Monday 5 December 2016

Michael Sheen drawn to Burton role

Published 11/11/2011 | 16:36

Michael Sheen is currently starring in a stage version of Hamlet
Michael Sheen is currently starring in a stage version of Hamlet

Michael Sheen hinted he may one day play Richard Burton as he celebrated the life of his fellow Welsh Shakespearean actor at the house where Burton lived when he rose to stardom.

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The Cleopatra actor, who married Elizabeth Taylor twice and died in 1984 aged 58, was commemorated with an English Heritage blue plaque at the house in Hampstead, London, which is now owned by an actor and voiceover artist.

Michael is currently playing Hamlet at the Young Vic - a role Richard played at the Old Vic in the 1950s. And the actor, who has a daughter with Hollywood star Kate Beckinsale, wouldn't rule out playing his fellow countryman on screen in future.

"I think it would be very daunting to play someone like Richard Burton but it would be very interesting and there's a wonderful story there to be told. Maybe in a few years," he said, at the house Richard shared with fellow Welsh thespian Sybil Williams between 1949 and 1956.

Comparisons have been drawn between the two actors due to where they come from and the fact they've played the same character on a number of occasions, such as Hamlet and Jimmy Porter in Look Back In Anger.

"I've grown up with the spirit of Richard Burton in my life. By coming from Port Talbot - he's a god of the place - I've always been in his shadow, but it's not a cold place to be, it's a very lovely place to be.

"If I'm asked to do anything that's associated with him then I always will," said Michael, who has played Tony Blair and David Frost on the big screen.

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