Kenneth Branagh's life from marriage with Harry Potter co-star to playing PM
If you’ve watched any films produced in the last 40 years, the chances are you’ve seen Sir Kenneth Branagh in at least one of them. The 61-year-old actor from Belfast has featured in plenty of movies in a decade spanning four decades, from Victor in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Iago in William Shakespeare’s Othello.
He has starred alongside Will Smith in the 1999 Hollywood blockbuster movie Wild Wild West, and most famously played Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002. In more recent years Kenneth has played Kurt Wallander in the Wallander series and Hercule Poirot in both Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile.
This autumn, Sky Atlantic and Now viewers will catch him playing a certain disgraced prime minister who no one will have any problem recognising from the . The academy award winner will be playing none other than Boris Johnson in the limited five-part television drama This England.
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Covered in facial prosthetics and a blonde wig to recreate the prime minister's dishevelled hair, Kenneth will portray Boris grappling with Covid-19, Brexit and controversy within his personal and political life.
The series is reportedly based on the first-hand evidence of people inside Number 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), and from hospitals and care homes across the country.
Unlike the man he is playing in the series, Kenneth leads a very private life off-screen. He has been happily married to film art director Lindsay Brunnock for 18 years.
However, his previous marriage with Love Actually actress Emma Thompson, which lasted between 1989 and 1995, wasn’t so well hidden from the public eye. During their six-year marriage, they were often branded the ‘golden couple’ by the headlines.
Emma, who played Sybill Trelawney in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, divorced Kenneth reportedly after he got involved in an affair with Frankenstein co-star Helena Bonham Carter, who he continued to date for four years after the break up of his marriage.
Now working with film director Christopher Nolan on a movie about American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb, Kenneth’s career continues to go from strength to strength.
He won his first Oscar in LA in March this year for Best Original Screenplay for his film Belfast, which he also directed. The Oscar was awarded to Kenneth some 32 years after his first nomination for 1989's Henry V. In total, he’d been nominated for an Oscar eight times.
Kenneth can be seen tonight on BBC Two starring in Christopher Nolan’s World War II film Dunkirk, which was released in cinemas in 2017. Dunkirk will be broadcast at 8:30pm this evening.
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