Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Anna Maxwell Martin- Actor of the Week
Anna Maxwell Martin is a brilliant actor who has starred in some of my absolute favourite films and miniseries. She has both an unusual look and an unusual voice (a slight lisp) which make her easier to recognize in period dress than some of her peers. She makes fun of her lack of cheekbones, but I love the fact that she doesn't look like so many other actresses. Anyway, here is a highlight of her career in period drama.
As Bessie Higgins in North and South, Anna Maxwell Martin stole my heart. She showed us what the life of a poor working girl in Victorian Manchester would have been like (pretty grim at times) and yet made us love Bessie and weep during her final scene. By the way, if you have not seen North and South do so immediately!!!! Richard Armitage is another great reason to watch this miniseries multiple times.
Bleak House was another tour de force for the BBC this time with Anna Maxwell Martin in the lead role. Esther Summerson is a wonderfully complex yet subtle character and Anna let us see what she was feeling with just a fleeting look. OK, now I have to watch this one again too.
In a comic role as Gaoler's Daughter in The Wind in the Willows, Anna said she had a hard time keeping a straight face as she was filming. Apparently Matt Lucas who plays Toad (and is the chubby guy in Little Britain and Gil from Bridesmaids) just kept cracking her up.
I have not seen this but it is now on my list of films to watch. Oh and to one of my readers Olga, this one might be a good quirky comedy to watch with a 10 year old! Has anyone seen this? Can you recommend this one?
As Cassandra Austen in Becoming Jane, she could not have looked more unlike Anne Hathaway who played her sister Jane Austen but they seemed to have a lovely warmth between them which helped to suspend disbelief. Again her sheer talent as an actress ripped my heart out when she got the news of the demise of her fiance. Brava!!!
By the way, how confusing would that have been for the director to have Anna and Anne playing the Austen sisters? But I digress...
In South Riding she got to play the thoroughly modern Sarah Burton, using her native Yorkshire accent. She went after this role as it was filmed in an area of Yorkshire where she used to play on the beach as a child.
I was just OK with this particular miniseries as it was a bit grittier than what I usually enjoy. I should give it another watch at some point and see if I like it better on second viewing.
And of course, her latest stint as Susan Gray in The Bletchley Circle has me on the edge of my seat awaiting the final episode this coming week. Surely ITV will make another series with this wonderful female foursome now that they know how much we all love them (on both sides of the pond)!
Hopefully we will get to see much more of Anna Maxwell Martin in the future. She is known as the young Judi Dench in Britain so hopefully her career will have the same sort of longevity.