Captivating Natalie Dormer { Natalie-Dormer.com }Your best online source for all things British Acress Natalie Dormer

Welcome to Captivating Natalie Dormer one of the largest and longest running sources dedicated to British Actress Natalie Dormer. Natalie is best known for her role as Anne Boleyn in Showtime's The Tudors but you also may recognise her from Casanova, Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2. Currently, you can find Natalie as Mrs. Appleyard in the TV Miniseries Picnic at Hanging Rock, as Sofia in In Darkness, as Onica in the TV Series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and as Magda in the TV Series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

Captivating aims to be your most up-to-date and comprehensive source for Natalie. Check back daily for all the latest news, photos and info. Thank you for visiting the site and supporting Natalie and her career!

June 15, 2018   /   Claudia   /   Media Archive Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018) Television Productions Television Productions

Natalie Dormer (‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’) chats playing a ‘draconian’ headmistress with Gold Derby’s Zach Laws and Kevin Jacobsen. The Amazon limited series centers on a group of Australian schoolgirls who inexplicably go missing while on a Valentine’s Day picnic at Hanging Rock in 1900.

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June 04, 2018   /   Claudia   /   News Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018) Television Productions

Amazon Prime’s latest limited series is a new twist on a classic—a genuine reimagining. Widely considered to be one of the best Australian novels of all time, Joan Lindsay‘s 1967 Picnic at Hanging Rock is the story of three young women and a teacher from upper-class Appleyard College who mysteriously vanish from a picnic at the titular landmark on Valentine’s Day 1900.

The novel has been adapted multiple times for the stage, and notably for the screen by director Peter Weir in 1975. Weir’s film is critically revered, and its influence has touched creations as varied as the films of Sofia Coppola to Damon Lindelof‘s acclaimed series The Leftovers to the work of fashion designers.

From showrunner Larysa Kondracki and writers Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison, Amazon’s six-hour miniseries has much of what made the Weir film so powerful—nightmarish, quietly horrifying qualities and haunting mystery—but thanks in part to its expansive length and scope, there’s much more on the table this time ’round: this Picnic has provocative, sexy romance, black humor, and an edgy, universal tale of identity and coming into one’s own. It’s suddenly quite timely too—a unique meditation on femininity and girlhood released mere months after the dawn of #MeToo.

The series stars Game of Thrones‘ Natalie Dormer as unremittingly strict headmistress Hester Appleyard. Lily Sullivan (Mental) co-stars as Miranda Reid, and Lola Bessis (Thirst Street) plays young governess Madameoiselle Dianne de Poitiers.

Parade spoke with Dormer and other members of the cast and crew about this new take on a classic, its relevance amidst the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, and equality in the entertainment industry and beyond.

Because the 1975 film is so esteemed, did you feel pressure to live up to it?

Bessis: I love the ’75 film so much, and I said that the first time I talked with Larysa on Skype, but she said, “Don’t worry, this is going to be really different.”

Kondracki: Absolutely, but these scripts are so different. It’s much more about who these girls were. Ours is a little darker, too. The scripts are very truthful to the book.

Dormer: We have six hours to delve into the novel in ways Weird couldn’t in two hours.

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May 29, 2018   /   Claudia   /   News Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018) Television Productions

Peter Weir’s 1975 film “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” much like the geologic formation named in its title, casts a very long shadow. Based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Joan Lindsay, the movie adaptation tells the story of three young women and a teacher from Appleyard College, who go missing during a Valentine’s Day outing in 1900.

Considered a masterpiece of Australian filmmaking and an achievement in Weir’s early career, the movie created a haunting Victorian aesthetic that is still referenced in films, fashion, and other art forms to this day. Because of this impact, the movie looked as if it would be one of the few classics that would remain untouched by the latest wave of remakes and reboots. Then a group of women came along to change that.

Showrunner and director Larysa Kondracki and star Natalie Dormer spoke to IndieWire about why they dared to tackle “Picnic at Hanging Rock” as a limited series for a new generation.

1. The Series Avoids Weir Altogether

Kondracki herself is an ardent fan of the original film, which is why it took some convincing for her to sign up for the series.

