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Playwright David Hare and Peaky Blinders Creator Steven Knight Pay Tribute to Helen

“She Lit Up the Screen”

by David Hare and Steven Knight | Radio Times | April 27, 2021

David Hare Section:

One Saturday night in 1995 I sat down to watch a Screen Two film on BBC2. Streetlife, written and directed by Karl Francis, was about a single mother in a caravan in Wales, struggling to provide for her young child.

Although the material was bleak – Jo kills her child because she despairs of her future – it was played with the most extraordinary humour and vitality by a young actor I’d never seen before. She wore a tiny mini skirt, sparked with brave life, and gave one of the most moving performances I’d ever seen on TV.

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Helen McCrory, versatile actress who dominated the stage and shone on screen in Peaky Blinders and The Queen – obituary

The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer put her in his ‘pantheon of actors whose name in the programme always creates the anticipation of pleasure’

Helen McCrory, who has died of cancer aged 52, made her name as a subtle and intelligent stage performer, and later bucked the trend that consigns actresses to oblivion in middle age, becoming one of Britain’s most sought-after television stars in her 40s.

In the first decade of the new millennium she was hailed as one of the most promising presences in British theatre. Writing in the Telegraph in 2002, Jasper Rees placed her in the tradition of Judi Dench, Zoë Wanamaker and Imelda Staunton as “the small, punchy actress with a voice that can coat a back wall in honey from 100 paces.”

Continue reading Helen McCrory, versatile actress who dominated the stage and shone on screen in Peaky Blinders and The Queen – obituary

Categories Print Media Reviews The Special Relationship

The Special Relationship on HBO – Review

Bill and Hillary Clinton may take comfort in the flattering portrait of their marriage offered by a new HBO movie by Peter Morgan on Saturday night. But unfortunately for former President Clinton, the film’s title, “The Special Relationship,” refers to his partnership not with his wife but with Tony Blair, the former British prime minister.

That alliance began as a bro-mance in the 1990s: two like-minded baby boomers leading a center-left political movement they called the “third way.” It fizzled at century’s end like a broken marriage, in bitterness and mistrust.

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Categories Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Interviews Personal and Family Life Print Media The Special Relationship

Scotsman Interview: Helen McCrory

Whether it’s the former PM’s wife or an enchantress in Harry Potter, Helen McCrory approaches her roles with a light touch. And that attitude extends to family life

When I see Helen McCrory’s name attached to a project, a flash of happy anticipation illuminates my pleasure centre: I’m confident that whatever else, her performance will be worth the price of admission.

Phenomenal acting aside, she’s also a member of that special sisterhood whose magnetism crosses the gender divide, with a beauty all the more stirring for being tough to quantify. If pressed, I’d trace her charisma to the twinkle in her eyes and the wry smile tugging at her lips, hinting at secret knowledge – probably of the saucy variety.  

Off screen she does not disappoint. While there’s none of that faux best friend nonsense you get with some interviewees, she’s companionable and relaxed, tucking into a second cup of coffee with gusto – she’s only recently back on caffeine after weaning her youngest – and quick to laugh and tease.

This month we’ll see her in a far more high-strung persona, playing Draco’s mum, Narcissa Malfoy, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. She approached the assignment with relish, keen to work with director David Yates. “Did you ever see (his] Sex Traffic? It was an absolutely fantastic film about two Polish girls forced into the sex industry in Britain.” Pregnancy prohibited her tackling the role of Bellatrix LeStrange, as was originally mooted some years ago and it went to Helena Bonham Carter, instead. Now, however, McCrory is able to play her sister.

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