by: Donna Whitehead
BBC Two is rounding out the cast of its three upcoming Shakespearian films, RICHARD III, HENRY VI PART 1, and HENRY VI PART 2. Judi Dench will play Cecily Duchess of York in “Richard III”; Hugh Bonneville will play Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and Sally Hawkins will play the Duchess Eleanor in both “Henry” films, in which Tom Sturridge will also appear as the titular Henry VI; Keeley Hawes has been cast as Queen Elizabeth in “Henry VI Part 2” and “Richard III”; and Sophie Okonedo will play Queen Margaret in all three films.
Dench is coming off of an Oscar nomination for work in last year’s “Philomena”; she also recently ended her stretch as M in the James Bond franchise with 2012’s “Skyfall.” Later this year, she’ll appear in another BBC TV Movie: Roald Dahl’s “Esio Trot.” Bonneville became a household name in America due to his starring role on the period drama “Downton Abbey,” and this winter he’ll help bring another British favorite to America, with a role in the animated/live-action adaptation of “Paddington.” Okonedo is known for her Oscar-nominated role in 2004’s “Hotel Rwanda”–or, if you’re of a geekier bent, you may recognize her as Liz 10 in “Doctor Who.” Coming up, she stars in the nuclear drama “War Book.” Hawkins hit the screen in a big way with a role in this year’s blockbuster “Godzilla.” Her other recent work includes parts in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine (for which she was nominated for an Oscar), and the 2011 “Jane Eyre” adaptation. She’s also set to join her “Henry” co-star Bonneville in “Paddington.” Hawes starred in the original British version of “Death at a Funeral,” alongside Peter Dinklage. Currently, she’s filming the BBC/HBO miniseries “The Casual Vacancy,” based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. (She plays Samantha Mollison, who, for those of you who were put off by the prospect of a 500-page book with no magic, is a fantastic character.) Sturridge appeared in 2012’s “On the Road,” alongside Kristen Stewart, as well as 2004’s “Vanity Fair.” His next project to hit theaters will be “Far From the Madding Crowd,” in which Juno Temple, Michael Sheen, and Carey Mulligan also star.
Dench is repped by Julian Belfrage & Associates and Parseghian-Planco; Bonneville is repped by Gordon and French; Okonedo is repped by Hamilton Hodell; Hawkins is repped by Conway van Gelder Grant; Hawes is repped by Troika; Sturridge is repped by Curtis Brown Group.