I also added two new bigger images from ‘Keeping Rosy‘. Check them out:
Films > Keeping Rosy (2014) > Promotional Photos
I also added two new bigger images from ‘Keeping Rosy‘. Check them out:
Films > Keeping Rosy (2014) > Promotional Photos
We’re having a DVD giveaway of Maxine’s recently released film ‘Keeping Rosy‘. You now have the chance to win one of two signed copies. Head over to our Facebook fanpage to enter (see the top post). Good luck!
Films > Keeping Rosy (2014) > DVD Cover
Maxine Peake and Blake Harrison star in this British thriller from writer/director Steve Reeves. Charlotte (Peake) is a busy career woman living and working in London. When her stable life both at home and work begins to unravel as her sister introduces her to new boyfriend Roger (Harrison), Charlotte starts to wonder who she really is and how she can escape what she has become.
I’m so looking forward to this film – having not only read the great reviews but also love a bit of drama so I’d suggest you check out the trailer if you’re still not convinced:
Impressive characters and an exciting plot, don’t you think? Get pre-ordering 🙂
Don’t miss out on this impressive, honest interview – you can read it right below:
To thine own self be true…
From her exciting new gender-swapping role as Hamlet, to the reason she won’t be defined by the baby question, Emma Jane Unsworth meets Maxine Peake and discovers a woman determined to defy convention.
As I’m nattering with Maxine Peake, it takes a while for me to appreciate the bizarreness of the scene. We’re in her trailer on the set of BBC drama The Village, deep in the Derbyshire countryside, where she’s shooting the final week of the BBC drama’s second series after an intensive 14 weeks. The trailer is large and slightly chintzy, decked out in floral fabrics and beech veneer. There’s a tiny toilet, a microwave and an unslept-in double bed. The blinds are pulled halfway down, letting in shafts of sunshine. Somewhere nearby, a generator thrums. It’s like a strange, American gothic film set all of its own.
Meanwhile, Peake is dressed in 1920s costume for her part as Grace Middleton, which saw her nominated for a BAFTA in 2013: a long-sleeved pink blouse, the high neck buttoned tightly. Her hair, dyed red for the part (‘I love being a ginger’), is pinned up in loose knots. The joy of this postmodern mash-up dawns on me as we chat about her weekend: DJing at a local club on Saturday, and ruined with a hangover for much of Sunday. ‘I play vinyl,’ she says. ‘I don’t do all that computer stuff.’
It’s something of a cliché to say that Maxine Peake is down to earth (and is it just because she has a Northern accent? More of which shortly). She’s universally loved and respected. She radiates an extremely comfy mix of honesty and warmth. Everyone wants to work with her right now. Peter Moffat, writer of The Village and Silk, the legal drama in which Peake starred as Martha Costello QC, hailed her ‘the best actress of her generation’. And because Peake has kept her accent, because she lives in a terraced house in Salford, because she shot to fame playing brassy northerners in shows like Shameless and Dinnerladies, there’s the temptation to pigeonhole her as some kind of working-class hero. But this is where you learn that Maxine Peake is someone who won’t be shoved in any old category.
‘I left the north when I was 21 to go to drama school in London, and I stayed there 12 years,’ says Peake, who turned 40 this summer. ‘I just woke up one morning and thought, I want to go back. People say, is it because you’re dead proud of being northern? And I say no, it’s just my home. It’s where I’m from.’
Peake spent her teenage years living with her granddad Jim in Bolton, a beloved mentor to whom she attributes her socialist politics. ‘I was in awe of him,’ she says. ‘Politically, he was so clued up.’ She joined the Young Communist League aged 18 and still has that fire in her belly. ‘For me, politics is about passion,’ she says. ‘It doesn’t matter what you know; it’s your actions that count. I meet people who say they’re socialists and that’s not what they carry out in their everyday life. As I’m getting older, I’m getting angrier. I remember my granddad saying to me before he died: Maxine, I was born in the biggest depression and I died in the biggest depression and I fought all my life for socialism, and we’re in a worse state now than when we started.’ She sighs. ‘That breaks my heart.’
