The "Brit a Day" series

What does a months-long parade of attractive British men have to do with fiction, you might well ask? These gentlemen have inspired some lovely scenes, part of the life I live in my head. Over time, some of these scenes reach out to one another and begin to form a story. For the present, each one of these pictures provides a writing prompt for me, a way to keep me writing with a sense of passion and narrative, even when the stories are not yet fully formed.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Brit a Day [#343]

This is where it all started--my fixation with Christian Bale began because he was/is an awesome Bruce Wayne.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Brit a Day [#342]

This post is Sunday's.

During one of Alan Rickman's previous turns on Broadway, I got to travel to NYC to see him in 'Private Lives.' I did not take a camera, but I did enjoy finding pictures from other theatre goers on the internet that summer. Here he is signing autographs for fans at the stage door of the Richard Rodgers.

As far as I can tell from the photos I saw, AR emerged from the theatre every night wearing the same combination--a white undershirt beneath a dark gray sweatshirt. The night we were there, I saw the digital thermometer at Times Square register 101 F at midnight. I could only imagine that AR had received one hell of a good rubdown after his athletic antics onstage for him to want to maintain his body warmth that badly.

A Brit a Day [#341]

And finally, dear Natasha Richardson would have made a brilliant addition to the cast of Harry Potter if she were alive today. She died of the same sort of head injury that nearly got me in 2005. The difference between my being alive and her being dead is quite possibly, simply, that she decided not to go to the emergency room.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Brit a Day [#340]

This is for Friday. This photo is from an early Art Brut shoot.

I've said it before--and not because I thought it up myself--Eddie Argos should clearly be cast as grown-up Neville Longbottom. It actually came up on a plane once when Art Brut was on tour. The in-flight movie was 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.' The resemblance could not be ignored in those close quarters.

A Brit a Day [#339]

In Harry Potter My Way, Henry Ian Cusick is Mad-Eye Moody.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Brit a Day [#338]

In my version of things, Jason Isaacs plays a professor of Vampire Studies.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Brit a Day [#337]

Continuing to mash up the casting of Harry Potter, here's Dan Radcliffe as Professor Lupin, struggling against the effects of the oncoming full moon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Brit a Day [#336]

This week, I feel like recasting the Harry Potter movies [again]. Here's Christian Bale as Sirius Black in a contemplative moment after changing from canine to human. Fetch.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Brit a Day [#335]

Let's forget for a moment, shall we, that Alan Rickman is doing a serious Ibsen play in Brooklyn. This scene from Harry Potter, when Neville Longbottom reinvents Snape in his grandmother's clothing, is far too short.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Brit a Day [#334]

I snagged this photo from Flickr, I think, so I don't know if this is it's original cropping, but there is just so much to say about what is and isn't in this picture. First of all, if that is a real baby, I have to say, it looks like one of those perfect prop babies they use to film with when no one has to interact with the baby. Secondly, if it is a real baby, you have to love how the mom is scooched out of the frame in favor of the other photographer's big hand. The real subject of the photo is, of course, Henry Ian Cusick greeting fans at LOST's season 6 premiere, about a year ago. I would quip that popular actors have to be like politicians, out with the public shaking babies and kissing hands, but that unintentionally implies a crime, so I won't.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Brit a Day [#333]

Art Brut's Eddie Argos and our friend Keith TOTP, a brilliant musician when he's not hanging around Eddie....

This post is for Friday.

That glass looks as though it may have once held a lovely pint. On New Years Eve, I took a vow of abstinence--of alcohol, my own little prohibition--for the month of January. I didn't tell anyone and, anyway, I originally did it to lose weight. But then it became a thing to see if I could actually do it for a whole month. You'll notice that I'm now referring to the endeavor in the past tense.

I caved a tiny bit last night when my husband brought home a bottle of Talisker Single Malt. He's as frugal/thrifty as a Scot, so this was a big, big deal. And it's from f---ing Skye, for God's sake. So in fact, I had a wee dram; but I was prepared to consider that just a cosmic anomaly in an otherwise tidy alcohol-free month.

Okay, tonight we attended the elementary school science fair--that my son participated in and which probably led to the bottle of Talisker being purchased. You see, my husband takes my son's science projects very personally. If you don't know what I mean by this point, you never will, so I'll just leave it at that.

Anyway, one of the kids' projects compared the effect of black light on various solutions--as in, can you make them glow like a lava lamp, man--and apparently a big trigger for black light brilliance is quinine, as in tonic water. That's just lovely, but the kid had drawn a picture of a bottle of Schwepp's. The name brand. I nearly got in the car and went to the store right then. You see, I knew I had the gin at home.

Still, my virtue survived intact. But once I pulled into the driveway of my home, I remembered that my husband was out of coffee filters--I drink tea, I'm not hampered by these things--and this is the same husband who had been up until 4 in the morning working on the....well, you know. So coffee filters I would go a-getting.

I'm in Target [full disclosure: I am a Target stockholder] and my phone rings. It's him. He has a list of things the kids have requested once it was learned that I was headed for the store. Everything on the list was orange--Kraft macaroni, OJ, Sunkist soda, a Goldfish-type knock-off called Chickadees....oh, and one thing that's not orange, somethin' for Dad. Tonic water.

