Aston Villa

Aston Villa slideshow

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Villa Park

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to Aston Villa Football Club, to support their sports coaching initiative. The Coach Core scheme was designed by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, aimed at taking young people from deprived areas and turning them into the next generation of sports coaches.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Villa Park

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to Aston Villa Football Club, to support their sports coaching initiative. The Coach Core scheme was designed by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, aimed at taking young people from deprived areas and turning them into the next generation of sports coaches.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Villa Park

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to Aston Villa Football Club, to support their sports coaching initiative. The Coach Core scheme was designed by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, aimed at taking young people from deprived areas and turning them into the next generation of sports coaches.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Villa Park

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to Aston Villa Football Club, to support their sports coaching initiative. The Coach Core scheme was designed by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, aimed at taking young people from deprived areas and turning them into the next generation of sports coaches.

Prince William stepped out on pitch at Aston Villa

William and Kate got a tour of Villa Park during their Royal visit to the WestMidlands - great news for William who is an Aston Villa fan. .

Prince William stepped out on pitch at Aston Villa

William and Kate got a tour of Villa Park during their Royal visit to the WestMidlands - great news for William who is an Aston Villa fan. .

Prince William stepped out on pitch at Aston Villa

William and Kate got a tour of Villa Park during their Royal visit to the WestMidlands - great news for William who is an Aston Villa fan. .

Prince William stepped out on pitch at Aston Villa

William and Kate got a tour of Villa Park during their Royal visit to the WestMidlands - great news for William who is an Aston Villa fan. .

Glowing Duchess of Cambridge shows off blossoming baby bump at Aston Villa football club

Glowing Duchess of Cambridge shows off blossoming baby bump at Aston Villa football club

Glowing Duchess of Cambridge shows off blossoming baby bump at Aston Villa football club

Glowing Duchess of Cambridge shows off blossoming baby bump at Aston Villa football club

Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 1: Chris Coleman's battlers give cause for optimism

Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 1: Chris Coleman's battlers give cause for optimism

Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 1: Chris Coleman's battlers give cause for optimism

If ever a 2-1 defeat can provide a reason for optimism perhaps this was it. Sunderland’s melancholy supporters at least witnessed a performance brimming with brio, though not the conviction or quality to overturn or restore parity against a resurgent Aston Villa side that they had allowed a two-goal head start. Villa, who have now registered eight victories in their last 11 outings, are on the march. Now up to fourth in the Championship, they rarely looked like relinquishing the advantage handed to them by Albert Adomah’s early goal and Josh Onomah’s 49th-minute strike. However, to their credit, Coleman and his Sunderland players did not wave the white flag. Facing a two-goal deficit, the former Wales manager introduced a forward, James Vaughan, midway through the second period and was rewarded by Lewis Grabban’s 72nd-minute goal that ensured a tense finale. The problem facing Coleman though, is turning endeavour into points. It is the same conundrum that has overcome the nine permanent managers that the Black Cats have employed since Roy Keane’s departure eight years ago. Lewis Grabban scores the first goal of Chris Coelman's spell at Sunderland Credit: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Of those appointments, only Martin O’Neill has succeeded in getting anywhere near his Republic of Ireland colleague’s win ratio and there were signs of both encouragement and familiar failings here that Coleman has urgent need to address. “In these moments is when you start building team spirit and that’s what we have to do,” he said. “I don’t feel sorry for the players, I don’t think anybody feels sorry for me or us. It will be us that gets us out of this. You’ve got to turn your own luck around and I think we will do that. “We’ve got to drag each other up. Get each other through it, get a result and then you start marching forward. At 2-0 down at Villa Park they could have easily melted and they didn’t do that so I’m not too despondent. “I kind of knew what was coming to be honest. I didn’t want to come here and try to be defensive for 90 minutes.” The Villa manager, Steve Bruce, conceded that Sunderland’s player’s had “rolled-up their sleeves”, but expressed his own satisfaction at the way his team found a way to win despite the absence of several key players. Bruce also confirmed that striker Jonathan Kodjia is set to undergo an operation on the reoccurrence of an ankle injury, sustained while on international duty with Ivory Coast last week. “We’re without big players at the minute especially at the top end of the pitch,” Bruce said. “It’s always difficult without your No 9 but we’ll have to deal with it. We’ve been without him a lot this year so let’s see if we can find someone in January who can help us because that’s going to be vitally important.”

Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 1: Chris Coleman's battlers give cause for optimism

Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 1: Chris Coleman's battlers give cause for optimism

Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 1: Chris Coleman's battlers give cause for optimism

If ever a 2-1 defeat can provide a reason for optimism perhaps this was it. Sunderland’s melancholy supporters at least witnessed a performance brimming with brio, though not the conviction or quality to overturn or restore parity against a resurgent Aston Villa side that they had allowed a two-goal head start. Villa, who have now registered eight victories in their last 11 outings, are on the march. Now up to fourth in the Championship, they rarely looked like relinquishing the advantage handed to them by Albert Adomah’s early goal and Josh Onomah’s 49th-minute strike. However, to their credit, Coleman and his Sunderland players did not wave the white flag. Facing a two-goal deficit, the former Wales manager introduced a forward, James Vaughan, midway through the second period and was rewarded by Lewis Grabban’s 72nd-minute goal that ensured a tense finale. The problem facing Coleman though, is turning endeavour into points. It is the same conundrum that has overcome the nine permanent managers that the Black Cats have employed since Roy Keane’s departure eight years ago. Lewis Grabban scores the first goal of Chris Coelman's spell at Sunderland Credit: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Of those appointments, only Martin O’Neill has succeeded in getting anywhere near his Republic of Ireland colleague’s win ratio and there were signs of both encouragement and familiar failings here that Coleman has urgent need to address. “In these moments is when you start building team spirit and that’s what we have to do,” he said. “I don’t feel sorry for the players, I don’t think anybody feels sorry for me or us. It will be us that gets us out of this. You’ve got to turn your own luck around and I think we will do that. “We’ve got to drag each other up. Get each other through it, get a result and then you start marching forward. At 2-0 down at Villa Park they could have easily melted and they didn’t do that so I’m not too despondent. “I kind of knew what was coming to be honest. I didn’t want to come here and try to be defensive for 90 minutes.” The Villa manager, Steve Bruce, conceded that Sunderland’s player’s had “rolled-up their sleeves”, but expressed his own satisfaction at the way his team found a way to win despite the absence of several key players. Bruce also confirmed that striker Jonathan Kodjia is set to undergo an operation on the reoccurrence of an ankle injury, sustained while on international duty with Ivory Coast last week. “We’re without big players at the minute especially at the top end of the pitch,” Bruce said. “It’s always difficult without your No 9 but we’ll have to deal with it. We’ve been without him a lot this year so let’s see if we can find someone in January who can help us because that’s going to be vitally important.”

