Thaddeus O'Sullivan, the director of the new documentary-drama Citizen Lane, said that Tom Vaughan-Lawlor was the "number one choice" to play the famed Irish art dealer and philanthropist Hugh Lane, who he describes as "a contrasting, conflicting figure, who could be quite divisive".
The film is an innovative mix of documentary and drama, with contemporary contributions from experts such as historian Professor Roy Roster and art historian Morna O'Neill intercut with period drama scenes, written by Mark O'Halloran, that bring Hugh Lane's story richly to life.
As well as Love/Hate star Vaughan-Lawlor, the cast features an array of top Irish acting talent such as Michael Gambon, Derbhle Crotty, Bosco Hogan, Lesley Conroy and Barry McGovern.
Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment, director Thaddeus O'Sullivan (December Bride, Stella Days, Into The Storm) said that Dublin actor Vaughan-Lawlor was "absolutely" the perfect man to play Hugh Lane, an often contradictory and frustrating character.
"Tom was very interested to play something that was very different than before", O'Sullivan said. "He took to it easily, he really found the character interesting – his passion, his passion for communicating through art was almost a replacement for his inability to communicate well with people. I think Tom was fascinated by that."
He added of Hugh Lane's often exasperating personality traits: "Some people found him a pain in the arse because he was determined that you should appreciate what he appreciates, I think you get that in the documentary.
"That’s why Tom was so interested in him because he’s just a great character for an actor to work with."
The director explained that the 41-year-old actor invested a lot of time researching Lane before they began shooting. "We had so little money and so little time, I’d just come off another project, Tom was doing this thing in America The Avengers, and when he came on the set he’d done a huge amount of homework.
"I didn’t really have to do much, just give him the context and wind him up and he was away."
O'Sullivan commended Vaughan-Lawlor's scene with acclaimed star of the stage and screen Bosco Hogan, who plays Lane's father in the film.
The director said that Lane had a "not very pleasant upbringing" which comes across in the scene. "You can feel the history of the childhood, you can feel the history behind the lines. It’s a lovely scene, we shot that so fast, the actors just came on and did it. That’s the value of a script that works, that feels rooted", O'Sullivan said.
And what does the filmmaker hope viewers will take home from Citizen Lane?
"I just really had some fun with it and give a sense of what this contrary character was like and admire him for his great passion. I hope audiences will be intrigued by him. I wanted them to be a little annoyed or at least know that people were annoyed by him as well as be intrigued by him and really appreciate his passion and what that did for art in Ireland."
Citzen Lane opens in cinemas in Ireland on Friday, May 18.
New Order singer: ‘Kids abandoned over mental health’
By Lucy Cotter, arts and entertainment correspondent
New Order's Bernard Sumner believes the "underfunding" of mental health services for young people is "disgusting" and a ticking time bomb for this country.
As the band showcases a new Sky Arts documentary about their work, called Decades, the musician said nearly four decades on from the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis that mental health provisions for young people haven't moved on.
"I'm not just talking about epilepsy but mental health issues for young people especially school kids it's criminally underfunded," he told Sky News.
"When the coalition government, after the banking crisis in 2008, formed they underfunded the NHS and they completely underfunded help for young people with mental issues."
Sumner continued: "And it's still the same way and it's young kids at school that really, really need help and they've just been abandoned.
"And that's going to create a time bomb for this government and this country – attention needs to be brought to it. It's disgusting."
Sumner, who was an original band member of Joy Division, said Curtis would have struggled with the pressures that bands now face.
He said: "It's obviously incredibly sad what happened and we wish Ian could have been around to enjoy all of this. But to be honest, I don't think his health was intact enough for him to be able to stand the rigours of touring, because it can be pretty punishing.
"It can be pretty tough, pretty exhausting and I don't think Ian's health was in a fit state to do any of that so there would have been some kind of implosion that happened."
Drummer Stephen Morris believes there has been a shift in attitudes and Ian Curtis was affected by the stigmas surrounding mental illness in the 1970s.
He said: "Ian had epilepsy and it's an illness people have got much better at understanding nowadays and it's great that people are aware of all kinds of mental illness from getting really depressed to schizophrenia.
"It's much better understood than it was in the 70s. And I think that kind of attitude affected Ian a little bit because he had it and he knew that that was an attitude that existed at the time and thank god we've moved on a bit."
Decades airs on Sky Arts this week and follows New Order as they rehearse and stage a number of concerts as part of one of their most acclaimed collaborations with the artist Liam Gillick and a synth orchestra.
It was an idea which started out at the Manchester International Festival and the film gives a rare insight into the band and their creative processes.
Morris admits it was technically difficult to pull off but very satisfying. It also forced them to sit down and listen to all their old material and to reflect on the past.
They also talk about the importance of Manchester. They're are all originally from the city, and Joy Division did their first TV appearance nearly 40 years ago to this day at Granada Studios thanks to Tony Wilson.
