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24 September 2014
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The Diary Of Anne Frank
Iain Glenn as Otto Frank

The Diary Of Anne Frank

Iain Glenn plays Otto Frank

Bafta-nominated actor Iain Glenn is well known for his work in television, film and in the theatre.


In The Diary Of Anne Frank he plays Otto Frank, the only member of the Frank family to survive the concentration camps.


Speaking about Otto, Iain says: "Otto Frank was a quite extraordinary man – a compassionate, soft-hearted wise soul who suffered unimaginable loss and yet was able to continue living and harness his own misfortune and offer his daughter's diaries to a worldwide public.


"A lesser man could have treasured Anne's adolescent longings and fears as a private memory to be kept for his own survival but, somehow, he had a largess of spirit that instinctively felt those most private of thoughts should be shared for a better understanding of the holocaust and how it should never be repeated.


"Otto was idolised and adored by Anne, and the challenge was to create a three dimensional person who went through many emotions and suffered fears and doubts that he rarely showed and wasn't perceived by his youngest daughter.


"He had to maintain an optimism that would hold his family together in crisis. There was fundamental goodness about Otto and I tried to realise that without sentimentality."


Deborah Moggach's script was one of the main reasons why Iain chose to play the role.


"I wanted to play Otto because the script as a whole was beautifully crafted and faithfully recreated the life of the diaries.


"I felt as if I knew The Diary Of Anne Frank and yet, when I read the script and subsequently the diary itself, I realised I had only a narrow understanding of what they contained."


Anyone who has ever read the diaries will be in no doubt of the strength of feeling Otto had for his two daughters but, as with all teenage girls, Anne’s relationships with her parents wasn’t always harmonious.


"Otto adored his two girls. Anne demanded attention and I think Otto found her hard to comprehend. In an interview on Blue Peter many years later, he confessed to not really getting to know his daughter until he read her diaries after the war.


"So there is the typical generation divide between parent and child that produces misunderstandings. But he was compassionate and sympathetic and consoling by nature so he was always open to her demands and provided a constant soothing guide.


"I do think Otto was incredibly courageous, devising a deception to keep his family together against vile oppression. Otto throughout the trials of their incarceration remained hopeful and did everything to create a normality of upbringing for his adored daughters."


Iain has also appeared in The Belsen Redemption – which looked at the liberation of Belsen, where Anne and Margot Frank eventually lost their lives.


"Having done Belsen didn't inform my portrayal of Otto, but certainly brought vividly home the fate that awaited them if discovered. Indeed, his family all died there.


It was such a tragic fate for innocents, who had so much love and humanity to offer with their whole lives still to live."






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