Shakespeare was a fraud?

Rhys Ifans is the Earl of Oxford, purportedly the true author of the Shakespeare’s plays, in “Anonymous.”

While he was busy making millions with disaster films like “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012,” German director Roland Emmerich secretly had a completely different kind of film in mind  — one about the true authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. And while he does manage to sneak an explosion or two into Elizabethan London, “Anonymous” is indeed a completely different film than what he’s made before. And he always knew bringing it to the world would be “an uphill battle.”

Do you have your own opinion about the identity of Shakespeare?

I side with the artists and writers. I side with Mark Ryland, Derek Jacobi, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Sigmund Freud, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles — all these people believed that the man from Stratford didn’t write it. The problem with this whole thing, anyway, is there’s the literary establishment — the educators, the professors, the school teachers and all these people who write books about the man from Stratford. They’ve devoted their whole lives, and now the Master of Disaster comes along and makes this movie — maybe I’m the antichrist, we don’t know yet. They’re thinking I am. But whatever it is, they have to bedevil me, they have to kind of think this is all nonsense, but it isn’t. And it’s an uphill battle, I knew that going in.

The last time we spoke, you were casting this film. How is it to show the finished product to the world?

It’s a little nerve-wracking, but it’s always nerve-wracking whenever you make a movie. You have to show it, you know? I actually do movies mainly because I want to see them, but films are so expensive, you have to show them to people. Lots of people! And that’s always nerve-wracking for me, because I’m just afraid that they’ll throw tomatoes at me or something.

What made you want to take on this subject?

The orthodox scholars have a huge problem with the work of Shakespeare. How can a commoner write only about the point of view of an aristocrat? Why is there so much poetry? It’s very hard to believe that it was written by a guy who was a younger man who was just coming to London as a commoner. The whole thing just doesn’t make sense. We wanted to just show another version of it.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

How to donate during the blood drive at…

The Metro-North Railroad and New York Blood Center are hosting a blood drive at Grand Central Terminal Thursday.

Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

Movies

Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.

Movies

Slideshow: Check out Johnny Depp looking weird through…

Johnny Depp says he looks like himself in "Transcendence." He usually doesn't. Here's a slideshow of his weirder faces.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

NHL

Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Home

3 easy DIY updates for your home

While you're deep into spring cleaning, why not make a few tweaks to give your home a fresh decorative twist? Don't worry, we're not talking…

Food

Martha Stewart's tips for a perfect Easter

Even if your dinner isn't as perfect as hers, you can use her advice.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from stylist and creator…

We hit her up for some space-conscious, budget-friendly design tips.