Categories Media Print Media Wolf Hall

Why the BBC’s Unmissable Wolf Hall Could Be the Greatest Period Drama Ever Made – Jan 15, 2015

Why the BBC’s Unmissable Wolf Hall Could Be the Greatest Period Drama Ever Made

by Christopher Stevens – The Daily Mail – 15 January 2015

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Should you have plans for Wednesday night, cancel them now. With its brilliant cast, sumptuous settings and jaw-dropping attention to detail, Wolf Hall — the BBC2 adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning Tudor novels — is the TV event of the year and must not be missed.

Of course, Henry VIII has been no stranger to our screens. The most notorious monarch in British history is also its an enduring TV star: the story of his six marriages as he strived for a male heir has gripped audiences again and again.

But Wolf Hall, a breathtaking series that uncovers the ferocious political battles at the heart of his court, may be his most magnificent portrayal yet.

Anne Boleyn schemes to be queen, the king dismantles the all-powerful monasteries and England’s enemies circle, waiting to destroy the nation.

To tell the story on such an epic scale requires a stellar cast . . . and Wolf Hall has it, headed by Homeland’s Damian Lewis as the king.

Continue reading Why the BBC’s Unmissable Wolf Hall Could Be the Greatest Period Drama Ever Made – Jan 15, 2015

Categories Print Media Wolf Hall

Damian Reveals Why He Didn’t Fatten Up for Henry VIII – Jan 12, 2015

Homeland star Damian Lewis reveals why he didn’t fatten up for upcoming BBC Tudor drama 

by Nicola Agius – DailyMail – January 12, 2015

 

When the new BBC drama Wolf Hall starts in two weeks’ time, audiences may have a slight issue with the show’s leading man.

Damian Lewis, who plays Henry VIII in the Tudor drama series, appears to be in much better shape than the historic royal ever was, making his portrayal potentially somewhat unrealistic.

However, during an interviewin this weeks Radio Times, the Homeland revealed that there actually wasn’t any need for him to fatten up for the role.

‘The truth is, though it might be an odd thing to mention, Henry had a 32 inch waist – and he remained that way for quite some time,’ the star explained.

‘He was the top sportsman in his court!’

Speaking to Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine about the challenge of portraying such a historic figure, the actor revealed that a road traffic accident he was involved in during his twenties inspired his performance.

According to Lewis, the royal turned from a charismatic prince to an obese tyrant after a jousting accident in 1536. Reflecting on the devastating incident, the actor explained that the transformation somewhat mirrored his own life.

Continue reading Damian Reveals Why He Didn’t Fatten Up for Henry VIII – Jan 12, 2015

Categories Behind the Scenes Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Hilary Mantel Adaptation with Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance – Jan 10, 2015

Wolf Hall: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Hilary Mantel Adaptation with Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance

The BBC’s star-studded new tale of Tudor intrigue, Wolf Hall, is set to be one of the television events of the year. Ahead of the series, Gaby Wood joined the cast on set.

by Gabby Wood – The Telegraph – 10 January 2015

Stand by for a take, please. And we’re turning. Quiet, please. And action.’ Live trumpets sound at the entrance to Bristol Cathedral, before the heavy doors open to reveal Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn, silhouetted against the sunlight. Guards in red capes and gold sculpted breastplates frame her as she begins her slow approach down the blue-carpeted aisle towards the altar, her stiff silk train carried by ladies-in-waiting, the bulging belly that will one day be Elizabeth I played by a neat rounded cushion. She proceeds towards the bottom right-hand corner of the shot until she is out of focus. ‘Cut there!’

Damian Lewis, who plays the lesser character of Henry VIII in the adaptation. ‘He comes on occasionally, dazzles, and going away again,’ he says. PHOTO: Ed Miller

On the monitor, a clapperboard marks the take, and a flurry of activity ensues: a blur of taffeta dresses, the back of the director Peter Kosminsky’s head. The shot is replayed, silently. The long blue carpet is moved fractionally to the left. They start again. ‘Stand by for a take, please.’

It is July 3 2014 and Bristol Cathedral is doubling for Westminster Abbey in the BBC’s six-part drama Wolf Hall. Based on both of Hilary Mantel’s novels about the life of Thomas Cromwell – Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies – Kosminsky’s evocative and dazzlingly precise adaptation stars some of Britain’s very best actors and features many of its finest buildings, and is destined to be one of the most talked-about series on television this year.

