Aneurin Barnard Fan
EST 2016 | your ultimate source for all things Aneurin Barnard

War & Peace star Aneurin Barnard has said his new role playing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been more intimidating than any other historical figure he has taken on.
The Welsh actor has played numerous real-life people including photographer David Bailey, King Richard III and Cilla Black’s partner Bobby Willis, but he said performing as one of the greatest composers of all time in new movie Interlude In Prague was even more challenging.

He told the Press Association: “It’s a tricky thing to step into the shoes of someone who is so well known, like Mozart, especially were you are stepping into elements of his life that were truth and elements which weren’t.

“You are bastardising truth and extending it to create a new world, so I guess it’s trying to make him believable in this story and nodding my head to what happened in history, using things I knew that had happened to him and then trying to influence the story we tell with that.

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Tell us about Tim and Ivy’s relationship.
Tim and Ivy’s history is from growing up together, becoming best friends as teenagers, before becoming a couple. They were each other’s first love. Both are local and had little hangouts they used to go to, different park benches and dustbins on top of hills looking over towns!

How has Tim changed in the 13 years Ivy was missing?
Tim was a free-spirited young boy, loved music and skateboarding. When Ivy was taken, he lost his girlfriend and best friend, and it completely changed him. He met Yazz, who becomes his wife. She is a different kind of character who calms him down and centres him. She opens his eyes to future relationships. His world is turned upside down when Ivy returns, as overnight she is back in his life. All the forgotten feelings and emotions swarm back, and he is full of confusion. We see him having to channel a 13-year-old Tim despite being grown up and married with responsibilities.

What happens when Ivy returns?
With Tim and Ivy, the challenge is that she comes back into the world as a woman, separated from being a teenager, yet she has gone through so many different things. The one person she wants to return to is Tim. She instantly starts to feel comfortable with him, but the only trouble is that she doesn’t know that he is married. When he sees her again, he doesn’t know how to tell her and removes his wedding ring as he is full of so many emotions. Ivy is none the wiser and she thinks she can step back into her relationship with Tim. But, Tim never doubts Ivy is Ivy. All he has is that picture in his head of her as a teenager and now he sees her as a woman, that’s the biggest shock.

Why doesn’t Tim tell Ivy he’s married?
It’s not from a bad place. I believe Tim wants to protect Ivy, not to upset her. But as we all know, if there’s something you don’t want to say, the longer you leave it, the more dangerous and upsetting it becomes. I think he is waiting for the right moment.

What is Ivy like upon her return?
Ivy is very damaged, she has lost so many adult years. She’s lost confidence. Everyone around her wants to give her love and support, but Tim tries to bring some humour. You see the two souls connect again and he tries to remind her of the happy times and explains things like how you don’t need a cassette player, you can just have an iPod! She’s been blocked out from a changing world.

What attracted you to Thirteen as a project?
I like mystery in stories and when I read the scripts, at certain points I found myself questioning Ivy. Did she run away? Was she taken? You don’t get that clarity at first and I love the way it throws you into the middle of the story with no explanation – the story has to unwind and the pieces get put together the further you go. The one thing that stands out for me is the relationships: the dynamics of relationships and how complex we are as human beings. We try to hold onto the past. It’s very complicated because everyone at some point trusts someone in this story but is then betrayed. There’s a spinning chessboard of themes – you never know who is telling the truth and who is lying. It’s good storytelling.

What has it been like working on Thirteen?
Thirteen has been lovely and a great dynamic. Jodie has such a story to tell – she’s younger than the character she plays and I think it helps with the natural innocence. Having two female directors in Vanessa and China has been great for this kind of story. We never think about how it affects the family, or the people who know the victim. I would want someone to think ‘what if that was my daughter, my girlfriend?’ The reality is that the story could be true and that it can happen.