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Louis Lester

played by Chiwetel Ejiofor

Louis Lester

played by Chiwetel Ejiofor
Character Bio Actor Bio

Born in the United Kingdom (UK) to a mother who worked as a servant in a wealthy mansion, Louis Lester was raised to be aware of how the upper-class lived and always aspired to enhance his own status. Through working as a merchant seaman, Louis sailed around the world and began developing his musical talents. While playing in a New York jazz club, he felt compelled to start his own band and dreamed of introducing American jazz music to the UK.

Serious, creative and sensitive, Louis possesses the characteristics of a true gentleman. He is dedicated to his music and to leading the Louis Lester Band towards increased fame. Always calm – unlike the band’s manager Wesley – Louis’ intellectual nature and charm enable him to assimilate perfectly among London’s high society. In London, he develops an instant friendship with a music journalist named Stanley. They soon bond over their mutual work ethic and love of music.

Three-time Golden Globe® nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor is a British actor who will soon be seen in Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated film 12 Years a Slave (October 2013 release date), where he stars as Solomon Northup alongside a stellar cast including Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti and Michael Fassbender. He recently completed filming Half of a Yellow Sun (based on the highly acclaimed novel of the same title and also starring Thandie Newton) and Savannah, a feature based on the true story set in the early 1900’s, of the white aristocrat Ward Allen (played by Jim Caviezel) who rejects his plantation heritage and lives a life outside the law with his friend (Christmas Moultrie) a freed slave. This summer in London, he will star in the stage production of The Young Vic’s “A Season in the Congo,” directed by Joe Wright.

Ejiofor’s film credits including Salt, alongside Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber; 2012 opposite John Cusack, Danny Glover and Thandie Newton; Endgame, for which he earned a Golden Globe® Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television; Stephen Spielberg’s critically acclaimed Amistad, starring alongside Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins; Stephen Frears’ thriller Dirty Pretty Things for which his performance as ‘Okwe’ won him the Best Actor Award at the British Independent Film Awards, the Evening Standard Film Awards, and the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards; starred in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe; starred opposite Don Cheadle in Talk to Me and in David Mamet’s Redbelt; Kinky Boots; Four Brothers alongside Mark Wahlberg; Spike Lee’s heist film Inside Man alongside Clive Owen, Jodie Foster and Denzel Washington and the Academy Award® nominated Children of Men, alongside Clive Owen. He has co-starred in Richard Curtis’ Love Actually, Slow Burn and Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda. In addition to his acting career, Ejiofor directed the short film, Slapper, which was screened at the 2008 Edinburgh Film Festival.

Following his television debut in 1996 in “Deadly Voyage,” Ejiofor has been seen in numerous television productions including “Murder in Mind;” “Trust;” “Twelfth Night, or What you Will;” “The Canterbury Tales – The Knight’s Tale” and the hard-hitting emotional drama, “Tsunami: The Aftermath,” which earned him aGolden Globe Award® nomination and an NAACP Image award. He can be seen in BBC’s award-winning series “The Shadow Line.”

On stage, he performed the title role in Michael Grandage’s “Othello” at the Donmar Warehouse (alongside Kelly Reilly and Ewan McGregor), for which won the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor, as well as nominations for the South Bank Show Awards 2009 and the What’s On Stage Theatregoers’ Choice Awards. His other theater credits include Roger Michell’s “Blue/Orange” and the title role in Tim Supple’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Stanley Mitchell

played by Matthew Goode

Stanley Mitchell

played by Matthew Goode
Character Bio Actor Bio

Stanley Mitchell is the ambitious, forward thinking journalist at Music Express magazine, striving to make it the highest selling music magazine in the country. He is also hired to discover new bands to perform at the Imperial Hotel in order to bring more exciting music to the managers, thus drawing more patrons to the venue. After seeing the Louis Lester Band perform, Stanley knows that they can offer an extraordinary, cutting edge sound to the London music scene.

Matthew Goode was raised in the city of Exeter, England. Earlier this year, he starred opposite Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasilkowska in Park Chan-Wook’s Stoker, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He next appears on screen alongside Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson and Emily Watson in Amma Asante’s sophomore feature Belle (Fox Searchlight), which will premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Later this year, he begins work on The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley for director Morten Tyldum.

