Me and my blog

Follow me on Twitter @emma1hartley

Friday, 12 August 2011

John Tams at Cropredy on Steven Spielberg and Richard Curtis

Pennants flutter, heavy looking clouds jostle overhead and the fields near Banbury are bristling with wild-haired men (and sometimes - oh yes - their ladies) wearing tankards on their belts. It must be Cropredy...

John Tams was emceeing yesterday as well as fronting The Home Service and in between whiles took a moment to talk about the making of War Horse in Hollywood, with which he's been involved. He was one of the originators of the music for the award-winning play, which transferred from the National Theatre in London to the West End to Broadway and which Steven Spielberg is currently transforming into a film.

"There was a moment when I had a four-way conference call with Spielberg, John Williams [the composer] and Kathy Kennedy, one of Spielberg's producers. The biggest thing with the music has been trying to prevent the over-celticisation of it. I love celtic music but the story has Devon as its hinterland and after Titanic celtic music became a Hollywood cliche, a trap waiting to be fallen into. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out.

"I was down at Castle Combe about three months ago for the filming. They had 12 different drays playing Joey (the eponymous war horse) and a whole trailer for horse makeup. They painted them red and even put a little yak-hair wig on each of them before they 'became' Joey.

"Richard Curtis wrote the screenplay and I was joking with him that they should have called it War, Actually... but he didn't seem to find that very funny." Tams, who's had more than his share of on-screen war as he played Rifleman Daniel Hagman in Sharpe - wiggled his moustache at the memory.

"One day there was a scene in which they had an Irish Catholic man playing a high Anglican priest, emerging from a church singing a non-conformist song. And I asked Richard Curtis whether he thought that was a good idea? He looked at me and said "Do you want to see your f------ song in the film or not?"


* If you'd like to receive posts from this blog directly into your Facebook newsfeed, you could *like* its Facebook page and then use the drop-down menu to indicate that it's one of your "interests". This will enhance the possibility that you'll get them. You could also follow me on Twitter @emma1hartley

Other Cropredy posts

No comments:

Post a Comment

Emma Hartley blog logo

24hourlondon logo

Did David Hasselhoff End the Cold War?