‘Mary & George’ Star Tony Curran on King James I’s ‘Love’ for George – Hollywood Life

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King James I is the grand prize in the ultimate game of intrigue and power. mary and george Premieres April 5 on STARZ. magnetic Tony Curran He steps effortlessly into the role of King James I, who is charmed by the charismatic George Villiers. red, white and royal blue nicholas gallitzin, Through his mother’s influence, George became the lover of King James I and one of his most trusted advisors.

hollywood life spoke exclusively with Tony about landing the role of King James I and how the royal family’s painful past has affected him as an adult. She described how King James was looking for a “distraction” and he found that way by falling in love with men like George. But did Raja’s lust for “sensual pleasures” take his life? Read our full Q&A below.

Tony Curran
Tony Curran as King James I in ‘Mary and George’. (Starz)

King James I is among the most famous of the long list of royal figures. What kind of research did you do on that?
Tony Curran: I read a lot, and I went on YouTube. But the most informative part of the research was from a gentleman named Benjamin Woolley, The author of the novel is Benjamin king killer, on which the show is based. Benjamin is like an Encyclopedia Britannica of information on historical monarchy. Benjamin wrote the book, and it is almost all factual. Our story is based on the book, so I originally talked to him in January last year. I sat down with a pen and paper and we did a Zoom call. For about two hours, I just dipped into his brain and asked him questions about King James, about Villiers, and about that incredible period in history.

Did this research and conversations with Benjamin influence your portrayal of King James or change your opinion of him?
Tony Curran: No, I mean, it’s interesting. You’ve heard about Henry VIII and the first Queen Elizabeth, who was on the throne for 40 years and was succeeded by King James. I don’t know that I’ve seen that much on TV or written about King James. But talking to him about it was really compelling. He would look at the pictures and say, “Look at him sitting on that seat with his crown and scepter.” He was asking me, “What do you think about it?” And I said, “Well, it sounds like he’d prefer to be somewhere else.” There is an old saying that a crowned head sleeps heavily. There’s a term he gave me that I stole and it’s “King James grew up in fear.” When he was 13 years old he was kidnapped for a year. His father, Lord Darnley, was assassinated. He was blown away. His mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, was exiled from Scotland and executed by Queen Elizabeth. You can see he suffered a bit of trauma in his childhood. I think it definitely informed his outlook on life and the core of the person he became. He did a lot of amazing things, lesser-known things. Of course, the King James Bible, which you can find in hotels all over the world. He translated it. Of course, Jamestown was the first British colony in America.

He did not like witches. On this he wrote this book named Demonology, There is a story that King James went to Denmark to get his wife, the Queen of Denmark. Twice he tried to come and twice a terrible storm came. She couldn’t come so you will have to go and get her if you want. He blamed these three women for this. Alas, I think they would have been hanged or burned at the stake, but at the beginning there are three witches macbeth And apparently William Shakespeare based it on the execution of these three women by King James. There was peace with France and Spain for 20 years. Unlike Queen Elizabeth before him, he was not a warmonger. He would like to go to a playwright and write, write, hunt. I’m interested to see what people think. And, of course, there’s his sexuality. This is its other side. There’s a lot of depth to this guy, and it’s also a very compelling time in history.

Kings and queens always have favorites. King James was a wise man. Do you think he was aware of the ulterior motives behind people getting close to him?
Tony Curran: This is a very good question. Yes, definitely, because he was very cautious. Paranoia will destroy you, but I think his paranoia was a kind of defense mechanism. Everyone always wanted to take power from him, but at the same time, he trusted people. There was Esme, Lord Lennox, one of his first great lovers when he was a young man. Lord Lennox was elder. Robert Carr and, obviously, George Villiers. He became the Duke of Buckingham, but I think he found solace in these relationships. There are some moments in the show where sometimes he wants to disappear. Someone once said that if you can’t find meaning in life, you will find distraction. I think he has distracted himself by falling in love with sensual pleasures. I guess that’s what people do today, right? I think his drug of choice was the passion he had for relationships with these people. He had 7 children. I mean, Queen Anne was actually pregnant 10 times. Three of them survived. His son, King Charles, succeeded him as king. I think he felt the pressure of coming from Scotland and becoming king of England. I think he walked around his castle with a doubler full of padding because he was scared and worried people might stab him. I think she’s a very compelling personality that we haven’t seen, so I hope people will connect with her in some way.

