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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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?
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
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’
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.
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.
New spoilers for “Wolf Hall” reveal that members of the miniseries’ production team are eager to film the third installment of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy, which the author is currently working on at the moment. Plus, Claire Foy discusses what it was like to film Anne Boleyn’s “emotional” death scene.
According to Radio Times, Mantel is currently hard at work writing the final installment of the series, which will be titled “The Mirror and the Light.”
However, executive producer Colin Callender revealed that the production team plus Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance are “eager” to film the last book in the trilogy because the miniseries has “substance” to it and isn’t just a “shallow” television show with no depth.
Given the fact that the Independent reports that “Wolf Hall” is now BBC2’s biggest original drama in a decade, as long as everyone’s schedules work out, it would not be surprising if the company greenlights a sequel miniseries once Mantel’s final novel in the trilogy is published.
Aside from whether or not there will be a sequel to BBC2’s popular miniseries, Claire Foy discussed what it was like to film Anne Boleyn’s death scene in “Wolf Hall.”
The actress admitted that she “got emotional” when the time came to film the execution scene in front of 200 extras and joked that she “had to have a word with herself” in order to gather her composure, especially since the famous Queen was stoic throughout the ordeal, notes Express.
Foy also pointed out that the speech Anne gave on the scaffold in “Wolf Hall” was actually the same one that the real Queen gave moments before her death.
Given the authenticity of the lines, the director also chose to film that sequence like a documentary in order to make the audience feel as if they are in the crowd watching Anne talk.
Keep checking back with Fashion&Style for the latest “Wolf Hall” news and updates!
‘Wolf Hall’ NEWS: Would Anne Boleyn Have Made An ‘Extraordinary Ruler?’ Claire Foy DISHES On Playing Henry’s Doomed Queen
It’s a good time to be a fan of the Tudors, as Claire Foy and Edward Holcroft have recently mused on what it is like to play the infamous Boleyn siblings in “Wolf Hall.” Meanwhile, Mark Rylance revealed how a childhood speech issue actually helped him to become a better actor as well.
Recently, Foy sat down with Radio Times to discuss how “history has done a great disservice” to Anne Boleyn, as she’s usually portrayed as a conniving temptress, an innocent martyr, or a traitor to the crown.
The actress points out that Anne didn’t fit into any of those stereotypes and muses that the truth about who the doomed Queen really was is far more complicated.
Foy adds that in real life, Henry’s second wife was incredibly interesting because despite the limitations for women at that time, Anne was able to achieve a great deal and if she had been born a man, the actress sincerely believes she would’ve made “an extraordinary ruler.”
However, Foy isn’t blind to the real Anne’s faults and admitted that “she had to convince herself that the contradictions within her character” was what drew Henry to her. Plus, while Anne was certainly not saint, she was an incredibly important person in English history.
Meanwhile, Edward Holcroft, who plays Anne’s brother George, also mused on the other infamous Boleyn sibling in an interview with Harpers Bazaar
He admitted that in “Wolf Hall,” George was written as a very arrogant man who, despite his meteoric rise to power at Henry’s court, is ultimately accused of incest and sentenced to death.
Despite the fact that Mantel’s version of George is not a very nice person, Holcroft is thrilled that he had the opportunity to star in “Wolf Hall,” especially because it gave him the opportunity to meet his idol, Mark Rylance.
Finally, even though Rylance’s critics and co-stars have praised the actor for his compelling portrayal of Thomas Cromwell, he revealed the basis for his talent: he couldn’t speak until he was six years old.
The Independent reports that Rylance admitted that “he’s very appreciative of words and speaking” because he was unable to talk until the age of six.
However, the actor also pointed out that even though he had speech difficulties as a child, it actually helped him in the long run because he learned to listen carefully and watch his surroundings.
Rylance added that the skills he developed in early childhood actually made him a better actor and is partially the reason why he’s winning such acclaim for his role in “Wolf Hall” as well.
