in for the kill

MANCHESTER – Actor, writer, director and famed luvvie, Kenneth Branagh has been accused of deliberately trying to kill fellow actors during performances of his new play Macbeth, the work of exciting young newcomer William Shakespeare. 

Last Wednesday, a fellow actor (name withheld of fears for his safety) was carted off to hospital as Branagh brained him with his sword during the opening fight scenes. Another actor reported avoiding a skewering from Branagh ‘by this much’ (holding up his thumb and finger to indicate about a centimetre of space. 
The accusations have reignited a controversy that has dogged the actor/director’s career. Robert de Niro said:

When we were doing Frankenstein, I thought I was the one who would insist on realism, but it was Ken who first suggested killing me and then reviving me so that I could get into the spirit of the part. At first, I thought it was limey humor, but he came at me with a chainsaw during the first read through and if Helena Bonham Carter hadn’t been so handy with a 2 by 4 I wouldn’t be here today.

During his stint on a Harry Potter film he poisoned the whole cast, and while working with Tom Cruise on Valkyrie, the Scientologist complained that shot him in the thigh with a small calibre pistol. 

Many however have defended the actor. Simon Callow argues:

Any actor worth his salt will try and kill you once or twice. It is part of the art. What? Do you think we spend all our time pretending? Plus if he had killed Robert de Niro during Frankenstein think of the good it would have done both their reputations.

Sir Kenneth Branagh is a knight of the British Empire and a member of the renowned British Actors’ club The Jolly Bastards.   

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