Aston Villa quell Sunderland optimism and show size of Chris Coleman’s task

Aston Villa quell Sunderland optimism and show size of Chris Coleman’s task

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

‘I loved it and would do it all again’: Tom Fox and the inside story of Aston Villa's decline and fall

Chris Coleman takes his first training session at Sunderland and demands of players 'are you in or are you out?'

Chris Coleman took his first training session at Sunderland on Sunday and threw down the gauntlet to an underachieving group of players, saying: "I will find out pretty quickly who is in and who is out." The manager's job at the North East side has come to look like one of the hardest in football and many have questioned why Coleman would leave Wales to take it on. The former Swansea, Crystal Palace and Fulham player had enjoyed considerable success managing his national side, memorably guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Although Wales had failed to qualify for the World Cup, the country's Football Association were keen for him to stay and met with him Friday. But Coleman said there had been a difference of opinion about the way forward. Gaffer: Chris Coleman congratulates Ashley Williams during the Belgium quarter-final Credit: AP "Having achieved what we'd achieved, I thought to take it on to the next level I needed to work slightly differently. And the powers that be in Wales saw it differently to me," he told the Sunderland website. "In my experience it was the right time for me to say, 'OK, that's as far as I'm going to take it'." Even so, it was surprise when Coleman agreed to join the club who are bottom of the Championship. However, Coleman has stressed how impressed he has been with his new digs. "I'm quite sure managers before me have said the same thing, but it really is all in place except what happens on the pitch and we've got to make sure we get that right." Coleman is Sunderland's ninth manager in the last six seasons and replaces Simon Grayson, who was sacked at the end of last month. Rubbish all over the place: Simon Grayson Credit: PA The 47-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, takes over a club in crisis, with Saturday's 2-2 draw against Millwall giving them an unwanted English record of 20 consecutive home games without a win. Coleman led his first training session on Sunday morning and will be in charge of the side for the first time for Tuesday's trip to Aston Villa. He said: "Someone's going to turn this club around. Whether it's me or whether it's the next one, sooner or later this club will start climbing again, start playing in front of a full house again, get the city rocking and rolling. I want that to be me, of course. "You can go through your career as a manager and never manage a big club. I always wanted to have that experience of managing a big club, and here I am." New era: Chris Coleman oversees Sunderland training for the first time Credit: Getty "All right, we're bottom of the league. Deal with it, get on with it. It is going to be a big challenge and I haven't got a magic idea that's going to turn it around like [clicks fingers]. "I'm going to need all the supporters, all the staff, the players, everybody to come with me. It's such a big club that, when we gather momentum, it's pretty hard to slow it down, but the start's always the toughest part. "I'll find out pretty quickly I think who's really in and who's not, and whoever's not needs to go and play football somewhere else. It's a little bit daunting, but that keeps you on your toes."  

Chris Coleman takes his first training session at Sunderland and demands of players 'are you in or are you out?'

Chris Coleman took his first training session at Sunderland on Sunday and threw down the gauntlet to an underachieving group of players, saying: "I will find out pretty quickly who is in and who is out." The manager's job at the North East side has come to look like one of the hardest in football and many have questioned why Coleman would leave Wales to take it on. The former Swansea, Crystal Palace and Fulham player had enjoyed considerable success managing his national side, memorably guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Although Wales had failed to qualify for the World Cup, the country's Football Association were keen for him to stay and met with him Friday. But Coleman said there had been a difference of opinion about the way forward. Gaffer: Chris Coleman congratulates Ashley Williams during the Belgium quarter-final Credit: AP "Having achieved what we'd achieved, I thought to take it on to the next level I needed to work slightly differently. And the powers that be in Wales saw it differently to me," he told the Sunderland website. "In my experience it was the right time for me to say, 'OK, that's as far as I'm going to take it'." Even so, it was surprise when Coleman agreed to join the club who are bottom of the Championship. However, Coleman has stressed how impressed he has been with his new digs. "I'm quite sure managers before me have said the same thing, but it really is all in place except what happens on the pitch and we've got to make sure we get that right." Coleman is Sunderland's ninth manager in the last six seasons and replaces Simon Grayson, who was sacked at the end of last month. Rubbish all over the place: Simon Grayson Credit: PA The 47-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, takes over a club in crisis, with Saturday's 2-2 draw against Millwall giving them an unwanted English record of 20 consecutive home games without a win. Coleman led his first training session on Sunday morning and will be in charge of the side for the first time for Tuesday's trip to Aston Villa. He said: "Someone's going to turn this club around. Whether it's me or whether it's the next one, sooner or later this club will start climbing again, start playing in front of a full house again, get the city rocking and rolling. I want that to be me, of course. "You can go through your career as a manager and never manage a big club. I always wanted to have that experience of managing a big club, and here I am." New era: Chris Coleman oversees Sunderland training for the first time Credit: Getty "All right, we're bottom of the league. Deal with it, get on with it. It is going to be a big challenge and I haven't got a magic idea that's going to turn it around like [clicks fingers]. "I'm going to need all the supporters, all the staff, the players, everybody to come with me. It's such a big club that, when we gather momentum, it's pretty hard to slow it down, but the start's always the toughest part. "I'll find out pretty quickly I think who's really in and who's not, and whoever's not needs to go and play football somewhere else. It's a little bit daunting, but that keeps you on your toes."  

