Actor Jordan Whalen says he watched numerous clips of Prince William to play the royal in 'Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal'
Jordan's striking resemblance to Prince William makes it easy to see why the Iowa star was cast in the highly-anticipated film 'Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal'
Actor Jordan Whalen's striking resemblance to Prince William makes it easy to see why the Iowa star was cast in the highly-anticipated film, 'Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal'. In light of the royal couples' first wedding anniversary, the Lifetime movie, which premiered on Monday, May 27, follows the love story of newlyweds Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.
Jordan, who was born and raised in Iowa, first discovered his passion for the arts at an early age in theatre. He received the certificate of Advanced Theatre Training from the prestigious Moscow Art Theatre School for the Stanislavsky Summer School program, which opened up greater avenues for the young boy. Jordan's extensive training allowed him to perform in many classic and iconic theatre productions such as 'The Glass Menagerie', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Pride and Prejudice', and 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf', to name a few.
Clearly a man of many talents, Jordan has been able to move in and out of the big screen as well as maintain a presence in the theatre. In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Jordan opened up about his experience playing Prince William on the new movie and also dished on how he prepared for the difficult role.
While talking about his preparations prior to facing the camera, Jordan said, "Much of my research consisted of watching the countless interviews with Prince William. That’s one of the luxuries of playing a real person. There's no shortage of footage of him. From those clips, I could start to build my understanding of him based upon how he answered a question or what his hands were doing while he answered."
He elaborated, "As an American, I focused a lot of my time on his dialect to get that as sharp as possible. I had studied the British dialect in school but he has a very specific dialect. I made the decision to stay in dialect the entire month while we were filming, even when I was off the clock talking to my family or having drinks with the cast. Spending all that time sharpening it made a big difference for me so when it came time to film I was able to let go of all that homework and just focus on being in the moment."
For a lot of people in the States, the British Royal Family isn't on their list of priorities when it comes to celebrity following. Which is why even Jordan admitted he had to brush up on his knowledge of the royals and their various traditions and protocols to be able to do justice to his role. "I had to brush up quite a bit. I had a basic knowledge of the family from the news but I suppose I really started following William more after his royal wedding in 2011. That's when I started to get a lot of, 'Hey you know you look like Prince William?'"
He continued, "But this is a very specific family and there's lots of protocol that I had to become accustomed to. There are specific rules on how to act around the Queen and the proper way to eat so those took a little getting used to. If you see William and Kate in public very rarely do you see them touching at all. And as constitutional monarchs, they have to be very careful to remain politically neutral. I think that really informs who William is. As future King and Queen, he and Kate have to behave in a certain way, whereas his brother and Meghan can be a little looser with the rules."
However, when one thinks of anything to do with the British royals, especially a movie, it is a genuine question as to what parts of it are fictional and how much of the whole thing is inspired from actual events, after all. Thankfully, Jordan cleared it for all of us: "Well it's a movie so all of is fiction I suppose. The film focuses on this one year of their lives. Most of the big life events are in the film, but other than a few moments that really happened we're dramatizing the lives of the royal family."
He added, "This is our best guess as to how these events affected their lives. Any good story must have conflict so we kind of decided which fire to pour gasoline on to find our drama. It was a lot of the fun to imagine how the events of the past year played out behind the scenes."
The talented actor, who received his big break when he submitted a self-tape, also admitted in the interview that his only regret was not being able to meet Prince William in person and get a few tips from him. "I would’ve loved to have met William, but alas, no I did not. I’m guessing he has a lot more important things to do than chat with an actor about playing him. But I think through watching interviews and watching him interact in public, I got a window into who this person is. Again, it's just the best guess, but it's an educated guess."
Speaking about his future plans, Jordan dished, "I have a theater background and I love politics. Because of Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses, almost any politician that has ambitions to become president has to spend a lot of time there. So this summer I’m planning on doing some field research by interviewing prospective voters (and hopefully a few candidates) and just everyday people about their political beliefs and which candidate appeals to them."
He explained, "I think we're in a fascinating time politically and I’m really interested in exploring that. From those interviews, my goal is to create a piece of theatre that I can produce around the country and hopefully around the world. It's still in the developmental phase so I don't know what it will be in the end but this is a subject I’ve been interested in for many years now."
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