This story reveals the political rivalries and romance behind Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the 2nd half of the 20th century.
On-set photos of Claire Foy filming The Crown can be found in our gallery.
Claire Foy finally receives The Crown as she and Matt Smith transform into Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip for the Netflix first-look trailer
With a series entitled The Crown, it’s only right that it should open with a coronation.
The first teaser trailer for the hotly-anticipated Netflix series shows Claire Foy’s Elizabeth II struggling to grasp her new role as Queen of England at the age of just 26.
And in spectacular style, it also features a royal wedding portraying the lead up to her coronation, which followed five years after her marriage to Prince Philip, who is played by Doctor Who actor Matt Smith.
The teaser introduces Elizabeth’s anxiety of her new-found power, asking if she can ‘borrow’ the crown to practise with it, following the sudden news that Edward VIII will abdicate.
‘It’s not as easy as it looks,’ she says, balancing the crown as she greets son and daughter Prince Charles and Princess Anne in her private dressing quarters. ‘Do you suppose I might borrow it for a few days, just to practise?’
Looking wholesome in her green cardigan and pearls, the 31-year-old actress is the spit of British monarch.
She’s not the only one who’s struggling to adjust in the storyline, because Elizabeth’s husband Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is seen to ask Elizabeth if he can be excused the custom of kneeling before her at the coronation.
At first, the trailer sees Philip trying to welcome Elizabeth as the next in line to the throne, saying that she should be granted a ‘befitting coronation’.
Addressing the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, he instructs: ‘We have a new sovereign, young and a woman, let us give her a coronation that it is befitting with the wind of change that she represents. Modern and forward-looking.’
Doctor Who actor Matt seems to have nailed the longest-serving consort’s distinctive mannerisms and plays a convincing Philip.
His character is later seen giving Elizabeth advice on how to deal with Churchill (played by John Lithgow) as the fine balance between the monarchy and the government is called into question.
But her reign doesn’t seem to sit well with the Duke and cracks begin to appear in their marriage as the trailer builds up to the coronation.
He says to her: ‘You’ve taken my career from me, you’ve taken my home, you’ve taken my name. What kind of marriage is this? What kind of family?’ adding: ‘Are you my wife or my queen? I want to be married to my wife.’
Enforcing her power, the monarch quickly retorts: ‘I am both and a strong man would be able to kneel to both.’
The drama builds to a climax with her stern expression as she watches him kneel before her at the coronation.
ARTE diffuse la série “Wolf Hall – Dans l’ombre des Tudors” les 21 et 28 janvier.
Publié par Pascal 25/12
Dans la série en six épisodes Wolf Hall, Peter Kosminsky retrace l’ascension fulgurante de Thomas Cromwell, éminence grise du roi d’Angleterre Henri VIII.
Adaptée des best sellers de Hilary Mantel, une fresque historique aussi sobre que passionnante dopée par l’interprétation de Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy ou encore Jonathan Pryce.
Episodes 1 à 3 le jeudi 21 janvier dès 20h55 sur ARTE ; suite et fin la semaine suivante.
Si le règne rouge sang d’Henri VIII n’en finit plus d’inspirer les réalisateurs – d’Anne des mille jours à Deux soeurs pour un roi en passant par la saga Les Tudors diffusée par ARTE –, Peter Kosminsky se démarque avec cette fresque relatant l’ascension de Thomas Cromwell, avocat de basse extraction propulsé au sommet de l’État par la seule force de son intelligence et de son ambition. Traversée par un souci constant du détail, jusque dans les éclairages à la bougie qui attisent la puissance picturale des clairs-obscurs, Wolf Hall s’appuie sur une mise en scène épurée et sur une narration sans à-coups qui servent la complexité des personnages et de leurs relations.
3 nominations aux Golden Globes et 5 nominations aux Emmy Awards.
