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Theatre Works • The Little Dog Laughed
  • Cast Highlights:
  • Tamsin Greig
  • Rupert Friend
  • Harry Lloyd
  • Character: Ellen
    Production Status: 08 January 2010 to 10 April 2010
    Release Date: Opens 20 January 2010
    Director: Jamie Lloyd
    Writer: Douglas Carter Beane
    Genre: Comedy

    Plot Outline:
    Rising film star, Mitchell Green (Rupert Friend), is every girl’s fantasy and soon to become a household name, thanks to his devilish agent Diane (Tamsin Greig), who excels at navigating the choppy waters of Hollywood.

    With Mitchell on the brink of superstardom, Diane encounters one teensy weensy obstacle – she can’t seem to stop her leading man from coming out of the closet. With Mitchell spending days and nights with his new ‘friend’ Alex (Harry Lloyd), and Alex’s beautiful girlfriend Ellen (yes girlfriend!) causing a drama of her own, what lengths will Mitchell go to play the part? And will there be a Hollywood ending when the credits role?

    Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony award-nominated comedy, hilariously satirizes the superficial world of show-business and the game-playing of the movie industry.

    Starring Tamsin Greig, Rupert Friend, Gemma Arterton and Harry Lloyd.

    Gemma’s Role:
    Gemma Arterton’s character Ellen is Alex’s girlfriend, who is a mass of contradictions. “She’s vulnerable, she wants a baby and she wants to be loved — and at the same time she has a cutting humour,” said the actress.

    “She’s also hungry for fame, and for me that’s so ironic because I’ve had a taste of it [fame] and decided I don’t want it. I would rather do a play in England, thank you very much.”

    At one point she and the cast were sitting with the show’s playwright, Douglas Carter Beane, and he asked them to name a successful and famous actor who’s happy.

    “He said he couldn’t think of any — and no one else could, either. I thought: ‘I don’t want that to be me!'” Gemma is contracted to do more Prince Of Persia and Clash Of The Titans films if needs be, but she also knows how to get away and be with friends.

    And her parents (her dad’s a welder and mum’s a cleaner) have ensured her feet are kept on the ground. “I think it’s such a massive thing in our culture now, where people just aspire to be famous and not reach for pure happiness,” she told.

    “I’ve been there — a little bit! — and I’ve opted to be happy.”

    In the play, Gemma’s and Rupert’s characters opt for something that won’t make them happy. She sees it as a cautionary tale.

  • External Links:
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    Cast and Crew Quotes:
    • “There’s no question that her life will change,” says Rupert Friend, who is currently acting alongside Gemma in the West End, in the snappy Hollywood satire The Little Dog Laughed. “She’d be naive to think that doing huge films won’t change things, and she’s not naive.” Friend’s then girlfriend was Keira Knightley, so he has witnessed first-hand the discombobulating effects of great fame on a young woman. “The trick is to just ride it out rather than try to predict too specifically what’s going to happen,” he says. “And Gemma’s in a great place to deal with it. She’s very smart and very shrewd about the world we’re living in.”
    – Rupert Friend (The Little Dog Laughed co-star)

    • “Of course she is very pretty, you can’t deny that,” says Rupert Friend. “But she’s also very smart, and she knows her craft. She’s studied at RADA, she’s been on stage, she’s done television, films, comedy, drama. She’s really earned her stripes. To be able to do all that and make it look as easy as she does, you’ve got to be fucking good.”

    Better still, she’s a good laugh. “She’s incredibly down to earth,” says Friend. “We have a green room at the theatre and she’s the first one to stick the kettle on and get the biscuits out. She’s very English in that way. It’s a real joy to have that kind of person in a company: someone who’s not interested in pulling any starry stuff. She’s interested in having a good time with good people and I think that comes across in her work. She’s very accessible, you know?”
    – Rupert Friend (The Little Dog Laughed co-star)