Michael Sheen takes on Blair and Hamlet

By Tracy Rosenfield

Hollywoodnews.com: Michael Sheen, who plays “Aro”, leader of the Volturi, in the “Twilight Saga”, has been tapped to play former Prime Minister Tony Blair in addition to The Dane in one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet, in two upcoming projects.

Sheen recently took a part on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey, which is a far cry from politics and Shakespeare.  Clearly, this is evidence of Sheen’s great range in acting skills – comedy, fantasy and drama.

In “The Special Relationship”, airing May 29th on HBO, Sheen takes his third stab at playing Tony Blair after previously playing the politician in “The Deal” and “The Queen”.  Given this is his third time playing the real-life individual, Sheen has developed strong political views.  In a recent interview, Sheen said that, Blair’s successor, Gorden Brown’s resignation would be a “brilliant kind of Shakespearean tragedy” if it didn’t affect the general population.  A very appropriate comment given Sheen will soon take the stage in a Shakespearean tragedy himself.

After playing Henry V for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1997, Sheen is set once again to take the stage as The Dane in a Hamlet production led by former Royal Court artistic Ian Rickson.  This will be Rickson’s first attempt at Shakespeare.  Though exact dates haven’t been confirmed and details are still being worked out, the curtain is set to rise in the winter of 2011, the same time as “Breaking Dawn”, the screen adaptation of the final book in the “Twilight Saga”.  It will certainly be interesting to see Sheen’s performance given his 14 year break from Shakespeare.

Photo and Video Copyright: Summit Entertainment

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