Roland Emmerich: No truth in Anonymous

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A political thriller advancing the theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her. Directed by Roland Emmerich.
October 26th, 2011

Roland Emmerich says his latest film 'Anonymous' is completely his own interpretation.

The 55-year-old director - who is known for working on action movies 'Independence Day' and 'Godzilla' - uses the historical drama to advance the theory that it was the Earl of Oxford, Edward De Vere (Rhys Ifans), who penned legendary English playwright William Shakespeare's (Rafe Spall) works.

He told Collider: "You cannot make a historical film which is accurate or the truth because how are you supposed to do that? It's only interpretation, so it was my interpretation of the time and my interpretation about what happened. So is it the truth? No, never.

"Every movie is the same in the way. This was more like a dialogue piece and there's not much action in it but it's a fascinating movie and I tried to open it up. I wanted to portray the city of London."

The film is set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, portrayed by Vanessa Redgrave, with her daughter Joely Richardson playing the younger version of the monarch.

The 74-year-old actress found it "fascinating" to play the royal, particularly because the queen had a romantic interest in younger men when she was growing older.

She said: "She's a very interesting person. She was extraordinarily beautiful and striking looking as a young woman, but I'm playing her as an older person, which is fascinating.

"And of course, even as she was growing older she was still falling in love with younger men, which is always an interesting dynamic."