Payday Loans
Francesca Annis

  1. Catherine Deneuve, Repulsion, 1965.    Director Roman Polanksi auditioned his producer's choice. “She'd already played in a Compton film and wouldn't have cost them much. Though sold on Deneuve, Michael Klinger called her a needless extravagance.”  Six years on, a long way since her Compton Group days and playing  Cleopatra's handmaiden, Francesca was Polanski's Lady Macbeth.   (And that was the year I saw Francesca  (with Jane Birkin, Pauline Coillins, Nicky Henson, etc) in something rather much lighter: The Passion Flower Hotel stage musical).
  2. Catherine Schell, Space: 1999,TV, 1976-1978. Annis was among the alleged 40 actresses seen for Maya, the Moonbase Alpha science officer. US writer  Free Freiberger (credited as a more English-sounding Charles Woodgrove)wanted Teresa Graves but the real boss, creator-producer Gerry Anderson, called back Schell, who had played a different alien in the first episode, Guardian of Piri.
  3. Sheila Ruskin, Doctor Who #114: The Keeper of the Traken, TV, 1981.      She declined the elderly Keeper’s wife Kassia in good company: Glenda Jackson, Helen Mirren, Fiona Walker. Plus two Avengers, Joanna Lumley and Diana Rigg! They all decided against visiting the Traken Union empire of peace and harmony, with Doc4 Tom Baker. In her career, Annis never refused… Madame Bovary, Jackie Kennedy Antigone and Lady Macbeth!
  4. Meryl Streep, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, 1981.      It took a dozen years (and directors, from Lindsay Anderson to Fred Zinnemann) to adapt John Fowles’ unfilmable novel. Helmer Karel Reisz and playwright Harold Pinter spent all of 1979 solving it, dropping versions by Dennis Potter, etc., and turning the lovers into dual roles - matching the affair of two actors filming the affair of the titular, Victorian heroine. First thoughs for Sarah/Anna were Annis, Gemma Jones, Helen Mirren and Vanessa Redgrave. Fowles liked Mirren, but saw Sarah’s independence and freedom from convention as American and fell for Streep, when Shakespearing in Central Park. “So audacious, so free… a range of temperament that is very rare, and a very special sort of daring.” Despite gaining her first Best Actress nod, Streep felt this among her weakest portrayals. By 2017, she had won 20 nominations and three Oscars.
  5. Cate Blanchett, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 1999.

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