Goode’s film credits also include Tom Ford’s critically acclaimed A Single Man with Colin Firth; Zack Snyder’s Watchmen; The Lookout with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels and Isla Fisher; Woody Allen’s Match Point; Jonathan Teplitzky’s Burning Man; Chasing Liberty opposite Mandy Moore; Brideshead Revisited, with Emma Thompson and Ben Whishaw and Ol Parker's Imagine Me & You. He made his feature film debut in 2003 as the celebrated Spanish speaking writer Gerard Brennan in Fernando Colomo's cult biopic South from Granada.

For television, Goode is currently filming “Death Comes to Pemberley” (BBC/UK) and recently completed work with Kyle Chandler on the pilot for Showtime’s “The Vatican,” directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay by Paul Attanasio. He previously starred in ITV1’s two-part psychological thriller “The Poison Tree,” an adaptation of Erin Kelly’s novel directed by Marek Losey, “Birdsong,” BBC telefilm "My Family and Other Animals,” (which aired as part of PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre"), the English crime drama "Marple: A Murder is Announced," Tom Vaughan's "He Knew He Was Right," and "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: A Suitable Vengeance."

Goode’s stage credits include the role of Ariel in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and Moon in Lorca's "Blood Wedding" at the Mercury Theatre Company.

Goode studied drama at the University of Birmingham, and later, classical theatre and stage acting at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Lady Cremone

played by Jacqueline Bisset

Lady Cremone

played by Jacqueline Bisset
Character Bio Actor Bio

An eccentric, well-heeled English aristocrat known for discovering unknown talent, Lady Cremone is highly respected in the most exclusive of social circles. By no accident, Stanley and The Band meet her and try to win her over with their art. Although she has become somewhat of a recluse, she remains a persuasive, savvy visionary, with extreme influence over the evolution of popular music, playing a key role in propelling the careers of both Stanley and the Louis Lester Band.

Few actresses have starred in films from such a lengthy list of acclaimed directors, co-starred with as many superstar actors and sustained international stardom for over four decades, as has Jacqueline Bisset. The English-born beauty made her cinema debut in Roman Polanski's Cul-de-sac (1966). In 1967, following a small role in Stanley Donen's Two for the Road (1967) and caught the eye of Hollywood forever in her appearance as Miss Goodthighs in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967).

Her own superstardom began with her work opposite Frank Sinatra in The Detective (1968); The Sweet Ride (1968), for which she received a Golden Globe® Award nomination; teamed with Steve McQueen in Bullitt (1968) followed by such critical and box-office hits as François Truffaut's Day for Night (1973); The Deep (1977); Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978), earning her a second Golden Globe® Award nomination; she received her third for her role in John Huston's Under the Volcano (1984). Other recent work includes Tony Scott's Domino and the honored festival favorite, Death in Love. Bisset, was nominated for a César award, the French equivalent of the Academy Award®, as best supporting actress for La cérémonie and is the recipient of France’s highest tribute, the Legion D’Honneur.

In television, she received an Emmy® Award nomination for her role in the miniseries “Joan of Arc” (1999). In 2006 Bisset had a juicy recurring role as a ruthless extortionist on "Nip/Tuck" (2003) during its fourth season. Recently, she performed in the uplifting television movie “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” (2008).

Masterson

played by John Goodman

Masterson

played by John Goodman
Character Bio Actor Bio

The mysterious American mogul Masterson is one of the richest men in the world. With his hands in several different industries on both sides of the Atlantic, he senses popular culture and journalism are about to explode and becomes obsessed with the potential lucrative business opportunities. He knows who to mingle with and who to work with, aligning himself with the likes of Julian, Lady Cremone and Stanley. On the exterior, Masterson is a lavish and adventurous man, living life to the fullest. His private life however, remains bizarre and rather mysterious – he appears to be hiding dark secrets.

John Goodman is a Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award-winning American film, television and stage actor. He is known for his role as Dan Conner on the hit television series “Roseanne” (1988–1997) for which he won a Golden Globe® Award for Best Actor in 1993 and for providing the voice of Sully in the films Monsters University and Monsters, Inc. He recently completed filming the Coen Brothers’ latest film Inside Llewyn Davis and George Clooney’s The Monuments Men (both with December 2013 release dates). He’s most recently been seen in The Hangover Part III and The Internship with Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson.

