Jonathan Rhys Meyers refused to get fat or wear a fat suit for Henry VIII role

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is best known for his role as Henry VIII in the Showtime series The Tudors. Henry VIII was of course a rotund drunken womanizer while Meyers is a very thin, pretty drunken Irishman whose womanizing status is up to question. (He has a longterm girlfriend and we don’t hear much about him picking up women.)

Meyers has a new interview with Parade in light of the fourth and final season of The Tudors, which starts airing April 11. He says he’s ready for the next chapter in his life but that he loved the role and his work on the show. He also comes across as vain and completely unapologetic about it. Meyers wasn’t about to sacrifice those razor sharp features and tight abs for a role and says he couldn’t be bothered to gain weight in order to portray Henry VII later in his life.

On not gaining weight to portray Henry VII
“He was a lot heavier and taller than I am, but so what? I think I’d have been stupid to put on a fat suit and I wasn’t about to gain a lot weight. But I think Henry was better looking than he was portrayed in the classic portrait by Hans Holbein. I think he would have hated it. It may be great art, but it’s not a good picture. I’ve seen fat, ugly pictures of Brad Pitt because some paparazzi got him from a bad angle on a bad morning. So how would he feel if that were the sole image of him that would be seen by future generations? He’d be going, ‘What the hell? I was a great looking guy.'”…

As for getting passionate on the set.
“Actually, it’s not unpleasant to get it on with beautiful actresses and you don’t have any nasty repercussions afterward. To make it work, you have to experience a little sexual chemistry. But it can be a bit taxing when you’re doing sex scenes in front of a crew of like a hundred people under hot lights with cameras poking into all sorts of private areas.”

Go ahead and call him a hot hunk.
“I’d rather people think I’m sexy than not. Let’s be honest. Physicality is going to have a bearing on the parts you get. And if you think differently, you’re in the wrong business.”

[From Parade]

I love how Meyers justifies not gaining weight for a role by saying that a portrait artist just got Henry VII at a bad angle! The guy was obese as an older man, but Meyers didn’t even want to wear a fat suit to portray him. He just can’t not look pretty. He does do that exceptionally well, you have to give that to him. As much as Meyers was criticized for not physically embodying the legend of Henry VII, he was also praised for making the monarch so damn sexy. One journalist even called him “lickable.”

It looks like there’s plenty of male eye candy on this show. I just discovered another actor that’s arguably more attractive than Meyers – a guy named Henry Cavill who plays Henry VII’s brother in law Charles Brandon. That Brandon guy also looked nothing like the beefcake Cavill, below. Who really cares, though, when you get to stare at hotties like these?

Photos courtesy of Showtime via Facebook


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90 Responses to “Jonathan Rhys Meyers refused to get fat or wear a fat suit for Henry VIII role”

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  1. josephine says:

    i want to have henry cavill’s babies…… just putting it out there. lol

  2. Lisa says:

    Um…wow. I’ve read quite a few biographies about the Tudors and all the craziness surrounding them, as its a bit of an interest of mine and one thing I can say is that all the bios about Henry talk about how he was very obese as he got older and even had a festering wound on one of his legs that wouldn’t heal in part because of his weight. So yeah, Jonathan, maybe you should actually do some research before you decide to make up your own version of history.

  3. Dorothy says:

    I would rather see Jonathan Rhys Meyers than say John Goodman ANY DAY!!!

  4. Victoria says:

    Well in his defense Henry VII didnt start out in life over weight. He was very athletic, tall and thin when he was young. He jousted, hunted, played tennis and loved to dance.

  5. meme says:

    henry cavill is sssssssssssssmokin hot!!!!!

  6. late night wigs says:

    I’m impressed by Victoria and Lisa’s knowledge of Henry VIII…Tudor England is my “thing” so I know quite a bit, and I never liked this guy being cast for Henry. He looks NOTHING like him!! I watched “The Tudors” a few times but the inaccuracies drove me crazy so I had to stop. I never got that…the real story is SO interesting and drama-filled as it is, so why would they make sh*t up? It just pissed me off, and so does this. Dude, you’re ALREADY completely wrong as Henry, so give it a little more effort! It’s sorely needed, asshole.

  7. lucy2 says:

    I don’t know, if he signed on to play the role and tell Henry’s life story, then the heaviness later in life is part of it. It’s not like they suddenly sprung the idea on him! I don’t see why they couldn’t just pad him up a bit to show the beginning of the weight gain.
    Cavill is so much hotter than him anyway.

  8. Nono says:

    I’ve never found JRM attractive, nor have I liked him. He’s certainly just insured I never will. Who does he think he is, really? Better actors than him have lost/gained weight for a role. Loser.

  9. Rianna says:

    “I think Henry was better looking than he was portrayed in the classic portrait by Hans Holbein. I think he would have hated it. It may be great art, but it’s not a good picture.”

    Has Meyers suddenly developed the talent for time travel and is able to go back to the 1500’s to meet Henry and accurately assess what the man looked like? What a moron.

    Henry the VIII was for the majority of his life fat (so fat that he had to be moved by mechanical contraptions), gout ridden, covered in boils and prone to angry outburts and paranoia.
    He died from the excesses he lived by. Unlike Queen Elizabeth I or Queen Victoria he managed to leave the Britian in a worse situation than when he took over by completely reorganising the country’s religion to suit his sexual fancies.