Chris Coleman takes his first training session at Sunderland and demands of players 'are you in or are you out?'

Chris Coleman took his first training session at Sunderland on Sunday and threw down the gauntlet to an underachieving group of players, saying: "I will find out pretty quickly who is in and who is out." The manager's job at the North East side has come to look like one of the hardest in football and many have questioned why Coleman would leave Wales to take it on. The former Swansea, Crystal Palace and Fulham player had enjoyed considerable success managing his national side, memorably guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Although Wales had failed to qualify for the World Cup, the country's Football Association were keen for him to stay and met with him Friday. But Coleman said there had been a difference of opinion about the way forward. Gaffer: Chris Coleman congratulates Ashley Williams during the Belgium quarter-final Credit: AP "Having achieved what we'd achieved, I thought to take it on to the next level I needed to work slightly differently. And the powers that be in Wales saw it differently to me," he told the Sunderland website. "In my experience it was the right time for me to say, 'OK, that's as far as I'm going to take it'." Even so, it was surprise when Coleman agreed to join the club who are bottom of the Championship. However, Coleman has stressed how impressed he has been with his new digs. "I'm quite sure managers before me have said the same thing, but it really is all in place except what happens on the pitch and we've got to make sure we get that right." Coleman is Sunderland's ninth manager in the last six seasons and replaces Simon Grayson, who was sacked at the end of last month. Rubbish all over the place: Simon Grayson Credit: PA The 47-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, takes over a club in crisis, with Saturday's 2-2 draw against Millwall giving them an unwanted English record of 20 consecutive home games without a win. Coleman led his first training session on Sunday morning and will be in charge of the side for the first time for Tuesday's trip to Aston Villa. He said: "Someone's going to turn this club around. Whether it's me or whether it's the next one, sooner or later this club will start climbing again, start playing in front of a full house again, get the city rocking and rolling. I want that to be me, of course. "You can go through your career as a manager and never manage a big club. I always wanted to have that experience of managing a big club, and here I am." New era: Chris Coleman oversees Sunderland training for the first time Credit: Getty "All right, we're bottom of the league. Deal with it, get on with it. It is going to be a big challenge and I haven't got a magic idea that's going to turn it around like [clicks fingers]. "I'm going to need all the supporters, all the staff, the players, everybody to come with me. It's such a big club that, when we gather momentum, it's pretty hard to slow it down, but the start's always the toughest part. "I'll find out pretty quickly I think who's really in and who's not, and whoever's not needs to go and play football somewhere else. It's a little bit daunting, but that keeps you on your toes."  

Chris Coleman takes his first training session at Sunderland and demands of players 'are you in or are you out?'

Chris Coleman took his first training session at Sunderland on Sunday and threw down the gauntlet to an underachieving group of players, saying: "I will find out pretty quickly who is in and who is out." The manager's job at the North East side has come to look like one of the hardest in football and many have questioned why Coleman would leave Wales to take it on. The former Swansea, Crystal Palace and Fulham player had enjoyed considerable success managing his national side, memorably guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Although Wales had failed to qualify for the World Cup, the country's Football Association were keen for him to stay and met with him Friday. But Coleman said there had been a difference of opinion about the way forward. Gaffer: Chris Coleman congratulates Ashley Williams during the Belgium quarter-final Credit: AP "Having achieved what we'd achieved, I thought to take it on to the next level I needed to work slightly differently. And the powers that be in Wales saw it differently to me," he told the Sunderland website. "In my experience it was the right time for me to say, 'OK, that's as far as I'm going to take it'." Even so, it was surprise when Coleman agreed to join the club who are bottom of the Championship. However, Coleman has stressed how impressed he has been with his new digs. "I'm quite sure managers before me have said the same thing, but it really is all in place except what happens on the pitch and we've got to make sure we get that right." Coleman is Sunderland's ninth manager in the last six seasons and replaces Simon Grayson, who was sacked at the end of last month. Rubbish all over the place: Simon Grayson Credit: PA The 47-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, takes over a club in crisis, with Saturday's 2-2 draw against Millwall giving them an unwanted English record of 20 consecutive home games without a win. Coleman led his first training session on Sunday morning and will be in charge of the side for the first time for Tuesday's trip to Aston Villa. He said: "Someone's going to turn this club around. Whether it's me or whether it's the next one, sooner or later this club will start climbing again, start playing in front of a full house again, get the city rocking and rolling. I want that to be me, of course. "You can go through your career as a manager and never manage a big club. I always wanted to have that experience of managing a big club, and here I am." New era: Chris Coleman oversees Sunderland training for the first time Credit: Getty "All right, we're bottom of the league. Deal with it, get on with it. It is going to be a big challenge and I haven't got a magic idea that's going to turn it around like [clicks fingers]. "I'm going to need all the supporters, all the staff, the players, everybody to come with me. It's such a big club that, when we gather momentum, it's pretty hard to slow it down, but the start's always the toughest part. "I'll find out pretty quickly I think who's really in and who's not, and whoever's not needs to go and play football somewhere else. It's a little bit daunting, but that keeps you on your toes."  

