I’m Henry VIII, I Am….Not

Y’all know that I am a history geek. Medieval history, to be specific, but sometimes this bleeds over a bit into the early Tudor period. I personally loathe and despise the Tudors, and think they were a lot of cheap, tyrannical, base-born, illegitimate usurpers and were the worst thing to ever happen to England, BUT…you know what they say: Know They Enemy. So I have done some reading on them.

They also seem to be the single most-filmed family of monarchs EVER! There are more movies about Henry 8 and/or Eliz I than you can shake a stick at. (Though none about Henry 7, which is not surprising considering that he was the evillest and least appealing of the whole evil brood.) Just off the top of my head I can think of:

  • A Man For All Seasons
  • Anne of 1,000 Days
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Elizabeth I (BBC miniseries from the 70′s)
  • Elizabeth I (Film 4 UK miniseries from last year)
  • Elizabeth (with Cate Blanchett)
  • The Virgin Queen (BBC miniseries from about 2 years ago)
  • Henry VIII (BBC miniseries from last year…had Sean Baby in a supporting role)
  • The Golden Age (sequel to Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett, in production)
  • The Private Lives of Elizabeth & Essex (Bette Davis)

And that’s just without trying! Yet why is it, despite all these many films, so bloody hard to find an actor to play Henry the 8th who actually looks like Henry the 8th?!? The cause of my irritation is two MORE forthcoming Tudor films on the slate: The Tudors (a Showtime miniseries) and The Other Boleyn Girl (set for fall 2007 release.) These two are gonna actually fail worse than any of their predecessors!

Other Bolyen Girl has Eric Bana as H8. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But! Eric is buff and sexxay! Henry 8th is a big fat lardass!” *BZZT!* Wrong answer. That is not my gripe, because OBG is about a younger H8, and the fact is that Henry the 8th was all big and buff and tall and sexy until he hit about age 45. No one seems to understand that, because we all have the later image in our heads for some reason. I take issue because Eric Bana is rather dark, and swarthy, and has dark brown eyes and hair. Henry 8th was a pasty strawberry blonde. Here’s a pic of Eric from the OBG set.

Yeah, he looks good, but he does NOT look like Henry 8th. Surely somewhere, especially in bloody ENGLAND where most of these things are filmed, they have a tall, pale, good-looking, red-headed actor??!?

The Tudors stands to be even more offensive. It looks rather like “Aaron Spelling’s 16th Century”and as Henry 8th it will star…..JRM!!

BWAH??

You know that I love me some JRM, and normally I’d be happy to see him in anything but…but…goddamn, that’s just wrong! I cannot think of a person less well-suited to play H8. I know I just said that back in the day, Henry was a buff hottie. And sure I don’t own a time-machine and can’t say for certain. But I am almost 100% completely, totally, sure that, no matter how good-looking H8 was supposed to have been…he never looked anything like this:

Come on!

I think it’s time to throw in the Tudor towel.  Hollywood can’t get it right and they’ve had too many movies already.  Give another royal bloodline a chance,  I wanna see some Plantagenet flicks!
Sorry for this rant that I’m sure none of you give a damn about.  But such is the life of a Tedious Medieval Prick.

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