By: Anne Marie Scanlon
From Tesco to the Tower and after two coronations, actress Claire Foy has never lost her head
As someone who studied history to post-graduate level, reads history books for fun and gobbles up historical fiction, I was beside myself with excitement when I heard the BBC was dramatising Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, the Man Booker Award winner 2009.
Transferring beloved books onto both the big screen and the small is a notoriously tricky task but director Peter Kosminsky’s adaptation was a unanimous hit.
The casting was superb throughout – from the bit players to Mark Rylance as Cromwell and Damien Lewis as Henry VIII.
To my mind though, Claire Foy, who I had never heard of at the time, stole the show as a magnificent, complicated, wholly credible, Anne Boleyn.
Wolf Hall won many awards and although Foy was nominated for several she didn’t get one gong, when really she should have won ALL the awards.
In person Foy is nothing like Anne Boleyn (probably a good thing), she’s petite and bears a passing resemblance to Henry’s second ill-fated wife, but that’s it. The actress tells me that she was as excited as I was when she heard that Wolf Hall was being made into a TV series (we both agree that Hilary Mantel is a “genius”.)
Continue reading The Queen of the Small Screen Goes Big
By: Marion Van Renterghem
The Queen is all secrets, mystery and muffled noise – ostensible blandness and unwavering tradition. Guests of Buckingham Palace must observe the golden rule: talk of politics, religion or gender is forbidden. “It limits conversational scope,” says Belgian journalist Marc Roche, a biographer of the Queen. Roche is almost the only reporter on the planet to have access to the press-fearing Windsors – a much-coveted privilege. A longtime London correspondent for French newspaper Le Monde, he has met the Queen six times. “Each time, she asked me the same three questions,” he says. “How long have you been in the UK? Do you like it? Isn’t it a wonderful place?” Once, she added a fourth. “Do you like my paintings?” A Rembrandt and a Rubens were hanging within arm’s reach, Roche recalls. “They are marvellous, Ma’am,” he replied. “Aren’t they just? My great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria bought them,” she said, before slipping away with small, hurried steps to speak to another guest.
Something unprecedented has happened to the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the Netflix series The Crown, she has become the heroine in a pacey and lavish account of her life, beginning with the final years of her father, George VI, the stammering king. Played by Claire Foy, Elizabeth II is the new star of the American video-streaming platform, which recently topped 100 million subscribers. This year, this blockbuster-budget American-British series took home two prestigious Golden Globes: Best Drama Series and Best Actress for Foy. The ten episodes of The Crown’s first series were released across ten countries simultaneously and critics were universal in their praise. Although Netflix keeps its audience figures close to its chest, its hurry to announce a second series, expected this November, confirms The Crown as a global success.
Read the full article here on GQ.
By: James White
She enjoyed a big break recently as Luv in Blade Runner 2049 and now Sylvia Hoeks is scoring more roles. She’s just joined the cast of The Girl In The Spider’s Web.
Fede Alvarez is directing the film, which adapts the latest Lisbeth Salander novel, albeit not one written by original author Stieg Larsson. Penned instead by David Lagercrantz with continuity to both Larsson’s writing style and his characters in mind, The Girl In The Spider’s Web sends The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s odd-couple pairing of hacker Salander and seasoned journo Mikael Blomkvist on new misadventures. This time they’re faced with a ruthless web of espionage, cybercriminals and high-level villainy, plus the usual serious threats. Alvarez has worked on the latest draft with Jay Basu, itself based on contributions from Steve Knight.
Claire Foy is playing Salander, but Hoeks is still in talks and there are no details on which character she might be taking on. Alvarez is scheduled to start shooting in Berlin and Stockholm this coming January.
By: John Cavendish
Travelling with my father, Robin Cavendish, was not straightforward. He had contracted polio in 1958, just before I was born, and was completely paralysed from the neck down.
He was entirely dependent on a breathing machine fitted to a wheelchair, built by his great friend and Oxford professor Teddy Hall, which pumped air into his lungs.
