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Director Terence Davies: ‘Cynthia Nixon was the only one who could play Emily Dickinson’

Filmmaker Terence Davies knew exactly who to cast as his Emily Dickinson in a new film about the writer – Cynthia Nixon was a dead ringer for her.
The Neon Bible director was so stunned by the former Sex & the City star’s likeness to Emily when he started working on the project, he decided she was the only actress who could play the poet.
“About four years ago she auditioned for a film of mine that never got made but I’d never forgotten her,” the Brit tells WENN. “When I was preparing for this I saw a photograph of Emily when she was 17 and I superimposed Cynthia’s face on it and she looks exactly like her.
“I saw her face as I was writing the three drafts and I just hoped that she would say yes. It took almost four years so she was very, very loyal to the project. If she had said no I would’ve had no idea who to cast.”
And the actress herself is convinced she was destined to play Dickinson.
“I do feel a natural choice to play Emily Dickinson,” she explains. “My mother is a huge fan of hers so I actually grew up with her in the house. Also we had a record in our house of Juliet Harris reading her poetry that we would listen to a lot.
“It penetrated my consciousness of great writing that you could actually hear rather than reading it on the page. And as a young person I really identified with the shyness that she felt but also how she felt there were just great worlds inside her if only someone would take the trouble to peer in – and I felt a lot like that.”

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