Saturday, 6 January 2018

Birthday's to share this week : 7th - 13th January 2018.

Do you celebrate your Birthday this week?

Sam Riley does on 8th January - check out my tribute to this Actor and Singer Birthday Lad turning 38, 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 have 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 7th January
  • Linda Kozlowski - Born 1958, turns 60 - Actress  
  • David Caruso - Born 1956, turns 62 - Actor | Producer
  • Nicolas Cage - Born 1964, turns 54 - Actor | Producer
  • Irrfan Khan - Born 1967, turns 51 - Actor | Producer | Director
  • Jeremy Renner - Born 1971, turns 47 - Actor | Producer | Singer | Songwriter
Monday 8th January
  • John McTiernan - Born 1951, turns 67 - Director | Producer | Writer
  • Sam Riley - Born 1980, turns 38 - Actor | Singer
Tuesday 9th January
  • J.K.Simmons - Born 1955, turns 63 - Actor
  • Imelda Staunton - Born 1956, turns 62 - Actress
  • Joely Richardson - Born 1965, turns 53 - Actress 
Wednesday 10th January
  • Fran Walsh - Born 1959, turns 59 - Producer | Writer | Songwriter
  • Walter Hill - Born 1942, turns 76 - Director | Producer | Writer 
  • Jemaine Clement - Born 1974, turns 44 - Actor | Writer | Producer | Director | Singer | Songwriter | Musician
Thursday 11th January
  • Jason Connery - Born 1963, turns 55 - Actor | Producer | Director
  • Amanda Peet - Born 1972, turns 46 - Actress
Friday 12th January
  • Kirstie Alley - Born 1951, turns 67 - Actress | Producer | Writer
  • Anthony Andrews - Born 1948, turns 70 - Actor | Producer
  • John Lasseter - Born 1957, turns 61 - Producer | Director | Writer | Animator | Voice Actor
  • Oliver Platt - Born 1960, turns 58 - Actor
  • Rob Zombie (aka Robert Bartleh Cummings) - Born 1965, turns 53 - Producer | Director | Writer | Actor | Singer | Songwriter | Composer 
  • Aaron Seltzer - Born 1974, turns 44 - Director | Writer | Producer | Songwriter
Saturday 13th January
  • William B. Davis - Born 1938, turns 80 - Actor | Producer | Director | Writer | Editor
  • Bill Bailey - Born 1965, turns 53 - Writer | Actor | Television Personality | Singer | Composer
  • Patrick Dempsey - Born 1966, turns 52 - Actor | Producer | Director
  • Michael Pena - Born 1976, turns 42 - Actor | Producer
  • Orlando Bloom - Born 1977, turns 41 - Actor | Producer
  • Liam Hemsworth - Born 1990, turns 28 - Actor
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Born 1961, turns 57 - Actress | Producer | Singer  
Samuel Peter Riley was born in the village of Menston, West Yorkshire, England, UK to mother Amanda, a nursery school teacher, and father Andrew Riley a textile agent. He attended the co-ed independent preparatory Malsis School, in Crosshills in North Yorkshire (which has subsequently closed), and then the co-ed independent secondary Uppingham School, in Uppingham, Rutland. He played with the National Youth Theatre for a time, and then for a few years in the early 2000's, Riley was the frontman for Leeds based band '10,000 Things' with whom he enjoyed some success, releasing their first single on an independent record label in 2002. From there the band signed up with Polydor for a self-titled album, before disbanding in 2005. Riley's brother George, played bass with the band. 

In 2002 Riley secured his small screen debut in a couple of made for television films - 'Tough Love' with Ray Winstone and Adrian Dunbar, and then 'Lenny Blue'. It would be five years before another screen appearance, with the short 30 minute made for television comedy movie 'Sound' in 2007. His breakout role came later that year, in the Anton Corbijn Directed musical biographical drama charting the early rise and untimely death of Ian Curtis (as played by Riley) the enigmatic singer of post-punk band Joy Division in 'Control'. The film was critically acclaimed picking up 31 award wins and another 34 nominations, including several wins and nods for Riley's convincing performance as the troubled lead singer who committed suicide at the age of just 23.

