Did Rufus Sewell Gain Weight for the Role of Prince Andrew in Scoop?

Image Credit: Peter Mountain/Netflix

When one looks at Prince Andrew and actor Rufus Sewell, one doesn’t see many similarities. The two men look entirely different from each other, and yet, when the time came to cast for Prince Andrew’s role in Netflix’s ‘Scoop,’ Sewell got the call and readily accepted the role. The film, which focuses on the infamous interview that the Prince gave to Newsnight, benefits from Sewell’s brilliant portrayal of the royal family member, and the uncanny resemblance between them has a part to play in it. How did Sewell manage to look so much like the Prince? What physical transformation did he go through?

Actor Rufus Sewell Sat for Hours on the Make-Up Chair

While a lot of actors go through significant physical transformations (like Christian Bale gaining 40 pounds to play Dick Cheney in ‘Vice’), there are times when the make-up team does so much of the job that the actors don’t have to worry about the similarities between them and the person they are meant to portray. For Sewell, the latter held true, but it also meant that he had to sit 3-4 hours for the make-up team to do their job.

Image Credit: Peter Mountain/Netflix

Talking about how the team found “the perfect blend” between him and the Prince, he revealed that they 3D mapped their faces to find out the commonalities of their facial structures. It helped them a lot to understand where and how much change was needed, and then they started putting on the makeup one layer at a time. They used a bald cap, which was covered with veins, and “a wispy white wig” with a little bit of padding. For the scene where Prince Andrew walks out of the bath and is seen naked from behind, a prosthetic bottom was created, which the actor wore during the scene.

Sewell revealed that at one point, they put eyelids on him, making him look eerily similar to the Prince. But it hindered the movement of his eyes, and the eyelids looked odd on the camera from different angles, so they had to remove them. This turned out for the best because then Sewell didn’t have to worry too much about how he was looking on camera and could solely focus on his performance.

While looks are important, they are not the only thing that matters when it comes to the performance. To get the Prince’s voice and mannerisms right, Sewell “obsessively watched” the Newsnight interview and tried to grasp every pause and movement the subject made during the interview. He spent hours watching the interview every day, not just to get the superficial expressions but also to understand what may have been going on in the Prince’s mind at the time.

The actor also noted the specificity of the Prince’s dialect, saying that despite the “Windsor clenched jaw,” he has a “blokey” aspect to the way he talks. He found that the Prince isn’t “noticeably posh in a sharp way like his brother” but has a “kind of laddishness, a looseness.” The actor tried to find the “combination of sounds that ended up being woolly in the right way.” A combination of all these things allowed him to portray a character that feels pretty close to the real-life persona.

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