Timothy Spall sees 'certain parallels' with William Turner

Award-winning actor Timothy Spall has claimed he sees "certain parallels" between himself and painter William Turner

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Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall sees "certain parallels" between himself and William Turner.

Spall, 57, plays the influential painter in his new film 'Mr. Turner', for which he won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival, and the actor says that in some ways, he can relate to his on-screen character.

He told The Guardian newspaper: "I don't want to associate myself with Turner, but there are certain parallels.

"I'm working-class and he was from trade. I went to a comprehensive and I wasn't academic. So everything I've learned that has increased my understanding of literature and art has all been through my work. And Turner was the same. He never intellectualised. Any response from what he learned was always going to be direct and unguarded."

Spall - who's also appeared in the 'Harry Potter' films and 'The King's Speech' - suggested that in order to do well as an actor, it's helpful to come from an affluent background.

He remarked: "I don't want to generalise and say that working-class actors can never do well. I mean, look at someone like Danny Mays. Normal background, very fine actor.

"I was going to say my son, but then I suppose he's just the son of a working-class actor. So I can't say my son. Yeah, maybe these days you simply need to be posh. If that's the case, it's a bloody shame."

Mr Turner

  • 5 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 150 min
  • 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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