Arts interviews

Interview: Nev Schulman

By Jennifer Lipman, March 3, 2011

As Yaniv “Nev” Schulman points out, he’s got a fair amount in common with Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.

Both are 26, from Jewish families in New York and live enviable lives surrounded by the latest in geek-dream software. And for both, being part of what Schulman calls “the first Facebook generation” has had unimaginable consequences.

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Interview: Robert Popper

By Jessica Elgot, February 24, 2011

How can you make a sitcom about Shabbat, and never mention the J-word? Friday Night Dinner writer Robert Popper explains that the rituals of Friday night with the family resonate beyond Golders Green and Edgware.

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Interview: James Franco

By Stephen Applebaum, February 24, 2011

James Franco seems to be everywhere these day in all kinds of different guises.

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Interview: Eran Riklis

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2011

Eran Riklis bristles when he is described as "political". But the Israeli filmmaker says it is a label he has had to accept, albeit with trepidation. "The word political is complicated. I used to say my films were not political, and people would smile and say 'Oh OK'."

Riklis, 56, first received worldwide attention for his 2008 film Lemon Tree, about a Palestinian widow whose lemon grove is set to be demolished to make way for the house of an Israeli security minister. Surely Israeli films do not get more political than that?

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Interview: Peter Kosminsky

February 3, 2011

Peter Kosminsky cannot be accused of dodging the difficult assignments. He has made films about British soldiers in Bosnia, about the Falklands War, and the conflict in Northern Ireland. On one occasion while making a documentary about Soviet conscripts in Afghanistan he was marooned on a rocky mountainside for days as shells whizzed past his ears.

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Interview: Ivan Fischer

By Jessica Duchen, January 18, 2011

If you go to the Royal Festival Hall this Sunday, listen out for a lot of Hungarian around the foyers. Speakers of this fearsomely complex language will be out in force: January 16 marks the London launch of both the Hungarian presidency of the European Union and the bicentenary year of that Hungarian-born musical legend, Franz Liszt.

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Interview: Mischa Maisky

By Tim Stein, January 14, 2011

'I wasn't supposed to have become a musician," says the 63-year-old Latvian-born cellist, Mischa Maisky, in a thick Baltic accent. "With two older siblings already studying music, my mother wanted me to be 'normal'."

In fact, he was anything but. "I was a hyper-active child, running around all the time playing football and never sitting still for a moment, so it came as a great surprise when I suddenly announced I wanted to play the cello."

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Interview: Darren Aronofsky

By Stephen Applebaum, January 13, 2011

Darren Aronofsky became fascinated by madness - specifically paranoid schizophrenia - while working on first feature film, Pi. Set among New York's Orthodox Jewish community, its main character, Max Cohen, is a troubled number theorist who believes he may have discovered the numerical code which can explain everything in Creation, and ends up taking a power drill to his head in what must be one of the few scenes of self-trepanning in cinema history.

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Interview: James Bierman

By John Nathan, January 6, 2011

You can hope, but I don't think you can plan for it. That would be dangerous," says wise James Bierman about success.

Bierman knows a lot about the subject. As executive producer of the Donmar Warehouse he oversaw and was largely responsible for the theatre's greatest era - a period so great that it even overshadowed Sam Mendes's tenure in the job, and Mendes managed to persuade Nicole Kidman to appear at the 250-seat Covent Garden venue.

Those heady days seem relatively tame compared to the heights reached by the Donmar under Bierman, and the artistic director Michael Grandage.

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Interview: Stacey Solomon

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2010

What's eating Stacey Solomon? In the past few weeks, the Dagenham diva emerged triumphant from the Australian jungle as winner of I'm a Celebrity… and made an emotional return to the X Factor. She is widely feted for her bubbly girl-next-door naturalness and generally regarded as the nation's sweetheart. Everything in the garden should be rosy. So what's the problem?

First of all she has had enough of reality TV. Then she is anxious about her employment prospects and craves a steady job. And to cap it all, she has got a bone to pick with Simon Cowell.

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