Monday, March 22, 1999 Published at 06:20 GMT
John Madden: Battling with Shakespeare
John Madden: Making Shakespeare was like fighting a battle
British director John Madden is hot property in Hollywood.
This has built on his earlier successes with the film classics Mrs Brown (1997) and Ethan Frome (1993).
In an interview with BBC World's HARDtalk, Madden said that although Shakespeare in Love was a "dream project" he admitted it was a difficult film to make.
"Comedies are notoriously difficult and this was more difficult than most because of the demands of the language, style never mind the complexity of the film and the number of stories it was telling".
"We all knew we were working on something wonderful and praying we were doing something right."
Not surprisingly Madden put much of the film's success down to its star-studded cast.
He described British theatre legend Dame Judi Dench, awarded best supporting actress Oscar for her role in the film, as "extraordinarily perfect", "a huge presence in the film" and an "unstoppable actress".
"These parts were waiting for Gwyneth and Joseph," he said.
Fiennes's "mercurial intelligence" and "comic lightness of touch" meant he managed the role "spectacularly... no-one else came anywhere near".
From his early roots in the theatre Madden developed as a director in the British independent film industry, perfecting his craft and in his own words "making films for nothing".
Although his other work has been very well-received, the enormous success of Shakespeare in Love, nominated for 13 Oscars, is new to Madden.
"It's a big change. I've been used to making films in a certain way for a small incredibly intelligent people who think they're wonderful but not necessarily meeting with the kind of large, broad acceptance that the last two films have met".
"I adore this movie I'm more proud of it than anything I can ever imagine doing again but I just want to keep looking forward.
"The work is the important thing, not being seduced into an endless celebration of something that is after all a mystery, the way it came together so gloriously."