Kenneth Branagh talks 'All Is True'


Everybody. I'm Peter Travers this popcorn where we tell. You. What's happening at the movies? And we have a movie now called all is true. It is the story of William Shakespeare in his later years. It stars my friend here Kenneth Branagh who also directed it. And did God knows what else, you know? Can I think it's kind of amazing? We were talking a little bit before about when I first encountered you which was you playing a Henry the fifth onscreen, which he directed as well as started Oscar nominations for both things. This was a Henry who was just filled with youth and vigor and was going to take on the world and everything and it was. This fresh vigorous approach to what Shakespeare is. And now, you're playing Shakespeare himself in his later years has that make you feel on usual. Unusual very privileged. Because the in a way, you know, Henry the fifth was a it was an amazing opportunity to have as a young actor, and a sort of virgin filmmaker and really was any possible because there were lots of other equally sorts of adventurous maverick figures in terms of the produces and an all sorts of other people who were taking a chance on me. I remember talking to the late. Great psalm. Go when junior when we were releasing that film in America saying cannot, please please, please. I I know I'm I'm I'm twenty I'm nobody another, but complete can I make two requests on the post police. Could you include two names, one is Judi Dench who I promise you people will know about sued they will know about and the other one pleases William Shakespeare, without whom none of us would be here. Why credit the writer well, just different additional dialogue anyway. But it was he was just too concerned about what was going. To get people into the side. No problem listening to a smart, man. He news who knew his market. But I suppose the send if things I keep sort of saying the same thank yous to people like Judy Dench shoop stuck with me through a journey through shakes. Things have you done with her? I mean we worked about together by seven times. And she's directed me. A couple of times and I've directed her. I've always learned from her and a couple of years ago, we did Shakespeare's play the winter's tale, which was really a prelude to making this film. All is true because she played Pauline a- a woman who speaks truth to power, and she puts my character in that play on a man who makes stupid mistake and loses a child as a result. She puts into the test puts into the sold, and that sort of ten ship became a starting point for Ben Elton thinking about how might Anne Hathaway and William Shakespeare's relation be after twenty years of him being away as the most famous of the agent and coming back to face the family. That's the the whole crux of the story. He's got this wife who he basically has neglected. Fully and two daughters and a dead son memories dealing with. But I always here we know nothing about what really happened in terms of what was going on and Shakespeare's life. So how does this come about that you get to play him at in sixteen thirteen when he's basically retired after the old gulp Peter burns down. He's going on. Well, belts looked at the existing facts factual as we knew them that appear in the Public Record Office. And so you'll find that on on a day in June of sixteen fourteen Joan lane stood up in the church. Holy trinity church in Stratford, and he called Shakespeare's daughter a whore. And he said she had gonna RIA and that she was sleeping with the a man who was not her husband. This is in public record quite clear. Everybody knew about it created a sensation because Shakespeare was returning celebrity and in the case of of someone so creatively prolific to come back to a tiny town. And a long way from London, and and after thirty seven plays in a great success workout, what to do even let alone what to say to a wife and daughters, who as you say been neglected, and who have if you think of in terms of the plays that he wrote we're to have plenty to say about what he might or might not have done or said in his terms. He's gonna he's gonna come to terms with how that sits, you know, the the this idea of what it's like for genius to deal with old and rely was also in the in the core of what we were trying to look at Ben Elton who did this works on in a very humorous way. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yeah. But that's it. He's coming up and people are saying who the hell are you, you know. And I think what again one of the fascinating about Shakespeare's. How elusive he is. You know, there are probably about twenty five about him in the public record of his places. He was things that happened during the course of his life, but many people find it hard to join the. The idea of the fellow we present who may not have gone to drama school comes from a relatively lower class and REO in small country town and goes off into the world and can write plays about Rome and Egypt. And and it's Lee, and and and politics and religion and do so without having had the classical education without being as whether classical idea of genius, lured by remand bad and dangerous to know living glamorous life of public scandal. That sound great. I'd buy some of that. But Shakespeare seems to go pups, you know, exemplify what flow BAC, hold when he described the autistic life and said, you need to be boys watering, your private life and revolutionary in your creative life, and you might argue that about Shakespeare, but but that that that's sort of contradiction tension between the ordinary man and the man capable of extrordinary creative output to me you so touching so point. So Shakespeare because he he often in his own. Own place. He pulls the rug from under the feet of grandiloquent people saying, you know, what? In the end, you're all going to need company. You're going to need help at the end of your life. You're all going to require a you're all you need a support that comes from very simple contact with human beings. It isn't all about being some grand Queen or king. Even if he writes, very well about them his genius. I think he's writing about the nitty gritty in love, isn't it? Yeah. It's kind of amazing that in terms of film television. Whatever we don't really get that much of him. We really don't. So you I'm watching this. And I'm thinking, okay. Here's the he's coming home that heroes coming on, and nobody really wants them. Yes. Everybody's white says really, you know. And also that they were illiterate, basically, women just weren't taught obsoleted. So so a lot Benneton I think to give a modern voice in the film to women who. Had not been listened to. And it didn't matter to them that father, even then was lauded as the as the poet of the age, his, you know, clear and present responsibility as a parent, and as a husband with something that they they challenge, and and they challenge indeed as most families experience, even with the most high-achieving mother or father out there in the world being spectacular comeback to your own, you know, kitchen table, and you're just a member of that family and people are are unimpressed in the tension. That accrues is important one of the things I admire about Shakespeare is that he does come back to stop. But he does he does. He does fess up. You know, he he they stay married, and we investigate and explore the idea of what what it meant when this is true in in Shakespeare's will he left his wife? His second best bed and many people. Regard this great slight or a snob or in front. We take a different view that might have that might actually be a layer of meaning in that that suggest Papp's. It's a it's more than a friendly. Gesture might even be a loving gesture. The title was originally

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