Check out the official trailer for Lilting about living in a world where you have no grasp of its language, and your only lifeline to that is lost.

Cheng Pei Pei and Ben Whishaw star and the highlights of their careers are detailed below.

Ben Whishaw Lowdown

Lilting – Richard (Ben Whishaw) ©2014 Microwave / Strand Releasing


Ben Whishaw trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating spring 2003. In 1999, prior to drama school, Ben played important supporting roles in two films, The Trench (Arts Council/Studio Canal dir. William Boyd) and Mauvaise Passé (Pathe/Studio Canal dir Michel Blanc). He also played the title role in My Brother Tom (Film Four dir. Dom Rotheroe). After graduation, he went on to appear in Enduring Love, a film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel directed by Roger Michell, and Layer Cake, a feature directed by Matthew Vaughan.

Ben subsequently made his West End debut at the National Theatre in their stage adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and starred as Hamlet in Trevor Nunn’s electric ‘youth’ version of the play at the Old Vic, for which he has received tremendous critical acclaim and a Laurence Olivier nomination.

In 2006, Ben went on to play the lead character Grenouille in Tom Tykwer’s highly acclaimed Perfume. In the same year he also shot Stoned and I’m Not There, Todd Haynes’ film portrayal of Bob Dylan’s life alongside the likes of Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere and Christian Bale.

Ben played Sebastian Flyte in the film version of Brideshead Revisited (2008), which was released to critical acclaim. Ben starred in the hugely popular BBC drama Criminal Justice, which saw him pick up the award for best actor at the 2009 Royal Television Society Awards, ‘Best Actor’ at the International Emmy Awards 2009 and was nominated for ‘Best Actor’ at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards. He also played the lead role in The Idiot at the National Theatre. Ben starred as John Keats in Bright Star and took the lead role in Mike Bartlett’s play, Cock, at The Royal Court Theatre. Ben then played Ariel opposite Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in The Tempest.

In 2012, Ben went on to star as Freddie Lyon in The Hour for the BBC opposite Dominic West and Romola Garai. This was followed by the lead role in the BBC’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard II and then as Q in the most recent Bond, Skyfall, alongside Daniel Craig. In the same year, Ben starred alongside an all-star cast including Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in Cloud Atlas. 2013 saw Ben return to the stage alongside Skyfall co-star Judi Dench in Peter and Alice. He then appeared in The Zero Theorem with Matt Dillon. In 2014 Ben will be seen in Lilting and Ron Howard’s recent project In the Heart of the Sea.


Cheng Pei Pei Lowdown

Lilting – Junn (Cheng Pei Pei) ©2014 Microwave / Strand Releasing


Cheng Pei Pei is one of Asian cinema’s martial arts legends and Hong Kong’s first action heroine. A household name in Asia, and often quoted by Harvey Weinstein as his favorite Chinese actress, Pei Pei gained immense popularity when she starred in the Shaw Brothers highly influential Come Drink With Me (1966). Many other films followed establishing her as Hong Kong’s ‘Queen of Swords’.

Today, Western audiences remember her best for her role as the wicked Jade Fox in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Award at the 2001 Hong Kong Film Awards.

Pei Pei’s other recent credits include House of Harmony and Naked Weapon opposite Maggie Q; Streetfighter, The Legend of Chun Li for 20th Century Fox, and numerous Chinese films like Yang Sisters, Speed Angels and Here Comes Fortune opposite Alan Tam and Miriam Yeung for China Film Group.

Pei Pei has also starred in several Chinese television series including Mulan for CCTV, and the epic series The Patriot Yue Fei opposite Huang Xiaoming, which became the first Chinese series to be broadcast on HBO.


Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online More by Colin Davies