Ben Whishaw to Play Russian Dissident Eduard Limonov in New Movie From Kirill Serebrennikov (EXCLUSIVE)

Versatile British actor Ben Whishaw, finest recognized globally for taking part in Q in 5 James Bond movies, has been solid in what’s certain to be the one of the crucial complicated roles of his profession.

The actor will play the titular character in “Limonov, The Ballad of Eddie,” a brand new English-language movie by revered Russian auteur Kirill Serebrennikov (“Petrov’s Flu,” “Leto”), about radical Russian poet and political dissident Eduard Limonov.

The movie, which will likely be introduced as a promo reel to consumers in Cannes on Might 17, is impressed by the best-selling novel “Limonov” by French author and director Emmanuelle Carrère, which was translated in 35 nations.

“Limonov” delves into the story of Eduard Limonov, who lived many lives. He was an underground author within the Soviet Union who escaped to the U.S. the place he grew to become a punk-poet and likewise a butler to a millionaire in Manhattan. “Eddie” then grew to become a literary sensation in Paris earlier than returning to Russia the place he morphed right into a charismatic dissident celebration chief with rock star standing, and incarcerated by Vladimir Putin.

The story of “Limonov” is principally a journey by way of Russia, America and Europe through the second half of the twentieth century that’s more likely to grow to be extra related as present historical past unfolds.

Taking pictures on “Limonov” was underway in Russia when the conflict broke out. Serebrennikov, who himself has had legal troubles under Putin’s regime, stopped taking pictures, and an intensive operation was in place to get Whishaw overseas.

Serebrennikov, each a movie and theater director recognized for Cannes competitors titles “Leto” and “Petrov’s Flu,” will likely be in Cannes along with his newest movie, “Tchaikovsky’s Spouse.” Ending a three-year journey ban, in March he was capable of depart Russia for Europe, the place the movie will quickly resume manufacturing out of the country.

Written by Pawel Pawlikowski (“Chilly Conflict,” “Ida”), Ben Hopkins and Serebrennikov, “Limonov, The Ballad of Eddie” is produced by Wildside and Chapter 2 and co-produced by Pathé, Fremantle España, France 3 Cinema and Imaginative and prescient Distribution. France Télévisions, Canal+ and Ciné+ are the French broadcasters.

The movie is produced by Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa for Wildside, a Fremantle firm; Dimitri Rassam for Chapter 2, a Mediawan firm; Ilya Stewart; and co-produced by Ardavan Safaee for Pathé. Pawlikowski can also be serving as government producer.

Worldwide gross sales will likely be dealt with by Pathé in collaboration with Imaginative and prescient Distribution.

Whishaw took questions solely from Selection about “Limonov”:

What drew you to portraying the complicated and loopy character that’s Eduard Limonov?

I used to be knocked out by the script after I was despatched it in 2020, through the pandemic, and transfixed by this character — Eduard Limonov. All the things about him was so excessive. I felt all types of contradictory issues about him. It was as if in each state of affairs he discovered himself in, he struck a dissonant observe. He may solely exist in opposition to what was in entrance of him, it appeared. He was towards EVERYTHING. He scared me, he fascinated me, repelled me, thrilled me. Plenty of issues. 

What’s it been like working with Kirill?

Working with Kirill was one of many nice experiences of my working life. I can’t wait to be reunited with him. He’s very intense, an exquisite loopy dreamer, very humorous, very smart, sort. A very nice artist.

How was it taking pictures the movie in Russia? 

Like many individuals I’ve lengthy been fascinated by Russia, and like many individuals, I’ve been in love with Russian literature since I used to be 18 and a pal informed me I ought to learn “Crime and Punishment.” So it was very overwhelming for me to expertise the nation as it’s now, in actual life, quite than the nation I’ve in my creativeness.

Are you able to speak to me about your bodily transformation to play this character?

Remodeling into the varied phases of Limonov’s life has been one of many biggest pleasures. He himself was at all times remodeling — virtually as if he lead about seven utterly totally different lives. I studied him as a lot as I may, although I’m probably not trying an impersonation. And I’ve been significantly helped by Masha the make-up designer and Alexei the prosthetics designer and Tanya the costume designer. We had been all working so arduous to convey him to life.

How well timed do you suppose Eduard Limonov is right now?

I discover it inconceivable to say a lot about this — as we’ve solely shot half the movie. However perhaps, as a result of the movie covers such a big chunk of current historical past, it would assist us perceive how we’ve reached the purpose that we now discover ourselves at … perhaps. 

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