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James D'Arcy On 'W.E.' And Working With Madonna

First Posted: 02/ 8/2012 2:47 pm Updated: 02/ 8/2012 2:50 pm

James D'Arcy is dashingly handsome, suave and British -- making him the perfect candidate to play King Edward VIII in "W.E."

The film, directed by Madonna, follows the story of the British monarch who abandoned the throne in order to wed American socialite Wallis Simpson (played by Andrea Riseborough) in the 1930s.

While navigating the busy streets of New York, D'Arcy, 36, spoke to The Huffington Post about meeting Madonna for the first time and being addressed as "your highness" on set.

Sounds noisy, where are you?
I'm on the street in New York. I just love New York. My heart does cartwheels when I arrive. As a child, so many of the TV programs I watched involved yellow taxi cabs and those little staircases outside the brown apartments ... I've been here a fair bit in my life and still when I see steam, or whatever it is, coming out from the sewers, I get really excited. I feel like I'm in a Scorsese film.

So you're bunking at Madonna's place, right?
Right! (Laughs) No, that was never an option given to me.

How was your first "W.E." meeting with Madonna?
I was surprised at her passion for the project. She had read all the books on [the subject]. The first time I met her I said, "Hi," and then an hour later, "Thanks very much." She really knew what she was talking about.

Did she speak with that fake British accent she's known for?
I don't hear any British accent because I'm British. She sounds American to me.

Were those woolen bathers you were wearing in the film?
I'm not entirely sure what the material was made out of. Are you asking me if they were itchy?

Yes.
(Laughs) I don't remember them being itchy. What I really remember was that once we shot that scene, there was a large pizza waiting for me in the makeup truck because [Edward] was very slim. I had won the war on bread for about three months before we shot that and literally the second she said, "Cut," I was in the makeup trailer eating the biggest pizza you've ever seen in your life.

Did you feel very posh playing the part?
I want to be careful of the implications of the word. It made you feel very different -- being tailored from scratch, standing in a large country house, having people calling you "your royal highness" and bowing.

I think I'd get used to that in about a day.
Yeah, it doesn't take long. It was all pretty fun. It's better than playing a down-and-out character, I suppose. Mainly, it was the suits, I have to say, that made me feel quite special, because they were absolutely made to fit me and nobody else on the planet.

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W.E. (2011) - IMDb