Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Hiddleston consumed by royal role

Tom Hiddleston has been cramming for his Shakespeare performance

Tom Hiddleston has been practising his Shakespeare for his upcoming role as Henry V.

The War Horse star is to portray the king twice for BBC TV movies - as the younger Prince Hal in Richard Eyre's two-part adaptation of Henry IV and then for Thea Sharrock's Henry V.

"My head is full of him. I've been learning it because we're about to start shooting," he admitted.

"With film, there's an element of freefall - of preparing appropriately and then allowing yourself to play on the day. But with Shakespeare, you really have to know it and you can't forget it. There are all these long speeches and 30-line soliloquies."

He added: "We are doing it for the BBC to be broadcast alongside the Olympics and we won't have long to shoot it, so I've got to be really ready. So I've just been learning the whole thing inside out."

Tom - who will next be seen reprising his villainous role as Loki in Joss Whedon's The Avengers - described Henry V as "Shakespeare's action film".

"Henry V is Shakespeare's action film. If Shakespeare was alive today, Henry V stands beside Braveheart and Gladiator as a piece of dramatic war fiction. I just think it's an amazing and incredible story."

The 30-year-old admitted to feeling some responsibility towards the part, adding: "He is known as the Warrior King - no pressure!"

The feature-length specials, as part of the BBC's Shakespeare season, will air in the summer.

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