Kenneth Branagh hits back at complaints Boris Johnson Covid drama is ‘too soon’

Kenneth Branagh has hit back at claims that his forthcoming drama about Boris Johnson and the Covid pandemic is “too soon”.

The actor and filmmaker plays the former British prime minister in This England, written by Michael Winterbottom and Kieron Quirke.

However, the five-part series’ subject matter has raised a few eyebrows, with some questioning the need for such a series while the pandemic is still ongoing.

“There will be those who say it’s too soon,” Branagh said, in an interview with The Times.

“I think these events are unusual and part of what we must do is acknowledge them. It might allow people to process a little of what went on. Any way of understanding it better is important.”

Winterbottom also claimed that it would be “strange” to live through a pandemic without being able to dramatise it.

Elsewhere in the interview, Branagh discussed his portrayal of Johnson, stipulating that he did not employ a Method approach in trying to capture the controversial politician on screen.

Describing Johnson as a “very hunched-forward kind of guy”, the actor revealed that he had resorted to taking walks in the country after filming days in order to “unwind” from inhabiting the former prime minister.

This England premieres on Sky Atlantic and NOW on 21 September.