In film, he has frequently collaborated with the Coen Brothers in films such as Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski and O Brother, Where Art Thou? Goodman originated the role of Pap Finn in the Broadway musical “Big River” for which he received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. His numerous other film credits include Argo opposite Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston; Flight starring Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle; Coyote Ugly; Evan Almighty opposite Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman and the multi-Academy Award® winning film The Artist.

Goodman’s other television credits include “The Community,” HBO’s “Treme,” “The West Wing,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and “The Jack Bull,” for which he won an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

Sarah

played by Janet Montgomery

Sarah

played by Janet Montgomery
Character Bio Actor Bio

A descendant of Russian immigrants, Sarah immediately connects with Louis and romantic sparks soon begin to fly between the two. Sarah stands out from the other socialites Louis has recently encountered, as she was not born into aristocracy. She manages to fit in with the upper-class due to her fashion sense, wit, rebellious nature and progressive views. She is a keen photographer at a time when photography is burgeoning. Her warmth, strong feminist perspective, sense of humor and brave outlook make her a desirable woman to be around.

Janet Montgomery is an English actress began her acting career at the age of twelve when she appeared on the British children’s show “Short Change.” She can most recently be seen starring in the lead role of CBS’ legal drama “Made in Jersey.”

In television, Montgomery is best known for her starring role as Ames in the second season of FOX’s “Human Target” and her role as Eric Murphy’s assistant, Jennie, in HBO’s “Entourage.” In 2008, she was cast as the love interest of Nicholas Hoult in the teen drama, “Skins.”

Montgomery’s film credits include playing the supporting role of Madeline, the “Little Swan,” opposite Natalie Portman in the Academy Award® winning film Black Swan; Dark Castle Entertainment’s horror film The Hills Run Red; Fox Home Entertainment’s Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead; The Rapture with Jaime Murray and Danny Dyer and the Weinstein Company’s Our Idiot Brother with Paul Rudd.

Jessie

played by Angel Coulby

Jessie

played by Angel Coulby
Character Bio Actor Bio

Jessie is the lead singer of the Louis Lester Band, singing with her best friend and schoolmate, Carla. Sweet, demure and reserved, Jessie possesses a mysterious allure, irresistible even to the Prince of Wales and Prince George. She is very private about her childhood, having been raised by her single mother, who was also a singer in the old music halls. Her confidence grows as her stunning looks and incredible talent soon make her a London singing sensation.

Angel Coulby is an English actress who made her television debut in the BBC comedy “Orrible.”

She is currently filming “The Tunnel” (Sky TV/UK) and is best known for her role in the BBC One fantasy television series, “Merlin,” where she stars as Gwen, a young woman who later becomes Queen Guinevere, the legendary wife of King Arthur and Queen of Camelot.

Coulby’s other television credits include the ITV drama “The Second Coming,” directed by Russell T Davies and starring Christopher Eccleston; the British comedy-drama “As If;” the crime drama “Vincent”, starring Ray Winstone and the BBC comedy “The Visit.”

She studied acting at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

Julian Luscombe

played by Tom Hughes

Julian Luscombe

played by Tom Hughes
Character Bio Actor Bio

A charismatic, handsome and debonair man from one of Britain’s most noble families, Julian Luscombe is used to having the world at his feet. One of Masterson’s employees, Julian knows the best places to eat, the preeminent parties and all the posh locales throughout Europe. However, his self-assured manner hides an unhappy childhood and volatile weaknesses. Julian likes to be at the center of things and is in his element when socializing with London’s elite. He becomes a huge fan of the Band, specifically developing strong feelings for Jessie who is the most beautiful and exotic woman he has ever seen.

Tom Hughes is an English actor. He began acting at an early age and was a member of Cheshire Youth Theatre and Jigsaw Music Theatre Company.

Hughes’ television credits include the spin-off BBC series “Casualty 1909” and ITV’s “Trinity.” He recently starred as the pupil barrister Nick Slade in BBC’s legal drama “Silk” and appeared in the BBC thriller “Page Eight,” alongside Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz.

In film, he appeared in the biopic of Ian Dury, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, as Dury’s band mate Chaz Jankel; he also starred as the rebellious Bruce Pearson in the comedy-drama Cemetery Junction directed by Ricky Gervais.

