EVELYN:  Production Notes

Based on true events, Evelyn tells the inspiring story of real-life hero Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) and his young children, Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur), Maurice, and Dermot.  Abandoned by his wife, Doyle does his best to make it as a single dad, raising his kids alone in Ireland in 1953.  Their life isn’t easy – but above all else in the world, Doyle loves his children.  Unfortunately, when his wife’s mother reports her daughter’s abandonment to the authorities, the power of the Church and the Irish courts take his children away and put them in orphanages.  Doyle is devastated.

Vowing to reunite his family, he enlists the help of new friend Bernadette Beattie (Julianna Margulies), her solicitor brother Michael (Stephen Rea), their American lawyer friend Nick (Aidan Quinn), and Nick’s mentor Thomas Connolly (Alan Bates).  Together they attempt to do what has never been done before – challenge a law before the Irish Supreme Court.  Doyle’s fight to keep his family intact becomes an uplifting testament to the strength of a father’s love and the power of the human spirit.

 United Artists presents, in association with First Look Media and Cinerenta, an Irish DreamTime and CineEvelyn production of Evelyn, starring Pierce Brosnan, Aidan Quinn, and Julianna Margulies.  Based on a true story and directed by Bruce Beresford, Evelyn was written by Paul Pender and also stars Stephen Rea, John Lynch, Sophie Vavasseur, and Alan Bates.  The film was produced by Brosnan, Beau St. Clair, and Michael Ohoven with executive producers Eberhard Kayser, Mario Ohoven, Kieran Corrigan, and Simon Bosanquet.  The production team includes André Fleuren as director of photography, production designer John Stoddart, editor Humphrey Dixon, and composer and musical director Stephen Endelman, with costumes designed by Joan Bergin and Paul Pender as co-producer.

THE STORY BEHIND EVELYN

Writer Paul Pender says Evelyn was a movie “just waiting to be made.”  The inspiring true story of Desmond Doyle and his children had the warmth, drama, and heart to make a compelling, rich, and affecting narrative – it just needed someone to find it and help it on its way to the big screen.  A few years ago, when Pender met the real Evelyn Doyle, the story took its first steps toward making the transition to film.

“The origin of the film,” says Pender, “was meeting the real Evelyn in a hotel in Edinburgh during the film festival there.  In amongst all the British accents, I heard an Irish brogue – it was Evelyn telling the story of her father.  I overheard a bit, then asked her to tell me the rest.  Within three minutes of her talking to me, the hair was standing up on the back of my neck.  I knew it would make a great film, a classic, moving David and Goliath story.”

According to Pender, while sitting there in that Edinburgh hotel he immediately thought of Pierce Brosnan as perfect casting for Evelyn’s father.  “I know it sounds coincidental,” he continues, “but Evelyn showed me a picture of her father.  He looked like Pierce, and I said so.  I’m sure she thought I was out of my mind, but that’s what started it all.”  The seeds of Evelyn were planted.

Picturing an actor of Pierce Brosnan’s caliber in the movie of your unsold screenplay is one thing, but actually getting the project off the ground and signing Brosnan to the role is entirely another – quite an ambitious goal for a first-time screenwriter living in Scotland.  Some time later, though, while working to break into the film industry, Pender became an intern and reader at MGM Pictures headquarters in Santa Monica, California.

“I was reading all these scripts being sent in,” Pender says, “and I found them so boring.  I like films which are funny and uplifting and say something interesting about the human condition.”  He believed he had written such a film with his screenplay for Evelyn.  Determined to get the script to Brosnan, Pender discovered that the offices for Irish DreamTime – Brosnan’s production company with partner Beau St. Clair – were conveniently and coincidentally located on the floor above where he was working.  It was hard to believe, but Pender wasn’t about to pass up that opportunity.  He dropped off his script and soon found out what it was like to be on the other side of what he’d been doing as an intern – now it was him waiting for someone to read his screenplay.
 

RECREATING HISTORY: BRINGING EVELYN TO THE SCREEN

When they read the script, producers Brosnan and St. Clair were immediately spurred into action.  “I liked it at once,” says St. Clair.  “It touched me, it moved me, and it made me laugh, and that’s exactly the kind of project we were looking for.”

“The story has a jauntiness to it,” adds Brosnan.  “Not only is it an important and moving story, but it’s something people will enjoy.  We’ve all seen gloomy films with a ‘message,’ but this is different.  It’s a very hopeful film, very optimistic about the future and the good that people can do when they set their minds to it.  That’s very timely, and people want to see stories like that.’

Irish DreamTime decided to produce the film, and the producers began looking for a director.  Brosnan quickly thought of his friend, acclaimed director Bruce Beresford, with whom he’d worked a decade earlier on Mr. Johnson.  Mr. Johnson won a Silver Bear at the 1991 Berlin Film Festival, and Brosnan had been looking for an opportunity to rekindle the experience ever since.  “Bruce’s cinematic sensibilities are razor sharp,” says Brosnan.  “He knows how to tell a story with economy, eloquence, and above all, great humanity.”

