As with almost all historic dramas, The White Queen garnered criticism for historical inaccuracies. Some of these critiques hit Barnard directly because he played Richard as an able bodied man. During shooting it was scientifically confirmed that even though Richard wasn’t a hunchback, he did have a slight curvature to his spine. It was something that Barnard had done extensive research into before and after the discovery and according to Barnard, Richard’s scolosis would only have been noticed by someone who saw him shirtless. Still, it was too late in production for Barnard to change anything, nor would it matter too much because as he points out, “It’s an interpretation of history; not a vivid re-enactment.”
Even though Barnard was passionate about giving Richard his proper due and not maligning him the way Shakespeare did during the Tudor era, he’s not opposed to playing the Bard’s take on the last Plantagenet king. “Shakespeare’s version is very, very different and I’d like to play it when I was older,” he said. “It’s a completely different take on him and there’s great language there.”
The White Queen is not returning for a second series in the UK, but there are rumors that Starz might do a sequel series about Elizabeth of York’s marriage to Henry Tudor. Barnard just signed on for the film, The Devil’s Harvest, which co-stars The White Queen‘s Max Irons.
[Photo Credit: Starz]