Jude Law Wore ‘Fecal Matter’ Perfume on ‘Firebrand’ Set

Firebrand stinks. But not based on reviews. Invisible Life director Karim Aïnouz’s revisionist tale about Henry VIII’s last wife, Catherine Parr, starring Jude Law as the Tudor king and Alicia Vikander as Parr, takes place half a millennium ago, when people used chamber pots and bathed infrequently. Law decided it would be a good idea to Method act the smells of the era to get him and those poor souls around him in character. “I read several interesting accounts that you could smell Henry three rooms away,” he said at the film’s Cannes Film Festival press conference on May 22, per Variety. “His leg was rotting so badly. He hid it with rose oil.” The actor had the bright idea to subject the set to an absolutely unnecessary concoction of stank that he and a perfume specialist created specifically for the role. “She somehow came up with this extraordinary variety of blood, fecal matter, and sweat,” he explained. “Initially, I used it very subtly and thought I’d use it myself.” But then he decided to (likely) harass everyone with constant spritzes. “It became a spray-fest.” Firebrand’s director described Law’s aroma when he walked in the room as “horrible.” This is the only logical end point of Method acting. In fact, we’ve gone too far.

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