Becoming Elizabeth already premiered in StarzPlay and thus it is added to another of the period series who has the platform as they are The Great either The Spanish Princess. The series created by the British playwright Anya Reissclosely follows the popular Elizabeth I. But it is not a story like any other, because the production intends to investigate her teenage years after the unexpected death of her father henry viii and in the forbidden bond that he knew how to have with the politician Thomas Seymourher stepmother’s husband Catherine Parr.
The series has a photograph and a staging worth highlighting which is shared with intelligent dialogues that invite the viewer to learn more about the royal characters and the roles they played on the path from young Elizabeth to becoming Queen.
Those in charge of giving life to these two figures are none other than Alicia Von RittbergGerman actress known for her participation in fury, Y Tom Cullen, whom we have been able to live in Black Mirror Downton Abbey Y TheFive. In spoilers We had the opportunity to speak exclusively with them not only about the challenges and intentions of their characters, but also about the narrative development of the series.
Exclusively, Tom Cullen and Alicia Von Rittberg talk us about Becoming Elizabeth
We are talking about one of the most important queens in history, I wanted to know how you worked, not only her personality, but also her gestures, her way of speaking.
Alicia Von Rittberg: I think in general we moved away from what we knew or what we thought she should look like and how she should feel. So in terms of language, for example…I’m German, so I had to work on my British accent…but we say don’t go for any Queen of England accent that everyone knows or everyone would expect from a specific historical period in a piece like this. What happens is that we are talking about more than 500 years ago, we do not know very well what they really sounded like. So for us it was the clearest, most neutral and modern way of communicating. Because they are also conversationalists and politicians. And I think the same thing with… I don’t know… how we approach the character as well… I think it all has to do with finding the human side, the bonds, what’s behind them, the vulnerability in them… to make her closer, more public and also more modern.
Elizabeth’s story as a teenager is not as well known on screen as her period as Queen. Here, your character appears, Thomas Seymour. Who is this man and how would you describe him?
Tom Cullen: Well…he is a complex man. He is charismatic, very witty and a lot of fun to be around. He is passionate, impulsive, he is very tender and loving. But he is also very ambitious and scheming. He is incredibly selfish and self-motivated. He doesn’t care who is in his way. He is a very good character. I think they will either love it or hate it and love it and hate it.
Yes, that’s true…so what are your character’s true intentions?
CT: It’s a very good question and it’s something I spent most of the work on, trying to figure out. What is it that motivates this man? Because some of the decisions that he makes, you know, you wonder. But… I think it moves him and, in fact, he says it in the show… he says that there are people, men and women, who have been good people and they drop dead around him. And life is there to be lived. I think he understands that the line between life and death is as thin for him as it is for anyone at that time. He can lose his head at any time, die at any time. And he just wants to live.
He at some point wants to live, but he does so in a way that is so selfish that many people can be caught in the wake of his destruction. But I also think that he is really and fundamentally motivated by his hatred and jealousy of his older brother, who is better than him. And he wants power, he wants revenge…at some point, he is moved by jealousy.
In addition to all that Elizabeth has to deal with, do you think she was convinced that at some point she would be Queen?
AVR: Well, I think I knew there was a chance. But I think she never forced it. She was smart enough to understand that at that moment the only thing she could do was keep her head up. Observe and understand which side would be safer to go: if she is with her brother or if she is with her sister. I think all these decisions were not even coming from what she really thought, they were coming from the place where she was safest. And I think that is a very intelligent and a very delicate way of doing politics. And I also think that’s why she survived so long and was a good or winning queen.
And Thomas believed that she could become Queen?
CT: Yes I think so. I think he sees that. And I think he’s willing to use it for his own power.
And about the link with Catherine, do you think they were in love or their marriage was just a strategy?
CT: No, I think they really were in love. I think that’s part of its complexity. He loves his wife so much, but at the same time he’s driven by this kind of… by, you know, something inside that seems to be a demon and it pushes him. He has to deal with this and be a good man…yeah, I mean…it’s absolute chaos. That is the other side. He is a bipolar character. Anya and I talk a lot about him and the decisions he makes. And finally I ended up using the fact that he was bipolar. There are some members of my family who suffer from bipolar disorder and I recognize a lot of his behavior. That was an interesting thing about him and something I thought he was and the idea that a character… you know, a person at that time would end up with no diagnosis and not knowing what’s wrong with him. But he was suffering from this and on some level he was struggling as well.
What is special about Becoming Elizabeth compared to other historical series and why should the public watch it?
T.C: It’s very difficult to talk about this without falling into the cliché, you know, or making a speech about ourselves. But I’m really very proud of this show. It feels so unique within the kind of perimeters of a dramatic period. The script is very contemporary, very real, very tense. It’s about a family that is trying to figure out the way and discover themselves. But also the way it was shot feels very different. The word I use is that it has a punk quality to it and I think people who watch it are going to feel that it has something different from other historical series that they have seen before. And also the story is very good. It has nuances and complexity. And I think it will generate debate as well.
AVR: I think the first thing would be to see or understand that female leaders don’t have to have a loud voice and be like masculine or have strong personalities to succeed. First that. See the vulnerabilities, the emotion, what’s behind it all. And second, to understand that all of these public figures or people that we know from books or on screen are also vulnerable human beings. And they are also people who want to live and love, yes… find a way. I think that…that’s beautiful in a project.
The first two episodes of Becoming Elizabeth are already available in StarzPlay.