Saturday, 28 October 2017

Birthday's to share this week : 29th October - 4th November 2017.

Do you celebrate your Birthday this week?

Ben Foster does on 29th October - check out my tribute to this Actor Producer Birthday Lad turning 37, at the end of this feature.

Do you also share your birthday with a well known, highly regarded & famous Actor or Actress; share your special day with a Director, Producer, Writer, Cinematographer, Singer/Songwriter or Composer of repute; or share an interest in whoever might notch up another year in the coming seven days? Then, look no further! Whilst there will be too many to mention in this small but not insignificant and beautifully written and presented Blog, here are the more notable and noteworthy icons of the big screen, and the small screen, that you will recognise, and that you might just share your birthday with in the week ahead. If so, Happy Birthday to you from Odeon Online!

Sunday 29th October
  • Kate Jackson - Born 1948, turns 69 - Actress | Producer | Director
  • Winona Ryder - Born 1971, turns 46 - Actress | Producer
  • Richard Dreyfuss - Born 1947, turns 70 - Actor | Producer | Writer | Singer
  • Rufus Sewell - Born 1967, turns 50 - Actor
  • Ben Foster - Born 1980, turns 37 - Actor | Producer 
Monday 30th October
  • Henry Winkler - Born 1945, turns 72 - Actor | Producer | Director | Writer
  • Kevin Pollak - Born 1957, turns 60 - Actor | Producer | Writer | Director
  • Juliet Stevenson - Born 1956, turns 61 - Actress 
  • Clemence Poesy - Born 1982, turns 35 - Actress | Writer | Director  
Tuesday 31st October
  • Piper Perabo - Born 1976, turns 41 - Actress | Producer
  • Willow Smith - Born 2000, turns 17 - Actress | Singer
  • Stephen Rea - Born 1946, turns 71 - Actor 
  • Peter Jackson - Born 1961, turns 56 - Director | Producer | Writer | Actor | 
  • Dermot Mulroney - Born 1963, turns 54 - Actor | Producer | Director | Singer | Musician
  • Rob Schneider - Born 1963, turns 54 - Actor | Writer | Producer | Director   
Wednesday 1st November
  • Lyle Lovett - Born 1957, turns 60 - Singer | Songwriter | Actor | Composer | Producer | Director 
  • Robert Luketic - Born 1973, turns 44 - Director | Producer | Writer
  • Toni Collette - Born 1972, turns 45 - Actress | Producer | Singer  
Thursday 2nd November
  • Stephanie Powers - Born 1942, turns 75 - Actress | Producer | Writer
  • David Schwimmer - Born 1966, turns 51 - Actor | Director | Producer 
  • Jon M. Chu - Born 1979, turns 38 - Director | Producer | Writer 
Friday 3rd November
  • Gary Ross - Born 1956, turns 61 - Writer | Director | Producer
  • Dolph Lundgren - Born 1957, turns 60 - Actor | Producer | Director | Writer
  • Dylan Moran - Born 1971, turns 46 - Actor | Writer
  • Lulu (aka Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie) - Born 1948, turns 69 - Singer | Actress
  • Roseanne Barr - Born 1952, turns 65 - Actress | Producer | Writer | Director | Singer
  • Kate Capshaw - Born 1953, turns 64 - Actress   
Saturday 4th November
  • Loretta Swit - Born 1937, turns 80 - Actress | Singer
  • Ralph Macchio - Born 1961, turns 56 - Actor | Producer | Director | Writer
  • Matthew McConaughey - Born 1969, turns 48 - Actor | Producer | Singer | Songwriter
  • Sean 'Diddy' Combs - Born 1969, turns 48 - Singer | Songwriter | Composer | Producer | Actor | Writer | Director 
Benjamin A. Foster was born in Boston, Massachusetts to mother Gillian Kirwan and father Steven Foster - restauranteurs. He described his parents as 'free spirited Vietnam protesting hippies'. When he was four years old the family, together with younger brother Jon, relocated themselves to Fairfield in Iowa as a result of a burglary on their home while they were present in the house. Whilst living in Fairfield, Ben attended the Maharishi University of Management featuring a consciousness based education system that includes the practice of Transcendental Meditation technique (which he still practices to this day). Foster began his career as a jobbing Actor from the age of sixteen having dropped out of High School and moving to Los Angeles to chase his dream. However, he discovered acting much earlier on in his life when he wrote, Directed and starred in his own stage play at age twelve - which came second place in an international competition. By age fourteen he has attended the Interlochen Theatre Arts Summer Programme at Interlochen in Michigan, so it almost became inevitable that in time he'd move to Tinsel Town.

