Timothee Chalamet: ‘Like Trump, Henry V is insulted by anything’ | Ents & Arts News

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Actor Timothee Chalamet says his latest film is bound to draw comparisons with modern-day politics.

The American actor plays Henry V in The King, Netflix’s mash-up of 15th century history and Shakespeare’s history plays, Henry IV Part One and Part Two and Henry V.

Robert Pattinson plays the Dauphin, an ill-suited heir to the French throne. Pic: Netflix
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Robert Pattinson plays the Dauphin, an ill-suited heir to the French throne. Pic: Netflix

In one scene, the newly crowned king refuses to be riled by thinly veiled sleight from the French heir to the throne (played by Twilight star Robert Pattinson).

It’s not long however before Henry changes his tune, gradually morphing into a tyrant.

Chalamet told Sky News parallels with the White House are clear: “It’s not a message movie per say, and yet as you said with a Trump administration, and also as he [David Michod the director] said in other interviews in the Bush administration, you know perhaps a naive leader surrounded by sycophantic evil, manipulative, psychopathic men.

“The Trump comparison is obvious, and the willingness to be insulted by anything. Not even the willingness, the inability, to distinguish.”

Michod too recognises the importance of impetuous decisions from world leaders: “The movie is about how the great and often catastrophic movements in history can come as a consequence of what should seemingly be small emotional events between people, but just the basic tissue of relationships can be grave and catastrophic consequences.”

The Australian filmmaker credits anxiety with inspiring much of his work.

“Basically what I’m doing is making movies about the stuff that frightens me.

“We need to keep eternally vigilant that our institutions are run by very often run by sociopathic or psychotic men who’ve managed to claw their way to the top the tops of ladders.”

In a film about toxic masculinity, Lily-Rose Depp shines as Catherine. Pic: Netflix
Image:
In a film about toxic masculinity, Lily-Rose Depp shines as Catherine. Pic: Netflix

Toxic masculinity bubbles throughout the movie, with the human cost shown in the film’s opening scene, as the camera pans across a battlefield strewn with bodies.

Despite the bloody nature of many of the scenes, Chalamet says it was a pleasure to be a part of.

The 23-year-old goes so far to say he “fell in love” with the UK during the shoot: “I visited England when I was younger, when I was 12 or 13, and as a big football fan – well soccer for me – the importance and the weight of the institutions of football here seems so important and overwhelming…

“And seeing a play in England is way different than seeing and play in New York… you feel the history in almost everything here and that’s awesome.”

And while Chalamet may have fallen in love with England, his co-stars fell in love with him.

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Ben Mendelsohn, who plays his father King Henry the V in the film says: “I think there is something very special about Timothy.

“I’ve never heard crowds scream for anyone – and I’ve been around some pretty fancy people in my life – never heard them scream for anyone the way they scream for Timmy. I think Timmy’s a better movie star than we deserve.”

Lily-Rose Depp, who plays Henry V’s love interest Catherine, called him “talented, incredibly professional and great at what he does”.

The pair are rumoured to be dating in real life.

While Tom Glynn-Carney – who plays impetuous nobleman Hotspur – says the pair had a very different relationship on and off-screen

“I was trying not to be mean to him on set, but I was like: ‘My character hates you’. There was that sort of brooding intensity, whereas off-set we were just like pals and having chats and winding each other up and it was great.”

The King is in selected cinemas from 11 October, and comes to Netflix on 1 November.



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