Welcome to our guide to what’s new and worth watching in the world of TV and film.
Featuring our biggest celebrity interviews of the week, our Backstage entertainment review also includes details of the other new and noteworthy works coming to your screens.
Cyrano – out in cinemas now
First up, the classic tale of Cyrano de Bergerac has been reimagined for this new musical adaptation – and there’s no big noses in sight.
This Cyrano, played by Game Of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, instead feels it’s his height that means he’s not worthy of the love of Roxanne.
The film is visually stunning and has received multiple nominations for this year’s BAFTAs – including outstanding British film – and is also in the running for the costume design prize at the Oscars.
It sounds good, too – but while it’s definitely a musical, don’t expect to go home with jaunty melodies stuck in your head. The songs were written by indie festival favourites The National and even director Joe Wright admits the film is not what fans of traditional musicals might expect.
“I think I’ve always wanted to do a musical, which is strange coming from someone who doesn’t like musicals, particularly,” he told Sky News’ Backstage podcast. “But in a way, I feel like this movie is a sort of anti-musical musical or certainly a musical for people who don’t really like musicals.
“There’s a level of kind of intimacy, and the music is kind of folk-rock, so it’s a different kind of musical.”
Cyrano is based on a 2018 version of the stage play written by Dinklage’s wife Erica Schmidt, who also wrote the screenplay for the film and who he credits with being “the creative one of the family”.
Dinklage had starred in that theatre production along with Haley Bennett, who plays Roxanne – and is the real-life partner of Wright.
Keeping the film in the family came with benefits, Dinklage says. “There’s hardly ever any rehearsal time when you do a film. You show up on a location, you meet the people and suddenly you’re in front of the cameras and you might be kissing the girl you just met an hour earlier, and it’s sort of this forced intimacy,” he told Backstage.
“It’s good people, but [you’re] just meeting so with the familiarity and a family affair like this one, that was all out the window.
“So it was a real shortcut to bring some honesty on to the film and not so much acting, really.”
Studio 666 – out in cinemas now
The Foo Fighters are making their big screen debut in Studio 666, a comedy horror that sees the band – Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee – moving into an abandoned old mansion steeped in grisly rock history to record their much anticipated 10th album.
But – surprise, surprise – they soon find themselves grappling with supernatural forces – and a cursed song.
Grohl, often described as the nicest man in rock, gets to explore his darker side as well his acting chops, but admitted to Sky News that the Foo Fighters probably won’t be following in fellow music star Lady Gaga‘s Oscar and now BAFTA-nominated stilettos any time soon (although Grohl does develop a taste for raw meat in the film).
“Clearly not,” he laughs, before launching into a full spoiler. “The premise of the movie is really simple and fun. The band is looking for a place to record. We move into this old house, the house turns out to be haunted. I become possessed. I murder the entire band over creative differences and then I go solo. So it’s a lot different than, you know, someone like Lady Gaga making a real, substantial, legitimate movie.”
They won’t be ordering tuxes for the Oscars, he adds. Grohl also spoke about his excitement at returning to touring and working with Liam Gallagher – and addressed recent headlines about losing his hearing.
The Duke – out in cinemas now
The story of an ordinary man accused of stealing a painting and holding it to ransom while demanding better benefits for the elderly is too fantastically unusual not to be true, and The Duke is indeed based on a real person, Kempton Bunton.
Starring alongside Helen Mirren, actor Jim Broadbent plays the campaigner, who called for the BBC licence fee to be made free for pensioners.
Speaking to Sky News, he had a dig at Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries as he defended the licence fee.
Read our interview here.
You can listen to our interviews and hear our reviews in this week’s Backstage podcast. As well as Cyrano, Studio 666 and The Duke, our Backstagers are also discussing the final series of two favourites – Peaky Blinders (BBC One, 27 Feb) and Killing Eve (BBC One, 28 Feb).
Let us know what you’ve been watching via firstname.lastname@example.org