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Letters of Love (or something like it): Sir Kenneth Branagh

This is the first in (what promises to be) a long collection of letters to celebrities, writers, fictional characters, and inanimate objects, all of whom either will never or can never respond. Seeing as I know none of the recipients will ever actually receive said letter, I thus feel free to be entirely honest. You have been warned.

Smithsonian Institution

Dear Sir Kenneth Branagh,

Doesn’t it feel great to see that on the page? SIR. You are a Knight. A K-nig-ht. It’s a beautiful thing, to be honored by the Queen of England. Or so I’ve heard, being neither British by birth nor lucky enough to be on the receiving end of such a distinction. I’ve never even been in the same country as the good woman, so you have a leg up, just by proximity. Congratulations. Not going to lie, the news popped up on my BBC homepage, and I started to cry, in the same way I start to cry anytime someone wins an Oscar or a Tony. Something about famous people giving each other prizes…it just turns me into a wreck.

I’m sitting here, watching the 1992 brilliance that is Much Ado About Nothing and would just like to mention, first off all, that your hair looks great. I want to run my hands through it, almost as much as I want to run my hands through Benedict Cumberbatch’s hair in Sherlock. Seriously. Golden locks do you credit, my friend. Especially in that opening sequence, when you’re riding your horse victoriously into Messina? Everyone looks so tan, and happy, and attractive? Perfection.

Obviously I’ve gotten ahead of myself: have I mentioned how much I admire and love you? My affection is so great, I can’t even think of a proper way of expressing it; for example, I stole the first line of this paragraph from Mr. Darcy. Apologies. I know you’d never do such a thing—you’re far too creative and brilliant for plagiarism. Look at Dead Again: little known film, fantastically weird premise, you and Emma are all cute and happy and not broken up (I promise, that’s the last you’ll here about it from me), and you have an American accent. Brilliant. You’re just…brilliant. And what’s more: you know it. You wrote your autobiography at the age of twenty-eight. You took on Olivier in both your adaptations of Shakespeare, and by actually portraying Olivier. You just sit there, like a guardian of the gift, and teach us all your wisdom. If you and Meryl Streep did a film together, I’m pretty sure that would be the beginning of the Apocalypse, because it would be so good, nothing else could match it and the world would just combust. And how is it that you don’t have an Oscar yet? Seriously. It’s a crime. I would say you should have won for Henry V, but you lost to Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot (Sidenote: Daniel Day-Lewis is greedy and needs to stop hoarding all the Oscars. Seriously. He does a film, what, like once every three years? Gets nominated and oftentimes wins, then goes back to Italy and makes shoes. Just…stop it.) You’re a triple threat: you direct, you act, and you write. What more could a girl ask for?

But most of all, Sir Ken, you made me want to read more. Everything you wrote, everything you performed was laced or dipped in literature of the past. Shakespeare, Shelley, John Osborne, even the Wallander series; people may know you now as the guy who directed Thor, but we know better, don’t we? After watching you, it makes me want to run out to a library and read everything I can, just for the hope that I can live with as much conviction, as much gravity, and as much knowledge as you do, or that your characters do. You made me want to pour into Shakespeare, delve into its nuances and understand that, despite centuries of change some things are imbued with a constant. Some things deserve their legacy and deserve to be sent out into the world further. It would be a shame for me just to leave that influence on screen.

All my love,

Hannah

P.S. : When I was in high school, we were asked to come up with a personal motto. Mine was as follows (stolen from Shakespeare, this time): “Serve God, Love me, and Mend.” It still applies.  And I hear your voice when it rings through my head. Not to be creepy, or anything.

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2012 by .

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