Dad had also supervised the design of a Dormobile van with a hydraulic lift, so he could travel. He decided he wanted to see the sun set over the Mediterranean, so off we went to Spain. I was seven and it was my first holiday abroad.
Disaster struck just outside Barcelona. My uncle Bloggs (named after Henry Blogg, the most decorated lifeboat man in RNLI history), my mother’s brother and not the most practical of men, plugged a cable for Dad’s breathing machine into the wrong socket. There was a loud explosion, flames and smoke, and both van and breathing machine ground to a halt.
Continue reading John Cavendish on ‘Breathe’
‘The Queen is really rather like Madonna!’ Actress Claire Foy reveals how her role in The Crown has given her a rare insight into the royals
By GABRIELLE DONNELLY FOR WEEKEND MAGAZINE
The strangest part about having left The Crown, says Claire Foy, is seeing her former cast mates going off to play different parts.
‘It’s a bit weird,’ she says, wrinkling her nose, seeing, for instance, Matt Smith who played Prince Philip go off to star in the action horror film Patient Zero, or Vanessa Kirby who appeared as Princess Margaret join the new Mission Impossible movie.
‘With The Crown we all did something together that was really engrossing and special and mad, and we all became incredibly close as a result. And now on the one hand I can’t wait to see what everyone will do next, but on the other I want to say, “Stop! Why aren’t you making The Crown anymore?”’
Nevertheless, she admits that as much as she’s enjoyed playing the young Queen Elizabeth in Peter Morgan’s sprawling series about the monarchy, after two seasons – the second begins in early December – she felt it high time to hand over the reins to the yet-to-be-named actress who will take Her Majesty into her middle years.
‘I need change,’ she told the Los Angeles Times recently. ‘I need to play somebody who’s able to communicate on a more open level. And that’s not Elizabeth.’
Today, relaxing in a Beverly Hills hotel during a brief visit to Los Angeles, this friendly, vivacious young woman from lower middle-class Stockport – ‘I’m definitely a massive commoner’ she tells me proudly in her light northern accent – could hardly behave less like the reserved monarch if she tried.
‘I’ve been released!’ she announces gleefully. ‘I’m no longer her so I feel like I’ve escaped!’
Claire, 33, says it was for practical reasons that she only signed on to do two seasons of the series.
‘There’s a huge difference between a person when they’re 21 and when they’re 85, so I have to forget playing this part any longer because you have to change at some point – you can’t have a woman of my age playing an 85-year-old!
‘And the change was especially marked for the Queen, because as the years have passed she’s changed massively, both physically and vocally.
‘In the beginning she was very unsure of how the whole thing worked, what her line was between family and duty and so on. But as she grew older her confidence grew, and I should imagine the way the institution is now is exactly how she would like it to be.’ Continue reading ‘The Queen is really rather like Madonna!’ Actress Claire Foy reveals how her role in The Crown has given her a rare insight into the royals
By: Pete Hammond
Andy Serkis might be best known as Caesar in the Planet of the Apes reboot films or Gollum in the Lord of the Rings franchise, but he’s about to surprise the world with his ability behind the scenes in a very different kind of movie.
Serkis makes his directorial debut with Breathe, the true story of Robin Cavendish, who became tethered to a breathing machine in order to stay alive after contracting polio in 1958 at age 28. With his wife Diana driving him to keep a will to live, he went on with his life and family for several decades after first being told he wouldn’t last a year. This is definitely not the kind of material we have associated the clearly multi-talented Serkis with in the past, but he does the Cavendish story proud in a movie that gives us hope for the human spirit, an inspiring and beautiful film that blissfully avoids the clichés of a genre that can get maudlin and sappy very quickly.
As I say in my video review (click the link above to watch), a better comparison for Breathe is 2014’s The Theory of Everything, with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as Stephen and Jane Hawkins as they struggle to rise above Hawking’s debilitating condition. That’s what Cavendish does as well with the unstoppable optimism of his wife. As played by Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, we have another pair of actors in a heart-wrenching drama that deserve strong awards consideration.
