Man of a thousand voices
From Robert the Bruce to Orson Welles, ANGUS MACFADYEN has played a variety of historical roles. Now he tackles a dramatic leading figure in Titus. ‘.'.o';2s. Paul Dale
Angus lvlacFaclyen has a v0rce so soft rt’s drffrcult to prc‘k up the gentle Scottrsh lrlt that lres beneath the ebbrng flow of a transatlantrc: drawl, The Edrnburgh-born and educated actor doesn't lrke talkrng about hrmself
'I wish I had an action twin who would do all the getting out of cars, running down the
street, shit like that.’
much All he says abOut hrs role as the Roman warrror Lucrus rn Trtus‘, a glrtterrng reworkrng of Shakespeare's Trtus Andron/cus, rs‘ ‘lt was a chance to work \\'rth Anthony Hopkrns’.
It's not untrl he's asked about hrs
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brrllrant turn as Orson Welles rn Trm Robbrns’ Cradle Wr/l Rock that MacFadyen comes alrve. 'What I was lookrng for was the man behrnd the vorce, and I found rt rn a lrttle tape of hrrn rehearsrng Macbeth where suddenly he’ll get a word wrong and off he goes very hrgh: “Ruthless, wreckLESS GODDAMMITH" That was rt_'
MacFadyen rs obvrously drawn to the real lrfe characters he plays and why not when those people rnclude showbrz rcons such as chhard Burton and Peter Lawford? But rt’s Dylan Thomas that Machadyen really longs to play. 'There rs a scrrpt dorng the rounds, but nobody seems to want to make rt,’ he says, 'I thrnk producers thrnk that nobody wants to see a frlm about a Welsh drunk poet who lrves the lrfe of Rerlly but I do.’ What about the notoriously drffrcult Welsh accent7 ‘You see, Dylan Thomas drdn’t really have a Welsh accent, he had a sort of deep plummy one and he was very bad at reCrtrng hrs own poems,‘ he laughs gently.
Thrngs drgress lrke thrs for a whrle. Brendan Behan ~- another drunk, thrs one Irrsh and a playwrrght (The Borsta/ Boyl rs rnentroned Hrs gurlt about krdnapprng the role of Robert the Bruce from another actor the won’t say whot rs touched on Eventually we arrrve back at T/tus
MacFadyen plays the sole survrvor of the vrcrous revenge plot whrch destroys the Andronrcus famrly. It’s a very
physrcal role, the lrke of whrch he hasn’t tackled srnce Brave/mart, and there’s a reason for that 'I don't really Irke actron, | frnd rt borrng,’ he says ‘I wash I had an actron twm who would do all the gettrng Out of cars, runnrng down the street, s‘hrt lrke that I prefer the sex scenes, I lUSi wrsh someone would wrrte me one
Mac‘Fadyen laughs rn a self deprec‘atrng manner and then he's off agarn deflectrng the attentron back
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Angus MacFadyen is a big man with a little voice
onto Hopkrns' performance 'Yeah, you watch hrnr playrng these roles He's lrke Ralph chharclson rn t"rs may even when someone else rs clorng all the talkrng, all you can do rs watch hrnr'
You can't help thrnkzng that one day another so?! spoken character actor' \.\.r|r speak of ivlacFadyen rn such (]|()\\.Yl‘(] terms
Titus is released on Fri 6 Oct. See review.
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