Thursday, 31 December 2009

Durham County 2nd Season US Premiere Only Days Away

Michelle Forbes is not the kind of actor who avoids variety and challenging roles. If you liked her as the tough Admiral Cain in Battlestar Galactica, the enchanting Maryann in True Blood or the lovely but troubled Kate in In Treatment, you should definitely add Pen Verrity from Durham County to the mix. A new, challenging role takes her to the award winning Canadian series with an unique, dark and realistic tone. The first season, which contains 6 episodes, anatomized male violence through the story of Detective Mike Sweeney (Hugh Dillon) and investigated how it affected us. Michelle joins the cast in the second season as Pen Verrity, the sexy, mysterious forensic psychiatrist, who has more skeletons in her closet, than we can imagine. Women can be as nasty as men, that’s for sure.

Penelope is quite troubled, to say the least, because of what’s happening and because of some trauma that had not been dealt with or transformed when she was younger,” {…}. “All of this comes bubbling to the surface. There’s a certain fracturing of her soul and her mind, and she’s desperately trying to grab onto Mike Sweeney.” said Forbes. This character is not less complex than she played before. “I was really seduced by the darkness of it, by the truth of it. Laurie Finstad (Knizhnik), our writer, has this extraordinary ability to hold up this frail, human dark side of ourselves and confront it. That was what was so compelling to me and made me jump at the chance to be a part of it.

Source: Tv,eh?

The writing is extraordinary, sensitive and very expressive, as is the cinematography. The show is perfectly cast, which adds to its quality. Every part of the production seem to work flawlessly. Michelle plays Pen Verrity with much complexity. Her ability to express a dozen emotions in one look comes to the surface now more than ever before. As we witness Pen desperately try to control herself and others, we constantly swing between feelings of hate, pity, love, sympathy, frustration towards her. She leaves us in a daze. If you thought Maryann was scary, you haven’t seen anything yet. Durham County challenged my intelligence and I loved it.

Switch your television on on Sunday, January 3 from 9:00 – 11:00 PM, ET and tune into ION Television and watch the second season of Durham County which launches with episodes 1 and 2 back to back. In case you missed the beginning of the story, they’ve set up a marathon of the first season on January 2. - Akima

Pre-order DC Season 1 from (Available from January 19th, 2010)

Here's a мищка joining us and our polar friends in wishing all a peaceful end to 2009, and a strong start to 2010!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Holidays

Season's greetings from Chris and yours truly, from Amsterdam and Dublin, to everyone, our readers, our contributors. Thank you so much for participating in your own unique way.

We wish you all a holiday filled with happiness, love, warmth, and bellies full of wonderful food.

There's no snow in Dublin yet so I had to fake it a little bit. You may click on the picture to see it falling. :)

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Emotional Impact

"Emilie Lopez : Vous avez tourné dans de nombreuses séries particulièrement appréciées du public. Êtes-vous habituée au succès?

Michelle Forbes : J’ai vraiment eu de la chance d’être dans de telles séries, auxquelles je croyais et que j’aimais. Après avoir passé 16 à 18 heures par jour, parfois 6 jours par semaine à faire ces histoires, et que tu vois l’impact qu’elles ont sur le public, que tu vois tout le monde tellement excité à l’idée de te rencontrer, que tu les voies si respectueux, comme cela peut-il t’énerver ? C’est ce que l’on fait, c’est ce pour quoi on travaille pendant des jours et des jours : avoir un impact émotionnel sur le public. Donc quand cela arrive, c’est toujours extrêmement touchant."

My attempt to translate it. I apologise in advance for any mistakes.
"You have played in many TV shows which are particularly appreciated. Do you get used to success?

I was indeed lucky to be part of shows in which I believed in and which I loved. After working 16 to 18 hours a day, sometimes 6 days a week, creating these stories, and seeing the impact that they have on the public, when you see everybody so keen with the idea to meet you, and how respectful they are, how does this thrill you? That's what you do, that's why you're working day after day, to have an emotional impact on the audience. Because when this happens, it's always incredibly touching."

I'd like to say that it's equally moving as a viewer how Michelle Forbes makes us laugh and cry, scream and lament, or squee with delight. And sometimes let us become absolutely silent.
How does she achieve this? What is her secret, what are the techniques to attract, engage, and fascinate us?

Since it's quiet on the blog in these December days, you'll get an unrelated Sunday picture. Yesterday in Amsterdam, on my way to work. Tonight it's bitterly cold, and it's snowing :)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The Salzburg Connection

From the series "Load of Bollocks" we're glad to bring two more 18th century music videos to your attention. Lots of Michelle scenes from True Blood, Messiah, Durham County, In Treatment, Wonderland, Swimming with Sharks and Battlestar Galactica to Pop music from 1785, disrespectfully mashed up.
Rebecca's video was first, then I've cut all eeeek-moments and replaced them by cute scenes.

Rebecca's video:

Anyone else into ancient Austrian pop music layered with scifi, crime, psychodrama and a gorgeous actress?
Well, as long as Michelle doesn't hurry up and grab a role in a period drama, we're forced to make our own show :)

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Wonderland Revisited

Wonderland is an eight part television series, a gritty and realistic portrayal of the doctors and patients of the fictional psychiatric Rivervue Hospital in New York City. Wonderland first aired on ABC in the spring of 2000, but because of its controversal story, its dark tone and intense nature, it was taken off the air after only two episodes. - In Europe all eight episodes could be watched on various French, Scandinavian and Swiss TV channels.
In the US DirecTV's 101 network aired the entire series in January 2009, complemented by opening commentaries by series creator, producer and writer Peter Berg, and provided with a different music score.

Episode 3: Sanity.
(This was episode 1 in the US)

Intro. Madonna, humming. Group therapy.
Lupinta: "Sometimes I slap someone or stump with my foot when I'm angry ..."
"I just ... I just..."
"I love my wife, you should never hurt or frighten or hit ...
"Be kind."

7 A.M. in New York City. 'The Little Drummer Boy' introduces this episode. The song will also end it.
'Come they told me, pa rum pa pum pum // A new born King to see, pa rum pa pum pum.'
A couple make love. Feet on a scale. Staten Island Ferry. Yoga exercises. Children brushing their teeth.The hospital awakens.

I was trying to tell the story of this Wonderland episode. I can't. You need to watch it. Please do. And if possible try to get the original version with the original music score.

The ending. Group again. Lapinta: "I know it's not yet but I'm feeling a pretty strong sense of Merry Christmas. I've got a feeling of love. You know, it's so hard to get in that touch of love ... where you really feel that this is a regular part of who you are.
That's what I want. That's what I wanna work on. Being with my love, living with my love..
I'd need help with that. - I was wondering if you could help me with that."

Main cast:
Ted Levin - Dr. Robert Banger
Michelle Forbes - Dr. Lyla Garrity
Michael Jai White - Dr. Derrick Hatcher
Billy Burke - Dr. Abe Matthews
Martin Donovan - Dr. Neil Harrison
Michelle Barker - Julie McCray
Patricia Clarkson - Tammy Banger
Leland Orser - Wendall Rickle

Series creator: Peter Berg

Quote from Wonderland, Dr. Rober Banger:
" When the pressures of modern society become too great for a person, when one's chemical dynamic becomes such that they are unbalanced, that they cease painting within the lines, they come to us. These are the people that society would prefer just go away -- the shadow people. The shadow people that project upon us their shadow and remind us just how tenuous mental health is. Our worst fears. They remind us how easy it can be to slip."

Wonderland isn't for everybody. It is visually demanding and stunning. And it is honest, authentic, realistic and true.


