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Production notes, photos and promotional video © 2007 MGM, The Weinstein Company

about the cast
the cast

GASPARD ULLIEL – Hannibal Lecter
GONG LI – Lady Murasaki
RHYS IFANS – Grutas
DOMINIC WEST – Inspector Popil
KEVIN McKIDD – Kolnas
RICHARD BRAKE – Dortlich
STEPHEN WALTERS – Milko
IVAN MAREVICH – Grentz
GORAN KOSTIC – Pot Watcher
CHARLES MAQUIGNON – Paul the Butcher


 
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CAST BIOGRAPHIES

GASPARD ULLIEL – Hannibal Lecter

At an early age, Gaspard Ulliel completed summer studies at Cours Florent. After finishing high school he went on to study cinema at the University of Saint-Denis. Ulliel’s acting career began in television and short films before landing a small role in BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF starring Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel. His first breakthrough role was in Michel Blanc’s SUMMER THINGS with Charlotte Rampling, for which he won the Prix des Lumieres for Best Newcomer and the Golden Star for Best Newcomer. His next major part was as Emmanuelle Beart’s lover in STRAYED, directed by Andre Techine.

He followed this with TULSE LUPER SUITCASES, directed by Peter Greenaway, starring Isabella Rossellini and Franka Potente.

Ulliel was the lead opposite Audrey Tautou in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT for which he received a French Cesar for Best Newcomer. Feature films that followed were Rodolphe Marconi’s LE DERNIER JOUR, Richard Dembo’s LA MAISON DE NINA. He recently completed Laurent Boutannat’s JACQUOU LE CROQUANT.

Next Ulliel will be seen in the forthcoming PARIS, JE T’AIME, a collection of love stories by 20 filmmakers – Ulliel stars in director Gus Van Sant’s story.

GONG LI – Lady Murasaki

Gong Li has been called China’s Greta Garbo, and the similarities are obvious. Like the legendary Swedish actress, she has an almost otherworldly beauty and a remarkable acting range; her two score movie credits to date continue to explore new ground. Also like Garbo, Gong is an intensely private woman who struggles to balance her desire for privacy with the publicity that her profession and art entail.

Born in Shenyang in December 1965, she grew up in Jinan, the daughter of an economics professor. A music lover from early childhood, Gong dreamed of a singing career, but when she failed to gain entrance to China’s top music school in 1985, she opted for the Central Drama Academy in Beijing, from which she graduated in 1989.

Gong’s presence was quickly noticed. While still a student, she was cast as the female lead in RED SORGHUM (1987), the debut feature by Zhang Yimou. The film launched two careers. Along with the film itself, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, Gong’s performance, as the meek bride who becomes a powerful woman after her husband’s death, won international acclaim. Gong quickly went on to become one of China’s (and international cinema’s) leading young actresses of the ‘80s and ’90s. Physically slender and demure looking but possessing a naturalistic verve and strength on screen, Gong embodies a new generation of Chinese women, brought up amid old traditions but reaching towards feminist values.

Gong was linked with Zhang both professionally and romantically for several years. He directed her in some of the most memorable Chinese films of the last decade—JU DOU (1990); RAISE THE RED LANTERN (1991); THE STORY OF QUI JU (1992) for which she won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival; TO LIVE (1994); and SHANGHAI TRIAD (1995). She has also worked with other Chinese directors, particularly Chen Kaige, with whom she has collaborated in three highly regarded features—FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE, which won the 1993 Palme d’Or at Cannes, TEMPTRESS MOON (1996), and THE EMPEROR AND THE ASSASSIN (1999).

Along the way, her work has garnered critical acclaim and awards around the world. She served as a member of the jury at the 50th Cannes Festival in 1997 and presided over the jury at 2000’s Berlin Festival. She has lent her name to campaigns for children’s and environmental protection, and in this capacity, on 10 May 2000, Gong Li was named UNESCO Artist for Peace in Paris by the Director-General of UNESCO, in recognition of her dedication to the organization’s ideals and aims. In August of the same year, she was nominated as Ambassador of the United Nations Food and Agricul`ture Organization (UNFAO). She has also served as a consultant on various matters to the Chinese government.

In early 2001, she was the only Chinese actress chosen by the Chinese Government to be the image of the China Olympics. She traveled to Moscow with the Chinese Olympic Committee, led by the Vice Premier, for the successful bidding of the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing.