    Yes he was probably good looking in his earlier years (he was red haired btw, that is why Queen Elizabeth I was red haired) but Meyers has to realize that the man he chose and signed up to play in this series gets fat and ugly lol! To suddenly wimp out now is kind of bad face for him.

  10. fran says:

    Jonathan is gorgeous, of course, but he portrays the king so well. The whole idea of the show was to make the period in history more accessible — all the actors look good.

  11. Bella Bella says:

    I read that Stephanie Meyer wanted Henry Cavill to play Edward but by the time filming occurred he was too old. He is deliciously hot for sure.

  12. trish says:

    He didn’t refuse to gain weight. They didn’t want him to. They are aging him and will continue to throughout the season. I think all he is saying is that he personally could never look like this huge 300 pound guy.
    He’s by far the hottest guy on the show.

  13. nickie says:

    I love JRM. And he makes this time in history so interesting. There are lots of hot guys on the show but I think he is the sexiest and certainly the reason to watch the show.

  14. Elong says:

    I’ve been hooked on this show since the start. Feelings run hot and cold for JRM though. Cavill on the other hand, any time any place any where! Yummy!

  15. Hel says:

    Henry wasn’t fat in his younger days, in fact it is well documented how athletic he was.

    However, he did become a lump of lard and JRM should have worn a fat suit – he sounds like a arrogant twit.

  16. bobby says:

    I think I know what he means. We don’t really know what someone looked like 500 years ago. Of course he wasn’t as hot as JRM — I wouldn’t watch the show for 40 hours if it was completely accurate.

  17. Jill says:

    Well they are both good looking men in different ways. I prefer JRM. But he’s certainly the better actor. Cavill is a bit ordinary in the acting department to say the least

  18. Tammy Baker says:

    From what I read he does get old and wrinkled towards the end of the season. I think they just want to do it gradually to string the audience along. I think he’s a fantastic actor, actually. And very handsome

  19. HR2 says:

    The whole idea of this show is to put a more romantic, fresh spin on things. It’s not supposed to be like other performances. I think he’s fantastic. I like the new Katherine too, although she giggles a little too much.

  20. Shane says:

    Shame of it is that up until the point where Henry should have been horribly injured and gotten fat they had a LOT of historical accuracy.

    Now the whole timeline and accuracy is screwed up because they kept him thin. The reason the Queen they’re getting ready to kill off screwed around on him is because he was DISGUSTINGLY huge and could barely walk let alone ride horses or still fight.

  21. Heather says:

    Well I don’t want to watch 10 episodes of a horribly fat Henry. It just won’t interest me. JRM is hot

  22. lizzie(greeneyedfem) says:

    He does realize that a portrait is not a snapshot, right? That a painted portrait takes hours and hours of sketching and planning and work? It’s not possible for a portraitist to just happen to catch someone at a bad angle, like a paparazzi taking some spontaneous shot of Brad Pitt on the sidewalk.

    Added to that the fact that every portraitist would want to flatter the hell out of the person sitting for them, so that they would continue to get patronage. DOUBLE that for when the sitter is a powerful king who could make or break your career, and double it again when that king is super-vain, as Henry was.

    I think we can be pretty sure that Henry looked worse in person than he did in that portrait.

  23. RhymesWithSilver says:

    Henry VIII was a total stud when he became king. His title and his looks made him the best catch in Europe. Every royal babe from London to the Danube wanted a shot with Henry. He got very fat later on- so fat that Rhys-Meyers could never gain enough weight to portray him. This show plays fast and loose with history anyhow. If they care about ratings, keep hot Henry onscreen. If they cared about accuracy, why not just find an older, heavier actor?

  24. Iggles says:

    I can’t..

    I watched the early episodes and I thought it was pretty good. The hair didn’t bother me. I think JRM did a good job of portraying the king’s grief after the death of his 3rd wife, Jane.

    BUT, as another history buff, that should have been the tipping point where he began adding on the pounds. By the time he married Catherine (wife 5) he was fat and gross looking, which is part of the reason she fell for Thomas Culpepper instead (he was hot).

    I can’t watch the later seasons. It’s to inaccurate and him not being fat completely takes away from a big part of why marriage number 5 fell apart.

  25. Ladybird says:

    I think it is Rhys Meyers’ portrayal that draws you in to the show. Of course he is a gorgeous man but he’s so interesting. A mix of so many emotions. Give this man an Emmy already!

  26. LolaBella says:

    JRM is gorgeous and a good actor to boot. Not to mention a talented musician and singer.

    Loved him in Bend It Like Beckham and August Rush as well as in his current role as Henry VIII.

    Oh, and Henry Cavill is very handsome but definitely would NOT have worked as Edward Cullen!

  27. Annabelle says:

    Ok so he didn’t want to get fat. He took this role- he does know who Henry the 8th was, right?

  28. Geenie says:

    I really don’t understand the criticism. He was hired because he’s gorgeous and talented. If he was ugly the show wouldn’t have the following it has.

  29. Cheyenne says:

    He’s a very, very fine actor — but Henry VIII he ain’t.

  30. Lilias says:

    I don’t understand people who want a damn dramatic television show to be “historically accurate”.