"The best one-season wonders of the ’00s -
Wonderland (ABC, 2000) Peter Berg’s first TV series was often too frenetic by half, but in its dedication to showing a mental hospital The Way It Really Is, the series sported a verisimilitude that few shows even dare approach. Filled with actors who went on to flit through numerous other acclaimed series of the decade—Michelle Forbes and Martin Donovan, to name two—Wonderland could be darkly humorous, but it was often just dark, willing to go to places of bleak despair. Since it was kind of like a major-network Oz, and since it was on after Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, it was quickly shown the door, though DirecTV’s Channel 101 has broadcast the previously unaired episodes."

"It isn’t about ruptured spleens and heart attacks. It’s about the mentally ill, the psychotics and schizophrenics and the severely depressed. It’s about the doctors who take care of these special cases, the so-called gatekeepers holding the barbarians back from society.
Produced, written and directed by Peter Berg (himself an alum of “Chicago Hope,” as well as an independent filmmaker), “Wonderland” is a riveting if challenging bit of television. Berg and a team of writers spent months at New York’s Bellevue hospital, where they were allowed to witness and interview doctors working with the mentally ill."

"To further the effect of being in what is essentially an asylum, Berg uses hand-held cameras and lets the actors improvise when needed. This gives “Wonderland” a gritty, realistic feel. But the technique also adds a sense of chaos to the viewing experience. Watching “Wonderland” is a sensory overload, as patients scream at the top of their lungs, bang on things, turn TV channels rapidly and provide a kind of non-stop white noise over the show’s dialogue."

"I wasn’t totally shocked. This profession is 90% discouragement. It’s 90% rejection and disappointment and bad reviews or people dismissing your work or ignoring it. It’s really not even 10% of the time where you get the rewards." (Martin Donovan)

"Actually, because of some of the work I've done in the past, I was fairly familiar with it. I did a series about 10 years ago, called Wonderland, for ABC, that was set in Bellevue Hospital in New York, and I played the psychiatrist heading the emergency room. So, for quite a while I hung out with forensic psychiatrists, and spent a lot of time speaking to their patients. I once spoke to a man who killed his children ... so I had a fairly large grasp of that world."
Source: Michelle Forbes,

"Dank einer quasi-dokumentarischen Kameraführung und tollen Schauspielern - darunter Ted Levine, Patricia Clarkson, Martin Donovan und Michelle Forbes - erreichte "Wonderland" 2000 eine Unmittelbarkeit und Vielschichtigkeit, die nur wenigen der hochgelobten Serien, die seither entstanden sind, eigen ist."

(I'm sorry but I lost some of the sources of the quoted reviews.)

The cast and crew attend the DIRECTV Premiere of Wonderland, January 2009:

Sunday, 6 December 2009

En garde!

Durham County

"As great as the series is on the acting and writing side, its just as good on the filming side as well, the lighting, the flashbacks and looks into the minds of each character as they remember or imagine scenes, the ghosts that haunt them all appearing in certain places, the constant images of the powerlines, hinting that the electro magnetics of the powerlines are slowly driving everyone insane, just the whole thing is a huge iconic film noir style case study in how to shoot a film or a tv series to give it the very feel you want. Its just so brilliantly done it makes me almost slack jawed in complete and utter awe of its assault from all sides fo the creative spectrum at once. Truly a thing of wonder with no real equal."

In Treatment UK

"- The first season run of 'In Treatment' ended today after 44 terrific episodes... This is one of the only shows that I have really been excited about seeing each night. I would go as far as to say; In Treatment is the best half-hour straight drama I have ever seen. I haven't done any research but, I can't honestly think of anything that it is comparable to.
- Seen them all so far - brilliant acting, scripts, direction. Top-quality drama."

Blog news inside

* We've got a new look&feel. Hope you like it :)
* iHelix takes a time out until Spring. Thanks, iHelix!
* In the background we're working on more 'Revisited' articles. And we'd love to plan even more. Let us know!

Un max de True Blood

Michelle Forbes, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell and Alexander Skarsgard in Paris, November 2009

"A l'occasion du lancement sur Orange ciné max de la saison 2 de True Blood, Sophie Soulignac a rencontré en exclusivité les comédiens de la série lors de leur venue à Paris. «Un max de True Blood», c'est 26 minutes exceptionnelles d'informations, de révélations et de surprises autour de la série culte d'Alan Ball."

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Femme fatale - Femme fragile - Femme héroïque

Six miniatures from a photo session with Michelle Forbes in Paris, November 2009, with the allusion of archetypal characters in literature, film and art, the femme fatale, the femme héroïque, and even a glimpse of a femme fragile.


The housewife and mother, the business woman, the psychopath, the mentor and protector, the loner in modern society, the tomboy, the damaged soul, the heroïne - she plays them all, in stirring and blazing performances. One role, various voices and interpretations. Just when we're about to get comfy with one face of a character, she turns her role upside down and surprises us again.

Did she already play a femme fatale? I'm uncertain ...

Battlestar Galactica: Razor Revisited

Sometimes we have to do things that we never thought we were capable of, if only to show the enemy our will. - Admiral Cain

I've to say that BSG is one of the very few contemporary series I have faithfully followed and been genuinely inspired and moved by. Admiral Cain, of course, is one of the landmark character in the BSG universe. The Pegasus episode, and the sound of her voice accompanied by the mellow, dream-like piece of soundtrack, marked the arrival of someone special, a character so incredibly present and intense. In me, she instilled so much emotion including fear, dislike as well as a sense of comfort as a strong, driven leader. The Pegasus story arc was albeit too brief. Luckily enough, the ship and the captain are revived in Razor, which is, well, incredible. It does make demands on the viewer by switching back between 3 time periods, and being told from the viewpoint of a never-before-seen character Kendra Shaw, but that makes the story even more compelling. Most importantly, we really get to know Cain and the forces that drive her. It's an excellent performance by Michelle, and the rest of the cast, a movie I often watch again and again.

Now, what do you like about Razor? - Randy
Moving portrayal of high emotions at times of distress true to the Battlestar Galactica style. You just can't be wrong with the writers of BSG. And you won't be disappointed with RAZOR. Michelle Forbes's acting as Admiral Helena Cain is once again bold, heartpounding and perfect; it goes on to illustrate the even tougher side of this leader, as well as the human side of her. Unlike all the other movies out there where a protagonist and antagonist stands out, there are no truly "good" or "evil" in RAZOR. And that's exactly the case with human society. Each character is uniquely portrayed with each of their own ambitions, fears, motives, strengths and weakenesses.

"Battlestar Galactica" has always been sci-fi at its best -- an exploration of politics and morality in their purest state: post-apocalypse...the Battlestar community is no longer a civilization in the traditional sense. All rules have been broken or bent beyond recognition. The necessities of war have stripped society down to its essence, for better and worse.
In "Razor," written by Michael Taylor, those issues and tensions are embodied by Cain and Shaw. How much collateral damage can the greater good afford? What is the greater good? How far is too far when survival is at stake, and what decisions will the soul simply refuse to bear?
...good science fiction has always dealt with that which plagues the poets and the playwrights -- the nature of love, the value of loyalty, the nature of power, the split-second decisions that change our lives. Shaw is not the only character haunted on "Battlestar Galactica." With its metallic blues and grays, its eerie lighting, echoing corridors and New Age drumbeats, the ship itself is ghostly at times, its inhabitants all damaged, by events and the choices they have made; resilience has become the new heroism.
Source: LA Times

When does the will turn malignant? When do the actions that a person takes to survive make that individual no longer worthy of the title “human”? When do the ends no longer justify the means?
Those are the questions that the reimagined “Battlestar Galactica” has asked for the past few years. And the genius of the series is that it asks these questions obliquely, without preaching or grandstanding. The solutions to these dilemmas aren’t easy, and the show doesn’t insult its audience by pretending that they are.
Source: Chicago Tribune, The Watcher

She became very misguided at that time [of Gina's betrayal]. I feel the actions that she took in that misguided place still were along the lines of what she felt she needed to do. And there’s nothing that she did that some world leader has not done.

