Kenneth Branagh has defended the upcoming political drama this England, in which he plays former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who many people have criticized as “too soon”.
The six-hour series details how the UK government tackled the chaotic first few months of coronavirus and the national lockdown. Critics of the upcoming show say it’s too early to stage such a drama, with its massive death toll leaving hundreds of thousands of Britons still grieving and financially vulnerable.
To those, says Branagh in an interview with the Times“I think these events are unusual and part of what we need to do is acknowledge them. It might allow people to process a little bit of what happened. Any way to understand it better is important.”
Oscar winner Branagh spent two hours every day putting on make-up, transforming himself into former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but deliberately chose not to reveal himself to cast and crew every day until he became Johnson, he told the newspaper.
“When you play Shakespeare’s kings, the main part of the performance is given to you by those who react to you the way they would to a king. I found that to be the case in this case. I didn’t really see another actor like myself, so when I got on set, people responded a little bit like their characters would. [to the prime minister].”
Branagh also revealed that he had to actively stretch at the end of each day after hours of playing the politician, who was under siege on the political and personal front at the time – his first few months as the country’s prime minister and dealing with the demands of Covid-19. coinciding with his divorce, and the imminent birth of his son with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
“He has a very heavy, killer physique that goes out into the world,” Branagh said. The timesdescribing Johnson as a “very stooped type of person”.
this England, like many other British television series, its UK debut on Sky Atlantic was delayed by a week after a national period of mourning for the Queen was declared. It will now air on Sky Atlantic and Now early next month.