‘Marilyn’ actor Branagh parallels his character

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Branagh and Gervais grew up in the same English town of Reading; Branagh moved there as a child from Belfast. Branagh is a year older than Gervais and says their schools often played football games against one another. Branagh was an avid footballer through school.

“I’m not sure if he ever played,” the actor said of Gervais. “But if he did, we certainly played against one another.”

Because of the hometown connection, Branagh expects Gervais to focus some the jokes about growing up in Reading. And the actor says he has no problem with that.

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