Tanya Franks is playing Richard Burton’s jilted wife Sybil Burton in Lifetime’s upcoming biopic Liz and Dick. The British actress is known for her work in the popular soap EastEnders and the award winning BBC comedy Pulling. As the Welsh actress Sybil Burton Tanya has many explosive scenes.
We were priviledged enough to get to speak with Tanya about her role as Sybil, her experience filming Liz and Dick and her plans for the future!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. You are starring as Sybil Burton, in the biopic Liz and Dick. Please tell us a bit about the film, for those who don’t already know.
The film is about the tempestuous relationship of film stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
What is your character like?
Sybil Burton was Richard Burton’s first wife, whom he left for Elizabeth Taylor. She was full of such vulnerability, heartache, strength, and so much pride.
What challenges did you face when filming?
The challenge was keeping hold of the love for Richard, even though Sybil had been so deeply hurt.
She was full of such vulnerability, heartache, strength, and so much pride.
What was it like, acting along side Grant Bowler and Lindsay Lohan?
Grant is a very generous actor and we had fun working together. We trusted each other and that is important. I didn’t have to play scenes so much with Lindsay, however, the time we did spend in each other’s company was pretty fine.
What attracted you to this film?
I have never played a role of such dignity as Sybil, her pride, her sense of class, and style. Her pain and vulnerability to the situation and her love for Richard was full of complex emotions that I felt a responsibility to portray with utter respect.
As well as starring in this film, you are also an extremely popular face on our small screens. Some of your other credits include, playing in EastEnders, Pulling, The Bill, Skins , Ashes To Ashes and Broadchurch. What has been your favourite role to play and why?
Karen in ‘Pulling’ was the most fabulous challenge, not only because she was a far cry from me, but also because she was so witty, dry, funny, outrageous, painful at times, dark, and complex. The scripts were so great, it was an honour to have that character entrusted into me
Karen in ‘Pulling’ was the most fabulous challenge…
What do you prefer to work in, the TV industry or Film Industry and why?
I have no preference at this point in my career, however I would like to do more film to address the balance a little more.
In 3 words how would you some up life as an actor?
The most unpredictable and greatest of all pleasures. Oops I broke the 3 rule.
What inspired you to become an actor?
Watching the diversity of characters the following actors played – Peter Sellers, Bette Davis, Dustin Hoffman, and Meryl Streep.
What are your plans for the future?
To get my first feature film made, and to continue tackling challenging roles.
I would like to do more film to address the balance a little more.
Liz and Dick airs on Lifetime UK on December 19th at 9pm.