William Moseley first made a name for himself as Peter, the ultimate ruler in The Chronicles of Narnia film franchise, and now he's taken a throne of another sort in the beloved new drama The Royals, a fictitious tale about a modern royal family.
Read More: Elizabeth Hurley on her 'Royals' character
The British star, 27, plays spirited Prince Liam – a dashing aristocrat who gets into more trouble than an heir to the throne should. “When you’re young and you’ve got money and power and a get-out-of-jail-free card, I think a lot of people might go off the rails,” says William, in defence of his alter ego. Here, the actor talks about the thrill of playing a young king-to-be – and the experience of meeting some real royals.
How exciting is it to play a young royal?
It’s so fun! I have the best of both worlds. I get to show up to set and have all the fun and wildness of being a prince and then I go home and everything’s normal. It’s what you dream about when you act – it’s transformative.
Liam deals with a type of fame and lack of anonymity. As an actor, can you relate?
I think people strive for fame because they think it will validate their place on the earth. [When you’re an actor], people do come up to you and ask for your picture, and that’s flattering to a degree but beyond that … In my experience, it’s made me self-conscious. Second time around, with the way TV goes into people’s homes, I have no idea what it will be like. I’m just going to try to be as humble as I can be.
You met the Queen in 2010, at the première of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. What do you remember about the experience?
I just remember Prince Philip cracking jokes! And I don’t really remember what the Queen asked me – just if I liked this and that. You look into her face and you don’t see any arrogance. She has a very caring, loving face.
What have you learned from working with Royals co-stars like Joan Collins and Elizabeth Hurley?
The funny thing is, you meet these stars and you realize how normal they are. I remember [Elizabeth] saying of the very big people she’s worked with, they all work incredibly hard, surprisingly hard. And she said [hard work] really is the key to all of this.