As it did Brosnan and St. Clair, the script impressed Beresford.  “It always all starts with the script,” says Beresford.  With a critical and commercial reputation built on insightful character-driven cinema, Beresford always puts the story and characters first, letting those shape the film itself.

“Pierce sent me the script and I knew it was something I’d like to make,” he continues. It’s a touching story about a father trying to get his children back, but the thing I really liked was that it was all done with a lot of humor.  So many films about social issues are so heavy, so ‘worthy,’ they’re actually hard to watch.

“I try to only film stories that I’m interested in,” he says.  “Evelyn really appeals to me because an audience can become so involved in the drama of a story like this.  The fact that it’s true only adds to the involvement.”

As Pender learned from Evelyn in their hotel visit, the true story behind Evelyn is based on a groundbreaking Irish 1953 court case in which Desmond Doyle took the Minister of Education to court.  Doyle was challenging the contention that he was unfit to bring up his children after being deserted by his wife.  “It has the foundation of storytelling from another era,” says Brosnan, pointing to classics of American cinema by filmmakers like Ford and Capra.

In writing Evelyn, Pender learned that the real task when converting a ‘true story’ into a screenplay is finding the essence of the story and the most compelling aspect of its drama.  “I think the film is best described as a fable inspired by true events,” he says.  “The writer has to take the emotional truth of events and turn them into a story audiences will get involved with and respond to.

“We worked hard shaping the dialogue,” he continues, “and deciding what to add and subtract from the story to serve it more effectively.  It’s a love story between a father and his children, a story about friends banded together, and the story of one man against the system.”

THE CAST OF EVELYN

Once the producers and director were attached, the filmmakers turned their attentions to completing the cast.  “I really loved the character of Desmond Doyle and knew I’d want to tackle the role,” says Brosnan.  “As a man and father and someone who feels very passionately about certain things, I identified with Doyle, and I know roles like that don’t come around often.  I was excited to jump into Desmond’s shoes.

“But when we decided to go ahead and make the film,” he continues.  “I had no idea who, apart from me, would be in it.  But once we had Bruce on board, this really terrific cast came together, not just for the principal roles, but completely across the board.”

St. Clair was also delighted with the cast.  “It sounds like a pat answer,” she says, “but I think the casting is perfect.  Aidan’s role could have been written for him.  Julianna was our first choice for Bernadette, as was Stephen Rea as Michael Beattie and Alan Bates as Connolly.  I don’t think producers often get to say it truthfully – and we may never get to say it again – but we got every single actor we wanted, all the way down the line.”

Like Brosnan, Julianna Margulies had previously worked with Bruce Beresford on Paradise Road.  She was delighted to join the cast under his direction.  “Bruce can keep the whole film in his head, yet pays great attention to each detail in the moment,” she says.  Another attraction to working with Beresford, she says, is his meticulous attention to the story.  “As an actor,” she says, “Bruce gives you great freedom to explore the character because he has such a grasp of the story.”

When she read the script, Margulies immediately liked the character of Bernadette.  “For an Irish woman of the 1950s,” says Margulies, “Bernadette is feisty and ahead of her time.  She’s not married, training to be a chemist – she’s taking the bull by the horns.”  Finding the right combination of era and attitude were crucial to her preparations for the role.

“If you look at the films of the 1950s,” Margulies continues, “women were very feminine.  I tried to incorporate that into the character as well as her strength.  Bernadette’s courage and her sense of purpose are really what helped inspire Desmond to give up drink and pursue the case through the courts.”

Margulies had to adopt an Irish accent for the role, but that turned out to be less difficult than she thought it would.  “I grew up in England,” she says, “so I already had an ear for that side of the Atlantic.  Accents in Ireland, though, are so much more Americanized today than 50 years ago because of TV and movies, so it’s no use listening to the way people talk now,” she laughs.

Aidan Quinn plays the role of Irish-American lawyer Nick.  At first Nick is Desmond’s rival for Bernadette’s charms, but later he’s the man who decides to take on Doyle’s case.  Quinn found it somewhat easy to step into Nick’s shoes.  “Nick is based on a real character, like Desmond,” Quinn says, “and by happy coincidence, his story is not so different from my own.  He spent time living between Ireland and the U.S.”  Aidan’s parents left Ireland in the 1950s – the period in which the film is set – and he himself lived in Ireland on two occasions during his childhood. “My parents left during that very difficult decade,” says Quinn, “and I have pictures of them here in Dublin from that time.  They’re wearing clothes very like the ones we’re wearing in the film, which is poignant.”
Of his character, Aidan says, “Nick sticks out a bit in 1950s Ireland in his flash suits and his ways.  But he knows the culture because it’s his culture.  That’s kind of how I feel when I’m there.”

