1/ CHURCHILLON SCREEN Brian Cox is the latest in a long line of actors to play Winston Churchill on screen, other actors include Brendan Gleeson, Richard Burton, Robert Hardy, Michael Gambon, John Lithgow, Gary Oldman and Albert Finney.This new movie focuses on the infamous D-Day landings.
2/ COX ‘S CHARACTERS
Churchill isn’t the first historical figure that Brian Cox has portrayed. The actor has previously played Leon Trotsky , J. Edgar Hoover, William Wallace, Victor Hugo, King Henry II and Joseph Stalin on screen.
3/ LOCAL LAD While he wasn’t born in Ireland, Churchill did grow up here. Some of his earliest and happiest childhood memories were of the time he spent living in what is now Áras an Uachtaráin in the Phoenix Park, where his father Randolph acted as private secretary to his grandfather the Duke of Marlborough, lord lieutenant of Ireland from 1876 to 1880.
4/ INKED UP Not as clean cut as you might expect, Churchill had a tattoo of an anchor on his forearm. This was from back in his army days, where he served around the world, from Cuba to Bengal ending up in World War 1.
5/ HISTORY’S FUNNIEST INSULT Among his accolades, Churchill topped a recent poll to find history’s funniest insult. When accused of being drunk by socialist MP Bessie Braddock he famously replied with ‘My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly’.
6/ BEING CHURCHILL To convincingly play the role of Churhill, Brian Cox put on an extra 10 kilos, shaved his head and practised the former PM’s distinctive jutting lower lip.
7/ CIGAR SMOKING STATESMAN Beyond making “certain physical concessions”, Bria Cox says he was determined not to do the obvious thing and caricature the cigar-smoking statesman by adopting the stereotypical “Churchillian voice”.After listening to rare private recordings, Cox realised that Churchill’s natural voice was quite different from that of his rousing speeches during the second world war. He said: “I kind of discovered that the Churchillian voice was very much part of his oratory style – something he created. So there’s a bit where I do ‘my Churchill’ … but for most of the film, I really don’t talk like that because he was very quick and much more mercurial in his language.”
8/ B-DAY While filming, Brian Cox celebrated his 69th birthday, which is the same age Churchill was during the events depicted in the film, and the lead up to D-Day!
9/ BOTH SIDES Showing how versatile he is, Brian Cox previously played characters on the other side of the war. In 2000, he portrayed Nazi Herman Goering in the TV movie ‘Nuremberg’. The movie was set after the war, when Goering was on trial for crimes against humanity. Cox described the role as a “harrowing experience”.
10/ MY DARLING CLEMENTINE Churchill’s wife Clementine is played by Miranda Richardson in the movie. “Clemmie” was his rock through some of the toughest parts of his life, and largely helped him keep in control.While his temper and personality shot him to power, in the end they also removed him from power. They were married from 1908, until he died in 1965