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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2005, 06:10 GMT 07:10 UK
Taff's Well's role in LA story
Tom Bourton
Tom Bourton
BBC Wales news website

Sharon Stone, Hank Azaria and Patricia Arquette (pic courtesy of Christopher Monger)
Sharon Stone, Hank Azaria and Patricia Arquette all contributed to the film
Sharon Stone, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Swayze, Geena Davis and Patricia Arquette - it is a cast list that most directors would kill for.

But they are just a few of the big-name stars that director Christopher Monger worked with to create his latest film called Special Thanks to Roy London.

The documentary is a feature-length tribute to acting coach Roy London.

Monger, from Taff's Well, south Wales, is currently showing the film at festivals and looking for distributors.

The director, whose previous credits include The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain, said it was a project that had been in his head since Roy London died in 1993.

Roy London (pic courtesy of Christopher Monger)
Roy London was featured in Life magazine as a five-year-old

"My wife (producer Karen Montgomery) knew Roy very, very well," he said.

"There were several times we said we should do something, and we decided to put some people on tape - the first person to agree was Sharon Stone - she did a five-hour interview and the floodgates opened."

Hank Azaria, Sherilyn Fenn, Drew Carey, Famke Janssen and Garry Shandling were among the other actors who contributed during a year of filming.

"Sharon Stone said on many occasions that, before Roy, she was stuck in B-movies - Roy helped her make the transformation," said Monger.

"A lot of people who worked with him had careers as jobbing actors, but were not getting the big roles."

We are hoping for a limited theatrical release in the US, but I think our big market will be DVD
Christopher Monger

As well as the talking heads, there is also some footage from London himself, although he was not the easiest man to capture on camera.

Monger added: "He would never allow classes to be filmed - he wanted to be in the background. There were just two interviews we had access to."

London, whose first brush with fame was a child maths prodigy who appeared in Life magazine aged just five, emerged as an acting coach in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

The title of the film came from awards acceptance speeches made by stars including Brad Pitt, Geena Davis and Sharon Stone who paid tribute to him while picking up their accolades.

Monger said that, although he was not sure of securing a theatrical release for the movie in the UK, it had a lot to offer actors, writers and artists.

Christopher Monger and Karen Montgomery (pic courtesy of Christopher Monger)
Christopher Monger and Karen Montgomery have showed the film in New York

He said: "Roy London's work was very simple - he was very results-orientated."

Earlier this year, the film was well-received during its showing at New York's Tribeca film festival, which was founded by Robert de Niro.

"Now we are looking for distribution and fielding our first sales offers," said Monger.

"We are hoping for a limited theatrical release in the US, but I think our big market will be DVD."

Monger said that UK-based film festivals were also interested in the movie.

"I have heard noises that Cardiff would like it, and have also applied for London," he said.

As a Welshman living in Los Angeles, Monger said he tried to keep in touch with his south Wales roots.

"I try to get over once a year, twice if I can. My mother still lives in the same house there," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Back to basics for Sharon Stone
16 May 05 |  Entertainment
Python show tops stage shortlist
10 May 05 |  Entertainment


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