Quinn feels people will find the film appealing because it’s based on “good old fashioned values.  It’s a great story of a man going against big odds, going against the church and state and finally being justified.”

Quinn is also grateful that Brosnan and Irish DreamTime worked so hard to make Evelyn. “Brosnan has a lot of power and influence as the actor who plays James Bond,” he says.  “I wish more people in his position would use that power to make interesting movies.”

Along those lines, Brosnan is grateful he’s been able to experience such success.  “Beau and I formed Irish DreamTime to make movies that interest us,” he says.  “They don’t necessarily have to be Irish, but they have to get us excited.  When Evelyn came along, it fit the bill exactly, and we couldn’t have been more excited about it.

“Evelyn works on a number of levels,” he continues.  “It’s a love story between a father and his children.  It’s also a love story between Desmond and Bernadette.  It’s a David and Goliath story, with a small group of people taking on the Church and government.  And it’s about a guy who becomes a man.  It’s an entertaining story that also has something to say for itself.  You can’t ask for much more than that.”

When asked whether Evelyn has similarities with his own experiences growing up in Ireland, Brosnan says, “Well, yes and no.  I don’t know what it was like to grow up in Dublin in the ‘50s, but I know what it’s like to be from a broken home, to be Irish, to be a father, and to have to make hard decisions.  In that respect, Desmond is a very personal role.”

It was also a role the actor/producer enjoyed enormously.  “It’s a great plus to play a character who gets to display such a variety of emotion on screen,” he says.  “I’m pretty widely seen as James Bond, and I’d say I tend to get a bit pigeonholed as this suave, sophisticated sort of chap.”
Beau St Clair believes Pierce’s performance ranks amongst the best in his already impressive career.  “I know Pierce well,” she says, “and it’s the most heartfelt performance I’ve ever seen him give.  Bruce Beresford creates a very trusting atmosphere on set, and I think it allowed Pierce to really enter into this character in a very vulnerable way.  People will be surprised by this performance, pleasantly surprised, because it works so much against the persona that they expect.  Once in a while you feel an actor inhabits a role rather than plays it, and Pierce inhabits the role of Desmond.”

One of the challenges and pleasures for the actors was working with children in such central roles.  “As an actor you have to be very prepared when working with children,” Brosnan says, “because you can’t keep going again and again, taking time to warm up and get into it.  Especially with emotional scenes.”  He admits that he was anxious at first about this aspect of the production. “I was worried about the children,” he continues, “but Bruce alleviated my fears.  He’s so giving with child actors and has wonderful patience.  And Sophie (Vavasseur, who plays Desmond’s daughter, Evelyn) proved to be a wonderful young actress.”

Beresford really enjoyed working with the children.  “It was great,” he says.  “But we had quite a job finding them.  John Hubbard – the casting director - must have seen about a thousand girls initially for Evelyn.  We whittled it down slowly over lots and lots of auditions until we found Sophie.”

For her part, young actress Sophie Vavasseur was thrilled to play the part of such an inspiring heroine.  Sophie’s been acting for about three years and studies drama with a teacher, but this was her first major role.  She “had to read, like, five times,” she says, but she was determined to make the part hers and bring Evelyn herself to the screen.

“Evelyn is a really smart girl,” Sophie says.  “She’s very intelligent.  And she’s a little mommy-like.”  She’s also Irish, and Sophie herself is from Dublin, so she could identify with the things an Irish child would experience.

In describing her character’s predicament, Sophie could easily imagine how upsetting life in the convent could have been away from her parents.  In the film, when Evelyn is left at St. Joseph’s, “It’s horrible,” Sophie says.  “Evelyn has to get her hair cut.  The nuns are horrible.  Well, there’s Sister Theresa and Sister Felicity.  They’re really, really nice.  But Sister Bridgett is awful.  Frigid Bridgett, they call her.”

Sophie really enjoyed working with Pierce Brosnan, her other co-stars, and the filmmakers.  “Pierce is really, really nice,” she says.  “When we weren’t filming, he talked to me and would sit beside me and chat.  And his little baby, Paris, is so cute.  And Bruce Beresford always explains things to me.  He gives me advice and things like that, and he doesn’t get annoyed very easily.  He’s very nice; he doesn’t change or anything.”

The dramatic high point of the film takes place during the courtroom scenes when Desmond must state his case for custody of Evelyn and her brothers.  In developing these scenes, writer Pender went back to the original court transcripts then was able to draw on his own legal training to add drama.  “I graduated in Law from Glasgow University,” he says, “and I was also president of the Law Society, where I had to make speeches and debate, so I honed those skills there.  I really enjoyed writing the courtroom exchanges.

