Actress-film director Romola Garai, who plays Mary Tudor, Queen of England and Ireland (July 1553 to November 1558) also known as ‘Blood Mary’, delved into the tragedy of her complex character in the historical drama ‘Becoming Elizabeth’. The series features Alicia Von Rittberg as Queen Elizabeth I.
Talking about Mary I, Romola said: “She was forced into being a mix of different things by circumstances. She was very religious, obviously, but she was an intelligent, sophisticated, sensitive, admirable woman. She could be really good fun.”
Romola continued: “People often spoke about her being funny and clever, but she was forced into this horrific situation where her mother was cast out by her father, King Henry VIII, when he met Anne Boleyn, his eventual second wife, and was excommunicated. Mary was whisked away from her mother, with whom she had a very close relationship, at the age of 12, and she never saw her again.”
Romola has been part of TV series such as ‘Emma’, British-American biographical drama film ‘Amazing Grace’ and TV serial The ‘Crimson Petal and the White’.
‘Becoming Elizabeth’ portrays the struggle of Elizabeth before she ascended the throne of England.
Elaborating on her character, Romola added: “She basically spent the rest of her life being either terrorised or having to constantly flatter her father, who was an abusive man, and constantly in fear for her life. That somewhat affects your personality, and so she could also be paranoid and highly strung.
“She had a propensity towards violence in an effort to retain control of situations, and that paranoia and fear came through later in her life.”
Helmed by Anya Reiss, the series is set to make its Indian debut on August 26 on Lionsgate Play.