Jude Law had a custom perfume of "blood, fecal matter, and sweat" to play Henry VIII

Jude Law and Alicia Vikander in Firebrand
(Image credit: Brouhaha Entertainment/Magnolia Mae Films)

Jude Law is taking on the mantle of one of England's most famous monarchs in Firebrand, a movie about Henry VIII and his sixth wife Katherine Parr. He decided to go method for the role – in a way that wasn't hugely popular with his co-stars. 

"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 during the Cannes press conference for Firebrand (via Variety). "I thought it would have a great impact if I smelt awful."

Law decided to go to a perfume specialist who "makes wonderful scents, and she also makes awful scents. She somehow came up with this extraordinary variety of blood, fecal matter, and sweat." Director Karim Aïnouz added: "When he walked in on set, it was just horrible."

The movie received an eight-minute standing ovation after its Cannes premiere on Sunday (May 21). The historical drama, based on the 2013 novel Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle, also stars Alicia Vikander as Katherine Parr, along with Sam Riley, Eddie Marsan, Simon Russell Beale, Erin Doherty, and Patsy Ferran. 

The film joins a host of other movies premiering at the French film festival, including Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and Wes Anderson's Asteroid City.

While we wait for Firebrand to arrive on the big screen, check out our guide to all the other highly anticipated upcoming movies on the way in 2023 and beyond.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.