To top it off, in these passionate relationships, there is still a power dynamic. But when you strip it all away – metaphorically and physically – it’s a very elemental thing. There is an intimacy in the bedroom that probably doesn’t exist outside of it.
Tony Curran: That’s a nice way to put it. He closed the Parliament for 6 years. Politically, he would open parliament only if he needed to raise taxes because he was broke. He was fond of the finer things in life. He liked jewellery. His dog’s name was actually Jewel. She loved a fine piece of cloth, and I think she spent a lot of her money on it.

You will have to work together with Nicholas Galitzin. What was it like establishing the extremely close relationship between James and George?
Tony Curran: That was interesting. Before I actually met Nick, I was in London and he was shooting again. We actually started messaging each other. I think I gave her this book just for a little “Hi, how are you?” Had sent it saying. He was like, “You expect me to read this? “I’ve got two jobs right now.” Anyway, I’m sure he got there at some point, but I think we started joking over text. He is a thorough professional and we had a great relationship. I guess we’re friends now. I don’t know what he would say about me, but I like him. I think sometimes, not only in acting but in life in general, if you’re in the workplace and you’re focused and good at what you do, then if there’s some kind of chemistry between you then it helps. Help is available. I think oliver hermans, whoever cast us probably thought we could move on. There was definitely a little chemistry and humor between us, which I think is a big part of it. I think the performance given by Nick in this is really beautiful and powerful. I had a great time with him. He is cute.

As king, James could have lovers of his choice. What do you think James sees in George that attracts him?
Tony Curran: I guess he wasn’t bad looking. He is quite dishonest. I think we actually shot a scene at The Charterhouse in London, and apparently that’s where James and George saw each other for the first time, so it was a bit awkward and I got goosebumps. I think his mother shaped him by his music, his languages ​​and he was a very talented horseman. But I think she was very beautiful and James was attracted to her. I think he was definitely deeply in love with her. There are letters I’ve read where James poured his heart out, speaking to it through his pen, if you will. I think there was a real closeness and trust there. After some time, George Villiers became one of the most powerful men in England. James was just like, you take the power. You decide. He handed it over. Sometimes it was not very nice when he gave George carte blanche to take political decisions. I think you’ll see in the show that he probably regrets giving him as much power as he did. But I think when it came to loving him, I think he felt it very deeply.

Tony Curran
Tony Curran at the 2023 BAFTA Scotland Awards. (Euan Cherry/BAFTA/Getty Images for BAFTA)

There has been some debate about James’s death and whether or not he may have been poisoned by George. Is this something the show will explore?
Tony Curran: Perhaps. This is a terrible answer. Perhaps. I mean, if you’re making a show based on a novel king killer…I mean, he had dysentery, arthritis, he drank a lot, and at the time he had all these terrible diseases that maybe nowadays we would have a better idea of ​​taking care of with medicine. But at that time, he obviously did not do so. It can certainly be speculated whether he was murdered or not. But whether that happens on our show or not, you may have to see.

You mentioned how much James loved George. But could this be his downfall? The idea that power corrupts is a really interesting aspect of their relationship.
Tony Curran: I like what you said there. I like that term: power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It can eat you. His [George’s] The relationship with his mother and getting away from the apron strings and becoming his own man, I think you get that relationship and that triangle of power… Once he gets to King, that relationship with his mother How does it affect the relationship with?

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