Posts From Author: steve coogan

This Is Not A Man

Alexander Pope recited in the style of William Shatner. A French general, born into slavery in Saint-Domingue, locked in a war of attrition with Napoleon Bonaparte. A live link to Hollywood during Oscars week. It could only be the House of SpeakEasy. “This Is Not A Man” delivered another Seriously Entertaining mix of music, comedy, history and literature in the warm embrace of City Winery in SoHo. First out of the gate was Dana Vachon, author of Wall Street satire Mergers & Acquisitions. He kicked off with a couple of thumbnail sketches — “One story that doesn’t work involves my father and a terrorist…” — before setting off on a globe-trotting assignment set by Vanity Fair. It was a tale of data-mining billionaires, early-morning water calisthenics in Singapore, and uber-alpha-male English expats all called Roger MacMillan, topped off with sage words of advice from Don DeLillo. “I asked him what young novelists should be writing about,” said Vachon, “and he said immediately, without hesitation, the destruction of the environment.” The comedian Steve Coogan, who stands to win his first Oscar this weekend for his screenplay for Philomena, spoke to SpeakEasy founder Amanda Foreman via Facetime from Los Angeles. Coogan has enjoyed a phenomenally successful career in comedy, but Philomena is […]
Read More

Curtain Call: This Is Not A Man

We’re just days away from our February show, “This Is Not a Man”. Speechless with excitement, it seems only right that we hand over to our six guests to introduce themselves. So without further ado… Tom Reiss won both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography for his latest book, The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. “It’s a great, forgotten, unknown, erased African-American success story,” he says, “and a story of a moment in time that really should realign our understanding of the history of race and race relations in the west.” Here he is talking about the origins of the book, which PEN judges called “a miracle of research”. Steve Coogan could be the worthy winner of an Academy Award next Sunday. He and Jeff Pope are nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for Philomena. Looking ahead, Coogan’s film Alan Partridge, released last year in the UK as Alpha Papa, is available on demand and via iTunes next Thursday (February 27) and you can catch it in US cinemas from April 4. In a short trip to the UK last year, I actively didn’t see friends so that I could make […]
Read More

“Do You Think I Should Do A Human Interest Story?”: Steve Coogan, Martin Sixsmith and Philomena Lee

JANE I think what they did to you was evil. PHILOMENA No I don’t like that word. MARTIN No — evil’s good. (They stare at him) Story wise. You can read Philomena: A Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, based on the book by Martin Sixsmith, on the Weinstein Company website here. As with most published screenplays, there are some discrepancies between this and the final film.  We’re extremely excited to be welcoming Steve Coogan at our next Seriously Entertaining event, “This Is Not A Man”, on February 24 (tickets on sale here), and delighted to be able to congratulate him on his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination for Philomena! Here we take a look at his award-winning work on the movie. Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope’s screenplay for Philomena (dir. Stephen Frears, The Weinstein Company, 2013), was adapted from Martin Sixsmith‘s nonfiction book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee (Macmillan, 2009). It’s one of six Best Picture nominees at this year’s Academy Awards based on true events but one of only two (the other being The Wolf of Wall Street) that actively interrogates its “real-life” nature. Indeed, I’d argue that what makes Coogan and Pope’s screenplay so powerful is the tension between the simple “human interest” story Sixsmith sets out to […]
Read More