Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Invictus, Playing the Enemy, The Directors Cut - whats in a name?

Invictus is released this Friday
3rd Feb 2010

Its been a madcap week at work, what with Invictus finally feaching the UK for its release, preceeded by its Premier at Leicester Square last Sunday.

Atricle from last weeks Sutton Coldfield Observer - our local rag

As you may recall from a post last year, one of my colleagues is married to Zak Feaunati who was given his celluloid debut to star alongside Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's new film about Nelson Mandela, based on John Carlin's book 'Playing the Enemy'.

I have refrained from any further posts on the subject for fear of inadvertently disclosing any inappropriate comments or observations, which were shared on a confidential basis. That said, the film is about to his the streets and the excitement surrounding the whole 'movie star' thing demands some sort of comment.

I feel I have lived the experience vicariously, right from the excitement of the casting, through the shooting and then onto the PR and launch events. If it has been a white knuckle ride for those of us watching, what must it have been like for the Feaunati's caught up in the midst of a media whirl?

I think it's safe to say that movie stars live in a different world. On a one to one level they sound very human and normal, but who books complete floors at Claridges, who flies themselves round the world in their personal Lear Jet, and who pays thousands of pounds for an outfit just for opening night. The recession does not seem to have hit Tinseltown just yet! 

By all accounts Invictus is outstanding and Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Nelson Mandela is utterly plausibe to the point one forgets that he isn't the man himself - always the sign of a great actor.  As for Zak, his role as Jonah Lomu is mostly at the end of the film as South Africa claw their way to a fairytale victory in the Rugby World Cup (it's a historical fact so I am not giving anything away here!).

Perhaps there is one little gem I can share, and it relates to the fickle nature of fame.  I don't know how many friends you have on Facebook, but I suspect that there is a connection between Zak's burst of publicity in the media and the 300 "friend" requests which awaited him when he turned on his computer this morning! 

Well, we are off to see the film this weekend and if you hear a lone voice cheering for the All Blacks in the 1995 cup final, it may well be me. Not because I have any love for the team, but because I feel I have lived through this slightly surreal experience and I will be rejoicing on Feaunati family's behalf. 

Lets hope that the benefits of the experience last longer than the interest of the wannabe friends on Facebook.

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