Branagh's Stinkiest Performance

TV Guide Online, June 1 2000
by Jeanne Wolf

Respected Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh has a confession to make - he once tried to arrange a seemingly impromptu meeting with a woman on the street by hiding inside a stinky garbage can. Needless to say, Branagh's cockamamie plan turned out to be a disaster. And it began to fall apart just as soon as the would-be object of his affection came into view.

"I attempted to get out quickly, hit my head and fell over," he tells TV Guide Online. "So I rolled out of the trash can and then it all became very, very embarrassing. But it meant that the relationship was resolved very, very quickly."

"I was pungent [upon] emerging from this trash can," he adds. "It sort of underlines how stupid one can be, because it had never crossed my mind. It just seemed a good place to hide."

Branagh, who next stars opposite Alicia Silverstone in the movie musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, also told us about his first meeting with the late Shakespearean actor Sir John Gielgud. Branagh was just a 19-year-old student when Gielgud saw him perform a soliloquy from Hamlet at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

"I was absolutely terrible," he says. "He was so kind afterwards. He gave me about five notes with tears in his eyes. I think he was very moved by seeing a young actor do this. And he was generally just very encouraging."

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