Mo Way! Neither Newcastle or Aston Villa Fans Seem to Want Mo Diame After Newcastle Star Linked

​Newcastle fans have reacted with excitement at rumours circling that Mo Diame could set for a move to Aston Villa in January following a lacklustre fifteen months at St James Park. Despite scoring the goal that earned Hull victory in 2016 Championship Play Off Final, Diame remained in English football's second tier for another season after joining Newcastle, and although he was a regular feature of the team that secured a return to the Premier League as champions, Diame has made just one...

Mo Way! Neither Newcastle or Aston Villa Fans Seem to Want Mo Diame After Newcastle Star Linked

​Newcastle fans have reacted with excitement at rumours circling that Mo Diame could set for a move to Aston Villa in January following a lacklustre fifteen months at St James Park. Despite scoring the goal that earned Hull victory in 2016 Championship Play Off Final, Diame remained in English football's second tier for another season after joining Newcastle, and although he was a regular feature of the team that secured a return to the Premier League as champions, Diame has made just one...

Jason Isaacs on Twitter bullies, being trolled by William Shatner, and Anthony Rapp's bravery: 'What he did was heroic'

When I first see Jason Isaacs, he’s barrelling down the corridor of a smart London hotel, being loudly and amusingly rude about a film he hasn’t liked, a brace of anxious PR people trailing in his wake.  First impressions can be revealing: Isaacs is not afraid to speak his mind. In conversation, Star Trek’s latest captain is a tanned, loquacious cannonball, leaning in slightly at the start of his sentences as if carried along by sheer force of momentum. While other actors laughed along with Sean Spicer’s jokes at the Emmys in September, that night Isaacs posted a photo of the ex-White house press secretary propping up the bar, with a caption calling him “the thuggish face of Orwellian doublespeak”, a “poisonous purveyor of lies” and a “modern day Geobbels”, with “the aura of a giant festering abscess”. This frankness is a quality that may have helped him in Armando Ianucci’s satire The Death of Stalin, in which he played Red Army commander Georgy Zhukov – the only person bold enough to criticise the dictator to his face. He has a knack for playing military strongmen (in Soldier, The Patriot and Black Hawk Down), and has recently returned to these kinds of roles, both in The Death of Stalin and alongside Brad Pitt’s grimy tank gunner in Fury. When it’s not soldiers, it’s creepy scientists (in Netflix drama The OA, and hospital horror A Cure for Wellness). His latest role is a bit of both. Gabriel Lorca, warmongering captain of the titular starship in Star Trek: Discovery, has a short temper, a Southern twang and a menagerie of captive aliens on which he carries out dubious experiments. Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca Credit: CBS On the spectrum of good to evil, Lorca is a long way from Patrick Stewart’s noble Captain Pickard. He may well be closer Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s slippery dad in the Harry Potter films. Malfoy remains Isaacs’s best known role but, curiously, the 54-year-old Liverpudlian also has fans who know him best as a kind of living meme. The phrase “Hello to Jason Isaacs” is a running joke on Radio 5’s film review show (on which Robbie Collin, film critic of this parish, occasionally pops up). It has since gone global. It's appeared as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it visual gag on Jay Leno’s chat show, and been read out over the tannoy at an Aston Villa match. Type “Jason Isaacs” into Google, and the website wishes him a cheery hello. Naturally, there was only one way to begin our conversation. Hello to Jason Isaacs. What’s the best “hello” you’ve had? Mostly ones where I’m not there. People have said in their PhD theses and in their wedding vows. I’ve had it across a canyon when I’ve been hiking, out of nowhere. [He yodels:] “Helloooo toooo Jaaaaason Isaaaaa…” Where was that? I’m trying to remember. I think it was probably California. I’ve had it in the airport, I’ve had it in the loo on a plane – which is maybe not the best time for it. Actually, I remember the best one: I was at a charity event and Sir Alan Parker was there. Obviously, I’d never met him – I lived so far below the bottom of the totem pole, and he sat on top. He said "Hello to Jason Isaacs," and I was like "No! Surely not!" How does Discovery measure up to previous Treks? I wouldn’t have taken the job had I thought that it was anything like any other Star Trek series, particularly the ones I grew up worshipping. I thought Kirk and Spock were one of the best double acts, and nobody should attempt any sort of pale reboot of that. Running around with a phaser looking heroic – that's been done, it’s been done to a Mount Rushmore level. This is a completely different animal, it's a 15-hour miniseries about identity and war and moral challenges, and everybody's got secrets and flaws. Have you meet any other Star Fleet alumni? I met Jon Frakes, who directed an episode of Discovery, and who played Riker [in The Next Generation]. He’s hilarious, and gave me a top tip. He said, “Are you having trouble with your hands, darling?” I said, “Yes, I don’t know where the f--- to put them – there’s no pockets in space!” He told me, "Don’t ever start a scene with your hands on your hips. You’ll never get them off." Didn’t you also have a strange to-do with William Shatner? Bill Shatner started to troll me online. I was misquoted about about Star Trek, and we got into this wild banter with each other. Then I met him and he seemed to have no knowledge of it at all. So I’m not sure he does his own Twitter feed, but I rather enjoy engaging with whoever online William Shatner is. The online Jason Isaacs can be rather feisty too. You spend quite a bit of time responding to trolls on social media, particularly the ones who say actors should steer clear of commenting on topical issues I don’t really understand this digital megaphone that we’re all given, but nonetheless it's there and I can use it. I don't like bullies – it seems