“The only ‘proper’ job I ever wanted was to be a lawyer,” he continues.  “The humor in the speeches came from my own pained reading of cases.  You’d think you understand what was going on, only to find it completely reversed by a ‘however.’”

Bruce understands the dramatic power of the legal set-piece, having filmed what must be the longest in feature films: 50 minutes of debate in Breaker Morant.  “For such a scene to work,” Beresford says, “I think the drama as a whole has to be intrinsically interesting, otherwise there’s no point in having it.  You have to have something the audience wants to happen, yet the evidence is swaying them one way, then another.  I think Paul did that wonderfully in his script.”

All in all, the cast and filmmakers were glad to be a part of Evelyn.  “It’s a special feeling to complete a film and have wonderful memories of making it,” says Brosnan.  “It makes it even better to believe audiences are going to love what you worked so hard to accomplish.  That’s what makes it all worth it.  And it’s also an incredible testament to the courage and perseverance of Desmond Doyle and his family.”
 

ABOUT THE CAST

PIERCE BROSNAN (Desmond Doyle, Producer) is perhaps best known for reinvigorating the popularity of the James Bond franchise, putting his stamp on 007 in the superhits Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough.  Brosnan’s three Bond films have brought in significantly more than a billion dollars at the box-office.  But Brosnan also commands respect as one of film’s most varied, adventurous, and skilled dramatic actors.  He recently expanded the range of his filmwork by launching his own production company, Irish DreamTime, with his production partner Beau St. Clair.  Their first feature was the acclaimed The Nephew.  Brosnan also produced and starred in the company’s first studio project, The Thomas Crown Affair, which became a huge critical and box office hit.

Brosnan was most recently seen in John Boorman’s film of the John LeCarre novel The Tailor of Panama.  During his career, the London stage-trained actor has also starred in such films as Beresford’s Mr. Johnson and Sir Richard Attenborough’s Grey Owl, and has shown his comedic skill in such films as The Mirror Has Two Faces, Mrs. Doubtfire, Mars Attacks and Love Affair.  Other film credits include The Fourth Protocol, Lawnmower Man, Nomads, and Dante’s Peak.  He recently earned the Empire Award (a major British acknowledgment) as Best Actor of 1999.  He was also named “The Sexiest Man Alive” in People’s 2001 poll.

Brosnan was born in County Meath, Ireland, where he lived until the age of 11 when his family moved to London.  It was there he grew into his craft, studying acting at the Drama Center for three years after some preliminary workshops in experimental theatre.  He was introduced to the workshops by a fellow employee at a studio where he worked as an illustrator.  After school he went straight into a job as an acting assistant stage manager at the York Theatre Royal, and it was six months later that Tennessee Williams selected Pierce to create the role of McCabe in the British premiere of Red Devil Battery Sign.  Brosnan also starred in other London stage productions, such as Zeffirelli’s Filumena and Wait Until Dark at the York.

Now well trained in both classical drama and character comedies, being selected as the lead in the American miniseries The Manions of America brought Brosnan his first U.S. critical acclaim.  Nancy Astor, a thirteen-part television series for the BBC, earned him a Golden Globe nomination.  Brosnan was then catapulted to international stardom in the title role of the Remington Steele series.  Other television work includes such top-rated miniseries as Around the World in Eighty Days and Noble House.

AIDAN QUINN (Nick) was born in Chicago to first generation Irish parents.  Quinn first came to critical attention for his roles in the film Desperately Seeking Susan and the TV film An Early Frost, in which he played a character with AIDS.  Quinn’s subsequent roles include Nick, the driver of Robert Duvall and lover of Natasha Richardson in The Handmaid’s Tale, a father in Barry Levinson’s semi-autobiographical Avalon, and a travelling Irish player in The Playboys. He played the brother of mentally disturbed Mary Stuart Masterson in Benny and Joon, and in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein he played the captain who listens to Dr. Frankenstein’s tragic tale. That same year, he co-starred with Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins in the period drama The Legends of the Fall.  He subsequently co-starred with Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts in Neil Jordan’s epic Michael Collins with a memorable performance as Harry Boland, Collins’ best friend.  After a dual role as a terrorist and his US Navy doppelganger in The Assignment, he was on more familiar territory in This is my Father as an Irish orphan raised by a poor farming family whose love affair with a spirited under-aged girl wreaks havoc.  That film was directed by his brother Paul and shot by another brother, acclaimed cinematographer Declan Quinn.

Other films include The Songcatcher, Practical Magic, Music of the Heart, In Dreams, Looking for Richard, Blink, Crusoe, The Mission, and Reckless.

JULIANNA MARGULIES (Bernadette) is an Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award-winner and Golden Globe nominee.  She first gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of Nurse Carole Hathaway in the critically acclaimed series ER.  Margulies received her sixth straight Emmy nomination for the 2000 season, and twice won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series for the program. 