The glamorous actress is the face of L’Oreal cosmetics in Asia, and one of People magazine’s ”Most Beautiful People.”

BREAKING THE SILENCE (2000), her first collaboration with director Sun Zhou, won her the Best Actress award at the Montreal Film Festival, the ninth China Golden Rooster Film Festival and China Hundred Flowers Film Award. It was chosen as the special screening film for the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival. ZHOU YU’S TRAIN, a contemporary Chinese love story, was her second film with Sun Zhou.

In 2004, she joined the filming of EROS, an anthology of three films directed by Steven Soderbergh, Michelangelo Antonioni and Wong Kar-Wai. The same year, the Cannes Film Festival named the Wong Kar-Wai romantic, science-fiction, drama 2046, in which Gong Li appeared more majestic than ever, as an official selection.

In 2005, Gong Li debuted in her first American movie, captivated by Rob Marshall’s offer to play in the adaptation of the novel Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. She recently appeared in the American movie adaptation of Michael Mann’s television series MIAMI VICE. In 2006 she will appear in CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER.

RHYS IFANS – Grutas

Rhys Ifans was born 22nd July 1968 in Ruthin, Wales. He was educated at the Guildford School of Music and Drama and began performing in youth theatre at 13. In his later teens he sang lead vocals with neighborhood friends who later became the rock band Super Furry Animals. Rhys has appeared in several other rock videos including the Stereophonics, Catatonia and more recently Oasis.

In 1999 Rhys won international recognition for his scene-stealing performance as Hugh Grant’s scruffy housemate in the hit NOTTING HILL, directed by Roger Michell. Rhys has since appeared in films as diverse as the Adam Sandler-helmed LITTLE NICKY, Lasse Hallstrom's THE SHIPPING NEWS, HOTEL, directed by Mike Figgis, HUMAN NATURE, directed by Michel Gondry, THE 51ST STATE, with Robert Carlisle and Samuel L Jackson and ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE MIDLANDS, directed by Shane Meadows.

He recently played the lead opposite Miranda Otto in DANNY DECKCHAIR, directed by Jeff Balsmeyer.

Rhys has also made a number of stage appearances including ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST, at the Donmar Warehouse, directed by Robert Delamere, VOLPONE at The National, directed by Matthew Warchus and UNDER MILK WOOD, also at the National and directed by Roger Michell.

Most recently Rhys has lent a menacing turn to his portrayal of Jed in Roger Michell’s ENDURING LOVE based on Ian McEwan’s disturbing best-selling novel. This year also saw him in Mira Nair’s VANITY FAIR and in early January 2005 Rhys played the lead role in NOT ONLY BUT ALWAYS, a Peter Cook biopic for Channel Four, which earned him a BAFTA Television award for best actor.

His latest films include CHROMOPHOBIA with Penelope Cruz and Kristin Scott- Thomas, directed by Martha Fiennes and FOUR LAST SONGS, directed by Francesca Joseph. . Rhys is currently shooting RESTRAINT OF BEASTS with Pawel Pawlikowski and THE GOLDEN AGE, directed by Shekar Kapur.

Rhys plays Don Juan in Patrick Marber’s new play DON JUAN IN SOHO at the Donmar Warehouse, directed by Michael Grandage.

DOMINIC WEST – Inspector Popil

Dominic West trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He went on to perform in many theatre productions including the hugely popular “De La Guarda” at London’s Roundhouse theatre, “The Silver Tassie” At The Almeida, Peter Hall’s season at the Old Vic,” Design For Living” on Broadway, “As You Like It,” opposite Helen McCrory and Sienna Miller at the Wyndhams Theatre and Tom Stoppard’s “Rock N Roll” at the Duke of York Theatre, directed by Trevor Nunn.

West can currently be seen as Detective James McNulty in HBO’s gripping television crime show THE WIRE.

West has recently completed production on the feature film 300 for Warner Bros, and starred alongside Julianne Moore in THE FORGOTTEN. Other film credits include MONA LISA SMILE with Julia Roberts; ROCKSTAR starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston; 28 DAYS with Sandra Bullock; James Ivory’s SURVIVING PICASSO with Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore; and Richard Loncraine’s RICHARD III starring Ian McKellan, Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith and Annette Bening.

