Kenneth Branagh Approached to Take Over as National Theatre's Artistic Director
According to The Independent, the widely acclaimed Shakespearean actor has been approached to succeed Sir Nicholas Hytner as the artistic director of The National Theatre in 2015. Sources have confirmed to the publication that Rufus Norris is also being courted for the spot.
Sir Anthony Hopkins, star of SILENCE OF THE LAMB and friend of Branagh, first revealed the news, saying: "He wrote me an email and told me he'd been offered the directorship. I said do it, because he's the only actor who could replace Olivier today. I told him he must accept. You see, Ken has got the teeth and the guts to do it."
Though Branagh did not apply for the job, a spokesperson for the actor/director confirmed that he had met with Hopkins to discuss the potential position.
Branagh will make his New York stage debut in MACBETH at Park Avenue Armory in June 2014. He has long been lauded as one of the great Shakespearean interpreters. His skills as a writer, director, and actor have garnered international acclaim across the disciplines of stage, film, and television, and he has been nominated in five different categories for an Academy Award. Branagh last performed Shakespeare when he played Richard III at the Sheffield Crucible in 2002. His stage performances as Edmund at The National Theatre and Ivanov for the Donmar played to great acclaim. In 2011, Branagh completed a sell-out run of the hit comedy The Painkiller at the Lyric Theatre in his native Belfast. In 2013 he received a Knighthood for his services to drama and to the community in N. Ireland
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