As if my char­ac­ter was hav­ing some kind of spir­i­tual fit

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - NEWS -

many times, I’d started out quite stony faced, to full fer­vour.”

Karen even ended up with ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

She said: “It’s such a huge movie, and they have to do ev­ery­thing from all the dif­fer­ent an­gles. I had to do some ac­cent coach­ing, too, in the end. I think I got to take 12 then I told the as­sis­tant di­rec­tor that I thought I maybe only had a cou­ple more takes of me shout­ing with that kind of fer­vour. But we ended up do­ing it about 100 times.

“But I wasn’t com­plain­ing, it was a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Karen’s ac­cent coach­ing in­volved her di­rect­ing the bay­ing mob in the cor­rect pro­nun­ci­a­tion of a damn­ing term for a fe­male, not suitable for a fam­ily news­pa­per.

She said: “The voice There have been lit­er­ally hun­dreds of plays, nov­els and even op­eras about her. It’s such a tragic story.

“She be­longs as much to myth as his­tory. She’s im­por­tant to us on a cul­tural level. She’s al­most akin to a char­ac­ter like Franken­stein’s mon­ster, she ex­ists on that level.”

Mary Queen of Scots is di­rected by Josie Rourke in her first film and, ac­cord­ing to Liz, women can bring a fresh per­spec­tive to tales we may think we know.

“In gen­eral, I think women drama­tists are more in­ter­ested in in­ter­nal con­flicts as much as they are about char­ac­ters in con­flict with each other,” she says.

“For many fe­male writ­ers, they show women hav­ing ar­gu­ments with them­selves, and that for me could re­flect the lack of power women have in real life.

“It shows maybe how women are more likely to doubt them­selves, and doubt­ing their right to even speak up for them­selves.

“And that has been seen with what’s been go­ing on in Hol­ly­wood re­cently – women doubted they even had the right to speak out against sex­ual preda­tors.”

Whereas male au­di­ences were once scep­ti­cal of films star­ring women, Liz says that out­dated at­ti­tude is be­gin­ning to be left be­hind. “Nowa­days men are more in­ter­ested in their fem­i­nine side,” she ex­plained. “That’s hap­pened dur­ing my life­time.

“Men are less threat­ened by women like Mary and El­iz­a­beth, whereas be­fore they were a bit afraid. We’re all in­ter­ested in sto­ries that ap­peal to

bits of our­selves.” coach came into my trailer and asked me to coach the 500 ex­tras how to shout the line in a Scot­tish dialect.”

Karen landed the cred­ited part after build­ing up her act­ing chops while tour­ing a tril­ogy of Shake­speare plays, both at London’s pres­ti­gious Don­mar Ware­house and then in New York at St Ann’s Ware­house in Brook­lyn.

“The re­sponse was in­cred­i­ble,” she said.

“To stand on a stage and have Meryl Streep ap­plaud you, I was think­ing, ‘I’m quite chuffed with this.’”

Saoirse Ro­nan and Mar­got Rob­bie at­tend the world pre­miere of Mary Queen of Scots Au­thor Liz Lochhead

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