Shadow and Bone

Zoë plays Baghra, a stern teacher, in this major new fantasy series based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels. Series one and two are streaming now on Netflix.

Criminal Record

Zoë plays the fragile mother of a young detective reinvestigating an old murder case in this crime drama series currently streaming on Apple TV+.

Social

Zoë talks of ‘deep respect’ for David Bowie as BBC airs Baal

27 July 2023 14:11

In case you missed the BBC’s rare broadcast of Baal yesterday (26 July), as well as Zoë’s interview about acting alongside David Bowie, both programmes are now available to UK viewers on the BBC iPlayer.

In Zoë Wanamaker Remembers... Bowie and Baal, Zoë speaks vividly and beautifully, her words interspersed with clips from the 1982 TV version of Brecht’s play, in which she plays Sophie, one of Baal's unlucky lovers. She points out that the iconic late musician was brave to take on the role of artist-poet Baal, as the character is the amoral centre of an incredibly challenging drama. Fittingly, Baal is part of the BBC’s Landmark Drama collection: a group of programmes that, the broadcaster says, ‘changed TV – and Britain – forever’.

Zoë found Bowie ‘very smart and quick and kind’. ‘I felt deep respect for him,’ she emphasises. She also held the drama’s ‘brilliant’ late director, Alan Clarke, in high regard. Zoe admired his clear vision for filming the stark play and turning it into a ‘forward-thinking and brave’ piece of TV.

As the interview draws to a close, Zoë reflects on what this performance of Baal might mean to viewers today, particularly those who weren’t around in the early 1980s. She emphasises that she’d ‘be fascinated to hear what people say’ now about this 41-year-old programme, which still has the power to capture people’s attention.

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Zoë discusses working with David Bowie on Baal

22 July 2023 23:24

BBC Four is gearing up to broadcast the 1982 TV version of Baal, the bleak but compelling Brecht play about a destructive artist-poet, on Wednesday 26 July (11:05pm – 12:10am). It’s legendary late musician David Bowie in the title role, while Zoë plays Sophie, one of Baal’s unlucky lovers.

The BBC has released this fantastic photo of Sophie; I’d never seen it before.

As David Bowie News points out, Baal being broadcast is particularly exciting because it’s the first time the BBC has shown the programme – from the acclaimed director Alan Clarke – since it originally aired 41 years ago (though it was screened by the BFI during its 30th anniversary year and has been released on DVD and Blu-ray). Baal is part of a BBC Four season celebrating feature-length classic dramas.

Just before Baal begins, we’ll be treated to a short interview with Zoë. Zoë Wanamaker Remembers... Bowie and Baal can be seen from 10:55-11:05pm. I think I'm almost looking forward to this even more than seeing Baal again, as it's always fascinating to hear Zoe's insights about working on screen. I wonder what memories are most vivid when she looks back on working with Bowie in the 80s.

So, just to be clear, that's Zoe's interview first and Baal directly after.

Revisiting The Man Who Fell to Earth

And how about continuing the Zoe-plus-David-Bowie theme by watching or re-watching The Man Who Fell to Earth (2022)?

This fascinating, beautifully produced TV series, which is available from iTunes, builds on the 70s film of the same name starring Bowie. Zoë plays the enigmatic Watt (pictured above), who helps Faraday (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), an alien on a mission to save his planet, with some vital research.

With thanks to Karoline for her help

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Birthday wishes - 13 May

13 May 2023 14:21

Today is Zoë's birthday, and I'm sure that her fans around the world will want to join me in wishing her a delightful day!

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Pictures from Home bows out on Broadway

1 May 2023 19:41

'Three of the theatre's most inventive, inspired and award-winning artists bring to vivid theatrical life a comic and dramatic portrait of a mother, a father and the son who photographed their lives.'

Those are BroadwayWorld's moving words and come from its fond farewell to Pictures from Home. The stunning play had its final performance at Broadway's Studio 54 yesterday, 30 April, after a hugely popular run. Zoë and her co-stars, Nathan Lane and Danny Burstein, have seen numerous standing ovations since previews began on 13 January.

But let's give the last word to the Pictures from Home publicity team, who've shared this touching message.

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Zoë in Black Ops, a new comedy thriller for BBC One

1 May 2023 18:32

Hot on the heels of The Cleaner (which you can watch on the BBC iPlayer right now) comes another comedy-with-a-twist featuring Zoë in a guest role: Black Ops. This fresh, funny six-part series, which is billed as a ‘high-concept comedy thriller’, airs Fridays at 9:30pm on BBC One from 5 May.

Black Ops was created by BAFTA award winners Gbemisola Ikumelo and Akemnji Ndifornyen. They star in the East London-set series alongside Hammed Animashaun.

According to the BBC Media Centre, Black Ops ‘tells the story of Dom [played by Gbemisola Ikumelo] and Kay [Hammed Animashaun], two Police Community Support Officers who join the Met Police in the hope of cleaning up their community. However, they quickly find themselves unwittingly thrust into the murky world of deep cover infiltration.’ Along the way, they encounter Tevin (Akemnji Ndifornyen), who’s one of the leaders of a local gang.

Details about Zoe’s character and episode(s) are being kept under wraps for now. But one of Black Ops’ executive producers, Lloyd Woolf, has emphasised what a joy it was to work with her: ‘there’s people like Zoë Wanamaker and Alex Macqueen and Alan Ford [in the cast] who to even just briefly meet these people and have a chat is lovely’.

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