Jude Law reveals he wore perfume made from ‘pus, blood, faecal matter and sweat’ for Firebrand role
Jude Law has revealed the unique way he got into character as King Henry VIII in upcoming movie Firebrand by attempting to replicate the late Tudor monarch’s smell.
The Karim Aïnouz-directed period drama is based on the novel Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle and focuses on Henry’s final wife Catherine Parr (played by Alicia Vikander), who survived him.
In his later years, the royal suffered with swollen ankles and leg ulcers which became so infected that they ultimately led to his death aged 55 in 1547.
Law, 50, wanted to incorporate this detail into his portrayal, so worked with a “brilliant” perfumier to come up with a uniquely foul-sounding smell to reflect this.
Addressing the world’s press at Firebrand’s Cannes Film Festival press conference, he explained: “I read several interesting accounts that at this time you could smell him from three rooms away because his leg was rotting so badly and he hid it with rose oil. So, I thought it would have great impact if I smelled awful.”
”[The perfumier] somehow managed to come up with this extraordinary variety which was pus, blood, faecal matter and sweat. Initially I used it subtly, I just thought I would use it myself, but when [director] Karim [Aïnouz] got hold of it, he sprayed it [everywhere].”
The Brazilian filmmaker added: “When they left the set to eat I would come it and spray the whole room, every room had a smell and it was incredible – and when Jude walked on set, it was just [awful].”
The film also stars Eddie Marsan, Simon Russell Beale, Sam Riley and Patsy Ferran.