Times Square UK Pressbook, 1980-81, pages 8-12

Posted on 22nd September 2018 in "Times Square"
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UK Press Book for TIMES SQUARE, p. 8, with additional articles on the cast, part 1.  Text:  TIM CURRY ACTING RARITY -- SKILLED IN MODERN AND CLASSIC      The performances of Tim Curry have displayed a remarkable range and dazzling versatility. A cult hero for his portrayal of the outrageous rock star in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show", Curry is'a classically trained actor with an impressive list of stage and screen credits.     Curry now is starred in a contemporary role, playing an opportunistic, hyper-kinetic Mew York disc jockey who gives his all-night listeners a running account of the adventures of two runaways, in “Times Square”.     Bom in Cheshire, England, Curry studied classical drama at Birmingham University before winning his first professional job to sing and dance in the original London cast of “Hair”. Shortly thereafter, he appeared in three Royal Shakespeare Company productions - “Titus Andronicus”, David Mercer’s “After Haggerty”, and as Puck in Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In 1976, Curry was featured on Broadway in Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning “Travesties”.     Tim Curry’s film roles also include Jerzy Skolimowski’s “The Shout”, which won the 1978 Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and was featured that year in the New York Film Festival.      For the BBC-TV, Curry played the title role in a six-part series, “The Life of Shakespeare", and appeared in "Three Men in a Boat", Stoppard's adaptation of a Victorian comedy classic.      Curry is an accomplished singer and songwriter with two successful rock albums, “Read My Lips" and “Fearless”, to his credit His third album is to be released later this year.   “TIMES SQUARE” STAR ROBIN JOHNSON IS A NATURAL IN SCREEN BOW       At some time in the future Brooklyn’s Technological High School steps may become legendary as the spot where a star was “born", the 1980 equivalent to Hollywood's Schwab’s Drugstore. On those steps and waiting for classes to begin, 15-year-old Robin Johnson was discovered by an (unknown) casting scout on the lookout for possible candidates for the leading role in “Times Square”.      “He gave me this card and said to call this number if I was interested in being in a movie”, Robin recalls in her inimitable Brooklyn-accented speech. “I thought: Wow! Another wise guy. But I gave it a shot."      What Robin didn’t know at the time was that the film's director, Alan Moyle, who had written the original story for “Times Square” with Leanne Unger, was determined to cast only the young actress who would be precisely right for the crucial central role of Nicky Marotta, a spunky teenager loose and without adult supervision, determined to become a rock star. The talent search already had bypassed many of the traditional avenues and scoured youth centres, punk rock clubs, and placed ads in papers such as the Village Voice, Soho News, and Aquarian.      “We are looking for someone who WAS Nicky", Moyle admits. “Robin is definitely not that doomed child. Luckily for the film, Robin brought a lot more humour to the character than what I had originally envisioned. Her youthful innocence and energy boost what might have been played as too much of a downer.”      Without any previous experience (“I had sung in a choir when I was 12"), Robin won the role over literally hundreds of other candidates. Upon winning the role, she entered an intensive programme of singing lessons and a dance and movement regimen. Making this film meant that the novice had to be transformed quickly into a seasoned professional. Robin worked seven days straight for 12 weeks. As a minor, the new “star" had to continue her studies with a tutor on the set and more learning sessions on Saturdays. On Sundays, recording or dancing demands took up the day. Veteran members of the New York film crew were dazzled by the professionalism of both Robin and her even younger co-star, 12-year-old Trini Alvarado. Both exhibited an almost non-stop flow of dedication, energy, high spirits and raucous good humour.      Robin Johnson lives with her older sister Cindy and their mother in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, New York. Born May 29, 1964, Robin never gave any thought to becoming an actress until “Times Square". Her inclination previously ran to sketching ("I'm not into landscapes; give me cartoons with some people in there”) and whenever the opportunity arose, banging on drums. And although she first started “dating” when she was 11, she’s not worried about permanent relationships at this point in her life. "I'm closest with my sister Cindy, who’s a year older. We’re both Geminis and I like to argue, especially in a friendly way.”      As do many young women her age, Robin can identify with Nicky’s rebelliousness and non-conformity, traits which land Nicky in trouble with the law and into the arms of a concerned social worker. “Nicky can’t put things over on her like she does with others", Robin   TRINI ALVARADO-SHOW BUSINESS “PRO” AT 13       Most 13-year-old girls spend their waking hours contemplating that cute boy in school, the newest Andy Gibb record or when they’ll wear their first pair of high heels. But not Trini Alvarado, who has been deep into the psyche of runaway Pamela Pearl, the girl she portrays in "Times Square”, an October release from AFD (Associated Film Distribution).      Sitting on an abandoned Manhattan waterfront pier -- one of the many diverse “Times Square” locations -- Trini concentrated on her scenes for one of the most challenging roles she will experience in her still-young screen career.      Following a sensational film debut in Robert Altman’s “Rich Kids", Trini was cast as a teenage runaway in “Times Square". Her character, Pamela Pearl, is the only child of a widower-father whose career as a rising young politician makes him insensitive to his daughter’s growing pains. Pamela is withdrawn, inhibited, convinced that she is awkward, ugly and unable to express herself verbally. The role is beautifully realised, but the actress herself is hardly the image of that withdrawn, rebellious teenager.      Trini was a “show biz” baby. Her father, who came to this country from Spain, is a classical singer and guitarist, and her mother is a flamenco dancer. Trini’s earliest memories include performing songs and dancing in nightclubs with the entire family. “It was always like a party”, she recalls.      Trini first appeared on Broadway in the Tony-nominated musical “Runaways", and then in the film “Rich Kids”, for which she also sang the theme song. Now, in “Times Square", Trini encores her singing and dancing.      “She’s so good”, one of the film’s creative personnel observed, “that we held to work hard to make Trini look a little awkward. After all, her character of Pamela is at that stage where she feels disconnected with her body. We had to disguise the fact that Trini’s a trained dancer."      An added bonus for Trini on “Times Square” was the friendship she formed with co-star Robin Johnson.      “Casting is a risky business", commented director Alan Moyle, "and we certainly looked everywhere before going with Trini and Robin. But you can’t predict how two people will relate on the screen, until you see it. The chemistry that we have up there is larger-than-life, but truly a reflection of how well the two girls got along during

