Actor is Prince Hal then King Henry in PBS series

  • By Luaine Lee McClatchy-Tribune News Service
  • Monday, October 7, 2013 5:19pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

It’s not every actor who can portray the same Shakespearean character in two different ways. But British thespian Tom Hiddleston can.

He plays the shallow Prince Hal in two of the Bard’s “king” plays that have been airing on PBS’s “Great Performances” series “The Hollow Crown.”

But on Friday he becomes the besieged King of England — Henry V — and finds himself charged with the battle of a lifetime, the fate of a nation in his hands.

No small task for the actor most Americans remember as the evil villain Loki in both “Thor” and “The Avengers.”

“Prince Hal is an archetype of what, I think, possibly every young man goes through,” Hiddleston said.

“To test his limits and push boundaries and reject the authority of his father and live in a way that he was not supposed to and has been discouraged from doing. And (he) slowly goes on a journey of accepting responsibility and embracing his inheritance.

At the beginning Prince Hal seems a rebel without a cause. “He starts out rebellious, drunk, mischievous, wayward and youthful. And then he becomes the greatest warrior king that England has ever had,” Hiddleston said.

Because of production schedules, they filmed the four plays in reverse. “Henry V” is chronologically the last, but was the first to be shot. Hiddleston had to “age backward” for the part.

Hiddleston was also excited to deliver what he says is Shakespeare’s greatest motivational speech ever: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; or close the wall up with our English dead.’

“That’s that’s better than any locker-room speech you’ve ever heard in any movie about American football,” Hiddleston said.

Watch it

“Henry V” airs at 2 p.m. Sunday on KCTS.

More in Life

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Secret garden: Privacy trees that won’t outgrow a small space

These plants offer some height to block out unwanted sights without taking over your yard.

Stock your winter bookshelf with these animal and nature reads

Four new books cover outdoors topics from butterflies to wolves.

The Shed Players recently released their new album “Our Shingle Most Favorites.”
Listen here: Josh Clauson, The Shed Players release new CDs

This feature is all about Snohomish County’s homegrown talent: locals who make music and record it.

Newfangled cooker isn’t for those with tried and true methods

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley recently succumbed to peer pressure and purchased an Instant Pot.

Now is the time to assess your student’s back-to-school plan

Take a good look at how your kids are managing their new routine, class, teacher(s) and homework.

Author’s talk of birds and clouds kicks off Marysville series

1. Birds and clouds Marysville’s Outdoor Adventure Speakers Series is kicking into… Continue reading

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Oprah Winfrey joins ‘60 Minutes’ for 50th anniversary year

The media giant debuts on tonight’s show, reporting on a story about America’s political divisions.

Most Read