Julie Walters and Janet McTeer play Richard III sisters

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Richard, left, once thought to be England’s most eligible bachelor

English actresses have played Anna Karenina, Jeanne Moreau in Hiroshima Mon Amour and more recently Juliette Binoche in Law Abiding Citizen – and now they are starring in another British film – this time with a Swedish connection.

The movie is called Richard III, inspired by the historical story of the King’s rival for the English throne, Richard the Lionheart.

Julie Walters and Janet McTeer play the now 19th century sisters who first married each other.

The Royal Shakespeare Company led the producers’ move to bring this “historical drama” to screens after a BBC drama based on the same story failed in 2013.

Image copyright The Royal Shakespeare Company

RSC artistic director Michael Boyd said: “For seven years we tried to find a key actor for the role of Richard II, and after we cast Ralph Fiennes in the titular role, we stepped out of Richard III and started to write Richard III, based on history and ‘living history’.”

“The Swedish connection meant this period of the play resonated strongly with an audience beyond the usual mid-to-late-90s age range,” he added.

Janet McTeer said the film had “very little of the gory violence and acts of violence that have lately marked and ruined the careers of so many male actors who have played Richard”.

“Richard is depicted as being rather gentle and kind and funny, although he is also violent and brutal and manipulative and egoistic,” she said.

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