Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Michael Hirst interview

TudorsFor the Writers Guild Of America West, Shira Gotshalk talks to British screenwriter Michael Hirst about writing The Tudors.
Having written screenplays prior to this, are you enjoying writing episodic television?

It is the most enjoyable thing I have ever done. Of course, one of the reasons is totally selfish. In movies, the writer is, beyond a certain point, incidental and a bit of a nuisance. But in series TV, the writer is God. And given the choice, I prefer to be God. Although I did say to the production team the first year, considering I was God, they'd given me a pretty crappy car to drive around in.

And the other is because you have time to develop ideas and fall in love with your characters. I just find it's very pleasurable and a great creative joy to do that.
Series two of The Tudors will run on the BBC later this year.


  1. From my very early years I have been very deeply emotionally affected by the period of history when Henry VIII and Elizabeth I ruled, and even more so by James I. In researching this latter king I became closer to a lesser known man - Rev John Williams (1582 - 1650), who was Dean of westminster, Bishop of Lincoln, Lord Keeper, and later Archbishop of York. I really wish Michael Hirst would latch onto this historical figure and bring him back to life as he so marvelously did with the Tudors. There is a life of great success and yet great sorrow, great nobility and yet humility. Williams died of quinsy on his 68th birthday. He had been connected with the 'First Folio', but never got the public credit for it due to Thomas Spratt committing arsen at Westminster Abbey in 1695. One day the truth must out.

  2. Anonymous9:19 am

    I have to say whilst The Tudors was reasonably enjoyable at times it was in essence utter tripe. It's the good 'ol USA's version of Brit History even though 'former academic' MH obviously had a ball doing it. He should know better frankly. It's a Henry V111 version of a latter day 'Carry On' film. Only Pieter Rogers did it better!


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