Categories "The Crown" Articles

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

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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Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

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

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

Categories "The Crown" Articles

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

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

Categories "Rosewater" "The Crown" "Wolf Hall" Articles Gallery

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

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

Categories "Little Dorrit" Articles

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

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.

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

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

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

Categories "The Crown" Articles Gallery

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

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.’

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Categories "Little Dorrit" "The Crown" "The Promise" "Wolf Hall" "Wreckers" Articles

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

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

Categories "The Crown" Articles

The Queen’s 1947 wedding recreated for Netflix show

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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Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles Gallery

Royal Flush: The Women of Wolf Hall

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. Continue reading Royal Flush: The Women of Wolf Hall

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

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

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

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

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

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

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

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

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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Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Claire Foy: Wolf Hall’s perfectly complex Anne Boleyn

Was King Henry VIII’s second wife a sly mistress, ambitious hussy or doomed pawn in Tudor power games? Claire Foy’s magnetic portrayal in Wolf Hall left viewers thinking all of these things

Julia Raeside

For all the praise heaped upon Mark Rylance’s deserving shoulders for his beautifully subdued performance in Wolf Hall, less has been said about Claire Foy, the poised and emotionally complex Anne Boleyn he finally had executed in last night’s superb conclusion.

What did we think we knew about Anne before this series? In my mind she was a fusion of every painting, film and TV adaptation I’d seen on the subject, and there have been many. She was a six-fingered sorceress and trollop who seduced the married king, slept with her own brother, was wrongly accused of sleeping with her own brother, a pawn in a deadly game of Tudor chess, and an arch manipulator who pulled the king of England around by his codpiece, issuing instructions and forcing him to dump the Pope. Somewhere in there lies the truth.

In Foy’s firmly clasped hands she was ambitious. Spoiled and determined, certainly, but from the moment we met her, Anne was a woman desperately trying to keep her grip on an oily rope. Foy’s total assurance as she navigated scene after scene in which she was barely given more than two or three lines was dazzling. She didn’t need words to convey that inner bubbling tar barrel of fear and desperation; it all came burning through her eyes. It’s hard to look at anyone else in a scene with her because those eyes always pull you back. Continue reading Claire Foy: Wolf Hall’s perfectly complex Anne Boleyn

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Wolf Hall episode 6 review: Master Of Phantoms

Louisa Mellor

Wolf Hall concludes its superlative series with an episode that makes historical tragedy come alive…

This review contains spoilers.

1.6 Master Of Phantoms

A TV show that can make its audience feel every shaking, terrible moment of a death so muffled by historical wadding that it’s now more playground rhyme than human drama is something to cherish. And something to miss like a brother now that it’s gone.

Wolf Hall made Anne Boleyn’s beheading so rightly, wretchedly real that we could have been watching an online video of one of its horrendous modern day counterparts. With none of Debbie Wiseman’s delicately intuitive score to accompany Anne’s journey to the scaffold, deliberately, you could barely hear her final words over the sound of wind and flapping cloth. Director Peter Kosminsky positioned the audience as an onlooker in the crowd, complicit in an execution we all knew was coming, but that somehow came as a shock nevertheless.

All praise to Claire Foy in the role of Anne, who should properly be considered the joint lead of Wolf Hall’s final episodes. It was a work of alchemy that Foy managed to make Anne monstrous and pathetic at the same time. Her spite and arrogance toppled so quickly into desperation and panic when she realised her mistake in publicly speaking of remarriage after Henry’s death (“Get him back”) that you couldn’t rejoice in her cold, hard death. Who could smile broadly and open their arms in a celebrative embrace after something like that?

Well, he could, obviously, the real monster of Wolf Hall. Continue reading Wolf Hall episode 6 review: Master Of Phantoms

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Wolf Hall finale TV review: Claire Foy gives a fine turn as scheming Anne Boleyn

Neela Debnath

It’s a dirty business being the king’s right-hand man.

For the Wolf Hall finale viewers witness Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance) at his most vindictive as he ousts Anne Boleyn so that Henry (Damien Lewis) can pursue Jane Seymour (Kate Phillips).

Throughout we’ve sympathised with Cromwell. He has lost two daughters and his wife before his master Cardinal Wolsey (Jonathan Pryce) was toppled from power and kicked the bucket. But viewer empathy wears thin as he elicits false confessions for the sake of Henry’s ‘cause’. It’s an important and necessary shift and shows Cromwell as a multi-dimensional character – ultimately, we still like him.

Rylance has been consistently brilliant throughout this series and keeps the audience hooked – even when he says nothing at all. Lewis’ fickle monarch is marvellous too and is the real villain of Wolf Hall; his impulsive behaviour costs lives not to mention the entire excommunication of Rome. The closing shot of Cromwell and Henry’s hug neatly sums up their relationship.

