Although the third and fourth seasons of The Tudors did respectfully in the ratings—and reviews—many viewers were quoted as saying that there was just a certain something missing from the final two seasons. And that certain something was Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn. Dormer’s performance is arguably the most applauded of the entire series. At times fiery and passionate, demure and kind, antagonistic and pleading—she managed to capture many facets of the mysterious and enigmatic Anne Boleyn that are often left by the wayside in popular portrayals. In other words: Natalie Dormer really rocked as Anne Boleyn. And here are some excellent reasons why:
She fought for Anne’s right to be brunette:
Although The Tudors is not bastion of accuracy, there were certain lines that Natalie Dormer—an avid historian enthusiast who researched Anne Boleyn—did not want to cross. The first contested line occurred before filming had even begun. Dormer, a natural blonde, had dyed her hair a dark brown for the role; this was not surprising, considering that Anne Boleyn was known for her dark hair. Dormer, however, was pulled aside and told that the producers were furious with her—because they had wanted to portray Anne Boleyn as a blonde. Dormer pleaded with the show’s writers and producers to allow Anne to retain her natural hair color—and she got her way.
She understood Anne’s complexity:
Another incident of Dormer championing for a better portrayal of Anne Boleyn occurred during the planning stages of the show’s second season. Dormer was growing frustrated with the one-note direction that her character was heading in—in short terms, a temptress for the king and nothing more. Season 1 Anne is more or less the stereotypical seductress that her enemies painted her to be—“The Other Woman.” Dormer, who in a recent interview admitted that she often struggled portraying Anne as the scripts intended, pleaded with the head writer of the show to remember that Anne Boleyn was a complicated figure and give her more to do than be a plaything for Henry VIII. The show’s second season featured a much more complex, emotional, human Anne Boleyn that no one but Dormer could do justice.