It’s very painful, what she did to Gina. There was such a deep sadness, but [for her] duty overrides that sadness, otherwise things don’t get done. There’s a lot of sorrow [in Cain]. It was not a punishment as much of a means to an end...

What got left out of the TV version [of ‘Razor’] was what happened to Cain in the first Cylon war. She lost her family. That trauma at that young age is what shaped her. As a child, on her own, she had to find a way to survive and that was by hardening herself. In the TV version, you don’t get to see that. And if that hadn’t happened, who’s to say [who Cain would have become]?
Source: Chicago Tribune, Interview with Michelle

[Michelle]'s almost like a force of nature in a way. She's really - if she was just - just her focus and her intensity I have to say that working with her was one of the - she made this one of the easiest jobs I've ever done in a sense.
Because responding to what she provides on set as a fellow actor is absolutely effortless. It's like she does almost everything. You just have to listen to her and watch her. Yes, she's incredible. I recommended working with her to anyone. - Stephanie Jacobsen

The story isn’t ultimately about what happens, but why. And that “why” has to be explored in terms of character rather than in terms of plot, which again has always been the essence of this show.

Cain skirts the boundary of the limits we set for our leaders, and indeed for ourselves, in wartime. She has the strength to inhabit that grey area and yet plunge ahead with black-and-white resolution. I think we find her conviction compelling, especially when we understand the kind of experience and choices that shaped it.
Source: Chicago Tribune, Michael Taylor Q&A

From the DVD commentary by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor:

Razor began life with a phone call from the Home Video Department at Universal, saying they'd be interested in doing a project where we'd do two episodes for a one-time showing on SyFy and then have those almost immediately released on DVD...a stand-alone project, not tied in to the continuity of the show.

We were drawn to tell some sort of story from the past that we hadn't seen before...One idea we had involved Pegasus...and suddenly David Eick was like: “Pegasus Yeah!” and that was sort of our inspiration to focus on that.

One of the treats...was revisiting Admiral Cain. I really wanted the chance to bring Michelle Forbes back...I was really happy that she was available and she was really happy to do it. She had just come in and created this indelible character...and it was great to go back and see who she was just before the attack. We had long conversations about who she was and where she came from, and what her attitudes were like.

One of the challenges of the character was that she was set up to be so hard core and so unflinching in the original Pegasus episode, so this was our opportunity to go back and humanise her a little bit, and show who she was as a person before all these events happened.
There were a couple of hints we sort of took up on this show to sort of expand...and enlarge her character...there was a sense [in the Pegasus story arc]...that maybe she and Adama had turned the corner and can now work together, that there was regret on her part for a number of the things she had done.

The thing about Michelle though, it's like Eddie, they're both such captains, I mean they're real captains on the set on each of their sides on the show...Michelle brings such an intensity to this role. She really inspired a lot of our other actors too.

When we did Pegasus and Resurrection Ship, as we were shooting, I remember all of us saying collectively:"Wow, it's a shame we're killing Admiral Cain and we're getting rid of her because she's so good...The whole series would've had to change fundamentally for her to stick around...It would've been a whole different was never constructed to be that...There was always this general of 'what a shamE it is we couldn't have kept Admiral Cain and the Pegasus around a little bit longer'. And this was a great opportunity to go back and revisit a really rich area of the show.

Cain & Gina
There was also another aspect...the intensity for her hatred for Gina...where did that come from?
Cain seemed to have more than just commander's interest... in a scene in the original Pegasus episode...the moment she says: "She was close to us, she sat at our table"...the way Michelle played it, you really felt that...there was a real backstory.

Michelle Forbes called me: “So we're gonna do is, ah?...and this is part of who she is?” I said “yeah, how do you feel about that?” She said, “well, I'm surprised but I think it works. I just want to see what your intention was, and why...” and I talked to her on the phone for a little while and she said “...sounds good, let's do it,” and she just went for it.

We didn't want to make a villain out of a gay character. This was their relationship. This was who she was in love with.

There wasn't an actual love scene because we wanted to tell the story through Kendra's eyes. make your choices and you live with them and in the end you are those choices.- Kendra Shaw

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Durham County Season 2 Premiere on ION

“Durham County”, ION Television’s Critically Acclaimed Crime Series, to Launch Second Season as Two-Hour Premiere on Sunday, January 3, 2010

Network to Marathon Season One on Saturday, January 2; New Season Moves to Sunday Nights

“True Blood” and “In Treatment” Actress Michelle Forbes Joins “Durham County” Cast

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The lesson that “love hurts” is well learned by the characters who inhabit the eerie suburb of “Durham County,” when the second season of ION Television’s critically acclaimed original primetime series launches with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, January 3 from 9:00 – 11:00 PM, ET. A marathon of the series’ first season will precede the season two launch, airing from 5:00 – 11:00 PM, ET on Saturday, January 2. “Durham County,” which debuted this past fall, returns to the bleak and disturbing landscape of an alienated suburbia with a new star villain – Michelle Forbes, known for her intense portrayals on the hit HBO series “True Blood” and “In Treatment” this year. The show will be broadcast in its new regular timeslot at 10:00 PM, ET on Sundays beginning Sunday, January 10.

Produced by Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Films, “Durham County” unfolds season two in the aftermath of the devastating impact of serial killer Ray Prager (Romano Orzari) on the lives of its characters, anchored by Homicide Detective Mike Sweeney (Hugh Dillon, CBS’ “Flashpoint”), his now estranged wife Audrey (Hélène Joy) and their traumatized teenage daughter Sadie (Laurence Leboeuf). While the true villain of the first season turned out to be Sweeney’s former high school classmate and new neighbor, the evil threat in the second season comes from a woman who develops a close bond with Mike, the brilliant, but deeply troubled forensic psychiatrist Pen Verrity (Michelle Forbes). Rejected by her husband and grieving for a daughter we can’t be certain she didn’t kill, she sets her sights on having Mike Sweeney – at any cost.

“The successful debut of ‘Durham County’ fulfilled our expectations as our first original series, particularly among our key 25–54 demographic,” said Leslie Chesloff, Executive Vice President, Programming, ION Media Networks. “In season two, our protagonist is trying to keep his broken family together in the aftermath of a serial killer, while he is lured into an incredibly dangerous place by a seductive woman. Viewers will be on their seats wondering what Pen will do next, who she might target and whether Mike will realize the terrible threat she poses before it’s too late. Season two will be a real nail-biter!

“Durham County” is written by Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik (“Bliss”) and helmed by directors Adrienne Mitchell, Alain DesRochers (Nitro) and Rachel Talalay (Terminal City). Michael Prupas (“Human Trafficking”) of Muse Entertainment and Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchell (“Bliss”) of Back Alley Films serve as executive producers. The series has received 13 Gemini Award nominations, including five wins: Best Actor for Justin Louis, Best Actress for Hélène Joy, Best Direction for Holly Dale, Best Writing for Laurie Finstad Knizhnik and Best Sound. In addition, the show was nominated for four Director’s Guild of Canada Awards, winning two and taking home the CFTPA’s Indie Award for “Best Dramatic Series.”

The program was also recognized with nominations from the Writer’s Guild of Canada and ACTRA Montreal. In a deal signed last January with ITV Global Entertainment, ION Television acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to the critically acclaimed and award-winning original TV series, “Durham County.” In addition, the network secured all U.S. television, digital media rights, internet streaming and video-on-demand rights for the program.

