Holding court with Jonathan Rhys Meyers -- ''The Tudors'' star discusses the lustful pursuits of Henry VIII

By Karen Leigh
Updated April 13, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

”It’s done!” Jonathan Rhys Meyers scoffs at those fashion eyesores of costume dramas past: plumes, brightly hued breeches, and floppy hats. So in Showtime’s The Tudors (Sundays, 10 p.m.), the actor sports fitted vests and short pantaloons to play young King Henry VIII. But the 29-year-old Dublin native (Elvis, Match Point, Mission: Impossible III) doesn’t buy claims that the soapy series fails to portray the real Henry Tudor — historically an overweight tyrant who beheaded two of his six wives. ”Anyone who hunts, owns a kingdom, wrestles, and has that much sex is gonna be in shape,” defends Rhys Meyers. ”We wanted Henry to be an alpha male.” And that his Henry is, regularly bedding nubile ladies, though married with a daughter. ”It’s 85 percent true,” he says of the show’s accuracy. We’ll assume he’s not including those tight leather pants in the equation. ”It can be quite funny sitting around in Tudor clothing while on our BlackBerrys.”