Continue reading Wolf Hall: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Hilary Mantel Adaptation with Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance – Jan 10, 2015

Categories Print Media Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall: Bringing the Intrigue of the Tudor Court to Life – Jan 9, 2015

Wolf Hall: Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance on bringing the intrigue of the Tudor court to life

by Gerard Gilbert – The Independent – January 9, 2015

Source: BBC

 

BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels begins this month. It’s only early January but it seems that we might already have the best new British drama of 2015 about to air, although some readers may need to suppress a yawn when it’s added that this is a BBC costume drama led by a great Shakespearian actor. Safe as houses?

Not so. Writer Peter Straughan and director Peter Kosminsky’s engrossing adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, starring Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII, reinvigorates a genre grown comfortable in its award-winning ways, shaking it up in a manner not seen since I Claudius in the 1970s.

Continue reading Wolf Hall: Bringing the Intrigue of the Tudor Court to Life – Jan 9, 2015

Categories Interviews Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall: Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance on bringing the intrigue of the Tudor court to life

Just a note: The article incorrectly states he’ll be doing a play in February when he’ll be working on the Showtime pilot Billions in January/February.

Blinded by the dominant Holbein portrait of a later, more corpulent Henry, I was initially surprised by the casting of Damian Lewis. But striding across Broughton Castle’s lawn, fully costumed and ready shoot a banqueting scene, the red-haired Homeland star looks every inch the Tudor monarch. “Henry was always painted as this larger than life roistering, philandering, syphilitic sort of Tudor Elvis,” says Lewis. “Although there might some truth in that towards the end, he started with a 34-inch waist and was regarded as a great athlete.

“I think he’s also very biddable, very impressionable, because he doesn’t concentrate on the affairs of state,” he continues. “And anyone who was concentrating – like Wolsey and Cromwell – and were quietly working the angles, were able to easily influence him.”

Although he filmed his role in the spy thriller Our Kind of Traitor just before Wolf Hall, that John le Carré adaptation won’t be released until later in 2015, and with King Henry, Lewis couldn’t have chosen a better role for putting distance between himself and Sergeant Brody. “Projects like Homeland are one in a million,” he says, “and if you happen to be in something that garners global acclaim that rapidly then it’s very heady… like a forest fire… and quite overwhelming at times. But it’s also a little bubble that exists on its own… it doesn’t really have much to do with the rest of my career.”

Brody was written out of Homeland after three seasons, leaving Claire Danes to go it alone. “I only expected to be in two series and then got another season, which was a bonus and brilliant,” he says. “And then quite rightly my head was lopped off – or I was strung up at least [Brody was hanged by the Iranian authorities in the season three finale]. That was absolutely the right decision. Anyway, being in anything for seven years makes me very nervous; I think it probably does for most actors… most British actors anyway. I had said that I didn’t want to do any more TV because the hours are very long and I have two very little children and I wasn’t going to move everyone to North Carolina.”

The two small children – Gulliver and Manon – are with Helen McCrory, his wife of seven years and the star of Skyfall, the Harry Potter movies and Peaky Blinders – the couple juggling parental duties between acting jobs. Lewis’s next assignments are both in theatre – a Broadway run of Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana in February, and a new West End production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo in April. Does he feel that he has to actively reconfigure his career after the star-making success of Homeland?

Continue reading Wolf Hall: Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance on bringing the intrigue of the Tudor court to life

Categories Personal and Family Life Print Media Wolf Hall

Anyone Seen Damian Lewis Wrestling an Octopus on Fortess Road? – Jan 5, 2015

Slippery Tips From A Well-Known Local: The Tentacle Purveyor 

by Staff | Kentishtowner | January 5, 2015

The Homeland star revealed his local shopping – and cooking – habits in an interview in Saturday’s Times Magazine.

We were somewhat tickled by an article we read on a certain Tufnell Park-dwelling celeb at the weekend. It seems even A-listers now do their shopping on Fortess Road, the NW5 strip which witnessed a slew of new openings last year.

The eight-legged fun started when dishy actor Damian Lewis, best known for his role in the international smash hit series Homeland, explained to journalist Polly Vernon how he cooked an entire octopus for his kids the other Sunday.

“It was so gratifying,” he said, “because we’ve got the posh new fishmonger [in London’s Tufnell Park, where Lewis lives], haven’t we? And because my children are such awful north London children, and we’ve taken them to Carluccio’s once too often, they like octopus and squid and all that. So I went to the fishmonger, said, ‘I want some octopus,’ not knowing that he’d just throw an entire octopus into a plastic bag. It’s very heavy, floppy, stringy. From top to bottom, like this.”

