Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category


Jan 10,2017

The Crown: Claire Foy Reveals the Secret to Being Queen Elizabeth

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Plus, John Lithgow’s recipe to make the perfect Winston Churchill. (Hint: it involves a fat suit, and “lots of liquor.”)

by Paul Chi

Claire Foy had “no idea” what to expect during awards season.

“My work is usually not nominated for anything, so it’s been a complete whirlwind,” Foy, a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominee for her work in The Crown, told Vanity Fair at the BAFTA Awards Season Tea Party in Beverly Hills on Saturday afternoon. “I’m still shooting the second season of the series, and that feels very regular—but all of this is out of the ordinary for me. I just hope I am not breaking any rules I do not know about. Oh God, please tell me if I do!”

The candid star, who plays a young Elizabeth II on the series, will soon be a pro at navigating the endless red carpet events that dominate the early months of the year. Her performance in The Crown received effusive praise from critics impressed at the way she captures both the human and the regal sides of the young monarch. To honestly play the Queen, Foy said it was important to understand her as a private woman.

“I do think she’s like everybody else, but she’s not able to express emotions in the same ways as we do,” explained Foy. “Her duty and her job means she’s not able to be open about her feelings in the way that we all can with our family and with our marriages. Her family was the most important thing to her, and all of a sudden she had to sacrifice them to her job. Once I understood this, she was no longer a disembodied figure and a real person that I could portray her truthfully on the screen.”

Foy’s costar John Lithgow is also nominated for a Golden Globe; he may very well take to the stage on Sunday evening to pick up the best supporting actor award for his turn as Prime Minister Winston Churchill. To transform into the famous government official, the two-time Oscar nominee used a special trick to make his 6’4” frame appear smaller. (Churchill was only 5’6”.)

“I wore a fat suit, and that did the whole job for me,” Lithgow told Vanity Fair at the BAFTA Tea Party’s red carpet. “It made me hunch over a little, and it completely changed the way I moved.”

Lithgow also worked with makeup artist Ivana Primorac to reshape his face, making it look more like Churchill’s. Lithgow wore plumpers stuck inside his teeth to get jowls that resembled the prime minister’s own.

“I had these little blobs designed by Chris Lyons, who also created Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher teeth [for The Iron Lady], and I had cotton jammed up my nose. That was my idea—to give me his nasal voice,” Lithgow said. “You do all those mechanical things, and it immediately transformed me. I felt like I wasn’t John anymore, and much closer to Winston than I was before.”

To nail the character, Lithgow read Churchill’s biography and studied as many video and audio clips as he could find.

“Churchill had so many qualities. He was tremendously temperamental, but he was also sentimental and morose. He was very funny and witty, but had a deeply depressive side,” said Lithgow. “You take all those qualities, and you stir in lots and lots of liquor and cigar smoke, and you get Churchill.”

Source



Jan 08,2017

Golden Globes: Claire Foy Wins Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama

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The 74th annual awards show, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday.

The Crown‘s Claire Foy took home the Golden Globe for best performance by an actress in TV series, drama on Sunday night.

The actress beat out Caitriona Balfe in Outlander, Keri Russell in The Americans, Winona Ryder in Stranger Things and Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld.

Foy won the award for her portrayal of a young Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s historical drama. The show went on to win the Golden Globe for best TV drama.

“I think the world could do with a few more women at the center of it,” the actress remarked upon receiving her award.

Jimmy Fallon hosted the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards, which took place at the Beverly Hilton on Jan. 8.

Source



Jan 08,2017

The Crown’s Claire Foy ‘completely terrified’ ahead of Golden Globes for Queen portrayal

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The actress is facing stiff competition for best actress

By David Mercer

The Crown star Claire Foy said she is “completely terrified” as she prepares to discover if she has won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the Queen.

Stockport-born Foy is nominated for best actress in a television drama series for her performance in the acclaimed Netflix drama, which focuses on the monarch’s early reign.

Speaking at Bafta LA’s Tea Party on the eve of the ceremony, Foy told the Press Association: “I’m really looking forward to it. Obviously I’m completely terrified.

“But I think once it’s all out of the way it will just be a great party.”

On her role as the Queen, she added: “It’s so out of my zone of understanding so I feel very lucky because I’ve learnt a lot.

“I’ve learnt so much. I’ve learnt a lot about being an actor but I’ve also learnt a lot about her and her role, her duty and what she’s been through in life.

“The main thing that surprised me was how she came to the throne. I knew her father had obviously died … I just never really considered that idea of how that would affect her as a person. I found that very emotional and surprising.”

Foy, 32, is currently filming a second series of The Crown, which will reportedly be her last as the role is recast to portray an older version of the Queen.

Foy will compete for the Golden Globe Award with Winona Ryder , who is nominated for her performance in Netflix series Stranger Things.

Evan Rachel Wood is nominated for her portrayal of lifelike robot Dolores in Westworld, while Keri Russell and Caitriona Balfe have also received nods for The Americans and Outlander respectively.

John Lithgow, who plays Sir Winston Churchill in The Crown, is nominated for best supporting actor, while the show itself has earned a nomination for best television drama series.

Stephen Daldry, director and executive producer on The Crown, said Foy had delivered a “career-defining performance” as the Queen.

“We were blessed with Claire because I think she’s proving to be one of the greatest actresses of her generation,” he said.

“I think that’s just our luck. It was always a pretty clear choice it was going to be Claire. The fact she’s grown into this extraordinary performance – a career-defining performance – is just brilliant.”

The 74th annual Golden Globe Awards take place in Los Angeles on Sunday (1am Monday GMT).

Source



Dec 28,2016

And the 2016 RadioTimes.com Reader Awards winners are…

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Read the full article and see the full list of winners here on Radio Times.



Dec 13,2016

Claire Foy on Her Golden Globe Nomination, Season Two & Why Later Seasons Will Have a Different Cast

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By Dee Lockett

While most of Hollywood was asleep during the early morning Golden Globes nominations on Monday, The Crown’s breakout star Claire Foy, who plays a young Queen Elizabeth II at the start of her reign, was wide awake midday in England and shocked to learn of her nomination for best actress in a drama series. She was even more elated to find out she’s not alone: John Lithgow is up for best supporting actor for his committed turn as Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Netflix show itself is also up for best drama, among a surprising sea of newcomers against the Game of Thrones behemoth. Foy, who’s in the middle of filming season two, spoke with Vulture shortly after the announcement to share her reaction to being a first-time nominee, how she and the rest of the cast are getting on without Lithgow, and the show’s future.