Le début : 1529. Le roi Henri VIII tente d’obtenir l’annulation de son mariage avec Catherine d’Aragon, coupable de n’avoir pu lui donner un héritier mâle. Rendu responsable de l’enlisement des négociations avec Rome, le cardinal Wolsey est démis de ses fonctions de lord-chancelier et remplacé par Thomas More. Thomas Cromwell, avocat et homme de confiance du prélat, refuse de l’abandonner. Il rend visite à Anne Boleyn, la favorite d’Henri, qui brûle d’impatience de monter sur le trône, et décroche une entrevue avec le roi.
Réalisation : Peter Kosminsky
Scénario : Peter Straughan
d’après les romans de Hilary Mantel : Le conseiller – Dans l’ombre
des Tudors et Le conseiller – Le pouvoir (Sonatine éditions)
Image : Gavin Finney
Montage : David Blackmore, Josh Cunliffe
Musique : Debbie Wiseman
Décors : Pat Campbell
Costumes : Joanna Eatwell
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.
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
Congratulations … Wolf Hall is up for three Golden Globes and is many people’s TV series of the year. Are you surprised that a slow, spare, complex, candlelit story about the Tudors, with an ending we already knew, has proved such a hit?
The scale of the audience surprised me. When we started, Wolf Hall was a fairly esoteric project. It was always going to be demanding: slow, political, with a lot of talking and not much action. I thought it would attract a small audience and was completely unprepared when we broke BBC2 box-office records and peaked at an audience of six million.
What do people continue to say to you about it?
The execution of Anne Boleyn – the last 10 minutes of the series – seems to have had a huge impact. I’ve been making television for 35 years and I can’t think of anything I’ve shot that was so powerful to make and that translated to the audience in this way. Read the rest of this entry »
West-based drama Wolf Hall is in the running for three Golden Globes in January.
Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and the series itself have picked up nominations in the best limited series or TV movie category of the prestigious awards.
And the Bristol-made Shaun the Sheep The Movie is in the running for the best animated film at the awards ceremony to be hosted by Ricky Gervais.
Eddie Redmayne will go head to head with ten-time nominee Leonardo DiCaprio for the best actor in a drama. He has been nominated for his performance as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, while DiCaprio received his 11th nod for his gruelling turn as Hugh Glass in revenge saga The Revenant. Read the rest of this entry »
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.’
Matt Smith and Claire Foy play Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and The Queen in Netflix’s “The Crown” in Central London. Claire Foy shows new haircut before putting on wig, and drops expensive pair of shades whilst getting into car.
On remercie nos ami(e)s francophones pour les visites reçues depuis hier. Depuis la diffusion de La Petite Dorrit et The Promise, on sait bien que vous aimez le travail de Claire Foy et ses projets. Nous espérons que ce ne sera pas différent avec The Crown. On vous remercie de votre intérêt et on vous attend sur le site !
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
Some castings seem so obvious in retrospect. Pictures released this week show Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth II on her wedding day in 1947, and just as you cannot picture the older Elizabeth as anyone other than Helen Mirren, when The Crown, an ambitious 60-part Netflix drama, comes out next year, the younger version will probably be forever linked with Foy.
It is not just in the facial similarities; they both have the same tiny physical stature, but with a steely, slightly terrifying core, a thousand words summed up in a single glance.
She is not, of course, Foy’s first queen. As Anne Boleyn in the BBC’s recent stunning adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, Foy had some of the best reviews of her career. Until Wolf Hall, she had been working steadily, but without the hype that many young actors at a similar point in their careers would attract. There was something quieter about her approach. She always seemed happier to be getting interesting roles, rather than boosting her own profile or becoming a ‘star ’. Her private life – she is married to the actor Stephen Campbell Moore and they recently had their first child – was similarly low key, and hardly tabloid fodder.
