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Kristin Scott Thomas Says She ‘Hounded’ Producers For Role As ‘Rebecca’

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Kristin Scott Thomas has worked with some of the company’s top directors and portrayed everything from Chekhov to Chip bag, which has earned him numerous accolades for his work on stage and on screen: an Oscar nomination for The English patient, a BAFTA for Four weddings and a funeral, an olive tree for The Seagull. She now takes on the iconic role of Ms Danvers in the latest adaptation of Rebecca.

The new Netflix feature film is the latest version of 1938 Gothic Daphné Du Mauriers novel of the same name. Directed by Ben Wheatley (High Rise, Free Fire), it tells the story of a wealthy widower Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) who falls in love with an unnamed young woman (Lily James) in France and takes her to his mansion in Cornwall. There the invisible main character, the late wife of Winters, Rebecca, shadows the young protagonists with every move as she carries the weight of the icy contempt of the head housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who is still very loyal to her late boss.

By Clementine Churchill in Darkest hour to Lady Sylvia McCordle in Gosford Park, Kristin Scott Thomas has played her share of austere and elegant women. So playing the mysterious housekeeper Mrs. Danvers seemed like a perfect match.

If the glove fits, Thomas said Variety. In fact, Thomas was so determined to play the iconic Ms. Danvers that she harassed the producers until she was chosen. Like people have said, I think I’m perfect for this role, the actress said Variety. I was literally harassing Eric [Fellner] and saying: You must hire me! Every time I saw it I would ask, when are you going to give it to me? I was not at all subtle.

Casting Thomas was an easy decision for director Ben Wheatley. Danvers is a character who needs to get going, said Wheatley Variety. You needed someone who could look into the audience and get their attention.

Kristin had to be successful, he added. She is an imposing artist who can easily navigate complexity and intensity.

Did playing a role that Diana Rigg and Judith Anderson enjoyed had an impact on Thomas? I think it’s gonna be a Rebecca for a new generation, says Thomas. And it’s wonderful to keep a story like this alive. It also helped Wheatley wanted to step away from previous incarnations to explore a friendlier Danvers. We don’t talk about it in the film but there are allusions to his relationship with Rebecca, she notes. We wanted to ask, what is his relationship with Rebecca? Is it a lust? Is it a love? Is it about possession? We really enjoyed playing with these ideas.

Rebecca airs on Netflix starting Wednesday, October 21.

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