Congratulations! How does it feel to be a first-time nominee?
I couldn’t believe it. My agent called and told me and I laughed out loud.

Did you text John Lithgow?
No, because I just presumed it was too early in L.A. to even try and contact him. But as soon as I’m done with all this, I’m going to email him and share the loveliness of this.

Were you surprised to see The Crown among all these other freshman shows up against Game of Thrones?
I don’t really know how it all works. The show only just came out in November, so to me it feels like a complete whirlwind. I always thought that things like this took time and you had to build up an audience. I’ve been so overwhelmed by how many people have watched it and the positive response we’ve had. To get this as well … it’s amazing.
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Dec 07,2016

Vote in the 2016 RadioTimes.com Reader Awards

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By Radio Times staff

It’s been 11 long months since we were all remedying our Christmas blues with a spot of War and Peace. And what a TV year 2016 has been – we’ve had The Night Manager, Happy Valley, Game of Thrones, Line of Duty, Planet Earth II, Victoria, National Treasure and much, MUCH more.

It’s also been the year that on-demand truly took off and cemented itself alongside scheduled TV with the release of Stranger Things, Fleabag, Thirteen, The Crown, The Gilmore Girls and – of course – The Grand Tour.

So as 2016 draws to a close, we want to know what you – yes, YOU! – think of this year’s treasure trove of telly. We’ve launched the inaugural RadioTimes.com Reader Awards to celebrate the best programmes airing on British television since 1st January 2016.

Below you’ll find a shortlist of 14 categories drawn up by RadioTimes.com – a mix of our online team’s top picks and the most popular shows airing his year. But your favourite programmes, presenters and actors need YOUR votes to win. Each RadioTimes.com reader will have only one chance to have their say in each category – so, what are you waiting for? Get clicking…

Source: RadioTimes

Quick links:
Vote for The Crown for Best Drama here.
Vote for Claire Foy for Best Actress here.



Nov 18,2016

Claire Foy on Queen Elizabeth’s Corgis, Season 2 and More

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By Julie Miller

I you have not yet watched Netflix’s The Crown, the upcoming holiday weekend is the perfect chance to start. The sumptuous 10-episode series, from Stephen Daldry and Peter Morgan, stars British actress Claire Foy as a young Queen Elizabeth ascending the throne decades before she expected to. Foy does a brilliant job portraying the long-reigning monarch as viewers have never seen her—fallible, unsure of herself, and struggling to balance her domestic life with her divine duty as the whole world watches.

To celebrate the series, we spoke to Foy earlier this week about the challenges of playing Queen Elizabeth, whether or not she’s heard from the palace, and what viewers can expect when the series returns for its second season. Our edited conversation follows.

V.F. Hollywood: I have so enjoyed watching you on The Crown, and was sad to finish the first 10 episodes. Was the series as fun to make as it was to watch?

Claire Foy: It really, really was. It was definitely a feat, a bit of an achievement, because it’s so vast, and there’s so much of it, and the story goes so far in such a short space of time. But we [the cast and crew] all absolutely love each other.

We’re all so acquainted with Queen Elizabeth the public figure, but what research gave you the best insight into what she’s like behind closed doors?

The palace released quite a lot of her home videos, actually. She has that video camera [that was given to her by her father]. A lot of the home videos were actually shot by her. She has done that through her entire reign.

The palace did this thing [for the Queen’s 90th birthday] where the royal family sat down and watched the home videos together [for a BBC documentary]. William and Harry sat down and watched some. The Queen and Prince Charles watched some. It was the most amazing thing, watching them watch these home videos. A lot of these home videos are of her and Margaret and Philip and, at that point, Charles and Anne—them messing about and rolling down hills. That was very very early on in her reign . . . Those were really amazing, because even then she had such a reserved quality. She wasn’t, obviously, as frivolous as Margaret.

There are documentaries of her now, in her 70s, 80s, and 90s—that’s really useful. But you have to realize she’s not the same at 90 as she was at 25. As good as that is, to see her and how she moves and how she is with people naturally, you have to imagine her as a seed of a person as opposed to full character.
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Nov 18,2016

Claire Foy On Playing the Young Queen Elizabeth, Raising a Newborn, and Having More Fun as a Blonde

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By Jason Chen

If you’ve watched even just an episode or two of Netflix’s The Crown, you’ve likely already fallen under its spell — lush sets, elaborate costumes, stunning cinematography (it’s rumored to be one of the most expensive shows ever produced), but what gives the show its pathos is lead actress Claire Foy, who portrays the first days of Queen Elizabeth with a performance that ranges from naïve to steely to circumspect — often all in the same scene.

Yahoo Style: How did the role come your way?

Claire Foy: Just in the classic way, actually. I just auditioned for it. My agent rang me up and asked, “Do you want to go on a meet?” Of course, at the time I didn’t realize I’d be meeting [director] Stephen Daldry, [writer] Peter Morgan, and Andy Harris, the producer. They’re all quite big wigs. That was a bit scary, but it was just a really lovely chat. I had no expectations of getting it or anything, so I think I was really quite relaxed. It was just really lovely. Then I had a second audition, and then found out that I’d got it, which was a real shock. Really exciting.

How familiar were you with the Queen’s early years?

I think everybody in England and around the world is familiar with her because she’s been around for my entire life — our generation has grown up with her there as a prominent figure. But I wasn’t aware of her as a young mother or anything like that. Obviously, I knew everything about Edward the 8th and the abdication of the throne, and the fact she wasn’t destined to be Queen, but that’s what happened. Her life could’ve been very, very different. I didn’t really know anything about the death of her father and how unexpected it was.

How did you find yourself inhabiting that state of mind?

I think Peter’s scripts are amazing and they do all the work for you, really. Also, I think if you’re grieving or you’re in massive amounts of shock, I think you just take every day as it comes. I don’t think as a character she could’ve thought about the magnitude of what was happening to her and the job that she was taking on and how that would change her life. I think she would’ve had a breakdown. She so obviously didn’t, in public anyway.

Would you say that was the most challenging part of the production?

