Vanessa Kirby used 'creative licence' for depiction of Empress Josephine in Napoleon
Vanessa Kirby used "creative licence" for her portrayal of Empress Josephine in 'Napoleon'.
The 35-year-old actress features in Sir Ridley Scott's historical epic as the wife of Joaquin Phoenix's ruthless French Emperor and explained how she took certain liberties in bringing the historical figure to life.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the film's UK premiere on Thursday (16.11.23), Vanessa said: "As with any fictional interpretation, who they are onscreen and compared to the history, there's always creative licence.
"It's like in 'The Crown' (in which she played Princess Margaret in the first two seasons). I learned that behind closed doors, it's an imagined version of events... I read every book I possibly could about her to capture this very elusive, interesting, strange energy she had."
The movie focuses on Napoleon's successes on the battlefield and the deep sexual hold that Josephine had over him, with Vanessa relishing the exploration of the couple's "unusual relationship".
She explained: "I'd probably say for me, the magical experience was getting to explore this dynamic, unusual relationship.
"Even though I was texting Joaquin all the way through the battles like, 'How are you doing?' and he was freezing in the UK winter."
Mark Bonnar stars in the film as Jean-Andoche Junot – a general of Napoleon's and commander of the French invasion of Portugal in 1807 - and hailed Scott and Phoenix for making an "epic, complex, thrilling" biopic.
The Scottish actor said: "(Napoleon) was a man of huge contradictions – fascinating, jealous, bad-tempered – but his men loved him.
"They loved him – he fought beside them. He's more written about him than anybody else apart from Jesus. So that kind of tells you why Ridley was attracted."