Martin Freeman Bares All For ‘Nightwatching’

Rough surfaces. Visible brushstrokes. The impression of art as stylized, not true to life. When an art critic describes a painting as “painterly,” this is what they mean.

It’s also what Martin Freeman means when he describes his new film with director Peter Greenaway — “Nightwatching” — the same way.

“You’re not going to be seeing ’Pearl Harbor,'” Freeman joked of his role as Rembrandt van Rijn in the upcoming film. “Greenaway has a style, he’s very painterly film director. We’ve made the film we wanted to.”

The story centers on the legendary Dutch painter during the time he painted “The Night Watch,” (More properly called “The Company” since it’s actually, in fact, a day lit scene). Biopics, of course, are big business these days (Just ask Jamie Foxx or Joaquin Phoenix) but it wasn’t the role that attracted Freeman so much as the chance to work with Greenway, he said.

“If Peter Greenaway says I want you to play Rembrandt you say ’Yeah. You’re going to have too many anecdotes to not do it,” Freeman insisted. “I was surprised that he asked me. He’s the only one making these kinds of films. His output isn’t phenomenally high. I was intrigued.”

But stepping into the famous painter’s shoes turned out to be much easier than, err, stepping OUT of them … and the rest of his clothes for that matter, Freeman joked.

“[Being nude] has never been of my favorite things in life [but] you almost want to live up to being Dutch,” Freeman said. “For them, their attitude about nudity is so different to mine. It’s like jumping into a very cold swimming pool. Once you’re in it’s kind of okay.”

Ok, I’m trying to find a picture online that I swear is by Rembrandt, but I’m having no luck. It shows Jesus appearing to this guy sitting at a table — but you don’t see Jesus, you just see this beautiful, yellow light coming into frame, and the guy’s terrified but awed face. I would have seen it in Paris. PLEASE help me out by leaving a link to it below.