I had a newborn baby, so-

Oh, my gosh. Congratulations.

Thanks very much. That was quite challenging. Amazing but challenging. It was also one of the biggest jobs I’d done, and there was a lot to get right. It wasn’t just about having an emotional connection to it. It was also about getting the physicality and the voice, and all those things that come with a character, so there was a lot of homework to do as well in order to, when you were on set, be able to be relaxed and just play the scene naturally. It took quite a lot of inhabiting to get to the point where you’re comfortable with that.

Did you work with a coach who helped you do those things?

Yes. William Conacher, who’s the best dialect coach in the world because he didn’t ever say to us, “This is how she sounds. You’ve got to do it.” We all found our collective sounds, which I think is really important, but we also found ourselves in the voices. It wasn’t like we were trying to do an impression because otherwise we’re trying to be perfect the entire time. You’re not going to be able to play a scene, so he was just amazing at giving us little ways in and funny little physical things that distract you from your voice and you end up doing it anyway.

Obviously the Queen has been portrayed on film and in theater numerous times already. Did you feel any pressure from that?

No. Those performances matter because they’re amazing, but I tried not to let them affect me. I watched The Queen very early on, mainly just because it’s a really good film, and I could pretend I was doing research, but luckily, the pressure was off in that way because I was playing her younger and there’s not that much footage or accounts of her when she’s at that age. The pressure to be an identical version of her, I didn’t really feel that so much. I didn’t go and see the play. I would’ve loved to but I just think it would’ve terrified me, if I’d have gone to go and watch those two amazing women do it. I would’ve probably not been able to do the job.

That pressure would be too great! Read the rest of this entry »



Nov 06,2016

Claire Foy of ‘The Crown’ on playing royalty

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By Meredith Blake

Claire Foy was six months pregnant when she donned a wig and crown to audition for a role as the young Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series “The Crown.”

“I was just massive and my face had started to do that thing where all my features were stretching,” recalls the actress, tugging at her nose and cheeks to demonstrate. “I looked absolutely ridiculous.”

With a shaggy bob recently dyed blond, the 32-year-old comes across as the antithesis of stiff-upper-lip British aristocracy, peppering her speech liberally with the word “bloody” amid occasional exuberant gestures and a tendency to slide into cartoonish voices.

Writer Peter Morgan remembers her audition for “The Crown” somewhat differently: “Her talent was undeniable and unmistakable, and my conviction that we had found our queen was immediate. She was electric, even in composure and silence.” Read the rest of this entry »



Nov 05,2016

“The Crown” – Radio Times & Marie Claire UK Scans

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GALLERY LINKS:
– Photoshoots > Marie Claire UK (2016)
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Marie Claire (UK) – December 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Radio Times (UK) – November 5-11, 2016

Click here to view almost 300 pictures from the world premiere of The Crown! Claire Foy wore an Erdem Resort 2017 floral printed off-the-shoulder dress.



Nov 01,2016

“The Crown” Related Magazine Scans

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GALLERY LINKS:
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Gioia (Italy) – September 24, 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > GQ (UK) – November 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > ELLE (Spain) – November 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Marie Claire (Spain) – November 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Empire (UK) – December 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Supertele (Spain) – October 29, 2016

Our gallery was updated with several recent events and we’ll be adding even more photos and screencaptures in the next few days.



Oct 31,2016

How Claire Foy ‘keeps things real’ playing Queen Elizabeth in Netflix’s The Crown

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Actress playing the young Elizabeth in new drama says no one, not even a royal, has a picture-perfect life and that’s how she approached the role

By Xavier Ng

Being English, Claire Foy thinks the trick in portraying Her Majesty the Queen is to forget everything she knows about the monarch and start afresh.

“You’ll have to get rid of what you think you know, especially when you’ve grown up in England – you grew up with her,” says the 32-year-old actress.

Foy, who made an impression playing another royalty, the ill-fated Queen Anne Boleyn in the BBC’s Wolf Hall (2015), has landed a big part in The Crown, Netflix’s latest drama series to be released on November 4.

Written by Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Daldry, The Crown it is a biographical story about the reign of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Foy plays the Queen in the early part of her reign.

“It’s a huge honour, obviously,” she says of her latest role. “But at the end of the day, I have to play the character that Peter Morgan has written. It’s not a documentary drama, it’s a drama, a story, a fiction. It’s still our imagination. But you have to try not to generalise or stereotype, and think about what it actually feels like putting yourself in her shoes.”

With six seasons and 60 episodes planned, The Crown begins with Foy as the young princess marrying Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1947 before she is crowned Queen of the United Kingdom in 1952. This first chapter ends in 1957, by which time Elizabeth II had already gained some experience as head of the monarchy and dealt with figures such as the British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.

“That’s not a huge amount of time, but a lot happened in those 10 years for her, especially at the beginning when she’s just embarking on her new life, getting married to her husband, and all of a sudden she’s the queen,” says Foy. “It’s a real journey and a real story there.” Read the rest of this entry »



Oct 26,2016

“The Crown” Related UK Articles & Interviews

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GALLERY LINKS:
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > TV Times (UK) – October 29/November 4, 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > TV & Satellite Week (UK) – October 29/November 4, 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > What’s ON TV (UK) – October 29/November 4, 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Woman’s Own (UK) – October 31, 2016
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Radio Times (UK) – October 29/November 4, 2016



Oct 17,2016

Claire Foy is featured in ELLE USA – October 2016

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Thanks to our friend Annie from Cumberbatch Fan.

GALLERY LINKS:
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > ELLE (USA) – October 2016
– Photoshoots > ELLE USA (2016)



Oct 05,2016

8 Things You Need To Know About Netflix’s ‘The Crown’

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Queen Elizabeth II may become your new feminist icon.

By Emma Dibdin

When Netflix announced back in January that it would spend $6 billion on new content in 2016, minds boggled. But that figure is already making a lot more sense in the run-up to its ambitious new series The Crown, the first season of which cost upwards of $100 million.

Here are eight things to know about the elegant, richly detailed The Crown, a character-driven drama chronicling the adult life of Queen Elizabeth II from her 1947 wedding onwards.

1) This is not a soap opera.

