In the Details: Sir Kenneth Branagh
A panoply of eccentric biographical data re: Shakespeare’s preferred thriller director. Sarah Ball reports.
He takes his coffee black with a single spoonful of raw manuka honey.
He shaves as directed by Woody Allen, who imparted these instructions when the pair madeCelebrity: in a hot shower, very steamy, soap on the mirror, and with some rapidity, like “a knife through butter.” When not shaving, he instead draws a very deep bath, stirring in restorative potions—these days, anti-stress oil and anti-bacterial Olbas Oil. He likes a “modesty” veil of bubbles, waist-down, but decries “this fiddle-faddle of suds near my ears.”
When craving a sweet, he melts a Mars candy bar on the stove with a glob of honey, dribbling the resulting warm goo over vanilla ice cream.
His celebratory drink is lately a single martini, one in “a proper glass out of a James Bond film,” mixed at dawn to end a week of night shoots. It traipses with him across the dew-silvered lawns of his rural Berkshire estate as he checks in on the vegetable patch with the dog: “There’s an aubergine that’s looking very likely, and a courgette that has my name on it.”
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Photograph by Taili Song Roth.