Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

D'Arcy: My unfulfilled pipe dream

James D'Arcy learnt to play the bagpipes for W.E.

James D'Arcy has insisted he isn't bitter that his bagpipe-playing scenes in W.E. ended up on the cutting room floor.

The actor, who plays King Edward VIII in the new film, learned how to play the instrument in just six weeks at the request of the film's superstar director Madonna.

But James said he didn't mind the fact that the footage was eventually scrapped. "I ended up doing something I didn't believe I was capable of which was very exciting," he said.

The 36-year-old admitted he hadn't been so enthusiastic when he first learned about taking bagpipe lessons.

"I was told it wasn't possible and sent Madonna an email saying: 'Look, apparently it takes about a year to be able to play anything on a bagpipe'," he said.

"She wrote back and said, 'Just because somebody says you can't, doesn't mean you have to listen to them'. I thought 'Wow' - she really inspired me."

He also confessed that his first meeting with Madonna, via Skype, wasn't without its hiccups as the screen stopped working.

"She froze as people do, but I could still hear everything that she was saying and I didn't know whether to stop and say, 'Er, you've frozen, should we start again?' But I decided to say nothing," he laughed.

"I did think it rather strange at the time but she very quickly went into saying, 'This is what I think about Edward, and this is the story I want to try and tell'... At that point I felt on much more familiar territory because those are conversations that I have before starting any job."

:: W.E. is out in cinemas now.

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