The casting of Anne of Cleves was an incredibly difficult one. In the end, I could only find two women whom I thought came close to representing her well enough. Anne of Cleves traveled from Germany to become Henry VIII’s fourth wife. Little did she know what she was in for! I would imagine the girl was overwhelmed and a bit scared to say the least. After all, she spoke almost no English, and had little means to communicate with the King.
Anne of Cleves did show that she had intelligence. She learned English quickly. When the King of England proposed a divorce, she quickly did her homework and learned from her predecessors. She gave the King what he asked for and received a generous settlement from him for her cooperation.
Here is an actual pic of Anne of Cleves:
Here are the actresses that I picked to portray Anne of Cleves.
First, I went with another choice of Michael Hirst’s. I think he sees some really wonderful potential in a person that not everyone would think of to choose for a particular role. I chose Joss Stone. I think she truly illustrates the way Anne of Cleves most likely was in life. She really seems to get all of the subtle nuances that became Anne after she divorced from Henry, and does a very good job of showing the sort of grace one would have if they were raised as a princess.
My next choice is Julia Stiles. Although she does not traditionally have dark hair like Anne of Cleves, I have seen her with darker hair and I believe she would be a good fit. I think she would give Anne of Cleves the same sort of inner intelligence and glow that Joss Stone does.
When Henry VIII first laid eyes on Anne of Cleves, he was not pleased to find he had been mislead by his trusted advisor, Thomas Cromwell. “I like her not,” were the King’s words. She was, however, found to be one of the most “sweet, gracious, and humane queens they had ever had.” She was queen for a mere six months.
Anne’s choice of badge was the insignia of the Duchy of Cleves and her motto was “God send me well to keep.” She was the only one of Henry’s wives to live after being discarded by him. Although she treasured her relationships with Mary and Elizabeth Tudor, she never had any children of her own.