Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

West: I couldn't get Burton's voice

Dominic West struggled to get Richard Burton's voice right

Dominic West has revealed that nailing Richard Burton's recognisable voice proved to be a big challenge.

The Wire star even resorted to drinking and smoking in order to get the voice right for his portrayal of the Welsh star in BBC drama Burton And Taylor.

"I listened to an awful lot of it. But even after listening to lots of Richard, I couldn't get the voice. So one night I drank and smoked a lot," he recalled.

"The next morning I went in to see the voice coach with this incredible hung-over voice and he said, 'You've got it!' Unfortunately, I couldn't keep it up. I just couldn't drink and smoke that much, so that method went out of the window!"

Dominic, who is set to show off his dance steps in British film Pride, said he hasn't been able to lose Burton just yet.

"I've still got loads of it on my iPod," he said.

"I was training in Iceland, and the only way I could get my mind off the horror of skiing 30 kilometres a day was to listen to inspirational music or Burton reading Shakespeare. But every time I put on my iPod, I kept getting Dylan Thomas instead of Richard. Thomas sounds like a pompous Oxford don!"

The 43-year-old also joked about how in his portrayal of Burton he looks quite a murderer.

"Don't you think I look like a serial killer? Having played Fred West, I always look like one now - that's part of the job description," he quipped. "Either that, or I look like the Incredible Hulk just before he changes!"

:: Burton And Taylor is available on DVD now.

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