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"You've never seen anything like it!" Jude Law and Alicia Vikander on the magical moments of the thriller The Queen's Gambit

Oksana GaydorNews
Jude Law and Alicia Vikander

The long-awaited historical thriller The Queen's Gambit has been released on wide screens. The film will immerse us in the incredible and intriguing world of the Tudors, the royal dynasty that ruled England in 1485 to 1603.

The film stars Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Young Pope) and Alicia Vikander (Lara Croft, The Girl from Denmark, Ex Machina). In honor of the Ukrainian premiere of the film, the actors told OBOZ.UA about the filming and the movie itself.

''You've never seen anything like it!'' Jude Law and Alicia Vikander on the magical moments of the thriller The Queen's Gambit

– Jude, Alicia, it's great to see you! How do you feel about the movie's release?

Jude: Thank you, I'm fine, but I'm a little nervous. You never know how your project will be treated, especially since it's a complex movie that evokes different emotions in the audience. Besides, I prepared very carefully for this role and put a lot of effort into this work.

Alicia: Well, this is the first film project for me in several years (Alicia Vikander was on maternity leave after the birth of her child with her husband Michael Fassbender – Ed.) The movie is my return to the profession. In addition, the role of Kateryna Parr is significant. Her character has never received so much screen time before this movie.

''You've never seen anything like it!'' Jude Law and Alicia Vikander on the magical moments of the thriller The Queen's Gambit

– We know a lot about King Henry VIII, but it's all the same: that he had six wives and executed two of them. What did you learn about your characters while working on the role?

Alicia: Well, you know, I'm from Sweden, so we know more about our kings(smiles). My knowledge of Henry was quite limited. Moreover, I knew only that Catherine Parr was lucky enough to survive and outlive the king, and that was it. While working on the film, I worked with professional historians. And you know, my picture of the world changed. I learned that Catherine was an educated and intelligent woman who became queen through the intrigues of the court. She sincerely loved Henry's children from previous marriages and taught them. So, if it wasn't for Catherine Parr, we would never have had the glorious times of Elizabeth I, which changed our culture forever.

Jude: Well, all I knew about Henry, too, was that he was kind of like Bluebeard. After accepting the role, I started reading scholarly works about the king and talking to historical consultants. I was surprised that in his youth the king was an ideal Renaissance monarch. He had a refined taste and even composed quality music. He turned into a tyrant later: under the influence of his environment and intrigues, and especially after he was injured during a tournament. He barely survived and was disabled for life. Since then, he has become a real monster.

– There are many films about the Tudor era in cinema. What makes your film special?

Alicia: Oh, here I have to praise Jude(smiles). He did an incredible job, in some moments I couldn't even believe that he was in front of me. Believe me, when you see him on the screen, you will believe the critics who call this work one of the best. You've never seen Jude Law like this and you'll be shocked by some of the moments.

Jude: Thank you, Alicia. Yes, it was a hard job. I was working on a character who is not just dying, but literally rotting away. As for Alicia, she's a real queen on the screen, she's a woman you want to be a king for.

''You've never seen anything like it!'' Jude Law and Alicia Vikander on the magical moments of the thriller The Queen's Gambit

– It is said that Jude while working on his image, used tools on the set that added realism to the process of getting into the role. How exactly did this happen?

Jude: For example, I hired an assistant to accompany me on set and spray me during my scenes with a disgusting smell that resembled the smell of rotting meat. Let me remind you that at the end of his life Henry had gangrene and ulcers that had an unbearable odor. The courtiers had to endure this stench and pretend that nothing was happening. Of course, this also served as a method of psychological pressure.

Alicia: Yeah, Jude was amazing. It's the first time I've ever seen an actor do something like that to play as realistically as possible. Of course, it helped everyone to play better.

''You've never seen anything like it!'' Jude Law and Alicia Vikander on the magical moments of the thriller The Queen's Gambit

– This film is about change, or rather about how to respond to change. How do you feel about transformations in your own life?

Jude: Well, I'm in my 50s, it's harder to keep fit, and I'm losing less and less hair(laughs). So, I'm becoming more and more like Heinrich, who also went through physical changes. Throughout my career, I have been annoyed by the roles of typical handsome men, but now I have started to miss such characters(smiles).

Alicia: My role in The Queen's Gambit is a landmark for me. It was in this project that I first appeared on the set after the birth of my child. Of course, after giving birth and the pandemic, everything was very unusual. But it even helped in my work, because I had to concentrate in difficult conditions.

''You've never seen anything like it!'' Jude Law and Alicia Vikander on the magical moments of the thriller The Queen's Gambit

– How were the costumes and interiors created for the movie?

Alicia: There are no sets in this movie. Everything you see on the screen is real. We filmed at Haddon Hill Palace near Bakewell, Derbyshire, the former residence of the Dukes of Rutland. We didn't even live in ordinary trailers, everyone just prepared and rested in real interiors. In addition, there is an extraordinary garden where we had the opportunity to relax. Michael (Fassbender – Alicia Vikander's husband – Ed.) also filmed here and had a great time on set.

Jude: Oh, yeah. The costumes that were made especially for me are completely authentic. I'm afraid to think how much they cost! It's hundreds or millions of pounds. It's impossible to wear them alone, there are so many complex elements. In addition, they look incredible in the frame. You've never seen anything like it before!

''You've never seen anything like it!'' Jude Law and Alicia Vikander on the magical moments of the thriller The Queen's Gambit

– Why do you think viewers should definitely watch this film?

Jude: "The Queen's Gambit is one of the best historical projects. Even if you are not a fan of this genre, you will have something to see. We have created an intense thriller with an unpredictable ending.

Alicia: This movie does justice to Catherine Parr. She is a remarkable woman who inspires, especially in these times.

''You've never seen anything like it!'' Jude Law and Alicia Vikander on the magical moments of the thriller The Queen's Gambit

The Queen's Gambit tells the story of the last year of the life of the cruel and harsh King Henry VIII, who is married to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr. The Queen remains the regent of England and mentor to the future Queen Elizabeth until her husband returns from the war. The king persecutes radical Protestants, one of whom is secretly his wife. When her childhood friend and a well-known Protestant is exposed and burned at the stake, Katherine finds herself in danger. To survive, she must play a dangerous game where her own life is at stake. The film is an adaptation of the bestselling novel by writer Elizabeth Fremantle, which has sold millions of copies.

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