What links Lesley Manville to Nic Roeg and Vic Reeves?

Go down the rabbit hole to discover how acting royalty meets the real thing, by way of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Verve

Manville about town

Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret from season five of The Crown
Lesley Manville is in The Crown and a new TV take on Dangerous Liaisons … Photograph: Netflix

You can’t move for Lesley Manville. This year she’s been in the compelling BBC series Sherwood and starred in the charming Mrs Harris Goes to Paris. There was also BritBox’s Magpie Murders (though I maintain BritBox is merely an urban myth started by the Radio Times). This month she is Princess Margaret in another round of actors vastly more handsome than their real-life counterparts playing royals in The Crown (Netflix), and in a new TV take on the scheming loves and rivalries of Dangerous Liaisons (Lionsgate+).

Multiple liaisons

Ryan Phillippe in Cruel Intentions
… a 1999 version of which had a scene backed by the Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony … Photograph: Columbia/Allstar

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos is the 1782 French epistolary novel that keeps on giving … in endless instalments in various mediums. Christopher Hampton’s 1985 play became Stephen Frears’ 1988 film. In 1999, Cruel Intentions moved the setting to a New York high school. The film’s deeply 90s soundtrack concludes with a scene backed by the Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony.

Credit swaps

Mick Jagger
… based on The Last Time by the Rolling Stones, whose lead singer Mick Jagger starred in Performance by Nicolas Roeg … Photograph: Shutterstock

The Wigan band’s signature hit was based on an orchestral version of the Rolling Stones’ The Last Time, which led to a long, confusing rights dispute. Mick Jagger is no stranger to screen time, having recently provided the theme tune to the Apple TV+ series Slow Horses (in which he sounds a little like Vic Reeves’s club singer). His most memorable film role remains Turner in Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg’s 1970 cult classic Performance.

Love Roeg

Todd Louiso
… whose films inspired albums by Jim O’Rourke, who also wrote the score to Love Liza, directed by Todd Louiso … Photograph: Jeff Vespa/WireImage

For reasons not immediately clear, the avant garde noise-maker Jim O’Rourke named three albums after Roeg films: Bad Timing, Eureka and Insignificance. Among O’Rourke’s vast back catalogue is the score to the 2002 indie drama Love Liza, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman; the film was written by Hoffman’s brother Gordy and directed by Todd Louiso.

Lesley and Gary get married

Stephen Frears
… who was in High Fidelity, directed by Stephen Frears who also directed Dangerous Liaisons and Prick Up your Ears, starring Gary Oldman, who married Manville. Photograph: Shutterstock

Louiso is more recognisable as the intense/awkward nanny of that adorable kid in Jerry Maguire. Or as the intense/awkward record-shop guy in High Fidelity, the 2000 film directed by Stephen Frears, who previously turned his hand to Dangerous Liaisons, among other things. Ever prolific, in 1987 Frears directed Prick Up Your Ears, starring Gary Oldman, who married Manville that same year (it didn’t last long). In her third film role, Manville featured in the other work that year by Frears, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid.

Pairing notes

Eat An unforgettable performance in 2017’s Phantom Thread took Manville to the Oscars. Equally unforgettable are the film’s breakfast scenes – among the servings: welsh rarebit with a poached egg.

Watch Manville is a regular Mike Leigh player: All or Nothing and Another Year brought her to the fore.

Contributor

Larry Ryan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
What links Lady Chatterley’s Lover to Walkabout and William Hurt?
The DH Lawrence classic inexorably leads to violent UK theatre, a stunning John Barry soundtrack and the erotic thriller Body Heat

Larry Ryan

03, Dec, 2022 @1:00 PM

Article image
‘Men my age aren’t good on their own. They’re needy’: Lesley Manville on being happily single and her big problem with Hollywood
The Mike Leigh favourite has become an Oscar-nominated A-lister. She talks about her glamorous mother, her on-stage stamina and being left holding the baby by Gary Oldman

Charlotte Edwardes

22, Apr, 2023 @6:00 AM

Article image
What links Aubrey Plaza to Sally Rooney and The White Lotus?
Sashay down the rabbit hole to discover how the Hollywood actor is connected to these cultural touchstones – as well as a medieval sex farce

Larry Ryan

17, Sep, 2022 @12:00 PM

Article image
What links Bridgerton to the Stone Roses? | Down the rabbit hole
As the Netflix period drama returns, take a dive down the rabbit hole via Shonda Rhimes, Hiro Murai and Lesley Manville

Larry Ryan

02, Apr, 2022 @12:00 PM

Article image
What links The White Lotus to Tom Wolfe and the Sicilian good life?
The second series of the scathing social satire ignites a chain of terrible rich people swanning about in Italy

Larry Ryan

29, Oct, 2022 @12:00 PM

Article image
What links Jeff Bridges to Kendall Roy and Jerry Seinfeld?
The actor’s new Disney+ show The Old Man ignites a chain of circumstance that includes his father, Lloyd Bridges, a clothing line and a mysterious wife

Larry Ryan

01, Oct, 2022 @12:00 PM

Article image
What links Jon Bernthal to the Monkees and Richard Gere?
Follow the ‘hot and goofy’ actor down the rabbit hole to find unlikely links to the original American Gigolo

Larry Ryan

20, Aug, 2022 @12:00 PM

Article image
What connects The Bear star Ebon Moss-Bachrach and poet Simon Armitage?
By a series of cunning connections involving Lena Dunham and Forward prize winner Caleb Femi, we speed all the way from a Chicago diner to the UK poet laureate

Larry Ryan

05, Nov, 2022 @1:00 PM

Article image
What links the 1975 to Alicia Vikander and Jack Antonoff?
Go down the rabbit hole to discover how Matty Healy is just a few degrees away from Hollywood stars and super producers

Larry Ryan

15, Oct, 2022 @12:00 PM

Article image
What links David O Russell’s crime romp Amsterdam to Gloria Steinem and Bob Dylan?
Ahead of the shouty director’s latest film, we venture down the rabbit hole with Christian Bale, Julianne Moore and Spike Lee

Larry Ryan

08, Oct, 2022 @12:00 PM