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The Making of 'The Queen' (2007)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself - Director
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Herself / Queen Elizabeth II
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Himself - Screenwriter
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Himself / Tony Blair
Andy Harries ...
Himself - Producer
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Himself / Prince Philip
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Himself / Prince Charles
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Herself / Queen Mother
Alan MacDonald ...
Himself - Production Designer
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Herself - Costume Designer
...
Robin Janvrin
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14 January 2007 (USA)  »

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Featurette is concerned mostly about the casting...
17 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

Don't expect a comprehensive, detailed coverage of THE MAKING OF 'THE QUEEN' from this short featurette that appears on the DVD of THE QUEEN.

Most of it is directed towards the cast and how they interpreted their roles. HELEN MIRREN claims that it was "dangerous to play a living person" and that at first she was nervous about assuming the role. Then she worked out the look of the character--the hair, the stance, the voice--and knew she wanted to project great self-control and dignity. MICHAEL SHEEN watched many videos of Tony Blair to observe and study his mannerisms, trying to find "little hooks as to what's going on in the character's mind". JAMES CROMWELL knew that Prince Philip had to be portrayed more than just in the speech, but with the spirit within. To impersonate would be a trap. SYLVIA SYMS saw the Queen as a "tiny person who had this sparkle".

STEPHEN FREARS had his own doubts and misgivings about tackling the direction of such a project, but was enthusiastic about it once things got started and he felt the actors were doing a wonderful job.

The production designers describe their own feelings about creating the world these people lived in, as well as the costume designer and others involved in the film's look. But no mention is made of the script itself, how it evolved, how much was based on actual knowledge of the intimate conversations that make up the bulk of the story. This would have provided more gravitas to the whole thing.

Interesting for what is presented, but not entirely satisfying. One fact that interested me is that the director wanted to show Blair's new world vision for Britain as opposed to the Queen's old-fashioned one.


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