On tonight’s show (17th February), Graham welcomes star of stage and screen, Dame Judi Dench, The Greatest Showman’s Hugh Jackman, Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan, Canadian actor Eugene Levy, and American stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, with music from American singer songwriter P!nk.
Dame Judi Dench says her new film is a big cheer to the NHS, Hugh Jackman talks about being changed as a parent, Michael B. Jordan says Bournemouth is exciting, Eugene Levy reveals his dislike of travel, Paul Rudd jokes about his physique, and Michael Douglas talks about his advice to younger actors, while P!nk performs live in the studio.
Judi, talking about her new heart-warming film Allelujah, says, “It is a big cheer for the NHS. We have to be reminded of that, I think. It has come out at a very good time. The cast is wonderful, and it was heaven to do.”
Revealing that she can no longer see to read scripts to learn her lines, she says, “It has become impossible and because I have a photographic memory, I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page. I used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them. I could do the whole of Twelfth Night right now.”
Talking about musical theatre, and reminiscing about starring as Sally Bowles in the West End premiere of Cabaret in the 1960s she says, “It was at the Palace Theatre and my dressing room was below ground with a bit of a window. I could hear people walking by and one woman said, ‘Judi Dench in a musical? No one will go to see that one, no one!’”
Hugh, talking about starring in the powerful drama about fatherhood, The Son, and asked if it is a sequel to The Father, he says, “It is spiritually and thematically connected. It is about a family facing a crisis and I hope it’s a film that will start conversations around mental health. It is beautifully written, beautifully produced, and will, I think touch everyone.”
Asked if it was difficult playing a dad being a father himself, he says, “It changed me as a parent. One beautiful line in the script is ‘Love isn’t always enough,’ which is one of the most difficult things for a parent to hear. I realised it is okay to say to my own children, ‘I don’t know’ and to be open and vulnerable. I used to think they wanted surety and strength from me, but I now share with them things I wouldn’t have before. Hopefully I’m not boring dad doing it and that they appreciate it.”
Talking movingly about the death of his own father during the production of the film, Hugh says, “It was a very emotional time, and I am so grateful to every member of the cast and crew. When you are going through something like that, and you are doing a film that is so intense you just can’t do it alone and you have to lean on people.”
Michael, talking about directing and starring in the boxing sequel Creed III, says, “Directing yourself means you can keep the momentum flowing and the tension going with much longer takes without having to yell, ‘Cut’. It was a little nuts, but I wanted the challenge, and it worked out great.”
Asked about being a shareholder in AFC Bournemouth, he says, “It is crazy and amazing. One reason I wanted to invest is that there was so much potential there. If you give to the community, and you have new managers and new players you can raise the culture of the team. It’s exciting.”
Eugene, talking about his new TV series The Reluctant Traveller, says, “I said no originally because what they didn’t know when they offered me the job is that I am not fond of travelling. I don’t hate it, but it is a pain. By the time you get through airport security I am ready to go home! I am not a very adventurous person, but I did go to some amazing places, and it was a pretty nice gig.”
Asked if there will be more, ‘Yes, because the experience of making the show was fantastic, but that shouldn’t imply I now like travelling.”
Revealing he also turned down the role of Jim’s dad in 90’s film American Pie when first asked, he says, “The script was really raunchy and I thought, ‘I honestly would not want to see this film so why I would want to be in it.’ After we improvised the role and I suggested he should be the type of dad that no teenager would want to hang out with, I agreed to do it.”
Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas join Graham to chat about their new Marvel movie Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Paul, talking about being in physical shape playing opposite Jonathan Majors, says, “He was terrifying, and it was pretty intense. I tried to bulk up and get in shape, but it was pointless compared to Jon and why do it when Ant-Man never takes his shirt off!”
Michael, talking about giving advice to younger actors, he says, “If your show sells around the world, its success will depend on the voice actor that plays you in different countries. When I am travelling around, I make it a point of taking my ‘voice’ out for lunch. I once went to Germany to collect an award and when I thanked them, they were shocked at my voice. I then found out that in the German version I had been given a very different, gravelly voice.”
P!nk gives an extraordinary performance of her new single Trustfall, with performance artist Yoann Bourgeois, before joining Graham for a chat.
Revealing her love of aerial stunts, she says, “It is a lot of fun but very scary. I am afraid of heights, so I have to do it – it is fantastic.”
The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, Friday 17th February 10.40pm. Also available on BBC iPlayer.
Notes to editors – All quotes in this release were made during the recording of the show but won’t necessarily appear in the final version.
Next week (24th February) Graham’s guests include Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Patrick Stewart, Ariana DeBose, Pedro Pascal, and Freya Ridings
For further information please contact Mary Collins 07769 670516 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
17th February 2023