At this points Lewis goes on to demonstrate its size (about a foot and a half), before offering Times readers a cooking hint or two. “I said, ‘That looks enormous.’ They said, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll lose about 40 per cent, because a lot of that’s water.’ So you simmer it for an hour. Really soften it up. Then you stick it in the pan with butter and paprika, and some salt and pepper, and it’s lovely! Fantastic! And you chop it all up. I nearly cocked it up, by showing my daughter, who doesn’t allow moths to be killed. I showed her the octopus the night before, long and stringy and huge, and she went, ‘Oh!’ And then she totally forgot about it, and ate it.”

Continue reading Anyone Seen Damian Lewis Wrestling an Octopus on Fortess Road? – Jan 5, 2015

Categories Media Print Media Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall: Henry’s Horrible History, Daily Mail, January 3, 2015

Henry’s horrible history: You won’t find any left-handers or extras in specs. Accuracy is king in the most eagerly anticipated TV event of the year… but how does Wolf Hall stand up to the scrutiny of one historian?

By Lucy Worsely
PUBLISHED: 17:01 EDT, 3 January 2015 | UPDATED: 04:31 EDT, 4 January 2015

You won’t find any left-handers in Henry’s court. Or extras in specs. Or XXL codpieces. Accuracy is king in the most eagerly anticipated TV event of the new year… but how does Wolf Hall stand up to the scrutiny of historian Lucy Worsley? Event joined her behind the scenes to find out

Continue reading Wolf Hall: Henry’s Horrible History, Daily Mail, January 3, 2015

Categories Media Print Media Wolf Hall

From Eton to Wolf Hall, The Times Magazine, January 3, 2015

BBC2, Original article at the Times

Damian Lewis: from Eton to Wolf Hall

A post-Homeland Damian Lewis – now in tights and a codpiece for the BBC’s Wolf Hall – talks fame, class and family with Polly Vernon

Polly Vernon
January 3 2015, 4:50pm Continue reading From Eton to Wolf Hall, The Times Magazine, January 3, 2015

Categories Video Wolf Hall

New video clip from ‘Wolf Hall’

With Damian Lewis as Henry VIII and Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell.

The 6-part series begins broadcast in the UK on January 21st on BBC2. It will broadcast in the US starting April 5th on PBS.


Categories Interviews Media Print Media Wolf Hall

‘Wolf Hall’ Press Pack Interview: Damian Lewis is Henry VIII

Damian Lewis as Henry VIII

How has playing Henry changed your perception of him as a historical figure?

I think we all have this understanding that he was this womanising, syphilitic, bloated, genocidal Elvis character. And actually the truth is, though it might be an odd thing to mention, he had a 32-inch waist and he remained that way for quite a long time. He was the pre-eminent sportsman in his court. He was much taller than anyone else. His beautiful, pale complexion was often remarked upon by commentators. And so I think what I’ve found in Henry is that the grandiose, more paranoid, self indulgent, self pitying, cruel Henry emerged in the period after this series actually. What we’re trying to concentrate on a little bit is just to give a more varied portrait of Henry, and that’s really how this is written. Henry’s not in it very much but when we see him there’s great variety in his character and his personality – you might see him composing something on the lute, you might see him in a very boyish way, sort of dreaming about Jane Seymour. We see him at times frightened by the memory of his mother and I think these are little insights that people won’t be used to, you know, and yet there are the similar things there, the vanity is still there, the self importance. The fact that he believed himself to be a divine presence on earth ending in the act of supremacy where he was, not only now God and King but always had been. So to him it was a retroactive bill that he passed.

What drives Henry do you think?

What drives Henry – and it is central to our story as well – is his obsession about a male heir. I see in Henry nothing psychotic, I don’t see a psychopath there. I don’t think psychologically that’s true of him. But I think I do see a sociopath, someone who I think is capable of great love; great affection and I think craves that. He craves the normality of that kind of inter-personal relationship with other people, whilst at the same time wanting to be the greatest man, the greatest King, a God-like King who presides over the greatest court of all time. Those things were manufactured and very self-conscious. But I think his ability to love and then to simply discard is sociopathic. That is very damaging to one’s personality over a period of time, which is why I think he became increasingly paranoid, self-indulgent, grandiose and cruel in the last 10 years of his life – many more people lost their lives in those years than in the first 10 or 15 years of his reign.

Continue reading ‘Wolf Hall’ Press Pack Interview: Damian Lewis is Henry VIII