...and a little treat: a tune from Hugh Dillons's recently-released solo album 'Works Well With Others'. Available on iTunes. I can highly recommend. :)

The Mozart Connection

A couple of days ago, Chris asked me to make a video to a period piece, the 3rd Movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto in E Flat, K. 482. I agreed, excited. What emerged is a compilation of, for me, memorable scenes from some of Michelle's roles in tune with the piece of music.

Later, for good measure, Chris decided to create her own video to bring forth her vision. It turned out to be much different from mine. It's remarkable how different moments have stayed with each of us. Mozart's jovial tune gets a remarkable treatment. And we both agree that Michelle would be excellent in a period piece. :)

For your enjoyment...

Chris's vision:

and mine:

Randy, waving from Dublin, and soon to be hidden behind James Joyce's 'Ulysses'.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sunday Quiz: The Voice, Round 2

Due to the unflinching dedication of our contributor, Akima, we are able to bring you yet another Sunday quiz. This time we have got another video full of sound clips from....that's your guess. If you found the former quiz difficult, then this one will be even more of a challenge. But do not flinch. There is a visual clue, a picture, which comes with each segment. Good luck and have a wonderful Sunday.

Dublin's finally signing off...zzzz.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

More of Michelle in France

This weeks edition of the L'Hebdo Séries programme on Canal + is dedicated to Michelle. L'Hebdo Séries brings you current TV news, interviews etc. in the scope of just 7 French. Aside from featuring interviews with Michelle and Alexander Skarsgård on True Blood, the episode also announces the Global Frequency adaptation news. You can watch it online here.

Transcript of the Interview with Michelle:

Looking at her from the outside in, she could be seen as predatory, but, in playing her, standing in Maryann's heart and her body for so many months, I never felt that. It was always a loving gesture. It's just different. It's a different kind of love than what we're used to.

Like any good writer, he [Alan Ball] raises the questions, and he lets the audience answer for themselves. Luckily, in the meantime, we get to have a lot of fun.

Credit and many thanks go to Emilie who contributes to the programme and also our blog. :)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Salome in the Garden

Michelle Forbes: True Blood asks us about our beliefs

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 'The Day Dream', 1880.

Michelle Forbes is a beautiful woman who resembles her characters. She punctuates her sentences with an attentive and patient smile, but it can not dissipate the intensity of her gaze. She smiles and speaks in a deep voice, husky and warm, which she modulates at will and without effort. She smiles and looks at you with her dark eyes, shining with a dusty glaze. We imagine her slipping easily into the skin of Salome and demand the head of John the Baptist from Herod Antipas. Because she carries an element of mystery that one may construe her as a femme fatale. The role of Maryann Forrester in Season 2 of True Blood fits her like a tunic a Greek god.

Before that, she was the wife of Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) in the first season of In Treatment. She was also an enigmatic and tortured mother in Season 2 of the excellent but little-known Canadian series Durham County. The time of three episodes, she was Admiral Helena Cain on Battlestar Galactica, but also among other things Dr. Julianna Cox in seasons 5 and 6 of Homicide: Life on the Street set for NBC by David Simon, the father of The Wire.

The actress was visiting Paris for the launch of Season 2 of True Blood which starts broadcasting on Tuesday, 1 December on Orange cinema series.

How important is the role of Maryann Forrester in your career?

My first important role on television was that of Julianna Cox in Homicide: Life on the Street, which is certainly one of the best crime series that has ever been filmed. In Treatment has also been a role I enjoyed playing. At the same time I turned to True Blood. Maryann is certainly the most flamboyant character I had ever embodied. But Helena Cain on Battlestar was so iconic that people remember me most for this character than the one I played in True Blood.

In hindsight, how do you see her?

It was only last week that I really realized what was the character of Maryann. It is a cliché to say that, but all the actors agree and that's true that you can not see a character that you embody as absolutely evil. When Maryann makes Eggs and Tara eat the soufflé, she really believes in giving them a gift. She is sincere in her whole approach. She is really convinced that it gives them freedom. And she really wants to get closer to the God. When she prepares the dish for them, she does so as a mother would do in preparing gifts for her children. For me, it was love.

Season 2 revolves around several different stories.

In this second season of True Blood, there are actually three distinct parts. The first season tells of a wretched little village, and we learn to know the people who live and work there. During the second season, three stories are pursued simultaneously. It is the journey that Bill takes to Dallas, there is the story of the Fellowship of the Sun, which for me was the funniest one to watch, and then there is the story of Maryann and the people of Bon Temps. What I like about this season is that it clearly addresses the question of our belief system. The purpose of Maryann is to challenge the moral beliefs and ideals of each of us. At the same time, the entire section on Fellowship of the Sun denounces the belief systems that require blind adherence from its followers. With regard to vampires, the question is about being judged, being regarded as different, and this questions our beliefs on the status of minorities. This forces us to ask us questions about our willingness to lead ourselves in a sheep-like manner, to follow a leader, one who can be very disruptive.

Music plays an important role in True Blood.

Yes. It is an essential element. What was amazing during the shooting was that we had one of the best sound engineers, Nathan Barr. In the series, the music is extremely important for Maryann but also for all of us. And the music was already included in the script when it was received. Each week we downloaded music from the episode that we will be filming next. This gave the impression that we had a sort of a soundtrack. And that immediately put us into the mood of the episode. I could not remember the B 52's, I had completely forgotten and when I downloaded the song, I said 'damn, it's really good'. "

To prepare for filming, I read about the maenads on Dionysus and Greek mythology, but what is interesting with Alan Ball and Charlaine Harris is that you can carry out all the searches you want, when you end up with the script in hand and you read that you'll need to dance to the B 52's, you try to understand how two things can agree with each other. And finally, you let yourself be guided by the text.

Working on HBO is a particular experience?

This may sound strange but I tend to work better when you're in a somewhat military environment. It is very difficult for an actor to find a series in which they believe. And when I discovered HBO, I almost felt too weak. They have a philosophy so strongly marked, they have such determination and at the same time such humanity. They really want to tell stories and they support their creators, they maintain their projects and they do not throw them out if they do not seem to work immediately. I am really impressed by their willingness to produce stories. This is not about money, it is like family to me. Perhaps I do embellish things a bit, but the more I worked with them the more I discovered on a personal level and I'm still admiring them.

What are you going to do now?

It has been almost two years since I have been shooting without interruption and I need to take some time for myself. I love gardening and I can not take care of my garden when I'm not in Montreal. I would also like to learn the joy of reading without having to memorize the text. I'll take the opportunity to cultivate my garden, in both senses of the word.
Source: Le Monde des Series (translated from French by me)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Al Roach: Private Insectigator Revisited

Rome joins the Global Frequency on a rainy Sunday night. Luca felt inspired by the voice quiz and has sent us this informative Al Roach overview. Another fan of shorts. --chris

Al Roach: Private Insectigator (2004) takes place in the weeds behind the Hollywood sign where a colony of insects mirrors the golden era of Hollywood. Created by Obie Scott Wade, this CG film noir short won Best in Show and Audience and Critic's Pick at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and qualified for an Oscar® Nomination.

James Garner - Al Roach
Michelle Forbes - Dede Dragonfly
Kathy Kinney - Betty Earwiggins
Freddy Rodríguez - The Fly On The Wall
Gregg Berger - Professor Bugdonovich

Director: Obie Scott Wade
Writers: Jordan Beswick, Michael Maler
Original Music: Harold Barefoot Sanders III

USA 2004 - 6min Short Animation

"Al Roach" is a triumph of 'toon noir, a black-and-white tribute to every Philip Marlowe story you've ever watched or read. It even opens with the Warner Bros. logo, making me think for a while that it was decades older than it is. Verbal and visual puns abound at a pace that would give the Simpsons a run for their money, and the adult situations -- watch the antennae -- will tickle you without damaging the delicate sensibilities of any little ones who may also be watching."

