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!’
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.