In interviews, she has said she is not interested in trying to break Hollywood and has never been comfortable being photographed: “I’m too conscious of looking like a dick. That’s the difference between a star and a normal person. I’ve never been someone who walks into a room and people gasp.” She is “not fussed” about exposure: “I’m never going to be a film star and I’m not chasing it. I’m very happy playing interesting parts.” It is an attitude that will work in her favour in the long run, though The Crown will almost certainly catapult her into another level of fame. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Crowds gathered to watch a re-enactment of the Queen’s Wedding as the momentous occasion was carefully reconstructed for upcoming Netflix drama The Crown.
The streets of Ely in Cambridgeshire were brought to a standstill as the royal event from November 20, 1947, was acted out in the Fenland city this lunchtime, with no expense spared.
From a replica Irish State Coach to pretend 1940’s newspaper photographers, every detail had been arranged to make the occasion look as authentic as possible.
Queen Elizabeth II, played by actress Claire Foy, was seen stepping out of a gold horse-drawn carriage and entering Ely Cathedral, which is doubling for Westminster Abbey in the 10-episode series.
Claire, 31, who recently played Anne Boleyn in BBC2’s Wolf Hall, wore a long white lacy wedding dress, veil and red lipstick for her role as the Queen.
WOLF HALL star Claire Foy has been pictured filming as Queen Elizabeth II on her Royal Highness’ wedding day at Ely Cathedral, Cambridge.
By Adam Miller
The English rose plays Liz in another new adaption of The Queen’s life for a huge high-budget Netflix series, The Crown.
Today, August 19, the starlet captured her muse’s elegance in a stunning replica of the bride’s 1947 Norman Hartnell gown as she headed inside the extravagant cathedral with thousands of patriots waiting in the wings.
The Crown, which also stars Doctor Who actor Matt Smith and Third Rock From The Sun‘s John Lithgow, has been filming at the Cambridgeshire cathedral since Monday, although fans and photographer were only able to catch a glimpse of the action today.
Foy arrives in a black and gold carriage where she was greeted by hundreds of extras.
A gaggle of imacculate bridesmaids lead her into the enormous hall with members of the British army standing by.
Written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours), and based on Morgan’s play The Audience, The Crown promises to be a dramatic account of the post Second World War history of the UK told from the perspective of The Queen and her Prime Ministers.
Lithhgow will play Sir Winston Churchill, while Smith stars as Prince Phillip.
Filming is scheduled to take place from July 2015 to March 2016 with a release date pencilled in for next year.
Netflix are thought to be pulling out the big guns with a extraordinarily production estimation set at around £100 million.
Of course, Foy’s now accustomed to playing key royal figures after winning phenomenal praise for her interpretation of Anne Boleyn in BBC Two sensation Wolf Hall, based on the Hilary Mantel novel of the same name.
The actress will surely be hoping for the same acclaim when The Crown arrives on Netflix next year.
1st photos of Claire Foy as her Majesty The Queen and Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on set of The Crown in London.
By Nola Ojomu
He is famous for stepping into the shoes of Doctor Who, but Matt Smith was playing another famous male whilst at work on Sunday afternoon.
The actor was seen for the first time portraying a young Prince Philip as he began filming scenes for upcoming Netflix drama, The Crown.
Matt was joined by co-star Claire Foy, who will play Queen Elizabeth II, as they worked on the ten episode series.
The pair were pictured in London and Matt was in his full costume as he transformed into the Duke of Edinburgh.
Donning a crisp white shirt, black trousers and blue suspenders, he completed his look with smart black shoes and slicked back hair.
The 32-year-old will play Prince Philip (Philip Mountbatten) in the show, which is inspired by the play, The Audience.
It follows the story of Queen Elizabeth and her relationships with various prime ministers in the post-war era.
Claire Foy, who previously starred as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall, was seen with her hair and make-up in place but dressed in modern attire as she made her way to the set. The show also stars John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.
According to Netflix, the show ‘tells the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world – Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street – and the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century’.
