Magazine article Screen International

UK Actor Toby Kebbell to Take Lead in Lore Producer's First English-Language Film

Magazine article Screen International

UK Actor Toby Kebbell to Take Lead in Lore Producer's First English-Language Film

Article excerpt

EXCLUSIVE: UK actor Toby Kebbell has been cast in the lead part of US director Tony Pemberton's Buddha's Little Finger, which is based on Victor Pelevin's eponymous novel and marks Lore producer Rohfilm's first foray into English-language production.

Kebbell, whose recent work has included Wrath Of The Titans and War Horse, plays the young Russian gangster Pyotr Voyd, who awakes in the notorious prison of Lubyanka, captured by the KGB, during the 1991 coup to oust Gorbachev from power. During the interrogation process, he loses his memory and believes that he is a Russian revolutionary poet in 1919 where he joins the real-life Red Army hero Vasily Chapayev and his sidekick machine-gunner Anna. Soon, Pyotr is on the run simultaneously in the Moscow of 1991's gangster capitalism and in the Ural Mountains of precarious post-revolutionary 1919.

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Buddha's Little Finger

"We thought Toby was charismatic and ideal for this part as he has to play a character living in two different times," Rohfilm's Karsten Stöter told Screen in an exclusive interview before the film's shoot began today (Aug 28) in Leipzig. "He looks the perfect fit for 1919, while in 1991, he looks as if he doesn't belong somehow."

Apart from Kebbell, the cast includes two Canadian actresses Karine Vanasse (Midnight In Paris) and Anne-Marie Cadieux (Good Neighbours) and local German-based actors who have experience of international projects ranging from André Hennicke (Pandorum) and Trystan Pütter (Passion) to Stipe Erceg (Unknown Identity) and Ivan Shvedoff (Mission Impossible 4).

"Over the years, the project went through various stages of development and financing," Stöter continued. "Initially, we wanted to make it as a German-Russian coproduction and work with the UK to get an English cast, but the UK is completely hopeless for co-production unless you have a British director and British story, and so on. …

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