Jonathan Rhys Meyers loves playing Henry VIII, but is certainly not in love with his character’s diet.
The Irish actor and “Tudors” star revealed the king’s “deathly” food choices.
"If you look at the Tudor diet, I'm surprised anyone lasted longer than six months,” he told Canada’s Edmonton Sun.
While the actors on the set of the hit Showtime series nosh on fruit and veggies, their 16th century English “Tudors” characters opt for less healthy meals.
For the king, Rhys Meyers explained, "They would take a chicken, tear the top off, giblets on the top, and they would take giblets from the bottom, they would take the throat, and the head, and the feet, and they would clip the wings, and they would cook those. The breast would go to the poor."
But while the wealthy wined and dined on fattening foods, the poor were known to be healthier and live longer.
"The poor were mostly rural, agricultural, so they would eat vegetables, they would drink water, they would eat roast beef, whatever they had at the time," the Irishman said. "Whereas if you went into the city, you're having jowl of salmon, jowl of chicken.”
Rhys Meyers went on with his history lesson, explaining that royalty weren’t very hygienic either.
"And when you're inside the kingdom itself, sanitation goes out the window,” the actor/model said. “Clean water was not a possibility. What they used to drink as water had a good percentage of ale in it.
"The average man would imbibe 22 liters of alcohol per week, the average woman 15. So when you see portraits from that time and everybody looks a little worn? That's why they look worn."
No wonder Henry VIII drank all that ale, because as Rhys Meyers explains, “A lot of things are going on in Henry’s head.
“He is a leader. It is very difficult to lead."