Margulies recently finished production on Ghost Ship, directed by Steven Beck.  She’ll next star opposite Andy Garcia and Mick Jagger in the upcoming film The Man From Elysian Fields.  She was last seen with Anjelica Huston and Joan Allen in TNT’s Emmy-nominated original The Mists of Avalon, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. 

Last winter, Margulies completed a successful run at Lincoln Center in Jon Robin Baitz’s Ten Unknowns, for which she won the Lucille Lortel Award.  Margulies feature film credits include What’s Cooking, an ensemble drama directed by Gurinder Chadha which opened the 2000 Sundance Film Festival; Richard Linklater’s The Newton Boys; Boaz Yakin’s A Price Above Rubies; Jack Green’s Traveller; and Bruce Beresford’s Paradise Road.

Margulies’ theater credits include The Vagina Monologues, both Off-Broadway and the Los Angeles premiere; Fefu and Her Friends for the Yale Repertory Theatre; The Substance of Fire at the Aolso Theatre; Living Expenses; Dan Drift and Book of Names at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York; and Intrigue with Faye at the NY Stage and Film Festival.  She also appeared onstage in The Lover, In the Boom Boom Room, and Balm and Gilead.

STEPHEN REA (Michael)  Academy Award®-nominated Stephen Rea is one of today’s leading actors, having delivered critically acclaimed performances in film, television and theater.  His longstanding relationship with renowned director Neil Jordan has spanned seven films, most notably The Crying Game, for which he received an Academy Award® nomination and the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor in 1992.  Other collaborations with Jordan include the much-acclaimed The Butcher Boy; Michael Collins with Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts; Interview with a Vampire with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt; and In Dreams with Annette Bening and Robert Downey, Jr.  Rea reunited with Jordan for The End of the Affair opposite Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore.

Rea recently starred opposite Sarah Polley in Audrey Wells’ directorial debut Guinevere, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.  His other films include Robert Altman’s Pret-a-Porter, Trojan Eddie, Angie, Princess Carboo, Bad Behavior, and Mike Leigh’s Life Is Sweet. He will next be seen in Peter Hyams’ D’Artargnan opposite Tim Roth, Catherine Deneuve, Mena Suvari and Justin Chambers.

Rea has also received praise for television work, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Crime of the Century in 1996.  He starred in Chris Gerolmo’s Citizen X and received Best Actor at the Catalonian International Film Festival in Spain in 1995.  His other television credits include Shadow of a Gunman, Days of Hope, The Plough and the Stars and Four Days in July.  Rea will soon be seen playing an Orthodox Rabbi in Snow in August for Showtime.

A native of Belfast, Ireland, Rea formed the Field Day Theatre Company with respected Irish playwright Brian Friel in 1980, performing in all the company’s productions, including “Translations,” “Double Cross,” “Pentecost,” “Saint Oscar” and “Uncle Vanya.”  He also directed Field Day’s presentation of “Three Sisters.” Rea’s other stage work includes “Playboy of the Western World” at London’s National Theatre and “Aristrocrats” at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. The Hampstead Theatre’s production of “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me” moved to Broadway and earned Rea a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor.  Lastly, Rea was seen in Harold Pinter’s “Ashes to Ashes” at The Royal Court Theatre in London.

JOHN LYNCH (Wolfe) has made a name for himself on film, television, and on the stage.  His big screen work includes several acclaimed films, including Puckoon, Best, The Quarry, Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow, Moll Flanders with Robin Wright Penn, Some Mother’s Son with Helen Mirren, Princess Cariboo, The Secret of Roan Inish, Jim Sheridan’s In the Name of the Father, Derek Jarman’s Edward II, and Agnieska Holland’s The Secret Garden.

On television, Lynch has been seen in Seventh Stream, Peak Practice, Young Indy, Small Change, Shrinks, Out of the Blue, The Roughest Way, Chimera, and Who Bombed Birmingham?, Making Out, Total Eclipse, and The Railway Station Man.

Lynch’s many stage performances include “Blackwater Angel” and “Hamlet” at the Abbey Theatre; “The Way South,” “By the Border,” and “The Strangeness of Others” at the National Theatre; “The Tutor” at the Old Vic; “The Centre” at the Royal Court; “Arturo Ui,” “Oh What a Lovely War,” “Scraps,” and “The Tempest” at the Contact Theatre, Manchester; and “Nicholas Nickleby” at the Royal. Shakespeare Company.

SOPHIE VAVASSEUR (Evelyn Doyle) is 9 years old and lives in Dublin, Ireland, where she has studied drama for the past 3 years.  Despite her youth she has appeared in films, onstage, and done a number of advertisements and voice-overs.  Film credits include the IMAX film Twang and Reign of Fire starring Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale.  Onstage she recently appeared in Come On Over by Conor McPherson at The Gate Theatre. 

