Kenneth Branagh insists 'ordinary' people can excel in cinema

'Cinderella' director Sir Kenneth Branagh has refuted suggestions that the film industry is only open to people from affluent backgrounds

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Sir Kenneth Branagh

Sir Kenneth Branagh (Jon Furniss/Corbis)

Sir Kenneth Branagh thinks he's living proof that normal people can make it in the film industry.

The 54-year-old star - who directed Disney's romantic fantasy film 'Cinderella' - thinks that although there are obstacles standing in the way of aspiring performers from less privileged backgrounds, his career is evidence that it can be done.

Speaking last night (19.03.15) at the London premiere of his new movie, Sir Kenneth told BANG Showbiz: "I'm just a normal working-class boy from Belfast [in Northern Ireland].

"I went to a comprehensive school - I didn't go to university - and I'm standing here. I think there have always been challenges about funding and all the rest of it, and they all have to be looked at all the time. But it need not be [a hindrance]."

Sir Kenneth also said his take on the classic fairy tale should give people something to aspire towards, as Cinderella - played by Lily James - is a more relatable character than most on-screen characters.

He added: "You can be like her without having to fire a gun or an arrow. You can learn from the inside that there's something else to aspire to. As someone once said to me and it applies to Cinderella, never mistake her kindness for weakness."

Cinderella

  • 4 stars
  • 2015
  • US/UK
  • 105 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
  • Cast: Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Stellan Skarsgård, Nonso Anozie, Derek Jacobi, Hayley Atwell, Ben Chaplin
  • UK release: 27 March 2015

Cinderella (James) loses her parents and is left with stepmother Lady Tremaine (Blanchett) and cruel stepsisters (McShera and Grainger); but soon enough, she's off to the ball. Weitz's crafty script has enough surreal touches to keep you interested and the result, while hardly a new take on the story, is still a pleasant…

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