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Anna Karenina - Jude Law and Matthew Macfadyen interview

Anna Karenina

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JUDE Law and Matthew Macfadyen talk about some of the challenges and pleasures of bringing this latest adaptation of Anna Karenina to the big screen with director Joe Wright. They were speaking at the UK press conference…

Q. Matthew, it looked like you had a lot of fun with Oblonsky?
Matthew Macfadyen: Yeah, 90% of it was the moustache! It just sort of gave me a lift. No, it was a lot of fun.

Q. Jude, did your history with theatre help to inform the way you played Alexei Karenin?
Jude Law: Not necessarily the stuff I’ve done in theatre. Most of us have done stuff in the theatre. What helped me was a wonderful script and an interpretation of a part that I think in the past has sometimes been rather conveniently portrayed as the bad guy. I loved Tom [Stoppard]’s sympathies for him and Joe’s sympathies for him and Joe’s way of working, which was to bring a group together and rehearse and to put everyone on the same page so that you’d know the world you were in. Obviously, then you’ve got this beautiful novel that you can then dip into if you doubt a detail or want some inspiration… it’s always there to help you.

Q. Jude, what did your family make of the beard?
Jude Law: What did they think of my beard? I don’t know, I’d have to ask them [laughs]. I think they were more worried about my haircut. I wasn’t allowed… my children banned me from appearing at the school unless I was wearing a hat [laughs].

Q. Is struck me there were nuanced levels of culpability in the story that I don’t recall from other versions. So, in the sense that every adaptation reflects the times we live in how conscious were you of that?
Jude Law: Was it Joe [Wright] or Tom [Stoppard] who talked about the piece possibly being called ‘Five People in Love’. There’s this sense of the different sides of love and how it’s portrayed in the novel and in our version. There are complexities to that and I think it’s true to say that the heart of the book is this wonderful love story but to simply tell it as just that is simplifying it and what was exciting about this was the possibility of showing all those elements.

Read our review of Anna Karenina

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