Thursday, September 3, 2009

Geoffrey Rush

Another actor.

The only movie I remember seeing with Geoffrey Rush is Les Miserables. I think I saw him in something else though; something a long time ago. But I've forgotten what it is.

When I mentioned Rush to Tim, the first thing he thought of was Pirates of the Caribbean. I've never watched much of those movies. I saw the beginning of the first, and bits and pieces of of the others.

I know Rush was in Shine. He might have won a best actor Oscar for that...or at least he was nominated.

I recently learned he starred in The Magic Pudding.

That's about all I know.

I shall go and learn more.

Lord Wiki says that baby Geoffrey was born on 6 July 1951. That would make him a Cancer like Tim. Poor Tim just emailed me and said he's feeling sick. I'm not sure what's wrong. I hope it's not serious.

The birthday website says Rush is an 11 in numerology. Someone I wrote about recently had that number. I think it was Weaving or Pearce. Maybe Pearce?

Rush shares a birthday with George W. Bush and the Dalai Lama. Sylvester Stallone too. Interesting.....

Baby Geoffrey was born in Toowoomba Queensland. I just looked at Google Maps. It's about two hours west of Brisbane. It's an inland city.

Mommy Rush was a department store sales clerk. Daddy Rush was an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. They got divorced when Geoffrey was five. Mommy Rush took the kids (or kid?) to the suburbs to live with her parents.

Rush attended the Everton Park State School. It's located in Brisbane, so I guess the family moved to the Brisbane suburbs.

For University, Rush went to the University of Queensland. He studied art. While he was there, he was noticed by talent scouts from the Queensland Theater Company.

In 1975, Rush flew off to Paris. There he did some more education. He studied mime and pantomime at a famous school.

By 1979, Rush was back in Australia. For a few months, he shared an apartment with Mel Gibson. They starred in a production of Waiting for Godot together. I wonder if they liked each other.

Rush has done a lot of theater. I'm not going to list everything...maybe just the stuff I've heard of, or looks interesting to me. He was in Hamlet on Ice. That definitely sounds interesting.

It seems he does a lot of Shakespeare, and other classical stuff.

He made his Broadway debut fairly recently...March 2009. He's in Exit the King. No. He WAS in it. It's already closed. It closed in June. Was it not successful, or did they plan to make it a short run? From what Lord Wiki says, I think it was the latter.

I'm going to skip what Lord Wiki has to say about Rush's film career. I'll look at that on IMDb.

As for personal stuff.....

Rush now lives in Melbourne, the suburb of Camberwell. Oh! I should look that up on CityHobo.

They mention Geoffrey Rush. I guess he's their main attraction...or one of them. They say the vibe of the suburb is private schools and afternoon tea. It seems to be for rich people who like to be comfortable. Who doesn't like to be comfortable?

Rush is involved with conserving the area.  Heritage stuff. He helped fight for the preservation of a railroad in Camberwell.

He's involved with the Spina Bifida Foundation. He got involved with this because of his father-in-law who had co-founded the organization.

Rush is married. Well, yeah. That's how he got himself a father-in-law. His wife is an actress...Jane Menelaus. The lovely couple has two kids: a teenage son and a teenage daughter.

Now I'm going to move onto IMDb.

It seems his first movie/TV appearance was in an ABC show called Menotti. This came out in 1981. I can't find much information about it.

In 1981, Rush had a small appearance in a movie called Hoodwink. Judy Davis was one of the stars. Rush played Detective 1. Who played Detective 2? Lex Marinos. Marinos might not be as famous and successful as Rush, but his career hasn't totally fizzled out.

In 1982, Rush had a small part in Starstruck, the Gillian Armstrong movie. Rush played the floor manager.

It seems Rush had a five year break from film/TV. Maybe he did theater at this time?

Then in 1987, he was in a Shakespeare movie. Twelfth Night. I don't think he was the main star; but at least this time, his character had a name. Rush played Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Lord Wiki says it's a comedic role. The whole play is a comedy, so that would make sense.

After Rush did this movie, he disappeared again. He did a short film....six minutes long. That was in 1994.

In 1995, he did a movie called Dad and Dave: On Our Selection. He was one of the main stars. Joan Sutherland was one of the stars too....the opera singer; or just someone with the same name?

Well, it IS the opera singer. Did I know she was in movies?

Anyway, it's a comedy. I tried to find it on YouTube, and instead found an older version of the movie....from the 1930's. I guess the 1990's one was a remake.

