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Pictures and Words from the Miramax Press Kit for Shakespeare in Love

(Thanks to Anne!)

Picture above from the Miramax Web Site

Those crazy hats again!!!!

 Gwyneth Paltrow on Viola

"Viola is very sensory, very passionate, very openand it's not until the second half of the film that she becomes really aware of herself and how life can be solemn and serious. At the beginning everything is enchanted for her, her life is a fairy tale. She is also totally enamoured of the theatre and because it was forbidden for women she dresses as a boy. This was a new experience for me, this heavy triangular shaped bean bag which I stuffed in my tights and it's great to have that weight, that shift of gravity. It's the only form of method acting I've ever done, but it really helped!"

Judi Dench on Queen Elizabeth

"This is my second queen on film, and I did less research on Queen Elizabeth than I did on Victoria, simply because she's been dead rather longer so there aren't many people who are so immediately knowledgeable about her. We see her enjoyment of theatre and the strength of her personality and it is terrific fun to play. I wear these hugely flamboyant costumes. As the film is set towards the end of Elizabeth's life, she is not in great physical condition, so for example she has the most awful teeth which I'd like to make clear to everyone watching the film, are not my own!"

Ben Affleck on Ned Alleyn

"Ned Alleyn is sort of the Tom Cruise of the Elizabethan theatre. He's the big star who has his own company of actors and just like in Hollywood today you needed to have a Ned in your project to make it a success. At the time of the movie it was Christopher Marlowe, not Shakespeare who was regarded as the great playwright and basically Ned Alleyn was a much bigger star in his day than Shakespeare who at this time was really just a second tier playwright. In the movie Ned Alleyn is a very bombastic, loud, proud, over the top kind of guy who is really impressed by himself. I had a lot of fun doing it."
(Note: Ned Alleyn was a real person, 1566-1626)

Geoffrey Rush on Philip Henslowe, ?-1616

"Henslowe is most notable because of his extraordinary diaries which give detailed evidence of life at that times, so he is treasured by historians and academics because he's unlocked a lot of secrets about that era. But he is fictionalized in the film as a great comic character--a theatrical producer who is oblivious to the t6alent of one William Shakespeare who is of course now regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. Henslowe is a wheeler-dealer, trying to be street smark but not quite achieving it. He is a hapless character with an appalling dress sense. He looks like some weird kind of Tudor stink-bug, the sort of person that even though he's got his own personal tailor has the most gross sense of fashion--anyone who chooses to enhance their hips with trunk hose must be a strange person. Like a lot of Elizabethans he had the most appalling dental problems, but he also has lank hair and a terrible droopy moustache. Once I have on the extraordinary outfit, put on my facial hair and my rotting teeth then I'm halfway there--for the rest I'm just following my own comic instincts."

Tom Wilkinson on Fennyman (a fictitious moneylender)

"This is truly a delightful part as Fennyman begins as a hard man and turns into a man who is completely in love with theatre, totally stage-struck. This unscrupulous gangster who at the beginning is motivated only by money falls in love with this other world. Something about the theatre acts a potent aphrodisiac to this previously heartless creature. The tone of the script varies so much, sometimes Fennyman is a ridiculously comic character, but he also has moments of great poignancy--the variety is wonderful."

Martin Clunes on Richard Burbage, 1571-1619

"Burbage was born into the theatre and inherited it from his father. He loves acting, and wants to be top of his profession. He is quite an indulged man who can be vain and petulant, but he is also strong and capable of decency."

Simon Callow on Sir Edmund Tilney, Master of the Revels, ?-1610

"The Master of the Revels combined the functions of censor and entertainment secretary. The mention of the word censorship quite properly sets our teeth on edge, but all is not quite what it seems here. Tilney was no killjoy moralist, as the yards of sheer undiluted filth which survive in virtually all of the plays of the period amply testify; nor was he merely the tool of a repressive totalitarian mistress, though the Queen was by no means to be toyed with. He was above all concerned with foreign relations in a world where alliances were changing on an hourly basis: today's approved jibe against the Spanish would be tomorrow's diplomatic incident. So Tilney was not such a bad chap, but in the film Stoppard has quite rightly re-made him into a Malvolio character, determined to give the players as much trouble as possible, and a man who exults in his capacity to close the theatres at a moment's notice."

Other cast members include Rupert Everett as Christopher Marlowe, Antony Sher as Dr. Moth, Imelda Staunton as Viola's Nurse, Jim Carter (Imelda's real-life husband) as Ralph Bashford, Adam Barker as First Auditionee, Joe Roberts as John Webster, Gregor Truter as James Hemmings, Jill Baker as Lady de Lesseps, Nicholas Le Prevost as Sir Rober de Lesseps, Timothy Kightley as Edward Pope, Roger Morlidge as James Armitage, and Daniel Brocklebank as Sam Gosse.

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