However, Claire Foy steals the limelight in this episode with a fine performance as scheming queen Anne Boleyn.

In the closing scenes we experience something verging on sympathy for the wretch she is reduced to. All the arrogance and pride gives way to humility but of course it’s too late.

Wolf Hall has held us captive for six weeks. This is a rich and well-drawn presentation of Cromwell, whose Machiavellian character has been the focus of so many history books.

If the show gets a second series (which it most probably will) it will be delightful to see Rylance return. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Damien Lewis in a fat suit?

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Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about Anne Boleyn

Henry VIII’s ill-fated wife was vivacious, violent – and apparently not that pretty. As BBC2’s Wolf Hall dramatises her final days, Ben Dowell delves into her life and death

Wolf Hall, BBC2’s magisterial adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor novels, finishes tonight and – spoiler alert! – things aren’t looking too clever for Anne Boleyn.

Yes, as anyone with even a passing interest in history could tell you, Henry VIII (as played by Damian Lewis in the drama) didn’t put his feet up alongside his second wife to enjoy their peaceful and romantic twilight years together.

Anne – played by Claire Foy – lasted just three years as Queen before her beading following a trial on charges of adultery, incest and high treason. Henry went on to exchange wedding vows four more times.

You may well know about Anne’s place in history and that she was the reason Henry broke with Rome after forcing his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon in order to marry her.

But there are plenty of other fascinating things about Anne’s life. And here are the best…

No-one knows how old she was…

Different historians have suggested that Anne was born as early as 1499 and as late as 1512, meaning that at the time of her execution at the Tower of London she could have been aged anywhere between 25 and 37… Continue reading Fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about Anne Boleyn

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Wolf Hall, episode 5, review: ‘gold-standard drama’

The Tudor drama has the best ensemble cast in years, says Gabriel Tate

4 stars out of 5

Anyone grumbling that Wolf Hall (BBC Two) has been a bit slow should have been sated by a penultimate episode cramming in a tournament, a murder, a miscarriage, possible arson, a blowing of the royal top and more award-winning eyebrow work from the magnificent Mark Rylance. While the latter has understandably hogged the limelight, his supporting players continue to prove themselves the finest ensemble assembled for a TV drama in years. Wan, twitchy Jessica Raine is a wonderfully slippery Jane Rochford, Mark Gatiss dripped poison in another tantalising cameo as Stephen Gardiner, and Bernard Hill’s glare on discovering the King had survived a jousting mishap (and therefore torpedoed Lord Norfolk’s loudly proclaimed wish to be crowned regent) would have frozen over the hell where Cardinal Wolsey was presumably residing.

Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), meanwhile, began her unwitting slide toward the scaffold. While the precariousness of her predicament was gradually dawning on her, she remained incapable of curbing either her inveterate scheming or tendency to overplay her hand. Her dog was the latest to pay the price, falling from a high ledge. “Perhaps his paws slipped?” suggested Cromwell. Where’s CJ Sansom’s Tudor detective Matthew Shardlake when you need him? Continue reading Wolf Hall, episode 5, review: ‘gold-standard drama’

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Interview: Claire Foy, Anne Boleyn in ‘Wolf Hall’

In a small room in Soho, Anne Boleyn is very far from dead. “She is tightly bound and birdlike, bony and mean,” Claire Foy says with feeling, as if describing a difficult friend. “She’s incredibly holy in a way. But then she’s horrible and pinches people. She’s violent, and she’s a snob.”

If Anne Boleyn has been gone since May 19 1536, beheaded at the Tower of London, her fame has kept her awkwardly alive: as shrew, victim, schemer or saucepot, depending on your version of events.

Foy knows Boleyn the hard way: she plays the Tudor queen in the BBC’s forthcoming miniseries Wolf Hall, a bewitching six-part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels. It’s a part that demands she be dislikeable, a part that she says she initially decided not to “go near with a bargepole”. But it wasn’t Anne’s spikiness or the overcrowding of actresses who have already chalked up the role, but rather Mantel’s telling of the story in Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies that made her wary.

“I was totally obsessed [by the books]. I loved them so much and had such a clear idea in my head of what she was like. When Peter [Kosminsky, Wolf Hall’s director] asked me to audition for it I said, ‘I don’t think this is a good idea. I don’t want to let you down because I love you.’ ”

Read the rest of the article at its source.

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles Gallery

Wolf Hall – On Set with… Claire Foy – Daily Mail Weekend Scans

Claire, 30, who made her name in the title role of the BBC’s Little Dorrit in 2008, plays Anne Boleyn in BBC2’s epic Tudor drama Wolf Hall, based on Hilary Mantel’s books. Here she takes us behind the scenes on the series, which was filmed at historic locations across Britain.

Thanks to Chuckie for the scans.