Don’t look to The Crown to fill the Downton Abbey-shaped hole in your heart. All 10 episodes are written by Peter Morgan, known for his nuanced, deeply researched portraits of British royals and politicians in movies including The Queen and Frost/Nixon. Picking up in a post-war Britain where prime minister Winston Churchill has declared, “mankind stands on the edge of catastrophe,” the show’s focus is on flawed human beings in an incredibly unique and strange psychological position, and how the burden of royal duty impacts them all.

2) The first three episodes are essentially a sequel to The King’s Speech.

The Crown begins with King George VI, played by Mad Men’s always-lovable Jared Harris, on the throne. There are a lot of King Georges in British history, but this one has already been memorably brought to the screen before by Colin Firth in the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech. Eight years on from that film’s solemn conclusion, George’s health is faltering, and he spends a lot of the first episode coughing up blood which his manservant bullishly attributes to “the cold.”

Spoiler alert, for anyone who isn’t up on their British history: it’s not the cold. (Geoffrey Rush did try to warn him.) George’s death in 1952 forced his 25-year-old daughter Elizabeth onto the throne, but Harris gets a decent chunk of screen time here before that happens, and offers some important commentary on Elizabeth’s situation. George was a reluctant monarch himself, forced to take over when his elder brother Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. The fallout from that scandal is still being felt when Edward comes back into the picture in Episode 3. His actual abdication—without which Elizabeth would never have been in line for the throne in the first place—is shown in flashbacks later in the season.

3) Elizabeth II may become your new feminist icon.

Regardless of your feelings about the monarchy, Queen Elizabeth—now Britain’s longest-serving ruler—is objectively a woman to admire. Claire Foy’s performance emphasizes the stoicism, modesty and no-nonsense attitude that have defined her reign, and they’re highlighted in contrast to the people (chiefly the men) around her.

“I have seen three great monarchies brought down through their failure to separate personal indulgences from duty,” she’s warned early on. “You must not allow yourself to make similar mistakes.” Her new husband Philip (Matt Smith) is more concerned with the trappings of monarchy than the actual responsibilities; her uncle Edward squabbles with the rest of her family over his inheritance; she’s surrounded by people who make no secret of their belief that they’re better suited for the throne than her. Amidst it all, Elizabeth quietly endures and gets on with business.

Episode 2 also features a reminder of what might be the best badass QE2 factoid. During her royal visit to Nairobi, the then-Princess Elizabeth casually mends a broken-down car, reminding her male companions that she served as a mechanic during World War II.

Read more at the source.



Oct 04,2016

5 Things To Know About Actress Playing Queen Elizabeth II In ‘The Crown’

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She’ll have BIG shoes as she takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s new series ‘The Crown,’ but Claire Foy is definitely ready to take on the job. Get to know the actress with five fast facts right here!

1. She went to school to pursue her acting career

Claire Foy, 32, has always had a career in show business on her mind — she studied drama at Liverpool John Moores University, and then did a one year course at the Oxford School of Drama, graduating in 2007.

2. Her career started out with plays

During her time at Oxford, Claire starred in plays like Top girls and Easy Virtue, then made her professional stage debut in DNA and The Miracle. She then moved onto television, starring in one of her most well-known roles as Amy Dorrit in the BBC mini-series Little Dorrit.

3. Her most critically-acclaimed role was as Anne Boleyn

Claire portrayed Anne in the mini-series Wolf Hall, for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the British Academy Television Awards, Best Supporting Actress at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards and Female Actor at Royal Television Society. Amazing!

Click here for the rest of the article.



Aug 17,2016

The Crown Related Updates (Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow)

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GALLERY LINKS:
– Photoshoots > Vogue UK (2016)
– Photoshoots > Vanity Fair USA (2016)
– Movies & Television > The Crown (TV Series, 2016) > Production Stills
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Empire – September 2016



Aug 11,2016

Secret of the Unseen Queen

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An exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at the new blockbuster drama about the life of Elizabeth II

Scottish Daily Mail
5 Aug 2016
Bamigboye Baz

THERE’S high drama everywhere I look. Over there, the Queen is boarding a BOAC flight. Here’s Winston Churchill presiding over a cabinet meeting. And look: the Duke of Edinburgh is wandering around in his pyjamas. In a muddy field, I see perfect replicas of the frontages of Buckingham Palace and No. 10 Downing Street — although on closer inspection, they do look a little frayed.

Then the Queen swings her handbag at a courtier, and lets out a belly laugh.

It’s as if I’ve been sent back in a time machine to view — first hand — the early years of Her Majesty’s reign. But, in reality, the scenes unfolding before my eyes are part of the filming of the first series of The Crown — the most ambitious television programme ever made about Elizabeth II, and this autumn’s must-see drama.

‘It’s the story of this extraordinary family under extraordinary pressure trying to survive,’ said Stephen Daldry, one of The Crown’s executive producers and directors.

All ten hour-long episodes will be streamed, in all Netflix territories, from November 4 this year.

Viewers will be able to observe actress Claire Foy’s portrait of Elizabeth from her wedding to dashing naval officer Philip Mountbatten (played by Matt Smith) in 1947, to the debacle that was Suez in 1956.

People forget that in the early years of her reign, the Queen looked like a movie star.

‘She was glamorous and she was beautiful — but she had this extraordinary sense of duty as well,’ Daldry added.

His ambition, and that of his collaborators — writer Peter Morgan (who worked on the play The Audience with Daldry and also wrote the film The Queen, both starring Helen Mirren), Philip Martin (who directs four episodes) and producers Andy Harries, Matthew Byam-Shaw, Andrew Eaton, Faye Ward and Robert Fox — is to shoot ten episodes for each decade of Her Majesty’s 63-year reign.

The second series, covering the Sixties, starts filming next month.

Each show deals with a crisis: whether it’s political (Suez) or domestic, such as Princess Margaret’s desire to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend, her father’s equerry.

ONE concerns the placement of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor at the funeral of King George VI. Another explores the different experiences Philip and Charles had at Gordonstoun school. ‘Why was it so powerful for Philip? And so horrid for Charles?’ Daldry wondered.

Another episode examines the explosive debate around the cabinet table — and in the Commons — over whether the Queen’s Coronation should be televised.

Philip Martin directed the Coronation episode. He said the argument about the perils of ‘letting daylight in on the magic’ (as 19thcentury essayist Walter Bagehot put it), and of ‘whether it was wrong for people to be able to sit at home and have a cup of tea and watch the Queen being crowned’ — in his words — was fierce.