ALAN BATES (Tom Connolly) is one of the most revered and accomplished actors of his time.   Classically trained and acclaimed for performances on both stage and screen, his career is one of the most remarkable in his profession – and it’s still going strong.

Bates knew he wanted to be an actor at a very young age.  He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, then became a member of the new English Stage Company at the Royal Court theatre, making his West End debut with the Company in 1956.  Since then, his stage appearances include performances in plays by virtually every master playwright, including Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg, Pinter, and Stoppard.  Bates won this year’s Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his incredible performance in Ivan Turgenev’s “Fortune’s Fool.”
 Onscreen, Bates received an Academy Award® nomination for his performance in The Fixer.  After his film debut in The Entertainer, other credits include Zorba the Greek opposite Anthony Quinn, Georgy Girl, John Schlesinger’s Far from the Madding Crowd, Women in Love opposite Glenda Jackson, Three Sisters, An Unmarried Woman, The Rose opposite Bette Midler, Duet for One, Zeffirelli’s Hamlet starring Mel Gibson, the Oscar®-nominated Gosford Park, The Mothman Prophecies opposite Richard Gere and Laura Linney, and this summer’s blockbuster The Sum of All Fears.
 

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

BRUCE BERESFORD (Director) has one of the highest reputations enjoyed by any director working in cinema today, thanks to a talent for versatile, engaging storytelling and a natural gift with actors.

In 1975, Don’s Party won Beresford the Best Director award from the Australian Film Institute.  His next film, The Getting of Wisdom, was selected for Director’s Fortnight at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival. 

In 1980 he was nominated for an Academy Award® for his screenplay Breaker Morant. The film was also selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival and won eleven Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay. 

In 1982, Beresford received his second Academy Award® nomination as Best Director for Tender Mercies starring Robert Duvall.  The film won Academy Awards® for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay.  It was also selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The Fringe Dwellers, written and directed by Beresford and produced by Sue Milliken, was selected for competition at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival and won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Screenplay. 
In 1987, Beresford’s Crimes of the Heart was nominated for three Academy Awards®. The film starred Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek and Sam Shephard. 

In 1990, Beresford directed Mister Johnson, the first feature to be shot entirely in Nigeria.  The film starred Pierce Brosnan and Edward Woodward and was selected as that year’s Royal Command Performance Film.  Black Robe, the first Australian/Canadian co-production, followed.  Produced by Robert Lantos and Sue Milliken, it was filmed in Quebec and won six Canadian Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

In 1990 Driving Miss Daisy, directed by Beresford, won four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Jessica Tandy.  The National Board of Review also selected it as Best Film. 

Most recent credits include Bride of the Wind, starring Jonathan Pryce and Vincent Perez; Double Jeopardy, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd; Paradise Road, starring Julianna Margulies, Cate Blanchett, Glenn Close and Francis McDormand; and Last Dance, starring Sharon Stone, Rob Morrow, Peter Gallagher and Randy Quaid. 

Bruce Beresford was born in Australia and graduated from Sydney University in 1962. He also served as Film Officer for the British Film Institute Production Board from 1966-1971 and as a Film Advisor to the Arts Council of Great Britain. 

PAUL PENDER (Screenwriter/Co-Producer), after graduating from Glasgow University with a degree in Law and English, attended the National Film and Television School where he wrote, produced and directed the award-winning soccer comedy The Game.  After working as a journalist for several publications, Paul was the BBC production executive on Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, which won both a BAFTA and the 1995 Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short. 
In 1994 Paul set up Pender Productions, which produced the award-winning Somebody Else’s War on the Bosnian conflict and Faith, Hope, Calamity, a six-part documentary series on Scottish soccer.

As a screenwriter for TV, Paul’s credits include Beautiful Lies and The Bogie Man.  He recently completed The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, a major TV series for Crest (USA) and Talisman (UK).

Paul graduated from the European Film Studio and Film Business School in 1996.

BEAU ST CLAIR (Producer) partnered with Pierce Brosnan to create Irish DreamTime, an MGM based film production company.  With Brosnan and Irish DreamTime, St. Clair produced the independent feature The Nephew, directed by Eugene Brady and starring Hill Harper and the late Donal McCann, filmed in Ireland.  Their company also executive produced The Match in Scotland starring Max Beesley, Richard E. Grant, Tom Sizemore and Ian Holm.  The Thomas Crown Affair, directed by John McTiernan and starring Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan, was Irish DreamTime’s third feature, produced in conjunction with MGM Pictures.

St. Clair rejoined John McTiernan to produce his reinterpretation of the cult favorite Rollerball for MGM starring Chris Klein, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, and Jean Reno. 
Prior to forming Irish DreamTime, St. Clair also served as associate producer on Race the Sun in Australia with Jim Belushi and Halle Berry.  She was production supervisor on the David Mamet drama The Edge starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. 

