Welcome to Admiring Natalie Dormer, your original high quality resource for British actress Natalie Dormer. Natalie is most known for her role as Anne Boleyn in "The Tudors" and more recently as Margaery Tyrell in HBO's "Game of Thrones".

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Julita / October 22, 2017 / 0 Comments

This is embarrassing. Ninety minutes in the company of Natalie Dormer on stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and I’m her slave. She could even command me to watch (non-stop) six seasons of Game of Thrones (in which she starred as Margaery Tyrell, the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, before being bumped off the series last year) and I, the most unpersuaded of the unconverted, would be game on.

Dormer was sensational five years ago at the Young Vic as the power-wielding Miss Julie, moving below-stairs on a mission to seduce the chauffeur, in Patrick Marber’s evergreen rewrite of Strindberg’s class-war classic. With Marber directing her here (with a beautiful set by Rob Howell), she’s sensational once more playing the mysterious Vanda, a brassy New York actress bursting with hope, confidence and much else besides.

This straight-talking but slippery blonde bombshell has turned up, after-hours, in the middle of a storm, to audition for a stage adaptation of Venus in Fur, the erotic-romantic novella by the Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895) whose name and work allowed us to apply the term “masochism” to pain-derived sexual pleasure. If this were an audition for Dormer, it couldn’t go better: a tour de force that will surely put everyone – Thrones fans or not – under her spell. What she couldn’t get me to do, though, is pile praise on David Ives’s increasingly punishing two-hander, which also stars David Oakes as the initially nonplussed, gradually beguiled, inevitably submissive adaptor Thomas, a chauvinist who gets his comeuppance as art meets life.

There are lashings of enjoyable comedy early on, as Vanda refuses to take the hint to get lost and takes charge of the reading – able to recite reams of the script despite affecting ignorance at the start. Blessed with star-quality, the Berkshire-born Dormer has a capacity to combine physical poise with facial expressiveness, glints of steeliness with flashes of warmth, in shifting, mercurial combinations. This explains why – aside from the “Weinstein” factor of predatory interest – Thomas lets her take over.

Marber treads a fine line on the titillation front, having Vanda slip between costumes with ambiguous suggestiveness, in full view of the audience. And that goes hand in glove with the theme of the piece: who’s calling the shots, men or women? Except that Ives’s script is so busy critiquing the empowerment and eroticism it plays with that it winds up tying itself in knots.

It’s impressive to see the actors contending with dives between American and English/Mittel-European accents, role-swapping and even gender-switching. It’s less appealing trying to fathom what the play is driving at; and after all the clever-cleverness builds to a head, the climax feels crudely put, if not rather pat. A pretty creaky vehicle, then, but with a leading lady to die for cracking the whip. Worth a peek.

Julita / October 22, 2017 / 0 Comments

This play about sexual domination couldn’t come at a more topical moment. In this kinky two-hander set in a Manhattan loft, Natalie Dormer, best known as Margaery Tyrell from Game Of Thrones, gets to crack the metaphorical whip. She plays the ditzy blonde, out-of-work actress with a Noo Yawk accent, Vanda, who arrives late for a one-to-one audition with a male director. She cajoles this chap – Thomas, a timid, rather chauvinist intellectual who’s had a long day and wants to go home – into hearing her read the female part in a stage adaptation of Venus In Furs, the scandalously erotic 1870 novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.

He was the Austrian author whose name produced the term masochism. Claiming only to have flipped through the script, it turns out the actress is word perfect. She puts on a period dress and a European accent and becomes every inch the noblewoman in the book. She demands that the director enacts the novel’s male protagonist, who as a child was whipped with a birch rod and got a taste for it. As the tables are turned, kinky sex oozes into the room. Dormer flits between the scary siren in the script and an astute young actress who is no dumb blonde. ‘You don’t have to tell me about sado-masochism. I’m in the theatre,’ she points out.

As the director, David Oakes is a bit bland, but you can see the glint in his eye as the erotic charade of male submission is played out. David Ives’ play builds up a head of steam, shifting from comedy to feminist revenge drama. But then it falls apart totally and finally disappears, unresolved, up its own bottom.

Playwright Patrick Marber directs with noisy flashes of thunder and lightning as if this is King Lear, which it certainly isn’t. But it’s about two-thirds lively entertainment. That’s because Miss Dormer is so good in the part.
She alone gives the evening its smack of class.

Julita / October 22, 2017 / 0 Comments

Sometimes events in the news can cast a new light on what’s happening on the stage. Patrick Marber’s production of David Ives’s Venus in Fur, a dark sexual comedy about an actress auditioning for a role with a misogynistic male director, has become depressingly timely as allegations of sexual assault by the disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, once referred to as “God”, continue to surface.

Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer gives a mesmerising performance as Vanda Jordan – skilfully seductive and with impeccable comedic timing – as she crashes into an audition with young jaded playwright/director Thomas Novachek (David Oakes), who is adapting the 19th-century sadomasochistic novel Venus in Furs for the New York stage. Although she initially appears ill-suited for the part, swearing like a sailor and cackling at her own lewd comments, as soon as she dons a ladylike white gown Dormer transforms, like a BDSM Eliza Doolittle, into the aristocratic, haughty lead the playwright is looking for.

What follows is a battle of wills between the two, with shifts in the power dynamic, role reversal, characters playing characters playing characters, and a variety of amusing transatlantic accents. While Vanda charms both Novachek and the audience, his character is somewhat lost in the background, soon staring at her with the air of a lovesick teenager without putting up much of a fight. As Vanda gains more power over him, she calls out the book’s sexism and their encounter becomes a proxy gender war.

The 90-minute one-act play is an entertaining tour de force, building to a thrillingly camp ending. But there’s no escaping that, for all its forward-thinking gender politics, it’s a man’s play, directed by a man, featuring a skimpily dressed woman arguably satisfying the male protagonist’s sexual desires. It’s a lot harder to laugh along with than it would have been a month ago.

Julita / October 22, 2017 / 0 Comments

If the acting thing hadn’t worked out for Natalie Dormer, she might have wanted to consider a career coaching politicians in media and people skills. From the moment we meet, at a plush hotel in central London, she is charm itself: warm, welcoming, creating an effortless sense of camaraderie. My name is peppered liberally throughout. She asks me questions about myself (rare for an interview) and does a convincing job of appearing interested in the answers. She’s persuasive and eloquent about whatever she’s addressing.

Today, she’s focusing her attention on Venus in Fur, David Ives’s dark comedy about sadomasochism, which will premiere in the West End later this month with her in the lead role. She makes a hell of a case for it. “You’ll either go home and have incredible sex, or you might break up with your partner… It has this wacky, dark surrealism, but at the same time manages to be incredibly sexy and funny… It has the Freudian, erudite arguments, so if you get turned on by having your brain tickled, you’re going to get turned on. But if you get turned on in the more rudimentary, physical way, that’s there too.”

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Julita / September 16, 2017 / 0 Comments

Julita / February 23, 2017 / 0 Comments

When Mass Effect: Andromeda sets off on its mission to explore our nearest galactic neighbour in March, it’ll be taking a touch of Westerosi flavour with it as Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer joins the cast.

The sci-fi action RPG – developer BioWare’s first new entry in the series in five years – sees players controlling one of the two Ryder twins as they search for humanity’s new home. The game will feature Dormer as Dr Lexi T’Perro, an Asari physician and psychiatrist on board the Tempest, the game’s main spaceship, who will serve as a key ally for players as they venture around the Andromeda galaxy.

WIRED spoke with Dormer to discuss her shift into games, Lexi as a character, and how acting in the medium affects a performer.

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