As the Hollow Crown finale airs on BBC2, we take a look at several films in which its acting royalty can be found…
Benedict Cumberbatch (Richard III) | Wreckers, Third Star
Cumberbatch is a second cousin sixteen times removed from the monarch he plays in Series Two of the Hollow Crown and after his well-received stint as Hamlet, is no stranger to Shakespeare. His appearances in two films on We Are Colony, however, are distinctly more modern. In British drama Wreckers, he plays a husband with a dark secret. And in Third Star, he portrays a young man suffering from cancer, capping off a duo of performances that testify to the range of one of the most in-demand actors of his generation.
Ben Whishaw (King Richard II) | The Lobster, Beat, The Muse
Whishaw gave a virtuoso performance as Richard II in the first Hollow Crown cycle and continues to prove himself an actor of great intuition and sensitivity. The comedic timing so cherished in his interactions with Daniel Craig’s Bond are on full display in the razor-sharp satire The Lobster, where he plays a limping man on the lookout for love. Whilst in short films Beat and The Muse, he embodies the extremes of human behaviour, from hopelessness to obsession, to potent effect.
Judi Dench (Cecily, Duchess of York) | Friend Request Pending
From Duchess to online dating rookie, Judi Dench brings a twinkle in her eye to every performance. In this short film from Chris Foggin whose directorial feature debut will premiere later this year, she plays a woman who must navigate the etiquette of Facebook flirting.
Tom Hiddleston (King Henry V) | Friend Request Pending
Hiddleston makes a charming cameo in the same short film; a laid-back, contemporary role that couldn’t be further from his battle-bound bravura performance as Prince Hal. Whether galloping on horseback, delivering a rallying speech or wading into war, Henry is a physically-demanding role for any thespian. So it’s no wonder Hiddleston felt the need to sit back and enjoy a post-Hollow Crown pint.
Hugh Bonneville (Gloucester) | Third Star
Best known to the masses as Lord Grantham, Hugh Bonneville takes on the role of Gloucester in the current series of Hollow Crown, a character whose fate unleashes the War of the Roses. Hugh can also be seen alongside Richard III (Cumberbatch) in Third Star, a “sobering tale of male friendship” set on Barafundle Bay in Wales.
Lambert Wilson (King Charles VI of France) | The Nostalgist
A staple of French cinema, Wilson is considered royalty in his native country, so it seems fitting he would play the beloved (or barking mad) monarch in the first series of the Hollow Crown. In short film The Nostalgist however, we’re transported to a future – rather than a past – where Wilson plays a father who must protect a beautiful, but illusory reality.
Stanley Weber (Duke of Orléans) | Not Another Happy Ending
Fellow Frenchman Stanley Weber played the Mad King’s son-in-law, who was also an accomplished poet, a trait that stands him in good stead for his role in literary rom-com Not Another Happy Ending. Weber plays the dashing publisher to Karen Gillan’s feisty young writer, in this whimsical Scottish film.
Check out the Hollow Crown collection over at We Are Colony.