“[The script] was sent to me. I said, ‘Absolutely not. I don’t wanna touch Peter Weir,’” she said. “I was like, ‘Are you crazy? No way.’ Everyone said the same thing: That’s such a canonical film, and you’d hate to be disrespectful of it.”

She soon learned, however, that this was not a remake of Weir’s film, but instead went straight to the source material. Writers Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison adapted Lindsay’s novel into a six-part series for television.

“They said, ‘Read it. It’s a reimagining of the book; it’s not the movie,’” said Kondracki. “The second you read the first page and Bea’s writing, you just went, ‘Okay, this is totally different.’”

Dormer added, “The text is there. It seems bizarre that when the original story is so great that it would only have one incarnation. So we take nothing away from the Weir. It has its reverent place. We’re doing something completely different.”

2. The Adaptation Expands on the Girls’ Stories

Of course, adapting Lindsay’s novel is daunting in itself because it’s also considered to be one of the best Australian novels of all time.

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May 03, 2018   /   Claudia   /   News Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018) Television Productions

Natalie Dormer knew “Picnic at Hanging Rock” was the perfect next project for her when she received a personal letter from director Larysa Kondracki.

“It said, ‘I need this woman not to be an archetype. I need her to be three-dimensional, psychological, littered with flaws and fears. And I need the humanity of her so that she’s not just a bitch,’” Dormer tells Variety of the note.

Kondracki also wrote, “nobody would be able to do that like Natalie Dormer.”

It was a “seductive” pitch for Dormer, who then hopped on a video chat to further talk through the vision for the six-episode limited series based on Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel. (The story was previously adapted for the big screen in 1975.)

The plot centers on the mysterious disappearance of four young women from an Australian boarding college and the damage it does to the school, its staff and students, and ultimately the society around them. It is set in 1900, but Dormer, who was given the first three of Beatrix Christian’s scripts when they were still in early draft form, knew the project was going to be far from a simple period drama.

“Beatrix was a playwright before she was a screenwriter, and in the way she writes her text there is so much subtext that I was just immediately like, ‘Who the f— are these women? This is amazing’,” Dormer says. “There was something in those first few scripts, but the way Larysa spoke of her vision, tonally, it just felt so fresh, so brave [and] courageous in the mashing of genres and strong visual tone that was going to be atmospheric and sophisticated in its nonlinear storytelling. It was going to have a real psychological element.”

The collaboration continued when the cameras rolled as well.

“Larysa had this great policy that whoever comes up with the best idea and it gets used on-screen gets a bottle of wine,” Dormer says. “It encourages you to speak up.”

Dormer plays Mrs. Appleyard, a buttoned-up, strict, and unflinching headmistress of a women’s college. “Appleyard thinks the way she is raising the girls she is doing them a favor. She genuinely thinks she’s passing on the torch of knowledge. What she’s actually doing is passing on archaic structures that stifle those girls’ spirits and that they’re rebelling against,” Dormer says. “She’s trying to help and tragically damaging and I just found that interesting — to try and break down that psychology.”

But that is all just a persona she is putting on, says Dormer.

“She’s running from a past — she’s literally running. She’s victimized and haunted by her past and her secrets, and her way of trying to deal with that is holding it tightly and putting a lid on it and being this tyrant,” she says.

As the episodes unfold, the audience learns how who she was as a girl informs the woman she has become. After the four young women go missing, she begins to unravel. That was the part of the draw of the role for Dormer.

“As an actor that’s just delicious to play — as the layers fall off, to keep scrambling to try to maintain control,” she says.

Though the series is set at the turn of the 20th century, its themes are still relevant today, says Dormer.

“It’s scary how 1900 and 2018, those themes of female independence — emotionally, spiritually, financially — finding a sense of identity, not needing a man, not being defined by being what your peer group suggests you should be, peer culture, authority rebellion, spirit and voice within those constructs [are similar],” she says. “I think in a highly anxious time for young men and women those anxieties of ‘Who the f— am I?’ are as relevant to our characters in 1900 as they are in 2018.”

Source / © Fremantlemedia Australia

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March 14, 2018   /   Claudia   /   News Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018) Television Productions Television Productions

“Picnic at Hanging Rock,” the new TV adaption of the Australian cult classic, kicked off the Berlin Film Festival’s TV sidebar Monday, and while the show has been generating quite a bit of buzz, getting it made was initially tough because of the long shadow cast by Peter Weir’s critically acclaimed 1975 film adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel.

