Entertainment

‘Becoming Elizabeth’ star: ‘She had painful experiences’

New Starz interval drama “Changing into Elizabeth” takes a take a look at the enduring Queen Elizabeth I earlier than her legendary 44-year reign, throughout her teenage years. 

“At any time when I take a look at a public determine, I believe probably the most fascinating factor is just not essentially what they achieved in a political sense, or the information. I at all times attempt to perceive who the individual behind these icons are,” Alicia von Rittberg, 28, who stars as Elizabeth, instructed the Submit. 

“Particularly with Elizabeth, who’s the younger lady behind this unimaginable feminine chief, there’s no higher option to perceive why she was referred to as ‘The Virgin Queen,’ and the way she discovered her manner in such a male dominated world than her early years.” 

Premiering Sunday, June twelfth (9 p.m.), the story is about through the sixteenth century and begins after the dying of Henry VIII, when his three kids are pawns in a scheming court docket full of assorted gamers vying for energy. There’s the ten 12 months previous boy king Edward (Oliver Zetterström), religious Catholic older sister Mary (Romola Garai ) and center youngster Elizabeth (von Rittberg, “Genius”) who has an unsure future, because it looks like her youthful brother will rule, and her notorious mother Anne Boleyn met a bloody and bitter finish. 

Alicia von Rittberg in “Changing into Elizabeth.”
Nick Briggs Unit Photographer /

On the present, she lives with Henry’s widow, Catherine Parr (Jessica Raine). Issues turn into difficult when Catherine’s husband, Thomas Seymour (Tom Cullen) takes an curiosity in Elizabeth. 

“Essentially the most shocking factor for me was how harmful that world was. It wasn’t shiny in any respect. And the way lonely she was. Her mom was lifeless since she was 3, her father died, she by no means knew who to belief,” mentioned von Rittberg. “In that weak mind-set, she had such a troublesome relationship to her stepfather. I didn’t know that.

“I believe she needed to be seen as ‘The Virgin Queen’ after such painful experiences. What we see is simply an interpretation of a really complicated first expertise with love, and that made her the individual she was afterward. It’s unimaginable to grasp. We tried to be very cautious with that relationship, and present all completely different sides of it.”

Elizabeth (Alicia von Rittberg) with Thomas Seymor (Tom Cullen) in "Becoming Elizabeth."
Elizabeth (Alicia von Rittberg) with Thomas Seymor (Tom Cullen) in “Changing into Elizabeth.”
Nick Briggs Unit Photographer /

The monarch has famously been performed in different films and exhibits by different actresses similar to Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren, and Judi Dench. Von Rittberg mentioned she watched all of their films.

“I needed to see what the opposite good actresses who’ve performed her did with that half. However, we’re speaking in regards to the youthful years [on the show], so I attempted to develop a blind spot for her later years. I didn’t need to affect one thing I can’t know, in her youth.”

Elizabeth (Alica van Rittberg) is a lonely teen sitting at her desk doing work in "Becoming Elizabeth."
Elizabeth (Alica van Rittberg) is a lonely teen in “Changing into Elizabeth.”
Nick Briggs Unit Photographer /

“There was solely that a lot analysis I may do, as a result of there’s not a lot documented about that point. I discovered calligraphy and her favourite dance, La volta, and I labored on my historical Greek. I believe by doing so, I received as shut as I can to really dwelling the approach to life that she lived. These days, we expect that somebody who’s such a revered feminine chief has some sort of sturdy masculine voice. We tried…to simply accept a softer manner of main, and see that as energy. That was one thing we actually tried to seek out with Elizabeth.” 

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