Victoria and Albert were a very real, lively young couple and he had a lot of ambition. Had he not married Victoria, he would have been king of his country, and I think that his drive coupled with her ambition and forcefulness inevitably would lead to a clash. What was extraordinary about it is that every time they did have arguments — and they argued a hell of a lot — they did make up, and I think it made them stronger. They didn’t give up, and I was inspired by that.
Rupert Friend for movieline.com
The Young Victoria (2009)
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Julian Fellowes.
Cast: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Thomas Kretschmann, Mark Strong.
Princess Victoria of Kent is the heiress presumptive to the throne during the last years of the reign of her uncle King William IV and is subject to a political tug of war for influence over her. On the one side is her mother, the Duchess of Kent, along with the comptroller of the Duchess’s household, Sir John Conroy, who tries to force Victoria to sign papers declaring a regency and giving him and her mother power.
On the other side is her uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium, who wishes to use his influence through family ties to secure an alliance between Britain and his kingdom. He decides to have his nephew Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha seduce Victoria and he is coached in her likes and dislikes. The Duchess invites the Coburg brothers, Albert and Prince Ernest of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to visit the household. Victoria and Albert develop an early fondness for each other, despite Victoria knowing that Albert was sent by their uncle to win her favours. They begin writing to one another after Albert returns home.
Her loneliness draws Victoria closer to Albert through their letters and she decides to invite him back to Britain. Since protocol prevents him suggesting marriage, she proposes to him herself.
Their marriage is loving and the birth of their first child helps heal the breach between Victoria and her mother, who had earlier sent a letter of support during the crisis. Nevertheless, Albert is frustrated at his initial powerlessness and Queen Adelaide advises Victoria to allow him to take on more duties. He then reorganises the running of the royal household and dismisses Conroy for mishandling funds. As Victoria’s primary adviser, he now blocks the influences of Lord Melbourne and King Leopold. However, Victoria quarrels with him fiercely for going over her head with Peel in the matter of her household.
Soon after, when Victoria is fired upon by a would-be assassin as they are riding in an open carriage, Albert throws himself across her and is wounded. This bravery leads to their reconciliation and Melbourne advises her to share with Albert also her work for the social welfare.
I really like the scene under the gazebo when she stops him from proposing or rather tells him to wait. There’s a lot unsaid when I read that scene.
Rupert Friend on his favourite scene in the film.
The screencaps from this scene and from the whole film are available in the gallery. Check this link to access.
He [Prince Albert] was a foreigner so he did have an accent, but he was desperate to not have an accent. So I learned a German accent and then from that accent I tried to learn an English accent. If that makes sense – so that’s it’s like you’re trying really hard to fit in. I had a fantastic voice coach who I love and also I asked the director if I could change the lines to be in German when he’s with his brother at home because it didn’t make sense to me that you would speak in English with your brother if you’re both German. He agreed that he wanted that flavor of this was a melting pot of Europe at that time, with this shifting sands of different nationalities. So we brought a German teacher in and changed some of the lines when he’s at home with servants and with his brother to give that sense of, when he leaves and goes to England it’s a foreign place and home is home.
Rupert Friend on his German accent in the film.
There are tons of promotional material in the gallery from the film’s premieres. Promotional photos and BTS are also posted there. And, of course, you can take a look at the interviews of Rupert related to this film posted here in the blog via this link.
Rupert Friend, as Albert, is this film’s secret weapon – ardent, subtly proud, a little shy, and a man with an intellectual philosophy he intends to preserve. The film glows as it gets to know him, and your resistance, like Victoria’s, melts away.
Film review from The Telegrhaph.
Just adorable… and intelligent, handsome, serious, shy, polite, attentive … as I said, a massive destruction weapon for any woman, queen or not. Rupert brings all these things to Albert’s character. I mean, I don’t know so much the story of “the real” Albert, but, if he was like Rupert presents him in this film, he was a great person, in every way, no doubt. The perfect example of what a monarch (ok, consort in this case) has to be. And he is so delicate in all his scenes, with his looks, the way he touches and cherishes Emily/Victoria… At this point, you can imagine that I loved Rupert’s work in this film, althought that’s not new, LOL, but the truth is that he broke my heart with this role in a special way. Maybe because of the thought that his character existed once, or just because he made it special, I don’t know, but I really enjoyed every minute of Rupert in this film.
The “definition of a real man”… That was the way Emily Blunt described Rupert after the filming of this movie… Needless to say anything else 🙂