Branagh 'Terrified' During Filming of Polar Expedition
Ananova, 5 December 2001
Kenneth Branagh says he was "terrified and exhilarated" playing Sir Ernest Shackleton in a new TV mini-series. Branagh spent five freezing weeks in east Greenland re-enacting Shackleton's attempt to cross the South Pole in 1914. The two-part drama is being shown in the New Year.
Branagh, who recently won an Emmy award, told Ananova: "It was one of the toughest but most enjoyable projects I have ever been involved in. "At times the ice disintegrated under our feet and you knew that if you did slip into the water you could only survive for about two minutes. "The silence around you was completely eerie apart from the sound of ice breaking up. But you do develop the most marvellous camaraderie.
"I suppose Shackleton was a bit of an outsider like me so we had that in common. I loved his adventurous, daring spirit. He never wanted to give up."
Branagh, who is now working on the next Harry Potter movie, is already being tipped for a Bafta award for his portrayal of Sir Ernest.
Charles Sturridge wrote and directed the mini-series, which also stars Lorcan Cranitch, Mark McGann and Kevin McNally. Phoebe Nicholls plays Shackleton's wife and American actress Embeth Davidtz plays his mistress.
Shackleton amazingly survived his 1914 mission and saved his 27 men. But he had a heart attack and died on an expedition in 1922.