A highlight is the sequence concerning the Act of Consecration.

In 1953, the anointing of the Queen was blacked out, so viewers never saw it. But Daldry was adamant The Crown should show Elizabeth being daubed on the palms of her hands, her breast and forehead with special consecrated oils — and the scene with Foy (who played Anne Boleyn, in Wolf Hall) is solemn but spectacular.

‘It explains so much about her, and how she sees her duties,’ Daldry said, as we walked to one of several sound-stages being used at Elstree, in Hertfordshire, for the show.

He stressed that The Crown is not a historical documentary (although he said an incredible amount of research had been done).

‘We’re not making up a lot. But obviously it’s not a docu-drama.

‘The Queen has maintained a mystique: the most visible, invisible woman in the world.

‘The dramas of her family affect our lives, as when Margaret wanted to marry “the staff” — and a divorced member of the staff, at that. A lot of what’s in The Crown is in the public domain, but it has never been put together like this before.

‘We’re checking ourselves to make sure we’re not stepping over the line.’

And what, exactly, would be ‘stepping over the line’?

‘Getting into areas that aren’t warranted, or in bad taste,’ Daldry said ‘I wouldn’t be interested in seeing them in intimate circumstances.’

I mentioned that when I was being shown around, a senior member of the crew explained one set was Prince Philip’s private rooms.

There was a corridor leading to another bedroom.

‘That’s the tunnel of love,’ the person said, adding that it lead to the Queen’s private chambers.

Daldry confirmed ‘the tunnel of love’, but insisted: ‘We’re not portraying anything that hasn’t been said in biographies.

‘You do see Philip in pyjamas, and there is a bare royal bottom. They were a very passionate couple. One doesn’t want to be lurid or indiscreet in any way, but you also want to get a sense of how much in love with each other they were.’

Matt smith was even more circumspect, and said he wasn’t sure if the royal bottom would survive editing.

‘I think what will come through is that they are real soul mates,’ said smith, who will also portray the Duke of edinburgh in season two.

But, smith told me, his Philip is not the prince of gaffes, as we sometimes see him today.

‘There’s more to him than that,’ he said. ‘I think he’s quite a complex man really. His mother was estranged, his sister died in a plane crash and his father was busy in Monaco. Then his career in the Navy was taken away when elizabeth’s father died and she became Queen.

‘It’s very odd when you start walking two steps behind your wife.’

Smith said he would not describe himself as a royalist (‘I like how bizarre and interesting they are’) but admitted that since working on The Crown he has found himself feeling ‘more affectionate towards them’.

Several members of the cast and creative team had similar stories of discovering new levels of admiration for the Queen and Philip since embarking on the dramas, which were shot here and in south Africa.

Executive producer Andrew eaton said he found himself crying when watching Foy in the Coronation scenes. ‘I thought: “What do I find that’s so emotional?” And I think it’s mostly about this country, and what’s great about it.’

He remembered watching the Queen the week after the July 7 bombings in London. ‘she stood under the archway in Horse guards with her handbag, and I got this sense from her of: “This is our country. Don’t f*** with me.”

‘That’s our Queen. she’s always had our back.’

Source



Aug 08,2016

The Crown – Scans from the September 2016 issue of Vanity Fair USA

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GALLERY LINK:
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Vanity Fair (USA) – September 2016



Jul 27,2016

The Crown – Scans from the April 29, 2016 issue of ELLE France

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GALLERY LINK:
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > ELLE (France) – April 29, 2016



Jul 10,2016

The Crown – Scans from the August 2016 issue of Vogue UK

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Styled by Vogue fashion editor Verity Parker for the issue, the cast of The Crown gather in exquisite creations evoking the era. Elie Saab Haute Couture, Zuhair Murad Couture, Ralph & Russo, and Chanel Haute Couture all feature in the beautiful 10-page shoot.

GALLERY LINK:
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Vogue (UK) – August 2016



Jul 06,2016

Netlfix series The Crown gives Claire Foy new respect for The Queen

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By Rebecca English for MailOnline

Having starred in Wolf Hall, actress Claire Foy is more than used to time travelling for her roles.

The actress’ latest incarnation is likely to be her most challenging role yet – taking on the part of a youthful Queen Elizabeth during the early decades of her marriage to Prince Philip.

Dr Who actor Matt Smith plays the Duke of Edinburgh in Peter Morgan’s much anticipated new series The Crown, which documents the couple’s relationship from November 1947 to the Suez Crisis of 1956.

Writer Morgan, of course, earned plaudits for The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, and this time teams up with The Audience’s Stephen Daldry for what has been described as a ‘meticulously researched’ and sumptuous series.

Vogue magazine has printed a series of exclusive pictures with the cast, snapped by photographer du jour Jason Bell, who also photographed Prince George’s christening.

The ten-part drama doesn’t shy away from the grim realities of life, however: including showing a scene in which the Queen’s late father, King George VI, coughs up blood into his toilet bowl.

He died from lung cancer in 1952, propelling his eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, onto the throne in her twenties.

The series also shows one of his daughter’s (it is not yet clear which) seeing his body embalmed, which might cause some upset among viewers.

Scenes were filmed both at Elstree Studios and at some of the magnificent stately homes in the country: Hatfield House, Lancaster House, Loseley Park, Wrotham Park and Englefield.

The beautiful period costumes are the handiwork of Michele Clapton, who also designs the costumes for Game of Thrones.

The Queen is sensitively portrayed by Wolf Hall star Claire Foy, who is said to have captured the transition from carefree young princess, to mother and, then Queen, beautifully. Read the rest of this entry »



May 09,2016

Claire Foy fitted filming for drama about Her Majesty around her baby’s feeding schedule

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By Sebastian Shakespeare for the Daily Mail

Tracing the life of the Queen from her wedding in 1947 to the present day was always going to be a daunting challenge for the makers of TV drama The Crown, but its leading lady had another complication.

Claire Foy – who plays Her Majesty – had to fit her filming commitments around her own baby’s feeding schedule.

‘Claire was breastfeeding, her chaperones were constantly rushing off to bring bottles to supplement her, and the whole schedule was shot around her timing for the breast feeding,’ says animal trainer Luke Cornell, who worked on scenes in South Africa. ‘It was crazy.’

