2 years of classes helped Timothy Spall capture J.M.W. Turner's genius

February 23, 2015 3:59 PM

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It's not unusual for an actor to learn a new skill or how to mimic one in service of a role. Jennifer Lawrence took archery lessons for "The Hunger Games," Josh Brolin perfected peach pies for "Labor Day" and Chadwick Boseman mastered James Brown's splits - down and back again - for "Get On Up."

Actor Timothy Spall may win the prize for preparation, though. He spent two years studying how to paint before rehearsals even started for filmmaker Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner" about artist J.M.W. Turner. He found a very good portraitist and teacher who took him through an entire fine art foundation c...

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