The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Catherine of Aragon Anne Boleyn Jane Seymour Anne of Cleves Catherine Howard Catherine Parr
Meet the Wives Find a Wife Portrait of a King Tudor Times
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Interview with David Starkey

Caroline Lintott

Actress Caroline Lintott talks about her experiences playing the role of Catherine Parr in SIX WIVES.

1. How did you prepare for your role?

I read two biographies on the six wives -- one by Antonia Fraser and the other by Alison Weir -- in order to learn more about Catherine Parr and the period. I am very interested in the Tudor period and therefore had reasonably good background knowledge. I am also lucky enough to live near Hampton Court and I took the opportunity to walk around its hallways and let my imagination transport me back to the period.

2. What difficulties or surprises did you encounter while portraying Catherine Parr?

No real difficulties in understanding her emotionally. In reading about her I was surprised at the level of her intellect and academic acheivements. The main difficulty was wearing a corset for hours on end. I now realise why women fainted so often in those days -- crushed rib cages and lack of lung capacity.

3. What efforts were made to make you resemble Catherine Parr?

The costumes were copied from original portraits. I wore an auburn wig over my own hair which was pulled severally back. Makeup was used to pale my skin. Overall a rather unflattering look by today's dictates!

4. In regards to personality, how are you unlike or similar to Catherine Parr?

She had a huge strength of character and a sense of duty which hid what I suspect was a very passionate nature. She was quick witted, intelligent, eloquent and, above all, loyal. Certainly someone to aspire to.

5. How was this role different or similar to others you've played?

I think her regalness was the main aspect of her character I haven't played before. The role was more different with regard to the filming. Not having a script and improvising in "Tudor" was testing. The words heard, however, are hers. I found speaking her thoughts, whether meant for private or public use, very moving.

6. Which of the six wives was your favorite? Who do you think was the best wife?

I think all six women in one way or another were amazing. The more I learnt of Catherine the more I admired her. I think the other wife I empathized with was Catherine of Aragon. She was brought to live in a different culture amongst what turned out for her to be a hostile king, court and country. Her devotions to her God and her child show an incredible strength and capacity for love. How different might things have been if she had born Henry a son.