Alicia Garcia de Francisco |
Cannes (France) (EFE) beyond its historical importance, as the actors pointed out today at a press conference.
“Firebrand”, directed by the Brazilian Karim Aïnouz and which competes in the official section of the festival, focuses on the last months of the life of the English monarch, his health problems and his relationship with Catherine, with their children and with everyone around him and fears him.
“Karim made me understand that the character had to be very human and that in a certain way freed me because he didn’t have the weight of the story, I didn’t feel obligated to respect the usual portrait that we know of Henry VIII, I had to show him as a simple man but complex,” Law explained.
The British actor justified the king’s behavior once he learned more about his life. “He had a difficult childhood being separated from his family, he believed that God came first and then he, there was a lot of paranoia at that time, they raised him to be a king, he suffered from different diseases in his body, he was almost nice, he could even feel a some empathy for him.
For this reason, and following Aïnouz’s guidelines, he interpreted “more like a man and less like a king”, Law affirmed before adding: “To be honest, I cannot say that he was a monster (…) I am not the one who should draw those conclusions ”.
For Vikander, her character is also a great unknown beyond her role as queen and wife of Henry VIII. “She was an extraordinary woman who lived 500 years ago,” said the Swedish actress, who noted that Catherine Parr was the first woman to publish a book with her name and was very complex.
That is why he had to do a lot of research to understand “all his nuances, his fantasies and his aspirations”.
“They marry her without having the right to say anything, Enrique’s other women were dead and I realized the fragility of each moment of her life, she was terrified of the possibility of being wrong, she was afraid of this man and his reactions,” Vikander added.
It was precisely Parr’s character that most interested Aïnouz when he was told about this project. “I liked the strength of Catherine, she was an amazing and interesting woman.”
He was also drawn to the fact that he is from Brazil and of Algerian origins, two colonized countries, while the British empire was colonizing.
“I wanted to write the story from that perspective. It is very interesting that someone who comes from the country that I come from can write a film about the British empire”, added Aïnouz, for whom there is “a very Latin atmosphere in this story, the portrait of a country that was going to become a power colonizing”.
A country that has changed a lot, but in the recent coronation of Carlos III it was seen how the monarchical traditions continue to mix antiquity and modernity, said Law, for whom this ceremony “is a bit like the theater.” “But I’m a little more obsessed with the theater,” he said.
That theatrical side of the story was interesting to the actor, as well as all the costume and make-up preparations necessary to get into the shoes of the characters.
“It was an extremely interesting process,” said the actor, who considered that when they put the prostheses on him and he gained weight, he achieved “the silhouette” of the king and that made his job much easier.
He also remembered how they made a stinking perfume because he had read that the king gave off a terrible smell that could be felt three rooms away.
But they had to stop using it because it bothered the director and the camera operator who was closest to the actor a lot, recalled Vikander, Law and Aïnouz between gestures and laughs.