Tudor history fans, do you agree with Foy’s assessment of Anne Boleyn? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment!
by Hannah Rochell
Who’d have thought it? Anne Boleyn’s Tudor wardrobe was, like, SO s/s2015
Don’t know about you, but we’re hooked on BBC2’s new drama Wolf Hall starring Damian Lewis as a slightly slimmer Henry VIII than historical pictures might have us remember him, and brilliant actor Mark Rylance as the story’s hero Thomas Cromwell. But even though all the men are wearing skirts and jaunty hats (nice), it’s the ladies’ wardrobes we’re more interested in, and Claire Foy’s in particular. She plays Anne Boleyn, and it turns out that she was quite the trailblazer in fashion terms if costume designer Joanna Eatwell’s creations are anything to go by. Here’s why…
1. The Sleeves
We swooned over these totally impractical voluminous sleeves when they swooshed down Chloe’s catwalk at Paris fashion week in September. Perhaps best worn by ladies who don’t need to bother themselves with the mundane activities of everyday life like cleaning the loo/changing babies’ nappies/using the paper shredder at work.
2. The Square Necklines
If you’ve been listening to us harping on about it, you’ll know that this season is all about the Edwardian frilly high neckline. But for those of you who’d rather show a bit of boob, this is the historical period for you. Here’s a more modern squared off neckline at Alexander McQueen.
3. The Shades of Khaki
Anne even managed to squeeze one of the hottest colours of this season into her wardrobe – the Marc Jacobs collection was a sea of army green. We particularly like how this shot shows why turning up your sleeves was a whole world of pain in Tudor times (you needed more sleeves in a coordinating colour underneath!)
4. The Crowns
“Well she’s OBVIOUSLY going to wear a crown” you cry, “she was the blimmin’ queen!”. OK, you’ve got us there, this one was just an excuse to show this pretty Dolce & Gabbana shot from its s/s2015 collection. #regalchic
5. The Undergarments
As this behind-the-scenes picture of Claire shows, even Tudor undergarments are worth talking about. These bear a striking resemblance to Raf Simons’ stunning collection for Dior. We’d maybe lose that fetching yellow hair net, mind you.
By Adrian Lobb
Claire Foy plays Anne Boleyn in the BBC2 adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, alongside Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Mark Gatiss
Are you filming anything at the moment?
No, I’m not working. Just pottering around the house. We are attempting to sell our flat and there is crap everywhere. Oh, gosh, it is so boring. We have a baby imminently on the way as well. Perfect timing. We planned it all really well!
How much did you know of Anne Boleyn before you got the role?
I knew as much as everyone else knows, especially anyone who has been to primary school in England where you are taught the ‘divorced beheaded, died’ rhyme. She was always, obviously, the most interesting one. But we have all these ideas of what she is like, that she had six fingers, that she had loads of affairs, that she was a witch and a terrible, terrible wife. That is the impression I got as a seven year old. It is amazing that such crude propaganda lasts that long.
History is famously written by the winners, and I guess Anne didn’t win…
They destroyed so much of her legacy. They got rid of everything. I knew vaguely about her, from watching the Henry VIII with Ray Winstone and Helena Bonham Carter, who is the most amazing Anne Boleyn. And that was everything you imagine – she was sexy, crazy, dangerous. But then I read Wolf Hall and was surprised. She wasn’t at all how she was written by history. She was mean, not very attractive – I thought she was meant to be this massive sexpot! Cromwell finds her attractive in his own way, but he sees her more as a political player than a woman. She was not a woman by his standards, she has very dark hair, she is quite a dark person – not blonde and buxom and shiny like her sister. That is why I loved the books so much, it was so exciting to meet these new people, it was like reading someone’s diary, you were discovering them.
Do you see Wolf Hall, the novel and now the series, as rewriting history or correcting it?