Continue reading Deadline ‘Breathe’ Review
By: Ben Barna
Last month, it was announced that Claire Foy would be playing everyone’s favorite Swedish cyberpunk Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming adaptation of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Landing the coveted role caps off a breakout year for the 33-year-old-British actress, a year in which she also won a Golden Globe for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s popular drama The Crown. This morning, Foy was in New York promoting her new romantic drama Breathe, opposite Andrew Garfield, but was more than willing to discuss how she is approaching a role that was last played by Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Noomi Rapace before her.
You’re taking on this iconic role that was portrayed by two other actresses. Do you completely throw those out the window?
I watched them before it was even a twinkle in my eye that I’d be doing this. So I can’t throw that away because I loved those performances and I loved watching them, so I don’t want to. I trained in theater, and if you train in theater, you’re aware that if you play a Shakespeare part, a hundred thousand other women played that part. I don’t really buy that idea. I think the idea with Lisbeth Salander is that she keeps going. It’s sort of like James Bond in the sense that she does keep going. You know it could be a complete disaster, and I’m not Rooney Mara, as much as I would like to be.
Do you have any idea what your look is going to be for the character?
No, I mean it’s my decision, quite frankly. I’m not going play a part where I’m told how to look because that’s weird. I think for me and Fede [Alvarez], the director, our main goal is to start from scratch and not assume anything, not assume that because that’s an iconic image, that therefore that is how I have to look and how I have to be, because I think you’ve got to honor the books, but this is the David Lagercrantz version—it’s a reinvention of the story. And that doesn’t mean we’re going to go mental and start doing all sorts of weird things, but, as with any characters that I build, it has to be from the ground up. It’s got to make sense, it’s got to come from where she is in her life there. Time has moved on, she’s changed, she’s a different woman. She’s been through so many things.
Is she older?
She’s slightly older, yeah. I don’t think it’s actually set because she’s supposed to be timeless. I don’t think she’s 33, which is my age. I’m pretty sure she’s not. If she was, it’d be a whole other story line with aging and wrinkles.
Claire won’t be reprising her role after season two because she’s too young to convincingly play the Queen into the 1970s.
BY KATIE ROSSEINSKY
It seems that Claire Foy already knows which actress is next in line to take on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown – sadly, for fans of Netflix’s lavish royal drama, she’s dropped only the most subtle of hints…
With the hit show’s first season showing the monarch as a young woman in her twenties, balancing the public and political demands of her new royal role while dealing with upheaval in her personal life, and the forthcoming second season presenting Elizabeth in her thirties, Claire has now said goodbye to the part – for the simple reason that, at 33 years old, she’s too young to convincingly play the Queen into the 1970s.
At the press conference for her latest film Breathe, a period drama co-starring Andrew Garfield which debuted at the London Film Festival earlier this week, the actress confirmed that she has been told who will succeed her as the Queen in the show’s third season.
Luckily, it seems that she is pretty happy with the show-runners’ choice of replacement (though unlike Claire, we’ll presumably have to wait until next year – or until the second series’ December release date, at the earliest – to find out…)
“I know who’s doing it and I’m not telling you,” she told reporters, adding “It’s really exciting and great and amazing”
Alluding to her limited run on the show, she explained: “I always knew from the get-go that I was only going to be doing two series. I’m just very grateful that I have had such a wonderful time playing that part and made friends for life.”
Claire’s cast mates Matt Smith (who plays her on-screen husband, Prince Philip) and Vanessa Kirby (who plays Princess Margaret) will also be replaced by new stars in the third season which, though it is yet to be officially confirmed by Netflix, is thought to currently be in developmental stages. Until then, we’ll be counting down the days until season two arrives on our Netflix dashboards…
BY JESSICA EARNSHAW
Meanwhile, Breathe sees her star in the true life story of Diana Cavendish, who helped her husband Robin live a happy and loving life after he was paralysed by polio.