 

 

The second half of the US pressbook was entirely made up of variations of the movie poster for different sized newspaper ads. The UK version relegates the available promotional materials to the last three pages, and devotes pages 8, 9, and 10 to reprinting biographical articles from the US Press Material folder. It’s strange how some of this material was rewritten for the UK press kit, but those versions weren’t used for the UK pressbook. Perhaps the pressbook was prepared well in advance of the press kit. Although, the pressbook uses the finished art for the UK movie poster. So, it’s a mystery.

 

Another tantalizing mystery is exactly what may have been included in the sets of 50 black and white stills, 8 8×10″ color stills, and 16 11×14″ color stills. Is 50 the total number of shots from the series I’ve found about 16 of so far? There were 8 8×10″ color lobby cards… I haven’t come across any 11×14″ stills. And what transparencies were available? Are they the slides that turn up so rarely? And what were the “blow-ups, any size available”?

 

 

On page 10, the photo of Robin is TS-57-26/1, UK number 36, the photo by Yoram Kahana used for the North American movie poster and the soundtrack album cover. The photo of Tim Curry comes from the shooting of the twenty second scene where Johnny is informed that “the Zombie Girl is the daughter of the boy wonder at the mayor’s office, and she’s missing,” and may be making its only appearance here. The unusually sultry photo of Trini Alvarado is making its first appearance here, as far as I know, but was later printed in the February 1981 Film Review.

You can read the text of “‘Times Square’ Star Robin Johnson Is A Natural In Screen Bow” here. If anyone is desperate to read the read of the articles, let me know and I’ll post the text.

 

 

Times Square pressbook, pp. 8-12
UK : pressbook (theatre manual) : AAT ID: 300213184 : 35.7 x 27.8 cm. : 1980 (work);
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Times Square©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+

 

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