It is Hilary Mantel’s interpretation of what might have happened. She is not taking liberties and changing stories, she is going with the facts and events of the time. You are genuinely looking at what might have happened, and what their psychologies might have been. I was taught as an actor that you start from what you know as factual. What makes her work so amazing is that you feel like it happened. I’m playing the Anne Boleyn that Hilary wrote. Continue reading Claire Foy interview: “Anne Boleyn is the underdog, but she has massive balls…”
The tense third episode of the BBC’s Wolf Hall confirmed it as a stellar political drama, says Tim Martin
The gloves had to come off at some point. The third episode of Wolf Hall (BBC Two) opened as Thomas More (Anton Lesser) primly delivered a homily to a Protestant heretic under torture. Cut to Mark Rylance’s Thomas Cromwell, gazing at a tapestry of a woman with fire under her feet and a sword at her throat. Cut again to Cromwell, in audience with Anne Boleyn herself. By this stage in the drama the queen-in-waiting (Claire Foy) was playing a dangerous game, but, tragically, straying out of her depth. Continue reading Wolf Hall, episode 3, review: ‘better and darker’
Claire Foy is breathing new life into Anne Boleyn, the greatest ruler England never had…
Better than Henry — If Anne Boleyn had been born a man, she’d have made an extraordinary ruler, says Wolf Hall star Claire Foy.
Adapted from Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, BBC2’s six-part series is a finaly nuanced interpretation of historical events.
“All the facts are incredibly well researched,” says Foy, “but Hilary has written Anne as Thomas Cromwell would observe her. And that’s not particularly easy for an actor, because you can’t play what people see in their mind as opposed to what is actually going on.”
Tonight is the second episode of the TV show everyone’s talking about. If you’re playing catch up, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about Wolf Hall
Last week Wolf Hall became the biggest drama series on BBC Two for a decade after 3.9 million tuned in to watch the first episode. It’s also received glowing reviews all round from the critics.
The six-part drama set in the 16 Century during the reign of Henry VIII and focuses on the dissolution of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon. But it’s Thomas Cromwell who is the main character rather than the king.
If you missed the start of the BBC Two Tudor drama but are planning on tuning in for the second episode tonight, we’ve put together a handy guide to help get you up to speed in time.
What’s it all about?
Wolf Hall is a fictional historical drama. It follows the rise of lawyer Thomas Cromwell during the reign of Henry VIII and Cromwell’s attempts to secure an annulment for the king from Catherine of Aragon. After 20 years of marriage she has failed to produce a male heir and now the king has set his sights on Anne Boleyn.
Actually, now that you mention it, Wolf Hall sounds familiar…
Wolf Hall has been adapted from Hilary Mantel’s 2009 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. It is the first book in a trilogy and the follow up Bring Up the Bodies again won the Man Booker Prize in 2012. Mantel will be concluding the series with The Mirror and the Light. Wolf Hall was also adapted into a play by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2013. Continue reading Wolf Hall: everything you need to know about BBC Two’s Tudor drama
Episode 2: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
If last week was the start of this delicate and dangerous game of chess, the players merely assembled and ready, then tonight they begin to make their first moves. Just one step wrong and that could be the end – much like Cardinal Wolsey (Jonathan Pryce) who ends up dead leaving Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance) to find a new master in Henry VIII (Damien Lewis).
Game of Thrones fans tuning in to watch Wolf Hall might notice similarities between the politicking in King’s Landing and Henry VIII’s court – and they wouldn’t be wrong.
George RR Martin was partly inspired by the reign of the English monarch while writing his A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and it’s not hard to see why: this is no boring history lesson, it’s compelling stuff. You really do win or you die at Henry’s court.
The power play keeps us hooked: Cromwell’s “interpretation” of Henry’s dream illustrates perfectly how the lawyer is manipulating the situation to help secure the King’s divorce from his first wife Katherine of Aragon (Joanne Whalley) to clear the way for Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy). Continue reading Wolf Hall, Entirely Beloved – TV review: Like Game of Thrones, but without the dragons or White Walkers