Wolf Hall’s Mark Rylance and Mark Gatiss reflect on the rise of Thomas Cromwell

In these exclusive videos the stars of the BBC2 drama based on Hilary Mantel's novels open up on filming the intrigue of Henry VIII's court

If you’re anything like us, you’re already missing the political intrigue, swishy costumes and significant glares of BBC2’s Tudor drama Wolf Hall – but we might have something to ease the pain.


In these exclusive videos, series star Mark Rylance and Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss discuss their experiences creating the adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s bestselling novels, which chart the rise of blacksmith’s son Thomas Cromwell to the very highest reaches of Henry VIII’s court.

“No medium, whether theatre or film, would be able to tell this story in the same way that a novel has told this story,” says Cromwell actor Rylance, “So that’s alright. The medium provides other things that the novel doesn’t focus on at times.”

In the video Rylance also explains how he kept key passages from the novels at his side to help keep hold of the character – but co-star Mark Gatiss says he had a much less intense experience on set as Cromwell’s enemy and rival Stephen Gardiner.

“I’ve had a wonderful time working with Mark Rylance,” the Sherlock co-creator says. “Essentially I come in every couple of weeks, sweep out of a beautiful stately home, bitch at him, and he bitches back at me, and then I go home for a bit!”

He adds: “It’s an oft-told story, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII….I think this story is always fascinating, and it will always grab people. Maybe generationally, people will always have their own version of this story.”


Wolf Hall is out on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 2nd March