In January this year Peake went to Bolton Socialist Club to accept an Outstanding Contribution to Socialism award – an honour she described as “better than a BAFTA”. And though her career has gone stratospheric, she isn’t dazzled by the glamour – quite the opposite, in fact. ‘I have to laugh when I get invites to the polo,’ she chuckles. ‘I’m like, have you seen me? My granddad would turn in his grave if he saw me hobnobbing!’
When I bring up next year’s general election, she grimaces. ‘I’ve always voted Labour because they’re the best of a bad bunch, but I’ve no faith in them. I worry if Labour don’t find a solution the Tories will get in again. I remember when New Labour got in. I was at Salford Tech studying drama and everyone was jumping up and down, and I was so upset I went to a phone box and called my granddad. He said, don’t worry, they don’t understand – they’re the same as the Tories, these lot.’
Peake hadn’t had the greatest start studying drama. ‘They said I’d never be an actress as I wasn’t gregarious enough. The other girls were all-singing, all-dancing, in sweat-pants and jazz shoes – and I turned up in dungarees and German para boots with a basin haircut,’ she laughs. ‘But I really think if I hadn’t had that tough time, then I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today, because it made me think, I’ll bloody show you.’
This ‘I’ll show you’ attitude carried her through college, through RADA, through a broadcasting world and industry that still treats anything other than RP as a novelty, and all the way to the Manchester Royal Exchange this autumn and that traditional pinnacle of acting ambition: Hamlet. After a hugely successful run in Miss Julie at the venue in 2012 – her favourite role to date – Peake met with artistic director Sarah Frankcom to discuss what next. ‘We knew it had to be bigger in terms of concept,’ she says. ‘So I said, what about Hamlet?’ The next day Frankcom called Peake and asked if she was serious. ‘I said, let’s do it.’ Admitting she gets ‘very bored’ if she doesn’t stretch herself, Peake relishes the challenge of Hamlet: ‘Why should it be the preserve of men?’ In Frankcom’s production, there will be a female Polonius, a female Rosencrantz and a female Player King. ‘I’ve had emails from actresses saying thanks for doing this,’ says Peake. ‘But, lovely as that is, it wasn’t a feminist statement. I just thought, why not?’
That said, Peake is super-aware of the societal pressure on women to do and be certain things, despite her incidentally no-fuss look (‘I get angry about the way women are forced and bullied into what the male ideal is’). At a deeper level, too, she has found herself frustrated with expectations regarding her life choices. Like many famous women, she is constantly asked whether she wants children. ‘Men don’t get quizzed about their personal lives in the same way,’ Peake says. ‘No one says to a man, you’re 38 and you haven’t got children: why? You spend your life as a woman building your career, then, once you’re there, there’s a tiny window and all this pressure.’
In reality, Peake and her long-term partner Pawlo tried for many years to start a family, suffering two miscarriages and enduring a course of IVF. ‘I haven’t talked about those things before because they’re very personal and I didn’t want to be a spokeswoman for women who don’t have children,’ she says. ‘But when I did interviews, it was the first thing they asked about, like it was a conscious decision on my part to not have kids, and it wasn’t.’
Now, Peake is adamant she won’t be defined by not being a mother. ‘Paw and I have been down every avenue and it hasn’t happened,’ she says, ‘but there are other things to do. My own mum told me not to have children. She loved us, but she realised that because of us there were things she hadn’t done. I think women can feel ashamed, like they’ve failed or like they’re not a woman somehow if they don’t have kids, and that’s wrong. It shocks me that in this day and age motherhood still often defines a woman.’
Just before I leave she takes me on a tour of the set, leading me through the maze of white vehicles to a large shed. Inside, we pick our way over leads and wires to a huddle of chairs, the makeshift ‘green room’, where John Simm sits rehearsing his lines. ‘It’s non-stop glamour round here,’ he quips. A few metres away, the ‘bedroom’, where they’ll been shooting for the rest of the day, is packed with lights and cameras; boiling hot. Then she waves me off in the production car, and I look back to see a brilliantly modern woman (albeit in an old-fashioned long skirt and brown workboots): a woman who is at home in her own skin beyond the costume changes, who is keen to see where her own questioning takes her next. One thing’s for sure – we’ll all be watching.
