Jude Law Says He Wore “Sickening” Fragrance To Play “Rotting” King Henry VIII In ‘Firebrand’

Jude Law went to some pretty extreme lengths while getting into character as King Henry VIII.

While discussing his new movie Firebrand, the Academy Award nominee revealed that he wore a fragrance on set to make him smell “like he was actually rotting” to play the ailing royal.

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“I read that Henry, because of these agonizing ulcers he had on his legs, really smelled like he was actually rotting,” Law told Yahoo Entertainment. “So we came up with this disgusting odor that created a pungency and sickening scent around him.”

He added, “There was this weird duality between people fawning over this man and him being disgusting to be around.”

As director Karim Aïnouz wanted to create a “360-degree set” and “an ambience of truth” for his actors, Law said he made the sensory experience as accurate to the late 1540s time period as possible. Such details included live animals, the temperature of the room and strategically-selected herbs for certain scenes.

Jude Law, Firebrand
Jude Law attends the ‘Firebrand’ premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Festival on June 11, 2024 in New York City. (Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

In Firebrand, Law plays the king in the final days of his life as he suffers from ulcers and an infection, pushing him to a state of unstable paranoia. Meanwhile, his wife Katherine Parr (Alicia Vikander) struggles to care for her abusive husband while hiding her radical religious beliefs.

Now playing in select theaters, Firebrand made its world premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. Roadside Attractions and Vertical subsequently acquired U.S. rights to the film.

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