Jonny Lee Miller is Byron, the aristocratic poet who lived fast and died young.
Jonny Lee Miller, Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Little star in Nick Dear's tale of the life and loves of the "mad, bad and dangerous to know", Lord Byron.
"I feel I've come to understand Byron a lot over the nine-week shoot but it would be foolish to think you could understand someone completely just by reading about them and trying to portray them," reveals Jonny Lee Miller.
"He had the ability to be an extraordinarily nice, kind man but he could also be really quite cruel when he made his mind up about somebody. I certainly don't like the way he treated some people."
The script for Byron had Natasha Little seduced from the start: "I guess, like most people, I knew a little about Byron and you use the term 'Byronic' without really thinking about the man. I wasn't aware of what a fascinating life he had."
Camilla Power plays Lady Caroline Lamb, the wild child lover of Byron who coined the famous phrase that he was "mad, bad and dangerous to know". Camilla is no stranger to raunchy scenes and had to film quite a few for Byron. This wasn't a problem, however, as Camilla says Jonny "is so lovely, just gorgeous and looks so like Byron as well. I was stunned when I saw him."
Camilla describes Caroline as "child woman, incredibly vulnerable and one of those people with a huge life force". But Caroline is also a loose cannon and obsessive and this doesn't bode well with Byron's free-spirited character.
A far more stable character is Annabella Milbanke (Julie Cox). Annabella married Bryon in 1815 when he was London's most celebrated poet. The marriage was surprising, not least because in the initial stages of their relationship Annabella's interest in Byron had been purely one of Christian concern for his wild ways.
Unfortunately, the union was doomed. Annabella's quest to change Byron back-fired and she suffered mental abuse from him. Their marriage collapsed after the birth of their daughter and the relationship blighted the rest of her life. As for Byron, rumours of his homosexuality and sexual love for his half-sister forced him into exile.
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