Characters & Actors
The man who captures the heart of Elizabeth, but nearly leads to her downfall. Actor Tom Hardy describes him as, "A bit of an old dog, like an old Irish wolfhound! That's really his journey, from mischievous puppy to old, dying dog by the fireplace."
His loyalty was cemented in early childhood when he and Elizabeth played together; his father John was an influential figure at Court in Edward's day. His father had plotted to keep Queen Mary off the throne, and been executed. Robert had been spared, but imprisoned in the Tower of London, a bond he shares with Elizabeth.
"They've both gone through their own traumas and have similar experiences in the hardships of growing up within the dynasties of the royal family and politics, and then meet again in happier times at the beginning of a new era when Elizabeth takes to the throne," explains Tom. "There is sexual desire there but Robert is also an old family friend and she's very happy to see a familiar, friendly face at Court just before she's crowned."
That shared background, Tom believes, is part of the attraction for Elizabeth. "Why would she find any man attractive, Elizabeth?" he ponders. "It's because he listens and is loyal, is very faithful and understanding and actually will talk back to her because of their childhood friendship - though he always crosses the line."
Though it undoubtedly helped that Dudley was extremely handsome. "He is dashing, a doublet-wearing chancer in many ways," agrees Tom. "He's roguish - but also of good blood and there's a definite passionate thing going on between them, sometimes not as discreet as it should be, at all!"
Behind the Scenes
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