Hamlet is at the Manchester Royal Exchange, September 11th-October 18th; royalexchange.co.uk. The Village is back on BBC One this month
I have the biggest respect for Maxine. Truthfully and frankly. Just wow! I wish more people shared her view towards women’s life choices so sincerely… also, the ‘I’ll show you’ attitude is something I want to emphasize. Great interview!
Keeping Rosy + Q&A with Maxine Peake
Running time: 93 minutes
Director: Steve Reeves
Genre: British Independent
Cast: Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison
In this London-set psychological thriller, Maxine Peake plays Charlotte, an ambitious workaholic whose life unravels after she is turned down for promotion at the media agency she helped to build. Crushing rejection followed by a freak accident throws her meticulously organised life into disarray, and drags her into a nightmare that is soon spiralling out of control.
Recalling the dark wit and tension of Hitchcock, and powered by a central performance of real spirit and pathos from Peake, KEEPING ROSY is as humane and heartfelt as it is stylish and unpredictable. A truly engrossing British thriller.
When? Tuesday, 15 July 2014 at 6pm
Book your ticket here!
Maxine Peake, who is currently appearing in psychological thriller Keeping Rosy with Inbetweeners actor Blake Harrison, tells us about her average day…
5.30AM: At the moment I’m filming The Village for the BBC so I get up at 5.30am. I have a quick shower, get dressed and my driver Paul picks me up and takes me to the Peak District where the set is. We listen to Radio 2 en route.
7AM: I arrive on set and go straight into make-up and hair. Then I go and grab some breakfast which is normally a couple of poached eggs and a slice of toast before getting into costume.
9AM: Once I’m in costume I have about 50 minutes of waiting before I am called to set. I have a read of what I’m doing that day and I’m appearing in Hamlet at the Royal Exchange in September so in between scenes I have been trying to learn lines for that! I’m also reading Women As Hamlet by Tony Howard.
1PM: I’ll queue and get some lunch in the canteen and then go back to my Winnebago and do more reading while I’m eating. I also check emails and make phone calls.
7PM: We finish filming and my driver Paul takes me home in the car. I normally nod off on the way.
8PM: My boyfriend is the cook in the house so we’ll have something to eat when I get home. His parents are from the Ukraine so we eat things like beetroot soup and a lot of fish. We listen to Marc Riley’s BBC Radio 6 Music show while we eat.
9PM: After dinner we will watch a DVD. We watched Behind The Candelabra recently and it was great.
11PM: Before bed we put the news on for ten minutes and then hit the sack.
Keeping Rosy is out in Picturehouse Cinemas now
Keeping Rosy is the new British thriller starring Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison and Christine Bottomley. Peake is Charlotte, a career driven woman who is turned down from a major position at the firm she has worked so long and so hard for. Gripped by rage, Charlotte takes out her anger on her cleaner, with devastating consequences. Desparate for help, Charlotte turns to her sister Sarah (Bottomley) and Roger (Harrison) a security guard with a dark and sinister agenda.
Maxine Peake is best known for her TV roles in Dinnerladies (1998-2000), Shameless (2004) and See No Evil (2006). This new role sees her go deep into the psyche of a complex character whose life is unravelling before our eyes. We spoke to Maxine about this challenging role and her relationship with the rest of the cast.
F3S: How did you first become involved in Keeping Rosy?
Maxine Peake: I got a call from my agent saying a script had come in and that they wanted to meet me. I read it and I just loved it. I was really surprised that this was a female lead piece. It wasn’t a chick flick as they call them – it was really exciting, well crafted, with a tight script. So I met with Steve Reeves the director, and Mike who wrote it, and just had a chat. And then I thought, ‘OK I have to do it’ but I didn’t know whether they’d pick me. Then I got a call saying they would like me on board – so that’s how it happened.
F3S: How would you compare this to your other roles? You’ve played some dark characters before…
MP: I don’t think she’s a pleasant character, not initially. I think she’s become a victim and has become quite arrogant. It’s a tough life, especially for a woman, in the advertising world, and she’s become quite detached really. She’s lost the sense of who she is as a person; she’s become more about work and making the money. Throughout the film those layers start to peel away and she starts to find out who she really is and what she really wants.
