Promoted Fanboy: Branagh, reportedly, is a big-time Thor geek, and has been since childhood. One suspects his ear for Shakespeare was honed by the faux-Elizabethan dialogue of Marvel's Asgardians.
Also William Shakespeare: Fell in love with the bard at an early age is now arguably concidered the greatest translator of his works to the Big Screen.
Had become such a fan of the Wallander novels, that he personally approached Henning Mankell at a Ingmar Bergman film festival in 2007, and asked if he could play the Swedish detective in The BBC's adaptation.
Branagh is also a fan of Laurence Olivier, and many have compared the two's career paths (as they both have successfully directed several Shakespeare adaptations). So, this made things humorous when Branagh was cast AS Olivier in My Week With Marilyn
Branagh was married to Emma Thompson from 1989 to 1995. Count how many of his films feature her as his wife or love interest during that period. Interestingly, his one role in Harry Potter (Chamber of Secrets) was right before her debut (Prisoner of Azkaban).
He was also with Helena Bonham-Carter from 1995 to 1999 (they supposedly first got together when working on Frankenstein in 1994) and subsequently cast her as well.