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Jude Law admits it's 'satisfying' to no longer play roles based on his looks

Jude Law admits it's 'satisfying' to no longer play roles based on his looks
Getty Images / / Sean Zanni / Stringer

Jude Law has admitted it's "satisfying" to be cast in roles that are no longer just about how he looks.

The 51-year-old actor became known as a Hollywood hearthrob in his twenties, but is now relieved he doesn't have to play to his looks.

"I didn't feel like I really ever leaned into playing handsome, but there were roles that required an attractive energy," the Talented Mr Ripley actor told DuJour magazine.

He joked, "I was trying to play against my looks in my early 20s, and now that I'm saggy and balding, I wish I had played it up."

His more recent roles, including Sky TV's The Young Pope and 2020 movie The Nest, "have not leaned in to any sort of attraction," he said, adding, "it's been satisfying not having to turn that switch on."

His new film, Firebrand, sees him play Henry VIII opposite Alicia Vikander, who stars as Henry's sixth and final wife Catherine Parr.

In the film, he has a grey beard and looks overweight.

"It took so much time every morning to get into this huge, weighted costume and I would stay in it for the rest of the day," he said.

"You could rehearse in jeans and a T-shirt, but then you would turn up in this enormous outfit and realise you're going to knock everyone over. So you might as well maintain that sense of Henry's shape and size."

The star also enlisted the help of a parfumier to help make him smell authentic.

"I read several interesting accounts that you could smell Henry three rooms away," he said. "His leg was rotting so badly. He hid it with rose oil. I thought it would have a great impact if I smelt awful. (The parfumier) somehow came up with this extraordinary variety of blood, fecal matter and sweat. Initially, I used it very subtly. But then it became a spray fest."

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