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Brian Cox on playing real people, Author Omar Robert Hamilton, Game of Thrones legacy, Venice Film Festival opening

Brian Cox and Leo Davis on actors playing real people, author Omar Robert Hamilton, Game of Thrones legacy in Northern Ireland and the Venice Film Festival.

Following speculation as to who might play Nigel Farage in a forthcoming film about Brexit, actor Brian Cox, who recently played Winston Churchill, and casting director Leo Davis, who cast Michael Sheen as Tony Blair, discuss the challenges for actors in playing non-fictional characters; what sort of preparation is required, how important are physical characteristics and what advice would they offer to actors on portraying "a real life" character?

The fantasy series Game of Thrones has been of the most successful TV shows worldwide in the last decade. But it hasn't just caused a stir on our screens; it's also transformed the film industry in Northern Ireland where much of the mega series is filmed. Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, explains whether the burgeoning business can be sustained after GoT airs its next and final season.

English-Egyptian writer Omar Robert Hamilton's debut novel, The City Always Wins, has been released to acclaim by writers including Philip Pullman and JM Coetzee. His story is set during the Arab Spring of 2011, and follows a group of young activists in Cairo. The book mirrors Omar's own involvement in the revolution. Kirsty asks him what it was like to experience the hopeful fervour at the beginning of the uprising and what became of their aspirations.

Film critic Jason Solomons reports from the opening of the Venice Film Festival, including the showing of Downsizing with Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig.

Available now

30 minutes


  • Venice Film Festival

    Duration: 04:58

  • Casting

    Duration: 10:13

  • Game of Thrones

    Duration: 05:10

  • Omar Robert Hamilton

    Duration: 07:24

Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival
The 74th Venice International Film Festival continues until 9 Sept

Casting real life people

Casting real life people
Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson in
Churchill, certificate PG
Photo credit: Lionsgate

Main image: Brian Cox as Churchill
Photo credit: Lionsgate

Omar Robert Hamilton

Omar Robert Hamilton
Omar Robert Hamilton
Photo credit: Sam Waxman

Omar Robert Hamilton's book The City Always Wins is out now


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Lang
Interviewed Guest Brian Cox
Interviewed Guest Leo Davis
Interviewed Guest Richard Williams
Interviewed Guest Omar Robert Hamilton
Interviewed Guest Jason Solomons


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