Starz’s dreamy War of the Roses soap opera, The White Queen, draws to an end tomorrow evening and it’s all going to come down to whether or not the unlikely king, Richard III, can stave off the invading Tudor forces. Like his character, Richard, actor Aneurin Barnard stealthily snuck up on us and conquered our hearts. We got a chance to talk to Barnard recently about working on The White Queen, winning an Olivier right out of drama school for Spring Awakening and how close he really was to nabbing the lead in Doctor Who…
When The White Queen debuted on Starz in August, we were completely and totally prepared to fall for the show’s star, Max Irons. After all, he had been steaming up all of the show’s trailers and he buttered us up by letting us know how “easy” it had been to play a lover. What we weren’t prepared for was to be absolutely wowed by 26-year-old Welsh actor, Aneurin Barnard.
Barnard had the challenge of playing Richard III from his early days as an earnest teen to a young lover, all the way to king of England. Not to mention the fact that Barnard had to humanize a character who until recently has been wrongfully remembered as one of England’s greatest villains.
“I knew quite a lot [about Richard], but not as much as I thought I knew,” he said in his natural Welsh lilt. Richard is infamous in popular culture for being a villainous hunchback in Shakespeare’s drama, Richard III, which we now know through research and the recent discovery of Richard’s skeleton, was untrue. However that wasn’t what surprised Barnard most about the monarch.