Speaking about the film, Claire said: “I’m so proud of this film and I’m so proud it’s showing in London.
“It never really felt like we were making a film, it was like we were in some sort of magical story.”
Claire starred alongside Andrew Garfield and speaking of their relationship on set, she added: “A dream… Unfortunately. He’s amazing. I love him and hope we’ll be friends forever.”
by Matt Grobar
Breaking out with a Golden Globe win and an accompanying Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in critically acclaimed Netflix drama series The Crown, Claire Foy has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the most well known and busiest actresses not only in the UK, but in the entertainment community at large. Recently announced to be taking over the role of Lisbeth Salander from Rooney Mara for the upcoming Girl in the Spider’s Web, Foy will vie for a chance at an Oscar this year with her turn in Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, Breathe.
Based on a true story brought to Serkis by producing partner Jonathan Cavendish—the story of the producer’s own parents—the romantic drama centers on Robin Cavendish, who contracts polio while abroad in Africa, attached to a respirator for the rest of his life and supported throughout by his adoring wife, Diana.
Having just completed production on the first season of The Crown when Breathe came around, and with a new baby in tow, Foy initially was looking for a way to say no to the project, hoping to take time away to be with her family. Running into Serkis, her Little Dorrit co-star, in a café and catching up briefly, Foy soon found herself with an offer for the role of Diana—set to star opposite Andrew Garfield—and reading William Nicholson’s script for the film, the opportunity proved too great to turn down.
“I was like, ‘Maybe I just won’t read the script, because I know I’m not going to do it, because I haven’t got the time. I want to go on holiday.’ And the worst thing [my team] ever did was read the script. Bill Nicholson’s script was the most beautiful script I had ever had in my life,” Foy said, sitting down on Friday morning opposite Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione at the inaugural Contenders London event. “I just read it, beginning to end, and cried—and then I found out it was a true story, and the producer was the child in the story. Then, I met Andrew and I was just like, ‘Oh, god. I walked into this,’ and I just couldn’t not. It was just the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had, really.”
In preparing for the role of Diana, Foy found it crucial to understand the illness of polio and what is required to care for individuals who contract it, speaking first with her own family about the illness, and ultimately meeting with Diana Cavendish herself. “I talked a lot with my family because obviously it’s within living memory, and it’s still around today. I didn’t feel like it was massively important for me to go and meet people who were on a respirator,” the actress shared. “It was important for me to meet Diana, who pretty much is the expert in caring for someone who is on a respirator. It was very important for me to get the technical aspects of caring for someone like that right, but from her perspective, as opposed to polio as a whole.” Continue reading ‘Breathe’s Claire Foy On Lessons Gleaned From Inspirational True-Life Story
By: Hillary Busis
There’s a swoon-worthy romance at the center of Breathe, the beautifully shot period drama that marks the directorial debut of actor Andy Serkis—but that’s only part of the story. The film focuses on Robin Cavendish, a mid-century British tea broker who found himself facing a dire prognosis after being struck by polio at the age of 28. Cavendish was paralyzed from the neck down, at a time when that condition usually sentenced patients to a lifetime in a hospital bed—but he managed to live a full and exciting life all the same, becoming a critical advocate for the disabled and helping to invent a mobile respirator that dramatically improved quality of life for him and other paralyzed people in the process.
The film stars Andrew Garfield as Cavendish and Claire Foy as Diana, his devoted wife—an English rose with a spine of pure steel. You’ll see their love bloom in this new trailer for the film, debuting exclusively on Vanity Fair—and you’ll also see them face extraordinary adversity. Perhaps it’s best summed up in this simple exchange: “You can’t love this,” a despondent Cavendish tells his wife shortly after learning the extent of his paralysis. “Apparently, I can,” Diana replies.
