LOS ANGELES | William Moseley didn’t get a chance to quiz Prince Charles about life as a royal when the two met at a movie premiere.
“It was very formal,” he said of the meeting. “They have to speak to you first and then you can answer. Then they have to ask you another question. You can’t speak directly. And, no, you can’t do a selfie.”
Now starring as the wild prince in the E! channel’s series, “The Royals,” the 27-year-old actor has had plenty of opportunity to speculate on just how claustrophic the life is. “You have private jets, yachts…everything. But you’re in a golden prison. You’ve got beautiful things and wonderful exploits but if you have a dream of being something else, you can’t do that.”
In the new series, Moseley plays Prince Liam, a playboy who doesn’t have to worry about ascending to the throne because there’s an older brother, Robert, standing between him and his destiny. He parties more than a royal should, juggles women and lives the life most only dream about. When Robert dies, he moves up a notch and can’t quite fathom a life confined.
“He’s more Harry than William,” Moseley says. “He’s a lot of fun” and likely to do just about anything. Could he take a trip to Las Vegas and get into all sorts of trouble? “Oh, I hope he does,” the actor says.
For the star of “The Chronicles of Narnia” films (he played Peter), “The Royals” is an opportunity he wasn’t sure he’d get.
Although Moseley won awards for his acting as a child, the transition wasn’t smooth. “I had to start back at the beginning,” he says. After the last film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” he took cameo roles and bit parts. “I had a guest star role on a crime drama called ‘Perception’ and worked my way back up.
“I was worried that my career was over, but I never lost faith. If you’ve lost faith, you’ve lost everything. It was hard at times.”
Conversely, breaking into the business was easy. At age 10, Moseley heard about a film they were making in his village, Sheepscombe. He auditioned, got a part and loved it. “From then on, I just wanted to be an actor. That was it for me.”
Another career didn’t even graze his radar because “I wasn’t very academic. I’m not sure what else I would have done.”
Luckily, “Narnia” entered his life. The casting director who put him in “Cider with Rosie,” remembered Moseley and recommended him for the role.
During that run, the polite Brit got to live the charmed life. “You’re in this extravagant, wonderful world and, through the characters you play, you can live vicariously. I loved it.”
At one of the “Narnia” premieres (there were three films in all) he was introduced to Prince Charles, his wife, Camilla, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Like the other cast members, he was taught how to act in their presence. “You have to say, ‘ma’am,’ like jam, and you can’t introduce a member of your family unless (the royals) speak directly to them.”
The latter rule proved difficult since Moseley’s mother, Juliette, is a big fan of the royal family. “She watches every minute of them on television. She has everything and she really cares about the royal family but I’m like a lot of my friends – you don’t really think about it. We know it’s part of our cultural heritage but it doesn’t really affect our lives.”
Now that he’s in a series that riffs on the lifestyle, Moseley has upped his interest level. He’s paying attention (particularly to the younger generation) and taking note of their public behavior.
While William and Harry don’t say much about the way they’re depicted in the media, Moseley suspects they might say something if they don’t like “The Royals.” “If they hate it, I think it’ll hit the press,” he says. “But then, maybe they’ll just say, ‘Oh, it’s an American show.’”