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who plays the best henry and why?
April 16, 2011
3:01 pm
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Claire-Louise
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Definitely JRM, I know he looks nothing like Henry, but I think he gets the closest to the personality of Henry, and what others must have felt in his presence. With JRM's portrayal you begin to see how his emotions vary from one extreme to the other. He can be angry, menacing,and also charming and charismatic. Through this I think you get the sense of how everyone was treading on eggshells all the time at court, knowing that if they said or did just one wrong thing, then they would lose everything. Also it is easy to see how even the brightest, most intelligent of women could be drawn in by him in S1 as he is portrayed as athletic and talented, and also you can see the man who was once 'the handsomest Prince in Christendom' rather than just a caricature of an overweight tyrant.

April 16, 2011
3:57 pm
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TinaII2None
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Claire-Louise said:

Definitely JRM, I know he looks nothing like Henry, but I think he gets the closest to the personality of Henry, and what others must have felt in his presence. With JRM's portrayal you begin to see how his emotions vary from one extreme to the other. He can be angry, menacing,and also charming and charismatic. Through this I think you get the sense of how everyone was treading on eggshells all the time at court, knowing that if they said or did just one wrong thing, then they would lose everything. Also it is easy to see how even the brightest, most intelligent of women could be drawn in by him in S1 as he is portrayed as athletic and talented, and also you can see the man who was once 'the handsomest Prince in Christendom' rather than just a caricature of an overweight tyrant.


I think this is one of the reasons why JRM is now one of my favorite Henrys, along with Keith Michell and Richard Burton. He is everything that you said, and yes, you can see how one could fall in love with him.

But boy oh boy could those moods sway. There's that one scene when he and Anne are together, and the servant comes in with a message from Katherine of Aragon, who has been sent away from court. I remember Henry having this calm expression as though everything is just fine…and then he nearly beats the poor servant to death. Talk about killing the messenger!

I was originally someone who thought they should have at least tried to make him age and grow morbidly obese like the real Henry, but I think JRM pulled it off without having to gain the weight or needing to put on the padding. I'm not sure a lot of actors could have done that but thankfully he did.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 19, 2011
10:16 am
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Claire-Louise
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TinaII2None said:


I was originally someone who thought they should have at least tried to make him age and grow morbidly obese like the real Henry, but I think JRM pulled it off without having to gain the weight or needing to put on the padding. I'm not sure a lot of actors could have done that but thankfully he did.


I was like that at first too. Now I'm actually glad that they didn't do loads of padding and stuff to make him look obese as I think it would have distracted me from JRM's performance. JRM didn't look like Henry VIII in Season 1 so actually there would be no point in trying to do it in Season 4. JRM's Henry has always been about conveying what was going on in his head rather than what he physically looked like. BTW I also agree that the scene with the messenger was really good at showing how swiftly Henry could change.

April 20, 2011
10:23 pm
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Bill1978
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So it turns out I've only ever seen three things involving Henry. Henry VIII And His Six Wives (the movie), The Other Boleyn Girl and The Tudors. So out of those 3 I would have to go with Keith Mitchell as the best. The way he portrays all the Henrys from young to old, is brilliant and I felt that I was getting to know the man behind the personality. Plus it also helped portray Henry as a person with feelings.

I'm only halfway through The Tudors but I do know that Jonathan Rhys Meyers appears to be ageless in the show. So while he may be portraying Henry well, his physical appearance will stop me from ranking him as the best. Plus he is lucky his script allows him to portray Henry VIII in words. 

That leaves Eric Bana as the worse. And it has nothing to do with his acting skills. I think the fact he doesn't have red hair put him behind the eight ball to begin with. But the script that Eric has to work from, at no point in the movie did I feel like I was watching an actor acting out the life of a real person. Eric wasn't given the part of Henry VIII to play, he was given the part of generic king to play. Which is a shame as Eric could have bought a lot of depth to Henry if he had a better script. And with a better script, I wouldn't notice things like he doesn't look like Henry VIII. 

April 21, 2011
4:42 am
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DuchessofBrittany
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I'm not sure if I've seen my ideal Henry VIII yet. That being said, I do have some favourites.

I love Richard Burton in “Anne of the Thousand Days.” There was something about him on screen that keeps your attention. Then again, he was such a gifted actor, he could have read the telephone book aloud and it would have been entertaining.

I never warmed up to JRM. I found him to modelesque and did not have the presence of Richard Burton. Not saying JRM is not a fine actor. I loved him in “MatchPoint,” but I did not like him as H8. Too much overacting and too pretty. Perhaps, I was distracted by Henry Cavill. Who knows?

Like Bill, I did not like Eric Bana. Heck, I hated that whole film as a representation of a twisted (and historically innaccurate love triangle). Bana is a good actor, but was in a film with poorly written screenplay and no depth to explore as an actor.

