Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Irons 'scared' about sex scenes

Max Irons had to walk around the set in nothing but a thong

Max Irons has confessed it was nerve-wracking shooting steamy scenes in new period drama The White Queen.

The 27-year-old rising star, the son of actor Jeremy Irons and actress Sinead Cusack, plays King Edward IV in the 10-hour BBC adaptation of Philippa Gregory's best-selling historical novel series The Cousin's War.

"There are a few sex scenes - I was so scared," he admitted.

"They gave me a little thong to wear and then they cut off half of that, so you've only got the front part and you have to walk around on set."

Max joked that it would have been "awkward" to ask his famous father for tips about nude scenes, but revealed he does remember his dad sitting him down for a pep talk when he first showed interest in acting.

"He said, 'Me and your mum have been very lucky, and you need to understand that you might not necessarily be as lucky as we were'," Max said. "He said I needed to accept that if I embark on a life of acting, there will be high times, there will be low times, jealousy, insecurity... I said 'Sign me up!'."

It was a slow start, he admitted, which he attributes to his dyslexia.

"I kept going for parts but they'd always get you to stand on a stage and read from a script - and I could never ever do that. The prospect terrified me," said the London-born actor.

It was only in his late teens, when the parts became a bit meatier and he was handed scripts that he could memorise before auditions, that he "started doing all right" and more recent roles have included The Host with Saoirse Ronan and the TV series The Runaway.

:: The White Queen begins on BBC One on Sunday, June 16.

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