Evita: About The Cast

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An artist with a history of making history, MADONNA, in a performance of a lifetime, has made the role of Evita completely her own.

A renaissance woman in the truest sense of the term -- singer, composer, producer, actor, executive, humanitarian and, most recently, mother -- there is nothing, it seems, that Madonna can not do. It is her passionate commitment to excellence, her complete involvement in every essential aspect of her art, her career and her life, which has made Madonna one of a handful of the most innovative, influential and inspiring artists of our time and it is these same qualities that Madonna has brought to bear in the film and the music of "Evita."

Madonna's history towers over the chronicles of popular culture comprising a list of First, Best, Fastest and Longest that stands as a monument to one woman's exceptional ability and extraordinary ambition. From 1982, when a cocky, confident and coolly self-assured 24-year-old Detroit native first stepped onto the stage to lip-synch her debut single "Everybody," at New York's Danceteria, it was clear that something wholly original had happened.

Madonna has broken every available radio, video, sales and box office record, racking up no less than 29 Top Jen singles, 11 of those reaching No.1. Her most recent chart topper, 1994's "Take A Bow" lodged in the top spot for seven consecutive weeks and beat the performance of her 1984 breakthrough, "Like A Virgin" (which had a six week run at the top). All told, Madonna's No.1 and No.2 singles have spent a total of 40 weeks at the top of the charts -- almost a solid year of uninterrupted hits. In one period in the late 1980s, she racked up six straight Top 5 singles, beating the Beatles' old record for back-to-back chart toppers. The smash single, "You Must Love Me," written especially for the film, "Evita," by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is one of the fastest rising singles in the history of Warner Bros. Records.

Of eleven Madonna albums, every one has reached the Top 15, all but one has made it into the Top 10, and seven have attained Top 5 status. Every one of that eleven-album catalogue (Evita will make it an even dozen) has sold over a million copies, two have sold over three million and five have sold over four million. Madonna's international album sales are estimated at topping 100 million units.

Pivotal as recorded music is to Madonna's unparalleled success, she has had more videos, played more often, than any other artist in the history of the MTV network. Multi-awarded for these videos, Madonna has made a ground-breaking contribution to the video art form as she has to her unstoppable sell-out music tours which combine music, theatrics, spectacle and dazzling charisma which have packed stadiums globally for nearly two decades.

Madonna's film roles began with instant success as wacky Susan in "Desperately Seeking Susan," leading to starring in "Dick Tracy," joining Woody Allen's exclusive repertory for "Shadows and Fog" and Madonna's intriguing documentary performance in "Truth or Dare" was an in-your-face personal journey which intrigued audiences and critics alike and led to her unforgettable debut at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.

The narrator throughout, the sardonic Brechtian everyman, Ché is played by Spanish actor, ANTONIO BANDERAS, who made his American film debut in "Mambo Kings." This was closely followed by a number of films including Jonathan Demme's "Philadelphia," starring opposite Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington; Neil Jordan's "Interview with a Vampire," opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt; "Miami Rhapsody" with Sarah Jessica Parker; "The House of the Spirits," with Glenn Close, Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons; starring in Robert Rodriquez' "Desperado" and "Four Rooms"; "Assassins" opposite Sylvester Stallone; "Never Talk to Strangers" and "Two Much," opposite Melanie Griffith and Daryl Hannah.

Banderas, who worked with the Spanish National Theatre for five years, began his career as the protégé of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar in such classics as "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down," in which he received Spain's equivalent of an Oscar® nomination for Best Actor, and "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." His next project is "The Mask of Zorro" for director Martin Campbell.

The role of President Juan Perón is played by JONATHAN PRYCE, one of Britain's leading actors, who won the 1995 Cannes Film Festival's Best Actor prize for his starring role as the Bloomsbury Group critic and biographer Lytton Strachey in Christopher Hampton's "Carrington," and was nominated as theatre's Best Actor in a Musical for his starring role as Fagin in Lionel Bart's "Oliver." Pryce has won Best Actor Tony Awards for his Broadway performances as the skinhead stand-up in Trevor Griffiths' "The Comedians" and his best-known theatrical role as the star of "Miss Saigon," for which he was also awarded an Olivier for Outstanding Performance in a Musical. He won the prestigious SWET (Society for West End Theatres) Best Actor Award for his performance as Hamlet at the Royal Court Theatre in 1980, having been nominated for the same award the previous year for his performance in "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

His film credits include Richard Eyre's "The Ploughman's Lunch," Terry Gilliam's "Brazil," James Foley's film of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross," starring roles in TV films "Barbarians at the Gate" with James Garner for which he was nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe awards, and Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence."

Alongside his glittering theatre and film career, Pryce has made many
impressive television drama appearances including "Selling Hitler" for Channel 4 and "Mr. Wroe's Virgins" for the BBC.

Agustín Magaldi, the tango singer who first introduces the young Eva Perón to Buenos Aires is played by actor/singer/writer JIMMY NAIL, who first came to prominence as Oz in British television's massively-successful BAFTA-nominated "Auf Wiedersehen Pet" in 1981, which boasted a 15 million viewership. Nail later created another unforgettable character, the undercover detective Freddie Spender in the hit BBC series, "Spender," a series he wrote, executive produced and starred in, which ran on TV for four years and earned him a BAFTA nomination for Best Drama Series, as well as a Television and Radio Industries Award. The series also led to his writing a best-selling Spender novel.

The Nail-created smash hit TV series, "Crocodile Shoes," in which he starred as a low-rank country singer dreaming of the Big Time, won a BAFTA nomination for Best Television Music and an Ivor Novello nomination for Best Title Song. Nail's second series of "Crocodile Shoes" will be televised at the end of 1996.

A successful recording artist for the past ten years, Nail's 1994 triple platinum album, Crocodile Shoes sold 900,000 copies in the UK alone and for which he completed his second sell-out UK tour.

Jimmy Nail's film credits include "Wallenberg" and "Danny, The Champion of the World."

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