March 7, 2011

"Twilight's" Billy Burke Crosses Over to "Red Riding Hood" (Opens March 11)



Billy Burke is well known to genre fans for the part of Charlie Swan – Bella's father -- in the blockbuster “Twilight” film franchise. He created the role in the first film, “Twilight,” which also marked his first collaboration with director Catherine Hardwicke. He has since reprised the character in the sequels, “New Moon” and “Eclipse.” Now, Burke reunites wth director Hardwicke for the latter's re-imagining of the beloved fairytale “Red Riding Hood” from Warner Bros.

“I have a huge place in my heart for Catherine,” says the actor. “I’ve never met anyone with the energy level she has and it’s infectious. She has a way of infusing everyone on the set with a shared sense of purpose.”

“Red Riding Hood” tells the story of Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie’s older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village.

Coming from different perspectives, Valerie’s parents, Suzette (Virgina Madsen) and Cesaire (Burke), have conflicting views on whether it will be Peter or Henry who can make their daughter happy in the long run.


Burke admits that his character “is a man who likes to tip a few back, but his daughter loves him and forgives his faults. Maybe her attraction to Peter is partly due to the old cliché that girls tend to be attracted to men who remind them of their fathers. Cesaire is a woodcutter himself, so he likes Peter and considers him a fine suitor for his daughter.”

Adds Burke, “That’s only part of the chasm that has developed with his wife over the years, which is probably due to his drinking. But Cesaire doesn’t see how that is hurting anyone, including himself.”

Burke was previously seen in “Fracture,” with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling; Jay Russell’s fact-based drama “Ladder 49,” with John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix; Lee Tamahori’s “Along Came a Spider”; “Without Limits,” for writer/director Robert Towne; and Jim Abraham’s “Jane Austen’s Mafia!”

On television, Burke previously had a chilling seven-episode arc in the second season of the hit action series “24.” He also appeared in a recurring role on the series “Wonderland,” created by Peter Berg, and has had guest roles on such series as “Law & Order,” “Fringe” and “The Closer.”

Apart from acting, Burke is an accomplished musician who plays both guitar and piano. He performed in Seattle with the rock band Outcast Theater for many years. His debut album, Removed, was released last June.

Opening across the Philippines on March 11, “Red Riding Hood” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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