Interview in the Daily Mail with the cast of The Hollow Crown series (Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V). Ben Whishaw is Richard II, Rory Kinnear is Bolingbroke (later Henry IV), David Suchet is the Duke of York (uncle to Bolingbroke and Richard II) and Tom Hiddleston is Prince Hal (later Henry V0.
The first time they performed Shakespeare:
RK I played Pandarus in Troilus And Cressida at school. Not an easy play for 15 year-olds. My godfather came to see it. After three and a half hours, he said that was the last play of mine he was going to see.
BW I played Hamlet in youth theatre aged about 15. I don’t know what I would have done without it as a teenager. I was not and am not interested in sport, so theatre was an opportunity to be with people I felt understood by.
DS When I was 16, I played Macbeth at school and my English teacher said, ‘I think you may have acting talent. Try to get into the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and see where you get.’ I wouldn’t have thought of that at all. I wanted to be a surgeon, but I wasn’t a clever man. Being good in Shakespeare immediately made me acceptable, no longer a dunce.
TH I played Flavius, the old, faithful servant of Timon of Athens. A bit obscure, but we didn’t do much Shakespeare at school. At Cambridge I played Romeo, and not very well. It’s really hard. He’s a bit of a wet fish, delicate and feminine.