Mary Queen of Scots Gets the Full Hollywood Star Treatment; (but They Won't Rewrite History by Letting Her Keep Her Head.)
Byline: BRIAN PENDREIGH
SHE is the most famous woman in Scottish history and, according to many accounts, one of the most dazzlingly beautiful.
Now Mary Queen of Scots is to be portrayed on the silver screen by one of Hollywood's most stunning starlets.
Bryce Dallas Howard, 23- year- old daughter of Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, is to play the doomed Queen in a big-budget epic to be shot in the spring.
Like the 16th-century Queen, the young actress has a mane of fiery red hair.
But while Mary was born in Linlithgow Palace, Howard is a Texan.
She was a virtual unknown until she appeared in the psychological drama The Village earlier this year. But her father, who played Richie Cunningham in 1970s U.S. sitcom Happy Days, has cast her in several uncredited roles.
She appeared in Parenthood and Apollo 13 but landed the starring role in The Village under her own steam when director M Night Shyamalan spotted her in a Broadway production of As You Like It.
Howard won glowing reviews for her powerful performance as the blind heroine in a village terrorised by strange creatures from the surrounding woods.
Since it came out she has had her pick of some of the best roles around. She even replaced Nicole Kidman when the star dropped out of the forthcoming Dogville sequel, Manderlay.
Howard said: 'What I want to do is be a part of works that are unignorable.'
Her next role looks set to meet that requirement. She is about to join major stars such as Katharine Hepburn and Vanessa Redgrave who have played the Queen beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire in 1587. …