Thursday, March 20, 2008

Heads Are Gonna Roll ... Well, Just One Head, Really

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Natalie Dormer, Henry Cavill, Peter O' Toole and others were on hand at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in NYC last night for a premiere screening event for the second season of The Tudors which will premiere on Showtime on Sunday March 30. Season 2 takes the storyline of The Tudors into bloodier territory ... and since we all should know by now (from our careful studies in school) the love affair/marriage between King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn comes to a very violent end -- which proved difficult for actress Natalie Dormer to prepare for. Here are a few pics from the red carpet at last night's premiere event:


It's no fun having your head cut off. Natalie Dormer felt "hysterical" as she prepared to portray Anne Boleyn's final moments for Showtime's "The Tudors." The scene was filmed at dawn in the courtyard of Dublin's famed Kilmainham Gaol, a stand-in location for the Tower of London, where the Tudor queen was beheaded on May 19, 1536. Dormer was overwhelmed by thoughts of the queen's fate and by the potent atmosphere of the notorious prison, now a tourist attraction but once the site of many executions. She describes her "demented" weeping and wailing at the thought of "Anne going to die, and this horrible place, and everything that is dark about the human spirit and what man can do to one another." And to make things even more horrible, Dormer says they shot everything that is dark about the human spirit out of sequence, "so it was almost as though I needed to go through the whole upset process before I could stoically find my composure to walk up on to the scaffold," Dormer laughs. But when the camera rolled, the 26-year-old actress pulled herself together, delivering the scene with the composure Anne had displayed as she waited for the executioner's sword to swing. Unlike the real queen, Dormer says she earned a standing ovation from the crew of onlookers when it was over. It's no plot secret that Anne lost her head at the command of her ruthless husband, King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), but this denouement won't occur until the last of the 10 episodes of the medieval drama series' second season, which premieres 9 p.m. EDT March 30.

Apart from the fact that JRM and Henry Cavill are really super hot to watch in this series (which, I might add, features quite a bit of nekkidness), I kinda love that Showtime was able to take what many consider to be "boring history lessons" and turn them into a dramatic and very entertaining TV series. As a minor history buff, I absolutely love that folks are being "tricked" into learning by packaging the lessons in such an entertaining way. Had I been able to learn these lessons in high school by referring to a semi-nekkid Henry Cavill for reference, I'd have turned out a major history buff rather than a minor one. Season 2 of The Tudors debuts a week from this Sunday, but you can watch the first ep (with some editing) right HERE right now online. [Source]