Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Joely: I loved playing Elizabeth

Joely Richardson arrives for the premiere of Anonymous
Joely Richardson arrives for the premiere of Anonymous

Joely Richardson has revealed how much it meant to her to share the role of Queen Elizabeth I with her mother Vanessa Redgrave in new film Anonymous.

The Nip/Tuck star attended the gala screening of Anonymous at the BFI London Film Festival in Leicester Square, wearing a figure-hugging black lace Marchesa gown. In the film, Vanessa plays Queen Elizabeth as an older woman, while her daughter plays her as a young princess.

Joely said: "It was incredibly special. As a child growing up and watching her play Mary Queen of Scots and Glenda Jackson play Elizabeth, I never would have known that one day the two of us would be playing Elizabeth."

Anonymous, directed by Independence Day's Roland Emmerich, presents the theory that actor William Shakespeare was not the author of Shakespeare's plays, but they were written by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, played by Rhys Ifans.

The Welsh actor, known for his comedic roles, said: "It was something I'd never played before on film and I just thought it was an amazing character.

"What actor wouldn't want to play the author of such an amazing body of work?"

Harry Potter star David Thewlis, who plays the villainous William Cecil, Twilight star Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the young de Vere, and Rafe Spall, who plays William Shakespeare, were also among those who attended the premiere.

All the cast said the film was a celebration of Shakespeare's work.

Rhys said: "It's not an attack on Shakespeare, it's quite the opposite.

"It's a celebration of his work, and anyone who sees this film, if it encourages young people, or anyone, to revisit these plays, then it's very important."

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