    It’s a DRAMA SHOW. This isn’t the History Channel. There are going to be historical inaccuracies and frankly I don’t care.

    I like the show because it’s sexy and full of drama-not because it’s an accurate portrayal of 16th century England. If I wanted to watch that, I would watch the History Channel.

    It’s clearly historical fiction. They aren’t claiming that it’s fastidiously historically accurate, so why complain? Everybody knows that Henry VIII got grossly fat later in life. I don’t want to see it and I’d rather not see Jonathon Rhys Meyers in a fat suit.

  31. weslyn says:

    well during his last couple of marriages..he was grossly overweight..he could’ve at least put on a fat suit

  32. bellaluna says:

    I have always thought JRM was an arrogant, conceited little turd. I did, however, love him in the movie The Children of Huang Shi (or something similarly titled). It’s based on a true story, and the main character, and JRM’s portrayal of that character, were amazing. But he’s still an arrogant, conceited little turd. A good looking little turd, but a turd nonetheless.

  33. brigitte says:

    Well he may be arrogant and conceited but show me an actor who isn’t. I think he’s just a bit more honest about this than others. He really doesn’t seem to play the Hollywood game. I actually think he’s a wonderful actor. And of course he is incredibly sexy and the kind of man you would describe as beautiful.

  34. JC126 says:

    I doubt few people would want to watch a show about a fat Henry VIII. He was a beastly brute – having a handsome guy play him makes it watchable.
    Oh, and while I know some actors gain weight to play roles, is that really healthy? I can’t fault someone for not wanting to gain weight.

  35. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    He gets off on some technicalities, but I still call shenanigans.

    His weight would have been distracting. By the end he had an over 50-inch ‘waist’, and had to be carted around via a system of weights and pulleys…sometimes a wagon. I remember reading stage directions for The Elephant Man, and they stated that John Merrick’s body and speech should not be distorted for exactly that reason.

    Hans Holbein wasn’t exactly a rookie at this stage, and knew that if his work wasn’t to the king’s liking, he could very easily find his head surgically removed from its body. It was Holbein who created the infamous Anne of Cleves portrait that indirectly lead to Thomas Cromwell’s execution. Henry VIII’s pa, Henry VII had little black and rotten teeth, do you really want to see that? Luckily, his portraitist didn’t think so, so we only have to hear about it. And just because he was feeling spiteful, (I know, stop all the clocks), he made sure to hire an inexperienced axe man. Third time’s the charm. Egad.

    The portrait doesn’t say, ‘I’m a diseased and infected old tub o’ guts who can’t walk anymore, fetch me more capon’. His size takes up the space and he stares at you impassively. ‘Hey you, yes, I own you. Look upon my majesty and tremble.’ They’re always going to promote a romanticized ideal, and if the patron doesn’t like it, that’s your affair. But his stance, arms akimbo, spread legs, prominent codpiece, sartorial finery, leave no room for misinterpretation. He’ll break you, because he can. Look up Margaret Pole, last surviving Plantagenet–if you dare. You’ve been warned.

    Heck, when Winston Churchill had a portrait taken in his late life, his wife destroyed it. People are vain. They’re vain but they’re also ugly. To say nothing of the filth and disease of everyday life, they were so inbred that they could barely walk. I’m not being hyperbolic. For anyone who is a fan of 30 Rock, think of the Prince Gerhardt birthday party episode. They absolutely must have modeled him after some of the end of the line Spanish Hapsburgs. If not, I’ll eat my hat. I mean, God Bless, but they really had a ‘toss it into the well and cut your losses’ kind of appearance. Egad.

    I guess no one’s going to cast him as George IV if ‘The Hanovers’ actually happens. That organ bag became so large that he had a series of tunnels constructed over shame about his proportions. How fat? Well, when was the last time you ate a 100-course meal? That’s not a typo. Are there really any potions small enough in existence to make that less than sickening? Evidently not, given Beau Brumell’s ‘…who’s your fat friend’ remark. Don’t cry for him though, as far as monarchs or human beings go, he was The Craps. No one cried at his funeral, not even the 7000 women he bedded in his lifetime. Yup. It’s good to be king.

    The fact that Henry lived as long as he did (to age 56) with all of the medical maladies that befell him proves that he was a hearty, strong man. He suffered on and off from malaria for the last three decades of his life, likely would have had syphilis (not proven, but very likely), survived two outbreaks of the sweating sickness, almost drowned in mud, had a serious jousting accident when he was young, and then had a near-fatal one (the one that worried Anne Boleyn into a miscarriage of a male child–danged witchcraft) which knocked him unconscious for the space of several hours.

    I’m not a doctor, but if a person is knocked unconscious for even four or five minutes, there is a very, very serious threat of brain damage. I don’t even know what could have resulted from this one, but it did mark the turning point from whence he transformed from pissy roue, to full-on tyrant. Sounds a little like the ‘brain fever’ caught by Caligula. Now, THERE’s a psychopath. Without even addressing the ulcer, I’m sure this made the guy a little less than beautiful.

