British superstar Elizabeth Hurley said playing a royal on TV made her realize that the real royal family has it easier than people in show business when it comes to their privacy.
Appearing Wednesday on BuzzFeed News' AM to DM to promote her turn as a villain in the Marvel series Runaways on Hulu, Hurley also talked about her role as the fictional British queen in the E! series The Royals.
Given her long history with the paparazzi, Hurley said her time on the soap opera, which ran from 2015–18, actually made her jealous that the real royals enjoy more privacy than she does.
“It made me feel a little jealous because it really made me realize that — on our show, you saw us out and about as royalty bestowing goodness and grace on the public, but then of course you went behind closed doors and saw what we were getting up to,” she said. “The real royal family, you never see them behind closed doors ever. We only ever see them bestowing nice things on the outside and you never see anything else, unlike people in show business where unfortunately pesky people seem to get behind the scenes all the time.”
“So actually they’re really lucky because I always think of the royal family being sort of like showbiz — really because it is — but with a lot more privacy. Sometimes. Maybe they’ve lost a little lately!”
The real royals do not agree with Hurley. In October, Prince Harry launched legal action against British tabloids for allegedly hacking his voicemail and for “false” and “deliberately derogative” coverage of his wife, Meghan. “I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been,” the prince said.
Meghan has spoken frankly about the pain the British press has caused her.
Asked whether Harry and Meghan were experiencing press coverage in the same way as she and other celebrities, Hurley responded, “They’re not really because they still have the secret service looking after them and they still have the palace guard and there’s no cameras backstage, so they don’t really.”
“They still have a great deal more protection than people in show business,” she said.
“But we are of an age where perhaps more people who could have more privacy choose in some ways to be a little more open and to reveal a little more than perhaps their predecessors did,” she added, “and I guess that’s a choice.”
Hurley’s role on The Royals saw her playing the scheming Queen Helena, but the actor said she's used to playing darker characters.
“Apart from Austin Powers, where I was allowed to be sweet, I’ve only ever played quite evil villains,” she said.
“I think I’m just now cast as Little Miss Nasty,” Hurley added.
As for whether she'd ever want to participate in a fourth Austin Powers film, Hurley was pretty firmly against the idea.
“I don’t think anybody wants to step back and try and recreate something when you’re 20 years older,” she said. “I think if there’s a way that something has organically progressed, but I don’t think anybody wants to run around in the costumes they were wearing 20 years ago.”