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24 September 2014

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Characters & Actors

Anne Marie Duff as Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth was probably England's most iconic Queen. Anne-Marie Duff explains that she knew very little about her before she took on the role. "But I was so excited I can't tell you; it's some chance isn't it, especially as a woman, to get to play that kind of a part. I was completely thrilled. I went off and did tons of research and read everything I could - there are so many stories about her. She was a fantastic, exciting, sexy, vibrant woman.

There are times when I can't stand her and when I feel completely frustrated by her, and there are other times when I think she was astonishing," she continues.

"I love her commitment to life, I love her sensuality in spite of the obvious inhibition. She was incredibly in touch with people. I wish I was as disciplined as she was - this is a woman who got up and did 100 galliards a day until the day she died, and they are hard dance steps! This woman could move, she was very fit.

I love her vanity and her pig-headedness and bloody-mindedness; for an actor to play such a fireball is great fun. She was very single-minded, very independent, and I think that came from her having such an astonishing intellect, and the confidence that that brings. And also maybe the fact that she stared death in the face so many times as a young girl."

Her childhood certainly made her tough and this aspect of her personality was particularly interesting for Anne-Marie, "I always tend to play characters who are much more vulnerable than Elizabeth so it was a real appeal to be a bit thicker-skinned and a bit more selfish," she explains. "Her sense of her own divine right is difficult for us to get hold of as human beings nowadays, but I think that's what is so appealing about her - that sense of entitlement and what it does to you."

Anne Marie Duff

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