The Man Who Fell to Earth

ZoŽ plays the enigmatic Watt in this sci-fi series about an alien, Faraday, who comes to Earth on a mission to save his home planet. Streaming now on Showtime (US) and Paramount+ (UK).

Shadow and Bone

ZoŽ plays Baghra, a stern teacher, in this major new fantasy series based on Leigh Bardugoís bestselling Grishaverse novels. Series one is streaming now on Netflix, and series two wrapped earlier this year.

The Cleaner

ZoŽ guest stars in an episode in the second series of BBC One's black comedy about a crime scene cleaner, which is currently in production.

Criminal Record

ZoŽ plays the mother of a young detective reinvestigating an old murder case in this crime drama series for Apple TV+. Filming began in the summer.

Social

News round-up: BBC and Independent interview ZoŽ; reasons to be a fan; special event for drama students

21 April 2021 18:40

ZoŽís insights into Prince Philipís Globe patronage

On the eve of Prince Philipís funeral, ZoŽ appeared on a special BBC One programme, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh Remembered, to discuss his decades-long involvement with Shakespeareís Globe as royal patron.

Speaking to presenter Huw Edwards, ZoŽ shed light on Prince Philipís friendship with her dad, who founded the extraordinary theatre on Londonís South Bank. ĎI think the reason Sam Wanamaker, my father, got on so well with him is because they were tenacious peopleí.

Like its founder, Prince Philip Ďwas very, very passionate about the Globe,í ZoŽ emphasised.

As a result, the Queenís late husband certainly wasnít a patron in name only. In Zoeís words, Ďhe was always enthusiastic and always thereí.

The brief interview, which begins about 49 minutes into the programme, is available on the BBC iPlayer.

ZoŽ discusses Ďextraordinaryí arts in the Independent

ĎThe sciences and the arts are the lifeblood of a country,í ZoŽ emphasises in an excellent interview with the Independent newspaper, published on 18 April.

With live performances thin on the ground for much of the pandemic, the arts sector has really struggled (hence ZoŽís support for the Theatre Artists Fund). Thankfully, there are plans to reopen venues, with Zoe herself set to star in Constellations in the West End.

ĎShe lights up when we discuss theatreís returní, the interviewer, Isobel Lewis (who has said on Twitter that speaking to ZoŽ Ďwas a joyí), points out. For ZoŽ, the arts are Ďextraordinaryí and should be celebrated.

The interview covers much more besides, from appearing in Netflixís Ďintriguingí Shadow and Bone fantasy series to having the courage to speak out Ďif somethingís not comfortableí when youíre working.

You can read it in full on the Independentís website.

BBC Americaís 10 Reasons to Celebrate ZoŽ

In anticipation of ZoŽ appearing in the Netflix Shadow and Bone fantasy series being released on 23 April, BBC America has drawn up a rather wonderful list Ďto celebrate this award-winning and prolific actressí.

Ď10 Reasons Weíre Huge Fans of ZoŽ Wanamakerí highlights some of her most famous TV shows (My Family, Agatha Christieís Poirot, Doctor Who, Killing Eve), acclaimed stage work (such as The Cherry Orchard), the fact her father, Sam Wanamaker, founded Shakespeareís Globe, and more.

One of my favourite reasons in the article is that ĎShe has a magnificent actorís voiceí. Absolutely!

ZoŽ offers advice to Central drama students

As you may know, ZoŽ trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, graduating in 1970.

On 14 April, she was invited to take part in a special online event for the Class of 2020 and 2021, as part of Centralís support programme for emerging graduates.

ZoŽ discussed her career on stage and screen, answered studentsí questions and offered advice. No doubt her input is particularly welcome at the moment; this is clearly a very challenging time for drama students and the acting industry in general.

As the event was run exclusively for Centralís emerging graduates, thereís no video or transcript available to the public. However, Centralís blog features a lovely message from ZoŽ to the students who were involved:

ĎIt was a pleasure to speak with Centralís students and graduates, look back on my time at Central in 1970, and offer some words of advice to help them address some of the new challenges being faced in 2021, and beyond. I have no doubt that theyíll go far!í

In his own message, Centralís Dr Joshua Abrams highlights ZoŽís Ďfabulous storytellingí and emphasises that everyone was Ďutterly charmed by her presenceí.

With thanks to @Lost_In_Films_ for the heads-up about the TV interview

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Shadow and Bone author Leigh Bardugo praises ZoŽ's 'exceptional' performance

14 April 2021 10:02

There are fewer than ten days left to wait until the Netflix Shadow and Bone adaptation is released. Recent comments by Leigh Bardugo, who wrote the hugely successful Grishaverse fantasy novels the series is based on, are bound to make you even more excited to stream it.

In an interview published by the Daily Mail, the best-selling author discusses her excitement at seeing key cast members work together. 'I think [Ben Barnes'] chemistry with Jessie [Mei Li, as the mysterious Darkling and mapmaker heroine Alina Starkov, respectively] and with many of the actors is just off the charts, and I can't tell you how much I loved watching him and ZoŽ [Wanamaker], who plays Baghra.'

Bardugo adds: 'Their scenes are some of my favourite, because it's just these two exceptional actors who are constantly pushing each other.'

