April 8, 2007
IT'S called bad casting, combined with manipulating historical facts ["Chiseled, Not Grizzled," April 1]. First we saw Kirsten Dunst play an awful interpretation of Marie Antoinette and now we have Jonathan Rhys Meyers, a 29-year-old, good-looking Irish guy with a limited resume, playing Henry VIII. What next, Claire Danes playing former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright or Tyra Banks portraying Shirley Chisholm (one of the first African American congresswomen)? There are two premises in the article that couldn't be further from the truth.
April 1, 2007 |
FORGET the red wig and the fat suit. For his starring role as King Henry VIII in the new Showtime series "The Tudors," Jonathan Rhys Meyers makes do with his own cropped brown hair, sculpted silhouette and Hollywood teeth. "Listen," said the pillow-lipped 29-year-old Irish actor on a chilly summer afternoon on set at Ardmore Studios outside of Dublin.
March 30, 2007 |
"The Tudors," which comes bearing down Sunday on Showtime, gives us the court of Henry VIII filtered through the spirit and aesthetics of 21st century premium cable television. Even were one unaware that it was exactly the pitch originally made to screenwriter Michael Hirst (of the Cate Blanchett big-screen "Elizabeth"), the conceptual connection to "The Sopranos" is easy to work out. "Rome" and "Deadwood" will also forgivably spring to mind.
November 5, 2004 |
Henry VIII, as portrayed in Masterpiece Theatre's eponymous production, was a king with a blind spot as big as his appetite for eating, drinking, hunting and womanizing. His obsessive focus on producing a male heir plunged England into a religious and political division that continued for centuries after the end of his 38-year reign, arguably to this day.
August 16, 2003
Regarding "Episcopalians' Opinions on Bishop Clash," Aug. 11: I wonder how long the applause would last for the "conservative" Episcopal clergy in Newport Beach [who censured church leaders for confirming a gay bishop] if they preached Jesus' condemnation of divorce. It strikes me as odd that many clergy can so easily condone the true enemy of the institution of marriage -- divorce. Almost every broken marriage I know of had infidelity or drug abuse as the cause. I guess when the "moral issue" involves heterosexuality they give it a pass.
July 16, 2003 |
It wasn't easy being queen to Henry VIII. "Divorced, beheaded, died/divorced, beheaded, survived" is how a British rhyme neatly summarizes what happened to the 16th century ruler's wives. It's a bit more complicated than that, actually, which explains why the new PBS documentary "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" is four hours long. And why historian David Starkey can maintain his enthusiastic narration for the duration. Too bad the program doesn't match his energy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2000
Re "Vatican Declares Catholicism Sole Path to Salvation," Sept. 6: I was born Catholic and will probably die a Catholic. I grew up with priests in my family and was taught by nuns for 12 years. The issues I've had with my church are numerous. But I've always felt that it was like a dysfunctional family, and you don't leave your family because it has problems. However, this last "declaration" by the Vatican, stating that other religions are "gravely deficient" and have "defects," is quite disturbing and, honestly, breaks my heart.
March 26, 2000 |
I've often thought I should like to live at Hampton Court. It looks so peaceful and so quiet, and it is such a dear old place to ramble round in the early morning before many people are about. --Jerome K. Jerome "Three Men in a Boat," 1889 * It was midnight, and a soft rain fell on Hampton Court Palace, accentuating the peace and quiet on this, my last night here.
March 16, 1997
Mary Case's letter (Letters, Feb. 23) about the Ten Commandments contains errors of fact. There was no Church of England in 1215. It did not exist until 1529, when Henry VIII of England persuaded Parliament to establish the new church so he could obtain a divorce. The Catholic Church of 1215 was not "behind the Magna Carta." That document was extorted from King John by the landed barons of England who were more concerned with their own interests than anyone else's. JUDSON VOYLES Long Beach
February 2, 1997
Re "The Marching Order" (Jan. 15): In the sidebar, Henry VIII's sixth wife, Catherine Parr, is listed as a firstborn over a paragraph that reads, "She was the only firstborn and the only one to outlive him. The wives who lost their heads tended to be laterborns and outspoken." Catherine Parr was not the only one of Henry's wives to survive him. Anne of Cleves (wife No. 4, divorced after six months) not only survived Henry, she also outlived Catherine Parr and Henry's son, Edward VI. The two wives who lost their heads did not do so because of their outspokenness.