Mark Rylance

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Duration: 1 hour

Mark Lawson talks to Mark Rylance, one of the best stage actors of his generation, about his life and illustrious career. In this insightful interview, Rylance discusses how acting helped him overcome a childhood speech impediment; his lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and his controversial ideas about Shakespeare's authorship; how his role in the film Intimacy raised his respect for porn stars; and how he prepares for his highly-acclaimed role as Johnny Rooster Byron in the award-winning play Jerusalem.

After leaving RADA in 1980, Rylance quickly established himself as a classical actor through major roles at the RSC. Frustrated with so called 'director's theatre' which left him feeling as powerless as 'a waiter', Rylance left the RSC in 1983 to set up his own actor-led production companies. He was the first artistic director of the Globe, where he worked from 1995 to 2005. He has had various film roles, including the alcoholic boxer and chess genius John Healy in the award-winning The Grass Arena, and weapons inspector David Kelly in The Government Inspector. Rylance confesses, however, to being more at home on stage than on screen and his most recent role in Jerusalem has proven to be one of his career highs - earning him Tony and Olivier awards both in Britain and in the US.

  • Renowned theatre actor Mark Rylance

    Renowned theatre actor Mark Rylance

    Mark Rylance is a prestigious stage and screen actor, known for his roles in Intimacy, The Grass Arena, La Bete, Boeing Boeing and Jerusalem. The award winning actor was also Artistic Director of The Globe Theatre for ten years.

    Born David Mark Rylance Waters in Ashford, Kent he moved with his parents as a child to live in America. During his education Mark discovered acting, playing Hamlet aged 16, followed by Romeo the next year. Mark returned to England after he won a scholarship to attend the prominent drama school RADA.

    Mark’s first professional job was at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre. From there he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in both Stratford-Upon-Avon and London, later reviving the roles of Hamlet and Romeo with the RSC.

    In 1991 Mark won Best Newcomer for his role as boxer John Healy in The Grass Arena. He went on to win an Olivier Award a few years later for his role as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, performed at the Queen’s Theatre.

    Mark was appointed Artist Director of The Globe Theatre in 1995. During this time he staged all-male performances of Twelfth Night, introduced new plays to the arena and starred in a number of Shakespeare productions himself.

    Another significant production for Mark was Peter Kosminsky’s The Government Inspector, in which he plays weapons expert David Kelly. This role won him Best Actor in the 2005 BAFTAs.

    More recently Mark played the role of Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, which won him a Critic’s Choice Theatre Award for Best Actor. Mark is due to return to The Globe Theatre this summer to star in a number of Shakespeare productions.


Mark Lawson
Interviewed Guest
Mark Rylance
Executive Producer
Eamon Hardy
Anya Saunders
Anya Saunders


Mark Lawson Talks To...Mark Lawson

Mark Lawson Talks To...Mark Lawson

The broadcaster interviews himself about the art of the celebrity interview.

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