    Visual assault that he became, the leg ulcer (which plagued him for the last 12 years of his life, keeping the formerly active man laid up in bed, spewing foul-smelling pus and other unappetizing effluvia) wasn’t exacerbated by his weight, but by the ultimately destructive medical practice of the day. Interestingly, the aristocracy were often in worse health than the general populace because of the lack of inbreeding and lack of funds they could spend on innovation, which was more likely to worsen the patient due its mind-blowing bat-shittery. It was believed that the worse thing to do for this kind of injury would be to let it heal over. This is because they believed that all of the putrescence would be trapped inside the body, poisoning the patient from within. To combat this, the would was purposely kept open by doctors pouring gold flakes into the opening. Egad.

    We tend of focus on the crazy: Dissolution of the monasteries out of spite and as a means of filling his own coffers which he’d drained on piddle and crap, the six wives, the size, creating the Anglican church, but some good happened. He’s the ‘Father of the English Navy’ who set two major dock ports, built the first gunship, mounted the biggest invasions into France since Henry V (I guess that’s good?) The Act of Appeals, politically advantageous marriages, he was sportsman, poet, musician and songwriter (but not of ‘Greensleeves’), managed to make himself even more powerful than the pre-Magna Carta monarchs. I’m not saying that’s good, but it’s an accomplishment.

    I (what I’ve seen of the show), am not a huge fan of JRM’s performance. He seems more like a petulant, yappy, scenery-chewing chihuahua than a common figure of awe and terror. I’ll let this one slide, Jon-Boy, but don’t think we don’t know you’re a very princess-y young man.

  36. Katyusha says:

    I totally agree with Lilias.
    The Tudors isn’t meant to be historically accurate, it’s for entertainment.

    Also, I’m not sure why people are concerned that JRM doesn’t look like Henry VIII…while we can only go on what the portraits looked like, they all were kind of painted the same way, with the same features. People don’t look like that now.

    I’m pretty sure Natalie Dormer didn’t look like Ann Boleyn, just as Catherine of Aragon didn’t look like Maria Doyle Kennedy. Who cares?

  37. Novaraen says:

    He needs to get fat and sickly to stay true to the history!! How ridiculous that he refuses to wear a fat suit. Just do it…you’re an actor dammit!

  38. Tanya says:

    Welcome to the Henry Cavill <3 club. We almost made him our #1 Hottest Guy of 2009 but have you seen his terrible hair situation lately?? It’s a shame. He did it last minute and we had to bump him down from #1 to an honorable mention ( hopefully he’ll get back to the hot soon.

  39. potatopeel says:

    The only thing JRM has with Henry VIII – vanity! I don’t care if this is a Showtime movie or a PBS production – you should try to replicate “likeness” as much as possible. Not just go for “pretty or good-looking”. Seriously, Henry VIII was such a physical wreck towards the end of his life – definitely not the “golden boy” of his early years. And definitely not anything like JRM! For as much money as they put into this series it’s too bad they didn’t go for a better representation of historical fact.

  40. brigitte says:

    Who knows if JRM is vain. This is what the show requires. He’s been made to look gorgeous all along. They can’t make him ugly all of a sudden can they? I think he looks plump in the first ep. And I imagine they will gradually fatten him up

  41. Cath says:

    This show is already the most historically inaccurate thing ever, so why bother with a fat suit?

  42. buckley says:

    “He seems more like a petulant, yappy, scenery-chewing chihuahua than a common figure of awe and terror. I’ll let this one slide, Jon-Boy, but don’t think we don’t know you’re a very princess-y young man”


  43. Corina says:

    I loooooove Henry Cavill and want to marry him and have his babies. He has a girlfriend so that probably won’t happen (but you know, if he were single, we would totally be together) but damn! So hot! Also I read an interview with him and he has 4 brothers who are all in the military…I would most likely be content with any of the Cavill boys, so please send them my way should anyone ever encounter them! 🙂

  44. Sue23 says:

    I love JRM. He’s so gorgeous in an unusual and very sexy way. I think his acting in The Tudors is really well done. The whole show has such a modern quality to it — really makes you feel more of what it was like to be in that time. LOVE HIM

  45. gg says:

    Jo Mama, enjoyed reading your post! I adore history, especially Plantagenet/Tudor. Your: “… seems more like a petulant, yappy, scenery-chewing chihuahua than a common figure of awe and terror” — thank you! 😆
    I wanted to add that the aristocracy also thought eating vegetables was for the poor – they came from the dirt, and dirt was dirty so it must not be so good for the king and court, so the meal’s focus was on how many different kinds of meat they could roast and display on the tables. Hence, their diet being devoid of important veg-related nutrition, their general health sucked – weakened immunity would keep you down.

    The real Henry’s corpulence affected everything he did later in life, and to eliminate this huge element wrecks the whole plausibility doing this story! A thin guy is not ever going to command the room like a wide fat guy like Henry ended up.

    Now, I know this show must be popular for evening soap opera genre, but it’s about as interesting to as ‘Dallas’ in period costume, except JR was more interesting than JRM movie-ravishing all the modely looking broads. I even bought Season I and can’t finish the first episode because of the casting, silly storyline, and the idea that sex with a narcissist like Meyers makes me a little ill inside. He’s creepy and does not connect with the other characters.

