for info about the upcoming series of Inside No. 9…and he took the bait!

Reece Shearsmith twitter

Others have retweeted and liked some of my input, most recently the two fine gentlemen you see pictured below. Each notification brings with it a little thrill that someone whose work I value has taken a moment to affirm my wish to connect with them.                                                        

Eddie Marsan @eddiemarsan

Eddie Marsan @eddiemarsan

     

Greg McHugh @gregjmchugh

 

In fact my very first celebrity “favorite” (now designated as “likes”) came from Russell Tovey aka @russelltovey. At that time I thanked him for his small but meaningful gesture which he then proceeded to “like” as well.

Russell Tovey twitter

 

I still have others in my sights including the aforementioned Noel Fielding, Richard Ayoade, David Mitchell and Sarah Millican to name a few. Just to clarify, I will not resort to the out and out plea for them to follow me because it’s my birthday or something. It’s annoying and requires no real thought. I will earn my tweets the hard way – with ingenuity, perseverance and maybe just a bit of old fashioned flattery. I can only imagine those hard earned tweets will be the sweetest of them all.

I’d really enjoy hearing who is in your Twitter “autograph book” or about your experiences in general. If you don’t follow me currently and would like to, you can remedy that by clicking the Follow button to your right under Telly Quotes and Other Tweetables!

 

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Brenda Blethyn as Vera  image credit Acorn TV

Brenda Blethyn as Vera
image credit Acorn TV

Last week I was given the incredible opportunity to interview BAFTA and Golden Globe winning actress Brenda Blethyn. There was some back and forth with the publicity department at Acorn TV to set up the details and before I knew it, I found myself actually speaking on the phone with an actress I have watched on the big and small screens in films like Little Voice, Secrets & Lies, and Pride and Prejudice  and, of course, her current popular TV mystery series, Vera.

I can honestly say I haven’t been this excited about a phone call since I was a teenager and a boy I had a crush on called me out of the blue. I was smiling and laughing the whole time (Brenda has quite an infectious laugh, in case you didn’t know) and I packed as much as I could into the fifteen minutes granted to me.

Let me tell you, after five series this lady knows her character. She cited information from Vera’s backstory, knew her work and life philosophies by heart, and even talked at length about DCI Stanhope’s appearance and wardrobe choices. And despite that fact that some of these episodes were made well over four years ago, Brenda remembered a minute detail from a scene to illustrate the point she was making about Vera’s rapport with children.

But what impressed me most about Ms. Blethyn was her generous praise for colleagues with which she has worked. From her Vera cast and crew to directors and co-stars on various films we discussed, she had nothing but the warmest admiration for her fellow collaborators, both in front of and behind the camera.

For example near the end of the interview I went a bit rogue and threw in another question when I was supposed to be bringing our session to a close. I left this out of the write up of my interview for WETA’s Telly Visions because it really was off the cuff and not related to Vera at all:

CC: What was it like to work with Nicolas Cage [who directed her in the film, Sonny], one word?

BB: Aw, it was great! What a lovely man, he was fantastic! He was so kind and generous. We all know he’s a terrific actor, but I liked working with him as a director too. Just gorgeous.

CC: Well, my son will be very happy to hear that.

BB: Oh really? Does he know Nic?

CC: No, he’s just a huge Nicolas Cage fan.

BB: Well, I loved working with him and he bought me a beautiful wristwatch when the job was over.

There you have it- the key to many a woman’s heart is a nice piece of jewelry and Brenda is no exception.

If you’d like to read my entire chat with Brenda Blethyn, click here.  If you’d like to check out Vera for yourself, you can find it on Acorn TV including new episodes each Monday in July. Some PBS channels are also airing series five this month so check your local listings.

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