In 1996, Rush was in Shine. I think this was his big break. I actually thought he was in this movie later in his career. I thought he was fairly well known before he got nominated for the Oscar and all that.

The story of the movie sounds really good. It's about an Australian pianist, David Helfgott. He had a difficult childhood and some emotional problems. I'm talking pretty difficult.  Concentration camps and an abusive father. In his adult years, Helfgott suffered a nervous breakdown and ended up in an institution. But later he went back to playing the piano.

It sounds fairly inspirational. I'm not sure if I'll ever watch the movie, but I shall add Helfgott to my list. He might already be there though. The list has gotten so damn long. I don't know who is there and who is not.

Sonia Todd is in Shine! She was in McLeod's Daughters...played Meg Fountain, the woman who makes apricot chicken.

Rush won an Oscar and an AFI award for best actor. That's pretty impressive. As far as I can see, he was pretty much an unknown star. He might have been known in Australia though. I'm not sure. It doesn't look like he was in that much stuff. Maybe he was known for his theater work? He could have been noticed in that Joan Sutherland movie.

Here's a clip of Rush winning the Academy Award. Susan Sarandon presented him with the award. That's funny. She starred with him in the recent Broadway play.

Rush beat Tom Cruise. That's when Cruise was still with Nicole Kidman.

He beat Lord Voldemort.

He beat Woody Harrelson. I never realized that guy got nominated for an Academy Award.

Crap. Now that I'm at the Rush part, the video is all jumpy.

Rush is very subdued with his win. He seems very Zen about the whole thing.

First he thanks the Academy. That's very cliche, but I suppose it's needed. Next, he thanks every Australian actor he's ever worked with. That's nice.

He imagines a dinner party where the guests are the characters that all the nominees played. That's a fun thought to put in a speech. I wonder what that dinner party would be like. What kind of food would they serve? Who'd dominate the conversation? I'm putting my bets on Jerry Maguire.

The cameras are now showing shots of the losers. Tom Cruise has a good fake smile. I can almost believe he's okay with losing. Harrelson and Thornton are a little less convincing...at least in my opinion. Fiennes seems okay. His wife looks a bit angry. No, I just watched her again. She looks okay. In all honesty, I have to say....all the actors and their dates do a fairly okay job of acting gracious.

Rush thanks his wife. That's very nice.

He thanks his mom and stepdad. That's also nice.

He thanks David Helfgott. That brought a few tears to my eyes.

I'm going to feed my darling child some breakfast. Then I'll watch some more clips from Shine.

Here's one clip.

That's quite a Susan Boyle moment.

Here's another clip. This is in the mental hospital.

Here's a trailer for the film. I think that's Noah Taylor playing Helfgott as a teen.

Here's a video of the real Helfgott. He looks a lot like Geoffrey Rush.

Onto the next movie....

Rush was in Children of the Revolution. This also starred Sam Neill, Judy Davis, and Rachel Griffiths. It plays with the idea that Stalin fathered an Australian child. Then that child almost causes Australia to have a civil war. Judy Davis won an AFI for the movie.

Both Children of the Revolution and Shine were released in 1996. Also that year, Rush did a TV show for the ABC. This was called Mercury. It had thirteen episodes. It's about a newspaper.

Rush was the narrator in Oscar and Lucinda. I didn't realize the movie had a narrator.

In 1998, he starred in a comedy called A Little Bit of Soul. This was written and directed by the same guy who did Children of the Revolution. The movie earned Rush an AFI nomination, but he didn't win.

Also in 1998 was the movie I saw Rush in. Les Miserables. Tim and I must have seen this when we lived in NYC. Rush played Javert. That's the guy who spends his life chasing a criminal; guy who stole a loaf of bread. I think? Am I remembering the plot right?

Liam Neeson played the thief. I didn't remember that.

Here's a clip from the movie. I probably prefer the musical.

Rush was in Elizabeth, the Cate Blanchett movie. He won a BAFTA award for best supporting actor.

That very same year he starred in another movie featuring Queen Elizabeth. That was Shakespeare in Love. Joseph Fiennes was also in both of those movies.

Shakespeare in Love won best picture that year. Rush was nominated for best actor, but he didn't win. Roberto Benigni from Life is Beautiful won.

Here's a trailer for the Shakespeare movie. I should probably see that one day. It looks cute. I'm not sure why I missed it. Tim and I went to see a lot of movies in those days. Why didn't we choose to see that?

