From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

With / about Michael Kitchen

From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby Lynnedean » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:37 pm

    From: Oliver Twist: The Official Companion to the ITV Drama Series. By Tom McGregor. Published by Virgin Books.
    .....................................................
    "I've told you before," says Grimwig to Brownlow, "this is what becomes of being good. No good ever came of it." "I am not a good man!" is Brownlow's vehement response. Here, Michael Kitchen captures the essence of Brownlow. He looks benevolent -yet there's something about the eyes that indicate a complex and haunted soul.


    It's all glitz around here. Michael Kitchen is sitting in the catering tent on the patch of grass outside Studio 4 at Barrandov. The trestle tables and benches wouldn't go amiss in a Workhouse; someone has spilled orange juice on one of them and Michael accidentally dips his sleeve into it. Or rather, Mr Brownlow's sleeve. He's being Mr Brownlow for a very long time today: it's an extended shoot, starting at 7.30 a.m. and finishing at 10.30 p.m.

    Michael Kitchen grimaces and looks at the trailing (now damp) linen sleeve. "I'm not terribly keen on costume drama as a rule." One of Britain's best-known TV actors, he's normally to be found in the twentieth century in, for example, the acclaimed Reckless. "So many people have had a go at the classics and it's easy to fall over on them." Then he grins. "But this one's different. You couldn't pass up on this. The script was a revelation - a joy. I think Alan's done the book a great favour, because it suffered under the regime of Oliver! [the musical] - it just disappeared under the weight of it. I hope," he adds, "that Brownlow turns out to be as interesting as he is in this script, because it's certainly there on the page. It's just this endless quest to fulfil it."

    A quest hampered, it transpires, by a wig. "I'm not normally at the head of the queue when the wigs are handed out," he says with another grin. "I'm not very comfortable in them. I mean this one looks great - I'd just rather it wasn't on my head." Then he laughs. "Well, it just comes with the territory, doesn't it?"

    The territory, at the moment, is Brownlow's drawing room. It seems that a disproportionate amount of time is being spent in that room. "I know: same place, every day. I've been in the drawing room for two weeks now." Another grin. "Wretched man should get out more." But, of course, one of the reasons why he doesn't get out much is that all the interior scenes of Brownlow's London house have to be shot en bloc - and that means the scenes in the 1820s and the 1830s. Depending on the schedule, they might be doing one decade in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Furthermore, Michael Kitchen doesn't just spend a lot of time in the drawing room - he started on the second day of the shoot in March and will finish in August, on the last day. Brownlow is an enormous part - and is a fairly complex character.

    In both Dickens and previous adaptations he's something of a benevolent old fuddy-duddy, but here there's a definite conflict in him. The aura of 'goodness' that surrounds him, and that others perceive in him is tempered or even belied by the fact that he is tortured by previous wrongs - by forcing Leeford into a dreadful marriage for one.

    But Michael Kitchen is coy about revealing too much of what he thinks of Brownlow, or about how he's playing the character. "I don't like mouthing off about it," he says with an apologetic smile. "I think the more you talk about it, the less gets across." Fair enough: one could hardly complain about saving that mesmerising, mellifluous voice for playing Brownlow, rather than talking about him.

    .....................................................
"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long." ~ Ogden Nash
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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby starlight » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:47 pm

Good lord, what a rare insight this gives into MK's personality, Lynne. :bouncy: And the wig line was hilarious! :lol:
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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby EagleDay » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:13 pm

Really interesting - thank you Lynne!
..but above all, Losberne, he was irresponsible!
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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby BookwormKate » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:21 pm

This is brilliant, Lynne, thanks for sharing! It sounds as if Mr McGregor is a fan - I like the bit at the end about MK's "mesmerising, mellifluous voice". :biggrin:
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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby mohairMK » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:35 pm

Whoa, what an amazing 'behind the scenes' look not only to the filming of Oliver Twist, but into The Man himself, who NEVER gives anything away! Just might have to get this book if there are more little conversations involving MK and his real life dramas!

Thanks very much for posting :thumbsup:
"Think? It's all I've ever done and it's got me absobloodylutely nowhere"
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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby Lynnedean » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:57 pm

mohairMK wrote:Just might have to get this book if there are more little conversations involving MK and his real life dramas!

There's nothing more about Mr K, Mohair. :sad:
"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long." ~ Ogden Nash
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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby mohairMK » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:53 pm

Thanks, Lynne
"Think? It's all I've ever done and it's got me absobloodylutely nowhere"
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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby Englishfan » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:08 am

Lynnedean wrote: "So many people have had a go at the classics and it's easy to fall over on them." Then he grins. "But this one's different. You couldn't pass up on this. The script was a revelation - a joy. I think Alan's done the book a great favour, because it suffered under the regime of Oliver! [the musical] - it just disappeared under the weight of it. I hope," he adds, "that Brownlow turns out to be as interesting as he is in this script, because it's certainly there on the page. It's just this endless quest to fulfil it."


This jumped out at me. Not sure why. :noidea:

To me, it says something about Mr. Kitchen's dedication to the role, and it's not about him.

Seems to me that Mr. Kitchen is extremely hard on himself. His worst is another actor's best.

I long for an interview of Mr. Kitchen (well, stop right there!!!! I long for that interview!!!) in which he acknowledges his many "likes" and abilities! He seems to note what he doesn't like and also downplays his tremendous abilities.

Maybe that's why I like him! :thumbsup:

Be careful what I wish for, huh? :whistling:

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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby mohairMK » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:20 am

Englishfan wrote:Seems to me that Mr. Kitchen is extremely hard on himself. His worst is another actor's best.

I long for an interview of Mr. Kitchen (well, stop right there!!!! I long for that interview!!!) in which he acknowledges his many "likes" and abilities! He seems to note what he doesn't like and also downplays his tremendous abilities.

It will never happen, but little snippets like in this article posted by Lynn gives us a bit of insight. I believe MK is very humble about his abilities.
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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby Englishfan » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:32 am

mohairMK wrote:It will never happen, but little snippets like in this article posted by Lynn gives us a bit of insight. I believe MK is very humble about his abilities.


Probably right about the interview, but I refuse to say "never!" We did get an email interview with him by an AP reporter not too long ago, so maybe that will happen again! (Stop laughing! :rofl: )

Yes, Mr. Kitchen is humble about his abilities. I think I like it that way. I would be happy, however, for an interview in which he only talks about his boat or dog or clothing choices! Anything....!!!! :waiting:

Meant to say how much I love the movie Oliver! Mr. Kitchen was royal in it. His clothes seemed a bit big, so maybe we can accurately guess that he prefers big period clothes so that he doesn't feel bound by them, or feel them at all. :noidea:

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Re: From: Oliver Twist - the Official Companion book

Postby kitchenwonder » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:01 pm

Lynnedean wrote:From: Oliver Twist: The Official Companion to the ITV Drama Series. By Tom McGregor. Published by Virgin Books.

Thank you for posting this excerpt...it is a treasure!

I watched Oliver Twist last week. (I even watched the final episode twice.)

It was nice to read a bit of what MK felt about the role. :rose: :rose: :rose:
"Well...The Foyles, you know, always have been hard to resist." (Enemy Fire S3E2)
***
"If Michael Kitchen played a corpse, you would still watch him more than anyone else." (Jaci Stephen, The Mail, November 3, 2002)
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