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Exclusive: Talking 'Anonymous' with Rhys Ifans and Director Roland Emmerich

Oct 26, 2011 | 11:40am EDT

ALTThere are few people like Roland Emmerich. With the instinctual desire for carnage and digital filmmaking know-how, the German director has time and time again found ways to fantastically blow up the world around us and wipe humanity off the face of the planet. Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012—that's a skill.

So it comes as something of a surprise that his new movie Anonymous, which opens in limited theaters this weekend, involves very few explosions or end-times destruction. In fact, it's got a whole lot of talking. But the good kind of talking. The Shakespeare kind of talking.

Anonymous focuses on a centuries-long mystery, a "what if?" that pulls back the curtain on a theory that the greatest Bard of all time may not be who he appears to be. While no one would dispute William Shakespeare being a real gentlemen, Emmerich's film (and, as you'll see, Emmerich himself) think it may have been the work of The Earl of Oxford, a disgruntled member of the English elite who had a passion for the written word. Rhys Ifans, who we're highly anticipating in the role of The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man, plays the Earl, alongside the beautiful Joely Richardson as a young version of Queen Elizabeth. I had a chance to talk to the trio about all things Anonymous.

Thankfully, like the movie, there were very few explosions:

Roland Emmerich


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