Tom Hollander and Ben Mendelsohn on portraying real people

Khalid Abdallah

The crown

Abdalla’s first question after being cast as Dodi Fayed in The crown It seemed simple: what did Princess Diana’s lover look like? “The amazing research team only had one thing to send me, and that was Dodi calling Larry King to ask Burt Reynolds to do an impersonation of Tony Curtis as Cary Grant. That’s the strangest thing,” says Abdalla, who managed to understand Dodi’s accent and gentle demeanor from the 17-second clip. For Abdalla, the lack of sources wasn’t so liberating, in terms of portraying him. Fayed, but rather a mission to respectfully represent a person that history had left in the shadows “Simply in the fact that Peter. [Morgan] I decided to give Fayed’s story space to be explored with the same dignity as anyone else’s, there is a great cultural dynamism in it,” explains Abdalla. “He was hardly mourned. There are even people who still ask me today: “Is he still alive?” » Abdalla ensured that the Arabic dialogue between father and son was as rich as Morgan’s words on the page. “His script is written in English and we transform it into Arabic. The point of reference was to create an Arabic dialogue for which Peter’s original English with subtitles would be the best possible translation, and not the other way around,” he explains. “The two languages ​​kind of put each other to the test.”

Tom Hollander

Feud: Capote against the swans

Although the idea of ​​portraying someone as distinctive as Truman Capote was daunting, Hollander wasn’t going to let fear get in the way of a great concert. “I was obviously going to do it,” confides the English actor. “The scripts were so good. And it was Ryan Murphy and this incredible cast. I was just going to have to face the challenges. If you can convince yourself that you’re up to it – and once you get your nerves up – the challenges turn into a series of wonderful opportunities and adventures. Hollander felt partly reassured that his Capote belonged to a different era than other depictions of the author in pop culture. To understand Truman’s voice and mannerisms, Hollander worked with movement coach Polly Bennett and dialect coach Jerome Butler. “The Maysles brothers’ documentary was a major resource for learning how to do voice acting,” he says. Although he met the challenges methodically, Hollander admits there were still moments of worry. “At first it was, ‘Will people believe me?’ Is the voice convincing? In addition, he was a writer and he was known to be brilliant. I had to be able to say the lines with a certain speed to communicate information,” he says. “It took me about six weeks, I think, before I thought, ‘They can’t fire me now, otherwise they would have done it already.’ »

Ben Mendelsohn

The new look

There are two roles in Ben Mendelsohn’s career that…

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