Happy Birthday: Alexis Knapp

Alexis KnappBorn: July 31, 1989 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA

I used to find that I could get mental serenity surrounded by chaos.

I was raised with three bothers, no sisters. I’ve always been a tomboy.

I hang out with dudes a lot. I can relate to being the guys girl.

You look in the mirror, but you don’t see what you actually look like.

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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.