"Jim Rockford goes buggy!
In this six-minute animated spoof/homage to film noir and old RKO detective B-flicks from the forties, James Garner provides the voice for AL ROACH, PRIVATE INSECTIGATOR.
Roach is the fedora-sporting roach gumshoe with a seedy office in Doowylloh (read it backwards), an entire town of insects in the dirt behind the Hollywood sign. And, like the real Tinsel Town, Doowlloh is a "colony dripping with gilt, seduction, and betrayal."
But down these streets a roach must go, and Al IS that roach. The trouble starts when a beautiful bug fatale named Dede with more curves than "Motholland Drive" struts into his seedy office, promising to do "anything" in exchange for his help in finding her missing scientist father, Dede's father, Professor Bugdonovich.
Originally produced as a pilot (for a potential series of shorts?) for Turner Classic Movies, the six-minute cartoon claims to be "one of the first - if not the first - black and white CGI animated film." So far, it's been well-received at The Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, LA International Short Film Festival, Atlanta's DragonCon Film Festival and the Silver Lake Film Festival.

"I love the expressionistic, clean, stark use of contrast (in film noir) -- light and shadow. It's almost architectural." And this palette serves CGI perfectly. All the classics of film noir are stored in Wade's feverish brain. "I love Orson Welles' 'Touch of Evil.' "
What's the funniest thing about noir? "The hair," (Obie Scott Wade) laughs. "And the language is really very funny. We just don't talk that way anymore, but it has a quick back-and-forth, ratt-tatt-tatt banter that reminds me of the radio announcers of the period. It also manages to say a lot of very dirty things in double entendres."
If there's a sequel to "Al Roach," Wade says his roach fatale will ask Al to "Give me a chirp sometime. Ya knows how to chirp, dontcha? Ya just put yer legs together and rub!"

The director Obie Scott Wade about Michelle:
"I first spoke to Miss Forbes by telephone a few days prior to the record session. She has a very funny and warm personality and made me laugh right away. [...]
... each actor was only there for an hour and a half maximum. However, Michelle and I had such a good time talking, she stayed longer and we talked for hours. We talked about very meaningful topics such as global issues and her work in animal rescue. She's very active in the area of rescuing, rehabilitating and finding good homes for homeless dogs. Did you know that? Yes, she has a very big heart. [...]
Michelle required very little directing. Her instincts and inflection were perfect. She brought unparalleled sexiness and intelligence to the character. I could not have cast a more perfect actor. As far as casting, Michelle was my first choice and we were lucky enough to have her agree to be involved."

The dialogue


No. No!
Stay away!

So let me get this straight, Miss Dragonfly.
Your father's missing and you want me to find him.

Yes, Mr. Roach. Please, you must help me.
The buzz is that you're the best private dick in the business and I won't settle for less.

You see, my father is a brilliant scientist who's invented a cure for insectigen.

I see.

You have heard of insectigen, haven't you, Al?

Yeah. First you get a
Nasty rash.
Next thing

An hour later you're
Belly up.


Deadly stuff.

Will you handle my case?

Nothing would give me more pleasure.
But I'm afraid I might get in too deep.


Get out of my way.

What's buggin' her?

Daddy's missing.

Well with a thorax like that, she shouldn't have trouble finding a replacement.
Anyway, Wormer Brothers sent over those passes for the big premiere tonight.
They said we should get there early.


You promised, Al.
Besides, I already went and pulled my fancy dress out of moth balls.

That's some moth.

Where are you going?

Nature calls.

I hope it's collect. Rent's overdue.


Why didn't you take her case, Al?
We could really use the dough.

Drop it, Betty.

Uh oh, looks like somebody got bit by the lovebug.

That's all I need, another dame gettin' under my skin like a tick
Last queen bee who stole my heart ended up gettin' me in trouble with the mafia.

Betty. What stung me?

Insectigen. You got the rash.

Al, maybe you shouldn't -

Where are you going?
You need to rest.

If I don't find that dame's father,
that's all I'll be doing.

I turned the town upside down
looking for that dame and her dad.
At least I think I did.

The insectigen was starting to play tricks on my mind.
I was feeling weak.
The rash was spreading fast.

I started seeing stars.
Not just the ones on the sidewalk.
I needed help, I knew it.
There was only one place to turn.

Yeah yeah, I saw the whole thing.
The old man's in room nine at the Motel Ticks up in Silverfish Lake.

Thanks pal. You never cease to amaze me.

Heh heh heh, they don't call me the Fly On The Wall for nothing.
Now give me some sugar, handsome.

Please, don't kill me.
You can have the antidote.

What the -

Thank you, Mr. Roach.
I knew you'd make a beeline to the serum
once you were infected.

Please, keep her away from me.
She's been trying to kill me.

You and me both, pal.

Well guess what, I'm through trying.
Now say goodnight fellas.
The bed bugs are about to bite.

Not so fast, sister.


Name's Betty. Bitch is waiting for you in the state fly trap.
Cuff her, boys.

So it turns out the old man wasn't even her father?

They'd never even met.

Then why all the buggabaloo?

She was the owner of the big pharmaceutical outfit
that makes all the drugs used to treat insectigen.

I get it, once the old man's cure goes up for sale, her company's profits go down the tubes.


What a louse.

You don't use drugs, do you, Betty?

I've got the only drug I need, Al.
You and a good movie.

You're a good egg, Betty."

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Everything you wanted to know about Global Frequency Diplomacy news and some savoury snippets.

In preparation for this article, I had a read through the first couple of issues of Global Frequency, and I really enjoyed it. There's an immense amount of possibilities for a potential TV series. In the hands of the right people, it could become great TV, whether with Michelle's involvement or not.

Global Frequency originates as a 12-issue comic series from Wildstorm Productions, consisting of a series of single-issue, standalone stories. Written by Ellis, with covers by Brian Wood, each stand-alone story in the series featured artwork by a different artist. Whilst separate, each of the stories centered around The Global Frequency, an independent, covert intelligence organization headed by a former intelligence agent who uses the alias of Miranda Zero. There are reportedly 1,001 people on the Global Frequency, forming an active smart mob communicating by specially modified video mobile phones through a central dispatch system coordinated by a young woman code-named Aleph.

The purpose of the organization is to protect and rescue the world from the consequences of the various secret projects that the governments of the world have established, which are unknown to the public at large. The people on the Global Frequency are chosen and called on for their specialized skills in a variety of areas, from military personnel, intelligence agents, police detectives to scientific researchers, academics, athletes, former criminals and assassins. These threats that the organization deals with are equally varied and usually world-threatening, ranging from rogue military operations and paranormal phenomena to terrorist attacks and religious cults.

If this news is true, this would be the second attempt by The CW (formally The WB) network to adapt the Wildstorm comic into a TV series, with the first attempt being in 2005, when they produced a pilot episode that was based heavily on the first issue of the comic. However, they never aired this pilot, and did not commission the series.

The original series proposal was prepared by Mark Burnett with Michelle Forbes as Miranda Zero, Josh Hopkins as Sean Flynn, Jenni Baird as Dr. Katrina Finch and Aimee Garcia as Aleph. The characters of Sean Flynn, an ex-policeman who accidentally stumbled on a Global Frequency mission and Katrina Finch, a brilliant scientist with expertise in multiple fields, were created especially for the series.

Unlike the comic book, which had an ever-changing cast of field agents, Flynn and Finch were to be regulars along with Zero and Aleph, with other Frequency members coming in as and when necessary in supporting roles. This would allow for the character continuity expected of a television series and yet allow other characters to be killed off as in the comic book.

John Rogers was the principal creative force behind the television incarnation, writing the pilot episode, with Ellis credited as producer and creator. Other writers waiting to come on board included David Slack, Ben Edlund and Diego Gutierrez. The pilot was directed by Nelson McCormick.

