Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tom Wilkinson says he won’t win an Oscar on Sunday

Tom WilkinsonBrit actor Tom Wilkinson says he won't win an Oscar on Sunday but he won't quit acting until he eventually does.

Wilkinson, 59, has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in legal drama Michael Clayton.

But he is convinced that he won't walk away with the trophy at the ceremony. "I'm not going to win," he says. "Javier Bardem is going to win [for No Country for Old Men].

"What it will make me feel is not remotely disappointed."

But, in an interview with the LA Times, Wilkinson says he's going to get his hands on the gold statute in the future. "The next time, I'm going to win it," he says. "I'm not going to walk away from this job until I've won the bloody thing. I'm not quite at the top of the mountain."

It's the second Academy Award nomination for Wilkinson who received recognition in 2002 for his work In the Bedroom. He played Sissy Spacek's husband in that film, a man whose son's murderer is about to walk free.

That time he was nominated in the Best Actor category. He didn't win. The award went to Denzel Washington for his work in Training Day.

Having been through the Oscar ringer once he says the nomination doesn't guarantee you get more work.

He says: "You're up there, but you still have another few yards to go."

In fact his first Oscar nomination didn't result in lots of movie offers. He says: "Funnily enough, that year I only did one other thing. I wasn't snowed under with mouth-watering roles."

Wilkinson didn't set his sights on Hollywood until he was in his late-40s.

A decade ago he had achieved, fame, success and respect in Britain for his work on stage and on TV.

For example, he played future Oscar winner Helen Mirren's ex-husband in Prime Suspect. It was at that stage in his career that Wilkinson told his agent he wanted to concentrate on movies and he was willing to start at the bottom by going on auditions.

He says: "If people required me to do that, I would do that. I didn't have any pride." Then, contradicting himself, he says: "A man's got pride."

He was just willing to do what it took to start his movie career. That includes prancing half-naked to Donna Summer's Hot Stuff in the 1997 Brit film The Full Monty.

Playing an out-of-work steel worker is a far cry from his role in Michael Clayton in which he acts alongside George Clooney - also nominated for his part in the film.

Wilkinson plays a legal genius on the brink of a nervous breakdown. But he didn't study mental illness to prepare himself for the role. Instead he allowed his character Arthur Edens to tell his story from his perspective.

Wilkinson says: "You have the way it's written which compels you in a certain direction.

"It's somebody whose brain is keelingIt's taken over their life. They have to explain it to people, like the Ancient Mariner [the poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge]."

Born to a working-class family in Yorkshire, acting has taken Wilkinson to a world of glitz and glamour he could never have imagined when he was a child.

But it was Molly Sawdon - the headmistress of his school in his late teens - who helped sway the boy's aspirations from wanting to be a gym teacher to an actor.

He says: "She saw something in me which she was going to cultivate."

Taking him and fellow students back to her house she would "teach us which knives and forks to pick first - table manners.

"She pulled a few strings to get me into university."

After graduating from the University of Kent, Wilkinson studied his craft at the Royal Academy of Drama.

He later made his stage debut in Brecht's The Mother in a fringe theatre in London. The actor has performed the classics throughout his career.

He says: "It's amazing. I've done a lot of Shakespeare and I can't remember any of them."

But he also appreciates pop culture admitting that he gets grumpy if he misses an episode of US sitcom Friends. "I'm totally hooked on re-runs of Friends," he says. "I know I shouldn't be.

"They show them between five and six every night of the week and I get a slightly bad temper if I have to miss them, even if I've seen them 20 times.

"It's like a piece of music you know well but never get tired of."

By Marissa Charles, Feb 19 2008 © Copyright 2008 - Showbiz Spy

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker