Sunday, August 31, 2014

HYENA: Actor Profiles

"I actually wouldn't have minded hearing a rap. What a let down..." 
[Updated: Sept 3, 2014]

After our director profile last week, we have to say we're even more excited to see what Gerard Johnson has in store for us with Hyena. To get you even MORE excited (if such a thing is possible), we're going to break it down with a rap. Not actually. But we will highlight a few of the actors appearing in Hyena. (Trust us, this is preferable.)

"Peter who?" 
Hyena stars acclaimed actor Peter Ferdinando. You'd be lying if you said you recognized him from Midnight Madness/Vanguard darling Ben Wheatley's A Field in England (we're still recovering from that crazy awesome trip) because Ferdinando is such a chameleon from role to role. His portrayal of a 17th century war-deserter is absolutely fantastic.

How do we even describe A Field in England? Well, there's a field. And some war-deserters. And an alchemist. And, hm, might as well watch the trailer embedded above because it all gets a little (read: a lot) stranger after that. Wheatley and Ferdinando fans can rejoice, because they'll both be together again in Wheatley's upcoming High-Rise, which also stars dreamy Tom Hiddleston. Not that we care or anything. Ahem.

If need to get your Ferdinando fix sooner, check out Starred Up in the trailer above. It's a gritty, amazingly acted prison drama. Ferdinando, again nearly unrecognizable has a smaller—yet still memorable—role as the "head-honcho" (very technical term, trust us) inmate and he doesn't take shit from anybody. 

"No, afraid I don't know of any Peter."
And, of course, we couldn't end our profile of Peter Ferdinando without mentioning the other Gerard Johnson film he starred in: Tony. Now Tony is worthy of writing a completely separate post about (stay tuned!) but we will say that again Ferdinando completely embodies his character, this time that of a rather odd serial killer. 

"Sigh, I kinda miss my old-timey hat."

A film and its star are only as good as their co-stars. Lucky for Hyena and Ferdinando, he's got an amazing supporting cast. Take Stephen Graham, for instance. He is probably most recognizable for playing the young Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire but you might also recognize him from his roles in This is England, Gangs of New York, Snatch, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. From skinhead to pirate to gangster, we're mighty impressed with Graham's body of work and ability to transform himself into pretty much anything on screen.

"I'm just a regular hit-man and this is totally just your run-of-the-mill hit-man movie. Promise." 

Ferdinando and Neil Maskell can be part of a rousing game of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" as they not only appear in Hyena together, but they've both also starred in Ben Wheatley films. Maskell shocked and delighted Midnight Madness audiences in 2011 with his role as a hitman in Kill List, another nearly indescribable genre-bending film from Wheatley. Maskell has a role in Wheatley's upcoming High-Rise, so him and Ferdinando will be together on screen again (awwww). Maskell was also a part of The ABCs of Death, where he briefly appeared in, you guessed it, Wheatley's segment "U is for Unearthed." [Update: It was brought to our attention (uh, totally not by Gerard Johnson because wouldn't that be embarrassing) that due to an oversight we failed to mention Neil Maskell's appearance in the aforementioned Tony.  This is not just great because Maskell is great and Tony is great and Gerard Johnson is great, but also because it further perpetuates the amazing crossover love-fest going on with the cast of Hyena. Please all keep making movies together.]

"Yeah, I'd rather not talk about that vampire movie..."

We're really on a roll with these Johnson/Wheatley film crossovers because MyAnna Buring not only appears in Hyena but also stars opposite Neil Maskell in Kill List where she holds her own as his wife, struggling to wrap her head around his job as a hitman. It makes us pretty much forget about the time she was a sparkly vampire. Don't worry Downton Abbey fans, we haven't forgotten about you: Buring plays maid Edna Braithwaite, who (according to the internet because this author doesn't watch Downton Abbey, oops) is basically there to stir shit up. And also find a husband. Get it, girl. 

This film is sure to be an electrifying film, given director Johnson's considerable filmmaking talents along with the combined talents of all of these seasoned actors. Screening times can be found below—mark your calendars!

Hyena is screening as part of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in the Vanguard Programme. Check out more Vanguard films on the official Festival website.

HYENA screening times:
Sunday, Sept 7th  6:45 PM THE BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Tuesday, Sept 9th 9:00 PM SCOTIABANK 12
Friday, Sept 12th 12:00 PM THE BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA

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