Many people will disagree with me here, but Ray Winstone was not bad as Henry. Okay, I admit he looked more like a street thung than a Renaissance man, but he had presence and a dangerous quality to him. I found him better as an older Henry (say post-1540) than as the younger king who wooed both KOA and AB.

Just my opinion…

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

April 21, 2011
5:58 am
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Neil Kemp
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Just to note DOB, Ray Winstone plays everbody like a street thug! This made him effective as an edgy and perhaps sinister Henry, but the cockney geezer approach and accent were a little offputting.

April 21, 2011
5:59 am
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Anyanka
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Bill1978 said:

That leaves Eric Bana as the worse. And it has nothing to do with his acting skills. I think the fact he doesn't have red hair put him behind the eight ball to begin with. But the script that Eric has to work from, at no point in the movie did I feel like I was watching an actor acting out the life of a real person. Eric wasn't given the part of Henry VIII to play, he was given the part of generic king to play. Which is a shame as Eric could have bought a lot of depth to Henry if he had a better script. And with a better script, I wouldn't notice things like he doesn't look like Henry VIII. 


The script was the problem, as was the source material.

 

I'm not to bothered how an actor looks. A good make-up/costume  dept can deal with that.

It's always bunnies.

April 21, 2011
6:00 am
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Anyanka
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DuchessofBrittany said:

 

I love Richard Burton in “Anne of the Thousand Days.” There was something about him on screen that keeps your attention. Then again, he was such a gifted actor, he could have read the telephone book aloud and it would have been entertaining.


Exactly, Richard Burton was a consumate actor.

It's always bunnies.

April 21, 2011
6:58 am
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DuchessofBrittany
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Neil Kemp said:

Just to note DOB, Ray Winstone plays everbody like a street thug! This made him effective as an edgy and perhaps sinister Henry, but the cockney geezer approach and accent were a little offputting.


Neil, I forgot to mention the Cockney accent, which seemed out of place. I see what you mean by Ray Winstone playing everyone as a thug. I've seen some films he's been in, and it always seems like the same character. Frankly, he's a bit frightening!

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

April 21, 2011
9:01 am
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Sharon
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DuchessofBrittany said:

I love Richard Burton in “Anne of the Thousand Days.” There was something about him on screen that keeps your attention. Then again, he was such a gifted actor, he could have read the telephone book aloud and it would have been entertaining.


LOL…So true.  He could read the phonebook a quote a love poem.  It wouldn't matter which one, just as long as he kept talking.  He had such a captivating presence on the screen. 

April 22, 2011
1:13 am
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Neil Kemp
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DuchessofBrittany said:

Neil Kemp said:

Just to note DOB, Ray Winstone plays everbody like a street thug! This made him effective as an edgy and perhaps sinister Henry, but the cockney geezer approach and accent were a little offputting.


Neil, I forgot to mention the Cockney accent, which seemed out of place. I see what you mean by Ray Winstone playing everyone as a thug. I've seen some films he's been in, and it always seems like the same character. Frankly, he's a bit frightening!


Duchess, just as an add on re Ray Winstone as Henry (I can't believe that was as long ago as 2003!), he wanted to play Henry as follows (and I quote): ” When Henry comes into the room and says, “I am the King of England “, I want to make sure people hear the sound of a warrior ready for war, not some poncey bloke with a bunch of jewels on his head “. I think it safe to say he achieved his aim!
P.S. Did you know Ray Winstone boxed for England in his youth, so the hard man image is no front (he was also born in the same year as me! I've won an England title, but not at boxing!). Have a happy Easter.

April 22, 2011
4:19 pm
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TinaII2None
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Anyanka said:

DuchessofBrittany said:

 

I love Richard Burton in “Anne of the Thousand Days.” There was something about him on screen that keeps your attention. Then again, he was such a gifted actor, he could have read the telephone book aloud and it would have been entertaining.


Exactly, Richard Burton was a consumate actor.


Thumbs up from me as well. I didn't see him as Henry until just a few years ago and I thought he was wonderful. And he and Bujold had a lovely chemistry — whether they were making love or shouting at one another.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 23, 2011
12:41 am
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Sophie1536
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Richard Burton, I know it's only a film but I swear he was Henry reincarnated! Seriously from the moment the film opened to the finish he was really the living Henry. Richard Burton portrayed Henry as I actually see him in my mind…..AMAZING acting Smile

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April 23, 2011
9:46 am
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Boleynfan
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Yes, I agree that Richard Burton played a fantastic Henry. And, with Bujold as the quintessential (in my point of view) Anne, what could have been better? 🙂

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

April 23, 2011
7:31 pm
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TinaII2None
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Sophie1536 said:

Richard Burton, I know it's only a film but I swear he was Henry reincarnated! Seriously from the moment the film opened to the finish he was really the living Henry. Richard Burton portrayed Henry as I actually see him in my mind…..AMAZING acting Smile


A few years back — before JRM and The Tudors, and Ray Winstone and Eric Bana, a Henry VIII project hit rumor mills and the casting (which sounded almost firm) was to be Russell Crowe as Henry and Kate Winslet as Anne Boleyn. I know our Crowe group heard about it several times and were looking forward to it, since we were well aware of how he becomes his characters, no matter the role. The project became non-existent as quickly as it was announced…but I don't think it was that long afterwards that the Winstone Henry miniseries was released, so I often wonder if THAT was what we had first heard about, back when it was first being considered. I'm still kind of sorry Russell didn't get the chance to play Henry — having seen him in his more well-known roles as Maximus, Bud White (LA Confidential), Captain Jack Aubrey, or John Nash (A Beautiful Mind) and then other roles better known when he was still in Australia (like the skinhead Hando in Romper Stomper). I have a feeling I would have loved his performance as much as I did Richard Burton (and figured he had channeled the real Henry on top of it).

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 24, 2011
2:24 am
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Neil Kemp
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A few years back — before JRM and The Tudors, and Ray Winstone and Eric Bana, a Henry VIII project hit rumor mills and the casting (which sounded almost firm) was to be Russell Crowe as Henry and Kate Winslet as Anne Boleyn.

Yes, I can see Russell Crowe making a very good Henry, the same hard edge as Ray Winstone, but perhaps with a little more variety and depth, who knows, maybe it will come to fruition one day. I love Kate winslet but I'm not sure that she would have made a good Anne, I can picture this and it doesn't quite feel right, but then again that's probably just me.

April 24, 2011
3:52 am
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DuchessofBrittany
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I only wish Russell Crowe would play Henry. Now that would make my day! I love all his roles. He's such a great actor!

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

April 24, 2011
3:28 pm
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TinaII2None
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Neil Kemp said:


Yes, I can see Russell Crowe making a very good Henry, the same hard edge as Ray Winstone, but perhaps with a little more variety and depth, who knows, maybe it will come to fruition one day. I love Kate winslet but I'm not sure that she would have made a good Anne, I can picture this and it doesn't quite feel right, but then again that's probably just me.


I wholeheartedly agree with you Neil. Sometimes he can make it so easy, it doesn't seem like acting…but then, if someone's good, you shouldn't know that they're acting. I also agree with you about Kate Winslet. When that project was announced, I was excited about Russell, but I was having a load of hard thoughts about her as Anne. I guess I was thinking of all the Annes I had seen up to that point, and she wasn't clicking with me, especially if I compared her to Bujold or Dorothy Tutin.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 24, 2011
3:39 pm
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TinaII2None
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DuchessofBrittany said:

I only wish Russell Crowe would play Henry. Now that would make my day! I love all his roles. He's such a great actor!


Smile As the saying goes “From your lips to God's Ears.”

We'd definitely think Henry had returned from the grave.

My favorite of his roles include not only Maximus, Bud White and Jeffrey Wigand (The Insider, which was partially filmed in my hometown), but most especially Jack Aubrey (I started reading the books about a year before the movie was released and was amazed at how he brought the character to life). He even did several “minor” characters I loved, including John Biebe (an Alaskan sheriff who plays on a local hockey team) and Cort (a cold-blooded gunslinger who becomes a preacher in The Quick and the Dead, his first American movie in which he was featured behind Gene Hackman, Sharon Stone and Leonardo DiCaprio).  Adding Henry to that filmogrpahy would make my day too!!

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

April 24, 2011
4:01 pm
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DuchessofBrittany
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TinaII2None said:


Smile As the saying goes “From your lips to God's Ears.”
We'd definitely think Henry had returned from the grave.

My favorite of his roles include not only Maximus, Bud White and Jeffrey Wigand (The Insider, which was partially filmed in my hometown), but most especially Jack Aubrey (I started reading the books about a year before the movie was released and was amazed at how he brought the character to life). He even did several “minor” characters I loved, including John Biebe (an Alaskan sheriff who plays on a local hockey team) and Cort (a cold-blooded gunslinger who becomes a preacher in The Quick and the Dead, his first American movie in which he was featured behind Gene Hackman, Sharon Stone and Leonardo DiCaprio).  Adding Henry to that filmogrpahy would make my day too!!


Tina, I am so glad to find a fellow Russell Crowe fan. I really noticed his “Henry quality” after seeing “The State Within.”

My favourite role is Maximus (I cry at the film everytime). I also love him in “Body of Lies,” Robin Hood, and I thought he was good in “The State Within.”

A note about “Body of Lies”: a triumvirate of Crowe, Di Caprio, and Mark Strong (great actor, little known) does not get much better.

Russell as Henry: a dream come true! 

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

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