Each season will focus on a different decade in the Queen’s reign, with the first run of episodes focusing on her coronation and her fledgling relationship with Churchill.
The show – the first original UK commission for Netflix – comes from The Queen writer Peter Morgan and Stephen Daldry, who directed Helen Mirren in The Audience.
Since leaving Doctor Who in 2013 Matt has embarked on a number of projects to distance himself from his Gallifreyan alter-ego, including his role as Bully in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River and a mysterious part in the forthcoming Terminator: Genysis.
All ten episodes of The Crown will premiere in all Netflix territories in 2016.
Hilary Mantel’s triumphant Tudor novels enjoy a new life on stage and screen
By Sophie Elmhirst
In some ways, it was an accident. A few years ago, Hilary Mantel signed a contract with her publisher for two books: a modern novel set in Africa, and a Tudor novel set in the court of Henry VIII. ‘Theoretically, I was working on the African novel,’ she recalls, ‘and I thought I’d take a day off and play.’ Mantel wrote a line of dialogue and wanted to laugh with delight. She’d got it. She’d got him. Not Henry, but Thomas Cromwell, the King’s adviser and her leading man. There was his voice, clear on the page: his cool, all-seeing gaze. She was off. ‘I had to say to my publisher, “You won’t get that novel, but you will get this one, if you don’t mind.”’ They didn’t mind.
The beginning was an experiment, but the book had been long in the works. Mantel’s Cromwell novels are born of deep, marathon reading. She is as meticulous in her research as she is free and daring in her writing. The facts are rock-hard; the fiction elaborate. I first met her two years ago, on the day the second volume, Bring Up the Bodies, was published. It was already clear that something extraordinary was happening. Wolf Hall had been a hit, won the Booker, sold handsomely, and here she was with Bring Up the Bodies – the most intelligent political thriller you will ever lose a week to – nominated once more. Grateful as she was for the attention and praise, Mantel was impatient to get on with the next volume. Next year, she said, meaning 2013, was to be ‘uninterrupted’, devoted to writing.
It didn’t quite work out that way. A few weeks after we met, Mantel won the Booker for the second time: the first woman, and the first British writer, to do so. There was to be a play, a television adaptation. She was in constant demand. Two years later, the pace has barely slowed. The play, a sell-out hit for the RSC in Stratford and the West End, transfers to Broadway in the spring. The six-part, richly financed BBC production – with Damian Lewis as Henry, Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn, Mark Rylance as Cromwell – is soon to air. Her publisher, 4th Estate, gave me the latest figures: almost 1.5 million copies of Wolf Hall and just about a million copies of Bring Up the Bodies sold in the UK and the Commonwealth. The books have been published in 36 countries. Mantel has become an industry. Read the rest of this entry »
When the history of 21st century pop culture is written (or Snapchatted) writer Peter Morgan will go down as Queen Elizabeth II‘s most prominent chronicler in fiction.
In 2009′s Morgan-penned “The Queen,” Helen Mirren delivered a performance that would earn her an Oscar. Then, in 2013, his play “The Audience,” also starring Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, debuted in London’s West End. This year, it premiered on Broadway, and Mirren won a Tony for the role.
Now, Morgan is taking his fascination with the queen to television, specifically Netflix, with a 10-episode series called “The Crown.” Mirren won’t play the queen this time, however. Instead, Claire Foy (“Wolf Hall”) will play a younger version of the monarch.
The series will focus on the queen’s relationship with U.K. prime ministers in the aftermath of World War II. John Lithgow will play Winston Churchill, while Matt Smith (“Doctor Who”) will play Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “The Audience” also explored the queen’s relationship with prime ministers.
Stephen Daldry, who directed “The Audience,” will serve as a director on “The Crown,” as will Philip Martin and Julian Jarrold.
The series reunites writer Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) with director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot,” “The Hours”) and producer Andy Harries (“The Queen”). Stephen Daldry, Philip Martin and Julian Jarrold will direct episodes from scripts by Peter Morgan.