Thankfully, we only need to wait until 23 April to see ZoŽ in action alongside her co-stars. In the meantime, we can enjoy the epic trailer.

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ZoŽ supports Tree Aid's Future Forest appeal to protect African communities and land

12 April 2021 19:29

ZoŽ is supporting the Future Forest fundraising appeal, launched today by Tree Aid, the charity she's been a patron of for more than 20 years.

The appeal, which has captured the attention of Sky News and the BBC, aims to save the Metema forest in Ethiopia, which is in danger of turning into desert due to the climate crisis. In addition, Tree Aid is contributing to the Great Green Wall initiative, an African-led movement to create a belt of lush vegetation across Africa and thereby tackle poverty and environmental issues.

The appeal aims to raise £352,875, and here's how the money will be used. The public's donations will support Tree Aid's Great Green Wall contribution and be matched by UK government funding until 11 July. That's fantastic news, as it means the fundraising total will be doubled. The government funding will support the Future Forest project, enabling Tree Aid to provide communities in Metema with tools and training to restore and protect the forest and generate a sustainable income from it.

Something that makes the Metema forest particularly special is that its trees produce frankincense, the precious resin used in essential oils.

ZoŽ says: 'I have been supporting Tree Aid for over two decades because they don't just plant trees and walk away Ė they work in partnership with communities to find long-term solutions that tackle both poverty and the climate crisis.

'I encourage people to support the Future Forest appeal if they can, knowing they can have double the impact as their gift will be matched by the government.'

ZoŽ speaks in more detail about her long-standing support for the charity in the video above. You may remember she presented a Radio 4 appeal on behalf of Tree Aid a couple of years ago (when the photo below was taken), which raised £15,000.

Other well-known people backing the Future Forest appeal include actor Joanna Lumley and naturalist Chris Packham.

If you'd like to support Tree Aid's work, you can donate to the Future Forest appeal online.

Thanks to Vanessa and Sally for their help.

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ZoŽ returns to West End theatre in Constellations this summer

10 April 2021 04:02

Good news has been in short supply for all of us since early 2020, but now the stars are aligned, so to speak, for ZoŽ Wanamaker fans.

The Donmar Warehouse has announced that ZoŽ will star in its West End revival of the smash-hit play Constellations by Nick Payne (who also wrote Elegy, which Zoe performed at the Donmar in 2016). She'll be joined in this highly original two-hander, which looks at human relationships through a cosmological lens, by none other than Peter Capaldi of Doctor Who fame.

They'll play cosmologist Marianne and beekeeper Roland, whose relationship is at the heart of Constellations. In an exciting twist, three other pairs of brilliant actors (Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah; Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey; Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O'Dowd) will also bring the play to life in separate performances. They all introduce themselves in a fun little video shared by the Donmar.

As the theatre remarks, Constellations takes audiences on a 'journey through the multiverse and the infinite possibilities of a relationship'. This revival, like the original production, is directed by Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Michael Longhurst.

Here's how the Donmar summarises the play:

'One drink. And if you never want to see me again you never have to see me again.'

A quantum physicist and a beekeeper meet at a barbeque. They hit it off, or perhaps they donít. They go home together, or maybe they go their separate ways. In the multiverse, with every possible future ahead of them, a love of honey could make all the difference.

ZoŽ and Peter Capaldi's performances are set to take place from 23 June to 24 July (see the performamce schedule PDF for details). As the Donmar is undergoing renovation, Constellations will be staged at another London venue, the Vaudeville Theatre, part of the Nimax Theatres group. Priority booking for Donmar members opens on 13/14 April; public booking opens on 16 April. Tickets will be available to book via Nimax Theatres.

While the news about Constellations is uplifting, I'm aware that travel restrictions (both national and international) and many other factors may make it difficult for some fans to watch the show. Even though I live in the UK, I can't be certain I'll be able to see it. I'm not aware of any plans for it to be filmed. We'll just have to see how things go and hope for the best.

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Shakespeare's Globe pays tribute to Prince Philip: 'His friendship with our founder Sam Wanamaker was integral'

10 April 2021 02:36

Shakespeare's Globe has published a fascinating, moving tribute to its Royal Patron Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who very sadly died yesterday aged 99.

Prince Philip was enthusiastically involved with The Globe project for more than 40 years. 'His friendship with our founder Sam Wanamaker was integral to building the Globe Theatre, and later, opening the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse,' the article emphasises.

Prince Philip played a significant role in relation to both theatres, which included attending high-profile events in the company of ZoŽ and her father. He presided over The Globe's ground-breaking ceremony in 1987 and, alongside the Queen, its majestic opening ceremony ten years later, during which ZoŽ became the first person to perform on the stage.

12 months before The Globe opened, Prince Philip unveiled a bust of Sam Wanamaker, who'd very sadly passed away a few years earlier. This special event is captured in the news footage below, which also features Prince Philip confidently addressing the audience, as well as ZoŽ describing how emotional the day was and the brilliance of the theatre.

In addition, Prince Philip took part in the opening ceremony for the indoor, Jacobean-style Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2013, again alongside ZoŽ in her role as The Globe's Honorary President.

For more insights and photos of Prince Philip with Sam Wanamaker and his daughter, see the full tribute on Shakespeare's Globe's blog.

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