Saturday, May 06, 2006

To the Lighthouse . . .

I finally saw the film Half Light starring Demi Moore and featuring the ever-so talented (and good-looking) Scottish actor Hans Matheson. The film’s being promoted as a “supernatural thriller,” with Hans playing a rather mysterious lighthouse keeper named Angus.

The movie was filmed in Cornwall, and so the scenery and cinematography are quite spectacular. Hans does a great job (as always), but the rest of the film is just so-so. The plot line, for instance, is very predictable.

Here in the US, Half Light was a “straight to DVD” release, so I wasn’t expecting too much. If nothing else, it was good to see Hans featuring so prominently in a mainstream film - even if his character does come to a rather gruesome end.

here for further information – including more images – from Half Light.

I was first introduced to Hans Matheson in 2003 when I saw him play the lead role in the 2002 TV mini-series, Doctor Zhivago, based on the novel by Boris Pasternak. From what I’ve read and seen of this young actor I’d have to agree with Keira Knightly, his Doctor Zhivago co-star, when she says that Hans has “a truly poetic soul.”

In a November 16, 2002 interview with Karen Hockney of The Scotsman Online, for instance, Hans remarks, “I found [Pasternak's] book incredibly poetic and detailed - I could relate to it. I hadn’t seen [David Lean’s 1965 film version] before I auditioned, but when I read the script I saw a fantastic love story. Then I watched the film and thought it was very good. Omar Sharif was fantastic and so was Julie Christie, but it was a completely different story to the book.”

He notes that “[Lean’s] film was groundbreaking in its time but cinema has become more daring in the last ten years. I think [Lean’s] film was limited emotionally and I hope that [with this new version] we are breaking new ground in terms of the emotional barriers. Yury [Zhivago] is a man of great integrity and I feel very strongly about the love he has for Lara and his wife Tonya.”

The Scotsman article also notes that Hans “has a huge social conscience and eschews the material rewards and fame factor that his job brings, choosing to lead a simple lifestyle that he finds more enriching. He won’t be drawn on whether he has a girlfriend and says only that he lives alone in a large Victorian flat in Chislehurst, Kent. He relaxes by playing the guitar and violin, which he started learning for a film role [Canone Inverso] three years ago and has kept up ever since.

“He also chooses to travel everywhere by train rather than plane. His journey to Prague [for the filming of Doctor Zhivago] took a day and a half overland rather than a two-hour flight. ‘Given the choice, I’d always rather go by train,’ he says. ‘Aeroplanes are the death of travel. You never see where you’re travelling or the countries you’re passing through on a plane. On a train, you can read a book or think about what is going on in your life. You have absolutely free time.’”

See also the related Wild Reed posts:
Hans Matheson in The Tudors
A Devilish Turn

Recommended Off-site Link:
Hans Matheson Online

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