Jonathan Rhys Meyers returns this month in "The Tudors." He spoke to Ramin Setoodeh:
s the best thing about being Henry VIII?
I suppose ultimate power. You get to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want. It's the 16th-century equivalent of having a black AmEx card and no limit.
I thought you
d say the women.
The AmEx card buys you that. When you've got wealth and power, you don't have to charm women.
Do you have a favorite wife?
The best wife was Catherine of Aragon. They were sexually attracted to each other, they liked each other's company, but Catherine got old and she couldn't produce a child. Otherwise, I think Henry would've stayed with her.
Does Henry wear boxers or briefs?
He wears boxers that have a crucifix like the 16th-century version of the Nike swish.
Where exactly is this crucifix?
It's right on the crest where you'd have the Calvin Klein or Hugo Boss sign. They're little metal crucifixes. When the show is over, I'll take all my pairs with me.
Of course for real.
Isn't underwear with metal crucifixes uncomfortable?
It's not high-grade steel or anything like that. They're quite comfortable, but they're quite funny to look at. Every so often I have to walk around on set just in my underwear.
Do you live in London now?
Yeah. We bought a house in St. John's Wood, which is a very posh part of London.
Who's the we?
Myself and my girlfriend. At the moment, I'm occupied with moving house.
Don't you have movers?
We're packing up the stuff ourselves. Believe me, if I was living in Los Angeles, I'd have movers. You could ring up somebody, and they'll be, like, "I'll be there in 10 minutes." It's not as efficient in Europe.
Do you ride the tube?
Of course. Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone, and on the cell phone there's a camera. People don't want an autograph anymore. Everyone wants a photograph.
Do you get recognized?
On a daily basis. I'd never thought I'd be the actor that said that.