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An Explosive Energy: Sam Mendes Pays Tribute to Helen McCrory

Whether Acting in Chekhov on Stage or a Bond film, the Star – Who Has Died Aged 52 – Was Incredibly Exciting to Watch, Remembers the Skyfall Director

by Sam Mendes  | The Guardian | April 18, 2021

‘A force field of energy’ … Helen McCrory in Uncle Vanya at Donmar Warehouse in 2002. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

When I was directing Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night as my final productions as artistic director of the Donmar in 2002, I asked Helen to play the role of Sonya in Uncle Vanya. Word came back that she would love to have a chat about it. She strode into my office, sat on the sofa and immediately told me I had it all wrong. She told me she should be playing Yelena – the other young female role – and then proceeded to spend the next hour telling me exactly why. She left the room with the part. This has never happened to me before or since. All I can say by way of explanation is that it just felt inevitable. She was clearly already half way to giving a superb performance, I simply had to get out of the way and let her complete the job. Which, of course, she did – with utter brilliance.

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In Memoriam: Helen McCrory

A tribute to Helen McCrory and her extensive filmography

by Carly Horne | April 17, 2021 | The Courier

Following the announcement of Helen McCrory’s death on Twitter by husband Damian Lewis, comes the reflection of a life and career so full of exuberance and love. Although hers was a life cut far too short, it was also one marked by displays of endless generosity and incomprehensible levels talent which will surely be missed by all.

My first exposure to Helen McCrory came with the release of Skyfall in 2012. Something about her portrayal of Clair Dowar MP, a minor role relative to the scale of the film, just mesmerised me.

As Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, she shone. The mother of school bully, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and wife to notorious Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) – Narcissa could easily have been a two-dimensional character. A ‘bad’ character. It’s hard to get away from the fact Narcissa Malfoy was a prejudicial pure-blood, but Helen McCrory brought so much humility and poise to what might have otherwise been an insignificant role.

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Helen McCrorry: ‘Working in films, there are hundreds of odd moments’

 McCrory on her career and winning awards

Helen McCrory has played Cherie Blair twice, in The Queen and The Special Relationship, Narcissa Malfoy in three Harry Potter films, and Mama Jeanne in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo.

Most recently, McCrory, 44, played MP Clair Dowar in Skyfall, which has eight Bafta nominations.

She has been married to Homeland star Damian Lewis for five years.

'Working in films, there are hundreds of odd moments... I've been lowered by frogmen into the cold lakes of Stoke-on-Trent while wearing a bikini,' said Helen McCrory

‘You weren’t allowed to take your wand home on Harry Potter. They were very strict about that. You couldn’t even take the script. Imagine phoning them up if you’d been burgled and having to say, “Oh, and by the way, you know that little Quidditch ball that’s on eBay? I think it might be from our house.” You just can’t do it. Continue reading Helen McCrorry: ‘Working in films, there are hundreds of odd moments’