Timothee Chalamet arrives for the screening of the film "The King" at the 76th Venice Film Festival. Reuters
Hollywood heartthrob Timothee Chalamet said Monday he was "terrified" about playing Henry V in an epic new Shakespeare movie for the millennial generation.
The Oscar-nominated 23-year-old takes on the Bard's most swashbuckling character, Prince Hal, opposite his real-life girlfriend Lily-Rose Depp as Catherine of Valois in "The King", which is premiering at the Venice film festival.
Lily-Rose Depp arrives for the screening of the film "The King." at the 76th Venice Film Festival. AFP
Confessing that he was more used to "light sabres than swords", the American star said it was "terrifying for me" to take on the 15th-century English monarch who triumphs over the French in the mud and blood of the Battle of Agincourt.
"It was entirely new for me to do stunt work. It was mediaeval," said the star of "Call Me By Your Name" of fierce battle scenes shot over a fortnight in 40-degree Centigrade heat in Hungary.
The film combines Shakespeare's Henry plays into one extended tale of the rogue carousing prince who never wanted to be king but is thrust into power at a time of terrible turmoil.
Australian director David Michod admitted that he took extreme liberties with the text, one of the founding myths of English nationalism.
"We made a whole bunch of stuff up, I can't remember what was real, what was Shakespeare and what was us," he told reporters.
Chalamet said the story had much to say to young people, not least because most of the key characters were his age and "still shopping for their personality".
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