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Veteran British screen actor Tom Wilkinson joined George to reflect on his long career — ranging from Shakespeare in Love to Batman Begins — and his latest film, Felony, in which he stars alongside the movie's writer and producer, Joel Edgerton.
Among Wilkinson's many roles are those where he was asked to play real historical figures, such as U.S. political patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. in The Kennedys.
"It's interesting playing Joe Kennedy, because he was such an interesting guy. And I didn't research him that much. I mean, I'd seen him on TV... he was filmed very little. He's just of that era.
"So in a sense, I made him up. Like I played, a few years ago, Benjamin Franklin [in the TV mini-series John Adams]. Completely made up! I don't know whether he was like that at all. But I just thought: no one's around to say 'Actually, I knew Ben Franklin. He didn't talk like that.'"
He also spoke about what it's like acting with his wife, Diana Hardcastle, who played his on-screen wife Rose Kennedy in The Kennedys.
"I love working with my wife. When I first worked with her, we did a film a few years ago, and I thought, ah, I'm not going to have any fun. I don't mean have affairs and stuff. Just, 'Oh my wife is here, it's going to be like at home.'
"It was the best ever. I couldn't believe that we had such a good time together. It was such a liberation to get away from home, and cooking, and having the kids coming 'round and putting out the garbage and stuff like that. It was just... in a hotel, in Italy. How lovely."
Later in the interview, Wilkinson spoke about the difference between acting in the U.K. and the U.S.
"The English acting scene is very different. The acting scene that I was brought up in is very different from the one in North America, which is very much oriented around movies, and the mystique of being a movie star, and stuff like that.
"When I first started doing theatre, in the '70s basically, it was just work. And you did it. And it was fun. And your colleagues wouldn't stand for any of that crap. And so you grew up like that.
"That's one of the things that's characteristic of most English actors. They're pretty straight, and don't do the kind of movie star mystique-y grandiosity."
Felony (2013): Benaroya Pictures, Blue-Tongue Films, Goalpost Pictures, Screen Australia
The Kennedys (2011): Muse Entertainment, Asylum Entertainment