Belfast Telegraph

Samuel West: Firth inspired me

Samuel West has revealed he was inspired, not intimidated, by following Colin Firth's Oscar-winning performance of King George VI.

Samuel plays the British monarch in new film Hyde Park On Hudson, opposite Bill Murray as former US president Franklin D Roosevelt.

Colin won several awards for his portrayal of the Queen's father in The King's Speech earlier last year.

Samuel said: "If you play a part that's been done before, on stage for instance, you feel like you're carrying a torch and staggering under the weight of it for a bit and then passing it on to somebody else.

"If you play Hamlet you're not the first person to play Hamlet, but while you've got the crown, they're your problems.

"If Colin hadn't played George, I probably wouldn't have got the chance. The fact that he won an Oscar for it probably made our film easier to make, so I was extremely grateful.

"Plus I was inspired by a performance from an actor that I've always admired."

Hyde Park On Hudson, directed by Roger Michel, tells the story of the love affair between Roosevelt and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley, played by Laura Linney and is set during King George's visit to Roosevelt in 1939.

Samuel added: "Although the canvas that I got to play it on was much smaller, this is two days in the king's life instead of 15 years, he's a fascinating man and in researching him and seeing how important this trip was for his reign and hi marriage, I really got to admire him, even as a republican."

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