Its hard to say because you go through so many changes. The character goes from a boy to a man in the film, thats what Martha wanted. I dont know. I did bring some of myself into the character. Its hard to say what is there of myself. I mean hes a bit goofy at times and I can be a bit goofy (laughing). I dont know. As an actor you use a lot of your imagination and I suppose I did that mostly with the character rather than it being anything like me.
I read in the production notes that the director said you brought a hidden bad boy, streetwise quality to the character. Do you see that in yourself?
(Laughing) Ummm, Im a bad, bad boy. I didnt know that is that what she said?
She said you brought an edge to the character that was missing from the other actors who auditioned.
Well you know most of the characters Ive played before this have been like that, like that streetwise folks. This is my first nice character. But I dont come from that kind of royal life at all. I live in London and Im a city boy, and I suppose I am quite streetwise. So yeah, I guess I brought that to it.
Did you and Julia Stiles do anything special to help connect on the set? Did you work on anything off the set that helped you get that onscreen chemistry?
I think Julia does such a wonderful job, actually. She made Paige so real and that was always my concern with the Prince. I didnt want to make him a caricature. Theres always that worry. But the way Julia and I worked, we didnt rehearse a hell of a lot. We never read the scenes out loud. We never really heard each other say the lines until we actually were turning over on set, shooting it. So it was a nice way of working. It kept it fresh and kept us on our feet. And we didnt talk too much off camera. I think we kind of purposely decided to do that. We were discovering ourselves as we shot the movie. It was an interesting way of working.
Do you prefer not to rehearse?
It really depends what kind of project you are doing, and the material and the character. I think it has a lot to do with the job I do, each project you do is a different director and a whole different feel. Im still learning as an actor and I dont really know how I work and what my set ways are. But each job you do, you learn a little bit more. You have to adapt to each job you do to whoever youre working alongside and I like that.
Whats the most outrageous thing youve ever done to impress someone?
You mean like to impress a girl?
Im terrible at these questions.
Hey, at least Im not making you to complete sentences, okay?
The most outrageous thing Ive done Well actually I had a girlfriend at college who was in London while I was in college in Birmingham, which is like three hours away. I drove down in the middle of night in my old car and blew it up because I was driving so fast. But thats a terrible story its really boring! (laughing) I have no idea. Im sure theres something but I cant think of it.
Fans will be getting to know you and searching for info on you because of this movie. What fact about your background would surprise people?
I dont come from the background of this movie at all. I didnt go to a private school or anything like that. I went to some pretty rough, comprehensive schools in South London. What surprised me about this is that I feel like I was just sort of a budding actor in London. I didnt really expect to get a lead role in a movie, just suddenly like this. Its been a real shock. I was just tiptoeing in the shallow end and I feel like somebody picked me up and shoved me into the deep end. I feel very privileged to have this opportunity because I have a lot of friends, other actors I went to college with, and its a real tough, very competitive business.
So what was the audition process like for you?
I met with Martha in London and we read through some of the scenes in the movie. I mean, she phoned me two days later and said, Can I meet with you again? I went, Yeah, of course. She said, I really like what youre doing and I want you to play the role. I was like, Brilliant. Have I got the part then? She said, Youve got to go to New York and do a screen test with Julia Stiles and Paramount will have to say thumbs up. She said, If it was my choice, Id want to have you. Two weeks later we went out to New York and did a screen test and shot some scenes from the movie. I met Julia and then a few weeks after that I got a call from my agent saying they wanted me for the role. It all happened so quickly like in the space of a month. And its kind of been crazy ever since (laughing).