Max Irons: 'I Was Once Told I Have the Legs of a Male Ballerina'

It's not easy being King Edward IV.

August 22, 2013, 6:09 PM
PHOTO: Max Irons
Max Irons is photographed during a press junket for INC International Concepts at The London NYC hotel in New York, Jan. 19, 2012.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Macy's

Aug. 23, 2013— -- Playing King Edward IV in the STARZ series "The White Queen" has its perks, but according to Max Irons, the costumes aren't always among them.

"The costumes are fantastic. When you walk onto set wearing a lion skin or covered in armor or you have a sword that's almost as tall as you are, it's a huge amount of fun," he told ABC News. "But it's hot. It's hot and itchy, and every single time I got off my horse I ripped my trousers, and I had to undo my boots and get a new pair. Then I'd get on my horse and rip my trousers again."

Unsurprisingly, in real life, Irons, 27, opts for a more comfortable style, most of the time.

"I have an ongoing battle with whether to wear tight jeans or not. Vanity over comfort," he said. "With the former, it's 'I'm going to be sticky or itchy, and if I get chased by a robber or a thug, I can't run away,' and, 'I can run away and I'm more comfortable,' with the latter. I tend toward the latter."

Plus, "You have to have really skinny legs [for tight jeans], and I have really muscular legs. I was the captain of the rowing team when I was in school," he said, laughing. "I was once told I have the legs of a male ballerina, but I'd like to think there's more to me than my legs!"

Then, Irons (yes, his dad is Oscar winner Jeremy Irons), turned serious when asked about his career.

"I used to always audition for weird things, like Dopey in 'Snow White,' but there's only so far you can go creatively when you're 6," he said, adding as he grew up, he began to do more plays at school. "I realized that was as much fun as I had had at school, and it became my priority."

Now, there's an element of self-consciousness about his acting, Irons said.

"It's funny when you have people that you care about a great deal, watching your things, you get anxious more so than other people because you care about what they think more," he said. Still, his parents have been supportive: "You know that expression, 'All my ducks are swans?'"

Still, there's quite a bit of material to take in. Not only does he have a major role in "The White Queen," which premiered earlier this month and airs every Saturday, but he also just shot a film, "Posh," and is currently rehearsing a play in London. When he's not working, he's living a "typical London existence" and traveling.

"The first time off I'd had [after "Posh"] I went on holiday with a girl to Greece for two weeks. My first holiday in two years," he said.

So who was she?

"I'm not going to tell you who the girl is!" he said.

Spoken like a true pro.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events