“Even in the end when she is waiting to be executed, she’s very true to herself. She doesn’t pander to anyone or anything like that. I think she’s already a solid, strong person from beginning to end,” reveals actress Claire Foy about her real-life role as Queen Anne Boleyn in the limited series “Wolf Hall.” This six-part saga aired in the U.S. on PBS under the umbrella of “Masterpiece” programming.
In her recent interview with Gold Derby (watch below), Foy discusses in-depth her character, the second wife of King Henry VIII (Damian Lewis). While she was outspoken, her failure to produce a male offspring was eventually her downfall and led to a public beheading. She adds, “History would have been very, very different if she had a son… That’s all he wanted, and he was such a maniac for having (that). He wanted to continue the line as the throne would be safe.”
For this lavish British production, the behind-the-scenes team working on production design, costumes, hair and makeup helped the actors assume their roles. Foy says, “The locations we were in were extraordinary, and a lot of them were locations that had been visited by Henry VIII… The art department did some incredible things dressing it, but so much of it came from the buildings we were in. And the costumes were just extraordinary… and amazing to wear, painful but amazing.”
The series is based on two award-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, with the focus on the rise of royal advisor Thomas Cromwell (three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance) and his championing of a marriage between Henry and Anne in the early 16th century. Director Peter Kosminsky filmed the lavish production in some of the finest British medieval and Tudor houses.
Once upon a time there was a Princess who was more glamorous than her elder sister, who was Queen.
The younger royal was in line to the throne, so she couldn’t marry the man she loved, for fear it would trigger a constitutional crisis.
That princess was Margaret, and the Queen in question is Elizabeth who, later this year, is set to become the longest-reigning British monarch.
Director Stephen Daldry, writer Peter Morgan and their associates have spent six months interviewing scores of actresses to play Margaret in the first two series (20 episodes in total) of The Crown, which charts the reign of our sovereign.
Vanessa Kirby, an award-winning actress, is in the process of doing a deal to portray Margaret in the television blockbuster.
The drama, which will star Wolf Hall actress Claire Foy as Elizabeth and Matt Smith as Prince Philip, if negotiations can be agreed, will begin filming in July. Read the rest of this entry »
Tony® Award-winning actor Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night), Claire Foy (Little Dorrit, Wreckers, Season of the Witch, The Promise, White Heat, Macbeth) and Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winner Damian Lewis (Homeland) star in the six-hour television miniseries adapted from Hilary Mantel’s best-selling Booker Prize-winning novels: Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. The television event presents an intimate and provocative portrait of Thomas Cromwell, the brilliant and enigmatic consigliere to King Henry VIII, as he maneuvers the corridors of power at the Tudor court. MASTERPIECE brings both of these works to life in Wolf Hall, airing on Sundays, April 5-May 10, 2015 at 10pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS.
Enjoy the masterful series with Mark Rylance, Claire Foy and Damian Lewis!
“Wolf Hall,” a splendidly somber six-part “Masterpiece” series premiering Sunday on PBS, deserves the cartload of praise being heaped upon it — t’would be a shame if it gets lost in the usual Sunday-night TV gridlock.
If you’re feeling nothing from Don Draper these days (and who could blame you?), then hop over to the 16th-century world of Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance), the savvy and quietly manipulative lawyer at the center of it all when King Henry VIII (“Homeland’s” Damian Lewis) scandalously marries Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy) and effectively starts the Church of England.
