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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

All the Joys of Being an Animist and a Pagan

February 21st, 2015

NPG 6311; Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex studio of Hans Holbein the YoungerHere in the UK we’ve been spellbound by Mark Rylance’s performance as Thomas Cromwell in the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. How does he do it? With often very little or nothing said, he conveys vulnerability, cunning, amusement, surprise – all in the same moment – simply with his presence, in his look.

In his interview on Desert Island Discs yesterday he talks about how acting requires revealing and concealing at the same time, and that’s exactly what is happening in Wolf Hall – he seems so open and yet so utterly inscrutable at the same time.

On Desert Island Discs Mark Rylance comes across as delightfully playful and yet deeply serious, and he talks about James Hillman’s work, about how he used the I Ching to decide whether to take a Spielberg part or a theatrical role, and how following its advice led to him finding his wife. And he finishes by saying how on the island he will experience “all the joys of being an animist and a pagan.”

You can hear it on the BBC iplayer here.

6 Responses to “All the Joys of Being an Animist and a Pagan”

  1. Hi–just FYI one does not need to be in the UK to hear this excellent interview– it comes across very well in the US on an iPhone (and probably others).

  2. Yes, it was a fabulous programme! Here’s to Inspiration. Mark is extraordinary; like many, I will never forget the first live performance I saw of him at the Globe…

  3. I’m going to try & find a way to watch it in Australia
    I greatly admire Mark’s work
    And he’s a terrific person too 🙂

  4. I’d just like to point out that Mark Rylance looks NOTHING like the Holbein portrait of Cromwell that heads this article.

    I heard the DID for Mark Rylance and thoroughly enjoyed it. Pretty articulate for someone who couldn’t speak properly until he was 6!

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