Here 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.