He gained his first acting gig in the direct to video release of 'Kounterfeit' - an action crime thriller from 1997 with Hilary Swank. This was followed up that same year with all 26 episodes on the Disney family comedy television series 'Flash Forward' which ran from 1996 through to 1997, with Foster playing a lead role as Tucker James. He followed this up with a single episode on 'You Wish' and then made for television films - 'I've Been Waiting For You', 'Breakfast with Einstein' and '1973' in 1998 with two episodes on 'Freaks and Geeks' and then feature film 'Liberty Heights' closing out the decade in 1999 as Written and Directed by Barry Levinson and also starring Adrien Brody.

2000 launched with a single episode on 'Family Law' and then RomCom 'Get Over It' with Kirsten Dunst, Colin Hanks, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, and Martin Short. TV movie 'The Laramie Project' based on a true crime murder story also starred Peter Fonda, Laura Linney, Steve Buscemi, Clancy Brown and Christina Ricci. This in turn led to two episodes on 'Boston Public' then comedy crime caper offering Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld 'Big Trouble' with Tim Allen, Stanley Tucci, Tom Sizemore, Johnny Knoxville, Rene Russo, Zooey Deschanel and Sofia Vergara. 'Bang Bang You're Dead'; 'Northfork' with James Woods, Nick Nolte and Daryl Hannah; '11:14' with Colin Hanks, Patrick Swayze, Hilary Swank and Barbara Hershey, 'The Punisher' based on the Marvel Comics character of Frank Castle, aka 'The Punisher' played by Thomas Jane with John Travolta, Will Patton, Roy Schneider and Rebecca Romijn; and then 'The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things' took us up to mid-decade.

2005 saw 'Hostage' - the action crime drama with Bruce Willis, and running concurrently over 23 episodes was the critically acclaimed television series 'Six Feet Under' between 2003 and 2005. These were followed up by 'Alpha Dog' based on a true crime story Directed by Nick Cassavetes and with an ensemble cast taking in Bruce Willis, Harry Dean Stanton, Justin Timberlake, Emile Hirsch, Anton Yelchin, Sharon Stone, Amanda Seyfried, Amber Heard and Olivia Wilde. Foster's performance gained him a Breakthrough Performance Award win at the Young Hollywood Awards. 2006 also saw his turn as Warren Worthington III/'Angel' in 'X-Men : Last Stand', and then the James Mangold Directed Western drama '3:10 to Yuma' alongside Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. David Slade's vampire horror thriller '30 Days of Night' came next in 2007 with Josh Hartnett, Danny Huston and Melissa George, and in between time there were appearances on television series 'The Dead Zone' and 'My Name Is Earl'.

2009 brought 'The Messenger' Directed and Co-Written by Oren Moverman to critical acclaim about an injured American soldier returning from a Tour of Duty in Iraq who becomes involved with with the widow of a fallen officer. Also starring Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton the film was nominated for two Academy Awards, and picked up seventeen award wins and a total 46 nominations including a number of Best Actor wins and nominations for Fosters performance. Sci-Fi action horror 'Pandora' with Dennis Quaid and Norman Reedus closed out the decade.