The unaired pilot was leaked onto the Internet in June 2005 and continues to be downloaded and shared, primarily via BitTorrent and other P2P networks. Although it was popular and critically acclaimed, according to Ellis himself the leaking of the pilot annoyed Warner Brothers to the extent that they killed the project.

...of course since it's coming to the CW than expect young GQ model looking performers and cheesy love triangles.
I love those books. No way they can do them the same way on TV, given the gore and political overtones, but there's enough meat to the stories to make for a good show.
It was an excellent comic. But without going to a cable station so they can swear, cut off limbs and the like... I'm not seeing it. :/ that's sad because it of so many comics from that era/genre/authorbunch would have been excellent with the right people behind it.

I actually managed to somehow see said mystery pilot and freaking loved it. I thought Michelle Forbes was absolutely perfect as Miranda Zero and was hoping to see more. But it was never to be.

I’m cautiously optimistic. I despise the CW most greatly. It is all that is wrong with broadcast television. Suck suck sucking suck! I’m also worried that we won’t get to see Michelle Forbes reprise her role as Miranda Zero. I really think it’s time for her to get some steady work and Global Frequency would have been perfect. But we’ll see. I’m hoping Ellis gets some influence over the production. If it’s done right, Global Frequency will definitely fill the void left by Sara Conner Chronicles.
I like the idea that while the Frequency is Global, we as a show focus on the exploits of the members in a large metropolitan area and the cases that they in particular are called on. Various members get called elsewhere for missions on occasion, but for the show to succeed we'd need a recurring cast in the field.

Plus that sets up the eventual "Global Frequency: London" "Global Frequency: Miami" "Global Frequency: LA" spin-offs.
The problem is that, aside from holdovers Supernatural and Smallville, CW seems to be built around the teenage girl demographic.

Yeah, this was what I meant upthread when I said I wasn't sure if the CW was the best place for Global Frequency which is, let's be honest, not really your typical teen girl property. Really, the "special effects budget" issue isn't...only some of GF stories would really require a heavy effects expenditure to make happen. But then you have the fun of pitching stories which involve, say, rogue military cyborgs planning to murder-fuck everyone in the greater Los Angeles area, crazy Japanese scientists sculpting a cathedral out of human beings, and "two biofeedback-enhanced people beat the shit out of each other for thirty minutes until one makes the other eat his own arm" to the network that brought you Gossip Girl.

I remember reading something by Rogers where he commented that one reason his version didn't get picked up was because it was "too much of a downer ending". Not that you can't have downer endings for TV, especially nowadays, but when your *pilot* goes that route, it might not be as easy a sell.
I'll second the Michelle Forbes Needs To Be Miranda Zero sentiment.

Whenever I see her in other stuff (BSG, In Treatment) I always exclaim 'Yes! It's Miranda Zero!' She owns that role.
As for the downer ending...I can imagine why people wouldn't like it, but on the other hand, world rescue situations don't always end with people in jail and the rescuers on a mountain with enough vermouth to tank ten elephants. People die. Some are innocent, some are merely victims and just ended up being a part of something bad and not really knowing. But in the end the world/city/town is saved. At least until the next time it's in danger. And in all honesty I think that makes the story stronger.

Global Frequency? Yes please!

Not so much on the Michelle Forbes tho. She kicked ass on the leaked pilot, but True Blood has ruined her for me for a little while...

Diplomacy website has seen a revamp. A director's statement and the full list of cast & crew have been added. Moreover, a DVD will be available sometime next year.

The United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran face great hurdles in re-establishing democratic relations after thirty years of antagonism and mistrust. Recent elections in both countries have only confounded expectations. Language is how we bridge differences and build trust, but there is no telling whether a common language can be found. Interpreters play and essential role in bridging that divide.

I intended "Diplomacy" as a piece of diplomacy in itself, to strike up a certain conversation. The way these interpret diplomacy may be outrageous, it may be unwise, and it may have ulterior motives. But at least they're talking. - Jon Goldman.

And finally:

mkuplens: Thinking about recently-seen TV, Durham County is probably one of the best North American series I've seen in a while.
Absolutely brilliant.
200dollarshirt: Pizza, beer, opening two parter to BSG 2.5. Purrrr. Michelle Forbes is sexy as hell. Now sleep.
JBTakaTheStory: Just finished watching Durham County. Sucha bomb series dont yall think? Havnt seen it? Watch ion television
jillkill: Blown away by Can. TV series Durham County-suicide, multiple murders, abduction, rape, voyeurism, infidelity,
creepy children- 1st episode!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Global Frequency To Be Adapted (Again)

"Warren Ellis' "Global Frequency" is making another run at the small screen, as The CW Network is allegedly trying to adapt the comic book series once again.
According to Production Weekly's Twitter feed, a second adaptation of "Global Frequency" is in the works courtesy of The CW and writer Scott Nimerfro. The news was further touched upon by Ellis himself, who wrote on his personal website that he hadn't "been cleared to comment yet" by the network.
"Shouldn't say any more until I get the nod from the studio," said Ellis. "But yes."
For some context, "Global Frequency" was previously attempted as a television series for The WB Network — the initial form of The CW — back in 2005. The project went as far as the pilot phase, with "True Blood" and "Battlestar Galactica" actress Michelle Forbes assuming the role of Miranda Zero, the leader of the Global Frequency, an organization of roughly 1,001 people with specialized skill sets that are used to resolve top secret crises. The pilot never made it to the network, despite support from fans that managed to watch a leaked version online.
After "Global Frequency" made our recent list of five Warren Ellis comics we want to see adapted, the CW will now give the series a second chance with Nimerfro working on the script — and Ellis said that he's already spoken with the writer about the project.
"I've spoken briefly to Scott Nimerfro — by which I mean I threatened to have him stabbed, and he thanked me and told me a funny story about how he's had worse threats — and he is Okay," Ellis described.
The writer also spoke towards John Rogers, the creative force behind the initial "Global Frequency" attempt. Rogers seemingly won't be involved in the new pilot due to his own TNT television series "Leverage," though he apparently "wishes [Ellis] luck."

* topbit: Global Frequency 2nd attempt: Hell yes. And with Michelle Forbes? Double hell-yes!!
* planetclark: Awesome! Call Michelle Forbes! RT @warrenellis: RT @prodweek: "The CW will again try to adapt Warren Ellis' comic book "Global Frequency"
*notlikecalvin: I declare myself Officially Uncaring about a new Global Frequency series unless Michelle Forbes is cast as Miranda Zero again. So there.
* mizzelle: @johannadc I hope they get Michelle Forbes back as Miranda Zero. She was perfect.
* warrenellis: @rfrancis I love Michelle, and would pay real money to just have her reading on TV for an hour a week.
* rfrancis: @warrenellis I know you couldn't possibly comment. But I'm just sayin, I want the one with Michelle Forbes. Or any one with Michelle Forbes.
* SpeedForceOrg: The real question is, can they still get Michelle Forbes to play Miranda Zero?
* catvincent: Previous via @warrenellis - Guess enough water has gone under the bridge. Can't imagine anyone but Michelle Forbes as Miranda Zero though
* chr0me: The *only* question is will Michelle Forbes be cast as Miranda Zero again? #globalfrequency

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Quiz No 5 - The Voice's the voice does that, it goes all knowing, to make me think I know, to make me think it's mine... - Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable

Dublin joins the Global Frequency on a sunny and cool Sunday morning. We're very happy to present you with another quiz. This one was compiled by our very special correspondent, Akima.