Sumner continued: "The boss of our record label, Tony Wilson, who's sadly passed away – when he was alive was also a TV presenter and somehow we wangled to get on his TV show and he was so impressed he bought the band and put us on his label.
"And here we are we've come full circle, we're here at [arts centre] Home on Tony Wilson Way and it's strange how things turned out.
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"You would never have thought all this would have happened. Although Tony would have done – he would have had that vision".
Decades airs on Sky Arts on 22 September at 9pm.
Downton Abbey film for September 2019 release
The highly anticipated Downton Abbey film has been slated for a September 2019 release date.
The hit period drama will take to big screens around the world on September 13, it has been announced.
Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski gave an update on the release schedule saying: "Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family's next chapter.
"We're thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen next September."
Downton concluded with a Christmas Special in 2015 after six seasons and a film was long hoped for by fans of the show, with an official announcement coming earlier this year that the Crawley family would be back.
Original castmembers Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton and Dame Maggie Smith are all back for the film, with new additions to the cast including Imelda Staunton and Geraldine James.
Downton's creator Julian Fellowes has written the film's screenplay, while Brican Percival, who directed the series' pilot, will helm the film. Fellowes will produce alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge.
Click here for more television news
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Calorie Counts on Your Apple Watch
There are few things more satisfying than getting in some steps or a tough workout and instantly finding out how many calories you burned. If you're obsessed with checking your Apple Watch, you know what I'm talking about — but you may have noticed that there are quite a few numbers to track, including active calories and total calories. If you're unsure of the difference, we've got answers.
Simply put, active calories are those you burn while walking, climbing, jogging — whatever you do for exercise. Total calories include active calories and resting calories, those your body burns naturally, even when you're just lounging on the couch.
"Both numbers are affected by a number of factors, including age, current weight, medical conditions, activity level, and sex," said personal trainer Chris Kelly, NASM, CPT, CF, LI. "The Apple Watch uses the heart rate monitor and other features to track activity and resting heart rate."
ADVERTISEMENT Related: The New Apple Watch Is Basically a Heart Doctor For Your Wrist — Here's the Lowdown
How to Boost Your Calorie Burn
The accuracy of fitness trackers (or lack thereof) has been a topic of discussion for years. From the treadmill to your Apple Watch, it's fair to say that the numbers probably aren't totally accurate. "Instead of looking for an exact number, these are great tools to show trends and track progress in the right direction," Kelly told POPSUGAR.
So, you might make it your goal to simply increase your average number of active calories burned each week. While these numbers are different for everyone, the key is to create a deficit between calories consumed and total calories burned. "One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories," Kelly said. "If an individual were able to create a calorie deficit of 500 and then 1,000 calories per day, they would lose between one and two pounds per week, which is safe and sustainable."
Fitness trackers may not be a perfect science, but they can certainly help keep you on the path to reaching your goals.
Image Source: Unsplash / Christin Hume
We’ve Unwrapped the Calorie Counts of Your Favorite Halloween Candy
Who isn't tempted by a little fun-sized trick-or-treating candy? From the tiny Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to the Snickers bar you can wrap your hand around, there are Halloween candy jars everywhere these days. Go ahead and indulge in this tasty part of Halloween, just remember, the small little bites add up. Take a look at the chart below and see how your favorite fun-sized treat stacks up.
Related: 11 Reasons It Was Sweet to Be a '90s Kid
|1 treat size (fun size)||Calories||Fat (g)||Sugar (g)|
|Jelly Belly Jellybeans||35||0||7|
|M&M's (Peanut Butter)||95||4||11.5|
|Milky Way Dark||81||3||11|
|Mike & Ike||50||0||9|
|Reese's Peanut Butter Cup||110||6.5||10.5|
|Snickers (Peanut butter)||130||7||12|
|York Peppermint Pattie||60||1||11|
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim
Harry, William, and Meghan Make Cameos in the Queen’s New Documentary, but Where’s Kate?
The official trailer for Queen Elizabeth II's new documentary, Queen of the World, has finally been released, and one person who is noticeably missing from it is Kate Middleton. While we get a glimpse of the moment Meghan Markle first laid eyes on her wedding dress and Prince Harry talking about how he panics every time he bumps into his grandmother in the corridor, Kate isn't featured in any of the clips, and there's a good explanation for it.
Kate welcomed her third child, Prince Louis, in April and then went on maternity leave shortly after. Most of the filming was conducted around that time, and Kate wasn't partaking in any royal engagements. "Kate was largely out of action during the main filming," People reported. "CHOGM (the British meeting of the heads of government from the Commonwealth) was a focal point and she was due to give birth any minute then."
But don't freak out just yet; Kate is actually in the film, she just isn't a part of any of the conversations. "There is film of events and receptions which she attended, so you do see her," a source told the outlet. Phew! Catch Queen of the World when it airs in the US on HBO on Oct. 1.
Related: How Well Do the Queen and Kate Middleton Really Get Along?
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