Jan 29 FEATURE

  Filmmakers Lana and Andy Wachowski once again invite audiences into uncharted territory and fantastic new worlds with Warner Bros...

FULL STORY
Jan 28 FEATURE

He received wide acclaim as the tenacious young Greek soldier in the global box-office hit “300: Rise of an Empire.”..

FULL STORY
Jan 27 FEATURE

In Columbia Pictures' new adult comedy “The Wedding Ringer,” creating all of the pressure and stress for the hapless groom..

FULL STORY
Jan 26 FEATURE

Global superstar Jennifer Lopez plays a separated wife who's seduced by a young male neighbor in Universal Pictures' “The Boy..

FULL STORY
  • STAY CONNECTED

Brit Actors Channel Doomed Royal Couple in “W.E.”

British talents James D’Arcy (“Master and Commander”) and Andrea Riseborough (“Never Let Me Go”) play the ill-fated Duke and Duchess of Windsor in The Weinstein Company’s elegant romantic drama “W.E.,” Madonna’s Oscar-nominated film about one of the greatest real love stories of all time. The will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3 and Trinoma) starting Sept. 12.

“W.E.” starts in the year 1998, when Manhattan is abuzz with anticipation about the upcoming auction of the estate of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. But the auction is far more than a diversion for Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish), a New Yorker trapped in an unhappy and abusive marriage. Transfixed by the exquisite artifacts of the Windsors’ lives, Wally becomes obsessed with the love story of Wallis Simpson (Riseborough), the chic, charismatic American who captured the heart of King Edward VIII (D’Arcy). As she learns more about the sacrifices Wallis made in choosing to be with Edward, Wally finds the courage to follow her own heart and create her own happiness.

Finding the right actress to play Wallis Simpson was essential to the telling of the story. Director Madonna needed someone who was able to embody Wallis’s feisty “pep,” but with a hint of fragility. The acclaimed British actress Andrea Riseborough was eventually cast in the role of Wallis Simpson. She was fresh from her critically acclaimed performance as the young Margaret Thatcher in the BBC film “The Long Walk to Finchley,” which earned her a Television BAFTA nomination.

Recalls Madonna, “Casting Wallis Simpson was almost impossible. She was very particular, and I was looking for a certain quality – something fragile, something androgynous and yet still feminine in a really old-fashioned way – plus this nervous, birdlike energy. When Andrea walked into the room, I knew immediately she was the one. It was the way she wore her dress, the length of her neck, the expressiveness of her hands. I had seen her play Margaret Thatcher and I had seen her in a period piece as well, “The Devil’s Whore” and I saw that she transformed herself in each character.”

For her part, Riseborough was drawn to “W.E.” after hearing two friends talk about it in New York. “They were meeting with Madonna to talk about being involved, so this was my first inkling that it was happening,” she says. “When I first read the script, I found the dual reality interesting. Seeing a historical figure through the eyes of a modern-day woman and then on the flip side being able to relate to a woman in the late 1930s who was about to potentially become a Queen, I thought this was very interesting.”

Madonna’s evident passion for the project was also a lure, Riseborough explains. “I really wanted to play Wallis with Madonna directing because she has such an affinity with Wallis. Madonna has read every publication about her, and I think she understands her in a very specific way in relation to her own life, but that is not something I have talked about with her. I just knew from the first moment that we met and talked about Wallis that she needed to tell the story.”

After joining the cast, Riseborough’s preparation period began with researching her role and the period. Riseborough found the private letters between Wallis and Edward particularly illuminating. “The letters were just fascinating. They go all the way up to and past the abdication, so you can really get a full picture,” the actress remarks. “Wallis and Edward had a really interesting language they used with one another, like a private code.”

British actor James D’Arcy was cast in the role of the Duke of Windsor, and as with the other actors, found Madonna’s knowledge of Wallis and Edward to be highly impressive. “She had clearly done mountains of research, had written the script, and what became immediately obvious was that she’d been working on this for a long time,” D’Arcy remembers. “She had read more or less everything there was to read about Edward and Mrs. Simpson.”

The interwoven story between the modern-day and the 1930s also appealed to the actor “What I liked about the script was that the period flashbacks were very real, very honest and very immediate. Sometimes when I watch period dramas, I feel quite a distance from them, that these are not real people. I hope that what you get with this film is you really believe that these are real people.”

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://movies.inquirer.net/?p=6238

Tags: W.E.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.


Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  • JPTR-CTatum_MKunis

    ‘Jupiter Ascending’ – An Original, Epic Adventure from ‘Matrix’ Creators

    Read More

  • 2432_FPT4_00001R_CROP

    “300” Star Jack O’connell plays real-life war hero in “Unbroken”

    Read More

  • WR-KCuoco_JGad_01

    ‘Big Bang Theory’s’ Kaley Cuoco, the Bride in ‘Wedding Ringer’

    Read More

  • 2438_FPF_00069R

    ‘The Boy Next Door’ Seduces Jennifer Lopez

    Read More

  • PA-12

    Teen Thriller Genre Gets New Treatment in ‘Project Almanac’

    Read More

  • TBND_JLopez_RGuzman

    Ryan Guzman, ready for his close-up in “The Boy Next Door”

    Read More

  • ITW-JDepp

    Johnny Depp transforms as the wolf “Into The Woods”

    Read More

  • Kevin Hart;Josh Gad

    Real-life groomsman fiasco inspires “The Wedding Ringer”

    Read More

  • PA-SBlack-Delia

    ‘Project Almanac’ Stars Discuss Time-Travel, Found-Footage

    Read More

  • UNB-AJolie_02

    Angelina Jolie’s Passion for Directing Remains ‘Unbroken’

    Read More

  • ASniper_10

    ‘American Sniper’ Shatters Multiple Records, Storms US Box Office

    Read More

  • CHemsworth_MMann_02

    ‘Blackhat’ — A Searing Thriller from Michael Mann

    Read More