All you have to do is watch the video below and guess where each scene is from. It could be any work by Michelle for film, tv etc. Each segment is somehow disguised so you must pay great attention to the voices and the audio. However, Akima tells me to let you know that there are some hints, so be very vigilant. Watch out for...cherries. ;)

Have fun!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Champagne and Delicacies

True Blood event in Paris
* The weekly French magazine Télérama (Le Monde) is said to feature Michelle Forbes in its edition of November 25.
* More about the Paris True Blood soirée last week:
"Arrive ensuite le moment de découvrir qui sont les acteurs de la série venus tout spécialement pour l'événement! Montent alors sur la scène dans l'ordre d'arrivée: Michelle Forbes, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammel et Alexander Skarsgard. Les interprètes de l'énigmatique Maryann Forrester, la toujours directe Tara Thorton, le gérant beau gosse Sam Merlotte et l'anti-vampire Bill, vampire Eric Northman. Je dois dire qu'ils ont vraiment la classe ces acteurs américains, sauf peut-être Alexander Skargard qui ne fera pas oublié son pantalon orange par son nœud papillon... Ça va faire cliché mais les deux actrices sont encore plus belles en vrai!"

* "Après un résumé de la saison 1 en image, le premier épisode de la deuxième commence. A la fin des 50 minutes, je décide de m’éclipser avant le second pour me diriger vers le Hard Rock café où se tient la soirée privée « en présence des acteurs ».
Entrée sur listing et bracelet, et là, c’est le choc visuel. On en prend pleins les mirettes. Pourquoi?
Simplement parce qu’au rez-de-chaussée, ils ont reconstitué le décor du Merlotte’s. Les enseignes sont là, les têtes d’animaux, la disposition des tables, les hamburgers (oui, les même que ceux servis dans la série), et surtout, à mon plus grand bonheur, du Tru Blood. Bon, certes, c’était du soda à l’orange (excellent ceci-dit), mais le packaging est tout simplement fabuleux (imaginez, au bar « Bonsoir, deux Tru blood s’il vous plait »).
Le temps de manger un bout, le premier étage ouvre et la claque visuelle est encore plus grande. Fumigène, lumière et rideaux rouges et un panneau. Nous voilà à Fangtasia, le bar des vampires.
Bouteille de sang derrière le comptoir, poche de sang au plafond, seringue de soupe tomate et fiole de coulis de cerise, une ambiance très glauque tout en restant jovial.
« En présence des acteurs » donc. Oui et non. D’abord dans une partie VIP (forcément, on était une bonne centaine), ils ont eu la gentillesse de sortir assez souvent pour quelques photos et autographes. Ils ont simplement été adorables, très ouverts et disponibles."

* Rumour has it that there was a champagne party @ The Ritz in Paris :)

Durham County
* Durham County season 2 re-airs in Canada on 'Canal Mystère', first episode starts November 23.
* In Czechia they are already showing episode 4 of season two. - It looks like I'm missing more European air dates. Sorry for that.
* A multilingual English-German DVD of the first season of Durham County will be released in December.

The Chosen One
Michelle's short film The Chosen One has got a trailer on IMDb. Now .... here's the link:

Don't believe what they're trying to tell you about aging 'gracefully'. I missed the screening of Diplomacy in Leiden (that's a few minutes from where I live) two weeks ago. Of course, the lads from the Leiden Film Festival don't answer my email.

MF Community Inside
* We were having a talk at the 'Messiah Revisited' article planning more 'Revisited' postings. So far the plan is ... Randy: Razor. Chris: Wonderland. Nicole: Swimming with Sharks. Akima: Durham County - for the January US premiere. Akima was first, and you'll never see my non-written posting 'A Love Letter to a Murderess'. - Would you like to join us?
* I was thinking of a multilingual mirror of this blog ... the advantage would be that the contributors can write in their native language, and the translated text would get published here.
* There's hope that we get another quiz soon ;-)
* Embedded Vimeo videos don't play on the iPhone nor on Androids or any other mobile device. :(
* We've got a no-nonsense listing of Michelle's work. It's a compilation of the IMDb listing, all episodes included.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Sunday Picture

Portrait of Michelle Forbes, 2008.

"Having just finished watching the second series of True Blood, I feel the DS Cult page needs some space for people, starting with me, to praise, gush about, and generally extol the virtues of my personal choice for the title "Queen of Cult".
Source: Michelle Forbes appreciation

Posted on a cold and sunny November day in Amsterdam --chris

Added :: Randy found it. Are we to start a new articles series?

Friday, 6 November 2009

Michelle in Paris

Michelle Forbes, Sam Trammell and Alexander Skarsgard last night at the Max Linder Cinema in Paris. True Blood Season 2 premieres in France in December.

Welcome in Paris, Michelle. - She's back in Europe, woohooooo :)

More photos at:

"Orange Cinéma Séries avait fait les choses en grand pour annoncer la nouvelle, lors d'une soirée au Hard Rock Café redécoré en bars de Vampires. Plusieurs comédiens de la série avaient été invités pour l'occasion: Sam Trammell, Michelle Forbes, Rutina Wesley et Alexander Skarsgard.
La saison 2 de True Blood démarrera dès le mardi 1er décembre à 21h30 sur Orange Cinéma Séries. Chaque mardi, un nouvel épisode sera diffusé, ce qui devrait laisse la série à l'antenne jusqu'en février."

(Click to enlarge)

"La soirée :
Pour cette soirée nous avions rendez-vous au cinéma " Max Linder Panorama " à 20 h pour assister à la projection des deux premiers épisodes de la deuxième saison de la série . -Cette soirée fut organisé par orange cinema series. - Avant cette soirée je ne connaissait pas cette série et ne la suivait donc pas. - Mais au vu des deux épisodes elle a l'air intérréssante et plûtot pas mal. Etant devant le Max Linder je découvre que l'entrée du ciné a été décoré pour l'occasion avec 2 gros projecteurs et un tapis rouge et un vigil plutot balèse ( bon ok le vigil n'etais pas là que pour la déco ni pour donner un coté "star "a la soirée ).
A l'entrée les noms et prénoms des personnes sont demander (ainsi que l'invitation ) et un sac nous est remis (il contenais des friandises, chips , etc...) ce qui permettais de grignoter un peu pendant la séance. - Un bracelet est également remis car après la projection la soirée continuais dans un bar ( le Hard Rock Café ) et ce bracelet etais le sésame pour y entrer.
La soirée commence avec l'arrivée des 2 acteurs et 2 actrices de la série et qui nous parle de leurs rôle et de cette série. Après le visionnage direction le Hard rock café qui se situe un peu plus loin et la quel surprise , le café a été entierement privatisé pour la soirée. Un peu d'attente a l'entrée et ceci due au monde qu'il y avait . Une fois entrée nous avons eu droit a un open bar plus nouriture a volonté. Hamburgers , Nuggets épicées , petites cuisses de poulets , etc... etais au rendez vous. Tout comme le champagne ,coca et True Blood (la boisson des vampires dans la série ) a volonté.
Et tout ceci sur de la musique ...rock bien évidement vue le lieu.
Apparement les acteurs et actrices etaient présent durant la soirée , perso je ne les ai pas vue."

We're all multilingual ... so, you get the first impressions of the evening in French. - Click on 'comments' for a translation. --chris

Update ::: ... and here's the video of the Soirée in Paris:

Soirée Promotion TRUE BLOOD saison 2 @ Paris from flexgraph on Vimeo.

More pictures :: (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Messiah Revisited

In 2001 and 2002, BBC Northern Ireland released the first two installments of a drama miniseries, entitled "Messiah - The First Killings" and "Messiah - Vengeance Is Mine". Alongside Michelle Forbes (Susan Metcalfe), Ken Stott (DCI Red Metcalfe), Neil Dudgeon (DI Duncan Warren) and Frances Grey (DS Kate Beauchamp) lead the ensemble of talents in this brilliantly produced TV crime drama. The third episode, "Messiah - The Promise", was aired in 2004.
Unfortunately, Michelle Forbes does not appear in the fourth chapter of the series, "Messiah - The Harrowing".

