Some actors give off very specific scent auras. For example, Tom Cruise probably smells like expensive cologne mixed with jet fuel and fear, and we all know Matthew McConaughey smells like the parking lot outside of a Texas Roadhouse. There are a select few actors who just look like they smell like a warm vanilla candle, and Jude Law is definitely one of them.
But while Law was preparing to star as King Henry VII in the historical thriller Firebrand, he soon realized that he could not smell like a delicious British cookie. He actually had to smell pretty bad. After doing some research, Law learned that the King was quite smelly and vile, thanks to his swollen legs and various ulcers. This isn’t uncommon among royalty, it seems.
While at the Cannes Film Festival (per Variety), Law explained, “I read several interesting accounts that you could smell Henry three rooms away. His leg was rotting so badly. He hid it with rose oil,” Law explained. But the actor didn’t want to just take the easy route. “I thought it would have a great impact if I smelt awful.” It seemed to have worked.
In order to achieve such a smell, Law had to take matters into his own hands and found a perfume specialist who would create the cooky concoction that would smell like a mix between a porta potty and a middle school gym.
“She makes wonderful scents, and she also makes awful scents,” Law explained.” She somehow came up with this extraordinary variety of blood, fecal matter, and sweat.” This is what most historical movie sets smell like, so it shouldn’t have been that hard.
Did the rest of the cast appreciate the poop perfume? They sure didn’t! Even the film’s director, Karim Ainouz, said “When Jude walked in on set… it was just horrible.” While can assume he was talking about the smell, maybe Jude Law is a grumpy dude on set. Hopefully, he didn’t keep the perfume, but maybe his next role will be The Smelly Pope. Just think about it, it could work.