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Jim Broadbent Takes Over Pete Postlethwaite's Part on 'Exile'

March 30, 2011 (4:10 am) GMT
The 'Moulin Rouge!' actor explains he gets the role of retired journalist Sam in the new BBC thriller after the late Postlethwaite withdrew due to illness.
Jim Broadbent

has revealed he was drafted in at the last minute to star in a new TV series after late actor Pete Postlethwaite suddenly withdrew from the role due to illness. The "Moulin Rouge!" actor stars in new BBC thriller "Exile" as retired journalist Sam, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, but he has now admitted the part was supposed to be played by Postlethwaite, who died in January.

Broadbent reveals Postlethwaite was the first choice for the lead role, but he had to quit the TV show as his health failed - and the actor admits the casting revelation convinced him to accept the job. He says, "I came on later and Pete Postlethwaite was down to play Sam. Suddenly he couldn't do it and I had an email. That was my one reason why I knew that obviously it's going to be good if it's good enough for Pete."

To play the part, Broadbent admits to have used his own experiences with his mother, who had Alzheimer's disease. He adds, "It was so familiar, particularly in the way one of the core conceits of this piece is that when someone has dementia there are windows of lucidity. In suffering dementia, there are moments when the barriers drop and there is an honesty that comes through which is obviously a very interesting scene to mine as a writer and for the actors as well."

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