Sir Kenneth Branagh, British actor, director, producer, and screenwriter graced the Palm Springs red carpet this evening. Lines were out the door at Palm Springs High School's theater for a screening of Branagh's latest film "All is True." He not only directed the film but also plays Shakespeare himself.
"I wanted to find out about the man himself. A few years later, I visited Stratford where he lived and you know, he seemed to come from rather humble modest beginnings and I thought, 'Well, we all do as well. How did that produce that amazing work?' So I've spent a lifetime trying to put the two things together," Branagh said.
Branagh has previously made five big-screen adaptations of Shakespeare's plays but this film is different. "All is True" takes place after Shakespeare's theater burns down and he returns home to retire. The film takes a look at his personal life, relationships, and struggles. It's a phase of Shakespeare's life that audiences have not previously seen on the big screen.
"He moves back to his hometown and has to face up to the consequences of having been an absentee father and absentee husband and the film becomes a family drama that anyone can relate to," Branagh said.
"We tried to put those facts together with our own imagination of what it might have been like as a man and not a so-called genius," Branagh said.
Fellow actors, filmmakers, and documentarians also appeared on the red carpet and spoke about their excitement to see Branagh's latest work of art.
"Well, I've been looking forward to seeing this film. I'd heard about it. I live in America but I'm English, obviously, I was at the Royal Shakespeare Company so I'm excited to see it because of that," said Stephen Moyer, star of shows like "True Blood" & "The Gifted."
"Kenneth Branagh is an institution. I'm a documentarian filmmaker and a fiction filmmaker and seeing what Kenneth did as an actor, his body of work speaks for itself. And what he's doing as a director is so interesting," said Matt Maude, director of "General Magic."
"All is True" was the opening feature for the 2019 Palm Springs International Film Festival. It stars Branagh, Dame Judi Dench & Sir Ian McKellen.