On The Graham Norton Show, airing Tuesday 22 January 2019 on BBC Brit (DStv Channel 120) at 9pm, Graham welcomes X-Men star James McAvoy, American actor Sarah Paulson, British actor Richard E Grant, stars of Stan & Ollie Steve Coogan and John C Reilly, and newly reformed Irish pop band Westlife.
James, talking about the 24 different personalities he portrays in his new film Glass, says, “All of them had one driving characteristic. That was key to getting into them physically. I based one of the twins on a young Saoirse Ronan!”
Talking about working with the likes of Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis, he says, “They are massive movie stars. You work with movie stars that are your contemporaries, but when you are working with somebody that was a movie star when you were a wee boy, someone that was starring in Moonlighting when you were six, it is unbelievable. It is different.”
Sarah, talking about her role in the film, says, “I just wanted Samuel L Jackson to like me. He is an incredibly formidable human and right away you feel that if he likes you, you are going to be okay in life. We had a bit of a swear-off. I have a potty mouth and so does he. It was a lot of fun!”
Asked about getting the role, she says, “I burst into tears when M Night Shyamalan called to tell me. I really wanted to work with him. I said yes without even looking at the script. It was desperation and admiration.”
Richard, talking about missing out on a Golden Globe award for his role in Can You Ever Forgive Me, says, “I’m a 61 and three-quarter year-old nominee virgin as I’ve never been nominated for anything in my whole life and suddenly I’ve won 19 awards in two months! Being at the Golden Globes, sitting next to Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Melissa McCarthy and Dick Van Dyke was win, win, win as far as I’m concerned.”
Asked if it’s true he is joining one of the biggest franchises in the world, he says, “Yes, I am in the last Star Wars.” Asked if he will be recognisable in the movie, he says, “I have no idea because I’ve not even been allowed to tell my family what the name of my character is.” Pressed further by Sarah to reveal his character, he says, “If I told you I would get fired. We’re not even allowed to take the script home. There is a lot of security.”
Revealing he is a true fan of the films, Richard says, “I was a drama student when I saw the first one in 1977 and if you had told me then that 41 years later I would be in the final Star Wars I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Steve and John join Graham for a chat.
Talking about their new film Stan & Ollie, Steve says, “It was a bit of a risk and we were both anxious about playing such iconic characters who are admired by so many people. Audiences are laughing and crying at it which is good.”
Asked if they bonded in the same way Oliver and Laurel had, John says, “We had to recreate a partnership that lasted 30 years in three weeks!” Steve adds, we had a rehearsal period where we learnt all these songs and dances and it was like fast-tracking a friendship and it worked.” Adding jokingly, “In the end it wasn’t so hard getting on with John!”
On maintaining his Stan Laurel accent, he jokes, “I just had to not try to be too big with the voice and not hang around with Rob Brydon!”
Showing off his amazing skill for voices Steve impersonates Ronnie Corbett, and Sylvester Stallone in conversation with Alan Bennett.
Talking about the return of Alan Partridge in a new BBC series, he says, “He’s back with a new show called This Time. He’s funniest when he is failing.”
Westlife perform their number one hit single Hello My Love live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.
Talking about their children now being teenagers, Nicky says, “They are at that stage when they say, ‘Dad, you’re not going to sing all those rubbish songs from the past are you?'”
Asked about an encounter with fellow musicians in their early days, Nicky says, “We were a young band in 1998, we’d just signed a record deal over here and we went to the opening of a big store in Bond Street and there were all these superstars including Oasis, who were so big. We thought, ‘We have to go over and say hello,’ so I tapped Liam on the shoulder and said, ‘We’re Louis Walsh’s new band’ and he just said F off!”
And finally, Graham pulls the lever on more foolhardy audience members brave enough to sit in the Big Red Chair.
The Graham Norton Show, BBC BRIT, Tuesday 22 January 9pm.