Multi-award winning actor Peter O’Toole joins a star-studded cast in one of the biggest British Independent productions for decades. The film tells the remarkable story of Katherine of Alexandria and her link to Constantine the Great. Katherine, the patron saint of scholars was officially removed from the Catholic calendar in 1969 only to be reinstated in 2002 by Pope John Paul II.
Peter O’Toole, nominated for a total of eight Academy Awards, given an honorary Oscar, and winner of four Golden Globes, produces a fine performance as palace orator Gallus, alongside Romanian newcomer Nicole Keniheart who plays the persecuted Katherine.
Screen-writer and director Michael Redwood states: “My agenda was simple: painstaking research, to create an intelligent screenplay and to seek out Britain’s best performers for their unrivalled ability to help portray the story of this religious icon. The dialogue demanded some of the world’s most recognisable voices such as Peter O’Toole and Edward Fox, who were an inspiration to work with. Katherine’s voice also had to be most haunting in its delivery”
The film stars Joss Ackland, C.B.E, (White Mischief, Lethal Weapon 2) playing Rufus, Steven Berkoff (Octopussy, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as Liberius, Edward Fox, O.B.E, (The Day of the Jackal, Edward VIII) playing Emperor Constantius and half-sister of Kate Beckinsale, Samantha Beckinsale (London’s Burning, Shelley) as the Empress Vita. Katherine of Alexandria was directed by British filmmaker Michael Redwood and filmed at Paphos in Cyprus, Hadrian’s Wall and Pinewood and Elstree Studios in the UK. The movie is set for release early 2014.
Behind the camera, debut director Redwood surrounded himself with award winning talent. Oscar winner John Poyner is Sound Supervisor, Golden Globe winner Matt Howe is Surround Sound Mixer, Oscar winner John Schoonraad is Prosthetics Supervisor and award winning cinematographer Peter Taylor is on camera.
Over 2 billion Christians around the world are expected to celebrate St Katherine’s Day on 25th November, and there are approximately 1,100 buildings in her honour around the globe. Millions of people each year pay homage to the Saint at her monastery on Mount Sinai, Egypt, her final resting place. Despite this, so little is known about the intrigue surrounding this iconic woman.
It is commonly believed that Katherine was a Christian maiden of Alexandria in Egypt, possessing beauty, brains and noble birth. Redwood’s film portrays Katherine as a real woman, with feelings of torment and fear, but with steadfast belief in her denouncement of Rome’s enforced pagan worship upon the masses. This would eventually lead to her being pitted against Rome’s finest scholars at an open trial in Alexandria, one of the films most dramatic scenes.