Anna Massey on playing the "evil" Mrs Danvers
"I played Mrs Danvers in 1979, in a four-part TV adaptation by Hugh Whitemore (which, incidentally, starred Jeremy Brett, my first husband, as Max de Winter). I was too young for the part. Mrs Danvers was meant to be in her late 60s but I was nowhere near. In the book, she is described as having grey hair tied up in a bun, and wearing a Victorian dress with a long train. I saw no reason to play it like that - I didn't see why, age-wise, she couldn't have been a contemporary of Rebecca's."
"Rebecca is an extremely romantic and rather sexual novel. I think Mrs Danvers is one of the sexual participants - maybe not consciously, but she's certainly a sexual thread through it. We know that Rebecca didn't love Max, but we don't really know what Max's feelings were for Rebecca - apart from the fact that he was obsessed by her beauty. We do know his feelings were totally tarnished by the end of their marriage. Whether Mrs Danvers was a latent lesbian, I have no idea. But she was certainly in love, totally and utterly obsessed with Rebecca. The book is littered with sexual symbols - the hairbrush and the nightie laid out carefully on the bed. So I played her rather like a lesbian in a French film, in a slinky black silk dress."
"Essentially, I played what I imagined Du Maurier had subconsciously written, though it also seemed an interesting new angle on the part. Of course, I would not want to detract from Judith Anderson's startlingly scary and brilliant performance as Mrs Danvers in Hitchcock's Rebecca. I didn't see this version when it came out in 1940, as I was three years old, but I must have seen it when I was 9 or 10 and I remember being very scared by her. Mrs Danvers is a very scary part, whether you play her in a Victorian dress or in a slinky silk dress. What she wears is only an outward carapace: underneath she's one of the really evil female characters in literature. You never forget that malevolent smile."

Anna Massey was talking to Aida Edemariam,
The Guardian, Wednesday 28 June 2006.

Lire l'intégralité de l'interview d'Anna Massey sur son rôle dans le Guardian : ICI
"J'ai très rarement eu l'opportunité d'entrer dans le vingtième siècle. Quand je tourne dans l'époque entre 1899 à 1900,  je bondis de joie. C'est ce que j'ai fait avec Rebecca, je suis entré dans les années 30. J'ai fait des trucs modernes, mais j'éprouve tellement de plaisir que je force mon jeu comme un enragé. J'ai des poches ! J'ai tellement  l'habitude de porter tout le temps des collants, que lorsque je mets mes mains dans mes poches j'en tombe presque à la renverse. Je suis si peu habitué à jouer un type moderne. Tout a commencé parce que j'étais un acteur classique, j'ai été formé de la sorte. Quand j'ai quitté l'Ecole Dramatique je voulais jouer Shakespeare, j'aime les mots, je suis réellement un amoureux des mots, j'aime leur musique. Ainsi, la majorité de ma formation a été classique." - Jeremy Brett
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