That was the end. I said, "I'm in." I am currently enjoying my gin and tonic, crafted by Himself.

I made it 19 days.

A Brit a Day [#332]

A group of friends and I celebrated this week the birthday of one of our own who has been known to create the most beautiful posts based on the film 'The Gospel of John'. Here is Ian Cusick in the role of Jesus, in a screen cap rendered black and white by our lovely friend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Brit a Day [#331]

Jason Isaacs at the UK premiere of 'The Kid', September 2010.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Brit a Day [#330]

I wanted to revisit this cover of 'Radio Times' because it features a spectacular picture of Dan Radcliffe. It's not the first times he's been on their cover--he was there a few years ago when he guest starred on Ricky Gervais's show 'Extras'.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Brit a Day [#329]

Christian Bale in Paris.

I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no one's future to decide.

-Joni Mitchell

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Brit a Day [#328]

The visiting Abbey Theater of Ireland has set up its own snow-piled ice palace at this outpost of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a thaw-proof production of “John Gabriel Borkman,” Ibsen’s penultimate play and a work described by no less an authority than Edvard Munch, the painter who gave us “The Scream,” as “the most powerful winter landscape in Scandinavian art.”

I'm quoting here from the New York Times review of the play that Alan Rickman is currently starring in. If you'd like to read the full review, you can get to it here:

The photo I've posted is from the earlier production. I gather from the photo posted with the NYT review that the set design has changed for the new edition at BAM.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Brit a Day [#327]

Here is the intersection of the two great waves of music that crashed upon the shore of my youth--Californians Joni Mitchell and David Crosby [and a cute baby that could be someone's grandpa by now] and one-man British invasion Eric Clapton. My idol Henry Diltz took this photo in the late Sixties.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Brit a Day [#326]

Eddie Argos of Art Brut at a summer music festival somewhere in the Midwest. Eddie remarked onstage that he had just been to the barber and that this was the best haircut he had ever had.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Brit a Day [#325]

This lovely photograph of Ian Cusick was taken by a fan, presumably an acquaintance of the girl in white. I'd really love to know what her story is. She is absolutely radiant. Could she be a bride? Could you image running into Ian looking like that on your wedding day? That would seriously mess with my head.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Brit a Day [#324]

Lucius Malfoy [Jason Isaacs] in his wizard-style mancave. This scene looks uncannily like the first set I ever designed--'Sleuth' in the Berkeley [Yale] Dining Hall, directed by Scott Speck.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Brit a Day [#323]

I found this lovely picture of Dan Radcliffe on the Cast page of the website for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Brit a Day [#322]

Christian Bale.

I did request the mark you cast
Didn’t heal as fast
I hear your voice in silences
Will the teasing of the fire be followed by the thud?

-lyrics by Alex Turner

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Brit a Day [#321]

This is for Sunday.

Alan Rickman just opened in 'John Gabriel Borkman' Friday night at BAM in New York. But that's not his first professional trip to Brooklyn: he directed Strindberg's 'Creditors' [above] there last spring. Here's a link to a lovely article The New York Times did on 'Creditors' and on Rickman's directing.

A Brit a Day [#320]

Here are the REAL gingers from the Harry Potter cast. Who knew that Luna Lovegood was a natural redhead?

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Brit a Day [#319]

There has been a news blackout from my beloved Art Brut who are in Salem Oregon recording their fourth album with Frank Black producing. This, after their fearless leader, Eddie Argos, promised to blog every day of the recording process.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Brit a Day [#318]

This is my new favorite old picture of Ian Cusick. The photographer is Randee St. Nicholas, also a music video and commercial director, based in LA. Several of her photos have surfaced among the Sistahs over the years, and they are all stunning. We think this picture was taken around the time Ian was on '24'.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Brit a Day [#317]

Jason Isaacs in Covent Garden. He reminds me of a very casual Tony Blair in this photo.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Brit a Day [#316]

The kids are still all right. Director David Yates talking to the primaries [Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Dan Radcliffe] on the set of HP7.1.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Brit a Day [#315]

Another gorgeous picture of Christian Bale from the December 'Esquire' photo shoot.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Brit a Day [#314]

It's a good-news/bad-news sort of thing. I'm ecstatic that Alan Rickman is in the States to reprise his role for the US premiere of 'John Gabriel Borkman.' I'm sad that I have no plans to be in New York during any of his run.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Brit a Day [#313]

It's a new year, and that means a new January and a new season of whale watching here off the coast. There are a couple of islands near San Diego, and on a whale watching cruise, you get closer to them but you never quite reach them. They are mysterious [to me], uninhabited to the best of my knowledge [part of a preserve?], and quite distinctive in shape--we see them from the higher elevations in our neighborhood on clear days.

There is a short section of film in 'Darwin's Darkest Hour' that is supposed to be part of Darwin's original voyage on the Beagle. For a moment, you see rigging at the bow of a ship and islands on the horizon. THOSE ARE OUR ISLANDS. Darwin did not visit southern California on the Beagle, and the Darwin film was shot in Nova Scotia. Our local maritime museum must have provided some footage from their archives, probably filmed on one of their rare outings with The Star of India, at the Darwin people's request.