Timothy Spall learnt to paint for Mr Turner

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 18 June 2014
Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall has confessed it took him four years to prepare for the role of JMW Turner 'Mr Turner' because he had to learn how to paint like the artist

Timothy Spall spent four years learning how to paint for his role in 'Mr Turner'.

The 57-year-old star was awarded the Best Actor gong at Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of artist JMW Turner and he's revealed it took him years to prepare for the role, which required him to recreate his character's oil paintings.

Referring to one of his masterpieces, Spall said: "It's actually on my wall at home now."

The film examines the last 25 years of Turner's life, which he spent living with his mistress Sophia Booth, and Spall insists his character's relationship had nothing to do with love.

He told The Times newspaper: "Turner was not the marrying kind. He liked women for comfort and sex.

"He was a most unusual man; the last person, if you met him in the street, that you could imagine becoming one of the greatest artists we have ever known."

Spall - who is best known for his appearances in the 'Harry Potter' series and his portrayal of Winston Churchill in 'The King's Speech' - was amazed by the critical praise he received for his award-winning performance in 'Mr Turner'.

He confessed: "I've never read anything like it. My reviews are normally, 'Pretty good actor, shame about the face'. It's only taken 38 years. It all comes to them that waits."

Mr Turner

  • 5 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 2h 30min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Mike Leigh
  • Cast: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson
  • UK release: 31 October 2014

Portrait of the last 25 years of the life of painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (Spall). A work of great beauty, wit and poignancy, presenting the artist as unapologetically gruff but sympathetic and spectacularly eccentric. Leigh's latest demonstrates a command of his craft to rival that of his subject.

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