    If, when they cast this guy, he was too vain or paranoid or embarrassed or whatever to do the physical part of Henry VIII, they should have seen it coming and cast anybody else, so I guess they wanted it to be all soap opera-y with added sex, which I find boring. Their history series are usually like this, but I guess I just wanted this one to be a bit better.

  46. lrm says:

    Guys, it’s not the history channel! It’s freakin HBO and it’s ‘television’-you know, ‘entertainment’.
    You period buffs need to lighten the f*ck up.
    JRM is hot,and I enjoy him;he was great in woody allen’s matchpoint.

    Anyway, he is not the sole decision maker-I am assuming the producers and directors have the last say-and that they could have found another actor who would ‘get fat’ for the role one way or another.
    Geez. He wasn’t all diva about it-he just said he didnt want to do it and didnt think it would work out anyway if he did.
    Who cares?
    That makes you not like someone? lol
    I’m not sure if any of you are Irish, but i think you are missing use of language in how he means it…
    And, it’s PARADE magazine-not this literary bastion-and not a long in depth article.

    But, you are free to take this waaaaaaay to seriously. Your call.

  47. Victoria says:

    @ Jo Mamma Besser
    Another of his great acommplishments was (he didnt realize this at the time) to father Elizabeth I. 🙂

  48. buckley says:

    We are all entitled to our opinions Irm…

    Myself, I’d like to thank the history buffs for making an interesting thread…

  49. PJ says:

    Henry’s suits of armor are on display in England, and you can see how his size grew over the years. I can’t remember exactly where I saw them — probably Windsor Castle or the British Museum.

    His armor gives a much better idea of his body size than a painting, and it’s indisputable that he was large in his later years.

  50. Zelda says:

    “He seems more like a petulant, yappy, scenery-chewing chihuahua than a common figure of awe and terror. I’ll let this one slide, Jon-Boy, but don’t think we don’t know you’re a very princess-y young man”

    And the coke-eyes.
    Don’t forget his date rapist coke-eyes.

  51. AnnK says:

    JRM has been playing Henry VIII for three years now, and he doesn’t know that Holbein was Henry’s court painter? Famously? I.e., that Henry commissioned the portrait in question? That it’s considered an iconic image of Henry? What an idiotic comparison to paparazzi. Holbein didn’t run up and paint the portrait as Henry was trundling out of Starbucks in his sweats after a night of drinking. Sometimes you have to ask, how stupid are actors?

  52. annaloo says:

    I’m betting it’s because the network wouldn’t front the costs of a personal trainer and nutritionist to get him back to original size.. but that’s just a cynical guess.

  53. gg says:

    @ Irm – “That makes you not like someone? lol”

    No, that isn’t why I can’t stand him. It’s because he’s been an @sshole in interviews time after time and shows himself to be a self-serving drunken boor.

    I gave him a pass on my opinion of him just to see if he could act his way out of this series – and he doesn’t. It’s just this history buff’s opinion, don’t let it keep you up at night.

    lol @ zelda! I was looking for the words.

  54. frany says:

    Really? I’ve seen him in a bunch of interviews and I think he seems kind of sweet and refreshingly honest. He does seem to have some personal problems, but I don’t think I will put him down for those because I don’t know his circumstances. As for the show, I think he is a really good actor and I love the modern take. I would think the history buffs here would appreciate a little creative license with a piece of history that has been done to death in film already.

  55. Mairead says:

    I don’t think the Tudorites here need to “lighten the f*** up”. The fact of the matter is many people forget that programmes based on real life tend not to be in the least bit accurate. Which means they can often take what they see at face-value. Take, for example, the very lauded “Young Victoria”, Emily Blunt’s accent is dreadful and the scene where Albert “saves” her is moronic – especially if you see the DVD extras where their “historical consultant” belches on about the fabrics needing to be true to the period. 🙄

    @lrm, I’m Irish but I’m not following you what you mean by his use of English. Personally, I reckon any self-respecting Corkonian should be saying “lad” instead of “guy”

    He did come off as an insufferable twerp when he was younger, and isn’t exactly well-educated, but anything I’ve seen of him in the past few years he’s copped on a lot and has become far more self-effacing. He even signed up to have the mickey taken out of him in “A Film With Me In It”

    Oh, and as for him not being linked with a stream of girlies in the past- from what I’ve heard, he’s definitely very unlikely to in the future either 😉 .

  56. masonwasp says:

    He was hot as hell in Velvet Goldmine.

  57. Mistral says:

    I agree that it’s just an entertaining version of historical reality. Who cares if Henry the 8th (VIII–correction needed in the article) was a fat bugger in later years? Why should JRM mess with his looks for a TV show that won’t be on much longer, thus affecting his potential to get hired for other things in the meantime. He gets hired for his prettiness and craziness; why mess with your assets?

    And Henry Cavill is yummy squared.

  58. GatsbyGal says:

    To be fair, the kid would’ve had to gain like 100 pounds to even be close to the rotund-ness that is Henry the 8th. Sure he could’ve gained a little, but really if you’re not going to even get close to reaching true fatass status, what’s the point? And I’m glad he said no to the fatsuit because those always looks fake and stupid and are totally distracting. Really all that matters is his acting, and obviously he’s doing a good job at that.

  59. tamila says:

    He’s not refusing to do anything. He’s doing what he was hired to do. By the way both are good-looking men. JRM’s my favorite although that is far from the best picture of him. He is luminous in the show … and elsewhere.