The funny thing is both Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett were nominated, that year for Oscars, for playing Queen Elizabeth. Rush starred with both of them. Who did he want to win? Did he cheer for both of them?

In 1999, Rush was in an American comedy. It looks a bit dumb. Mystery Men. It does have an interesting cast: Hank Azaria, William H. Macy, Paul Reubens, Ben Stiller, Greg Kinnear, etc.

Rush played a villain named Casanova Frankenstein. Interesting.

Here's the trailer for the film. Wow. It actually made me laugh a little. I do have vague memories of seeing the trailer. I remember the PMS superhero part.

It looks kind of cute.

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I found the other Rush movie I've seen. House on Haunted Hill. At least I think I saw it. I think there was a scene with an amusement park. There was a ride, and people thought it was broken. They thought they were going to be killed, but that was part of the whole ride. It was all a joke. Rush plays a crazy rich guy who offers people money to stay in a haunted house.

The movie is a remake. The original starred Vincent Price. In honor of that, Rush's character is named Stephen Price. When Price played the character, his name was Frederick Loren. Loren offered his guests ten thousand dollars to stay in the house. Stephen Price offered his guests a million dollars. Is this a difference in generosity, or are we dealing with inflation?

Here's a trailer for the newer movie. The scene at 1:11 is pretty creepy.

Here's the trailer for the original movie. Shiver and Shake. Quiver and Quake. Fun.

Ah! Here's the roller coaster scene.

In 2000, Rush was in Quills. I don't remember that movie. Kate Winslet was in it. It's about an asylum. Rush played Marquis de Sade, a French writer of erotic novels. The trivia page says Rush's real wife plays his character's wife in the movie.

Rush was nominated for an Oscar for this movie. How do I not remember any of this? Russell Crowe won that year for Gladiator. I remember that. I saw it.

Here's the trailer for the movie. The plot seems to have some similarities to Shine. How many talented people do we have locked away in mental hospitals?

I'm skipping a few movies. Sorry.

In 2002, Rush was in Frida with Salma Hayek. Rush played Leon Trotsky. He was a Russian revolutionary guy.

Also that year, Rush starred in The Banger Sisters. This was that movie with Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon. Here's the trailer. Sarandon and Rush...together again. I recognized a guy in the trailer. It turns out he used to be on my old soap opera. I can't quite remember the character though. My mom would probably remember.

In 2003, Rush was in an Australian movie...a biography of an Olympic swimmer. It also starred Judy Davis.

Here's the trailer. The character Rush plays doesn't seem to be the nicest person in the world.

Rush was in the Heath Ledger version of Ned Kelly. That same year he was in Finding Nemo. I saw Finding Nemo. What character did Rush play?

Nigel. Was he the fish in the little tank with Nemo?

Nope. He was the bird. The pelican. The trivia page, for the movie, says that in the scene where Nigel carries Marlin and Dory in his mouth, Rush held his tongue while he read his lines.

In Pirates of the Caribbean, Rush plays Barbossa. It sounds like Barbapapa. I guess Rush is the big bad pirate in the movie. He was nominated for a Saturn award, but didn't win.

Here's a fan video dedicated to Captain Barbossa. That's an interesting choice of music.

Here's a behind the scenes video.

Here's the updated ride at DisneyLand. I like the song. In the video, the REAL Depp meets the fake Depp. Cute. He touches himself. Here's something spooky. What if the real Depp is the one in the ride? What if he's under a curse? Then maybe the guy we think is Depp is a robot....an EVIL robot. Escape of the Animatronics!

There's been three of these pirate movies. Rush has been in all of them. The last one came out in 2007. Will there be any more?

After the first pirate movie, Rush did a movie with the Cohen Brothers. I don't remember this one. Intolerable Cruelty. George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones are in it.

Maybe watching the trailer will jog my memory. It's about a divorce lawyer. Rush must not have a big part. He's not even in the trailer. It doesn't look that appealing to me, although I did chuckle a bit at 1:45.

Rush was the narrator in Harvie Krumpet. I heard of that, but didn't realize it was animated. Nor did I know it was about Tourette's Syndrome. It was a short film; just twenty-three minutes. The writer and director is Adam Elliot. He went on to make Mary and Max. I still want to see that.

YouTube has part of the movie--maybe all of it. I wonder how long it will stay up.

I'm liking the video....so far. Harvie is homeschooled.

It's sad in a subtle eerie way.

Well, I finished part 1. I'll have to watch part 2 as well.