On stage, he has appeared in the production “Sweet Nothings,” by David Harrower at the Young Vic and he was nominated for a BIFA Award for Most Promising Newcomer. In 2011, he was named one of the 42 BAFTA Brits to Watch.

He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in acting.

Carla

played by Wunmi Mosaku

Carla

played by Wunmi Mosaku
Character Bio Actor Bio

Carla grew up in one of the poorest areas of London, living in one room with five siblings who frequently went hungry. Shy and unconfident as an adult, she is used to living in her friend Jessie’s shadow and taking a backseat while on stage. She has one of the most realistic attitudes about the Band’s fame and fortunes, never taking their new success for granted and always assuming it could end any day. However, her confidence begins to develop and she eventually flourishes into a star performer, enjoying her new success and comfortable lifestyle.

Wunmi Mosaku is a British actress, best known for her award-wining, lead role in Gabriel Range’s I Am Slave and for her part as Joy in the 2009 miniseries “Moses Jones.” She emigrated from Nigeria to Manchester, England, where she attended school and sang in the Manchester Girls Choir for eleven years.

She made her stage debut at the Arcola Theatre in a production of Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s “The Great Theatre of the World.” Thereafter, she performed in “Rough Crossings” (directed by Rupert Goold and based on the book by Simon Schama at the Lyric Hammersmith), “The Vertical Hour” by David Hare, “Truth and Reconciliation” at the Royal Court Theatre and “Mules” at the Young Vic.

Mosaku’s film credits include the role of Helen of Troy in The Women of Troy and a performance in Womb with Eva Green and Lesley Manville.

In television, she is currently playing the part of DC Holly Lawson in the ITV crime series “Vera” with Brenda Blethyn. She has played significant roles in other series including “Father and Son” with Dougray Scott and Sophie Okonedo; “Silent Witness” and Justin Chadwick’s television movie “Stolen.”

She graduated from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2007.

Pamela Luscombe

played by Joanna Vanderham

Pamela Luscombe

played by Joanna Vanderham
Character Bio Actor Bio

As an upper-class socialite and Julian’s sister, Pamela Luscombe has always had everything she has ever wanted. She has never needed to work and is at ease dancing with Princes and the elite, but is also fascinated by Stanley who is so unlike her usual friends. Although Pamela rebels against her conservative upbringing by going to jazz clubs and hanging out with musicians, her seemingly permissive attitude later reveals her genuine heart and strong moral values.

Joanna Vanderham is a Scottish actress who, while still in drama school, was offered the lead in “The Runaway” (Company Pictures), a six-part drama based on Martina Cole’s novel. She was named one of Screen International's Rising Stars for 2010.

In television, she recently completed filming her role as the female lead in "Above Suspicion" with Ciaran Hinds and she is attached to the female lead in "Infinite Nostalgia" with Tom Hughes. She is currently in production on "The Ladies Paradise" an eight-episode BBC series based on Emile Zola's novel “Au Bonheur Des Dames.”

Vanderham’s recent film credits include What Maisie Knew, where she stars opposite Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgård.

About

Dancing on the Edge

A STARZ Original Miniseries Event

Set in London during the early 1930s, the STARZ Original Miniseries Event “Dancing on the Edge” follows a group of Black jazz musicians, the Louis Lester Band, as they begin to rise to stardom as a result of performing at various elite social gatherings hosted by London’s aristocratic society. Although Britain’s climate was undergoing extraordinary social change, much of the upper-class loathed the idea of Black musicians performing in polite society. Still, the city’s more progressive socialites (including members of the Royal Household) took the band under their wing. The blissful eminence surrounding the band abruptly changes when the band members are entangled in a murder conspiracy. The five-episode Original miniseries stars Golden Globe® nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave–releasing in October 2013, Salt, American Gangster) as the debonair band leader of his self-titled “Louis Lester Band,” who befriends an ambitious music journalist named Stanley, played by co-star Matthew Goode (Stoker, A Single Man, Brideshead Revisited). Ejiofor and Goode are joined by Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award nominee Jacqueline Bisset (Joan of Arc, Two Jacks) who plays the influential Lady Cremone, along with Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award winner John Goodman (The Monuments Men, Inside Llewyn Davis-both set to release in December 2013, Monster's University) who portrays the affluent American entrepreneur named Masterson.



Dancing on the Edge © 2013 Ruby Film and Television (DOTE) Limited.

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Dancing on the Edge

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