absurd to say it – and I don’t like sexual predators and I don’t like racists. And I get to tell them so, and occasionally they try and defend themselves. If speaking out against racists, misogynists, bullies, homophobes, liars and warmongers ‘fogs’ my work...wipe the scum off your glasses. https://t.co/bacWRdtn8Y— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) November 5, 2017 They should watch out, because it’s not just me. Most sane, moral people in the world don’t like them either, so they can stick their heads up above my parapet if they like, but they'll get them cut off. But that’s got nothing to do with the show. The show deals with these issues in a much more subtle, inclusive, far more optimistic way. Is Discovery a political show? I think the only reason to make it is because of current events, because of the political context. We live in very dark days where division and hatred and racism and misogyny are being propagated from the most powerful seats in the world. What was always very powerful about Star Trek is that it presented a vision of the future where these barriers didn't exist anymore – they weren't even in discussion. It's not front and centre in the story, but you’re looking at a bunch of people who solve problems together. Between them, gender, colour of skin, sexuality – none of these things present a barrier to success. 50 best TV shows on Netflix UK Your Discovery co-star Anthony Rapp was in the headlines recently, because of the awful experience he claims to have had with Kevin Spacey. You seem to be a close-knit cast. Is it something he’d spoken to you about before coming forward? No, it's a decision he made by himself. But we’re very close. We’re unbelievably proud of him, and inspired by him, because he took the decision to stick his neck out and tell a story when no-one else had. There were a couple of days of silence, where other people didn't [come forward] and I’m sure it was very worrying for him. But we were all very supportive and of course the stories are pouring out now. Did it come as a shock to you? I think are friendships aren’t really for public consumption, but it didn't come as a shock to me that he did something incredibly noble and brave. What he did was heroic. It's been incredibly heartening to see him proved right. With every one of these sexual predators being exposed, whose victims are having their day, you can’t help but feel that it might be part of a movement which will make things better for other people in the future.” Tweeting about Donald Trump’s administration, you’ve suggested we could be looking at quite a dark future. Do you think we’re moving closer to the utopian world of Star Trek, or further away from it? If you zoom out, to look at how people were behaving to each other hundreds of years ago, then there's no question that we’re moving towards it. Women’s lot has got better in the world, generally. Children get to go to school. There is an understanding through most of the world that people have rights - whether it be to an education, or that we look after each other when we’re sick and dying. Recently, I think we’ve slid a few feet back down the well in America, and I hope we’re going to arrest the tide of that slippage in Europe. People have been encouraged to come out from the shadows and say incredibly ugly, venal things… but if you look at the great sweep of history it’s all moving one way, and it's a positive way. But will we have time to get there? Will historians of the future understand, I wonder, that the escalating thermo-nuclear conflict that led to them scrabbling for survival on the smouldering remains of our planet came about because the American president was a mean girl? In a corset? https://t.co/dlyTNG9rPT— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) November 12, 2017 How did you put your own stamp on Lorca? The whole thing’s a collaboration, but there are many things I’ve brought to it that weren’t on the page. I made him Southern because he’s a military man... and I wasn't aware of any other captains who’d been like that. It was reverse engineered; Lorca had to be unlike any other captain. I wouldn’t have played him English, as I didn't want to be a pale shadow of Patrick [Stewart]. I also decided to stand up; so in his little ready room there was a chair, and I said “Let's get rid of the chair,” because he’s a man of action – he doesn’t like sitting down. If you’ll forgive me a silly question, which Hogwarts house would Lorca be in? Oh, I can’t possibly answer that. He lives in Discovery. I thought the Harry Potter stories were so perfectly told, they’re sacred to me. I don’t like whoring them out... and I don’t like this kind of mish-mash, as if it's a product, a “franchise”. I get very upset, because for me a franchise is a drive-through burger place. I leave that alone. For instance, I don't like to do Lucius Malfoy's voice in Sainsburys when people ask me to do it for their kids – because he lives in that world and it is sealed forever. Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Credit: Film Stills Alright then. Did you keep any souvenirs from the Potter films? No. It was because of Alan, God bless him. The fabulous late Alan Rickman took all the gold coins from Gringotts bank... and from the day he did, that every single prop was on inventory forever. My wigs are now on touring exhibitions. I did complain about not having  a wand for a while, so they sent me one – and I promptly lost it. Star Trek’s about to take a two-month hiatus. What can we look forward to when it’s back? I can’t tell you. It's a bit like when I used to do magic. I was a very keen amateur magician, and people would ask me how the trick was done. But if you tell them they get annoyed and disappointed - because what they really want is the painful anticipation of not knowing. It’s like trailers. I hate so many trailers nowadays. I try to discourage my children – who are addicted to them – from watching them. If it's a film they want to see, what would be the point? Who gets a book and has a quick look at chapter three, chapter 10 and the last page? Star Trek: Discovery returns on January 7. The first nine episodes are available to watch now on Netflix