F3S: What was it like to play a character whose mentality changes so much throughout the film?
MP: It’s a real challenge but that’s the fun of it. I think you’re happy as an actor to get the opportunity to play somebody who is affected by the situation they’re in and the events that happen to them. It was a challenge but I enjoyed it. The more challenging it is the more enjoyable it is really – I don’t see the point in doing roles otherwise.
F3S: The film was filmed in Docklands area of London – what was it like to film around there?
MP: It’s got a real bleakness about it, which I loved. At the weekend it feels dead, and there’s little sense of any. There are a few shops and a hairdressers but it’s quite a transient place. Lots of people from all around the world live there because of the trade in the city. So it’s a strange place but there’s something quite atmospheric about it. Something quite alluring about it really and I liked the anonymity of it.
F3S: There are some particularly challenging scenes in the film, were any of them hard to film?
MP: We had twin babies on the set and they didn’t stop crying! But they are the stars of the film. There were times spent just trying to get them to sleep and calm down. Occasionally we just had to roll the camera – its obviously quite difficult trying to speak over screaming babies, but it comes across on screen brilliantly.
F3S: From your character’s perspective, what do you think Charlotte gains from spending time with the baby?
MP: It’s the only time she has spent with another human being really. She gets a sense of who she is, of being a woman, of being a mother, of being nurturing, maternal and its something she may have never given a passing glance to. She has had her career destroyed and has to start again – in her world, it’s very difficult to get back to the same position. So she finds another road, which to her surprise she actually enjoys.
The radio program ‘Front Row‘ reviewed Maxine’s new film ‘Keeping Rosy‘ yesterday and aired a short sneak peek from Charlotte’s character… you can listen to the podcast below:
Keeping Rosy is out now!! 🙂
2014 has already been a great year for Maxine Peake, as we have seen her star in Run & Jump as well as a new series of Silk.
Peake continues to deliver fine work as she moves effortlessly between television and film. And it is film she is concentrating on this week, as she is set to star in new British drama Keeping Rosy.
Run & Jump has already been a great film role for her to get her teeth into this summer, and now Keeping Rosy is a second.
Keeping Rosy sees her team up with first time feature filmmaker Steve Reeves, as she takes on the central role of Charlotte.
The movie follows Charlotte who is passed over for a job, and takes out her anger on her cleaner when she gets home.
While Charlotte’s life disintegrates, we follow her on a heart-racing journey of self-discovery, atonement, and danger as she fights for a future that is rosy.
If you are looking for a gritty British drama to enjoy on the big screen this week, look no further than Keeping Rosy. Peake is on fine form in the central role, as she continues to tackle interesting and daring movie roles.
And we are going to be seeing plenty of Peake on the big screen over the coming months, as she has completed work on a series of different projects.
One of the early 2015 movies that I am already looking forward to is The Theory of Everything, as James Marsh returns to the director’s chair.
Marsh has brought us fantastic documentaries such as Man on Wire and Project Nim, but now he returns to live action with this new film.
Theory of Everything follows the relationship of Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane: Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are on board as Stephen and Jane Hawking.
A terrific ensemble cast has been assembled for the film, as Redmayne and Jones are joined by Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Harry Lloyd, David Thewlis, and Peake.
The Theory of Everything looks set to be one of the biopics of 2015, and really is a movie that is not to be missed.
Peake has also teamed up with director Carol Morley in her new film The Falling.
Morley has been behind films The Alcohol Years, Edge, and Dreams of a Life, as she returns to the director’s chair the first time since Dreams of a Life back in 2011.
While the plot for The Falling is being kept under wraps, Peake is joined on the cast list by Greta Scacchi, Maisie Williams, and Monica Dolan.
Peake has also completed work on two shorts The Heart Fails Without Warning and Keeping Up with the Joneses and has been cast in new film Funny Cow.
I have been a fan of Peake’s work throughout her career, as she has moved from Dinnerladies, Shameless to See No Evil: The Moors Murders.
While she has enjoyed huge television success in recent years, the big screen beckons for Peake this year… and films is somewhere she really belongs.
Keeping Rosy is out now.