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Jude Law Says Becoming Henry VIII for ‘Firebrand’ Took Months, Alicia Vikander Calls Performance ‘Remarkable’

Jude Law Says Becoming Henry VIII for Firebrand Took Months
Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Transforming into Henry VIII for the new movie Firebrand wasn’t an easy feat for Jude Law.

Law, 51, described the “very long, slow” process of becoming the royal while speaking with Us Weekly exclusively at the film’s Tribeca Film Festival premiere on Tuesday, June 11. “Growing the beard, we planned it very carefully, [hair and makeup artist] Jenny Shircore and I,” he explained. “We decided early on I didn’t want to wear prosthetics, I didn’t want to wear a mask.”

The actor continued, “The funny thing about Henry VIII is that you kind of know his silhouette. It’s like Chaplin or Batman or Hitchcock, and Henry VIII is the same. And once we got the silhouette, we were kind of free not to then look picture perfect.”

It took four to five months for them to get it right, Law added, but it was a “satisfying” day when they finally did.

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The film follows Katherine Parr (Alicia Vikander) and her reluctant journey to becoming the king’s sixth wife — and her subsequent fight for survival. The two actors, who are currently working on the political thriller The Wizard of the Kremlin, have known each other for 12 years, but their friendship “grew” during the Firebrand filming process.

“We got on very, very well during this and enjoyed each other’s company,” Law noted.

Jude Law Says Becoming Henry VIII for Firebrand Took Months
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Vikander, 35, sang Law’s praises while speaking to Us on Tuesday, gushing over his significant transformation.

“I think over the past few years all of us have seen him taking on some pretty remarkable roles where he really does transform himself, and this was yet another step,” she shared. “Of course, he had this big beard that covered part of his face. But just to see how he physically embodied him was pretty remarkable when I saw him walk on set on the first day, it was quite daunting.”

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Vikander further opened up about the process of becoming Katherine, noting that women’s stories often “disappear” in history.

Jude Law Says Becoming Henry VIII for Firebrand Took Months
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

“[Katherine] was a woman who had an extraordinary life and created a legacy that was enormous with her own books that she wrote,” she explained. “She was the first woman to publish books in English under her own name, which is extraordinary. No one has given her any focus until now.”

Firebrand hits theaters Friday, June 14.

With reporting by Andrew Nodell

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