You’ll be thanking your lucky stars that smells don’t come through movie screens when you hear about what Jude Law smelled like while playing Henry VIII in Firebrand.
The film, directed by Karim Aïnouz and co-starring Alicia Vikander as Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr, was adapted from the 2013 novel The Queen’s Gambit. It follows Parr’s expert maneuvers to survive during the final, tumultuous days of her husband’s reign in Tudor England. Remember, this is the same king who beheaded two of his six wives over rumors of infidelity — his second, Anne Boleyn, and his fifth, Catherine Howard.
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Here’s What Jude Law Said About On-Set Stink in Firebrand
“I read several interesting accounts that you could smell Henry three rooms away. His leg was rotting so badly. He hid it with rose oil,” Law said at a Cannes Film Festival press conference for Firebrand on Monday, according to Variety. “I thought it would have a great impact if I smelt awful.”
With the help of a perfume specialist, Law achieved a version of Henry’s distinct odor that must have been extremely unpleasant to smell.
“She makes wonderful scents, and she also makes awful scents. She somehow came up with this extraordinary variety of blood, fecal matter and sweat,” Law said.
“Initially, I used it very subtly and thought I’d use it myself,” the actor added — but then he decided to taunt his castmates with it. “It became a spray-fest.”
Aïnouz shook his head as he remembered Law’s unparalleled stench on set.
“When Jude walked in on set,” he said, “it was just horrible.”
Firebrand premiered at Cannes on Sunday.
Main Image: VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 03: Jude Law attends the premiere of ‘The Young Pope’ during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino on September 3, 2016 in Venice, Italy.