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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 16:17 GMT
Actor reprises Hopkins' Lionheart role
Andrew Howard (picture from Mr In Between from Phantom Pictures - copyright Zoefilm Ltd)
Howard won an award for his role in Mr In Between

A Cardiff actor is following in the footsteps of Sir Anthony Hopkins by reprising a role that helped launch the career of the Hannibal star.

Andrew Howard will play Richard the Lionheart in the remake of The Lion in Winter, alongside Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart.

Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins starred in the 1968 version of the film

In the original 1968 version, Sir Anthony, from Port Talbot, played Richard, opposite Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn and Timothy Dalton.

Andrew Howard, who flies out to Budapest to start filming on Sunday, said he was very excited about the project.

"It is a wonderful role and to be stepping in the boots of someone like Anthony Hopkins is great," he said.

"The Welsh connection is a nice bit of symmetry too - and you can only learn from watching Anthony Hopkins on screen."

Set in 1183, The Lion in Winter tells the story of Henry II, as he tries to decide which of his three sons should inherit the throne.

"I have been doing lots or research on Richard and the period," said Howard.

"It is one of the most extraordinary dynasties in English history," he said.

I think my costume for The Lion in Winter will cost the same as half the budget of my last film

Andrew Howard

Howard described the latest version as "an extraordinary piece of writing".

"It is very dialogue-written and very like a play - I think it is going to be very intense and dark," he said.

Howard said he would be filming interior shots in Budapest, then moving on to a spectacular castle in Slovakia - although he has been warned to wrap up warm.

"Patrick Stewart, who is producing the film, rang me last night and told me it was minus 20 degrees out there," he said.

Award-winner

The film is a contrast to some of the more low-budget projects Howard has been involved in.

"I think my costume for The Lion in Winter will cost the same as half the budget of my last film," he said.

Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart is producing the film

Howard won the best actor award at the Tokyo International Film Festival for his part in the 2001 film Mr In Between.

He also starred in Shooters, a movie which he wrote himself and which featured Ioan Gruffudd, Jason Hughes and Matthew Rhys.

Other credits include the TV mini-series Band of Brothers, Rancid Aluminium and the submarine movie Below.

Later in the year, he will be working on Football Factory, alongside Sean Bean and Dougray Scott, and a film called The Drop, which will reunite many of the stars of Shooters.


More from south east Wales

More from south west Wales
See also:

24 Oct 02 | Entertainment
02 Sep 02 | Wales
03 Jul 02 | Entertainment
22 May 02 | Wales
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