Anna Karenina: People in Film: Matthew Macfadyen

The Anna Karenina website now has an indepth feature on Matthew Macfadyen, the roles he has played in the past as well as his take on his role as Oblonsky. 

You can view the slide show and read his full interview HERE.

Matthew Macfadyen: Just Right

For Matthew Macfadyen, ANNA KARENINA marks a welcome reunion with director Joe Wright and star Keira Knightley. In 2005, Macfadyen (as the dashing Mr. Darcy) played opposite Knightley in Wright’s adaption of another literary classic, PRIDE & PREJUDICE. But as Prince Stepan Arkadyevitch Oblonsky, Macfadyen couldn’t be farther from his earlier part. As Anna’s flirtatious older brother, Macfadyen is more ribald than romantic. “Oblonsky is incorrigible,” explains Macfadyen, “he’s disarmingly direct and brings humor and warmth to the story.” To take on the role, Wright asked the actor to grow a moustache, a facial prop on which Macfadyen brilliantly hangs his very physical character. “Oblonsky is one of those people who lights up a dinner party when they come in,” expresses Macfadyen. “He has a wandering eye. He likes the pleasures of the flesh, drinking and eating… I hugely enjoyed playing this part – except for the moustache I had to grow.” In an epic tale of love in all its myriad forms, Macfadyen brings an unexpected depth to a character that could either be dismissed as comical or shallow – not that he doesn’t also incorporate both of those characteristics into his performance. “Matthew is a hoot in this role,” exclaims Kelly Macdonald (who plays his wife Dolly in the film). He plays “Oblonsky in just the right way: charismatic, frustrating, lovable – and selfishly addicted to passion.” The character demonstrates not only Macfadyen’s remarkable range (going from swooning Darcy to the salacious Oblonsky), but also his talent for bringing out the full humanity of the characters he plays.