I'd like to show this movie to those who believe we all have equal opportunities. Are all of us born with brain disorders and mentally ill mothers? How many of our mothers have lead poisoning from working in a factory?

There's great lines about the Bible in this...smoking as well.

I am LOVING this movie.

I like all the facts...or fakts.

I'm on part 3 now. It's getting pretty depressing. No, wait. It's getting cheerful again.

It's a sad movie, but also inspiring. It has a good message.

Rush played Peter Sellers in a 2004 movie. I vaguely remember this.

The trivia page says that at first Rush turned down the role in the film. He didn't feel he was right for the part. But then he did Pirates of the Caribbean. That film put him in the right mindset, and he decided he could play Sellers.

Here's the trailer.

Rush was in Steven Spielberg's Munich. I remember hearing about the movie. I don't remember it actually coming out. It's about the death of Israeli athletes, and the Mossad.

Here's the trailer. It seems Eric Bana is the star. I wonder if my parents saw it. It seems like their type of thing. My dad is really into these books about Israeli Spies.

The movie was nominated for best picture. It lost to Crash.

In 2006, Rush was in a heroin movie with Heath Ledger. That was Candy. Here's the trailer.

Ledger had a beautiful voice.

Rush and Ledger were both nominated for AFI awards.

Rush was in the sequel to Elizabeth. That came out in 2007.

One of his most recent movies is directed by The First Australian's Rachel Perkins. Bran Nue Dae. Missy Higgins is in it to.

Here's the trailer.

It looks good. If I could see only one Geoffrey Rush movie, this would probably be the one I'd pick.

I don't think it's in America yet. IMDb says it was just recently released in Australia.

Rush has two movies coming. One is that cartoon starring Hugh Jackman and the True Blood guy. The other is about an Asian warrior.

All right. Now I'm going to look at the IMDb trivia/bio page about Rush.

In Queensland, he played Snoopy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

He did theater in South Australia too.

Rush has something in common with Helfgott. He had a nervous breakdown. This happened in 1992. It came about because he was overworked, and he was upset about his lack of career advancement. Remember how I said he disappeared in the late 1980's....

In 1996, he got the role in Children of the Revolution. That led to Shine. So fortunately, things did get better for Geoffrey Rush. Life can get really bad for people. But there's always hope that things can get better again. Sometimes things get MUCH better.

He's been married for close to twenty-one years. I wonder if the marriages of Aussie actors last longer than American ones.

Rush did an interview with Andrew Denton. Good! This one was done in 2004.

Growing up, Rush had a stilt house. He would do performances under the house. That's cute.

When he first met his wife, they didn't get along well.

His wife had breast cancer.

He says mainstream Hollywood will be interested in him only as a crazy person or villain.

I'm finding most of the interview uninteresting. I'm probably just tired.

Rush talks about his kids. I like that. He says although he's never been athletic, he does basketball for them. It reminds me of my life. I've never had any interest in sports. I was blessed with a son who wasn't big on sports. But now Jack has become a bit more interested. I think playing sports on the Wii inspired him. He loves playing the baseball games, and has gotten quite good at it. I've been playing Mario baseball with him everyday. Since he likes it so much, I've grown to like it a bit too. Today he made up a baseball game that doesn't involve the Wii. It involves throwing a ball, running, catching, etc. We play it together. It's fun. He loves it.

The interview mentions a movie based on Murray Bail's Eucalyptus. Rush was supposed to be in it with Russell Crowe. I guess it didn't work out. This article mentions that Rush may have to pull out of the movie.

Nicole Kidman was supposed to be in it too.

Link
I think that film got put on the shelf.

Here's an interview with Rush on Jimmy Kimmel.

Rush reminds me a lot of my friend's husband. My friend's husband LOOKS like Jerry Seinfeld, but his personality reminds me of Geoffrey Rush.

Rush talks about how it's torture to do publicity for huge films like Pirates of the Caribbean. Honestly, SEEING all the publicity is torturous too. At least I think so.

Rush and Kimmel talk about the monkey in the movie. Rush says that they rented the monkey for the first film. Then when it made so much money, the monkey handler upped the price for the sequel. He became too expensive.

They got a new monkey. I hope the actors and crew are nice to that monkey.

Rush has great things to say about Johnny Depp.

Kimmel is funny. He says his favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean, and he thinks it would be cool to ride if with Geoffrey Rush.

Here's another interview about the pirate movie. Rush jokes that they should do a prequel. They can get a fountain of youth, or use special effects to make Rush look twenty-five and Depp look ten. That would be funny.

