By Czarina Nicole O. Ong
Actress Claire Foy has been given the role of Anne Boleyn in the BBC 10-episode series Wolf Hall, and she talks about the challenges she encountered portraying the infamous love of King Henry VIII of England.
“The more auditions I did, the more I didn’t know who she was,” Foy told The Independent. But she did try her best in understanding the workings of her mind in order to give a better, more honest portrayal of the queen who lost her head.
“Anne didn’t see any limitations in what she could achieve. She saw that she was very bright and could charm people, even if they hated her. Her real downfall was that she couldn’t leave well enough alone: she was supposed to be silent and graceful and admired, but wouldn’t be that ethereal figure. She wanted to be in the thick of it.”
But understanding Boleyn wasn’t even half of her challenge. Her pregnancy, of course, made it difficult for the actress to get into character because of all the hormones acting up.
“I’m normally very focused, especially if it’s an emotional scene,” Foy said. “But I was sitting going: there’s nothing happening here, I’m completely dead inside. I thought I’d lost the ability to act. When I did realize I was pregnant and that my hormones were going slightly mad, I couldn’t tell anyone. The costumes were hot and tight, but I couldn’t complain so I was just angry with everyone all the time.”
Despite her emotions, what Foy wanted, of course, was for the audience to be completely enamored by the show, the same way she was with Pride and Prejudice.
“As a teenager I watched Pride and Prejudice with my cousins every weekend under the duvet, and made no connection to literature or anything,” she recalled. “I was just completely involved. I’d love it if people responded to this in the same way.”