Jason Isaacs on Twitter bullies, being trolled by William Shatner, and Anthony Rapp's bravery: 'What he did was heroic'

When I first see Jason Isaacs, he’s barrelling down the corridor of a smart London hotel, being loudly and amusingly rude about a film he hasn’t liked, a brace of anxious PR people trailing in his wake.  First impressions can be revealing: Isaacs is not afraid to speak his mind. In conversation, Star Trek’s latest captain is a tanned, loquacious cannonball, leaning in slightly at the start of his sentences as if carried along by sheer force of momentum. While other actors laughed along with Sean Spicer’s jokes at the Emmys in September, that night Isaacs posted a photo of the ex-White house press secretary propping up the bar, with a caption calling him “the thuggish face of Orwellian doublespeak”, a “poisonous purveyor of lies” and a “modern day Geobbels”, with “the aura of a giant festering abscess”. This frankness is a quality that may have helped him in Armando Ianucci’s satire The Death of Stalin, in which he played Red Army commander Georgy Zhukov – the only person bold enough to criticise the dictator to his face. He has a knack for playing military strongmen (in Soldier, The Patriot and Black Hawk Down), and has recently returned to these kinds of roles, both in The Death of Stalin and alongside Brad Pitt’s grimy tank gunner in Fury. When it’s not soldiers, it’s creepy scientists (in Netflix drama The OA, and hospital horror A Cure for Wellness). His latest role is a bit of both. Gabriel Lorca, warmongering captain of the titular starship in Star Trek: Discovery, has a short temper, a Southern twang and a menagerie of captive aliens on which he carries out dubious experiments. Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca Credit: CBS On the spectrum of good to evil, Lorca is a long way from Patrick Stewart’s noble Captain Pickard. He may well be closer Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s slippery dad in the Harry Potter films. Malfoy remains Isaacs’s best known role but, curiously, the 54-year-old Liverpudlian also has fans who know him best as a kind of living meme. The phrase “Hello to Jason Isaacs” is a running joke on Radio 5’s film review show (on which Robbie Collin, film critic of this parish, occasionally pops up). It has since gone global. It's appeared as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it visual gag on Jay Leno’s chat show, and been read out over the tannoy at an Aston Villa match. Type “Jason Isaacs” into Google, and the website wishes him a cheery hello. Naturally, there was only one way to begin our conversation. Hello to Jason Isaacs. What’s the best “hello” you’ve had? Mostly ones where I’m not there. People have said in their PhD theses and in their wedding vows. I’ve had it across a canyon when I’ve been hiking, out of nowhere. [He yodels:] “Helloooo toooo Jaaaaason Isaaaaa…” Where was that? I’m trying to remember. I think it was probably California. I’ve had it in the airport, I’ve had it in the loo on a plane – which is maybe not the best time for it. Actually, I remember the best one: I was at a charity event and Sir Alan Parker was there. Obviously, I’d never met him – I lived so far below the bottom of the totem pole, and he sat on top. He said "Hello to Jason Isaacs," and I was like "No! Surely not!" How does Discovery measure up to previous Treks? I wouldn’t have taken the job had I thought that it was anything like any other Star Trek series, particularly the ones I grew up worshipping. I thought Kirk and Spock were one of the best double acts, and nobody should attempt any sort of pale reboot of that. Running around with a phaser looking heroic – that's been done, it’s been done to a Mount Rushmore level. This is a completely different animal, it's a 15-hour miniseries about identity and war and moral challenges, and everybody's got secrets and flaws. Have you meet any other Star Fleet alumni? I met Jon Frakes, who directed an episode of Discovery, and who played Riker [in The Next Generation]. He’s hilarious, and gave me a top tip. He said, “Are you having trouble with your hands, darling?” I said, “Yes, I don’t know where the f--- to put them – there’s no pockets in space!” He told me, "Don’t ever start a scene with your hands on your hips. You’ll never get them off." Didn’t you also have a strange to-do with William Shatner? Bill Shatner started to troll me online. I was misquoted about about Star Trek, and we got into this wild banter with each other. Then I met him and he seemed to have no knowledge of it at all. So I’m not sure he does his own Twitter feed, but I rather enjoy engaging with whoever online William Shatner is. The online Jason Isaacs can be rather feisty too. You spend quite a bit of time responding to trolls on social media, particularly the ones who say actors should steer clear of commenting on topical issues I don’t really understand this digital megaphone that we’re all given, but nonetheless it's there and I can use it. I don't like bullies – it seems absurd to say it – and I don’t like sexual predators and I don’t like racists. And I get to tell them so, and occasionally they try and defend themselves. If speaking out against racists, misogynists, bullies, homophobes, liars and warmongers ‘fogs’ my work...wipe the scum off your glasses. https://t.co/bacWRdtn8Y— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) November 5, 2017 They should watch out, because it’s not just me. Most sane, moral people in the world don’t like them either, so they can stick their heads up above my parapet if they like, but they'll get them cut off. But that’s got nothing to do with the show. The show deals with these issues in a much more subtle, inclusive, far more optimistic way. Is Discovery a political show? I think the only reason to make it is because of current events, because of the political context. We live in very dark days where division and hatred and racism and misogyny are being propagated from the most powerful seats in the world. What was always very powerful about Star Trek is that it presented a vision of the future where these barriers didn't exist anymore – they weren't even in discussion. It's not front and centre in the story, but you’re looking at a bunch of people who solve problems together. Between them, gender, colour of skin, sexuality – none of these things present a barrier to success. 50 best TV shows on Netflix UK Your Discovery co-star Anthony Rapp was in the headlines recently, because of the awful experience he claims to have had with Kevin Spacey. You seem to be a close-knit cast. Is it something he’d spoken to you about before coming forward? No, it's a decision he made by himself. But we’re very close. We’re unbelievably proud of him, and inspired by him, because he took the decision to stick his neck out and tell a story when no-one else had. There were a couple of days of silence, where other people didn't [come forward] and I’m sure it was very worrying for him. But we were all very supportive and of course the stories are pouring out now. Did it come as a shock to you? I think are friendships aren’t really for public consumption, but it didn't come as a shock to me that he did something incredibly noble and brave. What he did was heroic. It's been incredibly heartening to see him proved right. With every one of these sexual predators being exposed, whose victims are having their day, you can’t help but feel that it might be part of a movement which will make things better for other people in the future.” Tweeting about Donald Trump’s administration, you’ve suggested we could be looking at quite a dark future. Do you think we’re moving closer to the utopian world of Star Trek, or further away from it? If you zoom out, to look at how people were behaving to each other hundreds of years ago, then there's no question that we’re moving towards it. Women’s lot has got better in the world, generally. Children get to go to school. There is an understanding through most of the world that people have rights - whether it be to an education, or that we look after each other when we’re sick and dying. Recently, I think we’ve slid a few feet back down the well in America, and I hope we’re going to arrest the tide of that slippage in Europe. People have been encouraged to come out from the shadows and say incredibly ugly, venal things… but if you look at the great sweep of history it’s all moving one way, and it's a positive way. But will we have time to get there? Will historians of the future understand, I wonder, that the escalating thermo-nuclear conflict that led to them scrabbling for survival on the smouldering remains of our planet came about because the American president was a mean girl? In a corset? https://t.co/dlyTNG9rPT— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) November 12, 2017 How did you put your own stamp on Lorca? The whole thing’s a collaboration, but there are many things I’ve brought to it that weren’t on the page. I made him Southern because he’s a military man... and I wasn't aware of any other captains who’d been like that. It was reverse engineered; Lorca had to be unlike any other captain. I wouldn’t have played him English, as I didn't want to be a pale shadow of Patrick [Stewart]. I also decided to stand up; so in his little ready room there was a chair, and I said “Let's get rid of the chair,” because he’s a man of action – he doesn’t like sitting down. If you’ll forgive me a silly question, which Hogwarts house would Lorca be in? Oh, I can’t possibly answer that. He lives in Discovery. I thought the Harry Potter stories were so perfectly told, they’re sacred to me. I don’t like whoring them out... and I don’t like this kind of mish-mash, as if it's a product, a “franchise”. I get very upset, because for me a franchise is a drive-through burger place. I leave that alone. For instance, I don't like to do Lucius Malfoy's voice in Sainsburys when people ask me to do it for their kids – because he lives in that world and it is sealed forever. Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Credit: Film Stills Alright then. Did you keep any souvenirs from the Potter films? No. It was because of Alan, God bless him. The fabulous late Alan Rickman took all the gold coins from Gringotts bank... and from the day he did, that every single prop was on inventory forever. My wigs are now on touring exhibitions. I did complain about not having  a wand for a while, so they sent me one – and I promptly lost it. Star Trek’s about to take a two-month hiatus. What can we look forward to when it’s back? I can’t tell you. It's a bit like when I used to do magic. I was a very keen amateur magician, and people would ask me how the trick was done. But if you tell them they get annoyed and disappointed - because what they really want is the painful anticipation of not knowing. It’s like trailers. I hate so many trailers nowadays. I try to discourage my children – who are addicted to them – from watching them. If it's a film they want to see, what would be the point? Who gets a book and has a quick look at chapter three, chapter 10 and the last page? Star Trek: Discovery returns on January 7. The first nine episodes are available to watch now on Netflix

