Who would you cast in Wolf Hall?

21 August 2012

Thomas Cromwell. Photo: Frick Collection.

Well, I don’t know about you but I have been in a complete FRENZY of over excitement since it was announced that HBO and the good old BBC were working together on a four part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s wonderful Tudor novel Wolf Hall. What a treat!

The drama will apparently be written by Peter Straughan, who also wrote the most recent version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy so I’m expecting something dark, edgy and ruthlessly intelligent.

What we REALLY want to know though is who will make it on to the cast list – in particular playing Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII? Here’s my current picks:

Surely Andrea Riseborough would make a brilliantly brittle and rather terrifying Anne Boleyn, especially if her turn in English Civil War drama The Devil’s Whore is anything to go by.

Is Marion Cotillard too big for HBO and the BBC?

I think Eva Green almost certainly is! I love her though. In a platonic ‘If I am very good can I look exactly like her when I am reincarnated’ sort of way.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for GENUINE RED HEAD Damian Lewis to play an intense, ridiculously sentimental and often childishly petulant Henry VIII.

Or how about Toby Stephens? Wait a minute, they’re more or less the same person, aren’t they? Has anyone ever considered a version of The Man In The Iron Mask only with Henry VIII and his evil twin brother? I’d totally watch the hell out of that. I do like his Evil King John face here though.

As for Thomas Cromwell, my first thought was Dominic ‘I’m Not Actually Related To Fred’ West, especially after his amazing performance in Appropriate Adult. The picture here is of him playing Oliver Cromwell in The Devil’s Whore so a. he’s already done the whole Cromwell thing and b. we already know that he and Andrea Riseborough have an uneasy chemistry going on.

How about James Purefoy though? There’s just not nearly enough of him on television and if you didn’t fall head over heels in love with him in Vanity Fair, Rome and as Beau Brummell then I’m sorry but you have NO SOUL! He’s a delight on Twitter too – you should all follow him.

Or Benedict Cumberbatch? But only with his Sherlock hair. Wait, is that a bit harsh? Also, I think the whole otter thing has kind of ruined him for me a bit. Or maybe enhanced him a bit. I’m confused.

Look, I’m sorry, I can’t leave Aidan Turner out on principle. Besides, if he gets to be Thomas Cromwell, it might make up for his Blink Or You’ll Miss It split second appearance at the very start of The Tudors. God love him. Did I ever tell you about the time he cycled past us in Bristol and my husband waited until he was out of sight to tell me that ‘Oh that actor you like just went past. You wouldn’t have liked him though as he was all stubbly and kind of grubby looking…’ I wept, dear friends. I WEPT.

What do you think? What about Mary Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Catherine of Aragon (please God can we put a stop to the lazy casting of vaguely Spanish looking brunette actresses?) and all the rest?

Oh wait and I almost forgot, inspired by someone on Twitter – they really need to cast Sean Bean so that he can die. Isn’t it illegal these days to make a show that doesn’t have a Sean Bean death scene? I really like how ‘Sean Bean’ sort of rhymes with ‘death scene’. Anyway, perhaps he could be Thomas More. THAT would be an interesting spectacle…

ps. They’ve been filming the Doctor Who Christmas special (set in the 1890s London!) in my city over the last twenty four hours and my husband took our Doctor Who CRAZY seven year old into town to see what was going on. They saw the actual Matt Smith IN THE FLESH but true to form the Seven Year Old was more excited about getting to give a pat to one of the horses they were using for filming…

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