Christopher Lee was a 'traditional British Conservative' says Michael Gove

Michael Gove acted in A Feast At Midnight with Christopher Lee

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The Independent Online

Michael Gove has spoken about the acting talent and political views of the late Sir Christopher Lee.

Writing in The Daily Mail, Gove called Lee a "traditional British Conservative".

Lee, who starred in the James Bond Film The Man with the Golden Gun and in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, passed away on 7 June after being admitted into hospital for respiratory problems and heart failure.

In the article, Gove praised Lee’s acting talent and "outstanding performances".

He said: "Sir Christopher gave outstanding performances in a series of roles which relied on him to generate what no one else could ever do to anything like the same degree – a very special mix of charm and danger, natural authority and supernatural menace."

Recalling getting to know Lee while filming A Feast At Midnight in 1995, he said: "If you blink, you’ll miss my performance, and my only line was the word ‘Amen’. But the real joy of the whole enterprise for me was getting to know Christopher."

The Conservative MP said that the actor's world outlook had "been framed by the war and his subsequent work hunting Nazi war criminals".

Lee, he said, knew "the evil of which man [was] capable" and also that "quiet civility and traditional custom... [were] some of the best defenced against barbarism mankind [had] devised".

The actor fought in World War II but stayed tight-lipped on his role. "I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden – former, present, or future – to discuss any specific operations. Let's just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read in to that what they like," he said in 2011.

Gove concluded: "He was, therefore, a traditional British Conservative, but of an exceptionally gentle and thoughtful kind."

Gove also called Lee a "Eurosceptic" who was "deeply attached to our democracy, and deeply suspicious of what he saw as the anti-democratic tide of European integration".

Lee, he said, believed that David Cameron was one of the best Prime Ministers he had seen in his lifetime.