British charmer Max Irons first caught our eye in this past spring’s The Host, but in the brand new Starz and BBC miniseries, The White Queen, he has our full and undivided attention. We got a chance to sit down with Irons and talk about playing both a warrior and a lover in the miniseries.
In the sexy medieval drama, Irons swaggers into frame as the young King Edward IV and captures the heart of impoverished widow Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson). The 10-part miniseries weaves together Philippa Gregory‘s The Cousins War trilogy (The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter). It’s story of the War of the Roses, the 15th century civil war that ripped England apart and loosely inspired Game of Thrones…but told from the women‘s point of view.
Irons told us why he thinks it’s important to retell history from a feminist point of view, what it was like stripping down for premium cable’s notoriously scandalous sex scenes and what it’s like being the son of famous actors.
VH1: How much did you know about the War of the Roses before doing this role?
Max Irons: I knew bits and pieces. I did it when I was at school when I was 14, but when you’re 14, what’s being taught on the blackboard is the least interesting thing going on in the classroom, so a lot of it sort of went over my head. But I did a lot of research. I found a good bookshop and a medieval expert who helped me along.
VH1: So you don’t consider yourself a big history buff then?
MI: There’s one area in history, which is the Cold War, that I sort of know a lot about. I find it so interesting…the sort of mind games, the smoke and mirrors, the politics, the whole thing…I love. The rest of history? Eh, I’m more of a science guy. I love science.
VH1: We were going to ask what’s your favorite battle in British history is, if you had one…
MI: My favorite British battle? I’ve never been asked that. I don’t know! Um, Bosworth’s a good one. Uh, Hastings. Actually, one of Edward’s battles I quite liked. What was it he did? I can’t remember it, but it was really genius. It explains why he never lost a battle.