In the drama, which begins on Netflix this autumn, South Africa doubles as Kenya, where the young Princess Elizabeth was staying with Prince Philip when she learnt that her father had died.

Cornell adds: ‘I used two of my cheetahs with Claire, about 25 metres from her, and she was really terrified, but I constantly assured her it’s not dangerous.’

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Mar 23,2016

Last laugh for Wolf Hall as it wins best lighting Bafta nomination

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Wolf Hall is up for best photography and lighting at the Bafta television craft awards, despite a row over gloomy scenes

By Hannah Furness, Arts Correspondent

The makers of Wolf Hall have had the last laugh in the debate over their use of authentic candles in filming, as they are nominated for best lighting at the Bafta Television Craft Awards.

Gavin Finney was nominated for best photography and lighting for the BBC period drama, going up against The Frankenstein Chronicles, Fortitude and London Spy.

The nomination will be a moment of jubilation for the team, after the drama, broadcast last year, was initially blighted by audience complaints about its lighting. Read the rest of this entry »



Jan 26,2016

John Lithgow in Winchester for shooting of £100m series The Crown

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By Michael Carr

FILMING of a £100m TV series continues in Winchester today – and a Hollywood star has been spotted enjoying a roast dinner in a local pub.

Winchester has been awash with activity as cameras rolled into the city and streets were transformed to look like wartime Britain.

And Hollywood star John Lithgow has been seen on set and having a meal in the Wykeham Arms.

The American veteran plays Winston Churchill in The Crown, a Netflix series costing more than any other in British history. Read the rest of this entry »



Jan 23,2016

“Rosewater” Posters & Still, “The Crown” Stills & French language article on “Wolf Hall”

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GALLERY LINKS:
– Movies & Television > Rosewater (2014) > Posters & Covers
– Movies & Television > Rosewater (2014) > Production Stills
– Movies & Television > The Crown (TV Series, 2016) > Production Stills
– Magazine Scans > Scans from 2016 > Studio Ciné Live (France) – January/February 2016



Dec 24,2015

Claire Foy (La petite Dorrit) : « J’étais persuadée que la production allait me remplacer pendant le tournage »

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Arte rediffuse l’intégrale de la série britannique La petite Dorrit ce jeudi 24 décembre à partir de 20h55 jusqu’à 4 heures du matin. La fiction en huit épisodes est principalement portée par Claire Foy (Crossbones). Lors de sa diffusion en 2008 outre-Manche, l’’acrice s’est souvienu où elle était quand elle a appris qu’elle avait obtenu le rôle-titre dans La petite Dorrit lors d’un entretien accordé à BBC.

L’actrice a rappelé, « Je marchais dans le hall d’entrée du Théâtre National quand je l’ai découvert, je ne pouvais pas vraiment sauter de joie car les gens m’auraient regardé un peu bizarrement ! Je suis absolument ravie. Mais je ne pouvais vraiment y croire. Quand nous avons commencé le tournage, j’étais persuadée que la production allait me remplacer ».

Concernant son personnage, elle a admis, « Extérieurement, Amy est une personne très timide, comme une souris, elle est très calme par rapport à tous ces autres personnages exubérants dans la série. Mais à l’intérieur, elle est cette une personne merveilleusement forte. Elle est également totalement désintéressée et sait exactement ce qui doit être fait pour les bonnes raisons ».

Au cœur de La Petite Dorrit, l’histoire d’amour entre Amy et Arthur est poignante. Pour Claire Foy, Amy « apprécie vraiment les gens de bonne nature, c’est pourquoi elle tombe amoureuse d’Arthur. Elle ne croyait pas que quelqu’un puisse être si gentil avec elle, mais finalement elle l’accepte ».

La petite Dorrit est à retrouver ce jeudi 24 décembre à partir de 20h55 sur Arte.

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La série a été récompensée par sept Emmy Awards, dont celui de la meilleure mini-série.



Dec 18,2015

Peter Kosminsky: ‘I thought I was a very odd choice for Wolf Hall’

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Wolf Hall is No 2 in our end-of-year roundup. Here, the director talks about his nerves on showing Hilary Mantel the rough cuts, filming the most powerful moment of his career, and spending £30,000 on beeswax candles

Chitra Ramaswamy

Congratulations … Wolf Hall is up for three Golden Globes and is many people’s TV series of the year. Are you surprised that a slow, spare, complex, candlelit story about the Tudors, with an ending we already knew, has proved such a hit?

The scale of the audience surprised me. When we started, Wolf Hall was a fairly esoteric project. It was always going to be demanding: slow, political, with a lot of talking and not much action. I thought it would attract a small audience and was completely unprepared when we broke BBC2 box-office records and peaked at an audience of six million.

What do people continue to say to you about it?

The execution of Anne Boleyn – the last 10 minutes of the series – seems to have had a huge impact. I’ve been making television for 35 years and I can’t think of anything I’ve shot that was so powerful to make and that translated to the audience in this way. Read the rest of this entry »



Nov 23,2015

Claire Foy looks remarkably similar to Queen Elizabeth II on her wedding day – 15 Nov 2015

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She appeared to be having a spot of bother with the oversized, full-skirted gown, which is almost exactly the same as the one Queen Elizabeth walked down the aisle in at Westminster Abbey with Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh over half a century ago.

With one arm encased in the protective case, she was forced to walk across the pavement with the skirt lifted in her other hand.

The brunette actress also had her hair in the same style as the Queen on her wedding day, while her head was adorned with the same sparkling crown and veil.

As well as the bulky blue sling, Claire lifted up the heavy layered skirts to reveal her very modern brown flat boots, which would otherwise be hidden away during filming.

She did, however, remove the sling on her arm as she commenced with the shoot.

It was previously reported that every detail on the monarch’s iconic Norman Hartnell-designed dress – a duchesse satin bridal gown with motifs of star lilies and orange blossoms – would be included in the new version of the dress, to make the occasion look as authentic as possible.

Claire – best known for her roles in Wolf Hall and Little Dorrit – is starring as the royal in the hotly-anticipated new series, alongside Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith as her husband, Prince Phillip.

And Saturday’s filming appeared as lavish as one could expect, with a horse-drawn carriage, two white steeds and extras clad in regal and military costumes all present and correct to bring back to life one of the most famous weddings of the 20th century.

