Two sisters for a king is broadcast tonight Chérie 25. On this occasion, discover 5 things to know about this film in costumes worn by Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana.
The costume film Two sisters for a king by Justin Chadwick airs tonight on Chérie 25. Released in April 2008 in our theaters, the feature film tells the story of the Boleyn sisters. When rumor spreads that King Henry VIII (Eric Bana) no longer shares Queen Catherine’s couch, his wife unable to give him a male heir, Sir Thomas Boleyn (Mark Rylance) dreams of winning royal favor through his eldest daughter, Anne (Natalie Portman). Sir Thomas’ ambitious plan is somewhat thwarted, however, when the king falls for his other daughter, Mary (Scarlett Johansson).
ADAPTATION OF ROMAN
Presented in Official Selection, out of competition, at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008, Deux soeurs pour un roi is the adaptation of the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, by author Philippa Gregory, published in 2001 and inspired by the real rivalry between sisters Mary and Anna Boleyn. This British artist, born in Kenya in 1954, was a journalist in England before specializing in writing historical novels. Two sisters for a king is the first film adaptation of one of his works. The latter had already given rise to a television adaptation in 2003. Directed by Philippa Lowthorpe for the BBC, the television movie was led by Jared Harris, Natascha McElhone (Mary) and Jodhi May (Anne). The White Queen series with Rebecca Ferguson (2013), The White Princess worn by Jodie Comer (2017) and The Spanish Princess with Charlotte Hope (2019) will follow, all adapted from the novels by Philippa Gregory.
TWO HALF OF THE SAME BEING
Described as “two halves of the same being,” the Boleyn sisters are, however, very different from each other. Scarlett Johansson notes that “not much is known about Mary’s life. There are several interpretations of the birth of her romance with Henry, but we never talk about his personality. Nothing has been written about it. She was quite simply one of the king’s mistresses. The Boleyn sisters are two halves of the same being. What, in Mary, elicits both admiration and rejection of her sister corresponds to the character traits that she herself would like to possess. Likewise, Anne understands late in life that she would have preferred to look like Mary.. “As for Natalie Portman, she specifies about her character:”Anna had a self-esteem that was not very common among women of her time. She considered that she deserved the title that birth had not granted her. At the time, we did not get married for love, but by alliance of interests. Anne accepts these rules of the game. Henry VIII is then charming, handsome and cultivated. She sees him as an intellectual equal and her strategy of seduction is to stand up to him.“
5 MARVEL ACTORS AT THE CASTING
The film is Justin Chadwick’s directorial debut. The British filmmaker had previously worked for the small screen. He notably directed episodes of MI-5 or L’Insurgée and signed the adaptation of the series Bleak house. For his first cinema film, the latter surrounded himself with renowned actors. Note that 5 of the main actors of Two Sisters for a King are part of the Marvel Universe. Eric Bana had already played the Hulk in Ang Lee’s film in 2003. From 2010, Scarlett Johansson played Natasha Romanoff, nicknamed The Black Widow in Iron Man 2, a role she took on 8 times until the Black Widow spin-off dedicated to him. In 2012, Andrew Garfield took over the role of Spider-Man in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man. The following year, Natalie Portman joined the cast of Thor: The Dark World in which she played Jane Foster, a human with whom the Norse God fell in love, while Benedict Cumberbatch slipped in 2016 as Dr Strange.
The outdoor footage of Two Sisters for a King was mostly shot in actual English castles and estates, but some indoor scenes were shot in the studio. Designing Whitehall Palace, home to the King’s Court, was not easy, as there are few representations of the building as it was in the 1530s. The palace indeed had to be rebuilt after being ravaged by the flames in 1691 and 1698. The decorator and costume designer of Deux sœurs pour un Roi were inspired by the works of the painter and engraver Hans Holbein (1497-1543), official portrait painter of the English Court.
If Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson are perfect in their role as enemy sisters, other actresses were considered for a time. Keira Knightley was therefore attached to the film for a long time before leaving the project for scheduling reasons. Jessica Biel and Emma Bell both auditioned for the role of Mary Boleyn. But Scarlett Johansson – already more famous at the time – was preferred to them.