Celebrity bodies: Mr Branagh

ICNewcastle, 4 October 2003

By Evening Gazette

Hailed as the greatest British actor of his generation, he is also a very good writer/director whose work in filmed versions of Shakespeare has been among the best ever made.

As fellow actor Billy Crystal has put it: "Kenneth has been to Shakespeare what Viagra has to me...."

He has three times been Oscar-nominated (for Henry V, Hamlet and Swan Song).

He played the flamboyant witchcraft professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets.

Body Basics

The Belfast-born, twinkled-eyed, golden-haired thespian stands 5ft 10in and, according to his mood, sports a goatee beard and moustache.

Bodywork

As you might expect, Kenneth is into the Alexander Technique, developed by F M Alexander, a Shakespearean actor from Australia who, in the 1890s, brought his technique to Britain.

It shows you how to free up your body so that you stop pulling on your skeleton with habitually tense muscles.

"It teaches me how to use my body more efficiently," says the 42-year-old actor.

He tends to work out strenuously in gyms only before he is due to make a movie, which is why his weight can range from scrawny-as-a-stick to chubby bunny.

Diet

He enjoys what he calls "the basics" of food, especially root vegetables, of which parsnip is his favourite.

When he started travelling to Hollywood, he fell in love with.... the avocado. At the time he said: "To think I had been missing it all these years! It's a wonderful taste."

He says he is able to prepare simple meals for himself which, in the main, are healthy and nutritious.

But when he dines out, he no longer counts the calories! Favourite drink is Australian chardonnay.

Love Life

Was married for six years to actress Emma Thompson, after which he became involved with Helena Bonham Carter, his co-star in Frankenstein.

For a brief spell he dated American actress Alicia Silverstone.

Then, last May, he married girlfriend Lindsay Brunnock in a secret ceremony.

They met two years ago on the set of Channel 4's 40m drama 'Shackleton'.

She was working as an art director during the two-month shoot in Greenland.


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