From a purely style standpoint, the winner of Saturday’s best-dressed cast at a press conference goes to the team behind Anonymous, the whodunit questioning the authenticity of the works of William Shakespeare. The cast — including Rhys Ifans, Jamie Campbell Bower and the handsome Joely Richardson, whose elegant mother Vanessa Redgrave also appears in the film though was unable to attend the conference — were dressed to the nines.
“I was deeply flattered that Roland cast me as such a sexy young man,” said Ifans, referring to both Roland Emmerich, the film’s director, and Campbell Bower, who plays his younger self in the film.
“I feel the same,” said Campbell Bower, whose hair grew blonder the closer it got to the tips.
“Thank you, darling,” said Ifans, wearing a tiny red scarf, bracelets and a handful of rings. “I’m in room 360.”
Anonymous is sure to rile the hardcore Shakespearean faction, and the cast and its director took turns expressing their doubt in the authenticity of the Bard. “I can’t lie and say that I’m convinced that it was actually Oxford,” said Ifans of the Earl of Oxford, the character he plays in the film, “but I’m adamant that it was not a guy called William Shakespeare from Stratford.”
Immediately after Ifans gave his verdict, his words were seconded by his West German director.
“That’s why the Stratford side’s not more pissed,” Emmerich said. “They know that their information is hogwash.”
Emmerich, the director of such big-budget disaster pictures as The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and Independence Day, isn’t the first name usually associated with Shakespeare. In fact, he was asked by one reporter if the film’s early good buzz had taken him by surprise. “I never read reviews so I don’t really care,” Emmerich responded, sounding a little bit like he cared.
Set in Elizabethan England amidst the battle for succession of Queen Elizabeth between the Tudors and Cecils, the cast was impressed by Emmerich’s large and detailed set pieces.
“We were standing outside the rebuilt Globe building and I looked at Jamie and said, ‘This is low budget? F–king hell,’” Ifans said. “This feels pretty big-budget to me.”
Indeed, Emmerich, known mostly for his comfort with obliterating cities, said the film even made him reconsider the joys of the live play.
“It’s strange for me, but I’ve come to appreciate theatre,” he said. “The older I get, I seem to appreciate it more.”
Whether or not Shakespeare was the true author of Twelfth Night or Hamlet, the cast of Anonymous and its director, in addition to being uniformly well-dressed, also seemed to be in agreement that the most important aspect of their picture be that it entertains.
“Irrespective of what the film is about, I don’t think that’s important,” said Bower. “What matters is that it’s a cracking good film.”