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 Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Mon 15 Jul 2013, 13:13

For personal historical reasons I am afraid that Thomas Cromwell and Leo McKern will forever be the same person - or at least very hard to untangle in my mind - whenever I read about the former. I careered through Hilary Mantel's two recent novels never too far from waiting for Master Cromwell to refer to his wife Liz as "She Who Must Be Obeyed" or, in a moment of musical criticism cry out "Who was it that said that Wagner's music isn't as bad as it sounds?" (one of my favourite Rumpolisms ever).

The reason for my confusion/concatenation is jointly due to Herr Holbein's portrait and also to some inspired casting direction when assembling the troupe for the 1968 film "A Man For All Seasons", the play and movie that for a whole generation obscured and indeed protected a sadistic religious bigot from accurate historical analysis, though I must say that it still rates as one of the best written dramas I have ever experienced.




But that's simply my own prejudice, of course. And I admit freely that it impinges terribly on any likelihood that I will take to Mr Rylance (he who has been chosen for the role in HBO's version of "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up The Bodies") who is someone, I have it on good authority, that is not only a well respected Shakesperean thespian of some repute but also an all round good egg and presumably not only one of the best but maybe the best person currently still performing the mortal coil shuffle who could tackle the role.



Am I alone in this bias? Or, to widen the scope of the inquiry (as all good TV police detectives say), has there been anyone who - for whatever prejudicial reason you may harbour - has been soooooooooooo the opposite to what one had always presumed in terms of appearance when playing an historical role on TV or at the flicks?
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Mon 15 Jul 2013, 21:18

An obvious example which springs to mind is the beautiful Greta Garbo:



being miscast as Queen Christina of Sweden:

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Mon 15 Jul 2013, 21:48

Quote :
...a sadistic religious bigot...


As Aunt Entity said: "But how the world turns. One day, cock of the walk. Next, a feather duster." That's certainly true of Thomas More - in life and in death.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/4256506/A-man-more-profane-than-sacred.html

Lovely bit of emotive writing.


Last edited by Temperance on Mon 15 Jul 2013, 22:44; edited 1 time in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Mon 15 Jul 2013, 22:35



Not quite Mantel's Cromwell, but much more fun than James Frain...
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Mon 15 Jul 2013, 23:22

Not as far back in history as the Tudors, but I've never forgiven the director of Captain Corelli's Mandolin for using Nicholas Cage as the captain when in the book he was a rotund jolly sort of man, not an superstar of Italian descent.  I always thought if they must have such a person Danny de Vito would have been better.  But why not an actual European actor?  I never understand why stars have to be used - Vivien Leigh wasn't a star when she was chosen for Gone with the Wind.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Tue 16 Jul 2013, 08:41



Alec Guinness as Charles I in "Cromwell" was exactly as I had imagined that king. Guinness captured the stubborn weakness of the man perfectly - all my sympathies were with Cromwell, although having him played by the impossibly handsome Richard Harris probably helped.

PS Have just deleted a rant about More being described as a "sadistic religious bigot", and about the language of the Telegraph article (Kevin Myers's language, not More's). Probably safer to stick with film images. Will look for George III now.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Tue 16 Jul 2013, 08:44

Clint Eastwood in "The Bridges of Madison County" elicits a similar spit-on-the-floor response from certain female acquaintances of mine too, Caro.

Though I suppose that's hardly an historical character, so I suppose I'd better come up with another example myself. Here's one for example; Alexander the Great can conjure up a myriad of golden-haired idols in my head - yet even I wasn't prepared for this version:



Beam me up, Cleitus!
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Tue 16 Jul 2013, 08:47



Here's Cromwell instead - not exactly as we all think of him, but who cares?
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Thu 18 Jul 2013, 01:22

I don't doubt I have mentioned this before, but I thought the casting in Troy could have done with a rethink.  I see my Leonard Maltin movie guide talks of well-defined characters and a gallery of strong performances, but everyone seemed too young for their parts in my opinion.  Paris was Orlando Bloom, Achilles was Brad Pitt and Eric Bana was Hector.  (I did like Eric Bana in it.)  Diane Kruger was Helen and I think she is usually considered a very competent actress but she wouldn't have launched a baby's rubber duckie in this portrayal.  Insipid, pale, not beautiful, uninspiring, lacking any sensuality, boring.  Where was Liz Taylor when you needed her?

I did surprisingly quite enjoy Troy all the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark Rylance - a credible Thomas Cromwell?   Thu 18 Jul 2013, 04:32

The whole production of Troy could have done with a rethink, not only the casting. In this part of the world that movie is held up alongside Braveheart as possibly the most stupid (and most inaccurate) movie of all time. Brad the Pitts is amongst those group of 'actors' who are only ever capable of playing themselves in any role, so his being cast in the lead should have been some indication of what was to come, I suppose.

Only Hollywood could take a classic story and pound it into something beyond recognintion.
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