Earlier, St. Clair was a production executive for Kadokawa Productions, whose projects included the feature film Deception with Andie MacDowell and Liam Neeson, as well as the Broadway musical Shogun.  She followed this with an association with Summers-Quaid Productions, where she associate produced Hideaway, directed by Brett Leonard and starring Jeff Goldblum and Christine Lahti.

St. Clair began her career as director of development for Oscar®-winning producer Jerome Hellman.  While with him, she also worked as production coordinator on The Mosquito Coast starring Harrison Ford and production supervisor on the Broadway musical Threepenny Opera starring Sting.

St. Clair graduated from UCLA with a degree in English literature.

MICHAEL OHOVEN (Producer)  German businessman Michael Ohoven formed Infinity International Entertainment Inc. in August 2000 and serves as its chief executive 

officer.  Raised and educated in Germany, Ohoven learned financing and institutional investment at the prestigious Commerzbank.  He then joined the International Corporate Affairs division of RTL Television, Europe's largest private broadcaster, where the station's renowned founder, television mogul Professor Helmut Thoma, became Ohoven’s mentor.  After two and a half years, Ohoven left the company to create Infinity International Entertainment.  Under his leadership, the company quickly established strong working relationships with major studios, talent representatives, and financial institutions. As a result, the company has completed production on six films in its first two years of operations.

EBERHARD KAYSER (Executive Producer), after graduating from college with a degree in Economics, worked in finance for real estate.  First, he acted as managing director for a Munich investment company.  Then, in 1969, he set up his own company and financed two building projects, producing 100 flats for owner occupation.

 In 1976, Kayser became managing director of Cinerenta GMBH.  Cinerenta produced and financed 27 theatrical feature films with Columbia Pictures, including box-office hits like Kramer vs. Kramer, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Blue Lagoon, and The Deep.  Cinerenta also financed All That Jazz, starring Roy Schneider and Jessica Lange; Gloria, starring Gena Rowlands; and Absence of Malice, starring Paul Newman and Sally Field.  When Cinerenta terminated its film related activities, Kayser returned to real estate.

 In 1996, Kayser, together with Mario Ohoven, re-established Cinerenta, and again became managing director.  Since 1997, the new Cinerenta has produced more than 30 feature films, including The Contender, starring Joan Allen and Jeff Bridges (nominated for Academy Awards® for their performances), and Confidence, starring Dustin Hoffman and Edward Burns.  Later, the company produced Quicksand starring Michael Keaton and Michael Caine; Liberty Stands Still starring Wesley Snipes, and The Human Stain starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman.

MARIO OHOVEN (Executive Producer) has worked as an investment banker and finance manager for more than thirty years.  He is owner and president of the Investor Treuhand Group, one of the most successful investment banking companies in Germany, and is also president of one of the largest associations lobbying the importance of a middle class economy.  He is also a successful writer – his best-seller The Magic of Power-Selling has been published in nine languages and is considered the ultimate handbook on modern marketing.

In 1996, Ohoven established Cinerenta with Eberhard Kayser, which has since produced over 30 feature films, including A Map of the World with Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore, How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog with Kenneth Branagh and Robin Wright-Penn, and The Contender with Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges and Christian Slater.

KIERAN CORRIGAN (Executive Producer) is a chartered accountant and barrister-at-law.  He founded Merlin Films Group and has specialized in film finance for the past twelve years.  A director of the Film Institute of Ireland and Arthouse, the Irish multimedia centre, Corrigan is also a director of the Irish Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and director of Hummingbird Productions.  The Irish Government appointed Corrigan Chairman of the National Building Agency, and he’s also a member of the Custom House Docks Development Authority. 

Widely regarded as Ireland's foremost film financier, Corrigan has produced many film and television projects, most notably The General, This Is My Father, Angela Mooney Dies Again, Journey to Knock and The Treaty.

SIMON BOSANQUET (Executive Producer) is one of the United Kingdom’s busiest producers.  He worked his way up from assistant director to production supervisor on films as diverse as John Schlesinger’s Yanks, Warren Beatty’s Reds, Chariots of Fire, Greystoke, and Angel Heart.  He then co-produced Michael Radford’s White Mischief, Schlesinger’s Madame Sousatzka, and Nuns on the Run.

Through his own production company, Telescope Pictures, he produced Afraid of the Dark, Princess Caraboo, Victory, and The Revenger’s Comedies.  In 1998, with Ileen Maisel, he produced Martha Fiennes’ award-winning Onegin.   During this period he was also executive producer on Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche and produced Eric Idle’s Splitting Heirs.

