William Moseley is poised to play Prince Liam (not William) in E!’s new glossy drama The Royals.
The actor describes his latest venture as a “fun, sexy, wild show that combines family, power and politics” which was “lot of fun” to film. But Moseley, who found fame as Peter Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia films, wasn’t entirely convinced at first…
“I was very skeptical. I did not think it was going to be for me at all,” he tells RadioTimes.com.
And it’s easy to see why. It’s on E! – the home of the Kardashians’ reality TV empire – it’s their first scripted drama, and it takes on the British monarchy in glossy, sensationalist and unashamedly American style. But the 27-year-old Brit is now sure that “anybody will like it”, so long as they give it a chance.
“Once I’d read literally the first or second page I was hooked. It’s got to be one of the smartest, wittiest, most self-deprecating pieces of writing I’ve seen in a long time. It’s fresh and it’s modern. It hasn’t been done before. Yeah, people are probably going to be a little bit skeptical, like I was, by the first look but it is so much more.”
The drama, from One Tree Hill’s Mark Schwahn, follows Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley), King Simon (Vincent Regan), Princess Eleanor (Alex Parks) and Prince Liam as they navigate royal life in the wake of the mysterious death of Prince Robert, heir to the throne.
It’s “absolutely” an American view of our monarchy, but “of course there are parallels,” says Moseley: “It’s a royal family, it’s a palace in London and my name is Liam like Prince Wil…liam.”
But he says he didn’t have Prince William or Harry in mind when preparing for the part, and that they actually tried to do the opposite of what royal protocol would dictate: “We have tried to steer as far clear of the current royal family as possible. We’ve actually tried to stay away from etiquette. We had advice but often we chose not to do it the way the royals would do it because we wanted to distinguish ourselves as something entirely new and as something entirely different. In the first episode there is a girl in a French maid outfit serving dinner which obviously would not be happening at the Queen’s table!”
“We are quite fortunate in that it’s been written by an American,” Moseley continues. “He can take as many liberties as he wants with it… It’s what we all imagine royal life could be or might be. We’ve seen Prince Harry in Vegas obviously having a wild time. But all in all it’s definitely a more accentuated version of the truth.”
“I think the reality is very different and it’s probably quite quiet and boring in comparison!” he says. If he had to choose though, he’d pick life with the Mountbatten-Windsors: “I think the actual royal family is a much easier way to live than ours! I think I’d burn out in about six months in The Royals family. I’d probably be in rehab. They might look after me a bit better in the real royal family.”
Moseley is no stranger to princely parts, having played Peter the Magnificent, High King of Narnia, and Prince Karl of Hasse-Brandenberg (in Perception) in the past. But he’s keen to move away from crowns and ermine cloaks – “Definitely – I really am.”
He does also say Prince Liam is a “character I could play for 10 years”, though, so he can’t be that desperate to give up a regal existence…
“He’s a real rockstar. He’s someone who doesn’t have any boundaries, any limits. He’s someone that can do anything he wants without consequence and unfortunately that has to change for him when be becomes the next heir, a position he never thought he’d be in. He has to re-evaluate and rethink his entire lifestyle.
“And prove to his father that he is a good person and he could be the next king of England. I think that’s something that all of us can relate to, wanting to make our parents proud.”
The Royals starts Wednesday 25th March at 9:00pm on E!