Serkis was inspired to tell the story by someone who was very close to it: his producing partner, Jonathan Cavendish, the son of Robin and Diana. As Serkis told Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich and Mike Hogan ahead of the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, he felt a personal connection to the story as well. “My upbringing was very much in a medical world. My father was a doctor in Iraq; he created a hospital for people in Baghdad. My mum taught disabled children, so I grew up with children who had polio and spina bifida, and it’s always been part of my life. These stories, I do feel a vested interest.“
The film, which also features Game of Thrones alum Diana Rigg and Downton Abbey stalwart Hugh Bonneville, opens in limited release October 13, and will expand in the following weeks.
By: Zack Sharf
The search for the new Lisbeth Salander is over. “The Crown” breakout Claire Foy has officially been chosen to step into the role of Stieg Larsson iconic computer hacker for the upcoming “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” adaptation. The character has been played on the big screen by both Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara in the past. Fede Alvarez, best known for horror films “Evil Dead” and “Don’t Breathe,” is directing.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled about Claire taking the reins of the iconic Lisbeth Salander,” Alvarez said in an official statement. “Claire is an incredible, rare talent who will inject a new and exciting life into Lisbeth. I can’t wait to bring this new story to a worldwide audience, with Claire Foy at its center.”
Foy is having a breakout year. Her role in Netflix’s “The Crown” landed her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and she’s also the lead opposite Andrew Garfield in Andy Serkis’ directorial debut “Breathe,” in theaters this October. Foy’s role as Elizabeth II in “The Crown” has already won her ta Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Sony Pictures will release “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” in theaters October 19, 2018.
by Andrew Ffrench
SCREEN star Claire Foy, who trained as an actress at a West Oxfordshire drama school, has spoken of her leading role in new movie Breathe.
Miss Foy was at Oxford School of Drama in Woodstock on a one-year acting course from 2006 to 2007.
The actress and Andrew Garfield star as Diana Blacker and Robin Cavendish, a British couple who fought for Cavendish’s freedom when he was paralysed by polio.
Golden Globe-winner Foy, 33, who is up for an Emmy on Sunday for The Crown, praised Andy Serkis as director.
She said: “It wasn’t like it was his debut, it felt like he’d done it a thousand times before.”
Breathe is out in UK cinemas on Wednesday, October 4.
Showrunner Andy Harries believes that the BBC would have found it difficult to show people like Princess Diana in later series
By Ben Dowell
Before Netflix swooped to buy the rights to hit drama series The Crown starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, the BBC was interested in securing the rights to the show.
Andy Harries, the show’s executive producer, spoke to the BBC as well as Sky and ITV before eventually securing a generous bid from the US streaming giant.
It is believed that UK broadcasters, including the BBC, didn’t have the budget to make the sprawling royal drama, said to have cost £100 million for two series.
However, Harries says he believes the most likely British broadcaster – the BBC – would have been the wrong choice even if they were able to match the Netflix bid.
“We will never know, but I think when people see the first series of The Crown they could think, ‘It could have been on the BBC’.
“Well, yes, the 1950s is quite a long long time ago. But it’s going to get a lot more interesting in series three and four when we’re into Diana, we’re into Mrs Thatcher and we’re into all the contemporary issues that all of us remember from the last ten or 15 years. Who knows how the sensitivities of how those scripts would have fared with the closeness of the BBC and the Palace?”
The new series is set in the early 1960s and will show cracks in the marriage of the Queen and Prince Philip, with Claire Foy’s monarch telling her husband that he is not sufficiently supportive. Continue reading The Crown producer says “sensitive” BBC would have struggled to air show
by Matt Grobar
A pioneer in the field of computer-generated performances with such films as Lord of the Rings (portraying Gollum) and King Kong—in which he plays Kong himself—Andy Serkis found his directorial breakthrough in The Jungle Book, which was pushed to 2018 so as not to conflict with Jon Favreau’s 2016 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic collection of stories. But no matter—in the meantime, Serkis shot another film, Breathe, which bowed at the Toronto Film Festival this week.
Starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy—an Emmy frontrunner for her turn as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, that can’t quite process that reality at the moment—the film tells the true story of Robin Cavendish (Garfield), a young man paralyzed by polio, and Diana, the strong, brilliant woman who supported her husband through his deep depression and ultimate acceptance of his fate. With very little expectation of a long life for Robin, he and Diana elect to invent a new life for themselves, straying from Robin’s mandated hospital stay and pioneering in technology to better the lives of those suffering from this terrible condition.
Interestingly, this remarkable true story came to Serkis through his business partner at Imaginarium Productions, Jonathan Cavendish, the son of the couple on display in the film. Known for his work in very different kinds of movies, Serkis made a passionate pitch to direct the film. “Five or six years ago, we started Imaginarium [Productions]. It was a performance capture studio and a production entity with the view to creating lots of different projects, ‘next generation storytelling’ sort of projects, and then we had an old slate of films that he was wanting to make. One of these films was a film called Breathe, which he’d been working on for some time before we got together,” Serkis explains. ” I read it one night and, as most people did who read the script originally, I couldn’t stop crying. It was just so powerful, such a brilliant piece of writing, and I said to Jonathan, ‘I know I’m sort of more known for directing dwarves, goblins and creatures of Middle-earth, and jungle animals, but I really would love to direct this. What do you think?’”
“He said, ‘Absolutely’—without a blink, he just said, ‘Yeah,’” the director remembers. “So we started to develop it, and what I loved about it—what really inspired me to want to do it, actually, apart from the fact that it was the most amazing love story—was that it seemed to me to be a story about pioneering. At that point in the story when Diana says, ‘How can I make life better for you?’ and he says, ‘Get me out of here,’ from then on, they are basically creating life afresh in a way that had never been done before.” Continue reading ‘Breathe’s Andrew Garfield On “How We Can Create Lives Of Meaning And Joy” Amidst Tragedy
by Etan Vlessing
The ‘Lord of the Rings’ star said his drama about a real-life couple who overcome huge challenges is “about the power of love.”
Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis on Tuesday said his directorial debut, Breathe, is an inspiring tale of struggling against adversity, not a dark take on disaster.
“We were elevating not just a story of survival, but creating a metaphor for our times, about the power of love,” Serkis said of his drama about British advocate for the disabled Robin Cavendish. The film, starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, follows Cavendish after he was paralyzed with polio at the age of 28 and given just three months to live.
Against all advice, his wife Diane brought him home from the hospital and inspired him to lead a long and fulfilled life. Serkis said Diane Cavendish’s staying with her husband when she had the option to leave was an act of love that lay at the foundation of Breathe.
“Nowadays it’s so easy to walk away. We live in a massive throwaway world. We are so alienated from one another now,” he told reporters at the TIFF press conference. “That’s why I found the power of this film so strong. It’s a reminder of what true love actually is,” Serkis added. Continue reading Toronto: Andy Serkis Says ‘Breathe’ Is a “Metaphor for Our Times”
by Scott Feinberg
The ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ nominee plays Robin Cavendish, a man stricken in his prime with polio, opposite ‘The Crown’ star Claire Foy in Andy Serkis’ directorial debut.
Breathe, a film that once upon a time would have been called “a four-hanky picture” and starred Walter Pidgeon and Greer Garson, could return Andrew Garfield to the Oscars as a best actor nominee — just a year after he landed his first Oscar nomination, in that category, for Hacksaw Ridge — for playing another real-life hero. And it might bring The Crown’s Claire Foy along for the ride, too, in the best actress or, more likely, best supporting actress category.
Andy Serkis’ feature directorial debut, which chronicles the life of Robin Cavendish (Garfield) — a British man who was stricken in his prime with polio but, thanks to the tireless support of his wife Diana Cavendish (Foy), son Jonathan and friends, persevered to an extent that no person with polio ever had before — premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday, leaving most of those in Roy Thomson Hall sniffling and then standing in applause when the cast and some of the people they portray were acknowledged. Continue reading ‘Breathe’ Could Return Andrew Garfield to Oscars for Second Consecutive Year