Attention, casting directors of the world! Want to cast Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman in your new movie? Make sure to shoot it in a location the guy wants to visit. And flesh out the actorly ranks with dudes Hoffman wants to hang out with.
That’s pretty much how director Richard Curtis ([movie id="235080"]“Love Actually”[/movie]) and his team nabbed the actor for [movie id="383120"]“Pirate Radio.”[/movie]
“It wasn’t really the topic or the theme,” Hoffman told MTV News, explaining why he signed on to the project. “The script I thought was very sharp and very funny. And I also thought the idea of it could be oddly moving. But the biggest thing was, ‘Oh, God, how great would it be to go to England and be the only American on set and kind of get away for a while and work with these guys and get to know these guys?’ And that ultimately was the best part about it.”
Those guys included righteous British actors like Bill Nighy ([movie id="268871"]“Pirates of the Caribbean”[/movie]), Rhys Ifans (“Flight of the Conchords”), Nick Frost ([movie id="250850"]“Shaun of the Dead”[/movie]) and Kenneth Branagh ([movie id="212981"]“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”[/movie]). They all play members of a pirate radio station in the late 1960s, a time when rock and roll wasn’t widely available on the British airwaves and folks took to the high seas to broadcast the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Who and other bands for kids with radios hidden under their pillows at night.
“The movie has a kind of profound message about the importance of rock and roll in our lives, and I needed someone to say that well and Phil says it really well and really beautifully,” Curtis said.
But “Pirate Radio” is not just a rock movie. It’s a coming-of-age story, an ensemble comedy, even a bit of a disaster movie at the end. After all, a lot of the movie was shot on an actual boat, which the production would sail out into open waters each day. Most of the cast arrived early for a sort-of pirate boot camp, which sounds harrowing until you learn that it mostly involved fishing, drinking beer and sleeping in cramped cabins.
Though Hoffman arrived late on set — due to work on another project — he did pick up one seafaring tip early on. “You always had to watch getting sunburned!” he laughed. “Those were the things ultimately that could really make it an awful thing if you got sick that way.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Pirate Radio.”
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