Next up in 2008 was the Sci-Fi fantasy drama offering 'Franklyn' with Eva Green, Ryan Phillippe, Bernard Hill, Art Malik and Susannah York seeing out the decade. 2010 launched with '13' with Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke and Ray Winstone and then that same year the remake of the classic 'Brighton Rock' based on the Graham Greene novel of the same name released in 1938 and first made into a feature film in 1948 with David Attenborough and William Hartnell. Directed by Rowan Joffe this crime thriller '60's set period piece also starred Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Andy Serkis, Andrea Riseborough and Phil Davis.

German comedy 'Woman in Love' came next in 2011 in which Riley was cast alongside his wife of then two years Alexandra Maria Lara, followed by 'On The Road' in 2012, Directed by Walter Salles based on the book by Jack Kerouac and starring Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Elisabeth Moss, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen. Neil Jordan's Directed fantasy horror drama 'Byzantium' with Saoirse Ronan , Gemma Arterton and Caleb Landry Jones was also released in 2012.

The Austrian/German Co-Produced mystery Western 'The Dark Valley' came next in 2014 picking up 26 award wins and five other nominations from around the mostly European circuit, with the Disney Studios live action dark fantasy spin on the tale of Sleeping Beauty with 'Maleficent' also starring Angelina Jolie in the title role, with Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Brenton Thwaites. The film grossed US$759M from its circa US$220M budget outlay, and a sequel is in the works apparently with Jolie set to reprise her role. 2015 saw the British/French/Belgian Co-Produced WWII romantic drama film 'Suite Francaise' with Michelle Williams, Kristen Scott Thomas, Ruth Wilson, Margot Robbie, Matthias Schoenaerts and Riley's wife, Alexandra Maria Lara once again. The film generated largely positive press, but failed to make back less than half of its production budget in Box Office Receipts, which closed at just over US$9M.

The 'romantic' action horror offering 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' followed up in 2016 with Lily James, Charles Dance, Matt Smith, Lena Headey and Jack Huston. That same year Riley lent his voice talents, together with John Boyega, to the children's animated series 'Tinkershrimp & Dutch' which has so far had a very limited run of just five episodes of five minutes each. Ben Wheatley's Boston set 1978 shoot 'em up film 'Free Fire' with Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy, Noah Taylor, Jack Reynor, Patrick Bergin and Brie Larson was released in 2107 as was the German produced childrens adventure comedy 'Robbi, Tobbi und das Filewatuut' which also starred Riley's wife once more Alexandra Maria Lara.

Bringing us up to date is the television mini-series 'SS-GB' in which Riley stars in all five episodes of the first season so far as Douglas Archer, a British homicide detective investigating a murder in a German-occupied England in a parallel universe where the Nazis won World War II. Also starring James Cosmo, Kate Bosworth and Jason Flemyng. Currently in post-production is 'Triple Word Score' a drama about a missing son, and the fathers love of the 'Scrabble' word game that leads him on a hunt for an online opponent in the game, that just may be that missing son. Also starring Bull Nighy, Jenny Agutter and Tim McInnerny.

All up Riley has nineteen Acting credits to his name. He has so far garnered seven award wins and ten further nominations, the most of which were for his role in 'Control'. He was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2008 too. In 2009 he married German Actress Alexandra Maria Lara and together they have a son, Ben, born in early 2014. Aside from his acting and early singing career, Riley has also carved out a place in modelling, having successfully modelled for British fashion house 'Burberry' in 2008, in 2014 for 'Ermenegildo Zegna' and in 2015 he was named as one of the Top 50 Best Dressed Men in Britain by GQ magazine.

Sam Riley - has worked across just about all genres including fantasy, horror, biographical, comedy, crime, Western, historical, musical, animation and foreign language; appears to be quite choosy about his roles and his output; is nonetheless in demand but prefers to be out of the spotlight living in relative safety and isolation in Germany. Keep up the good, albeit selective, work Sam and we'll keep watching. Happy Birthday to you, from Odeon Online.

-Steve, at Odeon Online-

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