For in-depth information, interviews and behind-the-scenes videos visit the BBC Northern Ireland website:

»» Messiah II

»» Messiah III

Viewers of BBC crime dramas know that what they see is what they get. No fast paced action sequences followed by visual murder scenes. Instead, with the "Messiah" miniseries, we get a haunting drama in the style of box office hits such as "Silence of the Lambs" and "Se7en".
The story begins with a rather dreary scene of a car driving through London in the pouring rain. The initial sense of uneasiness sets the mood for the rest of the series which may not be entirely for the weak hearted. We watch DCI Red Metcalfe struggle with a case of mysterious and grisly killings. And as the body count rises, Metcalfe must face a ruthless killer who always seems to be a step ahead. Soon enough, Red's work begins to threaten the safety of those around him, especially his loving wife Susan. Seemingly disadvantaged, in her deaf condition, Susan may prove to be the pillar of strength for her husband, as she tries to keep him out of the darkness that the gruesome killings are continually driving him into. Not only that, but Red is also desperate to reunite with his estranged brother which will bring back old memories that he thought to have been able to forget.
Will Red overcome the many obstacles and catch the murderer?

The experience of shooting "Messiah" proved to be very different from what Michelle Forbes was used to in the USA:

"American Actress Michelle Forbes looks on her time working on MESSIAH 2 - VENGEANCE IS MINE as a welcome change from life in the States - where she says there is so much violence. [...] "Back in the States, we concentrate so much on violence and with some of the parts I've played; I'm always knee deep in dead bodies - another day at work!"

Michelle on learning British sign language:

"It makes you realise just how much you rely on the voice and how much you rely on hearing another person's voice in order to get you somewhere. [...] Communicating without speaking - for two people who are hearing - means that you have to go to a completely different place. But to be able to walk into the deaf world is such an opportunity and I feel grateful for it every day and completely honoured. [...] On MESSIAH I, I have had five days to learn sign language and I didn't know that British sign language is completely different from American sign language, so it was an intensive five days."

The acting is superb and the storyline will take your breath away while keeping you in your seats until the very last minute. It is rare in today's TV landscape to find a mini-series which puts its emphasis on the relationship of its characters and not on lavish violence.
Most importantly, as I am probably the laziest person on this planet, I admire and worship the tenacity of Michelle Forbes for learning British sign language in under a week's time and acting with her 'hands and feet' only. Watch out for those kitchen scenes in parts I and II between Stoot and Forbes. Who needs dialogue?

And as one viewer commented:
"To sum up, this was an electrifying piece of ground-breaking drama, every moment communicating mesmerising details about this complex plot and it's highly believable characters."

To see Michelle at her sign-language acting brilliance, watch scenes from 'Messiah - Vengeance is mine':

Messiah 1-4 is available on DVD sets at (Region 2, PAL version). Regularly re-airs on many European TV channels, free-to-air and ad-free.

Article written and submitted by Nicole. Thank you :)

We're looking forward to publish more articles about Michelle's work. Please contact us at
We'd love to hear from you! --chris

"One of the BBC's prestige shows, Messiah perfectly balances the quiet character moments it needs with scenes of pure Grand Guignol horror and jet black humour [..] Stott as DCI Metcalfe is a unique hero for this kind of story, a man who is calm, rational, well balanced and happily married. He's relentlessly intelligent and punishes himself constantly for not quite being clever enough. The way in which he and his wife (a superb performance by Michelle Forbes) deal with this is contrasted to great effect with the break up of Reid's relationship with his wife and Beauchamp's budding romance with a colleague."

" 'Messiah', which is based on a novel by Boris Starling, is an exemplar of efficiency, a demonstration of just how much story can be put across using layered sound, scrupulous close-ups, broad atmospherics, visual shorthand, a few flashbacks and simple dialogue [...] most striking here are the performances: the pale British faces of all the lead actors, who, with their baggy undereyes untouched by surgery or Botox, look plainly sad and afraid. Those faces tell a story, swiftly."

"Ein Thriller, der nicht einfach die inzwischen gängige Serienkiller-Routine abspult, sondern seine Handlung mit intelligent konstruierten Nebenhandlungen und lebendig gezeichneten Figuren so gut unterfüttert, dass sich die Geschichte neben dem reinen Krimiplot noch weitergehenden Fragen zuwenden kann: Schuld und Sühne, Verdrängung, Reue und der oft qualvollen Konfrontation mit sich selbst. Nicht umsonst wurde "Messias" in Kommentaren häufig mit David Finchers Genre-Highlight "Seven" verglichen."

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Diplomacy Screenings - Festival Circuit

The short film Diplomacy is making a circuit around Europe's film festivals. Screenings have been announced for Derry, Northern Ireland and Bilbao, Spain.

* Nov 20 - 28, 2009: The 22nd Foyle Film Festival celebrates ‘Art & The Cinema’ – embracing cinema as an art form in itself but also as the magical vehicle that can give the audience an exciting and inspiring glimpse into other artistic worlds.
Diplomacy is scheduled for Saturday, 21st November, 4:00pm (The Nerve Centre Cinema 2, Derry)

* Nov 23 - 28, 2009: The 51st Bilbao International Festival of Documentary and Short Films will be held in Bilbao from November 23th until November 28th 2009.

Diplomacy, USA 2009, 9min Short
Relations between the United States and Iran take an unexpected turn when two senior diplomats and their interpreters meet for a closed-door session.
Written and directed by Jon Goldman
Cast: Michelle Forbes, Navid Neghaban, Omid Abtahi, Nazanin Boniadi

In July Diplomacy won the 'Prix du Public' at the Paris Cinéma International Film Festival.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Quiz No 4 - The Halloween Edition

Eallra Hālgena ǣfen. Samhain. Calan Gaeaf. Summer's end. The beginning of the 'Celtic New Year'.
Let's start the darker half of the year with yet another quiz. Rebecca compiled this Halloween edition for you, centered on hair, eyes and makeup. Pretty, huh?
So ... who's who and what's what? Anyone can participate. Just hit the comment link at the bottom.

Happy Halloween everybody!

And for the blissfully happy melancholics among us, a poem entirely unrelated to Michelle Forbes.
* Chris off to a long walk along the autumn canals *

Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren laß die Winde los.

Befiehl den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

Rainer Maria Rilke
The following translation is by Edward Snow 1991:

Autumn Day

Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Lay your long shadows on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds go free.

Command the last fruits to be full;
give them just two more southern days,
urge them on to completion and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Who has no house now, will never build one.
Who is alone now, will long remain so,
will stay awake, read, write long letters
and will wander restlessly up and down
the tree-lines streets, when the leaves are drifting.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Meet the True Blood Hounds

(From left - Rutina Wesley, Michelle Forbes, Kristin Bauer and Mariana Klaveno)

Last night Michelle Forbes was among the cast of True Blood who showed some well-needed love to our homeless four-legged friends on the first night of the “Bow Wow Beverly Hills” dog adoption event. The occasion benefits The Amanda Foundation animal rescue and comprises three days of dog adoptions in some of the most stylish establishments throughout Beverly Hills. Duffy who plays Dean/Sam on True Blood was also in attendance.

About The Amanda Foundation:

The Amanda Foundation was founded in 1976, and has since placed thousands of homeless animals. It is a nonprofit organization that rescues dogs and cats who, through no fault of their own, are spending their last days at City and County Shelters[...]

Every year, Los Angeles County's 28 shelters are forced to destroy well over 200,000 pets. These animals were either strays or brought into the shelters by their owners. We believe they all should have a second chance, and we will work tirelessly to rescue as many as possible.

You may go here to support The Amanda Foundation.