Eric Bana is the perfect eye candy as Henry VIII in new film The Other Boleyn Girl
Australian star Eric Bana, 39, plays Henry VIII in The Other Boleyn Girl, an adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s novel documenting the English king’s relationship with Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) and her sister Mary (Scarlett Johansson).
Did you think you were going to have to fatten up and play the overweight Henry the history books often show?
No. I knew we were covering the period before that classic, I guess, Holbein portrait. And that was liberating, because with that comes the knowledge that you’re dealing with a period of his life that’s not so well-known and pre-conceived. For me, it was more interesting. It’s a different Henry to the one most people have in their mind’s eye.
What did you come to think about Henry and his love for the Boleyn sisters?
I found it all very believable. I guess I approached it by thinking he was very juvenile in his love and in his passion. And we can all relate to doing stupid things, behaving stupidly, when it comes to falling in love or having a crush on someone when you’re a kid or whatever. It’s also believable that people who are in the midst of all that passion get so absorbed and microscopic in it, they don’t think about the ramifications of their behaviour.
What is the most stupid thing you ever did for love?
I fell in love with many women at school who had no idea I existed. I think I wasted a lot of my youth, falling for girls who were a couple of years older than me. That was part of my problem. I’m a bit of a romantic. But I’m probably too embarrassed to say the most stupid thing I’ve done!
You’re also in another famous adaptation, of Audrey Niffenegger’s novel The Time Traveller’s Wife?
Yes, we filmed it in Toronto just before Christmas. Rachel McAdams plays my wife. It was a lot of fun. It’s a really interesting love story, with a time-travel element, even though that makes it sound more scientific than it actually is. It’s a good, basic love story.
The Other Boleyn Girl opens on 7 March.