  60. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    LOVE HIM. LOVE THE SHOW. Can’t wait for Sunday!

  61. fizXgirl314 says:

    I doubt this is true.. the producers probably wanted to maintain his good looks to draw in a substantial female audience. If it is true, then he’s a disgrace as an actor… seriously…

  62. chris says:

    Of course it’s not true. Actors don’t get to make decisions like this on their own. Especially on a popular big-budget show. I’m sure he is doing exactly what was in his contract — what he’s been employed to do.

  63. d says:

    I think showing Henry’s physical degradation over the years would have made for a more interesting character development and arc, because it would also contrast with how he still retained and wielded a great deal of power, illustrated by how many women he bedded and what he was still able to do. I want to see THAT character in a tv story. someone who doesn’t really change that much isn’t that interesting, that’s all. I’ll still watch the series, but I don’t take it too seriously. I kind of see where he’s coming from, but i still think it would have been an intersting challenge for him as an actor “to go there” by undergoing the physical transformation (because he is a pretty decent actor). as my mum says (and she’s a BIG Tudor buff and why does that sound wierd), the fact that he wasn’t obviously healthy and virile after a certain point may have contributed to some of his behaviour … it just makes for a more interesting story and character.

    Anyway, Henry Cavill is WAAAAYYY more yummy and more interesting to watch, so that’s all I have to say about that.

    but I otherwise agree. it seems like they made this series to cater to a particular crowd with “modern” sensibilities, hence the sex-AY parts and everyone looking beautiful, etc., etc., I don’t think they ever intended to be 100% accurate. That was immediately clear to me anyway, so I didn’t get too worked up by the inaccuracies. It’s kind of like when a theatre company puts on a Shakespeare play in modern fashion…you know up front what the tone’s likely to be like and you take it or leave it, I guess.

  64. d says:

    and I just read jo mamma’s comment … wow! totally fascinating! thanks for that. I love this kind of stuff!

  65. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:


    That stuff about the vegetables is a gas, huh? Tomatoes are poison and all of that. Reminds me of the opening credits of the ‘Beer’ episode from Blackadder II, when they garnish the drink with a parasol and carrot.

    I can’t really remember much about the first season, I’m not devotee of the show or anything. I do remember thinking that Maria Doyle Kennedy was far and away the best thing about that cast. There was something about her that was just so warmly regal that made Anne Boleyn seem like a step down, post-menopause or not. I also think that the girl who plays the future ‘Bloody Mary’ does very, very fine work. Now that James Frain is gone, however, so is my interest, no crime. The wanton carnality just isn’t a draw for me, what are you gonna do?

    I’d go on, but I might end up learning something or becoming interested, and I just can’t take that risk.

  66. Aussie Mama says:

    OMG I just finished watching the third series of The Tudors, awesome. I hope they keep it going, bloody fantastic, great characters and JRM’s is glorious. There’s something about him that really reminds me of Elvis in his young days. He is the absolute illustration of perfection, such a gorgeous human being. Jealous as hell of all the gals that get to lie underneath him. He is the BOMB!

  67. Ruffian9 says:

    Thanks, Jo ‘Mama’ Besser; Great post!

  68. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Thanks for the nice comments, I really appreciate it. I’m smiling through the chest cold.

  69. lurker says:

    Celebitchy – thank you for making my day!
    Henry Cavill is to me what Gerald Butler is to Kaiser. Oh the things that I would let that guy to do me…

  70. gg says:

    Love Blackadder – now that’s entertainment!
    Hope you get better, Jo Mama. 🙂

  71. Kelly says:

    God I CANNOT STAND JRM!!! He just oozes conceited arsehole like he gets out of bed and rolls around in it every morning without fail. How fucking insecure can you be to refuse to adopt the personal aspects of a character youre hired to portray?
    The ironic delight of all this is that he tried to play Henry and ended up playing himself. What a monumental douche, seriously.
    Im at least glad entertainment industry men are at last feeling some of the pressure that women in the same position would be subject to. Maybe things will start changing for the better.

  72. Zelda says:

    For all those telling the history buffs to “lighten up”:

    Why? What is so awful about comparing a pop culture representation of something to the real thing? What is wrong with discussion? What is wrong with not likeing a given portrayal of something due to innacuracy? Why do they need to “lighten up”? It’s not like they are storming the HBO offices or firebombing the set—they are just pointing out oversights, errors, and tweaks they don’t like, and suggesting that staying true to the original would make the story more interesting in such and such a way.

    I’m no history buff, that much is for sure, but I think that actual DISCUSSION is really interesting. And call me crazy, but I thought that discussing the arts (yes, even tv) was one of the finer things in life. Why SHOULD we all just clap our hands and be grateful? We’re not robots, we’re not trained monkeys, we’re not zombies. Why even watch something if you’re just going to passively suck it in? That’s not participation in life–that’s a waking coma.

    We’re not all placated by distraction–some of us like stimulation.

  73. Zenobia says:

    Hey, dudes, I was impressed by your knowledge too, but it’s Henry VIII, not VII (that was a TOTALLY different guy who you’d probably want played by the guy who plays Filch in the Harry Potter films).

