Bill Nighy as James Mortmain in I Capture The Castle (2002)
Bill Nighy won a LAFCA Award (Best Supporting Actor) for his performance in I Capture The Castle.
Bill Nighy about Mortmain
“It was a very tough gig playing a genius surrounded by beautiful women,” Nighy has commented. “Very hard being married to Tara Fitzgerald and living in a castle. Not easy. I make it look easy but … ”
Had you read Dodie Smith’s novel before you were offered the role?
No. But I met lots of women who told me it was in their top five novels of all time. Which made me rather nervous, especially because I was playing a man who’s supposed to be brooding and charismatic… all the things I know I’m not! That’s enough to put the wind up any actor who’s got any sense. But I’ve met several people since who are devotees of the book who have seen the film, and none of them have hit me!
“Feverish with hope and desperation, Nighy leaves a lasting impression as the father consumed by a sense of his disappointment.”
But the real kudos belong to the ever-excellent Nighy, whose own emotional journey is tremendously affecting.
Bill Nighy and Tara Fitzgerald are as good as ever providing excellent support for the younger cast.
Nighy is solid as the castle’s patriarch, a man who uses his eccentricities to avoid living up to his past literary brilliance.
Meanwhile, Nighy is superb as usual in a much meatier role than even he usually gets.
Even so, “I Capture the Castle” combines enough subtle humour and honest insights to offer a welcome antidote to the recent slew of gross-out teen flicks more concerned with baring ass than baring soul.
I Capture the Castle Review at BBC Film
Faithfully adapted here, it makes a comforting drama that satisfies romantic yearnings for the past. Genteel poverty has never looked so enchanting, as the Mortmain family, headed by creatively blocked writer Bill Nighy, lead lives of bohemian chaos in a dilapidated castle. ..
.. this is a reassuringly solid and intelligent adaptation, beautifully photographed and expertly performed.