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 Britain�s crown

    I don�t like to play types. Whether it�s 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 I�d otherwise probably never see. I�ve been to Lithuania, Siberia. A recent film job was in Mexico -- not for a vast sum of money but it�s 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

    I�m continually trying to change my image so as to widen my range. You are what you�re seen to be in this business and I�ve played quite a number of romantic leading men, most recently Maxim de Winter in "Rebecca", the first television role that�s appealed in seven years.

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

    Many people still remember Laurence Olivier�s performance in the Hitchcock version of "Rebecca". I didn�t find it daunting to follow in his footsteps but working out how to make Maxim�s 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