‘Howards End’: Matthew Macfadyen on Kenneth Lonergan’s Secret Stage Directions and the Future of Henry and Margaret

Why the co-star of the wonderful Starz series did something for this project that he hadn’t done while acting in other literary adaptations. “Howards End” [Editor’s Note: The following interview contains spoilers for the ending of “ Howards End .”] It’s not in the finale of “Howards End,” but in many ways, the first kiss between Margaret Schlegel (Hayley Atwell) and Henry Wilcox ( Matthew Macfadyen ) has much of what makes the entire Starz series compelling. Forgoing the usual white-hot romance of literary adaptations, this expression of love is a much simpler, gentler expression of mutual admiration. This version of the E.M. Forster novel appeals a bit more to modern sensibilities, but there’s a very specific drive that motivates everyone involved. As Macfadyen explains, part of that came from a short, but illuminating line in Kenneth Lonergan’s script. “Kenny Lonergan is the funniest,” Macfadyen told IndieWire. “It was such a brilliant bit of stage direction in his screenplay for that moment: ‘Henry realizes then is the moment he ought to kiss her.’” It’s a perfect example of how so much Mr. Wilcox — and Macfadyen’s performance — is built around the words you don’t hear him say. Sometimes, […]

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