'Here', then the remake of
the classic early '70's Charles Bronson actioner 'The Mechanic' in 2011 as Directed by Simon West and starring Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop/The Mechanic followed, with '360' and gritty crime drama 'Rampart' Directed again by Oren Moverman and starring Woody Harrelson, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Bernthal, Brie Larson and Cynthia Nixon all came along that same year.

2012 saw crime drama action film 'Contraband' with Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, then in 2013 the biographical drama 'Kill Your Darlings' about the intertwined lives of three great poets - Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, and Jack Huston. The David Lowery Written and Directed 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, and then the true story of Navy Seals on a mission to take out a notorious Taliban leader, when their capture or kill objective goes horribly wrong on a remote mountain side - 'Lone Survivor'. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana and Directed by Peter Berg the film was nominated for two Academy Awards and picked up a SAG Award for best stunt ensemble among its haul of five wins and sixteen nods.

Stephen Frears sports biopic of the failed Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, starred Foster as the seven time cycling champion ultimately outed for his banned substance abuse that fuelled his multiple victories, his fame and his fortune. Also starring Chris O'Dowd, Jesse Plemons, Dustin Hoffman and Lee Pace 'The Program' had a limited release but garnered Foster much critical praise for his impressive portrayal of the doomed cyclist. Historical seafaring search and rescue film 'The Finest Hours' was released in 2016 with Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Eric Bana, John Ortiz and Holliday Grainger.

2016 also saw the modern day Western set in America's West Texas rust belt about a couple of down on their luck brothers who resort to desperate measures to save their family ranch from the bank foreclosing. 'Hell or High Water' also starred Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham and was nominated for four Academy Awards, three BAFTA's, three Golden Globes amongst its combined tally of 39 Award wins and another 160 nominations. This was followed by action adventure fantasy film 'Warcraft' as Directed by Duncan Jones and starring Travis Fimmel, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Clancy Brown and Ruth Negga. Costing US$160M this video game adaptation grossed US$433M making it the highest grossing video game film adaptation of all time. 'Inferno' based on the Dan Brown book of the same name about Professor of Symbology Robert Langdon played for the third time by Tom Hanks, and his attempts to foil a deadly global plot masterminded by a wealthy industrialist intent on wiping out half the worlds population because it can't sustain itself. Foster plays that guy.

Bringing us up to date are the French comedy Directed, Co-Written and also starring Guillaume Canet 'Rock'n Roll' with Marion Cotillard and the soon to be released Western drama set in 1892 'Hostiles' with Christian Bale, Jesse Plemons, Stephen Lang, Peter Mullan and Rosamund Pike. Also due soon and in post-production is 'My Abandonment' and hitman revenge film 'Galveston' with Beau Bridges and Elle Fanning due later in 2018.

All up Foster has 53 Acting credits under this belt so far, and one as Producer on 'Rampart'. He also has a stage credit for appearing alongside Gillian Anderson in 2014 in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' at London's Young Vic Theatre, later transferring in 2016 to New York's St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. He has so far garnered seven Award wins for 'Hell or High Water', 'The Messenger' and 'Alpha Dog' plus a further thirty nominations.

Foster was in a long term relationship with Actress Robin Wright from early on in 2012, becoming engaged to be married two years later, only to call it all off in late 2014. They reconciled their differences a few months later only to abandon the relationship for good by August 2015. Fourteen months later in October 2016 he became engaged to Actress Laura Prepon, and the couple celebrated the birth of their first child together, a daughter in August of this year.

Ben Foster - described by some Critics as giving powerful 'unhinged' and 'intense' performances that even 'make a bad film worth seeing'; often plays crazy, violent roles; has a soft, mellow and calming voice; was ranked highly on the '30 under 30' Actors list and the '10 Actors to Watch' list and has already gained the accolades and recognition to prove it, and, is only improving with age and is increasingly in demand. With a varied body of work across the small screen, the silver screen and the stage taking in just about all genres (except a song and dance number . . . yet!), we'll stay tuned for your further offerings. In the meantime, Happy Birthday to you Ben, from Odeon Online.

-Steve, at Odeon Online-

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