    I’ve come to terms with The Tudors and learned to love it on its own merits. My only problem with it isn’t that JRM refuses to be fat for it – I mean, come on, they amalgamated two sisters; why pile on the cellulite now? – but that JRM is boring as giddyup as Henry VIII. You don’t see him going from being this idealistic guy to this paranoid tyrant (which is what happened, and which is totally the better story) – you just see him go from gorgeous bastard move to gorgeous bastard move, all the while yelling I’M THE KING OF ENGLAND!


  74. doomed says:

    Henry Cavill or JRM… I can’t choose. Damn it.

  75. filmfan says:

    I love him. I think he’s great in this show — a really good actor with an interesting take. And mighty attractive. Cavill is attractive, too, but at least in this show he has not displayed much acting skill. Although he was fun to watch in the first season as a playboy.

  76. ViktoryGin says:

    Okay, JRM is assurely vain. He’s a leo, afterall, and as leos have an almost rabid need to be worshiped, their physical assets cannot be sub-standard. Ever.


    Not quite true. I believe that it was Spanish painter Francisco de Goya who set heads rolling when he refused to paint his subjects (aristocracy) in a manner that embellished how they actually looked. Depends on the personality of the artist and how comfortable they are with bucking authority.

    Though I have my issue with historical fiction in general, I must admit that I’m not keen on seeing an infirmed, corpulent Henry VIII climbing on top of young comely starlets (let’s face it, the women will NEVER be ugly unless it’s the BBC). Note that Eric Bana plays an inaccurately attractive Henry VIII, as well.

    Henry Cavill. Discoverd him about 10 years ago when he was still a teen in The Count of Monte Cristo. Damn he was fine. I must say, however, that age is not kind to hairlines.

  77. Ashley says:

    I do not get his appeal at all. He’s skeevy and not attractive and I refuse to watch the Tudors. Not only does he look NOTHING like Henry (who was supposed to have been gorgeous when he was younger), he also cannot act to save his life (unless said acting involves being a jerk and brooding). I’m just not ready to have one of my favorite historical figures ruined by this guy.

    As for Cavill, he was apparently supposed to have Pattinson’s part in Twilight! Ahaha. The producers invisioned him as Edward Cullen before signing Pattinson.

  78. Ashley says:

    Zelda – forgot about the coke eyes. Add that to his skeeviness and he thoroughly creeps me out.

  79. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Yeah, coke eyes. That was funny.

    Honestly, I don’t take any issue with the face he was given, it doesn’t turn my crank, but it was actually BECAUSE of the fact that his appearance diverges so wildly from Henry VIII’s own that curiosity compelled to check it out. I was interested in seeing what kind of performance would result from an actor not being to rely on physical similarities and letting himself just phone it in. I do see the difficulty in radically changing your appearance for a role. Not everyone is Robert de Niro or Christian Bale, it’s a huge amount of work and strain, and no wants to get a heart attack at work.

    And to be sure, the whole ‘ugly up for award consideration’ is kind of played out, too. I guess that in some way, you can’t really win, because it’s far to difficult to get work if you’re less attractive, but people tend to not take you seriously either.

    And once again, royalty can tend to be WEIRD-looking in a way that we don’t always want to see.

    Edward the Confessor: six-foot-four albino who spoke in a falsetto.

    Victoria: matronly ball of black who clocked in at less than five feet. No disrespect to the short, I’m doll-sized. I can only imagine what nine kids, especially at that height, doesn’t pave the road to bikini model.

    Henry IV: Mysterious skin affliction with leprosy-like symptoms.

    Anne: Eighteen pregnancies and internal abscesses meant that her coffin was almost perfectly square.

    Two words: Hapsburg Jaw.

    Mary Tudor: started off alright, childhood sickness aged her fast and hard. That mug could cut glass by the end.

    Henry VII: rotted black teeth he was embarrassed to expose.

    Henry VIII and George IV: fatter than eight bitches on a bitch boat.

    William the Conqueror: ashamed of his weight (there must have a lot of extra food lying around, what with starving of all those Anglo-Saxons to death), decided to take up an all-alcohol diet (sucker). Imagine that, he got fatter! Booze, internal abscesses, a fall from his horse onto his stomach which proved fatal meant he was too big for his coffin. When the monks pressed on the gas-bloated body, his gut exploded, and organs and pus shot out of him and onto the unfortunate monks. The entire funeral congregation ran out of the then brand-spanking Westminster Abbey because the smell was that foul.

    Heck, there was an Ivar the Boneless. What?

    So, you know: ugly. But these historical dramas are often so bloody and nauseating to watch for the faint-of-heart (me), that the idea of the audience not wanting to see unpleasing things seems kind of shaky. Yes, I understand the difference between harrowing acts of cruelty and the need and desire for that to be tempered with beautiful flesh. But a dude with a gut can’t be that much more disgusting to see than seeing another man have his guts ripped out. I’m not saying he should pull a LaMotta, (and Raging Bull this ain’t), but something about it seems kind of ‘changing horses in mid-stream’ to me. I don’t know if I articulated that well.

    I remember there being about why the actress who played Jane Seymour in season 2 was replaced. It turned out that it was because the actress had issue with portraying onscreen nudity. I remember JRM going on and on about how he ‘can’t stand’ actresses who refuse to do nudity, as if their infantile hangups would always and only mitigate the integrity of their projects and performances.

