By Romeo San Vicente
Kristian Nairn, Hodor in ‘Game of Thrones,’ lives on in new fantasy worlds
Hodor is dead. We know, you’re still upset. So are we. But Kristian Nairn, the large, lovable, gay actor/DJ who played that “Game of Thrones” character, is very much alive, and currently in the process of moving on. Not that he’s shifting gears or anything. The film business is nothing if not consistent in its reductive demand that you stay in your lane – because once you star on a sitcom about a nun that can fly (Google it, and worship the resilience of Sally Field) they think you are a nun that flies until you prove otherwise. And that is why you will soon witness Mr. Nairn in not one, but two, fantasy-themed projects. He’s taken a role in “Mythica: The Godslayer,” the latest installment in the ongoing “Mythica” series where, you guessed it, there are warriors and dragons. He’ll also star in “Victrix,” the supernatural fantasy co-starring Rutger Hauer and the legendary Max von Sydow. We’re not angry about this. We’re happy the man is working and we’ll be seeing these films. It’s just typical of timid producers and short-sighted casting people that this man isn’t also booked to star in a romantic comedy as the bisexual love interest of comedian Brian Posehn and also “Ghostbusters”‘ Leslie Jones. It would be about very tall people falling in love. There you go, Hollywood, a free idea. You’re welcome.
Amandla Stenberg in talks for ‘Where Hands Touch’
Did you see “Belle”? You really should have. From British director Amma Asante, it was the story of a biracial woman (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) raised in England’s aristocracy and her role in helping to dismantle that country’s involvement in the slave trade. Now Asante is working on a new film, “Where Hands Touch,” a romantic drama about a biracial woman and her relationship with an SS officer in Nazi Germany. Rising star Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in “The Hunger Games” and also appeared in Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” is currently in talks for the lead, and we couldn’t be happier about this possibility. The outspoken and bisexual star, who’s been acting and modeling for years now, embodies the best of young Millenial boundary crossing, and this could be the breakout adult role she needs. More talks, please.
Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’ takes November
Tom Ford’s “A Single Man,” the mournful yet stylish period drama starring Colin Firth, was a hit with audiences, critics and Academy Award voters (Firth received a Best Actor nomination). And based on that charmed first time at bat, the fashion designer-turned-filmmaker’s latest, “Nocturnal Animals,” has already secured a November release date. In case you weren’t aware, that’s when award season films typically begin aggressively stalking their prey. “Animals,” based on the novel by Austin Wright, and starring the impressive line-up of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Armie Hammer, Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Isla Fisher, Kim Basinger and Michael Shannon, concerns a woman drawn into a mysterious manuscript that changes the direction of her life. It promises to be an unusual sort of literary, psychological thriller, and thank goodness for that. Call award season tedious if you like; it still prioritizes serious films for grown-ups, the sort of movies that are in ever-dwindling supply. We’ll take it.
Azealia Banks trades Twitter for ‘Coco’
Queer, controversial, hip-hop/dance artist Azealia Banks isn’t in hiding. The “212” musician whose refusal to back down from (and also start) a fight led to her recent banishment from Twitter (but, please, Twitter, by all means, let hetero men keep making rape and death threats, that’s not a problem at all) is moving forward with a new project from director (and Wu-Tang Clan alumnus) RZA. The film is called “Coco,” and it’s set in the world of hip-hop and poetry slams. Banks stars as an aspiring rapper in New York who works her way through the slam poetry scene, looking for her break. And the rest of the cast is pretty impressive, too: “Pitch Perfect”‘s Hana Mae Lee, Common, Lorraine Toussaint, Method Man, Jill Scott, “Scream Queens” star Lucien Laviscount and “Ballers”‘ John David Washington. Not sure when this one will be finished and ready to see, but consider us pre-sold.