July 10 (UPI) -- British actor Laurie Davidson says the actual writings of William Shakespeare were crucial in helping him prepare to play the 16th century scribe in TNT's new series, Will.
"All we really have are these guy's plays," the actor said after a recent preview of the show in New York's Bryant Park. "Everything we know about him was lost in the great fire of London, so we have to go on his work. And from his plays and his sonnets you can go some way to find out what kind of man he was. There is a play called The Book of Sir Thomas More, which not many people know about, by Shakespeare. There is a great speech in there about immigration and how his feelings are about what it would be like if an Englishman was [to arrive] on to foreign shores and from these kind of things we can see that he is a humanist and that he really did care about people and he wasn't coming at the theater from the same place as the ... university-educated people. He was a man from relatively small means."
TNT's 10-episode, period drama about the young literary lion features a modern soundtrack and co-stars Olivia DeJonge, Colm Meaney, Mattias Inwood, Jamie Campbell Bower and Ewen Bremner. The first two episodes are to premiere Monday night.