In late October we did a CD launch party at Joe's Pub in NYC and it was such fun to see everyone again and to sing the songs with a great band. Dan Studney and Kevin Murphy, the writers of the show, fought really hard to get all the rights and permissions and money together to release the CD, so thanks to them we now have a record of not just the movie but the original LA stage productions too.
I went to LA to do a talk with the amazing photographer Amy Arbus about our work together and her books on photography.
In June I returned to Glasgow to re-rehearse The Bacchae for the National Theatre of Scotland. I realised I had never really gone back to a theatre show before in this way. (I had done Cabaret twice but there were four years separating the two productions and none of the other cast was the same). Sometimes when something has gone so well the first time - and of course it probably has otherwise why do it again? - it is a little weird for new people to come in, and to try to rehash something.
However, what was great about doing it again was that the new people came in and instead of recreating they brought a whole new energy and approach, and it was actually really exciting to find new things in scnes that had never crossed my mind before. Also the director, John Tiffany, made lots of changes and tightened the show up and it felt like we were doing a whole new thing.
Cal Macaninch, who played Pentheus, brought a totally different tone and that made me have to think afresh. I loved it! Also I loved that we went to Aberdeen and Inverness in Scotland before bringing the show to NYC as part of the Lincoln Center festival. I had spent a lot of time in Inverness as a little boy as my Granny and many relations lived there, and I also knew people in Aberdeen too, so it was another summer of coming home. And then I got to bring it to my new home to NYC where all my friends were able to see what the fuss was about!
I did a reading of a play directed by David Brind, when he told me he was in pre-production for a movie he had written, Dare. The reading went really well, David and I got on like a house on fire and kept in touch. Over the next while, he emailed me telling me how it was going with the film preparation, in particular with the casting. There is one character of an actress who comes back to her alma mater and bitch slaps the main character played by Emmy Rossum. He had been having trouble casting it, and in one of the meetings someone said, “why don’t we make it a man, and get Alan Cumming to play it.” Everyone laughed, but then they actually did it. And I was offered the role.
So I popped down to Philadelphia for a few days and had a really great time. The script is really clever and surprising. It’s about three friends at high school, finding themselves and each other, but it’s not at all your usual right-of-passage teenage flick. I think David is a really great writer, I enjoyed working with Adam Salky, the director. And poor Emmy, who had to stand a whole day of me being so mean to her.
I went to London to promote Tin Man and spoke to this funny website called Holy Moly...
Then later in the year I was on Morning Joe
PBS asked me to be the host of their Masterpiece Mystery series. I love PBS, and since the prevous hosts include Vincent Price and Diana Rigg, I was rather honoured to be asked. Basically I come out of the shadows and introduce some British TV mystery show. I love being a host. I feel I ought to come out of the shadows with a tray of sandwiches.
I was asked to talk about NYC and my favourite things about it for a campaign the city was doing called 'Just Ask The Locals'
I shot a PSA with Michael Caulson for Live Out Loud's new initiative The Homecoming Project. Live Out Loud is a really great organistaion that connecst LGBT youth to community leaders and generally helps young people feel good about being themselves.
In January I did a talk for the Oxonian Society in NYC.
Here are some of my rambling thoughts, about the difference between British and American actors...
and here's what happened when I met Stanley Kubrick...
I have always been a rabid fan of the UK version of Big Brother, so when I was asked to take part in Celebrity Big Brother Hijack, I leapt at the chance.
The format differed from previous years in that the celebs were Big Brother rather than the housemates, with a different person 'hijacking' the show each day. And also the housemates were all young and excelled in their various fields. So it made for a very interesting and unusual take on the normal way of things.
I was just so excited to get to say 'This is Big Brother' over the house speakers, and to ask people to come into the diary room.