KENNETH BRANAGH TO PRESENT AT OSCAR WILDE EVENT
10 February 2012: Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh will present screenwriter John Logan with his award at the US-Ireland Alliance’s seventh annual “Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film.” The event will be held on 23 February at Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams’ Santa Monica production company.
Trina Vargo, president of the non-profit US-Ireland Alliance, welcomed the addition of Branagh noting: ‘Mr. Branagh and Mr. Logan share a connection to Northern Ireland – Ken was born there, as were John’s parents. They also share of great love of Shakespeare. Branagh has starred, on stage and screen in many of Shakespeare’s works, as well as having directed and produced many to great acclaim. Logan recently wrote the screenplay for the film CORIOLANUS.”
Branagh is nominated for Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. He also garnered Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for the performance. This marks Branagh’s fifth career Academy Award nomination, making him the first actor to receive five nominations in five separate categories (Actor, Supporting Actor, Director, Screenplay, and Short).
Logan is also nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Writing (Adapted Screenplay) for the Martin Scorsese film HUGO. In addition to receiving an award, Logan will introduce fellow honoree Michelle Williams, who is also Academy Award nominated for her role in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. The film was directed by Simon Curtis who will also attend the event.
Last May, Branagh released the anticipated MARVEL action adventure, THOR, which he directed, starring Natalie Portman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Chris Hemsworth. To date, the film has grossed over $449 million worldwide.
Branagh's first venture into filmmaking met instant success. His 1989 production of HENRY V, which he adapted from the Shakespeare and both starred in and directed, won a score of international awards including Academy Award® nominations for Best Actor and Best Director. He was subsequently invited to Hollywood to direct and star in DEAD AGAIN, which was a huge international hit, and next directed himself in the ensemble film PETER'S FRIENDS, which won the Evening Standard Peter Sellers Award for Comedy. Branagh’s second Shakespearean film success as actor, director, writer and producer was MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, which was invited to screen at the Cannes Film Festival, and in the same year his short film of the Chekhov play SWAN SONG received an Academy Award® nomination. He went on to direct Robert De Niro in the commercial hit MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN and his black and white film A MIDWINTER'S TALE opened the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious Osello d'Oro at the Venice Film Festival. Branagh’s critically acclaimed full-length version of HAMLET, in 70mm, received 4 Academy Award nominations. His fourth Shakespeare film adaptation was a 1930's musical version of LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. More recently, Branagh directed HBO Films' AS YOU LIKE IT, a film of Mozart's opera THE MAGIC FLUTE and SLEUTH, written by Harold Pinter and starring Jude Law and Michael Caine.
His other film work includes acting roles in Pat O'Connor's A MONTH IN THE COUTRY; Oliver Parker's OTHELLO; Robert Altman's THE GINGERBREAD MAN; Woody Allen's CELEBRITY; Danny Boyle's ALIEN LOVE TRIANGLE; Paul Greengrass's THE THEORY OF FLIGHT; Barry Sonnenfeld's WILD WILD WEST; Philip Noyce's RABBIT PROOF FENCE; HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS; the Richard Curtis comedy, PIRATE RADIO; and Bryan Singer's VALKYRIE. Branagh has appeared in several outstanding television dramas including a recent turn as Detective Kurt Wallander in the BAFTA winning series WALLANDER, which earned him Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominations. He has also starred in the title role of SHACKLETON for Channel 4; A&E’s CONSPIRACY in which he won an Emmy® for Best Actor and earned a Golden Globe® nomination; WARM SPRINGS in which he played FDR and was nominated for an Emmy®, Golden Globe® and a SAG Award.
Branagh’s stage work began when he made his West End acting debut in ANOTHER COUNTRY which earned him the Society of West End Theater's Award for "Most Promising Newcomer." He founded the Renaissance Theatre Company for whom he either starred in or directed the following works: TWELFTH NIGHT, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, AS YOU LIKE IT, HAMLET, LOOK BACK IN ANGER, UNCLE VANYA, KING LEAR, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, CORIOLANUS and THE LIFE OF NAPOLEON. He also wrote the plays PUBLIC ENEMY and TELL ME HONESTLY.
Numerous stage appearances include the RSC's HENRY V, LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, and HAMLET. His more recent theatrical endeavors include directing the hit stage comedy THE PLAY WHAT I WROTE which transferred from London's West End to Broadway where it received a TONY nomination, and five-star performances on the British stage in RICHARD III, Mamet's EDMOND and IVANOV. He will be returning to the stage for the reopening season at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast in a new comedy PAINKILLER.