Damian Lewis reassures on Wolf Hall


Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Damian Lewis has insisted Hilary Mantel need not worry about the BBC adaptation of her books Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

The Homeland star is playing King Henry VIII in the six-part TV drama based on her Booker Prize-winning historical novels.

Mantel recently said at the Cheltenham Literature Festival that she hoped the series would not reflect the “nonsense” of previous inaccurate historical dramas, saying, “it’s perfectly possible to do good history and good drama – that they are not mutually contradictory.”

Lewis, speaking at the premiere of his new film The Silent Storm at the BFI London Film Festival, said: “I think she was quite rightly concerned that her books might be abused in some way.

“But she needn’t worry because of the people who are involved in this particular project. Peter Kosminsky (the director) is known for his attention to detail and his love of politics.

“This is really a political book, they’re not presented as roister-doistering Tudor romps, that’s not what she wrote and that’s not what we’ve filmed.”

The 43-year-old actor raised eyebrows in the summer, when filming the drama on location at Chastleton House in Oxfordshire, wearing an enormous red codpiece.

Lewis said: “I’m glad to say I didn’t suffer from wilting codpiece and Henry was fully functional at all times, being the slightly, erratic, unpredictable king that he was. A fabulous, fabulous part to play.”

He added: “But of course I’m playing Hilary Mantel’s version or vision of Henry VIII, a recreated idea of him. And I sort of came to the conclusion that Henry was a man that didn’t concentrate enough on the right things.”

The drama is due to air on BBC Two in 2015.

Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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