Jason Isaacs on Twitter bullies, being trolled by William Shatner, and Anthony Rapp's bravery: 'What he did was heroic'

When I first see Jason Isaacs, he’s barrelling down the corridor of a smart London hotel, being loudly and amusingly rude about a film he hasn’t liked, a brace of anxious PR people trailing in his wake.  First impressions can be revealing: Isaacs is not afraid to speak his mind. In conversation, Star Trek’s latest captain is a tanned, loquacious cannonball, leaning in slightly at the start of his sentences as if carried along by sheer force of momentum. While other actors laughed along with Sean Spicer’s jokes at the Emmys in September, that night Isaacs posted a photo of the ex-White house press secretary propping up the bar, with a caption calling him “the thuggish face of Orwellian doublespeak”, a “poisonous purveyor of lies” and a “modern day Geobbels”, with “the aura of a giant festering abscess”. This frankness is a quality that may have helped him in Armando Ianucci’s satire The Death of Stalin, in which he played Red Army commander Georgy Zhukov – the only person bold enough to criticise the dictator to his face. He has a knack for playing military strongmen (in Soldier, The Patriot and Black Hawk Down), and has recently returned to these kinds of roles, both in The Death of Stalin and alongside Brad Pitt’s grimy tank gunner in Fury. When it’s not soldiers, it’s creepy scientists (in Netflix drama The OA, and hospital horror A Cure for Wellness). His latest role is a bit of both. Gabriel Lorca, warmongering captain of the titular starship in Star Trek: Discovery, has a short temper, a Southern twang and a menagerie of captive aliens on which he carries out dubious experiments. Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca Credit: CBS On the spectrum of good to evil, Lorca is a long way from Patrick Stewart’s noble Captain Pickard. He may well be closer Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s slippery dad in the Harry Potter films. Malfoy remains Isaacs’s best known role but, curiously, the 54-year-old Liverpudlian also has fans who know him best as a kind of living meme. The phrase “Hello to Jason Isaacs” is a running joke on Radio 5’s film review show (on which Robbie Collin, film critic of this parish, occasionally pops up). It has since gone global. It's appeared as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it visual gag on Jay Leno’s chat show, and been read out over the tannoy at an Aston Villa match. Type “Jason Isaacs” into Google, and the website wishes him a cheery hello. Naturally, there was only one way to begin our conversation. Hello to Jason Isaacs. What’s the best “hello” you’ve had? Mostly ones where I’m not there. People have said in their PhD theses and in their wedding vows. I’ve had it across a canyon when I’ve been hiking, out of nowhere. [He yodels:] “Helloooo toooo Jaaaaason Isaaaaa…” Where was that? I’m trying to remember. I think it was probably California. I’ve had it in the airport, I’ve had it in the loo on a plane – which is maybe not the best time for it. Actually, I remember the best one: I was at a charity event and Sir Alan Parker was there. Obviously, I’d never met him – I lived so far below the bottom of the totem pole, and he sat on top. He said "Hello to Jason Isaacs," and I was like "No! Surely not!" How does Discovery measure up to previous Treks? I wouldn’t have taken the job had I thought that it was anything like any other Star Trek series, particularly the ones I grew up worshipping. I thought Kirk and Spock were one of the best double acts, and nobody should attempt any sort of pale reboot of that. Running around with a phaser looking heroic – that's been done, it’s been done to a Mount Rushmore level. This is a completely different animal, it's a 15-hour miniseries about identity and war and moral challenges, and everybody's got secrets and flaws. Have you meet any other Star Fleet alumni? I met Jon Frakes, who directed an episode of Discovery, and who played Riker [in The Next Generation]. He’s hilarious, and gave me a top tip. He said, “Are you having trouble with your hands, darling?” I said, “Yes, I don’t know where the f--- to put them – there’s no pockets in space!” He told me, "Don’t ever start a scene with your hands on your hips. You’ll never get them off." Didn’t you also have a strange to-do with William Shatner? Bill Shatner started to troll me online. I was misquoted about about Star Trek, and we got into this wild banter with each other. Then I met him and he seemed to have no knowledge of it at all. So I’m not sure he does his own Twitter feed, but I rather enjoy engaging with whoever online William Shatner is. The online Jason Isaacs can be rather feisty too. You spend quite a bit of time responding to trolls on social media, particularly the ones who say actors should steer clear of commenting on topical issues I don’t really understand this digital megaphone that we’re all given, but nonetheless it's there and I can use it. I don't like bullies – it seems absurd to say it – and I don’t like sexual predators and I don’t like racists. And I get to tell them so, and occasionally they try and defend themselves. If speaking out against racists, misogynists, bullies, homophobes, liars and warmongers ‘fogs’ my work...wipe the scum off your glasses. https://t.co/bacWRdtn8Y— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) November 5, 2017 They should watch out, because it’s not just me. Most sane, moral people in the world don’t like them either, so they can stick their heads up above my parapet if they like, but they'll get them cut off. But that’s got nothing to do with the show. The show deals with these issues in a much more subtle, inclusive, far more optimistic way. Is Discovery a political show? I think the only reason to make it is because of current events, because of the political context. We live in very dark days where division and hatred and racism and misogyny are being propagated from the most powerful seats in the world. What was always very powerful about Star Trek is that it presented a vision of the future where these barriers didn't exist anymore – they weren't even in discussion. It's not front and centre in the story, but you’re looking at a bunch of people who solve problems together. Between them, gender, colour of skin, sexuality – none of these things present a barrier to success. 