Love's Labour's Lost UK premiere articles

March 16 2000

Love's Labour's Lost ... (and found?) for Ken and Helena (Evening Standard)
*thanks to Catherine K

Helena Bonham Carter was an enthusiastic supporter at last night's charity premiere of Kenneth Branagh's latest Shakespearean adventure, a song-and-dance version of Love's Labour's Lost.

Despite their much-publicised split last September, the couple were patently in harmony at the party at the Waldorf which followed the screening at the Odeon West End in aid of RADA, Britain's flagship acting school. Miss Bonham Carter's name does not appear on the credits but she offered advice and support during the making of the movie and can claim responsibility for suggesting an innovative tap-dance sequence.

But neither wanted to talk about their personal relationship. When asked about Miss Bonham Carter's presence at the movie, Branagh replied in mock innocence: "I think she has come to see the film." The transformation of the comedy into a daft 1930s Hollywood-style musical gives Branagh had his fellow-actors Alicia Silverstone, Natascha McElhone, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Lillard and Adrian Lester the chance to display song-and-dance talents even they were not sure they had.

The film impressed Shakespearean actress Sinead Cusack: "It's a beautiful confection but Shakespeare allows you to do things like that."

Sir Tim Rice agreed. "I loved it."

The Londoner's Diary (Evening Standard):

Helena Bonham Carter offered her support to former beau Kenneth Branagh by attending last night's gala premiere of Love's Labour's Lost at the Odeon West End. However, the greatest praise for the great man came from his co-star in the film, Alicia Silverstone, who revealed she was made to wait a month after her audition before Branagh gave her the role. "Working on set with him was like having a really good acting lesson," she purred. Timothy Spall, meanwhile, said his role in the film, which fuses Hollywood 1930s musical numbers with the Shakespeare play, was not a complete departure from his previous work. "I do have some dancing experience from my days as RADA," he said. "But I do draw the line at naked dancing - I won't do that."

Branagh's labour premieres (BBC News)

Kenneth Branagh had two surprise guests for the London launch of his Shakespeare adaptation Love's Labour's Lost - his former partner Helena Bonham Carter and Hollywood legend Esther Williams.

The film which sees the play transformed into a 1930s musical, received its UK premiere at the Odeon West End in Leicester Square, London.

Bonham Carter, 33, arrived to lend her support to her former partner - while Branagh, 39, insisted they were just friends.

He told reporters: "She's a friend, she's come to see the film. I'm here with lots of friends and that's very nice."

Also there was 77-year-old Esther Williams, whose synchronised swimming routines made her a Hollywood legend.

The film includes a sequence which pays tribute to her performances.

Branagh said it was a challenge to work on what he admitted was an unusual project.

"Many people said I was mad - the musical genre hasn't worked with one or two notable exceptions for some time now," he explained.

Star Alicia Silverstone also attended the premiere. She said the film seemed like a natural idea when it was first put to her.

"When I read the script the first time it was like it was born that way," the 23-year-old actress said.

"Ken told me about how lots of Shakespeare's plays had songs in them and the script was just so organic it was perfect.

"I do think a lot of people have a misunderstanding of Shakespeare - I did - and they think that it's it's so far above you."

She added: "I think it is such an original film, the best word I can use is refreshing. It's the kind of movie that is so full of energy."

Other stars of the film who attended the screening included Natascha McElhone, Carmen Ejogo, Adrian Lester, Emily Mortimer and Timothy Spall. The film opens across the UK on 31 March.

Branagh confesses to days of despair (Daily Telegraph)

THE actor and director Kenneth Branagh cast a shadow over the premiere of his latest film, the Shakespearean comedy Love's Labour's Lost, by confessing that his own "deep, deep, deep" depression had left him more in tune with the Bard's tragedies.

He said there were times when "everything is grey" and he resorted to exercise to stop the depression "torturing" him. "It's hard to get out of. Hamlet sums up clinical depression, which is possibly why I'm so obsessed with the play."

Although Branagh said the condition was not connected with work or events in his personal life, and that it had not resurfaced since he worked on his latest project, his admission may fuel speculation that it might be linked with the end of his five-year relationship with Helena Bonham Carter.

The actress, who met Branagh while he was married to Emma Thompson, was recently pictured leaving an alternative therapy clinic that specialises in healing and relationship counselling.

Branagh's film, which he directed, co-produced and in which he appeared, is about the impossibility of denying the power of true love. Shakespeare's play has been turned into a Thirties-style Hollywood musical with songs by Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

The actor was joined at the premiere in Leicester Square, central London, by the film's Anglo-American cast, including Alicia Silverstone, Natascha McElhone, Emily Mortimer and Carmen Ejogo. Of his decision to act, sing, dance and direct, Branagh said: "It was more exhausting than I had imagined. But I'm glad I hadn't imagined just how exhausting, or I wouldn't have done it."

The film is fun, but Branagh's depressed (Express)

Kenneth Branagh has admitted that he is tortured by depression.

The 40-year-old actor and director said of his recurring periods of mental turmoil: "It's hard to get out of. It's deep, deep, deep and wide-ranging. Hamlet sums up clinical depression which is possibly why I'm obsessed with the play.

"There is no sense to it either. It doesn't seem to be connected with work or events in your life. You just wake up one morning and everything is grey. Nothing makes sense. Reality is tilted downwards.

"So many people I know are prone to it. I try not to let it torture me. I rarely admit or talk about it. Why should I bother with all the blessings in my life?" Branagh was speaking on the eve of the premiere of his new movie, a radical interpretation of Shakespeare's comedy Love's Labour's Lost which also stars American starlet Alicia Silverstone and British actress Emily Mortimer. Based on classic Hollywood musicals, it is filled with well-known songs by George Gershwin and Cole Porter.

The cast had to learn complex dance routines - as well as synchronised swimming - and also had to sing all their own numbers including such classics as, I Get A Kick Out Of You and Let's Face The Music And Dance."It's really about giving people some fun," Branagh said of his latest project. "Putting a smile on the face of the audience with the cast giving it their all."

Branagh Says Films are Fun But He's Depressed (Sky News)

Kenneth Branagh has admitted that he suffers from depression. He said that Shakespeare’s Hamlet summed up clinical depression and speculated on whether that was the reason for his obsession with the play.

His comments came as he attended the premiere of his latest film, an unusual adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost, at a London cinema. Branagh said of his bouts of depression: “It’s hard to get out of. It’s deep, deep, deep and wide-ranging. There is no sense to it either. It doesn’t seem to be connected with work or events in your life. You just wake up one morning and everything is grey. Nothing makes sense. I try not to let it torture me”.

But the 40-year-old actor and director was on sparkling form at the premiere. Surrounded by friends, including former girlfriend Helena Bonham-Carter, he said of making films: “It’s really about giving people some fun, putting a smile on the face of the audience with the cast giving it their all”

His new version of Love’s Labour’s Lost is based on classic Hollywood musicals and contains well-known songs by George Gershwin and Cole Porter. The cast, including 23 year old Alicia Silverstone with whom Branagh has been romantically linked, had to learn complicated dance routines and synchronised swimming as well as singing all their own songs.

Branagh said he knew many people were prone to depression but that he tried to counter it with exercise where possible as “Getting the old endorphins busy seems to help”.

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