Happy Birthday: J.K. Rowling

J.K. RowlingBorn: July 31, 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, UK

Married to: Neil Murray (26 December 2001 – present) (2 children)
Jorge Arantes (16 October 1992 – 30 November 1993) (divorced) (1 child)

Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you’ve lived so cautiously, that you might as well not have lived at all.

[At the premiere at the last Harry Potter movie (2011)] Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

[on making a $1.68-million donation for the campaign against the Scottish Independence movement] The more I listen to the ‘yes’ campaign, the more I worry about its minimization and even denial of risks. This separation will not be quick and clean. It will take microsurgery to disentangle three centuries of close interdependence. I just hope with all my heart that we never have cause to look back and feel we made a historically bad mistake.

Happy Birthday: Ben Chaplin

Ben ChaplinBorn: July 31, 1970 in London, England, UK

When you arrive in L.A. as an Englishman you might as well be on the moon. People just don’t understand you if you speak too fast and most people there think you’re Australian. Ordering was incredibly complicated. I was speechless.

I’d like to keep working on both sides of the Atlantic. But settling down is not something I can really compute as I’ve lived out of a bag since I was 17. Being an actor is well paid but it’s a bit like being a circus traveler. There’s no base except for where your friends and family are. Wherever I settle, I know I can’t spend a lot of time there so I have to grab the bits of time that I have at home, when I can, and just enjoy them. But it’s a transient existence.

Happy Birthday: Richard Griffiths (1947–2013)

Richard Griffiths (1947–2013).jpgBorn: July 31, 1947 in Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, England, UK

Died: March 28, 2013 (age 65) in University Hospital, Coventry, West Midlands, England, UK

Married to: Heather Gibson (1980 – 28 March 2013) (his death)

Winning is something you’ve dreamed about and hoped for, so that when you get there it’s no big deal. But if you lose you’re gutted, and the gutted sense just goes on, and I know what that’s like, because I’ve been having that gutted feeling since 1979.

(On Uncle Vernon from the Harry Potter movies) “Vernon distrusts Harry completely and is always concerned that he is going to do something strange at any moment. That is Vernon’s biggest fear – he doesn’t want anything strange happening that the neighbours might see.”

If I had my way, all actors over 55 would be issued a 3-lb. wet salmon with which to slap the face of every young, beautiful, successful upstart. ‘That’s for being so lucky, you bastard!’ I would shout. And then, hit them again, if you can.

Happy Birthday: Emilia Fox

Emilia FoxBorn: July 31, 1974 in London, England, UK

Married to: Jared Harris (16 July 2005 – 2010) (divorced)

[on portraying Lynne Frederick in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)] I had thought very carefully about playing Lynne. I wanted to represent her in a way that I though was fair – which was a very young girl being taken up in this world of laughter and light, and then finding out the reality. Peter Sellers was completely obsessed by work and it’s very difficult to live with someone like that.

Happy Birthday: Christina Cox

Christina CoxBorn: July 31, 1971 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The youngest of three girls, Christina was born just outside Toronto. She carried a double major of theater and dance at the prestigious Arts York at Unionville High School. She went on to further her training at the Ryerson Theatre School of Toronto, among such alumni as Eric McCormack and David James Elliott. In addition to her film and television credits, Christina has appeared in numerous national theater productions, ranging from classical productions of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” to Jim Cartwright’s raw and dirty “Road”.

Happy Birthday: Dean Cain

Dean CainBorn: July 31, 1966 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, USA

“Yes, I would. Absolutely. Any woman that could have a bikini painted on and have you believe it’s really a bikini is okay by me” – when asked by Larry King if he would date a painted woman.

I don’t really go down one path. I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist, or a Catholic or a Christian or a Muslim, or Jewish. I couldn’t put myself into any organized faith.

Acting with Denzel is like playing tennis with someone that’s better than you. You either play better tennis or get blown off the court.

Mix one part Denzel Washington and two parts Eva Mendes and you have a nice hot cocktail.

Happy Birthday: Ruby Modine

Ruby ModineBorn: July 31, 1990 in USA

Actress and singer Ruby Modine currently co-stars in the seventh season of Showtime’s critically acclaimed television series Shameless. She is also in production on the Blumhouse feature film Half to Death and has completed production on the indie horror feature Central Park. Earlier this year, she starred in and recorded music for the short film Super Sex, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Happy Birthday: B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak.jpgBorn: July 31, 1979 in Newton, Massachusetts, USA

I’m a believer in trusting the director.

I do not have very much office experience.

Good comics gravitate to each other; you know who’s your type of person by watching them onstage, hopefully.

‘The Office’ is less a comedy than so many other ‘comedies’ that have been on the air. It’s really about the balance between what is real and what is comic.
Travel is impossible, but daydreaming about travel is easy.

Different people have different styles, but there is an opportunity as a director to be a writer in every moment, with every visual cue and every piece of production design. Everything is a decision, and everything can be obsessed over.

Happy Birthday: Michael Biehn

Michael BiehnBorn: July 31, 1956 in Anniston, Alabama, USA

Married to: Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (1 January 2015 – present) (1 child)
Gina Marsh (1 January 1988 – 2014) (divorced) (2 children)
Carlene Olson (11 July 1980 – 14 July 1987) (divorced) (2 children)

Well, I’m certainly not a tough guy. I like to think of myself as a good father. And somebody who enjoys his works,somebody who’s like…passionate…. passionate about his work. A little troubled, you know, I’ve had some problems in the past. I had a serious problem with alcohol for a number of years which I’ve overcome. But that was very difficult, ruined a couple of marriages and probably stunted my ‘carrier’ to a certain degree. But a human,you know. I’m just a human like everybody else. Flawed… but at the same time passionate about what I do.

(On his role in Hill Street Blues (1981)) That was a great character for me. I loved that character because he was just such a total asshole. He was a racist, he was a misogynist, he didn’t like women, he didn’t like anybody, he was a loudmouth, he was crude… What was cool about him was that I got to work with Betty Thomas and Ed Marinaro, and when I was standing between the two of them, I looked like a shrimp. I mean, I’m 6 feet tall, but Ed’s gotta be 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3, and Betty’s gotta be 6-foot-1 or 6-foot-2, so I looked like Robert Conrad, like any minute I was gonna say, “Knock this battery off my shoulder!” I looked like the little guy, who was always feisty and yelling and stuff, and I had a great time doing that character. It’s one of my favourite characters, in fact. I loved him.