In 2000, he produced writer/director Guy Jenkin’s The Sleeping Dictionary and the Emmy-award winning Wit for HBO, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Emma Thompson.  Before serving as executive producer on Evelyn, Bosanquet produced Ripley’s Game starring John Malkovich and Dougray Scott.  In 2003 he will produce, with Ileen Maisel, The Eustace Diamonds, an adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s novel by Academy Award®-winning writer Julian Fellowes.

ANDRÉ FLEUREN (Director of Photography) has worked extensively in cinematic and television drama for twenty-five years.  Throughout his career, he has completed films in Australia, Europe and Canada.

Fleuren has shot many documentaries, for which he has received numerous awards. City of Dreams was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award.  Both Renzo Piano - Piece by Piece and A Breath received Australian Cinematographers Society distinctions.  First State 88, a Showscan production, was awarded the Society’s Golden Tripod.

During the past ten years Fleuren has often worked with director Bruce Beresford as DP, second unit DP, and camera operator.  His recent projects include the Imax production Sydney – The Living City, Bride of the Wind, Double Jeopardy, Paradise Road and The Black Robe.

JOHN STODDART (Production Designer) was born in Sydney, Australia, and trained as an architect.  While working in an architectural firm in London, he was asked to design some scenery for a small local theatre.  One opportunity led to another, and soon he found a new career.  Stoddart designs most often for opera companies, working with the English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, the Scottish Opera and the Australian Opera.  His film credits include Bruce Beresford's The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972), Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974) and The Getting of Wisdom (1977); Carl Schultz's Careful He Might Hear You (1984); and Stephen Wallace's For Love Alone.

HUMPREY DIXON (Editor)  Evelyn is the second feature film edited by Dixon for Bruce Beresford. The first was Mr. Johnson, which also starred Pierce Brosnan.

  Dixon's distinguished career started with Led Zeppelin's Madison Square Garden concert movie, Song Remains the Same, directed by Jo Massot.  Upon completion of the film, Dixon moved into less frenetic Merchant Ivory films, editing Heat and Dust, Quartet, A Room with a View, and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. 

  He edited Andrei Konchalovsky's first American film, Maria's Lovers, starring Robert Mitchum and Nastassia Kinski, Stepping Out starring Lisa Minelli, and edited the action footage on Jean-Jacques Annaud's big budget European war movie Enemy at the Gates.

  Other credits include Sirens and Lawn Dogs for director John Duigan, Playboys and A Simple Twist of Fate for Gillies MacKinnon, Crusoe for Caleb Deschanel, and Dancing at Lughnasa for Pat O'Connor.

STEPHEN ENDELMAN (Composer and Musical Director) received critical acclaim earlier this year for his score to Bruce Beresford's Bride of the Wind, the story of Alma Mahler.  He just completed his first romantic comedy, I'm With Lucy.  Endelman's works have ranged from the rich orchestral score for The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill, but Came Down a Mountain to his minimalist, modern score for the hit comedy Flirting with Disaster.

In 2000, Endelman received critical acclaim for his score entitled Passport to the Universe, a public commission for the first Space Show in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Narrated by Tom Hanks, the show is now playing in the Futuroscope Park in France.  This year, Endelman wrote the music to the second show, The Search For Life, Are We Alone, narrated by Harrison Ford, which opened to great acclaim in the spring.

English-born Endelman began playing the clarinet at age seven and became a full-time scholar at The Purcell School of Young Musicians at age twelve.  He then studied composition at London's Guildhall School of Music Drama and the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta, Canada.  Besides his growing body of film work, Endelman has composed two operas and, at the age of 18, composed the music for the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten.

An ardent film-lover, Endelman moved to New York in 1992 to pursue and develop his career in film music.  His first score for a feature film was Household Saints.  He then worked closely with Robert DeNiro on his directorial debut, A Bronx Tale.

Endelman's other film credits include Two Family House, which received an Audience Award for Best Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival 2000; Tom and Huck; Reckless, and City of Industry.  He also scored Kicked in the Head, The Proposition, Finding Graceland, Imaginary Crimes, and Jawbreaker.

In 1998, he won the ASCAP Foundation Award as resident composer at the Metropolitan Opera Guild, where he has been a resident artist since 1993.

JOAN BERGIN (Costume Designer) is one of Ireland’s best-known costume designers and, throughout her career, has worked on numerous projects around the globe.  Her credits include the critically acclaimed films My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, and Dancing at Lughnasa.

Bergin began her career in stage and architectural design, and won awards in both capacities.  She designed Brian Friel’s “Translations” on Broadway starring Brian Dennehy, and returned to New York in 1999 for the Friel season at Lincoln Center.  Recently, her work was seen on television in the miniseries David Copperfield and on the big screen in Barry Levinson’s An Everlasting Piece.  She designed costumes for this summer’s Reign of Fire and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical, “The Beautiful Game,” in London.
 

Production Notes courtesy of MGM