'Begin Again's James Corden Shares Some On-Set Memories and Makes Us Want To Be His BFF
James Corden may not have been the biggest name in attendance at the press conference for Begin Again , the newest film from John Carney, the writer-director of Once — but he was definitely the funniest. While Adam Levine copped to his lack of acting skills and Mark Ruffalo waxed philosophical about selling out, Corden was cracking jokes about boy bands and keeping things light with stories about drinking on set. It's official: we want him to be our new BFF. Who is James Corden, you ask?
The London native is most famous in the States as the recipient of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role in the farcical One Man, Two Guvnors. The 35-year-old actor was raised in Buckinghamshire by a musician and a social worker, and loved singing from an early age.
Corden's first major role came in 2000 when he starred for four seasons on the drama series Fat Friends as Jaime, a fifteen-year-old bullied for his size. In 2004, he was cast in the play The History Boys at the Royal National Theatre in London. He went on to appear in productions of the show on Broadway, in Sydney, Wellington, and Hong Kong, and in the 2006 film adaptation. Then in 2007, he co-created the BBC comedy Gavin & Stacey with his Fat Friends co-star Ruth Jones. That show ran for three seasons and earned Corden a BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance.
After his success with One Man, Two Guvnors, Corden starred in the film One Chance, which told the true story of Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts. And now, with Begin Again, the actor is finally being introduced to mainstream American moviegoers. He appears in the film as Steve, the best friend of Greta, the songstress portrayed by Keira Knightley. And what was his favorite part of filming the musical movie? One memory in particular stands out.
Next up for Corden is yet another musical movie, this time an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's famous fairytale mashup Into The Woods , directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago). Corden stars as The Baker, who ventures into the titular forest with his Wife (Emily Blunt) to break a spell preventing them from bearing children. Along the way they meet a Witch (Meryl Streep), a Wolf (Johnny Depp), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), and many more popular figures from folklore. The film will open wide on Christmas Day of this year.
Towards the end of the press conference, Corden spoke up about his filmmaking philosophy. It's a little pessimistic at first, but bear with him.
Whether or not Begin Again falls into that 10 percent of successful films that Corden is talking about, it's nice to see an actor who is so clearly aiming as high as possible. He's already got a BAFTA and a Tony on his mantle, and it feels like he's just getting started. We can't wait until Into The Woods launches him into public awareness that he so well deserves. And in the meantime, we'll be waiting impatiently for that Maroon 6 cover of "Girl, You Ready?"
Catch Begin Again in theaters now, starring Corden, Ruffalo, Knightley, Levine, Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld, and Cee Lo Green.
Images: Getty Images, BBC