    True, I’m sure they would have addressed the issue of weight before he even signed on, and as I’ve said before, physical incongruity is something I can overlook. Katherine of Aragon had lighter eyes and blonde-auburn hair, and Anne Boleyn was swarthy with black eyes. Whatever, not skin off my back. But if JRM is so entitled to telling women what do with their bodies, and somehow has the right to say what he thinks of actresses as performers and people if they don’t fall into his ‘acceptable’ categories, it doesn’t stand to reason that wearing a costume would amount to some sort of capital offense. I, Claudius pulled it off–in its way. It looked weird as hell, and I do understand that none of the characters in that cast had bodies that went all funhouse mirror clusterf*** on them in old age, but maybe it would been easier to chuck the whole ‘actor’ thing, and get Ray Harryhausen out of retirement to build some kind of Crab Henry The VIII.

    But for me, it’s so chauvinistic, hypocritical, and frankly rude for him to run off at the mouth in public and on the record about how women who dare to exercise autonomy over their own bodies have somehow failed him and ART when he can’t even be arsed to put on a thicker doublet. That’s some high-level swamp donkey behaviour.

    @gg: Thanks. I got through a decent pile of work in the last few days, so I’m going to take the weekend to nap like a sloth with addiction issues.

    @Zelda: Very nice comment, I agree with you.

  80. buff says:

    There are two discussions going on here. One is about historical accuracy vs. liberties for entertainment and the other is about JRM in particular. On the first I’m completely open to historically based drama if it’s well done. I think this show is. It may not be perfect but it is an entertaining and very origincal mix of drama and history. As to JRM in particular, I don’t understand the fuss. He was obviously hired for the qualities he possesses — which are substantial by the way — and he’s presumably doing what he signed up to do. To say he didn’t want to get fat is neither here nor there. Who does, after all.

  81. Emily says:

    I’m a massive history nerd, and I always prefer my sh*t to be historically accurate. But I love the Tudors. It’s just so f*cking addictive. Sure, there were parts that made me scream and swear at the TV, and others that sent me into laughing fits (the worst was what they did with Henry’s sisters!), but it’s still a good show. And I’d prefer to look at JRM skinny than fat and pus-oozing anyday!

  82. Chris says:

    Henry VIII was never quite as slim as JRM in the photo above apparently, being broad shouldered and muscular in his youth. But Henry VIII is infamous for his later corpulence. Making no effort to portray this at all is just laziness. They could have padded out his clothing a bit, just to help with the suspension of disbelief.

  83. anon says:

    They should have just called this show “based on” Henry and have it been a night time soap opera – then it wouldn’t be so stupid. The first season you could almost buy into but after that it’s just retarded. He should’ve been fat a lot sooner.

  84. Spike says:

    I love the historical discussion today. Thanks for all the great details 🙂

    For those of you who do want to see a great series about Henry the VIIIth you should check out this — The Six Wives of Henry VIII

    I watched this as eleven when I saw this on PBS; it was riveting. Keith Mitchell was brilliant as Henry, even in all his corpulence. It’s called great acting.

    It’s available streaming on Netflix.

  85. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    @Spike: Thanks for the tip!

  86. gg says:

    @ Spike – Yes! I remember it vividly and watch it every time it reruns.

    @ Jo Mama – who said, “Henry VIII and George IV: fatter than eight bitches on a bitch boat” LMAO! If you are in or near or plan to be in London, go to the Pyx Chamber at Westminster Abbey at the Cloisters – an oft-undervisited area since the Abbey itself can be overwhelming, it’s quiet in there, wonderful photo ops, and there is a section with the original funeral effigies, among them is Nelson’s, QE I, and a Henry or II *pun* – the face was rendered from a life- or death-mask, with hairs even sticking from the plaster at the temples. Real history. You would love it!

    and I totally agree with Zelda, Zenobia, Spike and Chris! It wouldn’t have been that hard to find a blonde or ginger guy and use a potbelly in his costume. It would have made the role infinitely more believable.

  87. Jez says:

    I think the point was that it’s good television. It’s sexy and “new”.

    And why isn’t this site posting about Henry Cavill? I mean yow! That is a sexy ass man right there.

  88. Chris R says:

    Myers should be saving his money. What a pig. OH-VER-RAY-TED!!! “AHM THA KINGH UF FUKIN ENGLUND!!!!…RAGHRRR!! give us a break! God, what a dork…

  89. MonaLisa says:

    LMAO, some of these comments…. you need to be slapped. I am familiar with Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, and all of that also; I too saw some wrong shit in The Tudors but I put that aside and enjoyed it for the TV SHOW it is and for the well chosen actors, if you think somebody is an asshole or not does in no way impact their talent. And to take Meyers’ quote soo seriously, asking if he’s time traveled, is ignorant and makes you sound like a child. Yes, becoming fat would have been more accurate but the show probably wouldn’t have even made it to season 4. Research a few things yourself and learn to appreciate and spot talent when you see it, before you decide to rant like you’re the king of England.

  90. Jane Andrews says:

    Did no one notice the typos in the article? It’s Henry VIII, not Henry VII…article starts out right, but then miss-types his name.