“No one wanted to do it,” said the new show’s director, Larysa Kondracki, discussing the series shortly after the first two episodes premiered at the Berlinale Series.

“You’d tell any crew member that you’re making ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock,’ and they’d ask, ‘Why?’ Because it’s a great book, it’s a great thing. ‘No, absolutely not, I’m not going to touch that.’

“But something about it lingered and when you read the first page [of the TV adaptation], you realize this isn’t the original film. This is something else.”

Set in 1900, the story centers on a group of young women at a boarding school who inexplicably vanish at Australia’s Hanging Rock while on a Valentine’s Day picnic.

Natalie Dormer (“Game of Thrones,” “Hunger Games”), who plays strict headmistress Hester Appleyard, described Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison’s script as “visionary,” adding that it was “sophisticated storytelling for a sophisticated audience.”

Dormer initially balked at the historical drama. After performing in such high-profile costume dramas as “The Tudors” and “Game of Thrones,” the British actress said she “didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as a corset wearer.”

Meeting Kondracki and reading the script changed her mind.

“I’m so glad I did,” Dormer said, stressing that “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is not your typical costume drama. “Don’t be under any illusions because of the costumes and horses. This is a very modern thriller-mystery, a dramatic piece.”

Variety International Editor Henry Chu, who conducted the Drama Series Days onstage conversation with Dormer and Kondracki, noted that the series seemed to have elements of “A Room With a View,” “The Shining” and “Mean Girls.”

On Dormer’s casting as the headmistress, Kondracki said it was important for her to cast someone in the role who was closer in age to the girls in the school “so you could really feel just a few years’ difference and that Hester could have been one of these girls and that they’re also a real threat” to her, an aspect that would have been lost with an older headmaster.

Dormer added that the casting was actually accurate for the time, pointing to such literary characters as Jane Eyre and Blanche DuBois. “A woman was a spinster if she wasn’t married by the time she was in her late 20s.”

Discussing the series’ themes of repressed sexuality, Kondracki said there was “a beautiful scene” in the third episode: “It’s a kiss between two girls and it’s not about sexuality,” said Kondracki, a Canadian who has directed episodes of “The Americans” and “The Walking Dead.” “It’s about discovery and friendship….There’s a sexiness to this show, but it’s restrained.”

Dormer called it a “sexiness not through the male gaze. It’s sexiness through female sexuality. It’s sensual.

“There’s magic to this,” she added. “It feels like the spirit of Joan Lindsay is with us. There is something transcendental. That’s what Larysa created – a touch of fairy dust.”

Source / © Fremantlemedia Australia

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February 16, 2018   /   Claudia   /   Media Archive News Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018) Television Productions Television Productions


click on image to go to source for the video

Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer stands front and centre of Foxtel’s impressive big-budget miniseries Picnic at Hanging Rock.

The first scene of the six-part series, made by Fremantle Australia and since picked up by Amazon in the US and the BBC in the UK among others, is of Dormer’s Mrs Appleyard, seen from behind, framed by a large Victorian window and bathed in golden light.

If first impressions count, and they do, this one is a beauty.

The first episode of the highly anticipated series was unveiled this week at a special event in Macedon, just down the road from the setting of Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel (the events of which are entirely fictitious, contrary to popular misconception).

Dormer, 36, plays an Englishwoman seemingly fresh off the boat in the colonies, a well-bred widow still in mourning but determined to build a new life every bit as substantial and imposing as the mansion in the middle of nowhere that she buys with what we assume is her inheritance.

The building becomes the site of Appleyard College, an elite boarding school. Chief among its students are Miranda Reid (Lily Sullivan), a headstrong country girl bridling at the prospect of being “finished” just so she can become someone’s wife; Marion Quade (Madeleine Madden), blessed with brains and beauty but cursed by dint of being the illegitimate half-caste daughter of a high-ranking colonial officer; and Irma Leopold (Samara Weaving), a young lady from “home” rather appalled to find herself in the Victorian bush rather than in the salons of Paris.

These three, of course, will all go missing on the day of the fateful picnic, St Valentine’s Day 1900.

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