Tudors peek

From Liz Smith’s column (thanks to Sheila for passing this along), comes word that “The Children of Huang Shi” will wrap up filming next week and word on “The Tudors” press screening. It’s mention that Jonny will begin promotion for “The Tudors” in mid-March:

JONATHAN RHYS Meyers finishes shooting “The Children of Huang Shi” (with Chow Yun-Fat and Radha Mitchell) in China this coming Thursday. He’ll rest briefly before beginning promotion of his upcoming series, “The Tudors,” in mid-March.

A small group of press- and industry- types joined Showtime execs Faye Katz, Richard Licata and Stuart Zakim recently in the intimate 28th floor screening room at 1350 Sixth Ave., for a peek at this sexy version of the young life of Henry the VIII. Believe me, this is not your mother’s King Henry!

Rhys Meyers, who plays the monarch, is not the corpulent red-headed despot of most interpretations. He’s dark-haired, muscular, and his frequent bed-hopping doesn’t make the audience feel sorry for the ladies of the court who must submit. Quite the contrary. He’s a selfish beast, of course, but . . . you know how those royals were/are? Sam Neill, Jeremy Northam and Henry Czerny add their talents to palace intrigue. Natalie Dormer promises to be a bewitching, tragic Anne Boleyn, the woman for whom Henry defied the pope.

After the screening, the audience was fed a lavish buffet that might have satisfied the rapacious appetite of the real Henry. Over endless cheese tartlets, mini sirloin burgers, huge shrimp and goblets of wine, everybody raved about the sets, the costumes and most of all the hypnotic effect of Jonathan’s impossibly blue eyes and pouty lips. There was also surprise at the sexual content. One guest said, “You know, I think Showtime has been allowed a few more ‘thrusts’ than we get in the movie industry. I’ve sat through endless meetings with the ratings board. And it actually comes down to that – six is an R, eight is an X!”

“The Tudors” begins its reign April 1 on Showtime.

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