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.

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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.

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Will BBC Renew The Series? Claire Foy Discusses Anne Boleyn’s ‘Emotional’ Death Scene

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!

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Claire Foy DISHES On Playing Henry’s Doomed Queen

‘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!


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Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

5 Reasons Claire Foy’s Wardrobe In Wolf Hall Is BANG On Trend

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.

Read more at http://www.instyle.co.uk/fashion/news/5-reasons-claire-foy-s-wardrobe-in-wolf-hall-is-bang-on-trend

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Claire Foy interview: “Anne Boleyn is the underdog, but she has massive balls…”

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…”

Categories "Wolf Hall" Articles

Wolf Hall, episode 3, review: ‘better and darker’

The tense third episode of the BBC’s Wolf Hall confirmed it as a stellar political drama, says Tim Martin

5 stars

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’

Categories "Little Dorrit" "The Great War: The People's Story" Gallery

“The Great War: The People’s Story”, “Little Dorrit” and “Going Postal Gallery Updates

Mia has been updating our gallery with new old goodies. Check them out!



GALLERY LINKS:

– Movies & Television > The Great War: The People’s Story (TV, 2014) > Episode 4
– Movies & Television > Little Dorrit (TV, 2008) > Production Stills
– Movies & Television > Little Dorrit (TV, 2008) > Promotion
– Movies & Television > Going Postal (TV, 2010) > Promotion