Her Majesty’s wedding in 1947 was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury and broadcast by BBC radio to more than 200 million people globally.

So the expensive new TV effort will be hoping recreate the hype, the fervour and the glamour of the big day itself.

Filming for the ceremony has already taken place in Ely, Cambridgeshire – the local cathedral acting as Westminster Abbey – with Claire spotted with eight extras as her bridesmaids.

The series focuses on Buckingham Palace and Downing Street as it follows the story of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding day in 1947 to the modern day.

Another famous face among the cast is Hollywood star John Lithgow, who has been seen shooting scenes as Sir Winston Churchill.

All the stops have been pulled out to ensure the new Netflix Originals series, spanning 60 episodes across six seasons, is a success.

A reported $100million is being ploughed into the show, which will trace the life of the Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 to the present day.

According to The Telegraph newspaper, The Crown will be the most expensive drama ever made by the US streaming company and its first to be made in the UK.

Billed as the ‘the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world – Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street,’ the series promises a look at the intrigue, love lives and machinations behind the most notable events.

The tagline for the show has a blockbuster ring to it, which promises plenty of excitement, reading: ‘Two houses, two courts, one Crown.’

Source



Aug 21,2015

Claire Foy: an actor bringing a subtle talent to majestic roles

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Her steely, understated approach won praise when playing Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall and now Foy is taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in a new drama

Emine Saner

Some castings seem so obvious in retrospect. Pictures released this week show Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth II on her wedding day in 1947, and just as you cannot picture the older Elizabeth as anyone other than Helen Mirren, when The Crown, an ambitious 60-part Netflix drama, comes out next year, the younger version will probably be forever linked with Foy.

It is not just in the facial similarities; they both have the same tiny physical stature, but with a steely, slightly terrifying core, a thousand words summed up in a single glance.

She is not, of course, Foy’s first queen. As Anne Boleyn in the BBC’s recent stunning adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, Foy had some of the best reviews of her career. Until Wolf Hall, she had been working steadily, but without the hype that many young actors at a similar point in their careers would attract. There was something quieter about her approach. She always seemed happier to be getting interesting roles, rather than boosting her own profile or becoming a ‘star ’. Her private life – she is married to the actor Stephen Campbell Moore and they recently had their first child – was similarly low key, and hardly tabloid fodder.

In interviews, she has said she is not interested in trying to break Hollywood and has never been comfortable being photographed: “I’m too conscious of looking like a dick. That’s the difference between a star and a normal person. I’ve never been someone who walks into a room and people gasp.” She is “not fussed” about exposure: “I’m never going to be a film star and I’m not chasing it. I’m very happy playing interesting parts.” It is an attitude that will work in her favour in the long run, though The Crown will almost certainly catapult her into another level of fame. Read the rest of this entry »



Aug 20,2015

The Queen’s 1947 wedding recreated for Netflix show

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20 AUGUST 2015

When the Queen – then Princess Elizabeth – and Prince Philip married in November 1947, thousands of well-wishers lined Westminster Abbey in London to catch the first glimpse of the newlyweds. In the streets of Ely, Cambridgeshire earlier this week, a similar scene was re-enacted.

Hundreds of passers-by watched as filming for The Crown, a new show airing on Netflix next year, brought the city to a standstill.

Actress Claire Foy, who plays the Queen, was spotted wearing the royal’s replica white satin wedding gown, which featured a flowing train and a matching veil. She completed her bridal look with a glittering tiara and a double strand of pearls.

The actress was filmed stepping out of a gold horse-drawn carriage and entering Ely Cathedral, which was used as a stand-in for Westminster Abbey.

She was joined by her co-stars – her eight bridesmaids and two page boys – and former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith, who plays her husband Prince Philip.

The Queen, who was 21 at the time, had eight bridesmaids including her sister Princess Margaret

No expense was spared in the filming for the new 10-part series, which follows the life of the Queen from her wedding to the present day. From a replica Irish State Coach to pretend 1940s newspaper photographers, every detail was arranged to make the occasion look as authentic as possible.

Netflix is said to be staking £100 million on the new show, but in real fact, the Queen married during a time of high austerity. Her nuptials took place just two years after WWII had finished when rationing was still in place.

The Queen, who married two years after the end of the war, saved up ration coupons for her wedding dress

Ahead of the wedding, Elizabeth, who was 21 at the time, saved up ration coupons to pay for the material for her Norman Hartnell gown and excited women from around the country sent the Princess extra coupons. However, she graciously returned them and, like other brides, was allowed an extra 200 by the government.

Her sister Princess Margaret and her cousins Princess Alexandra of Kent and Lady Mary Cambridge acted as bridesmaids, while royals from Spain, Norway, Greece, Denmark and the Netherlands attended the ceremony.

Hundreds of well-wishers waited outside Westminster Abbey in the hope of seeing the newlyweds, while thousands more lined the Mall and Buckingham Palace. The ceremony was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio to 200 million people around the world.

The Crown will feature 60 episodes over six series. It will focus on the inside story of Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street and the tagline reads, “Two houses, two courts, one Crown”.

Protagonists Claire and Matt will play the Queen and Prince Philip for the first two series, after which producers will decide if they want to cast older actors or use make-up and prosthetics to play the royals in their later years.

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Jul 11,2015

Royal Flush: The Women of Wolf Hall

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Hilary Mantel’s triumphant Tudor novels enjoy a new life on stage and screen

By Sophie Elmhirst

In some ways, it was an accident. A few years ago, Hilary Mantel signed a contract with her publisher for two books: a modern novel set in Africa, and a Tudor novel set in the court of Henry VIII. ‘Theoretically, I was working on the African novel,’ she recalls, ‘and I thought I’d take a day off and play.’ Mantel wrote a line of dialogue and wanted to laugh with delight. She’d got it. She’d got him. Not Henry, but Thomas Cromwell, the King’s adviser and her leading man. There was his voice, clear on the page: his cool, all-seeing gaze. She was off. ‘I had to say to my publisher, “You won’t get that novel, but you will get this one, if you don’t mind.”’ They didn’t mind.