KEVIN McKIDD – Kolnas

Kevin McKidd will soon be seen in THE LAST LEGION, produced by Martha de Laurentiis, Raffaella de Laurentiis and Tarak Ben Ammar, directed by Doug Lefler. Kevin takes on the role of Wulfila, starring opposite Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley.

Kevin has recently completed filming the second series of the successful historical drama ROME, in which he plays a lead role as Lucius Vorenus, opposite Ciaran Hinds, Lindsay Duncan and James Purefoy. This installment chronicles the rise of the ancient Roman Empire through the eyes of two foot soldiers and is due to air in the US on January 14, 2007 and in the UK on BBC a week later. A BBC and HBO co-production, the first series was written by Bruno Heller and part directed by Michael Apted.

In 2005 Kevin played the supporting role of the English Sergeant in the Ridley Scott’s feature KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, starring opposite Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, Liam Nesson and Eva Green. Kevin’s debut film role was as the gentle Tommy in the hugely influential film TRAINSPOTTING, based on the Irvin Welsh novel, and also starring Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle. In the same year he played the vicious gang leader Malky Johnson in Gillies Mckinnon’s critically acclaimed SMALL FACES. Other film credits to date include HIDEOUS KINKY and REGENERATION both also directed by Gillies McKinnon, DAD SAVAGE, SOFT TOUCH (Acid House Trilogy), BEDROOMS AND HALLWAYS (playing a lead role as the lovelorn, thirtysomething Leo), TOPSY TURVY (directed by Mike Leigh), DOG SOLDIERS, MAX, NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, 16YRS OF ALCOHOL, for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards 2003, ONE LAST CHANCE, AFTERLIFE and DE-LOVELY.

His television work is equally as vast, including ELIZABETH, THE VIRGIN QUEEN for the BBC, GUNPOWDER, TREASON AND PLOT (Box TV), for which he was awarded the Best Actor at Fipa D’or Biarritz festival 2004, ANNA KARENINA (Channel 4), RICHARD II (BBC2) and the BBC Scotland production THE KEY. On stage, Kevin was given the Gulliver Award in 1994 for his part in “The Silver Darlings” at the Citizen’s Theatre in Glasgow. He also went on to play Richmond in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s version of “Richard III”, and had the title role in Almeida’s West End production “Britannicus” at the Almeida, which followed onto Broadway. It was for this role that he won the Ian Charleston Award in 1998. Other productions include “Tis’ Pity She’s a Whore”, where he played opposite Jude Law at the Young Vic, and “Far Away” at the Royal Court (directed by Stephen Daldry.)

RICHARD BRAKE – Dortlich

Richard Brake has appeared in such films as Stephen Norrington’s DEATH MACHINE, Anthony Minghella’s COLD MOUNTAIN, Christopher Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS and Steven Spielberg’s MUNICH.

Richard can also be seen in Brian De Palma’s BLACK DAHLIA, opposite Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart. He also co-starred with The Rock in DOOM.

STEPHEN WALTERS – Milko

In addition to appearances in numerous television series, Stephen Walters has appeared in television mini-series such as THE VIRGIN QUEEN and the critically acclaimed BAND OF BROTHERS. His feature film credits include PLUNKETT AND MACLEANE, THE 51ST STATE, MEAN MACHINE, LAYER CAKE, REVOLVER and Christopher Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS and THE INTIMIDATION GAME.

IVAN MAREVICH – Grentz

Ivan’s credits include the role of Tsar Nicholas in Stephen Poliakoff’s television miniseries THE LOST PRINCE, as well as a featured role in Stephen Fry’s feature film BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS.

GORAN KOSTIC – Pot Watcher

Goran Kostic has appeared on both the large and small screen. His television credits include episodes of the series SPOOKS, THE BILL and FOYLE’S WAR. Goran’s feature film credits include John Hay’s THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE and James Breese’s BENJAMIN’S STRUGGLE. Goran also has a lead role in the upcoming Alfonso Cuaron film CHILDREN OF MEN, co-starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Michael Caine.

CHARLES MAQUIGNON – Paul the Butcher

Charles Maquignon’s feature film credits include Lars Von Triers’ MANDERLAY, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF starring Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci, and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS starring Julie Delpy.

 



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• 23 photoscreditscastfilmmakers • notes, interviews & articles 1, 2, 3, 4, • 

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