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Mary and George star Tony Curran reveals details of ‘raunchy’ sex scenes with co-star Nicholas Galitzine

The pair play lovers in the new Sky Atlantic show


Mary & George is inspired by the unbelievable true story of Mary Villiers, who moulded her beautiful and charismatic son, George, to seduce King James VI of Scotland and I of England and become his all powerful lover.
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
6 March 2024
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Mary and George star Tony Curran joined HELLO!’s A Right Royal Podcast to discuss the new Sky drama, where he plays King James I. 

In the historical drama, King James I is widely known in court to be gay, and impoverished mother-and-son duo Mary and George Villiers scheme to make George his favourite lover to gain positions and power in court. As such, the new show, which is out on 5 March, has some very risqué moments between Tony and Red, White and Royal Blue star, Nicholas Galitzine. 

LISTEN: Tony Curran talks filming intimate scenes with Nicholas Galitzine

Speaking about filming intimate scenes with Nicholas, Tony explained: “Nick was great. We had a laugh. We started texting each other before we started shooting, before I even met him, actually. 

“Certainly from my perspective, to do nude scenes or sex scenes, I don't mind if it's okay with the other people who are partaking. It [needed] to have a bit of levity because it breaks the ice and it can be a bit nerve-wracking, dropping trou!

Mary & George is inspired by the unbelievable true story of Mary Villiers, who moulded her beautiful and charismatic son, George, to seduce King James VI of Scotland and I of England and become his all powerful lover © Rory Mulvey/ SKY UK
Mary & George is inspired by the unbelievable true story of Mary Villiers, who moulded her beautiful and charismatic son, George, to seduce King James VI of Scotland and I of England and become his all powerful lover

“Definitely with the scenes I had with Nick because some of them were very affectionate and very tender and we're kissing each other and touching each other and we can trust each other, we trusted the director and we tried to be as truthful and as we could with the scenes because there are a lot of the scenes that are quite rough and ready and intense and fiery and sexual. But then I think their relationship falls into one friendship, of tenderness and ultimately of love.”

Tony Curran plays King James I
 


 © Rory Mulvey/SKY UK
Tony Curran plays King James I

He continued: “Actually, there was a scene I did with five other men who were all completely naked. That was a first for me. I was blindfolded as well. It was an interesting day! But there was something oddly liberating about it as well. Once you get in the mindset of who you're playing, then you don't think about how you look, you just try to get into the moment.” 

George Villiers became one of James' favourites© Rory Mulvey/ SKY UK
George Villiers became one of James' favourites

Nicholas also chatted to HELLO! about his exciting role as Julianne Moore’s son. He joked: “She’s a good mum! Maybe not in the script as much but she’s a great acting partner for sure!”

Things you probably didn’t know about King James I

Tony Curran as King James in Mary & George© Rory Mulvey/ SKY UK
Tony Curran as King James in Mary & George
  • He called George Villiers his ‘wife’ 
  • He led the first public campaign against smoking 
  • He translated the Bible - and it exists to this day 
  • He made George and Mary Villiers a Duke and a Duchess - unprecedented titles for non-royals 
  • His parents - Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley - were both murdered when he was a baby 
  • He was really into witches - and inspired Macbeth

Nicholas plays George
Nicholas plays George

He added: “The script is the bible and there was so much there to play around with build upon and so it’s great knowing the history of it all but really, there was a wealth of opportunity within the script.” 

Fans have been seriously excited about the upcoming show, with many sharing their thoughts on Twitter/X. One person wrote: “The way I’m so freaking excited to see this show!” Another person added: “I will be SAT!!! I can’t wait for this.

I am so excited already. #MaryAndGeorge."

Mary and George is available on Sky and NOW now. 

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