Yesterday was Geneviève Bujold’s birthday. This Canadian actress, who was born the 1st of July, 1942, is best known for her portrayal of Anne Boleyn in film ‘Anne of the Thousand Days’, for which she received a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
My interest in Tudor England and the Tudor dynasty was awakened by the movie Anne of the Thousand Days, which I watched with my mother when I was in high school. I was hooked from the start, fascinated by Geneviève Bujold, who starred as Anne Boleyn. Her petite size and dark charm created an air of fragility about her, although her demeanor, energy, and actions painted her as a strong, willful, and intelligent woman. Bujold created an exquisite amalgamation of steel and passion, and I think that she was an ideal choice of the role of Anne in this movie. Later, I fell in love with Natalie Dormer as Anne in Showtime’s The Tudors.
Watching that movie for the first time, I was filled with trepidation and exhilaration: would Anne give Henry a son? I remember sitting in front of the screen and trembling all over as I anxiously wondered whether Henry would spare Anne’s life after her arrest. My heart was seized with fear when the king screamed: “She cannot give me a living son! Very well then, if she cannot give me a male heir, I shall rid myself of her!” Tears were trickling down my cheeks when Anne climbed to the scaffold, and my heart was broken when she was executed.
Geneviève Bujold as Anne Boleyn in the 1969 film ‘Anne of the Thousand Days’
Since then, I’ve loved this queen, whom I consider one of the most fascinating, unique, and contradictory historical figures of the Renaissance era.