Jude Law on his 'stinky' approach to playing Henry VIII in Firebrand

jude law alicia vikander
Jude Law on his 'stinky' portrayal of Henry VIIISamir Hussein - Getty Images

Jude Law has revealed the "stinky" approach he took in order to get into character as Henry VIII for his latest film Firebrand.

Speaking at a press conference for the movie at Cannes Film Festival, the Marvel actor recalled learning that the Tudor King didn't smell particularly great in the last few months of his life – something which he wanted to incorporate into his portrayal.

"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," he said (via Variety).

"I thought it would have a great impact if I smelt awful."

jude law alicia vikander
Samir Hussein - Getty Images

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Law went on to reveal he enlisted the help of a perfume specialist to recreate the smell of the king's infamous swollen ankles, leg ulcers and gout which plagued him in his later years.

"She makes wonderful scents, and she also makes awful scents. She somehow came up with this extraordinary variety of blood, fecal matter and sweat," he continued.

The foul smelling concoction clearly caused an impact on set, with director Karim Aïnouz adding that Law's perfume certainly managed to linger in the air.

"When Jude walked in on set," he said, "It was just horrible."

alicia vikander, firebrand
Cannes Film Festival

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Adapted from the 2013 novel 'Queen’s Gambit', Firebrand recounts the final years of Henry VIII's reign and his final wife Catherine Parr (Alicia Vikander) attempts to survive the tumultuous period – and avoid meeting the same fates as his previous wives.

While Henry is away fighting in France, Catherine finds herself named Regent and briefly becoming the most powerful woman in England.

However, Catherine finds herself fighting for her survival as his health declines.

No cinema release date for Firebrand has been announced yet.

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