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Jude Law smelled like poo making his new movie, but for good reason

At a Cannes Film Festival press conference for his new historical movie, Jude Law described hiring a perfumer to help him create Henry VIII's signature scent.

Jude Law as Henry VIII in Firebrand

Movies and TV series have been littered with sexy Henry VIIIs over the years – from Richard Burton and Robert Shaw to Damien Lewis, Eric Bana and Jonathan Rhys Myers. Many actors have portrayed the king in his younger, more virile days but by the end of his life, he was obese and had a festering leg due to a jousting accident. In Jude Law’s new drama movie Firebrand – the actor known as a heart-throb and sex symbol has the pleasure of playing Henry VIII at the end of his life.

“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 the Cannes Film Festival press conference for the movie based on a true story (via Variety). “I thought it would have a great impact if I smelt awful.”

So, he found a perfume specialist to create a custom, revolting blend of smells to capture the odor of the king in his new movie. “She makes wonderful scents, and she also makes awful scents. She somehow came up with this extraordinary variety of blood, fecal matter and sweat.”

“Initially, I used it very subtly…” But Law then went rogue. “It became a spray-fest.” The film’s director Karim Aïnouz shook his head as he remembered the stinky brew, which permeated the entire production. “When Jude walked in on set, it was just horrible.”

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Firebrand stars Alicia Vikander as Henry’s last wife Catherine Parr, the one who survived the marriage without divorce or losing her head. Other movies to premiere at Cannes 2023 so far include Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Indiana Jones 5. Coming up, there’s Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City and Pixar movie Elemental.

Check out our guide to the best movies based on books.