The visa, which was good for several years, had a lot more staying power than the movie (which was never released in the United States). "The only problem is that it says the title on your passport. So now every time I come into the country the border guards will say, 'Why does it say that Veronika has decided to die on your passport?' It's a good thing I didn't do a movie called 'Known Terrorist.'"
His recent parts offered a little more substance than his visa-enabling film. In "The Lady," Thewlis plays the loyal husband of Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh) who stays behind in England raising their children while his wife leads a crusade against repression in her home country. It's a movie he sees as a romance as much as a political saga. "It's really a movie about love, I think; the politics are often beside the point in their relationship." (The film had a small release at the end of the year and opens more widely in Los Angeles on March 23.)
And his turn in "Anonymous" allowed him to explore a meaty literary subject, even though he's come to believe that director Emmerich's postulate that the Lord of Oxford wrote many of Shakespeare's plays is, as he puts it, "very obviously not true."