50 best TV shows on Netflix UK Your Discovery co-star Anthony Rapp was in the headlines recently, because of the awful experience he claims to have had with Kevin Spacey. You seem to be a close-knit cast. Is it something he’d spoken to you about before coming forward? No, it's a decision he made by himself. But we’re very close. We’re unbelievably proud of him, and inspired by him, because he took the decision to stick his neck out and tell a story when no-one else had. There were a couple of days of silence, where other people didn't [come forward] and I’m sure it was very worrying for him. But we were all very supportive and of course the stories are pouring out now. Did it come as a shock to you? I think are friendships aren’t really for public consumption, but it didn't come as a shock to me that he did something incredibly noble and brave. What he did was heroic. It's been incredibly heartening to see him proved right. With every one of these sexual predators being exposed, whose victims are having their day, you can’t help but feel that it might be part of a movement which will make things better for other people in the future.” Tweeting about Donald Trump’s administration, you’ve suggested we could be looking at quite a dark future. Do you think we’re moving closer to the utopian world of Star Trek, or further away from it? If you zoom out, to look at how people were behaving to each other hundreds of years ago, then there's no question that we’re moving towards it. Women’s lot has got better in the world, generally. Children get to go to school. There is an understanding through most of the world that people have rights - whether it be to an education, or that we look after each other when we’re sick and dying. Recently, I think we’ve slid a few feet back down the well in America, and I hope we’re going to arrest the tide of that slippage in Europe. People have been encouraged to come out from the shadows and say incredibly ugly, venal things… but if you look at the great sweep of history it’s all moving one way, and it's a positive way. But will we have time to get there? Will historians of the future understand, I wonder, that the escalating thermo-nuclear conflict that led to them scrabbling for survival on the smouldering remains of our planet came about because the American president was a mean girl? In a corset? https://t.co/dlyTNG9rPT— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) November 12, 2017 How did you put your own stamp on Lorca? The whole thing’s a collaboration, but there are many things I’ve brought to it that weren’t on the page. I made him Southern because he’s a military man... and I wasn't aware of any other captains who’d been like that. It was reverse engineered; Lorca had to be unlike any other captain. I wouldn’t have played him English, as I didn't want to be a pale shadow of Patrick [Stewart]. I also decided to stand up; so in his little ready room there was a chair, and I said “Let's get rid of the chair,” because he’s a man of action – he doesn’t like sitting down. If you’ll forgive me a silly question, which Hogwarts house would Lorca be in? Oh, I can’t possibly answer that. He lives in Discovery. I thought the Harry Potter stories were so perfectly told, they’re sacred to me. I don’t like whoring them out... and I don’t like this kind of mish-mash, as if it's a product, a “franchise”. I get very upset, because for me a franchise is a drive-through burger place. I leave that alone. For instance, I don't like to do Lucius Malfoy's voice in Sainsburys when people ask me to do it for their kids – because he lives in that world and it is sealed forever. Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Credit: Film Stills Alright then. Did you keep any souvenirs from the Potter films? No. It was because of Alan, God bless him. The fabulous late Alan Rickman took all the gold coins from Gringotts bank... and from the day he did, that every single prop was on inventory forever. My wigs are now on touring exhibitions. I did complain about not having  a wand for a while, so they sent me one – and I promptly lost it. Star Trek’s about to take a two-month hiatus. What can we look forward to when it’s back? I can’t tell you. It's a bit like when I used to do magic. I was a very keen amateur magician, and people would ask me how the trick was done. But if you tell them they get annoyed and disappointed - because what they really want is the painful anticipation of not knowing. It’s like trailers. I hate so many trailers nowadays. I try to discourage my children – who are addicted to them – from watching them. If it's a film they want to see, what would be the point? Who gets a book and has a quick look at chapter three, chapter 10 and the last page? Star Trek: Discovery returns on January 7. The first nine episodes are available to watch now on Netflix

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