Nice to be able treat period dramas a bit more irreverently: 'My Lady Jane' actor Edward Bluemel

British actor Edward Bluemel, who stars in the historical fantasy series "My Lady Jane", says the trend of treating period dramas irreverently is a welcome one as audiences can enjoy a piece of history in a different way.
British actor Edward Bluemel,
British actor Edward Bluemel,

New Delhi | British actor Edward Bluemel, who stars in the historical fantasy series "My Lady Jane", says the trend of treating period dramas irreverently is a welcome one as audiences can enjoy a piece of history in a different way.

What also helps is the popularity of shows set in a bygone era thanks to the costumes and elaborate sets, added the 31-year-old, known for "Killing Eve" and "A Discovery of Witches".

Starring Emily Bader in the title role, "My Lady Jane" is one of the latest additions to the list of reimagined and period dramas such as "Bridgerton" and "The Buccaneers". It is streaming on Prime Video.

Asked if a trend of irreverent historical shows was on the rise, Bluemel said: "Absolutely!"

"It's something that people love. People love period dramas. They love the costumes, the sets, but people also love to have a lot of fun. The reality is that the Tudor period in real life probably wasn't that much fun. So, it's nice to be able to take this and add a fantastical element and sort of basically treat it a little bit more irreverently.

"People can watch it in such a different way and enjoy it in a different way. There's definitely room for very historically accurate period dramas and they're incredibly important and can be so educational and captivating. But we live in a world where we can have both, which is great," the actor told PTI in an interview.

Starring in "My Lady Jane" was a full circle moment for Bluemel, whose all-time favourite film as a child was 2001's "A Knight's Tale", starring Heath Ledger.

"I watched it when I was about seven years old for the first time and it completely changed to me what a film could be. I saw that history could be fun. I saw that history didn't have to be accurate or stuffy.

"It feels amazing to be coming full circle and being in a TV show that actually had 'A Knight's Tale' on the mood board in the beginning of it. It feels like I've sort of achieved what I came here to do," he said.

"My Lady Jane" is a retelling of the story of Lady Jane Grey, the young Tudor noblewoman who was Queen of England for nine days and then beheaded in 1553. In Prime Video's alt-universe version, based on the 2016 novel "My Lady Jane", Lady Jane saves herself from execution.

If Bluemel could rewrite English royal history, what would he revise or change?

"I think, in general, we could do better without the royal family," he replied.

Keeping up with the revisionist aspect of its telling, "My Lady Jane" has cast Jordan Peters, a Black actor also known for the British movie "Pirates", as King Edward VI.

The fantastical element is one of the aspects that allows the series to have fun with the narrative, the actor said.

"We live in an incredibly diverse society today. There's so much like that in this show. We are having fun with it. Historically, it doesn't matter at all like what sort of ethnicity anybody has too.

"As long as they can play the character and find the truth in the character, then that's great for me. Also, the show is a fantasy anyway. If people were to focus on what colour people are, they're seriously missing the point."

The actor, who stars opposite Bader as Lord Guildford Dudley, said he consciously didn't read the novel and decided to be part of the show on the basis of the script the writers had prepared.

"I was sold on the script... I decided not to read it (novel) because I didn't want there to be too many different sorts of things in my head. I really wanted to stick with the script that I was given to play the role, where Guildford was so amazingly brought to life on the page."

Bluemel, a graduate of Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, described his character Guildford as someone who is running away from who he is.

"He's constantly trying to escape his background and he finds himself in some pretty dodgy circles because of that. He is in the traditional sense of this story, he's the hero. But, we find out that maybe he's the one that needs saving more than anyone. And Jane is the key to that," he added.

The actor said he and Bader had met a couple of times before they started filming the show, something that helped them develop a rapport.

It was so amazing to find a connection with somebody... I could see so quickly that I was going to be a friend of mine. It's always a pleasure to be on set with a friend. It just made the whole thing so easy and we felt like we're in such a safe place. All of the tougher scenes to do, the arguing, fighting or the intimate scenes suddenly became so much easier to perform because it just felt like part of the job."

Having an intimacy coordinator on set is a bonus. Ita O'Brien, known for "Sex Education", "The Great", and "Normal People", was the intimacy coordinator on "My Lady Jane".

"It helps an incredible amount. It's absolutely important. Every actor feels safe on set and an intimacy coordinator always contributes to that.

"We had Ita O'Brien, who is a sort of legendary intimacy coordinator. She's done loads of huge shows and just her experience was so useful. It makes those scenes infinitely more comfortable and you just feel much more safe," he said.

Bluemel also teased the second season of the show.

"If there's a second season, people can look forward to more drama, romance and funny fantasy. There's so much more to be explored potentially."

"My Lady Jane" also stars Dominic Cooper, Anna Chancellor, Rob Brydon, and Jim Broadbent. Creator Gemma Burgess and Meredith Glynn are co-showrunners/executive producers. It is directed by Jamie Babbit and Stefan Schwartz.

Latest News

No stories found.

Related Stories

No stories found.