Article: 20000131060

Title: People

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People
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British actor Emily Watson likes tackling tough dramatic roles that other actresses tend to shy away from—and it has certainly worked to her advantage. Watson was nominated for an Oscar for her role as a pious heroine who sacrifices everything for love in the 1996 film Breaking the Waves.
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Vince Bucci/AFP
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Watson: would like the chance to try more comedic roles
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The queen of drama

Film star Emily Watson shines in Angela’s Ashes

British actor Emily Watson likes tackling tough dramatic roles that other actresses tend to shy away from—and it has certainly worked to her advantage. Watson was nominated for an Oscar for her role as a pious heroine who sacrifices everything for love in the 1996 film Breaking the Waves. And she received another nod from the academy last year for her portrayal of cellist Jacqueline du Pré, who died of multiple sclerosis at age 42, in Hilary and Jackie. And now, Watson can be seen on the big screen as the title character in Angela’s Ashes, the film adaptation of Frank McCourt s depressing memoir of growing up poor in Limerick, Ireland. “My roles in the past have been quite emotional and harrowing,” says Watson, 33. “But Angela is different. Hers is a more restrained drama, not as passionate.”

Besides Angela’s Ashes, Watson is also appearing in the ensemble comedy Cradle Will Rock, co-starring Susan Sarandon

and John Cusack and directed by Tim Robbins. “It was such a fun film to make,” says Watson, who was born and raised in London, where she still lives with her husband, fellow actor Jack Waters. “It was just like hanging out in New York City with a group of friends.” She would love to do more comedy, but realizes that some directors have typecast her as the suffering, vulnerable woman. “I know that when people are casting for a comedy the name Emily Watson doesn’t come up,” she says, smiling. “But I’m hoping to change that.”

Watson believes part of her celluloid success can be attributed to the fact that it took three tries to get into drama school and that she didn’t become a professional actor until her mid-20s. “I think the more experience you have in life, the more you have to draw on when acting,” says Watson. “Young actors have had no setbacks, and you need that stmggle to give you strength.”

The boys are back in town

During the 1990s, the Kids in the Hall comedy troupe was renowned for spoofing the taboo; AIDs, genderbending and even suburban values felt the sting of their satire. Now, affer a four-year hiatus, the Kids are back, reunited for a 19-city North American tour. The show, which features old and new material, opened two weeks ago in Vancouver, and hits Toronto from Jan. 26 to 28 and Montreal on Jan. 29 and 30. Thanks to daily Kids in the Hall reruns on The Comedy Network, the group is attracting a new crop of fans who for the first time are experiencing such characters as gay icon Buddy Cole and the demented Headcrusher. “We’re not the Rolling Stones, we don’t really

tour,” says Kid Mark McKinney. “But we seem to be on the uptick. The sketches come right back, you never really forget. And we tease each other in exactly the same way.”

The Kids disbanded after their 1996 movie, Brain Candy, failed at the box office—but each has been busy with solo projects. Dave Foley starred in the

sitcom NewsRadio. McKinney had a stint on Saturday Night Live, appeared in a slew of movies spun off from that show, and recently won raves for his work in the Broadway show Fuddy Meers. Scott Thompson had a standout role on television’s The Larry Sanders Show, while Bruce McCulloch split his time between acting and movie directing {Dog Park, Superstar), and Kevin McDonald appeared on Drew Carey and Friends.

Do the Kids, who are now in their 30s and 40s, have any regrets about their demographically specific moniker? “I gleefully embrace it—I love the fact that I’m older and still calling myself a Kid,” says 40-year-old McKinney, who pauses suddenly. “I can’t believe I gave you my real age.”

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McDonald (left), Thompson, Foley, McKinney and McCulloch: reunited
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