Next ‘Prince’ charming?

Dana D'Orazio

The romantic comedy “The Prince and Me” follows as its title hints: a fairy-tale storyline with a few added detours and turns. It stars Julia Stiles as Paige and newcomer Luke Mably, previously seen in “28 Days Later,” as Eddie.

The storyline follows Mably’s character, Prince Edward of Denmark, fleeing the castle in which he feels captive and heading to college in Wisconsin in attempt to be a normal college student. He leaves under the notion that girls in Wisconsin are crazy and “gone wild” as an infomercial claims, and with only this in mind, the prince heads out on his adventure with his personal assistant Seron (Ben Miller) by his side.

The film is fast-paced; the initial love-hate encounters with Paige, a driven pre-med student avoiding any distractions that would derail her dreams of becoming a doctor, exposes her dislike for Eddie’s naïve intrusions. Unable to resist the undeniably adorable Eddie, Paige soon falls for the scrawny, royalty savvy stranger, who whisks her away to his castle in Denmark.

The story may be a trite Cinderella formula, but this version has a few unique twists and turns of its own, keeping it from falling into the totally predictable pile. Although the intelligent and witty dialogue keeps your attention away from some of the plot’s predictability, “Prince” falls short at times, bordering on cheesy and overdone. However, it is a cute but undeniable chick flick, a light-hearted, easy to swallow dose of cinematography. The simplicity of the theme of love is clear and still enjoyable. “It’s a very honest kind of love story,” Mably said. “It’s like a traditional love story, like an old ’50s love story, so maybe it’s a bit dated and some people see it as corny.”

Dana D’Orazio: What was it like working with Julia Stiles?

Luke Mably: Brilliant. She’s great to work with. I first met her at the screen test of the film. She was very sweet, very supportive since this was my first big part in a movie; she looked after me. She’s hard working and very committed to what she does

DD: How did playing this role compare to others you’ve had previously?

LM: The last film I did, “28 Days Later,” it was a completely different kind of character. I went on a shooting spree with chopped up raisins dropping out of my mouth and big eyes, not quite Prince Charming. It was a British film as well, so there was a much smaller budget, different but enjoyable.

DD: I’ve read that you opted out of the training for scenes like working on the farm and such; what was that like?

LM: My grandmother used to live next to a farm in the Lake District in England and me and my brother and sister used to go up on the holidays and there’d be cows and sheep. I was fine getting mucky; I didn’t mind, but I had to make myself look pretty goofy in the movie. I’m not saying I know how to milk a cow but I did opt out of any training a lot of the film. I had to make myself look pretty goofy which is fun. It is always good to laugh at yourself.

DD: What kind of things did you do in preparing for your role as the prince?

LM: Well I only had a short period of time. I mean I got cast for the movie, and then like a month later, we were shooting. But ideally, I would have liked to meet the Prince of Denmark or Prince William, but that wasn’t realistic. So I read as much as I could on etiquette and table manners and how to sit correctly, and we tried things out with my voice. I worked with a movement teacher with Ben Miller who plays Soren, and we worked very closely on this relationship that they have in the film. You know, what exactly is this guy; he irons his boxer shorts, he protects him, he’s his guard, makes him eggs benedict. We worked on details like that. I had to horse-ride and I’d never done any horse-riding in my life, so I had two weeks to learn how. And we went out in character in Toronto that was my favorite part. Ben did most of the talking and he introduced [me] to everyone [saying] I was the Prince of Denmark [and was] going to be dining here. We went to a restaurant and I began demanding tea and cake, we had six or seven waiters around me not knowing whether to shake my hand or curtsy. It was really interesting.

DD: Growing up, would you say you were more of the preppy proper boy or the laid-back farm guy?

LM: Well, I come from the city; I was born in London. I went to some pretty rough schools, you know, like in [what] is it you call it? Like “the ghetto,” you know. In like “Save the Last Dance,” I went to schools like that. I don’t come from that life so preppy or well I guess I was a down-to-earth [guy]; I was the quiet kid in the back who got on my work.

DD: When did you first get into acting and realize it was something you wanted to do?

LM: Much later on, I was about 20. I used to make home videos like horror films when I was young like eight or nine, but that was just a hobby and then I took drama school and I did the acting thing on the weekends. It wasn’t until drama school that I took this seriously and thought of this as a profession

DD: You’ve worked on both British and American films are there any real differences while working on set?

LM: You know, what they do in America, they follow you everywhere … Also there’s a whole running joke that the food is better on American films, but it has a bigger budget you are privileged you have more time … you can be more ambitious.

DD: Are you working on anything currently?

LM: I’ve done a film called “Color Me Kubrick,” which is a true story about this man in London in 1940 who used to go around pretending to be Stanley Kubrick, the film director, and he was like a con-man. He lived on a diet of pills and drugs, and lived in a small flat, and exploited every system he could; he just conned one person after the other [promising roles in his films and receiving favors and money in return] and I [also had the chance to work] with John Malkovich, who is also in the film.

“The Prince and Me” is in theaters April 2, and “Color Me Kubrick” is due out later this year.