Cumberbatch and ‘Sherlock’ to Return for 4th Season

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

David Arquette on being resilient in the world of acting.

‘People have impressions of you,” David Arquette says, “and it’s hard to get people to see outside of the box.” The Scream actor steps outside the box as the lead of a touring production of Sherlock Holmes, an upbeat adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective tales, by the late playwright Greg Kramer.When you think of David Arquette playing someone with investigative skills, you’re more likely to summon up the bumbling Deputy Dewey Riley from the Scream series than the master sleuth of 221B Baker Street. “I honestly never considered myself in the part,” laughs Arquette from California, where the show has been rehearsing. “I mean, me, Sherlock Holmes?Henry James, the author of The Portrait of a Lady and other literary masterpieces, becomes an unlikely action hero in this ambitious Sherlock Holmes pastiche from Simmons, a writer I’ve been meaning to read for a long time.

Arquette has had a varied career that’s included everything from acting to being a World Championship Wrestling star, to singing in a rock band, to designing a line of clothing, to running a nightclub in L.A. called Bootsy Bellows: his late mother’s stage name when she was a burlesque dancer. “Look, he’s such a unique character,” reasons Arquette. “And he’s strangely contemporary. An adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s spin-off novel A Slight Trick of the Mind (2005), this character drama by Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Parts 1 and 2) at times plays like Arthur Conan Doyle by way of Proust. Other Doyle disciples have teamed Holmes with eminent figures of the Victorian age (perhaps most notably Nicholas Meyer in The Seven Per-Cent Solution, in which Holmes gets psychoanalyzed by a young Sigmund Freud) and have purported to reveal the great detective’s dark side as the proper Doyle would never have done (see Michael Dibdin’s The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, about Holmes and Jack the Ripper), but Simmons takes this game to a new level. Holmes is 93 and played with great nuance by Ian McKellen, whose portrayal of another ageing icon – the horror filmmaker James Whale – in Condon’s Gods and Monsters (1998) makes for an intriguing reference point.

Since “Sherlock” first aired in 2010, Cumberbatch has become a global star, Academy Award-nominated for “The Imitation Game.” Freeman has starred in “The Hobbit” movie saga and in TV’s “Fargo.” The BBC in Britain and PBS’ “Masterpiece” in the United States have announced they will broadcast a 90-minute “Sherlock” special episode Jan. 1. Holmes,” a mild and minor bit of revisionist Sherlockiana, imagines the world’s greatest detective in his dotage, retired to a picturesque rural spot on the English coast where he tends to bees and fading memories. A chance meeting on a Paris bridge in 1893 results in the likewise suicidal James joining Holmes on a mission in America, where the Baker Street sleuth hopes to prove that historian Henry Adams’s emotionally fragile wife, Clover, was not a suicide but a murder victim in 1885—and to thwart an international conspiracy involving an attempt to assassinate President Grover Cleveland at the opening of Chicago’s Columbian Exhibition. And underneath all the surface stuff, he’s a strangely honest man and people like that in their heroes.” Arquette has never really been known for stage work, although he did get great reviews for his 1999 turn as Dr. The leisurely, digressive plot contains a number of clever twists and surprises, and how James evolves in his Watson role is one of the book’s highlights.

The first is his relatively recent visit to post-Hiroshima Japan, with guidance by an admirer named Umezaki (Hiroyuki Sanada), to look for a cure to dementia; while the second – and far more emotionally draining – occasion is Holmes’ last case nearly three decades ago, during which his misjudgment of human psychologies resulted in a seemingly avoidable death. Furter in a Los Angeles production of The Rocky Horror Show and starred opposite Annette Bening in a 2010 Hollywood mounting of The Female of the Species. “I wanted to challenge myself,” is how he explains his return to live performance. “I love the interaction with audience. Without the benefit of Watson’s perspective, Condon’s film revolves gently, if sometimes ploddingly, around Holmes’ psyche as he comes to realise that cold hard truths deduced by rationality sometimes scarcely matter next to the flesh-and-blood humans he personally feels for. The keen ratiocinative powers that made Holmes an early hero of modern popular culture are still in evidence, though the cases he has left to solve are of a decidedly intimate, melancholy nature. There’s something that brings me back to an older time and place.” “Yeah, I was born on a commune in Virginia,” recalls Arquette. “It was super backwoods, our whole family lived in a one-room cabin. . . .

Then comes Patricia (recent Oscar winner for Boyhood and star of CSI: Cyber) at 47, Richmond at 52 (last seen in National Lampoon Presents: Surf Party) and big sister Rosanna, 56, still best recalled for Desperately Seeking Susan opposite Madonna. “My dad was my hero, a brilliant, complicated man who had his flaws,” Arquette says, but he has also chronicled his father’s substance abuse and his mother’s tendency toward violence. He thinks some of his father’s difficulties might have stemmed from a complicated relationship with his own father, Cliff Arquette, known to fans of The Jack Paar Tonight Show and Hollywood Squares as country bumpkin Charlie Weaver. Arquette got into movies early and by 21 was appearing in films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but making the first instalment of Scream in 1996 changed his life in a couple of important ways. “I started getting into scenarios I wasn’t ready for. It’s most ingenious conceit is that the real man has grown old alongside his legend, slipping into theaters to watch movies made about his exaggerated exploits and gently correcting some of Watson’s fabrications. I had fun, I guess, but I’m glad I got out when I did.” After that, issues with substance abuse began popping up until he finally checked himself into rehab in 2010, appearing on Oprah and Jay Leno’s Tonight Show in 2011 to discuss his recovery. “Did you see that documentary about Amy Winehouse?” he asks. “There’s a great line at the end from Tony Bennett.

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