Based on Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning historical novels (“Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”), “Wolf Hall” tells a tabloid-worthy tale that has been re-imagined countless ways over the centuries, especially in movies and TV — most recently in Showtime’s satin-sheety “The Tudors.” This time, the story is less tawdry and more sturdily and elegantly envisioned as the political watershed event that it was. Read the rest of this entry »
“As some men have an eye for horseflesh or cattle to be fattened,” Hilary Mantel writes in Wolf Hall about Thomas Cromwell, “he has an eye for risk.” The ambitious six-part Masterpiece production of Wolf Hall—adapted by Peter Straughan from Mantel’s two Booker-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies—is an exploration of that eye for risk. But it ends, tantalizingly, just before the real-life Cromwell’s wagers began to be called in, dooming him. Directed by Peter Kosminsky and originally telecast on BBC Two—the first episode premieres in the U.S. on Sunday night—the series is a robust and satisfying experience, one that doesn’t skimp on the story’s world-spanning political and religious intrigue, but keeps at its center one man whose calm gaze focuses the sweeping material and makes it feel manageable.
That man is Cromwell, the blacksmith’s son from Putney who becomes Henry VIII’s most trusted adviser, who stage-manages the ascent of Anne Boleyn to the throne and, mere years later, to the scaffold on Tower Green. He’s played by Mark Rylance, wonderful stage actor and weirdo, with a reserve that feels beautifully out of place in a grand six-part miniseries. “From the day he was sworn into the king’s council, he has had his face arranged,” Mantel writes in Wolf Hall, and I get the impression that Rylance underlined this passage three or four times in his copy before filming began. Cromwell, Mantel writes, spends his time
watching the faces of other people, to see when they register doubt, reservation, rebellion—to catch that fractional moment before they settle into the suave lineaments of the courtier, the facilitator, the yes-man.
As Cromwell, Rylance is aggressively blank, convincingly intimidating as a man who intimates, in Mantel’s writing, that he might once have torn out a man’s heart—but convincingly mournful as a man who lives through tragedy and still pursues his goals because, he says, “God takes out your heart of flesh, and gives you a heart of stone.” The series underplays those tragedies somewhat—the deaths that tug at Cromwell throughout Mantel’s books earn only occasional mentions onscreen—but Rylance’s impossibly large eyes and deeply lined face do a lot of emotional work on their own. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Rosewater is based on The New York Times best-selling memoir “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival,” written by Maziar Bahari. The film marks the directorial debut of “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, and stars Gael García Bernal. Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the prime challenger to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Mousavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed, Bahari endured personal risk by sending footage of the street riots to the BBC. Bahari was arrested by police, led by a man identifying himself only as “Rosewater,” who tortured and interrogated him over the next 118 days. With Bahari’s pregnant wife, Paola (Claire Foy), leading an international campaign to have her husband freed, and Western media outlets keeping the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.
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. Read the rest of this entry »
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?
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… Read the rest of this entry »
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? Read the rest of this entry »
Character: Diana Director: Andy Serkis Status: In Production Synopsis: Based on the true story of Robin (Garfield), a handsome, brilliant and adventurous man whose life takes a dramatic turn when polio leaves him paralyzed.
The Crown (TV) (2016)
Character: Queen Elizabeth II Director: Peter Morgan (created by) Status: Now streaming on Netflix Synopsis: The Crown focuses on Queen Elizabeth II as a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world's most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. The British Empire is in decline, the political world is in disarray, and a young woman takes the throne....a new era is dawning. Peter Morgan's masterfully researched scripts reveal the Queen's private journey behind the public facade with daring frankness. Prepare to be welcomed into the coveted world of power and privilege and behind locked doors in Westminster and Buckingham Palace....the leaders of an empire await.
Character: Anne Boleyn Director: Peter Kosminsky Status: Aired 2015 on BBC2 Synopsis: Wolf Hall chronicles the life of Thomas Cromwell, based on the book series by Hilary Mantel. Witness Cromwell's rise of power in the Tudor household run by King Henry VIII.
Character: Lois Director: Nicholas Hytner Status: Now on Blu-ray, DVD & Streaming Synopsis: The Lady in the Van tells the true story of Alan Bennett's strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her temporarily to park her Bedford van in the driveway of his Camden home.