I'm looking at Google News now.

Rush was recently involved in a protest. It was regarding curriculum changes at the Victorian College of Arts. From what I'm reading, the school wants to do away with specialized programs and make it more general. A student interviewed says, When I did drama in school, we did a lot of theory and it was the lamest. You can't learn drama like that. You have to do it. That's like Harry Potter! Dolores Umbridge wouldn't allow the students to practice the defense against dark arts in her class.

It's like Geoffrey Rush is part of Dumbledore's Army.

Rush recently won a huge honor from the AFI. He won the Raymond Longford Award.

The AFI website has a transcript of his speech. He talks about Sally Field's famous Oscar speech where she is misquoted as saying. You like me. You really like me. In reality, Rush says she said, You like me. Right now you like me.

Rush says he can't relate to that part of the speech, but he can relate to the often forgotten prequel to the line. I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect.

I have to see this old speech for myself. That's very sweet. I think Sally Field's a good actress.

Rush talks about astronomy. He gets pretty deep into all of it. I think he wanted to be an astronaut at one point.

Here's a quote from the speech. Rush gets all metaphorical: A career in the arts is NOT like the slogan “Queensland – Beautiful One Day, Perfect the next.” No, the road chosen is twisty… and you meet more than a fair share of forks and T intersections…with lots of dead ends. In our cultural ranking, it’s always a dirt road… and a back one at that. With soft edges. It’s always nighttime… and foggy. You have no headlights, and definitely no map. Nor in the eyes of those who favour a market-place community, do you warrant a license. Mostly you’re not even sure where it is you’re particularly heading. And this whole metaphor comes from a speaker who can’t even actually drive.

I like the use of roads as a metaphor. In dreams, car and driving are supposed to represent our lives. I still don't know what it means when you drive down a steep hill. I'm guessing though that it's probably not a positive thing.

The last line in Rush's paragraph....there's that modesty again. He just won this huge award, and he still feels he can't drive. Although maybe he's being literal. Maybe he truly can't drive a car.

I understand that most everyone has self-doubt sometimes. I know I have it. I know a lot of actors have it. Sometimes you feel like you have no talent. Sometimes you feel as though people are going to finally realize how worthless you are. But to have that feeling on the night you're winning a huge award?

Oh never mind. I'm wrong. Now that I think of it....I actually have the most self doubt when I get a compliment. Whenever someone praises my blog, I feel a little sick inside. I don't know. I guess I feel people have these expectations, and I'm afraid one day I'll fail to meet them. Or I feel if someone likes my blog, they must be misreading something....or misunderstanding.

Yet, at the same time I also love getting praise about my blog.

It's like a drug that you both love and hate. It gives you a high, but at the same time...it makes you feel sick.

Maybe it goes along with Field's speech. When someone gives you a compliment, right NOW they like you. Tomorrow they might feel you're a talentless hack.

As Rush says, you might end up feeling like a certain ex-planet. It makes you realise how Pluto must have felt when it was downgraded to a dwarf planet. You’re just a misshapen rock a long way away from the sun.
Poor Pluto.

Rush really gets into the metaphors. He does the car stuff. He does the planet stuff. At the end, he combines the two.


But just as we are up to speed, we are suddenly at the STOP sign of a new T intersection. And the direction to take I think is really crucial. Turn right and suffer more of the Pluto-feeling of uselessness and not mattering? Turn left to the red-carpet stretching to infinity, a hazard with blinding lights and shrill bleating - meaningless frenzy?

I love Rush's last line. He says the right thing to do is crash through the fence. I guess that's about breaking down barriers.

Although I love the metaphor, I'm not sure I fully understand it.

Does the right side of the road represent independent films, or does it represent a total loss of career? I'm a little confused here. I hope it means the latter.

Maybe breaking through the fence represents independent films. It's not a choice between being a big huge tabloid star or being a nobody. You can make your own path.

I think Rush does what most successful actors do. He does both blockbuster films and small films. Variety is the spice of life.

It reminds me of reading. There are people who stick to popular stuff--whatever is on the bestseller lists. Then there are other people who refuse to read anything that is too popular. Oprah recommends it? Forget it! I'm never reading that. If something is liked by too many people, it must not be worthy of the elitist.

I personally feel you miss out on good books if you limit yourself to what's popular. You also limit yourself if you shy away from what's loved by the masses.

Maybe the fence in Rush's analogy represent the barriers that prevent us from expanding our horizons.

The more we're open to things, the richer our experiences will be.