Article from May 1998 In Britain, the magazine of the British Tourist Authority

My bit of Britain

Why actor Charles Dance believes the West Country is the jewel in Britainís crown



    I donít like to play types. Whether itís film or television, I look for projects which are utterly believable, well written, well directed and are not formulaic -- unless I desperately need the money! Avoiding the formulaic means I go to wherever the work is that attracts me. That can also be a bit of an adventure. I get to places that Iíd otherwise probably never see. Iíve been to Lithuania, Siberia. A recent film job was in Mexico -- not for a vast sum of money but itís a very well written script, The Blood Oranges, by the director of Angels and Insects.
Charles Dance and Emilia Fox in Rebecca
Charles Dance and Emilia Fox in "Rebecca";
The National Trust's Overbecks garden on the Devon coast near Salcombe

    Iím continually trying to change my image so as to widen my range. You are what youíre seen to be in this business and Iíve played quite a number of romantic leading men, most recently Maxim de Winter in "Rebecca", the first television role thatís appealed in seven years.

    Alongside Mr. Rochester and Mr. Darcy, Maxim is one of the three great romantic lead roles. In Maximís case he also has a dark side. A fascinating, complex character, itís difficult to evaluate whether he is an honourable man who is merely a victim of circumstance or genuinely evil.

    Many people still remember Laurence Olivierís performance in the Hitchcock version of "Rebecca". I didnít find it daunting to follow in his footsteps but working out how to make Maximís motives understandable to a modern audience was a real challenge. The rules of society, the notions of social disgrace and family honour have changed a great deal since Daphne du Maurier wrote the novel in the late 1930s.
Lantivet Bay in du Maurier Country
Lantivet Bay in du Maurier Country