The beginning was an experiment, but the book had been long in the works. Mantel’s Cromwell novels are born of deep, marathon reading. She is as meticulous in her research as she is free and daring in her writing. The facts are rock-hard; the fiction elaborate. I first met her two years ago, on the day the second volume, Bring Up the Bodies, was published. It was already clear that something extraordinary was happening. Wolf Hall had been a hit, won the Booker, sold handsomely, and here she was with Bring Up the Bodies – the most intelligent political thriller you will ever lose a week to – nominated once more. Grateful as she was for the attention and praise, Mantel was impatient to get on with the next volume. Next year, she said, meaning 2013, was to be ‘uninterrupted’, devoted to writing.

It didn’t quite work out that way. A few weeks after we met, Mantel won the Booker for the second time: the first woman, and the first British writer, to do so. There was to be a play, a television adaptation. She was in constant demand. Two years later, the pace has barely slowed. The play, a sell-out hit for the RSC in Stratford and the West End, transfers to Broadway in the spring. The six-part, richly financed BBC production – with Damian Lewis as Henry, Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn, Mark Rylance as Cromwell – is soon to air. Her publisher, 4th Estate, gave me the latest figures: almost 1.5 million copies of Wolf Hall and just about a million copies of Bring Up the Bodies sold in the UK and the Commonwealth. The books have been published in 36 countries. Mantel has become an industry. Read the rest of this entry »



Apr 03,2015

Wolf Hall: : A somber, perfect take on that time the Tudors went tabloid

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By Hank Stuever

“Wolf Hall,” a splendidly somber six-part “Masterpiece” series premiering Sunday on PBS, deserves the cartload of praise being heaped upon it — t’would be a shame if it gets lost in the usual Sunday-night TV gridlock.

If you’re feeling nothing from Don Draper these days (and who could blame you?), then hop over to the 16th-century world of Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance), the savvy and quietly manipulative lawyer at the center of it all when King Henry VIII (“Homeland’s” Damian Lewis) scandalously marries Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy) and effectively starts the Church of England.

Based on Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning historical novels (“Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”), “Wolf Hall” tells a tabloid-worthy tale that has been re-imagined countless ways over the centuries, especially in movies and TV — most recently in Showtime’s satin-sheety “The Tudors.” This time, the story is less tawdry and more sturdily and elegantly envisioned as the political watershed event that it was. Read the rest of this entry »



Apr 03,2015

Wolf Hall – A rich, riveting TV adaptation brings Hilary Mantel’s book to life

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Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn, Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell.

By Dan Kois

“As some men have an eye for horseflesh or cattle to be fattened,” Hilary Mantel writes in Wolf Hall about Thomas Cromwell, “he has an eye for risk.” The ambitious six-part Masterpiece production of Wolf Hall—adapted by Peter Straughan from Mantel’s two Booker-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies—is an exploration of that eye for risk. But it ends, tantalizingly, just before the real-life Cromwell’s wagers began to be called in, dooming him. Directed by Peter Kosminsky and originally telecast on BBC Two—the first episode premieres in the U.S. on Sunday night—the series is a robust and satisfying experience, one that doesn’t skimp on the story’s world-spanning political and religious intrigue, but keeps at its center one man whose calm gaze focuses the sweeping material and makes it feel manageable.

That man is Cromwell, the blacksmith’s son from Putney who becomes Henry VIII’s most trusted adviser, who stage-manages the ascent of Anne Boleyn to the throne and, mere years later, to the scaffold on Tower Green. He’s played by Mark Rylance, wonderful stage actor and weirdo, with a reserve that feels beautifully out of place in a grand six-part miniseries. “From the day he was sworn into the king’s council, he has had his face arranged,” Mantel writes in Wolf Hall, and I get the impression that Rylance underlined this passage three or four times in his copy before filming began. Cromwell, Mantel writes, spends his time

watching the faces of other people, to see when they register doubt, reservation, rebellion—to catch that fractional moment before they settle into the suave lineaments of the courtier, the facilitator, the yes-man.

As Cromwell, Rylance is aggressively blank, convincingly intimidating as a man who intimates, in Mantel’s writing, that he might once have torn out a man’s heart—but convincingly mournful as a man who lives through tragedy and still pursues his goals because, he says, “God takes out your heart of flesh, and gives you a heart of stone.” The series underplays those tragedies somewhat—the deaths that tug at Cromwell throughout Mantel’s books earn only occasional mentions onscreen—but Rylance’s impossibly large eyes and deeply lined face do a lot of emotional work on their own. Read the rest of this entry »



Mar 28,2015

‘Wolf Hall’ Review: Damian Lewis Rules As Henry VIII In PBS Drama

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ClaireFoy-AnneBoleyn

With the beginning of the end for AMC’s Mad Men, the debut of NBC’s Biblical A.D. and American Odyssey plus the premiere of The Lizzie Borden Chronicles on Lifetime, Easter Sunday’s primetime is a very crowded place this year. Among the offerings, I recommend in the review that you check yourself into Wolf Hall on April 5. The six-part series onPBS’ Masterpiece provides some very compelling television.

Based on Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels and executive-produced by former HBO Films boss Colin Callender, Wolf Hall takes you deep inside the intrigue and power plays of the 16 century court of Henry VIII.

With former Homeland star Damian Lewis in regal form as the much-married King and acclaimed theatre actor Mark Rylance excelling as conniving courtier Thomas Cromwell, this is an old story, literally and figuratively, made anew with wonderful results. As history tells us, Henry wanted a new wife to have a male heir and the lowborn but Reformation-inclined Cromwell did everything for the King and himself to fulfill that desire. The result: The Church of England and the king’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, played here by Claire Foy. We all know how this ends but the path revealed in this fictional account is a golden one.

I personally couldn’t get enough of Jonathan Pryce as the ultimately doomed, vain and fawning Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. Already set for the upcoming season of HBO’s blockbuster Game Of Thrones, which debuts on April 12, Pryce’s Wolsey is a delight as a man who thinks he has a gilded spoon for his political soup only to discover he’s holding a lead fork.

A huge hit for the BBC when it aired earlier this year.

Wolf Hall was adapted for the small screen by Peter Straughan and directed by Peter Kosminsky. Callender is EP for his Playground, John Yorke for Company Pictures, Polly Hill for BBC Two, Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece, Martin Rakusen for BBC Worldwide, and Tim Smith for Prescience and Altus Productions.

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